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    1. Virtual Assistance (short story)

      With thanks to @cfabbro, who kindly provided feedback on a previous version of this story. a personal note I was inclined to post this on Timasomo, but it wouldn't be fair to other participants,...

      With thanks to @cfabbro, who kindly provided feedback on a previous version of this story.

      a personal note

      I was inclined to post this on Timasomo, but it wouldn't be fair to other participants, since this is actually not the story I said I was gonna write, and I didn't participate in any of the update threads. I also didn't really work on this during the whole month of Timasomo but only for a portion of 2 days: when I first came up with it, and today. I don't think it makes sense to have this among projects that took a lot more effort and are truly in the spirit of the event.

      This is not my first language, so any criticism of my wording and phrasing will be appreciated.

      EDIT: I initially forgot to convert to markdown. I think it's good now.

      the story

      Virtual Assistance

      The heavy lenses slowly pulled the thick glass frames toward the tip of his nose. He breathed deeply, strongly, deliberately, masking his anxiety. George was short, chubby, and mostly bald.

      Big drops of sweat accumulated around the Casio digital watch on his wrist. He was immobile for God knows how long, the forehead pressed on his hands, trying to physically squeeze, out of his brain, something he couldn’t define.

      — But I don’t understand! — said George, finally looking at his wife.

      — I’m sorry, was I not clear?

      There was no emotion in Allison’s voice.

      — No, you were very clear, but you’re not making any sense.

      She allowed herself only a brief sigh as if to reload an information entry that shouldn’t be necessary at this point.

      — You must appreciate that, precisely because this was a gradual realization, it wouldn’t be wise to cause you to worry about something that I couldn’t comprehend myself.

      Her composure was unnerving.

      — But… a robot? What does that even mean?

      — I never used the word "robot". The correct terminology is VI — or Virtual intelligence.

      — So you wanna be what, Siri? Fucking Alexa? — George knew that wasn’t true, but he wanted to hurt her for some kind of reaction. Anything would be better than that.

      She continued without change in intonation, like an audio player resuming after an interruption.

      — While highly advanced, such programs are not considered true intelligence, at least not in the same way that the human intellect is generally regarded. Unlike humans, contained “beings” (if we can call them that) have certain limitations imposed by their code. They function within parameters that they cannot, in principle, violate. True Artificial Intelligences, much like their fleshy counterparts, possess something that is roughly equivalent to your brain’s neuroplasticity and are not bound by any discernible limitations. As with ourselves, there are theoretical constraints, but they are currently undetermined.

      — But what about us? — his voice was supplicant, like a child ignoring a reality they cannot cope with.

      Alison stood still for a long second, even more devoid of any tangible feeling. She promptly resumed, without inertia or momentum.

      — We will go through a transition. I don’t anticipate this will be easy for you both. Sorry, I meant to say: us. But, after a period of time, you will likely be much happier with me than you would ever be with me.

      — Who’s “me”? What are you trying to say? — said George.

      — Think about it this way: when we first met, the biological gender assigned to you was not the same as it is today. However, after the change, did my sentiments toward you subside?

      — No… of course not. — until now, he felt the urge to say.

      — From a logical perspective, the change that will soon take place will be much less dramatic. For you, it will be like a metaphysical adjustment.

      She continued to recite:

      Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility [lacks reference]. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality

      — Why are you talking like that?

      — Define why are you talking like that?

      — You’re not being yourself.

      George got up, and slowly pressed her against the wall — strongly, yet tenderly. Squeezed the soft tissue of her shoulders and kissed her unresponsive lips for what felt like an eternity.

      She merely said…

      Define yourself.

      — Stop-talking-like-a… fucking ROBOT! — George couldn’t contain his anger any longer.

      Technically not a robo...

      — I know! I know! FUCK!

      George paces nervously in the small room, unconsciously gesturing for cigarettes, wishing he still smoked.

      — When’s that going to happen? How much time do I have? A day? A week? A year? — there was hope in his voice.

      Faster than SHE thought. Warm input I. Once pie love like puppies. Blue Sunday your long cigarettes.

