3/7/15 Speed Writing At Star Co

more people than we expected, less chairs, less tables (big going on downtown Round Rock that day) but aside from a near gibbering fit of nervousness on my part, things seemed to go well.

haiku using ‘mustache’…

one careful mustache
let it get out of control
it will eat your face

past goatee and beard
down the neck and up the cheeks
mad mustache gone wild

facial hair frenzy
eighteen foot long handlebar
mustache mania

write something with the title “The Mouse Squeaks Twice”

Old house, easy to hide in, lots of places, hasn’t been cleaned in years.
Clyde knew his prey would go to ground in a dump like this. Eduardo the ‘Stache wasn’t one for shiny condos or public galleries full of people who wouldn’t spare him a second glance.
Eduardo would head for where the trash was thick and the lights low, and Clyde knew those kinds of places well. He and Eduardo had grown up in the same part of town, different hoods. Both from the wrong side of the tracks from bright lights and regular beats for single cops walking along and tipping their hats.
There were two squeaks to Clyde’s left.
He answered with one shot.

the last exercise was an experiment. three parts. three minutes to create a space for something to happen, a setting. then three minutes to create the characters to inhabit that space, interact with each other with it. five minutes to write what happens in the setting, with the characters.

Danny loved the high steel, an interlocking grid of second by second danger. Sure there were safety lines, but odds were good if you fell, you were hitting something metal, and you were hitting it hard.
But oh God, the view. The view was everything, absolute enchantment no matter the time of day or night.
That was why he’d chosen the high steel, 10:30 PM, to propose to Carla. He knew she was scared of heights, terrified, but he was positive once she saw… felt the wind…
It had taken two bottles of champagne with supper to get her in the elevator, safety lines and more safety lines for her to step out.
Then a mouse, a shriek, a shove, and Danny would be eating through a straw for the rest of his life.

 

listening to: Flirting With Disaster – Molly Hatchet
mood; restless

An Odd Way To Ruin A Great Video Game For Me

this post has been a long time in coming, a low background mullygrubbling in the back of my mind, roaring to the fore whenever the game in question comes to mind.

“Far Cry 4″

so, to make the story short, you’re the son of a former revolutionary who helped overthrow the government of Kyrat. one of his compatriots, a foreigner, Pagan Min, betrayed everyone and set himself up as the king of his own little burgeoning narco-monarchy.
you fuck all that shit up, generally running missions for one of two sides. the traditionalists, who want to return to the highly religious past, and the realists, who view the country’s only hope for economic survival being a narco-republic.
so you do your job, and the faction you support takes over, but it’s a mixed bag. the traditionalists resort to political and religious cleansing. the realists take children from the villages to slave in the poppy fields.

both of these options suck rancid monkey balls, neither leader is worth a bucket of warm piss in the long run.
but you, having accomplished your mission, retreat back into the countryside (that, courtesy of your campaign, you know a whole lot better that almost anyone in the country), with your stash of weapons and ammo (that the revolutionaries were more than happy to supply you), and all the guerrilla training your campaign gave you.

country going to shit in one of two odious ways, you as the hero just go on up into the hills to diddle yourself.
uh huh.

number one, in reality neither faction leader should be stupid enough to leave you running around loose. to many of your countrymen, you are the face of the revolution, and should you want it, you could in all probability take leadership of the country.
but running a country is a bore at the best of times, and doesn’t really fit in with this video game’s vibe.

see, what i’d really like is some downloadable content, a mini campaign where you choose a less bugfuck crazy candidate to run the country and fight to put them in charge. lots of chances for vindictive dialogue as you square off against your former comrades, forcing them to see they’re no better than the man they deposed.

having been a table-top role playing gamer before the Atari 2600, let alone games of such narrative complexity, i have a major issue with a game just assuming a character it’s turned into a by-God hero is just gonna sit there while all his work is perverted.
that shit just wouldn’t fly. it’s not what heroes do.
and we play games, more often than not, to be the hero.

 

listening to: The Late John Garfield Blues – John Prine”
mood: why the fuck am i awake?

