Wicked self-publisher Darth Sinister, kidnapped from a hijacked DEATH STAR and forced at lightsabrepoint to participate in a Soviet-Era writing commune, falls under the disapproving eye of upstart Jedi Knight Young Vanderkarr. Fractional Ewoks were deep-fried in the making of this blog…
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Cheer up. Striped conical party hat?
DARTH SINISTER: I’d rather sit on a spike. Or is that the point of the cone?
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Come on. Communal writing. It’ll be FUN.
DARTH SINISTER: Telling me that some grim prospect is going to be fun…
YOUNG VANDERKARR: You’ve skewed the picture by calling it a grim prospect sight-unseen.
DARTH SINISTER: Must be the overpowering scent of the thing, then.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: We’re going to this party. You need to go to this party.
DARTH SINISTER: Note non-irony of reclusive figure having to get out more.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: There’ll be a warm welcome. I’ll see you there.
DARTH SINISTER: Not if I don’t go.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I’m going, and I expect you to be there.
DARTH SINISTER: Sigh.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Couldn’t you just sigh?
DARTH SINISTER: Mope.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Stop literally moping. It’s unbecoming.
DARTH SINISTER: Weary sigh.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Someone has to be there. That’s you.
DARTH SINISTER: Take Missy.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I tried to force her to go.
DARTH SINISTER: Oh, and I’m the back-up. Which gets my back up.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I’m not going by myself. There was a promise, well, a vague hope, that I’d drag the two of you kicking, biting, and screaming…
DARTH SINISTER: She’s a biter…
YOUNG VANDERKARR: There was an incident. Spiders.
DARTH SINISTER: Why do I have to go? If she won’t go, then I certainly don’t have to go. She’s still to earn her Basic Recluse badge. I have gold medals in that, and I’m the one who turns up at this party. Priceless. Besides, I’ll risk losing my Mysterious Author status if I actually turn up for anything.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Be there.
DARTH SINISTER: Oh look. The sky didn’t fall in. Early yet.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I’m so glad you came. This is it. Let’s go. Warm welcome…
DARTH SINISTER: Designed to make me flee the scene instantly.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Just…come on. Leave your Darth hat by the door. We’ll find a cool place to hang out. The porch. Or the kitchen. Maybe there’ll be fifteen minutes during which we RULE the stairs. You can launch a great atmosphere from the stairs. Or the garden. There’s a gazebo…
DARTH SINISTER: Is there a cellar?
YOUNG VANDERKARR: You aren’t moping in the cellar at a party. There’s no cellar. That was designed out of the building.
DARTH SINISTER: Just for me.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Enjoy the atmosphere. You’ll be writing. Come on. Writing. Your favouritest thing in the world. We’re all going to sing for our supper.
DARTH SINISTER: Sing? You know the rule on singing, right? People who CAN’T sing SHOULDN’T.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: That’s nonsense.
DARTH SINISTER: No. It’s the rule. Is that why Missy didn’t show up for this party? She knew there’d be singing, and remembered the rule…
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Yes. There will be no singing. I mean…we all do our party-piece. You go early. Get it over with. Ditch the nerves. If you write your piece nearer the end, you’ll be locked in by all the other authors. They’ll make it easy for you. Best to be in at the start, when you can fill in the blankest part of the canvas.
DARTH SINISTER: So we’re painting now. Not singing. Tell me there won’t be dancing. There’s a rule about that, too.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Is it the same as the rule on singing?
DARTH SINISTER: How did you guess. Must be some kind of genius.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: My Sarcasm Detector just went into Protective Survival Mode.
DARTH SINISTER: As opposed to what, exactly? Non-Protective Survival Mode?
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Look at all these people who turned up to write a communal novel on a series of blogs.
DARTH SINISTER: Flakes.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Hey!
DARTH SINISTER: All writers are flakes.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Hey! Uh, yeah, well, okay. Oh…look at all the different perspectives.
DARTH SINISTER: I’m dizzy with the prospect.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Plenty of people. All writing.
DARTH SINISTER: Am I the only guy here?
YOUNG VANDERKARR: No.
DARTH SINISTER: Kacey…I’m the only guy here.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Nonsense. Look, there’s…Jack.
DARTH SINISTER: That’s a paper mask. Are you sure Jack isn’t really Jill? I’m getting a vibe…
YOUNG VANDERKARR: You aren’t the only guy here. What’s wrong with that?
