Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Write for 10: Day #4 – Novice Parkour

The balcony is too high. But I can jump it. I can get to the other side. If only the rain would abstain from taking my feet from the ground as they glide out and up from my landing zone. I know this is what will happen, wet metal, pooling up, no choice. Go now.

That’s the fall, long, steady, hard. My shoes hit the metal edge of the building across the alley and, surprisingly, the soles kick out some foamy stabilizer, pushing past the pool of water, adhering to the metallic surface and finally pulling me off the edge, onto the rooftop. My torso jeers forward from the momentum and I nearly taste the floor.

The rain is thick enough to almost mask me up here. The city lights are below this level. Only the moonlight, sparkling off the raindrops reveals my location as I patter across the deck. This building is huge. I don’t know how many stories. Hopefully nobody in the way as I run down the stairs.

The stairway smells like wet paint and bleach. The Janitors have already made their rounds. It appears I’ll be able to safely traverse this passage…

Three and a half flights down, a door swings open, almost laying me out with a thwack as I run into it. There’s this night fellow, swinging a flashlight, looking at me with a discombobulation turning into a sour grimace. This isn’t good. Instinctively, my body reacts. His flashlight flies though the air, bouncing out of his broken hand. I catch it as I run past, down the stairs, hearing the siren of whistles along the way.

This isn’t over. I run faster.

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Write For 10: Day #3 – Music that Breathes

I want music that breathes–not just pumps and jams but takes in the air and exhales in a waltz. Speak to me in french, Portuguese, Russian. Drum in a dead language. They don’t hear you anyway. It’s all just noise to the self obsessed, photographing themselves and tuning out to the tweet noise, awaiting only replies. The news says there’s nothing new but I can hear the “bump, ba dump ba dump” of the accordion, breathing a dance into the air.

The cafe is dark, connected, sulfur smelling under the guise of the peppermint oil that lights the lamp. Someone throws a beer bottle on stage, thumping into the leg of a twelve year old who is reinventing music as a living organism. He doesn’t stop–he doesn’t even look up, entranced in the moment. This kid is God.

“Hey, play Freebird!” This from the peanut gallery minus a beer.

The kid plays on, a pattern of breath inside the beat that just sings.

“Deaf boy!” The man starts again, but by this time I’m right behind him. He hears the sweetest melody of his life in the last seconds before he hits the table, unconscious, breathing. Still breathing. He’s finally in tune.

The music continues. The darkness lightens. The ether turns milky, borealis, a ghostly succubus, luring in wayward coffee drinkers and beer connoisseurs.

We hear the siren’s call. This savant messenger speaks well. He carries the tune and we tune in, leaving our egos by the side.

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Write For 10: Day #2 – Motorcraves

All I see is a metallic shimmer, blue, green, swipes of sudden chaos into view.

The cruisers are smashing down the mainway, ricocheting off the walls with malice and gusto. Benny doesn’t care if he scratches the paint; it’s new but everything is these days. He can roll another out the maker box in half a breath.

The other cats apparently aren’t so wealthy as Benny. They curse and rant in hi-def subliminal microwave, neon vector raves pulsing from the decks of their cars, flashes of red and black, blipping abuse at the other motorcraves. One in particular, this jocky puck who sports a flyboy mohawk and a thread leather seatback throttles it forward next to Benny, giving him the bird with his telehand. Benny is thrown for a sec by the florescent intrusion. The projection threatens the sky with epileptic seizures. Cars screech and skitter around the blaze of light.

Benny sucks it up; he’s taken the piss before from ingrate halflings who haven’t been on the track longer than the day. This punkbag doesn’t have the verbal skills to make Benny flinch. And with that, a kiss-off glance and a for-real finger in the air, Benny rips the box a new one. There’s something to be said for the finesse of a seasoned motorcrave, but you have to be there to witness it for yourself.

The causeway is clear now; the light is gone. Motorcraves are in a new city by now. I’ve got a headache.

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Write For 10: Day #1

I’ve started writing 10 minutes a day on

Here’s day 1:

Full of hope and something bittersweet. This is the dream of a new reality. Sometimes I think I see someone sweet; it’s never a known quantity. This feeling will pass. Who needs it anyway. A feeling of broken ambition and it’s all it takes to go down.

Back in the bar she sits sipping sapphire gin, looking up from the glass only to flirt with the bartender. He’s too old for her, or so thinks the boy on the other side of the counter. He’s been a bar-back for 3 days but that’s long enough to know the type that sits alone, drinking like a fish and pining for the older gents. She could do better, he thinks. She could do him.

There’s this place back east. It’s a festival that goes on all year. Sometimes I dream about it, full of people running around all the time, splashing each other with their drinks, joyously, celebrating whatever it is they wish, without fears or regrets. I don’t remember the name, hope it’s the same.

