Quick links

Four Crystals of Trazere box shot

Since I’m not doing anything else with this space  at the moment, here are some things I’m interested in…

  • The Stone – I’ve blogged about this before. Insanely difficult puzzles (plus a few easier ones, thankfully) on obscure and mysterious things and events.
  • AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS – I backed this via Pozible. It’s an iPad audio adventure with elements of Dirk Gently and Sophie’s World. It’s a wonderful thing.
  • AeroPress coffee – I couldn’t find anywhere to buy one, then someone pointed me to OptimOZ. Best coffee you can make at home without a $1000 machine.
  • Magazines from the Past Wiki - Back before the Internet came to the Fleetwood household, computer magazines like PC Format and PC Gamer were my connection to the games world. This site doesn’t have issues online, but it does have a lot of their contents lists and cover shots, which is filling me with oh so much nostalgia. Now if I could just get a copy of the mag that had the elusive cheat codes for Four Crystals of Trazere (one of the things I can’t actually find the internet yet…)

Still here

Little while since the last post. Mall Stories and You Are Here was great fun and you can still take the tours.

I’m working on a couple of projects – one is interactive fiction based on Coleridge’s experience of writing Kubla Khan. I had minor breakthrough with that last week – I was all hung up on the serious atmosphere and trying to get it completely authentic. Then I found it had become so dry and depressing and I twigged that this can be a fun(ny) project too. I was already doing this to a degree but now I’ve turned the Day of the Tentacle/Peppers/twisted history dial up to 11 and it’s turned into a joyful project once more.

And Bioshock Infinite is quite nice looking. Took freaking ages to get it to work, but pretty none the less. Still deciding about the gameplay…

A Zine about Canberra

Firstly, the Mall Stories 2 callout has been extended to 4 January.

Secondly, something to kickstart your mall story-ing: back in 2008 I made a zine about Canberra. Recently CJ pointed out that in that zine I had promised a second volume sometime in “late 2012″. Well, sad to say the second volume is still a long way off, but to mark the date I’ve uploaded A Zine About Canberra (PDF).

Unfortunately, in order to get the file down to a reasonable size the tour and mix tape scan are way too hard to read. Since I lack the requisite software and time to get this sorted, I’ve uploaded my Canberra ‘Walking’ Tour and mix tape as a separate PDF. Enjoy the excessive use of ‘brilliant’, ‘lovely’ and ‘awesome’ (but really, Canberra is a brilliant, lovely and awesome place. You should visit. Particularly during You Are Here).

Please note that some of this zine including the walking tour are well out of date, as are my contact details at the end.

Mall Stories 2

Well, now Corinbank is over for another year (and ten or so runs of my Live Action Canberra Choose Your Own Zombie Adventure) I can get back on with planning for my next festival event. Namely: Mall Stories 2 @ You Are Here 2013 (check back here and here for a reminder on the Mall Stories project).

Submissions have already opened for creative material to be used for another collection of audio walking tours in the Canberra CBD. Content is welcome from artists in any country, not just Canberra or Australia. Check the full callout and get your non-fiction, poetry and music to youareherecanberra AT gmail DOT com by COB 24 December 2012.

And big congratulations to CJ Bowerbird: 2013 Australian Poetry Slam winner.

Game

It’s been pretty quiet round here. Following the last Folk Festival I took a break from poetry activities and visited the US for the first time. After 6 or so years of running the poetry slams I have rolled back my involvement to focus on other creative projects. The renamed Canberra Slam is in good hands I think, and am enjoying a new style of event developing at The Front. I intend to progressively update the About page on this site to reflect this change in my creative output.

Currently on my plate are two projects: firstly a short zine about my trip to the US, with special focus on my mini Lovecraft tour of New England, and a similar exploration of New Orleans inspired by Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (oh so nerdy).

The second project is a computer game of my own, based on the poem Kubla Khan and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s experience of writing it. As the previous paragraph and earlier posts indicate I’ve had a long love of computer gaming: I’ve programmed my own simple games since I was a child, from text adventures to BASIC arcade clones and HyperCard interactive story stacks. I feel the time is right to come back to this medium and the game’s theme is a logical progression from my previous work. I hope to share the process of producing this game through this and subsequent posts as a way to keep myself on track and also to crystallise my thinking.

