Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Not forgotten

Things are a bit chaotic.   We will have plenty of interesting stuff very soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 25

25. INT – MESS HALL – DAY Freight dumps the rat into the creator, humming to himself, wearing a very crude bandage which is obviously bleeding. He smiles in triumph as he eats a hamburger which has slightly more charred bits inside of it. SCENE 7 - EXTERIOR – SHIT WORLD - “DAY” A dark clouded miasma extends into the sky around a farm, two cloaked figures covered in Mud and Shit, work on ugly bulbous plants. AARON I (beat) I can’t take it anymore. KENDRA The captain will get us out. A sound appears on the horizon and they gaze up hopefully. That hopeful expression rapidly becomes one of dread. AARON Oh no. KENDRA Run! Get inside! They both proceed to run towards the hovel. A roaring noise covers the ground around them, as the ship, now covering half the horizon from its size and scope, opens up a number of ports underneath. There is a brief venting of more of the brown gas which seems to cover everything. Then the shit begins to rain down. It covers absolutely everything. The two of them do not make it to the hovel and it knocks them down. They both try to get up only to get knocked down again. A third time they are knocked down, first Aaron, then two more hit Kendra. Just when it looks like they are going to roll over and die, the shit storm stops and they both manage to roll over on their backs, appearing with slight smatterings of shit pouring around them. KENDRA God. Damn. It. AARON That’s it. I’m slitting my wrists. (CONTINUED)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fun with ACX

So I am all set to upload I, Odyessus the musical  the audiobook to ACX, which is the website that lets it load to audiobooks but it turns out they need the file format broken out by opening credits, closing credits, main product and sample.  It was frustrating to be so near and yet so far.

In other news, I'm getting the proofs for Grenademan Vs the Zombies tomorrow which should be nice and hopefully I'll be able to have my books.  Given that things are a bit tight at the moment, I might be doing some old Red Anvil Productions stuff (The Fate of Inglemia) to earn some extra cash.  The short stories are tempting. I need to put up Unfood but to properly do it each month I need to pay around $65 for Fiona and Rachel to edit and do a cover.  It doesn't sell, and for self promotion (such as it is) novels are much more efficient so I'm working on Tossing Grenades at Windmills the novel again.

You likely noticed an absence of Saved by the Circular file.....I'm not sure what to do with it.  If you have an old story you'd love to hear in podcast form that you wrote, even if it was in high school, let me know and email  I'd love to put it up.

We'll be starting the third fairy tale seed on Wed and continuing the second on Friday.

Fun times.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Your Answer (The 500)

A short piece written for a prompt for the 500 website.

by Rhombus Ticks

Sound Editing Grayson Bergmann

Check out this episode!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 24

24. INT – CORRIDOR – NIGHT The elevator opens to a corridor. He turns around carefully. He hears some scurrying in the corner and listens in that general direction. INT – CLOSE UP – NIGHT A rat snuffles around in the corner. It finds a small bit of cheese and nibbles on it. INT – CLOSE UP – FREIGHT’S FACE Freight finally sees what it is and is rather disgusted. Then his face slowly becomes resolute. INT – CLOSE UP – RAT Rat continues to nibble, blissfully unawares. INT – CORRIDOR – Freight slowly sneaks up on the rat. INT- CLOSE UP – RAT Rat looks up, concerned. INT – CLOSE UP – FREIGHT Freight smiles maniacally. INT – CORRIDOR – NIGHT Freight draws his blaster. He points it at the rat and shoots it several times, reducing the rat to a crispy critter. He picks up the rat, most of which is now ash. Freight cries in frustration, pounding his hand into the wall; one of which has a sharp spike in it. Freight injures his hand.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

[Fairy Tale] Elowyn Wisp - Part 7 - The End

You can learn of the rules here.

On and on the man flew until at last he returned to the great crystal gazeebo where Elowyn had been lain before.  She was unconcious, and looked extremely pale.  Taking the earth from outside of the farm and mixing it with the earth here in this otherworldly realm, he planted Elowyn down on top of it.

