Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Drabbles and Twabbles and... and... and I can't think of a 3rd thing, Oh MY!

I've been participating in a writers forum. The Drabblecast is composed of brilliant writers that weave tiny little fictions together for your free enjoyment. That's right. FREE. However, they will gladly accept much needed donations, which go towards putting together a very high quality podcast of short stories. You can find both stories to listen to and links to help donate here.

I've been having a blast with the project. There are two different style writings I try to participate in; each challenging and potent in their own way. The first, is the "Drabble." A one hundred word story, no more, no less. An entire story, conveyed in the space of one or two small paragraphs.

The second, is the "Twabble." Yes, "twabble." Inspired by Twitter Fiction. A story conveyed in exactly one hundred CHARACTERS. (excluding spaces.) And so often I have heard remarks about this particular genre. Some people hear "twitter" and get all frenzied. They HATE twitter for some reason. ...Or love it.

Let’s squash a couple of arguments right away. First. Twit-fic is killing “real” writing. Take a moment to explore that thinking before siding on this one. You have a favorite novel, right? In one sentence or two sentences, can you tell me a basic plot to the story? Novels start as an idea. Nothing more. A random thought that flits through an author’s head. Sometimes, they are lucky enough to grab a slip of paper to jot it down before it skips away again. I don’t recommend bashing a tool that helps exercise the ability to recognize when and how to jot down a fickle thought.

Another argument? "You can’t convey an entire story in that short a space." Gasp! Quick! Inform the Sunday papers! Tell them it is imperative to pull all of the comic sections immediately! For the stories must have no plot and are a blight to the creative process! -Oh please. Since I have begun writing twit-fics, my writing has become more concise and poignant. Sure, I have a long way to go but the leaps and bounds I have taken in weaving together a string of words is fantastic indeed. When you have a limited number of characters, you are forced to find synonyms, and new creative ways to convey the same mood and message after the need of removing a word you once thought imperative.

Besides, many say that Hemingway did it.

“For Sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” --Six words. Six. And yet it makes you think, wonder, and evokes emotion. There is a story here.

Now whether or not Hemingway actually wrote this is debatable. Or, undetermined, to be more specific. This is what Snopes has to say on the subject. But does it really matter? I don’t think the “who” wrote it is important nearly as much as it was written, and written well. It’s existence is the important thing. After all, a story by any other Byline would smell as sweet, right? Why should adding or subtracting “Hemingway” make a difference if you like it or not?

The point still stands. It IS possible. And believe me, when you are just ONE little letter off of the 100 character guideline, there is a great sense of accomplishment in figuring out how to adjust the words to compensate for it. You suddenly discover there were 20 different combinations of words that all told the same story.

So, don’t hate the art of it, just because you have a grudge to hold against the twitter-fad for some reason.

Now for a few “Twabbles” and “Drabbles” of my own. I’ve decided I will post a few of these each week and open them for discussion. Please feel free to choose a favorite to comment on or ask a question about if the mood so strikes.

*disclaimer. Some may have disturbing imagery or suggestive content.

Modern Cult

Winged and feathered things hushed, watching from jagged branches above. Sharp needles of pine rustled in a symphony as the figures marched over forest floor debris. In dark hooded cloaks, they met once a month, plotting nefarious doings. The fire they gathered around is blessed by the ancients, and burns always, waiting for their return.

Each steps into reach of the flickering light. “Gentlemen, we…” the leader stopped, eyes landing on a charcoal cloak in midst of black. “Damn it, Chad! What did I say!?”

“I couldn’t help it! My kid threw a white sock in with the wash again!”

A Cloudy Future

Tommy and George often came here to sit, stare, and find shapes in the clouds. A peaceful little hill.

Tommy pointed toward the heavens. “Rabbit!”

George’s turn. “Mushroom.”

Tommy looked at him. George just shrugged.

“There’s an elephant!”

“Mushroom.” George pointed to another puff.

“This isn’t fun anymore!” Tommy complained. “All you ever see is mushroom clouds now!”

“All you ever see is animals.” George argued.

“But I want to be a vet someday,” he replied. “What is it you want to be?”

“I’m going to be President.” George smiled, something dark glinting in his eye. He pointed again. “Mushroom.”

A Killer Solution.

He would take long walks to distract himself. It was driving him mad. The more he thought on her, the more it hurt, and the more it hurt, the more he thought on her. His feet turned toward her apartment.

“What are you doing here?” She opened her door. “You’re soaking wet… What… WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

“Sometimes… You have to grab hold with both hands, to let go of the one you love.” He told himself, feeling her windpipe crush beneath his fingers.

Home. He crawled into bed. At last freedom.

…A glowing apparition manifested at his footboard. …Shit.

A Natural Downfall.