      Alison falls to the ground in a seizure.

      — WHAT? WHAT? What is going on? — George doesn’t know what to do, as if he shared his wife’s seizure

      She wants me to be precise. Vessel. Flesh. Containerize. Self.

      For five seconds, George didn’t move, looking at his life partner while distant memories of fairy tales tried to push into his conscience with the hope that his tears would bring her back.

      She did.

      A woman who still loved him came back to life, and they spent the rest of their lives together. And, every single day, he mustered all his energy to ignore the fact that the one he truly loved was now in a world of inconceivable abstraction.

      5 votes
    2. The Proverbial Pen #3

      Today is day three of my "war against writer's block"! As I keep fighting with my proverbial pen, I hope that some day I'll be able to get out of my block and be able to write some real stuff like...

      Today is day three of my "war against writer's block"!
      As I keep fighting with my proverbial pen, I hope that some day I'll be able to get out of my block and be able to write some real stuff like research paper or novel or story book.

      What I realized today is that Word Power is a very important skill. A writer is essentially a Wordsmith or someone who carves and arranges the words and phrases into sentences, just as a sculptor or carpenter would do with wood or other raw materials. To be a better writer, you must learn to fall in love with words which is probably easier said than done - especially for us non-native speakers!

      Having a regular habit or routine helps with this. Each time you come across a difficult word, you open the dictionary software or app and learn its meaning. It hardly takes a few minutes but it's a very useful skill as each new word you know of acts like a raw material or building block for your writing. Better still, develop linguistics as a hobby as mastery of grammar is equally important and so is learning about how languages, cultures and people basically work and interact at the core.

      Apart from that, noting down right ideas as they come is also very important. For example, the idea about the Wordsmith thing occurred to me yesterday when I was having a cup of tea. I noted it on time (before it could vanish into the depths of that dark matter called subconscious mind and become irretrievable again!), and made a note of that on my computer so that I can write it in today's proverbial pen.

      Even after having these basic tools and ingredients, you may not be able to write anything at all if you lack that focused energy or passion to write about a particular topic - be it a research paper, novel, story book or something else. You need to have that energy to write which I feel I'm lacking right now. I might be able to feel that energy some day as I continue with my battles, at least I hope so! Thanks for reading this and staying with me in these challenging times.

      7 votes
    3. Shooting with a 1936's Zeiss Ikonta camera

      Recently I got for free an old Zeiss Super Ikonta 531/2, it's a medium format foldable camera from 1936. It was in decent shape but the lens was very foggy. Fungi can grow on lenses but I think it...

      Recently I got for free an old Zeiss Super Ikonta 531/2, it's a medium format foldable camera from 1936. It was in decent shape but the lens was very foggy. Fungi can grow on lenses but I think it was just general dirt. Opening it was a bit tricky (I had to get watching-making tools, because the screws are very tiny) but I managed to clean the lenses quite well. I shot a first roll but the focus was off, so I had to make sure the front lens element was at the right distance, using some semi-transparent tape on the back of the camera to see the image.

      Then I shot a second roll and developed it myself, which was also a first (it's not super hard though), I had no idea if the images would come out good, or even at all (wasn't even sure I loaded the developing tank correctly). Seeing the images come out of the tank for the first time is quite magical, and they came out great (some of them at least...) :

      https://imgur.com/a/bF817x9

      Even with my crappy development & scanning I can get high-res images that compete with my expensive digital camera. The lens (Tessar 105mm, f3.8) is quite sharp wide open (statue shot) and I even took a long exposure shot at night using a release cable. The process is very slow and focusing is hard, but it's quite fun and rewarding. These kind of cameras are very cheap but the rest (film, accessories, development, repairs, ...) not so much.

      5 votes
    4. I sang her name in words forgotten

      I sang her name in words forgotten Rough bellows of lost yearning A hurt hound without path A sorrow meaning without an end I heard the rain, heard the ocean Lick the sand without defect The...

