I'm very excited to get underway with this year's yearlong prompt. For those of you just tuning in, we'll be revisiting this prompt once per month from now until December, creating a continuous story with every participant having an equal voice.
You guys are welcome to go where you like from my opening, but I have a couple thoughts to share before we begin. One of the problems (probably too strong a word) with this format is that if someone doesn't join in right at the beginning it becomes difficult to join in after three months or so. After six months it starts edging toward impossible. It's not a huge deal - there are nearly 2500 other prompts for outsiders to use in place of this one for that one day each month - but I do like to try to include everyone who is interested in participating.
I think this year's story, as I currently imagine it in my head, is especially conducive to each writer taking charge of a single character and using their perspective to further the overall story. That way it should be easier for someone to contribute at a later stage if they weren't interested/around/able to closer to the beginning.
Does that make sense? Agree or disagree, do what you will. I just wanted to toss that out there. So, without further ado...
In 2013 we wrote about a little town called Mejaran.
In 2014 Greg brought us into the world of Vancouver Irrealis.
Now, in 2015, I would like to introduce you to: The Colony.
I have always wanted to go to space.
I'm sorry, I should introduce myself, shouldn't I? Otherwise you'll be left wondering who the heck this I person is that's talking to you.
My name is Eliza Hainsworth. Call me Lizzie at your peril. I grew up on a big farm in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, which meant I had a whole lot of sky to study on those nights that sleep proved an elusive friend. Or when the twinkling universe seemed more intriguing than smushing my face against my pillow.
My two older brothers, Morris and Simon, treated me as one of their own. We worked hard, played harder. Cuts, bruises, even a few broken bones were common companions. You'd be hard pressed to find a family photo that didn't capture at least one black eye.
I loved that home, but the stars held a fierce grip on my imagination. The first book I could call my own had an astronaut on the cover. My favorite toy was a wooden rocket ship Dad constructed for me. I wanted to name every dog Mom brought home Saturn but I was always overruled.
Now here I am, soaring through the darkness of space with my nine companions, a mere two weeks away from landing on Mars. Mars! Can you believe it?
We're going to be the first colony on the Red Planet. Headquarters have already sent off several supply rockets that have made touchdown safely, as far as the machines have been able to tell. If for some reason they've all been damaged beyond salvage, we're carrying enough provisions with us to last well beyond the three weeks that will pass before the next supply drop.
It's still an uncomfortable feeling, for me at least, knowing that if all we have to go on is what we're carrying with us...
Anyway. We're a highly trained group. Headquarters made sure of that. I was surprised when I managed to get past the initial screening process and into the interview stage. Relieved when I survived the background checks. Ecstatic when I received the phone call that let me know I was one of the chosen few.
We're doing it. We're really doing it. Humans, living on Mars. This is happening. I'm part of it. Unbelievable.
Knowing that I will never see Earth again is a small price to pay for this honour.
* * *
Notes from Marc: I found this to be useful reading while cobbling my opening together and thought you may feel the same. I've obviously not stuck strictly to what they're planning, but it was nice to have some sort of foundation to work with.
This is something that captured my attention when I first heard about it. Who are the people that would want to do something like this? Why? Who would actually be chosen? Why? What will happen when they finally land? This prompt, I suppose, is my way of exploring this subject, and I hope you find it interesting as well.
Again, this is open to anyone who is keen to join. Just carry on the story from where the previous writer left it and have fun!