Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An ugly death

The project is dead. Long live the project.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February update

Forgive the long wait between updates. The "corpse" is still alive and kicking, though it lost some momentum over the holidays. I'll post another excerpt shortly.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The corpse continues

The story is now in the hands of the fourth writer. Here is another excerpt:

Tiny could be a big problem if he wasn’t handled just so.  That called for donuts.  Double chocolate Dunkin Donuts.  Tiny was crazy for them, especially right after he woke up.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Moving right along

The story is now in the hands of the third writer. Having gestated for a few weeks in the bowels of the Adirondack Foothills, it decided to briefly vacation outside the Lower 48.
The fourth and fifth slots already are spoken for, so I'll be looking for No. 6 soon.
BTW, feel free to use the comments here to toss out random ideas to help stimulate the other writers. Here are some things that are in the story already: A glue factory. Vegetables. Smells. A strange mound. What else do you suggest?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First excerpts!

The "corpse" has started to stir! Here are a couple of lines from the working narrative, starting with the first:

A stink from the old glue factory blew in through the screen door on his back porch, prompting Dave Wrumple to rise from his recliner in a funk at three in the morning.


Something stronger was on the hot night breeze, a whisper of smell more immediate than the distant factory fug ... it was like getting hit in the nose with a padded sledgehammer.

I'll post more random snippets as this thing shambles along. If you're eager to have your crack at this soon, let me know via Facebook message or e-mail at

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

The story officially has a beginning now, and it is about to change hands for the first time. The narrative opens in the third person, with a character named Dave Wrumple waking up in the middle of a hot early-summer night to answer the call of nature in his backyard, which is within sniffing distance of a glue factory. Is Dave the protagonist? I'm not sure. What will happen next? You tell me?

At his point, 13 creative people (an auspicious number, no?) have agreed to take part, and we have a few others watching tentatively from the sidelines. I suspect some will jump in later. One of the writers asked me to spell out the plan for the project more clearly, so here goes:

1. Almost anything goes: At first I thought this might be something I could publish on my newspaper blog, but I've had second thoughts about that. The management might frown on me publishing content that isn't suitable for sensitive audiences, and I don't want to have to put  harsh limitations on the contributors. You are free to take the ball and run with it however you see fit. Be experimental or not; it's up to you. My only request is that you attempt to take the snippet of narrative thread that you receive from your predecessor and try to continue it somehow -- color it, twist it however you wish, but don't ignore it or cut it short. Having said that, I should mention the "exquisite corpse" concept sprang out of the surrealist movement, so we don't need to worry too much about the story "making sense" in a conventional way. I suspect the story will have its own sort of abstract logic.

2. Don't sweat it: We're all busy, so I don't want anybody to invest too much time or stress on this project. When it's your turn to take over the narrative, I'll ask you if you're ready. If it's a bad time and you need to take a pass, just say so, and we will come back to you later. When you're ready, write 50 to 500 words and then sit back and wait for the finished product.

Okay, that's enough outta me. Let's get crackin'.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What the hell is this?

Welcome. If you're reading this, you're probably already aware of this project, a collaborative multimedia narrative inspired on various levels by the Glove Cities region of upstate New York.

An Exquisite Corpse is a story written by many writers taking turns picking up and handing off the narrative one after the other; none of the writers know how it will end until it's complete.

I have invited several friends who are writers, artists and/or mad scientists to contribute. I do not neccessarily intend to "publish" the story on this blog, but I will use it to keep all the contributors and curious bystanders informed about its progress.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to look me up on Facebook or e-mail me at

Bill Ackerbauer
Johnstown, N.Y.