[Recent Entries][Archive][Friends][User Info]
Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Anne" journal:
[<< Previous 10 entries]
Flash Fiction Attempt|
So like I mentioned earlier this week, I am stretching my brain by doing some writing exercises from the Terrible Mind of Chuck Wendig. This week's is to pick an opening line and write a 1000 word story based on it. I picked a line by boydstun215.
Sam was puzzling over the hatch in the basement floor when he heard a knock. The hatch looked heavy, and the bar that bolted it closed was very sturdy. Luckily he had a really big wrench. He used it to knock back.
* * * * *
At the closing for the house, Sam had been surprised by some of the language in the sales agreement.
"It says here," he pointed out, "that I am supposed to leave several barrels of food and dry goods, 10 copies of the Sunday paper, and 30 live chickens in the basement every January and July 1st."
Sam stared at the old woman on the other side of the table. This was a Sale by Owner; there was no one in the room but them. She leaned forward.
"It's up to you whether or not you do that, you understand, but that language was in the contract when I bought the house sixty years ago, and my niece said I had to leave it in."
"That's right. She's a lawyer." She folded her hands together with pride.
"Did you do it?"
She looked down, then back up at him.
"I'll tell you straight, young man. I did not. I tried, that first year, but everybody I ordered stuff from treated me like I was crazy, and it was hard enough being a black woman in that neighborhood without bringing a bunch of live chickens into the house that never left it. I had no wish to give people cause to accuse me of doing hoodoo.
"Maybe the old white man who owned the house before could do that sort of thing without questions raised, but I had enough of that nonsense after one turn. And they only knock twice a year."
"They? Who? People hiding under the floor?"
"No sir," she shook her head.
"I looked. The instructions say to deliver the stuff and then stay out the room but I looked just after I bought the place that April. There were no hidden rooms down there, and no people. Just a long dark staircase that went someplace very cold. Where, I don't know. In a city like this it could connect to all kinds of underground tunnels. Or the sewers." She sniffed.
"I didn't want anything to do with it. Who knows what kind of rabble might have been involved. Maybe the old man had been running liquor back in the day. Or worse." She straightened up. "I had the basement locked up, and I didn't give it another thought. You do as you please, you buy the house."
"Do as I please?" He looked down at the list. "How am I supposed to pay for all this?"
"The previous owner left an estate, in Trust. You buy the house; you become the executor of that estate. You can use the interest to pay for what you get. That's why we're in a bank for this meeting, so we can sign the papers and get everything settled."
"But you didn't do it," he said. "What did you spend the money on?"
She lifted her chin.
"I put five nieces and nephews through college, and gave them a place to stay while they was in school. My sister has space for me down in Florida now, and Lord knows she owes me. That weather will do better for these old bones, and I don't need the house anymore, with all the children grown and in they own homes.
"Well, Mr. Hidachi? Do you still want to buy it?"
* * * * *
There were people down there, Sam saw when he opened the hatch. A group of five people, wearing glow lights and carrying ropes and sleds of some sort. They were compact, slender people with dark hair and reddish brown skin. He stepped back as they came out of the hatch and went right to work loading the sleds with the goods he'd bought. At first the leader just glanced at him warily, but once the loading was under way, she came over to Sam and smiled.
"Thank you for re-establishing this supply," she said softly, "but you really should wait outside. Risk of disease transfer, you know."
"No, I don't know. Who are you? Where did you come from?"
"We are from here," she said. "These lands belong to us. When your government chased us from them, some went up the mountains to get away. We went under them."
He gaped at her.
"The newspapers?" She asked, looking around.
"Ah, about that," he said, "Newspapers are not on paper anymore. You see, there's this big computer network—"
"We have other doors besides this one, Mr. …"
"Hidachi. Sam Hidachi. Call me Sam." He held out his hand. She looked at it.
"Disease, right." He wiped his hand on his pants. "Anyway, I loaded the past year's major newspapers and magazines on a tablet for you."
"No, thank you," she said calmly.
"We have our own culture. We have no wish to import yours. The newspapers are just for our elders to get an idea of current events, to decide whether or not to stay below." She turned away. The others had disappeared down the stairs already.
"But—How do you live?" He called after her, "How do you eat? Thirty chickens aren't going to go very far."
She turned back. "Those are just to replenish our breeding stock. Bring in new genes so they don't get inbred and unhealthy."
"Don't you need to do that with people too?"
She looked him up and down. He blushed.
"Prove that you are trustworthy, Mr. Sam Hidachi, and we'll see. Tell no one about us, maintain the Supply, and stay out of the room when we visit."
"Will I see you again?"
She smiled, and closed the hatch behind her.
Sam decided to leave the doors unlocked. Just in case.
Tags: flash fiction
A Bit of a Horror Story|
At Worldcon I roomed with an old high school friend, alternate reality game writer Andrea Phillips, who then introduced me to Chuck Wendig (they are apparently BFFs on Twitter). I since subscribed to Chuck's blog, Terrible Minds, and have started sometimes participating in the writing exercises he puts up there. It's nice to take a break from the parenting grind from time to time, you know?
