Desk-work

Being another you – TMM1

It’s May, finally, and lovely Diana at “Myths of the Mirror” has launched a new Speculative Fiction Prompt – #writingprompt – and this is my take!


The Mechanical Man 1 – Being another you!

The inspiration image – from Pixabay, image by Brigitte Werner

Over the years he had lived here, he had always struggled with love and intimacy. No wonder. Every woman he met either shrugged of disgust or treated him like dirt. He had got used to that! He knew he wasn’t much to look at, he was the meek, silent type, and he wasn’t rich. The fact that he was a kind, honest and reliable young man, didn’t seem to be enough.

After the last disappointing blind date, he decided to give up. Furthermore, he also decided to travel back home. Here, in this city, on this planet, he finally had to admit – he didn’t belong. He was too different.

With a deep sigh, he actually didn’t like changes very much, he went to the spaceport to buy a no return ticket home. Earlier that day he had resigned from his job. His boss had seemed relieved, he had noticed. He had also sold his apartment and most of his belongings. His decision was final, and he wanted to travel light.

On his way through the terminal, he suddenly senses that someone is watching him. He tries to pretend like nothing and keeps on walking towards the ticket counter. He gets a bit uneasy, though, and stumbles slightly.
”Can I help you?” a soft female voice says.
He turns around and sees the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen.
”I beg your pardon,” he says.
”I’m sorry if I intrude, but I saw you stumbled over there.”
’Pity, this time’, he thinks and a flicker of sorrow dances tango in his heart. Out loud he says: ”Oh, it was nothing. Just the shoe-lace.”
The woman looks down at his loafers and smiles. But it is a kind smile, he notices.
”I’ve seen you before,” she says.
”Everyone has seen me before,” he mutters.
”Probably,” she smiles. ”I’m Kaila, by the way. What’s your name?”

He can’t even imagine why she would bother to be interested in his name or in anything of his. But polite and well brought up as he is, he answers shortly, ”Millbourne, Andrew Millbourne, nice to meet you.”
He doesn’t know whether he actually thinks it is nice or not, but old habits are old habits, and it seems to be something nice about this after all. He tries to shake that good feeling off his chest but doesn’t succeed.

”So hello, ‘Millbourne, Andrew Millbourne’. Nice to meet you too! Can I call you Andy?” Her smile is big, warm and generous, and Andy – he accepts Andy with a nod – experiences some kind of warmth inside. The small thought that she might had been mocking him, melts away as quickly as butter on a sun-flooded plate.
”What are you doing here?” she continues. ”Going somewhere?”
”I’m going home.” Dark clouds enter his mind.
”Where is that, your home?”
”On Earth.”
”Ah! Earth! I know about Earth, I’ve been there!”

During this little chat, she has managed to move him away from the ticket counter to the spaceport cafeteria, and without any further ado, she orders two big coffees in glasses, Toffee-Taste with whipped cream on the top, and two long straws in each.
”That’s my favorite,” she says. ”How about you?”
”How about me, what?”
”Toffee-tasting coffee?”
”Oh, that! That’s okay.”
She laughs, and in Andy’s ears, it sounds like ocean waves at the beach, seagulls and warm cuddly sand. He sighs deeply and his shoulders slack off.
”So Andy! Where are you going, and why?”
Her voice reminds him of the rippling brook in the wood back home. He closes his eyes for a couple of seconds, sighs, this time even deeper, and then opens them again.
”I’m going home to my parents since I don’t fit in here.”
”You don’t fit in here, you say. Do you fit in at your parents?”

He looks down at the table. He can’t understand this. Why is she bothering him with all these personal questions, and why is it so impossible for him to say ’Thank you’ and ’Good Bye’ and then leave? But he can’t deny he feels more relaxed now, here, at this coffee table, with her, this strange woman, than he has been in a very long time.
”No,” he admits. ”I don’t. But in another way. Not like this.” He stretches out his arms and looks at the people around them.
”The appearance, you mean. You don’t look like them.”
He shakes his head. No, obviously not.

