Archived entries for user response

A few years ago I started writing something called THE PINEAPPLE PRIMARY. It was going to be a one and done graphic novella about the most violent election in United States history. There was an artist lined up, my research was done, and I was making great progress. I sent the first 18 pages off to the artist and wrapped up the rest of the book in a week.

It was about this time the artist disappeared into some kind of alternate dimension I’m going to call “New York Theatre”. I think I’ve mentioned my trouble keeping artists. They mainly get eaten by wild boars and I have to shelve whatever project I was working on. *cough* *cough*

But, I guess the stars weren’t right because a dying hard drive took the first complete draft along with it. The sad part is I didn’t even realize it for close to 6 months because I didn’t think about the project. Then, for whatever reason, I went looking for it and realized that it was literally the only thing I didn’t have backed up. Luckily, I had the first 18 pages I’d sent out, plus my script notes for the whole thing, which were essentially all of the words, but without the paneling. I shrugged, left it there and figured that if I ever needed it, I could come back and rewrite it.

Well, that moment of need came around about two weeks ago. I was talking to an artist friend of mine, asked him if he wanted to draw something, he said sure, and I said I’ll send you a script on Tuesday. The girlfriend went with some friends down to NOLA, and I went to work (re)finishing THE PINEAPPLE PRIMARY.

At this point, the script is in what I’m referring to as a “production draft” state. I haven’t gone through with a fine toothed comb and picked out all the typos and confused grammatical bits. I haven’t even gone through and checked my pages to see which is a facing page and which isn’t. The bottom line is that I’ve got something that is good enough for the artist to start working from, but not the finished product.

Here’s where you come in, Internet. A common intermediary step in writing is the workshop. I give something to you, you tell me what you thought of it. The more feedback I get, the better I can edit.

And there’s absolutely no one I trust more than the fervid, raving mass that is the Internet superconsciousness. Which really says a lot about me, doesn’t it?

So, here is the production draft of THE PINEAPPLE PRIMARY, in .rtf form.

Read it, and let me know what you think. You can post your thoughts in the comments, or you can email me at brainreleasevalve [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks in advance to anyone who reads it.

THE SORE LOSERS – “Beyond Repair”

Peter sent me this video this morning, first thing in the morning, actually, before I’d had a chance to glue my head bits together, so I couldn’t tell if this song was any good or not.

And in watching it now, I still can’t make up my mind. The visual completely overtakes any brain cells I should be devoting to the song, which makes me think that it isn’t that good, but I’d like a second, or third, opinion.

Finally, a music video that goes so far that it actually makes you forget there is a song playing.

Ah, progress.

Remember how published one of my stories a few weeks back? Well, in addition to that, they asked me to rework the piece of FastFiction I wrote called Unprofessional Consequences.

Here’s what they said about the story and what they wanted in the revision:

This is a great concept, and I think if you flesh it out it can be a great piece of Flash. The problem is that we don’t know what exactly the problem is. There’s an allusion to conflict, but not enough that we get the sense that anything is really wrong. Is the AI doing what it’s supposed to do and not being responsive, or is it flying planes into the rail yards? We don’t get any sense of peril. I’d encourage you to flesh this out and resubmit, including ‘resubmission’ in the title. We’d be
happy to review an expanded version.

Here’s my revised version of the story:

“The TranSys AI is playing with itself,” says the scientist who looks like he’s never seen a good night’s sleep to the men in suits and uniforms.

He starts walking, more focused on the frenetic patterns of light from the main display than the men behind him.

“We programmed the thing to take pleasure from complex actions. Rerouting all air traffic in the continental US on the fly. Making sure all the commuter trains in the major metros run on a fixed schedule. Things like that.

The idea was for the AI to work on this stuff during the off hours, but it started working on it the second we flipped the switch. Guess we made the pleasure sub-routine a bit too enticing. We can’t turn it off and go back to the old system because we already integrated everything into the TranSys.”

