Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Do You See What I See? Coconut Pirate

Apparently, coconut pirates are all the rage in Key West, but they beg the question... is it better to be a coconut or a pirate? Is it even possible to be both at the same time?

What other odd dualities are feasible?

And what do you think about this particular coconut pirate? Did he start his life in Key West – or somewhere else? Where’s he going now? Would you like to take him home?

Authors and characters, let’s discuss amongst ourselves!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting to Know You: Sports and Fitness!

We hope everyone had fun on this weekend's endurance hike!

Today, let's talk about what other kinds of fitness and sports activities we enjoy. Do you run, play tennis, ride horses, or dance?

Or do you prefer a comfy sofa, ESPN and a remote, so you can watch other people play sports?

Let's talk about the sports and fitness activities we like to participate in and/or watch! We define "sports" rather loosely here at CIC, so don't be shy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Social Saturday Part 2: The Hike Continues

It's morning, and all the characters are sleeping as the sunrise paints the mountaintops and reflects the colors in the lake.  They're all a little stiff and sore, but ready to begin a new day.

Their rooms at the fabulous Fictional Fantasy Lodge are waiting for them tonight.  There will be hot tubs, huge, soft beds, massages and room service. Or, they can eat in the five-star restaurant run by Chef Christine Cuisine.  It's all fictional, so it's absolutely free!

Will they make it, or will the ferocious flying vampire squirrels get them first?  Stay tuned to find out!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Social Saturday: Endurance Hike

Hello, Everyone!  This weekend we are going to get physical!  We are going on an endurance hike through the mountains.  It's going to be tough, but fun.  We'll need to go through dense forest, across rivers, and up stony cliffs.

Characters, we'll all need to pull together. Those who are stronger (and have longer legs) will have to help those who are more, um, "ergonomically challenged."  If you have any special skills to help us reach our goal, let us know.  And everyone needs to bring a backpack with their essential items.

We may encounter some dangers on the way, so everyone needs to keep a sharp eye out.  There might be bears, or lions, or even ferocious, flying vampire squirrels.

Tonight we'll cook our dinner over a campfire, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and sleep under the stars.  Tomorrow we will complete the hike to our final destination - the spectacular Fictional Fantasy Lodge!

Fortunately the weather looks good, and we shouldn't encounter any heavy rains or high winds.  I have several maps and compasses to pass out to the group.

Ready?  Set?  Let's go!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Character of the Week: Gabby!

This week's featured character is the strong and silent Gabby.  We're looking forward to learning all about you.
Most of you know my history - Born in Jamaica - then when I was five Dad moved the three of us to New York where he immediately got run over by a bus so Mum and I were left to make it on our own. I don't know all she did but I was left to run wild and did everything I could to help out. Stealing,- running drugs (never took none) anything that come along.  I got to be warlord in our neighborhood.
Then I killed my mum. Sort of an accident with a chair over her head.

They sent me to this place for incorrigibles.  It's sort of experimental.  Newly built, a million miles from nowhere, in the Faraway Wood.  I haven't said a word since Mum died. Why bother?  But I'm head man around here, just by proving everyday that I'm tougher and meaner than anyone. No kid dares cross me.

Then I snook out of bounds and found the Mystical wood. It's a rare, wondrous place like I never imagined.
The animals accept me as their friend, especially the Unicorn.  But that's the trouble - it woke up love in me and kindness that hadn't felt before. Back at the school,  I have to be always doing something more savage to prove my right to leadership and hide the new softness.  If the gang sees it they will tear me to pieces. Have any of you  had such an inner battle?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Emote This: Frustration

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to my first post on CIC. I’m tickled to be here – which might seem strange, considering that I’ve decided to focus on a rather nasty emotion today: frustration.

(As in, I'm frustrated that I'm so late posting today – sigh.)

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time we've contemplated such a negative feeling at CIC. At other times, we’ve talked about jealousy, anger, sadness, fear, stress, and confusion – all of which can lead to frustration – for authors and characters alike. If we’re not careful, jealousy can urge us to resent our own place in life, anger can make us feel as powerless as a crawfish to change other creatures' behavior, and crippling emotions like sadness, fear, and confusion can turn into disappointment with ourselves.

Even our recent “training and education” discussion revealed a few frustrations in our little community, so I know I’m not alone in feeling frustrated at times.

So, what’s caused you frustration in the past – or at this very moment? An inability to do or have something you want? Someone else’s actions or words?

Litterbugs at a public beach?

Parking meters?

People who dress up their pets?

