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The Hurricane's Eye Blinked · Original Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
#1 · 1
· · >>Griseus
I've been out of the loop of this group for quite a while; have there any events of note?
#2 ·
What are you looking for? Besides this https://writeoff.me/schedule/all, not sure.
#3 · 1
· · >>vladspellbinder
Well! This is a somewhat restrictive prompt, visually, but let's see what we can make of it.
#4 · 1
As Mister Rosewater is fond of saying "restrictions breed creativity". All you need for this one is a hurricane of some sort but just how does the eye of one "blink"?
#5 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
I failed to take into account that this was a DRAWING first round... .
#6 · 1
· · >>vladspellbinder
If you please, draw me a sheep!
#7 · 1
I have something in, anyone else?
#8 · 1
· · >>Pascoite
See, if I could actually draw I could think of all sorts of things to draw that a "a sheep". Could be a mass of puffballs that look like a sheep, a wolf in a sheep skin, a mass of people blindly following another's doctrine. The restriction of "a sheep" is very board.

But sadly I can't draw. I have a tablet and intended to learn but like so many of my other endeavors I'm too lazy to see it through... .
#9 · 2
Then take a photograph. We've seen a lot of those entered. Even a few sculptures from things lying around the house.
#10 · 1
Okay, that will be the last from me tonight...
#11 ·
#12 · 1
A good crop of art this time! Let me get started. All reviews are guaranteed to be composed of 18% acerbic wit, 32% pawkish muggery, .5% informed artistic judgement, 22% wild speculation, 10% counterfactual rambling, and 17% imprecise estimation, all compacted into the tersest sentences possible. And absolutely none* of them will be false reviews levied at my own works!

* Some.
#13 · 1
· on Welcome Home
If this is an edit, Artist, it's subtle enough for me to miss it. It certainly fits thematically, and I recall the days of building terror as Ian was bearing down and no-one knew where it would make landfall. My preference is for works that have at least some of the creator's individual touch, so I haven't much to say in favor of this one. Thanks for cutting and pasting, Artist!
#14 · 1
· on The Longest Wink
Ah, here we go. This is based on Creative Commons work, but it is fully credited and at least the borrower did something to add to the image. Does the galaxy sleep or is it winking, or blinking, or just have a speck in its eye? We will never live long enough to know. Points for lazy creativity, Artist.
#15 · 1
· on I Win!
A 3D puzzle neatly resolved. The solver must have been bending over it with knitted brow, but in the end they care not a fiddle for the result, or perhaps a tiny one. A great example of a composed photo entry. High points for a creative interpretation, Artist!
#16 · 1
· on It's All Half Over
Ah, someone at least drew something! It was time for the smell of graphite dust. Speaking of which, the pictured duo do indeed look small against the natural forces arrayed about them, and the second act that approaches behind them. One wonders if her hand got caught in that trapdoor at some point, but overall the figures have character and are in proportion. High marks for sketching it out, Artist.
#17 · 1
· on Constellation
This appears to be a night shot of LA, I am unsure of its source. A brooding scene with the sky adding a hint of menace. It's a common theme to compare our own attempts to illuminate the night to the fusion of the celestial furnaces, but I don't quite see a connection to the prompt here. Anyway, 23 urban points to you, Contributor.
#18 · 1
· on After a Few
Another actual drawing! Perspective is decent for a doodle, and the drink gives us a wink and not a blink. A creative take on the prompt, thanks for creating it, Artist!
#19 · 1
· on Look Down, Look Down...
Moody and intriguing. I suspect this to be a shot of the sun or moon that has been shooped to add mystique. Cheeky alt text contrives to undercut the solemnity. Thanks for creating it, Artist!
#20 · 1
· on Encroach
White capped waves in a river or channel, strangely at odds and suggesting menacing weather out of the ordinary. If this was something you experienced, Artist, I hope all involved came through safely. Thank you for contributing!
#21 · 1
· on Spilling Over · >>Anon Y Mous
Oh, prettily conceived and executed! Jove perhaps has a case of pink eye here, with magma tears of frustration and pain. I guess that this is vector art, and it well captures the cloudy bands and the spiral of agony from the weeping eye. Top tier effort, Artist!
#22 · 1

For the first time in way too long, I've got a rough draft in! And still half a day to make revisions!

