Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Social Weekday: New Year’s Eve

Another year is almost gone, and a new one is upon us. Yikes!

But, before we start fretting about the speediness of time, let’s remember that New Year’s Eve is a day of contemplation as well as celebration. A day to remember the ups and downs of the previous 364 days – and, even better, a day to pop the champagne, watch some fireworks, kiss your favorite person (or creature), and welcome the next 52 weeks, which, for many, represent a fresh start – and the promise of possibility.

So, let’s hear it for the possibilities!

In celebration of 2010 (or whatever year you’re celebrating in your given world), let’s have a New Year’s Eve bash that can’t be beat! Lots of vittles, libations, party favors, and merriment for everyone! And, in true CIC fashion, we're starting the party a day early – which means we'll have even more time for frivolity.

Just don’t forget to share your resolutions (and wishes) for the coming 12 months, and remember to have a...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting to Know You: Holiday Wrap-up

Christmas is over! For many of us, it's a relief.

Did you get any good presents? Maybe you got your heart's desire, or perhaps you got a special surprise. If you gave gifts, did any go over especially well? Which were the most fun to give?










And how did the holiday go overall? Maybe you went to church or to a party. Maybe you had the family over for a feast. Did you eat too many cookies this year, or did you give them all to Santa?















Let's recap our holiday! And if you celebrated something other than Christmas, tell us how it went!

Friday, December 25, 2009

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) from the opening of a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Last week's opener was from Murder on the Orient Express. 

Okay, are you ready?  Here we go.

Matthias cut a comical little figure as he wobbled his way along the cloisters...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Forum Game: Kris Kringle

Given that the Come In Character community attracts a wide range of people and creatures – from atheists to vampires – it’s certainly possible that not everyone here celebrates Christmas, but with December 25th just a couple days away, it might be fun to play a little holiday game.

Some folks call it “Kris Kringle.” Other folks call it “Secret Santa.” But, ultimately, it amounts to the same thing: an anonymous gift exchange among friends and family.

Normally, each participant would be randomly assigned another member of the group – by, say, plucking a name from a hat – and then have to purchase a gift for the chosen person (with a label that indicates the recipient's name and just “K.K.” or “Secret Santa” as the giver). It’s an exchange often practiced in offices, school classrooms, and large families – an inexpensive way for many people to give and receive a gift.

But, alas, we have no hat, so we’ll have to play this game a little differently.

To participate, you can do one of three things:

1. Offer hints as to what you’ve purchased and for whom – and see how long it takes someone to guess.

2. Use what you know about your fellow authors and characters to guess what they might purchase as a gift.

3. Feel free to swipe a gift from someone else, as long as you have a “Kris Kringle” gift of your own to offer in its place. (This is a good way to go if you're new to the site – hint, hint.)

Confused? Don’t worry – it’s all in good fun!

Just one last thing... In most “Kris Kringle” exchanges, there’s usually a monetary cap, but we’ll forget about that little detail for now. So, if you want to give someone a horse, for instance, go nuts. Let your imagination run wild – and let the gift-giving begin!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Getting to Know You: Holiday Oops!

It's Christmas week! Where did the time go?










If you're celebrating, are you ready? What's missing, and are you in a last-minute rush?

If you think everything is on track, good for you! But have you had things unexpectedly go wrong in the past? What are you doing to make sure this Christmas is perfect?











Let's share our Christmas panics and goofs. If you don't celebrate Christmas, answer in the context of your most important holiday. Maybe if we get it all out in the open, we'll find ideas to make our next big festival the very best ever!

Friday, December 18, 2009

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) from the opening of a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Bonus points for anyone who can identify the book the sentence(s) are from.  Last week's line was from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

Okay, are you ready? Here we go...

It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria.  Alongside the platform at Aleppo stood the train grandly designated in railway guides as the Taurus Express.  By the step leading up to the sleeping-car stood...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Group Story: Family Holiday Saga

Well, my friends, it’s that time of the year again. No, silly, not football season – although that, too, can be festive (especially if your team is winning).

Whether we like it or not, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is commonly considered the holiday season – especially in America. And this is a time largely focused on family. Your family, your partner’s family, sometimes even your friends’ families.

While it can certainly be a merry season, this period can also be a bit trying for many of us. After all, there’s nothing like a forced family gathering to reveal secrets better left unveiled, to heighten tension among siblings, and to bring out the worst in our relatives.

There’s always that one mystery dish, the ingredients of which are unfathomable. There’s always that one uncle that makes inappropriate comments at the dinner table. There’s always that one gift that seems all too familiar – having made the rounds year after year.

No matter where you live, you’ve probably experienced the dreaded family holiday gathering. So, why not channel our collective experiences through a family holiday saga? Perhaps we’ll have a bit of fun in the process. After all, something’s bound to be tasty. Right?

Authors and characters are all welcome to participate in this group tale. For a little inspiration, let's kick it off with the following line:

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the flat,
Not a creature was sleeping, not even the cat...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting to Know You: Holiday Traditions

With Hanukkah ongoing and Christmas and New Year's on the horizon, let's talk about our favorite holiday traditions!












