:::this is the way the world ends:::


All-Hallows It’s October.  A few thoughts have seized my mind about posting some sort of collaborative challenge for the group.  I don’t mean to add to anyone’s burden but I thought it might be fun to participate in a sort of group exercise.  The poetry writing turned out really well during Beckett’s Baby Shower, and while I don’t imagine it taking the same shape as it did this summer, I thought it would be fun to engage the creativity of the group. 

My challenge: create something scary or frightening.

The events that precipitated this were:

1) One of my favorite novels had it’s genesis in the "ghost story" challenge (Frankenstein).

2) I read "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and it frightened me more effectively in short story than many things I see or read today.  It’s amazing to me the atmosphere Hawthorne (and Washington Irving) both were able to create in the span of their short stories.

3) I had a very vivid dream last night that Steph woke me up in the middle of.  Curiously, after being awake about fifteen minutes, I resolved the dream by coming up with an ending.  It was really hard to shake it before that.

Now, this only has to be as complicated as anyone wants it to be.  And each person can create as much as we’d like.  For instance, I could (and plan on) describing this dream I had last night.  I also had a story idea that I could flesh out for everyone, or just give plot points to.  I could haiku, write about the scariest moment in my life, take a photo, draw something, link to something scary.  It can be supernatural (ghost, demons, etc.), unnatural (politics, the economy 🙂 ), or even natural.

What say you all?  Is this a good idea or bad one?


  1. Ned

    I’m game for this. Is there a deadline? I’ll be in MI Friday, Saturday, and return very late Sunday; so my time for the next few days is quite limited.

  2. Tobias

    Like Jack O’ Lanterns the day after All Hallow’s Eve, I suspect this exercise would lose it’s luster on November 1st. I thought I’d give plenty of time to develop ideas and let the creative juices flow. I’d say now until October 31st…sound good?

  3. Pete

    Brilliant Becker, as usual. This reminds me of a thought I had about a month or so ago, while driving home, and once home I forgot it. My thought, and maybe-maybe not it could be tied into this, was that we could do short stories or poems in the format that we had started over memorial weekend. the poems or prose could be added to and passed at random via email until reaching the last person and submitted to the blog. just a thought. I really liked the baby poems and was inspired by the creativity in our collaborations. Together we are pretty cool, separate, maybe not so much. We are like the dinobot transformers who merge to become one really big, powerful robot. pretty scary, though I am not Grimlock.

  4. Shotts

    We love those baby poems we produced as a group around Memorial Day!

    As for producing something frightening by October 1–I will do my best, but don’t want to disappoint…

    October is truly fantastic right now in the Twin Cities, and it has produced many recollections of Thanksgivings past, and October weekends in Kansas City, and tripping around with the likes of Jerod Morris. Here’s wishing you all some good walks in your respective versions of autumn.

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