Related Schemes and Literature

Archive for the tag “fiction”

300 of/f

300 more posts.
300 less of terrible movies “adapted” from really good books or stories.
300 virtual spam-attack dogs.
300 more keyboards with accompanying fingers to catch up on my what is becoming a majorly-epic-nanowrimo fail. (1667 words a day didn’t seem like a lot until I tried to actually write them. My inner editor is a tough little so-and-so, but he’s going down).
And lots of other stuff.
Most of all–300 less hectic days, and 300 more consistent posts.


∃n: n is Shakespeare

Did Shakespeare write the plays that bear his name as author? That is the question. And given the recent hoo-haw about this perennial question rummaging about the minds of folk due to the release of the film Anonymous, a fine question well played.

Thankfully I remembered my helpful acronym: WWRSCD. That is “What would the Reduced Shakespeare Company Do?”

They did a really funny podcast about it. Now, I had seen their Reduced Shakespeare video some years ago. I bought and enjoyed their Reduced Shakespeare book. I should have tumbled to the fact long before this, that they would have a website.

So now I have one more compelling reason to procrastinate upon my postaday writing, but as the Bard has so aptly put in the mouth of Polonius, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

Oh, I almost forgot to actually answer the question posed for today’s topic. Yes, I think Shakespeare existed. Yes, he wrote most, if not all of the works attributed to him. No, it is not too much for one person to write (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, et al.). Yes, he took ideas from other sources (except perhaps Cymbeline). Yes, every writer does that (it is tautologically unavoidable). No, he was not just some illiterate buffoon, not that there would be anything wrong with that either.

Does Technology Help You Write?

An excellent question at an excellent time. I must answer in the ambivalent.

Yes. It helps me write. Especially now that I have learned to touch type (almost 3 years now), it really is a lot easier than writing things out by hand. I have been pushing myself to get past the 40wpm barrier, and even though I am not consistently there, I have noticed that I can more easily think while I am typing. My fingers are catching up to my thoughts. This frees more of my mind to think about what I want to write and not worry that it will be too much to type. Another way it helps, and this has been a much longer journey on a much steeper hill, is with editing what I have written. The tool of choice for text editing is (for me) Vi Improved, or Vim for short. It works on text with a bevvy–yes, a veritable bevvy–of features. It works the way my mind works when I think about editing. For me this is a very good thing. It takes a while to get used to it, and much longer to become proficient. It has been for me worth the effort, yea, at times the Frustration! I have always the internet close at hand. This will be valuable when it comes to nanowrimo. I can easily research that long forgotten tidbit of information needed to add that special polish to the daily grind. And I can even play a game while I’m at it. (This is where the ambivalence comes in).

No. That said, technology can be more than a little distracting, especially when there are other things to be done. I have found myself more than once taking a quick look at a website and coming to some hours later, perhaps more informed (the latest was an html5 site), but, alas!, without having completed the task I–ahem–sat down to accomplish. The last couple of days my poor wordpress blog has been floundering.

Some may say that the distractions outweigh the advantages, but I say to them: “Bah! Thou knowest not my subtlety. For surely it matters not where I be nor what mode employ, I shall find sufficient that about me for distraction.” Which reminds me, I just need to make a few more tweaks…I know I left that link around here somewhere…

Up the Mountain

The sounds of raging battle were deafening. Shouts and explosions from all sides erupted into a stream of endless cacophony. I and a few remaining soldiers, scarred and wounded, were all that was left from that once noble band of fighters. We slogged up the mountain that had kept us from being encircled completely, our defense, had now turned into our newest adversary. Five days ago, I had given the order to retreat up the face. Five days ago the worrisome thoughts of snow were now a reality as we set up camp. The first few flakes stung our cheeks and drove our hearts to the brink of despair.

Going back would be certain destruction. But how long could we hold out here in freezing conditions and no supplies to speak of, rations for two more days, three at most and meager shelters meant for warmer climates. I looked up the mountain slope, with more than half still left and wondered why I had agreed to lead this fight. Was it glory or pride? An easy victory and quick–one last war with such riches promised that I, no we all! could live in retired ease.

