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Thread: The 2016-2017 Sekrit Solstice Sci-Fi Fantasy Story Swap

  1. #2501
    Fragile Bunny Damoclian's Avatar
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    So, y'all know how I said I was writing a Sisyfus themed blog post, I think it's done, now. I decided not to list ALL the names of the people who've shaped this experience for me, as there's no way a list of names and maybe some anecdotes could do you all justice, you deserve more, each of you. But I have decided less is more.

    Furthermore, this particular post is 1k of gushy-wushy lovey-dovey nonsense and a vague explanation of the Sisyfus for any non Sisyfants who may read my blog, in an attempt to draw them in and snare them forever within this wonderful community. I want my vague nonsense to be legible vague nonsense though, so, would any one of you kind Sisyfants consider proofing it for me, and then, if your consideration yields a yes, actually give it a once-over?
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  2. #2502
    hopping around Hoplite's Avatar
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    Hi everybody. Just wanted to pop in and say congrats to everyone who participated! Reading over the excerpts, it looks like we had a great year.
    My Heart Bleeds Red-1st Draft DONE (Space Opera Romance Thriller Thingy)-66k
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  3. #2503
    Master Plot Hydra Conqueror Bobo The Bard's Avatar
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    The Menagerie by Hoplite: Love the air of mystery that hangs over several aspects of this story. It starts off with the best creepy mechanical animals, and although you learn how they got there, you don't learn much about the larger world that gave rise to the art by which they were made. Don't get me wrong this is not a bad thing; the fact that you only get the barest sense of what's happening, but not much explanation, adds to whole atmosphere of not knowing. Just as the literal darkness of night creeps in in the story, so does it do in between the . The backstory hints, but never reveals all, and the resolution resolves for the moment, but not forever. Certainly worth reading if you like steampunk or scary-but-not-gory stories!

    A Light in the Sky by eyeblink: This story is almost like a dream, letting the reader float between times, like the memory it represents. I see that this was based on Hoplite's prompt, which asked for alt-history future sci-fi. Rather than a concrete setting, you get more of the sense of the world as patches of time rather than a linear flow, a detached sense that things are different, and times are different, which lends itself to the dreamy feel. This is not a bad thing - it makes for a nice soft SF feel rather than a gritty feel - but you'll have to experience it for yourself.

    A Song on Her Lips by Cliff Face: This is not a fairy tale. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A FAIRY TALE! It certainly starts off like one - and then comes the twist out of nowhere that subverts the whole thing! EHEHEHEHEHEHEHE. This is a very short story, but it packs a punch. You just can't help but root for the main character, who is clearly not the demure maiden she seems. Read it! *gigglesnort*

    I will eventually get around to requesting more stories. I'm trying to get through my backlog. :-)

    I'm not reading/requesting these in any particular order per se, except I'm tending to start with the shorter ones first, so I can get as many reviews done as possible.
    "Be excellent to each other...and party on, dudes!" - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

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  4. #2504
    practical experience, FTW SianaBlackwood's Avatar
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    If anyone would like to read The Last Dance Before Midnight, let me know in a rep or PM. The wordcount is 9k.

    I also highly recommend C-h-a-t by Tazlima, which was my gift. Adorable kitty main character, a cute goat, a witch and a mad scientist.
    SIGNATURE OF DEATH!!!

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  5. #2505
    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo The Bard View Post
    A Song on Her Lips by Cliff Face: This is not a fairy tale. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A FAIRY TALE! It certainly starts off like one - and then comes the twist out of nowhere that subverts the whole thing! EHEHEHEHEHEHEHE. This is a very short story, but it packs a punch. You just can't help but root for the main character, who is clearly not the demure maiden she seems. Read it! *gigglesnort*
    Mwahahaaahahaa! Yes, definitely not a fairy tale. Glad you enjoyed it! If anyone else is curious, rep or PM me your email address.

    Actually, I'm glad that my ploy worked as well as it did. The twist as you call it - after that point, it reads much more like "me", so I wanted to choose an excerpt before that point, to throw off the guessers. Although frankly, I'm surprised I wasn't guessed earlier... The title has the word "song" in it, and the female character is holding a guitar. And despite this being a writer's forum, I think I've mentioned my own musical inclinations and advancements far more often lately.

