Monday, February 27, 2006

Matthew entered the shadow studio, as it was called. He stood in the silent chamber, taking in the apparatus and the convex projection screen. The lights dimmed and he counted the seconds of silence while the hum of transistors and electrified circuits cut in as a steady, subliminal vibration. All the preparations had paid off. Soon he would be able to carry out his plan. His mind drifted through bits and pieces of the interview with the psychologist who'd certified his suitability for the procedure. Not everyone was allowed into the room...

"Tell me again about these voices you've been hearing," the psychologist’s voice stated unemotionally, eyes staring through the wire-rimmed glasses at Matthew.

"---It's when no one else is around. They call to me --- beaconing me --- as if they were around the corner, or in the next room. But when I go in, they've moved on --- and when I hear them again their condescension only builds." Matthew spoke like a man hounded, and the sensors on his fingers and pasted to his head confirmed the emotion.

"And these voices, do they ever tell you to do anything?"

"Yes. Yes, at night. It begins as insinuations, 'That girl next door would like someone to...' Then the demands become more direct, first as questions, 'Why don't you visit her and---' Then commands, 'Go to her now and---' And loud, very loud, sexual things, you understand --- I press my hands to my ears and fall to the floor, but they scream at me, many voices at once, an entire crowd, and won't let up." At this point he buried his face in his hands and began to cry, his frame shaking with emotion. It was a passionate performance and sustained throughout a film may even have sufficed for an Oscar nomination. The psychologist, though no connoisseur of acting, liked what he saw.

"I think I can certify your insanity," he told Matthew. "We shall begin the procedure in half an hour."

Matthew smiled inwardly. Those weeks of intense meditation and practice with his homemade lie-detector had put him in a position to claim anything he wanted, and have it officially approved as truth. Suddenly, light appeared behind the now rippling membrane. It was a weak, colorless glow at first, strengthening finally into a thick hue of green like one might expect in the illuminated brine of a fathomless ocean. It was his soul, his soul that formed out of the green ether as a dense, dark shadow. He reached out to it, to touch it, to embrace it, the ultimate embrace of oneself, which had been his intention all along. Had he been insane, the procedure would have extracted the pathological segments of his being and left them to dissolve into dust, to be vacuumed away and sealed in a specimen tube for scientific reference. But now the complete soul presented itself intact, stood before him in his reach. His hand felt drawn towards the real reflection but as his fingertips grasped, the soul turned away. His soul, too, had had intentions. It wanted out, out of dull, normal Matthew. A moment later it vanished entirely, and Matthew stood alone, a mere shell of his former self.

Story #340

Important announcement: The new blog discussed in the comments of the previous post has been launched with a premier story by Viruswitch:

All story contributions have been reposted at

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Indeterminacy Girls

Women fascinate me. I love women. I love their smiles, their hair, their eyes, the soft parts of the neck that seem to invite a kiss, the curves of their shoulders, and there it only begins. I'm in love with the feminine imagery I find randomly all over the Internet. I have wondered whether this makes me a pervert or a lecher. But I feel that I respect women, and I think I have always been caring towards women. I hope that this shows in the stories I write to the pictures and in my attitude towards these characters I've pulled out of the two-dimensional aesthetic. My esteem for women is not just for the physical, but for the playfully smart glances, for the charming wit that can make a conversation so stimulating and pleasant, for her refreshing intelligence. Women fascinate me.

It is not easy in life for a gender that is dominated in so many fields by the male. This domination is not fair nor is it right or just. I have been outraged over the fate of women in areas where order has broken down, or over the sexual exploitation of women tricked, beaten or sold into submission. It is such a tragic destruction of human potential. Perhaps that is why, in many of my stories, I turn the tables. It is the woman who is the predator and the man who is the victim.

Some of my stories have tried to explore the psychology of the female or ventured into the realm of female sexuality. Others have dived into the concepts of beauty and fashion. Still others have speculated what it would be like if the tables were turned, if women were in charge. Again and again I've written homages to the natural beauty of the women whose images I've found. Perhaps these apply as homages to womanhood itself. Or perhaps they are a mental pursuit of the mother archetype, as Herman Hesse's character Goldmund undertook a carnal pursuit.

