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A Slight Introduction by Ray Printer Friendly

Back in the day, before we had The Strangelands to play around with, Carey, Trey, and me had a different way to express the random weirdness that was jabbing away in our collective brain. What we would do—generally after a night of clubbing or heavy drinking or all of the above—was, we would write a story as a group.

This wasn’t the only way we expressed ourselves, of course, because we’re all unrecognized geniuses that have entirely too much creativity for just one outlet. Among other things, there was the rap song, the comic book, the free-style contest, the country song about cigarettes, and the dance-club incident. But the group-story was one form of artistic/genius expression, and it was usually a pretty good time.

So here’s what we would do:

One of us would start a story. This usually happened with a bottle of whiskey, a black Sharpie marker, and a spiral notebook. So you would write until you were at a good continuing point, and then you would pass the whiskey, the Sharpie, and the notebook.

The next person, they would read what you had written, and then they would start writing. It didn’t matter where you were going with the story, what you had planned for the character, or what kind of story it was supposed to be; the next author in line could totally change the direction. The best time was the one where Carrie was trying to write a romantic story, full of poetry and inspiration. Trey and I turned it into a bloodbath full of bullet-riddled orphans and weeping flower girls. In the end, Hyde gave in, and just made sure that the hero of the story went out in a blaze of gore-filled glory.

Something like that.

Anyways, the other night I was sitting around, looking through some stuff I had written years ago, and I found a segment of a story. The weird thing is, I have no idea where I was going with it. At the top of the page, kind of cryptic, it goes, “Always two heartbeats away from falling in love…”

And then it launches into a story that just stops a couple of pages later. It seemed like it might have something to it, if only I could get a feel for it, and if only I wasn’t such a damn slacker. So I figured I would get my friends to write it, too.

And then I figured, “Why not try to get the website readers to help, too?”

So here’s the score:

I’m putting the first bit on the website. I’m going to call Trey and/or Hyde, and hound them about writing on this story with me. And I’m going to invite any of our readers to contribute, as well. If you fancy yourself a writer of any sort, just hit the “Administration” link on the left side of the screen. You’ll see a spot that says (very politely, in my opinion), “Not registered? You can register here.” Click on the “here” part, and sign in to be a writer for The Strangelands. Believe me, you’re going to want to get in on this at the ground level. We’ll all be famous someday, and if you fail to write for us, you’ll be left behind.


We’ve reached the top of the roller coaster, we’re right at that point where you’re wondering if maybe this was just a big mistake, what they hell are you doing three stories up in the air, strapped to a giant piece of steel. So grab my hand, try not to vomit, and let’s go.


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