over time, produces an
over time, produces an
There’s a bridge in Austin that’s become a bit famous as a bat conservatory. Regular traffic goes over this bridge, and as it’s one of a half dozen that cross the river between North and South Austin, that traffic doesn’t stop, day or night. Even with hundreds of thousands of tons of humans and vehicles cross over this bridge every day, 1.5 million bats live underneath, when they aren’t migrating south for the winter.
Every evening at dusk from Spring to Fall, dozens (correction: hundreds) of people gather to watch over a million bats fly out from under a busy bridge for their nightly hunt. Families bring blankets and picnic baskets, vendors pushing ice cream carts sell frozen confections to hyper children, and bat conservationists setup displays with placards and pamphlets to educate passersby on these flying mammals.
As the sun lowers in the sky, the sidewalk on top of the bridge fills with people seeking a new perspective as the bat colony wakes and takes flight. In the middle of a growing metropolis, the border between the commercial and the natural blurs, giving the gathered masses an experience usually reserved for nature preserves, truly keeping Austin weird.
A while ago, I posted about some opening lines and my intention to write flash fiction off of them. I’ve polished the two I mentioned finishing, but I still won’t share them here just yet.
Truly, I’m not trying to tease. I think they stand a chance, so I submitted them for a flash fiction contest. This will be my first contest entry with a submission fee, so here’s hoping my writing is worth the $20 it cost to enter.
My only concern is that although they are technically 2 stories, they parallel each other well enough to be read together. I want sure if I should submit them as individuals or paired, so I tried doing both, listing it as “1 story/2 parts” with a combined word count and a separate word count for each. Hopefully, I didn’t sink my chances on an attempt at hedging my bets.
I have seen a sparrow fly hard against the wind and stand as still as it could.
I have watched young men live when they should have died.
I have seen rain on a cloudless day, falling from a crystal sky.
I have watched old men die in their time, exactly when they should.
I have seen a shadow cast by nothing at all, neither cloud nor rock nor tree.
I have heard you speak of justice, but of love you do not speak.
The editor’s pen is like the surgeon’s scalpel: deadly in the wrong hands; life-saving in steady ones.
This morning, I edited a friend’s bio for his company website. I was able to cut down the word count, pull some matching ideas together, and bring it to an ending that wraps up from the top. Basically, all the things every editor has ever had to do to my work.
I’d like to try my hand at more editing and maybe build a portfolio towards doing some freelance editing. If you are comfortable with the idea, could you send me stuff you’d like to have edited? As I’m just starting, I won’t charge anything. I should be able to provide feedback within 24 hours for anything under 1000 words, but that too will be something worth testing.
Now that I live in a city that gives a damn, it’s easier than ever to recycle. My house already had a big, blue recycle bin right there next to the brown one for trash (actually, there were two of each, with a smaller bin for non-recycleables). They still collect recycling often than landfill trash, but it’s every other week instead of… I’m not actually sure when the East Texas town I lived in collected recycling.
In this city, it was prominently displayed on the front page of the utilities website. I think in my old town, you had to special order the service and pickup was rare.
While this is praiseworthy of my new city and not as awesome of my previous locale, it’s really more of an indictment of my own laziness and apathy. I grew up in the 90s, when there were big pushes to get people recycling and generally caring about our planet. Back then, recyclables had to be sorted and separately handled; in recent years, we can just dump it all into one blue container and that’s it. I could have shown a modicum of diligence in my old town and ordered that blue bin, but I didn’t. All those containers that said “made with 90% recycled materials” went straight to the landfill.
Geez, this was not intended to be a confessional of my ecological entropy, but it certainly seems to have taken that turn. I was just leading up to sharing the below picture and telling you it took me 3 weeks to come up with this solution rather than just piling up the recycling on the counter.
It probably took that turn because of the disconnected writing settings. The first half of this was written while sitting in stand still traffic (big city down side) on my way to free comic book day; it was finished while laying in bed after failing to overcome the doldrums of depression. I couldn’t make it to church, but I can still confess.
“Poetry is language trying to become bodily experience.” – Herbert McCabe.
I’ve “been working” (read: wrote 200 words and then nothing for months) on a story about an AI developer. I made a bit more progress today, coming to a few conclusions on how to proceed. And of course, that progress occurs through a pun…
“Of the 2,345 images scanned, 458 contained specimens of the family Delphinidae,” the android responded. “I also thought you might be interested to know that 26 of the 2,345 images scanned contained flowering specimens of the genus Delphinium, which may have been included in the sample files as an attempt to draw a false connection for the purpose of causing amusement or laughter.”
The pair of scientists stared in blank silence before the older asked haltingly, “Did that thing just — pun?”
The younger pulled his jaw up and swallowed before answering. “More than that, it intuited.”
The Ink & Nebula publication is now available.
Hi, again. This happened.
If you gathered from that random series of pictures that I got a new job, moved to a new city, and am currently living alone until the school year is out, then pictures truly are worth a thousand words.
If by that random series you gathered that a magical unicorn is bartending to make his way through law school, get help. Or become a fantasy writer. More likely both.
Speaking of a thousand words, my poem “A Thousand Words and Twenty” was selected for publication in Ink and Nebula.
I got a new job! I’m leaving this toxic landfill of a company for greener pastures. I have no idea what I’m entering, but consider this. Read more