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Tandem Story [Sep. 26th, 2002|07:39 am]
Peter Sheil
The professor announced to his class, "Today we will experiment
with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple:
each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her
immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph
of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and
then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will
then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember
to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the
story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking and
anything you wish to say must be written on the paper. The story
is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was turned in by two English students, Rebecca
and Gary.

First paragraph by Rebecca:
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted.
The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings
at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in
happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must
now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness
was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her
asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the

Second paragraph by Gary:
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack
squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things
to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic
bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over
a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation17," he said into his
transgalactic communicator, "Polar orbit established. No sign
of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish
particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through
his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him
flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately but not before he
felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one
woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth
stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers
of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and
Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The
news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out
the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed
unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no
television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at
all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's
innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully...

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live.
Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership
launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-
witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace
Disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a
defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were
determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the
passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for
Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet.
With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their
diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the
atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile
submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam,
felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor,
stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President
slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this!
I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of
literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic
semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose
attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
"Oh shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort
of F#$%@# TEA??? Oh no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads
too many Danielle Steele novels."





Get F%$%#$d.

You wish; eat shit.


Go drink some tea - whore.

A+ - I really liked this one.

The reason I posted this is that I had thought of having a joint writing project - a bit like the tandem story. Would anyone be interested in doing something like that? I'll do a poll so you can let me know.

Poll #63121 Joint writing project

Should Peter have a multi-person writing project?

Don't know

Would you want to take part in it?

Yes definitely
Maybe .. not sure
Probably not
Definitely not
Don't know

What type of organisation would you prefer? (you can choose more than one)

Writing in pairs - each person writes alternate paragraphs
Writing in group in turn - in a group of 4 you write each fourth paragraph
Writing in group in semi-random order - either the writer passes it on to a specific person or you bid to get the turn to write
Writing in group in random order - people are assigned random numbered paragraphs to write

Any other comments or suggestions?


[User Picture]From: loreeley
2002-09-26 04:18 am (UTC)

rambling addition

(wanted to write this in the comment part of the poll, but it was too long)

I like the idea! :) Sadly my life needs a lot of sorting out right now (beginning of term sort of mania...should be sorted out in the not-too-distant future) and it's all a bit frantic, so I'm not sure about my imminent participation. But if you make me the 4th + paragraph person I would be very happy to be a part of this. :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-26 08:33 am (UTC)

Re: rambling addition

Sounds OK to me :)

what are you studying and why do you commute to Brussels?

I've lived out there myself - once in Zaventum and once in ... can't think of the name ... just in towards the city centre from the main road that goes past NATO (or OTAN or NAVO) I enjoyed the second of those 'cos it was a French speaking area and the locals were friendly and put up with my mauvais Francais. The guy in the local shop thought I was the image of his college Maths professor (at least I think that was what he was saying :)

salut et bon chance
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[User Picture]From: loreeley
2002-09-26 10:16 am (UTC)

Re: rambling addition

Well...I don't really commute as such. I study in England so that's my sort of home during most of the year, and my parents live in Belgium so that's my permanent home, or my home-home as I call it to un-confuse people. I don't usually commute, just at the moment I am...

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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-26 11:50 pm (UTC)

Re: rambling addition

Yes, I do know what you mean about "home home". for a lot of the time I've not had a home, or rather I've had several.

There's home where I was born and grew up. My mum still lives here. It's an old 4 beadroom detached house just north of London.

Then there is home at my flat in north London (Friern Barnet just off he North Circular Road). I bought that when I was 29 and never actually lived init for al that long. it's 2 bedroom and quite compact - the kitchen is 2.4 metres square and you wouldn't believe all he stuff I got shoehorned into it :) I'm actually moving back into it soon.

I oten worked away from home and I had 2 places in the Southampton area - the irst one a cottage in Lyndhurst and the second one a bungalow in North Baddersley. Those felt quite "home" like but there was an imperminance about them as they were only rented 6 months at a time.

Then there were various apartments in Brussels for a few months and eventually Luxembourg for 4 years. That actually felt more like home than a lot of other places.

After that I lived with my wife at Leatherhead for a while but that defenitely never felt like home. At the moment I live in Southampton with her and although the house (3 bedroom semi-detached) is fine there is to much emotional links for me to ever feel like it is home.

There, a potted history of my places of abode and some clues about me :) Sorry if it was more than you wanted.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: loreeley
2002-09-27 12:36 am (UTC)

Re: rambling addition

I like it when people tell me about their lives. :)

I must say, I don't really know most of the places you mentioned in London...but the North Circular Road bit rings a bell. I'll move to that area soon, as that will be my new home in London for this year. I haven't really gotten the whole geography of it down though, all I ever remember is that it's the first bus stop after the North Circular.

