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Fantasy Faction Writers => Monthly Writing Contest => [JAN 2018] Rebirth/Renewal => Topic started by: xiagan on January 01, 2018, 05:39:41 PM

Title: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on January 01, 2018, 05:39:41 PM
Rebirth/Renewal

(https://img00.deviantart.net/9abe/i/2010/286/1/f/phoenix_by_soupandbutter-d288lez.jpg)
by Gavin Mackey (https://soupandbutter.deviantart.com/)

What better time to write about renewal and rebirth at the threshold of the new year? Where spring is still far away but the days are slowly getting longer already. Where many people formulate their hopes and wishes for the new year, plan to renew themselves with resolutions and try to leave the faults of their old selves behind.

This is a broad theme and it doesn't have to deal with people or the new year. After all, what can't be renewed? What doesn't have the right to rebirth themselves time and again?


Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. The overarching theme must be renewal or rebirth of something or someone.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-750 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys under the B.
Bonus rule: We consider voting in a contest you're taking part in a given. Others take time and effort to read the stories - you should do the same. A small community like ours lives from reciprocity and this contest needs stories as much as votes. 

If you want so submit your story anonymously you can do so by sending it in a personal message to @xiagan.

Entry will close Jan 31th/Feb 1st, 2018 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/register/). Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.
Submitting a story counts as published. The author retains all rights to their work.

Please post your entry here (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?topic=11150.new#new).

Note: This thread is only for questions or discussing this month's writing contest. Good luck!
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: MattWillis on January 01, 2018, 05:57:06 PM
Good topic! Looking forward to this. Though kind of wishing I could do the phoenix thing and set fire to my current life in order to get a new one. Ah well. HNY to all
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Nora on January 01, 2018, 07:13:17 PM
Yes, indeed, it's a good theme. I have weekends again now, and apparently things slow down to a crawl at work in january, so should have plenty of time to write.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 02, 2018, 05:53:30 AM
The phoenix is alright, I think you should have used a different image to kick off...

Dr. Who fanfic month!!!!

(http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130813181940/epicrapbattlesofhistory/images/b/b1/The_10th_doctor_s_regeneration_by_infintyriku-d4i6yve.gif)


Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Lady Ty on January 02, 2018, 09:19:30 PM
Bradley’s suggestion made me laugh, but @ xiagan that is a terrific phoenix pic you found.  Fawkes would be pleased. 8)
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 02, 2018, 09:32:08 PM
I like the challenge of these lofty topics, like the Redemption one, but man is it difficult to arrive at a situation that literally requires backstory in 1500 words! You can't have redemption or renewal without the negativity that comes before.
**begs for 500 more words**
(https://i.pinimg.com/564x/67/d1/c9/67d1c9b5435534ce1ea56eb070c2c445.jpg)
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on January 02, 2018, 09:40:42 PM
**begs for 500 more words**
Nope.
 8)
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on January 03, 2018, 02:16:52 PM
**begs for 500 more words**
Nope.
 8)
Ok, on a nicer note, I'd say that you've been doing fine with the previous themes, at least as far as I'm concerned, so you'll do fine here too :)
I don't think you actually need a backstory, couldn't it start from the rebirth moment? Then everything looks and feels new? It could be a literal rebirth, we're talking SFF after all, hehe
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 03, 2018, 03:29:08 PM
I'm sure it will be fine. I didn't want to miss the chance to use any excuse, err, I mean objective justification, for additional space.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: NightWrite on January 03, 2018, 06:18:06 PM
I don't think you actually need a backstory, couldn't it start from the rebirth moment? Then everything looks and feels new? It could be a literal rebirth, we're talking SFF after all, hehe
I feel like that's just begging for people to drag out the amnesia cliche. But perhaps the amnesia cliche could get its own rebirth.

"Don't you wanna know who you were?"

"Nope. I was probably boring."
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Nora on January 06, 2018, 06:44:55 PM
Wouldn't a story starting from the rebirth with amnesia be boring??
Basically just a story... that has an off the page rebirth? I'd not vote for that.
Though I don't mind the idea of the story being about someone changing their lives from the point of their rebirth, if it's well made.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Lady Ty on January 06, 2018, 10:08:16 PM
Whispers “Doesn’t have to be people.....”
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Nora on January 06, 2018, 10:13:55 PM
Whispers “Doesn’t have to be people.....”

