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About Literature / Artist Senior Member Stephen R. SmithMale/Canada Group :iconthecabalists: TheCabalists
 
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Research

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 5:17 PM

People watching gets you the best characters to write with: listen to names while you wait to pickup your latte, eavesdrop on conversations, observe mannerisms, styles. You can’t buy that kind of research, but you can soak it up in the wild for the price of a cup of coffee, then let it all percolate in your mind.




“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.”

"It was in love I was created, and in love is how I hope I die"
Paolo Nutini
  • Reading: Dropping Ashes on the Buddha
  • Drinking: Coffee

Activity


Lauren struggled to open her eyes, the lids heavy, the light in the room blinding. What time is it? It was evening when–

"You're awake, good"

Darren. They were having dinner when she–

"The sedative will wear off shortly, you'll be a bit groggy, and the epidural will make it impossible for you to move, but try not to be alarmed."

She forced her eyes open, blinked as they teared against the bright light of the room. Darren stood facing her, stripped to the waist, one hand cradling the other elbow, idly stroking his chin with his free hand.

"The van I brought you here in is radio opaque, and this entire building is wired such that we're untraceable. I don't expect company."

He moved to a chair opposite, still watching her. On the table beside him she could make out an array of tools, and a camera on a long articulated arm, which he pulled and pointed at his midsection while he continued to talk.

"It's entirely possible that you don't know why you're here, and if that's the case, I will be happy to apologize, but I've a nagging suspicion that you do, in which case – well – we'll get to that later."

She could see clearly now, a flat screen on the table beside him flared to life, displaying a high definition view of his lower right abdomen, each individual muscle clearly defined, sweat glistening on the olive-coloured, tightly stretched skin.

"You won't remember," he continued, "around my nineteenth birthday when my appendix ruptured. Messy business, rushed to the ER. Doctor went in through my stomach with what I can only assume was an axe, judging by the scar he left behind. Hurt to do anything for months while it healed. Sneezing, oh my god sneezing was exquisitely excruciating."

He doused a cotton swab with dark brown fluid and scrubbed his right flank.

"Three years ago my body rejected the stitches they'd used, presumably they were supposed to dissolve, but they didn't, and eventually my body took notice and an abscess formed around them. Messier still than the first round, rushed back into the ER, and another Doctor went back through the same scar tissue with, I'm guessing, a saws-all this time and cleaned everything out."

He picked up a scalpel from the table, and paused, making deliberate eye contact.

"I'm pretty sure that's when they put it in."

She flinched and looked away, there was something about his eyes, a cold clarity that she wasn't used to that frightened her more than the fact that he'd apparently kidnapped her and stuck a drip line into her spine.

"One summer as a teenager I spent a day out at the beach, it was overcast and I didn't think about the sun but I burnt to a crisp. Do you notice the tan I've got now? Don't you think it odd that my delicate white skin has become so resilient to UV rays? Last week I was at my barber and he complemented me on my hair replacement program, wondered who I used because he'd never seen a bald patch grow back in so quickly and completely."

Still fingering the scalpel, he retrieved a number of gauze pads on their opened sterile wrappers and laid them on his lap.

"I can hear things far beyond what's natural, and I can feel things with a depth and fidelity that I've never known before. I can feel this," he waved the blade around his abdomen, "this foreign body in me, feel the virus it controls coursing through my veins. I can sense when they change its instructions and feel the ripple through my body, the newly versioned cells overtaking the obsolete ones as they die off and my entire being upgrades."

"Have you noticed, the scar on my stomach?" He stretched pulling the camera closer and panning across the smooth flesh, devoid of any imperfections. "You never commented that it had gone, but you must have noticed. Didn't that seem strange to you?"

Lauren studied him then, there was no doubt he was not quite the same man she'd first been introduced to, he was better in so many subtle ways, like a Darren that had been iterated over in design relentlessly.

"What do you want from me?" She sounded braver than she felt.

"Well, first I'm going to carve out whatever device they've buried inside of me, and I expect I should heal back up with alarming rapidity, and then we're going to determine whether the virus they infected me with is contagious, or if you're an observer, or perhaps this is just a double blind study and you truly don't know anything about it."

Lauren flinched. "What do you mean?"

Darren drew the scalpel across his stomach, blood welling out around the wound.