I ran my eyes over the battle-weary warriors. Was this their only reward, to starve or freeze, to which I led them? I walked quietly away, with orders to my second to take command while I scouted a better position. There was a chance, there were tales I remembered from long ago, legends used to scare the younger ones round the summer campfires of my youth and kept us in our tents till daybreak and the odors of breakfast drove our stomachs to rebel, and take with them our selves from out that cloister of the night. But sometimes legends are rooted in fact, however strange or bleak the chance might be.

The darkness deepened, the snow fell harder. I cast around for a place to shelter for the night when a glint of light caught my eye. I scrambled to the place I thought I’d seen the light, and soon was greeted with a cheery glow spilling forth from a cave just high enough for me to fit without bending over.

Not far in, just around a gentle bend in the path, I saw the source of the fire and what had to be its two progenitors. One was large, fat, adorned with gold and silken fabric. The lobes of his ears struck me as being quite longer than the normal sort; his half-smile was one of seeming content, and in his eyes a depth of peace and understanding beyond my ability to measure.

The other was his opposite, emaciated and gaunt with a thin, tattered, patched cloth his only garment. He sat upon the ground, his eyes were closed and about him hung a cold and darkened space despite the fire. He spoke first. His voice as strong as judgement day sent chills along my spine.

“We have been waiting for you to arrive. Your test has been prepared. Are you ready?”

The old man, who hadn’t opened his eyes as he spoke, opened them now. My knees grew weak. His gaze pierced through my soul. The legendary fate of those who dared the test was grim indeed, and in that gaze I felt my certain failure.

“I am,” I said. The whole cave spun around me, and something cold and hard like stone hit my head with the force of a giants punch, then all went dark.

What is freedom?

Heinrick stood looking up at a dark and starry sky filled with unfamiliar constellations. He had wanted to be free from all the woes and miseries. They had looked inviting, those constellations, in the brochure.

Heinrick filed things. Lots of things. Just about everything the Company used, got, bought, sold, was written down. Sure, there were more advanced options–and they were employed as well. The options, not the people. Almost all the people had been fired or quit. But Heinrick had been with the Company for more than 70 years. He had grown up with the grandsons of the founders. They were the ones who continued the antique traditions, and they were the ones who had given him that life position in the Company. But things change.

New owners have new ways. They want to be seen as different and innovative and productive. They want to make money. “Productive Restructuring” it was called. After a year Heinrick was the only one left from his department. And those thousands of files.

Heinrick smiled, remembering the day the Central Juris upheld his contract. He smiled even more at being that last, aging thorn. But more than a year, and only his files and papers, was lonely business. He knew every file, exactly where it was. Knew by the writing, the hand of him that wrote it. Knew the very cracks in the floor like old friends.

But Heinrick longed to be free to spend his days in the sun. He longed to find new faces to replace his workmates’ that faded ever further into silence.

The sand was cool between his toes, the air bit his cheeks pleasantly. Palm trees fluttered sounding like sheets of paper, as if all the files had been left out on a windy day blowing away, away, away from him.

His freedom came with a brochure left lying on his desk. A not so subtle hint from the higher ups. It looked a pleasant place. A remote resort approved for habitation only a few years back. No thick-packed air choking thick-packed people, buildings, machines. Just enough people with smiling faces ever changing under smiling stars and far off sun.

The new owners had agreed reluctantly, but eventually to his offer, and he soon found himself speeding off across the starry void to his new home. They had paid for everything. His place in the resort, like his position had been secured for life. Whatever he wished would be provided. Everything was taken care of. He was truly free to do as he liked, when he liked, go where he wanted, sleep, eat, write, sing, snore in the middle of the day! Freedom to love life again.

At least he imagined that’s what it would have been like, had everything been true. Habitable, yes. He took out the brochure again and turned it over as if he could read its words and see its pictures in the dark. He new the whole brochure from memory. He held it up then looked around comparing. No resort, no people, no lodgings, the only food what he could gather, though it was abundant. And come to think of it, quite tasty. Alone, the trees his only companions, he had not stirred far from where he had disembarked. The stars! Those were the same, they had gotten that right. Here looking up they were much more like sparkling gems than points of light. And he had to admit, he was certainly free. And this was a big island, or continent for all he knew. Tomorrow then, he would set off across the trackless waste, into the heart of steamy jungles, ready for what adventures may come. He slipped into a comfy bed of leaves nestled in a leeward grotto. One last thing before sleep, he thought out loud, and lifting the corner of a nearby rock, filed the brochure underneath.

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