Get Your Creative On

by Ron Gilbert
Aug 11, 2016

With the amazing success of the Occult Bookstore book name crowdsourcing, we've decided to go back to the creative well again, but this time it's going to be more interesting (and more work).

The library in the mansion mansion contains around 100 books and not only do we need to name them all, we need two pages of text.  When the player explores the mansion mansion library, they can look at any of the books and they'll get a close up showing two side-by-side pages. Players can't turn the pages, but the two pages can be from anywhere in the book. Imagine grabbing a book and just flipping it open.

Some of the books will be written by us and include background lore for the story and characters, but we also need books that are just fun to read and explore.

And that is where you come in.  Make up a book, give it a title, and an author (that can be you), and write two pages of text consisting of around 100 words each. It's that simple.  If your book is accepted, you'll also appear in the credits.

To submit your entries, you need to use this Google Form.  Feel free to also post your books in the comments for everyone to read (or not), but if you don't submit them through the approved form, they won't make it into the game.

The rules are pretty simple:

1) Two pages of text. Each page is around 100 words and less than 650 characters.
2) Must be your original work. No public domain works.
3) Must have a title (25 characters or less).
4) Optional author and that can be made up, someone from history, or you.
5) Don't use copyrighted works or characters, including the author's name.
6) Must be 1987 appropriate.
7) Keep the content G or PG-13.
8) Books must be in English, but they will be translated.

Once again, submit all book entries HERE.

So... put on your smart glasses, grab a pencil, and most of all, have fun and be as serious or funny as you want.

The deadline is August 29th, 2016.

- Ron

Arto - Aug 11, 2016 at 14:59
I'm on it! Yay! :)

vincent - Aug 11, 2016 at 14:59
BlaBla (fist page) / BlaBlaBLA (second page)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:00
Great! Let's call Wendy to write a masterpiece! Again!!

Carlo Valenti - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:01
I like it! I will!  Any deadline?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:04
Just added the deadline, thanks.

Carlo - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:02
Thank you for this opportunity!

Luca - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:05
Done! But I have a question: may I write it in italian or is in english only?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:08
English only, they will translate entries as required.

Bogdan Barbu - Aug 12, 2016 at 20:00
It wouldn't make sense to pay translators to do work on material that might not be worth including in the game. (Obviously, I'm not talking for the team.)

Emmanuel - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:06
One of the things that impressed me the most in Monkey Island 2 was the Phatt Island library. Does anyone know how all these books were made? They weren't long but there were a LOT of them, and none seemed to be completely devoid of content. There was something interesting in most of them. How was that ever accomplished?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:11
Those were done by the team, but mostly Dave Grossman.

Emmanuel - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:23
It really made that world come alive. It's like when you see a landscape in the background of an RPG that you can't actually reach but wonder who lives there. It gave the impression that all those books, their writers and their readers existed. The kind of content depth (even though the interaction was really minimal for these) is one of the things that made Monkey Island 2 stand out.

Berudil - Aug 18, 2016 at 03:39
I totally agree with you! That's why Monkey 2 is a master piece!

Melanie Leary - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:16

Emmanuel - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:20
Well, the FELT big when I was playing it.

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:10
Yes, only in English. They will be translated to the different languages, but we have to have them in english as a base.

Melanie Leary - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:22
Ron, will you proof read them and check for grammar and spelling mistakes?

Guga - Aug 12, 2016 at 00:58
The next question is: can the authors translate them in their native language, if the pages get in the game? :D

Guga - Aug 12, 2016 at 01:00
Whoops, I just saw that you already answered this question.

I hate premature comment syndrome.

Mischa Magyar - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:13
Is it ok to
a) include pop culture references
b) use some titles (of my own) from the occult bookshop
c) write more than one book

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:17
a) Depends. Don't use them in a disparaging way and don't make them the focus of the work. We might nix them if not fair use.
b) Yes
c) Yes

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:23
Wonderful! :D I will do my best!

Sabrina - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:25
I'm a translator, bilingual in English and Spanish, may I provide my own translation of the text?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:27
I just added a checkbox for contacting the author of the book entry when it's time to translate, so you will be able to do the translation.

Mischa Magyar - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:30
Do the 2 pages have to be the first two pages?
Or can the text start in the middle of a book?

Mischa Magyar - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:37
Ignore me, I just reread the post and saw that it may be any two pages! ;)

WORMCASTS - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:32
Should the text begin and end mid-sentence?

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:07
I was wondering the same thing.
I would imagine that if you open a book to a random page that it would start mid-sentence.  That's how I will be submitting my entry.

I wonder if in the case an entry goes over the allowed character limit how they will handle omitting words.  I would think an easy algorithm would be to first omit the first word in the entry then (if necessary) the last word.  If more words need to be trimmed, repeat.

I worry how a lot of this would seem to the average gamer...all this backer-supplied material that are chocked full of bad grammar and typos (book titles and page submissions).  It would probably seem like amateur hour for those that aren't aware of the backer-provided material.  But, then again, that's what makes this project extraordinarily special- that there's *a lot* of people's fingerprints all over the game that aren't actually part of the dev team.  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and out.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:49
Well, now I now you cannot exceed the character limit (after submitting an entry).  I just wonder if most entries will start at the beginning of a sentence.

Eric - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:40
Can we create fake stories based on characters or objects from your other games (ie Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion)?

Peter - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:41
Sounds great. Since there are a lot of non-native speakers around, it would be great to know if you where proof reading the texts. I don't want to lower the gaming experience with my mediocre English skills.
Will there be a book title <--> text relation or can we just create some independent text?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:43
We will proof read them. The title of the book needs to be for the book the 2 pages are part of.

Carlo Valenti - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:44
I hereby state my proposal (always dreamt to say this) :

1) who likes the idea, subscribes to a mailing list I create
2) we cooperate to create a penthalogy/eptalogy of books, related each one to the others,
just for fun
3) the relationships among the books may be: loose (just mutual reference of the titles, the Lord of the Thimbles saga for instance), or tight (a self-conclusive treasure hunt jumping from book to book, for instance)

Does the mighty Gilbert approve such approach in principle?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:49
As long as the books conform to the rules, go for it. Sounds fun.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:21
Good, I subscribe!

Maxi - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:45
Guys, the game is not even out and I'm already having fun. I love doing my voice, and creating a title for a book. Now I'm going to spend my weekend writing...I suck at it but hey, I can dream.

One question, if for some reason. My book gets in the game, is possible for me to do the translation, since english is not born lenguage ?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 15:48
I just added an option for the author of the book to do the translation.

Tomer - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:03
Can we submit more than one book per author?

Arto - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:11

Ian / Nihil Quest - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:11
Great idea guys. I'd love to write something but I'm Polish and I don't think my English is good for literature. I'm afraid to channel my inner Joseph Conrad yet.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:12
Ron, there is a little typo:
the first field says "You name", in the title and in the description, just under the title.

Ransom - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:23
Ron you *BEEP*ing rock for giving the fans these opportunities to participate

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:27
Thanks to everyone from the whole team for making this game possible!

Arto - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:08
Thank you for allowing people to make this game possible!

Jaap - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:36
Cool stuff! Will definitely have a go!

Carlo Valenti - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:43

1) who likes the idea, feel free to subscribe at:!forum/mansion-mansion-books

2) we cooperate to create a subset of books, related each one to the others, just for fun
3) the relationships among the books may be: loose (just mutual reference of the titles, the Lord of the Thimbles saga for instance), or tight (a self-conclusive treasure hunt jumping from book to book, for instance)

IMPORTANT NOTE: this is just a fan idea.

Christopher Griffin - Aug 11, 2016 at 16:53
So glad to get another chance to contribute!  Love providing input on this project!  Honestly, Ron and crew, you've absolutely made this project the most fun Kickstarter project I've ever backed.  Reading the blog, seeing the content, and hearing the discussions make this a very enjoyable project.

If a meteor hit the earth and the game never saw the light of day, I'd still be happy that I backed this project. :)

Iron Curtain - Aug 13, 2016 at 18:11
"If a meteor hit the earth and the game never saw the light of day, I'd still be happy that I backed this project. :)"

DON'T JINX IT! After what else that's been happening in 2016 I think that was more of a summon than a fear! :-P

Fred - Aug 11, 2016 at 17:29
I guess the real reward would be to tell ppl where their book is placed.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 11, 2016 at 17:34
Iìm sure that Ron will make it an option.

Patrik Spacek - Aug 11, 2016 at 17:47
I wish I could draw instead of writing....

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 11, 2016 at 18:11

I assume that the two text pages are supposed to be from the middle of the book?

Man.  I want to submit at least two...but I will be disqualified, yes?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 11, 2016 at 18:25
That can be from the beginning, middle or end. It doesn't matter. Submit as many as you want.

Laihanen - Aug 11, 2016 at 18:25
Oh yeah this is fun.
First book submitted ;)

GorgeousThePotato - Aug 11, 2016 at 18:33
Oh my! Just a few days ago I started an 80s-appropriate short story! I might submit an excerpt from that.

I can't wait to play the game and read through every. single. one. of. these.

Damian - Aug 11, 2016 at 18:42
I don't know it you can use it, but just submitted "A Pac-Man Ghost Exorcism", but misterious author Yasako Mikakita. :P

Had to shorten from 290 words to 201 because got excited with the idea and wrote a bit too much.

But I'll try to think another idea that doesn't include famous characters (sorry...)

Natasza - Aug 11, 2016 at 18:51
Well, I'm a student and I'm still learning how to use english correctly, but I love this kind of games and I really want to help so I'll try to write it as good as I can. Btw I can also translate it to polish.