Well, what have you done to deal with such frustration? Or are you still a work-in-progress (so to speak)?

Authors and characters are all welcome to participate. I’m sure at least a few of us have a frustration or two. So, let’s hear it! Just remember, this is a community of acceptance – so let's try not to unleash our frustrations on one another.

Maybe if we air our troubles – and try to deal with them – we'll be able to sleep more easily in the future.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Getting to Know You: Training and Education

On an earlier occasion, we discussed our education. We have a wide diversity of experiences, don't we?

Today, let's talk about the education and training that we would like to have, and the things that hold us back.

Have you always wanted to get your Ph.D. or become a Black Belt? Would new and desirable paths would open up if only you had the right kind of certification or a few lessons from a master in their field?

Let's talk about those educational paths yet to be taken.

Authors, feel free to chime in! Characters, please don't mock the authors...too much.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blog Announcement: Team!

If I can interrupt our picnic for just a moment........

A few months back, I announced that CIC had become a partnership, me and Ann. I am now delighted to announce that we have two new administators joining us. They are:

Christine H.
Laura Martone!

That means that CIC, once a partnership, is now......A TEAM!

My most heartfelt gratitude to Ann, Christine and Laura for taking on the team duties here at CIC. Without this, we most likely would not have been able to continue, due to my upcoming school schedule. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!

For now, here is the posting order:

Monday: Ann, Getting to know you
Wednesday: Laura, varies
Friday: Christine, Featured character
Weekend: Christine, varies

I have every confidence that this team will not help keep CIC alive, but will help it flourish.

I am honored to be in such creative company. I would ask that everyone at CIC raise a glass and toast our new administrative team: Ann, Christine and Laura!


And then, please go back to the picnic, if you like, and enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Social Weekend: Autumn picnic!

Hi Everyone! It's Autumn! Where we live the wonderful colors and the fresh winds of Fall are all around us. Let's bundle up and head into the country for a CIC Autumn picnic!

How do you get to the country? Hayride, of course!! You pile into a wagon with lots of straw, sing songs at the top of your voice and bounce along as the horses trot. Then you spend hours picking straw out of your clothing. It's fun!

First stop: Apple picking. Lots of crunchy, tart, sweet apples. Yum! Just remember, the apples are for eating. There are no other uses for an apple. Really. We mean it. Put the apple down now, please.

Next stop: Let's see some animals. This is a cow. You can pet the cow. Cows are nice. They are also delicious but today's not the day to talk about that.

Maybe some of us will go for a horse ride. You can pet the horses. Horses are nice. We don't know if horses are delicious, but today's not the day to find that out either.

Speaking of delicious, after all that bouncing and petting, it's time for our potluck picnic! What did you bring for the potluck? Something wonderful we're sure. Okay everyone, dig in!
After we're full, we can sit around and talk, take naps or sing some more songs. (We don't know these people, they just ran up and posed for a picture for us. Wasn't that nice of them?)
And as the sun goes down, we'll build a bonfire. More songs (Autumn is the time to sing) and maybe some stories too. I wonder what stories we'll hear tonight...hopefully some that have cows and horses in them. Those are our favorites.
Our picnic will go on all weekend. Come and join us at any time. We'd love to have you gather with us for an CIC Autumn picnic!!
(Note: thanks to Christine H. for the idea!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Character of the Week: Marc!

Hey Everyone! I'd like to introduce this week's Character of the week, the fun Marc! Marc, tell us about yourself!

I'm Marcus David Trevet, called Marc. My eyes are grey like my Dad's but I look like the twins. People mistake us for brothers, even on CIC. :) We're actually cousins. Jason's my older brother, and our father is called Julian. He was twin brothers with Aidan's and Kaelin's father, Uncle Nathanial. Confused yet? I have wavy dark blond hair, which Lucy claims I never manage to get combed enough. (Lucy's the girlfriend, though things are a bit tetchy at the moment. I'll have you know, that girl on the beach kissed me first.)

I turned 86 this last March. Jason and I share the same birth month, though he's eight years older. Behaves every minute of it, too.

Kaelin says I should report my identifying markings, but I think he's just pointing out that I've not got half the ink he's got. I've the sun on my chest, a peace symbol from that Mexican prison, the Celtic Knot brand, Aidan's name written in Farsi. And the spider. I'd have to kill you if I told you what that was about. Nothing personal. I also wear a couple of silver hoops in the cartilage of my ear. I started the earring routine with Jason when the twins disappeared, but didn't continue like he did.

