Tag Archives: NanoWriMo

No. 27 Scientific Beauty (or, If You Don’t Like This, Blame My Computer)

Hello again! Long time no see. And by no see, I mean long time no writing, because apparently NanoWriMo dragged my motivation away with it when it when it left. But hey, I’m back, and I have a journal with a couple of salvageable stories that I want to type up, so perhaps we’re heading back on track.

Now, if you don’t like this story, blame my computer. It was better, full of thoughtfully considered words and wit. But alas, in my haste to write I had not saved the story, and my computer chose this time, when I was two hundred masterful words in, to give me the blue screen of death (Or the modern day equivalent) for the first time ever. The work was non-salvageable, and I had to retype it. I hate retyping things. Nevertheless, I’m glad to be able to share the somewhat less good version with all (fifteen) of you. Enjoy!

No. 27

I was woken up by a gentle kiss. I then reached for the dagger that I wear on my hip, and was shocked to discover that I was wearing a dress. Someone had put me in a dress. Dresses and I go together a lot like sodium and water. The same two outcomes are inevitable; there will be explosions, and someone is going to get hurt.

Since I had no dagger with which to respond to my erstwhile kisser, I decided that punching would probably work just as well, with less chance of ‘Oh, I’m sorry, are those your internal organs on the floor?’ becoming a problem. I was pretty sure that I would have the element of surprise on my side.

I whirled around and swung a punch at him. The intent was to hit his nose with a satisfying crunch, but my trajectory was off so I ended up getting in a good blow against his sternum that made him an unexpected acquaintance of the floor.

“You do not introduce yourself to a sleeping woman by kissing her!” I attempted to channel my old schoolteacher, who made one want to flee and hide under the nearest object when she turned the full measure of her fury upon you.

He looked dazedly at me from the floor. He was wearing highly opulent clothing, unnecessarily so, and his face had a few scratches from either cats or thorns that were in the process of oozing blood.  “What?”

I squinted at him and scrutinized him farther, taking in aspects of his appearance; highly jelled and slicked back hair, purely decorative sword in a sheath at his side, boots that were polished enough to be used at mirrors and little else, and the fact that he appeared to be wearing more jewelry than I owned. I spat the next word, in lieu of actually spitting. “Prince.”

The prince looked at me with a mixture of fear and confusion, “I’m sorry ma’am, the fairy said that you could only be woken by a kiss from your true love. I thought I might see if I was that person.”

I raised my eyebrow and took on a tone of panicked reassurance, “Really officer, I only kissed her because the crazy lady who was claiming she was a fairy told me that if I did I might get to marry her and who knows, I might be her true love. Yeah. That would hold up in court.”

He blinked at me and looked like his whole view of the justice system was crashing down, “So you’re not a princess?”

“Oh no, I’m a princess. I’m just a princess who thinks you should leave before I find my dagger and make you. Have a good day, spread the word that there was a dragon protecting nothing but ruins, warn people that this place is haunted, whatever would deter them. And how did you get through the thorn wall?”

“I put some strange concoction on them. It was from the stores of an alchemist who was burnt as a witch for knowledge of unnatural arts.”

“Oh lovely, was it sulfuric acid? I hadn’t thought of that. And you burn people at stakes now? I think that the world has managed to devolve. Right then. Off with you. Feel free to take a ‘dragon scale’ from the basket by the door on your way out. Be sure to warn all your friends.”

The prince just kind of stared at me again, “But aren’t you happy to be released from the curse?”

“This isn’t a curse. We traded knowledge with the faeries so that they would let all of us in the household sleep until the world was a bit more knowledgeable, and clearly that hasn’t happened yet. There’s just one faerie who’s decided that this is a foolish decision and keeps sending in moronic princes like you to get us to wake up. If I could send a crossbow bolt through her wings it would make my day. Now, leave for goodness sake.”

At this point he looked rather confused and a little worried, and simply wandered away in the general directions of the outside.

