The choice is yours!

Bringing the Choose Your Own Adventure format into the digital age. And books. I'm shamelessly plugging the books I've written.

Writing is the art of painting yourself into a corner and then pointing to a trapeze that wasn't there a moment ago.

Your Chosen Geek
Published works
Published works

The stories on this page are free, but if you'd actually like to purchase some other things I've written, well don't let me stop you.

When we last left our hero
When we last left our hero

If you're not caught up with the story, click on the box above. If you are, what are you waiting for? Keep scrolling down.

Seat Of Our Pants Audio
Seat Of Our Pants Audio

Radio dramas from my own theatre company, the Seat Of Our Pants Players.

Our First Mixed Up Story Starter

Our first mixed up story is below. The categories chosen were: ALIENS and COLONIAL PERIOD

Please continue to add your suggestions for more story elements and genres to the list below.

  1. Cozy Mystery
  2. Young Adult Dystopian
  3. Free Verse
  4. High Fantasy
  5. Murder Whodunit
  6. Genie
  7. Sci Fi
  8. Vampires
  9. Aliens
  10. Steampunk
  11. Gothic
  12. Colonial Period
  13. Space Opera Serial

And now, without further ado.


November 29, 1650

I write these words here in my own private journal for the simple reason that no one will believe them if I say them out loud.
This island was not here last year.
I make and study the maps we have. That is my task and has been since I apprenticed to the trade of a navigator. Also, I have been to these shores before. Not only last year, but on three occasions before. This New World is not so new that it should rebuild itself, but apparently that is what I face.

I will pass over my objections to setting out so late in the year. No one asked my thoughts on the matter, so on their own heads be the cold and ice. Sadly, I am with them, so it is on my head (in the form of snow and sleet) as well. The worst part for me to endure is the crew’s constant astonishment and remarking on the cold. We are well north of the colony on Plymouth, so I honestly have no idea what they expected, and I know it to be true many of them were here not so long ago.

It is in man’s nature to be curious. I know and understand this, but sometimes I wonder if curiosity is how Providence punishes the reckless. 
We had been skirting the shoreline for days, with the same view all the time. To port, the landscape was white and filled with barren trees covered in snow. An outcropping of homes — be they English, Dutch, or one of the native villages — would occasionally sprout up, preceded by towers of wood smoke. Off starboard was an unrelenting ocean which stayed dark grey  all the way back to England as far as we could tell.

Yesterday morning we spotted the patch of green. Sleet fell steadily on our ship, and so to hear the lookout cry out “Green land ahead” made us, to a man, think the cold had gotten to the poor fellow. It was not long before we all stood on the decks with unbelieving eyes. 

We sailed around the island which sat some four furlongs off shore from the mainland. As near as I can tell, it is a perfect circle rising in a dome above the sea. This alone was enough to make me desire to turn away from it. The Lord paints his islands in many shapes, but he uses a sort of geometry more elaborate than a table-maker.

Nightfall was not so far off. A boat was sent to land on the island. The men were there no more than a few minutes before returning. They spoke of heat which seemed to come from under their feet, and the grass they returned with is like none I have seen neither in this New World nor in England.

At the top of the dome sits a hut. I say that as though I have seen its like before. Good Captain Jones says he shall take more of us to the island at daybreak to see that hut. We sit now anchored off its shores and telling ourselves the low sound we hear is the ocean, no matter that we are men of the sea and have never heard water sound like that before. I am to be among those going to the hut, and I am much afeared.

Mixing it up this time.

So what’s up next on the Choose Your Own Geekery front? Well, your Chosen Geek has decided to stretch his writing muscles with a good, old-fashioned genre mashup.

The idea is simple. Take two elements and put them together. Who cares if they belong together? A story about ninja assassins in Lollipop Land? Sure. Vampires and Kaiju monsters? Neat.

And so I am left with the need for genres.

Please comment here or on our Facebook page. Give me your suggestions to add to the list below. A genre, an element, a twist to the story. I will randomly (like seriously randomly) choose two of them and combine them into a mix.

