Special thanks to my boy, Misplaced_Pen. My 69th follower. This post shall forever be a memorial to him and his accomplishment.
Think Tank V (I Think)
Hey, guys. For those of us working on Earthbound, I would like to hear your thoughts on me taking up the leadership position. If any of you would like to take over instead, I will willingly step down, but seeing that no one has stepped up yet (or, at the very least, I have not been tagged (or Prose's tag feature did not work) in a post from someone else who is wanting to take over the position), I will also gladly fill in the shoes left behind by our friends Danceinsilence and GLD. I will miss both of them dearly, as I am certain you guys will as well.
This is just an offer, and I do not think it is fair that I step up and take over without the consent of everyone else in the project. If you think someone is more capable, or if you would like to take over yourself, please say so. If you think it best, we can also put it to a vote, though I won't take it that far if it is just me and one other... I don't have a need for this position, LOL.
I will now leave behind what GLD included in her last Think Tank (the character outlines), and I will include the upcoming chapters and their due dates, as well as the completed chapters with their links.
The rest--whether everyone is okay with this change of command--can be discussed in the comments here. I am looking forward to keeping the project going with you guys, and I cannot wait to see how the story ends.
01/19: Chapter 8 – Chacko_Stephen
01/26: Chapter 9 – WhiteWolfe32
02/02: Chapter 10 – Finder
02/09: Chapter 11 – GLD
02/23: Chapter 12– CalebPinnow
03/02: Chapter 13 – Chacko_Stephen
03/09: Chapter 14 – Finder
03/23: Chapter 15– WhiteWolfe32
03/30: Chapter 16– CalebPinnow
04/06: Chapter 17 – Roses311Sublime
04/13: Chapter 18– GLD
04/20: Chapter 19 – Chacko_Stephen
04/27: Chapter 20 – CalebPinnow
We will have to have someone take over GLD'S chapters, though I will see if she would like to write any of them. Maybe we can get one more chapter...
If any of you are unable to continue with the project or need to be moved around in the writing schedule, please let me know.
(Direct excerpt from GLD's Think Tank) As a reminder of who our characters are (taken from the prologue):
"Dale Caruthers is the onboard mechanic and all around Mr. Fix-it, inside or outside the ship. Strapping man, nearing forty, played college football at Ohio State as a tackle and still in good enough shape that he could knock you down in a heartbeat and never break a sweat."
"Jules Verone, a mild person with a penchant for archeology. Short, a bit on the heavy side, but rarely speaks unless spoken to, or has an interesting find."
"Brad Marconi, navigator and this is his eighth trip into space but the first, like Clint and the others, to have gone as far as they have. As Brad put it, “Virgin territory.” This is also Brad’s last sojourn as he plans to retire from NASA when he returns home. That is, if there still is a NASA."
"Margo Jessup. Teacher, archeologist, recorder. Divorced, late thirties, and at one time for a few years a professional wrestler if you can believe that one since she’s barely 5’4” and a hundred twenty on a rainy day. Jet black hair and deep set eyes though give her the appearance she could put you down easy enough—man or woman."
Here is the taglist:
@WhiteWolfe32 @EstherFlowers1 @Roses311Sublime @CalebPinnow @Chacko_Stephen @nightscribbler @Finder @Sanjana_S
Prologue, by Danceinsilence: https://theprose.com/post/448127/the-premiere-earthbound-2222-ad
Chapter 1, by WhiteWolfe32, While They Were Gone: https://theprose.com/post/449088#comment750232
Chapter 2, by EstherFlowers1, Seeing is Believing: https://theprose.com/post/449846#comment750826
Chapter 3, by Danceinsilence, Secrets Laid Wide Open: https://theprose.com/post/450772/chapter-three-secrets-laid-wide-open
Chapter 4, by GLD, Purpose: https://theprose.com/post/451818
Chapter 5, by Roses311Sublime, Plans: https://theprose.com/post/452673#comment753278
Chapter 6, by Sanjana_S, Survival: https://theprose.com/post/455599/chapter-6-survival
Chapter 7, by EstherFlowers1, Dismembered Hopes: https://theprose.com/post/456996/chapter-7-dismembered-hopes
Pen to the Paper 17
“At long last!!!” I said, jumping onto stage from an unknown origin, “Thanks, Dr. Strange,” I whispered behind me. “I don’t know about you guys, but it has been a really long month. I checked three times in December to see if I actually did this challenge in December, and I checked again in January to make for absolutely positive… I did. I even checked again a second ago. I have no idea why this last month has felt so long for me, but it did.
