Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some guidance for your stories

I'd like to address a few questions I've received pertaining to the Memory Eater.

Regarding specifics:
The device can be modified however you like.  Put stickers on it or paint it pink.  One thing to remember is that this is your world, so even time can be altered.  You can begin your story with the first Memory Eater ever made or jump ahead to when they're as common as vending machines.  The orb-like shape is a guide, but that doesn't mean you can't mold it anyway you like.  Think in terms of reality, like a computer, and how it went from being a one-person operated, stationary, room-sized machine to a portable, pocket-sized communication tool.

Do the Memory Eaters need to be operated by licensed technicians?:
Only if you want.  Technically, when this idea was dreamt up, I filled it in with some details.  The legal way is to go to a licensed technician.  Now if you alter time, or have other plans for the Memory Eater, you can direct this idea wherever you please.  I can see it being used in the black market, or stolen and used for evil, or turned into vending machines.  Truth is, while I set some guidelines, I tried to make it so authors could still have a good amount of freedom.

Do memories need to be deleted by the Memory Eater?:
Yes, because that's what this anthology is about.  That doesn't necessarily mean you have to mention the Memory Eater or even delete a memory.  An example would be paranoia or something pertaining to being conned.

I've received stories where magic, or someone with super powers, or a portal-type thing replaces the Memory Eater.  I've also received stories which have absolutely nothing to do with the concept.  In both cases, if I can't see the connection to the Memory Eater, or the concept is taken too far, I won't be able to consider it for the anthology.

Regarding the Memory Eater’s purpose:
I have had stories where memories aren’t destroyed; they’re stolen and given to others or restored at will.  One person even used the device in a way that it wiped the customer’s existence from the world’s collective memory.  This approach is acceptable, but note two things: 1) the bulk of the stories will consist of wiped memories, so it will be harder to make the cut if you choose this angle, and 2) there is a fine line here, meaning if you take your idea too far, I’ll most likely pass.

What do you want?:
One important thing to remember is that the reader will already be familiar with what the Memory Eater is and how it works, so I'm looking for stories that drop the reader in like they know how to swim. 

Ultimately I'm looking for strong voices and unique takes on the concept.  Show me how this device affects society.  Tell me why a person chose to use it.  And most importantly, punch through your pros and cons.  Is the Memory Eater a good or bad idea?  It all depends on which voice you're using, so take a stance and mold it confidently.

I hope this helps clear up some of your questions, but should you still have some, please feel free to email me at 

I wish everyone the best!

C. P.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deadline Extended to July 15th!

I have had quite the pop of interest in this anthology as of late, and as a courtesy to newcomers, I decided to extend the deadline from June 15th to July 15th (1 month).  Since I'm keeping a good pace reading the incoming submissions, instead of taking 6-8 weeks to decide on which stories will be included in the anthology, I plan to cut that down to 2-4.  This way the overall timeline will remain unaffected.

I want to thank those who have taken the time to bring this idea to life with their creativity.  I've read some truly great work so far by both published and unknown authors alike, and I look forward to reading even more!  I know, I'm greedy:)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Concept Cover

Here's the story with the cover.  When I sent out the call for submissions, the text was so long that I had to break it up somehow.  I settled for grabbing a random picture and slapping a title on it.  It didn't take long for the rhino to grow on me, so I set out on a quest to find the artist of the picture and try to purchase the rights or commission her to draw a human head.  I located the artist, but her blog was in Spanish.  Luckily my wife was able to translate, but unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'm going to get a reply.  Therefore I cannot use the rhino picture for the cover.  Instead, I used the rhino as inspiration to draw my own cover.  Here's how the process played out.

First I drafted this two-inch picture in pencil:

Next I blew the draft up to a full-page image:

I finished by using the draft as an outline as I drew the full-page image in pen:

The rest is simple Photoshop tweaks:

Barring a few tweaks, I'm leaning towards making this the official cover.  Not only does it get the job done, but it's free!

In either case, I'd love to hear your thoughts/suggestions.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Memory Eater Ideas

Today I want to share a list of ideas/plots I’ve come up with that either haven’t been done yet or are in short supply.  Some of these are incomplete.  I just wanted to throw them out there, hoping they’ll get the creative juices flowing.

If you have any ideas to add to the list, please do send them over.  The more options available, the better.

·         The memory eater is used on willing/unwilling killers, addicts, those molested, people with phobias, et cetera in an attempt to rehabilitate them.

·         A character thinks they are having a certain memory deleted, but another character (their spouse/family member/best friend) pays to have something else deleted, perhaps a habit they despise.  An example would be:  “A man went in to have his nagging wife deleted, but it turns out his wife paid the technician more money to wipe video games, beer and sports from his mind.  Now the man apparently watches The Notebook every night while eating bonbons with his wife.”

·         Someone deletes a past mistake, like accidentally hurting/killing someone, and after the wipe, they make the same mistake again.

·         A character deletes a beloved memory so they can experience it again for the first time.  Example:  A woman has her favorite movie deleted so she can watch it again for the very first time.

·         A character deletes a deceased loved one.

·         Perhaps so many people delete one memory, like a terrorist attack, that a debate arises as to whether the event actually occurred or not.

·         Along the same lines, if a handful of people delete a memory, did it ever really happen?  Think of the falling tree in a forest debate.

·         A wealthy/bored person decides to add spice to their life by creating a reality game.  Before they delete the game from their mind, they leave clues around so they will unknowingly be led on an adventure.  The person might rig the game so they believe they are a spy/prominent figure/somebody of great importance.  In the end, perhaps the character winds up back at their boring life.

·         The main character gets a sex change and has the memory deleted.

·         A character deletes one memory but something important gets deleted along with it.  Example taken from my advertisement:  “But be warned, for sometimes memories are strung together.  Like an ex-husband and children.  Or drugs and a $50,000 college education.”

·         Mistakes.  Here’s another example taken from my advertisement:  “If a licensed technician makes a mistake (only 3% error rate), the main character may forget how to walk, or how to talk, or how to go to the bathroom.”

·         Someone wants to start clean, so they wipe their entire mind.

·         A killer fails/succeeds at deleting the evidence from their mind.  They get caught or get away with it.

·         Someone tries to make someone else think that they had something deleted.  Think con-artists.

·         Anything humorous.

Regardless of which topic is chosen, I always look for a purpose.  Why did the man get his entire memory wiped?  Why did the woman delete her husband who died in the war?

And yes, the list above is for communal use.  You don’t have to ask for permission.

Good luck!