Writer’s Log: 2479

An experiment…


His fingers stroked the scars on her belly and his eyes moved from those marks to her face. A question formed on his brow. “Does…”

She snatched his hand and held it up. “I recall only the memory of the pain, not the pain itself.” She strengthened her grip. “There was agony, tearing and pressure so great I feared it would explode my mind.” She felt his discomfort and released him. “But, most of all, I remember the terror thinking that the pain would never end.”

“And… And then it did?”

Her rictus, induced by the memory, eased and the tautness in her voice returned to the purr she typically used with him. “Indeed, it did.” She pulled the rough shirt back over her stretch marks.

“Was it worth it?”

“Time will tell.”

He gave a puff to blow the red dust from the surface of her jacket and nestled his head in the crook of her arm. “Will I ever feel such pain?”

With a chuckle she ruffled his curly brown hair. “You should be so lucky.”


And now the poll: In what state of mind did you read this bit?

♥ As a reader with an open mind as to what the text would offer?

♣ As an editor with a critical eye to the words, the sentences, the structure?

♠ As a skeptic, editor first and reader second?

How do you find your mind when you enter into reading works on the Web? Or works in general? Open to the author’s words or doubtful of the author’s abilities? Has this mental state been consistent over time? Or have you changed your perspective regarding the consumption of media? And over what time period or experiential events did you change?


Cosmic Cradle – a chapter dredged

This 1500 word opening chapter is a rehash of something I started years ago.

The idea that a generational starship is the exact wrong way to send humanity (and its supporting environment of plants and animals and bacteria and fungus) out into the stars, is why I started this story. Generational ships are just plain stupid. Nobody wants to live and die traveling in a tin can. And cryogenic preservation of grown humans will probably never work.

So, how does humanity infect the galaxy with its ilk? With a starship designed to travel, arrive, and then grow humans, as well as all other fauna and flora, from zygotes and seeds; with android “Mother” and “Father” figures to raise children (Raised by Wolves’esque) once orbit around a distant candidate planet was attained.

The problem with such a system is that the ship itself must be the primary caretaker. But how can an intellect survive, sane, the hundreds of years necessary to travel to the target system? I propose the ship be equipped with a duality of intellects. Janus-like.

Read the story in a new tab here.

(I’ll get my editor to review and correct obvious mistakes. She, however, hesitates when tasked with serious wordgery. So, no doubt this piece will suffer from the lack of stronger skills than my own.)

Lo, Saturnalia

Just a ditty tossed out amongst the dross of logging activity metrics and channeling error messages into PagerDuty (oh what a bane on society that thing is!)

(Starts like JingleBells…)

Lo, Saturnalia
On Saturnalia go,
Out into the snow,
Take your master’s clothes,
And wear them like your own.

Drag your keg of beer,
To the bonfire burning near,
Lift your mug on high,
and raise your voice in cheer.

Ohhhh, the old year dies,
the new year’s born,
the gods are smiling down.
Saturn on his lofty throne,
is baying like a hound.

The ol’ yule log,
the roasting hog,
the gifts to loved ones dear,
are demonstrated, celebrated
to last throughout the year.

Cross Discipline Creativity – I wish!

Creativity may flow from an endless tank, once it’s activated. But, if you have access to multiple tanks, they can only be turned on one at a time.

The creative faucet I’ve been wielding recently has nothing to do with writing fiction. Which I lament. No, not just lament, I bemoan the fact that my energies are being spent toward a creation I despise: software that will be used to promote the further promulgation of the evil duo consumerism & capitalism. Yuck. And it’s not just the building of solutions, it’s the monitoring, worrying, fiddling, responding to “incidents”, and the exhaustive fixing of code that worked—and then just didn’t anymore.

It could be due to the fact that during this joyous season of giving, this data-broker middleman company is positioned exactly where the most “giving” flows. Literally millions of orders a day grinding through this system. What worked for five-hundred thousand cannot deal with two-million. And so the hours of hand-wringing, the feverish typing-testing-deploying of code. Oy! The humanity.

And throughout it all, the sad fact that I’d rather be writing fiction. But can’t. Because I can only turn on one creative spigot at a time. I’ve tried to run two. Can’t. The code flows—or the story does. But never the twain. Dream-time brings visions of syntax checks and semaphores dancing in my head. Of event-streams and data-queues, stacked and awaiting their processing turns.

Maybe when I was thirty I could have maneuvered and managed both. But here at sixty, what a sad number is sixty, I can only handle the one.

Happy Saturnalia, all.