Some of the fiction I have archived here under my Stories category originated as part of a project several years ago called The Curveball Conspiracy. Curveball was then hosted on an older form of Blogger before Google acquired it, and it was the brain-child of one Michael O’Mahoney. The premise of the project was that photographers would submit unique, interesting, and frequently oddballish images which would, in turn, serve as the inspiration for a pool of writers for stories that are a sidestep away from reality. The project ran from March to September 2006 before O’Mahoney gave it up, and Curveball languished into obscurity.
With Michael’s permission, I’ve decided to resurrect Curveball Conspiracy under it’s own domain, on the WordPress platform, and with a fresh coat of paint. And thanks to the marvels of internet archiving (thanks to the Wayback Machine), I was even able to recover those original story archives.
What Curveball Conspiracy needs now is a pool of photographers and writers to get the project limping along again. I’ve already pulled a photo from my own library and added some words to it (see Fowl Play), but we definitely need other enthusiastic individuals to get involved to keep Curveball alive and energetic. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, then go check out the Curveball Manifesto and then email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
“The Curveball Conspiracy”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com is once again looking for more contributors, both for writing the stories and submitting the pictures. So, if you’re a writer looking for another outlet, go read the “Curveball Manifesto”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com/2006/05/curve-ball-manifesto.html and let Michael get you writing. If you’re a photographer, go read the “Curveball Manifesto”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com/2006/05/curve-ball-manifesto.html and find out how to keep Michael in business. It’s a great site, and I know I’d love to see it become one of the happening places on the web.
My latest and greatest curveball is up over at “The Curveball Conspiracy”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com/. Michael O’Mahoney, owner of the site, had this to say about “Going the Cycle”:
Completely mental… I loved it.
That brings a goofy, satisfied grin to my face.
Go check it out! And give The Curveball Conspiracy a little lovin’.
There was a period of time this morning where I actually almost felt bad about submitting my bit of “flash fiction”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com/2006/06/heritage-repaid.html, even though it obviously met “The Curveball Conspiracy’s”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com criteria for publishing it. I think what kind of bugged me about it was that I ended up doubting myself, wondering if it really fell into the category of speculative fiction. Michael O’Mahoney’s ((The creator of the site.)) focus was to have authors submit stories that are a sidestep away from reality, and my story was certainly that – maybe even a bit more than just a simple sidestep.
The horror genre can be a fascinating one to write in. Not all speculative fiction is horror, and not all horror is speculative fiction. But when the story contains elements that cannot or do not occur in real life – like magic, mystical events, paranormal happenings, etc. – then it is probably safe to say that the story has, at the very least, stepped into the realm of speculative fiction. Of course, some horror probably only briefly visits before bounding away, but sometimes that’s all you need, that one little bit of the unexplainable, the one thing that allows the reader to suspend disbelief for just long enough, and then the story plunges on, leaving the reader gasping but hanging on for dear life to find out what happens next.
I don’t consider myself a horror writer ((I definitely consider myself more of a sci-fi/fantasy writer.)), but I have to admit that a lot of my writing touches on the dark with a high degree of regularity. Maybe I’m just more comfortable visualizing the fantastic than I am with visualizing the future. Or maybe the darker tales simply speak more persuasively to my imagination and preempt some of the other, non-horror story ideas I have. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
My first “curveball”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com has been hit back to the pitcher. You can read it “here”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com/2006/06/heritage-repaid.html and tell me whether or not you think I hit it out of the park.
Amazing how writing something even as short as this stokes the fire to write more by a thousand percent.