Fiction Writing: Escaping Reality through Writing

A recent post on bringing dialogue to life did more than expected: It brought our readers to life in the comment section in ways we never expected.

It all began with a response to the post on embellishing dialogue with action. Melissa Donovan dropped a comment that what we seasoned gamers refer to as “In Character”, or IC for short. She took our fiction scene example and continued it.

From that point on, everyone who passed by our post that day followed in kind, filling up the comment section with scenes, actions and words that did more than contribute to the conversation – they brought a story to life.

I was pleased. I scrolled through the comments to read the story unfolding. James was right in the thick, playing along with our readers. I whipped off an email to him that read, “They’re gaming already, and they don’t even know it. This is perfect.”

What Was So Great About that Moment?

I’ll tell you. For some time, James and I have been working non-stop on a top-secret project to set the blogosphere afire.

It all began a few months ago with the idea to branch out into fiction writing on our blog. We used to love playing role-playing games (in fact, that’s how we met), and we missed having that escape from reality in our lives. Co-authoring the novel wasn’t enough. Writing our advice on fiction wasn’t enough.

We wanted that spark of playtime back – and we were going to create it.

You may have seen other creative writing blogs attempt collaborative writing. Each author contributes a little to a never-ending story. Experienced as I was with role-playing games, the efforts I noticed were noble, but they lacked true potential.

I’m a veteran play-by-post gamer and so is James. A blog isn’t the right format for supporting an unfolding collaborative story. We knew a better way – and as old game masters, we knew how to make it happen.

A Way of Escaping Reality

For many people, role-playing games, collaborative creative fiction and writing novels are all ways of escaping the monotonous routine of everyday lives. In fact, reading a book or watching a movie achieves the same goal – for a while, we escape reality and revel in the potential of imagination.

When we realized the number of aspiring fiction writers that would enjoy what we’d already grown to love, we set to work.

But we had to be sneaky. We had to test the waters and drop hints. We had to prepare people for our plans. Not everyone has a warm feeling when they think of role-playing games – and almost all the perceptions come from lack of knowledge.

Gaming isn’t for geeks. Gaming isn’t for the dreamers or the eccentric. People in high-profile jobs working in places like IBM and Nike are closet gamers. Regular folk who enjoy a good story are gamers. Friends who get together enjoy tabletop board games all the time, and then they go back to their regular lives the day after.

There’s nothing weird or silly about it. A role-playing game is simply interacting creatively with others. There’s no strange dress code or behavior required. It’s just people letting loose with some fun fiction.

After a few posts on fiction writing, we realized that we had a whole group of potential gamers on our hands. They may not have known it themselves, but they revealed it in this post, where everyone let loose to have some fun through creative writing.

Are You Ready?

Our readers were gaming in our comment section – and they didn’t even realize it. They each responded to comments left by others with fictional action and dialogue that made everyone wait eagerly for the next comment to come. It’s like anticipating the turn of the virtual page of the novel to see what happens next.

Sure, the gaming was a little rough around the edges and some etiquette rules were broken, but all that was missing was a little polish and a little know-how. The potential was there. The creativity was high. The moment was perfect.

We’re making the final touches to our new role-playing game boards, where creative fiction meets gaming. We’re building up the information you need and a place to play.

Are you ready? All you need is to think up a character that you can let loose and bring to life through your writing. In a modern day setting, we’ll help you escape reality and find freedom to play. It’s a wonderful break from the day and there’s no huge commitment required.

But we warn you – it’s addictive. You’ll always want to turn the page to see what happens next. You’ll fall in love with your character and you’ll look forward to that break in the day when you can post. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll bite your nails.

Oh yes. You’ll have the time of your life.

Of course, we’ll have a new blog to go along with the game. We’ll share tips on playing, setting up scenes, enhancing your characters… just about everything you need to know.

We’ll be releasing the launch date soon, so stay tuned and start thinking. And we’ll be looking forward to escaping from reality along with you.

Post by Agent X

Agent X is the name many mysterious and intriguing people take on when they guest post at our site. Their mission is to slip in like a thief in the night, leave you with entertaining, valuable and useful content, and slip away again - without getting caught.

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  1. Hee hee!