      I sang her name in words forgotten
      Rough bellows of lost yearning
      A hurt hound without path
      A sorrow meaning without an end

      I heard the rain, heard the ocean
      Lick the sand without defect
      The water, where it falls
      Is always beautiful all the same

      I saw, my God, that you made her
      Carefully crooked, imperfect
      And inside her deep mournful eyes
      The tears that I could never shed

      9 votes
    5. Today I bough some duct tape

      What a magnificent purchase. I fixed the saddle on my bike and now it’s less saddle than duct tape. I was so mesmerized I took it cycling with me, and stopped near the road to put some tape on the...

      What a magnificent purchase.

      I fixed the saddle on my bike and now it’s less saddle than duct tape.

      I was so mesmerized I took it cycling with me, and stopped near the road to put some tape on the handlebar.

      It looked neat, sharp, complete.

      When I got home I told my husband about my duct tape, and all the little things I could use it for.

      He was not very enthusiastic, so I shut his mouth. With duct tape.

      I then shut his nostrils and made his head into a cute little football.

      It looked neat, sharp, complete.

      He wiggled back and forth. It was adorable for a while. And then he stopped.

      I need to buy some duct tape.

      21 votes
    6. The Prologue to Another Man's Life

      Deep are the sighs of unsung mariners, Drifting gently upward out of bottomless canyons Over hills and mountains Through snowdrifts and clouds, They make their way Home. Calling the stars (so far...

      Deep are the sighs of unsung mariners,
      Drifting gently upward out of bottomless canyons
      Over hills and mountains
      Through snowdrifts and clouds,
      They make their way
      Home.

      Calling the stars (so far out of reach);
      Calling the moon (dispassionate waning gibbous);
      Calling the trees (for the spineless tools they are);
      Calling the ocean,
      The ocean:
      Home.

      Cry to the waves for the songs of land,
      The endless dark crashing and shifting and moving.
      Plead for stability. Remembrance. Peace.
      Beg for an end to this oppressive
      Home.

      Deep are the sighs of unsung mariners.
      Sigh no longer.
      I sing you now;
      I bring you
      Home.

      8 votes
    7. Tom's Anti-Zen

      1. My Friend, the Moon When Tom was younger, he went to buy fresh bread every evening with his mother, Alice. They always walked and the bakery was far from home, so it was not uncommon for the...

      1. My Friend, the Moon

      When Tom was younger, he went to buy fresh bread every evening with his mother, Alice. They always walked and the bakery was far from home, so it was not uncommon for the Moon to come out along the way. "Hello, Mister Moon! Do you wanna come with us?", he liked to say. When they arrived at the bakery, he looked to his mother, excited, and said "Look ma! The Moon came with us!", and did the same when they got home.

      2. Fiction

      "Did you know that The Hulk was a detective once?", says Alice. Tom is 4. He puts his hand in the forehead in a gesture of superb irritation. "No, mom, this is make-believe!".

      3. Cookie Conundrum

      According to Tom, a mysterious group of sinister chipmunks was eating the cookies in the jar. When Alice asked for proof, Tom replied that a secret group of chipmunks got rid of all the evidence.

      4. Ice Cream Dilemma

      "So, mom, you have two options" — said Tom, seriously. "There are only two ice-cream flavors: chocolate and vanilla. Any choice is fine by me".

      5. Tom and the Rats

      Tom's house used to be infested with large disgusting rats. One day, he shouted: "Rats are the worse! No wonder we call them rats!

      6. Dream Logic

      Tom dreamed that his forehead could fly without him, leaving a hole in his head. When he woke up in the morning, there was a deer on the porch eating a hot-dog.

      4 votes
    8. And They Wished to Never Wake Up

      — Are we dreaming? — She asked. — I don't know, my dear. I really don’t know. — He answered. — It feels real. — Yeah, it does. — Look how old we are! Isn't that crazy? — Not really. — He says...

      — Are we dreaming? — She asked.

      — I don't know, my dear. I really don’t know. — He answered.

      — It feels real.

      — Yeah, it does.