“But enough about me, I am assuming everyone knows why I am here. To talk about War and Peace! Okay, so, there is this guy, Count Bezúkhov, and he is super sick and dying. All of his family has their undies in a bundle over who is going to get his fortune: will it be split between his two eldest children, Prince Vasíli and the eldest princess? Will it be given to that rascal son Pierre that everyone seems to dislike, but Count Bezúkhov clearly thinks differently? Or has Anna Mikháylovna convinced her son’s godfather (the count) to give her the fortune? I don’t know, I’m not done yet. All the while this is happening, you have these three girls who act seven but are around the age of thirteen who are head over heels in love with these three guys who also act seven but are supposed to be around the age of seventeen, I presume, as all three of them are about to enter into the military. One of the girls, who is twelve, kisses Nicholas, the godson of the count. Relevant to the situation? No, I was just pointing it out. That scene weirds me out. I know that it was a different time and all that, but good gracious, man. She’s twelve! Though normally they act seven, there are other times where they act forty-nine. What else…
“I have read twenty-four chapters of this immense novel. And… Wait, you guys aren’t here to hear me talk about War and Peace? Oh. Wrong crowd, I guess. Well, in that case, PEN TO THE PAPER IS BACK, BABAAAAYYYY!!!”
Leave It to the Kitty-Cat
A cat, of course
As he's the only source
Of purrs and---
OW--You bit me!!!
Dexter: The Best Film Adaption Ever
This series is rather old, so I am sure that no one cares if I put any spoilers in here. But I am going to put a warning right here, right now, saying that if ever you plan on reading or watching the Dexter series, now is your chance to leave.
Dexter: New Blood has recently been released. In the process of it being advertised, I, as I often do, decided to check to see if Dexter was a book. In my research, I found it! Jeff Lindsay’s first novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter was released in 2004, nine months after I was born. Oh, hey, that’s pretty cool. It’s as if… you know what, I won’t connect those dots. That is weird. But I will leave this here so that you clever ones will figure it out. It also won an award in 2005: the Dilys Award. No clue what that is, but, I mean, there ya go. On October 1, 2006, a day before my third birthday (dang, this book really revolves around me all of a sudden. I swear I didn’t know this when I sat down to write about this…), the first episode of its television adaptation was released.
The book was absolutely amazing. You sympathize with a serial killer, you see where he is coming from, and you feel what he feels. Jeff Lindsay did an incredible job writing Dexter. All of his thoughts are perfect. His biting sarcasm gives you a few laughs throughout the book. Reading about his attempts to blend in and to act normal, you almost begin to think the same way he does. You get attached to characters while hating characters as well. Jeff Lindsay offers an insight into police work, as Dexter is a blood analyst for the Miami Police Department.
Yes, he uses alliteration in the book in a few instances. It’s rather beautiful, isn’t it?
I remember when I was younger my father watching the series. We own most of the series because, in the words of my father, “It was cool to buy a TV series the moment it came out on DVD.” We own seasons one through six, so I have been thinking about watching it for a while. I was just waiting until I had permission to, and when I finally asked after not doing so for ten years, I was told that I could. I excitedly began the series after I finished the book, and I must say: this is the best film adaptation that I have ever seen.
I reached this conclusion relatively quickly into the first season. Not only did they do an incredible job bringing it to ‘the big screen,’ a phrase that does not work unless you are referring to a movie, but they did better than the book. You see that next to never. Actually, I don’t think you see that period. Feel free to let me know of any shows/movies better than the book it is based off of.
The sarcasm and internal dialogue of our dearly dreadful Dexter is kept, and they fit it into the show perfectly. His fascination with the ice truck killer’s work is perfectly presented by the thoughts and facial expressions of the actor, Michael C. Hall.
Not only this, but we spend more time with the characters. We learn more about them than we do in the book, and we grow a deeper connection to them. Along with this, we see more from the Dexter and Rita relationship, seeing them grow a little as a couple (or, at least, she grows. Dexter doesn’t because he is Dexter. Though there are small spurts of growth that he makes). We get to learn more about Paul and we get to meet him. The subplot with Paul is spectacular.
