Sunday, April 30, 2006


Well heres a good day, the last one before I start my new job. I must say, I'm kinda looking forward to being employed again. It might have something to do with suddenly finding about three runs of Trade paperbacks I want to buy (haha anyone want to loan me 180$ for Bone? Anyone?) Anyway, I'll be able to routine my day once again with a job and that should, theoretically equal more time for writing. it may not, but hopefully it will. I still have a wicked EVE addiction too, so that will demand time. Oh! Just in case I haven't plugged EVE yet, probably the best online game you'll ever play. . Check it out, do the 2 week demo and then sign away your life. Haha I kid, its not that bad, no need for an intervention... Yet.

Alright enough of that stuff, time for what you all really want to hear! This past weekend I did the 24 hour playwright contest and I gotta say it was a humbling expierence. The awards ceremony was this morning and while I knew I was probably sub par, I still held out that small amount of hope that I might place a third. Yeeaaahhh right. Hearing the excerps from the winning plays in both the student and open categories I was absolutely stunned at the wit and pure skill of not only the expierenced playwrites but the student ones, two of which I'm sure were younger than I am. Haha I console my wounded pride int he knowledge that they were all drama students of some kind or another and I'm just a lowly novel writer. Met some good people though, and learned quite a bit about the playwriting community in Saskatoon, theres this underground society it seems, very dedicated to their work. Like vampires maybe, only less bloodthirsty.

Well here it is, in case anyone wants to read this thing I conceived. 27 pages, just over 10,000 words and written in a little over 10 hours (haha I copped out pretty early, it wasn't going to get any better without major overhauling to plot structure.) Haha due to length I decided to post it on a different webspace instead of torturing Blogger with it.

I really have to Thank a one Julian Kelly for how this turned out. Originally this was going to be a 'Creatures' story, and it still kinda is. Debating ideas for about 2 hours with Julian we turned it less into a 'Creatures' story and more into its own little stand alone project with no real ties to anything. So thanks dude! You're awesome!

Until Next time, God Bless,
The Writer.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

School is over. Over AND Done!

I wrote my last final exam yesterday morning annnnd have had a great day of turning my brain into mush today. Haha iced tea and Kung Fu movies will do that to a guy ;) Still and all, I thought it high time to at least attempt to accomplish something today between bouts of napping, movie marathons and general slothing. Thus, I started to plan out some of my summer writing goals.

First and foremost is 'Creatures', as this is the story line that I plan on adapting to the 24-hour Play write. Let me shine some light on my particular brand of erratic writing style. I'll get an idea, or a picture in my head, of a scene that should happen, or a setting that would nbe neat. Thats how it starts. Whether inspired by something I've seen / heard or just a wandering thought captured out of the clear blue sky, its just that, an idea. This is the part I love. As the idea is this fresh and bright thing I'll write about all in a rush. Then comes the hard part. I come back in a day, find most of the grammar is gibberish and meanings incoherent, so its edit edit edit. Then, to add any more to the story, there needs to be a feasible plot, interesting characters etc and those generally don't appear in the first idea "rush".

Creatures is at the idea stage. Why are those two little fellows wandering through the jungle? Where is the jungle? What is a bolter? what.. when... how... why... haha these are very good questions for which I have less than interesting answers to. I have a few ideas for characters and minor plot points, but less than few for the main drive of the story. I am leaning towards doing something with a fable tinge to it, a short complete hero - villian story thats fairly simple wth all the traditional elements. I really want to give the stage the look of a three ring circus too and think I can pull off that effect.

Other than Creatures, I was looking back through a few things and anticipate spending time finishing the first installment of 'Black Nines', a story that leads agents Chris Conrad and Sandra White to an industrial station deep in an asteriod belt to find a missing InterStar Postal fleet. The Heavily armed courrier fleet was hyjacked mid flight in an elaberate heist. Fearing an outbreak of similar thefts, the Black Nines are put on the case along side a shifty crew of ISP security agents a long way from civilized space to clear the problem up as quick as possible. All they're up against is an extremely gifted hacker, an AI with revenge on the mind and the whispering beginnings of an unknown group that seems to be pulling the strings from behind a wall of mystery. Stay tuned for the full posting of "Mail Run".