Does a homunculus count as people?
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Lady Ty on January 06, 2018, 10:19:05 PM
It was only a whisper. A good story will be a good story whatever, I’m slightly jaded about humans in general lately, so biased. Just stirring the pot. And it’s b****y hot again, no sleep.  :P

Added to tell @Nora - I should complain, it was 39C/102F here today but Melbourne  Penrith was 50C/122F  :o  Also some roads are melting. But of course no climate change.
You are in a far better place. ;)

Sorry mods I know this is wrong thread but I will stop now.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jmack on January 07, 2018, 12:16:50 PM
@Lady Ty: It’s -17 degrees Celsius outside my window right now. Sleet to freezing rain tomorrow afternoon. Yee hah!

Meanwhile, I haven’t latched onto an idea for this story yet. Last month, I played around with a particular approach but couldn’t get it to energize. Suddenly, on a drive home at night from my mom’s 80th birthday celebration, the sentence: “it was Christmas Eve, so of course we took off our clothes and made love under the stars” popped into my head. And that was that.

Yikes. I’m a pantser (no pun intended).

Waiting for this month’s sentence.........
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: NightWrite on January 07, 2018, 03:43:26 PM
Whispers “Doesn’t have to be people.....”
Now I have the thought of a magic, sentient sword deciding they want to reinvent their image. So now when their user tries to use them for combat, they'll be all "nope, I'm gonna go cut those vegetables for my stew now." Or "The only war I'm gonna fight is the war against bad fashion."
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on January 07, 2018, 04:32:01 PM
Whispers “Doesn’t have to be people.....”
Now I have the thought of a magic, sentient sword deciding they want to reinvent their image. So now when their user tries to use them for combat, they'll be all "nope, I'm gonna go cut those vegetables for my stew now." Or "The only war I'm gonna fight is the war against bad fashion."
Ohmygawd, I SO want to read this ;D ;D
Have you written comedy before, @NightWrite? Time to give it a try!!
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: NightWrite on January 07, 2018, 08:00:55 PM
Ohmygawd, I SO want to read this ;D ;D
Have you written comedy before, @NightWrite? Time to give it a try!!
I'm not sure anything I've ever written counted as a comedy, though some of my stories have had minor comedic elements.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on January 07, 2018, 09:07:46 PM
Ohmygawd, I SO want to read this ;D ;D
Have you written comedy before, @NightWrite? Time to give it a try!!
I'm not sure anything I've ever written counted as a comedy.
That's okay. Unintentional comical writing is way more funny most of the time anyways.  ;D
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Nora on January 07, 2018, 10:36:31 PM
The more Sanderson I read, the less I'm into sassy talking swords. But Rukaio pulled a very funny one once, so I'd be curious to see it tried again.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on January 07, 2018, 10:38:49 PM
The more Sanderson I read, the less I'm into sassy talking swords. But Rukaio pulled a very funny one once, so I'd be curious to see it tried again.
Whispers “Doesn’t have to be swords.....”
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: NightWrite on January 08, 2018, 02:22:57 AM
At the moment its a sentient blade, can't decide on the type of weapon, which wants to become a chef despite being unable to taste.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 08, 2018, 06:43:06 AM
At the moment its a sentient blade, can't decide on the type of weapon, which wants to become a chef despite being unable to taste.

That sounds hilarious
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on January 08, 2018, 09:12:31 AM
At the moment its a sentient blade, can't decide on the type of weapon, which wants to become a chef despite being unable to taste.
Cutting edge of cooking.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: D_Bates on January 09, 2018, 03:53:30 PM
Was really disappointed in myself for not finding the time to write the story of my 'Donald Trump meteorite'(tm) that popped straight into my head on seeing the last month's contest topic. Then this one came up and my mind drew an utter blank. But! A ray of light hit me today and it's coming along nicely. Hopefully I'll have this one entered with proper edits long before the very last day this time around, and in doing so will manage to break this 'Lanko's Curse' that's been hanging over me as of late.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: ryanmcgowan on January 13, 2018, 12:17:04 AM
Well after a couple years absent from the monthly comp I made a New Years resolution to myself that i’d Try and enter every month this year.  Will have to sit down and get writing!  :o
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 13, 2018, 01:12:04 PM
Sooo... this has nothing to do with Rebirth and Renewal, but I never quite finished my disqualified-discussion-thread story last month and I sorta promised @Lanko and @Henry Dale they'd be in it.  I don't quite know what to title it.  It's got Ancient Egypt, cats, dogs and Lanko is a doctor.