”Look at me!” she says.
He raises his head and before his very eyes, she begins to change. In like a smooth blur, her appearance turns into his. Not into him precisely, but into a female of his sort, with his kind of appearance! Then she turns back again, back to look like – them.
”What you just saw, is the real me.”
”Di… d..d..d..did…”
”Yes, I changed, but they didn’t see it. Only you.”
”M…m..m…m….mag…”
”Yes, magic. I know magic. I know a lot of different things. And I can help you to look the same as – them.” She nods toward the ever-growing crowd. ”If you want to, or….” .
”Or what?” He is so tempted to look like all the others that he actually believes her.
”Or! We can go somewhere together, and be ourselves…”
”But….”
”Shush. I’ll ask you something. But before you answer, consider deeply what to choose. Do you, deep inside you, really want to look like – them?”

She looks deep into his eyes, and calmly awaits his answer, while he doesn’t need to look around or think even for a second.
”Where are we going?” he says eagerly.
”I know a very nice place. The planet is a bit rough, mostly hot, some deserts, two suns – and I have friends there. By the way! Among others, there is this special girl I want you to meet. She is called Jaycee…

In peaceful silence, they finish their coffee, then rise and leave the spaceport. Behind them resonates the murmur of mechanical voices, and the metallic clinks, clanks, and jingles from metal against metal.

”Cybernetics!” Kaila scornfully snorts while they are pacing towards her vehicle. ”Sometimes these Cyborg civilizations really go too far.”


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.

 

Panicking!

Not that long ago, I wrote a short story. (Haven’t we all…) Well! This particular one has come to my mind several times lately. It would probably do very well as a kind of Post Scriptum, or epilogue, to my “Eclipse”-story. It’s not particularly long, only 719 words –
But written in Swedish..
So I’ll have to translate it…

Okay! Let’s do it! I thought and tried to find it among my other short stories.

Couldn’t find it!!  – iiiooooiiiiiooooooiiiii – panic PANIC!!!!

Where is it???
I searched everywhere. I couldn’t remember the title I had given it, you see. So I searched for pages-documents, pdf-documents, scrivener-documents…The only thing I was sure of – it couldn’t be written in a word-document.

PANIC PANIC!!!

Then it hit me! The external hard drives! I have several, and among those, there are two quite big ones. The first one, a 2 TB (Terabytes), mostly movies, but it has also a folder with images/photos. Didn’t check that folder out, though. Wonder how many images/photos I can find there, and how old they are?
I thought it also should have been a folder with my writings there – but no. I’m sure it has been, though not any longer.
The other one then! The one with room for the Time machine! Oh, you who have a Mac must know what I mean by that. It’s for BACK-UPS!!!! (Which I don’t do often enough)

Okay! In there it is room for 3 TB, so I thought there would be more than just the backups! There wasn’t, but okay okay! Back-ups are good!!!
Two main folders. One from the iMac I don’t have any longer, and in there was nothing available. It wasn’t possible to open “Documents” and there was no “User”. Doesn’t matter – could very well delete the iMac folder anyway.

The MacBook folder then? OH yes! Oh yes! There were folders alright!!! But in which one was the biggest chance to find the file I was looking for? When did I write this in the first place? Probably in 2015. Remember the circumstances and where I was at that time.

Nothing in the first folder I opened – too new. Nothing in the second – too old. But in the third, or if it was the forth, THERE IT WAS!!!!

Oh my god oh my god THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

It is a good one, you see, this story. And it would so much fit in to “The Solar Eclipse”, and why on earth have I deleted it sometime? Must have been a mistake!

I also found other short stories that I had missed and wondered about. Where are they! And why have they been missing? What did I do when I did it???

I just say this, and I’ll only say it once (at least for now):
MAKE SURE YOU DO BACKUPS ON YOUR IMPORTANT STUFF!!
And preferably to more than one place.

So, now I’m working on translating this short story, and you surely know by now what I think about that kind of job. (I hate dislike it very much)

But it is as it is! All for the good of writing!

The last day of March

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 31

And as such – also the last day of Ninny Rhino.
How did it go?

I’m satisfied!


I’m sitting here now, after lunch, with the coffee – pondering.
We have this night changed our clocks to summertime. Outdoor a totally blue sky falls in folds over the city. The sun pours warmth and light through my windows and it’s time to pull down the blind and draw the curtain facing south. But there is also a fierce nippy wind blowing, stopping me from entering the balcony.

Earlier today, though, I went for a short walk. I breathed in the wonderful sight of buds on tree branches and bushes, and newborn white starflowers popping open in the green grass. There are nothing like the first sunny days of spring, even a nippy day.