Wet washed and wiped out, drowning in peptides. I can feel this fuzzy fissure in my scalp, running down my neck. It’s like it’s been engineered to tickle my melancholy. I can’t remember the last time I had this emotion. It’s like swimming in the ocean at 10, or maybe I was 8. I stayed up late, ran out to the edge, found a fish that was swimming on sand, gasping for breath. I could tell it was in a bad place. There’s no disgrace in gasping for breath when there isn’t anything to breath. At least he’s trying. At least his heart is in it. Pull through little tyke. Suck it up, there’s water right there. Just a nudge, a flick, a wet kiss.

I’m feeling more alone than ever now.

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Where to Meet Your Friends

My friendships have been relegated to my dreams. I worked late last night, sleeping only to see my friends.

“Thanks for the book.”
“oh, yeah, glad you like it.”

Then we have a discussion on personal education philosophy and practices.
Sometimes, lately, I’m not sure if I had a conversation with a friend or if all happened in a dream.

“Didn’t we go to their house last week and play cards or something…?”
“No, it’s been a while.”

Optimistically, at least I remember having good times.

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Sleepy Brainstorming

I used to lie awake, in bed, thinking about time travel, cause and effect, logical fallacies, the history of the universe, the microcosmic dust and the macrocosmic crust–anything unknown that needed a good hypothesis.

Now, I lie there thinking about innanities, filling out forms, paying bills, the state of the economy, work, work and more work. All these worries and obsessions, so human, are so restrictive.

I just can’t find it in me at the moment to become creative about beurocracy. This makes it difficult to sleep.

I used to start dreaming to fall asleep, starting with something abstract and twisting it until it was even more difficult to articulate. Soon, all would be a haze of dream and random thought stream.

I need this again.

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Zombie Attack

Zombies are walking the streets. I’m gathering wooden stakes and plunging them into the heads of the infected. It’s not working so well. Blood is spattering everywhere and I almost get covered in the disease. The stakes are proving ineffective anyway. Some zombies are wandering around with the wood protruding from their sculls. I’ve torn out big chunks of their heads but they don’t stop.

“We need to get to a Costco!” I tell my friends.

“OK, but first we need to stop at someone’s house.”

“Who? Why?”

“She’s a neurologist; she’ll know what to do.”


On our way to her house, we stop at a school to pick up someone’s kid. In one of the classrooms, textbooks are flying through the air, having grown large teeth, attempting to bite the children.
“This isn’t just a zombie infection! This is some sort of magic.”
“That’s great news!” Says one of my cohorts, “It’s not a disease! We just need to find a magician.”

One of the men traveling with us knows where to find a magician and he takes us to his house. Surprisingly, this magician doesn’t know anything about the zombie attack. He believes us anyway and takes us into the ocean. “There,” he says, “we will meet another magician who can help you.”

In the depths of the sea, we find many new life-forms that we have never heard of before.

A cube shaped fish with bioluminescent saturn-like rings around it swims by. It’s gathering energy kenetically from other fish and creatures swimming in the water. It floats into a school of fish who twirl around the cube frantically. The cube gets brighter. A shark comes, pushing energy into the water as it feasts upon the swirl of fish. The cube and it’s rings get brighter and more energetic.

“It’s like an alien.” I say.

“How do you know it’s not?” The magician replies.

OK, this dream really does go on forever so I’m going to leave it at that. To remind myself of the rest:

* Cubic alien beast becomes a flying carpet under the sea.
* Old lady magician under the sea, threatens attack but recognizes the traveling magician as a former lover.
* Infiltrating the military and fighting the attack.
* Vines growing out of the ground to consume the army.
* An unused field with chained up trees, under attack of consumption. To rebuild or let die?
* Pretending to be a woman and using the restroom at a closed down supermarket.
* The creepy janitors
* The Costco is closed

Let’s sum it up with a Common Craft Zombie Guide:

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I’m writing a book and I’m holding a virtual stack of 300 pages. There is easily another 200 pages to go. I take a break to look around the attic of some old, mysterious house I’m sleeping in. It’s late, probably just about dawn. My wife walks in the attic and sees me with a typewriter and a stack of pages, none of which are actually present in reality. I’m mixing space on my virtual console.

“It doesn’t have to be good.” I tell my wife. It just has to be complete. I need the whole story out on paper.

Somehow it’s just pouring out of me. I’m not even reading what I write so I’m sure it’s mostly garbage. I’ll have a hell of a time trudging through it later and marking down relevant sections–if there are any. I get this bad feeling that it’s all just dreamtext, phrases that sound fantastic when you are sleepwriting but which, upon conscious reading, turn out to be complete drivel. But, again, I am washed with a sense accomplishment. Crap or not, I’m writing a novel.

