Distracted

I'm going to be nicer today
Be mindful of words that I say
But that jerk in the car
Put two coins in my jar
And blew my intentions away


I'm going to stop smoking this week
I'm sick of the smell; my clothes reek!
But after last night,
When we got in a fight,
I lit up. I guess I'm just weak.

I promise each night
That I'll set things right
Come morn, my ideals are forgotten
I scratch and I cling
To each foolish thing
Even vices that make me feel rotten

So I hack and I cough
For each thing I put off
There's a payment that must be exacted
Still, this much I can do:
Write a poem for you --
Just as long as I don't get...

Oh look my show's on!

© 2013 Wakefield G Mahon III
 
Spectator

Razor-wire sculptures dipped in poisonous oil
Fascinating to observe
Deadly to touch

These addictions
Distractions
Delusions
Stealing truth
Stealing joy
Stealing pain

At night, I lie alone in mediocre meditation over emotions weakly acknowledged

Tinkle
The wind chimes beckon
Come let's play
Let us frolic in the springtime sun.

Liars!
Death hovers
One foot dangling o'er my doorstep
And here I've scarcely begun

(c) 2013 Wakefield G Mahon III








 
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It started with a touch of horror.  Last year, I wrote a story about the Pygmalion tale gone very wrong.  As I started work on other stories, a string of related themes gelled until AI: Genesis took on a life of its own.

The Book of Adam and Eve is the first novelette in the AI: Genesis saga.  The story introduces four of the main characters.  Adam Haddad is a bright man with big dreams that often exceed his reach.  Adam’s equally brilliant wife, Lilith has devoted her life to the study of neurology, psychology and sociology.  With the help of Adam’s lab assistant, Lucy, they embark on the ambitious project of creating genuine electronic sentience, a true artificial intelligence.

Longing and jealousy enter the equation and EDITH, their creation becomes so much more than any of them expected. Their lives will all change forever as they witness the dawn of an epic revolution.

The Book of Adam and Eve is available for your Kindle at Amazon.com.


 
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All I Want for Christmas
By Wakefield Mahon


I don’t have much in my former luxury condo. I have a couple of shopping instead of furniture. There are a few tatters and remnants of the furniture. Wires hang from the ceiling where they ripped my crystal chandelier from the ceilings.
The one really beautiful thing I have left is the view. Outside my panoramic, window shine the lights of the most opulent city on earth.
If I could ask that old guy in the red suit to bring me one thing in his sleigh this year, tell you what it would be: a good thick set of curtains.

100 words
@WakefieldMahon

 
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The End of Terrax
By Wakefield Mahon


The wall three feet away from Lilit exploded. She tucked the bundle in her arms under her cloak and surged forward. She jumped through the wormhole portal just as it closed.

She exited in a tropical oasis of some sort. Before she could take stock of her surroundings she collapsed from exhaustion.

She awoke with a strange garden with a tall gray-skinned man with large eyes in an oversized face kneeling over her with some sort of scanning device.

She tried to remember her elementary education. “Centaurian?”

“Yes.”

“Oh good, you understand me. Are you a healer?”

“Physician, yes. My name is Mikal. You are going to be alright. You’re safe now.”

“Nothing will ever be alright again. I couldn’t do anything to save them. I stood by helplessly while the Siriusians systematically exterminated my people.”

“But you escaped. You made it here safely, that’s something. And you are a very fertile people.”

“Doesn’t matter, I’m the only one left. Well except for Havah.” She panicked, momentarily, looking around for the bundle she’d been carrying.

Mikal held her up. “She’s fine, I checked.” He completed Lilit’s scan. “So, you see, all hope is not lost.”

Tears fell as Lilit shook her head. “I don’t know about Centaurian physiology, but two female Terraxians cannot reseed a race.

“Perhaps this will ease your mind.” He showed Lilit the results. “Congratulations, it’s a boy.”

Her tears became tears of joy. “Oh my little piece of earth from Terrax. I will call you Adam.”

250 words
@WakefieldMahon

 
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Loaded Dice
By Wakefield Mahon
“Derek, I swear I’m never playing with you again. Everyone knows the chances of rolling a six eighteen times in a row is 101,559,956,668,416.”
“Everyone, meaning you and who else? Fine, I’ll use your dice if you think I’m cheating.” Brenda’s dice slid across the table into Derek’s hand. “Do you want to roll first?”
@WakefieldMahon
55 Words

 
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Hannah und Greta
By Wakefield Mahon


Hannah heard the sound of drums, or maybe the pounding of her heart. Greta’s forehead rested against her own, inflaming her.
But it was a scene after all. Her sister Ute would call it silly cosplay nonsense.
They called Hannah the big bad wolf in the Leipzig underground clubs, but toothsome and oh so feminine Greta offered no asylum. “Not my type” she’d said.
“Hannah, can I see you after the shoot?”
Hanah’s heart raced. Could it be?
Greta slapped her back, “I would really love it if you could introduce me to your sister Ute, she’s kind of hot.”

100 words
@WakefieldMahon


 
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System Malfunction
By Wakefield Mahon


"Why bother bringing logic into this now?"

