The Good. The Bad. The Asinine.

This Time, It Was About A Monk, A Hacker And A Ferret

Last Friday night I had a transformative experience. I watched Sydney play Collingwood and suddenly discovered that AFL is not only a complex and rewarding spectator sport, it’s the most fun I’ve had in a big crowd with my pants on. As controversial as this realisation might be, it’s not what this post is about. The point is that after the post game drinks, it’s impossible to get back to your own bed, even alone, any earlier than 0100 hrs. Factor in the nightcap, the person who you’d promised a bed for the night and forgotten all about and an insomniac flatmate, and a 0530 wakeup becomes feasible only if the idea of sleep is surrendered altogether.

Thus it was that I found myself contemplating the task of writing a book in 12 hours with a bunch of very nice people and absolutely no sleep. We pulled up outside a menacing looking compound in Warriewood, which I believe to be a remote valley somewhere near Afghanistan, and contemplated the enormous task ahead of us by complaining about the cold and, in my case, chainsmoking in preparation for 12 hours in a non-smoking site.

The compound, which looked remarkably like the love child of a maximum security prison and a US military warehouse, belonged to one of our employers, who kindly donated office space and bandwidth and whose staff gave us a significant portion of our sponsorship.

The 2015 WABIAD Team

The 2015 WABIAD Team

At 0800 precisely (give or take a few minutes) we opened the document outlining our parameters and discovered that our novel had to be about a jailbreak and must involve two human characters (a ‘monk’ and a ‘computer nerd’) and a ferret. One of the settings had to be a ‘skateboard playground’, which we decided probably referred to a skatepark rather than a facility built for the amusement of wheeled timber conveyances. There was also a list of keywords which had to be included in the text and which I promptly forgot existed. Zena Shapter, our award winning leader and extremely stressed person for the day has a fuller and more factual description, being what we like to call a ‘serious writer’.

And so it kicked off. Our illustrators, Mijmark and Liz Michell settled down to work, visualising and actualising the appearance of the weird collection of misfits that we had included in our ongoing work both by compulsion and inclination. The authors tapped away with extreme efficiency, except for me, who blurted out 2000 words of hate-filled crap before storming around the room looking for stuff to punch as nicotine withdrawal began to set in. By the end of the day, we had written an edgy, high-tech tale of intrigue involving terrorists, hackers and military drones loaded with explosives and, weirdly, none of these ideas can be directly attributed to me. The book we came up with is called “Rider and the Hummingbird” and we’re all immensely proud of it.

A big thank you goes out to the Northern Beaches Writers’ Group, for being awesome, and especially to all our sponsors, without whom all of this would have been completely pointless. If you’d like to join the cadre of secret superheroes who helped to make this happen, you can help us raise money for the Kid’s Cancer Project at this link:

https://www.writeabookinaday.com/findteams1.php?school=607

Sponsorship closes at the end of the month.

Here is the blurb for our book, shamelessly stolen from Zena Shapter’s blog as I can’t find my copy.

“Fourteen-year-old Lan is a computer genius… and a prisoner. After poking around in exactly the wrong websites, Lan’s interest in drones has landed him in the High Country Youth Correctional Facility.

Not a good start.

Lan is resigned to his fate until he discovers that the mysterious hacktivist who framed him is part of a plot to kill thousands of people, including his mum and dad. With the help of Monk and his ferret, Lan breaks out of jail, and races to prevent a disaster that could change the face of Australia forever.”

 

Category: Good

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5 Responses

  1. Zena Shapter says:

    Totally awesome write-up of the day, Chris! You rock too!

  2. […] Here is a fantastically entertaining description of the day from Chris, and below some photos… enjoy! […]

  3. Kristin Prescott says:

    Brilliant recap of the day Chris!!!

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