    In my defense, though, it was unavoidable. I had Richard White's prompt which was "music needs to be important in this story", or something to that effect. Definitely a fun prompt, but also challenging. I mean, music is audible. The social media site of choice for discussing music is YouTube, simply for the audio element. It was quite challenging to express how music was important to me in the form of words alone. In the end, I had to make it less personal. Sorry Richard! But seriously, it was a fun prompt to play around with. I've participated 2 years in a row now, and I've gotta say, while the entire Sisyphus experience is great (thanks, Cobra, by the way!), my favourite part is writing to someone else's prompt. Really stretches me, and gets me out of a rut.
    To listen to my feeble attempts at music, go here! I'll be adding to it (hopefully) for all of February.

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  6. #2506
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed the prompt, Cliff.

    I read most of the stories I received last night (two to go). I will admit, Kate and Dammy's were doorstops, *grin*, but definitely worth the time to read through them.

    I'll be requesting more stories here in the very near future and will post some reviews.

    However, I'm going to be busy tonight - got so busy reading stories, I forgot to prep my radio show for tonight, so I have to slap four hours of music together as soon as I get home before my show starts at 7.

  7. #2507
    Indecisive Noodle KateSmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
    I will admit, Kate and Dammy's were doorstops, *grin*, but definitely worth the time to read through them.
    Critique Partner o' Doom wanted it to be even longer, with a series of subplots about ... things. You're welcome.

  8. #2508
    practical experience, FTW Alma Matters's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I can recommend "Spirit of the Dead River" as it was my gift and I thought it was excellent. check it out if you're looking for something haunting and lyrical.

    Huge thanks to Cobra for arranging this. I really enjoyed it.
    Last edited by Alma Matters; 03-21-2017 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Edited to remove some content

  9. #2509
    People are not wearing enough hats JJ Litke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alma Matters View Post

    I'm disappointed not to have heard from my giftee - so if anyone wants to read Autumn Leaves just shout up too.
    My first thought was that's inexcusible. Then I wondered if my giftor saw my thank-you message (sent via rep because that was the fastest way to do it and I was all excited).

    My prompt was: "Twee little fairies with wings flying around and being twee." Rel did a great job and turned that into Fairy Walk, with lots of hints at a much larger and cooler story beyond the silly fluff I asked for. Highly recommended reading.
    Last edited by JJ Litke; 03-21-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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  10. #2510
    Indecisive Noodle KateSmash's Avatar
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    It's my understanding someone went MIA and it wasn't caught until the last moment. Which is unfortunate.

    That means we all need to read Autumn Leaves and tell Alma how awesome they are!

  11. #2511
    practical experience, FTW Alma Matters's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - I've amended my post - I was just caught in a bit of a funk earlier.

    Life happens I guess.

    Story will go out to those who've requested it one I get home to the laptop. Thank you guys!

  12. #2512
    Gryffindor Mascot griffins's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, was away from keyboard for a few days!

    I'd like to give a shout out to my gifter, smokymountainlvr, who wrote a real gem out of my terribly difficult prompt. Really, the more I wrote my own story (which went swimmingly by the way, thank you Jaymz!) the guiltier I felt. I asked for "Six strangers walking into a bar," which is not only simultaneously vague and restricting, but a lot of characters to front load into a short story. Oops.
    It got to the point I was pretty sure my prompt was single-handedly giving Bobo writer's block (thankfully not the case, Bobo just strives for perfect prose... and very often reaches it--go read "Water").
    In any case, imagine my relief and great pleasure when I see smokymountain weave all the characters into one story with ease, and cap it off with a really, really sweet ending. I read her story last year and was overcome by the sweet sensibilities in her writing, but my prompt this year forced her down a darker path. Sorry! Regardless, "Six Strangers" is a great story, and thank you for writing it.

    Also, if anyone is still interested in "Waverly Wong, Half-Selkie Realtor," a Hollywood Noir / Urban Fantasy / Comedy featuring the titular Waverly Wong in the case of 80's rock star Sins McConnell's missing cockatoo, please let me know. I'm a little behind on requests, but will send them once I get home.

  13. #2513
    Fragile Bunny Damoclian's Avatar
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    The Sisyfean blog postean is donean! HERE read and experience my joy
    -Twitter of fear and loathing and incredible shyness!
    -Blog of books and reviews and unspeakable cowardice! (updated 17.07.19) A less than stellar review for a pretty great book.

  14. #2514
    Fragile Bunny Damoclian's Avatar
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    Oh and, uh, er... I don't mean to post twice in a row (but that's exactly what I'm doing), for all of you wonderful Sisyfants who wrote Sisyphuses that I haven't read yet. I may not have asked for your story, but I have my whole life ahead of me, so keep it handy and stick around so that I can ask you... someday.... soon??? :s
    -Twitter of fear and loathing and incredible shyness!
    -Blog of books and reviews and unspeakable cowardice! (updated 17.07.19) A less than stellar review for a pretty great book.

