TED Conversations

Terry Torok

Founder at Angel Producers, Founder at Live from Earth


This conversation is closed.

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...


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb

    Her life was a drama worthy of a film script, but no one would likely commission it. It was blancmange; she was blancmange. A public servant, no better than an automaton, at least she was, until summer 2011 beckoned and she resolved to spend the rest of the year saying 'yes' to everything which wouldn't bankrupt her, harm her or land her in jail. Instead, it landed her here...

    Mouse joined Sierra and Ted by the broken stools at the bar, "Have you had a look around?" Ted asked. "Have you found it yet?"

    "Found what?" Mouse answered, thinking that if it was some clue on this kaleidoscopic carpet, it would be lost forever.
    "The sixpence" he said, smiling.
    "The sixpence?"
    "Yeah, apparently you guys spin on it."
    "Well, we don't actually spin on a particular sixpence, but there is a saying that 'life spins on a sixpence'. It's a metaphor for how the direction of life can change quickly. I don't know where it originates but I suspect it was a betting game. But that sixpence it a long way from home."

    Curious to find out more, Mouse followed Ted. He walked out of the door, and turned into the garden, On and on they walked, past cyclamen, chrysanthemums, lavender, lilies, allium, many, many roses, poppies, hollyhocks, a laurel tree, an ash, a magnolia in bloom and a myriad of plants which Mouse could not name, some which she could not even remember seeing anywhere else.

    In the centre of the garden, stood a mighty Oak. It looked like it had been there forever, and the plants around it had travelled here on pilgrimage. In the far distant groves of oranges twinkled in the sunshine. Their pace slowed. She knew they were going to see the sixpence, but, without words, both agreed it would be a folly to race through such beauty.

    Like butterflies they bobbed their heads to drink in the scents from one flower to another, held the delicate flowers in their hands and marveled at the strength of such thin stems.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.