"I don’t know, perhaps because I’m a machine!"

"Look at your skin.  Listen to yourself, talk.  You were a machine before but you are definitely human now."

UR12 swiveled his head, still uncomfortable in his new body.  “That is not possible.  The limits of artificial intelligence are such that even simulation of intuitive decision-making is unreliable.”

“How do you feel?”

“I don’t feel.  I already told you I’m a machine.”

Eliza closed her eyes and touched his face.  “How do you feel?”

“I’m… I’m scared.”

“It’s okay; everything is going to work itself out.”

“How can you be so calm about this?”

“To be honest, I’m not all that calm. The idea that I fell in love with you or you fell in love with me and somehow this happened
doesn’t make sense.   I’m expecting any minute now to wake up and find myself in the psych ward.”  Eliza ran her hands over his face and through his curly brown hair. “Until that happens, it’s just you and me Pinocchio.”

“My name is not Pinocchio.”

Eliza’s eyes twinkled.  “Well you are definitely a real boy… or rather man now.”

“I don’t like feeling this primary cabin is malfunctioning.”

Eliza placed her hand on his chest and grinned.  She lay her head against the warmth and listened to the rapid patter of his heart.  “You are not malfunctioning, you are feeling.”

“What kind of feeling is this supposed to be?  I feel... ill.”

“I could spend a week trying to explain it to you,” Eliza leaned up and kissed him deeply, “but it would be easier to show you.”

 
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…it leaves a very sour taste in your mouth. 

Due to tropical forces beyond my control, this week’s planned vacation in paradise rather resembled the considerable warmer place without the fruity umbrella drinks or even the warmth for that matter.  Our cruise was cancelled, we lost power and at least a day of paid vacation, but as the old saying about lemonade intimates, that simply means I have a better footing as NaNoWriMo gets underway.

So November 1st is staring you in the face and you’re wondering.  What the heck am I going to write?  While I beg to differ with anyone who claims creativity can be taught, I do have a few suggestions that might help you get your muse started. 

We begin by breaking your 50,000 word novel into manageable chunks.  You are going to get sick of the word speculate.  In my opinion, all fiction is speculative.  Obviously the canon interpretation applies primarily to science fiction, fantasy and horror, but fiction in general asks the question, what would happen if?

Character

Think of someone you admire, someone you despise or even yourself.  Now imagine that person as:

  • a mailroom clerk,
  • an astronaut,
  • an ogre,
  • a dragon-slaying knight...

keep speculating until you find an idea that really captures your interest.

Setting

Place your character in a setting.  Start with the most likely and hop through genres until you find something fun.  Sure Toby the mail clerk probably works in the basement of the headquarters of some giant corporation,  but what if he worked:

  • on a space station
  • in Hell
  • in the mayor’s office of a twenties style city run by criminals,
  • in the office of a general who just staged a coup… 

Again, keep speculating until something catches your fancy.

Conflict

To carry a novel, you’ll generally want to introduce at least two levels of conflict, for this discussion will use personal and global as examples. 

Toby the clerk wants to change something about his life. 

  • He’s bored of life in space and wants to go home.  
  • He can’t remember how he ended up in Hell.  
  • Perhaps he’s in love with the mob boss’ daughter or wife (or son if you want to go that route). 
  • Maybe he’s the nephew of the deposed dictator looking for revenge on the new general. 
This first conflict should be universal and easily understood: love, fear, vengeance, a desire for meaning, etc.

Toby’s story is interwoven with a global conflict.  (Global in this case is not necessarily “Earth” It could be as small as the family home in which the story is set and as large at the multiverse) 

  • The giant corporation is battling media coverage which (fairly or not) accuses the company of wrongdoing. 
  • The space station is making first contact with an alien starborne race. 
  • The devil is missing and Hell is more chaotic than usual. 
  • A mob boss is making a move to go legit or to wipe out the competition. 
  • The new general is planning to use his new power to complete a ritual sacrifice
This is the conflict where you can be as creative as you want to be.

Now what?

Now take the pieces that you’ve brainstormed and really get down to speculating.  For each detail you uncover, ask:

  • What caused this event to happen?
  • How would this impact Toby?
  • How would this impact the global environment?
  • How do the other people in Toby's life play into the two conflicts?  What are their goals?
  • What if magic/advanced tech/espionage/murder/etc is really behind this?
Keep asking questions and keep writing my friends!


 
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What You Remember
By Wakefield Mahon


“You’re being difficult.” Robert sighed, running his fingers through what remained of his gray hair.

“The word you are looking for is recusant.” Amanda half-smiled. “Funny the things you remember. Anyway you’re not my father. Don’t tell me what to do!”

“Listen my grandchildren are coming over and you frighten them. Please go.”


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She smoothed out her blood stained prom dress “I’m not leaving until my date gets here.”

Robert wiped a tear from his eye. “I did. It took me years to get over the accident but I’ve moved on and it’s time for you to do the same.

******
A big "thank you" to judge Rakel' Sampson who saw fit to select my story as this week's winning Tuesday Tale.  And as always thanks to hostess Stevie McCoy for keeping the contest going!