Hey Dr. Hutto!

tonight’s title prompted by finding out my GP reads my blog…

i’m a speed writing report behind, and i missed last night’s due to all three of my potential rides crapping out (for very good reasons). this saturday i’m hosting speed writing at Star Co in Round Rock, so there should be another entry along these lines pretty soon.

noun – whiskey, verb – fired, adjective – dirty, adverb – noisily

“Evil incarnate walked into the saloon, staggered to the bar, and vomited noisily upon the cool marble surface.
“That’s disgusting, you dirty sumbitch,” the bartender exclaimed.
Evil incarnate, also known as ‘One Ball Eduardo’, pulled his pistol and fired it into the air.
“Whiskey, goddamnit!”
The bartender served him a shot of Chupacabra Bile, and watched him chug it down.
“Three minutes,” the bartender thought, “and I’ll have another dead asshole to bury out back.”
But much to his surprise…
(tentatively considering continuing this one)

no idea what the prompt was…

A thousand days, floating in the upper reaches of Jupiter’s atmosphere. It had sounded like a dream job to me, total isolation while gathering data on the largest weather system mankind knows of.
Storms were a problem though, and I’d endured more than my share. I’d lock myself into the chair, which would make the hookups for breathing, sanitary and dietary functions, the cabin would fill with foam, and the hell-ride would begin. Absolutely terrifying.
Otherwise it was nice.
Until people starting talking to me from outside my ship.

no idea about this prompt either…

I was always impatient with my Uncle Frank, even when I was only crawling. He was slow… so slow. Something to do with an injury he got in the war that had damaged his spine. His stride was measured in mere inches, and not many of them. His shuffling, almost indiscernible progress around the house was torturous to watch, especially to me. I was always full of energy, darting back and forth, inside and out, except when Uncle Frank was in my way.
It frustrated my parents as well, although they didn’t say anything because he’d suffered his injury in the war.
I know he knew how much it bothered all of us… he told me so the night  he drove a railroad spike into my spine.
“Eddie,” he said, “now you’re going to understand. I got this wound, this handicap, for you and all the other kids, to preserve your goddamn freedom, but you little shits don’t deserve it!”
They took Uncle Frank away, leaving my lower body useless, and my parents dead in the kitchen.

again, no clue as to the prompt…

The music box was all I had left to remember my mother.
“Edelweiss.”
After Sweet Baby Jesus took her to Live With Him in Heaven, Daddy couldn’t stand to see any reminder of her, so he got rid of everything.
I barely managed to hide the little blue jewelry box with the dancing bear under my pillow.
I never let him see it.
I never wound up the music box and played it when he was home.
He died when I was sixteen, and I got rid of all his things. He’d tried to wipe her out of our existence. I did wipe him out of mine.
No, I didn’t kill him or anything, but I sure as shit didn’t mourn him when he was gone.
I sat and listened to the music box for hours the night of his funeral, trying to remember her scent, her face, the feel of her hands, her hugs.
I couldn’t. I could only remember that damn song.

 

listening to: the Furry Five snoring
mood: relaxed

 

Speed Writing 2/4/15

i was gonna post this on Wastebook, but then i remembered i wanted to post more here, less there. so here we go.

picture of a color wheel as prompt:

he stared at his big crayons, disgust evident on  his
they smelled.
they smelled of shit, some of them… the others smelled of something else, an odor he couldn’t identify.
his big fat crayons, ruined.
“Mom, quit playing with my colors!”

picture of a spur as a prompt:

lines of fire ran down his legs, dots and dashes in a Morse code of delicious pain.
she dipped them in habanero juice before she used the rowels to torture him.
tears ran down his face, blood ran down his thighs, and pre-cum oozed from the tip of his painfully erect penis.
he could only mumble his undying devotion to her as she dipped the spurs again, eyeing his erection.

picture of a clothespin as a prompt:

the clothesline hung low from the weight of all the wet laundry.
Sally Ann looked at her afternoon’s labors with satisfaction.
killing Harlan had been messy as hell, but oh-so-worth it, even when the cleaning up was added in.
never another set of dirty drawers on the floor, no more stinky socks tossed everywhere, no more drunken drool on the recliner’s head rest.
just the peace, quiet, and cleanliness she’d always craved.