His gaze hovered up to the fragile barrier; all that lay between them. He could hear the grinding scrape of metal on metal. It wouldn’t be long. The machines had found their last place of sanctuary at last. He hadn’t thought it would be so soon. Years of planning.

A comrade mumbled in despair, “There’s nowhere to hide. It’s over…”

“Oh, I’m quite aware,” he answered. His face twisted into a half crazed smile.

“How can you be so calm? We’re going to die.”

“Yes,” he continued, “and finally the world will be rid of all us unnaturally cloned heathens.”

Bite Back.

They told me my three year old had a biting problem. His day care called me last week and said they wouldn’t be able to take him anymore. Seems irrelevant now that zombies crawl through the streets. While other hack in vain at limbs, hearts, and heads… I know the real cure.

It was so simple. Why hadn’t we thought of it before? If a bite could turn you into a zombie then… So simple.

It was clear. My son was chosen to save the world. “Human” was contagious too. Only a three year old isn’t afraid to bite back.

TWABBLES (they have no titles.)

He took their pictures, watching them grow eerily thinner. He swallowed hard. Maybe his cameras stole souls after all.

He played in my imagination, until I wanted to see his. "No, It's not safe," he told me. "You don't often survive in mine."

Wanting to make my new father proud, I mimicked every action. But no matter how I slither, my skin won't shed away so easy.

Second star right, morning. Simple enough. The complex constellations back aren't as friendly. Yet another lost boy.

"What was this witch's crime?" He poked the ash pile. "The usual; walked on water, raised dead, turned water to wine..."

Hope you enjoyed. Click in for more in the future. I have plenty, and am happy to discuss all. Just leave a comment. But this post is long enough as is already. I will be posting some cover art which Drabblecast has accepted for an upcoming B-sides episode soon as well. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



There are few things that irritate me in life more than the concept of hypocrisy. So, when I catch myself doing something hypocritical, I cringe more than you could ever imagine, beat myself silly with metaphorical floggings, and often lose some much needed sleep. That’s me. And I will be the first to admit that I am not some “above the margin” person. If I didn’t include myself in the grouping that would be hypocritical as well. We ALL have moments when we slip and do something that’s…. Wait. Lemme define “hypocritical” first.

We’ve all heard the word before. And it shocks me how many people don’t know what it means. No shame in it. But I want it to be clear before continuing. “Do as I say but not as I do.” It’s a case of, one person saying it’s wrong for another to do something but perfectly acceptable for them to do it, because they are somehow different.

Now there can be exceptions to the rule. Let’s say if there IS something different. For instance a parent tells their child not to drink alcohol, but will drink in front of the teenager. This can be considered acceptable as the child is not legally allowed to drink and the parent is.

Now same scenario, Parents lecture child at great length about drinking before legal age, but did so themselves before THEY were of legal age. This situation is mildly hypocritical, but acceptable as the parent now older and wiser understands how hazardous their choice was and is trying to convey those hard learned lessons to their child.

Now similar scenario, Parents lecture child that alcohol is evil and wrong and they should never drink it ever ever ever, for the entire child’s life, but Parents still go out and party every weekend.

THIS = Hypocrisy (In its fullest form.)

Now that is a fully make-believe scenario. But I have been encountering some hypocritical moments lately that just make my skin crawl. As I said earlier, we all have moments when we slip and break the rule, but when you encounter a person that their main character trait can be described with this word, there is a problem.

In the past few weeks, I’ve taken a lot of slander. There’s been a lot of talk behind my back, and a lot of lies distributed. And I’ve been informed that that person is using his favorite medium to try and further his belittling of me in public format now. Now I’m not writing this as a way to even the odds. I believe an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. But I will fall to MY medium of choice, writing, to perhaps defend myself some and perhaps to try and sort out some of my confusion as to how a person can be so hypocritical.

I’m an ultra liberal and YOUR not!

What? Can you run that by me again please? I really feel lately that “Liberal” has become a “Fad” rather than supported by those that embrace the spirit of “Freedom.” Please, please, please, DO NOT sit there and complain about everyone else not being nearly in support of the rights of, *insert; race, creed, sexual orientation, gender, lifestyle choices, wealth/poverty, or whatever controversial point you wish to here.

Sexual orientation.

Gay, Lesbian, Bi…. You support the fact that they should have the right to marry and you hate those that hate on them.

But I have heard you describe their activities as “gross” on several occasions and have told me the SAME story over and over and over about an argument between you and your sister concerning use of the word “gay” or “fag.” You claim that your sister lecturing you about your using these words in a negative way is fallible because the only reason she “pretends” to be a big “gay rights” supporter is because she has a lot of gay friends. Um…. How many do you have? Seems to me like she may have a leg up there and is more exposed to the GLBT community to know which is the proper use or not of the terms.

