Noelle Tadeo

Apocalypse-A Short Story

Part 1:

For my final project I chose to focus on network fiction, specifically the through text messaging. Especially in this day and age, communicating with a keyboard (whether it’s 10-key or full) on one’s phone is one of the most popular ways to talk to each other. Because of this form, and the story as well, I was forced to look at a conversation from the perspective of short, small bursts of information at time.

This story is a “Part 2” of another project I completed for Will’s class (which you can view below my Vimeo link above. The setting is the beginning of a disease outbreak, and “Part 1” is a blog website I hand-coded as written from the perspective of one of the characters in this story (Athena). Her blog posts reflect the unfolding of this outbreak.

Continuing the story, this Electronic Literature project centers around two characters, Nicole (Nic), and Abbey, who knew Athena, discussing the stances they’ve taken in light of this new way of living that the disease outbreak has left them in. Nicole is of the idea that she will fight for her life and the lives of those around her, and is willing to go to great lengths and risks to do so. Abbey is content to remain at home and live in comfort until the end of her days, however that may happen. It is assumed at the beginning that neither can leave their homes, and that is one of the reasons they are texting each other.

The way I created this project really simulates sending and receiving messages on a real phone, because I used my own cell phone, and screen-recorded myself typing out the script I adapted for short messages. It was quite tedious because I knew the phone was recording my every mistake and sometimes, if I missed a line, I had to start over completely because I had no way of simply removing a single text message in the conversation. My cousin let me use her Apple email on my old phone so that I could control both sides of the conversation wholly.

I really enjoyed the process of adapting the script/conversation for this project because I’ve always wanted to try writing with solely dialogue. It was a challenge to convey what went between the lines, especially when it was meant for a text message conversation, and I had to set it up in a very succinct way that wasn’t explanatory narrative, because these characters were talking to each other, not reading stories to each other. Being able to control the timing was very helpful and allowed me to emphasize tense moments or emotional ones. I even incorporated the use of emojis to lighten the mood at times.

In editing the project, I was able to control the timing even further by slowing some parts or speeding them up. Because I used my real phone, the appearance may seem inconsistent (battery life, time of day), although I did try to use real time to my advantage, wanting to give it an authentic feel.

Though there are several forms of network writing, this is one that has challenged me the most.

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PRY part 2

Chapter 5 begins with another job given to the main character (James!), to inspect the integrity of an old bridge. While he does this job, James narrates about how he and Luke grew up together, and Luke’s realization of James’ failing eyesight. It’s interesting. I distinctly remember a part where James falls off the bridge, but then the next morning I reread the chapter and I did not see it again. Am I dreaming in PRY now?

Chapter 6 was quite long for me as I discovered the reader could pull apart every single line to read or watch some additional information or something that complemented the passage around it. My puzzler brain wanted every line to be completed before I moved on. This section spoke a lot about Jessie, and her role in James’ and Luke’s life in the military. James had a crush on her but she gravitated towards Luke, which James seemed to accept. This was the section I spent the most time with and was most amazed with because of the amount of work put into everything.

Chapter 7 shows a progression of what appears to be his life in the military, settling on a few moments, particularly when he and Luke build a camp and are talking in the middle of a desert. Jessie also has a part here where you discover how her friendship with Jessie grew. But a wrench is thrown in when James reports her relationship with Luke, and Jessie is VERY upset. They have an altercation in a supply closet which is followed by an image of her still, on the ground, and it made me think at first that he killed her, but then they’re all playing poker and he says she was alive, so that part was a little confusing to me.

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PRY Part 1

For my first read-through of PRY, I took quite a bit of time with the first two chapters alone, then realized that I was trying to explore everything the first time around. So then I went back and tried to explore just one linear level at a time, specifically, the storyline with his eyes open.

Through this path, the reader discovers that the main character is a veteran, perhaps recently returned, who works in construction for a former soldier buddy. Something happened that is causing the main character to lose his eyesight, and the surrounding narration implies that it occurred during his deployment.