I have gone through my stories and tried to make a selection relating to various aspects of femininity and/or masculinity in regard to women. It has become a long list, and sometimes stories could easily fit into many categories. No one, I know, will have time or inclination to follow all of these links. Here they are, just the same, each topic with a short synopsis.

The Psychology of Women
The thoughts and feelings of the women I've been close too were often a mystery to me. But I like the mysterious. I love delving into it, piecing the clues together, and then starting over again with the new mysteries that arise out of the discoveries. So I have as much trouble understanding women as anyone. The stories I selected here are speculatory in that sense. For example, what are the emotions that tear a woman apart? What happens when she is alone or out on the prowl or clowning with a friend? What goes on in her mind when she's deciding which boy to go out with, or how does a guy know whether or not she likes him? I don't know the answer to any of these questions. I'm only guessing. It's easy to make up vignettes to a photo - if it reads well, it is right, no matter how crazy or surreal. But to understand the woman you are with at any given time, is still a mystery to me, albeit a beautiful one. Maybe it all boils down to the wonderful song "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

Tables Turned
As I mentioned, females suffer much under the hand of male domination. The outrages go on: the struggles of a single mother trying to work and raise a child at the same time, the trafficking of women, the physical abuse by a violent partner, women raped and forced to bear the child, and rape period. There's very much to be upset about. I feel sometimes that I have mentally abandoned my own gender. I feel closer to women. I like them better. For example, I found myself trusting women physicians more than their male colleagues. I respect and admire their achievement in making it in a male-dominated field. When I had that old Ford that kept breaking down I brought it to a woman who ran her own garage after her husband had a stroke and could no longer continue. She was so engaged for her customers, she was so bright and wonderful to talk to, but she eventually had to close the garage because it was so difficult to find mechanics willing to work for a woman. These things get to me.

In some of my stories I've explored situations in which the tables were turned, in which men have fallen victim to women. Many of my male characters have met with horrid fates, and often they are not undeserving of these. One of my more extreme stories involved a duo of man-eaters. Once I imagined a situation in which the female sex has overturned male domination. Another shows how two girls solved the problem of their love triangle. We find out what a woman might do after breaking up with her boyfriend. Two other stories, but there are certainly more, show why it is neither advisable nor clever, to conquer a woman against her will. It might also be that I dislike the majority of my own gender, this writing of stories being my way of working out the aggression.

Standards of Beauty
Everyone has their own concept of beauty, their standard of aesthetic. For me it is a pleasure to the eyes to see a woman with grace and bearing who presents herself naturally. A woman who can smile, show sincerity in her eyes and be herself is always beautiful. Consequently, I don't think much of cosmetic surgery. I have no fondness for extremes in make-up or the arbitrariness of fashion. Some of the stories I've written have satirized standards of beauty. One of my personal favorites shows to what lengths a woman might go to feel beautiful. Another set of stories is involved with having the right face or legs. Two of my stories have solved the age old problem of acne and what to wear. I call these stories satires because they draw some quite exaggerated conclusions.

I'm all for female sexuality. I think there should be more of it. It's an insidious crime how women in some cultures are held in sexual ignorance, taught to believe their pleasures and sensations are a sin, robbed of the decisions that must be theirs to make. Nevertheless, for a man to write about female sexuality, the feelings of sexual awakening, a woman's attraction to the male or the female or herself, is a difficult thing to do. Maybe it can't be done. But I've tried. Five of my attempts might be the following: a story in which girls satisfy their curiosity about boys, a girl discovering her own sensuousness, a girl whose sensuousness is discovered by others and taught to her, the much lauded first time, and a narrative that might be seen as a confrontation with sexual inhibitions. No one, man or woman, should be ashamed of the natural feelings pertaining to one's own body. In fact, one should never be ashamed of feelings. It's what we make of the feelings that counts.