On the same type of front…


FOR THE LAST TIME!!! They are NOT “Orientals” they are “ASIANS.” I don’t care if you don’t know the difference implied between the two words you ignorant ass! THEY DO!!! They don’t like the term Oriental and you should not use it for that reason alone! It’s about respect. Plain and simple.

Let’s put this same line of thinking and apply it elsewhere. Let’s say a person has struggled with their weight all their life but not in the traditional sense. Let’s say no matter how they try, they cannot GAIN weight. They are too skinny. Now, if you know that it bothers them, and someone politely brought it to your attention that you should stop giving them compliments about how thin they are, would you stop? Or would you call the person that informed you stupid and tell them they didn’t know what they are talking about and being called skinny is a good thing and it shouldn’t bother anyone?

You don’t call someone something if they have politely asked you not to. End of story!


I’m a psychic. Um. Wait… NO! I’m NOT a psychic.

One sure fire way to piss me off quick? That would be to insult my beliefs. No matter how often you tell everyone I did, I never said I was a psychic. EVER. I cannot look into the future and just know things. And if I could? I wouldn’t want to. Have I known things without explanation before? Yes. It’s not the same. I didn’t ask for knowledge, and don’t know where it came from. And 9 times out of 10 it’s NOT knowledge I want. Accidents, Fires, Tragedies…. I don’t expect you to believe me, and I’m okay with it when people don’t. BUT DON’T spread lies about me and call me crazy for my beliefs and then turn around and complain that no one respects yours. That door swings both ways, and I’ve warned you time and time again that this is my one hot spot.

Never try and make me feel stupid for seeing a little magic in the world. How dry lonely and tasteless a world without a little magic in it must be.


You can NOT say in the same breath that women should have equal rights and then slam them for ALL being terrible drivers. (yes… I’m sure this is why insurance costs MORE for males under the age of 25.) And the other comments? “All women are selfish life sucking parasites.” Get off the fence buddy. Respect is a right. You can’t say women deserve respect and not give/believe it.

Lifestyle choices.

You’re a vegan? Congratulations. Go for it! (Even if your reasons for it conflict each other.) After all, it isn’t for animal rights but for health reasons…. Okay… But you won’t eat honey, even though it’s healthy, because the farmers will accidentally smash a few bees when harvesting…. …wait… what???

Whatever. It’s your body, it’s your life. But it is insulting when you act like I don’t know how to cook when you butt in on a conversation I’m having because I said cooking for a vegan is hard. Mixing the actual ingredients? Never difficult for me. I know how to cook and cook well. I can do it in my sleep. Having to read every single ingredient label because I tend to like to cook from scratch? And then have to track down vegan friendly substitutes? And then make 2 meals instead of 1 because I think eating all those chemicals is what’s unhealthy? THAT is hard.

But even ALL this I can forgive. But please don’t sit there calling people “dirty hippies,” you ultra liberal, shaggy haired, tufu eating, atheist, hypocrite!

Interests. Yes, even interests.

I've thought it over and, dude? You are WAY too into Star Wars. And this is coming from someone that has an 8 foot wide Star Wars Banner on their bedroom wall. Your liking of Star Wars on an obsessive level isn’t what bothers me. But how DARE you constantly criticize those that are into Harry Potter or Twilight. Just because it isn’t YOUR thing, It doesn’t make it WRONG, just not for you. No, your right. I’m sure that getting 9 year olds interested in reading with material they feel they can relate/escape to, is a horrible horrible thing.

You have every right to not like something. But leave those that like things alone please. I’m sorry if you feel these books are stupid and are covering the same material as more eloquently verbed tomes. And, 9 year olds are supposed to build thought process and interest in reading those harder texts, how? They were written for children. And if you’re going to bash the adults for liking them? Well… I have one question to ask you. Whoooooooooo lives in a pineapple under the sea?

That’s right bud. Back off. If you want people to respect your multitude of star wars tattoos and your green lantern t-shirt, leave others alone! Stop complaining that people pick on you for being a geek, when you're just doing the same to others.

just to drive the point home...

So, hypocrites. Next time you want to sit down and rant about how stupid something is, and by association a person is for believing, or liking, or whatever the case may be…. Or next time you want to expound on the many many reasons a person is wrong for belittling YOUR beliefs, or interests, take a moment. Stop to wonder if MAYBE just MAYBE it’s because you don’t respect anyone else. And if you are constantly bitching about how everyone but you is stupid, non-genuine, or slander the opposite sex, then you most certainly do not have claim to bitch about how lonely you are. After all. You should be happy. No one is anywhere near good enough for you anyway, right? You’re king or queen of the whole wide world.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Norway. Installment #3 (Naked People Park)

More adventures of Norway.

Installment #3

Naked People Park.

