TRANS.MISSION [UN.DIALOGUE]

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At an excellent international conference on Translating E-Literature, which took place at Université Paris 8 in June 2012, I presented a paper which situated the process of adapting Nick Montfort’s 1k story generator story2.py (2008) into my web-based work TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] (2011) in terms of an extended notion of translation.

An adaptation of that paper is available for download here: Translation, transmutation, transmediation, and transmission in ‘TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE]‘ (PDF)

TRANS.MISSIONTRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is a computer-generated dialogue, a literary narrative in the form of a conversation, a discourse propagating across, beyond and through long-distance communications networks created and necessitated by generations of transatlantic migration. One JavaScript file sits in one directory on one server attached to a vast network of hubs, routers, switches, and submarine cables through which this one file may be accessed many times from many places by many devices. Each time this JavaScript is called, the network, the browser, and the client-side CPU conspire to respond with a new iteration. The mission of the JavaScript source code is to generate another sort of script, a dialogue to be read aloud in three voices: Call, Response, and Interference; or: Strophe, Antistrophe, and Chorus; or Here, There, and Somewhere in Between. This multi-site-specific dialogue resonates in the spaces between places separated by time, distance, and ocean, yet inextricably linked by generations of immigration.

Although the translation of natural languages was not my focus in the paper I presented at Translating E-Literature, the inextricable association between language and nation necessitated the question: Were this work translated into French, would the location of memory also be translated, or re-placed, to reflect generations transatlantic migration from France to Nouvelle France? Would Cornwall be replaced with Bretagne, Nova Scotia with Acadie?

In 2013 TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] was translated into French by Ariane Savoie, a PhD student at Université Québec à Montréal, for a special translation issue of bleuOrange, a Montreal-based online journal of ‘littérature hypermédiatique,’ which launched at the Electronic Literature Organization conference Chercher le texte in Paris 23-26 September 2013. Here is a direct link to Ariane Savoie’s truly remarkable translation: TRANS.MISSION [UN.DIALOGUE].

Ariane Savoie presenting her translation of TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] at Chercher le texte in Paris, September 2013
IMAGE: Ariane Savoie presenting her translation TRANS.MISSION [UN.DIALOGUE] at Chercher le texte, Paris, September 2013

In personal correspondence Savoie shared certain thoughts on her process, which I synthesise here. A strict translation of all the English variables into French equivalents would have resulted in subject-verb gender disagreements, the resolution of which would require considerable modification to the source code, which, Savoie felt, would have diminished the variability of the generator and the structure of the piece. Instead, Savoie elected to respect the structure of the source code. Gender conflicts were avoided by the population of strings with variables from only one gender, letting go of any variables that didn’t have the exact equivalent in that gender in French. Initially, this resulted in an eradication of the gender variable altogether. Eventually, a compromise was reached in which two versions of certain variable strings were created, that both masculine and feminine proper nouns might be called at different points in the script.

Although the gender variable represented by the string var heshe=['he','she']; is not carried over into Savoie’s translation, something of the either/or binarism of that string endures, both through the introduction of gender variables through other means, as cited above, and through the variable string var place=, in which, the location of each place named is either on one side of the Atlantic or the other: Canada or England, Acadie or France, the new world or the old, home or away.

Many thanks et merci to Ariane Savoie, Alice van der Klei, et toute l’équipe de bleuOrange, and to Yves Abrioux and Arnaud Regnauld, co-organisers of Translating E-Literature.

LINKS:

Nick Montfort (2008) story2.py

Nick Montfort (2008) The Two

J. R. Carpenter (2011) TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE]

Ariane Savoi (2013) TRANS.MISSION [UN.DIALOGUE]

J. R. Carpenter (2012) Translation, transmutation, transmediation, and transmission in ‘TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE]‘ (PDF)

TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] in &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing

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A print extract and brief description of my computer-generated narrative dialogue TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] has been published in &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing, a new anthology from &NOW Books.

&NOW AWARDS cover

The book has two front covers (though one looks more front-like than the other). It can be read from either direction. The introductions to both sides state: “There are two ‘sides’ to the book. These ‘sides’ mirror each other, except when they do not.”

