Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boski


I remember all my life
Raining down as cold as ice
A shadow of a man
A face through a window
Crying in the night
The night goes into

Morning, just another day
Happy people pass my way
Looking in their eyes
I see a memory
I never realized
you made me so happy, oh Boski

Well you came and you gave without taking
but then you went away, oh Boski
well you called me a genius and stopped me from shaking
I need you today, oh Boski

I'm standing on the edge of time
I walked away when genius was mine
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing
The tears are in my mind
And nothing is rhyming, oh Boski

Well you came and you gave without taking
but then you went away, oh Boski
well you called me a genius and stopped me from shaking
And I need you today, oh Boski

Yesterday's a dream I face the morning
Crying on the breeze
the pain is calling, oh Boski

Well you came and you gave without taking
but then you went away, oh Boski
well you called me a genius and stopped me from shaking
And I need you today, oh Boski



(Apologies to B. Manilow)


Writing Prompt Wednesday 5



Today's Writing Prompt Wednesday submission came to me by way of happy accident: I found this scrawled on a napkin while clearing a table for lunch. I think it Williams-esque, and am thrilled to be able to share my find!

***

"He's doin what!?" she shrieked as she opened the door enough to yell out back.

"Damn you, Earl, we're in town now," she scolded. "And indoor plumbing means you don’t have to leave the house to relieve yourself."

"Yeah. I know that," he hollered without interrupting the task at hand.

"Don't have to," he grumbled. "Do it 'cause I wont to, thas all."

***

Humbly, I am
Boudreau Freret

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing Prompt Wednesday IV: A New Hope



Today's Writing Prompt Wednesday entry, my fourth, violates the letter and spirit of the rules.* Just so you know.

I present the following first-draft excerpt from a work in-progress:

***

Alteram was back onboard, sitting at the technical console, the round high table that wouldn't catch a second glance if relocated to an Earth coffeehouse. It looked like something out of an Ikea catalog. The same console that he had worked at all night during the trip home.

He had not doubted that his theory was sound, but he was thrilled to have been able to implement the changes, however minor compared to the overall task, on the fly. (The pun, mercifully, was lost on him.) The fact that those initial tweaks were already tested and proven to work only helped him push forward now.

He needed the boost. This second phase was not going as well as the first. It wasn't going well at all.

Above the surface of the console/table and immediately to Alteram's left, a holographic schematic was suspended in the air, this time motionless, with line after line after line of words hovering to the rear, blurry. To his right, also floating above the surface of the console/table, two inch tall red numbers flashed on and off.

00:00. Off. 00:00. Off.

Behind the numbers, a marble-sized Earth image hung in a three dimensional grid of lines no wider than human hairs, and rotated slowly, but faster than real time.

00:00. Off. 00:00. Off. As they flashed, he thought he could hear them taunt him.

Failure. Off. Failure. Off.

Alteram sighed, his shoulders slumped.

At last he turned his head slightly toward the schematic, and as he did the blurry words moved through space from behind the diagram to the forefront, and sharpened until legible.

The lines of text scrolled down a little, seemingly on their own, then paused before scrolling up, several “pages” back, faster and faster, as if a virtual roll of microfilm was turning somewhere, and only the data displayed.

When he found the section he wanted, Alteram began to read. Again. He could have written it all himself at this point, word for word, from memory. His own memory, even.

He came to a line that, this time, made him sit a little straighter, if not exactly up. Not quickly, he didn't cry out his species' version of “Eureka!” and no lightbulb appeared above his head, but he needed to find something – would have settled for anything – to help him break through the wall he'd been banging his head into the past few hours. He'd looked at it all so many times, that all the likely, logical solutions had been considered and were used up, and he was now considering the unlikely and the illogical possibilities. Maybe this one was it. Or would, he hoped, at least move him forward.

The schematic moved to the front again and took focus, then zoomed in to one section. Alteram watched circuits move, flip, invert, then reconnect, as he willed this visualization of the ship's gravity manipulation system to reconfigure itself. Satisfied with the modifications, he turned his attention to the Earth and grid to his right. The numbers turned green and now read 01:00, then moved to the background, making way for the Earth-grid to come forward and take center stage.

Alteram crossed two fingers

what was that about?

then began the simulation.

The numbers started to count down as one intersection of grid lines – the intersection furthest away from the Earth in the hologram – began to bend, to point and push toward the earth. The lines came together, focused into a sharp point, stretched by an unseen force – like a sharpened pencil pressed to fabric, as if to pierce it – gathering other grid lines along the way, as the point stretched closer, closer, closer to the planet, until it was just about to touch the surface

00:00. Off. 00:00. Off.

The numbers, again red, took their place, front and center. The pointed lines had not reached the Earth before the timer reached zero.

Again.

Alteram grunted. And slumped.

Again.

Failure. Off. Failure. Off.

It was possible, he knew it. He could – would – find a way to make it happen. Ethan had agreed to leave the Earth on the condition that Alteram could bend time, that Alteram could have him home almost the instant after they'd left. Alteram promised that he could, and he was going to keep his promise. He knew it could be done, he was just overlooking something, missing something. He had to figure out what it was. Quickly.

