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February 25, 2007

Flash Fiction Number 12 - Rupert's Inspiration

Rupert’s Inspiration

Sometimes I read something or eavesdrop on a conversation in a crowd, or catch a smell that whips my head around.
In wonder I stare at the idea that just struck me like a bolt of lightning, all of my senses on high alert, mind buzzing like bees.
In a fury I try to capture the glimpse but later it never quite feels like the experience. How do you describe a moment that stands still when everything near is in clear focus and there is nothing else? And then the moment is gone. But something new remains. I am changed.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:22 PM

Flash Fiction Number 11 - Deep Snow

Deep Snow

Last night after driving Sarah home, white-knuckled through the blinding blizzard, she said she was going out sliding. When I dropped her off she went straight to the garage for her sled.
She was going back out in this mess and I just wanted to make it home alive!
I drove another hour, barely breathing. The whole time I was thinking how fun and free-spirited it would be to go sliding now! But I had long ago cleaned the sleds out of my garage.
I picked up a clump of snow and threw it at my car. It felt good.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:18 PM

February 21, 2007

When the going gets rough, don't take it personally

There is a difference between failure and success, and that difference is often not the same as failing or succeeding. If you know what I mean. There are times when failing is not something to be feared, but to be honored and accepted and even to be thankful for. Ok, more often than not, we don't recognize this. But here is what I'm thinking...Those times that I fail, the key to success is not really in whether I met my goal, but in my attitude in the face of failure. My attitude. Can I learn from my failures? Can I find a way to not only not repeat my problems, but to find solutions based on them, learn to excel BECAUSE of the failure? Is that an attitude or what?
Anyway, don't take failure personally, but peronalize it. Put your touch on it and change it into a step to success.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:27 PM

February 12, 2007

Flash Fiction Number 10 - The pig that he was

I tried this diagramming techniqe to write a flash fiction story. The directions in that article were confusing and I couldn't quite follow along the way it was written, so I just went ahead and wrote after getting some ideas down. But then tonight I read through the instructions again and corrected it, coming up with the intent. This really is a fun way of diagramming, kind of like mind-mapping in a story structure; beginning, middle (conflict) and end. My three words were, BEDROOM, FEAR, and PIG. After diagramming the second time, I discovered that my first draft had too many characters and too many points of view. So I rewrote it with the ideas from the second diagramming exercise. I only kept one sentance from my original. And that was in the middle. haha. So here is my second draft in one hundred words:

The Pig That He Was

The mirror in the bedroom doesn’t lie. The image he saw was kingly, and all that he was! He was the man. What happened in Robert’s bedroom was nobody’s business.
But if it was, he would be a star. The control was empowering, rewarding. He squealed in delight!
But then she disappeared, as if she was never there. Robert looked into the mirror at his own reflection. The pig in the bedroom squealed with fear!
The fat little gelatinous pig gyrated and squealed. It was too much. What would his friends think? Did they all hear? Robert ran and hid.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:40 PM

February 11, 2007

Flash Fiction Number 9 - Angry Face

Angry Face

The next time I see your face I will be angry. Because I cannot see it now, my eyes are clouded, like my mind.
I should be angry after all. Anybody in my position would be. You are probably angry too, but maybe you can see my face now. You always think clearly in times like these. Not me.
But then I see your face and it isn’t angry at all. I thought I would be angry but I’m not. Your face shows no sign of anger; only the face of calm that I see when I close my eyes.

Posted by carl1236 at 4:27 PM

February 10, 2007

Flash Fiction number 8 - The Journey

Another Flash Fiction in 100 words.

The Journey

It was early Friday evening when he indulged in the Journey. Sam drove all the way across town to a discussion group for a book he read five years ago. Yes, it was indulgent, as if he could afford to use time for anything but the mission.
But in the morning when the alarm buzzed, a smile crept over his face. He could have worked all night to prepare himself for the day, but the fate of the world needed to be resolved. Just like the mission.
Sam got up, shaved, showered, ate breakfast, drank coffee and went to work.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:38 PM

February 9, 2007

It's not that I'm open minded, but...

