And for a while it worked.
Starting on that first day in March, the original corps lined up in order and committed ourselves to writing a 100-word story each day for the rest of the month, and what’s more, promised to draw some inspiration, no matter how small, from the story ahead of ours.
And yes, we may have missed the odd month or two along the way—and occasionally let one month just spill into the next—and yes, there was that summer we all tried writing an alphabet book one letter at a time; and many times when we simply let things run right off the rails. And yet somehow, in spite of all that, we’ve managed to keep things more or less together and still moving forward.
Granted, we aren’t writing nearly as much as we used to; some people have left, and new people have joined; but unless Blogger decides to pull the plug, you can be pretty sure the Corpse will live on.
Meet the Corps
Kathy B.A social scientist by day and sometime creative writer by night, Kathy has written plays about things going wrong and people getting killed. That might sound depressing, but she was raised on Grimm’s fairytales, in a Northern Ontario forest, and by wolves. She takes mordant humour as a self-evident sign of resilience, even if most Canadians don’t get that. Kathy has published a bit of poetry too, some of it initially written for Exquisite Corpse. Thankfully the 100-word format has kept this from getting out of hand. Kathy doodles through department meetings and hates sunshine. Of course she lives alone.
Nancy Kay ClarkRaised in a Montreal burb, Nancy moved to Toronto right after McGill, bent on finding a glam job as a journalist. She started out writing new product blurbs for a printing industry magazine. Over twenty years later, she is still writing for magazines and, well, anyone else who will pay her. Her real love—uh, besides her husband and two kids—is fiction. When she isn’t writing brochure copy or company profiles, she’s editing her online literary magazine, CommuterLit; critiquing fiction manuscripts for a growing list of clients; writing posts for Exquisite Corpse; and hawking her speculative fiction far and wide—some of which you can read on Wattpad. Once she was called a “pre-published novelist” and was thrilled.
Laurie LeclairBorn in Tecumseh, Ontario to French Canadians, Laurie spent her tender years in mobile homes with misleading names like The Sylvan and Park Estate. A former corn-detassler for Essex Hybrid, she moved on to pursue studies in history and anthropology where she trained for her real-life job as an historical researcher. She and her husband Rich live in Toronto with their son and too many pets. Although her first work, A Man Met a Mermaid received lukewarm reviews from her third-grade colleagues, she continues to write fiction as it helps her procrastinate. She still dreams about becoming a pirate.
M.J. PollakM.J. Pollak is a citizen of Canada, currently residing in Toronto. Her life has had the trajectory of a ping-pong ball, never resting anywhere long and heading in a new direction whenever connecting with a hard surface . . . and many hard surfaces have been hit. At some point it will probably lose momentum and come to a stop. As long as it’s beautiful, that’s all that matters, because M.J. is a hopeless aesthete.
She is also the author of the novel Summer Burns, which was published by Insomniac Press in 1999.
Roy SchulzeMaybe it’s his rudimentary typing skills or his Internet-addled attention span, but have no doubt that over his many years as a writer, Roy’s fiction has been getting progressively shorter and increasingly sporadic, particularly since he finally gave up on that stupid novel and settled instead for a writing gig that actually paid. And so, although he’s since managed to pound out a novel’s worth of these short-short stories, chances are better you’ve encountered one of his non-fiction classics, such as Assembling your New Plastic Home or Checking in with R‑Mail, which was once required reading in your finer hotels.
Roy lives by a lake in Toronto with his two cats, his two kids and their mother.