Stopping at random to check the work of the technicians, typing away furiously at their terminals, the cadence of the scientist’s steps and speech starts to quicken.

“Right now the entire transport grid is in a state of unpredictable flux. Traffic signals have been reduced to very expensive Christmas lights. The main traffic corridors are clogged with wrecks and gridlock to the point where people probably should just get the hell out of their cars and walk.

Trains are starting and stopping at random because the AI can’t make up its mind. It abandons schedules as fast as it implements them. Anyone who was unlucky enough to be on a train when the TranSys started this fit isn’t going to be getting off for the foreseeable future.”

An aide rushes up to the scientist and hands him a clipboard. Flipping through the sheets, the scientist says a few choice swears before returning his attention to the men.

“Be glad we put out an order to ground all air traffic. The thing just started playing Neil Diamond’s “America” over all the air controller’s radio frequencies. I don’t even want to guess what the hell that’s about.”

Fishing in his jacket, he pulls out a pack of cigarettes and lights one. He blows the blue-grey smoke toward the no smoking sign, in open defiance.

“We advertised this as the time saver to end all time savers. We told them the TranSys would shave twenty, thirty, hell maybe even an hour off their commutes. Now look at it.”

His voice trails off as he watches the blinking of the screens through the smoke haze.

“Bottom line is we built a multi-billion dollar AI to run the transport grid, gave it borderline freewill but forgot any sort of limiter on the choices it could make. The TranSys has a giant id, but no superego to hold that id in check.”

“So, what do we do?” came a voice from the crowd of men.

The scientist turns, “At this point? Hope the little pervert gets bored.”

So, I ask you, dear reader, do you think the modified version addresses the critique? If so, how? If not, why? What else can I do to improve this?

My thanks in advance.

Hey kids, I need some input from you. I’m going to try this Fast Fiction challenge thing that I’m blatantly stealing from comic writer Lee Barnett. It works thusly:

Reply with a title (maximum of four words) about which you’d like me to write a fast fiction of exactly 200 words, together with a single word you want me to include in the text of the tale.

Leave your suggestions in the comments. Ideally, I’ll be putting out one of these a day as long as I have suggestions from you guys. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to just one reply, either. Come back as often as you’d like.

Is Googling yourself a form of Digital Age Internet masturbation?

Apparently Batman had a burrito.

So, we’ve got four months and change left in 2008. Roughly 19 weeks of writing for me. Here’s what I’m hoping to knock by year’s end:

-The Pineapple Primary finished and off to the artist.
-Complete notes for the Curio and the first 22pp script finished.
-Completed notes for the whole first arc of On Aerite Wings, along with at least 3 finished scripts.
-Five more  shorts for Night Shift plus the positioning piece for the whole project.

Anyone want to give me odds on getting that done?

That the Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor will open second to Dark Knight this weekend.

Who’s giving me odds/wagers?

I don’t believe I know anyone who lives out in San Jose, which is where your IP resolves out to.

Do you know me personally or did the tides of Google wash you ashore here?

This just came across my Facebook inbox from an Arielle Palmer:

I don’t know if you guys heard, but Adam de la Pena (creator of Code Monkeys & Minoriteam) and Dana Snyder (Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force) just came out with a new show called On the Bubble. They will be on a Friday’s Comic Con panel at 2pm. I can get you guys back stage interviews and an opportunity to meet them and the rest of the cast if you would like. I’m interested in seeing the Brain Release Valve community’s feed back on the new show.

In the mean time, check out this trailer of the show. If you won’t be able to take the Comic Con offer, we would still love to know what your readers think of it.

Here’s the trailer she was talking about.

On The Bubble News Trailer from Andrea Valverde on Vimeo.

The first episode is here.

On The Bubble News – Episode 1 from Andrea Valverde on Vimeo.