The page numbers don’t quite bear this out, but somehow I suspect I have Nick Montfort to thank for my inclusion in this anthology. Roughly the other side of the book from TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is Nick’s contribution to the volume – a page each of output from the Latin and Cyrillic versions of “Letterformed Terrain,” from Concrete Perl, a set of four concrete poems realized as 32-character Perl programs. The source code of TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is adapted from another of Nick’s pieces, The Two, so whether intentional on the part of the editors or not, these two pieces are engaged in a conversion of sorts.

In any case, I’m delighted to see print anthologies endeavoring to represent experimental digital literature, and I’m honoured to be included in this book, in such great company.

Here’s what the publishers have to say:

This second volume of The &Now Awards recognizes the most provocative, hardest-hitting, deadly serious, patently absurd, cutting-edge, avant-everything-and-nothing work from the years 2009–11. The &NOW Awards features writing as a contemporary art form: writing as it is practiced today by authors who consciously treat their work as an art, and as a practice explicitly aware of its own literary and extra-literary history— as much about its form and materials, language, as it about its subject matter. The &NOW conference, moving from the University of Notre Dame (2004), Lake Forest College (2006), Chapman University (2008), the University at Buffalo (2009), the University of California, San Diego (2011), and Paris (Sorbonne and Diderot, 2012)—sets the stage for this aesthetic, while The &Now Awards features work from the wider world of innovative publishing and serves as an ideal survey of the contemporary scene.

&NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing is edited by Davis Schneiderman. It will be available for purchase from Northwestern University Press and from Amazon as of 25 May 2013.

More information about TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE]

Three conferences in June. That’s a lot.

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I’m off to Paris tomorrow to present at two conferences handily scheduled back to back. The first is &Now 2012 | New Writing in Paris: exchanges and cross-fertilizations, Université de la Sorbonne, Paris, June 6-10, 2012. There I will present a performance and a short paper on a new work called There he was, gone., which be published in Joyland Poetry any day now, or so the editors tell me. More on that when it comes out.

The second Paris conference is Translating E-Literature | Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis/Université Paris Diderot, June 12-14 2012. There I will present a paper called Translation, Transmutation, Transmediation, and Transmission in TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE]. This paper deals mostly with the translation from one code language to another. I will present immediately following Nick Montfort, which is nerve wracking as TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is a transmutation of his work The Two and as such I spend most of my paper writing about his work. I have a really hard time referring to friends in the third person, especially when they’re in the room.

A little later in June, a retrospective of my work will be shown during Electrifying Literature: Affordances & Constraints, the Electronic Literature Organization conference and exhibition to be held at the University of West Virginia, Morgantown, USA June 2012. I’m immensely chuffed about this, naturally. Many thanks to the curators Dene Grigar & Sandy Baldwin. Sadly, I cannot afford to attend the conference, but I will join one panel via skype – a panel on re-mixing Taroko Gorge – another work by Nick Montfort, which I have remixed three times, resulting in: Gorge, Whisper Wire & Along the Briny Beach.

As a lead up the the Electronic Literature Organization conference, Leonardo Flores has written a series of posts about work which will be in the exhibition, including my works: TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE], Along the Briny Beach, The Cape, and Entre Ville. Thank you Leonardo.

June is shaping up to be one heck of a month.

Inviting translations of TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] on Ooteoote’s Vertaallab/Translationlab

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The lovely Rozalie Hirs has posted one iteration of my recent web-based narrative dialogue generator TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] to Ooteoote‘s Vertaallab/Translationlab. The text is posted in English. Translations in any language are welcome, including code languages. The brilliant MEZ BREEZE has offered this Mezangelle take:

‎_TRANS.MISSION [A(hhh).DIA(multimodal)LOGUE]_

be[en there, done that, a]g[a]in[:out(re)] Transmission.
[w]H[y]ow[l]?
with a[hhhh] quest[].
wot_merges 4rm?
[4]Reigns.in.other.heads+[Anonymous_reroute_in_progress]TORment.heArts.
WiFi.fog.on.a[hhh].critical.day.
have ARGs + Augments been[+/or]gone, yet?
trans.actuals+accents=mits+WAR/NINgs.
y Kant [u.c]?
a.phew.phrased+mothed.in….
low nrg_lvling.
relay[s].broad+social.
[SAT+sitting]NAVigators.on.narrow.casted.crosses.
Eleg[ant]raphic.[s|w]Itches, here. .[knot.....*here*].
biting.the.OperaTOR.4rm.[Ma]Trix[y].inlets.
[Br]Av[e]ian.Gnu.Worlds.in.the.unreadable.maKing[s+divided.Queens].
[Re:De]ceiving.staccato.waves.
___________________________________________

Wh[MO]O.can.REMemburr.the.C.in.a._MYST_.like.thIs?

