Children’s Voices Blessed Noises

Noise

Asian Dragon 3 marked for Word Press March 2018
Four children played a game, “Dragons and Hunters”. Some were Dragons swiftly flying arcs in the kitchen. And they swooped, both arms outstretched as powerful wings, claws at-ready. Dragons snarled imaginary fangs and unleashed bursting fire in puffing breaths.

Fearless Hunters hurled challenges at the Dragons and tossed their make-believe lassos at the flying beasts. Dauntless Hunters pursued their prizes and bragged of the fame they should have as Dragon Riders. Oh, such glory gleamed in their shining faces.

The circular chase and mayhem was thunderous in the children’s imaginary world of flying beasts and brave pursuers. The noise levels rose to the roof when the Hunters cornered the Dragons.

An older woman, a grandmother, finely dressed for an evening gala shushed them, “Such noise, be still, your mother will go deaf.”

The children knew to do as told.

“Children’s noises,” the Grandmother scoffed at their game; she was senior mother after all.

“Children are only little for a short time. I will miss children’s voices when they grow up then leave home.”

“I said noise.”

“I know. I chose a better word.”

Lemuel

2018

 

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Vintage Manual Typewriters, Captivating

Captivating

    Typewriter Olympia SM9 frontal pic1

For writing I chose a portable manual typewriter.  The venerable writing machines are captivating old technology that still convey messages and data to others. Typewriters of this ilk are productive with only human power. The use of these machines has given me new insights into my writing process.

I do not reject the “instant”, the digital, nor the have-it-your-way-now world. I watch as words develop instantly on the monitor. I enjoy digital spell checker. I add new words to the computer’s dictionary my way. I still produce documents with typos.

That is my feint in making comparisons. From my view there are no comparisons I find compelling, digital versus manual. In short, I am a different writer when I use a typewriter.

There it is, the human aspect of humane letters or writing the latest RSVP. I could text my response to an invitation. “Write and sent. Done and done,” next task please, “and done”, very efficient, slightly cold and clammy.

I chose to type or hand write a reply since the sender used an envelope and a stamp to get my attention. I responded in kind. Also, I am engaged in a different way.

I might ride a motorcycle or I might ride a horse. I love them both. I go from point A to point “” however I can. I am a different rider on a large sentient animal than one astride a large engine connected by two wheels.

The differences make me different, that is captivating.

Writing, Making Adjustments

I write stories and some of them are very short or as I call them, Nano Stories. These are  “imaginary books and their stories” with the entire bibliographical citation  “made-up”.  I write all through the year and I really concentrate on my Nano Stories in November as the time changes, evenings darken more quickly and the mornings are misty and bleak.

11.01.17 Vegan p

Typed words of another era.

I use vintage typewriters, index cards, or small sheets of paper to compose my Nano Stories and most times make the final story for a type-cast that I post online. The clicktey-clack of typing slugs (the letters) striking the paper show up on social media, like in this blog, or on someone’s feed, or on tee-shirts as typed words of another era.

I was approached to make one such Nano Story that was less than a hundred words a bit longer. “You know, fill out the details, involve other characters, and stretch it some, plot twists are always good.”

I reckoned the story was compact and gave all it could in less than one hundred words. I offered to write a different story more likely to fit their need.

“Nope,” this story in question was just the ticket for some ‘filler stories’ in an anthology. I offered several more of my Nano Stories to help fill the ‘holes’ in the up-coming story collection book.

“Nope, fix this one, please.” I liked the polite tone so I set to work fixing my story that I didn’t know needed repaired.

I worked on it for three days on and off. The story would not budge.

When I was next contacted, “How’s that re-write going. Did you get it stretched out some?”

“Nope.”

“Well, that’s too bad.”

“Yep, sometimes if you stretch a story out beyond its intended boundaries the reader will see through it then everyone is embarrassed.”

My story didn’t make the book.

 

As a side note, vintage typewriters have made a counter-cultural come-back of sorts. Will the old machines become mainstream? Let’s wait to see. The Revolution will be typewritten!

11.03.17 Coal Hogs Love Robots wm

Type-cast version of a Nano Story. The stories involve the use of “vintage” typewriters.

Writing Buddies

Bring on hungry grizzly bears, dry-rotted zombies, and myriad Martians. I can deal with them. I can deal with DMV lines, lost luggage, snafus at drive-thru’s, sure they are all in a day’s existence – my modern world.

What breaks me down, what really gets my flight response revved up, and my old habits kicking- in the door of my willpower is that blinking cursor on the first blank page of a document file, the horror.

Sometimes I break out in a cold sweat gazing upon a clean white computer screen. I may not even have a deadline, but I sit fixated on the vast expanse between the margins. Like an iceberg on an ice-covered continent surrounded by an icy ocean with the dark frozen depths of sub-zero space surrounding the entire planet. Then I freeze frame focused on the monitor my eyes wide.

I don’t have a network of writing buddies but sometimes I wished I did. I’m imagining semi-reliable friends with similar interests and shared problems, like ‘writing blockage’, ‘plot constriction’, ‘antagonist’ irritation. There is no over-the-counter remedy for those distresses.

It feels uncomfortable, nagging even. I have this really terrific missing plot and absent sketches of killer characters, albeit for a short story, but this story could be hands-down ripe for submission if I could only make it through the opening and the first five-thousand words. Okay, word-counts vary; I just chose a number by throwing a dart at the board my Ouija board is broken.

These writing buddies I have conjured would help inspire or taunt me into getting the job done. They’d meet with me and we’d kvetch on our latest failure, irritation, or that person they saw at the Big Box Store. Ice broken, a caramel macchiato later and the writing buddies safely removed from the scene the first 2,000 words with editing come as smooth as the waxed lanes of a bowling alley.

Maybe not the best short-story, but one I’d be pleased to submit to the Sherpa of Massive Manuscript Mountain every publisher tends.

Sometimes sending the pages to the publisher or to an agent is enough– submitting a piece, now that makes me happy. Very pleased to see it sail from my tiny island of story ideas to make its own way (or not) among others of its kind.

Bon voyage short-story, hope to hear from you soon.