Darius - Aug 11, 2016 at 19:23

The Adventurin’ Lad

I love adventurin’. Always done. Mother told me to forget about it.
"Too much danger and not enough treasures," she said. "That’s how father lost his arm. Fightin’ some dragon or golem or summat."
I always felt proud whenever I saw father strugglin’ on the farm. He couldn’t really farm, but, my god, he had been out adventurin’. He usually relied on me and mother, but I didn’t mind. Father had been out adventurin’. He was a hero. A former hero, perhaps, but hero nonetheless. Mother minded, of course. She had to do all the ploughin’, sowin’, waterin’, harvestin’ and whatnot.
"A woman’s place is by the stove and a man’s place is out in the fields," she used to say when we were out farmin’ the fields instead of father. Father stayed home and did the cookin’. He just laughed and threw another potato into the pot. We never had peeled potatoes because of his missin’ arm – how to you peel’em with one hand? – but I didn’t mind. One evenin’ I spat some potato peel and said:
"Mother. Father. I’m goin’ adventurin’. Tomorrow mornin’ I’m packin’ my things and I’m leavin’ home."
"What things?" father said.


Run - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:38
I LOLed  d(^^)

Kevin Lee Drum - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:04
I like it!

Darius - Aug 13, 2016 at 15:02
Thank you guys! It warms the heart of a humble dabbler. :D

Damian - Aug 11, 2016 at 19:58
Another one submitted: "Meteorite Taxonomy", by a certain Dr. Carl Bundesmayer.

Looks like Dr. Bundesmayer dislike the theories of a certain Dr. Fred Edison about a new type of meteorites... :D

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 11, 2016 at 20:08
Ron, how come a book title can contain 25 characters, but an author's name can only contain 20 characters?

William S - Aug 11, 2016 at 22:17
I assume the character limit is with spaces. I just noticed it and now I need to slim down my submission

Amb - Aug 12, 2016 at 00:34
I am so tempted to put the author down as "Iona Ratt".

Allen - Aug 12, 2016 at 01:03
Loving this idea - now to the writing board...

For some reason I started thinking about filling the two pages with something akin to Douglas Adams' description of how big the universe is in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (which I then decided to check the publishing date of: 1979!). Knowing that my attempt would either be an unconscious plagiarism, or somewhat inferior, I got to hoping there would just be an entry for that book anyway... grumble grumble copyright grumble...

Farooq - Aug 12, 2016 at 01:06
I'm on it boss.

Brian Ruff - Aug 12, 2016 at 01:32
I just spent a few hours writing a poem for a video game. That was fun!

Vilinthril - Aug 12, 2016 at 03:16
Can it be non-text-focused? I'm in maths, and I'd love to send you a tidbit of formulae from my field for an in-game book. ^^

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:39
I was kind of wondering the same thing.  I plan on submitting a work of fiction, but I was also planning on submitting one that is a "technical manual" on the subject of numbers stations.  :)

Ron Gilbert - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:41
Unfortunately, it needs to be plain text. We have a limited font and no way to do fancy formatting or display images. Get creative, limitations can be empowering.

Brian Small - Aug 15, 2016 at 18:34
Will you be able to maintain initial white-space on lines, and carriage returns.  So, for example, could I do something like this (no - I am not planning on this, this is just an example, intentionally chosen to incite religious fervor amongst programmers):

Below is the correct procedure for maximizing your Perl happiness:

   1. Open the GNU emacs editor
   2. Visit a new file with Ctrl-X, Ctrl-F.  Give it a .pl extension so perl-mode highlighting will be used.
   3. Make extensive and ideally obfusctated used of regular expressions, the default variable, and while loops.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 15, 2016 at 23:20
Perl wasn't really around in 1987...

Brian Small - Aug 16, 2016 at 12:09
Yes, I was just using it as an example of an indented list for fun.  But I suppose if you want to get technical about it, it was available in time for Christmas that year :)

Nick - Aug 12, 2016 at 05:01
Submitted a creepy, hair raising story. Stay tuned for "Nick Kompson's : Stories from the woods"

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 12, 2016 at 05:03
Just a curiosity: why, in the form, the 25 topics change their appearing order every time I refresh or re-enter the page?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:15
So they are not biased towards the ones at the top.

Big Red Button - Aug 12, 2016 at 06:12
Are we allowed to give more than one suggestion?

Someone - Aug 12, 2016 at 06:48
Yes. See the comments (from Ron) above.

Big Red Button - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:38
Okay. Thanks!

Big Red Button - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:40
It's good for us and bad for the team members who have to read all of our suggestions. :D

Gv - Aug 12, 2016 at 07:37
I wrote a story based on a Lucasarts game but I never mentioned the game title or any of the characters, and is a totally new story, is that ok?

LogicDeLuxe - Aug 12, 2016 at 08:02
It says "no internet handle" for the credits, but I don't use it exclusively for that. What if I use the same name as a pseudonym for my software? Even some C64 tools go under that name. May I also use it as a writers's pseudonym then?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:15
I just don't want goofy stuff like "l33tGamerz" that pulls players out of the fantasy.  If it looks like it might be a real name, it's OK. We'll ry and be pretty generous.

dada - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:20
Is there no way you would allow for four pages or at least more than 200 words?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:36
No, sorry.  The text has to fit on those two pages, otherwise we'd have to make a much more complex UI to allow page turning, etc.  Not rocket science, but we have a lot to do.  Maybe submit two books, with one of them being "part II"?

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 09:57
Dang.  No formatting- italics, underline, bold?
I especially use italics for internal dialogue.  It can be confusing to the reader sometimes if you don't make the distinction; and alternatively, it can seem cumbersome or awkward to write: "he thought".

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:02
You can use parenthesis (...) to simulate thoughts.
and for dialogues, you can use this syntax:

- "My name is Zak"
- "Hi Zak, My name is ROTFL"
(Zak made a footstep back)

Your thoughts?

Someone - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:10

Zak: "My name is Zak"
ROTFL: "Hi Zak, My name is ROTFL."
Zak made a footsep back.

Even better (using CR):

"My name is Zak"
"Hi Zak, My name is ROTFL."
Zak made a footsep back.

The best method:

One day Zak met ROTFL. He began to speak: "My name is Zak"
"Hi Zak, My name is ROTFL", answered his collegue.
Then, suddenly, Zak made a footsep back.

Have a look at books how they do that.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:26
Books often do it with italics (for third-person omniscient POV).  It's just less jarring for the reader and more natural for the writer.
If you ditch the italics, the reader may not clearly understand that it is the character's thought or omniscient narration.  And, again, like I said, having to say:
*Jane quickly shuffled in front of John, blocking the exit.
John thought, "Why is she harassing me?"*
is more jarring when you're already know the narration is omniscient, and you can do:
*Jane quickly shuffled in front of John, blocking the exit.
Why is she harassing me?*
Without italics in that second line, you start reading it as if it is the narrator.  With italics, you understand that it's actually John's thoughts.
Having to add "John thought," feels clunky and awkward.

Someone - Aug 12, 2016 at 17:51
"[...] John thought, "Why is she harassing me?"
is more jarring when you're already know the narration is omniscient"

No. It's perfect. You have to tell the reader who is speaking or thinking. Even if the dialog goes on. If you can't read a paragraph "fluend" than you have to rewrite it. Italic formating is not natural for the reader, because italic and bold formats are there to "highlight" something. So the brain of the reader has to stop reading and to figure out "why is this italic thing here? Ah, I see. That is the person who thinks about that..." With italic text you interrupt the reading.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:14
Your parenthetical sentence is just describing action.  ???
I'm talking about internal dialogue/thought.
See my response, further below.

Someone - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:07
"It can be confusing to the reader sometimes if you don't make the distinction"

Can you give an example? There are letters to distinguish dialogs:
- ... -
and so on. If they don't suffice, you should consider to rewrite the sentence.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:11
Yeah.  I guess people aren't quite understanding...

This would usually apply to books written in regular third-person POV.

In Regular Third Person POV Use Only Italics…Or Don’t Use Anything

You have options if you’re writing third person point of view but aren’t bringing it to the intimate level of deep POV.

Ronald took Melody’s hand and flashed her a smile fit for a dentist’s ad. “I’ll pay you back.”
Liar. Where’s the $1000 you still owe me? “I’m maxed out this month.”

Because we’re in third person point of view, we’ll already know that any thoughts are Melody’s so we don’t need the “she thought” of omniscient POV. The italics clue the reader in that we’re now hearing Melody’s exact thoughts.

The italics also allow you to use present tense thoughts in an otherwise past tense story if you want, without jarring the reader. If you choose to give the thoughts in present tense, just remember to be consistent throughout and, whenever possible, set them off in their own paragraph in the same way that you would dialogue.

You could also write this as…

Ronald took Melody’s hand and flashed her a smile fit for a dentist’s ad. “I’ll pay you back.”
Melody yanked her hand away. Liar. Where was the $1000 he still owed her? “I’m maxed out this month.”

You don’t have to add the action beat in front of the internal dialogue to make it work without italics, but I wanted to show you that it sometimes helps to ground the reader. Also, if you don’t use italics, you should keep it in past tense (assuming the rest of the story is in past tense).


Someone - Aug 12, 2016 at 17:41
"Because we’re in third person point of view, "

No. In your example you mixed up two POVs: The third person and the first person. And that's a very bad habit. Third person is:

Ronald took Melody’s hand and flashed her a smile fit for a dentist’s ad. “I’ll pay you back.”

Then you switch to first person:

Liar. Where’s the $1000 you still owe me?

Don't do that. Never. Not in that way. The head of the reader goes crazy, even if you format it in italic. If you write in third person POV stay in it:

Ronald took Melody’s hand and flashed her a smile fit for a dentist’s ad. "I’ll pay you back", he said.
Melody yanked her hand away. "Liar. Where’s the $1000 you still owe me?", she thought. Harshly she answered: “I’m maxed out this month.”

As I said above: Rewrite the whole sentence (or the paragraph). If you have to format your text, then something goes wrong.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:03
Plain and simple, you're wrong.
The example I gave is not mine.
Once again. The POV is omniscient which can give you direct insight to a character's thoughts.

