Back in July, Figment.com had hosted a Summer Reading Contest that I decided to enter because, well, it seemed like a lot of fun. You got to choose one prompt out of three choices and write a 500 word story. The prompt I had fallen in love immediately was this:
A high school student on his or her first summer job
Super. Well, as I brainstormed, I realized that my own experience with summer jobs was slim, at best. When I was in high school, my summers consisted of jumping in the pool, complaining about the lack of snow, reading, and plowing through a slew of video games. Oh! And brushing up on my rusty math skills before facing the fall semester. So what did I know about summer jobs? Well, only one thing: they're supposed to change you.
I missed out, but I wanted to make sure that my story touched on that thought. And then, as I wracked my brain for a summer job idea, I came across Maia Flore's Sleep Elevations series. The concept of sleep, flying, and the whimsical backdrops for each photograph is stunning. You need to check them out.
One in particular, pictured here, just slapped me upside the head and said, "OVER HERE! I'm your summer job!"
Well, yeah. You know how it goes.
I wrote my story, featuring my shy protagonist named Lorelei Hall, who won the job of the town's lookout - basically, a glorified lifeguard. Lorelei is strapped to a cloud and keeps an eye on the beach-goers... but she also hopes that having this coveted job will allow her to make friends and come of out her shell. In 500 words, I did the best I could and posted the story.
"Lookout" didn't stay up for very long since I realized that I couldn't keep up with the feedback-seeking demands of this particular contest. However, I still planned on coming back to the story again someday.
That someday is now. In stepped The Tripod Cat, a new literary journal that my fellow MFA friend, Alan, started. What's unique about this journal is that the issues are all audio. You hear the stories and poems being read, instead of reading them. It's kind of exciting. The issues are free and, if you decide to get them from iTunes (yes, free), you can listen to them on your mp3 players. Yeah. Cool. And scary, haha.
Alan took a liking to "Lookout" right away; it'll appear as a serial at The Tripod Cat. In fact, the first segment of "Lookout" is already up. You can listen to it and the rest of the issue here.
Fair warning: I'm the one reading "Lookout." No surprise, right? I'm the one who wrote it. However, it's hard for me to listen to my recorded voice... I think it sounds funny. *Kim reveals her kryptonite, bwaha*
I'm not sure how long this serial will be (hence, I'm not saying, novel, novella, or even short story right now), but I'm looking forward to hearing what you think you think about the story. It's gotten bigger:
Lorelei Hall has been chosen as this summer's lookout in the seaside town of Helium, but it doesn't mean that she'll be spending her summer simply strapped to a cloud. A wild wind's approaching the town and only Sculley and his uncle Gallagher - two rascally wind peddlers - know about it. Sculley and Lorelei will have to work together if they have any chance at saving Helium - too bad their personalities clash.
Clouds and Clouds
By the by, has anyone noticed how clouds have grown in popularity lately? Even the whole floating-in-the-air-strapped-to-a-cloud thing. I want to post two peculiar sightings to finish out my blogging for the day.
Ellie Goulding's "Anything Can Happen." Brilliant song, brilliant video. I must have listened to this song a hundred times since its release. Did you see the scenes where Ellie's floating in the air with a cloud? It look EXACTLY like Maia Flore's photo! When I watched this video for the first time and saw it, I almost spit out my soda and started pointing frantically at the screen (I was alone, yet I felt I had to do this, haha).
And this one, ironically a Guinness commercial (I still don't get), features a brave and curious cloud that takes on the city. The narration gives me the shivers; I'm such a sucker for that kind of thing.