Role Reversal
There's a little known, short-lived German science fiction series called "Raumpatrouille Orion" (Space Patrol Orion) from 1965 - a cool insider's tip today. One of the episodes has Commander McLane journeying to Earth's counterpart on the other side of the sun, a planet where women wield all the power and men are delegated the menial tasks of gardening or science, which suit them best. Trouble is, the women have commanded their scientists to heat up up the sun to provide a more pleasant climate for the gardens to thrive, with the side effect of destroying Earth. McLane is at his wit's end using logic and reason to convince the women to call it off, while they just give him the runaround. It's an entertaining episode and tells much about which gender roles were prominent in 1960's patriarchal Germany.

Several of my stories deal with a reversal of feminine and masculine roles in a similar satirical vein, though the women do not come away as badly as the exaggerated feminists of that TV episode. One story shows how the selection of a suitable mate might be solved if societal norms on women were less restrictive. Another tale explores a woman's choices when she has complete and total control over two men. A future in which men are extinct is a further variation, and two final stories use biblical motifs to explore the idea of a female Goddess of the Universe and a (never tried?) twist to the Adam and Eve theme. I do not think the message of my stories is that women would do things better if they were in charge, but that they would do them differently, and at least no worse than the male has done. Perhaps these stories can also serve to help us reflect over the masculine norms we live with.

The rape of a woman is a very serious crime and an extremely sensitive subject for a man to talk about, or address in stories. It was not an easy theme for me to write about and all the while I had misgivings about it. I see, in fact, two different concepts: actual physical rape and the fantasy of rape. Rape fantasies, I believe, exist in both sexes to a smaller or greater extent. On the one hand, I think actual rape is an abhorrent crime. On the other hand, I have had, and I think every male has, fantasies of sexual abandon in which he takes a woman he wants by force. I have heard the vehemently stated idea that every man is a potential rapist. The statement is just as impossible to prove as it is to disprove. Because of these fantasies I often wondered about myself, how it would be in a concrete situation where rape was possible - until I was in such a situation and found that I could not do it. I wanted the woman, yes, but I wanted her to want me, too. And that could not be taken by force. The actual act would have been as cheapening and degrading to me morally, as it would have been to her emotionally.

Still, I have encountered in women these fantasies to be taken. Long ago I discussed with a girlfriend what her desires might be, and the spontaneous answer she shot back was, "rape me." As I approached her I saw fear in her face and she stated, "No, I didn't mean it" in a voice betraying a horror that it might have been too late to say no. Years later I had a frank discussion with another woman who told me she had erotic fantasies of being raped, but would be terrified of the real thing.

So I believe these fantasies exist, but that most of us know how to separate fantasy from reality. And the existence of these fantasies in a woman does not weaken the crime that such an act represents. All these thoughts were in my mind as I wrote the following stories. Two of the stories might be seen to demonstrate how titillating these fantasies might be, about a girl at a party and a girl in a bath tub. A final story deals with the real concept, suggesting a fitting retribution for the crime of rape.

Lolita stories
An exploration of femininity must also address the concept of Lolita. I have two such stories. The first of these was meant as an homage to, and perhaps slight continuation of, Nabokov's Lolita, a book which I read and marvelled at for the poetic use of language. That book has been misunderstood as a glorification of paedophilia. I think it is nothing of the kind. The original Humbert Humbert is not to be envied, and neither are the ones I invented.

As I stated above, women fascinate me. I'm in love with their minds, bodies, hearts and souls. This goes through my mind constantly when I am thinking of stories to write, and makes it no easy task, now, to select three representative homages. The first I share is to a photo showing beauty, pure and natural. The woman in the second picture is more hinted at than seen - that which we cannot see but must fill out with our remaining senses and imagination is often the more erotic. And the final photo is of my own muse, the one who married me, the one I was fortunate enough to marry.

The Male Perspective
Most of the above stories have been presented from the point of view of the feminine characters. A few of my stories have, however, focussed on men. One shows how difficult we men have it, coping with the opposite sex. There's a solution to sex addiction which might not appeal to everyone. Or we see how easy it might be if men had machines to produce their sexual partners. Still another story suggests that deciding between two women is not as easy as it may seem. In a satirical tale we see what might happen if there were ever a man who completely understood women.

