Submitted by Jocelyn Rish on December 4, 2012 - 6:23pm
Whew, this week has been crazy! This Boob Tube Junkie was so busy I didn’t watch TV for seven whole days. I know! Surely that means there are now some demons downstairs doing triple axels in sparkly costumes. So what kept me from my beloved boob tube?
For one, my short film Saying Goodbye screened in the Unofficial Google+ Film Festival this past weekend. It’s a very cool way for people to enjoy some of the film festival experience from home and for us to share our film with an international audience. Frustratingly, I had technical difficulties and couldn’t join in on the live Q&A (you should have seen me shrieking at my computer), but luckily my brother was able to represent us. Hopefully we can be part of the lineup next year with High Heels & Hoodoo!
The other big event was the Twitter Fiction Festival, and I participated in two different ways. The company Page 27 makes a storytelling game app, and for the festival they invited fifteen writers to participate in a collaborative storytelling event called Once Upon a Line. We’d get a text when it was our turn and have an hour to write the next part in 1-2 tweets. It was an interesting experiment as we tried to find the balance between improvisation and creating a well-plotted story, as well as the balance between a cohesive storytelling style versus each writer showing off their best flowery prose. As a genre reader/writer, the result wasn’t really my kind of story (not enough murder and mayhem!), but it was great fun to play along and see what our collective creative brains produced, plus I met some new talented writers. You can read the whole story here, and if you want to see what my contributions were, you can click the tweets by day tab and look for my smiling face. Huge thanks to Page 27 for asking me to participate!
The other way I participated was by animating one of the #15tt tweet tales from each day of the festival (except for one day because of more technical difficulties – I think I need a new computer!). The little movies are silly (especially with the horrible voice “acting”), but I had a TON of fun making them. However, each one took waaaay longer than I was anticipating (hence no TV and really no sleep either), so I was pretty drained by the end. But it was so enjoyable that I plan to keep doing them occasionally, especially if I can spread the time out rather than trying to get it all done in one night.
Here’s the first one – I was very nervous about animating someone else’s story for the first time, but thankfully I got a thumbs up from the author.
I think this second one turned out to be my favorite. Growing up with a brother, I have felt like this on more than one occasion.
When I read this one, I got excited since I knew the animation software had Santa and elves. Turns out it only has female elves and only in these skimpy outfits. The feminist side of me was a tad offended, but *shrug* it’s all in good fun.
One of the long-time #15tt regulars really wanted one of his tweet tales animated, and since I’d told him the software was very limited as to what I could animate, he craftily wrote this tweet as a sequel (prequel?) to the tweet from the day before to ensure he’d meet all the prop/setting/costume/action limitations of the software.
Stay tuned for future #15tt animations, and play along some days – your tweet tale just might be the next to get the animation experience!
11/28 – Tom beams at his neophyte’s success. She might be small, but her passion gives her strength. He buries the pieces of the missing man.
11/29 - Her tempestuous wails send him scurrying. The shoes were too tasty to resist. He peeks at her with extra sad eyes. She sighs, then smiles.
11/30 - With one hopeful breath, I send dandelion fluff floating across the sky. My wish? That my womb will soon pullulate like that wildflower.
12/1 - A blizzard of words overwhelms her as he tries to convince her tp stay. It just reminds her why she's leaving: he talks too damned much.
12/2 – My dog wouldn't acquiesce to my commands, so I took him to the vet. She told me he was a cat. I think I might need glasses.
12/3 - "Do you want to go up to the roof to see my dovecote?" I hate birds but say "yes" hoping the city view will inspire our first kiss.
12/4 - I know our marriage is over when he starts wearing flamboyant ties to work - a flourish of fun from a man who no longer smiles at me.
And now I’m off for some much needed rest that will include catching up on some of my favorite TV shows!
Did you participate in the Twitter Fiction Festival in any way? Have you ever done any collaborative storytelling? Should I win an Academy Award for my awesome voiceover work? (I think my Santa was particularly inspired.) Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?
Submitted by Jocelyn Rish on November 27, 2012 - 9:13am
Have you heard about the Twitter Fiction Festival? From Wednesday, November 28th through Sunday, December 2nd, Twitter is hosting a celebration of storytelling at the hashtag #twitterfiction. They asked writers from around the world to submit proposals to be included in the festival, so I screwed up my courage and sent in an idea.