    *runs off and works on character sketch*

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..An Introduction to the Vocabulary of Poetry

  2. Guys, this is genius.

    Dave Navarro’s last blog post..Cut Clutter From Your Email This Week

  3. Top secret, my eye.


    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  4. Heh heh heh…

    I knew it. I mean, I didn’t know for sure what you had in mind, but I figured it was something along these lines.

    This is brilliant, boys, and I can’t wait to see it come to fruition.

    Bob Younce at the Writing Journey’s last blog post..The Power of RE:

  5. She opens up her notebook , takes out her pen and writes: I observed all that happened on the weekend in our aparment building, yet I did this without anyone knowing. I wonder what will happen next? The weekend is just a few days away. ….It should prove to be interesting.

    Closing up her notebook, she puts both the book and pen back into her purse and heads out to catch the elevator.

    Jenny Burr’s last blog post..Global Warming

  6. Joohliah’s stomach is gurgling from hunger, but she wants to leave a comment on MwP’s blog before having lunch. She thinks their new project is amazing, and she can’t wait to see more, and she really wants to tell them, but hunger is stronger so she just writes :

    “Mmmhh this is gonna be FUN :D”

    Then she hurries off to the kitchen, feeling relieved that she let them know how much she liked the idea, but still focused on the wonderful asparagus penne she’s gonna have…

  7. Doesn’t this sort of thing already exist? There are forums and chat-based RPGs that go on IC and all that. What makes your project different? Is it an appeal to a different audience than would normally not game or game online?

    I’ve table-topped a bit myself, although it’s been years. It’s all good fun, if you get the right group of people. I just don’t think your idea is really new, although I don’t know the specifics.

    Allison W.

    Allison White’s last blog post..Avoiding unknown biases in writing

  8. Well I’ll be….

    Here I thought you guys were business dudes all centered around writing and blogging and stuff…

    Now I find you are fans of the same thing I am! Weee!

    If you guys need a guest writer… that’s right up my alley! Feel free to drop me a line at chattydm(at)chattydm(dot)net

    I wrote almost 300 posts on RPGs since last August, so yeah I’m onboard!

    Now that Drive By shooting is actually starting to scare me.

    The Chatty DM’s last blog post..DM Chronicles 15: Weathering the Apocalyspe with your Poker Buddies

  9. Oh good, another fine web-addiction to look forward to! 🙂

  10. uh oh….now I have to reveal my secret identity here? hmmm….

    I’m not sure you all are ready for Selene.

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..The Weekend Wrap Up

  11. Oh MAN, I missed a fine day to be away from the computer! Looks like you all had fun on that comments section…

    Your project sounds amazing 🙂 I can’t wait to check it out

    RLD: Taekwondo Happiness’s last blog post..Whoops!

  12. Will there be karate and explosions? 😉

    Also, Harry you mentioned you weren’t sure a blog was the correct setting. What do you think is? Or did I miss that in the post.

    @RLD – Me too. I hadn’t had a chance to check any blogs that day until just before bed and was too tired to put on the creative hat. Looks like you guys all had fun.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Best Rule To Follow: Keep It Simple

  13. @John – With me around, there is ALWAYS karate/taekwondo! 😀

    RLD: Taekwondo Happiness’s last blog post..Whoops!

  14. @Melissa: *chuckles*

    @ Dave: Would you expect anything less? 🙂

    @ Brett: It’s going to be great, we’re both really jazzed about it

    @Kelly: It was top secret for a couple of months 😉

    @ Bob & Chatty: You guys happened to find us at just the right time. Who says the Force doesn’t exist?

    @Jooliah: We’re glad you’re excited about it too, and I don’t mind at all taking second place to food.

    @Allison: No, it’s not a new idea to those of us who have been gaming already. But it is a new concept to many readers here. James and I ran RPGs online for many years (I’ve been doing it since ’98). Part of the reason we left it for a while was the business, the other part was the community had gotten saturated with a lot of the same people appearing in the same places over and over.

    We now have a fresh audience ready to give gaming a shot, and it’s writers who want to hone their skills at storytelling. It’s also a much more mature audience. Big difference, there.

    @Wendi: Let that secret identity run free.

    @RLD: Don’t worry, there’s plenty more fun to come

    @John: I think I mentioned that it won’t be a blog format. It’s an SMF message board. We’re working on putting the finishing touches on it.

    As for karate and explosions…anything can (and probably will) happen.

  15. @RLD – RIGHT!

    @Harry – I’m not a writer by nature and I feel that I don’t spend nearly as much time as many of you creating (and loving to create) content. Is it ok for someone to pop in only every now and then? Maybe I’m the evil villain that will pop in once in a while to stir up trouble.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Best Rule To Follow: Keep It Simple

  16. Okay, this DOES sound addictively fun!

    –Deb’s last blog post..MM: Simple Sentence Structure

  17. @ Allison – Allow me to provide a better answer.

    Online creative writing forums and rpg games aren’t new. They also come and go like the wind when gamemasters realize it’s a big commitment.

    We already know it is – and we’ve already proven we have the sticking power to make it work as well as the know-how to pull it off brilliantly.

    Most rpg forums are open to everyone. You get wierdos, teeny boppers, kids, and all sorts.

    We can’t stand that. We’ll be offering an approval process that screens for quality and maturity. It’s much akin to the difference between a public golf course and a private one, or an evening jazz club that is “by invitation only”. While we want to offer an open atmosphere that welcomes everyone, the reality is that we don’t want everyone in our game – and nor do you fine folk.

    Most rpg forums are wide open and may involve plenty of players.

    We’ll be offering limited registration to help keep groups well-moderated, to advance the game nicely, to keep the scenes active, and to allow members more exclusivity into a quality “club”, if you will.

    We also want to focus on people who want to improve their creative writing skills by allowing them a place to observe what others do and learn as they have fun. You won’t get that anywhere else either.

    We’ve also proven that we aren’t just anybody and that we have the skills, the commitment, the credentials and the technological know-how to make this happen for the best game going.

    Benefits? Quality fun, education, enhanced settings and gaming areas, a mature crowd and better writers.

  18. @James and Harry: Ah, yes, that makes a lot of difference. I know what you mean about the same people in the same places … I grew up in a small town where it was unavoidable. Getting a new group is always refreshing.

    I just hope you aren’t *too* picky with who plays.

    Either way, it’ll be a lot of fun. I hope to read some interesting stuff throughout the course of it, and maybe join in 🙂

    My favorite tabletop is still Shadowrun. How about you two?

    Allison White’s last blog post..Avoiding unknown biases in news writing

  19. @Allison: new World of Darkness for me. I cut my gaming teeth on D&D way back when, but after I discovered WoD I haven’t had the desire to play anything else. I’ve tried a few (Shadowrun among them) and even tried getting back into D&D, but they’re missing the gritty darkness of WoD.

  20. @Harry: Shadowrun was mostly fun because I played with my sister. I first played D&D as well, first with my sister and then later with friends. If I could find a group in Chico to play anything I’d be up for it but I haven’t had much luck. And having a job or two and school doesn’t help, heh.

    Allison White’s last blog post..Avoiding unknown biases in news writing

  21. @Allison: See, that’s the thing; it doesn’t matter what the game is, it’s the players and the ST/GM/DM that makes it what it is.

    A couple years ago when I was playing D&D on a weekly basis with a few buddies of mine, the games were good, but not as good as when Jeffe’s brother rolled into town for a weekend.

    Man, talk about a talented GM. All of us would cancel our plans just to get in on one of his games. Not only were the stories good, he knew how to handle a group and keep everyone on track.

  22. She retrieves an email passage sent to NOLA NOIR writer guy just yesterday:

    …”these guys will have me doing all kinds of things I used to just do in private I suspect. What’s the virtual equivalent of margaritas and skinny dipping?…” she asked, pleasant images sifting through her mind.

    You sneaky Men With Pens. Damn good fun. 🙂 Never gamed…well not on a computer….

    All best,

    Janice Cartier’s last blog post..Organic Chai Monday

  23. @Harry: When I was around the age of 10, my sister introduced me to D&D by making me a Faerie Dragon (although I don’t know if you can anymore) and also very silly. When I played a bit with her later she still made it a lot of fun and a bit silly and always came up with interesting stories.

    Although she once scared another one of her groups when the players figured out they were the minstrels in Hamlet and they thought that meant they’d all die (“because everyone dies in Hamlet” was their logic). She had a good laugh.

    Allison White’s last blog post..Avoiding unknown biases in news writing

  24. @Allison, James and Harry do EVERYTHING different. They like to color outside of the lines and still make a pretty picture, and their gaming is no different. Their skill, imagination, and dedication is what stands out from other game boards.

    I don’t often role play (mostly from fear of losing myself in the game because my imagination takes over my life when unleashed), but I LOVE to read! I actually miss the characters as if they were real people when I am away from my computer. I do the same thing when I finish a novel or a series of novels about the same character. Does that make me crazy? Probably a little, but I have a feeling most of you are in the same nut house with me! 😀

  25. You really are Harry Potter, aren’t you? Wave the wand around, say a few words, and POOF – a bunch of “crawling and filthy” addicts are irresistably drawn to this new game-thing.

    Despite sitting here in my steaming pit of envy, I look foward to your new creation and hope I get a spot at the table. 🙂

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..How the blogging groove rebuilds

  26. @Jamie: I do so color inside the lines!

    @Mark: Such is the power and allure of the Dark Side. (insert evil laughter here)

  27. @ Harry, LOL I should have know that the Master Web Designer would take offense to that. 😀 I meant it in a good way. You pull it off wonderfully.

    I march to my own drum, but I have to do it in private to avoid involuntary pyschotropic medication.

  28. HEY!!

    Did Mark just call us crawling and filthy addicts?

    we might be drooling a little, rubbing our hands together gleefully waiting with a crazed glint in our eye, but we aren’t crawling, and speaking at least for myself, I’m clean….

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..The Weekend Wrap Up

  29. @Wendi: It’s okay, that’s in reference to a comment Mark made on Twitter the other day.

  30. Ah…the grand teaser to the grand reveal. You two sure have the flair for the dramatic. Looking forward to it.

    Nez’s last blog post..The Lure of Ludlum

  31. @ Wendi, Put me in the clean category as well. I showered this morning, I even smell nice 😀

  32. @Wendi – it was a little inside joke between James, Harry, and I over the weekend.

    Besides, you didn’t contract the “addicts” part, which was the most important. 🙂

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..How the blogging groove rebuilds

  33. “Gaming isn’t for geeks.”
    Yes it is. *wink*

    “People in high-profile jobs working in places like IBM and Nike are closet gamers.”
    Yes, and what were you saying about geeks?

    Sounds like fun.

    That photo is supppper sexy! You find some great photos.

    Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood’s last blog post..Sunday Picture Post 6 / Read Out Loud

  34. This sounds like it will be awesome! I’ve never done this sort of gaming before. For those of us uninitiated, you *will* be writing posts about etiquette, rules, and anything else important for us to be able to play nicely… right? Please? I would love to participate in something like this, but I would HATE to do something that seasoned gamers would see as rude or unacceptable.

    Allison’s last blog post..New York Roll

  35. @ Allison – Ayup. We’re working on all that stuff and there will be a full setup so you’re not stepping into Nowhereland.

  36. @ James – Oh thank goodness.

    Also, I’m wondering exactly how *elitist* you guys are going to be? Will it just be a matter of maturity or will writing ability have a play into that also? I would consider myself to be mature, but my writing/storytelling is especially bad. I can’t even make a story about myself interesting! And let’s not even speak of my inability to develop a character.

    Plus at times I can be very busy, and I’m not always up when most of the rest of you are, so would timeliness be an issue? Or would we be able to step in and out of the story whenever we have the time to contribute?

    Am I worrying too much? Probably. I tend to do that. But it’s only because this is a really exciting project, and I’d really like to be able to participate!

    Allison’s last blog post..New York Roll

  37. ah,
    glad to know my honor as clean person doesn’t need defending,
    and about the addict part, when it comes to games….
    I have no defense.

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Amazing Mountains

  38. @Wendi 🙂 (emoted like a fellow addict!)

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..How the blogging groove rebuilds

  39. @ Allison – There are ways to work around time issues and we know what to do. Not everyone can sit at their computer every day and not everyone can play every day.

    We’re not going to be elitist. We’re looking for the ability to write coherent sentences and a mature attitude. 🙂

  40. @ James – Awesome. 😀

    Allison’s last blog post..New York Roll

  41. Interesting idea – I have never done a gaming board before – but I have done a creative writing one. I’ll be interested in checking it out.
    @RLD and John Hoff – I’m a black belt in Kuk Sul Won. Lots of karate sounds good to me too! 😉

    Christie’s last blog post..Welcome to The Quotable Quill Small Business Marketing Blog

  42. @Christie – In case you didn’t guess from the name, I’m Taekwondo <3 Our partner school does Karate (oddly enough), so we get some Karate influence. As far as our proper certification goes though, my school is World Taekwondo. Just out of curiosity, do you still train?

    RLD: Taekwondo Happiness’s last blog post..Whoops!

  43. @RLD – I have to say, I don’t still train. I received my black belt a little over a year ago, and ended up “retiring” shall we say a few months later. Part of it was I couldn’t keep my motivation going (bad on me), and part of it was a financial thing, since I was just going out on my own to freelance full-time.

    Christie’s last blog post..Welcome to The Quotable Quill Small Business Marketing Blog

  44. It’s like you live in my head. Seriously, all I want in life is for the geeks of blogging and the geeks of gaming to have lovechildren so that I may worship them.

    Then again, I am so sick I am hallucinating tall trees in the living room, so perhaps I should hush now.

    Tei’s last blog post..Plague-Ridden: Working When You Feel Like Death

  45. Just in case any one is worried about the spiritual implications of RPG’s, you can read up on it at I struggled with the warnings I grew up hearing about D&D in the back of my mind too! 🙂

    Personally, I think God created us all to have wonderful imaginations- and to put them to use!

  46. You guys are gooood. So we’ve seen the pledge and the turn. I can hardly wait for the prestige! I’m not sure it’s even possible to be as excited as Melissa, but this sounds FUN!

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  47. @ Jamie – Thanks for the link. Personally, I’m going to hell in a handbasket, so I’m not too worried about the spiritual implications of about 150% of my life… but that’s just me. It’s an interesting read for sure!

  48. @Jamie: Being pagan the thought never crosses my mind. No worries here either. Like you said though, our imaginations were given to us for a reason and they’re a marvelous gift.

  49. @Nichol: Nice comment. Believe me, the prestige will be amazing. Now I have to watch that movie tonight.

  50. @Allison A decent group of gamers wouldn’t hold such unacceptable behavior against you until at least the third week of playing. 😉 And you’d be surprised how a role playing format will almost drag out creativity you never knew you had!

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  51. @Harry Just watched it the other day, so it was the first thing that popped into my mind. So are we going to get any more teases, or will the next development by a VOILA! moment? Is there a theme? What type of character should I be daydreaming up? Damn, now I’ve lost all concentration on work.

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  52. @Nicole: The setting is modern day, so think here and now. As for the next stage, I think we’ll keep you all on the edge of your seats 😉

  53. @ Nicole – Everyone loves a good tease… plus it means we get to post more racy pics 😉

  54. @Harry You’re loving this way too much.

    @James LOL! And you’re worse than he is.

    Ok ok, I’ll wait. I’m not very good at it though.

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  55. ‘Tisn’t possible, Brett. Not with my plague like it is. And oh, it is.

    Tei’s last blog post..Plague-Ridden: Working When You Feel Like Death

  56. I know how you feel. I felt like that and it wasn’t good… then again, mine was probably just a “man cold” according to my wife 🙂

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  57. Man-cold. Heh.

    I like how we women get away with stuff like that. Woe betide the man who tries to tell me I have a chick cold or something.

    Tei’s last blog post..Plague-Ridden: Working When You Feel Like Death

  58. Some of us men-folk can be thick at times (not speaking for all of the boys here, but some of us…) – yet I don’t think we’d try *that* one… 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  59. @Tei, try adding lemon, it helps the sore throat. 😀 Steam helps your sinuses too.

  60. I hit the enter button too quickly!

    @Tei sorry you are feeling under the weather, but I think it’s admirable that you continue to post when you are sick. Hanging out with us is safer… no germs. 🙂

  61. @ Jamie: yeah, she’s tougher than I am… 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  62. I think you’ll have a lot of fun with it! I will say that for me – part of the fun was that it was a tiny comment thread, not an epic piece. At the end, I hoped I’d get to explore the woman living in the apartment below again, but that wasn’t a big deal. That I could dedicate a Saturday to it without committing long-term was what sold me. On the other hand I’m an over-committed gamer so that’s probably just me – but I thought it might be useful to know the appeal from different directions.

    With reality-play like the other day, there’s the risk that it becomes focused around the flirting. I noticed that at the weekend there was a lot of tension between the male and female characters through-out. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all! But if you are moderating, you may wish to decide in advance where you want to draw the line and how much storyline is required (rather than simply funny exchanges between men and women).

    sylvia’s last blog post..An Afternoon in the Park

  63. @ Sylvia: I agree to an extent. I think some light-hearted humorous exchanges are good, but I agree that carried away with the lust and obsession gets old- a lot like a soap opera. Before you know it, you dread being your character because you might catch an STD!
    @ Harry: BTW your 10 minute work plan is saving my kiester right now. Thanks for the GREAT advice.

  64. @sylvia Think it would help if Harry came to the rescue fully clothed? 😉 Nah.. that part just kept cracking me up!

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  65. @ Nicole: I wonder if in real life Harry gets out of the shower with cat hair stuck to his naked chest? Happens to me all the time. 🙂 Makes him less sexually appealing for some, increases the attraction for others.

  66. @Jamie Oh please, you know that’s exactly how it goes in real life so he’s using his writing charm and our overactive imaginations to fill in all the implied hunky details! 🙂

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  67. Hmm.. a man that purrs sounds pretty hunky to me. I wonder if my cat can teach that to my husband..
    .@ Nicole: I agree, great novels never include the main character picking their nose or scrubbing the toilet. 😀 Might be refreshing if they did!

  68. @Jamie Perfect! You just inspired my to create a “real life” character that goes around doing all the mudane: waxing her brows, running to the post office and calling Verizon to complain about her bill. How exciting will I be!? 😉

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  69. Hmm, depends. Now if you get into a foot chase with hooker who killed your trans-sexual father while on your way to get your eyebrows waxed, then get your car blown up by terrorists on the way to the post office and find out someone is tapping your phone when you call Verizon to complain… might be pretty good readin’ 😀

  70. @Jamie 😀 This is gonna be fantastic fun!

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  71. LOL, can’t wait! I’ll have to pull out my character sketches and dust them off. I’m sure I have someone in there who will fit in with the Pen Men and their devoted subjects!

  72. @Jamie & Nicole: Hey, if you heard a gunshot nearby while you were in the shower, would you bother with much else other than the bare minimum?

    Actually, to make that scene more true to life, I would have had to mention trying to avoid stepping on cats who 1) like to sneak into the bathroom and lay on the mat and soak up the steam, and 2) cats who like to stop right in front of you and have a leisurely stretch. The duration of the stretch largely depends on how many groceries you have in your arms or how quickly you need to get from point A to point B.

  73. Harry,

    Not if I was trying to keep ladies commenting, I wouldn’t bother. 😉

    In real life? A tip from MCE to MWP: Do NOT run toward the sound of a gunshot.



    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  74. LOL, sounds suspiciously like my house….

    And yes, I would throw on clothes in the middle of a tornado. Most people, however, would run out buck naked. At least you paused long enough to fight with a pair of jeans. 😀 Even if you forgot your boxers! I’m surprised no one asked if there were boxers or briefs lying on the bathroom floor. ( Perhaps neither) I think it was Shane or Peter who said to go commando for a few months. I think they said it was a life changing experience…

  75. @Kelly: Seriously, would I have been able to stop the ladies from commenting no matter what I did?

    @Jamie: Okay, if you must know, it’s boxer-briefs. Happy now?

    And where the hell is James? I could use a little help here, bro…

  76. Harry says to himself while contemplating the attire for the run down the stairs: “Where’s the ROI in a shirt. I mean, that’s a deal-killer, right there. James can’t be the only one around here who knows how to create killer comment-buzz…. shirtless it is.”

    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  77. *whistles innocently* Help with what?

    @ Kelly – Running *towards* a gunshot is more my thing, much to everyone’s disappointment.

  78. Ah, it’s your turn to be tormented by your groupies, Harry! * insert maniacal laugh*

  79. @ Harry: not sure where he is, so maybe I can make a distraction… without further ado,

    @ Jamie: commando, definitely. It’s the only way. Not that I would know. Or maybe I would.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  80. Oh, there he is…

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  81. Nicole imagines Harry struggling with his damp jeans. He turns, takes a step to rush out the door only to sense the tickle of cat hair just in time to avert his step and… fall flat on his face. Hmm, not quite as heroic as I remembered it. 🙂

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  82. @Harry- I was thinking you were rather gallant , Harry. Give me quick witted , substantive, and shirtless creativity anytime. It worked for me. 🙂

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Organic Chai Monday

  83. @Kelly: See, there is a method to the madness and a bucket load of logic behind running towards the gunshots. Knowing that James has a gun, and he’s either behind or in front of the barrel, well, I didn’t have much of a choice. Either way spells trouble.

  84. @Janice: Thank you. 🙂

  85. Trouble… with a capital “J” 🙂

  86. BTW, I wish to note that I went that whole day without a single crack about not being able to SEE either of you (which pained me). Author pix! Where are the Men?

    And with the boxer-brief thing, you’re doing it again. Tease. Where did I put that fan?

    There’s a plan here, folks. Still waters run deep with Harry, quietly churning up the comments.

    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  87. Methinks either it’s past James’ bedtime or perhaps he had one too many glasses of wine and is sleeping face down on the keyboard. 😉

  88. @Kelly: It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

    @Jamie: No, he’s enjoying watching me squirm. Believe me, I can hear him laughing from here.

  89. Yum, as always.


    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  90. @ Harry – And with that comment, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. You ass. Of course I’m watching you squirm!

    @ Jamie – Close to bedtime and not near enough wine considering the day I had.

    @ Kelly – NAG!

  91. Hehehe. I giggled so loudly I’m having to explain it to my daughter, who I thought was asleep.

    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  92. @ James: The lurker appears! Nice of you to join us! LOL

    Glad Harry;s discomfort provided some distraction from your day. Oops, it’s not really nice to revel in someone else’s discomfort is it? My bad 😉

  93. @James: Piss off.

  94. Why is this suddenly feeling more like a webcomic than an extremely helpful and (dare I say) professional blog? 🙂 The characters from Questionable Content (.net) keep popping into my head whenever any of you speak… type! It’s all becoming very surreal. Where’s that wine James?

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  95. @ Harry – *beams*

  96. @ Nicole – Welcome to the late-night gang at Men with Pens. Despite my best efforts to maintain a highly professional blog, they tend to tromp in, hand out, sling veiled insults and drink all my beer.

    We have much more businesslike professionals commenting early morning EST. It’s an intriguing cycle, really… pro slipping slowly into fun.

    Have a Shiraz, my dear.

  97. So….drinking games anyone? 😉

    RLD: Taekwondo Happiness’s last blog post..Whoops!

  98. @James Thanks, don’t mind if I do. Wine may actually be a prerequisite for the after 7PM crowd here. Or will I need to switch to beer? 😛

    Fascinatinger and fascinatinger…

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  99. @ James: are we more businesslike in the morning because we’re tired, and it takes us a while to get wound up?

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  100. @Bret: That’s my take on the situation. 🙂

  101. @ Jamie: that’s the amazing power of wine/beer/whisky 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  102. @ Harry – The quiet ones? Oh my. I had better start making more noise around here, lest anyone get the wrong idea! 😉

    Allison’s last blog post..New York Roll

  103. Because we’re polite, and we know we don’t get to play in the sandbox unless we act smart before… we don’t?

    Because we really do think these dudes have brilliant things to say, so we like to let them know that right off the bat?

    Or because Harry and James both know the goofiness is part of the magic?How do you get comment sections that make other bloggers green with envy? Flirt and offer liquor. ROI, baby.

    I think I know why James never comments on my blog. 🙁 No shiraz.

    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  104. @ Allison: we know that Darth Sushi lurks quietly in the shadows… 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the hero everyone said they knew.