So? How was March?
Did I write as I was supposed to? Daily?
No, not quite. Most days though, I wrote something. Many days I organized my files and folders with writing stuff and uploaded a selection of them as new projects in Scrivener.

And not forgetting! – I wrote the beginning to something completely new, thanks to Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror, when I attended her writing prompt for March. So it’s actually her doing, inspiring me both to join Ninny Rhino as well as that prompt. Which in turn dared me to go further with my writing.

On the whole! Comparing with other months, I have during March written more, and more frequently, than for  quite a long time. And completed other tasks that are connected to writing.

That includes reading or listening to more books during March than I also haven’t done for a long time. As I see it, reading is an important part of writing. Even an occasional bad book! If you can stand it and actually finish it, you might learn how not to write. 😉

This has probably a lot to do with my joining up with Goodreads. So many books there are in the world, that I would love to read or listen to!
I actually also got me my own account on Storytel, instead of sharing the family account of my daughter’s. Feels nice to have my own book-shelf also there.


So! Despite the fact I didn’t write every single day, I’m very pleased with my achievement. I can clearly see now, that I’m moving forward with myself, my life, my dreams, my writing. With Me!

And tomorrow is April 1st... 
and CampWriMo...

 

Hardworking

Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 22

A while ago, I told you I was organizing my files and folders with writing stuff. (That was two weeks ago. How time flies when you’re happy). My first goal was to gather my writings in one folder only, in one place at the computer. At the same time, I wanted to get rid of as many copies as possible. Most of the files were word documents, .doc and .docx, but there were also .txt, .rtf, Pages, old Scrivener files and some pdf. The oldest ones from 2006. (I believe.)
(Where are all those prior of 2006?)

I gathered them together and also deleted lots! After a couple of days, each of my novels was to be found in its own folder, no matter how many files it still consisted of. Some of my short stories also got a folder of its own, while the other had to share. Like my mini short-stories. But also shared main folders for diary-notes, short drafts and idéas, old blog posts, notes from all my lessons in Creative writing, et cetera!

Still, though, there were lots of copies, and copies of copies. But I couldn’t, without first checking it, delete a file called “Chapter one” for example. Not until I knew where it belonged. Wouldn’t take the risk of deleting a whole manuscript by “mistake”! (Read carelessness)

It felt really good to see, that one and only head-folder on the desktop and inside neatly presented every main folder I had created. And nowhere else on the computer, there were files that instead should be in there.

I paused, for like a week. Pondered how to continue. Those word documents are horrible to compare with each other. Is it an exact copy of a file, or is it actually a different version? Would I really have to open all those files,  just to be able to compare?

No! There was a much better solution. When I wrote “The Solar Eclipse” I did it in Scrivener. And there it was! Of course, I should upload all my files to Scrivener as different projects!

I uploaded one folder at a time. Started with “Idéas, notes and short drafts”. It was perfect! I got a perfect view of all the files, could see two of them at the same time and easily switch to another, and also easily delete duplicates. Then sort the files in different folders, depending on what type of note it was.

For a couple of days, I now have occupied myself with this task, and I actually enjoy doing it! I’m not finished yet. Done are the eight easiest folders, but I still have to maintain the novels and the longer short stories. And some other stuff!

Well… thirteen folders left, actually, and only three or four of them I would consider “easy”. Thanks to Scrivener, it will still take hours and hours to finish this quest. But! It will be manageable! (I’ve dreaded this slave-work for years…)

Thank Goodess, I have a 27 inches external screen! With my MacBookPro’s 13 inches screen only…
Let’s just say this: it’s easier with a bigger screen. It doesn’t have to be that jammed…

Computing

Also the 6th day of 9 of Ninny Rhino. Though it is still early in the morning and I am still in bed.

Spent way too many hours yesterday sitting at my desk in front of my Laptop. The Rhino 🦏 and the new Scrivener triggered an urge to get it all neat and tidy among my endlessly amount of files and folders with writing stuff. It’s quite frightening how many copies and versions I have of everything.

I can hardly see the woods for all the trees! If you catch my drift…

So I have been moving files, and deleting files, and searched for what I have from different angles. Very tiring but also very satisfying to do so. Still, I have loads left to maintain.

Today though, I’ll be with friends both during forenoon and afternoon. I love ❤️ my Thursdays!

But after dinner, this evening, I’ll most likely be seated at my desk in front of my laptop again. Or maybe in the sofa.