I like women, and they are the easiest inspiration for me. A rate of seven stories a week in the beginning, and later five a week, is another explanation as to why pretty, young women are so often represented in my selection of photographs. But I have a trio of stories, a trilogy that may redeem myself among my own sex. In these I show that even women must sometimes pay a price for excesses: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. After all, if one gender is to get along with the other, there must be some give and take.


Note from Indeterminacy: Did anyone read this far? Amazing. That has got to be the longest post I've ever had here. I read at Alice's blog about this bi-monthly "Carnival of Feminists" thing going on. If Alice links it, that's good enough for me. They collect the best current feminist posts, and I was curious whether my stories might interest them, so for that reason, and just to do something different for a change, I decided to put together a serious, non-story post. If anyone thinks this (or some other post) should be nominated for the next Carnival, just go here.

My warm thanks go to Viruswitch for her valuable advice and feedback on how to prepare this article. You didn't think a guy could do this by himself?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Most of us have read of the tribes of primitive peoples who were terrified to allow their photography because they feared it signified the capture of their soul. They were right, but only if a special camera were involved. Cameras such equipped are rare, and only the combined magic of a morally lapsing Buddhist monk working with an Initiate in the ways of Gypsy mysticism and a fallen Hindu Brahman could bring together the waves of thought necessary to bless a camera in this way. What favors Ariel applied to garner such a camera is not known. But she wandered the streets, towns and nature in search of souls to collect. When she saw one, a smile and her pleasant please sufficed for permission to capture the light she saw in the eyes of her subject, though they knew not what they granted. Like most collectors, she collected and collected, with never an intention of surrendering one of her finds or ever of stopping. But because Ariel had taste and an eye for beauty, the souls she amassed lived quite happily together in their own private heaven.

Story #339

Thank you to Ariel for contributing today's photo.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lucy didn't think there would be any harm in signing up as part of the test audience for the new interactive cable system, and perhaps there wasn't. The cute boys in the beach scene popped out of the television and joined her on the couch, including her in their conversation, and - she was not entirely certain of this - the one casting furtive glances at her legs whenever she set eyes on the other. But the boys sat back and became politely silent as the infomercial sprang into the center of the room. It was a pretty witch who turned to Lucy smiling and exuding spells from her fingertips. She spoke in a steady, entrancing voice compelling Lucy to think of Ajax Detergent and how magically it cleansed, the idea billowing into her brain like an expanding soap bubble. She was ready to stand up and dash to the supermarket to buy a year's supply of Ajax when suddenly, without warning, the boys, the witch, and the entire program were preempted by a football game stumbling into the room.

Story #338

Oh yes, the announcement about "Something else is going to happen Monday that could cause me to lose the majority of my readership. So enjoy this quiet weekend before the storm..." The announcement is that I've proven that I can drone on with the best of them, even breaking the five minute barrier! (Yes it's my voice, and yes it's a true story). P.S.: This is a photo contribution from Viruswitch!

All your stories have been reposted at

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fang Jing posed for pictures on the ice. But the photos were an anti-climax. She appeared mild-mannered and completely harmless. Seconds ago she had been a dynamic fury of action, soaring through the air, battling the water-breathing dinosaur hydras from outer space that had come to Earth to make everything wet. It was an opportunity Fang Jing had waited for all her life. She swallowed an ice cube to activate her superpowers, and - in the twinkling of a snowflake - was transformed into Winter Woman! She bombarded the massive beasts with snowballs formed out of thin air. She breathed sub-zero breaths at them, shot icicles clear through their thick hide. Finally the creatures began to slow down, tremble and succumb. They slipped into the river and Fang Jing froze them over with ice. Once again humanity had been saved from a fate worse than self-annihilation. All in a day's work for Winter Woman!

