Words from the Cloud

“Peace out,” as they say, “I’m outta here.”

It’s come to that bitter-sweet moment, at last. James is leaving the building. The past six-weeks have flown by at an almost ridiculous pace. You know what they say, “time flies when you’re having fun etc. etc.”

I’m incredibly grateful to the SA Writers Centre for giving me the opportunity to tell an interesting, experimental story that, we can only hope, that you’ve enjoyed! Thank you, as well, to all the loyal readers who kept up with the story of Luke Bracken, The Desert and The Cloud.

The esoteric tale has come to an end (at least for now), but that doesn’t mean you can’t rewind and take it all in again. Perhaps there’s small details you missed or maybe you’ll find the story takes on a new meaning, now that you know where the electric demons came from.

Part 1 – Cold Open

Part 2 – Like This

Part 3 – Ghosts

Part 4 – Clouds

Part 5 – Roads

Part 6 – Photographic Evidence

Part 7 – Tracks

Part 8 – Dust

Part 9 – Sunset

Operation Electric Forever has been a tough project at times, mainly due to wrangling together all the different elements (text, social media, mapping etc.) but also due to the emotionally intensive process of self-reflection and exploration. In the end, Operation Electric Forever is a story for and about you and me, an ode to the often confusing, confronting and challenging world that we live in. I hope that, somehow, I’ve managed to create something relatable and honest.

Of course, I’d love to hear people’s opinions on the tale itself, the use of digital elements and any other points that need making. I won’t be gone for good, after all. I’ll be hiding behind the process of writing the final residency report for a little while yet and then heading back into creating interesting blocks of electric scribbles for your enjoyment.

You can keep up with my work by following me on Twitter (@james_wrr) or my personal travel and creative blog Electric Holy Road.

Best of luck to the next Digital Writer in Residence! I’m incredibly excited to see where your words will take us.

So, I guess that’s all, folks! Happy reading! Happy writing! Happy exploring!

Yours digitally,

James Rudd ❤️


Operation Electric Forever, was created during the SA Writers Centre Digital Writer in Residence program during 2016.

SA Writers Colour Logo copy copy

 

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Tracks – Operation Electric Forever – Part 7

[EXT. – OUTSIDE THE BRACKEN HOUSE – EARLY MORNING]

“She’s all good to go, mate.” Mr. Pfeiffer slapped the bonnet of the rumbling 4WD. He threw the keys to Mr. Bracken.

Mr. Pfeiffer was the type of straight-talking Aussie bloke that Mr. Bracken loved. He had arms the size of tree trunks, a chest covered in thick black hair and fingers stained by the honest art of auto-maintenance. He burped and swore, loved his footy and carried his ancestors’ European surname with just the right balance of pride and self-deprecation.

Mr. Pfeiffer was the type of loud-mouthed Aussie bloke that Perrie Bracken hated. He had arms that swung too wildly, a chest that should be hidden under a proper shirt and hands that looked like sausages that had been left out in the sun for too long. He burped and swore, loved his stupid macho ball game and didn’t really play to well with anyone who wasn’t also a European descendant.

“Couple’a cans’a gas in the back, ‘case ya need ‘em. Maps in the GPS and under the seat. Just gotta bring some water and stuff with ya.”

“Thanks, mate. I can’t thank you enough for this.” Mr. Bracken said.

“It’s no problem at all. She wasn’t getting much use with me. Better to go to a good cause. I just hope you find the lad soon.”

“We all do.” Continue reading “Tracks – Operation Electric Forever – Part 7”

Photographic Evidence – Operation Electric Forever – Part 6

[EXT./INT. – LUKE’S CAR – THE SUN BLAZES THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD OF A RUSTING RED FORD LASER]

See the boy in centre stage. That is, in the centre of the entire world. As his vehicle rips and tears through the rugged landscape, the planet moves around him like an endlessly repeating pantomime panorama.

A town passed by about an hour ago. The audience (that’s you) surely would have seen the boy leave his car on the side of a wide road in the middle of that town, walk into a quaint convenience store and pick up a veggie pasty and an iced coffee. What the audience would never have been able to guess without narration is that the boy would have loved a curry pie, stuffed full of beef and oil… but his character is a vegetarian at this stage of the story.

