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Group Story--Brainstorming

A member-written collaborative effort. Feel free to join in and see where it goes!
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boswellbaxter
Bibliomaniac
Location: North Carolina
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Postby boswellbaxter » Sun June 28th, 2009, 3:28 am

"robinbird79" wrote:Since there are so many people on these boards with so many varying interests (Medieval, Renaissance, Celtic, France, Spain, England, etc), maybe there could be some different threads/stories for different eras or countries?That's just my tiny 2 cents worth. Can't wait to get started somewhere! I love to write!


Good idea! I don't think we have to be confined to one story--it might be fun to have more than one going and see how they develop. Anyone who's game to start something should feel free to do so, and see who joins in.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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Volgadon
Compulsive Reader
Location: Israel
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Postby Volgadon » Sun June 28th, 2009, 8:12 am

Alright, MLE, I like the parrot.

I'll start the baddie later, of course its open to everyone else.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Sun June 28th, 2009, 4:52 pm

Maybe we could have a special tag in the thread titles so everyone can see what it is at a glance? I'll suggest Group Story: XXX, with the "XXX" being a very short descriptive bit about the individual story or starter line.

Writing a whole chapter at a time is too much time commitment for me, so I'll start one with an entry that's a sentence or two long - people can follow up with as much or as little per post as they like.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

the Pebble and the Parrot

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed July 1st, 2009, 6:02 pm

Well, it's Wednesday, and I'm not quite finished with the promised initial chapter of this version. But it's not for want of thought. I had to get some help from my sci-fi/fantasy reading friends, because as a writer/reader of serious HF I'm not used to coming up with plot devices that allow for timeslipping into as many places and times that would free the premise up for different interests in time and place to contribute in a meaningful way.

And I couldn't write a first chapter until I had that worked out, or the whole thing turns into gibberish and isn't worth anybody's time, let alone experienced writers like EC, who has so graciously agreed to play.

So I took a page from EC's Akashic research and came up with the following. Sorry if this seems presumptuous, but anybody can start anything else if they like it better.

My first chapter will be based on this premise of why the characters are timeslipping:

Ella does not know it, but because in her lifetime she has personally visited enough places where people have worshipped through the ages, (I am purposely leaving this religion-unspecific; the power comes from the worship that people have imbued the places with) she has acquired a critical level of ‘magnetic resonance’ from exposure to them. These places include Macchu Picchu, Stonehenge, the temple foundations in Jerusalem, Mecca, the Buddhas at Bamiyan, Varanasi (Benares) on the Ganges, Karnak in Egypt, Rome, the Taoist holy mountain of Tai Shan in China, anywhere enough people have worshipped long enough to accumulate 'vibes'.

This background is because she is the daughter of a Marine Officer assigned to the state department (Marines guard the US embassies worldwide) with a passion for history and culture, who always took his family to visit great historic places nearby. (leaves room for siblings with the same background to enter the story as needed)

Jon has done the same, being raised as the kid of an international oil-company worker. He is from a secular Jewish background with a Lithuanian mother and a Moroccan Jewish father, has an engineering degree and is ostensibly freelancing for small oil companies himself, but has really been an undercover agent for the Mossad (Israeli secret service, reputed to be the most efficient in the world) with whom he is now in trouble. He has just figured out that the stone and his background combined are why he is getting randomly timeslipped in his pursuit of the bad guy, and that the chunk of rock the bad guy wants has something to do with it.

The stone: this is a piece of rock with cuneiform scratches that has been broken. Originally the size of a deck of cards, the larger part is with Dimitri, a sociopath dealer in antiquities who inherited it from --- ? Dimitri’s business is messed up because until he reunites the pieces of the stone, he can only move himself, which means he cannot bring money-making antiquities back with him.

However, at some point in the past it was broken. Even though it is broken, when one part of the stone timeslips, the rest goes with it to the same time and place.

Dimitri still has the larger piece, which allows him to timeslip physically with a limited degree of control but some wild cards. One of the wild cards is a high-pressure weather system, which is matched in the time and place where he lands. But he can, with limitations, come back to the present.

Jon has acquired a smaller piece, (how?) which is enough to cause somebody with sufficient soul-resonance to timeslip only mentally, so their soul has to ‘share’ the body of somebody else from the time. He discovered this inadvertently while chasing Dimitri down for one of his many crimes. Jon has figured that it has to do with the stone only because Dimitri is so eager to get it from him. Now Jon’s goal is to track down Dimitri and get his piece too.

Alex, somebody’s pet grey parrot who happened to be around at the time the stone was broken, gobbled up the last bit for a gizzard-stone (seed-eating birds keep stones in their stomachs to help them break up and digest food.) Because his body has so little mass (320 grams, under a pound) and his soul is so uncluttered, Alex also physically timelips. Alex has become attached to Jon.

Jon just realizes that Ella is one of the few individuals who has been to enough places of human worship to have also gained sufficient magnetic resonance. The combination of Jon, Ella, the parrot and the stone almost equals Dimitri’s power.