At first nothing happened, and the Man cried all night and all of the birds and beasts cried as well.  But then the sun began to arise and it shone through the wondrous crystals of the gazebo and made a fire and a light in a sea of shimmering sunshine.  The clouds drifted away, and the orange and reds of dawn slowly gave way to a perfectly lovely blue sky.

And Elowyn fluttered her eyelids and she took a deep breath.  "Oh my, I feel much better!"

The man wept for joy and everyone celebrated.

Elowyn smiled as her father had saved her.  "Now you can live here forever with me."

And so he did.  And they had a magnificent feast every day and heard stories of all the world over and rested and knew peace forever more, and Elowyn was always healthy and shining and bright and always remembered how her father had saved her and as a result was even kinder than she otherwise would have been to every living thing and thus her realm became a sanctuary for all that was good and holy forevermore.

The end.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 23

CONTINUED: 23. in a hyper user friendly interface which bears no resemblance to that of a video game whatsoever. The health bar shows 60%. Freight searches through the cargo hold and finds loads of socks. The health bar shows at 50%. Freight lies down on the floor, unable to move. The Health bar shows 40%. Freight has grown a beard and mustache. He also has lost weight. He gurgles with frustration at a full cooked meal that looks absolutely delicious and knocks it off of the table and howls at the Creator with frustration. He takes the plate (which is unbreakable) and bangs it on the side of the creator several times. He looks distraught and desperate. SCENE 6 - INT – NIGHT - SHIPS CONTROL ROOM Freight lies back inside of the Ship’s control room, trying various setting without much use. He changes channels slowly, trying to get a result. As he flips through the channels, he eventually gets a result, a small haze of red that appears on the screen but is pretty small. FREIGHT What the hell was that? SHIP’S COMPUTER Unknown. FREIGHT Can’t you do better than that? SHIP’S COMPUTER Unknown life form. FREIGHT Good. (beat) Very good. He smiles widely. This is the best news that he has had in a while. He moves towards the elevator and presses the button. INT – ELEVATOR – NIGHT Freight rubs his hands together and cackle Wylie E Coyote style.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Flying Fusion Fortress

In my world, there is a bit of an urban legend that there is a flying bomber with a fusion power plant.  It's a curious rumor, because it ascribes both great competence and complete incompetence at the same time.  There are many rumors, but the most reliable one is that the famed water powered car was actually a form of cold fusion that was immediately confiscated by the government to keep the economy from going berserk, but it was still apparently appropriated for many interesting government projects.  Supposedly flying saucers really use the fusion engine found from this car, rather than Roswell or other reverse engineered alien technology.

But at the same time, hundreds of billions of dollars have been sunk into "Project Patience" which is often nicknamed "Project Pitiful."  The planes were supposed to be able to fire lasers into Soviet air space causing targets to be destroyed untracably.  Eventually, they were also supposed to be able to destroy enemy missiles or counter the Soviet Orbital Attitude Control Lasers.

But no one has ever seen it in action.  There were all kinds of rumors about it being used in Jade Spear and Magic Helmet, in fact some people believe that it had a critical element of turning this war against the Republic of Texas....but leaked documents also show that it doesn't actually work.  More rumors speak of a small renegade group of rogue scientists that actually have an operational version of the spy plane, but they won't share the details on how to replicate it with the contractor.

But who knows?  Still, even if it actually works, it is the most expensive weapons platform in history.  And I can't help but wonder...wouldn't forty years be enough time to figure out how to make something like fusion work for the economy? Or are some people so obsessed with their secrets that they insist on keeping things the way they want to be.

Every time I look over the wasteland that is East Texas, I have to wonder if war is really worth it.  Still, better here than exported around the world I suppose....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Archivist Interviewing Archivist Part 3

Julia interviews Lockey, the conclusion.

