Posts Tagged ‘authors’

Singularity Utopia

Singularity Utopia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, the time has come for the Quantum Short Contest, and I’m left with the same state of trying to think of something to write in a method that is usually so easy for me that I barely even try at all—which comes of course with memories flashing back to school when I could never write anything if it was assigned, but could always write anything on my own (hence why, even though have a degree in any form of writing would be cool, I also haven’t even bothered looking into it, ’cause I feel I would hate the classes telling me to do what I already do anyway).

Well, while I try to think of something to write, here’s what I submitted last time:

Flash of Reality

I looked at him as he clicked his pen out of a nervous habit while glancing at his notepad.

“Ok,” he began, trying his best to keep the sound of skepticism out of his voice, but failed, “You say you have the ability to teleport yourself to different worlds?”

I smiled and folded my hands while trying to formulate the right words to explain without sounding even more insane than I already did, “’Worlds’ would suggest ‘planets,’ which is wrong. And I’m not sure if ‘teleport’ is quite right either. To be more accurate, I can at will come to exist in any other reality.”

He looked at me with an expression that suggested he was waiting for the punch-line, but when it clearly wasn’t coming, he reluctantly clicked his pen out and jotted a scribble into his pad—following his pen-strokes, I’m fairly certain he wrote the word “Nuts.”

He looked back up at me while mentally sorting out which question would sound the least insulting to someone who may or may not be nuts, “And… how exactly do you do that, ‘willing yourself to other realities’?”

“I’m not much of a scientist, but I have tried my best to figure it out through library reading on the subject. But did you know, that there is actually a concept that existence only exists because it is observed by conscious observers?”

“You mean, like the tree in the woods; cat in the box—that sort’a thing?”

“Yes, those are thought exercises around the idea that these things exist because a consciousness observed it. On this idea, my existence here only exists because I’m being consciously observed.

“But, I myself am conscious, and therefore making you and all around me exist as well.”

He smiled, “I’m pretty sure I existed on the drive over here before you had the chance to observe me.”

“Yes, but not to me,” I said and let the words sink in before continuing, “Before you got here, you didn’t exist to me—and just as such, I didn’t exist to you. And the ability to fully understand this, allows me to exist anywhere else, anywhere I desire. I can be a rock singer or dragon slayer simply by willing it.”

He looked at me with a confused squint, “Do you me literally, or figuratively? I mean, are you actually talking about transporting your existence at all, or just having an active imagination, or day dreaming?”

“Oh, I mean quite literal, but you do direct us to the right questions. What is the difference between imagination and reality, or dream and wake? How do you know you’re awake right now? How do you know this isn’t a dream, and if it’s dream, which one of us is dreaming?”

“This is getting absurd, but alright. I guess if I really thought about, I really can’t tell—I could come up with logic problems like whose eye am I looking out of as opposed to who’s I’m not, but the answer could just as much be part of the dream.”

“Do you know what a waking dream is?”

He gave his pen a few unconscious clicks, “Yeah, it’s when you’re able to make yourself conscious of your dream and take control of it—are you about to tell me that’s what you do with reality?”

A smile spread across my face, “Exactly—although ‘reality’ is a bit more like a very convincing dream. We’ve all had dreams that for some reason, we believed they had to be real, until we woke-up—even if the dream was absurd, we still believed it. But even those dreams can be broken through with the right amount of convincing. And that’s all that is required here. Convince yourself that this is all just a dream—completely truly be consciously aware that this is something you control, and—poof—it’s all yours.”

He looked at me with a mix of skepticism and pity, and just shook his head, “I’m sorry, although I’m convinced you fully believe your delusion, it’s just too completely unbelievable. I don’t know if I could even write an article on this if I filed it as science-fiction.”

“That was expected,” I said with a smile, “after all, I have been in your place before.”

I look at the man as he absently smiles at me, I couldn’t tell what he possibly meant, beyond an insane rambling. So, with a final shrug, I close my notebook, click my pen and slide it in the spiral, and leave him to his lost mind.

Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater...

Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater from a roof into a storage tank via an arrangement of gutters and pipes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago, a friend of mine, Catrina Taylor (whose books you should be reading), started her own indie-publisher, the Writing Network. It’s still in its very young stages, but it’s being lead by someone that knows what she’s doing.

As one of her draws, she started a Word of the Day Flash Fiction, and while I haven’t had the time to do much with it since she started (because I was writing a bunch of deadlines), I will try to get more into it (especially since I need something to give my flashes structure). Back for her opening, I did do one for the word “sunshine” (even though her rules were a max of 500, I kept my rules of 300):

The sunshine shot deftly through the boarded window directly at my eyes, prying me from my sleep—something that used to be the most irritating way of waking up, but now was a comforting sign that I survived another night.

I stumbled to my feet with my head still spinning of an uneasy sleep, and made my way for the door. After a couple minutes worth of unlatching locks, I let in the new day and walked out into its warmth. My first step was into a pile of ash splayed across my porch—I had to force it from my head for now—convince myself it was only dirt as it seeped between my bare toes.

I walked to the end of the yard where the overflowing rain barrel sat and splashed the sun-warmed water at my face. Staring down at my reflection, I saw a face so worn and tired I barely recognized it as mine.

Then the extra eyes glimmered just over my shoulder.

I barely had time to dodge as the draugr swiped at me from a shadowed corner. I jumped back as it lunged forward, and burst into white flame—instantly consumed by the sun, with only the traces of it ever existing left behind.

I staggered back for the shelter of my home and re-latched the door behind ‘til I could work the courage back up to venture out again. I slumped back to my tattered mattress, and let the beam of sunshine comfort me with warmth. As I lay, I felt the warm slowly turn to a subtle burn across my arm. I sat up, and saw, slightly beginning to smolder, a slight scratch—not much—but just enough. Enough to know this would be my last taste of sunshine.

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Lightspeed

Lightspeed (Photo credit: i be GINZ)

I push the throttle to full and plunge through the void as existence blazes past me as no more than a perpetual glowing wall.

I have no idea how much of a lead I have on them, I’m mostly running on hope that I have any legitimate gain at all. The more I think about it, the more I get the sickly paranoid feeling that they’ve already caught-up, and if I went back to the cargo hold, I’d see them slithering through the shadows.

I don’t even know for certain where I’m going, and moving at these speeds without a destination isn’t normally considered safe—the navigation computer has been blaring its warning alarms at me since I entered into the jump.

I need time to think—I need to find somewhere to stop and hide, and come up with a plan. But nowhere is safe—not even for a minute’s rest.

I swear I can feel their miasmic breath across the back of my neck. I look despite sense, and see nothing but the empty cabin and my own reflection across the panels—staring back at me—mocking me with my repeating questions of fight-or-flight.

They killed her—she’s dead—and all I can do is run for my own life—running into oblivion fueled with cowardice.

I look down at the navigation, and see the Return Home on its menu—it would take me headlong back to them. Chances of getting out alive pretty much don’t exist, but I could sure as hell make them feel my pain.

I hit the return, and the warning alarm finally calms. I flip open the red panel, smash the glass below, and flip the switches that begin the count-down.

I sit back in my chair, and wait.

Samurai Duel

Samurai Duel (Photo credit: warpafx)

I unsheathed my sword with a fluid movement and presented its sheen as a warning towards my opponent, “Come for me!”

With my taunt fueling him, he shot from his spot, and I charged from mine. Our blades struck and found flesh, drawing lines of blood.

I fingered at the wound that stretched up my right bicep, and he, wondering if I just removed his appendix for him.

“Draw!” We heard in slurred voice from the side-line, our only available witness to the duel.

“Draw?” my challenger questioned, “Well, what the hell are we supposed to do with that? Who hit who first, you drunk old fool?”

The witness narrowed his eyes at the assigned label, “I told you, boy, it was a draw. You both drew your bloods at the exact same time. Now if ya want, you can both hack at each other all night, but I imagine we’ll all be sober before that gets us anywhere and completely forget what the point was.”

