Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Try This On For Absurd

Contrary to how it might seem, this is not a political blog. It is a blog dedicated to the absurd and to whatever strikes my interest at the moment. It just works out that politics so often captures both requirements. Not always though. Sometimes I go off on a tangent. Like today.
This isn't about news at all. Well, there will be a bit of entertainment news toward the end. It's more of a personal lament and an irritating tragedy. Or maybe a tragic irritant. It bugs me, anyway.
Let me tell you a story.
I've been telling stories my entire life. It's what I do. It's what most children do, but I think I did it more than most. During childhood, there was hardly a waking moment when I wasn't engrossed in some world of my own creation. Unlike most children, I never stopped. I still create worlds and tell stories on a regular basis. It's still what I do.
I do occasionally run into minor roadblocks though.
When I was a child in the late 70s, one of my stories involved a decked-out attack helicopter with technology far beyond anything that was actually possible at the time. I even called my helicopter the unusual name of Blue Thunder. If you are familiar with mid-80s movies and television then you already know how that worked out.
As a teenager, and purely for my own amusement, I redesigned one of my favorite comic book characters, Spider-Man. I changed his webslingers to bracelets surmounted by multiple nozzles (if you don't know the details, in the traditional Spider-Man design, Spidey's webslingers have a single nozzle with multiple settings that are changed by turning the nozzle, kind of like the nozzle on a Windex bottle). With this, Spidey didn't require two hands to change the output of his webslingers because the different nozzles were fired by different pressure points around the wrist, based on how he turned his hand. I also made one of the nozzles fire knock-out darts based on spider venom and another of the nozzles fired an explosive web-ball that engulfed anyone it hit in webby goo. Then came the Clone Saga, where Marvel introduced the Scarlet Spider. He used multi-nozzle bracelets and one nozzle fired a "spider stinger" - a knock-out dart based on the idea of spider venom - and another nozzle fired "impact webbing" - an explosive web-ball that engulfed anyone it hit in webby goo.
Some day I'm going to prove the existence of psychic phenomenon and sue for copyright infringement. I'm kidding, I think, but you begin to see why I might get frustrated. These are only two of the biggest examples. This has happened to me many times. It's just about the wildest coincidence I have ever personally encountered (and for the record, and in all seriousness, I do consider it coincidence, albeit frustrating coincidence).
I was reading through entertainment news this morning and was shot with the coincidence cannon yet again. I read the article and started cussing. I called my wife into the room and told her to read the second paragraph. She did so, and I watched her eyes grow large as she read. Yep, it had happened again.
The same company that adapted Stephen King's The Dead Zone into a successful 6-season television series is adapting another King property, this time the 2005 novella The Colorado Kid into a television show they are calling "Haven".
According to Variety, "the project centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay -- while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven." Now aside from the fact that my own city of Haven is "somewhere in the Midwest" (I've always been very careful to not actually name a state) and centers on a revolving cast of lead characters, that sounds frustratingly familiar. Some of you have even read some of my Haven stories and can understand exactly what I mean. I've been writing these particular stories since about 2001 but I was writing them in a medium that required an artist and I didn't have an artist, so I haven't done anything with them. I have an entire folder on my computer full of Haven stories and notes that all just got rendered useless. They're not the same idea and I have no doubt that they could pass a copyright challenge, but no publisher would take the chance. Ten years of story design just got relegated to personal daydream.
I'm really only ranting about absurd coincidence here. In truth, I am a huge Stephen King fan and am looking forward to seeing this show when it comes out. I hope it is worthy of the master. I am heavily invested in a different writing project right now (one that does not require an artist) and that will keep me plenty distracted from having lost Haven until such time as I can determine how to reclaim all that lost time. I only hope that no one pries open my head and plucks this one out.

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