Once was gone I looked at the ceiling, “Can I tell you how to make objects hover with the proper frequencies of sound waves in exchange for a guard dragon? And we’ll have to make the hedge wall resistant to acids.”

I heard the musical noises of agreement, “Got it? Good. I’m going back to bed.”

The endless isles of thrift (Or, I’m still alive)

Hello! I’m still alive. I got about nil done on NanoWriMo and have done very little writing since. But I did this. It was a card for a Christmas present that was a coupon for shopping in a thrift store. Enjoy!

This started life as a story similar to most of the ones I write where odd, vaguely parallel universe-ish stuff happens. The ugly shirt was simply supposed to be a bit of flavor text that would bow down in deference to the beauty and writing of the main story. That derailed like a speeding locomotive, because when have stories listened to what I wanted them to do? (Never, not once, and I freaking love that.)

 

The endless isles of the thrift-store seemed to grow deeper as I continued to not find what I was looking for. A particularly hideous…shirt caught my eye. It was pink, and although I am naturally adverse to pink, the color is usually not bad. Overused, but not bad. Although for this shirt it was making an exception. To think that I never would have known that pink came in a color reminiscent of vomit.

The pink wasn’t the problem, the shirt could have been salvageable if it was in some flattering cut or style; the problem with this shirt was the ruffles, it appeared to be made of ruffles, and the ruffles were held together by bright green thread forming the words to a Psalm.

Why? No, a better question was how? How did this product get thought up by some monkey in a typewriter factory, and then not immediately shot down by the higher-ups who reviewed the monkeys’ performance to see if any of them spat out Shakespeare. And for this idea to then get past them, and put onto a factory line where it was mass-produced by child laborers in China, after that sent to stores and stocked on shelves.

Of course, for this monstrosity to end up here, it would have to have been bought for someone. Someone looked at this shirt and said to themselves, ‘Yes, this is something that I would like to spend money on, and then presumably wear or give to someone else (to wear).’

It was at this point in my consideration of the piece of modern art in front of me that an elderly woman walked past and took the conglomeration of bad ideas off of the shelf, inspected it, smiled distractedly, and nodded.

She then went and purchased it, presumably to be given as a Christmas gift because it appeared to be at least five sizes too small for her. And so the cycle begins again.

I say again, how?

Lowered Expectations (A NanoWriMo short story)

She sat at her computer, headphones covering her ears and replacing menial sound with dramatic music. She had it all set up; a hearty ability to power through that pesky need to sleep, a cool fan because white noise is necessary even with music, and a word processor that had both wordcount and spellcheck. Glaring at the glowing screen she considered what she had so far; six thousand words, a healthy dose of self deprecation, and a nose bleed. Crackling knuckles gave way to quiet breathing, measured and thoughtful. She could still salvage this. If she put her shoulder to the grindstone and worked until she started to see pretty, sleep deprivation induced hallucinations, she could hack out a good seventy thousand words. Everything was poised, everything was in place. She opened her document, surveyed the lines of text that stood out starkly against the screen with the look of someone considering just working at McDonalds for the rest of their life, because seriously, this writing stuff was difficult. Everything lay on a feather’s edge, a mirror’s fall. The music reached a crescendo. This was it, perfection for the arts. But she simply sat, staring at the screen; a feather tilted, a mirror smashed, and the music died down to melancholy remainders of its former glory. So many plans, laid like the foundation of a house that could whether a thousand storms, broken when the builders realize that the mortar had not been used. This is how she feels, wondering how the most crucial detail could have been forgotten. She turns away from the screen, a teardrop hovering at the edge of her eye. It was so simple, right in front of her, how could she have missed it. She breaths the words out, infused with a sigh, “I really wish I knew what I wanted to write.” 

NanoWriMo

Ah NanoWriMo, how I loath you. Sure I appreciate the fact that you make me sit down and write, but I don’t appreciate that I get even less sleep than usual.

This means that I will probably not be posting much this month (not that I post much usually), and if I do it will probably be rant-ey, sleep deprived, and attached to an utterly weird poem or short story. Just a warning. Happy NanoWriMo to you all.