I'd really, REALLY like to get either Condition Genesis or else One Thousand One edited and brought up to spec (the former has less that needs to be done on it) so in the coming months those will be posted for sure. Now for a treat, looking back in the old archives I've dug up this little gem for your reading pleasure. Remember what I said about the idea? This is all this is and has very little hope of growing any larger than that. Still and all, I hope you Enjoy the kidnapping of a princess.

Sornthii stood at a window, staring out at the moon. Full and shining over the city, sparkling in little ways over fountains and fresh snow. It was the only time that the snow shone white, in the morning it would be churned to brown mud by the feet of many. For now, for the moment, the whole of the city from window to Travelers gate in the far west sparkled from torches and snowflake. She shivered from the frost in the air.
"Love, come away from the window." Celius whispered. "I shall never hear the end of it if my bride dies of cold on her wedding night."
She smiled over her shoulder.
"I do not think that I shall freeze in your arms, my Only. The moon is so full tonight, over the city it looks unlike anything else I've seen."
"It looks like the crying moon, the forest shade." Celius came behind her and wrapped a heavy cover over her bare shoulders. "The beast men will look to that sky tonight."
"Beast men?" She laughed, "what stories are you telling now? I am no longer a little girl who believes such tales!"
"And what do you know of the wide world outside the travelers gate?"
Her eyes sparkled, "only what you whisper into my ear." She turned and wrapped the cover around Celius also, drawing him close. "Whisper the beastmen tale to my ear tonight." She kissed his cheek.
"There is a valley and a hidden place inside a mountain where wolves walk like men, tigers speak with an intelligent tongue and bears smith and hunt with metal."
"But the valley is not real."
"It is, and the beastmen sometimes come from it in force to steal away unbelievers in the night." Celius smiled. Sornthii punched his shoulder.
"Your tales are getting more and more ridicules every time father takes you away on his trade routes!"
"Are you sorry that you married a dreamer?"
"It is because you were a dreamer that I married you..."
The room fell into something of silence, and among the snowy roof tiles, silence moved.
Shadows within shadows, night deeper than night something stirred and jumped from roof to roof. Daring leaps ended in padded crouches, and the sleeping forms behind windows and under snowy ceilings knew nothing but the wind and dreams that come with slumber. Black shadows in the night were not of a sleeping man's concern.
From the huts to houses the shadows came, and over walls into the palace itself. In the blackness between torches they crept and came, unknown to the eyes of broad shouldered men. It was the dogs that first felt something amiss, crying foul into the night and straining against their tethers. The guards ran to the gates and flung shutters off lanterns, sending beams of light to pierce the shadows. Crouching in the dark, shining eyes glared out. Without warning, shadow became solid and steel was unsheathed.
"Demons from Nor'hanath!" A guard yelled, "warning, warning!"
The words died in this throat, an arrow's fletching suddenly showing where his heart dwelt. More light came and the hounds howled, but the shadows were gone, leaping up to the high roofs of the modest palace.
Captain of the guard rushed into Zelin's bedchamber with a lantern, closing the windows and disturbing the girl's sleep. She fearfully clutched the sheets to herself and blinked against the sudden light.
"Captain, explain yourself!" She cried. "I am a guest here!"
"No time Princess, the palace is under attack!"
"They come for you!" The captain drew his sword and stood gazing out the window.
"What is the meaning of this? Who comes for me, tell me!"
"Demons, beast men! They come to take you away!"
"Beast men?" Zelin frantically took up several robes and tried to put them on all at once. "Fairy tales! There is nothing of the sort!"
"The minds of men are shallow, the things the Far Patrol sees are strange." The Captains eyes darted here and there. Fires were being lit to try and scare the beasts off and the dogs were loosed, but it would not stop them. The archers had taken three, and pike men surprised four more in the halls, but more remained silently. He had already lost a dozen men to the shadows. Who knew how many more there were? Then a sound came from the roof and in a moment lines were thrown past the window and dark forms crashed through the shutters in a fury of wintry air. The Captain stepped back from the glass shards and held his sword overhead.
The forms crouched, then stood, their heads nearly skimming the roof. Green eyes glinted behind metal grates.
"Demons, you shall not harm her!" The Captain stood his ground. Zelin cowered in her bed.
"Captain of Dunese, soldier of the North and monk. We salute you who are about to die, for your courage and your honor in combat."
"She is my charge and can not be harmed while protected by this house."
"We wish her no harm, but you will not stop us." The form drew a long blade from his back and a metal fan from his belt.
"Do you know the girl's father?" captain asked
"He will hunt you to the ends of the earth, to the edge of the world where the sea spills into the void, he will find you even there."
"It is not us that your master should hunt. We are but hands bound by oath to another."
"What other?"
"I am bound by oath not to say." A padded foot stepped forward. "Die well Captain of men."
"Mine shall not be the only death!"
Zelin huddled in her blankets and pile of robes, not daring to move lest the balance of the fight be swayed in the demon’s favor. The Captain locked blades and spun, cutting the air in parts around the black swaths of cloth. For the size of the other, his quickness and grace was beyond what the eye could follow. The fight was a blur of movement, a perfect balance until the captain stopped. Out of his back the tip of a saber protruded. In a quick movement the black figure unfurled the fan and took the captains head, granting a quick death. Zelin screamed at the show of violence and barely realized that she was being wrapped in a rug and tied across a pair of shoulders. By the time her eyes dried, the tears were frozen on her face and she was far, far from what she knew.