  15. #2515
    Gametrovert Shadowflame's Avatar
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    My story is available anytime Dammy. No worries.
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  16. #2516
    Snarkenfaugister Friendly Frog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Face View Post
    Although frankly, I'm surprised I wasn't guessed earlier... The title has the word "song" in it, and the female character is holding a guitar. And despite this being a writer's forum, I think I've mentioned my own musical inclinations and advancements far more often lately.
    Which I actually noticed! Belatedly. About the second after Cobra dinged it. Then it seemed as obvious as EFB's elves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Damoclian View Post
    Oh and, uh, er... I don't mean to post twice in a row (but that's exactly what I'm doing), for all of you wonderful Sisyfants who wrote Sisyphuses that I haven't read yet. I may not have asked for your story, but I have my whole life ahead of me, so keep it handy and stick around so that I can ask you... someday.... soon??? :s
    I'm pretty sure nobody minds if you don't request right this instant.

    Personally I've been hoping for some quiet time maybe next weekend in which I can properly look at the excerpts again and request a few that tingle my fancy. (My reading-time at the computer is significantly compromised lately since my dad has kind of latched onto that time for reading-me-the-new-and-opining-on-it, and short of walking away until he is elsewhere I haven't found a nice answer to deal with it.)
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  17. #2517
    killin' werds AW Moderator zanzjan's Avatar
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    Marlys wrote "A Matter of Taste" for my prompt, but it so far exceeds it. Just an absolutely masterful bit of storytelling, and I can't say enough how much I loved it.

    I look forward to seeing the posts in this thread over the next many months as some of these awesome stories get sold & published. If there's anyone in this thead (participant or happy bystander) who is confused or intimidated by the sub process, speak up; this is a good community and we're all rooting for one another. Look how much awesomeness you guys all pulled off collectively in only two months! Or ping me privately if that's what you need, and I'll do what I can to help.

    It is always humbling just what a fantastic group of people we have here, that I have been so fortunate to be a part of.
    Last edited by zanzjan; 03-22-2017 at 03:03 AM.
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  18. #2518
    just a literary gearhead shortstorymachinist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damoclian View Post
    The Sisyfean blog postean is donean! HERE read and experience my joy
    Ahhh, what a good post, it made me feel all warm and full of fondness for Sisyphus. Now I can't wait until NEXT year!

    I really liked this line in particular: Not famous well edited, thoroughly proofed stories put out in print and ebook by publishing houses in multi-million dollar deals, but raw, wriggling stories still warm from the brains of their creators.

    I think that's one of my favorite aspects, too. Many of us (myself included) freak out about how we didn't get a chance to polish or proof them, but some of the charm is that we're all writers and we know How Things Go when it comes to writing. So perhaps more than anything else, the gift is the time and effort, even if the story didn't turn out how the giftor envisioned in the beginning. Thanks for writing that post, Damo! It gave me an always-needed opportunity to think about how much I appreciate Sisyphus, and how great it is to receive a warm, wriggling story.
    I am no maestro.

  19. #2519
    Resist. Love. Go outside. Marlys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanzjan View Post
    Marlys wrote "A Matter of Taste" for my prompt, but it so far exceeds it. Just an absolutely masterful bit of storytelling, and I can't say enough how much I loved it.

    I look forward to seeing the posts in this thread over the next many months as some of these awesome stories get sold & published. If there's anyone in this thead (participant or happy bystander) who is confused or intimidated by the sub process, speak up; this is a good community and we're all rooting for one another. Look how much awesomeness you guys all pulled off collectively in only two months! Or ping me privately if that's what you need, and I'll do what I can to help.

    It is always humbling just what a fantastic group of people we have here, that I have been so fortunate to be a part of.
    You are gonna make me cry! But give proper credit to your prompt, which really made me think.

    Sisyphus was just an amazing amount of fun this year. Writing, reading, guessing, and tormenting supporting each other.
    I'm a twit, too: @PearsonMarlys

  20. #2520
    practical experience, FTW Jade A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damoclian View Post
    So, y'all know how I said I was writing a Sisyfus themed blog post, I think it's done, now. I decided not to list ALL the names of the people who've shaped this experience for me, as there's no way a list of names and maybe some anecdotes could do you all justice, you deserve more, each of you. But I have decided less is more.