He turned back to the diagram and text, and started over.

***

Humbled, I am
Boudreau Freret


* The WPW rules say, in part:

1. Find something... online... that's been published in the past week or so, and pick a quote from it.
2. Use the quote as a prompt and write something...


I wrote something, then found something online, not published in the past week or so, and fit what I found into what I'd already written. So while I may be a fraud, it cannot be said that I am a dishonest one.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Writing Prompt Wednesday, III


With continued apologies to the originator of Writing Prompt Wednesday, I offer this as my third entry.

I recall reading part of an interview with Jack White years ago where he discussed his relationship with his plastic-ish, piece of crap, Montgomery-Ward Airline guitar.

Regardless of what words were actually on the page, the way I remember it, Jack explained that one reason he loved that particular guitar so much was because it was crap, and so he had to wrest every note from it by force.

"I figure I ought to have to work hard at it," he said. "I have to earn whatever comes out, and if I earn it, I own it."

I don't know if such an article exists, or if he ever said anything like what I remember. The more I think about it, I'm pretty sure I made most of this up.

Doesn't matter. I thought about what Jack White (may have) said today as I passed the 8,000 word mark in the Word Count Challenge.

You see, my writing laptop is old. Really old. And slow. It has a painfully small screen and keyboard, and not all of the keys work, particularly the "k". For some reason (likely related to self-loathing), I run Linux on my writing laptop, so I'm writing in OpenOffice, which I otherwise don't use everyday. In fact, I don't use it very much at all. So naturally I think it sucks.

Whatever the redeeming qualities of Linux and OpenOffice, this is not a task for mere mortals. Nay, not even a task for those slightly leaning towards immortal.

This is a task for someone unwell.

Yet someone who, when done, will have earned every word, and will own them.

Respectfully, I am
Boudreau Freret

Monday, September 14, 2009

Word Count Contest

There are many valid reasons why one should not drink and surf the interwebs. This is one good example.

I might have entered myself in a contest among real writers to see who can generate the highest word count over a two week period. Contest details, as well as pre-contest psychological warfare, can be found here.

The other contestants are not only real writers, they are educated, and appear to be dear friends.

I might be hosed.

Fortunately, I'll hold off the grovelling and begging for mercy a little while: I pride myself on being quite the cunning linguist, and can safely say that even at this early hour, I have this contest in the bag.

Midnight came hours earlier here than where the other contestants reside, and as of this morning, thanks to my friends copy and paste, I already have in excess of 17,280 words. (Of which ten are unique!)

So, I humbly and respectfully offer the following good-natured encouragement to the other, smartypants, contestants: neener neener neener!




Your humble and obed’t Serv’t,
B. Freret

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why You've Been Unfriended



I know that not everyone shares the same religious or political views. In fact, as difficult as this can be sometimes, I celebrate our differences, and I strive to respect views that are not my own.

I will not, however, celebrate with you what appears to be an unwillingness (or inability) to appreciate that unilateral political evangelizing is not discourse and is not dialog.

The initial (yet critical) distinctions between us, therefore, appear to be:

1. I respect that your views are your views, even if you do not respect mine.
2. I will listen (quietly, since that is what “listen” means) to your views, even if you will not listen to mine.

Therefore, once I’ve listened long enough that you seem to be repeating yourself (yet show no indicia of wrapping up, or of readying to pass the podium in order to hear my views), and have intermittently paused only long enough to inquire as to whether I now see things as you do, before lapsing back into the same angry diatribe, please hear at least this:

While I celebrate our differences, and strive to respect your views, I am unwilling to be your captive audience in perpetuity. That is what I mean when I say that I will not celebrate your evangelizing with you.

If, at some point in the future, you, too, grow weary of your soliloquy and would consider listening for a few precious moments, so that we might begin reasonable discourse, please let me know.

Respectfully, I am
Boudreau Freret


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

More Writing Prompt Wednesday


This is my second offering to the Writing Prompt Wednesday Goddess. If you're a real person and continue reading, I apologize, and hope you seek professional assistance.

***

The meds were working. I hadn’t had an episode in over six months.

Weeks ago, I emerged from my self-imposed exile and began to take long walks in the city, wallowing in the cacophony of sound and smell, without so much as a hint that I was going to transform.

I knew that I was not free of Hulk, but for the first time, I began to believe that he – that I – might be under control.

I desperately wanted Samantha to understand that I wasn’t the same creature who’d gone to prison. So much so that I brought her to see Dora "Live" at Radio City--which is to throw oneself into a Skittle scented mosh pit filled with thousands and thousands of screaming kids and their mothers.

Sam was reluctant, not just because neither of us had kids (and I had to agree with her that it was unusual for us - a couple of 28 year olds - to attend without a child), but because the potential for disaster was so great.

What if...?

But it went well. Not the show – the show was horrid – but I did not transform.

Sam now believes, as I do, that I am under control. We’re going shopping together this Friday – “Black Friday.” If I successfully make it to lunch, I’m going to give her the ring.

***

Humbled, I am
Boudreau Freret