My opponent threw his arms out and looked more defeated by the witness than me, “Well… what…” He looked at me with increasing exasperation, “What the hell are we doing, then? Are we gonna go again, or what?”

I just looked at him, and with barely a thought, I drew my dagger, and draped the blade across my opposite bicep, creating a sting of red.

“There,” I said sheathing my blades, “My blood is drawn, now let us go back in and drink before the feeling sets in.”

My opponent stared, stunned and at a continued loss, “But… you insulted… my wife, wasn’t it? That can’t go… you-know-what, screw it…” He finally said and sheathed his blade while walking back towards the pub, “You’re buying the rounds—I did win after all…”

2001: A Space Odyssey Moon Shuttle

2001: A Space Odyssey Moon Shuttle (Photo credit: Dallas1200am)

Floating in the infinite nothing as time ticks away, waiting for its moment to take me—to drown me in the great blackness.

The stars stare at me, winking as I gasp for breath. No longer do they cast a blanket of comfort, as my existence chokes away.

Bobbing in a motion with illusion of stillness, there is no escape. The needle throbs, bouncing like a final dance. Giving up on waiting for the inevitable, I close my eyes, suck in a gasp of air, and cast back my guard, and let it all go.

Sensation of a cold burn fills my lungs, and everything is numb as the blackness embraces me.

Thor and his power

Thor and his power (Photo credit: .: Piper :.)

He walked in with an arrogant stride.

Without thought beyond action, I took up the gun from the table beside me and with a death-grip, directed it like an accusing finger, “I won’t go without a fight.”

My finger hugged the trigger tighter, pulling back the hammer with the weight of casting back Mjollnir. Through the milliseconds of wait for the thunder to strike, he rose his palm to me with fingers splayed like claws.

Lightning streaks—burning fills my vision. They’re screaming—all of them—screaming and crying for me to save them. Why have I abandoned them—why did I let them die?

Disconnected from my existence, I lay writhing, crying and laughing in hysteria, “They’re all dead—I’ve failed them all—they’re all dead!”

Alright, kids, I’ve skipped a couple weeks of posting, and almost skipped this one, but I’m forcing one out just to let you know I’m alive.

I’ve been busy on a couple different projects (I normally am, but I have more actual deadlines to deal with now), combined with me trying to get my flabby ass back in shape (I’m nowhere near overweight, but I’m lacking strength and endurance at a level that bothers me).

To let you follow along in some way in what I’m doing, and possibly giving you an incentive to participate also, this is some of what is going on.

I’ve got an anthology that I’m trying to come up with a submission for called, “the Cogs of Time: A Steampunk Anthology,” published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterflies, hosted by Catherine Stovall (whose books you should be reading). There is no money involved; it’s just something for the sake of notice, for me, it’s pretty much just playing with friends:
http://www.crushingheartsandblackbutterfly.com/open-anthology-calls.html

I’m working on coming up with a submission (or multiple) for the Quantum Shorts 2013 Flash Fiction Competition, sponsored by Science American and Tor Books. Winner gets $1500:

http://www.quantumlah.org/highlight/130717_qshorts.php

And I’m trying to work on something for the Dark Crystal Author Quest (the one I would like to get involved with the most, but have the least idea what to do with it). Winner gets a contract for the new Dark Crystal book series:

http://darkcrystal.com/authorquest/

And for my flabby ass, I’m working on getting myself up to running the Michigan Warrior Dash 2014 with my brother and brother-in-law (and whoever else I would have recruited by then). We’re going to participating with the St. Jude Warriors program. If you’re in an area where the Warrior Dash is still coming up for this year, I advise you try for it, if you missed it, then make this moment the time to get off your ass and get ready for next year. If you run it, let me know how you did:

http://www.warriordash.com/

Outside of all that, I’m trying to crank out a few shorts to submit to magazines for the sake of me being poor, and I’m trying to get time in for ‘Stiym’ in between the cracks of everything. On the plus side, I’m on vacation right now, so I have time to do a bit more (that’s pretty much how I’m finding the chance to write this now). On top of everything, I’m also working on the muti-POV for ‘Natural Selection’ which will also bring the whole thing to a final closer.