Monday, September 24, 2012

The Shepherd

Sorry for my lack of updates last week. I was working on this to post and got distracted by other things.

Elevator Pitch: Two teens scramble to save a friend from a pagan rite, but things aren't what they seem...

The Diary of Prudence Mayweather, 1764

April 3rd: It feels like the hard winter has come to an end. Samuel died last night. He fought so bravely against the sickness, but it claimed him. Father placed him in the cold earth this morning and we prayed. Mother and Father fought tonight. I held Mary and Jacob close so that they would not cry and bring Father's ire.

"This year will be different!" he had yelled. "This year we will bring up the Shepherd. I will not suffer another lost child, another winter full of hunger!".

Mother just cried. 

April 17th: In church today Father Daniel spoke out against The Shepherd by claiming that Jesus was mankind's one true shepherd. Father stood, forcing us to stand with him and he made us leave. I looked behind and saw many other families were leaving too. In the middle of a sermon? 

Behind us we could hear him crying out "May God save you folk from foolishness. May he shield you from the Devil and his tricks! I will leave this town, for it is forsaken!".

Father spit at the ground. 

April 20th: Mother and I were at market today when Father Daniel's mare came charging through town. The poor beast was all beaten and bloody. Issac, the butcher's boy whom I fancy, made mention of seeing Father Daniel being taken from his small house in the middle of the morning. Mother took my arm and we went home. 

Father came home unusually late. We held dinner until he arrived, but hunger no longer bothers me. He picked me up and spun me, something he has not done since I was a child, and smiled saying "Everything is going  to be okay now, Prudence". 

(Read more after the jump)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I wrote a longer post, looked at it, and decided I'd expand on it and save it for later. So instead I'll throw some Slivers up here. What are Slivers? One or two sentence ideas that I might want to elaborate on later or just a few ideas I need to get out.

Sliver looks like silver which reminds me of Silverado which then leaps to Canyonero

"Freedom is something to be feared". The teacher raised her her arms and the children repeated it back to her.

I should have never given her my name. I've seen her walking around as me now.

There is a jar in the back of my closet. I whisper secrets into it, but lately I've heard it whispering back.

He gave me his heart. I just put it in a box.

The sound of the ocean lulled me to sleep. My eyes popped open when I realized I live nowhere close to the ocean.

Danny quickly pulled the nail out and his hand fell limp.

"Is that before or after I woke up with a tooth embedded into my arm?".

The rain pounded on the window like a really hip drummer from down at the club; super shitty.

The electricity played off their lips as they brushed and the whole world seemed to go neon.

"SET PHASERS TO FUN!" he screamed before he shot Laurie.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I think I have an obsession with threes. Skyshard Heroes, a game I'm working on, has an enemy faction called the Triumvirate. I made them.

The Trinity was something I came up with while trying to work out a way to be more creative and to avoid buckling down and forcing myself to write like I am now. The idea was simple: tell a story on twitter. One hundred forty characters seemed like an easy way to be creative without overwhelming myself. So I took that and multiplied it by 3 and then realized I needed to sketch a story arch and then gave up. Maybe someday I'll return to it, but until then...

Are they going up or down?
Elevator Pitch: The Trinity is a story told over three separate twitter accounts, by three different people over three different time periods. All three chronicle an alien invasion and each can be read individually, but when put together they create a larger world. The three Twitter accounts would run for 6 months from beginning of story to end. However, only one account experiences time in this fashion.

I had been reading George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and was inspired by the way he paints a giant world while not losing the importance of his characters and their relationships. Each chapter is a small segment of story from a character's point of view and we might not see that character for another seventy or so pages.  When they pop back up we remember where we left the character and are excited to read more.

Especially about you, Davros the Onion Dalek. Too nerdy?
The Trinity, which is more of a place holder name, tells the story of the invasion of Earth by something  beyond. The story is told through three sources: The Engineer, The Star and The Monitor.

The Engineer: An astronaut on NASA's last manned flight to space. Whatever this threat was collided with his shuttle on its entry to Earth. The Engineer was on the outside of the ship at the time repairing some external damage to the shuttle and has been left floating in space, above Earth, with no hope of retrieval.