___________________________________________

Why, you might be wondering, would one propose the translation of but one of an infinite number of possible texts created by a computer program? The program itself is a translation. TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] was written in Python and then translated to JavaScript in 2011. TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is a transmutation of The Two, a narrative text generator written in Python and then translated to JavaScript by Nick Montfort in 2008.

Every text we read on the web is always read in translation. The web-browser translates source code into the text we see on the screen. In the case of the computer-generated iteration of TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE], the web-browser translates the JavaScript source code into another script of sorts, to be performed in three voices: Strophe, Antistrophe, and Chorus. This script was first translated to live voice at Poldu Theater, Amsterdam 10 December 2011.

Whether read by the eye in a fixed or a generative digital instantiation, or experienced by the ear as live voice, TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is a text about the translation from one place to another. Through generations of transatlantic migration, characteristics of one place become transposed upon another. “… sea shores reminiscent of those of England.” In the translation of TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] form English to Dutch, would the word England be translated to Holland? That is entirely up to you, dear translator.

View the text and post translations of/to it here: Vertaallab 17 J.R. Carpenter – TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE]

800 characters on Monfort & Strickland’s The Sea and Spar Between

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MCD #66 This beautiful bilingual issue #66 of the French Magazine MCD (musiques & cultures digitales) is dedicated to Writing Machines: literature, performance and media in the digital age. It was edited by Emmanuel Guez and contains articles by and/or about Annie Abrahams, Serge Bouchardon, Philippe Bootz, Laura Borràs, Peter Ciccariello, Katherine Hayles, Jorg Piringer, Alexandra Saemmer, Brian Stefans, and many many more.

Somewhere in there is a teeny tiny text I wrote about The Sea and Spar Between by Nick Montfort and Stephanie Strickland. Adhering to Guez’s strict stipulation that the text be no longer that 800 characters – including spaces – was quite a challenge. The Sea and Spar Between is a poetry generator which defines a space of language populated by a number of stanzas comparable to the number of fish in the sea, around 225 trillion. That in the world there now exists a French translation of an 800 character text that I wrote about a generator Montfort and Strickland made using words from Emily Dickinson’s poems and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick confounds and delight’s me.

“en avant! / car la mer est sans repos”
“dash on / for pauseless is the sea”

It is possible to buy a PDF copy of MCD #66 Machines d’écriture / Writing machines online, but buy the paper copy. It’s is really very nice.

Whisper Wire: A Poetry Generator Transmitting and Receiving Electronic Voice Phenomena Through Haunted Media

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Whisper Wire is a new poetry generator by J.R. Carpenter, a text transmitter, a code medium sending and receiving a steady stream of strange sounds, disembodied voices, ghost whispers, distant wails and other intercepted attempts to communicate over vast distances through copper wires, telegraph cables, transistor radios and other haunted media.

From the outset, telegraphy has been associated with otherworldly presences. If intelligence and consciousness could be transmitted independent of the body, surely the dead could speak to the living though electromagnetic means. This perception persisted nearly a century, even as telegraph and telephone networks girdled the globe with cables, signals, switches and stations.

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December 14, 1901, three short sharp clicks skipped this grid. The Morse letter S travelled from Poldu, Cornwall — not troubled at at by the curvature of the Earth or the salt wet and wind of the Atlantic — to Saint-John’s, Newfoundland, where it was received by a telephonic headset held to the highly sensitive receiver of Guglielmo Marconi’s waiting ear.

Was the Morse letter S appended to Saint-John’s that day? Hoax rumours abound. Some suggest that what Marconi heard was actually a harmonic — a connection, yes, but not a transmission. Distance distorts. Distance distends. We hear what we need to. Wireless technology revealed a vast, unfathomable ocean of silence and static. Deep listening into that void can return uncanny results. Whisper Wire generates an unheimlich poem of un-homed messages, a spectrum of strange and unexplainable sounds, hunting the either for a listener, a receiver, a media to haunt.