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Secret Composer Agent

I’m a child, playing out a piano piece written by some old composer. He’s standing there watching me, making sure I’m doing it right.

“Ah, good, that part there is a little fast but it’s good that way.”

Many years later, I am an old man. I see the composer in a coffee shop, looking not a day older than when I was a child. It is apparent that he must die. He is the enemy, an agent from another faction. But I am old. What can I do? I befriend him. We discuss the changing scene of classical composition in modern times. He invites me over to his yacht where we drink and laugh about the past.

My family is with me now. We are all old. This is our vacation in some undisclosed European country.

“If he’s here, we need to run.” My wife suggests.

“We could catch a plane tonight. Grab only the items that are already packed.” I tell them. “I am going to see if I can finish this first.”

I head out to the yacht, uncertain of what I will do. Upon arrival, I see a figure leap from the mast and fall into a mesh of chain and rope in the front of the ship. It is the old man. He has hung himself on the bow. My arms fly into the air in a victorious flail of triumph. He is dead and I didn’t even have to kill him!

Interpol comes racing in, surrounding the scene. I scream at them. “He’s dead!” I laugh. “I didn’t do it but he’s dead. He’s finally dead.” I follow them over to the body and one of the agents grabs ahold of the man hanging from the chain.

“He isn’t dead yet. There’s breathing.”

My heart sinks into despair.

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Old House and Robotic Space Travel

I’m in an old house, trying to sleep but I wake up to the sound of water dripping from the ceiling. There is a giant circle full of nearly ready drops of water, waiting to splash down.
“It’s from the rain.” Someone says.
“But it’s not raining…” I reply.
Downstairs, I’m in the kitchen, trying to get a drink of water and I notice that the middle of the kitchen floor is full of moss and clovers growing out of the ground. I seem to like it and decide not to try to remove any of it. At the sink, there are insects flying all around and I see one that looks like a swan. It’s about the size of a dragonfly but it’s softly feathered and has a long curved neck. It warps a little and now appears to be a small flying woman with no arms. But then I see she is only holding her arms up and over her head. I smile and move out of the kitchen, into the living room and stare at the ceiling, where down here too there is a big circle, dripping water and filth onto the floor. The water seems to be pooling up and soaking into the floor, then trickling down floor by floor.

Outside, I head to the bookshop, where many people are speaking about historical texts and how they relate to religion in modern times.

There is a boy who is studying Abraxas but he starts to follow a path that is being generated in front of him. A large stepping stone appears inches from his feet and as soon as he steps onto it, another appears in front of that one. He keeps this going until he is almost all the way around the world, traversing oceans and mountains with the steps rising and lowering to fit the terrain. When he is almost around the world the steps begin to go upward at an alarming pace, the boy just barely able to climb up to each next step. Before long, he is walking outside of the atmosphere, no problem breathing, circling the earth.

Narrowly avoiding the boy, a space Winnebago cruses into orbit and slams into the atmosphere, prepared to land in the city where I am watching this. The robot gets out of the machine and now it’s me. I am the robot. I am from space, looking for a new ride. Mine is old and won’t get me back into space.

On the next block, I see a real, honest space missile full of tourists, prepared to take off. It also looks like a Winnebago but when I sneak inside and the thrusters start up, i realize it isn’t as spacious as mine. There is only one seat I can fit into and it’s crammed up against a steering wheel. Nevertheless, I shoot up into space.

The missile doesn’t make it all the way and we land in the ocean near Russia. Swimming through dark waters, we find ourselves near ocean oil storage. There are vast pools of crude oil just floating in the waters, held together only by the chemicals own attraction to itself. When fish swim through it, the disturb it’s purity and get coated in the black sludge. A tanker is on its way to siphon some of the oil. It doesn’t matter how pure it is. It will get whatever it can and sell it at a discount.

We board the barge and when we get to land, everyone is fighting. It’s night and all I can see is fire and red hot pellets whizzing by our heads, shot from the pistols of the enemy. We have archaic weapons but they fire quickly. I’m reaching a tube into my pocket to fill it with tiny pellets, to reload my gun. It fires rapidly, randomly, into the wall of men. Like a fully automatic minuteman, I’m taking them down in seconds. We continue to march, just walking straight into the line of fire, gunning for the front line.

When the smoke clears and the bodies fall, we find ourselves in a theme park. The boy following the trail of stones is here. I tell my group we should go see an attraction that I remembered from a dream I had a few months ago. Behind one of the members of my group, I see floating islands with fortresses on them and a pair of noblemen battling each other on one of the island edges.

“There it is!” I point.

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