The Engineer's story, while occurring over six real months, will only chronicle his last three days as his brain slowly becomes oxygen starved. His Twitter account represents a computer at Ground Control that is recording and encoding what he is speaking into his comm. The one hundred forty characters are justified by his frantic thoughts that slowly become more labored and hazy as his body shuts down.

The Star: A B-List celeb on a trashy reality T.V. show. Think Jersey Shore. She finds it easy to party hard when working is just partying. Her shallow tweets become angry as she tweets about losing air time to the news reporting on events around the world. She is our ear to the ground and eye on the scene, however unfortunate that is.

The Star's Twitter account would be like a normal Twitter account. It is expressly there in the beginning to brag and whine, but it soon becomes our most accurate window into what's happening. Her story happens in more 'real time' then the other two. Her one hundred forty characters are justified by Twitter.

The Monitor: Underground during the events of the story; the Monitor is recording events all around the world. The Monitor itself is sort of an ambiguous character. We learn bits about it, but the less said the better.

His/her only job is to make sure that everything that is happening is preserved. The Monitor's time period is significantly longer then the Engineer's and Star's; taking place over three years. The power in the location the Monitor's is in is spotty, so he/she makes her recordings short, limiting them to one hundred and forty characters.

An easier to understand timeline.
All three accounts are tiered. The Engineer is Tier 1: personal. We learn about him, his life and what they were doing in space. The Star is Tier 2: national. As the Star moves around the country we see the effects of this invasion as it touches the lives of others across America. The Monitor is Tier 3: global. Through the Monitor's recordings we learn how the rest of the world fares during the invasion and if we make it out in the end.

The Two Obstacles: One of the major obstacles to writing this is me having to kick myself in the ass, get the key events down, and do some research. So that first obstacle is really just me being a lazy jerk. 

The second is me gaining a better grasp of Twitter. I hear it's really not that hard to use, but I think I'm getting old because I've caught myself turning my nose up at technology "the kids are using these days". It shouldn't be that hard, right? 

So why don't I get cracking at figuring this out? I might.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nolan-izing Harry Potter

I was in the North woods of Wisconsin, enjoying the fantastic scenery and getting away from any sort of technology, when an idea from the blue struck me: Someday they are going to remake Harry Potter.

Don't ask me why a beautiful lake and the chirp of birds led me to that discovery, but it's true. Someday they are going to reboot the classic children's series. At least in film form. 

I loved Harry Potter when I was younger. I was never the full blown sycophantic fan that seem to crop up around any great work, but I genuinely enjoyed the books. Until the fourth one with that damn quidditch game that was too long. I placed the book down, decided to be a good American and wait until the movie came out. 
I regret nothing.
What would a HP remake look like? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm going to take a stab at it using today's remake system: make it gritty. Batman used to be for children, but those children grew up and so did the stories. We left the groovy dancing Batman and entered an age of gravel voice, no shit Batman. We have the great director Christopher Nolan to thank for that. He kept all the themes and concepts from the comic, but wrote a really great trilogy of crime movies that happened to feature Batman in them. This sort of thing  is becoming more and more popular. (Jeez doesn't that Superman trailer make a great Levi's commercial?) Take high fantasy things and bring them to our level. Nolanizing. 

I would assume the same would be true of HP; so I'm going to comb my hair in a devilishly handsome way and pitch to you my Nolanization of Harry Potter.
He is Inceptioning you right now!
Elevator Pitch: Potter is a film about a cop named Harry sent to infiltrate the brutal street gang: The Death Eaters. The Eaters have kidnapped a brilliant chemist, Dr. Granger, and plan to force her to create a drug dubbed 'Magic' by junkies. Can Harry get to her without ending up another corpse in the Thames?

Plot Overview: Harry Potter was orphaned as a boy when a killer the papers called Riddle, due to the lack of information the cops had on him, killed his parents. Harry became a ward of the state and grew up in a boy's home with the constant stigma and vague fame of being the only person Riddle had attacked and not killed; something he's been trying to live down his whole life.