The source code of Whisper Wire is itself possessed. Whisper Wire is a remix of Nick Montfort’s Taroko Gorge. Excerpts and source code of another of J.R. Carpenter’s remixes of Taroko Gorge, titled simply GORGE, appear in her new hybrid code narrative book GENERATION[S], published by TRAUMAWIEN.

Whisper Wire will be performed in Edinburgh on Halloween night at Inspace… no one can hear you scream, an evening of language in digital performance presented by the third International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling and New Media Scotland.

Whisper Wire will become a live wire during this 20 minute hybrid performance. Performance writers J.R. Carpenter and Jerome Fletcher will mix generated text, javascript, found sounds and live readings from the works of decadent authors, Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray and others.

“As we stand on the clifftop at Poldhu, watching the wind which roars in off the Atlantic whipping spindrift off the tops of the waves, we are filled with an overwhelming sense of horror. Between here and New York nothing but grotesque tonnages of uncooked haddock swim. Nowhere is Nature present in such profusion, and we have chosen to expose ourselves to it for the next three days!

At this spot a century ago, Guglielmo Marconi set up a circle of masts by which he would transmit the first radio signals beyond the curve of the earth. We too are here to communicate. Not with the Living, however, but with the Dead.”

Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray with Paul Renner, The Hell Fire Touring Club, Oxford: Pharsalia, 2004, page 21.

48 hours | Inspace… no one can hear you scream.
Sunday 31st October 2010, 7.30 for 8pm.
Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB

Inspace

Further Adventures of Pookie & JR Appear on the Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website

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Pookie is a a biological, digital, quasi-fictional manifestation of Montreal artist Ingrid Bachmann’s imagination. And, for a hermit crab, Pookie sure gets around. Bachmann and Pookie collaborated on The Digital Crustaceans project at StudioXX, Montréal, Québec in 2002. That project lives online here: http://www.digitalhermit.ca/. Bachmann and Pookie collaborated again on Digital Crustaceans v.0.2: Homesteading on the Web at Gallery Articule, Main Gallery, Montréal, Québec, April 4 – May 4 2003.

Pookie and I hung out quite a lot the summer of 2009 and a number of projects emerged as a result. We were in a show together at Arnolfini in Bristol in May, 2010, and have a book coming out any moment now from TRAUMAWIEN.

Our latest adventure – an entry on the Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR has just been added to the Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website edited by Judy Malloy.

Pookie Goes to the Beach, Ingrid Bachmann

[screenshot from The Digital Crustaceans project, Ingrid Bachmann, 2002]

The Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website is resource for teachers and students of new media writing, who are exploring what authoring tools to use, for new media writers and poets, who are interested in how their colleagues approach their work, and for readers, who want to understand how new media writers and poets create their work, the Authoring Software project is an ongoing collection of statements about authoring tools and software. It also looks at the relationship between interface and content in new media writing and at how the innovative use of authoring tools and the creation of new authoring tools have expanded digital writing/hypertext writing/net narrative practice in this vibrant contemporary creative writing field.

Begun in conjunction with the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, this resource was also a part of the Computers and
Writing 2009 Online Sessions hosted by UC Davis.

Visit Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR on the Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website.

Gorge

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A gorge is a steep-sided canyon, a passage, a gullet. To gorge is to stuff with food, to devour greedily. Gorge is a new poetry generator by J. R. Carpenter. This never-ending tract spews verse approximations, poetic paroxysms on food, consumption, decadence and desire.

The source code for Gorge is a hack of Montfort’s elegant poetry generator Taroko Gorge, which has also been remixed by Scott Rettberg, as Tokyo Garage.

Of Gorge, Nick Montfort advises:

“See if you can stomach it, and for how long.”

Nick Montfort, Post Position, Once More into the Gorge
http://nickm.com/post/2010/05/once-more-into-the-gorge/

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Story Generation(s) Launching at PW10, Arnolfini, Bristol

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Sotry Generation(s) - J. R. CarpenterI am pleased to announce the launch of Story Generation(s) at PW10 Performance Writing Weekend at Arnolfini, Bristol, May 8-9, 2010. Story Generation(s) are a series of short fictions generated by Python scripts adapted (with permission) from two 1k story generators written by Nick Montfort: http://grandtextauto.org/2008/11/30/three-1k-story-generators/ .

