A Small Change to What Did or Did Not Happen

Small things happen all the time. Even if you stay home all day, talk to no one and do nothing but listen to the radio and wash the dishes while getting the laundry caught up… small things happen.

Pick some small happening. An event so trivial you wouldn’t even call it an event in your day to day life. Something like dropping a quarter when you put change in the machine (for what ever machine it happens to be).

Now, how does that one small thing change your whole life? What did or did not happen due to one small thing that did happen?  One small change can cause bigger changes, or none at all (as far as we know). But, what if it did?

You don’t need to believe in fate for this. You know how something small can throw off your day, make you late, make you angry, make you have to go home and change your clothes…

What’s your story?

The Internet for Nuclear War

“It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the Internet has evolved into a force strong enough to reflect the greatest hopes and fears of those who use it. After all, it was designed to withstand nuclear war.”
Denise Caruso

Found this on a site today. Would the Internet withstand nuclear wars? I doubt we could still use it. Likely it would be a government and military service only at that point. Or, maybe like short wave radio, a few people would be able to access it on an emergency or partial basis.

Do you still think about nuclear war? Or have you moved on to other options like biological warfare? There are so many options, thanks to science and the governments controlling the science and how it is used and distributed.

Write a short story about surviving in a war. Don’t make it too fictional. Base it on your own life, where you live, who you know, etc. But don’t get depressed over the writing of it. Remember science fiction, is fiction.  Have some fun too. What would you like to see happen? How successful would you be at surviving and making do with what you have?

Fake Accents and Dying Languages

Last year a Canadian public radio show called “This is That” reported a somewhat ridiculous-seeming plan, cooked up in the northern Alberta town of High Prairie: to attract more tourists, the town council had hired a linguist from Texas to invent a local accent.

via A new way to attract tourists: fake accents and dying languages – Quartz.

Everyone has tried a fake accent at some point. My brother is very, very good at it. I’m not. I do hear myself speaking with an accent (in my own head) it just doesn’t connect somewhere along the way from my brain to my mouth. I can live with that. Mostly because I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone pick up an accent and get it right as well as my brother does.

Why would you choose to fake an accent? Assuming you could do it well, or at least well enough. Also, which accent would want? Sure it would depend on the situation, sometimes. But, which accent would you really like, and why?

The Awful Silence of Writing

Publishing online can be lonely. There should be some kind of cute name for it. Like cabin fever for when you have been indoors too long and desperately must get outside, break free of the inside space. It became known as cabin fever for the pioneers who were trapped inside their small farm houses most of the winter, snowed in or just too cold to leave. Publishing online is like that too. You keep posting, hoping to hear something besides the echo of silence all around you. No doubt that’s why we tend to write with the radio or TV on in the background.

Still there is the urge to be that pioneer, to try something, to start something and try to make it grow. We still do it. Independently or joining up other sites and networks as a smaller part of something big. But, there are days when you can feel overwhelmed by the to-do list you build up for yourself. There are days when the cabin fever of online publishing gets too much. We might go a whole day and realize we have not spoken a single word out loud to anyone but had typed thousands of them that day.

Writing is so very quiet. The only sound is the TV or the radio, the tapping of the keyboard. Blog comments that come in from others in their own quiet writing worlds are like life rafts of communication. You’re not just talking to yourself after all! There really are still people in the world.

Being inside too much also narrows your focus too much. Get out there, people watch or even talk to someone. Blow up your world again, remember what it’s like to be really social, face to face. It may be a bit scarier than talking online but we all need that interaction too. A breath of life in our quiet publishing world.

When you get back online comment in a few blogs, randomly. Spread that breath of life around. Yes, it’s good for your blog stats but more importantly, it’s really good for the blogging community too. Remind someone else that, just because it’s quiet, doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone out there, reading, listening, maybe laughing at the right parts too.

How do you battle that cabin fever of being a web writer, an online publisher?

This was originally posted to The Awful Silence of Writing – Toronto Writing | Examiner.com  – But I decided I’m not a good fit to write there and I’ve closed my account.

Being OK with Love Lost

Lyrics for ‘Someone Like You’ from Adele.

I enjoy the song each time it comes up on the radio, Adele’s voice is great but the words to the song reach into my heart. To lose someone is hard but you do get to that point where you resign yourself to it and let go. That’s an achievement people should write a song about. I think that each time I hear this song.

What can you write about a lost love and resigning yourself to that? Could you keep it short, how about 100 words or less?

I heard
That you’re settled down
That you found a girl
And you’re married now
I heard
That your dreams came true
Guess she gave you things
I didn’t give to you

Old friend
Why are you so shy
It ain’t like you to hold back
Or hide from the light

I hate to turn up out of the blue
Uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away
I couldn’t fight it
I’d hoped you’d see my face
And that you’d be reminded
That for me
It isn’t over

Never mind I’ll find
Someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Too.. Don’t forget me
I beg
I remember you said
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead
Yeah

You’d know
How the time flies
Only yesterday
Was the time of our lives
We were born and raised
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise
Of our glory days

I hate to turn up out of the blue
Uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away
I couldn’t fight it
I’d hoped you’d see my face
And that you’d be reminded
That for me
It isn’t over
Yeah

Never mind I’ll find
Someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Too.. Don’t forget me
I beg
I remember you said
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead, yeah

Nothing compares
No worries, or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They’re memories made
Who would have known.. How..
Bittersweet
This would taste

Never mind I’ll find
Someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Too.. Don’t forget me
I beg
I remember you said
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead

Never mind I’ll find
Someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Too.. Don’t forget me
I beg
I remember you said
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead
Yeah, Yeah..