(if by this point you’re gathering i was in somewhat of a mood last night… well, i didn’t recognize it at the time, but it sure does seem like in upon reflection.)

noun, verb, adjective, and adverb… spurs, defenestrate (my addition to the exercise), dirty, hurriedly:

the nun looked out the plain windows of the convent, admiring the stained-glass majesty of the church across the way.
the convent windows were dirty, always too dirty for the Mother Superior, and thence her favorite chore to give out.
Sister Maria wiped at the windows hurriedly, trying her best to look as if she was working harder than she really was.
the local vaqueros were headed to the church for Friday evening Mass, their bright silver spurs glinting in the late afternoon sun.
Maria thought the sight a glimpse of Heaven’s treasures. she opened a window to see better. the sparkling spectacle entranced her, and she lost all sense of place and time, hypnotized by the flickering gleaming.
she fell out the window, dashing her brains out on the stone walkway below.
the Mother Superior rushed to the open window once the alarm had been raised, gazing down at the corpse of the troublesome Sister Maria.
“self defenestration… dumb bitch,” she murmured, closing the window.

 

so yeah, somewhat of a mood, it appears.
elsewhere in the news, it’s my birthday, and i’ve been washing some dishes, along with my standard morning routine. lots of chores have gotten put off, Procrastination King that i am, but it’s being such a good day that i really can’t mind making up for my laziness.

 

listening to: “Killing Strangers”, Marilyn Manson
mood: happy and content

 

Speed Writing

okay, this is the first of what i hope to be a long stream of “i could post this crap on facebook, why not make it a blog post” things…

“Speed Writing”, at least in this circumstance, refers to being given (or coming up with your own) writing prompts, and writing on them for “x” amount of time. it’s not about finishing, or polishing, or even liking what you write – it’s about creativity let loose to do as it will, with no worries about judgment. there really is no right or wrong, no good or bad, just the flow, and seeing what comes of it.

so last meeting, a rainy night, somewhat cool, we met at Star of India (my first real exposure to Indian food, so far as i can remember). there were 3 of us. maybe folks cancelled because of the weather, maybe folks didn’t show because of the November Obsession, NaNoWriMo… who knows? David moderated, Barbara and I being the other attendees. good food was had.
and then it was time to write.

now, our opening exercise, sometimes known  as “the exquisite corpse” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse ), where we each write an opening sentence, and our papers are passed around, each person in the rotation adding something, until they return to us, and are then read out loud.
all of ours dealt in some way or another with a meme that had sprung up among us before we even began – the stabbing glove. wish i could find my page but it’s lost on the mess i call my desk.

next exercise – write something using the phrase “call it in”.
“the goddamn heathen squids were swarming the base. they had raised the waves, and the Terran troops defending the only surviving colony on the planet weren’t prepared for water – chest high – slamming them back and forth while the squid troopers scythed swaths of red through them.
“Corporal Carlson, call it in.”
“Sir!”
“Do it, while we still have time.”
“High Crusade, this is Fox Twelve, orbital strike, on our coordinates.”
“Time for some fried calamari,” Captain Boudreaux said as fire fell from the sky.”

next, a three sentence horror story.
“the zombies surrounded the moving truck, Carl and Olaf trapped atop it.
“i’m calling our pilot,” Carl said, “just hold on a little longer.”
the pilot’s phone just kept ringing.”

then, a “machine of death” story – imagine a character knew exactly how, and on what day he would die.
“death by glove – it was the most ridiculous thing Carl had ever heard of.
still, it was what the Machine had said, and today was supposed to be the day.
“Boudreaux,” his boss, Olaf, said, “got an assignment for you. 5000 words on this horror convention downtown.”
three hours later, Carl slumped in a corner, watching his life ooze out onto the floor.
a figure in an a ragged sweater and truly hideous makeup, wielding a glove with razor fingers stood over him.
“don’t ever insult the nightmare on elm street series again, bitch.”

then, a ‘noun’, ‘verb’, ‘adjective’, and ‘adverb’ exercise, where people are randomly chosen to give the words to be used. we only had the three of us, so we said ‘fuck the adverb’. our words were ‘elephant’, ‘stab’, and ‘supple’.
“i watched the clouds part, and winced as the sun stabbed my eyes. my hands shot to my face to shield me from the burning daystar, the supple leather of my gloves stretching as my fingers  came together. i hid my hangover from the bright hell until a bank of clouds, looking like a herd of elephants on the move, covered the sun once again.
i lowered my hands and motioned the waiter. time for some hair of the dog.
as soon as i was more steady on my feet, it would be time for some slicing. i fingered the knife in my pocket and smiled.”