Why are you trying to argue something that is a common writing practice?  In any case, italics cannot be used in our submissions, so I'll just move on.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:31
Just google "italics for thoughts".  You'll maybe learn how it's used.  It's a matter of preference, really.  In certain situations, it is most fitting, in my opinion.  The more you read, the more you'll notice its use.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:00
Just a curiosity, part II:
there will be around 100 books in total, and the library has 25 topic sections.
That means there will be 4 books per section, or one or more sections will contain more/less than 4 books?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:11
There are around 16 books in each section (some have more, others less), so, yes, there are more than 100 books. I miscalculated the number.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:45
OK, thank you!

Gv - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:09
Is there a way to know if our book will be on the game before the translation?
I need to know if I will buy the game or not, depending on if my book's made it into the game
Just joking :)

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:25
Ron, did you want to be sure you have at least one entry for each library section/topic?  Maybe you could post an update widget somewhere of the number of submissions you have received for each topic...?  What if everyone, hypothetically, submitted only "Short Stories"?  Does that even matter?  I think I would like to see a bit of variety, anyway, and I might focus on what I suspect will be the less popular "library sections".

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:29
Hmmm...Just checking out the library sections on the form.
Physics and Astromomy?
Astro-mommy, lol.

Typos are great.  ;)

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:34
All of the fictional books will had to have been written by what date?  Are we talking 1986, accounting for time to publish/print?
Do we have an exact date?

Someone - Aug 12, 2016 at 10:38
Have a look at Rons blog post:

"6) Must be 1987 appropriate."

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:03
1987 is not an exact date.  I ask because I was thinking about writing something covering "current events".

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:34
What I mean by suggesting the books were to have been WRITTEN in 1986, is that the books in the library would have needed to be PUBLISHED on or before some date in 1987.  What date?  I assume that it takes time for a book to go through final editing, then publishing/print.  So, then, I assume most of the books in the library should have had to have been written (most likely) before 1987.

If a book about current events was on store shelves on June 1st, 1987, the material in the book probably didn't cover the previous month (at least) considering the time it takes to publish and print.  I suppose smaller independent publications or periodicals/magazines could require less time for editing and printing and publication.

Kevin Lee Drum - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:06
Joy of Writing "Wash Me"
by Kevin Lee Drum

Brown cars pose an additional challenge due to the lack of contrast between the dirt and your canvas.  In this situation, the rear window is an acceptable medium (unless the vehicle is equipped with rear wipers).  Remember that the rear side of the vehicle reaches the widest audience.  Do you simply want the car owner to wash the car, or do you want to give voice to the neglected and abused?

It is your duty to speak for the car in the car's own words.  The impact of your car-ligraphy relies on the emotional connection to the reader.  There is humor in the anthropomorphism of a typically mute car, but the story does not have to end there.  For example, "Wash Me PLEASE" conveys a stronger feeling of desperation, particularly for the filthier vehicles.  "I'm So Dirty" is unconventional, but it adds a touch of sensuality.

Just because your limited to a few words doesn't mean the car has to be a flat, one-dimensional character.  Is the car a youthful Dickensian chimney sweep or a starry-eyed, down-on-her-luck Midwestern farm girl?  Is it a limo dreaming of the red carpet or a minivan struggling with a midlife crisis?

Kevin Lee Drum - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:07
By the way, I submitted this using the form, but I thought I'd share it here as well.

Kevin Lee Drum - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:25
Whoops.  "Just because your limited" should be "Just because you're limited".

Gv - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:53
Don't worry, you need to save words :)

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:42
Well then, sir- you are hereby disqualified.
Such errors will not be tolerated.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:46

Nor Treblig - Aug 12, 2016 at 15:20
Nice read!

Buuut: Isn't Wash Me™ (I'm pretty sure there was one pixel of dirt saying '™') now property of Disney? And even if Disney's lawyers don't get this reference: you used the word 'cars'! OMG!!

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 12, 2016 at 16:06
Sounds good, Kevin. I have a driver's license, but I have never owned a car. I still want to own your book.

Nor Treblig - Aug 13, 2016 at 03:20
After reading his book you can come and visit me and wash my vehicles :-)

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 17, 2016 at 12:16
Do you have a monster truck? Then I'll come because I really like monster trucks!

Nor Treblig - Aug 17, 2016 at 19:24
Now that's some theme song!

Actually I don't own any four-wheelers. But Monster Trucks can wheelie, so they are cool too.

Btw. I like this scene:
Casually cruising through the countryside...

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 22, 2016 at 16:14
I also want to try a jetski, segway and helicopter. ;-)

I'm glad you like that scene. :-)

Nikita Tattoo - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:51

"A man with a paper face"
by Nikita "Tattoo" Sokolov

Once there lived a man with a paper face. He was born in the library and nobody was surprised. That was the surprise. He studied well but he had always problems with the school marks that they put on his face. So he often came home with red ink on his face and his parents thought that he was shy. He didnt like to walk in the rain because his face became soggy and wet..

Once upon he met a girl. He fell in love and tried to make an impression. He wrote her poems on his face, but when they met she couldn't read them because he writhed in fear. So she fell in love with another man with an ordinary face. Our hero was depressed and he crumpled his paper in agony and pain. And one stormy night when he was walking along the dark alley he met another girl. She had an envelope head. So they put the paper in the envelope and married..

Daniel Wolf - Aug 12, 2016 at 11:53
I'm considering writing a poem, so I'll need a line break after each verse. How many lines are there per page?

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 12, 2016 at 15:04
Hmm...Good question.  Maybe it's something that needs to be tested?  I typed into the form an entry that was under 650 characters (with a crapload of carriage returns between words/letters) and it was 315 lines long.  That won't fit on one page. :)

I wonder how Ron will address (or is handling) that.  Maybe the form should have counted each carriage return as 60 characters- or however many characters will fit in a line- (instead of 1 or 2 that I think it is counting it as).

Mathias Berglund - Aug 12, 2016 at 13:07
"Worn out childrens book"

Somewhere in the outskirts of the endless sea of worlds commonly known as universe, gave a star a long time ago light, in a last effort before its coming rest. Near the star was an insignificant blue planet. Around it hovered a spaceship in zero gravity of even bigger insignificance. Its insignificance was so big that no one ever seemed to have taken notice of naming either the spacecraft or planet it orbited around. And if ever been, their names now were long forgotten. In one of the ship's narrow nooks were a mechanical creature which was not an insignificant one. Her name was PI.

Mathias Berglund - Aug 12, 2016 at 13:08
Apologies for any poor grammar, prose or other things in there. :)

Arto - Aug 12, 2016 at 14:24
I had an idea that required the second page to end in certain mid-sentence. But I guess it's a guesswork to try to fill the page so that the last intented word will be on bottom right of the page.

Dan S. - Aug 13, 2016 at 01:19
I would really like to begin and end in mid-sentence too, but you bring up a good point about not knowing whether the last line will be a full line. There are various editing and formatting tricks that fix it, but I'm not sure the developers want to spend time on that.  At least we should be able to begin mid-sentence.

Guy - Aug 12, 2016 at 15:42
Is there any way to go back and edit after you've closed the submission confirmation page? I was a bit unhappy with how I worded one of the sentences in my book and it would be cool to fix it up.

Also, thanks for letting us be a part of the game like this! It's fun :)

Stoffhimel - Aug 12, 2016 at 16:02
Story created and submitted. its titled Machine Gun Flamenco. Its a crime drama with lots of ham and bullets.

Dan S. - Aug 12, 2016 at 16:50
Awesome! Definitely doing this.

Chelsea - Aug 12, 2016 at 21:22
Are you open to multiple submissions?

Chelsea - Aug 12, 2016 at 21:37
Please disregard my other question I saw a reading through the comments it was answer but I do have another question. If I submit you a portion of a book that I would like to publish in the future do I have the right to do so if you put it in the game?

Gv - Aug 13, 2016 at 18:05
I submitted something I have in a blog, and I will not delete it, I don't know what Ron thinks.

Ron Gilbert - Aug 12, 2016 at 23:01
Yes, submit as many as you want. I miscounted originally, we need 261 books.

Chelsea - Aug 13, 2016 at 02:11
What if any future publication rights do I retain? Just wondering as I'm considering sending you some peices of larger works.

CJ Kershner - Aug 14, 2016 at 14:17
Seconding Chelsea's question about publication rights. I've got a B-story from a larger work I'd like to submit.

stderr - Aug 26, 2016 at 13:58
261?! I thought this was an 8-bit game!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 29, 2016 at 03:36
It's a double-byte library, indeed.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 12, 2016 at 22:44
Ron, it should be possible to pick several languages in the form if one can translate to several languages.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 13, 2016 at 02:48
Interessante... come te la cavi con l'italiano?

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 13, 2016 at 20:52
I wish I could speak Italian like Brad Pitt...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 14, 2016 at 12:18
AHAHAH touché!

Stefano - Aug 17, 2016 at 06:29
Penso di essere piuttosto bravino.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 17, 2016 at 08:10

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 17, 2016 at 12:20
Thank you for telling me that I'm the best soccer player you've never seen! ^_^

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 18, 2016 at 02:59
Initial sentence:
   "Penso di essere piuttosto bravino."
Translation according to Google Translator:
   "I think I'm pretty good player."
What it really means:
   "I think I'm pretty good at that."

I really have no idea where does Google took the word "player" from !!! :-D

Pat - Aug 13, 2016 at 02:55
Turn the page.

By Isaac RR Adams.

and Ivy knew this was a safe place.  It was the diploma clad walls, mahogany desk with its cliché lamp and green sofa, all of which she’d seen in a photograph from a magazine on the ground that day.  The doctor, gentle face and warm smile, had always been some one she could turn to and understood that when Ivy opened, without hesitation, would know where they’d finished their last session.  


