Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Prompt: For the first time, I had no idea what to say
Time: 10 mins
Word Count: 333
For the first time, I had no idea what to say. I had always been good at talking to people who needed help. I considered myself sort of an unofficial counselor, the go-to guy in class if you had a problem that needed solving, or just needed someone to talk to. I liked doing it. I was good at it. But this? I had no idea how to handle this. I had grown up in a strict, conservative Christian home. How the hell was I supposed to know how to handle a situation like this? It’s not every day that one of your best friends calls you aside after class and tells you she’s gay. What are you supposed to say in a case like that? “You’re going to Hell!”? Somehow, I don’t see that being very helpful at all. But there she was standing there, her cheeks blushing blood red and tears streaming down the side of her face. Anything that has anything to do with eternal damnation wouldn’t work very well here. So I had to try something else. “W-wow” I managed to stutter out. “Are you sure?” I asked, not so much to find out if she was sure, but so to by more time for me to think of what to say. She nodded her head and averted her eyes downward. ‘I’m sure. I’ve thought it over a lot.”
“Well, have you told anyone else?”
She shook her head. “No, I haven’t” she looked back up at me. “You’re the first person I’ve told.”
“Great.” I thought to myself. “I’m the first person she decided to come to. This makes it all the more complicated.”
“Well,” I said slowly, trying to pick my words carefully, “If you’re sure about it, I’m not sure what I could tell you.”
“ I don’t want to tell me anything,” She replied hesitantly, “I mean I want toll me, but I don’t….” She shook her head as if trying to settle her thoughts.
Note: Now I know that today is supposed to be Mythical Creature Saturday, but here's what happened. I had decided this week, for various reasons (ok, maybe just two) that I'd stop MCS for good, and just make regular posts on Saturday. Then, about an hour before this, one of my friends posted on my Facebook wall that she really like MCS. And she's wasn't the first person to say that. So I'm in sort of a quandry. So tell me: Do you think I should continue doing MCS or just return to regular posts on Saturday. Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page to tell me. See you tomorrow!!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Prompt: I never really understood the phrase 'as cute as a button'.
Time: 10 mins
I never really understood the phrase 'as cute as a button'. Why were the buttons cute? Because they were round? No, that doesn’t make sense. How do you even define cute overall? All this was going though my head as she walked pass the café window. “Yeah, boy. That was a reall bess song. Bruno Mars could rite chutney if he want, ent? Yeah, he ha de….” Richard stopped in the middle of his sentence and looked and what must have been the completely dreamy expression on my face. He followed back to the girl outside the window and gave a low whistle. “Aye, boy. Stop staring down the bess thing nah man. Yuh looking obvious.” I turned to him and stupsed. “I not staring she down. I jus lookin.”
“Yeah, dais what yuh go tell de police when they hole yuh fuh stalking.” The girl turned and walked into the café and joined the line at the cash register, my eyes following her every inch of the way. I wandered if Richard was right, and this did count as stalking. “Well if yuh fine she so bess then go and talk tuh she nah.”
“Who me?” I turned to ask him. “I don’t talk good with people. I like how my foot does taste, cuz I does keep putting it in meh mouth.” I turned back to look at the girl waiting in line. “Besides, yuh ain’t see the kinda girl she is. White skin with Gucci handbag and gold jewelry to match. She probably from Westmorrings or foreign. She ain’t want nothing to do with a poor joe like me. She probably dating the prince of France or sumn.”
“Buh France doe have no prince.”
“Yuh know what ah mean man. Me and she? That never happening. Not at all.” By now the girl was at the front of the line, ordering what she wanted. It was probably some kinda of expensive coffee or something, though I couldn’t imagine what could possibly make her want to come to a place like this.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Prompt: He bade the forest good-bye as he raced the wind and took to the sky
Time: 12 mins
Word Count: 454
He bade the forest good-bye as he raced the wind and took to the sky. He spread his wings out and felt the warm air swirl beneath him as he allowed it to carry him higher, floating in a sea of pure white. Looking up he could see the sun, bright and round as a happy child’s toy. “This is it,” he thought as he surveyed the beauty around him. “This is where I‘m meant to be. This is where I belong.”
