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Skin | Blood & Ink

Imagine being one small part, a word, of a story…Now imagine your skin being part of a global story.

This is what SKIN is.

…while thinking about how much I liked forms that reflected their content, I thought of my unfinished story “Skin,” and suddenly it suddenly occurred to me that there is a kind of “publishing” we already do on skin: tattooing. The idea of publishing a story on volunteers, one word at a time, was only a few mental leaps away. The whole concept of the Skin project leapt into my mind in that moment. I put out a call for participants in summer of 2003…
– Shelley Jackson

2003 – Shelley Jackson came up with this idea to craft a new medium for story. She would write the 2095 word story and then request volunteers to have one word of the story tattooed on their bodies.

…The existence of the author is a necessary flaw in this (every?) story. But this project makes me keenly aware that I am not the only, or even always the dominant voice in it. I recently took great pleasure in watching three “words” coach a fourth, nascent word through her first tattoo: “Have you eaten anything? Here, have this apple. Do you want us to hold your hand?” My presence was a comfortable irrelevancy to them at that moment. Furthermore, my story is being rewritten, one word at a time, by my participants. As my words enter the specific contexts of their lives, they change forever. In the end, 2095 other people will have signed their names to my story…
– Shelley Jackson

Each person would be given a word by Shelley and would then need to tattoo this word on their body. Once accepted as a WORD each volunteer would then receive the complete story. The provision being that they would keep this story forever confidential.

…I was quite serious when I called this a Mortal Work of Art. As words die, the story gradually changes; it’s possible that the first word will die before the last one has been published, meaning that no complete version will ever appear. But I consider each version of the story legitimate; each successively shorter version of the story that will be created by these deaths is the story too, right down to the one-word story that will be its final printed form. If all my words hold to their promise not to share the story, that will truly be the end. The work includes its own disappearance in its aesthetic project, so it is not complete until it is gone. However, like all living things, each “word” has a complex destiny of his or her own, affecting many other lives, and I consider that part of my project too. When I die, the destiny of the project will fall into the hands of the remaining words, who might decide, who knows, to do something different with it than I intended! Some people have asked if they could will their words to their children, creating a second-generation story…
– Shelley Jackson

I love the idea of this project on so many levels. I love the exclusivity of the story only being made available to 2095 people. I love the secrecy and the intimacy of tattooing a story one word at a time on different people around the world. I love the idea of being a WORD in a story in both a figurative and a literal sense.

Tattooing is an ancient art form. I have always been fascinated by the whole process of tattooing.

Who gets a tattoo?
Why they get a tattoo?
Where they choose to be tattooed?

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“There is something wonderfully melancholic about a piece of writing that’s living flesh and finally dies and is grieved over.”
– Shelley Jackson

Tattooing is one of the most intimate experiences.
I have long been fascinated with tattoos and I have been designing my “dream” tattoos for years now. I have not yet found the perfect tattoo that I would want inked on me permanently yet so the search continues. But a tattoo is so much more than a symbol or a fashion accessory, in many cultures it is an integral part of the culture’s history and spiritual practices. Tattooing is a bizarrely intimate ritual: a ritual where a person literally carves a symbol, words or an image into your skin with permanent ink.

…the body interests me most as something to write about, not to touch (not in a professional capacity, anyway). I am fascinated above all with using it as a object of fantastical transformations, because we care about the body and we know it intimately, and I think that makes it possible to invest bizarre scenarios with very strong, creepy, personal feelings…
– Shelley Jackson

As a writer alone this bizarre ritual where blood and ink are fused together into a permanent “stain” sparks my imagination.

This long-held personal fascination with tattoos and the desire to seek out their history in different cultures sparked the idea behind The Tattooist my current WIP.

Would you get/Do you gave a tattoo?
Do you prefer Literary (words/quotes/mantras) tattoos or image tattoos?
Would you be a WORD for Shelley Jackson’s SKIN project?