What do you work as?
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-27 03:44 am (UTC)

Re: rambling addition

Did you read my bio?

I'm a oomputer consultant for an IT services company. My role has changed recently - previously I did fire fighting - eg going to a client's site when not only had the shit hit the fan but the fan was bent out of shape :) I had to pacify the client, find out the underlying technical problem and either fix it or find someone who could. A lot of "being nice to the client and telling them what was going on" and a bit of technical wizardry. Now I'm supporting internal company systems - not as varied as before but interesting in its own way.

The North Circular Road is quite long! so telling me you are one bus stop away from it is only limited help - my flat is one bus stop past the NCR next to a big Tescos. Which area are you going to be in? Wouldn't it be funny if you were living next to me? [Maybe continue this via e-mail if you prefer?]

If you are in London then you should come to the LJMeetup (4th Tuesday in the month unless we change it due to a tube strike) and if you are anywhere near me then there is a v good vegitarian indian restaurant I'd enjoy taking you to.

Anyway better go - got to fill an Access database with data I'm not allowed to look at for security reasons :) fun in the house of mirrors :))

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[User Picture]From: loreeley
2002-09-27 04:51 am (UTC)

Are you a serial killer

I did read your bio...but only when you said "did you read my bio" :P
I like he onion personality bit. And I'm a non-smoker so yeah, maybe that Indian vegetarian restaurant should be done. :)

Hmm...so you think I should trust you but not everyone else on LJ, huh? Odd idea. For all I know you might be a serial killer - maybe even with a chain-saw - who isn't really a vegetarian at all! Life has become so dangerous these days. :P
I'll email you more location-wise... :)

I've thought of the LJ Meetups and I kind of want to go but at the same time I a scared of strangers who all know each other but I don't know them. On a one-to-one basis strangers are okay, but when confronted to hoards of them I get shy. It's a real problem as I like meeting new people...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-27 07:44 am (UTC)

No, just strange and geek like :)

I'm not a serial killer, apart from ants but that is another story altogether :) I was uggesting e-mail because this is a public post that anyone can read

Yes, I can understand why you are concerned and I would not want to have you worry about meeting me. I'd suggest either meeting me at the restaurant or bring a friend wih you. (or maybe at some other public place you feel happy with.) I am safe, well if you want to be safe that is :) and you can look back over my journal if you have the time and energy to see what I'm like. You could talk to Rachel (rachelslivecam) but just at the moment she has a lot on her plate and would probably not appreciate any extra stress of any sort. I've ben over to the states to meet her several times which was fun. There are a few others who have meet me in real life and several who think I'm a nice guy ... as if that's any recommendation.

As to the LJMeetups - I've only been to 2 so far. At the first one there were a total of 6 of us and at the second 5 (2 of whom were not at the previous one) Maybe if you feel happy with me then we can go together and you can get to know the others? There is a community for the meetup - ljmeetuplondon I think - and you can see posts about what happened last time(s) and what future plans there are. You can register at www.meetup.com and search for livejournal then select city london and add a bit about yourself (if you want to). They have 3 different venues and everyone can vote for which venue you want to go to.

OK gotta go
Catch you later
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[User Picture]From: loreeley
2002-09-27 11:24 am (UTC)

me too :)

I am not worry about meeting you. :) I was just teasing you a bit.
You seem okay from the posts we have exchanged, okay from your LJ, and okay from your comment-conversations with other people. I think I can trust you not to be a killer, with or without chain-saw.

I don't actually think meeting people on the net is more dangerous than in real life. In both situations one should be cautious, and beyond that it's all a matter of faith, fate, or luck (depending which ever one you prefer).

I would most certainly like to meet you (more per email, which I'll write after dinner)...and once I know you I'll go to the next LJMeetup. Yay! :)
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[User Picture]From: loreeley
2002-09-28 02:26 am (UTC)
I've added you.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-26 05:16 am (UTC)
Re NightVixen's comment:
Why don't you just do a RPG game???? Simple???

Running an RPG simple? Not in my experience :)

What is the scenario?
what characters are there and what are their skills?
How do they interact?
what limits, if any, does the world have?
How are disputes resolved?

All seems a lot of work to me!

If the writing is free form and not too restricted then it will be a lot easier to manage.

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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2002-09-26 09:18 am (UTC)
Re psycho_boy's comment
Can the story be as hilarious as that one was? ;)

Well it deepends on what the group wants, but in theory yes.
Mind you we'd have to find someone humourous to do some of
the writing and that might be hard. ;)
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