"Someone's been following me, that much I know, and I'm curious, for example, how when I met you, you were blind as a bat, and yet you've been able to pay such close attention to what I'm doing when your glasses are right here on my table."
Infectious
From Wikipedia: Flash Fiction - 'Flash fiction differs from vignettes in that the works contain the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to be unwritten, that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline.'

In the case of 365tomorrows - Flash Fiction is a story of ideally 500 words, and since the 3rd year a 600 word maximum.

Exercising the muscles.
Loading...
When the Alphas slaughtered the Charlies, Victor7 logged the incursion in his paper notebook and then meticulously removed all evidence of his tampering from both of their communications systems. The Alpha's had received 'intelligence' that the Charlies were going to sabotage their base for much needed supplies, and when they mounted a pre-emptive strike, the Charlies didn't know what hit them.

The Alphas had received similar intelligence about the Echo base, the Deltas and the Zulus, and misinformation, coupled with a modification to the stress inducing chemical makeup of the Alpha base rebreathers and food printers, made them an effective tool for reducing the clutter on the pretty blue rock they'd all been deployed on.

When mother arrived, it would be Victor7 and his brothers and sisters that stood as the Apex predators of record. It would be they who had adapted and overcome such that their DNA was most prominent in the population of the world in waiting for the coming children.

Victoria3 infiltrated the Tango and Kilo bases while they were turned away from the sun, the greenhouses safely isolated in the darkness while the rest of the station atmosphere was evacuated in one swift gasp. Safeties overridden, environment suits safely near the airlocks, just out of reach of those who so desperately needed them.

Their records would show an apparent murder-suicide by Tango2, and a drunken act of sabotage by one of the Kilo commanders when the news of her Tango lover's death reached her.

Soon the remaining bases deployed on this planet will be engineered to eliminate each other, all of them oblivious to the fact that the Victor base had ceased to exist on any of their servers or systems within hours of their awakening. Should anyone scrape through and find any reference to the Victor base and be curious enough to go look, they would only find a crater in the space it had never really been. The Victor team's invisibility was absolute and several levels deep.

Once the Alphas were no longer necessary in this engineered genocide, they would suffer a catastrophic failure of their fuel storage systems. "And that," Victor7 chuckled into his helmet, "will be the end of that."

Victor and his brothers and sisters would then spend the next months unpacking additional clone resources to man the necessary stations, consolidating the equipment and supplies into the active ones, shutting down any they couldn't easily maintain, and rewriting logs, records and personal communications across all of the bases to make it apparent how dangerous and treacherous they found their deployment to be, and for it to be clear how strong the Victor team must have been to survive when so many others perished.

They would ultimately unpack some of the remaining bases' clone stock from storage to breed selectively, but only once their engineering team could guarantee Victor-trait dominance. Genetic diversity was an unpleasant necessity, but the Victor lines must be maintained at the highest level of purity possible.

They were brilliant strategists, expert cryptologists, and fabulous story tellers. When mother arrived several genetic iterations in the future, that would be the message, that would be their history, just as they had written it.
History
From Wikipedia: Flash Fiction - 'Flash fiction differs from vignettes in that the works contain the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to be unwritten, that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline.'

In the case of 365tomorrows - Flash Fiction is a story of ideally 500 words, and since the 3rd year a 600 word maximum.

Exercising the muscles.
Loading...

Research

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 5:17 PM

People watching gets you the best characters to write with: listen to names while you wait to pickup your latte, eavesdrop on conversations, observe mannerisms, styles. You can’t buy that kind of research, but you can soak it up in the wild for the price of a cup of coffee, then let it all percolate in your mind.




“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.”

"It was in love I was created, and in love is how I hope I die"
Paolo Nutini
  • Reading: Dropping Ashes on the Buddha
  • Drinking: Coffee
The church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina is a horrible thing, and my heart goes out to the families and the community that's had a hole ripped into it.

We need to remember that this didn't happen because someone had a mental illness, this was motivated by hate.

People are born or develop mental illness, people live with and struggle with mental illness, it's not something we've learned how to prevent, but it's something we can manage, we can treat, we can support and we can lesson the severity of it for those affected.

Hate is taught.

We're not born with a genetic predisposition to hate someone based on their race, their religion, their sexual orientation - that has to be taught.

Parents have the power and the responsibility to teach acceptance, compassion, understanding. Teachers, church and community leaders, coaches, this responsibility is yours also.