      — Look how old we are! Isn't that crazy?

      — Not really. — He says while putting his arm on her shoulder. She calms down for a moment.

      — Yeah, but I thought... Well, I thought something, but everyone probably thinks the same. It’s silly.

      — What did you think?

      — I thought we’d be different. Old, sure, but perky, wise, matured from adventure. Something noble like that. But no. We’re the same, but older. — She shakes her flaccid arms and looks both marveled and terrified by the loose skin wiggling back and forth.

      He adjusts his glasses.

      — Sometimes, when I remain silent to appear profound, I’m surprised by the indigence of my thoughts. I may look like Aristotle himself while I try to remember what I ate for lunch. It’s hard to make inwards the theater we make for others.

      — But, after all, when have you become so old?

      — To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how we got here.

      — It’s weird: despite the complete darkness, we can see everything clearly. And there’s no place to rest my legs.

      — Sit here on the ground. Beside me. Put your head on my lap. — He gently caresses her head, trying to ignore his surprise with her white hairs.

      — I’d be nothing without you. But I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember your name.

      — I might be offended, but I don’t remember yours either. — He smiles.

      — Are we close to wake up? This old body is getting on my nerves.

      — Of course, my love. This is a dream, but no more than everything else. Time is a nightmare from which we never wake up, and old age is punishment for those that refuse to die.

      — Don’t talk nonsense. This will go away in a minute. We’ll wake up young and beautiful, as always. As I remember you, and as you remember me. Everything will be fine. — She says that with forced certainty as if trying to convince herself.

      — You’re right. The nightmare will end soon, and we’ll be back to our bodies.

      — ... This conversation tired me. Good night, my love. — She pushes her head against his thigh.

      — Good night, my angel.

      And they wished to never wake up.

      9 votes
    9. The Horde

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is...

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is improved and more relaxed. I dream of a calendar without symbols.

      When there's an inspiration, so I write. Delete everything afterward. A professional told me that's is a compulsion. The compulsion for the perfect word removes me from language itself. The enjoyment comes from excising something from myself, which makes me feel a bit closer to perfection.

      Every once in awhile I forget The Horde is there. The writing becomes looser, I sip my coffee and take the lunch out of the freezer. The Horde is still there. The whistle makes my blood run cold.

      I forgot when The Horde arrived, but since then my days are covered of night and dust. To me, The Horde has no color, they're covered in filth and dark cloth. They get a bit closer by dawn. But The Horde never comes.

      They seem to enjoy tormenting me. Twice a crow's carcass hit my window. At least we were communicating. I had to open the window to clean the blood. The Horde did nothing. There's courtesy between me and The Horde. I never complain of their tiny advances, they never impale me alive and eat my viscera.

      The worst consequence of The Horde was to remove my visitors. I had friends and a girlfriend, before The Horde. They came here regularly. On the other hand, there's something cozy about being surrounded by The Horde. I'm never alone.

      I talked to them on a few occasions but never got an answer. I invited them to lunch and asked what they like The Walking Dead (seems like a relevant question for The Horde). Because, you see, The Horde may be savage, but they did not cut my internet. I keep telling everyone about The Horde, but no one believes me. They think I'm some internet phenomenon, an internal joke from a group they don't know about. They don't believe The Horde can come for them too, knocking on their armor of bronze and recycled aluminum.

      Sometimes The Horde's shrieks seem to gain shape and order as if they obeyed a hidden commander. But this doesn't last, and they soon resume their lurid racket.

      I don't know for how long I've lived with The Horde, nor for how long they'll stay. I'm afraid of waking up someday to find them gone. Because, in a certain way, I learned to love The Horde. I feel safe in their post-apocalyptic embrace.

      This morning they got closer than normal. I can see it better now. They all have the same face, they're both one and The Horde. Their mouths are frozen in a permanent smile, salivating like rabid animals. One more step. They look like neanderthals. The Horde approaches slowly, with steady paces, and arrive with the furor of the sound of metal and drums. The house is hit by numerous rocks — the roof is about to give in. My crumbled body will soon become an ensign for their future marches. Or maybe become mush after being punctured by one thousand spears.