I already have a good amount of notes that I am compiling into a design document and am in the process of brainstorming with some creative people. The starting point for this game was is an essay I wrote at uni on the subject of Coleridge and Kubla Khan and the tension between creativity and chaos, which I might share later on down the track. At the moment I’m trying to go from this first spark of inspiration to making some very basic decisions about the game’s form. The first (and, unfortunately, some of the most significant) decisions to make is the kind of gameplay and the visual style. The working title of the game – Super Kubla Khan RPG – came very early on, but I’m not completely keen on doing a retro RPG. I still have such fondness for point and click adventure games, and I can think of some interesting in-game problems for this setting. As for the visuals: Top down? 2d scrolling? Or perhaps I should return to my interactive fiction roots. Perhaps there’s a way I can combine all of this?

National Folk Festival gigs

Just added my gigs at the National Folk Festival to the events page

Zombie Choose Your Own Adventure @ The National Folk Festival (2 shows)
Part of Lost In The Harbour – Poetry Showcase
4-4.50pm Friday 6 April 2012
Part of I’ll Shoot The Moon — Poetry Showcase
8.30-9.20pm Saturday 7 April 2012
Majestic Stage
Exhibition Park, Canberra

Performance Poetry Workshop @ The National Folk Festival
With Andrew Galan and Adam Hadley
12.00-1.00pm Sunday 8 April 2012
Majestic Stage
Exhibition Park, Canberra

Hey why so quiet? What’s been happening?

Quite a lot actually, thanks for asking.

You Are Here 2012 was a wonderful splendorous thing.

Mall Stories went off rather well, and promises to be available to download (hopefully) long into the foreseeable future… If you want to find out a bit more before you dive in, you can read this article, or this one, or even watch this nifty video:

My Live Action Canberra Zombie Choose Your Own Adventure* (With Giant Inflatable Dice) was properly debuted. And it will rear it’s ugly decaying head again as part of the National Folk Festival. Hey, it’s already on this kid’s must see list!

*Props go to The Lovely Brothers for their Zombies in Brighton! zine that inspired this.

First Traverse Poetry Slam for 2012! This Friday at The Front!

Mall Stories – You Are Here 2012 festival

I’m very excited that next year I’m going to be running a project as part of Canberra’s You Are Here festival. I can’t say too much about it yet, but it will allow me to explore some ideas I’ve been itching to try out over the last two years.

The best bit about this is you can be involved! We need your writing about experiences inside shopping malls/centres. We’re looking for non-fiction but we’re not too picky about how it comes out… poetry, creative non-fiction, anecdotes, compilations of Facebook conversations, whatever… just make sure you email it to youareherecanberra AT gmail DOT com by 15 February 2012.

Here’s the full callout. Get writing!

Mall Stories

Food court food fights, drunk Christmas elves, guerilla hula-hoop performances… what’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in a mall? 

You Are Here wants YOUR non-fiction tales, poetry, anecdotes, urban myths and shaggy dog stories about malls and shopping centres. Funny, sad and weird – let us know!

Selected stories will be featured as a part of a project during You Are Here 2012, from March 8 – 18.

You Are Here is an annual multi-platform arts festival taking place in the Canberra CBD, showcasing the city’s alternative arts and underground culture. You Are Here aims to highlight the energy, innovation and talent of Canberra’s artists past and present, presenting and promoting their work in non-traditional venues, revitalising city spaces and attracting new audiences.

Email your writing (2 pages max) – to youareherecanberra AT gmail DOT com by COB 15 February 2012.

Australian Poetry Slam 11 – ACT winners

After one extremely massively sweaty ACT poetry battle we now have two champions that will represent the Canberra at the national final on 27 November:

  1. Third time ACT finalist Adam “Jacinta” Hadley‘s idiosyncratic bread of insanity/genius will knock Sydney audiences for six.
  2. Australian Poetry Slam newcomer Miranda “Bling Bling” Lello combines beautiful words and images of bikes, words, cities and forgotten loves with a mean uppercut. Get ready for something very very special Sydney.

Congratulations to third place winner Barry who narrowly defeated Jay in a tense slam-off.

Should you wish to attend the annual blood brawl that is the national final (and I encourage you to!) grab your tickets and head to:

Australian Poetry Slam National Final – Write a Revolution
Sunday 27th November, 5pm
Sydney Theatre at Walsh Bay

 

yr honourable servant