Out of the corner of his eyes he saw a large black cloud approach. It snuck up on him with such stealth that he had no time to react. It sat over him, blocking out the sun, plunging his fairy tale world into darkness. Angry thunder rumbled out from inside of it. Bright flashes of lightening struck all round. He was afraid now. His world was gone. What was once beauty was now fear. He tried to turn around and fly back to where he was before. He didn’t remember why he had flown away from it in the first place or even how it looked. He just wanted to go back. Anything was better than this. He flapped his wings and hard as he could, trying to change his course. But he had no wings. Just large useless arms that couldn’t carry anyone through the air. He was falling now. Like cannonball shot from one of those cannons you see at the circus. At any second now he would crash into the ground, cratering it, and closing his eyes to the sunlight.
Sadness pervaded him. It was worse than not seeing the beauty which he had seen before. Now he knew what true happiness was. He no longer had to try to fit in. He had found his place in the world. A solace among the white fluffy clouds and the sunlight that covered them like butter covers warm pancakes. Pancakes. What were pancakes? Something sweet. Some long forgot word that held no real meaning. Just a thought, a brief flash of memory. The thunder roared louder as if the dark cloud was following him. But he didn’t have to worry. It would be over soon. The greenery of the forest rose up to meet him as if it were made of large leafy hands, reaching out to welcome him to his earthy grave. In the middle of it he saw a small face, only for a split second. It was her face. He couldn’t see the expression she was wearing, but he was pretty sure he could guess. It would be one of sadness and disappointment. He knew it would hurt her, and he knew that she’d get over it.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
NaNoWriMo is less than a week away, and I need to be fully ready to write 1667 words in a day. So, to ensure that I’m ready for this, I took a page from my fellow NaNo writing buddy, Elizabeth (I’m taking a lot of pages from her book recently! She made need to get a new one! :P), and decided to have a “Word War” as my blog post.
What is a “Word War”? Well, it’s sort of a high speed writing race, in which you take a prompt line and in a pre-determined set time, you write the first thing that comes to you mind as fast as you can based on the prompt line. At the end, your score is decided on how many words you typed. This means that stuff like editing, backspacing and spell-checking all lower your score. The idea is one of quantity over quality. Not only does it help get you creative juices following, but it also helps silence what the NaNoWriMo site calls your “Inner Editor”, who seems to think that everything that your write must be perfect the first time. You’ll never be able to do 1667 words a day if he’s yabbering in your ear.
So from now, up until Friday, I’ll be posting the results of my Word Wars. I hope you enjoy it.
Time: 15 mins
Prompt Line: I had a dream of a secret potato
Word Score: 481
“I had a dream of a secret potato!” she said in a sorta excited voice.
“A secret potato?? What exactly is that?” Alex asked, looking over his shoulder. “How can potato be secret?”
“Well, it was actually, like a talking potato. He had some weird kinda government experiment done on him and he got like, human features and super powers and stuff! And they thought he was like so cool, so they like made him a secret agent! Cool, right?”
Elizabeth looked at Abby and shook her head. “And this is what you get for eating spicy food late at night”
“Hey, I don’t make fun of your dreams. It’s like so not cool to do something like that!”
“One,” Elizabeth replied, “I don’t have dreams about animated produce. Two, anyone who uses the word like as much as you do, deserves to be made fun of.”
Before Abby could respond, Alex motioned for them to be quiet. He pointed to the road which ran next to the woods that they were hiding in, as a large black nondescript black van rumbled around the corner, flanked by large military vehicles. “Here they come,” he said quietly. He motioned to Abby. “Do your stuff!” She nodded and took a deep breath. Mustering all the courage that she could, she leapt out in front of the convoy and held up her hands. The van stopped with a loud noise and its hood crumpled as if it had hit an invisible wall, which, considering Abby’s powers, it had. Soldiers leapt out of the vehicles and began firing. But all the bullets stopped and ricocheted off of the wall that Abby created. Before they could adapt to this new threat, Alex dashed out with his super speed and disarmed them, knocking out each solider as he grabbed their firearm. Elizabeth ran up to the van door and ripped it off. “Out. Now.” She commanded the frightened deliver. He nodded and took off into the woods.