Be constantly mindful of what you teach.

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.”

"It was in love I was created, and in love is how I hope I die"
Paolo Nutini
  • Listening to: The sounds of silence
  • Reading: Stardust
  • Drinking: Coffee

Tagged...

Wed Jun 10, 2015, 9:41 PM
Surprise. 
I was tagged by Toxic--sunrise

Rules
You must post these rules.
Each person has to share ten facts about themselves.
Answer the ten questions asked by the person who tagged you and make up ten questions for the ten you tag.
Choose ten people and put their icons in your journal.
You have to legitimately tag ten people.
No tag-backs
You can't say you don't do tags.
You MUST make a journal entry.


Facts
1. I have a massive collection of music, spanning everything from ABBA and Alphaville through Warren Zevon and Frank Zappa, and I listen to almost all of it.

2. I find it virtually impossible to be mentally productive unless I have headphones on and ambient music playing. I can procrastinate for hours and just by putting on the headphones it's like flicking a switch and shit just starts happening.

3. I occasionally find myself stuck in a place doing anything but moving on to the next thing. Sometimes I'm in the car having arrived at my destination, but I need to check every radio station 5 or 10 times. I don't understand it, I'm sure it's some form of anxiety issue, but I have to make a conscious and deliberate effort to break free and then I'm fine.

4. I'm obsessive about locking my car doors. I'll lock it, hear the horn beep, then lock it again to be sure. I've made it almost across the parking lot before turning back until I'm within range to lock it one more time and hear the horn chirp. I know it's entirely unnecessary, but I have to do it. I don't do that with anything else, just locking the car.

5. I'm an omnivore - there are some foods that don't love me, but I love all food, especially steak, and cooked in such a way that a good vet could get it up and walking around again without too much trouble.

6. I love chopping wood. People think I'm joking when I volunteer to chop firewood for them. It's not a joke. There's something amazing about swinging an axe, about breaking down logs into bite sized pieces that I love.

7. I think Lisbeth Salander is quite possibly my favourite character ever in any medium.

8. I pretty much only drink Guinness when it comes to beer, I used to drink all kinds of things, but I mostly can't stand North American beer. I like rye, bourbon or scotch, but prefer rye and bourbon over scotch, and quite honestly - given the choice between drinking alcohol and having a coffee, I'm more likely to drink coffee. Gin and tonic is a pretty solid choice too.

9. I used to be pretty damn good on the piano, but I'm out of practice and think too much when I play now. I miss being able to play well, fluidly, and I wish I had the time to get back to it.

10. I work too hard to find excuses for other people's shitty behavior. It's made it difficult for me to extricate myself from some really destructive relationships, because I always find a way to rationalize why the other person is behaving the way they are instead of realizing that their behavior is seriously harming me. I'm working on that one. I've come to realize that sometimes people are just assholes, and it's entirely ok to walk away.

Questionsssss:

1. Weapon of choice to create pretty things.
I use OmmWriter and BBEdit on my Mac to write. 

2. Favorite animal and why
Dogs - no question - no other animal will love you unconditionally like a dog will. No matter how shitty a day you've had and how much you want to be left alone when you walk through the door, a dog will love the shit out of you and make you feel better.

3. Pet peeves and why they bother you
I can't stand inconsiderate people. Hold the door, say thank you, pickup that piece of garbage in the park you just stepped on, ease up in traffic and let that car in. People who are obsessed with their own needs and oblivious of everyone else around them make me want to make them need a bandaid on their face.

4. Funding and time aside, what would you pursue in the vein of learning something new. Why.
Martial arts. I watch Bruce Lee and see the total mastery he had of his body and mind and am fascinated with the idea of pushing myself to the limit of my physical ability. I have no illusions of achieving that level of mastery, but I would love to see how far I could go.

5. Head canons about dragons and how they work
That's classified. I can only say that we make use of the naturally occurring fuels and catalysts that the dragon produces in its glands, we don't introduce any toxic chemicals into the mix no matter what the Dragon Huggers might have told you. The projectiles I can't talk about, but I will say they are *not* dragon dung - seriously, I don't know who comes up with that shit!

6. Security blanket/person/item growing up?
Space - whenever anything got too much to handle, I would walk by myself, usually late at night and clear my head. I still do that now when I need to - it's not as effective as going to the gym, or chopping wood, but let's face it, in the early hours of the morning chopping wood would surely start a fight.

