Friday
Oct292010

Barely Measured: Handbags and Accessories

Friday
Oct292010

Mini-Tales: The Great Cheese Caper

I took the prompt (in bold) and wrote for 5 straight minutes.  This is what I got:

It all came down to how much cheese he could fit in the tire.

 

We had spent six months planning the job. Red Mill was known as Detroit's finest dairy and produced a brand of cheddar Gourmet Magazine had called “The cheese world's answer to crack!”

 

It had been Charlie's idea for our first heist to be Red Mill. We were new to the international criminal scene and figured that a dairy would be easier than Fort Knox or the Louvre. Stealing several hundred pounds of cheddar would at least pay my kid's private school bills.

 

The plan was simple; dig in from the laundromat next door, grab the cheese, and then sell it on the Columbian black market. The digging part was easy, but tonight, the biggest night of my life, Charlie had forgotten to bring the coolers. We were in the dairy and had no way to get the cheese out. There weren't any boxes or containers anywhere. All I could find was one old tractor tire.

 

The doorknop turned. I grabbed an armful of cheese blocks and shoved them in the wheel.

 

The door flew open and in walked Mitch Killjoy, the deadliest security guard in the cheese industry.

 

“Gangway!” I bellowed and ran the enormous tire into him, knocking him over. “I'm stealing this cheese for my kids!”

 

There were screams and gunshots. I heard Charlie running behind me. And then we were out the door, pushing our cheese tire down the highway toward freedom!

Thursday
Oct282010

Mini-Tale: WHEN MUTANT CATS ATTACK!

This time the prompt I used was the picture below.

It was just another day in Tankyo city. Flipper and Gilly were going for a swim around the tiny castle that blows bubbles, completely unaware that danger was lurking nearby.

A dark shadow fell across the watery metropolis. The fish looked up and stared in amazement and terror as an enormous orange feline face stared down at them from the dray air above.

“Look! It is Catzilla!” Flipper said with words that didn't sync with his lips. “King of all Felines!”

The fish swam as fast as they could, stampeding over one another as Catzilla lumbered through Downtown Tankyo breathing fire and gobbling up guppies by the mouthful. He hit the power lines and left a path of wreckage in his wake.

Airplanes flew in and attacked Catzilla with machine guns shooting barnicles. This just made the monster roar louder.

Finally, the fish military knew they had no choice. They launched the scooping net used to deposit dead fish out of the tank. The net hit Catzilla who roared with fury and was flung out of the tank onto dry land once again.

“Our city is saved!” Declared Flipper with a voice that still didn't sync. “But for how long?”



Thursday
Oct282010

Gobbledygeek

This is a really cool internet radio show that celebrates all things geeky.  If you love things geeky (and come on, you know you do) check it out.

Gobbledygeek


Tuesday
Oct262010

Shotgun Reviews: Nothing by Janne Teller

Nothing is young adult novel b Janne Teller. It was translated into English by Martin Aitken in 2010.

 

After Pierre Anthon declares that nothing matters, he climbs into a plumb tree and refuses to get down. The other kids in his seventh grade class decide to show him that life does have meaning by making a pile of things that matter to them. However, the situation turns violent when some of the children are forced to give up things they are not willing to let go. This book declares itself, “A Lord of the Flies for the twenty-first century.

 

  • I like that this is a philosophical YA novel that challenges even adult readers. Despite being thin it isn't light.

  • The story is very fable-like. For the most part, I was able to accept the children's actions even though many of them were a stretch. While adolescent peer pressure is cruel, the characters dig up coffins and kill animals a little too easily.

  • Several of the pages are blank except for a few lines of text. Many of these appear in the middle of chapters. Like House of Leaves, this makes the prose more poetic. However, it seems more like a gimmick here and can be melodramatic. This technique may have worked better in the original Danish.

  • The story of Pierre in the tree was the one I wanted to read. How does he sleep? What does he drink? I wanted to see more from his point of view. However, the theme of the book is that nothing matters. Therefore, maybe what he does when it rains (and the rain itself) doesn't matter either.

  • The concept that nothing matters has always been a hard sell for me. Even if the universe is going to collapse in a couple billion years why not make the most of what time we have? For the most part, though, this is a well written, intriguing book. In the end it may have been less about how things are meaningless and more about people being misguided while looking for meaning.



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