Trace #TheDailyPost

Inspired by today’s one word prompt

DSC_0252

 

In any other city I would probably lose him, as his ability to hide behind others, look like them, or simply disappear, is beyond any other’s. But this is the city of Faust. Among the folks of the night, roaming the quiet streets, haunting the silent parks, he is known as the Prince of Deceit, and easily recognised. So I know where and how to find him, follow his putrescent scent, get the demons of the night to corner him.

He tries to pretend to be someone else, a poor vagrant, a homeless, harmless victim of this harsh life. And I laugh. Through the rictus and the sardonic smile, I see the reality of the shaking Devil.  Confronted, identified, gone the assurance, gone the lies, the pitiful remnant of a fallen angel is just afraid!

Vade retro Satanas!

Picture: Devil Voodoo Figure, Usulutàn Province, El Salvador (courtesy Tucson Museum of Modern Art)

Knackered #TheDailyPost

Today’s Prompt

tumblr_op4cjkksa51sr14ndo1_540

 

He trains everyday, like a champ. Each exercise is a proof: that he’s survived, will survive. This régime would sink a younger and bigger man. Yet, from dawn to dusk, he forces his body to comply, counts his heartbeats, listens to his breath.

He’s very ill. He will soon die, but simply refuses to surrender and wait. Stubborn, you may say. Yes, that, and also… knackered.

Image: via http://misterdoor.tumblr.com/

Hesitate #WritersWednesday

Today’s prompt

tumblr_om2l7sdksz1vo6uzro1_540

 

“You have to tell the truth,” she said, serious and mocking at the same time, “the truth about me, the person I am, not the one you would wish me to be!”

I was a little peeved about that statement. I thought I was truthful, without hesitation about her qualities and shortcomings, being a cool and objective observer. Now, in the middle of the night, as she looked at me, I was beginning to doubt. Was I writing about her real self, or someone who did not exist? A doppelgänger of sort?

“But,”she continued in her calm voice, “you should know, if you can’t do it naturally, I’ll do it for you. And I won’t hesitate to show to your readers what the truth is about this great author!”

Then I woke up. Her voice was still ringing in my mind. There was a long time to go before dawn. I wished she’d been here, for real, telling me more about herself. My beloved hero, the perfect woman…

Picture: Joanna Pallaris, via  ilpianobis

 

Clean #amwriting

The Prompt

dsc_0145-version-2

 

Each day some words appear on the page, tentative, surrounded in mist,  as if those words emerged from a cloudy landscape, as yet unformed. Summoning a clean page let the characters know: they are not alone, more life is being breathed into their world, a genesis.

Their impatience is a testimony to their precarious existence: until the work is complete, they don’t know for sure that they will survive the latest twist, those nightly revisions, the dreaded editing. For words may disappear, and with them, the reasons for those fragile beings to be born.

Each day, for us too, is a clean page, to be written with care, and attention to detail: for the number of pages is finite, and the Book has many characters.

Resist #WritersWednesday

The Prompt

statue-of-liberty-14

 

The story is there, the characters laid out, not yet fully alive, but stirring. The daily bombardment of falsehoods, the unstoppable flow of hate and lies are the sad background: is it not the writer’s duty to see through, to unravel, to show the lessons that could have been learnt? But who is she to claim to know? Who is he to claim some knowledge, somehow privileged to the “happy few”, as Stendhal once wrote?

Only the story should tell, only the characters should speak. Not by blaming the past – which is our present – but only by imagining what could be, do we have a chance to change the future…

Image: Statue of Liberty, courtesy http://travelhdwallpapers.com/statue-of-liberty-sunset/

Scent

The Prompt

nicholson-s-joker-the-joker-8895447-2200-1700

 

I love walking in the park, nor so far from our place, early morning, when one meets nearly no-one, bar a few crows and some brave joggers. So, today, I was surprised to see him, a joker-like character, visibly still made-up from last night party, or some other odd activity, whose ludicrous attire could not fail to attract attention. He was looking out toward the lake, and its frozen surface where, later, some skating enthusiasts would perform.

Something in his posture reminded me vaguely of other encounters, for which I did not care much. He saw me, and immediately tried to hide his face: I walked deliberately in his direction, and he walked away, a crooked flight I knew too well…

Abruptly, he started running in the direction of the canal, and I decided not to follow. In his trail floated the inescapable proof: a sharp scent of sulphur.

