Developing in Sanity, AZ

James Ninness expresses the beginnings of the four creators of “in Sanity, AZ” (Marcel Losada, Mike Fountain, James and myself), as well as the inception and fleshing of the idea at the Cabin in the Woods over here.

Meanwhile, I’m about to give you a little more insight into those days in the woods. Some of the below recollection happened, all of it could’ve happened, and parts of it, well, let’s just say I’m filling in the blanks.

We arrived at this cabin outside the town of [REDACTED]* in the morning on a Saturday. The idea was to get to the cabin, pick a bed or couch per person, then head into town to start exercising our creative minds with writing bursts then shared with each other. Along the way to the cabin, we stopped to pick up some food supplies. Marcel was already providing meats and cheeses, but a man needs pasta, eggs, and hulks of meat for three days. Not to mention forks and knives.

We’re not animals, after all.

So we drop off our items in the cabin, and, oh yeah, we each chose a bottle of hard alcohol along with a wine or two to share in the off hours. Marcel props up his shotgun along the wall, on some kind of already dead animal, and we drive into [REDACTED]. Coffee and food abides our hunger and thirst, after which we start with a simple, rough writing exercise, a piece of flash fiction each (55 words) based on a single word or phrase provided by another member of the group.

Exercise finished, we head back to the cabin, pour ourselves some bevvies, and sip a little of the fresh mountain air before diving into the town of Sanity, a place with a cast of characters who were still forming in our individual minds.

We each came prepared with a dark tale or two, perhaps an idea beyond that, but once we wrote them out, read them aloud, and consumed more beverages, we found ourselves virtually living in the town of Sanity. It’s not a friendly place, and it smells like rotten milk, mussy cats, and desert dust, but the energy is palpable. Our characters were unique yet of the same ilk, born of a different time and way of life yet with bizarre logic that seemed to justify how this town would “work”.

We woke up each morning looking for a refreshing start to the days, exercising our minds in the small town nearby only to return to the darkness of the cabin, with various musical accompaniments and fresh air breaks, only sometimes spotted by arguments.

At one point I found myself at the edge of the forest nearby with a bottle in my hand, reflecting on an extended discussion and disagreement that had just taken place within the cabin, where fists were almost thrown and a creature of the wood swam through our thoughts to cause a minor rift in our creative foursome. Once that creature left, via my bottle of rum at the edge of the woods, there was nary a harsh word spoken again. I didn’t swallow said creature, merely aired him out to escape back from whence he came.

At the edge of the woods, I looked back at the days before, and tried to see the adventure to come, but I could only focus on Sanity. The town, a place like no other. Familiar yet one-of-a-kind. I tried to remember a place I had been to that would help me relate, but alas, amidst the creation of the graphic anthology, I could find no Sanity…

Sanity finds us

Sanity finds us

The recollection adventure continues tomorrow.

*[REDACTED] Is a place you should all find yourselves traveling to. It’s truly magnificent, despite the secrecy of their pie recipes…

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