Given that the concept of being given an extra day of life is considered a dijn gift of potent and often dubious worth it is quite astounding that there are not more (if any exist at all) stories of whimsy and tragedy associated with Leap Day. I guess an internationally recognized day dedicated to a cute little mammal is more marketable than one devoted to bean counting scientists.
The Character has found this in the lair of a benevolent mad scientist. It is alive and hasn't killed anyone who touched it.
What purpose could it serve?
What are its motivations?
Have you ever heard of the plot bunny?
To be honest I didn't until the early twenty-teens. I started writing and the term was dropped in writing groups. In context the meaning was so obvious that it needed to explaining.
A plot bunny is a story idea that is not fully formed but that has a life of its own. It won't leave the author alone until it gets some attention. Sometimes they come as songs. One of these bunny's attacked me the other day and by the time I was done one brother loved it, one sister liked it, and one brother glared at me and coldly ordered me to burn it with fire...
Just a thought today. A big part of being an author is being what grandma would call downright nosey. An author wants to know what is going on and who, when, why, how, and what for. Then an author turns into the best sort of gossip. Names are changed to protect the innocent (and the author) and then hopefully the whole world finds out.
Candy Apple Red Terror in a Blink
By Betty Adams
It was one of those vehicles, belonging to one of those moms, in one of those towns. You remember them. The rigs that came out a decade or so back, just before the explosion in chassis variety really took the market. They weren’t a car, or a truck, or a van despite having vague resemblances to all three; and heaven help the poor soul who called them a mini-van in front of their elegant driver. You remember her too. She was that mom who showed up to the game with a full team in the not-a-mini-van. She was fashionably dressed, her hair was perfectly coifed, and she was in no way a mini-van mom. Not yet. Not ever. She was the duchess of her little town; a social butterfly glowing with personality who was desired at the head table at every gathering. No community event was considered successful if she didn’t grace it with her presence.
What exactly she called the rig you really don’t remember. The model didn’t take. It was too big and over-powered for a family vehicle, it wasn’t sexy enough to become a classic, and it didn’t have the torque or cargo room to be a viable work vehicle. It didn’t survive the efficiency cuts at the beginning of the millennium that birthed the hybrids and reinvigorated the station wagon. You don’t see them on the road any more. The last one you spotted was sitting forlorn in a large used car lot with clearance sticker covering most of its windshield. It is a sad end because back in the day they were prized. The not-a-mini-van-moms who drove them kept them gleaming and scratch free. They had paid top dollar for them and the choking grasp of rising gas prices had yet to foretell how little resale value they would be able to command.
So you knew she must have loved that kid; the one who sat ramrod straight in the driver’s seat of the brilliant candy apple red not-a-mini-van. His curly brown hair was already damp with sweat despite the cool spring air and the fact that he was only sitting in the driveway exit. Through two windshields and traveling at a communal twenty-five miles per hour you can see each and every drop of perspiration that dripped down his face. His hands were gripping the steering wheel at the ten and two position so tightly that you see that his knuckles are white. His brown eyes are wide and dilated, darting up and down the street frantically. His mouth is a thin line that twitches in time with his turn signal.
Oh yes, his parents both trust him. A man, possibly the father, possibly an uncle, probably not an older brother –you can’t be sure in this brief and stunningly clear moment- lounges in the passenger seat. Maybe he is talking to the younger children in the back seats. You can only make out one of them. He is a lad with a twelve year old shape and a partly mischievous, partly vindictive grin on his face seated directly behind the driver. That and the plans forming in his head to kick the back of the driver’s seat the entire length of the drive are all you can make out. If there is any concern in the man who has placed the lives of the younger children in the hands of the older he doesn’t show it. He trusts the skills of the young driver.
The young driver clearly does not. The tension is so palpable that you can feel it vibrating the air around you. He is keenly aware of the lives in his vehicle. He wants to be anywhere but here taking on this responsibility. He wonders why, in the name of all things sane and safe, did he want to get his driving permit so badly. You see him take a deep breath…
And then you are past and a stop sign is looming ahead.
#IveGrownAccoustomedTo finding beauty in tiny places.
Dwarf Monkey Flower
Crater Lake, OR
Yesterday one of America's most famous novelists passed away. Harper Lee is of course the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird". The novel was made into a movie before hollywood had even switched to color films and both the book and the movie have been central to American culture for decades.
Generations of school children have been assigned the book and read it (or not) or have watched in fascination as parents, school boards, and librarians have battled over banning the book. There is enough, shall we say earthy, language in the story to make some people at least question the propriety of having children read it. Others embrace it entirely.
Cartoonist Berkeley Breathed based much of his famous "Bloom County" on Maycomb, Alabama and would later become a pen pal of Lee's. The relationship started when he wrote to ask for permission to reference her work in one of his strips. She in turn was charmed by his bumbling penguin Opus according to recently released letters.
"Get Fuzzy", another newspaper comic, depended on the readership knowing what "To Kill a Mockingbird" was for the punchline to have a kick, when its main character explained to his cat that it was not in fact a 'how to' book.
It is probable that generations more high schoolers will sit down to read and analyze Lee's classic, and generations more authors and artists will draw inspiration from the story she told. Here's hoping that hollywood doesn't get any ideas about a remake. What are the chances that there will ever be another actor capable of doing Atticus Finch justice?
In May of 1969 NASA sent up three astronauts to perform what would be a dry run for the moon landing. Apollo 10 circled the moon searching for any problem that would endanger the lives of the crew that would launch only two months later and hopefully set foot on the dirty beach that was the moon.
They found ... something.
The strange musical interference has been explained as everything from moon NAZIs having a party to the lunar lander's radar pulsing feedback into the UHF system. Clearly some of the theories get more credence than the others. Still after six decades the noises have never really been one-hundred percent explained. Every decade or so the media notices it again and giddily does a news cycle of alien speculation.
As an author it is easy to see the appeal. Readers are attracted to the unknown, and this has all the markers of great story.
Where would you go with this?
We all know that science fiction movie. Yes that one. The one you are embarrassed you watched and downright ashamed you laughed at. The science was terrible. You would need three days and a powerpoint to go over everything that it just got wrong. Despite your guilty pleasure, or perhaps because of it you wonder where on Earth or off the writers got their ideas.
Well, here is one source. Enjoy.
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.