Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

So, Can I Call Myself a Poet Now?

10/29/21

Recently, I wrote a Nightmare Before Christmas Sticker Art Puzzles book, which is out now from Thunder Bay Press. The entire book is one huge rhyming poem recounting the plot of the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas.  

It’s almost Halloween, so I wanted to remind people about this book.

But there’s something else that’s on my mind: This is the third “licensed character” book I’ve written which involves poetry.

There was a Star Wars-themed haiku section in The Official Stormtrooper Training Manual, which came out in 2016 from Scholastic. And there was a Star Wars-themed limerick section in The Official Force Training Manual, which was published in 2018 (also from Scholastic). I wrote both of those books.

And aside from these three books, I’ve never written any poetry.

But here’s my question: Can I call myself a poet now?

I mean, I am (technically speaking) a published poet, in that I’ve written three published books that are either partially or wholly comprised of poetry. And in all three cases, it’s silly poetry. In two of those cases, it’s poetry for kids. But that shouldn’t rule it out as poetry, right? There are plenty of authors who write poems for children.

But if I’m ever at a cocktail party (if those make a comeback, post-pandemic), and I tell people I’m a poet and they ask where my poems have been published, I have no choice but to give a rather ridiculous answer to that question. One of my “books of poetry” is a retelling of the plot of a stop-motion Tim Burton movie, and the other two are batches of poems about the characters in the Star Wars franchise.

So…I think that calling myself a poet at this point is premature.

I will say this, though: I worked really hard on all three of those books, and I’m quite proud of them. And trying to recount the plot of The Nightmare Before Christmas in a mere 15 pages, each page consisting of 6 rhyming couplets, is quite a challenge. It’s even more of a challenge when you can’t use imperfect rhymes or near rhymes. But I think I rose to the challenge, and I think that the end result is a pretty great book.

Even if it doesn’t make me a poet.

 

Time-traveling Socks and Neurotic Centaurs

9/22/21

Recently, I wrote a short story called “Previously On ‘Time Sock: The Sock That Travels Through Time.’” It was published in the August 2021 issue of Defenestration, a literary magazine dedicated to humor. “Previously On ‘Time Sock’…” is a story that parodies some of the more ridiculous, convoluted science fiction-themed TV shows from the 1970s and 1980s, especially shows that were produced by Glen Larson (e.g. Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Knight Rider). But “Previously On ‘Time Sock’…” isn’t a parody of a specific show; just the type of science fiction TV show that used to be quite common on television, 40 or 50 years ago. 

Here are some other short stories and humor pieces I’ve written during the last few months:

I wrote a story for The Daily Drunk called “If You Act Now…”

And I wrote a list for Points in Case. It’s called “Other Things That Were Considered Evidence of Witchcraft in 17th Century Salem.”

Last but definitely not least, I wrote a piece for Weekly Humorist called “Thanks To The Pandemic, Nobody Cares That I’m A Centaur.”

 

 

Welcome to the Lodestars!

3/24/21

I’m currently writing the scripts for a mobile game called eQuoo: The Next Generation: Lodestar. The game is a complete, top-to-bottom relaunch of a game called eQuoo, which came out a few years ago. PsycApps, the company behind both versions of eQuoo, uses gamification and psychology to help people maintain their mental health.

In early 2020, Silja Litvin, the founder and CEO of PsycApps, brought me on board to write this “Next Gen” version of the game.

You enter the game as a newly-minted member of a secret order of “time-jumpers” called Lodestars. As a Lodestar, you use a portable time machine called the Dial, which whisks you from one historical era to another. In each era, you have adventures and learn psychological skills that will help you build your emotional resilience, boost your relationship skills, and lower your anxiety.

Each era is also its own separate story. For example, Story 1, which is called “The House of Krondolar,” is a parody of fantasy epics like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. You can see all of the “House of Krondolar” characters in this poster for the game, which was illustrated by eQuoo’s multi-talented lead artist Celia Rodriguez.

eQuoo: The Next Generation is currently available on Google Play and the iOs App Store.

Here’s a YouTube trailer for the game, where you can see what the Lodestars and the Dial look like. The trailer also explains a little bit of the lore behind the game.

And check out this interview with Silja Litvin from the MiTale blog. Silja said some very nice things about me!

 

Please contact me if you want to use this for any reason. arie@ariekaplan.com