TED Conversations

Terry Torok

Founder at Angel Producers, Founder at Live from Earth


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WHAT IF we write a novel together, right here, write now ... [ calling all story-tellers ]

A Novel idea, born & raised in a TED Conversation, August, 2011, several of us started writing a novel. As more contributed, it turned into sort of a global road trip adventure that took off in a retro VW van. Then, oops, TED Conversation time ran out, so we passed it by and editor, who helped create a unified writing style and some edits... I'd like to share the first chapter below, and see if we can continue another chapter... Consider the ways of improve, building without denying and enjoy.
Calling all fantastical Story Tellers... IF you are game... TRY YOUR BEST NOT TO COMMENT ABOUT THE STORY, JUST JUMP IN...
IT began, Like this...
A random road trip around the planet... seemed like a good way for the seven strangers to get to know each other...

The first to respond to the small advertisement that apparently ran in every small town newspaper, was in fact the soon to be ex mayor of Now Town. Mayor Theodore Chase, named after his small-town-famous father, swears he didn't vote for his own kid, his mother claims she carried a placard in the demonstration preceding his election warning the town, Now You See Us - Tomorrow You Won't. Somehow in just 3 years, he had managed to shut down everything that made childhood worth remembering; the public libraries, the educational programs that worked with artists, even the children's wading pool. Needless to say, the town was broke, and free of art and culture. A ban on laughter might have been next, be there was no need.

It might seem no one would miss the mayor, so getting out of Now Town, couldn’t have come soon enough. Mayor Chase, took to the wheel first. The six other strangers seemed happy not to know where they might be headed, at least, for now...


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    The soon ex-mayor, captain for the moment stayed with the ship. "I haven’t looked under a hood since I was with my…" he stopped, looking through the steam. The silhouette with the angelic voice responded. "Can you hand me that bottle" He did and she poured it over the radiator.

    "Isn't that supposed to go inside?" said Theodore. "Not yet, it's too hot". "I'm Sierra, hi". "hi" "yeah, I need to call you Ted or something, anything, really, who would name their kid Theodore?" "My parents would. I'll get some more water". Prior to that moment, Theodore never settled for Ted, his parents wouldn't have it. Now ex-Theodore, soon to be ex-mayor, from nearly defunct Now Town heard a new voice in his head and it stuck like a song from high school days. With bottle in hand, he followed the trail towards the burnt-out "H".

    As the engine cooled, Now Town, Ted, pondered the best way to elicit the relationship status of Sierra. The one already nicknamed, Mouse was the first to scurry off to the 'Obble Inn and was well into the refreshments, and negotiating a bed for the night.

    Meanwhile Sierra, pushed through the semi-swinging doors, surveyed the surroundings. “This place must have been build 50 years ago with some future optimism in mind”. More than 200 seats in the bar sit empty, a dozen more in stacks along the wall, ready for celebrations that have yet to materialize.

    The pattern of the floor swirled on it’s own, which encouraged the first few drinks to slide down unnoticed. Looking at the floor reminded her of what she hoped to forget, for the moment it lay like a stone in the pit of her stomach, threatening to send the drink back the way it came and add to the pattern on the floor.

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