Dimitri is a smallish individual of no great physical strength with little clout in the present. In the past he is more likely to be able to retrieve both Jon’s piece and Alex’s bit (death for poor parrot, the only way to get the stone out of his gizzard) and meld the stone back together. When he timeslips, Jon and Alex go too.

At the start of the book, Jon wants to keep Dimitri in the present, where he has the best hope of getting him. Jon's only use for the stone is as a means to stay linked with Dimitri until he can bring him to justice for his many and heinous crimes, one of which killed some member of Jon’s family. After that is accomplished, he hopes to bust it into so many smithereens that it can no longer be used to timeslip.

Dimitri can’t timeslip unless the other pieces of the stone are in the same high-pressure weather system. This can be about ten miles.

When Dimitri timeslips, the other bits of the stone go to the same place, same time. Any people with sufficient magnetic resonance who are close enough to the stone (read Jon and, to the dismay of all, now Ella) get yanked along mentally, to land in some handy body of the time and place. Alex goes too, and he can sense the ‘moderns’ no matter whose body they inhabit.

When they arrive in a new time and place, everybody is disoriented and does not know where the others are. Alex is always the most mobile and the most able to make connections. He does not like Dimitri, for very obvious reasons: Dimitri last got his hands on the parrot and tried to wring his neck to get at the stone. Only by great struggle did Alex get free.

The separate pieces of the stone somehow enable those connected to identify each other, not without difficulty. Dimitri always looks like himself, which enable Jon / Ella to identify him pretty quickly.

Ella has to persuade whatever woman whose body she wakes up sharing (“Am I going crazy? Why do I feel like somebody else is in my head!” ;) to do whatever is necessary to get them out of the current crisis. Ditto Jon, who always lands in a male persona. Neither modern can control the borrowed body without the hosts consent. They have the option of keeping silent and remaining unknown to their host. Except for trying to explain a random bit of stone and a strangely attentive small grey parrot.

Their own bodies remain in the present and they come back to them at the same time/place where they left (at least, that's what happened to Jon the last time, and he hopes that is what will occur for Ella), but if their soul is in a body that gets killed when they are sharing, their own body in the present becomes brain-dead. (how do they know this?)

Okay, now I am working on the short (!) introductory chapter. Since I prefer to 'show not tell' I'm not going to get all that into the chapter. I know I suggested our protags meet while hiking in New Zealand, but since I haven't been to New Zealand and haven't time to the research, they're going to be hiking in Yosemite. I believe in the adage, 'write what you know'. Look for the new thread, A Time to Gather Stones. (I had to edit this. My daughter looked in, saw my fun alliterative thread title, declared it sounded like a children's book, and suggested the latter, a line from Ecclesiastes. She's better at titles than I am.

Volgadon said he would do Dimitri.

Ella is going to wake up somewhere else. Where and who is up to the next person who picks up from there. Are there any volunteers?
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Wed July 1st, 2009, 7:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
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Volgadon
Compulsive Reader
Location: Israel
Contact:

Postby Volgadon » Fri July 3rd, 2009, 8:28 pm

Sounds good, MLE.

I like your idea of Morrocan father, Litvak mother. I'm sure he probably doesn't know how to form genuine, personal relationships with people, so being able to connect that well with Ella is a surprise. Could I suggest either Rosalio or Alcoby as a surname? Those are real surnames of real Morrocan Jews I know.

Ella sounds a bit like one of my friends.

Dimitri could be an Odessan, perhaps even of Greek extraction. Or perhaps a Caucasian Greek. Dimitri Mironovich Kosanidov.

He and John unwittingly crossed paths in the past, at the black market for antiques. John was there tracking some contacts or info down, and Dimitri was searching for the rest of the stone. They rubbed each other the wrong way, so John bought the piece out of spite.

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri July 3rd, 2009, 9:34 pm

Good last names, they work -- but since right now Jon is on the run, his passport bears his mother's maiden name -- Marcelonis. (Okay, that's my Lituanian friend's mother's name, hence the nationality.)

I'm almost done with the short chapter, which doesn't have most of this in it, and I can't say that he and she connect to speak of at all. They're just stuck alone together on a dayhike because the people they were with got attracted to each other and ditched them for the day.

Jon is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with a companion because he's trying to stay out of bad guy's range until the right moment, and he figures that's one place Dimitri can't locate him. They happen to share a campsite with Ella and Melissa, hiking the other direction. It's a 'meet-not-cute'. :p Do you know what somebody looks/smells like when the've been on the trail for a month?

And then a violent sierra thunderstorm blows up.

I am highly tempted to include photos of the cliff he's trying to get her down off of just before before the bird shows up, announces Dimitri is within range, and an unsuspecting Ella (who has borrowed Jon's jacket with the stone in the pocket) starts to timeslip -- as they say "write what you know..." :D
my facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/emilylaurencotton are public, generally things I find amusing.
my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
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