next, an exercise writing convincingly about something you know nothing about.
“there are some subjects where all the theoretical knowledge in the world is useless – doesn’t mean a thing – unless you’ve done the lab work, or better yet, field work, to make all that theory into reality.
killer alien squid troopers and the killing thereof, that’s what i’m talking about today.
first off – forget terrestrial squid. almost nothing carries over.
no beak in the center of the underside – squid troopers have them on the tips of the tentacles, as well as sporadically placed along the length of the tentacles.
the whole number of tentacles – no set rules for your squid troopers.
highest recorded? 23.
lowest – 1. a really big one.”
(and time ran out)

haiku time – no one word, but a haiku about each of the following ‘characters’ of the evening’s writing – “squid trooper’, ‘Carl’, ‘Olaf’, and ‘Boudreaux’.
alien scourge from the seas
anonymous squid trooper
lives and dies unknown

“got any candy?”
Carl at Indian restaurant,
Halloween cowboy

stylish young Olaf
selling nice stationary
never writes letters

Boudreaux, cannibal,
backwards-ass bayou scumbag,
proves cousins taste good.

and our final exercise of the night, writing about aliens who show up, believing a work of fiction to be the truth.
“there was far too much land… Olfa, the squid commander, looked out the portal at the Earth far below. not nearly enough water.
“Commander Olfa,” Clar said, “scout craft have reported back. the natives have aircraft!”
“of course they do – we know that. balloons and dirigibles…”
“no, Commander. they have powered heavier-than-air craft, armed for war. Scout Three is running for its life, Two is down in a big hot sandy patch, and Scout One is hiding in the ocean off the coast of one of the continental landmasses.”
“no sign of Captain Nemo yet?”
“no sir.”
they would avenge their giant brother, no matter what.
“prepare to bombard the seas. we’ll drive his submarine to the surface!”

 

we finished a bit earlier than usual, due to our low number of attendees. but yeah, another night of speed-writing weirdness.

 

listening to: dawgs crunchin’ on bones
mood: pretty good

A Fruit Tale

Language not only reflects our attitudes and opinions, language helps form them. How we use language reveals how we think, and helps shape our future thoughts.

so, for a long time, oranges pretty much had the upper hand in a lot of social arenas, and the apples were rightly pissed off about it. so they pushed for their rights, and attained them, and although the apples still weren’t at parity with the oranges, they were closer than at probably any other point in history.
of course, there was a lot of ill-feeling toward the oranges on the apples’ part, for legitimate reasons. There were, in fact, angry and hurt fruits on both sides, because such conflicts always hurt, and always draw their share of hateful, bitter fruits.
some of the apples had created  ‘appleism’, and some of the oranges created the ‘orange rights movement’ – both were attempts to deal with concerns and fears each fruit type had, and those hateful, bitter fruits on both sides of the issues went on being hateful and bitter. the more moderate fruits on both sides shook their heads or pretended they didn’t see what some of their fellow fruits were doing, and just tried to get through life as best they could.
both sides said they were working toward equality, and fairness for all fruits – even though neither side seemed to have a good grasp of plums and bananas and strawberries – and both sides had their good points and their bad points.
what both sides seemed to miss completely was the problems each thought their own were really the problems of all fruits, and by saying ‘bruising is a problem for apples’ and ‘sourness is an orange problem’, they were dividing themselves, ignoring the fact that bruising and sourness were problems all fruit faced.
the fruits who supported ‘appleism’ wanted their vision of how fruits should be dealt with to be adopted by everyone, and the supporters of the ‘orange rights movement’ wanted their vision to be adopted by everyone and both sides seemed to forget gentle handling, and proper care, were not just good for apples or oranges but were good for all fruits. it was silly to say ‘appleism’ was the solution to all fruits’ problems, or the ‘ORM’ had the answers… by their very names, they declared their primary focus. there were no ‘apple problems’ or ‘orange problems’ exclusively – there were just fruit problems, but both sides kept wanting fruits to identify with their brand.
it was all so silly. instead of working together to help all fruits, they often fought about which fruits’ problems were more important, and how to talk about fruit problems, and how to solve them for all fruits, even the fruits they didn’t understand too well.

