Category Archives: Writing

All writings (and everything else on this blog) are copywritten and protected by all copyright laws both nationally and internationally. These stories cannot be copied for any reason without the express permission of the author. Any violation of the copyright laws will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Contact the author via email for further information.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

I just bought the software, and thought it would be rather fun to try and do a single blog post without editing without doing anything that that Dragon Naturally Speaking can’t do. So here it is, a single stream of consciousness type of post without using the keyboard. As you read this remember that I’m not using the keyboard I am not making any corrections in my editing so therefore this post will be a little clumsy.

I just got the software yesterday. Install it on my computer. And found it didn’t work. Way? Okay that word that last word was supposed to be “really”. While actually the software did work, it was just my headset. So once I got my regular headset one that actually works, the software kicked into action. My first attempt was to post something on Facebook, doesn’t that just figure? Doesn’t everyone post on Facebook first when they’re trying something new? Pretty simple stuff. I was able to do a post with a little bit of help from my keyboard.

So this is my next test on the software. So far, making this post has worked out quite well. Most of the words I have spoken have come out correctly without with the exception of “the word above” really”. Okay too many quotes. I haven’t quite figured out how to backspace and delete yet so I will work on that one. Back to the subject at hand. It really does pick up the voice quite well, as you can see there have only been a couple of mistakes in this post I’m quite happy with it.

What I find the hardest is when I see mistakes and have to backup or erase or delete or whatever I have not quite figured out how to do that yet. Also being sure that I have all of my punctuation in their quick correctly has not worked perfectly either. Trying to think of what I’m going to say, plus adding punctuation has challenged my brain a little bit.

I will continue to use and learn this program, and work to improve my dictation skills. I find the more clearly I speak, and the more precise my enunciation is, the better the software works. if you are considering purchasing a speech to text type of software I find that this one seems to work extremely well. Although, I don’t have a lot of experience or comparisons to this software. I feel pretty impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a software that does seem to truly know what you’re saying.

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Flash Fiction

I love discovering new things and I recently was introduced to a style of writing called Flash Fiction. I had heard of this genre in the past, but never gave it much thought. A writing friend of mine shared a piece by Erica Satifka called, Real Plastic Trees that I had to share with you. A taste of the story is below and you can finish reading it at Fantastic Stories of the Imagination.

ENJOY!

Real Plastic Trees by Erica Satifka

Bam. Bam. Bam. I throw on my tattered blue bathrobe and hobble to the door. “Hold your horses, I’m coming.”

It’s the New Woman across the hall. Julie, she calls herself. She gets nervous if she doesn’t check in on me at least every other day, and I don’t blame her. I’m an old, old woman now. “How are you feeling today, Mrs. Delacorte?”

I sigh. “Can’t complain. Want to come in for some coffee?”

Of course she does. Julie’s kind can get nutrients from anything on this ruined Technicolor world of ours, but when given the option, they’ll always pick traditional food over Styrofoam and concrete. They’re bred that way, both to fit in with real humans and to, in some way, continue our legacy.

Earth’s dead. The neon crazy-quilt of the atmosphere sees to that. If you’re staying here, you’d better be okay with living behind a six-inch layer of reinforced glass. It’s no wonder that so many humans choose to emigrate to the extee colonies, even with all the hardships involved.

Read the rest at: Fantastic Stories of the Imagination

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The Yampa*

The wagon train had left her station hours ago. She had worked through the rest of the day cleaning the horse dung and the human stench from the walls. Once a month they came through, sometimes twice in a month, and Margo never got used to it. The humans had a smell about them that reminded her of the dead rats she found in the barn sometimes.

Satisfied, she went back upstairs then out the window to sit on the roof. This is where she spent most of her time staring into the sky wishing for home. In the years spent in the southern hemisphere she could see her home cluster in the night sky, but here in the north she could only see the local sun. Only ten more years and she could go back south. Ten more years of being in this dust bowl serving the wagon trains that kept pushing to the west carrying those petty humans into the frontier.

Stirring out of her own mind she turned to go back inside. Mid-stride Margo met the blunt end of a shotgun in the gut. “Hello Margo. Been a long time wouldn’t you say?”

“Kate. What in tarnation are you doing here? How did you find me?”

“You are a slippery one Margo. I’ve been hunting you for the past couple of centuries. I have to admit you found yourself one hell of a place to hide. How did you find this dump anyway?”

Pushing past her, Margo went back through the window. “Believe it or not, I crashed here. Been stranded for at least a couple hundred years.”

“Come on Margo. You can’t expect me to believe that you, our top pilot, crashed on this rock. You’ll need a better excuse than that.”

“You know me Kate. Weird shit happens.”

“Weird shit my ass. Is that your excuse for the string of dead bodies you left all over the home cluster? Is that your excuse for decimating Corkerelle? Give me a break.”

Margo couldn’t help but laugh a little bit. “You have no idea do you Kate? You have spent all this time looking for me and never stopped to wonder if it was really me? Wake up Kate. Look around you. What do you see?”

“What are you talking about Margo?”

“I’ve been here for eons watching these humans scrape across their globe. They drag their sorry souls over the land and darken every corner of it. Right now, they drive their wagon trains out west in a thirst for riches and in their wake; they leave only a stench and rot. Did you smell the trash heap on your way in? Did you see what they do? Doesn’t it look even a little familiar? How long ago did Corkerelle happen? Think about it Kate, could I, one solitary being really destroy an entire planet? Think back, Kate. Remember what it smelled like?”

The shotgun began to weigh more than Kate remembered when she first pointed it at Margo. “They came here, didn’t they? They came here to do it all over again didn’t they?”

