Friday, March 04, 2011

The Friday 56!

Ashelynn Sanford is hosting the Friday 56- one of those things. You know. Those things. Take the nearest book to you, open it to page 56, and type in the fifth sentence. (Along with a couple more to provide context, if necessary.)

Mine comes from Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta".

'You can call me Y. The Lord is my shepherd: therefore I can lack nothing: He shall feed me in green pasture and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.'"

Flashing (and Not Drinking) On Friday

The 52/250 theme this week is "Under Wraps", and my contribution, a fictionalized imaginary tribute to this lady here, is called "For Schmutzie", and it can be found here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Top Five At Five

1.Travis tells us where he was last night.

2.My IndieInk challenge, well and truly answered here.

3.Tot Thoughts considers the road not taken.

4.Pet Cobra channels Nelson.

5.Evenstarwen with a very witty, very hot 100.

From The Reject Pile: The 12th Round

Another mediocre jump shot slapped back into my face, a 250 word story on the theme "Another World". The story, "The 12th Round", follows here:

Your children are like you, only they're not. They are fun house versions of you, with some of your features: your nose, her eyes, your impatience, her vanity. They are precious, but also draining, sucking away your vital energies into a sinkhole of need that changes as the years go on, but never ends.

When the Ds started coming home, they raged at her, ferocious clashes that left all three of them retreating to corners of their house like exhausted boxers. They took away privileges, they withdrew access, they made her life monastic- school, home, work, food, bed. Repeat. Nothing worked. The flood of poor grades continued.

I looked down at her, sleeping, finally, after another tear stained, dispute filled evening. She made him confront every insecurity he had about himself- every unsure step professionally, every poor purchase and unwise investment now a silent rebuke. How could he purport to advise her, when he couldn't manage his own life?

He knew her universe was different- while the Internet exploded as a phenomenon for him as a young adult, she had been born into it, swimming in seas of data since she could walk. Maybe his formulas- go to school, learn, work hard, get a good job- didn't work in the new coordinate system she lived in. He didn't know what she needed, and she proved to him daily how little he understood about her, and indeed about anything at all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

100 Word Challenge: Blind Date

Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge is long off the tee, has a very strong short game, and can putt like nobody's business. The word this week is "gratuitous", and my story is called "Blind Date". As always, feel free to complete the challenge on your own blog and plug your link in right here:

And now, "Blind Date":

She was beautiful- long showers of black hair that shimmered when she moved her head, wide brown eyes that focused on you with a pleasurable warmth, and a body that suited a cocktail dress perfectly. I finally thought my pal Eric had sent me on a blind date with a winner when she said, as we got up to leave the restaurant, "Aren't you going to leave a gratuitous?"

I looked at her blankly.

"You know, a tip?"

"Thanks for reminding me," I said affably, sliding two tens onto the table. Looks aren't everything, I thought, chuckling silently.

Monday, February 28, 2011

IndieInk Writing Challenge: Circles

Today is brought to you by the IndieInk Writing Challenge (, in which members of the IndieInk Writers Collective challenge each other to post on their blogs on a given subject. My challenge was issued by Miss Ash (who writes here), who asks "Write a bookended piece. (Where you start out and end the post with the same general thought. A circle, so to speak.)". The challenge I issued will be answered here. My piece, "Circles", follows:

The thing about circles is, you always wind up the same place that you started.
You start alone, with a blank screen and an injunction to write- write about circles. Write about coming back to where you started, or getting back to where you once belonged.

funny graphs - Also Known As Geometry II
see more Funny Graphs

Circles can make your point nicely.
"Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, "What happened to my twenties?" Your forties, you grow a little pot belly you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering "how come the kids don't call?" By your eighties, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama. Any questions?"

-Billy Crystal, as City Slickers' Mitch Robbins, on the circle of life

New York Knick and part time philosopher Amare Stoudemire asserts that, when encircled by those who oppose you, rise above them.
Have you ever heard the old school joke about saying something "in your own words"? The joke is, of course, that you can't use your own words. You have to use the same words everybody else does. I've written thousands upon thousands of words, here and elsewhere, and there are times- lots of lots of times- when I can't see the point of it any more. It's not going to make me famous, it's not going to make me rich. There's lots of other things I could be, nay, should be, doing with this time. But I'm not.

I'm using words that you all know- words that we've all been taught- somehow hoping that the alchemy of my brain, my personal collection of neuroses, fears, and wonder, will add to these words a spark of something, a tiny slice of the divine that will light up sympathetic areas of your brain, perhaps, hopefully, inducing a tiny little squirt of dopamine because I have brought you pleasure.

I write because I have always written.
I write because I don't know what else to do.
I write because I have to do something with these thoughts or my brain will explode.

Johnny Cash and June Carter ask if the Circle will be Unbroken.

"Any baseball is beautiful. No other small package comes as close to the ideal in design and utility." -Roger Angell

A baseball is a circle.

"The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." - A. Bartlett Giamatti

So is a baseball season.

The thing about circles is, you always wind up the same place that you started.