27 août 2006

"Lonely Moon" short-story contribution

As soon as he came to, Rafe started screaming for help. He yelled until his throat was raw, until his voice cracked, until he had no voice left. Fear was making him sick.
How long had he been out? How late was it?
He knew he’d hurt his leg when he’d fallen down the hole, but he didn’t dare reach down to find out how bad - as long as he couldn’t feel anything from the knee down, then he couldn’t feel the pain either, and that suited him fine.
He tried to sit up, but it felt like his bone was tearing his leg open and the pain was suddenly blinding, so horrible that he couldn’t remember hurting so bad, ever. He screamed and sobbed for his parents, his voice miraculously brought back by the sudden need for his mom’s warm touch, for his dad’s stern talking-to. How many times had they warned him not to wander out after sunset, and never behind the barn where the ground was known to be treacherous?
How could he have been stupid enough to do it on the one evening his parents were out? Would they ever forgive him?
Please God, please. Please let my parents come back and find me. Please God. I’ll never do it again. Please God. I’ll be good. Please God.
Still sobbing, he looked up through the opening, willing the clouds to move away from the moon. Surely, that would make it easier for God to hear.

Jason's blog here.
Competition rules here.

24 août 2006

The use of brackets may not necessarily add clarity.

Let's see if this works... Yeah, the words do appear and they seem to make sense.
Hmmm. Not so much apparently, I typed "to make to make" and it took me a while before I realized that I was not, in fact, drunk and seeing things double, they were double.
A-a-nyway. Things are just a little bit hectic these days, and I'm not good when things are hectic. I tend to not write anything because well, things are hectic, and I am tired - even though, ironically, as things are hectic, the days are filled to the brim with hilarious events (deciding to take on a huge big long translation from a language I hardly ever use anymore), non-events (deciding not to take on a shortish translation from a language I almost use everyday), missed events (meeting with Colin Jackson - yeah, not really missed, and not really an actual event for that matter, but I'm hoping he'll google himself and land on this site one day), almost missed events (meeting with Terri and her husband and taking three hours to get there when it really should have taken half that time), stupid decisions (volunteering for an international sports event), etc., so it would be just the perfect time to try my funny writing bone, wouldn't it...
(how they would fare in the retelling is another matter but hilarious they were. I guess you'd have had to be there...)
Life's unfair, innit. Oh. Well.

In other, real news, Jason at Clarity of Night is staging another short fiction contest, so I suggest you go have a look-see and maybe even contribute.

13 août 2006

Salut les p'tits clous

That is one reference that none of you will get (unless you were growing up in France in the mid-eighties? I didn't think so), but I like to retain some mystery. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The meme monster has struck again, this time through Nome, who is apparently curious as to my musical tastes. She'd better gear up for a nasty shock - I'm hoping she'll be fine once she's read the answers. But she might need every help she can get, I'm counting on you.
Post your top ten artists, the first song you heard by them, the one that made you fall in love with them, and your current favorite.

Numero Uno - Dean Martin. He gets first place even though I hardly listen to him anymore, but he had such an impact on so many things... First song I heard was probably Everybody Loves Somebody. The one that made me fall in love was probably Things, or Corrine, Corrina. Or Houston. Yeah, probably Houston, in fact. King of the Road? Hmmm, maybe... Anyway. My current favorite would be Hey Brother Pour the Wine, or Sway.
Living Colour. First song was a whole tape, in fact (yeah, that far back...), Pride. The one that made me fall in love (although the love of my at-the-time life made me discover them, so I was pretty much going to love them all anyway... I'm a lot harder to convince these days.) was Solace of You, and my current favorite is Love Rears Its Ugly Head (Soulpower Re-Mix).
Let's face it, I'll never make it to ten. I might copy Fence and stop at five.
The Beatles. The first song I heard was probably
Girl, in school, when we started studying English. The one that made me fall in love would have to be Drive My Car, and my current favorite is definitely Come Together. Definitely.
Queens of the Stone Age. That's really all because of one song, conveniently the first one I heard, the one that made me fall in love with them, and my current favorite: Burn the Witch.
Four? Hmmm...
M. Yes, he's a singer. A French singer, ooh, ooh... Some of them are good, let it be known. First song I heard must have been the same one as everyone else in France, Machistador. It's also the one that made most fans fall in love with his peculiar style (can "peculiar" be used when reviewing a singer? Do you call that "reviewing"? Well then.). My current favorite, not sure... Qui de nous deux, maybe.
Camille Bazbaz. Also French. Very cool, slightly eroticizing, a mix of French variété and reggae, and, and, and... First song I heard, Sur le bout de la langue. Song that made me fall in love with him, Tutto va bene, and current favorite Souviens-toi.
And, ex-aequo for the rest of the rankings, Fishbone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cream, The Little Rabbits, Nappy Roots, Death Cab For Cutie, OMD, Spoon, etc., etc., etc.
My problem is I don't really go for artists, more for tunes. I know, I know, I know. But that's the way I do it.

By the way, lots of these could help you find the answers to the musical quiz. Just sayin'.

10 août 2006

I'm drunk on power and melon juice.