DARTH SINISTER: They’re all American, aren’t they?
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I’m not sure.
DARTH SINISTER: Just pin a placard to me that says SORE THUMB.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Hey, snap out of that. Time for an inspirational speech from Coach here.
DARTH SINISTER: Go for it, Coach.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: We are all writers. And we are here to learn. To improve. Do you disagree?
DARTH SINISTER: No. Weary sigh of resignation from condemned Scottish figure.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: So you agree.
DARTH SINISTER: Weary nod.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Then what’s wrong?
DARTH SINISTER: There’s no cellar. Or torture chamber. No torture chamber in the lack of cellar. Is there a turret? We could go there and stand on the windy battlements.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Uh…no.
DARTH SINISTER: You say that as though you’ve never stood on windy battlements.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Not really my thing. I’ve been walking by the creek.
DARTH SINISTER: No turrets. This isn’t exactly the best venue.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Well, I admit that the shameless absence of a portcullis is somewhat remiss.
DARTH SINISTER: Glad you agree, Coach. My Sarcasm Detector is ignoring your Sarcasm Detector.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Really? Read whatever level of sarcasm into that remark you care to.
DARTH SINISTER: I don’t know why I came to this party.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: To meet other oddballs and misfits.
DARTH SINISTER: For what purpose?
YOUNG VANDERKARR: That is the purpose. You might at least have made the effort to ditch the cape.
DARTH SINISTER: Snorts derisively.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: That probably sounds better spoken, truth be told.
DARTH SINISTER: Okay. I actually made it to the NOVBLOG.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: BLOGVEL.
DARTH SINISTER: NOVEL BLOG. BLOG NOVEL. I had to blog about it in advance, to force myself to go. Rather than chickening out at the first second.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Good for you.
DARTH SINISTER: Bad for me. I turn up so that I can have a good mope in the gloomy corner of the dank dungeon, and find there isn’t one. The most anti-social person at the party isn’t me – she didn’t turn up…
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I TRIED to get her interest above Absolute Zero, but she just froze over.
DARTH SINISTER: Irony of my thawing noted in the hysterical record.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Well, we’re here. And we gave it a shot. How is your chapter going?
DARTH SINISTER: There will be bloody noses after this. A shocked and stunned silence that I did what I did. They won’t ask me back.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: It’s good that you are using your discomfort to propel yourself in a different direction.
DARTH SINISTER: Over the cliff.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Hey!
DARTH SINISTER: It’s the cliché of our time. Let’s move forward. And all I can think is…over the cliff. Sometimes you have to take a giant leap back into fear and over-critical self-absorption.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: SOMETIMES. Not all the time.
DARTH SINISTER: Crap. Knew you’d spot that.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: That’s the Coach in me.
DARTH SINISTER: Let’s win one for the Gipper.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: That’s the spirit.
DARTH SINISTER: Blegh.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Cheer up. What would our gracious hostess say?
DARTH SINISTER: Oh she told me she thought it was good that I was trying something different and outside my usual sphere. Uh…something about exercising writing muscles. It was inspirational. There, I said it.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: This is NOT writing by committee.
DARTH SINISTER: Yes, you’ve pulled me up on that before. Thanks.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Just be yourself.
DARTH SINISTER: I can’t just be myself. If I were myself, I wouldn’t be at this party.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Need I remind you that you invited us to do short stories for a collection you were then going to sew together, no matter how unconnected those stories seemed…
DARTH SINISTER: Well, that never happened.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I think you need reminding that you invited…
DARTH SINISTER: Okay, okay. I was trying to get away from the whole lone gunman thing. That’s the only reason I came to this party. Argh!
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I think it’s good that you participated. Against your worser judgement. What was the alternative? Carry the stench of hypocrisy around with you by refusing to turn up for the BLOGVEL?
DARTH SINISTER: Yes, you got me Coach. I couldn’t very well offer to try a participatory piece of fiction, then retreat beneath the trapdoor later when you offered something similar to me. Busted. I get it.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: Well I’m glad things worked out the way they did.
DARTH SINISTER: Too soon to tell.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: You’re here, and that’s good enough.
DARTH SINISTER: Well, you haven’t read my chapter yet.
YOUNG VANDERKARR: I’m sure you’ll do just fine.
DARTH SINISTER: Yes. There’ll be a fine.
NEXT BLOG: NON-RUNCIBLE SPOON.