The Commuter Challenge

2 December 2014

The December 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 05:06

This month is the final phase of the Long Form Challenge. The specific goals for each participant are:

  • Tyler Zahnke: Complete a final draft of the novel.
  • Ryan Finholm: Complete four songs plus cover art.
  • Brian Raiter: Complete beta version of the program.

3 November 2014

The November 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 12:19

This month is the second phase of the Long Form Challenge. The specific goals for each participant are:

  • Tyler Zahnke: Have a finished draft of the novel completed.
  • Ryan Finholm: Submit new demo versions of two songs.
  • Brian Raiter: Submit an early-beta of the program.

1 October 2014

The October 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 11:30

This month is the first phase of the Long Form Challenge. The specific goals for each participant are:

  • Tyler Zahnke: Have a draft of the novel completed.
  • Ryan Finholm: Submit demo versions of two songs.
  • Brian Raiter: Write a design document for the program.


2 September 2014

The September 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 11:49

For the rest of 2014 the Commuter Challenge is breaking away from its usual format in hopes of inspiring more grandiose projects with our first Long Form Challenge.

Use September to decide upon a personal creative project that would take 3 months to complete, and plan it out logistically. At the end of September, submit a schedule of deadlines and requirements, with concrete goals that must be completed by the end of each month (October, November and December). This schedule then defines your October and November Commuter Challenges as the work towards completing the overall challenge by the end of December.

This Long Form Challenge was conceived with the thought that it could drive us to tackle more ambitious projects which might be too difficult to achieve in a single month, so think big, and pick something you’ve been thinking you might want to do if you had the time and motivation.


2 August 2014

The August 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 01:32

Our challenge for August is to compose a simple 12-line poem. The poem must consist of three stanzas, with each stanza having four lines of iambic pentameter, and each stanza having a rhyme scheme of ABCB.

Did we say simple? That was a bit of ironic understatement, of course. Because the exact same poem must also be a 20-line poem written in iambic trimeter, just by changing the line breaks appropriately. When read in iambic trimeter, the poem will have five stanzas of four lines each, with again each stanza having a rhyme scheme of ABCB. (In a couple of places one of the trimeter’s rhyme words will actually coincide with a pentameter’s rhyme word, but more often they will just be interleaved.)

There are no requirements as to the subject matter.


1 July 2014

The July 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 23:34

The July 2014 Commuter Challenge is to make an original historical cartoon in the spirit of Kate Beaton or Larry Gonick. The cartoon may be as long or as short as you like – a one-panel cartoon would be fine, as would an entire graphic novel. The cartoon must include at least one famous historical figure and refer to event(s) and/or trait(s) associated with that person. A well-drawn cartoon is not necessary; stick figures or clip art would be acceptable. No amount of historical accuracy is required.


1 June 2014

The June 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 22:55

Compose a piece of music without using musical instruments. The sounds can come from any object that is not built for the purpose of making music. Feel free to use samples of sounds made by other people, as long as they aren’t samples of people performing music (or, at the very least, not intending to perform music).

Objects which are not nominally music instruments but have become standard items in musical performance (e.g. the brake drum) should be avoided.

Singing, chanting, rapping, sprechstimme, etc are all off-limits. Other uses of the human voice, however, are permissible, as long as they are not musical per se.


3 May 2014

The May 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 20:19

Create an image or sculpture related to one of your favorite songs. You may use any medium. If you’re a big Holst fan, your entry can be seven circles drawn on a piece of paper. Or you can paint an abstract impression of whatever you believe “Louie Louie” is about. Or you can build a stairway to heaven out of popsicle sticks.


1 April 2014

The April 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 17:00

Create an artistic rendering of the alphabet. This could be a display of a font that you create, but you needn’t limit yourself to something so utilitarian. The letters don’t need to be designed for legibility (though recognizability, at least in context, is desirable). The final result can be starkly simple or obsessively elaborate. The goal is to create a cohesive single illustration out of 26 discrete parts.

To be specific, your creation should consist of the twenty-six symbols representing each letter of the familiar Roman alphabet. The letters must appear in order, and in a single line. You can choose to use either capital letters or lowercase letters (but not both).


2 March 2014

The March 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 11:10

Write a minimum of three funny headlines for fake news stories in the style of the Onion. Do not write the full fake news stories; only submit headlines that should speak for themselves. If more explanation or further elaboration would improve the entries, sub-headlines are allowed. Accompanying photos/illustrations are also allowed but not required.

The only other constraint is that at least one of the headlines must be timely, referencing a news event current to March 2014.


2 February 2014

The February 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 20:11

For the first part, simply take a photo. Just one. The subject matter is wholly up to you, but it should be an authentic snapshot — i.e. nothing posed, or set up by you beforehand. Preferably, it should be of people and/or events not connected to you personally. Submit your photo by February 8th.

You must then compose a poem to accompany each photo submitted (including your own). There are no requirements as to the poetic forms, other than that they be at least 8 lines long. As with the photos, the subject matter of the poems is up to you, except that it should be clear how the accompanying photo serves as an illustration of the poem.


1 January 2014

The January 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 21:38

The January 2014 Commuter Challenge is to write a short story with a twist ending. The story must be between 500 and 3,000 words long.

The story and twist can take any form: it can be a Twilight Zone fantasy, a gruesome Hitchcockian theme, it can be a more homespun O. Henry-type twist, or whatever you want.