Before I became Aidan's sworn, I worked in IT for Sentinel. I still do a bit of trouble-shooting on occasion, and hacking always comes in handy when I'm in the field. But keeping Aidan out of trouble makes for full-time employment. (For instance, currently I must sleep with the lad because of his nightmares. If you can call it sleeping.)

For fun I like to throw the odd piece of furniture on a bonfire, drive my old Mustang, surf, and tease Kaelin, which also is like playing with fire, I reckon.

I'm supposed to ask a question. Right. What's the thing you've done that you're least proud of?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your World and World Building: Social Justice

Some of you may know that I'm starting a Social Work program next week. Yesterday, we had orientation. My head is swimming with the concepts of advocacy, compassion, empowerment and equity.

Guess who gets to benefit from that?

If you guessed YOU, you would be right! How did you know??

Let's talk about the world you live in. Whether your culture plays directly into the conflicts that you face, or just serves as a background, it's still a major part of your story.

Characters: what type of world are you in? Are there people who are not given full rights? Are you one of those people? Or are you someone who takes rights from other people (that's okay, we don't discriminate against evil oppressors here. We take equal opportunity to places equal opportunity has never dreamed of. Go for it.)

Authors: What type of world are you building and/or describing? How does social justice play a role in your story? Does it affect your characters and the story arc?

So, let us know. Are there wrongs in your world that must be righted? Or, if you're an evil oppressor: are there rights in your world that must be wronged? It's all good - let us know about the world you're in!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting to Know You: Stress!

This past weekend, we discussed how we would handle being stuck in an elevator--a very stressful situation!

Today, let's discuss how you deal with stress in general. Do you hit something? Meditate? Go shopping? Eat junk food?

Whether it's the stress of our jobs, our relationships, or the various situations that come up in life, how do you handle stress?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A forum game: Stuck in an elevator!

You're stuck. You innocently went into this elevator:

And suddenly, the elevator jerked to a stop.

The buttons don't work.

There is no phone.

Uh oh.

How do you get out????

Tell us all about it. We'd like to know, since we're stuck in there, too, and haven't got a freakin' clue!!

How to get out of this elevator???

Friday, September 11, 2009

Character of the Week: Nevin!

I'd like to welcome this week's Character of the Week! It's our magical, peaceful and kind Nevin! Nevin, please tell us all about yourself:

Hi, everyone! I’m so happy to be here! I was told you want to know more about me, which is very kind of you.

I was born in a fairy glen in the part of England known as the Lake District. I’m afraid I was a bit of a rebel. I had a taste for human music and would often leave our glen to learn more about the instruments humans played. When I came home, I would conjure harpsichords and lutes so I could practice, but my music wasn’t welcome in my clan and they became irritated with me.

I left my clan in 1786 and went to Vienna. I had heard wonderful things about Mozart and hoped to meet him. I didn’t succeed in making his acquaintance, but I learned a great deal about music and when I heard that his sister was giving music lessons in Salzburg, I went to study with her.

That was how I met Kalila, who was also studying with Maria Anna Mozart. Kalila and I became very good friends. It was I who tried to get her to stay away from Thor at the Bayreuth Festival in 1876. Since she refused to listen to me, I felt I had to stay with her to protect her from harm. I followed her and Thor to America with a group of Scandinavian immigrants.

Together, Kalila and I became experts on American music. I very much liked ragtime and jazz, but Kalila got a notion to start a rock band. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but we’ve been such good friends for so long, that…well, anything for a friend, right?

I help write songs for Kalila’s band and I play keyboards, synth, or any other instruments that may be needed for a song. I also try to cheer the band up when they’re feeling down, and I try to keep Ricky out of trouble. Ricky is the first manager I’ve really liked. He knows what we are and he likes us anyway. It makes me happy to have him as a friend, even though I sometimes have to make great sacrifices on his behalf.

But friendship is all about sacrifice, don’t you think? I’d love to hear everyone else’s stories about friendship and the sacrifices one has to make to keep those we love safe and happy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Group Story: Science Fiction

At CIC, we've created many genre masterpieces together: fantasy, western, drama, mystery. We've even created a cookbook, and whipped up a limerick. But can you believe we've never done one of the most important genres in existence??? Why this genre covers space and time, the finite and the infinite, the right and the wrong of the universe. By now we're sure you know what we're talking about! And what do you think it is....?? Guess. Go on, guess.

No, it's not Romance.

Romance??? What kind of relationships have you been in??

No, we're talking about Science Fiction, of course!