That ruffled something in Ivy and it was at or around this point she straightened herself, easily sliding across the leather sofa.  
She feigned a brave front but the harsh reality was written all over her therapist’s face.  Dr Ima Booke laid her clasped hands on the polished mahogany and began to speak.  The lamp on the doctor’s desk gave Ima’s face an ominous glow.  Ivy got shivers up her spine.

“You’re a book.”  

There it was. Ivy’s heart shredded.  She felt herself yellow and her stomach ripple like pages doused in water.  That hard cover that had been her shield against the world turned soft.  Her face went blank.  She was about to speak but came to a full stop.

Balloon Boy - Aug 13, 2016 at 06:23
Quick question: what section of the library would a journal go in? Thanks!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 13, 2016 at 12:17
If it's a Captain's log, I'd place in the 'Travel' section!

L Dimas - Aug 13, 2016 at 12:30
Won't it be a problem having to translate all those texts considering that they have to fit in the same  text boxes? I think that this can be really hard if you want your text to start and finish exactly at the same point in all languages.

Jacky - Aug 13, 2016 at 12:31
Are we allowed to make it a cook book? With original recipes by us? I guess the category Health would be appropriate.

Gv - Aug 13, 2016 at 13:12
Look for the category "Cooking and Food", it is there,

Jacky - Aug 13, 2016 at 13:35
Oh stupid me... I did not see it. Thanks!

tzachs - Aug 13, 2016 at 13:42
Hi, my book is currently at 265 words, 1445 characters. So I need to cut (gasp) about 145 characters.
Can you guys help me to CUT CUT CUT?

Here's what I currently have:

Title: The Biggest Twist

and utterly shocked. She looked at the parchment with disbelief. All the clues were there, but she missed them all. Honestly, though, could you blame her? Was it not the biggest twist you've ever seen?
She had to act fast. She looked at Harrison. He was still holding a gun to her head, and his smirk grew even wider.

Without giving it a second thought, she grabbed the goat and jumped from the helicopter.

She imagined Harrison was now as shocked as she was. He wouldn't dare shoot her now, not while she has the goat. She would have paid good money to see that smirk wiped off his face.
Still, did she just jump to her death?
It's hard opening a parachute mid-air without any experience, but even harder opening it while carrying a goat. She was terrified and hugged Willy for comfort. Yes, she felt she can call him by name now. She grew quite fond of the goat. After all, he did save her life twice.
The wind was blowing and making more noise than she could master. She still haven't found the parachute in her backpack, and was starting to panic.
Willy, on the other hand, looked perfectly calm and serene. "It looks like it's not the first time you've been skydiving, hah, Willy?", she joked, trying desperately to calm herself.

That's when it hit her. it wasn't the first time he's been skydiving! Of course! That's how they switched the professor's body in the middle of the night!
Wow. This was an even bigger twist than the one before.

Dan S. - Aug 13, 2016 at 18:03
I like this. Really feels like a random slice of a larger story and also doubles as nonsensical fun. I'd suggest these cuts:

- Honestly, though, could you blame her? Was it not the biggest twist you've ever seen?
- It's hard opening a parachute mid-air without any experience, but even harder opening it while carrying a goat.
- Wow. This was an even bigger twist than the one before.

Maybe change the title, but keep it enigmatic and only vaguely related to the excerpt, something like "The Disappearance," for example.

Tzach Shabtay - Aug 15, 2016 at 14:34
Thanks, Dan!
I removed those lines (and a few more as it wasn't enough, apparently) and submitted.

Darius - Aug 13, 2016 at 14:43

What the Z!

Hello? Mary? You there? It's me, honey. What? Well, yes, I'm in trouble. Yeah, with a capital Z. No, no, I'm safe at the moment. In a phone booth. The one I'm calling from. Oh, the one outside the grocery store. Sure, I got the milk. How many? Well, at least three of them. Of course I can count. Well, yes, ONLY three of them, but they're really scary. Arms streched out. Unruly eyes. Frayed clothes. And the smell. Phew! Stings the eyes. Well, they caught up with me. It's a beautiful day, isn't it, and I was in no hurry. I know, stupid of me. But listen, honey, you gotta help me. Please. Okay. Yes. I promise. So. A clean shot to the head? Got it. Avoid the splatter? Will do. No, I didn't bring the gun. Well, we keep it in the bedroom and I had my shoes on. Yeah, but honey, how many times didn't you lecture me about shoes and carpets? Not again, honey. Not now. Please, can you just bring the car and pick me up? Please. Pretty please. With sugar on top? Great! Owe you one. And fetch the gun. Love ya, hon. Love you too. Please hurry. Yes, I'll wait. No, I won't forget the milk.

Rai - Aug 14, 2016 at 10:22
sound like a completely normal day in a zombie infested city?

Darius - Aug 14, 2016 at 14:21
I would guess so. Always bring a weapon :)

Daniel Wolf - Aug 13, 2016 at 15:29
Talking about contributing -- I've been up to something else. About a year ago, Ron asked about software for automatic lip-sync for Thimbleweed park. There wasn't any free tool that gave good results, so I've spent the last year writing such a tool myself. I'm thrilled to announce that I just released a new, greatly improved version. Check out this *demo video featuring agent Ray*!

If you're interested, you can find my lip-sync tool on GitHub:

Someone - Aug 13, 2016 at 19:05
"There wasn't any free tool that gave good results,"

Could you name (some of) the others free tools?

And: Your tool is limited to english voices only at the moment?

Daniel Wolf - Aug 14, 2016 at 01:48
Just about all automatic lip-sync tools are commercial. I found a few free scripts (try googling for something like "free automatic lip-sync"), but their output is unusable.

My tool is currently limited to English, correct.

Zombocast - Aug 14, 2016 at 02:42
I loved your original video!.

Daniel Wolf - Feb 21, 2016 at 15:08
The official repo is here:

Balloon Boy - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:57
That's awesome! I can see how this would be a huge help for automating in-game dialogue, especially when the game has huge amounts of talking.

Daniel Wolf - Aug 15, 2016 at 02:06
Thanks for your comments! I'm really proud about this new release.

@Zombocast: I'm glad you enjoyed the old video. It felt like quite an accomplishment to me at the time. Since then, I spent a lot of time tuning the algorithm and I believe it really shows in the new video. The new mouth animation is much smoother and better in-sync. :-)

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 15, 2016 at 04:06
Mattias, I love your movie quotes! :-D :-D :-D

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 15, 2016 at 19:28
Oh, now I feel the pressure to keep on delivering! You make me want to be a better quoter.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 15, 2016 at 04:00
Really cool and impressive! Congratulations!!

longuist - Aug 15, 2016 at 06:53
Great improvement. Using the word "rhubarb" is a good indicator :D

Daniel Wolf - Aug 16, 2016 at 01:20
@longuist: You're right! The word "rhubarb" is a great example of the improvements in the new version.

* It starts with an R sound, followed by an OO sound. A human speaker would "anticipate" the OO when speaking the R, forming puckered lips even for the R sound. That's what the new version does, too. The old version would have treated the two sounds independently.
* Following that is a B sound. Like the P sound, its timing is special. You'd think the sound is make with a closed mouth, but actually it is make by briefly closing, then opening the mouth. What you hear is actually the opening part, so the closing has to happen before the actual sound in order to look synchronous.
* The next sound is an AA sound with wide-open mouth. Showing a wide-open mouth directly after a closed mouth looks a bit jerky, so I'm inserting an in-between mouth shape with slightly opened mouth to make the transition smoother.

These are a few examples of the kind of improvements I made for the latest version.

longuist - Aug 16, 2016 at 04:45
Thx for the explanation. I watched the video 100 times, and I'm impressed by the accurate timing.

There is (may be) just 1 small glitch (best seen when playing half speed) 0:19f "..key to this mystery.." there is no transition after "key" to the "to" and to the "this".
This is not intended to be nitpicking. Its just a small detail and one have to play it in slow motion to recognize. I think it shows how mature your system is.
"key to this" are 3 small words in a short period of time. The TTS system may have a hard time here. And having 3 facial expressions in this short period of time may look even more awkward, so it may be no glitch after all :)

As text is not final and voice recording haven't started yet i really hope your system will be used in the end. It greatly adds up to the (pixelated) atmosphere and immersion.

Thanks for making it open source and free to use!

Daniel Wolf - Aug 16, 2016 at 16:53
I'm really glad you like the result and went to such details! :-)

Regarding the "key to this": I noticed it, too, but the explanation is a bit involved. The text ("key to this") is recognized correctly. Now there are two possible ways to pronounce "to": like "too" or like "teh". The first one leads to visibly puckered lips, while the second one leaves the mouth in a rather neutral position with clenched teeth.

It turns out the voice artist chose the second pronunciation (which my tool correctly recognized). So the resulting phrase is something like "thekeetethis". Say that aloud in front of a mirror. Don't over-enunciate, say it quickly and lazily. You'll notice your mouth hardly moves at all; all you'll see is clenched teeth and your tongue coming forward for the TH sounds. Now my tool doesn't use a dedicated TH mouth drawing, but instead re-uses the generic clenched-teeth drawing. Which means that given the limitation of 9 mouth shapes (based on 6 core shapes), this is really the best it can do.

Or is it? I haven't come up with a better solution for cases like this so far, but maybe there is one. If you're interested, do have a look at my project site (the mouth shapes in particular). I appreciate any suggestions!

longuist - Aug 17, 2016 at 11:21
First of all, i'm no linguistic expert, i even misspelled my nickname :)

For the "to" i hear too not teh?! Ok, maybe you're thinking of a more emphasized version, like the Brits do, "tiuu" :D

Ok, i looked at your page, and i have seen that you have mouth shapes with tongue (like for the L). So while with key-to-this the mouth shape stays almost the same, the tongue is involved in the latter two. So one possibility would be to add another slighly changed mouth shape. Adding each edge case sounds impractical though(?).