What holidays do you celebrate at this time of year? Do you follow old customs, or find unique new ways to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones?














Do you go caroling, decorate a tree, attend religious services, or share a feast with your family? Do you travel, or stay close to home?

Let's talk about the holiday traditions we like best!


Friday, December 11, 2009

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) from the opening of a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Bonus points for anyone who can identify the book the sentence(s) are from.  Last week's line was from The Hobbit.   Okay, are you ready? Here we go...

The drought had lasted now for ten million years...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Emote This: Charity

Last week, in light of the frenzied Christmas shopping season, I challenged us to confess our greatest desires – the things we wanted most and hoped Santa would bring us. What I assumed would be a day filled with greed, however, soon turned into something else. There was talk of world peace, saving the environment, even the hope of making a new friend... and suddenly, I realized that the authors and characters that gather here can be a pretty selfless lot.

Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, I felt as though my heart grew three sizes in one fell swoop.

So, this week, I thought we could emote a much more positive aspect of the holiday season – not greed, but charity – not taking, but giving.

Tell me, everyone – what would you like to give this season, and to whom? Even if it’s just a handful of wild berries to a friend, it’s still the thought that matters, right?

It is the season of charity, after all.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Getting to Know You: Favorite Book

It seems like an obvious thing, right? We're here because either we write books or we're the subject of one. That said, what's your favorite book?










What is it that you like about your favorite book? Is it a character that you love, or a special theme that speaks to you? Is it written in a style that takes your breath away?

Let's talk about our favorite books today!

Friday, December 4, 2009

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) from the opening of a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Bonus points for anyone who can identify the book the sentence(s) are from.  Last week's line was from Pride and Prejudice.  Okay, are you ready? Here we go...

In a hole in the ground there lived a....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Emote This: Greed

On Monday, we discussed some of our favorite childhood toys and games. Well, given that the Christmas shopping season is in full swing, I thought we might share our greatest desires – the things that we want most in this world... the things that Santa Claus might even bring us if we wish hard enough.

So, what do you want most?

A bushel of peaches?



A vineyard of your very own?



Perhaps a golf course?



Or a mansion surrounded by trees?



Or a seaworthy vessel to take you on a journey around the world?



Or maybe something else entirely?

Authors and characters, don’t be shy. Tell us what you most desire. It is the season of greed, after all.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting to Know You: Games and Toys

As we head into the season for Christmas, Hanukkah, and other gift-giving holidays, let's take a moment to recall the toys and games that made our childhood holidays fun.

What was on your childhood wish list?












What kinds of games did you most like to play?











Are any of these toys and games the sorts of things you'd enjoy today, if no one were watching?

Friday, November 27, 2009

First Line Challenge

Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) from the opening of a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Bonus points for anyone who can identify the book the sentence(s) are from.  Last week's line was from Eragon

Okay, are you ready? Here we go...

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Social Weekday: Happy Thanksgiving!

Although not everyone here recognizes Thanksgiving – officially, an American holiday that stretches back to the Pilgrim days – I thought it might be pleasant to come together for a celebration of our own. After all, we don’t really need to use an official holiday as an excuse to be merry, eat yummy treats, and show gratitude for all the people, creatures, places, and things that we hold dear.

So, pass around the turkey and stuffing – or whatever delicacies you treasure – and let’s have a party!

As always, all are welcome – including busy authors and sun-challenged characters alike!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting to Know You: Valuable Experiences

Since it's Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, let's start thinking about experiences we're thankful to have had!

What have you done that was exciting, fulfilling, or left cherished memories?










What experiences shaped you in valuable ways that make you a better individual today?










Let's all start this week off right by sharing our most valued (and valuable) life experiences!

Friday, November 20, 2009

First Line Challenge

Today we are going to start a feature designed to get your creative juices flowing!  I will give you a sentence (or part of a sentence) that is the opening line from a famous book.  Your job is to turn it into a paragraph that is totally unique, and totally you!

Authors and characters are all welcome to try this little exercise.  Let's see how many different perspectives we can create.

Bonus points for anyone who can identify the book the sentence(s) are from.  Okay, are you ready? Here we go...

Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Forum Game: 2012

You might have heard the news... Earth (as we know it) is coming to an end by the winter solstice of 2012. That’s at least according to ancient cultures such as the Mayans, who had remarkably accurate lunar and solar calendars – or so say some historians.

Why just tonight, my husband and I watched Hollywood’s version of the world’s catastrophic end in the obviously titled film 2012, and I must admit that witnessing all those destructive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tidal waves on a larger-than-life screen was unsettling and thought-provoking indeed.

So, just out of curiosity, I thought we could play a “game” of sorts. Of course, if you believe in the 2012 predictions, consider this not a game, but a chance to prepare for the worst.

Well, here we go... If the end of the world was nigh, what would you do? Where would you go? Who would you want to spend your last moments with? Or, better still, do you have a survival plan in mind?

All authors and characters are welcome to share. And who knows? Perhaps in the sharing, we’ll even hatch a group plan. Stranger things have certainly happened.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting to Know You: Old Age

None of us is getting any younger...