When they were sure that they had neutralized all of their enemies, they all made their way to the back of the van. Using her strength, Elizabeth ripped the door off of the hinges. Peering inside, Alex let out a startled whistle. "Ha!” Abby said "I told you!” Elizabeth tried to hold back her own surprise as she answered Abby, “No you didn’t, you didn't say this.” Inside of the van was nothing more that large sacks of potatoes. “This isn’t a weaponry transport. This is a food supply delivery!”
“I guess it was all for nothing then. Risking our lives for nothing.”
“No it wasn’t “Abby replied rather smugly. We have lots of potatoes now. Elizabeth threw a dirty look Abby’s way which made her forget whatever snide comment she was about to make next.
“Come on guys,” Alex motioned, “Let’s get out of here before someone sees us.”
Monday, October 25, 2010
Anyway, with NaNoWriMO drawing ever closer, I decided to start polishing my writing skills. I've never really been one for writing music, always preferring to write in the most silent hours of the night/morning. But I found that it's particularly inspiring to listen to someone else's artistic creation while you create yours. Some of the artist I find particularly helpful are Vanessa Carlton, Enya, The Script and Taylor Swift amongst others. However, one of my absolute favorites is Owl City.
If you don't know who that is, let me take a little bit to explain. Owl City is actually the name of a musical project, started by a young man named Adam Young. He started making music in his parent's basement with a synthesizer to express his insomnia. He uploaded some of his music onto MySpace, where it caught the eye of a major record label, to which he signed up. His third album Ocean Eyes gained recognition after one its songs, Fireflies, gained mainstream popularity. Despite being a solo artist, Adam is usually accompanied by a band when doing live shows as well as a wonderful female vocalist who goes by the name of Breanne Duren, who is featured on some of the tracks. Owl City music is usually classified as being synthpop.
Now, most people don't like Owl City, for a couple of reasons. It's either the lyrics don't make sense, the music is fake, or that all their songs sound the same. I know that everyone has their own opinions on music, but think of this: One,this guy is writing from insomnia. How exactly do you express insomnia? Words, despite their inherent beauty, are large, clumsy things when it comes to expressing out feelings. So, it's not odd to find that you won't be able to understand something that is difficult to express in words. Just because something doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean it doesn't make sense at all. Two, there is nothing like fake music. Yeah, it may take a lot more skill to play a guitar or a keyboard than it takes to use a synthesizer, but that doesn't make it better or more real. You could have really good synth music and really crappy instrumental music. Music is music, no matter where it comes from. And lastly, so what if they all sound the same? Some artist jump up, down and all around with their songs. Owl City stays true and consistent to their tune. Listening to their album is like listening to one song filled with every emotion possible.
For me, it makes for extremely good writing music. With it's unreal tune and it's cryptic lyrics, Owl City music forgoes everything you've ever assumed about it before and jumps straight into the heart of creation. I feel as if I can use it to supplement my own kind of creation. Adam Young started in his parents' basement. This guy wasn't looking for self-promotion. He just wanted to do what he loved. He was never ashamed of his music or his faith. His song "Meteor Shower" deals with salvation and "Tidal Wave" deals with faith, as well as some others. And best of all, listening to Owl City when you're on the verge of sleep (which is what I'm going to be during NaNoWriMo), makes for one of the most ethereal experiences ever! You should try it.
So, don't judge a guy by his genre or his instruments. Adam Young is one of the best artists of our time, someone who inspires me, and who I could aspire to be like.
And if you've never heard of Owl City, or you're fed up of hearing "Fireflies" and "Vanilla Twilight", here's one of my personal favorites : Tidal Wave
See you tomorrow!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Now this is Aadil:
He was sorta the "life of the party" character in our class. I included this picture so that you could notice his pigmentation or lack thereof. It has some irony to do with what happened on that day.