Story #337

A warm thank you to "Forgetful Anita" - the Chinese blogger brave enough to loan me some of her photos to play with. Anita knows English and German well, and posts (in part) Chinese translations of her favorite poems in these languages. She also posts the original text, so anyone knowing English or German and no Chinese, can still find enjoyment there. Unfortunately, she cannot read any of our blogspot blogs, as these are currently blocked in China.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Attention friends of Dushan and Elli of and The sites are temporarily offline due to a move to a new provider. Also Elli and Dushan will be on vacation for a couple of weeks in Tunisia! Have a safe and pleasant journey!!

The entire art class brushed in their naive paintings of a forest. When they had completed the task the instructor clapped his hands together and stood by as his students vanished into their newly created worlds. It was the only way to teach them art appreciation. Let them live in their simple perspectives and their scenes without detail or depth. Let them spend a fantasy lifetime there and suffer firsthand the banalities they created. Let them return better artists, more thoughtful of affect, more appreciative of nuance, more feeling for form and composition. It worked for everyone. Except Sven. He had taken care to paint a tractor into his canvas. This he drove to the nearest town and lived the high life until it was time to return. The rest of the class went on to jobs as illustrators, portrait painters, decorative designers, and what not. But no one would take Sven. He went on to a life of poverty and non-appreciation and relative obscurity, though he was later recognized as the most brilliant artist of the era.

Story #336

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lillith and Lioma had the glow. They glowed in curious red and turquoise tints. It was tragic. They had gotten too close to reality. Not the filtered impressions one drinks in through the senses, but the absolute actual thing, direct injection into the brain. Once that happened they were changed. They weren't little girls anymore. They had grown up, inheriting a cosmic sense of humor. Just now someone had told them it was a sin to glow the colors they glowed. It violated the absolute morality layed down by ultimate holy law. That's when they lost themselves in laughter. They could see the absolute morality, and it looked nothing like they'd been told.

Story #335

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It was Valentine's Day. I brought down the wall-bed and there she was.

"Who are you?" I asked the girl prone on her back wearing a mini skirt and casual black boots.

"I am the ghost of girlfriends past," she moaned at me the way a ghost would.

"How delightful to see you," I told her, showing her my undivided interest - as I was indeed delighted to see her - or all of them, even if the relationships hadn't lasted all that long. I began to recognize Miriam's eyes, Simone's thighs and Katherine's arm resting demurely below the tautly covered breasts that I knew were Tricia's and Tina's respectively.

She offered me Vickie's hand and I grasped it in mine. Instantly we were out on the town, on a conglomerate of first dates. But it went terribly wrong in a faux pas flurry of slurped soup and stepped on feet and overstepped bounds followed by slaps to my face, and the odd kick below the belt. I returned limping to my room, having lost them all in one night. There on the bed lay another girl.

"I am the spirit of girlfriends present," she stated less eerily, because she wasn't dead.

I recognized all three of my current flirts in one body, which was kind of a touchy situation, as they weren't supposed to know about each other. She sprang up and glared at me with Georgia's fiery eyes and clawed at me with Lina's razor-like fingernails and spat at me with Vera's venomous mouth. It was all I could do to toss the three of them back onto the bed and close it into the wall before she could lunge at me again. She would have scratched my eyes out, I'm sure, and swallowed them for breakfast.

After a long quiet I deemed it safe to open the bed again. "I am the imagination of girlfriends yet to be," announced the dark-haired beauty, her suggestive voice melting the icy fear of the previous visitation. I looked into her eyes and saw a collage of girls I'd had my eye on or stalked. She stared a beaconing gaze at me, then curled up on the bed, as if awaiting my advance. But she began to snigger as I approached, then to laugh outright, louder and fiercer. The love in her eyes turned to wicked mirth the nearer I came, and the laugh full of wrath. I pounced onto the bed to claim her kiss but found my mouth full of chicken feathers spurting from the mattress. After my coughing settled I noticed she was gone, and a note left on the pillow: "I'm leaving you, retroactively."

But the day was still young. I went to the store to buy a new set of Valentine cards.

Story #334

Who needs reality, when there's the beauty and creativity and fascination and imagination and savvy and sensuousness of all these lovely blogging ladies I list below. Believe me, I wanted to write all of you into a story as the ultimate archetypal companion, friend, and lover but even some fantasies can never be put into words, which is why I decided on an anti-Valentine's story instead. But without further ado...

