Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Debut of "Lookout"

Back in July, 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. 


  1. Wow, how cool! I love audiobooks. I can't wait to hear your story. Gonna go download it right now :D

  2. Woo! Can't wait to listen to it ~ the premise alone is as lovely as always. Love the names Sculley and Gallagher. And, miscellaneous side note, the FMC of the wonderfall girls novelization is named Lorelei, too.

    1. Ah, Lorelei! It's such a great name - the meaning behind it, especially in regards to mythology, is just so much fun to work with.

      BTW, I'm excited about Wonderfall - your NaNo project, right? I hope we get to read it next month as you're writing along :)

  3. KIM! I continually forget to check your blog. I feel like an awful friend. ;) Now that I'm here...I am so very excited about "Lookout"; I'm actually listening to it now and so far, it delivers all of the lovely charm of everything I've ever read by you. (And I like your voice, as a matter of fact.)

    I also really love the idea of The Tripod Cat, and will definitely follow along. ;)

    1. Oh no, it's totally okay. As fun as it is to write and read blogs, it can be hard to keep track of. Gads.

      Thanks you :D Ahhhhh, a compliment on my voice? *passes out* I was pretty nervous, so I think I was wobbly at times, but hopefully part 2 will sound smoother... to me, haha.

      Yay, great! You can also submit your own work too - check out the submissions page :)

  4. Totally downloaded it. I remember reading your contest entry! =D

    By the way, you're a good reader. A lot of people I know read aloud in a monotone with awkward pauses, but you read like you're telling a story. That's good.

    1. Yay! I guess I've had practice? I dunno. We have to read our work out loud all the time in grad school - in my program especially, it's difficult to avoid. Still, it's nice to see how far I've come since my first year, even if I get nervous every time, haha. Thanks!

  5. I can't wait to have a listen. :D (My headphones aren't here right now and that's my preferred listening experience. Especially when other people are home.) Your story idea sounds brilliant. I already know what your voice sounds like (because of the radio thing you posted a while back) so I'm sure you shall read it wonderfully.

    I'm not a fan of my voice either, but after doing this radio program thing a few years ago with my brother, I've grown used to it. (Basically, for our own amusement we recorded our "radio show" called Profound Thoughts on my computer. I think the longest episode was about 2 minutes. Haha. Those were the days.)