The Promise

They say the sound’s like a freight train but all I could hear was the house cracking apart, sticks and stones whickering by like shrapnel.  I remember seeing my neighbor’s truck whirling up into the air like a skater doing a triple.  Next thing I know I’m underneath a lumber pile and hands are pulling boards off my leg.  I stand up, shaky but okay, and first thing I see is a rainbow off to the east.  I spit dirt out of my mouth, glance at the rainbow again, and wonder if God has a sense of shame.

———-

I’m back!  It’s been a long intermission, it’s true, but the lure of Friday Fictionners is just too much to resist.  Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:

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The Sounds of Angosey

I recently uploaded a YouTube video demonstrating the sounds in my constructed language Angosey:

I ended up basing the video off of the Angosey alphabet, which has 34 characters.  As anyone who’s ever tried to spell in English knows, a letter can have multiple sounds, so simply knowing the alphabet’s a poor means of knowing how to pronounce a language.  Thankfully (and since I have this power), Angosey is pretty much pronounced as written.  There are a few minor exceptions, and I provide examples of them in the video.

Angosey has quite a few sounds that English does not have, and it lacks some common English sounds.  For example, the Angosey letters “eu” and “q” have no English equivalents (though Korean does) and the sound associated with the Angosey letter “p” only exists in some African languages.  Angosey lacks the “f,” “b” and “p” sounds that English has, and “d,” “t” and “r” are noticeably different.  The video shows the International Phonetic Alphabet equivalents of each Angosey sound for the linguistically inclined.

It was a very interesting experience recording the sounds.  I have seldom actually tried to speak Angosey.  I usually only say a word or two when I’m testing out some new sounds.  I have also never heard more than a word or short sentence of Angosey spoken before (unless I was doing the speaking).   So this video is really my first chance to hear it as well.

I was surprised how hard it was to pronounce.  I always assumed that, simply because I had created it and tend to “hear” it in my mind when I’m writing in it, that I would be able to speak without hesitation.  The opposite was true.  My mind kept telling my mouth what to do, but actually producing the sounds felt unfamiliar.

I designed Angosey to sound both strange and pretty.  How well did I do?

 

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Up with Spring!

The old man reached into his backpack.
“See these?” he said, holding up a fistful of spikes.  “Caltrops.  They stop road equipment in its tracks.”
His daughter looked at him.  “Can we go soon?”
“Yes,” he said.
He walked out into the road, splashing through a muddy trickle swirled with diesel.  He glanced down.  Cobalt, pink, green; a metal rainbow.
He shook his head and started walking back and forth, scattering fistfuls of caltrops.
“Down with the Empire!” he shouted.
“Up with Spring!” she called back.
After that, they picked their way home through the quiet dripping trees.

———-

What’s more fun, trying to prove random properties of the dirac delta (which I’m not sure I believe in anyway) or writing fiction?   Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:

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Rockets Raising Eyes to Heaven

“Tell me how to make a detonator from this,” the old man said, shaking the old cellphone in his fist.  “You know, yeah?”
“I know how.  But what for?” the young man asked.
“No one comes to our old hotel any more.  Let’s leave and blow it up so we can never come back.”
A rocket slammed into the hillside across the valley.  Chunks of clay pattered among the trees.
“We can go tomorrow,” the young man said.  “But let’s leave the hotel in peace.  Perhaps it will forget the sound of war some day.”

———-

Back in New Mexico, enjoying unseasonably cool weather and humidity approaching 50%.  The rains have come and the desert looks green, at least to my eyes.  Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:

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Hold the Forks

“This might not even work,” the student said.
“You’re right, and it’ll be years till the serum’s approved for human trials,” the professor replied.  His hands rattled on the edge of his wheelchair.  “I don’t have that kind of time.”
He grabbed for the syringe and knocked it off the table.  The student picked it up.
“Do it,” the professor said.
The student pushed the needle into the professor’s arm and depressed the plunger.
“We’re having Chinese food tomorrow,” the professor said through the tremors.  “And I’ll be asking for chopsticks this time.”

———-

If you’re ever looking for a challenge, try eating Jell-o with chopsticks.  Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:

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The Devil’s Details

I have the same argument with myself every time I move.
“Throw the old thing away,” says a voice near my left shoulder.
“Naw, keep it,” says the voice next to my other ear.
Turns out the right side always wins, and I hold onto the goat head.
It’s a memento of simpler times, I say to myself. Back when I lived right underneath everyone’s feet and didn’t have to send the IRS an activity report every April.
Hell, if I put on a suit and went outside these days – no one would even look twice.

———-

I return!  It’s been a while but I have not given up – there’s always time for scraps of strange tales to round out the week.  Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:

Posted in Friday Fictioneers | Tagged | 18 Comments

Windows 8: what to do when your speakers work and your headphones don’t

When Windows 8 updated itself recently, for some reason it made the headphones stop working.  The speakers were fine – just the headphones were disabled.  It took me a while to fix the problem, and I thought I’d share the steps here.  They’re pretty counter intuitive, and big props to squider on a microsoft forum who was finally able to figure it out.  The key is changing a specific parameter in the power options for the computer (don’t ask me why).  Here’s how:

1.  Right click on the Windows icon at the lower left corner of the screen.

2.  Click on “Control Panel.”

3.  In the “Search Control Panel” box on the upper right, type “Power” and hit Enter.

4.  Below the Power Options header, click on “Change what the power buttons do”

5.  Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”

6.  Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)”

7.  Click “Save changes.”

8.  Now close Control Panel and right click on the Windows icon again.

9.   Click on “Command Prompt”

10.  Type shutdown /s /t 0 and hit Enter. NOTE: This will shut down your computer!

11.  When you restart your computer, your headphones should work :-)

As an aside, these sorts of problems are why I moved to Ubuntu long ago, and left Windows behind.  Unfortunately, the few computer games I still have a chance to play all run on Windows, so I left Windows 8 on part of my laptop.  This was great until Windows Updater made my headphones stop working!   Of course, then I couldn’t play computer games till it was fixed.  Such a tragedy…

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