Saved from the Circular File

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Grenademan Vs The Zombies - Chapter 11 Part 2

Jarvi makes a fourth kind of Zombie. 

Performed by Rhombus Ticks

Written by TC Ricks

Edited by Fiona Skye

Sound Editing Grayson Bergmann

Check out this episode!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 22

CONTINUED: 22. FREIGHT You’re joking. SHIP’S COMPUTER I am not programmed to joke. FREIGHT Now that was a joke. SHIP’S COMPUTER Yes. FREIGHT Well, it was a funny joke. So how do I solve this problem? SHIP’S COMPUTER Eat. For a moment Freight looks like he is going to hit the computer. He picks up a wrench and then thinks better of it. He knows it isn’t a true AI. FREIGHT I mean what? SHIP’S COMPUTER Eat food. FREIGHT Right. Duh. Alright. Thanks computer. SHIP’S COMPUTER You are welcome. Thank you for thanking me. FRIEGHT Don’t even start that again. Shut up. SHIP’S COMPUTER Shutting up sir. SCENE 5 - INT – DAY - ALL OVER THE SHIP Third montage. Freight searches the ship for food. He keeps finding none. Cut to a medical chart that shows his body’s condition getting worse as a finite percentage of health. The scene starts with him looking in the quarters of the rich people he searched before. There is a tiny readout in the corner of the screen which shows a health bar (CONTINUED)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

[Fairy Tale] Elowyn Wisp - Part 6

You can learn of the rules here.  I have decided there is only forward.  Sometimes I am going to miss a day.  Trying to back fill every slot will drive me berserk.

The man was exhausted from lack of breath.  Running and riding and sailing and fretting had all taken their toll, but at least he still had his health unlike his poor daughter Elowyn.

"Whatever is wrong?" asked the Wren.

"I am tired, and have some way yet to go.  Elowyn is ill, and I must fetch her Earth from our home for..." he thought a moment.  "Well I don't know exactly why she needs it, only that she does.  And I am worried that something has happened to her while I came all the way here or am going all the way back..."

"Oh no!" Chirped the wren.  "We must not let something happen to poor Elowyn! I am still thankful about how you saved me, and my children have grown strong as have their children."  The wren began to chirp, and a giant flock of wrens, hundreds and hundreds of them flew down from the heavens and the woods and then gathered around the man like a storm cloud, lifting him into the air and taking him through the sky to his home.

Quickly, he reached down and gathered several handfuls of dirt and off into the clouds again they flew.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 21

CONTINUED: 21. SHIP’S COMPUTER Can you be more specific? FREIGHT Yes! SHIP’S COMPUTER Would you please be more specific? FREIGHT My stomach hurts! SHIP’S COMPUTER What was the last thing you ate? FREIGHT A tuna and watermelon milk shake. SHIP’S COMPUTER That could be giving you gas. FREIGHT No, it couldn’t. It was Unfood. SHIP’S COMPUTER Oh. A series of sensor probes examine Freight. FREIGHT What? What is it? SHIP’S COMPUTER You’re starving to death. Freight sneers. FREIGHT WHAT? I’ve been eating so much it hurts. SHIP’S COMPUTER Unfood has no caloric intake. FREIGHT English please. SHIP’S COMPUTER It has no substance. It might taste like real food but you cannot live on it. You are dying. (CONTINUED)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Archivist Interviewing Archivist Part 2

Julia Carlson Ricks Interviews Lockey Lawson Part 2

Saved from the Circular File

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Grenademan Vs The Zombies Chapter 11 Part 1

The Circle is fighting for is life.  Jarvi does fun things with Volcanos.

