Friday, September 18, 2009
I found a wonderful new toy at Wordle.Net
I'll let the website describe itself...
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
So for my Wordle I took the text of the first 350 5 Second Fictions to see what I got.
You can of course click on the image to see it in greater detail.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Oozing My Religion
Al Bruno III
Every night she waited out in a clearing with her camera and binoculars to catch sight of something from beyond; she didn't care what it was- a UFO, a shimmering wisp of ghost or even a forest spirit. Just so long as it was something that could prove to her there was more than her job, her apartment and her emptiness.
This night was cool with the early days of fall and the winter stars were beginning to shine; she was wearing her windbreaker and stocking cap and there was a thermos of soup between her feet should she need it. It had all the makings of a perfect night.
"Marcie where do you go at night?" her roommate would ask, “You should come out with us, come out and meet someone."
Both women knew the invitation was a lie, Julie would have been humiliated to be seen clubbing with her scrawny, virginal roommate, and Marcie had no interest in wasting a night by going out whoring. After all, even if it wasn't a clear night she still had things to keep her occupied; there were books of urban and ancient legends to read through, websites to be visited, notes to by taken. The invisible and the impossible were old friends to her- she knew them all by name Bigfoot, Aliens, the Jersey Devil, Chupacabra, the Loch Ness monster and all the rest.
She would read eyewitness accounts with same kind of envy Julie expressed when flipping through fashion magazines and bridal catalogs, it was the same kind of longing that Marcie's mother had used when speaking about the bible and the afterlife. Neither of them understood Marcie’s obsession and if they had asked she would have told them that this was what she believed in, her faith, her religion.
Something flickered at the edge of Marcie's vision and she put the binoculars to her eyes with almost bruising force but it was nothing more than a meteor, a bit of rock falling to from nowhere to the Earth. But just in case Marcie kept watching that part of the sky for almost ten minutes in case some great mystery had sent the shooting star ahead of itself.
But there was nothing but cold dark sky.
Sighing she let the binoculars hang down around her neck again and went back to searching the horizon for a while. She had come here to Horne's quarry after almost a year of traipsing around Brown Mountain trying to catch a glimpse of the legendary lights; all she had ever seen were fireflies. A search of her online resources had led her here, to this abandoned quarry. The official story was that it would no longer be abandoned once a number of inheritance and tax problems were resolved but there were other stories as well, stories about strange lights, half glimpsed shapes, and missing persons.
Marcie shivered a little at the thought of becoming a missing person herself but it was worth the risk, it was worth anything.
Because once she saw, once she knew, she could rub it in the nose of everyone that had laughed at her. She would go on the news, be interviewed and praised because She was the girl that knew.
She was the girl that had always known.
A little while later Marcie treated herself to a swig from her thermos, the soup was warm but tasted like it had been hastily made from a can. Which of course it had.
Once she had closed the lid again she set the thermos back down and began scanning the sky again.
And suddenly there it was, a bloated gossamer form swirling down out of the darkness like a skydiver with a damaged chute.
But this was no parachute, no weather balloon or other illusion. Camera and binoculars forgotten Marcie watched it undulate and twist, despite the dark she could see every detail clearly; the translucent flesh, the three clumsy wings that somehow kept the shapless body aloft, and the cluster of insect-like eyes. She thought it was the most terrible and beautiful thing she had ever seen.
It touched down with a wet smack. Marcie could hear its rasping breaths, it reminded of her of her mother’s death rattle only thicker, meatier.
Using the three wings as legs the creature from the sky began to drag itself across the stony ground. Suddenly Marcie began to wonder if it was somehow hurt or if the gravity of Earth was too much for it. She drew closer, wondering what she should say, what she should do.
“Hello?” She said. Her voice was almost a whisper, “Are you… are you all right?”
Its head swiveled bonelessly, its eyes were the color of moonlight and they shifted this way and that, studying her.
“Can you speak?” She asked, “I’m Marcie… Mar-cie.”
It spoke with a mouth that puffed open and out, “Vjestitiza.”
“Is that your name?”
“Vjestitiza.” It drew closer, half dragging, half rolling.
I was right! Tears welled up in her eyes, I knew I was.
And it could talk! What secrets would it have to tell her? It was close enough now for Marcie to see through the lucid flesh to the twisted organs that made up the creature’s- the Vjestitiza’s- insides. The lower half was a mass of tiny squirming spheres.