I've seen that your output file is not transition based, but actually word based. Thats great, because now you maybe could change the inside mouth color (dont know how the correct word is :) when the shape is not changing but the word. I'm thinking of a really slight color/brightness change (using the alpha channel of the very same shape?). Just enough to make out a difference, this would "simulate" a slight position change of the tongue. Therefore the mouth shapes seem to be more synced with every word.

longuist - Aug 17, 2016 at 11:29
The last proposal is more of a hack for low resolution based games like TP, where the mouth innards (how is it called??) is about 2 pixels

Daniel Wolf - Aug 17, 2016 at 15:54
Thanks for your ideas, longuist!

Adding a new mouth shape for "TH" is definitely an option. My guess is that team Thimbleweed will stick to the core six mouth shapes. Still, I might do some tests to see if that leads to a visible improvement, then add the new mouth shape as optional.

Introducing small fluctuations into otherwise constant mouth shapes is a clever idea. I hadn't thought of that one. I wouldn't make them word-based, though; word boundaries don't really matter for mouth movement. The problem, as you already said, would be how to represent them visually. For low-res sprites, fiddling with alpha values might be all it takes. For high-resulution artwork, however, it gets trickier. Hmm...

Daniel Wolf - Aug 17, 2016 at 03:48
Regarding Thimbleweed Park using my tool: I sure hope they will. I didn't write my tool *exclusively* for Thimbleweed Park, but definitely with the aim of it being used there. After all, it was Ron who started the whole thing when he asked for automatic lip-sync software.

Unfortunately, I don't know Ron's current thoughts on the matter. Last I heard, he said he'd look into it, but that was several months ago. And I don't even know whether Ron's following this conversation. He's probably only looking at the comments at the bottom, and this discussion is way up. I'd love to make him aware of it, but I don't know how. (And of course, I don't want to pester him -- I know he's a lot on his plate.)

Ron Gilbert - Aug 17, 2016 at 09:25
I read all the comments.  I'd love to do lipsync, at this point is a matter of how much time we have. If it takes me a day to implement lipsync, that's a day that something else doesn't get done, so it's a balance. Part of the decision will be how easy it is. Once we have voice, I'll look into it and see how hard it is. The big question is: how easy is your tool to use. I need something I can just blindly feed .wav files into. I haven't look into it yet, too much to do. Brain is full.

Daniel Wolf - Aug 17, 2016 at 15:43
I understand. I designed my tool to be just as easy to use as you describe. (Though the results will tend to be more accurate if you give it not only the .wav file, but also the corresponding line of text.) Implementing lip-sync should take you a couple of hours at most and it can certainly wait until you have the recordings.

There's one thing you might want to look into earlier, though. This isn't something you'd need to do personally, it's more of an artist thing. Lip-sync requires six specific mouth shapes. These probably differ to some extent from the mouth shapes you're drawing at the moment. It might make sense to compare these mouth shapes now, before you spend more time drawing actors.

If one of your artists can spare a few minutes, they can have a look at my project page (see link in header), where I've described the six core mouth shapes in detail. That might give you a quick indication of how feasible lip-sync is for you.

Do let me know if there's any way I can be of assistance to you or your team.

Johnny Walker - Nov 27, 2016 at 09:43
I wonder what happened with this?

L Dimas - Aug 13, 2016 at 20:03
Sent something!

Deconstructing Leni

I almost cracked my head open after tripping the next morning with a mount of pieces scattered in the middle of the corridor.
‘Watch out, you stupid idiot! Or you will end up mixing me the computer with the washing machine!’ She blurted flourishing her Robertson screwdriver. She is certainly not in her best mood when she wakes up, I thought, but I started to worry.
That same afternoon, when I arrived home, I found the little rabbit Len having a nap inside the microwave oven housing, I had no need to use the key, Chan had already dismantled the front door, the hinge and the door knob laid on the sofa beside a gutted walkman, two transistor radios and some other disassembled devices I couldn’t identify.
Late that night, when she unscrewed the last nut of the last shelf of the last corner of the last room in the house, she said she felt so tired and we finally got together in bed.
I had a hard time to fall asleep, but I was finally dreaming me trying to mount myself (disabled as I was in a mount of small pieces that didn’t quite fit), when I felt something cold poking inside my ear, it was Chan’s screwdriver, it obviously was, voraciously unscrewing my guts.

lancelot - Aug 13, 2016 at 23:23
The previous challenge had a 34 character limit, why is the limit 25 now? I'm really struggling with 25.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:10
Yeah. Mine was originally:
Field Manual for Transoceanic Espionage

I had to change it to:
Transoceanic Spy Manual

Amb - Aug 14, 2016 at 01:42
The joke is on us all!  Whenever any character looks at a book, at the finish they will say things like: "What a load of literary tripe", and "That book was completely uninspiring" and "I though math couldn't be more boring.  I was wrong".  :D

firlefanz - Aug 14, 2016 at 04:35
This could be fun if you could write an excerpt in german (or whatever your favorite language is), in english it's just not the same.

Some nice news screenshots but i  still think that a well defined smaller palette would have been better.

Rai - Aug 14, 2016 at 05:39
1000 and 1 lessons I learned in my life
On the 3rd floor, I picked up a friend to play tennis: Friend: “Hello You, let’s go, I really need to take a dump now, but I can do that in the club house.” Me: “Okay if you say so.” At the tennis court: Friend: “Darn, the clubhouse is closed. Let’s just play.” After 25min of tennis (friend playing a strange style): Friend: “I really, really need to go to the john now, maybe behind those bushes?” After not finding a suitable place where friend can do his business: Friend: “No chance, let’s continue playing.” After seeing friend struggling and restraining himself for another 20min: Friend (in agony): “It’s no use, we have to go, I can’t stand this any longer.” While crossing town again: Me: “Why don’t you go here, here or over there?” Friend (with twisted face): “I can’t, I prefer to go at my home. Let’s step up the pace!” On the 2nd floor, my friend, in full swing, shitting in his pants: Me: “Life teaches us many lessons, this was one of the stranger ones.”

Jacky - Aug 14, 2016 at 05:50
I just subitted my first book, I hope it'll appear. I like it :D

Mastery of Cliffhangers
by Prof. Sue Spence

and always will play a major role in story telling.

Prehistoric and Protohistoric archaeologists discovered that even as early as the stone age, Neanderthal men facilitated cliffhangers to make their cave paintings most intriguing.

The Mastery of Creating the Perfect Cliffhanger

In order to create a powerful but also significant cliffhanger the following three golden rules should be observered.

(1) Engage your audience, spellbound them and make them curious. A cliffhanger without a compelling story prior to that is worth nothing. Your story telling need to be impeccable to a point where your audience feels like they have to know every single detail about it. That way you secure to capture the audience until the Sequel comes out.

(2) Due to the Zeigarnik-Effect the cliffhanger should be on the most significant part of your story. The audience will remember the cliffhanger better than the self-contained story you were telling afore. Make sure the cliffhanger involves the quintessence of what people should bear in their minds.

(3) The last and possibly most important rule of creating the perfect cliffhanger is

Rai - Aug 14, 2016 at 07:14
this is brilliant, very funny. Will certainly make it into the game :)

Darius - Aug 14, 2016 at 07:58
Sneaky! I want to read more... :)

Ema - Aug 14, 2016 at 09:57
I was just thinking about something similar... Clever, you stole my idea. :-)
Nice job, hope it will maje it into the game.

Ema - Aug 14, 2016 at 07:22
PG-13... That means: not even think about sex, but plenty of violence allowed. :-/

Darius - Aug 14, 2016 at 08:03
I would hope so. I included some splatter in "What the Z!" above.
And anyways, violence is more of fun, innit? :-)

Dieter - Aug 14, 2016 at 10:01

Gv - Aug 14, 2016 at 12:02
I think it is funnier :)

Jammet - Aug 14, 2016 at 14:35
... testament to the incredible technology we have today. During these calls, each symbol you see on your computer screen will have to be transferred. It is a constant flow of noises that will not make any sense to a man's ear, but the with the modem and computers of today's age, the magic of a living typewriter, answering your input, has become real!
Our bulletin board systems (BBS) are rich and varied, and each one typically attracts calls from the local area, because long distance phone calls cost so much more. Finding the right BBS for you to call can take a good while. Many BBS will typically show you a list of more BBS along with their current phone numbers, in the logout screen - many of them connected to the same hub. It's the theme of the BBS, and the other users that should matter the most to you. And of course, any good BBS is connected to all the most widely used mail networks. Try to settle down on well connected local BBS, to call home. With luck, advanced chat with other users through multi-line chat systems is possible! You will find that the community is usually very helpful, with discussions on every topic! Sometimes, a BBS will even have regular user meetings! If real names are used on the BBS, you won't have that awkward moment where everyone calls you by ...

Jammet - Aug 14, 2016 at 14:36
Written by: Anna Louge
Title: My First Login

Brian Small - Aug 15, 2016 at 19:35
Romance section? :)  Seriously though, I like it !  I hope it gets in.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 14, 2016 at 14:39
How many book submissions there are so far?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 14, 2016 at 15:27
There are 308 entries right now. We have room for 261, but it's easy to increase that is we get more than 261 useable entries.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:15
ZLORFIK!! I thought around 100!! WOW!
This idea has been appreciated very much!

Darius - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:08
Another one! (This is so much fun)


ever will reach the North Pole.
Day 42. Snow everywhere. Behind us. Before us. Even in our underpants. Decide I have made my last snow angel.
Day 43. Jim's foot still not recovered. Reinforce the strecher-cum-sledge. Crew take turns pulling Jim along. Jim complains of seasickness.
Day 45. Jim is out cold due to a strained ankle. Crew suspects indolence but hard to prove.
Day 47. Doctor insists on amputation. Jim miraculously recovered. Crew cheers.
Day 65. Anders is gone missing. Crew spend whole day searching but to no avail. Memorial ceremony held before bedtime. John sheds a tear. Long night.

