Four years ago, I had the crazy idea of trying to see if I could write thirty stories in thirty days. What’s even crazier, is that I set out to write thirty stories in thirty days and I succeeded. What’s even crazier than that is that I’ve tried every year since. For the first three years, I succeeded in writing thirty stories, but last year – while in the process of moving – I only managed to write nineteen. So why do I bring this up? Well, beginning next Sunday (and it’s not an April Fool’s joke) I’ll be beginning my Fifth Annual 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge. You can check that link for a complete listing of my rules and a more detailed description of the origin. Originally, I posted the stories on that webpage, but last year I posted them to my writing blog because it was easier and people could comment on them, and I’ll be doing the same this year. So why don’t you check it out. There will be stories – a few of which should be good – and you can watch a writer go insane. Cheers.
Archive for March, 2012
You just have to overlook the first two matches that went out without starting a fire and that the second fire started because the coals of the first were still hot. But those are just details.
There’s a ring necked pheasant who wanders around in our backyard. I was watching it today and I had an epiphany on the evolution of intelligence. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but it was a new thought to me.
The pheasant would peck at the ground, then raise its head to look around, peck, look around, and so on. It was constantly on the lookout for danger. I – on the other hand – just sat and watched it. And I remembered reading in a scifi novel what I assume is a real biology joke, that carnivores are more likely to develop intelligence than herbivores because you don’t need to be that smart to sneak up on a blade of grass. What this has to do with the pheasant and I, is that while it was nervous and always checking for danger, I could just focus on it: I didn’t have to worry about being attacked. Now you may say that’s just because I’m a human, but think of lions just focused upon some gazelles. And what I wondered from all this is, is the mental discipline to concentrate upon one thing a benefit of intelligence, a prerequisite of intelligence, or – more likely – a combination of both? Just an interesting thought I had.
So a few hours ago it was just before 11:00 PM on February 29th, and I was typing up a blog post. It began to rain a little bit, but I didn’t think much of it. Then it started raining harder. I glanced out my window and saw a flicker of lightning. As the thunder rumbled in the distance, I thought, One, It’s still February! and Two, Shit! I saved what I was working on and began shutting my computer down. More lightning and thunder followed that first bolt, and while my computer was taking its time, the whole house was shaking. Of course, by the time my computer did finally shut down, the lightning had moved off. I began to think I had overreacted, but then the lightning came back and for the next hour or so we had a nice thunderstorm. In February. We didn’t lose power, but there were a couple of times where the lights dimmed a bit. Right now it’s just raining, but I figured I should get this up in case the storm picks back up.