Marcie was breathless, “I’ve waited so long for you.”
Suddenly it coiled up and sprung at her. She was so surprised she didn’t even have time to scream.
When the morning came Marcie was on her back, shivering on the hard ground of the abandoned quarry. Her clothes were in tatters, red welts covered her skin as though she had been lashed.
She drew herself up to her knees and was sick, throwing up again and again until nothing was left and she was clutching her hands over her aching, swollen stomach.
Yes her belly was swollen and when she ran her hands over it she felt things squirm and kick.
But she wasn’t afraid, after all this had been an answer to her prayers.
And what religion didn’t have an immaculate conception or two to its name?
Just so you know he is a musician and unlike me he actually makes money from his art.
Let's enjoy a few clips shall we?
If you've just become a fan be sure to drop him a line via TWITTER
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
#5secfic Running low on chocolate angels, Felix waited for dark & trotted to the dog park, pooper scooper in hand, plastic bag at the ready.
#5secfic He thought it was because of his threatening imposing phyique that The Flatulator always got the presidential suite at conventions.
#5secfic "Now, Cpt. Hero," Nefario hissed, "you can save Doomsday girl or your poodle Mr. Frenchy from The Shredder, but not both. CHOOSE!"
Dave leaned in for the kiss and saw food stuck in her teeth. He tried to abort gracefully but ended up with spinach in his hair.
Eagle Eye Jack saw the bird pluck the tiny silvery fish from the water 100 yards away then steered the frigate into a cliff.
And for some longer works I enjoyed and I think you might as well..
Camp by Jeremy C. Shipp
My muscles tighten. My teeth clench. My irritable bowel is seriously pissed off.
I'm no good at sitting.
"Hold it together," my dad tells me. Not physically here, of course, but why would that stop him? Hold it together--that's easy for him to say. He's made of steel bars and rivets and bolts. Me, I'm held together with Elmer's glue and pushpins and chewing gum.
Memories vibrate. They fall and crack open.
Click Here to read the rest
Here is one of Kate Sherrod's Suppertime Sonnets
I left the office, stood in pouring rain.
Ahead of me those dark, forbidding skies
Loomed angry, as though I had caused the pain
That leaked from all those clouds into my eyes.
Behind me, though, as I pulled far away
Out of the shadow of the building there
Was perfect blue and sunshine. I did stay,
Admiring the demarcation where
The two skies met, a moment, then turned on
To Yellowstone Ave, already soaked through,
Hair plastered to my face and eyebrows drawn
In concentration. All I sought was to
Turn east onto the Greenway and to see
The rainbow that would show my path to me.
Here is Pandemic Danny (made in DNA)
Danny sat quietly, a sporadic jerk the only thing punctuating his otherwise silent countenance. His left eye had gone milky white with cataract, his skin was a mottled yellow and sickly, and despite the fair temperature of the room on a fine spring morning, whispery rivulets of sweat snuck their way down his hot brow passed his earlobe until they found a hiding spot under his jaw.
Click here to read the rest
Woven Threads of Our Sunday by Fantasia Lillith (Sweetly Gloriously NSFW)
Sunrise on Sunday morning…
Some love it for the guarantee of brunch, the paper and coffee in bed, for time with friends and family, or for the slow and easy pace the world seems to take on that second weekend day.
Some see it as the end of the week, I prefer it as the first day of mine. For me it is the promise of hours of slow, sweet fucking, and the launching of my soul to depart and float forward and mingle with his, that makes Sunday my “it” day.
Click here to read the rest
And if you aren't reading Juan Santapan's The Secret Knots you better start!
And last but not least Cooking with LP by Benjamin Kotz
Welcome to a this weeks episode of Cooking with LP!
My name is Ben and on this weeks episode we’ll be grilling ribs on the grill using our rotisserie!
Click here to read the rest...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thank you BRUTALASHELL
Mounting any sort of "medieval" action epic must be a really daunting task. First off, it's a period piece (obviously), which means you have to buy a lot of swords, costumes, and horses. Then you face the problem that plagued flicks as varied as The 13th Warrior, In the Name of the King, Pathfinder, Outlander, etc, and that problem is this: Laughability. By that I mean it's really easy to look silly in this sub-genre if you're not firing on all cylinders. I do not offer this early set-up to imply that Michael J. Bassett's Solomon Kane is the second coming of John Boorman's Excalibur (clearly it is not), but merely to indicate that ... holy moley, this movie is a whole lot more "polished" than one has any right to expect from a medieval action flick. Let alone one that's also got one foot planted firmly in the world of crazy occult-style horror.
