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.