Let's start with these two characters. They are clearly on a vital mission to a planet not their own. They have important things to do. They have to bridge the distance between two worlds, they are not having a romance. Would you get off the romance thing please? Anyway, they are clearly doing something important, and we're going to write a story about it.

And that story, btw, will not have any romance in it. No sireee. No romance.

The story could, however, include some instructions about how to get rid of this slimy purple blob that keeps following us everywhere. Word to the wise: if you see a flying saucer and a slimy purple blob comes out of it, and it tells you that it's ex-girlfriend never understood it, and how lovely your eyes look in the yellow glow of the nuclear engine, do NOT invite it to dinner. Yes, it's tempting, but resist. You'll thank us later.

So, anyway, back to the story, which will include no purple blob romance whatsoever. What it will include, however, is: Science Fiction!

A CIC Science Fiction Masterpiece!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Imagine This: Gone

This past weekend, we discussed the possibility of this blog going away. We hope CIC is around for a long time, but it's inevitable that everyone and everything around us will eventually be gone.

So. What do think your world would be like without your favorite thing or person? What would the world be like if you were gone?

Characters only, please.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The future of CIC

Hi guys,

Well sorry to have such an 'un-fun' post for labor day, but I'm freaking out. I just found out school starts a week earlier than I thought. Doesn't seem like much, but it made it feel more real.

Here's my schedule, with work, school and internship combined:

M and W: 6 a.m - 10 p.m.
Tu: 6 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thurs and Fri: 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sat: All freaking day!

That doesn't include reading, studying and papers.

I've been going back and forth on CIC all summer. I've sent poor Ann e-mails: I just can't do this! And I really think I can't. I was going to post and not worry about the site, but even thinking about posting feels like too much.

Ann has been incredible, but there's no way that she can do the site alone.

So, I'm asking for help; if people would be willing to take over posting a day a week, or even alternate. I would need to cover Wed, Friday and the weekend.

I realize people are also super-busy, so if folks can't do it, that's completely understandable.

If we can't find someone, we'll need to close the site or put it on hiatus at the end of the month. It's been a really fun ride, and I've gotten to know some amazing characters, so even if it's been a short run, it's been definitely worth it!

Oh, and I want to take another moment to acknowledge Ann again. She really has been amazingly awesome. Thank you so much, Ann!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Character of the Week: shy!

I'd like to introduce this week's Character of the week: shy!

(Note: shy has requested this be in an interview format. We're happy to comply.)

CIC: shy, please tell us about yourself. We've noticed you only speak in quotations. Why is that?

shy: "It's such a pleasure to write down splendid words - almost as though one were inventing them." ~Rupert Hart-Davis

CIC: That's very nice. So, when did you first begin to....

shy: "Quotations will tell the full measure of meaning, if you have enough of them." ~James Murray

CIC: I see. But tell us....

shy: "Somewhere in the world there is an epigram for every dilemma." ~Hendrik Willem van Loon

CIC: Yes. Well, we'd also like to know abit about you, Shy. How did you....

shy: "A proper collection of quotations is the whole world digested." ~Emma Racine deFleur

CIC: Well, that's.......lovely. So, when did you...

shy: "A quotation at the right moment is like bread in a famine." ~Talmud

CIC: I see. Are you hungry by any chance? I have some crackers around here, somewhere...

shy: "There is a lot more juice in grapefruit than meets the eye. " ~Author Unknown

CIC: Ummm.....

shy: "High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us?" ~Annita Manning

CIC: Okay, then. Well, how about we open this up to everyone. Any last words for us, shy?

shy: "Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?" ~Author Unknown

CIC: Alrighty then. shy, thank you so much for being our character of the week. It should be a very interesting day. Thank you!

shy has requested that folks share their favorite quotes with him. He is always interested in new quotations, and he feels you may know some very good ones!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Author/Character Chat: One thing you would change?

Okay, we know writers and characters love each other. BFFs to the end, right? Pinky swear and cross our hearts. And a few weeks ago, we let it all out, and talked about what we liked about each other.

Maybe today we can take a different direction - very carefully - and tread into more tricky waters. A healthy relationship means honest communication, so let's start with just one thing: If you could change one thing about the other, what would it be?

Authors, if your Character would just do what you told them to do, what would that be?

Characters, if your Author would just do it right, what would that look like?

Let's just pick one thing. No need to burst the floodgates open. We all want to still be friends at the end of the day.

But let's get real here. If you could pick just one thing to change about the other, what would it be?