Join us!

Photo credit: S.T. Ranscht

Something’s happening over at Writers Co-op. The latest writing prompt, Catharsis, attracted some powerful pieces of writing. Maybe you’ll write something for the next prompt: Devolving.

I’d like to share the short piece I wrote for Catharsis with you. Judge for yourself whether or not it’s one of the powerful ones, but please take a look at the others, too. They’re all worth your time. And maybe let me know what you think of mine.

Pivot

by S.T. Ranscht

The second child wasn’t like the other four. Or like any of the other kids any of them knew. Sure, she had two of everything she was supposed to have two of, and one of everything else like most of the other kids, but her mind didn’t work the same way the minds of everyone who knew her worked. Except for her dad’s. More analytical. More precise. More inquisitive.

But even the two of them perceived life, its puzzles and problems, its values and goals, as propositions so different from one another that their perceptions might have been those of species as alien to each other as if one were carbon based and the other were based on silicon. Or antimatter. His admitted only empirical, rational, fact-based evidence as valid foundations for any answer, argument, or choice. Hers appreciated those aspects of reality, but also embraced the intuitive, feeling, and sense of justice and interconnectedness of all things that painted the biggest Big Picture possible in the vastness of the Universes.

But because he was older and more experienced, he made sure she knew there was something fundamentally wrong with her perception. Her understanding. Her questions. Her conclusions. Her choices. Her self.

And because she was younger and knew so little, she believed him even when a tiny, muffled voice in her head, incapable of screaming, muttered, “He’s wrong. Isn’t he?”

She stopped sharing her thoughts with him.

It was her shamefully, never-to-be realized potential, he said, that convinced the educational testing system she should skip a grade and spend the rest of her school career competing with students older than she was. 

Was it any wonder, then, that in a house full of family, in a world full of people, she always felt alone? Unseen. Unheard. Unappreciated. Just like her dad.

Till one budding Spring day, sitting in Trig, as Mrs. Jordan — with a run in her nylons that one of the other girls referred to as “the run in her leg” — worked at the chalkboard to explain logarithms to her classroom of 11th grade advanced mathematicians, something inexplicable happened and everything changed.