A collective hug and kiss and Happy Valentine's Day to all my favorite femmes:

A Woman, Abby Taylor, Actonbell, Alice, Ally, Ana-ng, Angel, Annush, April, Atomicvelvetsigh, Barbara Shaurette, Bio, Carrie, Carrie, Cheesecakeerian, claudBLOG, Colette, Cori, Courtney, Deb, Diamonelle, Encandescente, Enemy of the Republic, Erika & Gabrielle, Frances Bo Bancess, Fring, G.D., Gabriela, Geekgirl, Girl with a Suitcase, GirlieLezz, Helen, Icy, Illyria, Ingrid / Miranda / Mandy / Spork / Wootton (five girls in one), Jamie Dawn, Jane, Jem Lambert, Jennifer, Jess, Jessie, Johanna, Ju, Kathryn, Kristina, Kvitsh, Laura Carter, Lauren, Little Bar of Soap, LiVEwiRe, Livinia, Liz, Lucy, M.P., Malapert Minx, mD, Milamber, Miss Brightside, Miss Jay, Monika, Mrs. Weirsdo, Nyanda, Ophelia Rallek-Porta, Ostrich, Patricia Jenkins, Peppermint Patty, Pia, Princess Dominique, Rhoda, Riss, River, Roachz, Saheli, Saksak Puso, Samai, Sar, Sarsparilla, SeizeTheNite, Sk8-rn, Soulkin, Still Life, Sylphidine, The Gray One, Tiffany, Tina Dupuy, TwistedNoggin, Virus Witch, Young at Heart in San Diego, Zeitghost and Zielonooka.

Even if some of you are married or taken or lesbian, and even if one of you is married to me!

And thank you to my past love, Girl with a Suitcase, whose recent reappearance reminded me of today's photo...

Monday, February 13, 2006

As the darkness reached its midnight crescendo she sauntered over to him, her wants, her needs driving her. He'd stood there in a giddy daze following the creative exertion, spiritually spent, without a single thought of her, but her shuffling feet alerted him, drew him to awareness after the long weeks of tinkering. The sight of her brought memory. He drew the loaded stapler from his pocket and turned to meet her looking up at him. Amazing how inductive she was, that she knew to come to him. Fortunately it was dark and no one would see. What an odd sight to explain, if anyone did happen to catch a glimpse. The stapler neared her lips and she felt - if she could be assumed to feel anything - a metallic ecstasy. That girl he'd made out of paper clips and plasticine had an insatiable appetite for staples.

Story #333

The story contributions have been reposted at Thanks for an entertaining weekend!

Friday, February 10, 2006

In 1869 Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) published something that might be slapped onto the face of blogging. It is a passage from "Innocents Abroad" describing the sea voyage to Europe on the good ship Quaker City:

After prayers the Synagogue shortly took the semblance of a writing school. The like of that picture was never seen in a ship before. Behind the long dining tables on either side of the saloon, and scattered from one end to the other of the latter, some twenty or thirty gentlemen and ladies sat them down under the swaying lamps and for two or three hours wrote diligently in their journals. Alas! that journals so voluminously begun should come to so lame and impotent a conclusion as most of them did! I doubt if there is a single pilgrim of all that host but can show a hundred fair pages of journal concerning the first twenty days' voyaging in the Quaker City, and I am morally certain that not ten of the party can show twenty pages of journal for the succeeding twenty thousand miles of voyaging! At certain periods it becomes the dearest ambition of a man to keep a faithful record of his performances in a book; and he dashes at this work with an enthusiasm that imposes on him the notion that keeping a journal is the veriest pastime in the world, and the pleasantest. But if he only lives twenty-one days, he will find out that only those rare natures that are made up of pluck, endurance, devotion to duty for duty's sake, and invincible determination may hope to venture upon so tremendous an enterprise as the keeping of a journal and not sustain a shameful defeat.