I do wonder however how much box office interest this will garner - are we looking at a smash hit or another cult classic?
It didn't take Galen long to clear his plate, he ate like a man racing against the clock. Warren was already on his second glass of wine, his entire face was flushed. Isobel noticed how clumsy he was with the fork in his left hand and felt a twinge of guilt. Angie was deep into conversation with Sig, but he seemed to nod and shake his head more than he actually spoke. Roxanne and Jack were trying to look anywhere but at each other.
The wood in the fireplace popped and Isobel found herself looking to the pictures and paintings on the walls again; one was of an older looking woman with long scar beneath her right eye, another was of a pair of twins, one sporting a handlebar moustache, the other a floppy hat, there was a sour looking teenage girl wearing an elaborate looking black dress and then one picture was an entire family standing hand in hand- not a one of them was smiling. Who were these people? Isobel wondered then she asked, “How long do you think we should lay low here?”
Bodivar frowned, “The Monarchs have long memories and a longer reach.”
“You mean we might have to stay here for the rest of our lives?” Warren asked.
Sig shrugged, “There are worse fates.”
Zeth tsked, “I thought your people were warriors.”
“Warriors? Yes. But not fools. Only fools keep fighting when the battle's over.”
“Well at least it’s relaxing here.” Warren mused.
“Relaxing.” Angie nodded, “Yeah, but sometimes I would kill for a little trash TV.”
“I think Jerry Springer might clash with the décor.”
“Oh my God, is he still on the air?”
Warren said, “Yeah, he’s perfect hangover viewing.”
“Television…” Sig said thoughtfully, “Always seemed like so much noise to me. I prefer the kind of stories people tell each other.”
“Speaking of stories…” Magwier said turned to him, “Tell me Warren whatever happened to your friend Tristam?”
The front of Warren's bathrobe hung open and his silk pajamas were spattered with gravy. Warren gave Magwier a wary look, “How about you tell me why you were working at my school as a janitor?”
“I was putting myself through school.”
“Who is this Tristam I keep hearing about?” Angie asked, “A little while before John and I got here he was all over the news.”
Warren frowned, “I'm not sure stories about him are appropriate dinner conversation.”
Roxanne laughed, “Then you obviously have no idea who you're having dinner with.”
Warren shrugged, “All I can say is that he did a lot worse things than what they know about”
“That's it? What are you afraid of saying?”
Hao's voice became a growl, “Roxanne, let him be.”
“It's just...” Warren filled his wineglass again, “It's just none of it makes any sense. He used to beat me up, he used to beat me up a lot but then he killed a dog and all the cool kids started thinking he was crazy and he had to sit at my table with my other friends. We were the less than popular kids.”
He took a drink before continuing, he was talking faster now, “For a goofy fat kid I had a lot of friends- Greg, Rich, Yusuf, Adelphos and Drew. At first we didn't want Tristam hanging around with us but Greg felt sorry for him so we took him in. I guess we made him an honorary nerd or something.”
Roxanne raised her eyebrows, “And now that you're here are you an honorary-”
Bodivar shushed her, “Let him finish.”
“I busted his balls every chance I got.” Warren said, “I was sure that if he got the chance to stab us in the back he'd do it. But when things got… they got bad… he started trying to protect us. We didn't exactly encourage him, well some of us didn't. I was a little into it really- seeing all the precious perfect kids get humiliated, I liked it. Then he took it further, everything went wrong- for him, for all of us-maybe even for the whole world.”
“What do you mean the whole world?” Jack asked.
“I wasn’t there, I didn't see what happened in the end. That last night before he was arrested- even the stars were wrong. A lot of people died, including one of my friends.”
Hao patted his arm comfortingly; he gave her a little smile.
“Warren.” Isobel said, “I never knew any of that.”
Her brother drained his second glass of wine and went to work on his third, “I never really said. You and I never talked much after you moved out.”
“Just as much my fault as yours.”
Hao said to him, “Now maybe you could tell me a story about that cousin Tess of yours. Isobel dropped me a few very interesting hints.”
“Tess? Oh. Yeah she just… developed early.” Warren said.