7. Current favorite song
Blood and Honey by July Talk, and Exes and Oh's is worming its way into my head.

8. Favorite song back in 2011 (or earlier)
One of my all time favourite songs is Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits, or the entire Avalon album by Roxy Music

9. Small actions that make you want to smile.
People engaging in playful banter. When I make a joke, or comment on something, the people that jump right in and play along make me smile.

10. Things you do/would do to make a stranger's day.
Anything nice and unexpected, and it feels these days that anything nice *is* unexpected. I'll pay for the coffee for the people in the drive through behind me, the other day I went and bought bottled water for two women who were (unsuccessfully) trying to hand out religious material under the baking sun at a football game. I'll hold doors, buy food or coffee for homeless people, let cars into to traffic. Anything I can do to make someone else's day a little brighter makes me feel better, so it's as much me being selfish as it is me being nice. If I let you into traffic and you don't wave though, you bastard, I'll effn cut you!!!


“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.”

"It was in love I was created, and in love is how I hope I die"
Paolo Nutini
  • Listening to: The sounds of silence
  • Reading: Stardust
  • Drinking: Coffee. Decaf though, it's later than you think.

deviantID

SRSmith
Stephen R. Smith
Artist | Literature
Canada
Current Residence: Ontario, Canada, deviantWEAR sizing preference: XL, Operating System: Mac OSX, MP3 player of choice: iPod, Favourite cartoon character: Calvin, Marvin the Martian, Personal Quote: It's not what you're capable of, it's what you do that counts

NOTE: Please don't ask me to donate points, either in public or via PM. I support things I believe in entirely at random, and never on request.

There are a few of you who know I'm happy to put up prizes for Lit contests, and those few of you should feel comfortable asking, but if I don't know you, no offense but the answer will always be no.
Interests

Still waters run deep

"Yon Cassius hath a lean and hungry look.
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous."

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:iconmeghan-solo:
meghan-solo Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2015
thanks for the fav xx
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:iconnosugarjustanger:
nosugarjustanger Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015
Where have you disappeared to?!
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:iconfarand:
Farand Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015
:pie:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconnoahbear11:
NoahBear11 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
just wanted to say hello! i love what you do! have a great day today! Hug 
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015
Thanks for the fave
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:iconcalleighblack:
CalleighBlack Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Hey. So I talked to Antti and he is in Edmonton, which I understand is a long way from you. Bummer.
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:iconlexi247:
Lexi247 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015
Just stopping by to say hello :hug: Have a wonderful day!
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:iconcalleighblack:
CalleighBlack Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
BTW, continuing our "perspective" conversation from last night, you're officially one of mine. Just so you know.
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:iconeawood:
eawood Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2015
You are most welcome :)
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:iconcalleighblack:
CalleighBlack Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Hey. It is awfully nice of you to watch me too. Thanks.
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:iconcalleighblack:
CalleighBlack Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
It only took you two pieces to completely blow my mind. I like that in a writer. :D Thanks for taking me on a new, twisting, turning, awesome journey today. I can't wait to have time to "explore" your pieces.
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:iconmaheemodele:
MaheeModele Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Professional General Artist
Un grand merci pour le watch!
Thank you very much for the watch!
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:iconmeghan-solo:
meghan-solo Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015
thank you :)
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:iconblackdarknessvi:
blackdarknessvi Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014  Hobbyist
thanks for the llama :hug:
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:iconkate-colourtheory:
Kate-ColourTheory Featured By Owner Edited Dec 24, 2014   Writer
Thank you, thank you so much for the wonderful gift! :happybounce: :FeelingFree: :bouncyhai: Trampoline fun Toilet Paper lardgrinn woo Tard Bounce :chairdance: :officechair: Merry Christmas to you too! Christmas La Rainbow La -plz account- I hope you and yours have a safe and wonderful day, and a Happy New Year. :D :D :D

Again, thank you! lardgrinn woo lardgrinn woo lardgrinn woo 
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:iconchesterchatfield:
chesterchatfield Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my goodness, thank you, Steve! Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year, as well!
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:iconthemaideninblack:
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
Aw. :heart: you're the sweetest. Thank you, and have a lovely Christmas.
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:icondarvia123:
Darvia123 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my goodness happy late birthday and thank you so so so much for the points, it means so very much to me!!!
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