The story published today in Metazen ,"After Receiving a Picture of Dick Butkus vis Text Message" co-written with the amazing and talented Teisha Twomey started via text message, when the weather was getting colder. It began with the simple picture of the sweatshirt sent T-moblie to Verizon, with the text:
Sending you the hoodie pic...it'll make you want my hoodie
pretend you are with my hoodie
imagine yourself inside it
The second influence for the story was my Dick. Dick Butkus. I had sent her a picture of Dick Butkus as a joke a few months earlier. (For the record I have no idea why guys send those other ones via text message.)
Then on December 2, while Teisha and I were chatting on IM and texting simultaneously I was started to combine some of the lines in my head which formed the original opening.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good dick picture.
By sending you the hoodie pic of my hoodie...it'll make you want my hoodie
And pretend you are with it. You will imagine yourself wearing it, being inside it.
I typed and sent her those and said, "Let's write it." and we went back and forth in Microsoft Word, for the rest of the morning, re-attaching and polishing the text of the ever growing story a few lines at a time. The ground rules were that either of us could add to what was already written, and also edit anything previous to fit where the piece wanted to. This included Point of View and even the tense, which each changed at least once during the process.
This is what Teisha said of the process:
This was my first attempt at Flash Fiction, a genre I was pretty greenhorn to until I met Tim. I absolutely love his work, and so when he asked me to collaborate with him, I was super honored to have the opportunity! I was also a bit nervous of course, but Tim has a way of pushing me out of my comfort zone and inspiring me to take more risks when I am writing. I think this piece is a demonstration of how people who share a common passion for words and narrative, can push the envelope and create something that comes across as beautifully alien to them.
As for me, I found the process to be mind blowing. We'd be together for a few months and Teisha's poetry made my brain explode, going places I never could or ever would be able to go, so I was really excited to collaborate on the story with her. I'd read her work "How to Treat Pretty Things" originally published in Ibettson 32 and was amazed. It's a great journal you should buy.
Here are more examples of Teisha Twomey's work you can read or view.
"Hometown Decay", her 'grittiest", found on New Graffiti.
Reading as a feature at Theater of Words and Music, in Salem, Ma in it's Youtube glory!
As far as "After Receiving a Picture of Dick Butkus vis Text Message" goes, if only you knew who wrote which line, it might make your brain explode as well.