    Furthermore, this particular post is 1k of gushy-wushy lovey-dovey nonsense and a vague explanation of the Sisyfus for any non Sisyfants who may read my blog, in an attempt to draw them in and snare them forever within this wonderful community. I want my vague nonsense to be legible vague nonsense though, so, would any one of you kind Sisyfants consider proofing it for me, and then, if your consideration yields a yes, actually give it a once-over?
    that was really sweet!
    I post flash fic here every Friday.

  21. #2521
    practical experience, FTW Alma Matters's Avatar
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    Thanks for the requests guys - you're all Waaaaay to kind! But it's appreciated. I've sent my own out too and will be sending more.

    There's so much good stuff out there.

  22. #2522
    Autumn elf E.F.B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damoclian View Post
    The Sisyfean blog postean is donean! HERE read and experience my joy
    Aaaaaaw, that was a super sweet post, Dammy! <3
    Quote Originally Posted by Friendly Frog View Post
    Which I actually noticed! Belatedly. About the second after Cobra dinged it. Then it seemed as obvious as EFB's elves.
    It's all about reverse psychology.

    Quote Originally Posted by zanzjan View Post
    I look forward to seeing the posts in this thread over the next many months as some of these awesome stories get sold & published. If there's anyone in this thead (participant or happy bystander) who is confused or intimidated by the sub process, speak up; this is a good community and we're all rooting for one another. Look how much awesomeness you guys all pulled off collectively in only two months! Or ping me privately if that's what you need, and I'll do what I can to help.
    I was secretly hoping that I'd end up writing a story I could sub, but brain didn't cooperate and gave me one it wants to expand into a full novel instead. Oh well.


    Quote Originally Posted by shortstorymachinist View Post
    Ahhh, what a good post, it made me feel all warm and full of fondness for Sisyphus. Now I can't wait until NEXT year!

    I really liked this line in particular: Not famous well edited, thoroughly proofed stories put out in print and ebook by publishing houses in multi-million dollar deals, but raw, wriggling stories still warm from the brains of their creators.

    I think that's one of my favorite aspects, too. Many of us (myself included) freak out about how we didn't get a chance to polish or proof them, but some of the charm is that we're all writers and we know How Things Go when it comes to writing. So perhaps more than anything else, the gift is the time and effort, even if the story didn't turn out how the giftor envisioned in the beginning. Thanks for writing that post, Damo! It gave me an always-needed opportunity to think about how much I appreciate Sisyphus, and how great it is to receive a warm, wriggling story.
    So much this^
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  23. #2523
    Re-NaNoing AnnieColleen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Face View Post
    The title has the word "song" in it, and the female character is holding a guitar. And despite this being a writer's forum, I think I've mentioned my own musical inclinations and advancements far more often lately.
    The guitar was why I guessed it -- though admittedly fairly late in the guessing.

    Quote Originally Posted by themindstream View Post
    I realized only after I had sent my excerpt to Cobra that I mentioned portals in the excerpt, had portals mentioned in my sig for my WIP novel and had mentioned in this thread that I was considering writing in my novel's universe. No one else apparently picked up on this. >.>
    I missed the comment, but I thought as I was reading the story that you could build a lot more story around that concept!

    Quote Originally Posted by CobraMisfit View Post
    Writing is, at its core, a very lonely hobby/profession. At the end of the day, to truly put pen to paper requires us to have some alone time with our thoughts. But events like the Sisyphus allow us to come together and share in the mutual struggles and triumphs that are unique to this art form. With any luck, folks here were not only able to knock the rust off their writing skills, like I was, but also get to know some new people.
    It got me to actually speak up for a change rather than trying to be invisible (gotta love anxiety). And I got a (mostly) finished story out of it. So thank you for those.

    I still have more I want to request, plus still reading earlier requests. I'm working on a new section for "Tantalus Child", but if anyone wants to read it as-is (~4000 words) or the new version (guessing ~5000?) when it's ready, let me know.
    Last edited by AnnieColleen; 03-22-2017 at 06:32 AM.
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  24. #2524
    People are not wearing enough hats JJ Litke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.F.B. View Post
    I was secretly hoping that I'd end up writing a story I could sub, but brain didn't cooperate and gave me one it wants to expand into a full novel instead. Oh well.
    I always hope for a sub-worthy story, too, but I doubt I'll send this one out.

    Oh yeah, I was going to mention earlier that mine came from EnzoC, a black comedy murder mystery in a fantasy setting, and one of the main characters must be a dog. It doesn't seem like that's where it's going from the excerpt.
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  25. #2525
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    I would love to read so many of the Sisyphus stories, but I'm up to my eyes in real life for the next several weeks. So if I come skulking around in May or June asking to read your story, please don't judge me.
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