We meet the ice truck killer, which is something Lindsay couldn’t do in his book, as it was a first person perspective. Though this is that as well, TV shows have more freedom to leave their main characters behind and focus on someone new. We learn how his brain works, we see him getting his victims, and he has thrown himself into Dexter’s life in a way that just fits so perfectly into the show. The book did not have this. His identity was one hundred percent a secret until the very end of the novel.
Another thing that the show did better: Deb doesn’t know. At the end of the first book, Deb finds out who Dexter really is. She kind of just accepts it, and it is weird. Deborah doesn’t figure it out in the show, and that will make for more drama in the remaining seasons. It also fits her character better.
I wasn’t a big fan of the ending of the book. Dexter just barely keeps himself from killing his sister (which is a powerful moment that was incorporated into the show as well), then LaGuerta bursts into the shipping container, and he kills her with his brother, Brian, the ice truck killer. That is what the ice truck killer wanted the whole time: to get Dexter’s attention and kill someone with him like brothers again. This scene, the scene where Dexter and Brian kill LaGuerta, does not get brought up at all in the show, and I think it was wise for the producer to not include it. It stays truer to Dexter’s character, and Deb remains in the dark.
We get to see more victims, and we even get a small subplot with one of his victims (who, spoiler alert, wasn’t actually a victim, but committed suicide in prison later). Though this is a positive, it makes sense that Jeff didn’t jam his book full of Dexter’s kills.
More character growth, more victims, better ending: the first season of Dexter was incredible, and much better than the book. The only cons to this is that it is a Showtime series, which is basically synonymous to us calling something an HBO series today: there is nudity and sex in it. More than I would have thought there would be.
I have come to the conclusion that we have been handling books the wrong way. Rather than making movies out of them, we need to go the Dexter route and turn books into TV shows. There is more time to include character development, you can add and enhance things… all in all, it’s just a great idea. I mean, look at what Marvel is doing now on Disflix. We are getting well crafted stories that are more satisfying. Not because we are being put in suspense for a week, but because they have more time to build the story, develop characters, and go on side quests.
If you are below the age of seventeen, I suggest asking your parents prior to watching this series. If you are below the age of fifteen, don’t watch it.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have a book to read before I can move on to the second season, and I would like to watch the rest of this show, so… I’ll see you guys later. Probably write something on No Way Home before I go back to writing short stories. I will see you guys soon! Oh, and, Harry, I’m not trying to steal your thing. No Way Home will be the last time… I swear! Also, if you do find this, tag me in your No Way Home post. Thanks.
I should probably go. My burritos are probably burning.
Pen to the Paper 16: The Announcement
Nick stared at the creature in front of him.
"You will choose me as the winner of this challenge!" Hypnorc said.
"I will choose you as the winner of this challenge," Nick repeated, walking towards the desk in the back corner of the dressing room that was less of a dressing room and more of an all-purpose, whatever-I-need-it-to-be office.
When he reached the desk, he pulled out the stack of notes, through away the note with the winner on it, and began to work on a new note card, announcing Hypnorc as the winner.
Satisfied and feeling like he accomplished his mission, Hypnorc left the all-purpose room.
Just at that instant, I stepped out of the bathroom.
"I would not go in there if I were you, Nick," I said. "Oh, hey! Thanks for grabbing those for me!"
He handed me the note cards. "I think it's time for you to get on stage, my friend," Nick replied.
"Yes indeedy! Now where did I put… ah, yes."
A couple minutes later, a spotlight shone on stage, and a human sized chicken emerged. The speakers began playing The Chicken Dance. And, yes, the chicken began dancing to it.
I removed the mask and called out, "C'mon, guys! Join in with me!"
Pretty soon, I had the entire arena doing the chicken dance with me. And I couldn't help but laugh.
"Man, I love this. I think you guys have earned to learn who the winner is this month!"
The crowd cheered, still doing the chicken dance because the music was still playing. "Okay, I guess I'll join you guys. Though it may be difficult to read these while I dance…"
Beginning to dance once more, I said, "In third place, we have Sanjana's post 'Chasing the Birds We Made'! It was a very wholesome story, and it was very descriptive, as expected from the one and only Sanjana_S!
"In second place, we have someone I thought was an instant winner. I fell in love with the story from the start, and, though it ended just perfectly, it made me want to read more. So, if ever you do write more to this story, booklover_2020 please keep me posted because 'Alone' was spectacular! I loved every second of it.