Now, on the day in question, Aadil was sick, and had stayed away from school. We all thus, extremely bored, since, as I mentioned above, Aadil was the fun person of our class. To alleviate the boredom, Jonathan, one of out classmates came up with a brilliant idea. He would call Aadil on his phone, and when he answered, we would all scream "NIGGER" as loud as we could. And of course, we all thought it would be funny, seeing as how 'nigger' is the funniest word in the world. It was again funny that Jonathan came up with this, as he too had the same complexion as Aadil.
So we put our plan into action. A group of about seven of us, myself included, stood around Jonathan's phone as he made the phone call. As soon as we heard Aadil's groggy voice answer "Hello?", we all screamed to the top of our lungs "NIGGER!!!". It was of course followed by an insane amount of laughter.
But somehow, in the midst of our laughter, we all felt the sudden urge to look to the back of the classroom. Standing there was none other than Mr. Nazimudin Mohamed, (Nazim for short), our Biology teacher. He was pretty big guy, with the power to strike fear into any student. He just stood at the back of the classroom and stared at all of us, crowded around the cell phone, probably wondering what in the world was going on. It was then I realized that Mr. Nazim could use the Force. Because, as he stared at us, we didn't run or anything. We just collapsed. It was if we were those playing card soldiers from Alice in Wonderland. We fell on top of the other and just sort of stayed there. All of us except Jamie.
Now let me explain. Jamie and Mr. Nazim had a very special relationship, the likes of which cannot be explained in this post. He also lacked the necessary skin pigmentation to use the word 'nigger'. When he realized that Mr. Nazim was looking at us, he turned and bolted for the door. However, since we had all on the floor by now, my head was directly behind the door. Jamie, in his haste, apparently didn't recognize this as he repeatedly attempted to open the door, which was stopped each time by my head. By this time, I guess Mr. Nazim had given up on trying to figure out what was going on and left shaking his head.
After that day, we all stopped using the word 'nigger' as we realized that we never know who could be watching or listening....
Nah, that's a lie. We continued using the word with wild abandon for the rest of our high school life. I even got a Caribbean Studies SBA out of it. I got a 2. Not bad I'd say.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Last time I did a Mythical Creature Saturday, it was about a fully local myth. This week, I’m going to do one on a myth that is exclusively North American, and more specifically, native American: The Wendigo.
What is Wendigo?
A Wendigo is usually portrayed as a creature that was once human but became an evil spirit after consuming human flesh for one reason or another. This causes them to continuously crave human flesh, ignoring all other sources of food. They are thus changed into immortal beings, eternally cursed to wander the earth, searching for human flesh to devour. As they consume flesh, they grow in size proportional to their meal, so that not matter how much they eat, they are never filled. Despite their large size, they have the appearance of being extremely emaciated with taunt skin, sunken eyes and blistered, bloody lips.
The wendigo is a myth native to the Algonquian-speaking tribes in Northern American. The wendigo was strongly associated with the harsh conditions of the northern winter and the famine that sometime accompanied them. The legend reinforced that fact that the eating of human flesh was taboo even in the most desperate of situations. Some viewed the wendigo as an entity separate from humans, being a cabalistic, malevolent spirit or manitous
Accustomed to roaming the rugged terrain of the forests of the northern United States, the wendigo is a master hunter. It is said to have supernatural speed and strength as well as stealth, being able to easily hide itself amongst the forest foliage. Its large size also gives it a formidable advantage. Some stories even claim that that wendigoes can control the weather by means of dark magic. It is also posited that a human can become a wendigo by being possessed by the spirit of one, usually through a dream. Once possessed, the person would go mad and begin eating human flesh, until they themselves became a wendigo.
How to defeat a Wendigo
Though the traditional Native Americans had no method to kill a wendigo, popular culture claims that one can kill the creature by using silver weapons, similar to those that can be used to kill werewolves. It is also said that if you can get close enough to the creature, you can set it on fire and burn it to death
Why Wendigoes are awesome
1) They are immortal. That’s always a plus.