This, after all, is the City of Faust…

Image: The Joker @http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/the-joker/images/8895447/title/nicholsons-joker-photo

Conundrum #DailyPost #WritersWednesday

When is a logical proposition a conundrum?

dsc_0193

 

Well, is there such a thing as the writer’s conundrum? That would be, perhaps, a logical proposition as to the role of writers, their responsibility, their freedom. Isn’t it the case that, for example, a writer whose inspiration is drawn from the society of her time, somehow owes that society something in return: her novel, her contribution to the common welfare, maybe the denunciation of evil?

So, how about this writer’s conundrum:

His inspiration came from the characters he created, but, once created, the characters didn’t let him develop the story: they wanted to tell their own… 

Image: Jeanne Mammen, Jüngling, c.1943-45

T-Rain, and a girl named Zula: a reading of Neal Stephenson’s Reamde #amreading

Neil Stephenson 77f9262fbf.jpg

Every other thing that he had done for the company – networking with money launderers, stringing Ethernet cable, recruiting fantasy authors, managing Pluto – could be done better and more cheaply by someone who could be recruited by a state-of-the-art head-hunting firm. His role, in the end, had been reduced to this one thing: sitting in the corner of meeting rooms or lurking on corporate email lists, seeming not to pay attention, growing ever more restless and surly until he blurted something out that offended a lot of people and caused the company to change course. Only later did they see the shoals on which they would have run aground if not for Richard’s startling and grumpy intervention.”

Reamde is a tough, long, and interesting novel. I had to interrupt my reading several times during this year, and this made following the plot as hazardous as the story itself. I acquired Reamde initially as an e-book. The version I had was poorly edited, and after some four hundred pages I could no longer find my way through the various geographies and characters. Finally I purchased the paperback (in the Atlantic Books edition available in the UK.) This helped me to come back on tracks, as the good ones were getting deeper into serious trouble, and the bad ones were… getting more horrible than ever.
Richard Forthrast is a wealthy entrepreneur, and the soul at the core of T-Rain, a world-class multiplayer (MMORPG) game and metaverse, that transcends all predecessors. Richard is the head of the Forthrast clan, an expanded family of gun-totting characters who include his adopted niece, the beautiful Zula, a refugee from Erithrea. The world of T-Rain is, one day, disrupted by the double event of an internal war – the Wor – and the advent of what turns out to be a deadly virus, Reamde. The plot then develops into two parallel, but eventually convergent, lines: what happens in T-Rain, and what happens in “reality”: much of the book’s interest arises, in this reader’s view, from this double narrative, the journey in T-Rain, and the journey in this world, from Idaho to the Philippines, via China and various airfields and oil tankers, and back again, as Bilbo Baggins used to say. Both are rich in deadly traps, of the explosive and other varieties, such as magic spells.
A good first tier of the book is devoted to a description of T-Rain, its design, history and creators, a medley of British and US genial weirdos, recruited by, and under Richard’s influence. I must admit having lost the thread more than once (a fuller understanding would require a second reading, at least.) The real world’s thread centres on Zula and her companions, and their odyssey. For Reamde, the virus, cuts across the machinations of a criminal gang from the East, whose extortion racket is disrupted by the virus. The consequences of the gang’s brutal intervention, and a chance meeting with a bunch of jihadists, make up the second half of the novel, as the separate trails slowly converge back to the US-Canadian border, and Richard’s eagle nest.
There are hints of Snow Crash, Stephenson’s earlier novel that introduced a proto-virtual world, and multiple references to the world of hacking and virus developers. There are peripheral characters, some roughly inspired by the “war on terror”, and of course, the very nasty, and yet noble jihadist, the infamous Jones.
I only caught up with the female characters, all three of them, once I had acquired the paperback, having to backtrack through the 1044 pages! I think, now, that sometime I will re-read Reamde, when I have some uninterrupted three or four weeks of quiet vacation (maybe when we visit Seattle?) Stephenson lives in Seattle and his geographical knowledge of the region is evidently vast. I struggled with the trails through the mountainous area above Richard’s Schloss! A map would be as useful to the reader as it would be to Zula and her friends.
Reamde is, in turn, hilarious and tragic, a great read, and a milestone for Stephenson’s aficionados.