Skin: A Mortal Work of Art

All Quotes courtesy of
Written on The Body: Interview with Shelley Jackson

Related Posts

Why this new brand of Fiction is a Life Sentence

My Life as a Word: How I became part of The “Skin” Short Story Project

Shelley Jackson Writes on Snow for a New Story

Images courtesy of Shelley Jackson’s Ineradicable Stain

Last Words | Who Are You?

Image shared courtesy of The Dead Game by Susanne Leist

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This gravestone brings up so many thoughts:

Who was this woman?
Who chose her inscription?
Was it a last act of revenge from a spurned lover/spouse?
Were they the last words she wanted to be remembered by?

What comes to your mind when you look at it?
What would you like to be put on your gravestone when you die?

This gravestone had me contemplating what I would want inscribed to mark my place in this world.
Death is inevitable for every one of us but something that few of us like to contemplate. We are mortal beings but we fear our mortality. We focus on living in the here and now. But I wonder sometimes if we focused on how people would remember us after we die, if that would impact our choices and decisions.

How would you like to be remembered?

If I could choose one mantra to be remembered by it would be:

She lived and loved fearlessly.

The poem I would have as my last words would be:

~ the uncaged bird is set free ~

I can no more cage this poeme`
to trap my soul in earthly realms hollows my flesh
Poeme` is life fleshed into my Bones
A place where the intangible is material
A window through which the tears of God
break open the unseen cracks in a heart
A Love divine and Light surreal
is my heart free, my soul uncaged
the Bird of Poeme` soaring into the heavenly realms.

– Excerpted from my poem “Soul Wings”
© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

Don’t fear her, get away from her.

There is something about this post that resonates with me…sometimes the thing we should fear lies within…madness would scare me and make me run more than any other monster…what about you?

Futzing About

Many fear that Madness’ presence breaks things we take for granted. Things like the meaning of ‘Up’.

Broken Seams

Can the walls crawl on the floor
and the ceiling ride their backs?
Can the peeling paint
slowly taint
the food you lovingly bring back?
Can the world turn topsy-turvy
and drip bile from your mouth?
The swirling sickness,
flowing thickness,
that threatens to climb back out.

Would you fear a doorway
that hadn’t any door?
Would you fear that doorway
if it hadn’t any floor?
Would you fear that doorway
if it opened on the sky?
And if you stepped through,
let’s just hope
that you had said ‘good bye’.

Can you smell the fear, now?
The sights and sounds around?
The confusing illusions
dripping up
when Madness touches down.

Fear the smell with no scent
and the sight that blinds the mole
the longer you remain near
the deeper…

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Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows’ Read, A New Halloween Tradition?

I am completely up for this idea… Love it! More book giving holidays please! Nothing like a scary book to read under the duvet, where you are hiding from your own imagination, holding a torchlight and barely daring to breathe in case whatever you are hiding from hears just that one too-loud exhale…

Halloween Culture

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Leave it to Neil Gaiman to try and make Halloween an even cooler holiday than it already is.

All Hallows’ Read is a new tradition of horror/scary book giving that Mr. Gaiman is hoping catches on.

“I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy. I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…” Neil Gaiman

In my humble opinion, it’s a great idea. In this age of ipads and electronic media it’s important not…

View original post 271 more words

InsideHauntedHouseCoffinHop13

#CoffinHop – Day 1| The Abandoned & The Disappeared…Tell me what happened to these ghost towns.

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Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Tell me what happened to these Ghost Towns…

Twist a tale of terror,

Send shivers of horror down my spine with a story,

Flay the flesh from my skin as you open my veins and bleed me out with your poetry…

Rules

Submit your daily entry (1 per person per day) in the comments.

Submit either a Flash Fiction Piece/Prose

or

Short Story

or

Poetry

Prizes

There can be only 1 ultimate winner for this contest.