Young Henry Dale looked at his friends in confusion. “I thought you said this was a Lodge meeting. It feels like an interrogation.”

“It is,” his best friend Jeff said, petting his dachshund for comfort. Was he referring to the Lodge meeting or the interrogation? Jeff’s eyes were tight with concern. “Just answer the questions HD.” The four men peered at him impassively.  Jeff, Fred from work, Jonsie, and Dr. Lankers, who was wearing his labcoat for some reason. They often called him “Doc”.

Dr. L held up a photo. “What do you see?” the learned man asked, eyes narrowing.  The entire group leaned forward, as if to peer into Henry’s soul.

“Uhhh… a kitten?”

They all leaned back whispering among each other, staring askance at their interviewee. Doc composed himself and leaned forward once again.  “Do you…” he took a deep breath, “do you think its... cute?”

No one breathed.

Henry eyed them in confusion. “I—I don’t know.  I--I guess.”

The doctor breathed a sigh of relief. “A moderate response. He’s good.”

Jeff hooted pumping his fist in the hair. “I told you! I told you my boy wasn’t one of them!”  The four men rushed forward, locking the confused Henry into an uncomfortable group man-hug.

“Is this how all… Lodge meetings start?” Henry asked. They ignored him.

“After last week I was so scared,” Jonsie said, hands shaking.

“Yeah,” Fred replied, “When Alex started fawning over the picture and going on about how adorable it was, I nearly shit myself.”

“Wait, Alex? From work?” Henry crossed his arms. “Does that have anything to do with why he hasn’t been in all week?”

“We had to block his phone,” Fred said solemnly. “Stop sitting with him at lunch. It’s sad to see a grown man cry, but it’s just too dangerous.”

“Wait, what?”

Dr. Lankers leaned back, adjusting his glasses.  “Do you want to know the history of the Freemasons?  The real history?”

“Uhhh, sure. What does this have to do with Alex?”

“Ancient Egypt was once a peace loving society. Until the cats came.”

“Egypt,” Henry repeated dubiously.

“Egypt.” Doc’s voice was laden with authority. “The masons built the pyramids—“

“The pyramids were built by slaves,” Henry said flatly. “Like, they were worked to death.”

“Says history books. Written by cat loving historians. But yes, we were slaves.  The slaves of cats.

Henry opened his mouth to speak, but instead closed his eyes in frustration.

“Cats had already taken Egypt, ruling from the shadows with an iron fist.  A small band of masons fled to Europe and founded and founded the freemasons.”

“Cats ruled ancient Egypt,” Henry said dubiously.

“They still rule Egypt, and all the Middle East.  And they’re spreading here! Think about it. In the East, dogs are considered dirty.  It’s even an insult to call someone a dog. But is an insult to call someone a cat?”

“You can’t just demonize an entire society because they hate dogs.” Henry squeezed the bridge of his nose with his fingers. He was getting a headache. He looked at all four men, searching for any signs of sanity. “You’re talking about like half of the human population.”

“Exactly!” Jeff interjected.

“Who do you think was behind 9-11?” Jonsie was shaking again.  “The freemasons built the World Trade Center.  And cat lovers drove planes into it.

“That’s ridiculous. And racist. Okay first off, the masons did not build—“

“This isn’t about race.” Doc replied, “They try to make us think that, so we don’t see the true enemy. They infiltrate the top levels of society, infecting religious and political leaders with their brain parasite.  Even our own.”

“There are rumors that Ivanka bought the President a cat,” Jonsie added.

“It explains so much. The warmongering. The complete disregard for human life. The dyslexic twitter posts.” Jeff crossed his arms matter-of-factly.

“This is crazy,” Henry said. “Look, my girlfriend got a cat a couple of weeks ago and she seems perfectly fine. In fact, she’s even gotten more laid back.”

The room froze.

“We used to argue all the time,” Henry continued. “You know she wants kids and I’m like we should wait-- we only met two months ago.  She used to get really upset. But now she’s even decided to start taking birth control.”

“Offered, or you mean the cat had her spayed,” Dr. Lankers said, an angry gleam in his eyes.