I am not closed-minded. It's different now. I'm not so closed minded that I cannot see the forest through the trees. I'm not so closed minded that I can hate and still call it love. It's different now. It came over me slowly, and all of a sudden I realized that I am not the same person now as I used to be. I remember being someone who bashed gay people, for instance, but somewhere along the line, I stopped needing to do that. I also used to reject other religions. I stopped needing to do that. I don't remember when and can't pinpoint any exact moment or incident that made me change. But I no longer reject other people like I used to. I am also not as insecure as I used to be. I remember how insecure I was. But that is not who I am now. It is different now. I don't exactly remember why I was so insecure, but I was. I guess you could call me open minded. But really I feel like it's not the open-mindedness that matters, but the 'not-being-close-minded' that does. So closed-minded that I could not see how to love other people like I want to be loved. I realized at some point, that I do not have to agree with other people and more importantly, that I don't need them to agree with me. Well, guess what, I have an open mind and my brain did not fall out! Mainly because I stopped having a closed, needy, controlling mind and started listening to my heart. I don't exactly know when it happened. But I'm thankful that it did.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:24 PM

February 8, 2007

Changing the work culture

To do what I was hired to do I have to change the entire work culture in our department (and parts of the entire organization)! So where do I begin? Is it possible to do this from the near-bottom of the food chain? I would say it is, and it all starts with ATTITUDE. MY attitude, not theirs.
First, I have to be darn good at what I do. Note to self: Work harder on this.
Then I have to have a great attitude of change and performance and cooperation, etc, without dying or tiring. Note to self: Work harder on this.
What I said yesterday holds true. Persistence is the key ingredient for problems we cannot solve quickly or overnight. Some things are just too complex and involve too many people. So I keep working at it. I predict that by this time next year, WE will be producing better quality projects in 20-25% less time. I have seen enough areas now where we can improve to know this is possible. I hope I can remember to check back on this blog entry at this time next year. Too bad I can't set an alarm on an entry to send me a notification. haha. I could do that in my task scheduler at work though, not a bad idea. I can include a link to this page. Fun! It'll be like a time capsule, reading this next year.
If I survive this job that long. ;-)
So, what's the next step? Get this project done! I'm working this weekend to make sure it goes out on time!

Posted by carl1236 at 8:33 PM

February 6, 2007

Persistence

I don't know what this has to do with motivation, except that it takes a lot of it sometimes to make anything happen. And it's not very motivating until it's accomplished.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:53 PM

February 4, 2007

The Puppy Bowl

I was supposed to get back into running this this weekend. My Triathlon season is not shaping up very well yet. Of course when it's this cold out, it's hard to get motivated to exercise outside. But I could go to the gym. So how do I explain my apparent lack of motivation? Stress? Could stress be sapping motivation to do something that I know is good for me and produces more motivation? It's a counterproductive attitude. But lacking motivation for exercise, I turned on the TV and caught the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet channel. That was funny! And I did two loads of laundry and studied Korean. I also took two short naps today. I still have no energy for exercise. For someone who is as busy as me, and maybe this is rationalization, this probably isn't such a bad thing. I might start running at work during lunch once it starts warming up to break up my day and relieve stress. We have a shower room. Now back to Puppy bowl! :-p

Posted by carl1236 at 4:54 PM

February 3, 2007

Flash Fiction Number 7 - A cup of Tea

A story in 100 words.

A cup of Tea

A German-made precision timepiece was not as regular as his visits. The early-morning crinkled smile, tea in a dainty white cup. You could count on it.
The earthy aroma wafted past my nose. I lifted my cup, closed my eyes, drew in the breath of life and like clockwork he arrived. His smile gestured for me to sit and enjoy life. So I sat, listened and smiled. Oh, the stories that are held in a cup of tea!
The noise from the street collided into my senses and the peaceful, earthy smell mixed with exhaust and commotion. He was gone.

Posted by carl1236 at 6:37 PM