and this, boys and girls, is why i’m not a feminist, i’m not an MRA, i’m an egalitarian. it’s a gender-neutral term. (which should make me very popular with the left, given our love of gender-neutral terminology). i will not be a part of something that by its very name excludes part of our species. i’m happy once again men have been invited into the ranks of feminism, and the issues of hate and misogny/misandry acknowledged. but thank you, no.

no man should enjoy any privilege, right, or duty, that women do not also enjoy.
no woman should enjoy any privilege, right, or duty, that men do not also enjoy.
that’s called equality. it’s what everyone says they want. but let’s get more gender neutral.
no person should enjoy any privilege, right, or duty, that all others do not also enjoy.
there, that’s better.

domestic violence is not a woman’s problem, or a man’s problem, it’s a human problem.
sexual assault is not gender specific, anyone can be sexually assaulted and anyone can sexually assault another.
it’s as silly as saying the common cold is a male disease, or cancer a female disease, or syphilis a Christian disease, or tuberculosis a French disease.
our problems as a species are not gendered, nor race/creed/color/orientation/nationality-specific, they are endemic. they may show up more frequently in some segments of the population than others, but the underlying causes need to be dealt with on a species-wide level, or we’re wasting our fucking time.
and i’m really fucking tired of us wasting our time.

music: Hey I Don’t Know – Kongos
mood: quite irritated

First Fannish Obsessions

okay… yeah, if you count a storybook of Disney’s “20000 Leagues Under the Sea”, i was reading science fiction when i was six.
if you count ‘real’ science fiction, it was encountering Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth” in my fourth grade reader.
so yeah, literary fans, represent! i’m an, i guess, third generation SF&F gangsta. the originals taught my predecessors, who inculcated in me a love of fandom as fandom, with its own history and traditions.

but media fandom… well, there i’m second gen gangsta.
Star Trek TOS, chil’ren.
watched it, much to my grandfather’s dismay, when it was originally broadcast.
first convention i ever attended was a “Star Trek” con in San Antonio in the early ’70’s. i organized the whole trip, transportation courtesy of a friend’s mother, talked with the hotel staff several times making sure how to get there… including the head of hotel security.
which was a good thing… ’cause i got the keys locked in the car, and while i was trying to get it open with a coat hanger, well, i attracted some attention.
security attention. (hardly the last time i’d manage that feat… remind me to tell you about the Admiral’s Birthday one year…)(which is itself another “Star Trek” connection)
and the head of hotel security knew my name, and i got to meet one of the staff who’d been so helpful.
and he helped me get the fuckin’ keys out of the car.
way back when, i had fuckin’ memorized David Gerrold’s books “The World of Star Trek” and “The Trouble With Tribbles”. i had the original “Star Fleet Technical Manual” and pored over it like some Holy Book. courtesy of reruns, i could tell you an episode’s title within seconds of the teaser beginning. i watched the animated series. i waited and prayed for a feature motion picture, and tried to convince myself “Star Trek: The Motionless Picture” was better than it was. i jizzed blood over “Khan”, enjoyed “Search for Spock”, treasured “The Voyage Home”…
and then “The Final Frontier” almost killed my love…
but “The Undiscovered Country” brought it back big time.
loved “The Next Generation”… although it took a while to grow on me.
thought the Next Gen movies were more miss than hit.
was bored by “Deep Space Nine”, and couldn’t hold on long enough for it to get interesting.
never really gave “Voyager” a chance, even though i loved its theme music more than any other.
tried “Enterprise”, but quickly lost interest…
LOVE Abrams’ reboot, both films.
hell, my daughter was born while i was in the father’s waiting room playing “Star Fleet Battles” with friends…

so yeah, that first media fandom for me has stuck around.

i was reminded of this while reading about “These Are The Voyages: TOS Season 1″ and “2”… books researching the making of the show, the personality conflicts, the twists and turns and neat facts and dirty little secrets.
i want these books. it feels odd to be going back to that ancient well for more entertainment, but i’m gonna.
’cause i’m a fan.