When he finally came of age he left the home and became an officer, vowing to protect London against the sort of thing that left him without a family. Harry, and his partner Ron, end up busting a huge drug case when they discover a warehouse full of 'Magic' a new street drug. The bust draws the notice of Lt. Dore who invites him to join the Special Crimes Division, what the rest of the force calls the Griffons, due to the patches on their uniform.

Dore sends Harry and Ron to infiltrate the Death Eaters, the source of 'Magic' and one of the most notorious gangs in London, to ascertain where Magic is coming from. Once inside the duo discover the gang is more of a cult lead by those who almost worship the killer Riddle. The drug is being manufactured by Dr. Hermione Granger, a brilliant chemist, who has been kidnapped by the DEs.

Once Harry is in, he has to get out. He, Ron and Hermione devise a plan to destroy the warehouse where Magic is being made and escape, but they face threats from all sides as DEs and corrupt cops stand in their way. The movie ends with the three safe and a slight indication that Lt. Dore might be Riddle.

Something along these lines.

Other Nolanized Things:
Ditching: The DEs play a game called Ditching where they race down the busy streets against traffic on motorcycles. It's one of the initiation rites of the gang that Harry must do. Only pussies ditch out of the lane, hence the name.

Hagrid: Officer Hagrid is the "I'm too old for this shit" cop that is in charge of the evidence lock-up.

Drake Malfoy: A rich punk that is taking his daddy's money and throwing it into the DEs so they accept him. Suspicious about Harry's motivations to join the gang.

I think I'm going to keep Nolanizing as something that happens here often. Next post will be something more creative and original, but I needed to get the juices flowing. The sweet, sweet juices. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cracked Teeth

What is this?
This is Hollow Teeth, a repository of strange thoughts. I plan on adding at least two pieces of original content every week. What kind of content? I'm glad you asked:

  • Something Creative: This can be anything from a script, to a short story or even something more drawn out. This could also be a list of ideas I've had or half-thought out things.
  • A Game Idea: There will be one of these a week and count toward the two things I need to do; at least for a year. The idea is to get out a year's worth of well thought out game ideas. To get a feeling of what this will read like, you can see my previous attempt here. The entire concept comes from a former mentor of mine
  • Reviews: I intake a lot of content, and leave nothing behind like a parasite. I say enough! I'll review books, movies, tv, games or anything else that strikes my fancy. 
  • Rants: Sometimes I'll just want to talk about things that aren't meant to be structured or read in a narrative way. Don't worry. It'll still be interesting, whatever it is.
  • Comics(?) I want to do more art. They might be comics or they might just be  doodles. 
  • RPG Tabletop Characters: I know this fits somewhere between Reviews and Something Creative, but it's very important to me, so it gets it's own bullet. I own a ridiculous amount of tabletop games. My friends tell me I have a problem. I admit that I do. Admitting is the first step to fooling everyone into thinking you're kicking an addiction. I plan on making a character from game that I own and talking about the mechanics of the game. I get this idea from fellow game designer Matthew McFarland.
Why is this?
I need to press myself more creatively, so I decided on creating this blog to force myself into writing. How does it force me to write? Why, its you, lone person reading this. I write because I made the above promise to you that I would and I'm a man of my word. I have many words.  

Who is this?
I'll explain in a later post exactly who I am, but for now, I'm just Majdi. I don't plan on being the only person contributing to this blog either. I mean, who'd want to just listen to me all the time? No, there will be other voices here all contributing to the points I've laid out above. 

Why teeth?
Teeth are scary! I mean they're little hard bits surrounded by soft squishy bits. We cringe when we hear stories about people chipping their teeth or cracking them. I bet you even cringed a little right now, dear reader, at the thought of something bad happening to your teeth. 

The deeper reason is that teeth can affect the whole body. If they get infected and that infection goes untreated it can burrow up through the jaw to the brain and kill you. If you brush and care for your teeth they stay healthy, much like writing and creativity. Leaving creativity to decay can only produce terrible results that I imagine involve pus. I mean to avoid that. This blog is my hope to stop creative stagnation within myself and to help increase my writing skills by writing more often.