I began tinkering with these story generators in June 2009. There are currently three stories in the series: Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR, I’ve Died and Gone to Devon and Auto-Autobiography. This will be their first public exhibition.

Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR documents my adventures with Ingrid Bachmann’s hermit crab Pookie, also known as Pookie 14, during June of 2009. Of Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR, Nick Montfort writes:

“J. R. Carpenter, author of Words the Dog Knows, Entre Ville, The Cape, and other fine works of e-lit, print, and xerography, has delightfully re-purposed one of my 1k story generators to have it tell stories involving her and a hermit crab named Pookie. The program has grown to about 2k, but it uses the same simple (and surprisingly effective) method as my first generator does: It simply removes all but 5-9 sentences from a sequence, eliding some of what’s been written. Sometimes the reader is left to wonder who the hermit is.” Nick Montfort, http://nickm.com/post/2009/07/story-generation-with-pookie-and-jr/

In July 2009, NYC-based artist/programmer Ravi Rajakumar ported the Python script into Javascript to create this web browser friendly version of the Chronicles of Pookie & JR: http://luckysoap.com/pookieandjr/index.html

Here’s a screenshot from the Rajakumar iteration:

Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR

DOWNLOAD PookieAndJR.py

I’ve Died and Gone to Devon re-purposes the same Python script as Excerpts from theChronicles of Pookie & JR to tell (and retell) the story of an arrival and first impression of Devon. Most of the sentences in this story were adapted from Twitter posts written during a five-week visit to Devon, August – September, 2009.
Here is one example of a story generated byI’ve Died and Gone to Devon:

I’ve died and gone to Devon.

In North America, roads this narrow wouldn’t even count as driveways.

If this is the wrong side of the road, I don’t care what’s right.

If this is the driveway, then I can’t wait to see the house.

We can’t hear the river from the house, but we can see it.

Everybody insists we’re by the seaside. I can smell but not see the sea.

Flotsam on a tidal river is a strange mixture of oak leaves and seaweed.

This is an achingly beautiful place to come across a little death.

DOWNLOAD Devon.py

Auto-Autobiography adapts a different Python story generator script by Montfort to generate a quasi-autobiographical story by segments. This script chooses sentences from pools of stock autobiographical statements: “I was born…” I come from…” “In retrospect…” This format was suggested to me by a passage from Anne-Marie MacDonald’s novel, As The Crow Flies:

“If you move around all your life, you can’t find where you come from on a map. All those places where you lived are just that: places. You don’t come from any of them; you come from a series of events. And those are mapped in memory. Contingent, precarious events, without the counterpane of place to muffle the knowledge of how unlikely we are. Almost not born at every turn. Without a place, events slow-tumbling through time become your roots. Stories shading into one another. You come from a plane crash. From a war that brought your parents together.”
Anne-Marie MacDonald, As The Crow Flies, Toronto: Knopf, 2003, page 36.

The notion of autobiographical veracity is undermined in Auto-Autobiography, by leaving key gender signifiers such as Mother/Father to computational chance.
Here is one example of a story generated by Auto-Autobiography:

Here is my story:

I was born in wedlock – for some reason, this surprises me.

I come from a war that brought my parents together.

My mother had a long memory and a short fuse.

I live in a wonderful house.

I work hard at not having to work too hard.

I wish I’d said that differently.

My best friend kept insisting I learn to play guitar.

In retrospect, she read way too many Russian novels.

I love it when we lie in bed plotting the downfall of our enemies.

Next year, let’s forget every single thing we learned this year.

In future, we will know many beginnings and no ends.

DOWNLOAD autobio.py

Viewing Instructions:

Download the python file to your desktop and unzip. On a Mac or Linux system, you can run the story generator by opening a Terminal Window, typing “cd Desktop”, and typing “python filename.py”. Hint: look for Terminal in your Utilities folder. These Python story generator runs on Windows, too, but you will probably need to install Python first: version 2.6.5. Once Python is installed you can double click on the file and it will automatically launch and run in the terminal window. Every time you press ENTER a new version of the story will appear.