I hope you enjoyed this little tale of men and monsters. Like all good stories it contains ninjas. ;)

Until next time, God Bless
John, The Writer.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter to one and all, whether you celebrate this day or not, its still a day to get up and enjoy a day unlike any other!

The Writer.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursdays are for the birds...

Well at least this Thursday was. The birds have it good and so do we ;) Enough of birds though, and heres a long and winding story of coinsidence and (perhaps?) of luck and a bit of grace once again falling on my head.

It starts with me looking at my final schedual. The university does all the schedualling so that, theoretically, no student should have exams conflicts (ei five exams on the same day etc etc). I mean we're talented, but not THAT talented. So I check and low and behold I have three exams on the same day, exact same time. Needless to say, I was a little concerned. Talking with profs and the schedualling people we got things all sorted out two of the three exams are moved to different days. Stick with me on this now, heres where it gets interesting.

Wensday rolls around and I show up at my English Prof's office to write my drama english test. Waiting in the hall, I see an add for a 24 hour playwright contest. Intrigued I said to myself, "What the hey, I should maybe try it out!" And so I am! See? its weird... I never would have seen that add if not for the messed up exam schedual. Call it what you will bt I'm going with grace and angels.

So the past few days I've been thinking, and all I can think of is "How cool would it be if Creatures was a play?" And thats where it sits, this idea in my brain that a Creatures story should be a play. I'll keep adding bits of Creatures to the blog but the play story idea I have to keep to myself until the contest (haha all has to be written in 24 hours of course). Heres the link to the contest details, if anyone else is in the Saskatoon area and interested, go for it, should be a good time for all. 24 Hour PlayWright

Until next time,
The Writer.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Creatures Mini Series.

I was thinking in English class today about something that I would be able to post on this thing. And I got a tickle in the back of my mind. See, I was reading this amazing sequence project by Outcast Studios yeaterday ( called IMPH ( And it got me thinking. First the format, these sequences are high detailed snapshop bits of a wildly interesting and strange world that are usually 4 pages. The artwork inspired me and the the format intrigued me. Why couldn't a witer do something similar? Little snapshop bits of a world, small scenes that didn't necessarily have anything to do with anything else on a larger scale? Loving the world that Berghout and Laurent created I decided to do soemthing similar. (I'm a sucker for robots on most days anyway) Hopefully its far enough away that I'm not copying anything but I really hope I capture the same feel they were going for. To this end I'll be posting this mini-series I've dubbed "Creatures" in the blog from time to time along with updates and content from my other projects. I am both pleased and proud to present the first 'Creatures'. Please enjoy.

John Gunningham.
The Writer.