  1. Cozy Mystery
  2. Young Adult Dystopian
  3. Free Verse
  4. High Fantasy
  5. Murder Whodunit
  6. Genie
  7. Sci Fi
  8. Vampires
  9. Aliens
  10. Steampunk
  11. Gothic
  12. Colonial Period
  13. Space Opera Serial

Please get your suggestions in. (And don’t worry if we go over the 10 spots there.) On May 5th, I will roll the dice and put together the first of several story beginnings. More will come and eventually…

You will need to choose.

Cold Digs: The final chapter

If you missed the previous chapters, or want to review them,

GO HERE.

You take a deep breath. The cold air in your lungs seems to sap more strength from you, but you force yourself to ignore the sensation.
“I’m going to try to reach that panel we saw earlier. It looked like it would open up that door. Maybe.”
“What should I do?” says Kim.
“Honestly, I think two of us will just get in each other’s way. Conserve your energy.”
She grunts. Maybe it could be a laugh. “I could go for a nap about now.”
“Maybe don’t conserve that much.”
You focus on where you remember the panel to be. Again, you’re going to have to do some climbing on a surface which wasn’t meant for that. This time, you’ll do it in the dark. The wall is smooth, but by spreading your body flat against it, you have enough friction to go up without sliding down.
It takes a stupid amount of time, but you do manage to get to the panel. “Found it!”
“Does it open the door?”
“I don’t know yet. There’s a bunch of things here, and I don’t know what does what.”
You can hear the tension in Kim’s voice. “If you’re waiting for me to come up with a better plan than pushing buttons randomly…”
“Message received.”
You press down the bumps along the surface of the panel. Some of them are static, but some things move. From behind the doorway, you hear mechanical sounds. It reminds you of the heat kicking on when you mess with a thermostat, only louder.
It’s almost loud enough to drown out the screams.
“Did you hear –” Kim stops when the loudest sound yet reaches your ears. Not a whirr, not a buzz. This is definitely a clunk, a deafening clunk made by something that really shouldn’t break being demolished.
And then the door opens. 
Even considering how long you’ve been in complete darkness, the light is insanely bright. Your eyes are burning, and, too late, you realize it’s not only your eyes. 
Vague shapes behind the light seem to move. You can make out their screams, but only barely over your own. 
Perhaps there was another way. A way in which you could have learned what, and who, was beyond this door without also unleashing this torrent of burning energy. Perhaps you could have pieced together the mystery if you’d taken a different path. But the time for perhaps is gone from you now.  You have one final thought, and it’s likely that Kim has it too.
At least you won’t die from the cold.

Cold Digs: Chapter Five

If you missed the previous chapters, or want to review them,

GO HERE.

Kim levels her gaze at you, and the strain of climbing with her broken wrist has clearly worn out her patience. “You heard a click?”
“Yes.”
“And this concerns you?”
“Well…”
“So your theory is that in this structure, which has been buried in the soil of Antarctica for potentially centuries, someone threw down a rock with a cryptic message so as to lure us to make a difficult climb and then stand on a haphazardly tilted surface just to blow us up with a landmine which has, to all appearances, also remained untouched for centuries in the Antarctic cold?” She takes a long breath. “Because, with minimal effort, I can think of multiple alternative sources of a clicking sound which do not involve bringing high explosives into the mix.”
“I’m just being cautious.”
“Continue to be this cautious, and I will kill you long before a landmine will.” She shoves you with her good hand, forcing you to shift off of whatever you have just stepped on. 
You both hear the clicking sound this time. 
There is no explosion, of course, but you briefly see Kim’s eyes widen and her hands move to defensively cover her head. There is no time for you to comment on her hypocrisy, however. You very quickly have a larger concern on your hands.
“So, evidently that was the light switch.”
Kim grunts, not wanting to comment. You imagine she’s not entirely certain which one of you is to blame for your current predicament. The blackness is sudden, total, and if While you could try to step on the switch once again, you decide you’ll have a better chance at finding it if you kneel and sweep the area with your hands.
Promptly you crack heads with Kim who apparently had the same plan. The stars swimming in front of your eyes are the only things you can see.
“Before either of us says anything,” you say in hushed tones to avoid more head pain, “we should remember we are both tired, cold, and recently had a pretty bad fall.”
“Agreed.”
“Also, we kind of hate each other right now.”
“Agreed,” Kim repeats, but there’s a little smile behind her voice.
“Let me try to find the switch.” You shift your weight back to where you’d meant to search previously. Rock. Rock. Rock. CLICK.
You’ve pressed the switch again, but nothing happens.
“Why is nothing happening?” asks Kim.
For a moment, you say nothing. The cold air seems somehow even more bitterly chilling in the dark. You inhale to speak and you swear your saliva is freezing. “One thought is that this is like one of those lamps where you have to click over a few times before the light comes on.”
“So why aren’t you clicking it again?” You don’t need to see to know that Kim is forcing the words out through gritted teeth.
“Because there is also the option that whatever energy has been running for potentially billions of years in this place may turn off quickly, but will need a few moments to warm up. If I keep clicking, waiting for something to happen, I might lose track of whether I am turning it on or off.”
Kim’s voice goes up an octave as she replies. “Then what precisely do you propose we do?”

