If you’ve listened to Mimes, you might be wondering…WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM?
I don’t normally write to prompts. It’s one of the reasons I guess I’ll never be part of those Iron Chef writing competitions. When I spend so much time wandering around the four series I have going, how could I possibly write something that came from someone else?
At Mile-Hi Con last year, I was having a drink with Amanda Kimmerly and Robert Stikmanz of Confabule.com. I can’t remember what led to the discussion, but we were talking about traffic and clowns and what not. Rob finally stared me in the eye and dared me to write a story about mimes. Psychotic nasty mimes.
The story lay in my brain for quite some time. All sorts of crazed ideas festered and rotted. I spent time researching the history of clowns and the art of pantomime. The more I looked at things, the less sense they made. I put the story in the back of my mind and forgot about it.
When Rob and Amanda approached me about the 3000 Weeks Project, the first thing that jumped to my mind was the story about mimes. They wanted something new and original from me. And what the hell, I wanted to write a new Fiends-like tale. So I buckled down and started working on it.
I was interrupted by Scrolls, by my work on The Rider, and some really crazy weeks at work. But the story finally came around and smashed me in the head. Until I needed to find an ending… Sigh.
One fateful night, I told the Fiendmistress I was stuck. I told her the basic gist of the story and then…fireworks. "It’s a Paul Cooley tale. Obviously, he’s going to turn into a mime."
Bang. Boom. Cue nuclear explosion.
The story wrote itself after that. And I finished the last 2200 words in a blinding sprint. It’s been years since I’ve felt that crazed about finishing a story. It was wonderful.
I don’t write stories about zombies, or infections, or whatever you want to call it. But I loved the idea of crowds of creepy things chasing a person. Mimes is a one-off. It’s not a fiends tale, really. It’s more of a horror story that I’ve written out of love and lust for trying something new. Hopefully you enjoyed listening to it as much as I enjoyed producing it.
So do me a favor. Go visit Confabule.com and check out the rest of the artists and writers involved in the 3000 Weeks Project. Give some cash and get some good stuff. After all, inspiration comes from strange places. And Rob and Amanda are two of the most wonderfully strange people I know.