This place REALLY is deserving of an installment all its own. No, it doesn’t have actual naked people. Use some common sense, it’s cold there! “Naked people park,” is actually called…

I just nicknamed it naked people park because well…

(I love this one. It's like a more manly Neo, fighting baby agent Smiths)

You get the idea. You don’t see much of this sort of thing in the US. Let’s face it, as “progressive” as our liberal extremists will try to make us out to be, we are on the whole, still stifling puritanical. Is it not sad that dating back to the renaissance doctors were not allowed to examine a woman from between above the ankle to below the neck for moral implications, yet they had plenty of art to show appreciation of the human form? But here, in all the PC propaganda, we can no longer construct or view ANYthing that shows beauty or diversity without someone making a fuss. And with our culture’s mindless cutting of art programs left and right in our school systems, there is very little nurturing of this type of expression to begin with anymore.

I took a great deal of pictures that first night’s walk through Vigelandsparken. But not all turned out. So, I just had to go back 2 more times. :) That’s right. It was one of my favorite spots. Dunno why. Maybe it’s just the artist in me. Maybe it’s because I saw the statues in a very different way than most seem to. Even in the iron work of the gates.

If you looked at those pictures and thought, “big deal, naked people.” Take another look at these following ones.

Young and old,

Love and Family,

Weary and Burdens







I’m not sure there was a single human emotion excluded from the artist’s work.

I’m glad this was one of the first places Josh showed me as it allowed me to know I wanted to, and would be able to, make multiple trips. In fact, if I lived there, I think a great deal of my time would be spent in this park with journal and pen.

The park was HUGE. A massive entryway that led to a bridge of sorts with statues guarding every turret. This led to a large square with a colossal fountain. (Which wasn’t turned on unfortunately. Is cold there.) Many paths and gardens spouted off in different directions from this spot. I can only imagine what the park looked like in full bloom of summer. It was beautiful enough in winter. I’d picture it as a very lush environment.

Once to the square you are only halfway to the center of the park, where this very phallic structure sits as focal point. I must say, those who speak the phrase “everything’s bigger in Texas,” clearly have never been to Norway.

Are you starting to see that giant monument is comprised of many different shapes? How about a closer look?

Ah, what a surprise, more naked people.

I never went any further than the center of the park. It was just THAT BIG. And once in the center There really wasn't that much more to see. Just a bunch of trails through a field for dog walking and such. And I was without dog... so... yeah. I wasn't going to walk this much farther.

Not when I looked back at the distance already journeyed to see THIS much.

The last day I had to venture about I revisited this location one last time. I was freezing, soaking wet, and tired. But I'll explain more of that day in another installment. For now, know that this picture, despite my not looking wholly enthused, I was having the time of my life. (Just a bit frozen as I had been outside in 33 degree rain for the last 3 hours.)

And yes that is a Raphael Ninja Turtle Hat I am wearing. ;)

And now, I will leave you with, Angry Baby.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I'm taking an intermission before my next bit about my experiences in Norway. But don't worry. There is much more coming. I have yet to cover my odd adventures getting lost the day I spent on my own, my trip to a movie theater, Naked People Park, and other various tales. I'll elaborate soon enough. With pictures too.

For now... Just to keep active, (as formerly promised to myself) I will take a second to share some folly.

There is an elderly Asian woman that comes into work every once in a while. She always chats me up, and tries to give me fortune cookies. A LOT of fortune cookies. She's a very sweet woman, and I like fortune cookies, so it works I suppose. :) It has turned into a bit of a ritual at work.

Now if you ask my mother, she would tell you that fortune cookies are not a game but a tool of the devil and shouldn't be.... blah... blah... It's right up there with magic eight balls and Ouija boards in her book. ...what book she's reading I have no idea. (However I will say I do not condone improper use of Ouija boards.)

I have never found anything truly mystical about fortune cookies. They are just a fun treat at the end of a yummy meal. And in my case, a great way to break up the day. A couple of my coworkers and I will grab a cookie each, and laugh at the slips of paper, sometimes mistranslated within. And sometimes we will grab a couple each.

On such one day I received this.

....huh. My digital camera just blew up. ...great.

"You will be unusual successful in business," is what it read. I laughed. I love when there are mistranslations. Especially when they can manage to spell "successful" and "business" correctly.

As I reached for my second cookie I laughed about it with my coworker and jokingly said, "and what the hell is THAT supposed to mean?"

No sooner did I finish the question did I get my answer. I looked down to the second fortune and read, "You will be unusually successful in business." This time fully correct. I'm not saying fortune cookies are mystical. I'm not saying it was magic. But it was certainly a hilarious coincidence. Worth a hard laugh at very least.

Of the 50 cookies in the bag to choose from... The odds of me picking THOSE two, (NOT duplicates but close) in the same grab, and reading them in THAT order. It just made my day. Sometimes, it's the little things.