“Oh, they’ll try alright, but there will be bloody hell to pay before they can cross the Yampa.”

*****

They had celebrated that night once they arrived at the edge of the Yampa. It had been a long trek across the eastern plains and everyone was ready for fresh water and time to dance. They had made it. Living to see the Yampa River was all they had prayed for and here they were. Smiles were served all around and the music played late into the night.

The warmth of the rising sun pushed the gentle breeze through the camp. The air licked at the canvas capes that draped each wagon ruffling the bare threads. The horses had long left the area along with the cattle. A few stray dogs were all that remained behind. Silence filled the morning breeze. The celebrations from the night before were just echoes fading into the distance. Crawling out of the red masses, the tiny machines had done their job and marched back toward the water. The next wagon train was due in just a week and they needed time to recharge.

*The Yampa originally appeared on the blog: KJ Scrim, Writer and is used here with permission from the author.

© KJ Scrim 2015 – All rights reserved – No part of this story may be used or reproduced, graphic, electronic,or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or my any information storage retrieval system without written permission from the Author.

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A Word Game

Words, words, words, words, words, words,

more words, words, words,

her words,

my words.

She fed me my words on a platter then dropped it.

The platter cracked and my words spilled on the floor.

~©K.J. Scrim 2014

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Dust Bunnies, Writing

Send it Snail Mail

Not too long ago I celebrated a birthday. Before you ask, I’m not saying how old I turned, but suffice it to say that I remember watching the Vietnam War on television and seeing Father Knows Best in black and white. I also remember the day when birthday cards would come through the mail and each one was a gift in of itself.

Whenever I got a card or letter in the mail I would get a charge of excitement. The return address was the first thing to check and then see the postmark and stamp. Anything from overseas was the best (my brother served in Korea and he sent me several letters from there), but mail from anywhere was plain grand. After learning the distance the letter or card had come I would turn it over to carefully open the envelope.  I never ripped into a letter, and I would either get a knife to cut a neat slice across the top, or very carefully lift the paper along the glued edge.

Anticipation was the best part to opening a card or letter that came in the mail, actually it was the best part about going to the mailbox everyday. As I celebrated another step toward being ancient I made my daily trip to the mailbox and was pleased that I actually got two (count them, one, two) cards in the mail. There was a time that ten was more the normal, but now it is two. I did receive several e-cards, along with a slew of Facebook one liners, “Happy Birthday.”

On the one hand I was thrilled that anyone remembered my birthday at all (usually everyone forgets). I had a wonderful time going to lunch with friends and my family took me to dinner as well. On the other hand, it bothered me that I only received two cards in the mail. I miss the old days. I miss that anticipation. I miss going to mailbox everyday. Don’t you? When was the last time you received a nice letter from your Aunt who lives in New Jersey? Did you get very many cards in the mail for your birthday this year? Wouldn’t it be nice to get one?

I work for a greeting card company and I hear a lot of stories from customers who’s day was brightened just by receiving a real card made out of paper tucked in an envelope and sealed with a kiss. These are the things that make our world a better place and I, for one, will be sending more cards out this year. Let’s spread some cheer around and send a card, a note, a letter. Better yet, maybe some sand from the beach you live on, or a pressed flower from your garden. Be creative. Just send it snail mail and make someone smile.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Dust Bunnies, Family, Holidays, Letters, Writing

From Kurt Vonnegut

“Go into the arts.

I’m not kidding.

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.

Sing in the shower.

Dance to the radio.

Tell stories.

Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.

Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward.

You will have created something.”

~~Thanks to Delve Writing for initially sharing this on F.B. and inspiring me to re-share with you here.~~

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Do Not Mock Me

There you are, sitting in front of me, mocking me.  Do you not understand what it takes to decorate your face with just black ink?  How am I to write upon you when you are not giving me any expression or meaning?  I have needs too you know? Are you amused when I wince uncomfortably searching for just the right word, sentence, or structure?  I am a writer who crafts words to put on you while you laugh each day that I struggle to fill you.  Be wary my white friend.  The day will come when you laugh too much, or taunt me into a cruel corner.  I will crumple, shred, and send you into oblivion without a thought then turn my back on your pitiful pulverized mess and pull a clean sheet from the stack.  This new paper will not disrespect me, and  I will continue to write whether you are a clean slate or a small mount of powder in my waste bin.  I am a writer and I will fill your face with my words, and laugh at your weak attempts at ridicule.  Now, step aside, I have a story to write.

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Quoted from…

“The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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A Work in Progress

I recently completed editing my Great Grandfather’s book that was about his life as a railroad man in the early 1900’s.  It was inspirational to read his words and be a part of something he started to write when he was 70 years old.  Grandpop was 70 while he was writing his book and is now long dead. It is only now, in 2013 that his book is nearly ready to publish.  As I sit to write my own book I wonder about his time writing. He wrote everything in longhand and then my Great Aunt would put the words to the typewriter.  Correspondence was by snail mail so each leg of the writing was done over months rather than the minutes.

Today, we have spell check, auto correct, email, blogs, tweets, friends, and a plethora of other outlets.  The overwhelming variety can be blissfully tiring.

The railroad business was mixed with brutality and bliss and he had a unique perspective as he was one of the builders who found the lay of the land and supervised the workers who laid the track.  It had rainbows of color that are perfect for story writing.  His detailed descriptions of the mundane brings his time on the railroad to life.  He loved this work and it took him through hostile lands both here and abroad.  He fought swamps and deserts, along with rebels and farmers.  He went so far as to be a founding father of a small town just so a railroad station could be built there.  He had moxsey.

Here’s to my Great Grandfather.  I will dedicate my book to you.  It will be done before I’m 70.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Family, Writing