Day 66. Anders turns up. Unwilling to account for his whereabouts. Says he needed time to his own. Won't meet John's eyes. March continues.
Day 86. Out of bacon. Eggs dumped.
Day 89. Food is running short. March back for eggs.
Day 100. Or is it Day 101? Hard to say when sun never goes down. Have dreams about off switch.
Day 110. Crew starving. Down to our last bag of gummy bears.
Day 113. Jim gulps down half of our last bag of gummy bears. Claims it's his birthday. As if that is an excuse.
Day 114. My birthday. Have rest of gummy bears.
Day 120. Anders admits to having lost his toothbrush. Crew decide to

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 14, 2016 at 16:20
... make fun of him for the rest of his life.
Thug life!

Jeff - Aug 15, 2016 at 23:00
Hilarious! Pure comic gold! Good work :)

Darius - Aug 16, 2016 at 04:54
Thanks, Jeff! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have you checked out "What The Z" and "The Adventurin' Lad" above?

Katie Parsons - Aug 16, 2016 at 08:20
Hahaha, that really tickled me... Simple yet effective.

Darius - Aug 17, 2016 at 05:20
Thanks Katie!

Droygon - Aug 14, 2016 at 17:59
This is great :) I have a small question...
It it possible to include a small illustration on one page? or top half of one page?

Thanks... I can hardly wait for this game

Gv - Aug 14, 2016 at 19:40
Bladder Runner, a police that hunts red heads from Mars.
Beach of Amazement, a poem by Lady Signa, from the weavers
A new recipe for Grog
Two crime tales by the grand niece of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, one about a Santa Claus doll that by some obscure arts can walk (in one foot) and another about a crime in a theater where a spectator appears hanged from the ceiling above his seat, apparently killed by an actor.
And a non fiction essay by this author.

Katie Parsons - Aug 15, 2016 at 05:52
This is right up my street! Great idea :D

Man - Aug 15, 2016 at 12:29
If our submission is chosen will we be allowed to edit it one final time before it becomes officially put within the game?

Brian Small - Aug 15, 2016 at 18:06
OK - Here's my first try.  Comments are welcome.  Keep the insults to a minimum :)

Extreme Library Design

Left Page:

as depicted in Figure 12-A in the previous section, you can see that the diffusion bonded titanium supports, when properly configured, are able to provide structural stability for a wide range of extreme-library designs.  One such real-world example is the library found in the city of Thimbleweed Park.  As this library is well established as being the centre-du-monde for questionable literary works from all over the world, the structure needed to be able to maintain several hundred metric tons of hardcover books.  In addition, the unique building codes of Thimbleweed Park required the library to have a largely vertical design.

Right Page:

The access ladder proved to be an even greater design challenge, due to the dynamic load applied by the climber librarian over the near 1/8 mile vertical span.   Titanium fibers applied in a composite structure provide the ladder with a natural look when painted properly, giving the library it's desired old architectural feel, with the engineering necessary to last for centuries.  The precise cost of the library is unknown as the funding source was never revealed.  It is assumed to exceed that of the "Space Shuttle" which NASA has been planning for several years, and uses a similar design techniques.

Brian Small - Aug 15, 2016 at 19:42
I just realized I should have referred to it as the Thimbleweed Park Occult Bookstore, not Library.  I will see if I can go and edit my entry (Extreme Bookstore Designs), and appropriate changes...

Brian Small - Aug 15, 2016 at 20:03
OK try two:

Extreme Bookstore Design  (Physics and Astronomy Section)

and as depicted in Figure 12-14 above, you can see that the diffusion bonded titanium supports, when properly configured, are able to provide structural stability for a wide range of extreme structural designs.  One such real-world example is the Occult Bookstore found in the city of Thimbleweed Park.  As this bookstore is established as being the centre-du-monde for questionable mystical literary works from all over the world, the structure needed to be able to support several hundred metric tons of hardcover books.  In addition, the unique building codes of Thimbleweed Park required the bookstore to have an extreme vertical design.

The access ladder proved to be an even greater design challenge, due to the dynamic load applied by the climber, over the near 400 meter vertical span.   Titanium fibers applied in a composite structure provide the ladder with a natural look when painted, giving the bookstore its desired old architectural feel, with the engineering requirement to last well into the next century.  The precise cost of the library is unknown as the source of funding has never been disclosed.  It is assumed to exceed that of the recently designed Space Shuttle, which NASA built using similar design techniques.  This has

Jeff - Aug 15, 2016 at 22:58
That is pretty funny, man! I love it.

Brian Bagnall - Aug 17, 2016 at 10:20
It's actually the library in the mansion mansion (yes, mansion repeats twice).

Brian Small - Aug 17, 2016 at 12:24
My inspiration was actually the Occult Bookstore video Ron posted in this blog post:

Amb - Aug 23, 2016 at 22:43
You trying to make translators have conniptions? :-p

Brian Small - Aug 24, 2016 at 12:36
Ha!  I hadn't thought about it that way.  I still hope it gets selected, but I do now feel a tinge of sympathy for the would be translator.

NZL - Aug 15, 2016 at 19:29
Here's a copy of what I posted in the form. Comments welcomed.


Die & retry: Lord of Xar


-128- You wake up in an empty room, the floor is really cold and wet. As the light replaces the darkness, you realize you are in some sort of cell, the door wide open. You have got a spoon in your right hand. In a flash you remember you ate something sweet, it was like a warmth in your stomach... But you can't focus on last night's events more clearly, as if you thoughts were blurry. If you're having 15HP or more, either go to 212 to fulfill a natural need, or hurry and leave the cell by going to 319. If you have 14HP or less, you need to rest a little bit longer, go to 49.


-129- You were right, it was eventually a bad idea to jump from that wall. You knew it was tall, and the fact that you didn't see what lied below was in fact a good starter to consider not jumping. You're falling, and while you're at it, you can think about how bold your decision was. Well, bold doesn't sum it up. Stupid. That's the word. You might try to convince yourself there is water down there, and a nice loot to find. Nah! You must now face the truth. You stuck your finger between pages 14 and 15, and thought that you could go back, and continue reading and playing this book. But between us, you're not only DEAD, you also cheated!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 16, 2016 at 04:59
Eheh, gamebooks, always loved them!

Darius - Aug 16, 2016 at 05:18
Die & Retry... Sweet :-)

Katie Parsons - Aug 16, 2016 at 05:37
I really like that :)

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 16, 2016 at 11:54
I guess it's okay. The words "you thoughts" should be "your thoughts" and I'm pretty sure that "lied (= told the opposite of the truth) below" should be "lay below".

NZL - Aug 16, 2016 at 14:34
"Lay", lesson learned.

Michael Specht - Aug 26, 2016 at 14:38
This is brilliant! What do we have ten fingers for? That's ten levels of recursive backtracking!

Guga - Aug 17, 2016 at 09:40
How many characters are 100 words? Because a sentence like "I am a nice man" takes way less space than "factorials shouldn't be calculated recursively" even if the number of words is the same.

Should we consider submission to be around 500 characters, spaces included?

Someone - Aug 17, 2016 at 09:43
"Each page is around 100 words and less than 650 characters."

So you have to write less than 650 characters. :)

Mauro - Aug 17, 2016 at 10:27
Title: Growing up skating

The moment I opened up my parents’ gift that day... woah... .Have I ever felt like this again? Well, requited love and job career are definitely the most delightful moments of a person’s life, but seriously, when was the last time I ever felt so fascinated? No, okay, that was it. That was the pearl that made my childish eyes shine. It’s been so many years since then and still skateboard won’t let me go. I skate in this small town, alone, and I can feel what freedom is.

Wait, I’m not alone, recently my brother decided to go skating too, but not in this town, we are apart and yet feel connected to each other. Growing up and working in a small country town didn’t make much difference than in the city to me. But growing up skating... it did. When you are a kid you feel like an adult when skating and when you are an adult you feel like a kid when skating. And this board... it makes all the unfriendly strangers come out from the shadow and skate, as if saying Hey, I’m alive. This muggy town has a reason to live.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 17, 2016 at 10:53
Thimbleweed Park showing at Gamescon 2016
Microsoft Stand:

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 17, 2016 at 12:12
Thank you for the link, Zak Phoenix McFaken.

Dersony - Aug 17, 2016 at 11:01
Hello, TP Team:
Great proposal this!

I have a little doubt about the "no internet handles" condition for the author's name-for-the-credits:
is it valid there to use my artist alias or not?
I dont see clearly what is the difference between an alias and a not-ok-for-the-credits-nickname.
Also, can i use my alias for both, the book's author and the credit's name?

Sorry for my ignorance, i want to be sure to submit the form right.

Chris - Aug 17, 2016 at 11:47
It's explained higher up in the comments. Search for "l33tGamerz"

Dersony - Aug 17, 2016 at 12:12
Hello, Chris,
thanks for your answer, but the l33t-etc refeers to the book author name,
my question is about the credits name, for is there where the "no handles" condition is.

OffensiveMouse - Aug 17, 2016 at 12:37
Man, it's really hard to muster something up without going over the 650 character limit.

mr. T - Aug 17, 2016 at 15:19
This is awesome. I'm in :D

Amb - Aug 17, 2016 at 15:54
The instructions here say 650 characters max.  

Is that per page - or overall

More importantly - it doesn't say that on the google form page - so I was only trying to keep under 100 words, not 100 words and 650 characters :(   THat might mean some of my work is disqualified.  Ouchie.

Brian Small - Aug 17, 2016 at 16:06
It seems to be per page.  When you go to the page where you enter the information, you will get a clear indication if the text in each page exceeds 650 characters, but it doesn't do the word count check for you - I cut and pasted into a text editor and did the word count there.

OffensiveMouse - Aug 18, 2016 at 07:21
We really need Ron to clear this up. I'm not sure if my story ''made it'' or not, since I had around 800 characters total.