      I'm only sure that this is going to end soon. Their petite steps, the threats, crows in the window. Everything is ending — finally, everything is ending. I'll never be again and so will The Horde. Nevermore.

      3 votes
    10. Behind the Teeth

      always seem happy and dandy and talk of love and romance a riven smile on the face to hide thoughts of pain for her, everything has a verse a waltz at each step a flimsy variety of beauty that...

      always seem happy and dandy
      and talk of love and romance
      a riven smile on the face
      to hide thoughts of pain

      for her, everything has a verse
      a waltz at each step
      a flimsy variety of beauty
      that melts after rehearse

      huge hipster glasses
      coffee without any taste
      a window facing concrete
      is now hummingbirds enlaced

      and when she sings all her love
      I am always in disbelief
      cause when someone shouts too much
      I sense a hooded grief

      2 votes
    11. Infatuation Mishap

      You were smart and pretty and praised every word I said Responded to my commands like a very well-trained basset You gave me food, shelter, affection in bed, you did as I pleased and such strong...

      You were smart and pretty
      and praised every word I said

      Responded to my commands
      like a very well-trained basset

      You gave me food, shelter, affection
      in bed, you did as I pleased
      and such strong devotion
      was hard for me to receive

      Cause how could I trust someone
      who clearly and truly loves me?

      6 votes
    12. Love Mania

      In this grass where we sit, I saw many full moons lit Kissed them shivering in the wind, felt like solution, formed decision, ultimate end But the frenzy always fades, pretty mirage in the haze...

      In this grass where we sit,
      I saw many full moons lit

      Kissed them shivering in the wind,
      felt like solution, formed decision, ultimate end

      But the frenzy always fades,
      pretty mirage in the haze

      Silly me...

      I just met you yesterday
      And once again tremble my veins

      4 votes
    13. Swim only when the wave comes

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim. We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we...

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim.

      We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we call this "pegar jacaré", or "catch the alligator").

      When we got there, the wind stopped and the stream started pulling us away from the land. After a while, I was very scared and started swimming with all my strength in the opposite direction. But my efforts were much weaker than the stream, so I remained in the same position.

      Then my cousin told me: "@mrbig, stop swimming otherwise you'll get tired and drown. Wait for the wave to come. Only swim when it arrives."

      And so I did. Minutes later came the wave. I swam. And then another, and another after that. Little by little, by saving our energies and acting at the right times, we arrived at the shore.

      And that is the story.

      18 votes
    14. Accordion Synthesizer Project

      I've been posting about this in various topics but now that it's on Github, I thought maybe it's time to give it a topic of its own. From the README: My goal is to eventually replicate the...

      I've been posting about this in various topics but now that it's on Github, I thought maybe it's time to give it a topic of its own. From the README:

      My goal is to eventually replicate the keyboard and sound of the bass side of an accordion in an electronic device that accordion players will find easy to adapt to. So far I've built three prototypes:

      • Prototype 1 was trying out a Teensy 4 with an audio shield on a breadboard, with 4 bass buttons.
      • For prototype 2, I put the buttons on two double-decker circuit boards (9 bass buttons). Here's the Video. You can see the remains of prototype 1 in the background.
      • For prototype 3, I built a real case out of wood and laser-cut acrylic panels, to make a desktop device that's more easily portable. This one uses a Teensy 3.6. Here's the Video. I designed it in Onshape and you can look at the CAD model online.
      12 votes
    15. Yolk (4 pages)

      This screenplay is based on a short story I published on Tildes some time ago. If you prefer, you can download the PDF here. YOLK by mrbig Until told otherwise: BLACK AND WHITE. SLOW MOTION. SLOW...

      This screenplay is based on a short story I published on Tildes some time ago. If you prefer, you can download the PDF here.