"Now, first place shocked me. I've never had an instant winner get knocked out of the instant won spot before. But there was one post that I thought stood out against them all. It was just so incredible. Hold on while I clap, I don't remember who wrote it."
I finished clapping, I did the weird open-and-close thing, then I focused hard on my notes as I flapped my "wings" and sank to the ground.
"The winner is Roses311Sublime's… wait a second… Roses, I'm sorry for teasing you like that, but I believe there has been a mix up here. Excuse me one moment while I go talk to Nick… And don't stop doing the chicken dance!"
The elevator slowly sank down to the dressing room. Once I made it down there, I walked over to Nick. "Hey, man, I think there was a mistake. Who won?"
"Roses311Sublime did," Nick replied.
"I thought we decided on someone else over breakfast this morning."
"Yeah, we did. But I had second thoughts."
"You're supposed to come to me with second thoughts, Nick."
"I know. But there was this weird orc-lookin' dude, and he was very convincing."
I gave Nick a quizzical look. "So where's the notecard with the winner on it?"
"I threw it away. But I made a back-up set, and that's riiiight here," Nick said, pulling out a stack of note cards, flipping through it, and handing me the winner.
"Thanks," I said, walking back to the elevator. Nick pressed the 'Up' button and I began my rapid ascent.
When I emerged, everyone was still dancing, and I rejoined.
"Glad to see you guys are still having fun!
"The winner of Pen to the Paper 16 is… HashtagFiction with his entry 'Riot'! Your story was amazingly detailed, and incredibly interesting. You kept me glued to my seat and painted the scene so vividly I could see how everything went down. This is another entry that I would like to see more of so, please, keep me updated if you do.
"Now for some honorable mentions.
"GLD's 'Flashbacks to Then' was beautiful. I absolutely loved this write! I would quote the last stanza here, but I think instead that I am going to just tell each and every last one of you to read this post!
"Roses311Sublime, your post 'Villains Like Writing Challenges II', I thought, was a fun read. Thank you for documenting the conversation… and can you help me with my orc problem? Thanks.
" 'Cat' by roboggeek was hilarious! I loved it. Thank you for sharing.
"Raybug63 almost had me in tears with the post, 'A Visit'. It's hard to get me to cry when I'm reading, and I definitely had tears in my eyes.
"And last, but certainly not least, I would like to see more from 'Gone', SeanTILDawn. Funny in parts, interesting in others, I want to see more from this story!
"Thank you, one and all, for entering! I'll see you next month for another Pen to the Paper!"
Pen to the Paper 16
The audience couldn't believe their eyes. I had recently done some renovating of Pen to the Paper Arena, so that now, if I wanted, the top could open. So, roof agape, everyone stared in awe as the sleigh led by nine reindeer descended. Rudolph's nose glowed faintly.
"Ho, ho, ho!" Santa called as he pulled to a halt on stage. "Merry Pen to the Paper 16! And to all, a good show!"
"HELLO!" I called, jumping out of Santa's bag, doing a triple back flip, and landing on stage. "Okay, that went way better than it did in rehearsal, and I'm excited."
The crowd cheered as I bowed, acknowledging the absolute awesomeness of my stunt. "Guess what, guys? It's a new month, which means a new Pen to the Paper. So what are you guys still doing here!? Go! Start writing something!"
The stage opened up under my feet and I plummeted thirty feet down the elevator shaft. Santa whipped his reins, and his sleigh took off out of the arena, the roof snapping shut just as he left.
The feather mattress that I fell on top of did not break the fall as well as I hoped it would. Nursing my elbow, I rolled off of the platform once it had finished moving downward.
"You alright?" Nick asked, helping me to my feet.
"Wrong arm! Wrong arm!" I yelled as he pulled me up by my left arm. "Actually, I think you undis--reloc--erm. You popped my dislocated shoulder back into place."
"I know," Nick said, head buried into a bucket. "I heard."
Once he was finished losing his breakfast, he asked, "Hey, so how did you get the reindeer to fly like that?"
"I told you, I hired Santa for the day. Told me he wasn't busy."
Nick scratched his head as I walked out of the dressing room.