They were supposed to announce the selected authors last Monday, but I still haven’t heard anything. For a while I maintained hope because (as I learned from obsessively googling and checking Twitter) no one else had heard anything either – not a single peep of celebration from anyone. But since the festival starts tomorrow and you’d think people would have to know if they were officially participating, I sadly have to assume I’m not one of the chosen ones.
But never fear! I’ve decided since I’ve already prepped for it (and it’s really just a souped up version of my regular 15 Minute Tweet Tales), I’m going to participate anyway in an unofficial capacity. And to explain what I’ll be doing, I’m copying a chunk from my festival application:
What's your proposal? Describe the story you'd like to tell... how would you tell it... what are the Twitter accounts you'd use?
For the past year, I’ve been running a daily Twitter fiction challenge called 15 Minute Tweet Tales using the hashtag #15tt. I have a word-a-day calendar, and each day as I uncover the new erudite word, I give myself fifteen minutes to come up with a story using that word. It’s great exercise for my writing muscles and has the added bonus of boosting my vocabulary. The full explanation can be found here.
The best part is that other people in the Twitter-verse also play along, so each day there are many diverse stories inspired by the same word. Touching, funny, horrific, sad, lyrical – the variety of tales told each day guarantees there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
My proposal for the Twitter Fiction Festival is to continue what I have been doing: provide a word each day for all participants to create their own masterpieces of Twitter fiction. I would use my Twitter account (@JocelynRish) to post the word and my own tweet tale, and then anyone else who wants to participate would tweet tales from their Twitter accounts with the hashtag #15tt.
I know there are others out there running similar fiction challenges, so I propose to take mine a step further. In the world of novels, many bestsellers end up being made into movies, so each day of the festival, I will turn one of the 15 Minute Tweet Tales into a short animated film.
I will usually select the tweet tale with the most retweets as the one to animate, but since the animation software I use is relatively limited, I’ll have to use my own discretion as to what I can accomplish on screen.
Just like Twitter condenses a story into 140 characters, Twitter will also be used to condense the lifecycle of a novel-to-screen adaption into 24 hours. The stories will be published, become bestsellers by the number of retweets, and be turned into movies to then be shared via Twitter the next day.
I hope the #15tt regulars will join in on the fun, and if you haven’t played along yet, now’s a great time to jump in since your tweet tale has a chance to be animated. Although I have to stress again how limited the animation software is (not to mention my skills using it), so each day I’ll be picking the one with the most retweets that I’m also able to animate. Things to keep in mind to increase the chances of your #15tt getting animated:
The software cannot animate animals or children.
The choices for props, settings, and costumes are very limited so keep it simple.
Actions are easier to animate that thoughts or feelings.
But it's not like intricate stuntman actions are available.
And here’s an example of what it will look like:
As you can see, it has amazing production values. And the voice-over actors are particularly Oscar worthy. :-) It’s just a silly bit of fun, so I hope y’all will dust off your storytelling skills and play along!
Also make sure you check out the #twitterfiction hashtag during the five days of the Twitter Fiction Festival to see all the creative storytelling experiments taking place.
And at looong last, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
11/21 - I should never have come to this hermitage by myself to write. Especially not a horror novel. I jump at every sound. Wait, what's tha—
11/22 - The newest senior class scapegrace is extremely good looking. Principal Jones licks her lips as she imagines ways to rehabilitate him.
11/23 - She dozed as the lawyer went over the jabberwocky in the prenup. Big mistake since her husband ran off with the maid 6 months later.
11/24 - Kim's in a preprandial frenzy finalizing the meal she made for her vile mother-in-law: the arsenic sauce only goes on one of the plates.
11/25 - After he proposes on the jumbotron, he mafficks around the stadium, not knowing she only said YES to not embarrass him on national TV.
11/26 - The professor's lectures are abstruse, but she's getting an A. She'd gone to his office to "beg" on her knees and saw Tom got there 1st.
11/27 - The scarecrow likes gossiping with the crows, but the farmer threatens to literally fire him if he doesn't fulfill his corvine duties.
Are you planning to check out the Twitter Fiction Festival? Do you think you’ll write any #15tt tweet tales during the festival? Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?
I’m a writer and filmmaker exploring the magic of stories. I’ve always loved to read and watch television and movies, and now I'm creating my own stories via YA novels, short stories, screenplays, and even short films. I’m also an animal lover with a menagerie of pets; and, yes, I’m one of those people who puts party hats on their dogs and makes them “cakes” for their birthdays.