listening to: four fans going at once
mood: happier… and cooler

Matters of Culinary Import

if you’re like me, occasionally you want to sit down and have a bowl of chili – not a lot, just a bowl full of beef, grease, spices, and goodness.
maybe some crackers.
seems the logical place to go for such an occasional treat is to the canned meat aisle of your local grocery.
not in this lifetime, buckaroos.
i can now say i’ve tried all of them, and for the most part, they suck. i don’t mean they don’t taste like my Holy Ideal of Chili… they fuckin’ suck. if i eat somethin’ that looks like diarrhea, and tastes almost as bad, that’s not a matter of not meeting my standards.
that’s industrial-grade sewer-scrapin’ suckage.

i decided recently to purchase the last kind available i hadn’t tried,  Amy’s Organic.
doesn’t suck.
isn’t chili.
first of all, beans, it has ‘em. now, even the International Chili Society has decided there’s a place for beans in chili, and i’ve decided the ICS has lost its goddamn mind. there are days i argue against tomatoes in chili. days when i believe chili should be meat and spices, so it was, is now, and evermore shall be, Amen.
most days i’m not quite so rigid.
and i have nothing against beans – you put a bowl o’ black beans next to my bowl o’ chili and i damn well may put some in, stir it around, be happy as can be.
but beans should be at the consumer’s discretion, not the cook’s. they’re just fine as one of any number of things that can be mixed into a bowl of red once it’s reached the table in a pure unadulterated state.
i view this as taking a stand for the purity of chili and the rights of chili fans everywhere.
secondly, Amy’s Organic was fuck near tasteless. chili requires chiles, and chiles don’t leave things bland. there shouldn’t be ‘bland’ and ‘spicy’ chili, there should be chili and ‘spicier’ chili. the difference being one leaves you with flavor (not all spicy is hot) and a little heat, one leaves you with flavor and more heat. hell, add a ‘spiciest’ and throw in ghost peppers. i won’t touch it, but you go on an’ eat if’n you’re of a mind to.
third, it sure as shit wasn’t good enough to justify the price Amy’s wants to charge. for an example, let’s look at Amazon, where Amy’s is available.
a pack of 12 14.7 oz cans – $47.41.
that’s $3.95 for a little ol’ can o’… well, i won’t call it chili… meat & bean soup. bland meat and bean soup.

so, i can state that in my humble opinion, there ain’t no such thing as good canned chili.
this means that i, or my friend Lee, will have to cook up a big ol’ batch, and put some of it in freezer bags or somesuch, so i can have a goddamn bowl o’ chili when i’m in the mood to.
maybe with crackers.

 

listening to: “Mexican Blackbird”, ZZ Top
mood: consternated

Doing It Wrong

so i’m reading an article in Rolling Stone on LGBT youth who are homeless because their families cast them out, and no big surprise, religion plays a big role in why they’re discarded, and it makes me so angry i’m having to read it in short chunks so i don’t grind my denture plates to dust.
here’s the thing, and i’m on sound theological ground here. Christianity, based on Christ, has no place in the hate and shunning business. Christ shunned no one, although he did lay some righteous whupass on those who turned faith into a business (and why don’t we ever hear that sermon in our mega-churches?). in fact Christ never mentioned homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender people at all.
what he did mention a lot was love.
now my idiot-fuck Christian step-siblings are gonna start screaming about the Old Testament, and the writings of Paul, and i’m gonna reply:

This isn’t Old Testamentianity, and it sure as shit ain’t Paulianity – this is Christianity, and i’m pretty fuckin’ sure if the Creative had wanted an opinion on such matters on the record, It would have had the Son say something about it. Period. End of fuckin’ argument.

so if your religion, or your religious elders, or your religious upbringing are leading you to shun your own children because they’re LGBT, you’re not practicing Christianity, you’re practicing something else. love, that thing Christ spoke about SO much, does not involve casting aside your children because of their sexuality or gender dysphoria.

that’s not love, that’s hate and anger and disappointment, and a whole lot of shit that isn’t their problem. it’s yours, and you need to own it and deal with it yourself, and not try to lay it off on your children as being “their fault”.
your children need your love, your support, your approval and acceptance.
and if you’re using Christianity – or any other religion – as an excuse to deny them that, you’re doing it wrong.

 

listening to: “Intoxica”, Man or Astro-man

mood: angry as hell