She was fifteen and as pure as they say driven snow is. She was healthy and had eaten a nutritious breakfast. Sunshine poured in the windows. But the walls fell away and she was instantaneously surrounded by black sky and stars — with an electric blue e-curve floating in space like an out-of-body umbilical cord, and the unshakable certainty that humans did not invent math, but merely discovered it, and a sense of presence that imbued her with the knowledge that she knew what it was most people think of as God.

~~~

When the classroom fogged back into being, she couldn’t tell how long she’d been gone. Leaving the room at the end of class, she felt as though she were gliding six inches above the floor. She told only her best friend about what had happened, and she gasped, “You just experienced cosmic consciousness!”

Whatever it was, it purged her of self doubt. She kept asking questions and seeking answers for the rest of her life. Self-contained. Confident. Fearless.

She never told her dad.

Let’s Show Off

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Photo credit: Nathan Bunney

 

Ugh. Revised and Rescheduled. Sorry for the inconvenience.

writers co-op

Recently, several of us explored ways to expand our little co-op. Having failed to heed the Universal Caution against volunteering, I volunteered to organize two ongoing projects — Writing Prompts and Critique Groups — that might induce authors to participate. Most of those who commented on my ideas supported them. (I suspect they were just happy somebody offered to do something, but I am grateful nonetheless.)

Let’s begin with a Writing Prompt. This isn’t a competition, but all submissions will be shown off in a Show Case posted here on Writers Co-op. Here are some guidelines: Pick a genre, any genre. Use approximately 6 to 1,000 words. The goal is to stretch our author muscles and produce a piece worth sharing with our friends.

The first prompt is:Atrophied.

Submission Instructions: By Monday, October 4, attach your work (as a .docx or .pdf) to an email addressed…

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Scintillating Saturday Share#1

1 Andrew Pons|Unsplash
Photo credit: Andrew Pons | Unsplash

trE over at A Cornered Gurl invites all of us to join her in sending a little “love, light, peace, and kindness out into the ether.” In no more than 7 words, what does this picture spark in you?

Go ahead, take a look!

 

via Scintillating Saturday Share#1

The Eclectic Blogger Award

The Eclectic Blogger Award
I think it’s freakin’ gorgeous. (Image credit: CygX1 DeviantArt)

 

“An award? On this blog? I mean, look at the sidebar — do you see any other award stickers? Have you known Space, Time, and Raspberries to nominate anyone for an award? Ever?” You, exercising your ironic sense of reality.

“I don’t agree that ‘the exception proves the rule.’ I think any exception proves the rule is arbitrary and capricious, and can be righteously ignored. But in this case, I think The Eclectic Blogger Award deserves to be excepted from my habitual non-rule. And accepted. Proudly. Thanks for asking.” Me, hoping for your indulgence.

The Shameful Narcissist Speaks, (gamer, writer, reader, and reviewer extraordinaire), has created an award to “give back to the WP blogging community”. I am honored to be on her list of original nominees, and I am happy to spread this recognition and love to those whose work affects me in the way she describes below:

The Eclectic Blogger Award

“…is presented to those blogs that are both eclectic and engaging, where conversation flows freely, where new and different ideas are always welcome. It’s to recognize blogs that always have interesting content to match the amazing, creative, and hard-working creators that make them possible. These are the blogs that inspire you to read, watch, play, and/or create content to further enhance not only the blogosphere but also the general zeitgeist, because they themselves enrich it with their existence.”

The Rules
  • Nominate whomever and however many bloggers you want for the award.
  • Share links from your blog for some of your favorite (or most eclectic!) posts.
My Nominations
  • The Shameful Narcissist Speaks embodies the ideal candidate for The Eclectic Blogger Award. She explores life and her favorite pastimes with research, thought, and a very clear view of both her inner self and the world around her. Lots of open and enthusiastic conversation in the comments. No BS here.
  • A Cornered Gurl I suspect Tre will graciously decline this award, just as I would have if I’d allowed my non-rule to rule on principle. And I totally understand if she does. But you should get to know her — she is eminently approachable. She writes touching stories with well-drawn characters. She writes powerful poetry that often makes my heart pound harder. Tre is a deeply human Being I consider a true friend, and whether or not she accepts, I know she will appreciate the offer.
  • Aloada Bobbins Haylee is the first to admit she’s quirky. Her writings and occasional vlogs always make me laugh. She engages on a delightfully personal level, and we’ve developed a long distance friendship-across-the-Pond. She adopted a dragon lizard named Jorah Greyscale, so she is in fact, Mother of Dragon. He has his own Instagram account.
  • Atherton’s Magic Vapour is also an award-free blog, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, Melanie Atherton deserves The Eclectic Blogger Award. For pure eclectic entertainment, Melanie’s mind is an overflowing Victorian fountain. I can’t help but abandon myself to her tales — wildly — and leave reluctantly. They are brief time travel escapes to a more elegant era, and her comments and conversations are always supportive and beautifully adorned.
  • Laura Bruno Lilly is an accomplished musician/composer. She infuses her soul into everything she writes about: music, family, spirituality, education, society — the list is unlimited, as is her interest in those who interact with her. Oh, there will be brownies.
  • Mellow Curmudgeon might well brush off the offer of an award, but I think he’ll understand I believe his blog represents what The Eclectic Blogger Award honors. Whether it’s his answers to photography challenges or his analyses of language, prose, and poetic forms, he engages on a thoughtful, challenging level.
  • Writers Co-op is a small but open group of writers, some published and some working toward it. Subjects vary, but they don’t just elicit comments, they spawn discussions that explore, inform, and support. There are opportunities to share your own work for feedback. There are even opportunities to have a short story or two published in an anthology. Every writer’s dream, right? Write!
Links I Hope You’ll Click

#Memorial Day 2017

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Normally, we think about all those who fought for American ideals and dreams on Memorial Day. I can’t help but feel it more personally, too. My dad was part of The Greatest Generation, the oldest generation with any living members who fought in a World War. 

He was 19 and a chemical engineering major at UW Madison in 1944, when he enlisted in the US Army. He spent his 6 weeks in boot camp, and was immediately sent to France. Two months later, he and a German soldier faced each other in a trench. The German’s bullet hit the pen in PFC Ranscht’s left breast pocket, and glanced off into his left arm, shattering the humerus. When he returned to the USA, he left his left arm in France.

Continue reading “#Memorial Day 2017”

A Little Closer to Home

Let me bring you back from the Center of the Universe to our own Solar System. Allow me to introduce the haunting Sound of Jupiter.

jupiter
Artist’s concept of Jupiter’s magnetosphere conducting the Solar Wind Symphony around Jupiter. (Image credit: JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

#SoundOfJupiter