Chapter 3 I found fascinating. The story is told through a simulated braille reading where the reader has to actually touch the screen, moving their finger over white dots while the main character reads the story of Jacob and Esau. In the background plays a slideshow of pictures of video of his childhood, where his mother is featured frequently. This serves to give the reader a real insight into what his life growing up was like, as he previously mentions that he and his mother would play braille reading games.

Chapter 4 was where it became a little confusing for me, as the main character is in a room with a military buddy and they are about to play poker but for a while all that happens is the main character watching his buddy shuffle the cards while he questions an attack in his mind. Then comes the slightly alarming part where it appears his buddy stabs him, implicitly in the eye.

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3D Literature

This final chapter of Rettberg’s “Electronic Literature” introduced me to forms of literature that I had heard of before, but never made the connection of them being considered literature. I was really drawn to the geolocation-based literature. With the experience of geolocation-based games (which I am more familiar with), I find the concept fascinating. The ability to pull the real world into a possibly fictional one, or, as the book mentioned, a reimagining of the past, takes literature to another level. It allows readers to truly experience the work, and in a way, be a part of its creation and telling.

Another example of literature caught my eye that the book mentions by name, and that’s “Zombies, Run!” The geolocation-based running app. I have personal experience with this app and it truly makes exercise far more enjoyable. When the story begins, you are a nameless character who is running from some zombies after your helicopter has crashed. You are in contact with Samuel of the “Abel Township” who talks to you via a walkie-talkie. Throughout, you’re introduced to more characters and storylines through ‘Missions’, and there is the added interaction of picking up supplies (a robotic voice will pipe in every once in a while to say you’ve picked up a water bottle), which you can later use in the app to upgrade your ‘base’. Occasionally, if you have Chases turned on, you will hear zombies getting closer and closer, and you’ll have to pick up your pace in order to outrun them, or lose some supplies. The characters in the story do all the talking, all you have to do is run (or walk, or row, or bike, etc.).

The world of augmented reality and virtual reality, is extraordinarily vast, and I think, will only grow as technology does. I’m reminded of the 2009 sci-fi movie “Gamer”, where, in a future of virtual reality gaming, players control actual people in real-life battles. I certainly don’t think that is the direction we would go, but I use that to demonstrate the scope of the technology.

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Bing autocomplete “poem”

Most of these, I started typing in Bing, then completed the sentence with my own idea.

She was powerful, not because she was told.
She was a creature of light, not human.
Humans were fish, and she was the sea.
The sea was angry that day.
The day that music died.

Music was her refuge.
The music of the sea.
The sea of trees
Trees were cut down and made into lumber

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Blog 8- Network Writing

I enjoyed most of the works this week. Signing up for 43 emails is not something I wanted to do for MEZANGELLE, but reading about it in Rettberg has definitely piqued my interest in the real time story-telling structure it portrays. The Instagram novel I did not quite understand how to follow. The Listeners I couldn’t quite enjoy because my own Alexa consistently wanted to participate.

In regards to “degenerative and regenerative”, I am actually learning about HTML, and at least the first couple of pages, I could decipher what the coding was. HTML really is an entire language in and of itself so beyond that it was fascinating to see the code slowly disappear as the “corruption” spread, and yet still see something of a storyline, simply with some words or letters removed (until the last few pages). I loved listening to “I Love Alaska”, as the search terms progressed into the user’s personal life. I only listened to the first episode, but I plan on continuing on my own.

“The Fall of the Site of Marsha” was very interesting because of how the story was laid out, and how you could read what left behind when they made edits, only crossing out previous text on the website. It turned dark very quickly and I like those kinds of stories. It was somewhat easy to follow but alongside it the reader can see, how the relationship between Marsha and her husband devolved, as well as the sinister implications of Marsha’s involvement in her father’s death, online.

A piece that I actually did further research on outside of our assigned works, was Online Caroline. The idea really intrigued me and I actually wanted to sign up. It doesn’t appear to work anymore though, so I found a blog article of someone else’s experience with it. You receive emails from this ‘Caroline’ and with information about yourself that you provide, she will email you things regarding her life (namely, her work, and her boyfriend David). The blogger I read mentioned that she had a child, and ‘Caroline’ replied “There was me banging on about not liking children, and then discovering you’re already a parent. Ah well, you still came back for more.” You have a choice sometimes to reply to her (if you think she’s boring, or happy, or if you think she should leave David), but she may not take your advice. As problems surface in her relationship with David, the story begins to take a dark turn and in the last few bits of the experience, it is David, not Caroline, in her webcam videos, a company called ‘XPT’ emailing the reader, not Caroline.

Although you can go in and enter your information and interact with certain links on the surface, the information you enter doesn’t seem to actually go anywhere anymore, I never received any emails.

Works Cited:

Walker, Jill. “How I Was Played by Online Caroline.” Jill/Txt, 23 Apr. 2004,

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Blog 7 – Multimedia Fiction

Of these week’s assignments, Cityfish and How to Rob a Bank were my favorite. I enjoyed Cityfish because of how the story read and the pictures that were included and used to illustrate what was happening in the story. Every once in a while there is a temperature converter, or a quote from a poem, or various video footage. The photos and interactions with the various hidden links in them made me feel like I was reading a picture book again. The storyline is clear and the images and interactions just add to the experience.

How to Rob a Bank was great. The creative use of the cell phone as a setting was fun to read and explore. This was interacted with, via keyboard keys, the arrows. Every click to change the text became something new. It becomes clear from the start (apart from the title) who these people are and what they do, all by mentioning the type of bank they have already scoped out in this town. I enjoyed how the piece was written primarily in diary entries of the mother of the child. Even the pages that are just calendar views, tell a story in the life of this criminal couple and their child. The mother is of course, enamored with her child, and even enjoys changing her diaper. There is a shift though, somewhere in the middle of the work where the mother is becoming tired, and exasperated, but she continues to write to her daughter about how thieving is the only life for them.

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Blog 5 – Interactive Fiction

A big fan of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ text-based game format, I was very excited for this week’s assignment. The games I chose to explore were Galatea, and Ad Verbum. While Galatea drew my attention more, Ad Verbum made me nostalgic for the ‘Escape Room’ games I used to play.

Ad Verbum gave me more of an ‘open-world’ sense than Galatea did, seeing as Galatea is set in one room only. I did not explore ALL of Ad Verbum; I got up to the fourth floor and mostly stuck to the first and second floors to see what I could find. I kind of put me off that there were some rooms that, if I could not find a way out (I never did), I was sent back to the foyer to start over.

As I mentioned, Galatea definitely had more of my interest, primarily because the point was to interact with another character. My first and second play-throughs were quite short before I realized that I should not ‘walk away’ as it ends the game. The first time around, the conversation was light and informational. But as I kept on playing, the course of the game grew darker and darker; her artist committed suicide, she has a sense of dependency on him, so what is the point of her existence?

Ad Verbum gave me a goal once I tried the front door (which was the first thing I did) and realized that I had to find a way to complete the game in order to escape. Galatea, I was not so sure about, apart from just getting as much information as I could. It absolutely challenged my imagination, as my own writing is more character-driven than by setting. I would definitely go back to this game.

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Blog 4 – War

The piece I chose for this blog post was My Boyfriend Came Back From the War. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the first page and the imagery that followed. It appeared to have a happy ending, although there was a section where the soldier may have suspected the woman of cheating with her neighbor, I believe. And she begs him not to kill the neighbor. Throughout, they talk about the idea of a guy being able to change his ways so perhaps the war affected the boyfriend in ways that the woman is concerned about. At the end someone asks the other to marry them but they don’t want to marry right away, how about next month?

I am familiar with the format of graphic novels, Japanese or American, so it was easy for me to pick up on a way of reading the story that made some sense, it just wasn’t clear to me at times, who may have been speaking, when. The girl asks if he likes her new dress, amongst the section where they talk about if he could change as a person. Is there a way someone could love him? I got the sense that perhaps the boyfriend had been deployed for a number of years and hadn’t seen his girlfriend since he left for the war. The dialogue seemed disjointed at times and it gave me the impression of perhaps a strained relationship. The way that I was forced to track what was happening made imagine that perhaps the two in this relationship are unsure of each other, after all this time.

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3 – Hypertext fiction

I would have to agree that hypertext fiction does not appear to be as prevalent in today’s era of social media. I admit I was not even aware of hypertext fiction until this class. However, considering what we have experienced and read in class and for assignments thus far, I do hope that hypertext fiction is able to maintain a presence amongst social media. As a writer by hobby, it inspired an angle of creativity that I had never experienced before, the idea of hierarchies, and linking parts to each other. Shelley Jackson spoke of having bits and pieces of her works, characters, and drawings, and just hoping to find a connection between any of them, and when nothing clicked, she would mix it all up and try again. I understood where her approach came from, as I myself often begin just by writing anything and everything that comes straight to mind of what I think I know, however, my brain then thinks far too linearly and tries to make sense of an idea I already had when I started. Hypertext fiction, I think, brings to a writer’s mind firstly, the many layers that can be used and how infinite the hierarchy of a story can be, given all the routes one can take. Secondly, the idea of linking sections together is can speak to the story and its characters itself (“The medium is the message”). The method that Jackson mentioned has a way of jumbling up the conventional and sometimes automatic, or cliche, and that is something that this era needs, where often our words are limited to 200 characters (or whatever it is now). Not that I would consider a single “Tweet” as hypertext fiction, but my generation has gotten so used to that way of communicating that hypertext fiction can continue to bring inspiration, and hope it does.

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Blog 2-Coover

The Babysitter was certainly an interesting read. Coover does, perhaps too well a job at taking the narrative for such a spin, writing events so fluidly between reality and what might have happened. I would say Coover’s work is absolutely a great example of hypertext fiction. I can’t say by the end that I had figured out EXACTLY what was going on, with who, but the way he set it up became clearer as I read on. I definitely had to take a break once in a while, resume with a clear mind and it helped sort out all the characters involved, and who was doing (or thinking, or watching) what.

For my third read through though, I decided to try and read each character’s parts as a whole, skipping other characters’ paragraphs in hopes of getting the whole picture. While that aided my understanding, my discomfort at reading some parts (ie, Jack and Mark’s “plan”) was abated by my confusion as to who it was happening to, exactly. There were a couple of parts (that, in retrospect, I think are flashbacks?) That made me think there was more than one babysitter and that really confused me. The format is something I am familiar with, writing different characters paragraph to paragraph. The narrative content itself, however, I struggled to grasp.

It IS a great model to use, however, because it sparks a level of creativity and thinking outside the box that I see even with contemporary authors today.

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18 Jan 2019-Blog 1

Taroko Gorge

I found it fascinating this week, perusing through the list of various versions of “Taroko Gorge”. Each work had its own theme as they were created by others. The concept of this code was very interesting to examine. Though I could not understand most of the HTML, it was easy to spot where the words of the poems were drawn from. Two of my favorite pieces were “Tasty Gougère” by Helen Burgess, and “Dress for overcast” by Clare Bryden. “Tasty Gougère” brought my mind into the kitchen, baking with my mother and sister and I just became hungry. A phrase like “Butter rolls the herb,” though it makes no practical sense, adds a sense of home to the theme of the poem where butter and bread and various pastries are being made. “Dress for overcast” simply reminded me of the Pacific Northwest. Every line was accurate as to what an average day here might turn out to be. The clouds moving by in the background definitely helped the ambience. These pieces, and others that I browsed, reminded me of a way of writing that is, just write whatever comes into your mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment.

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An Intro to Me

Hey guys this is a test.

My name is Noelle Tadeo, I am a DTC major, and this is my second semester at WSUV. I previously received a degree in Paralegal in 2013, worked as a Paralegal for 4 years, decided it wasn’t for me, and am now coming back to school for my Bachelor’s. Yay for quarter life crises.

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