Creatures ~ Part one ~

“You sure you saw what you said you seen?”
“Course I’m sure!”
“Well you said you seen stuff before, and it’s really been nothing. That’s why I ask.”
“That’s not why you ask is it?”
“It’s my patch isn’t it? That’s why you asked isn’t it?”
“Look here, I just got one patch, just one! Its cause the light hurts this one eye, not the other one! This eyes fine! I see better with this eye than you with your two!”
“Is that so?”
“It is. See, it’s your nose. Nothing could see properly with a nose that big in the way!”
“Is that so?”
“I just said it’s so!”
“I have to admit, I see better if I turn my head from side to side, look on side of my nose then the other. I do see better if I look that way.”
“But you do have that patch over the one eye, and you said before you seen things that ain’t been there.”
“Like when?”
“Like just yesterday! I remember you saying ‘look! There’s a good bit of food for us!’ And what did it turn out to be? A lump of sod is what! How is that a good bit of food I ask?!”
“It was a trick of the light…”
“Hah! Then this another ‘trick of the light’? Tramping trough the jungle in this heat when we could be in a nice cool hole. Looking for things that were falling outta the sky. Madness and light tricks!”
“I said I seen something fall out of the sky and that’s what I saw!”
“But you don’t know what it looked like?”
“The light was funny.”
“I bet it was. How are we to know we’ve found what we’re looking for if we don’t know what we’re looking for looks like?”
“I’ve got a feeling we’ll know.”
“Feelings and tricks in light. Why do I follow you anyways?”
“Cause I got the cooking pack is why.”
“Oh right…”
“And that makes me the boss right?”
“Its cause Hib said you were boss is why you’re the boss.”
“Right, that’s why. Under Hib I’m number one. And its cause Hib said so and cause I got the cooking pack.”
“That’s right.”
“So follow up and help me find what I’m looking for. Hib’ll want to know about bits of things falling from the sky.”
“If bits of things are really falling from the sky…”
“What’s that?”
“Nothing, following, I’m following.”
“Look here… hurry up! Look over here! See? See?! I told you I saw it!”
“What’s… what’s that?”
“Looks like… well its up in that tree pretty high, caught up in the vines. Is it moving? I thought I saw it moving!”
“Just a trick of the light. What is it?”
“I can’t see from here.”
“Hah! You admitting you can’t see?”
“From here! Anyway, I saw it fall didn’t I? I told you I saw something fall and I was right. You’re a good throw, throw your swish at it and cut it down.”
“My swish? What if I lose it?”
“You’re a good throw with a swish, you won’t lose it.”
“But what if I do?”
“I’ll give you mine if you lose it, you’ve always liked my swish right? I’ll give you mine and get a different one myself if you lose yours.”
“Look I think its moving!”
“I thought you said it was a trick of the light?”
“No it’s moving a little! It’s breaking free! Watch out, watch out! It’s falling!”


“Well that was close. I was sweating.”
“I think I did more than sweat…”
“What is it?”
“It was moving, I won’t get close.”
“Why not?”
“What if it’s dangerous? All I have is my swish and its not good at hitting close things.”
“Here then, take a pan.”
“The heavy pan?
“If it’s dangerous, you can clobber it. It’s a good heavy pan.”
“Never clobbered something before…”
“There’s nothing to it, just bonk and slam and the thing you need clobbered is clobbered but good.”
“Alright. If I yell like I’m getting clobbered, you run to help?”
“I’ve got the other pan, I’ll help if you yell.”
“Alright, here I go…”


“Come look, its not moving anymore! I think it’s broken!
“Broken, what is it?”
“It looks like a bolter, or bits of a bolter. She’s broken!”
“A bolter!”
“What should we do? She’s not dead, bolters are hard to make dead, but she isn’t moving. I think she’s broken.”
“A bolter!”
“That’s what I said!”
“How’s a bolter fall from the sky?”
“Can you fix a bolter? I can’t.”
“Hib can fix her. Hib can fix her. We’ll take her to Hib, he’ll know what to do.”

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Alright alright and hello,

Consider this the first official post. Though I'm sure it will change in the near future as i think of more interesting things to post about. My life isn't very interesting most days so I think I'll usually post storys and fun news that I find on the net. So without further adu (Thats french for something I think...)

Current Projects that are recieving attention are the follows.

This is a comic project that is being written with Josh Alves on pencils and Chad LaForce with his excellent inks. The story revolves around a Beaver and an Armadillo and the zoo in which they live. I'd classify it under the cute, funny and hopefully message filled category of story. This is probably the story the will recieve the most active work in the near Future.