Ron Gilbert - Aug 18, 2016 at 09:29
It is clear. 600 characters/page.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 21, 2016 at 00:48
I was testing the form by entering a crazy amount of carriage returns.  What I could have submitted would have been 100+ lines long but still under the character limit.  Has this been fixed?

Nor Treblig - Aug 21, 2016 at 12:46
Stop trying to break the Internet!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 21, 2016 at 16:32
What good... ?

Amb - Aug 23, 2016 at 07:16
I consider myself to be told off by Ron and am wearing it as a badge of honour.  It's like a shirt proclaiming I annoyed the swordmaster

Dee - Aug 17, 2016 at 18:49
from "Pretty Harmless Poetry"...

Sonnet at 6:15

I hold your perfect body in my hand.
Your form delights my mind – I'm enamored.
The chubby bottom and bald top, so warm.
I feel your skin, it's hard – and white, I see.

The thought of you always waters my mouth.
I want to put my teeth in your white meat,
and taste the creamy juice inside of you.
I long for you to let it out, like that.

But only in the early morning hour,
together with a cock-a-doodle-doo.
And by the kitchen table, eyes all tired,
salt sprinkled on each spoonful I devour.

When I have picked your shell and emptied you,
I brush my teeth, and off I go to work.

TOmmy Cohea II - Aug 18, 2016 at 03:55
I submitted one entry, and then I looked back at it and realized that I wanted to change a few things. I had already exited out of the window, and I could not figure out how to get back into the original Google Form entry that I submitted in order to edit it. I have now submitted another entry with the changes made. The changes are "nice house" instead of "comfortable house," and the people having the occupation for "twenty years" instead of "for life". I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Arto - Aug 24, 2016 at 17:45
Ron: Is there a way to go back and edit the text, if the window after submission has been closed and gone?

Ron Gilbert - Aug 24, 2016 at 17:46
No, once the window is closed, I'm going to copy all the text and put it in the game.

Dersony - Aug 18, 2016 at 11:10

"How to be you" by M. E. Wise  (section: self help)

them all. Others will try to convince you to be yourself, but that is a catch that will alienate you, because you are not you, you are I, and so, you have to be me as I am me. I am very happy because I am me, and you will be as happy as me when you be me as I say you to be. Furthermore, others will try to convince you to be your true self, but that also is a catch, because the self is a delusional mirror. If you want to be happy, you have to do what I am telling you.

Now you listen to me: You don't trust at all on no one, because all of them are wrong even if they sound right. Believe me, I know this very well. They want to steal you and do to you no good at all. I tell you this because I am your friend and I want you to be happy like me. Let me guess: You sure have lots of other books. That is so bad, they can confound you very much. So, the best you can do is to burn them to

Daniel - Aug 19, 2016 at 17:10
Would you be able to give us an update at which sections still need submissions? I have a story that works for SciFi or Adventure, but I suspect those are the busiest categories.

Derrick Reisdorf - Aug 21, 2016 at 01:00
I, too, plan on submitting at least 2 more entries and would like to write for one of the lesser-covered sections/genres.  I could probably guess which is least covered, but it would be cool if we knew the current number of submissions per section/genre.  Thanks!

Gffp - Aug 21, 2016 at 09:27
Hi Ron, and thank you for this brilliant idea that involves us in the making of the game.
I have a question: English is one of the shortest modern languages (in terms of quantity of characters of the words) of the western world. To say the same thing in Spanish, French, German or Italian it takes sometimes between 1.1 and 1.2 times the characters that it takes in English. Since there are two pages, the original text is in English, and there will be transalations, is this the reason why you suggest to write 600 character per page instead of 650, so the translations have 50 character more for the correspondent longer words of other languages? Thank you.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 22, 2016 at 16:10
That is a good question I hadn't thought of.

L Dimas - Aug 22, 2016 at 17:21
I do really think it's just a typo, Ron wanted to say 650. Anyway it would be interesting to know more or less the number of lines per page (thinking in poetry and tables of content). I still see a whole bunch of work having to translate all those mini-books, together could make a 200 page novel, to be added to all the dialogues of the game, seems a lot to be translated. I want my name there, but I don't want the game to be delayed!

CJ Kershner - Aug 22, 2016 at 15:50
Hi Ron, have you seen/had a chance to discuss the question of what future publication rights contributors would retain?

Sushi - Aug 22, 2016 at 21:17
this is fun! I have not posted any comment for the last few weeks so now I can let all those cropped-up words burst out. I hope at least one of my entries will make it into the game.
In case anyone wonders, I was in the south of France wearing my Thimbleweed Park(TM) T-shirt supporting the game...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 23, 2016 at 03:43
Great job, Sushi!
Now, come here into my fish bowl, hurry up!!

Sushi - Aug 26, 2016 at 15:55
No way, Zak! You have a tendency to mistreat me in all these horrible ways! Lamps, plants, shredder sinks,... What's next?

Nor Treblig - Aug 27, 2016 at 03:16
Do you like microwave ovens? I've heard they are very comfy.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 29, 2016 at 03:37
Use Sushi in fish bowl with microwave oven


Big Red Button - Aug 23, 2016 at 12:10
Is it correct that I don't get a confirmation mail?

Amb - Aug 23, 2016 at 21:11
door opened and in they stepped.  What they found defied explanation.  It was a stone room, and approximately 20,000 years old.  It was filled with dials, clocks, levers and switchboards.  Mike stepped forward and examined the dial nearest the door.  The text underneath it translated as ‘Angle of the Earth’.  It was set almost precisely between the marks for 23 and 24. The dial next to it was translated to ‘Earth Rotation Speed’.  This ancient Egyptian room was the control room for the Earth.  The dials were all stone, none appearing to contain any kind of wiring.  Exactly

how they worked was a mystery that would have to be solved later.  Mike and Lucy’s discovery would have an unimaginable effect on the history books.  Once Lucy was bought up to speed on what the room was, she commented: ‘We need to adjust something as proof’.
Mike agreed, but he wanted to be cautious.  ‘We should find something that won’t cause devastation.  Imagine what will happen if we shrink the day?  We could destroy the weather patterns’.  
One of the dials caught Mike’s eye.  It was set to zero.  It’s translation was ‘Moon Rotation Rate’. This was the one to try.

Val B. - Aug 24, 2016 at 07:57
Submitted two (so far). Hope you like 'em!

First one (had to crop some of that for the submission):
was gone.

It was a strange feeling. For many years, basically most of my life, he had been at my side. We had grown up together, learned together, fought together. There had barely ever been more than a couple of days we ever had been separated. On more than one occasion had I saved his life. And at least twice as often he had saved mine. We always knew we could blindly trust one another in happy times as well as in dark times. He may have been a Yeti and I a human but he was a brother to me more than any other person could ever have been.

And now my big scruffy companion had to go. He was on his way to save one fool's life and with it perhaps the whole world. Little did I know that this would be the last time I would ever see him, though I had feared it all the same. Had I but known, perhaps I would have tried harder to convince him. Convince him that there had to be another solution. Maybe we should have traveled together to the City of Scarlet Crystals, faced the Darrgon Lord together. Maybe we should have seeked out the help of the Elven King, or the Dwarven Chieftang. Maybe. Just maybe.

With a lump in my throat the size of a dragon's head and a feeling in my heart as if part of my body had just been lopped off I gathered my bag, my sword and shield, and my saddle, killed the last remnants of our campfire and walked over to my horse.

Second one:
get out of here", she said, "If we don't make it before the tanks run out, we will not make it halfway towards the next quadrant alive."

As she put on the helmet of her space suit the light, reflected by the visor, momentarily blinded Ben. Rubbing his eyes he grabbed a suit of his own and clumsily started putting it on.

"How do you get in and out of these things so fast all the time?" he asked with more than just a little annoyance. "This alone would be enough to make me not want to be an Intergalacto Ranger ever."

"Believe me, that's the least of the reasons you would not make it to even to the rank of recruit."

"Very funny."

"I was not joking." Sinn Atra replied dryly.

By now Ben had learned all too well that she and her people had no sense of humor whatsoever. But he had a feeling that she had to be considered grouchy even by Gronda standards. It was probably a requirement to make it to Captain with the Rangers.

"So," he added, desperate to change the subject, "how much time do we have until everything blows up?"

Val b. - Aug 25, 2016 at 03:17
Wow ... this task really gets my creative juices flowing! Been at it for two days and have submitted five texts by now ...

Carlos - Aug 24, 2016 at 15:48
Hello, I've a question. ¿Can you write your book in, for example, SPANISH (and you translate to English for the game)? ¿Or you must only write in English?

Carlos - Aug 24, 2016 at 15:51
Only English, I got it. Sorry

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 25, 2016 at 07:04
But you can offer yourself to re-translate your book from English to Spanish!

Arto - Aug 24, 2016 at 17:19
Are there some categories you would need more submissions?

Michael Specht - Aug 26, 2016 at 08:05
Hey Ron, there's a few of us working on a small series of "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style books. After you've had a look at all submitted entries, will there be a day or two for revisions if there are issues with the text? We're trying to stick to the rules, but in some cases, it's not clear whether our interpretation will be the same as yours! Thanks and ahoy!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 26, 2016 at 09:12 particular, we are not sure is some piece of text is under the PG-13 rating!

Daniel Sorensen - Aug 26, 2016 at 14:04
I hope you talk about the submission numbers in a future podcast. (i.e. 4000 adventure stories submitted, 16 accepted. Only 2 home and garden entries... and we reluctantly had to accept them both and made David write 14 more...)

If there are any categories without sufficient entries, I hope they are identified so we can take a stab at them.

Some Guy - Aug 26, 2016 at 14:33
I got a REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION: Does SPACE count as a character? Please answer, the deadline is coming...

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 26, 2016 at 15:27
as a programmer I can answer you without any doubt: YES.
A character is every single symbol, including space.