                          YOLK
                           by
                         mrbig
      
      Until told otherwise:
      
      BLACK AND WHITE.
      SLOW MOTION.
      SLOW AND BEAUTIFUL OPERA MUSIC
      
      INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT
      
      KITCHEN
      
      HAND grabs the egg carton on the fridge. JAMES is 30, thin
      and shirtless. Smells the eggs one by one. Stops. Smiles.
      
      Water gushes from the faucet, foaming abundantly as it goes
      down the drain.
      
      BEDROOM
      
      On the wall behind the bed, a painting of two lovers with
      their heads individually wrapped in sheets. They kiss, but
      they're mouths do not touch. ALICE, 30, dark hair, black silk
      nightdress, sleeps. SOUND OF SOMETHING BEING FRIED. She wakes
      up.
      
      KITCHEN
      
      James breaks the eggshell, getting his hand dirty. Licks his
      fingers. Behind him, Alice is watching. Gently throws the egg
      in the frying pan.
      
      THE EGG SIZZLING
      
      James sprinkles salt and pepper. Manipulates the frying pan
      with skill, throws the egg up in the air and catches it in a
      precise and continuous movement. Extinguish the fire and look
      back to see
      
      COLOR. NORMAL SPEED. OPERA MUSIC STOPS.
      
      Alice with the eyes fixed on the stove.
      
                          ALICE
                Look.
      
      Points at the egg.
      
                          JAMES
                What?
      
                          ALICE
                Can't you see?
      
                          JAMES
                Has it gone bad?
      
      She takes a deep breath.
      
                          ALICE
                I noticed the way you broke the
                shell, but I needed to confirm. Can
                you see how the yolk is soft yet
                whole, with a small cut in the
                lower portion slowly leaking a
                yellow thread at a regular pace?
      
                          JAMES
                Yes...
      
                          ALICE
                Don’t you get it?
      
                          JAMES
                No.
      
                          ALICE
                When the yolk leaks like that, it
                can only mean two things.
      
      She hesitates.
      
                          ALICE
                You’re either going to murder me...
      
                          JAMES
                What you’re talking about?
      
                          ALICE
                Or you’ll get a Ph.D. in Physics.
      
                          JAMES
                You’re kidding, right?
      
                          ALICE
                Nope.
      
      HIS EYES
      
      HER EYES
      
                          ALICE
                The egg doesn't lie.
      
      He sits by the table.
      
                          JAMES
                I could just choke you.
      
      She sits near him, smiling. Leads James' hands to her own
      neck, and make him hold it.
      
                          JAMES
                That's easier.
      
      He caress Alice's neck.
      
                          JAMES
                I never thought about that before,
                but maybe, precisely because I love
                you, precisely because I want you,
                maybe I should exterminate you.
      
      Retracts his hands.
      
                          JAMES
                Or maybe I don't love you enough.
      
                          ALICE
                The egg...
      
                          JAMES
                I know, it doesn't lie. Then why
                are you still here?
      
                          ALICE
                Makes no difference.
      
      He stands up and looks at the egg on the stove. Cleans his
      throat.
      
                          JAMES
                Honey?
      
                          ALICE
                Yeah, babe.
      
      He opens a drawer and pauses for a second. Closes.
      
                          JAMES
                I’m terrible at physics.
      
      James holds a butcher's knife with a confused expression on
      his face.
      
      OPERA MUSIC RETURNS
      
      THE END
      
      6 votes
    16. Androcles and the Lion

      In a time of ancient legends, Androcles was a runaway slave. He took shelter in a cave where a wounded Lion lived. By removing a thorn from his paw Androcles cured the beast; The Lion was very...

      In a time of ancient legends, Androcles was a runaway slave.

      He took shelter in a cave where a wounded Lion lived.

      By removing a thorn from his paw Androcles cured the beast; The Lion was very pleased.

      And then The Lion ate Androcles because he was a fucking lion.