One of our favorite youths, Jack, a splendid young fellow with a head full of good sense, and a pair of legs that were a wonder to look upon in the way of length and straightness and slimness, used to report progress every morning in the most glowing and spirited way, and say:

"Oh, I'm coming along bully!" (he was a little given to slang in his happier moods.) "I wrote ten pages in my journal last night--and you know I wrote nine the night before and twelve the night before that. Why, it's only fun!"

"What do you find to put in it, Jack?"

"Oh, everything. Latitude and longitude, noon every day; and how many miles we made last twenty-four hours; and all the domino games I beat and horse billiards; and whales and sharks and porpoises; and the text of the sermon Sundays (because that'll tell at home, you know); and the ships we saluted and what nation they were; and which way the wind was, and whether there was a heavy sea, and what sail we carried, though we don't ever carry any, principally, going against a head wind always--wonder what is the reason of that?--and how many lies Moult has told--Oh, every thing! I've got everything down. My father told me to keep that journal. Father wouldn't take a thousand dollars for it when I get it done."

"No, Jack; it will be worth more than a thousand dollars--when you get it done."

"Do you?--no, but do you think it will, though?

"Yes, it will be worth at least as much as a thousand dollars--when you get it done. May be more."

"Well, I about half think so, myself. It ain't no slouch of a journal."

But it shortly became a most lamentable "slouch of a journal." One night in Paris, after a hard day's toil in sightseeing, I said:

"Now I'll go and stroll around the cafes awhile, Jack, and give you a chance to write up your journal, old fellow."

His countenance lost its fire. He said:

"Well, no, you needn't mind. I think I won't run that journal anymore. It is awful tedious. Do you know--I reckon I'm as much as four thousand pages behind hand. I haven't got any France in it at all. First I thought I'd leave France out and start fresh. But that wouldn't do, would it? The governor would say, 'Hello, here--didn't see anything in France?' That cat wouldn't fight, you know. First I thought I'd copy France out of the guide-book, like old Badger in the for'rard cabin, who's writing a book, but there's more than three hundred pages of it. Oh, I don't think a journal's any use--do you? They're only a bother, ain't they?"

"Yes, a journal that is incomplete isn't of much use, but a journal properly kept is worth a thousand dollars--when you've got it done."

"A thousand!--well, I should think so. I wouldn't finish it for a million."

His experience was only the experience of the majority of that industrious night school in the cabin. If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year.


No, I'm not sick of blogging, even though I've only posted sporadically of late. Work, family and my voluntary Tucholsky translation project have thrown me out of the storywriting equlibrium. I have hopes that the next week will be better. Thank you all for bearing with me. I really do hate to disappoint someone coming here expecting a story and finding none.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I worked on another Tucholsky translation which I'll post next week, and I posted a finished translation at the Tucholsky blog, so I guess I can send you there in lieu of a story here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Caledonia was one of those girls who made strong demands on her lovers. They had to look nerdy when they pointed those two staring eyes at her. Her body always made eyes stare. She liked their heads to be decorated with a baseball cap, and the back of the neck shaven just the day before, so she could run her fingertips against the prickly fuzz that sprouted there. They must have a timid disposition, for it was her habit to sneak up on them and pounce, usually while their thoughts wandered - she loved the startled reaction. They must be all thumbs and thin-lipped because, honestly, what girl could resist the feel of thumbs all over her? Or thin lips exploring her? The moment she spotted a specimen, the perfection of all her desires, she knew. She held her fingers in the shape of a heart and peered through at him, her way of symbolically declaring him fair game. But it wouldn't last long. After the first few hours the sterility of perfection always began to bore her.

Story #332

Thanks for all the stories you guys/gals wrote. They have been reposted at This story is also an answer to River's tag with the perfect lover meme. The first five people who read this are hereby tagged (I've tagged three myself - Bar of Soap, The Devil, and Lula):

1. Come up with 8 different points of my perfect lover.
2. Mention the sex of the target.
3. Tag 8 victims to join this game and leave a comment on their comments saying they’ve been tagged.
4. If tagged the 2nd time, there's no need to post again.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Guess what! The Alien Guy is back again. You have to check this out: