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Hello, World! (Again)

Welcome (again) to Vintrock Studios. I am in the process of altering the direction and vision, and changing the focus from game studio to other types of creative works. That isn’t to say that games of some kind aren’t going to be made. But this is meant as a somewhat different vision. As I continue to build and develop the key relationships, as well as update some of my creative works, I’ll be updating this site.

People who visited here before may notice that the team on the About page is somewhat smaller. With the re-imagining of Vintrock, the team has changed. Specifically, it is currently just me (Geoff). My intention is not to erase the work that Jonathan, Tracy, and Joanne did with me. It was my honour and pleasure to work with them, and we had a good time while we built 3SB. But things change, and rather than let Vintrock just fade away, Jonathan and I decided that one of us would take it over, and use it for something else.  Frankly, the name was too cool to just let it disappear, and after several conversations, Jonathan allowed me to take control of Vintrock and try to build a legacy with the company, albeit different from what we had first envisioned.

In the coming months, I will start to publish some work that I’ve had sitting around for some time, but never put out there for people to read. It will start with short stories and some works I call “vignettes”. My vignettes aren’t really a “story” per se, but are an attempt to experiment with different elements of story telling. This includes elements like dialog, action, suspense, and scene-setting. Some of them may become the kernel for something larger in the future.

While you wait for me to get on with publishing some stories and such, you can read more about Vintrock, as well as me, on the About page. And you can read my tribute to the team that was, our Vintrockers Emeritus.

The Drabble

First, yes it has been over a year since I last put something here. Things happen, but I’m now in a place where I’m getting active again. Thanks to friends and family for their support.

A few months ago, I stumbled on a form of fiction writing called “drabbles”. A good friend pointed out, after I had posted my “vignettes”, that there was a whole class of writing called microfiction, very short stories. I hadn’t thought about it much since he mentioned it, but I came across an article in a writing magazine I had recently subscribed to that covered the drabble. After doing some digging via Google, and reading some examples of the form, I decided to give it a try.

But what is a drabble? It is a form of microfiction where the work is exactly 100 words long. It is a middle-ground of sorts in microfiction, with the addition of a small bit of formal structure. There are other forms of microfiction. One involves writing a story incorporating a daily topic word posted on Twitter, and the work itself must fit within the bounds of a single tweet. Others include works that are less than 1,000 words, or around 300 words, or even as small as 50 words. The name is a play on the word “dribble”, but since the story can be somewhat more expansive, the name “drabble” was coined.

The idea of microfiction was driven, in part, by an exchange involving Ernest Hemingway. He was challenged to write an extremely small, but complete, story using as few words as possible. He came up with six:

For sale, baby shoes. Never worn.

Those six words can form the core of a host of different stories, some sad, some hopeful and positive. But over time it has become a challenge to other writers: can you write a meaningful story using a modest number of words?

To get myself back into writing, I decided to give this new form a shot. I have a few works I have written that will appear on this site shortly, and I intend to post more over time. I expect many of them will not be very good, but it is through practice that we get better.

Greyhound Runs Fast

AppleTV+, in association with Sony Pictures, released Greyhound last Friday. While some might assume the setting, a US Navy destroyer escorting a convoy to England in World War II, might not be the most gripping, the movie tells a tense, suspenseful story, packed into 90 minutes of tension. This is meant to be a spoiler-free review.

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The Work in Progress

This piece is what I call a vignette, something not long enough or fleshed out sufficiently to be considered a short story. I use these as writing experiments, allowing me to play with mood, setting, action, dialog, etc. This is the first of several that I will be publishing here over time. I hope you enjoy it.

It was a dark and stormy night. Wind howled in the trees and a shutter banged relentlessly against the side of the house like a half-crazed lunatic trying to get in. Lightning would split the sky like a white hot knife, or backlight the clouds with no warning. Thunder would rattle and shake the windows, doors, clapboard, timbers as it rolled and boiled through the air. This was not a night to be outside. This was a night to be in another town, another country, another continent.

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