Pariah Dispersia
This is my long and ongoing comic project with Josh Alves. I've already gone into the story a little on our 4th Watch Blog space (the links riiight over there to your right if you're interested) and has a special place in my heart. Not only is it some of my best work to date, I'm extremely pleased with the complexity of the time frames that we're writing the storys. Multiple views of the same events all tied together. Going to be epic!

Black Nines
This ones a personal project in one of my favorite genres: Science Fiction. I originally had this idea after watching Mission Impossible II. The whole idea of an agency with multiple agents all with different skill sets for different missions sounded ideal for a series of connected novellas and thus I dreamed up the Black Nines, a covert agency funded by governing bodies to combat terrorism and piracy in a distant future world. Characterization is heavily influenced by 'Ghost in the Shell' using alot of cyborg type characters. The world is populated by multiple planets, system governements, a spanning 'treaty governement' called the Forsant Accord and multiple industrial giants. Space ships, laser guns and mutants all make their appearances. Most likely to be the most updated piece of my private projects as they are shorter works that hopefully will all tie together in the end.

Condition Genesis & 1001
Well.. although these two pieces are not related in the slightest, they were both entries for the Nano writing contest of 2005 and 2004 respectively. They both have alot of content and raw ideas but completely unedited (for those of you not familuar with Nano, its basically a persoanl challenge to see if you can write 50,000 words in a month. 1001 made it! Condition Genesis didn't). Condition Genesis deals with a planet that draws interstellar junk to itself and the survivors of multiple ship crashes that have set up civilization there. Its science fiction with a gritty steampunk feel. 1001 is pure fantasy based on the idea of 'instead of starting with a curse just placed... why not start with a curse just ended?' The people of the broken isles have lived for a thousand years under a curse but have completely forgotten about it. Now things are about to get much better as the curse is lifting, but also much, much stranger as the world reverts to its precurse condition. I like both of these stories... but they are on teh sidelines at the moment as each would be a massive undertaking to bring up to publishable quality.

Perhaps my greatest story. Culture attempts to deal with culture, race, religion, sub-culture and pop culture all in a very fictional world built to exagerate these differences. Its not fantasy, its something... different. Populated by traditional fantasy races (elf, human, dwarf, goblin, dragons etc.) the world itself is made up of continents that float in orbit around a central dense mass. The people of the world are just now beginning to discover flight and venture beyond their continents and meeting up with other races they didn't beleive existed. Religious faith and racial alliances are called into question as different cultures clash and attempt to co-exist. The story follows Raven, the daughter of an elfin Ambassador in a human city-state, as she and her friends are challenged with everything from war to heartbreak. Hopefully not typical, hopfully fairly shocking and heart warming and hopefully touching on a huge number of social issues, Culture has been a work in progress for years and more than likely will continue to be a work in progress for many more years. Updates when possible.

Next to Culutre sits Water. Far older (I recently found the original script I wrote for Water back in grade 10... thats seven years ago for you guys keeping score at home) I started actively working on this about a week ago again and am very pleased with how its turning out. The story centers on Anne Tourcoat who believes her father was lost at sea when he was being arrested for treason many years ago. Now she recieves evidence that her father is alive, and that her father's old men are looking for her. As it turns out, Anne's father shut a portal of power from the other side and Anne (being of the same blood as her father) is the only thing that can both open the portal and save her father. Theres a bit more to it than that, of course, but thats all I'll telling right now.

Various others...
All the TICM comic projects I've worked on, Renaissance: Immortal Dance is a gothic vampire story set in town rife with immortals living along side ignorant mortals. Dusk Till Dawn is a pure fantasy I wrote about a single night in the life of two university students in a small town. Other here again gone again stories like Robots and Jungles, an excuse to make hill-billy military Robot pilots; Under the Green Roof a realistic story about an odd ball family; Underhouse, one of those ideas in my head that has alot of notes but absolutely no start to it... Thats all there is at the moment, looking back it sure looks like enough.

Well alright thats enough for one post. I'll be posting updates and content as time allows. Thank you everyone for visiting and take care out there!

The Writer.
Alright, so in accordance with 4th Watch Studios projects, Josh and I have decided to maintain separate blogs running along side the Studio blog. Haha Sooo this is all me. I'll be posting links to my projects, progress reports on side projects and a little bit of this and that too. Pretty much I'm just posting this post to see how the blog looks. Will do a better post later.

The Writer.