Do you dread the passage of time? Do you fear growing old? Why or why not?

If you're already old, is it what you expected? What advice would you give to those who are younger?

Getting older can also mean getting better, so lets discuss how we feel about aging!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Forum Game: Have you ever, redux



A very long time ago, this was the first forum game we ever played at CIC. We thought it might be fun to try it again. It's a fun game for authors and characters alike.


The game is simple:

The first person asks a question, starting with the words: Have you ever....?
The second person answers it, and asks the next question.

For example.

Person #1: Have you ever played the forum game: "Have you ever?"

Person #2: What's a game? What's a forum? What's an ever? Who are you and why are you following me around asking me questions?

Okay, my question: Have you ever been followed around by someone who asks you strange questions?

So, there you are! A CIC forum game: Have you ever.....?

Well. Have you????

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dialogue This: Greetings

This is Toby. Welcome, Toby. Welcome to our place here.

Toby would like to greet you. Toby says: "....."


Do you want to say something back? If so, you say: "....."


Two lines of simple dialogue, that will be (dare we say it), out of this world!


Take us to another place: what does Toby say, and how do you answer him?


Dialogue This!

Authors and characters welcome!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting to Know You: Urban or Rural?

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

Do you live for the bright lights of the big city?








Or do you prefer the pastoral pleasures of the countryside?












There's a lot to recommend either one, so tell us about your favorite place to be, and why you love it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Author-Character Chat: Secrets


Secrets.

We all have them. We even have them from each other.

And ourselves.

So, what are your secrets?

Authors: What would your characters be surprised to know about you?

Characters: What is it that even your author doesn't know.....or won't admit they know?

Let's tell.

Let's get it all out in the open.

The truth shall set us free, right?

So, let us know. We all want to know. What are your....


SECRETS?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Character of the Week: Alexander!

 Hello! I'm Alexander Clark, it's a pleasure to meet you all. 

I was born near London in 1833. I honestly don't remember much of my childhood, except that my parents were always inviting the Owens over to visit. My mum and dad died when I was 20. I believe that might have contributed to my recklessness. 

When I was 22 I attempted to summon a demon, Stolas.  Charles tried to stop me, but I refused to listen to his logic and instead convinced him to stay and watch. I was too cocky in my dealings with the demon and as punishment, Stolas began to mess with our lives.

Charles again tried to convince me not to meddle, but I found a book Stolas left in my study and just couldn't help myself. It was almost a year after my failed summons that I tried out the first thing in the book - a potion to shift oneself into a wolf. The first time I tried it, I killed a messenger I had sent to warn Charles and almost attacked Charles, who had once again come to save me from my foolishness. Luckily the potion wore off, and I again swore off meddling.

What I didn't realize was that the potion was semi-permanent. I am in essence a werewolf now. I am forced to change into a wolf on every full moon. However, should I need to become a wolf, say to protect myself, I can drink the potion and transform. 

Since my first full moon transformation, Charles and I have been traveling. I'd say our most interesting adventure was when we immigrated to the US. I had to bribe the customs officer to not look in the conspicuously body sized box that contained Charles. That was also the end of our family's old money and since then I have done whatever odd jobs I can find.

Charles and I now own a lovely little cottage out in the country, even though we don't live there. We only go there the night before the full moon so that I can transform away from most people.

Almost everyday I regret summoning Stolas. One moment of weakness has led to an immortal lifetime of regret. 

So what mistake do you regret the most? What one moment of your life would you change? How has it affected your life?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Emote This: Celebration

After all our recent talk of Halloween, haunted houses, zombies, and death, I thought it might be nice to focus on Life for a change – and perhaps even celebrate our favorite things about it.

What – or whom – do you celebrate most in your own life?

Pretty flowers?











Yummy food?











Loved ones?











Something else entirely?











As always, authors and characters are welcome to share. So, let’s celebrate together!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting to Know You: Death

Yesterday was Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Today is All Souls' Day. This would be a good time, then, to discuss how we feel about death.












If you're undead, how is that working out for you?

If you're mortal, are you afraid of death? Why or why not?















This can be a touchy subject, so we ask that immortals please not mock the concerns of the others.

So how about it? What do you know, or think you know, about the hereafter?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Social Saturday: Haunted House


Today we are going to visit a Haunted House!

Don't worry, it's not that scary.  After all, we do have our own vampires, ghosts and even a djinn and a fairy to protect us.  And some of us have magic powers as well.

This charming Victorian mansion is up for sale at a very reasonable price.  The realtors are serving free refreshments for anyone who wants to visit today.  Wouldn't you like to see this lovely piece of history?

We might also see a cat, a bat or a ghost or two. But not to worry!   I'm sure they're friendly.

But perhaps there is something you are just a teensy bit frightened of.  What would that be?  How do you think you could overcome your fears?

Or, just perhaps, you are a character who likes to frighten others.  Why do you do that? Who is your favorite victim?



Images courtesy of: Totally free clipart,animations and graphics