Photo: [By Ryan Somma – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ideonexus/6191024454, CC BY 2.0, Link]

My reading of Cryptonomicon

Chaotic #DailyPost

Today’s Prompt

dsc_0653

 

“It’s all about geography,” she said in her quiet, matter of fact voice. “You have to draw the map, polish the synopsis, make sure those ghosts of yours translate into real people, people who live, work, love, somewhere!”

“You’re quite right about the map,”I replied, in conciliatory mood, “and there lies the problem. I have several in mind, dependent on when, and who, on past and present, on today and a fleeting tomorrow. As for them…”

“Don’t tell me,” she snapped, “they don’t know where they are! But it’s precisely your job to show them, to guide them, to organise that chaos they find themselves in! Just imagine, being parachuted on the blank page, out of your world, in a different time, without language, without light…”

“I just need to let it rest, for a bit, you know, without rushing to impose order… prematurely… Besides, who am I to rule them about? They may like this lack of walls, this fizziness, the doors open…”

“That’s what I have always thought,” she concluded with a disarming smile, “You are an anarchic writer! I wish I could help!”

Image: Carl Friedrich Seiffert, Die Blaue Grotte auf Capri, 1860 – Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Up ↑

Butterfly Sand

Curiosity run amok . . .

Pearl St. Gallery

Capturing Images Of Nature

Reena Saxena

Founder of ReInventions -- Coach, Trainer, Writer and Personal Branding Consultant

Openhearted Rebel

Inspiring a Revolution of Love, Compassion, and Wisdom

Cunning Witch

at Sutton's Rock Shop

Denkzeiten

Literatur, Philosophie und das ganz normale Leben

PiPP - People in Public Places

© Birgitta Rudenius - xpipp.wordpress.com - xpipp.blogspot.com

neelwritesblog

I write to figure out what is left

Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung - Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!

Ein OIKOS[TM]-Projekt gegen Antisemitismus, Rassismus, Extremismus und Fremdenfeindlichkeit.

Hector Reban

Blog MH17

Pablo Cuzco

...in My Mind's Eye

Berlin Typography

Text and the City // Buchstaben und die Stadt

Helena

The Protocol of Truth

networkpointzero

« Je ne plierai pas, je ne m’en irai pas en silence. Je ne me soumettrai pas. Je ne me retournerai pas. Je ne me conformerai pas. Je ne me coucherai pas. Je ne me tairai pas. Le courage, c’est de chercher la vérité et de la dire ; ce n’est pas subir la loi du mensonge triomphant » (Jean Jaurès).

Tallis Steelyard

The jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard

heritagelandscapecreativity

Exploring Time Travel of Place

iksperimentalist

a collision of science and comedy

Stift und Schrift

Zeichenkunst, Graphic Novels, Populäre Druckgrafik. Ein Bücherblog.

Words and Worlds

Real and Imagined - by Carl Bystrom

Light Motifs II

now with 27% more woo

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

Redhead Reflections

Talking inside my head...

My Art & Me

Scribblings & Doodlings

Up Before Dawn

Kicking butt before the sun comes up!

Places Journal

Sisyphus47's writing blog

Mimo Khair Photography

"art is life, life is art"

Bill Hayes

Writer and Photographer in NYC

creartfuldodger

collage/mixed media artist

Islamic Methodologies Made Easy

“Have the people not traveled through the land to make their hearts understand and let their ears hear, verily it is not the eyes that go blind but the hearts inside chests.” [The Qur’an (22:46)].

The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

Opus bay

Pobres putas cuando reina la Santa hipocresía.

dymoonblog

A fine WordPress.com site

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

Whole, Hearty, Happy

Just a mom on a journey to wellness.

paigezine

"In the end it's not the dates on the tombstone that matter, it's the dash" - Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Dysfunctional Literacy

Just because you CAN read Moby Dick doesn't mean you should.

the secret keeper

"Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it." — Bertolt Brecht

Dynaries Photography

Focus on what makes you happy

Debbie Gravett

Word painter and story slave

(Almost) Unsalvageable

househusband, bucketlister, storyteller

Morbus ignorantia - Krankheit Unwissen

"Wer die Vergangenheit kontrolliert, kontrolliert die Zukunft und wer die Gegenwart kontrolliert, kontrolliert die Vergangenheit." - George Orwell