Written by TC Ricks

Performed by Rhombus Ticks

Sound Editing: Grayson Bergmann

Editing: Fiona Skye

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Big Gaping Hole

I was sick.  I'll fix it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 20

CONTINUED: 20. Freight grows bored with the video at this point and turns it off. He reads the blank screen for a moment. FREIGHT Huh. Freight looks from the screen to the Creator. Then he does this a second time. And a third. Then he grins broadly. SCENE 3 - INT – ALL OVER THE SHIP - DAY A second montage begins with the food. Freight makes a series of elaborate patterns on plates. At one point gets pale and folds over in pain. Freight ignores it. He covers himself in food. Quick flash between the nacho suit, the meatball suit, and the candy suit. While wearing the candy suit, Freight doubles over in pain again, looking worse. He ignores it again and starts Bowling for Broccoli. He sets up a food fight with catapults and other "weapons" made with meatballs and a wall of bread ready for an attack at a moment’s notice. Freight scans around with paranoia as if seeking out an attacker but then realizes that there is no one to have the food fight of the century with. He sags with disappoint, shrugs and goes back to the drawing board. He sets up a series of dominoes made of marshmallows which lead to the food town that he set up earlier. He lights the trail of marshmallows on fire, which catch one by one down the trail until the entire town burns. Freight stands in the middle of it with a fiddle playing whilst food town burns. Freight doubles over a third time. He shrieks and falls to the floor, falling unconscious. He wakes up in a pile of his own drool, with food strewn about. SCENE 4 - INT – MED BAY - DAY Freight goes into the med bay which is a small room about twice the size of the average closet. It has a bed that can be lain on with several sensor arms with multi tools attached. Freight finds the terminal and activates the verbal interface. SHIP’S COMPUTER Please state the nature of the problem. FREIGHT I’m in excruciating pain! That’s the problem. (CONTINUED)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

[Fairy Tale] Elowyn Wisp - Part 5

You can learn of the rules here.  I was in fact ill for three days, and had to take the bulk of Friday off of work even though I work from home and Saturday to recover from it.  Thank you for your patience.

"Father, I am ill."

"Why, whatever has caused it?"  He asked with all the concern and love that only a father can show.

"I am of two kingdoms, both where I am from there, and from here, the Temple of the Farthest Star.  Can you help me?"

"What a silly question child," for it was indeed a silly question, and the Man Who Did Not Know Too Much never thought he would tell those words to another soul, but in this case, he had no choice. "If I can but do the slightest thing in the world or the biggest thing to move a mountain, you have but to name it, and I will find a way."

And so she smiled and the world lit up a bit more, as did her father's heart.  And so for it all she said,"Can you go home and bring three bags of earth back here for my bed? And then I shall mix the earth here and there and be well again?"

"It shall be done."  And he hugged her and sang her a lullaby to help her to sleep, and quick as he could, he began to go home.  This was not very quick, but as he traveled he found the tigers who offered him a ride, and for three days he rode on the back of a tiger.

And then the tiger tired and could help him no more, and a mighty stag came and helped him.  One word of the name of his daughter and he had no choice.  On and on he rode.

Until he came at last to the tree where he had rescued the Wren from the snake.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 19

19. Freight loses his cool and is about to shout at the computer but stops himself a moment and then listens. The computer does not respond. Satisfied, he smiles to himself and moves his hands in a ’job done’ motion as he walks away from the computer. INT - DAY - MONTAGE A montage begins as Freight spends time on the ship. He spots several rich quarters and explores them. In one room, he spots a hyper realistic video game and plays it for a bit. In another, he finds a large pile of furs, money and other luxurious items and rolls around on it. In a third, he finds a collection of ancient weapons and dresses up in a mismatched set of armor and runs around the ship wielding a katana in ’armor’. He runs by the ship’s mess and spots the Creator. SCENE 2 INTERIOR – SHIP’S MESS – DAY Freight finds the Creator. It is a large impressive looking machine in a galley which is not immediately obvious what it does based on appearance but still practically able to produce large amounts of food in any amount imaginable. FREIGHT What. The. Hell. Is that? The machine, of course, does not answer. Freight looks the machine up and down, trying to figure it out. He finds several buttons but no immediate answer as to what it is. He searches around the room and finds a computer terminal. He pushes the button examines through several files before finding one on the mess hall. INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO Hi there! I’m Gerald Danes. I’m here to talk to you about the Creator 9000. The Creator 9000 has been programmed with food material from across known space. All you have to do is type the food you’re looking for into the screen, put in enough mass for the Creator to provide your food and the wonders of modern molecular chemistry do the rest. No mess, no fuss, no time spent cooking and best of all, no calories! (CONTINUED)