“You can’t honestly think it has something to do with the cat.”

“Um, that’s basically exactly what you just said bro,” Jeff said furrowing his brow.

“Complete disregard for logic. It’s a sign of the parasite,” Doc hissed.

“Oh, God!” Jeff’s hands flew to his face.  He closed his eyes and turned away.

“Quick!” Lankers called, “Check him for trackers! Bugs! Anything!”

Fred and Jonsie leapt up, removing his jacket. Jonsie shook it violently then started patting it down in a panic.

“Oh God! Oh God!” Jeff started pacing in circles, clutching his hair with his hands.

The doctor pulled a pen light from his pocket and shined it in Henry’s face.  “His pupils are reactive,” Doc reported to the others.  “Henry, stick out your tongue.”

“What are you--?” Henry protested as Fred started taking off his shirt and Jonsie started pulling off his pants.

“Mr. Dale—have you been anywhere near its feces?

“What?”

“It’s feces! Have you touched the cat’s shit?” Lankers was yelling.

“God no!”

The doctor seemed relieved.

“The clothes are clear,” Jonsie reported.

“The toxoplasmosis.  Its spreads through the feces. You might be okay, but we’re going to need a blood sample,” Doc explained.

“You’ve got to be kid—“ Henry, stripped to his boxers, was forced back into the chair by Fred and Jonsie. Before he knew it, the doc had slipped a needle in his arm. “Is that needle even clean?”

The sight of blood was too much.  Henry fainted.

***

Henry’s eyes were sullen when he finally returned to the welcoming warmth of his girlfriend’s apartment.  He was decidedly relieved that his night out was over.

“Honey, you’re back!” Sandy smiled warmly, setting her wine glass down and pulling the overweight Mr. Ripples off of her lap.  “Look Mr. Ripples is happy to see you!” Mr. Ripples crouched low to the ground, fangs in a sneer. His ears were flattened and the tip of his tail was twitching. 

“Doesn’t… he do that when he’s hunting mice?”

“It can mean a lot of things,” she said defensively.  “He also does that when he’s happy to see you.  Don’t you, Mr Ripples?”

She scratched the side of the cat’s head affectionately and it recoiled, baring its fangs.  “See! He’s smiling!”

“Uhhh, yeah.  Okay.”

Sandy gripped her boyfriend’s shirt, and gave him a warm kiss.  “It’s good to see you honey.”

“You too. I’m so sorry I spend so much time with the guys. They’re a little much, maybe I should—“

“No! No!  You spend all the time you like with your friends!  Please!  It’s one of the things I love about you.”

“Uh, okay,” Henry said, confused.

Sandy patted him on the chest, “I have something to do really quick. Go wait for me in bed.”

As soon as Henry waddled off, Sandy scooped up Mr. Ripples, ignoring his protests.  She made her way to her computer.  Macs were so much better than PCs.  PCs were for dog lovers.

She stroked Mr. Ripples absently, making sure to pin him in her lap with her forearm, and checked the spy app she had installed.  The audio files were there. Everything within earshot of her boyfriend’s phone.

She put her earphones in and listened….  Finally! The masons had done the blood test!  It was safe to proceed to phase two of their relationship.

“Honey!” Sandy called into the bedroom. “I forgot something!”

“What do you need, dear?” Henry called back.

“Could you do me a huge favor and change the kitty litter for me?”

“Of course babe!”

Sandy stroked Mr. Ripples in satisfaction as a wicked smile crept across her face.  She’d do anything for Mr. Ripples.

Anything at all.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on January 13, 2018, 01:17:57 PM
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Henry Dale on January 13, 2018, 05:16:25 PM
Don't know anyone named Sandy, we're safe guys  ;D
(except that the parasite thing is real)
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: Lady Ty on January 14, 2018, 06:24:30 AM
Eli has TWO cats...........
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 14, 2018, 11:05:14 AM
My entry is entered. I hope no one objects to my revisiting the Clockwork Keep. It was a lovely place to visit again.
Title: Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Post by: D_Bates on January 16, 2018, 01:00:38 PM

And the curse is broken!

I was quite pleased with this one... which, in my experience, is usually indicative of impending failure, but c'est la vie. At least it's a good start to the year, and one I hope to carry on in future months!

Hope you all enjoy.