Oblique Strategies

Feeling stuck? Looking for inspiration? Try drawing from Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards containing commands and phrases meant to inspire. Put together by musician Brian Eno and his friend, painter Peter Schmidt, and used while working on Eno’s 1975 album, “Another Green World,” Oblique Strategy commands include: “Try faking it!,” “Put in earplugs,” and “Listen in total darkness,”

To replicate the technique yourself, keep a stack of index cards on your desk, and any time creative impulse strikes, write down a new command. The commands can be very specific (“wash the dishes”) or deliberately vague (“simplify”). However, note that the idea is that you need to have created your deck before you’re in those pressure situations and when you’re not obsessing over your work, as it’s going to be tough to come up with a bunch of oblique strategies when a deadline is looming!

via Web Life – GigaOM – Salon.com.

What would you write on your oblique cards?

  • Get to bed earlier.
  • Dump out old coffee, make fresh.
  • Down grade.
  • Change mind.
  • Put something away.
  • Step outside.
  • Clean junk drawer.
  • Get out the coloured markers.
  • Brush hair.
  • Put on the radio.
  • Day off.
  • Fortify.

Abandoned on the Planet

Remember that being by oneself is not the same as being abandoned. The world is still there. – Barbara Feldon

What if the world stopped being there? What if one morning you woke up to the sound of your alarm clock. You start your morning routine and begin to notice how very quiet it is. When you look out the window you can see cars on the street, all the usual things are there but not one person anywhere in sight. Depending on where you live this could see a big deal or no big deal at all. You turn on the radio or the TV to get an update on the news, only it’s all just static. Every station, every channel… just fuzz.

The water works, you have a shower, brush your teeth. The power is still on you notice as you open the fridge for breakfast. But, it’s all quiet. Oddly quiet.

You feel cheered up when you hear a bird outside. Things must be ok if the birds are still chirping.

But, things are very different today. Without explanation you are suddenly the only person in the world. All the other people have disappeared overnight. Like a mass alien abduction… what else could even come close to explaining such a freak thing. Unless this is all just a dream. Surely that’s it.

A month or so later you have to admit to yourself the dream theory is not working.

Other than the mystery of wondering where all the people went you are doing ok. You have plenty of resources since you don’t have to share anything. (The animals don’t count, they take care of themselves and don’t tend to bother you). The electric power and water are running just fine, no sign of a slow down. It must help that you use so little compared to how much was used when everyone was still here.

You’ve done all the things you thought you would ever do if you had all the time and resources in the world. Because, you do have all the time you want to do anything and everything. No one tells you not to.

It’s an odd feeling to be this alone in the world. Like driving a massive space ship all by yourself, you as the pilot, navigator, engineer, and everything else. Some days the world feels so huge when you thing of how big the planet is and how small you are. Some days the world feels small when you get into a good book and forget how alone you are.

Write about being alone in the world. How does it feel to be the only person on the planet? Describe the feelings of being this alone, create some metaphors to describe how you feel.

Lorne Greene: The Voice of Canada

I didn’t know Lorne Greene had done so much with radio and broadcasting. He must have been an early adapter in his generation. These days where might he be in broadcasting? I bet he’d have a podcast and a web radio show, at the very least. But, no one lives forever. I remember his voice.

A man’s never wrong doing what he thinks is right. – Lorne Greene

Lorne Greene
Birthdate: 12 Feb 1915 Died: 9/11/1987

Venerable actor with large physique and distinctive deep voice who is best known for his role as Ben Cartwright on the series Bonanza (1959–73). Before working in television, he worked as a news reader for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and earned the moniker “The Voice of Canada.” After serving in the Canadian Army during the war, he founded the Academy of Radio Arts which trained young people in the fundamentals of radio broadcasting, eventually graduating some 400 students. A 1953 road trip to the U.S. to promote a backward-running watch he had invented for radio broadcasters led to his first television work, and eventually some film work, notably as a prosecutor in Peyton Place (1957). A 1959 appearance on televison’s Wagon Train led to the role on Bonanza where Greene was given leeway to enhance and expand the character. He later appeared in two other series, Battlestar Galactica (1978–80) and Code Red (1981–82).

Hear me Croak and Squeak on Live Radio, May 28th

On May 28th I will be on BlogTalkRadio with Bev Walton-Porter on her podcast/ online radio show called Elemental Musings.

What am I most worried about? My voice. I’m not sure how my voice actually sounds. People tell me it is nice, sometimes. I’ve been told everything from I have a nasal tone (what does that actually mean?) to I have a very soft and sexy voice. True, the last came from a boyfriend, but I prefer it over the nasal thing. Also, my voice sometimes seizes up and gets tight and strung out when I get tense. At times it disappears for the odd word here and there. If I can keep my voice from sounding like someone has just stepped on my foot or pulled out my nose hairs, I think I will be ok.

I can usually come up with something to talk about. I might write down a few things if I get worried about that as the day draws near. I’d like to talk about writing and success and what success is and how we feel we are lacking in success and the boldness to do more about it for ourselves. That’s my boat and I’m tired of such a sinking ship.

Anyway, online radio will be interesting. I have a lot to learn!

Want to hear the podcast? This is a link to it on BlogTalkRadio: Elemental Musings.