A Zero’s Journey into Twitter

start-a-journey

The “Hero’s Journey” is an outliner’s pattern for anyone wanting to write epic fiction. Thus, I make the bold move from pantser to outliner and start taking this authoring seriously. Filling in the blanks of a Hero’s Journey still put me at a little over 400 words – my epic journey of fiction complete with outline notes. Everything resembling me or my smartass daughter is completely fictitious.

Ordinary World:

John loved to write but found that any attempt to publish what he thought was clever only landed his stuff in something called the “slush pile.” They sometimes bubbled to the top as a really nice reject.

The Calling:

He needed visibility and noticed that everyone in the real world communicated using words like hash-tag this and hash-tag that.

The Refusal:

Given the choice of leaving his box and surfing the social media tidal wave or anchoring himself to the twentieth century, he chose blissful ignorance.

Enter the Mentor:

John’s teenage daughter Bryna, who was infinitely more astute in all things internet, explained to him what this clamor of “tweets” was all about.

Crossing the Threshold:

Bryna set up a Twitter account for her father. It took little time since it was so much easier to just do it rather than actually instruct him. (Am I sounding testy here? Why is it that these kids can’t just show me… I mean him… how to do it instead of grabbing his phone and just banging away at it?)

Test, Allies, and Enemies:

John now had an account. Launched into the established world of Twitter with little or no training, John fumbled with searching out people and things to “follow”.

Approach:

There were many interesting TV shows and personalities for John to follow. He quickly became a self-proclaimed expert on following people.

The Ordeal:

These interesting people and shows were actually quite boring—might as well just visit their web pages. The quest for the meaning of “hash tag” became even more formidable. The goal was to show his work, not get personal photos from TV stars.

The Reward:

Only two days after joining, John, himself, was actually followed! He was followed by a lovely young woman wearing something similar to what Doctor Frank N. Furter wore in Rocky Horror. He proudly showed his wife that he had a follower.

The Road Back:

John is not on Twitter any more.

The Resurrection:

He now has a blog (thank you for reading this, by the way).

Return:

Much like before, he doesn’t know squat about blogging but he is definitely keeping it a secret from his daughter.

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Perpetual WIP: SAGML

The full moon hanging directly overhead lights the dirt and gravel road that you are standing on. It colors everything around you in shades of blue-gray. The road dwindles to a nearby small clearing to the north and stretches to the south until it bends beyond thick evergreen trees about a hundred feet away. The forest skirts the west side of the road and it seems that you detect the slightest hint of movement in the darkness through the trees.

You’re standing in the middle of the road before a wrought iron gate. The gate is the only way past a nine-foot high brick wall which extends as far as can be seen, up and down the east side of the road. The right gate door is pushed open and hanging by only the lower hinge, as if it was violently slammed open years ago. The ground all around is littered with dead weeds. You see a gravel path beyond the gate, leading to a wide dilapidated porch with wooden columns. The porch belongs to a huge, dark, and ancient mansion.

There is a rolled up sheet of parchment sealed with wax lying on the ground.

 

That’s it. That’s all you get. There’s a prompt of some sort, waiting for your input. What do you input? “You” is what the story is about. What do you do? The story is presented to you by a computer program. Anyone playing an RPG such as Zelda or WOW explores humongous worlds breaking things, killing people and things, and collecting stuff. THAT is *kind of* the same thing here – just with words. You don’t move around with arrows and mouse moves. You “use your words” (as we would tell a toddler who grunts and grabs).

 

Notice that there were directions hinted at. Reading it again, you see that if you “go west”, you walk into a forest; “go east” you walk through an open gate; “go north” or “go south” and you will be further up or down a road. Exciting huh?

 

Yes, I’m being a bit flippant about that “exciting” part. But add this: “pick up scroll” (it says “rolled up sheet of parchment” but the program knows what you mean). “climb fence”, “climb tree”. Try everything. The fun part is that the program may understand you and you may end up with a sealed scroll in your hand or you may be on top of a fence. If you “break the seal” (after picking it up) there may be something very important to read. It may blow up in your face. Anyway, you get the picture. It’s an RPG with words. (I forgot to mention – RPG means Role-Playing Games, for those who thought I was talking about playing with rocket grenades or old IBM minicomputer languages.)

 

The SAGML book will be a set of rules and examples of how to manipulate general objects. YOU make up the objects and how they interface with “rooms” and other objects. It can be quite complex since you, the programmer, make up every aspect. Here’s an example: You can light a match. That takes two objects, an unlit match and a lit match. You can light a fuse – that takes a lit match touching an unlit fuse which lights and TRANSITIONS to a sputtering fuse leading to a stack of dynamite, which TRANSITIONS (via a loud explosion) to a black smear but spawns a gaping hole in the wall (thus there are two more objects – a wall and a wall with a gaping hole in it). Whew. That was a lot of work but the player experiences something that YOU wrote.

 

How do you do this, you ask (if you’ve read this far). Well… it’ll take a book to tell you.

 

My First “Published” Words

Hey, I finally got published! Not uploading my stuff to Amazon or GoodReads, but sending it to a web-mag slush pile.

It went in late, though. When the time came to look for it, it didn’t show. That was a bit of a telling point for me to maybe scrap this whole idea of writing. Instead of sending a note like, “Where is it?” I just kicked a can and walked off to give quality time to my real job. My real job does deserve it.

Anyway, I just got the note from David Gregory that my 500-word short surfaced, so woo hoo, I’m on my way to… I don’t know — probably continuing to give quality time to my real job. But the dream goes on…

Hoop! There It Is!

thereitis

This is a KDP free promotion. For Kindle Select entries (meaning I am only on KDP at the 70% option), I can put it up for free up to 5 days. I picked three to see if it will help the flat-line report at all.  The pictures from the previous posts, along with the pathetic little apology, were shamelessly splattered on my Facebook wall.

Not only that, I added it to the Absolute Write Water Cooler forum. We’ll see what happens. I think the problem is that the world doesn’t agonize about how well I am doing on self publishing as I do. Now, that’s just weird. What’s with this world?

If nothing happens… That’s OKAY! I’ve got this non-fiction WIP that is going traditional by hook or crook!

My Confession

The previous posts about the GREAT FREE PROMOTION OF JOE ANONYMOUS was WRONG.  I made pretty pictures that was WRONG.  Pardon me while I compose myself…

*sniff*

Okay.  The FREE PROMOTION of JOE ANONYMOUS is for 5/6/16 thru 5/8/16, NOT starting 5/5.  I danced around telling everyone LIES.

LIES. LIES. LIES!  *blubber* I didn’t mean to though.

For those reading this, please accept my apologies and don’t think I put the same inane attention to detail in the book itself.