You will win

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1 * Ebook – Death by Drivein (CoffinHop Anthology)

1 * Mystery Trick or Treat

Contest runs 24th – 31st October 2013

Winner to be announced – 5th November 2013

xxxxx

Kolmanskop / Kolmanskuppe, Namibia, Africa

Image Courtesy of  Damien du Toit from Cape Town, South Africa

Image Courtesy of Damien du Toit from Cape Town, South Africa

Where: Namib Desert, Namibia, Africa

Facts: Founded by a transport driver called Johnny Coleman. Trapped by a sand storm, he abandoned his ox wagon in the desert which became the settlement of Kolmanskop / Kolmanskuppe.

In 1908 a diamond was found here by an employee of the German railway inspector. Germany declared the area a Sperrgebiet (translated – Prohibited Area) and started exploiting the desert as a diamond field.

Driven by the wealth of diamonds and adventure, a town was formed that included modern amenities like a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, bowling alley, theatre, casino, ice factory as well as the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere and the first tram in Africa.

World War 1 put the town into a sharp decline.

In 1954 the once diamond-rich town was suddenly abandoned and became a ghost town.

Tell me what happened to this ghost town…

x

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Dig up those coffin-hopping boots,

dance down to the graveyard for more

bone-chilling CoffinHop tricks & treats.

53.
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#Coffinhop – The Graveyard is Open, Come in if you dare…

InsideHauntedHouseCoffinHop13

Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2013

x

This year I am hosting

a CoffinHop Contest of

Terror, Tricks & Treats

in the Ghost Towns

of

The Abandoned & The Disappeared

My task ~ Each day I will be posting images and known histories

of infamous ghost towns

Your task ~ Tell me a terrible tale of what happened to

turn these ghost towns into empty and deserted graveyards

of

The Abandoned & The Disappeared

Your entry can be in the form of a tale told, flash fiction or a poem.

Enter your submission into the comments of the daily CoffinHop “The Abandoned & The Disappeared” posts here on this site for your entry to be counted.

The Contest is from 24th – 31st October.

Contest Winners will be judged by me on creativity & horror.

You are playing for

The Prizes

The One Ultimate Winner will receive

1 * Copy of Death by Drive-In (The CoffinHop Anthology)

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

+

1 x Mystery “Terror Trick or Treat” Prize

Return later today for the first Ghost Town…

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Take the 13th floor to Coffin Hop 2013

Get those coffinhoppin’ boots on,

Dance a dervish in the boneyard…

Grab yourself a copy of Death by Drive-In

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN is a collection of some of the best and brightest of the Coffin Hop crew, with 21 amazing B-movie inspired stories from some of the best Indie authors around

AVAILABLE NOW

KINDLE

SMASHWORDS

PAPERBACK

CoffinHop Store is open – Grab your coffinhop swag

100% of All Proceeds of the Anthology sales + CoffinHop Swag go to LitWorld.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting child literacy and social improvement the world over.

Help COFFINHOP support Child Literacy and BUY a Copy and Grab some Swag.

Unhinge the coffins to reveal terrors, tricks & treats

CoffinHop 2013 begins today

24th – 31st October

These are the coffinhoppers…

Open their coffins by clicking on each link below

for more terror, horror and

coffinhopping contests and prizes galore.

53.
kim-coffin12

#CoffinHop 2013 Count Down

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CoffinHop 2013

CountDown begins this month.

There are only 3 weeks left until the annual Horror BlogHop that is CoffinHop launches.

Clock

Clock (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

This is my favourite blogging time of the year because not only is it dripping in chills, terror and horror but it is the time of year when I get to hang out in the blogosphere with my favourite people: the Bone-Chilling CoffinHop Crew. The best thing is because it is a hop – You my readers get to hang out with these Masters and Mistresses of the Horror genre too.

So people, mark your calendars and kill off the next 21 days as we wait with baited breath and chills running up and down our spine for the Annual CoffinHop.

24th – 31st October
7 days of bone-paralysing terror
7 days of spine-tingling fear
7 days of blood-chilling horror
+100 Masters and Mistresses of Horror

Tick, tock, tick, tock…the time is almost near. Don’t close your eyes. You don’t know who is waiting around the dark corners…

CoffinHop 2013