Really more on melon juice than on power, but what can I say, it sounded good. Didn't it? Didn't it?
The power trip, if you really must know, came from my monthly walk to the post-office. August being what it is, it was almost empty: there was one person ahead of me in the queue. Now, that's really unheard of. Typically of course, there were more people manning the counters than at peak hours during the proper working months, when the lines are two or three folds deep, but who would I be to complain? Yeah, don't answer that.
So there I was, not believing my luck that this was really going to be that quick and painless.
Well it wasn't.
Two guys turned up behind me, waving frantically at the woman I was just. about. to go up to, going "you just phoned me?" in stereo, and advanced triumphantly to the spot that was rightfully mine, after a token 'sorry'. The woman at the counter apologized, saying something about parcels, bla bla bla, but they were kinda cute, and I was in a good mood. I smiled it off.
That unsettled her deeply, I could tell.
When it was finally my turn, she apologized again. Gave me my stamps, took my letters, apologized again, offered pre-stamped envelopes, which I turned down, apologized again, thanked me for my change, apologized again, and wished me a good day.
Those four-inch high shoes are working like I would never have believed.
Now, the melon. Well, it was very ripe. I suspect I'm on a sugar high. Thank god I've kicked off my shoes, or I'd be hitting the ceiling right now.

09 août 2006

An idle brain is the devil's workshop

Ever noticed how, in the morass of set sentences that people will throw at you when they're at a loss as to what to say, one will shine through that is at least half-true? And how, if you look closely, this sentence may not, in fact, make sense?
Take my personal favorite
for instance: "it's when you're not looking that you'll find it". Wrong! If I'm not looking, I'll just miss it, won't I?!
Or "the sun always shines after the rain" - tell that to Noah. The guy had to endure 40 days of unrelenting rain, and what for? He was the one left to scoop up all the happy couples' poop after that. I'm pretty sure he'd beg to differ.
Oooh, oooh, and "where there's a will, there's a way". Now. I wonder how no one (or if someone, for that matter) has ever used that one to justify rape, fraud, murder...
OK, I'll stop here. But you see? Three examples - and they do say that good things come in threes. And right there, we reach the crux of my quibble. Because they're not always good, those threes. I very much wish they were, though, because two of my friends whose lives had already taken a turn for the better have just recently found a job, and it would be much appreciated - very. much appreciated - if I made up the third part of that decent threesome. But previous experience tells me that a third friend will phone soon to let me know that they too are on their way to professional happiness.
Anyway. I do sense a pattern of threes these days. Like the number of bills I have to pay, or the number of films I've seen in the past three days (oh my god. two threes in one sentence?!), or the number of people I've seen picking their nose, for example. So there was the lady on the train the other day, and some undetermined person (surely there was some undetermined person, there's always an undetermined person picking their nose somewhere), but the one that will stay with me for a while is the guy on the street yesterday. He was being so thorough at it that I almost patted him on the back in congratulation when finally, after a couple of unsatisfactory forays up his sinuses, he was happy with what his finger had excavated. Definitely, for him, third time was lucky.

07 août 2006

Poll time

Dear [insert name of potential boss here],

After reading your ad on [insert name of job forum here], I would like to submit my resume for your consideration, even though I'm not sure it will help my cause: it will tell you that I'm an English-French translator, hence that I should be able to write - who knows, though... -, but it won't really mention my passion for all things cinema, American or otherwise. Similarly, it won't mention that I'm a contributor on a collective blog about Paris, for a Britain-based readership (Voice of a City Paris*, if you want some writing samples). And of course, there is the conspicuous absence of any experience in production.

Having no precise idea of what this internship covers, it's difficult for me to say that I'm the best candidate for the job, but hey, it's worth a try: I'm the best candidate for the job, and I really hope that you will consider my application.

So... you think it would fly?

*Notice the clever plug...

04 août 2006

i'm sorry - it's what?

August. We're in August.
I know we've been in August for a couple days, thank you, but I've only just realized exactly what it implies.
Paris is now deep in estination* (same as hibernation, except in the summer, and don't look it up, i don't think that word exists.) - half the shops are closed, half the people are gone, strangely though, the metros are as packed as ever. Also, it's cold. It took less than a week to go from sweltering to slightly chilly.
I wish that fifty
years ago we'd all decided that body odors were something we could all deal with and that we'd collectively agreed to stink to high heavens, instead of using those CFC-filled cans of deodorant - the seasonal divide would be a little more reliable.
Whatever. Even though it takes the bulk of this post, I'm not here to talk about the weather. There are much more important issues at stake. What am I going to wear when this translation is over and I have to face the outside world, for instance - because it's hard to dress in this weather. Damn. Again about the weather. I'm turning British.
More importantly though, I'm wondering how time can fly by so quickly that my whole life will be over before I can say "where the hell did all the time and fun and games go that I can't even tell where the hell they did go question mark question mark question mark, and exclamation mark for good measure".

* estivation. there. that's the proper word.

02 août 2006

Acting rich isn't all it's cracked up to be...

So I'm still as sane as I was before - or no more insane than... you get the gist.
And you know why? Because this is the first class that I had to deal with on my trip back: no fancy lamp on/in the head rest, hardly any leg room, a bit of tomato stuck between the window and the air vent... Second class, then, except cheaper.
I'm seriously considering asking for reimbursement.
Also. If you think that rich people act better, I have news for you. They pick their noses in public like the best of us beggars.
Now... when I say I'm no more insane than last week, I might be stretching the truth a bit. I actually lost the remainder of my marbles due to the very deliberate attack of a dragonfly, aided and abetted by a mammoth moth. Yes, they were ganging up on me, I could tell, stop it!
Now... when I say "attack", I might also be stretching the truth ever so slightly. Still. There was definite waiting. For me. For the right time to pounce. For the right area of flesh to be attainable for easy biting. I suspect that if my dad hadn't come back and killed them both ruthlessly to save me, I wouldn't be writing this. I'd be wearing a nice padded jacket, arms firmly folded against my chest, eyes rolling wildly, mixing profanities and high-pitched shrieks with the skill of a very experienced DJ, while a tiny but growing thread of spittle glistening in the glare of the neon light would finally justify the title of this blog.
But hey. They're dead, and I'm still loose. Acting rich mightn't be all it's cracked up to be, but it sure beats acting sane.