2) They have super speed, strength and stealth.
Why Wendigoes suck
1) You have to eat human flesh to become one… @_@
2) Being eternally starving is no way to spend your immortality
I think that wendigoes are perhaps one to the darkest and most hopeless myths in existence. What do you think? And if you want, recommend a creature for me to do next week. See ya!!
Friday, October 22, 2010
The show was originally born from a feature on the show of an older comedian Art Linkletter's show know as Art Linkletter's House Party, which had the same name. Art would ask similar questions to the kids and receive similar responses. I was watching a rerun of the show tonight, in which the brought some kids who had appeared on House Party on to the show, and showed them videos of themselves as children some 30 years ago. One girl had said that she wanted to be a secretary because secretaries get to sit on their boss' lap. Looking back on it now I'm pretty sure that she was shocked at what she said. But after viewing the video, she said something that I thought was pretty cool. She said that being on the show was probably one of the highlights of her young life and that when she spoke to Art, she felt as if he was really interested in what she had to say.
They then brought Art on stage where he greeted them all. Then Bill Cosby asked him to turn to the audience. "Art," he said, "What would you say if I told you that everyone in this audience, when they were kids, were on your show?" And with that, the entire audience rose up and went up on stage to greet him. The shock and joy on Art's old wrinkled face was clearly seen as he was hugged and kissed by many. He wasn't there because he had accomplished some great feat, or proved himself with some great skill. He was there because he had encouraged them to say the craziest, weirdest and..well, darndest of things. And that is something that I'm pretty sure they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
In our world today, there's a rush to be the best. The best mannered, the most talented, most eloquent of speech. If you're going to be an artist, you need to have the epic musical skills ever. Singing along with a synthesizer won't do. If you're a writer, you must use the biggest words and have to most manicured English. Anything else is for kids. That shouldn't be. You don't have to be the biggest or the best to be awesome. You just have to be you. Art changed a lot of lives by bringing out the darndest side of many people. Sometimes, all you need to be awesome is just that. Just let yourself, go and be the darndest you can be. You'll change a lot of lives that way.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Since we found out about this field trip a couple weeks ago, we were all struck with that childlike amazement that accompanies such announcements. Memories from our childhoods filled our minds with visions of multiple snacks, long drives and and free roam over our intended destination. We talked happily, made plans and were generally all round happy about our upcoming excursion.
Thursday rolled around, and just like they did when we were in primary school, the maxis that UWI had hired to take us were parked out in front of the gates on the asphalt. We climbed in to the waiting vehicles, laughed rambunctiously at a sign that was posted over the passenger seat (the content of which I would prefer not to mention here) and were soon on our way to Caribbean Airlines.
Our journey there shot down two of our idealistic dreams. We were completely forbidden from eating our drinking anything while in the maxi, so all our hopes of unrestricted snacking were, well, restricted. The next ideal that was shot down was the idea of a long ride. 10 minutes does not constitute as a long ride by anyone's standards. When we finally got there, our other dream was shot down. Since this was an area where they repair aircrafts, we weren't allowed to go anywhere at all. We had to follow around our guide and listen to him talk about what they do to maintain their safety standards. It sounds simple enough, but you should try listening to someone when there's a American Airlines passenger craft trying to take off behind you. Like literally behind you. If you value your ears, never work at an airport or an airline company. Seriously. There's this constant hum that makes it impossible to hear anyone who is more than 10 feet away from you. And you have cover your ears every time a planes flies over the hangar. And it was hot. Really, really hot. Notwithstanding, we got to see some pretty cool things, like the inside of an engine and we got to sit in an actual cockpit (those things are tiny!)
As we finished our tour, piled back on the bus and took off back to school, I couldn't help but think of how much things had changed from our happy primary school days. Field trips weren't even fun anymore. But then I realized that one thing hadn't changed. We were all still loud and laughing probably even more so than ever. I'm glad some things didn't change. Friends are like chocolate syrup. They can make anything taste better.