Monday, September 7, 2015

[The 500] Your Answer

The 500 is a literary site in which authors contribute to a literary question, in this case "Where do we go from here?" I answered.  Quite literarily.

Your Answer
by Rhombus Ticks

Left. Well. You asked.

What? You wanted a different answer. A hundred years ago, the answer was
West. Fifty years ago the answer was Beverly Hills. In the 80s, it was
this little old place where we can get together.

You asked. I answered. Go left.

Don't go that other way. That other way would lead you straight to that
nasty castle. You think I'm joking. Sure...sure...sure...there is
dancing Goblins and a baby that seems to be gravitationally challenged,
but at the same time, the only way to go forward is to go back, jack, do
it again, else they turn you round and around until you don't know which
end is up.

Go left.

Right is wrong. And wrong is slowly becoming right. Any direction can
always take you back to where you started but if you start in the Pit of
Despair lolling over the Bog of Eternal Stench then you are probably way
way way way way in right field and there is no answer for it but truth.

Go back to the beginning. It is as I said. Your answer was found early.

Oh. You want more. What do I look like a Pez dispenser?

I told you what to do. How many more parables do you need? This above
all, to thine own self be true. Most people, when faced with their true
reflection, run screaming from the magic mirror gate. You ever wonder why
that is? What is that true reflection?

Perhaps it is because introspection is frightening. That gaping maw of
the true depth of your character might be that of a soggy Krispy Kreme
left over plate and you can't handle the truth if it came and bit you on
the ass. Guess what? It is. It's knocking, so loud it could wake the

Speaking of truth, you will be dead one why waste a minute more
lying to yourself? What do you do about it? What wise words will motivate
you to do something? What could the answer possibly be?

Go left.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Archivist Interviewing Archivist

Julia Carlson Ricks interviews Lockey Burdin Lawson.  One is an archivist that has just started her career, the other served during the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Saved from the Circular File

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Where I'm From

Rhombus recounts two anecdotes of where he is from, one from the Nation of Texas's war on the United States and the other called, "Mr. Right and Mr. Kind."

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 4, 2015

[Fairy Tale] Untitled Tale #2

You can learn of the rules here.  This is the seconds of the seeds that the group created.  This tale will be updated on Fridays until done.

Once there was a terrible storm at sea, with lightning and thunder and wind most foul. The king's grand longboat had spun upon the sea like a piece of cork and finally been pulled apart.  

“Hutetu!” cried the young prince as he grabbed for a raft made of timbers, being torn hither and yon by the deep blue sea. Just as the sea was about to rip free his grip, the raft's sole inhabitant, a young ship's boy, an orphan of low class, grabbed the prince's hand to save him.

The prince pulled his hand away, refusing the filthy boy's touch, and was thrown free by the pell mell crashing of the waves. The ship's boy wanted to cling to the raft, but no one should drown, so he let go and swam out to him, but the prince would have none of it.

Finally, the ship's boy asked the Sea if she would save the prince. The Sea being as she is, and at that moment being full of fury and candor, screeched back, "Why ask me to save the prince, when I have taken your captain and the sailors and the king and the vicar?”

“Because it is something I can ask. Please save him.”

The Sea said, "What a feckless fool you are. He is braggart and unworthy of me.”

“Please,” said the ship's boy as he swam back toward the raft.

“Very well,” said the Sea in annoyance, "but he shall regret it.”

And so the Sea saved two lives that day, because she could. 