In October he had a very very short scary story contest. As in, write a scary story in just three lines. I tried it and ended up with something poetic and fun, and was pleased to see he listed it among his ten favorites from the contest, though it did not win. Here it is:
A little birdy looked at me, and its eyes began to glow –like something possessed, I thought at best, so I said, “It’s time to go!”
I started to leave, and I grabbed my girl, but she stopped and shook her head: “I like it here,” she said with a grin, “Let’s feed the birds instead.”
Her eyes glowed too, so I killed her, quick, though the waste was just absurd; I felt a bit foolish my girlfriend got ghoulish, so I stomped the hell out of the bird.
I kind of cheated with semicolons. But it was a fun and interesting exercise.
My first version was much too long and had much more about other animals and people with glowing eyes in the park, and I stumbled on the end, because I didn't want to kill the girl, but all I had was a vignette without some sort of resolution, and Chuck said it had to be a story.
( here's the first draftCollapse )
I wanted the guy to somehow save the girl. But I've been reading Saladin Ahmed lately, and in his stories, Ghouls cannot be saved. Once I bit that bullet it all fell together.
What do you think?
What Makes a Baby: Review|
We recently got the book What Makes a Baby for Rosie and I wrote a review for Amazon.com - please check it out if you're interested in a gender-neutral, family-structure and parent-orientation neutral explanation for how babies begin.
Come Dance Like the Congo|
Would you be interested in a congolese dance workout? I'm going to a workshop at 1pm on Saturdays that I really like. $10 to drop in, really good aerobic workout. Health and elegance dance studio on Fountain Square, on Washtenaw.
The instructor, Bisi, is here from the congo working with a local congolese dance troupe. Right now he's having the dance troupe join the class to keep the energy up, and that also helps in figuring out and following the moves, since sometimes we turn around.
I just took zumba for the first time at ypsi studio this week, and I'd say they're comparable in difficulty, but the congolese dance is a bit more of a workout.
Do you trust your spam filter?|
A few times recently, gmail has displayed a highlighted message at the top of an email, saying essentially, "this message would have been marked as spam if not for a filter you set up. edit filters ."
This is disconcerting, as it has never yet happened with an email that was spam. And they offer the "edit filters" link as though my reaction will be "silly me. Let me fix my filters so you can mark this spam without interference."
When what I want to be able to say is, "This not spam! Are you nuts? Why do you think it's spam?! Stop that!"
And of course it makes me wonder what I don't have filters for that they are marking as spam. Next time it happens I will take a screenshot and send them feedback, but in the meantime it's really worrisome.
A Generous Pause|
I saved the life of a worm today,
at least for a little while;
I moved it from a parking lot
to a field of grassy pile.
And I know the worm won't sing and play,
the way that we humans do,
but at least it won't end up a dried out husk
or run over and squished into goo.
Comment I posted to ongoing discussion on Wikipedia editing and gender|
Over on Sue Gardner's blog there's a discussion about her essay on why more women don't edit wikipedia. I subscribe to comments and sometimes I respond to them.
Since I don't get much time to write posts here, I thought I would share just such an exchange from this week. Partly because I was gratified to find that the numbers support me in my belief that media that promote/reflect stereotypically gendered "interests" don't really have as much market penetration as the industry would like you to believe.
In August, someone writing as Jim Bob said,
There are no barriers to editing Wikipedia, it is no more challenging than keeping up appearances on facebook and twitter, which women do far more than men. You can rationalize till the cows come home.
Women are more subjective than men in their interests and mindset. Many girls barely take an interest in anything which does not relate to themselves – beauty, fashion, relationships, weddings, babies etc – which is why most women’s magazines consist of the above. Few are interested in planes, jet engines, markets etc
I responded ( tl:dr version: women are more subjective? Your Collapse )
This is of course a waste of my time in terms of convincing that other commenter in any way. So I'm cross-posting it here so it can feel like *less* of a time waste...
Tags: gender, wikipedia
Late Night Thoughts on Castle and Science|
Just stayed up way too late getting caught up on Castle - the first two episodes of the season.
The pumpkin pie was nice. Oh wait, you didn't get that? I guess that was my living room only. ;)
But I had a big problem with the central premise of the episode.
( cutting for SPOILERSCollapse )
I don't generally mind technical details being wrong in small ways. But this is science. I get that the detective-ing is supposed to save the day, but it would have been nice to at least let science and rational planning have a try too. Or a nod.
A nod would have been nice.
"Science might have been able to fix this except obscure chemical X takes three days to extract" or whatever.
I would have liked that.
Being Publisher Liaison|
I am the publisher liaison for Detcon1.
I've never done this before. Advice is more than welcome.
Detcon1 Seeking Accessibility Lead|
Planning for the 2014 NASFiC is under way and we are seeking someone to take the lead on accessibility. I just posted more information over at access_fandom on dreamwidth
[<< Previous 10 entries]