#23 · 1
I'm afraid I won't be in on the story round. Good luck to everyone else!
#24 · 1
· on The Longest Wink
The Longest Wink

Congrats to Griseus for the aptly titled gold, and to whoever shielded their audacity under the Anonymous account!

This piece is just what it says on the tin, an attempt to apply the prompt to something else that is spirally. I knew I would want the image of a barred spiral galaxy to best fit the aspect ratio of an eye. The closed lid was drawn in Illustrator and enhanced slightly in Photoshop.
#25 · 1
· on Look Down, Look Down...
Look Down, Look Down...

This is just a night shot of the moon and clouds through my phone that doesn't take good night shots. I added a radial blur to spice it up a bit.
#26 · 1
· on It's All Half Over
It's All Half Over

A doodle dashed off at the last minute. I really should take my time on one of these occasions.
#27 · 1
· on Welcome Home
Welcome Home

This is just an info image from NOAA's hurricane tracking website. It does show how Ian was forecast to be on track to pass over Tampa and thence my house, before turning to the right and causing destruction in Cape Coral and environs. From my point of view, it blinked, in a way, but since no one else would be privy to that information, this one rather deserved to sink to the bottom.
#28 · 1
· on Love Flies Innuendo · >>Baal Bunny
A few editing misses of the missing word or extraneous word left in type make me think this was submitted at the last minute.

"Wish? Did somebody way wish?" Is there someone else here who used to watch Pee Wee's Playhouse? He's even named Carl, who was another character. Now I'm trying to remember if there were a dog and cat too, but my brain won't move past the cat in Mr. Rogers.

I think there's a Marx Brothers reference? Unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with them to get it. Ah, it's explained at the end.

It maybe gets a little cumbersome how often Fishbone has to remind the reader that various body parts aren't real. If there was a payoff or thematic meaning, it might be more justified.

Oh, so you interpreted the stuffed animal as a dog? I thought it was a sheep...

I have mixed feelings about this. There's not much of a conclusion, other than Olive making peace with her companions, I guess, but it never felt like that was the ultimate resolution the story was driving toward. It's more like a window into the lives of these characters than a self-contained narrative, though I did like the characters well enough. So it was a pleasant read with a vaguely unsatisfying ending. I guess part of it is that the relationship between Simon and Olive is so nebulous that I don't know what needs fixing or how, or whose side I should be on. I have no idea why Simon would want to spy on Olive, what either of them ever meant to each other, or why Olive is so broken up about it rather than taking a "good riddance" attitude. So I just think it's lacking context, but what's there is a nice scene.
#29 · 1
· on Windows
Also a few editing things in this one that look more like lack of editing time than anything else.

Hm, this one doesn't come to a conclusion any more than the first one, but it still feels more coherent, because the context isn't what gives the story its meaning. The important parts of it are apparent enough, and it's a similar window into a day-to-day moment, and here, the day-to-day-ness of it is the point. It's not that anything new is happening—it's that it's a day like any other, which is the main source of its tragedy. My only suggestion is maybe to be clearer about their relationship. I think he's a paid caregiver, but I don't know for sure. He might be a family member.

Whereas I like the first story for its whimsical tone, I like this one for its realism.
#30 · 1
· on A Word from the Second Chair · >>Heavy_Mole
So... I obviously don't know what to make of this. There are some clues that you had a design for it, like the one sentence with so much consonance in it. But I can't tease out what that is. It seems to be just random for random's sake, and maybe that was the goal. It's like poetry to someone who doesn't like poetry: if I know what it's trying to accomplish, I can at least evaluate its effectiveness in doing so and give points for how much effort seems to be involved. I can do that latter part for you here, since what of the language isn't nonsensical does seem to try evoking an older literature style, and at times succeeds. So this just went over my head, and I don't know how to judge it.
#31 · 1
· on Love Flies Innuendo · >>Pascoite

Thanks, Pasco:

Your comment has made me realize that the story is currently lacking a third act. When the three go to see Olive, she should yell at them some more and demand that they leave. Fishbone should then actually leave the apartment--and get picked up almost immediately by Simon who's waiting outside. That would let me expound a bit on the Simon/Olive relationship and let Fishbone put everything on the line to show Olive that he just wants to help her.