In all the world, there is an island for every kind of animal where they talk and run all the live long day as if the island were their own. And the prince she sent to the Island of Baboons, where they eat with their faces and snarl and scratch and are most uncivilized. And so, the prince became a baboon.

But the ship's boy she sent to the Island of Turtles, because turtles are kind, as was the boy.  And, anyway, the island was close, and so not much work for her to put him there. And the sun came out, and the sky cleared and the Sea calmed, content in her good deed, quickly forgetting the dead souls caught deep within her bosom.

The ship's boy washed ashore, exhausted by the long ordeal, and promptly fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke, two wide eyes looked down on him. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 18

CONTINUED: 18. FREIGHT I’m stranded. SHIP’S COMPUTER I’m Terribly Sorry about that. We’re working to fix the problem but the next supply ship will not be here for DIFFERENT FAKE VOICE Three months two days and seven hours. SHIP’S COMPUTER In the mean time, feel free to enjoy the ship’s facilities as much as you like. Per interstellar treaty, you will be billed for your time on board, but we recognize the difficult situation in which you find yourself, and will gratefully extend you a line of credit until you are able to pay us back. FREIGHT Thanks. SHIP’S COMPUTER No, thank you. Service is pleasure. FREIGHT Right. SHIP’S COMPUTER Thank you. FREIGHT Shut up. SHIP’S COMPUTER Of course. Thank you for asking me to shut up. FREIGHT SHUT UP! SHIP’S COMPUTER Gratefully shutting up now.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

[Fairy Tale] Elowyn Wisp - Part 4

You can learn of the rules here.  I felt this story deserved a title at this point.  None of the members of the group suggested a continuance, so I moved it forward.  A second story will occur on Fridays starting this week or next.
He walked through a briar patch made of rosewood and dust, swirling around with sapphire and ruby dust motes.  As he walked the stars shimmered and rippled as if the sky were a bed sheet being changed with new stars each time someone shook the sheets.  The ground hummed and as he walked it worked up his bones and to his teeth.

Then he came to a large lake surrounded by white and gold bamboo, with all of it cut and formed into a giant artificial island in thick slabs as wide as a man's leg with a regal pathway that went to the still waters.  Soft gentle music slowly played in the background.

There was his daughter, lying despondent on the ground.  She was so sad and crying so hard that her father did not know what to do.

"Why are you crying Elowyn?"  he asked her.

At first, she did not hear and wept only.

Despondent, he tried again.  "Why are you crying daughter mine?"

At this she stopped crying and looked up, looking hopefully at her father and then she started crying a second time.

A third time he asked,"Why are you crying my beloved daughter? I will do anything I can to make it better or fix what is wrong.."

And then she smiled.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

[Script] Unfood - Page 17

17. ACT 1 SCENE 7 SCENE EXTERIOR – MARGARET TETHERED TO THE FATSHIP – NIGHT The Margaret lists back and forth. The strain of the event causes the rope to chafe against the Fatship until a piece of the foil is cut and floats away. SCENE INTERIOR – RADAR OF THE FATSHIP – NIGHT The Margaret shows up on the Fatship’s Radar. SCENE INTERIOR – ALERT CLAXON ACTIVATING – DAY Freight panics. He runs back toward his ship. SCENE INTERIOR – CARGO BAY OF THE FATSHIP – DAY Bob is activated. He is sent out a hatch to the outside. SCENE INTERIOR – HALLWAY OF THE FATSHIP – DAY Freight runs towards the Margaret. He stops to catch his breath. He is obviously not in very good shape. SCENE EXTERIOR – TETHER BETWEEN THE MARGARET AND THE FATSHIP Bob cuts the tether. The Margaret begins to drift away. SCENE INTERIOR – HALL OF THE FATSHIP Freight gets to the airlock and watches the Margaret drift away. FREIGHT Not good.... END OF ACT 1 ACT 2 SCENE 1 INT – INSIDE OF THE SHIP – DAY Freight stands at the control center and talks to the computer. (CONTINUED)