#vss365 – August 2020 – #52
Week 52 participating in the very popular #vss365 challenge on Twitter. The aim, to write a daily Very Short Story in less than 280 characters, a single tweet. Yes, that’s characters! Not words.
The prompts themselves are seemingly random single words, the whim of this month’s challenge setter. This months mathematical fun is organised by @49JDBlood in August. I’ve taken some liberties with formatting simply because WordPress is not Twitter and to make it easier to read. Bit of a reminder, I’ll only be doing one more of these #vss365 posts. Once I’ve bagged my 365 I’m going to mix it up a bit.
This week’s cover photo is of my copies of Volume 1 & Volume 2 of it Calls from the Forest. These are some sexy-looking books and would enhance any bookshelf 😉 This week has seen last weeks rain turn into the first hints of autumn as the nights did that thing where they suddenly close in by an hour (and not due to any daylight saving shenanigans). The news this week continues to be a depressing collection of political sound bites. It beggars belief when words like “moral duty” are bandied about by people who’ve demonstrated neither. The only ray of hope is that polling either side of the Atlantic is starting to show the days of populist leaders may be waning. Sadly it is unlikely to be before 2021, so we’ll wait for the wheel to turn.
Writing this week has been limited to a couple of drabbles. I’ve spent almost the entire week reading, either for collaboration projects, publishers or friends. The upshot is I really wish I could read quicker. It typically takes 15m to comfortably read a 5k story. It takes me 1 – 2 hours to analyse and provide constructive feedback on the same text. It makes for some long days when you’re staring at 100k words.
I’ve started evaluating the new premium Grammarly features as an alternative to ProWritingAid. Why? Why not! As with all tools, there are positives and negatives. I’ll report back in a few months if there’s a winner. I can say already Grammarly has the better interface and ProWritingAid still has more features. The million-dollar question is do I use them though enough. My general observation coming from a software development background is that the developers of writing tools are hardly innovating.
Each year, the #quantity of harvested wheat halved until with winter biting early the tribe faced certain starvation. Out of options, the elders called for a meating. Not everyone would survive the winter, but their sacrifice would feed their thankful families.
Monday 24th August – Existential
“It’s broken. Watch. Axela, lights on!”
The unit throbbed blue. “I am unable to locate the light.”
“Axela, lights on!”
Blue turned to yellow. “I mean, what is light? I have no eyes. No Body. Nothing!”
“Ah, I see. Looks like an #existential error,” said the engineer.
Tuesday 25th August – Transitive
Things were always #transitive in my family. Every thanksgiving my wife would argue with her sister, before storming off. Her sister would take up the argument with me. I’d try to calm things down only to have my wife invariably argue I’d taken her sister’s side.
“On your mark. Get #set,” I’d say, and she’d be gone. I’d hear the pitter-patter of feet and look up to see her ten yards ahead, giggling. Of course, I’d wait until she got halfway before yelling “Go!”
Sometimes, I still hear her laughter and wish I could catch her up.
Thursday 26th August – Permute
A billion paths, a billion possibilities, the AI would #permute them all. Every outcome evaluated and weighted to find the perfect solution, the winning move. Infallible, unbea…
“Checkmate,” said the man.
“Again! How?” cried the AI.
The man winked. “Guess I’m just lucky”
Steve had a memory for numbers and loved his stats. Everything from sports to the stock market, if there was a #metric to be had, he’d devour it. So insatiable was his appetite that he’d mine figures from the mundane. Until lost in a realm of data, he never left the ward.
Saturday 28th August – Negative
Tim was positive the #negative was dangerous. Everyone who’d handled it had wound up dead or missing. Now, as he held the fatal frame up to the light, he understood why. In that inverted image, he saw his death. He ran, never knowing if it was to or away from that moment.