Some Guy - Aug 26, 2016 at 15:29
Thank yew!
Hey, in what time zone do you live anyway? 1969? Are you on Mars just like the real Zak?

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Aug 26, 2016 at 18:41
(Great Mars Time)

Bertie - Aug 26, 2016 at 15:05
Is it okay if my pages have 122/110 words if the amount of characters fits?

Sumoka - Aug 26, 2016 at 18:04
I'm sure it's Okay. It would make no sense that you could write 650 characters in 100 words but not in 122, as the longest the words are, the bigger the chances to have an extra line break, less words for the same characters would probably make a longer text (more line breaks). So... I've have no relation with the development team, but I'm sure it's Okay, unless you're writing poetry...

Carl - Aug 27, 2016 at 01:29
Thank you so much for allowing us fans to participate. I have this feeling this game is a work of love between creators and fans of the point-in-click adventure game genre. It's a lovely feeling. Thank you.

If some entries do not make it into the game, could you please NOT allow double fan entries UNTIL everyone else has been included once?
Thank you.

LostTrainDude - Aug 27, 2016 at 08:43
And... Sent!

I tried to make a novelization of a short point and click adventure I developed a while ago (of course I made no mention of such thing in the text).

Can't wait to check the library in the game!

Peter Campbell - Aug 28, 2016 at 04:57
Here's what i submitted after having a severe case of writer's block.  I put it under "Crime" but i guess it's sorta "Mystery" too?

"The Disappearing Donuts"

by Tim E. Clare

Rebecca took a deep breath, knowing it was time to confront her best friend Artie.  She had suspected him of theft in her home before but had been hesitant to accuse him without any evidence.  After this latest incident, she believed she would finally uncover the truth.

“Artie… have you been stealing my donuts?” Rebecca anxiously asked as she approached him in the kitchen.  “These are really special to me and my favorite one was sitting here on the table earlier.  I left the room for only a minute, and when I came back it was gone.”

Artie sat silently in front of her with his head lowered towards the floor.  As he looked up at her with a great big smile, Rebecca could see from his face that he had been the culprit all along.

“Wipe that stupid look from your face because I finally caught you.  Outside!  Now!" Rebecca exclaimed with stern disappointment.

Artie whimpered and slowly stood up.  Almost mockingly, he licked up the remainder of the powdered jelly donut from around his mouth and nose, wagged his tail a few times and merrily scampered through the doggy door outside.

Brian Bagnall - Aug 29, 2016 at 00:22
These are really making me chuckle. It's going to be nice to take a break from puzzle solving once in a while and head over to the library for some light reading.

AllenNZ - Aug 28, 2016 at 09:22
Hopefully I managed to sneak my entry in just in time. Had meant to do it when it first was announced but decided to wait for inspiration - and then let a busy week get in the way.

In the end, entirely inspired by a typo in the list of categories: Physics and Astromomy - which I read as astro-mummy and got into an ancient Egyptian space theme. Now hoping no one else had the exact same inspiration...

R - Aug 28, 2016 at 14:09
Just curious. Post some 101-word micro-fiction on my Facebook page (all of it my own writing); could I submit some of those? Or should it ideally be something not already posted on social media?

Yuri Melkov - Aug 28, 2016 at 15:01
Sent my book today :)
Just imagine all the work for the translators!

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 28, 2016 at 16:48
Ron, how can we let you know which page numbers the book shows? I wish it shows page 1 and 2 instead of page 7 and 8 because my book takes place in the beginning of the story. I guess you know what I mean. I'm just gonna write (Page 1 in the book) followed by the text in the form. Is that alright?

L Dimas - Aug 28, 2016 at 17:53
In fact, there's no book starting in page 1, page 1 is always a blank page, books usually start in page 7.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 28, 2016 at 18:32
Yes, but still...

Dan Sorensen - Aug 28, 2016 at 18:28
Mattias: it would be best if the page numbers were left off. Some of our stories are at the beginning, some in the middle, some at the end. If you leave them off, the player can just assume they opened to a random spot in the book.

Mattias Cedervall - Aug 28, 2016 at 18:32
Dan, I guess it could work that way.

Eric Jacobsen - Aug 28, 2016 at 23:26
The genre list could have used Literary Fiction and Horror.

Peter Brodersen - Aug 29, 2016 at 00:06
I finally submitted my first suggestion. However it might be a hassle to translate due to the nature of the content ...

However, for your consideration™: Wonderful World of Words!

Page one:
Chapter 27: Pangrams.

A pangram is a sentence that uses all the letters in the alphabet at least once. There are several types of different pangrams.

For instance, a "perfect pangram" contains every letter only once. These are extremely hard to create as they usually would have to contain rare loan words.

A self-enumerating pangram on the other hand is a sentence that counts its own letters. It can be easily done by simply using digits ("This pangram contains 5 a's, 1 b, ... and 1 z") and recounting all the extra "s" letters.

A more challenging aspect would be to spell out the numbers, writing "five" instead of "5".

Page two:
However this would be very hard to achieve since every time the count of a letter changes - for instance from "five" to "six" - it results in an avalanche effect where a lot of the numbers need to be changed whenever a single number is changed.

One example of a self-enumerating pangram of unknown origin is as follows:

"This sentence first seen at ThimbleCon contains four As, two Bs, four Cs, two Ds, thirty-four Es, eight Fs, four Gs, ten Hs, thirteen Is, one J, one K, three Ls, two Ms, twenty-three Ns, seventeen Os, one P, one Q, eleven Rs, twenty-nine Ss, twenty-eight Ts, six Us, four Vs, eight Ws, two Xs, five Ys and one Z".

Nick Tashiro - Aug 29, 2016 at 00:12
"Much Ado About Fluffy"
by Nicholas J. Tashiro

[First Page]

The guests having taken their seats in the grand dining hall and the conversation in full swing, a veritable parade of lavish dishes of every imaginable size and succulence suddenly erupted through the serving room doors. A chorus of resounding endorsement issued forth from the table, and before long the din of chatter fell to the clinking of forks and knives busy at work.

It was at that moment a tiny voice pierced the noise of gobbles and ingurgitations.

"Has anybody seen Mr. Fluffy?" piped little Mary Sue, the youngest of the Belvedere children, "I've called and called, but haven't been able to find him all day lon—"

[Second Page]

But her query was interrupted by an abrupt gasp from Mrs. Belvedere, who had discovered what appeared to be a small strand of an inedible something upon her plate. It was a miniature leather necklace of some sort, caked in crusted streaks of a brilliant vermilion hue. Attached to it was a kind of flat, metallic bauble which appeared to have been broken roughly in twain with one hemisphere having gone altogether missing.

Turning the trinket over in her hands, Mrs. Belvedere could make out the faintest of lettering. She brought the necklace close to her face, squinting to make out the word inscribed thereupon. "UFFY," it read.

Luke H - Aug 29, 2016 at 12:22
but there was no one in the room, and everything was neat and orderly except for an open book that sat on a small table in the middle of the chamber. I approached with apprehension. The vaulted room was dimly lit by a small oil lamp that hung from the furthest wall. As I made my way slowly toward the book I suddenly became aware of a heavy stench of old musty air, not unlike the scent of dingy boxes that have been packed away in a damp corner of a cellar for years and years. Trepidation consumed me and I began to sweat as I looked down upon the pages of the book, which were tattered and yellowed with age. The words on the pages were illegible except for one paragraph due to, what could only be recognized as, dried blood which covered them. At that moment the immediacy of death and the delicate nature of life became intermingled. I was the consciousness in an obscure blank universe. My trembling voice echoed and the dull light of the lamp quivered as I spoke: "The fleeting moments in life where make believe is believed should be cherished, for those moments

e - Aug 29, 2016 at 12:37
Aw, man, I was still writing. I had writer's block, the approaching deadline kicked me into higher gear.

Ed N. - Aug 29, 2016 at 12:37
Enigmas little book of riddles

In your darkest hours they reveal things you cannot see. Any other time
you'd never know they were still actually there. What are they?

The stars.

When I fall, It's usually never quite completely. When you try to catch me,
I will always seem quite fleeting. What am I?

A Meteor.

Though I lie here by day and night, only those who know me by name
cry at my sight. What am I?

A tombstone.

In warmth I prefer to wear green. When its cooler I prefer yellow. When
its coldest I prefer nothing at all. What am I?

A tree.

Hysteria - Aug 29, 2016 at 12:45
Oh nooooo!
Did i miss the deadline?:(

Oregondanne - Aug 29, 2016 at 13:21
It says that the deadline is August 29, yet the Google Form doesn't work anymore. :(   I would have supposed that the deadline would stretch until midnight your time on Aug 29 (unless a specific time was given) and not a minute past midnight on August 28, which I guess was the case here. Oh well, at least I was able to make one submission earlier...

AndySeven - Aug 29, 2016 at 13:40
Hi from Italy,

I'm trying to send the text book, but google form doesn't work. Is it right? Deadline isn't 29th August Included? Patience!


Hysteria - Aug 29, 2016 at 14:50
Hi from Hungary!
Same here:(
I guess the form was available until aug. 29 00:00 :(
Anyway,  after i finish the englush translation, i will post it here.

James drug rehab counselor - Feb 02, 2017 at 17:05
Will the google for share my information?

Automotive product reviews - Feb 02, 2017 at 17:08
I'm going to read all 100 books. Thanks guys

Nor Treblig - Feb 02, 2017 at 18:05
Was this the same spambot? The second guess was really good!

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Feb 27, 2017 at 06:10
Funny... someone one told me I spam on this blog, but none has realized that I could be a spambot... eheheheheheheh...
Dr. Fred sir, at your service, sir.

Nor Treblig - Feb 27, 2017 at 07:33
Spambot, you? Haha, ridiculous. This would mean I would be one too! And I'm pretty sure I am not.
I'm just a dancebot!

Dean Tomasulo - Mar 28, 2017 at 16:29
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