What do you choose?
4 votes

With Choose Your Own Geekery, you don’t just get to make a choice, you get to offer a choice for others. You have from now until February 9th  to make a suggestion for what our intrepid Paleontologist should be doing. I’ll be filling the TBDs in with an actual suggestion on the 10th. You can make your suggestions here or on our Facebook Page. You may vote now, or wait until all options are in. Please do not vote for TBD, but wait until they are filled in. All votes must be in by February 23rd. The new chapter will be up by March 2nd.

Cold Digs: Chapter Four

If you missed the previous chapters, or want to review them,

GO HERE.

You stare at the area where the rock came from. Kim follows your gaze. “What do you think?”

She frowns. “I can probably make that climb.”

“A fifteen foot fall should not have anything to do with the word ‘probably.'”

“You’re probably right.” She shrugs. “Me first, that way if I start to fall, you can catch me.” She probably wanted nothing to do with the look on your face which indicated your skepticism of this plan. That would be why she continued walking without looking back at you.

The incline to go up from where you are to the turn in the corridor is steep, but not insanely so. The bigger issue is that the surface is smooth, offering almost nothing to hold on to. You follow Kim, the two of you virtually crawling to the top. By the time you’ve reached it, Kim has tears in her eyes from the pain in her wrist.

It’s considerably worse when you realize you’ve reached a dead end.

If your theory is correct and the surface you just climbed was supposed to be a floor, then the thing on your right is probably a door set a few feet within the new corridor. It’s a door you have no idea how to open, however. There is some kind of access panel on one side, but given the difference between what should be the floor and which way gravity is pointing, it’s well out of reach.

“Are we sure the rock came from here?”

“There’s no other ‘here’ here,” you reply.

“So there must be a way to open this door.”

“I don’t know about ‘must be.’ There could just as easily be exactly no way to open it from this side.” You point to a space near the door where the surface of the wall juts out. “Could that maybe be for ventilation? Maybe the rock came through that. And there–” You were about to take a closer look, when you froze, suddenly.

“What’s wrong?”

You swallow. “There are two things. First, when I moved toward the door, I kicked something. I’m pretty sure there are three or four rocks like the one we found downstairs at my feet just now.”

Kim grunts. She is already tired of rocks as a communication system. “You have this tendency to bury the lead. What is the second thing, which I’m guessing is the more important.”

“I’m fairly certain I just stepped on something that made a clicking sound.”

What do you choose?
5 votes

With Choose Your Own Geekery, you don’t just get to make a choice, you get to offer a choice for others. You have from now until January 12 to make a suggestion for what our intrepid Paleontologist should be doing. I’ll be filling the TBDs in with an actual suggestion on the 13th. You can make your suggestions here or on our Facebook Page. You may vote now, or wait until all options are in. Please do not vote for TBD, but wait until they are filled in. All votes must be in by January 26. The new chapter will be up by October 30th.