If any of you are going to Comic-Con, you know how to find me, and I’ll put you in touch with Arielle. If you were wondering what the hell any of this is about, apparently my web foot print is either big enough or malformed enough that people are now valuing my audience’s diseased opinions. Arielle also works for Undercurrent, a New York market research group, so she wants to know how you people think.

So give the stuff a go, and let her know what you think.

I lost most of my morning to some poisoned calamari (See, they are out to get me) I ate last night. Hearing your alarm go off while wrapped around a toilet is not the most pleasant experience of my life. So, I’m having to cram a whole day into a half, and I’m chasing deadlines all the way.

But, as something for you to think about:

Is there a vampire equivalent of “It tastes like chicken.”? Maybe, it tastes like yuppie?

When do you think Hillary will finally wise up and drop out?

Did any of you who saw Iron Man have a problem with the product placement?

Burger King, Audi, Dell and LG all paid pretty heavily to be included in the movie. Some were more blatant than others, but they were all there.

Anyone take umbrage with any of it?

(Oh, if you haven’t seen the movie – go see it. It is worth the price of an evening ticket, even.)

First off, I’d like to apologize to the people who are responsible for Monster Camp for being on the second page of their Google searches. I’m really not the sort of person you want to be exposing your potential audience to. I probably have at least one or two communicable diseases that have been identified, and God knows how many unidentified ones.

So – The producer for Monster Camp, the movie I talked about a way down the page responded to my post about his movie. He said the following:

Well, DARKON took itself very seriously. It was about a particular plot line. Ours is more lighthearted and comedic and is about the people themselves and why they play the game, and the politics of it all. We thought rather than spending 90 minutes trying to explain a plot that had been going on for 10 years, we’d show a little about the people themselves and how interesting they are – characters themselves. See for yourself why Hollywood Variety said “As endearing as it is amusing.” And why we have a theatrical release 5/9 in Chicago, then Winnipeg, then Vegas on 5/30 and more to come. Netflix subscribers can already add Monster Camp to their que. How cool is that? The DVD release is later this year. Meanwhile, take our Monster Camp quiz to see what kind of monster you are on our web site at
Aaron Kirk Douglas,

To be fair, I was short with some one’s project. The pretty brilliant part of this medium that I’m writing in is that it reaches so many people, and some times it reaches people you don’t expect. And sometimes your glib, short-handed remark can pop up on some one’s Google search and affect, how ever minorly (Yes, I am making up words, piss off), the end success of their project. If some one started talking shit about my projects, or even blithely dismissing them without full consideration, it would bother me. And I’m glad Aaron brought this to my attention.

So, with all that shortness in mind, and hopefully explained, let me say this – You aren’t off a hook now. If anything, I’ll be watching your movie even closer than I was going to before. I think the greatest downfall of Darkon was that the underdog failed in their story. The person that you thought would rise to greatness…didn’t. And that was an invasion of reality into their fantasy world. The better man didn’t win out in the end. And that’s what all of those people were trying to find with their time in Darkon. With your story, you have a chance to focus less on the direction and story of the world, and more on the individual characters and how they interact with the people that portray them. And that’s what I’ll be watching for. Whenever the movie finally pops up in my Netflix que, that is. Or in theatres near me, which would be greatly perferred.

Oh, by the way, I was a Saris Templar, I think it was, when I took your quiz. Yeah. I’m a furry. Great.

EDIT: Whoops. Sorry about the giant font. Fixed now.

Do you think a successful writer has ever mourned the trees that were cut down to make his books?

Mind finishing up your thoughts on it this weekend and getting back to me by Monday?

I’d like to put this one to bed, if possible.

My first comic script is 99% done, and the last 1% comes from you guys. I’m looking for as much and as diverse of an opinion on the book before I put a fork in it.

So, if you have any interest in reading it before there is any final art, please leave a response in the comments with your email.


Do you think we’ll ever make a serious go at getting off this planet? Will there ever be serious colonization of anything off this planet by us?

Respond in the comments.

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