Digital Collaboration Unveiled

clockeyeEarly in August I spoke briefly about the digital collaboration I had begun with Tasmanian writer, poet and musician Claire Jansen as part of Ben Walter’s digital residency. Since then Claire and I have been busy throwing around ideas, writing, editing and rewriting to bring together the narrative threads of five characters across a 24-hour period.

The original concept came from the attached photo that randomly appeared in my Facebook feed from Existing Actualities.

With the framework of capturing a story in two-hour blocks of a single day, we built the story with no collaboration or brainstorming during the initial drafting. Much mad writing passed between Claire and I in the first week. Several characters emerged in our respective pieces and across the next two week we followed them as their lives unraveled. Two more weeks were spent refining the characters and their shared storylines.

The collaboration is simply titled “24”.

Three days before Christmas Amber lands in Australia to celebrate the festive season with Ben. But he’s not expecting her or the news she brings. Her presence sends radial fractures into Ben’s life and those close to him, from his sister to his lover and beyond.

Told across a single day, through the eyes of five characters, ’24’, delves into the complexities of the relationships closest to our hearts.

“24” launches tomorrow (Friday, 5th September).

A new story will go live every two hours and crisscross between this blog and Claire’s Tumblr. The first part will be available here at 6am (AEST); the next at Claire’s at 8am, so on and so forth through to Saturday at 4am. Each story is approximately 500 words.

We look forward to sharing “24” with you and hope you are able to share it with friends and family, far and wide.

Of New Endings and New Beginnings

August is set to be a massive month if my to do list is anything to go by.

August_mismatch_socks

Oddly matched

Submit Submit Submit!

I managed to make my target of six stories for the #6in6 challenge (literally by the skin of my teeth about 9 hours after the Australian deadline – hooray for international time zones!). From that massive outpouring of words (I wrote over 24,000 new words!) I have five stories still to be submitted. They are all beta read and awaiting rewrites. This is where the new endings bit of the title comes from.

Several of the stories need (or needed new endings). My science fiction story ‘The Leaves No Longer Fall’ requires a massive rewrite of the final third and it’s taken time to get all the pieces to fit together in new way. ‘At Arm’s Length’ needed a new ending (because I believed the characters deserved a happy ending rather than the bleak one it originally had). At this point in time, the response has been positive for the new ending of ‘Arm’s’.

The plan is to work on one story a week leading off with ‘Leaves’ (it is the most time sensitive – wish it wasn’t the one requiring all the work though). Two of the stories should be easy rewrites and coexist nicely in a single week. The plan is to have them all submitted by the end of the month.

New Collaboration

On the beginnings front, I am working with Tasmanian writer, poet and musician Claire Jansen on a short story collaboration as part of Ben Walter’s digital residency. Ben’s using his residency to pair Tassie writers with those on the mainland (or further afield). Claire and I met randomly in one of the comment streams on the Facebook group set up by Ben and and we have been throwing ideas around via email for the last week. This morning I wrote the first installment of what will be a look at various lives as they crisscross in a 24-hour period. We’re aiming to each write six short pieces each.

Here’s a small taster of the rough and ready words that poured out this morning:

From where he lay, the crack between the curtains glowed with the golden fissure of dawn and he imagined the light stealing in. Seeking him out. Exposing him for what he was.

And he deserved it.

He’d told Helena, just one night to get it sorted out with Amber and ensure she had somewhere else to go. Now, oh Christ.

Amber slept curled in a ball, her head on his shoulder, sour breath grazing his neck. He extracted his numb arm, climbed out of the tangle of sheets and stood naked at the window watching the dawn creep across the city. The clouds curled and whisped, lit by the rising sun, in such a way that it looked as though fire rolled across the bay. A pending immolation of the guilty, he thought and pulled the curtains closed, plunging the room back into darkness.

New Look eMergent Publishing

After dragging myself through the wilderness of distance education and home school, things are finally starting to settle down and after all the beta reading I did for the #6in6 I am hankering to get my editing and publishing hat on again.

First up is a revamp of eMergent as a business entity including a new website (oh, how there will be cries of joy and probably a few tears when that old, grey, miserable site is gone!). The new site will be breezy and colourful but maintain the minimalistic feel of the original. We are working toward all that happening for a 25th August relaunch.

And I’m plotting to possibly get a new project up off the ground. Several pieces have to fall in place for this to happen so watch this space.

 

What does August have in store for you?