Monday, April 28, 2014

Hand Sanitizer speaks

This isn't a Pocket Muse prompt, but something I wrote off a prompt during Queens Writes Weekend. The prompt? Write from the point of view of something in your bag.  Enjoy!

I smell so good.

I leave you clean and fresh and my little microbeads of moisturizer even keep you from getting dry.

And I don’t really get kids drunk off my fumes.  They get sick way before they have any fun. I make sure of that.

I don’t actually do anything against cold viruses, but you don’t care, do you? And I’m damn good at killing off all the fecal bacteria that’s… everywhere. No, really, it is. You've seen that expose on the news last week. Bacteria, man, that’s where I’m a Viking.

Actually, that’s where I’m a little worried.  I mean, I saw the *other* expose on the news last week, too. The one that says you’re stupid with me, and with my cousins, the soap and the wipes and that overachiever, the baby-toy plastic. To say nothing of the previous generation, my parents and aunts and uncles, the antibiotic pills you pop when you get a cold even though it’s a virus, damn it. We don’t kill viruses, how many times do I need to say it?

And because of you, because of us, because of how you use us, there’s bugs growing that we can’t fight. So you slather me on your hands before dinner and I can’t promise I’ll do any good. Even though it’s my job.

But hey. I smell good.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another attempt to explain Introversion

OK, let's pretend you and I each have a laptop. Both laptops' batteries are 50% charged. You and I are going to play a video game on our laptops.

Laptops (Photo credit: Guillaume Paumier)
Your laptop has a weird glitch that will only allow you to play this game if the computer is plugged in. My laptop has a weird glitch that will only allow me to play the game if the computer is not plugged in.

We play the game for 3 hours. We have a wonderful time.  But when we decide to call it quits, your battery is 100% charged. My battery is drained and my computer is about to shut off.

That means I can't play another game until I have a chance to plug my laptop in for at least a few hours.

It does not mean is that I didn't like the game, that I shouldn't play the game, that I'm mad at you for wanting to play the game.

It does mean that I can't play the game as often, that I need longer breaks between playing the game, and that I should probably be smart about when I play the game, because I might need the computer for work shortly after. And it means you should probably play the game with someone else for a while until my laptop charges up a bit -- and I'm OK with that.

Is it insulting your intelligence to decode this metaphor? I feel like it might be, but I'm going to do it anyway, so I apologize in advance.

The laptops are our minds, or personalities. The batteries, aptly, are our energy levels. The game is any kind of social event. Your computer glitch is extroversion -- the social event adds to your energy. My computer glitch is introversion -- the social event drains my energy. I still enjoyed playing the game; I still like social events. But I need to recharge before I play/attend another.

So here's my advice, both within the metaphor and in real life: Go do your thing. I'll be here, reading fanfic while I charge up, and pretty soon, we'll be able to play again.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What should I read on vacation?

I'm looking at my (massively overflowing) bookshelf, and I can't decide what I should take with me when I go on vacation. It should be long enough that I only have to take one book, despite long plane rides; pleasant enough for airplane, beach, or tub reading; not such a doorstopper that I can't at least fir it in a small backpack or medium totebag.

Below are my top candidates.  Once you've voted, feel free to argue amongst yourselves in the comments as to why your choice is the best.

What book should I take on vacation?
  free polls 

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pocket Muse #2

It's been a fairly productive couple of weeks, but none of that productivity has been here, sorry.

I did get at least one request to do more of these, so here we go:

Write about someone who is pretending to be someone or something that he is not.

To be honest, I'm sort of sick of pretending to be normal. I don't want to say anything about it. Fact is, these days I'm easily the most normal person in my current circle of friends, and they all know it.

It snuck up on me. The looks of pity or admiration or even just vague recognition as "that guy from the news" faded quickly. There's always a new tragedy, and really the body count wasn't high enough for the networks to care after the first day or so. Fine by me.

The nightmares faded eventually, too. I still get them sometimes, but not like I did initially. Therapy helps. So does having a supportive family; I'm really lucky in that respect. Everyone who needs to know understands, and everyone else doesn't need to know; it's not relevant.

So I was used to being kind of different, and kind of not talking about it.

But it gets old, these days. Letting people think the slushee machine is broken -- again -- when really the restless spirit of my murdered friend is having a bad day. Explaining that my girlfriend has "migraines", and when people realize that they happen pretty close to monthly, hinting that it's due to "lady stuff," because people usually change the subject once "lady stuff" comes up. And my buddy who works at the bar? Well, he work all night, sleeps all day.  That's why you only ever see him after dark.  That's why he's so pale.

Thing is, they're the ones who came up with the stories. They're used to it. These are their lives -- or afterlives, in some cases.

I'm just a guy who was in the wrong place at... I honestly don't know, in retrospect, if it was the wrong time or the right time. Both, I guess; not like anything else in my life is neatly binary these days.

There's talk now that I might be an honest-to-God medium. I joke that I really should look into it; if nothing else, I'll get a story out of it.

But the truth is, I never wanted to write horror.

The above is fictional, kind of a character study for something else I'm picking at.  Some of you may recognize the character. I don't think I have the voice quite right, but the sentiments are dead on.  So to speak.

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