Darting Stories Remix

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As E-Writer-in-Residence at Dartington College, in Devon, England, this fall, I led a workshop on electronic literature with a concentration on literary mapping with first year Performance Writing Students. Over the course of the workshop students generated short texts for zines, postcards, epitaphs, blog posts and web maps. Though written separately, these texts explored common themes of place, mapping, the River Dart, Dartington and the past occupants (fictional or otherwise) of Dartington Hall. The workshop exercises and the texts they produced are archived on a group blog: Darting Blog. These texts are presented collectively as a final project on a Google Map: DARTING: A Collective Story Map

The last session of the workshop focused on remixing. I created a Darting Stories Remix by taking sentences from the various (and varied) texts archived on the Darting Blog and fed them into one of Nick Montfort’s Python story generators. I had used this same method earlier in the year to create Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie and JR.

For the purposes of this Darting Stories Remix, I shortened some of the sentences or selected excerpts from longer sentences to fit into the Python story generator format, and changed them all into the present tense and first person. Otherwise, these remain sentences written separately by separate authors remixed by a Python script to make collectively authored stories.

To read the Darting Stories Remix, download this file to your desktop and unzip: Darting.py On a Mac or Linux system, you can run the story generator by opening a Terminal Window, typing “cd Desktop”, and typing “python Darting.py”. Hint: look for Terminal in your Utilities folder. This Python story generator runs on Windows, too, but you will probably need to install Python first: version 2.6. Once Python is installed you can double click on the file and it will automatically launch and run in the terminal window. Every time you press Return a new version of the story will appear. For example:

Here are a few more examples of stories generated by this script:

Darting Stories:
How do I write an epitaph about myself in the first person?.
Through the depths of the water I reflect far and wide.
Hadrian’s Wall might have mostly come down, but it’s there in spirit.
Mad, that’s what they call me.
I crave little more than my freedom, my air, and my land.
I will walk directionless, till the unknown end.
Striving to connect with something natural.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
At the start, I look for the lights.
What do names matter when worlds whirl together?.
I don’t live in a house, where they could watch me.
I live along the Dart but not around the towns where they patrol.
I pass out in the dirt-floored cellar most nights.
Sunlight barely reaches the stone floor.
I am a fervent keeper of horses, ponies and barns.
Websta’s brother died in the Dart. Had his throat slit.
The sea is a place I understand is rather nice.
Introvert, extravert, ingreen.
This the most achingly beautiful place to come across a little death.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
Stories run off the Moor with it’s river waters.
I stride up hill holding hands with a friend named for the greatest flower.
William, sweet or otherwise, has never been my name.
I scare their dogs by trying to speak with them in their own language.
Graceless truths of tears clutch at the mirage in my room.
The ponies look more listless and less majestic.
It gets so muddy here; no wonder all the cows around here are brown.
The wind gives the landscape something of a facial peel.
Splash water into mud, trip me.
Smouldering timber and melancholy permeate my lungs. I stick to the path.
This the most achingly beautiful place to come across a little death.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
On this hill the world as we know it collided.
Intoxicating tongues speak of Giants, Merlins, Padfoots and Beasts.
Geoffrey of Monmouth’s accounts are unfounded, possibly fabricated.
The clay on the wheel beneath my fingers, whirling a world on its axis.
William, sweet or otherwise, has never been my name.
I crave little more than my freedom, my air, and my land.
I don’t live in a house, where they could watch me.
I live along the Dart but not around the towns where they patrol.
I will walk directionless, till the unknown end.
I am a fervent keeper of horses, ponies and barns.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
Stories run off the Moor with it’s river waters.
I will walk directionless, till the unknown end.
Fear and bliss live with me and the room contains me.
Websta’s brother died in the Dart. Had his throat slit.
Black looms in the distance, the air thick with distaste.
The Waters of the Dart run across stones fallen from foreign clouds.
Map the most important places around the River Dart.
Exmoor, outmore, out the door, more doors.
More floor, less flaws, less cause, pour, pore, sweat, regret.
Skip over Kandinsky pavement, follow the water.
Flotsam on a tidal river is a strange mixture of oak leaves and seaweed.
To be continued…
. . . . .