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Night Shade Message Boards » Valente, Catherynne M. » The Moveable Type Project « Previous Next »

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Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 06:11 pm:   

Anyone heard of the Skin project? I like the idea, I dislike the execution. An author "publishes" her story by having one word tattooed on a person (and so on until all the words are printed). But only the author gets to see the whole story, (even if everyone got together, how would they know the correct order?) and everyone who might participate seems to be concerned with getting a lame word, since you have to sign a contract without knowing your word--highly probable that it will be "the", in my book. Not to mention that she sort of mandates that the people are no longer people once they are tattooed--they are her "words."

So I offer you an alternative. Let's call this the Moveable Type Project*.

I'll write a short-short story. 50 words or less, unless you authorize me for more. You'll get it tattooed anywhere on your body, arranged in any configuration-- all together, half on your hip, half on your shoulder, whatever is comfortable for you. Unlike the Skin lady, I won't mandate the font or the presentation--have it done however you like. Once it's done, you'll send me an 8x10 (digital or physical photo) of you with the tattoo readable and visible. If it looks like a decent number of people are interested, I'll buy a domain name and make this a full-fledged online publication. I'm not sure I really expect you guys to line up, but it's there. You won't get a bad word, because you'll get a complete story, written specifically for you. (check out this page for a bit of my flash fiction style). You can include artwork with the tattoo, I don't care, as long as the text is readable. As a bonus, you get to remain autonomous human beings, not mine at all.

Stories can, by request, be written in either Latin or Greek instead of English. (I'll send you a translation with the text.) If I get 50 people to do this, which, I grant you, is shooting for the moon, I'll do it too, and my story will be made up of one word from each of the other stories.

Reply to this thread if you're interested, and feel free to advertise this anywhere you like for other takers.

This could be fun, if you have the cojones...

*small print: you will have to sign a very loose, non-anxiety inducing contract saying that a.) you'll get the tat and b.) that I have permission to publish the photos of you. I mean, I'm not going to write a story for you if you're going to chicken out.

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