“Wise choice.” said the shimmering black mass that was sitting patiently in the passenger seat. “Appearing to care is one of the most important things in this life.”

[ENTER FROM THE DRIVER’S SIDE DOOR: THE BOY]

“I do care. I don’t want to hurt anything that has feelings.”

[Mockingly] “Then why drive a car? Why wear a leather belt?” The Desert asks the boy. The creature speaks in a rough hum, like the background radiation of the Big Bang, but even still, the question sounds cruel.

[Defensively yet apathetic] “Shut up” says the boy.

Continue reading “Photographic Evidence – Operation Electric Forever – Part 6”

Memory One – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5.5

[EXT. – HEADING OUT – AROUND NOON]

See the boy, feet in the dust, sitting half-way in and half-way out of a rusting red car. See him parked on the side of a long and winding highway, a road to the Everywhere that he is chasing.

The engine cools and the wind blows through the open windows. There is a fine layer of orange dust growing on the back seat, a back seat already covered with boxes upon boxes of food, water, tool kits, toiletries… whatever really.

The see the boy flick through the glowing box in his hand. He is looking for clues, memories, stories to guide him. He is looking for support from people that he has hardly talked to in years. He is looking for recognition.

See the boy retreat into memory. As he lifts his gaze and stares into the slowly undulating horizon, see lights flicker on his mind. Delve deep into his thoughts and see the images and memories unfold. Continue reading “Memory One – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5.5”

Roads – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5

[EXT./INT. – LUKE’S CAR – PINK SUNRISE OVER A HORIZON]

See the boy’s white knuckles wrapped around the steering wheel. It is made of red hot and blistering rubber. Hear the air-conditioning working overtime to cool the rusting red box.

See through the windows of the vehicle, the endless flat stage of red dust and sunburnt scrub. It halts, five kilometres away, at a wall of pale blue. The car is silent apart from the complaints of the air-conditioning, the low rumbling of the small engine and a scratchy pop-tune playing over a radio. The car has no antenna.

See the boy’s eyes fixed on the road in front of him, wide and straight as an arrow. At the speed he is travelling one wrong move, one wheel in the dust, one kangaroo bouncing wildly, would be a disaster. Suspense for the sake of suspense!

[ENTER FROM SOMEWHERE – THE DESERT] Continue reading “Roads – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5”

Clouds – Operation Electric Forever – Part 4

[EXT? INT? – LOST – SOMETIME]

See the boy in centre stage. Around him, a circle of ghosts, a spectral audience. They swap phrases and faces until one cannot be sure where each one begin and end.

See the boy suddenly strike out at the ghosts. He rants and raves at the unstoppable mutation around him. The ghosts shout back with smoke-like words until a dense cloud floats a few feet above the stage. See the boy almost lose sight of himself in the fog.

[ENTER FROM STAGE LEFT: THE DESERT]

See The Desert walk slowly towards the slowly sinking boy. It pulls a small box from its dark robes and hands it to the boy. See the boy take a mask from the box.

He walks out of the fog and over to the crowd of ghosts and attempts to blend in.

The Desert asks, “Where are you?” Continue reading “Clouds – Operation Electric Forever – Part 4”

Digital Writers’ Playbook – Part 2

See the boy, crawling forward to the front of the stage. He carries a bundle of shimmering papers. See him stand, open his arms wide and fling them out to the audience. He takes a bow…

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In my last non-fiction blog post here I detailed a few of the tips and tricks I use to dig words out of a brain clogged up by a barrage of Netflix and computer code. I talked about sticking to a daily schedule (oh, the hypocrite that I am!) and not letting yourself be overwhelmed by the monolithic library of media we have at our fingertips. Both pretty simple tips, right? Sure, but they’re important ones that warrant repeating.

Of course, these are tips that apply to all forms of writing, everything from essay writing to poetry, so let’s get a bit more specific then, hey? How can we become better and more knowledgeable digital writers? By making the most of our medium, of course! Continue reading “Digital Writers’ Playbook – Part 2”