I want to write a song, but I should be in bed
But as I lie here, these thoughts just bounce through my head
Telling me to pour my heart out
Write down how I feel, release the anger I have with myself out with a shout
Take a blade and stab myself in the chest
Lie on the ground, blood spewing out, you know the rest
Just a metaphor, I'd never do it
Killing my mistakes and ridding my bad habits
Hoping to God that yesterday was my last relapse
But I've hoped that hundreds of times in the past
I hate that I've fallen back down this path
WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE
sometimes i just want to go home
I wish I could restart
Stop my heart, watch this life fall apart
Wake up again in my mother's arms
Brand new, fresh to this world
A child who doesn't even know a word
I'll miss the friends and decisions I've made along the way
But to rid myself of this, I'm sorry to say
Would be the best thing that happened to me
I just want to be free
Now let's hope no one sees this because it kind of sucks
Hey. Figured it would be rather rude to pass this, now wouldn't it? Also, I was told that I would get five bucks for posting... Where's my five dollars?
Pen to the Paper 15: The Announcement
"Ugh," I said, looking in the mirror and running my hands through my hair. "There is only one thing I despise about road trips, Nick. Well, two. If you decide to wear a beanie because they are comfortable and you look sexy in one, your hair gets nasty. If I had time I'd shower before going up on stage… but I think I'll just throw a beanie on again."
"You think you loo--? Nevermind. So, what's the other thing?"
"My butt hurts, of course."
"Oh. I was expecting something else," Nick said.
"Nope. My hair gets all gross, and my butt hurts."
"I think they're all up there."
"Someone told me they're keeping their seats warm up there."
"Was that supposed to be funny?"
"I'll be leaving now," I said, stepping onto the platform. Nick pressed the button, and I began my slow ascent upwards. "You know, the one thing I miss about the school is the wacky entrances."
"No one said couldn't still do them," Nick replied.
"Yeah, well, then this sweet elevator thing wouldn't get used," I said as I disappeared into the ceiling.
I emerged onto stage, all the lights were out, there was no smoke rolling across the stage, no music playing--it was completely dead.
The audience whispered amongst themselves, confused about what was happening. No one could see me on stage as I crept towards the microphone. Quietly grabbing it, I sneaked off of stage and into the audience with the best disguise ever on--sunglasses.
I sat down in an empty seat and said to the person next to me, "Hey, when do you think that lame-wad Caleb is going to come out?"
"Pffft, lame-wad? What are you talking about?" he replied. "Caleb is, like, the coolest dude ever, and I heard he looks pretty sexy in a beanie too."
"Thanks," I said into the microphone. "Wanna repeat that for me?"
I put the microphone up to his mouth, and he just stared at me, mouth agape. The spotlight came down on me, and the audience burst out in cheers as I stood up and walked back down, giving people high-fives and kissing babies' foreheads on the way.
"Has the fame gone to my head?" a videoed version of me said on the four large screens that hung from the ceiling above the stage. "No, I don't think so."
"Of course, I love doing Pen to the Paper."
"Do I what? No, I don't think I'm ugly. No, dude, I'm not ugly. Man, this interview is over," I said, getting up from my chair. The camera followed me. "I said enough!"
The camera fell to the floor and the video ended.
"Pretty cool, right? Yeah, I was interviewed! It was pretty fun. Until he started calling me ugly and egotistical. Anyway, who's ready to hear about the winners?"
The crowd let out a weak cheer. “You know, I knew it would be stupid to hold this at 2 A.M. on a Monday morning, but you guys can make a little more noise, can’t you?”
The crowd cheered a little louder. “Hey, I’m not even late if you pretend I live in California,” I said. “Ah, time zones, such a blessing. Though next time I won’t stay up late playing Minecraft with my best friend… I’ll keep this one shorter, and I’ll be back with a better one next month!
“Anyway, let’s announce third place, shall we? Third place is imcold’s Sea Glass! A great write dissecting her mind, with a great ending.
“In second place, we have A Rainy Day In the Clement Fields of Glasgow by Sanjana_S! Great read, and it left me wanting more.
“And our winner… Our winner is CaraJJaye with Arthur Giddleman’s Ankle! Superbly written, you did an incredible job!
“Normally, this is where I would leave honorable mentions, but for brevity’s sake, I will just say this: this was one of the best Pen to the Paper’s I have had! I liked nearly every post, and I recommend to all of you to go back and read them all! I had my favorites out of the bunch, and it pains me not to mention them, but, alas, it is way late. I will see you next month with a more thoughtful Pen to the Paper!”