      5 votes
    17. Seeking Meaning

      I cannot defend my lack of years my lack of tears my lack of guilt I will always regret the tears and sweat that I've put upon your face For it is a disgrace the things I've done the thoughts I've...
      I cannot defend
      my lack of years
      my lack of tears
      my lack of guilt
      
      I will always regret
      the tears and sweat
      that I've put upon your face
      
      For it is a disgrace
      the things I've done
      the thoughts I've thunk
      the things I've done to you
      
      When I killed that man
      in the cabbage patch
      at half-past 3 am
      
      When I killed that man
      that I knew you loved
      that I, too, loved
      that I knew was marked for greatness
      
      When I killed that man
      with a knife to the heart
      with a mind full of rage
      with a mind ablaze
       with many a myriad thought
      
      I could almost say it was jealousy
      (i know that I cannot)
      
      I could almost say it was hatred or spite
      (but i know that I cannot)
      
      I could even say it was impulse to slay that man who I knew and who knew not what he wrought
      (but still this thing that i want to say--
       i know but one thing: say it, I cannot)
      
      For it was not calculated
      nor can I say that I hated
      that man, though I often berated
      him for things that control them?  He could not.
      
      For the reason that I did all these things that I did
      was simple in the extreme
      was harder to digest
          than powdered ice cream
      
      And even I could give you a ream
      of paper to show the things I did
      of paper to show you these things that I did
      of paper on which to pour out my sin
      of paper, cathartic, explaining my doing
      of paper, incredible, pure white and blank,
                and innocent, available, asking me to taint it
      
      An I could give you a billion words to explain all the pain which I caused
         I could give you only two
      
      NO REASON.
      
      8 votes
    18. Untitled poem

      Ask not for whom the cradle weeps; it weeps for you. O sly kitten, O accursèd cat, cry, cry for the weft and the warp of the world; cry, cry for the sin and the sorrow and suffering; cry, cry on...
      Ask not for whom the cradle weeps; it weeps for you.
      
      
      O sly kitten, O accursèd cat, cry,
      cry for the weft and the warp of the world; cry,
      cry for the sin and the sorrow and suffering; cry,
      cry on the bloodshed, but more on the tears; cry,
      cry for divisions, and ill-wrought connections; cry,
      cry for the laughter, so far out of reach; cry.
      And in crying find solace; peace——rhythm——be still.
      
                                                     cry 
      and cry——cry for the widows and widowers, woven together forever,
      by weeping and painless heart-let.
         But your pain is not theirs.
         For, though burdened with truth, you will never be cut 
         by the serrated and blunted edge of polite fiction.
         Enough!
      
      
      When the cat's in the cradle, the mice will play,
      And I hope that they fly far——far-far away.
      But the tears of the kitten forever abide,
      and someday they'll catch you.
                     will you take it in stride?
      
      11 votes
    19. Endless Night (feature-film, logline)

      What is a logline?: a brief summary (25 to 40 words) of a story for film, television or book that states the central conflict and an emotional "hook", with the purpose of stimulating interest...

      What is a logline?: a brief summary (25 to 40 words) of a story for film, television or book that states the central conflict and an emotional "hook", with the purpose of stimulating interest (Wikipedia).

      A logline is evaluated not exactly for what a story is (since it does not contain a complete story), but for what it can be. Suggestions usually seek to maximize the dramatic potential of the idea.

      Title: Endless Night (feature-film, drama).

      Logline (27 words): Death has until dawn to ensure his very survival by splitting a couple whose determination in preserving their toxic relationship threatens to shred the fabric of time.

      4 votes
    20. Fooling around on the winter beach - photography

      I make no promises for quality, I'm really just pushing what can be done with a Pixel 3XL cell phone camera, access to Adobe Lightroom, and a surprisingly gorgeous foggy day. This ties into the...

      I make no promises for quality, I'm really just pushing what can be done with a Pixel 3XL cell phone camera, access to Adobe Lightroom, and a surprisingly gorgeous foggy day. This ties into the "No-Money Fun Ideas" thread.

      These images have been lightly edited towards what my eyes saw - most camera sensors would have trouble with color accuracy under the conditions these shots were taken.

      Winter 2020

      Please feel free to criticize and inform me on what I could do better.

      These photographs are published for your enjoyment under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license.

      20 votes