  105. Sushi and wine? I’ll pass tonight, thanks anyways. Anyone have any pizza?

  106. @ Jamie – Unless it’s rice wine… 😀

    Allison’s last blog post..New York Roll

  107. @ Allison, yes, but a good slice of pizza is almost better than sex. 😉

  108. Hah! New York, $5 medium pizza with one topping. It’s the only thing I heart about Brooklyn. Having moved to Boulder, no other charms sway me, but $5 14-inch pizzas will win me over.

    Tei’s last blog post..Plague-Ridden: Working When You Feel Like Death

  109. @Jamie I just pictured everyone looking your way with blank stares. 😀

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  110. Well, guys and gals, I’m off to search for a slice of, um, pizza. It’s been real entertaining. 🙂

  111. Okay, who was on the committee to remind me to go out and buy black ink cartridges?! You’re fired!

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  112. @ Jamie – Yes, but you haven’t had my sushi. 😀 And, dare I say it depends with whom? Well, I assume so anyways. Not like I would know… 0:)

    Allison’s last blog post..New York Roll

  113. So, let me get this straight…

    Ritgh about 7 or 8PM the beer starts to flow like wine, and by 9:30PM (or is it 10:30 there) you’ve all passed out at your keyboards? That explains a lot about the morning crowd. 😉

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  114. Nicole, in a word: Kids. Several early risers here caused by moments of indiscretion some years back. Probably also causes the goofiness. Definitely, at least in my case, causes the early exhaustion.

    Harry has no excuse. 😉

    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  115. @Kelly: Hmm…let’s see…up at 6…work until 6pm…make some food, take a short break…back to the computer sometimes until midnight. (fights the urge to insert another smiley)

  116. @Kelly Ahh.. well you’re excused then.

    @Harry So?

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  117. Gotcha, so for future reference I know I have a relative small window of time where I could miss something fun. Otherwise it’s all business, eating, working and sleeping. Good to know. 😉

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..Little Pink Jake

  118. Harry,

    I meant, cuz you’re a few time zones away, you can play later. That, and cats rarely ask for another glass of water or could you tuck me in better or the other three thousand things.

    I didn’t say that, cuz I thought I’d see if I could draw you out.

    My evil plan worked.

    Thanks, can’t stand the smileys, necessary though they seem to be at times. You care, you really do!

    Sometimes I’m up working until wee hours, but I tend to ignore distractions after a point, since I realize around… now… that they’re part of why I’m up so late. Your wee hours come a long time after ours out here.



    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  119. ACK! I knew it was a trap! You evil, evil woman you!

    Cats don’t ask for anything – they demand it. They relentlessly jump onto the bed (often from the heights of the headboard or the nearby windowsill) and land on very sensitive areas. Not fun.

    Although I have to say that after a week of sleeping on the far side of the bed away from the window and barricading access to the headboard, I won the battle, and they no longer demand that I wake up and feed them the moment the first rays of light hit the horizon.

  120. After all the kisses I blow, the massages I send your way, to call me evil? Just the plan, darlin’, not me. Mostly. How about witchy? It worked for the Eagles.

    If I wanted to be evil, I’d tell you there was a button malfunctioning. That would draw you out at three a.m….

    Had four cats, a long time ago. Sadly, they went with an ex. (Quebecois aren’t the only shacker-uppers, and then you lose your kitties in the faux divorce. Is that just me?) I miss those furry snuggles on occasion. Mine were never jumpers, which does sound rather awful.

    Do you win the prize for most-commented MWP post with this one? It must be pretty close.

    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  121. Oh boy! I can’t wait! This is going to be totally fun. 🙂

    Geek’s Dream Girl’s last blog post..Diary of a Drow, Day 20 (morning)

  122. @Kelly: 125? Nope. Bloggers That Fake It had 166.

  123. Ooh, yeah. That was a good one. Of course if you had to count only on-topic comments it would be a whole different game. My guess is the one last week—*fiddles with bookmarks* …. Who Would You Thank—that might be tops. Nobody messes with Harry when you go all mushy.

    (See how kids wear you out? I said I’ll wait ten minutes to see if Harry has anything to say before I go to bed. Thirty, too long.)

    Hoping the cats are kind today,


    Kelly’s last blog post..What If That’s All You Have to Say?

  124. So, uh, what happened to this? Still new to the site, and working my way around, but this is intriguing.
    .-= Thomas Bowman´s last blog ..Christmas Eve =-.


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