It'll also likely push the story past 5,000 words which'll put it over the limit for Zooscape, the magazine I wanted to try selling the story to, but oh well...

And yes, that's a Pee Wee's Playhouse reference. I don't remember there being a Carl in the cast, though--Laurence Fishburne played Cowboy Curtis, of course, and there were some cat and dog puppets who had a little beatnik band, it seems to me. But I only made the stuffed animal in the photo into a dog so I could have a cat/dog relationship. That's something that Simon needs to talk about in the third act when he rants in a calmly unhinged manner about "proper" male and female roles in the world.

But I've got today off from work, so I know what I'll be doing. Act Three awaits!

#32 · 1
· on Love Flies Innuendo · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny
Phil Hartman played a sailor named Captain Carl.
#33 · 1
· on Love Flies Innuendo · >>Baal Bunny
This story is structurally sound, but my feelings about Simon and Ms. Olive are ambivalent. I think I am being asked to side with the latter here, and through her redemption to arrive at the author’s thematic purpose, which is to deconstruct (in a lighthearted way) what is natural and artificial, at least in terms of our ordinary way of speaking. But the relationship of the householders, played out through the activity of ‘innocent’ servants, has associations which are too close to those which might come from dysfunctional households (where parents work to undermine each other’s authority, use children as an outlet for frustration, etc.) for that to easily get across. Simon very singularly instills the bots with love and a sense of “wish”, but then turns out to be a liar and a bastard. Such a turn could only be poisonous for a child. Either that, or one must believe that hot-tempered Ms. Olive has a partial point-of-view.

My favorite element is the use of the prompt picture. The idea of a toy maze as a concrete metaphor for the need of characters to sort through their personalities in a complex living situation is suggestive, filled with potential for humor and tragedy. It is vivid enough that a reader could really chew on it, turn it upside-down and ask questions about it, while itself still retaining some sense of ipseity. It blends perfectly with imagery of artificial intelligence—in an age where we are more likely than ever to identify with machines and be willing to explore the notion of our own ‘artificiality’. But it needs the right tone.
#34 · 1
· on A Word from the Second Chair
All right, a little explanation is due!

I finished 'Windows' during the period of the drawing prompt, which I had confused for the time of the writing prompt. So I had extra time to revise what I had, to write something else, or to do nothing. This time, I went with the second option, but I wanted to try a completely different style than the first thing I had written.

I would like to say that this was "inspired" by the French avant-garde writer Alfred Jarry, but ultimately, perhaps, it is the product of some of the things that frustrate me in my own writing; I often get big ideas but have trouble describing how a character leaves a room, for example. So, no constraints. How did Roosevelt leave his apartment? Why, he used his towering legs, of course, which he has now because he needs them to leave the room.

It's poetry for people who hate poetry, as you say; or, as I judged it as I sat looking at it, a story for people who hate reading. But I refrained from disparaging it off-hand (I originally thought about giving it a self-deprecating title), because I really do love Dr. Faustroll, and it was, at least, an interesting exercise. You are forced to think entirely in the idiom of imagery, how action can be expressed that way, how to avoid repeating yourself, etc. The main interest is the depth and continuity of association, which, to be apparent, must have some sort of buoy. It was hard to write! Though, certainly, it could have been written better.
#35 ·
· on Love Flies Innuendo

Thanks again, folks:

I added a third act, redid the little robot characters as versions of Spike, Rarity, and Twilight, and posted it to Fimfiction. In case anyone's interested... :)

#36 · 1
· on Spilling Over
Hey GGA :-) thanks for the review! I’ve been meaning to get to this. It’s not vector art- 100% home made procreate art. I had a lot of fun with this one