Sunday, July 5, 2015

Progress Report: Week 1, July 2015

And I hope all of you in the United States are enjoying your 4 July celebrations. Down here, in the O.Z. it was business as usual, but we took a little time to think of you—and again, today, as our time-zones create a time lapse. The revision of Artistic Licence saw me not only smash the word goal for June, but complete the word goal for the year. Next year, I will double this and see if an average of 2,000 words a day is feasible. I started the week with the flu, and things got better from there, but not as good as I’d like it to be—nearly, though, very nearly. I now have to slot my language study back in, and also fit in my studies, so the schedule isn’t quite settled, but it’s getting there.


New words produced: 11,944
Old words revised: 58,438
Works completed: 33 (for inclusion in 4 separate collections)
Works revised: 0
Covers created: 0
Works published: 0
Works submitted: 0
Competitions Entered: 0
Bloggery: 979

Tier 1 (June) Tasks

CrimeNovel1—Artistic Licence: Revised 58,438 words; added 701 words

Tier 2 (July) Tasks

CrimeNovel1—Artistic Licence: Reached 59,000 words

Publishing Tasks

Created 7 blog posts for this blog;
Created 16 blog posts for the C.M. Simpson Art and Photography blog;


Onto Edit 3 of Orb Wielder

New Arrivals

The following pieces arrived last week:

Poem542—The Troll Queen: a sonnet about a troll queen;
Poem543—Winter Solstice: a multiple acrostic about the shortest day in winter;
Poem 544—Double Dragon: a double acrostic about a dragon;
Poem545—Starships to the Sky: a multiple acrostic about starships and sacrifice;
Poem546—Troll Gate: a poem about a gate between worlds;
Poem547—Troll Doom: a poem about the doom of trolls;
Poem548—Though Picket Fence Eludes You: a poem about choices in life;
Poem 549—I am… what?: a poem about being nothing;
Poem550—Do You Know the Troll Wind?: a poem about an ill-portended wind;
Poem551—The Dragon Flies: a series of haiku about a dragon flying;
Poem552—Maven’s Oldest Lady: a two-verse limerick about a little old lady in Maven;
Poem553–Starshine Mine: a poem about mining a star;
Poem554—Never in the Car in the Sun Alone: a poem about the dangers of leaving a child in the car;
Poem555—Quetzalcoatl Rising: a poem about Quetzalcoatl
Poem556—In Search of Beaver Lost: a poem about species and extinction written from the future;
Poem557—Prayer of a Roving Warrior’s Wife: a prayer for a warrior’s return;
Poem558—Troubled Times: a poem about today’s world;
Poem559—Territory Day: a poem about Territory Day and firecrackers;
Poem560—Mermaids from the Stars: a poem about man-hunting mermaids from the sun;
Poem561—Ode to Brownies: brownie lore encapsulated in verse;
Poem562—My Mistress and the Fox: a poem about a lady’s search for a Chinese fox;
Poem563—Vengeance on Basilisk Sworn: a double acrostic about the basilisk;
Poem564—An Encounter with Big Foot: a limerick about big foot;
Poem 565—The Black Dog of Devon: a poem about the black dog;
Poem566—A Brush with the Kelpies: an urban fantasy poem about kelpies;
Poem567—City Traffic: a cinquain about traffic noise;
Poem568—Do You Want to Live Forever?: a poem playing on the marine question: Do you want to live forever?
ShortStory457—Splash Woman: a piece of science flash fiction about colonists and disaster;
ShortStory458—The Pixie’s Grief: a piece of urban fantasy flash fiction about a grieving pixie, evil fey and vengeance;
ShortStory459—Joy Ride in July: a piece of speculative flash fiction about Santa’s sleigh south of the equator;
ShortStory460—A Planet’s Ransom: a piece of young adult flash science fiction about kidnap and ransom;
ShortStory461—Prison Break: a piece of flash fantasy-science fiction about an escape;
ShortStory462—The Petals’ Slaves: a piece of flash science fiction about another escape;
YANovel27—A Planet’s Ransom: about some young people and a planet’s ransom.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Spiders in my Garden - May 2015

You should always gloves when gardening in Australia - and you should keep a very careful eye out for the slightest flicker of movement. In May, which is the last month of autumn here, I was preparing my garden for winter when I spotted this lovely little lady. See if you can see her in the photos below.

And, yes, she is still somewhere in my garden... I just don't know where.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge - Due July 3, 2015

The terribleminds Flash Fiction Challengefor June 27, 2015, was to randomly choose a song and use the title as the title for a story. The story didn’t have to be inspired by the song and we had 1,000 words to play with. I googled as suggested and discovered Mega Ran’s song titled Splash Woman, so I started from there. The story was started on June 29, 2015, and completed on July 2, 2015. We had until noon on July 3 to complete it.

Splash Woman

It was a song in 2010, but I don’t know what it was about. Suzie called it chip-hop and referred to it as nerdcore. It had a lot to do with those retro computer games she used to collect. Whatever it was, she seemed to like it, even if the only words she seemed to know were ‘Splash… splash….’.
I guess I couldn’t blame her for being seduced by something that suggested water in such abundance it could be splashed about. Where we were, we didn’t have that luxury. Out there, everything got splashed back into the recycling so we could drink it again… and again… and again. Those were the joys of colony transport—and why so many of us tried to sleep through it.
Not that anyone is allowed to sleep through all of it. We each had to stand at least one shift on the journey out. Most of us chose to stand it with the rest of our family. The family-memories recordings helped, but they were nothing like the real thing. Those year-long watches were a time of balm and bonding. By the end of them, we were tired of the confines of the ship, of being locked in space with nothing but the stars passing by, but we were always reluctant to get back into our pods.
Fortunately, the ship’s AI had protocols for that. In three hundred years of space travel, there had been less than a dozen attempted violations—and those reminded the rest of us why the sleep periods were important. I tucked Suzie into her pod, after downloading her Jarbo collection and giving her my Mikros files. She said it was cheesy, but her eyes told me she was glad to have another piece of me to take into the night. So was I.
“Goodnight, Suzie,” I said, and the computer let me sit by her pod until she was under.
I watched as it tucked her away, and then climbed into my own pod, not resisting as the sleep rolled over me. When it woke us next, we’d have made landfall, and the construction phase would be done.
At least, that was the plan.
I woke suddenly, and experienced a surge of panic as I felt the burst of acceleration that told me the pod was being jettisoned, along with all the others and the cargo. The ship was going in, or down, like one of those ocean liners of old, and it was making sure everything was clear of the crash.
There’d be no knowing where it would hit, and that meant we’d be without some of the essential infrastructure we’d been counting on for the early day—and that was only if we were landing on the world we’d been sent to. Holy Hell!
I fumbled to activate the pod interface, opening the data ports to the ship, requesting location, status and data files. I prayed I wasn’t the only one to do so. There wasn’t enough space in the pod’s data banks to store it. The ship would divide it between us, duplicating as much as it could. I opened a comms link to Suzie.
“Splash, splash,” she was singing, the notes soured by an undertone of panic, but she accepted the link.
“I love you,” I said.
“I love you, too, daddy.”
We left the link open, comforted even when the pods rocked and shuddered as we hit atmosphere. And even then we kept falling, falling until the pod’s emergency navigation and drive kicked in. I focussed on getting our location from the data, felt the AI break the connection as the ship began to break apart above us.
“Daddy…” Suzie said, and then the line went dead.
I called her name, tried to keep my voice reassuring, called it louder when there was no response, screamed it when I saw the comms link had closed. The rest of the ride down made the entire trip out seem short.
We came down on the beach. The ship came down on the plateau where we’d been scheduled to land. That was why all comms had been terminated. Fortunately, the pods had not deemed fit to terminate the rest of us—and those little thrusters gave them vertical take-off and landing capacity. When the lid slid back above me, I was met by misting rain and the green-tinged smell of salt.
“Suzie?” I called, sitting still just long enough for the dizziness to pass. “Suzie?”
I panicked all over again, when there was no response and stood up so fast, that I fell down, out of the pond and onto the sand. I opened my eyes to the scarred and blackened undersides of two pods, and opened my mouth to call out again. I was thinking the worst, imagining lost pods, lost children, never seeing Suzie again, or hearing her sing that ridiculous song, when I registered that I was lying between two rows of neatly landed pods. Closing my mouth, I looked left and right, seeing pod hulls stretching in both directions, just as they had in the ship. I heard voices, other colonists emerging into planet-fresh air, the first rain they’d felt in years. My ears caught the sound of waves, and I thought, Suzie would love this.
And speaking of Suzie, where was she? I opened my mouth to call again and finally registered the two bare feet dangling above me. They were swinging back and forth, attached to two legs, the ship-suit rolled up to mid-calf. Drifting down to me in the misting drizzle, I heard her voice and caught the familiar strains of an old Earth song.
“Splash. Splash” she sang, as I stood up beside her.
“Splash. Splash,” as I wrapped my arm around her waist and she wrapped her arm around my shoulders.
“Splash. Splash,” I let my voice join in, remembering, as we both looked out past the orderly rows of pods to the storm swell beyond.
“Splash. Splash,” indeed.