In time for Halloween, Amazon has an anthology of 15 stories documenting the INVASION, including a story by yours truly!
Check it out: INVASION
In time for Halloween, Amazon has an anthology of 15 stories documenting the INVASION, including a story by yours truly!
Check it out: INVASION
Posted by CMStewart on October 4, 2013
I took the above photo in the front yard of my new location. I wear a size 10 shoe. This ectoplasm seems to be (mostly) inert.
After a month of transient awareness I regain full consciousness and find myself in another state, literally and figuratively. I strongly suspect absolutely know I was abducted by an extraterrestrial entity and returned to Earth many miles from my abduction location. Overall, I am happy with the experience, though my memories of the ordeal are fragmentary. I will post again next week, after I piece together the pieces. But now I must rest.
Questions for readers: Have you ever been abducted by extraterrestrials? Was the experience agreeable? Do you have any evidence?
Posted by CMStewart on September 1, 2013
Flashback- 2009: an unknown force mangles a wind turbine in Lincolnshire, UK.
Flash forward- 2011: your challenge is to write a flash fiction tale explaining the mysterious “wine turbine destruction” incident.
Did a UFO do it? Or maybe highly selective ice? How about a giant illuminated octopus?
What’s your explanation?
Genre- horror, science fiction, or fantasy.
Or if you actually KNOW what caused the incident, write a non-fiction explanation.
Oh yeah- of all the eligible* entries (excluding my own) I’ll select one at random as the prize winner. The prize? This T-shirt! (Available in blue, and in your choice of size, or a reasonable substitution if shirt is unavailable at time of winning. Must have Amazon.com account.)
*Eligible: Entries must have word count of 500 – 1000, and be a cohesive story or explanation of the “wind turbine destruction” incident referenced above. Post your entry on your blog, and link to it in the comments of this post. Deadline is
next Friday at noon, EST, 12-16-11. EXTENDED to SATURDAY at NOON, EST, 12-31-11! WOW! I’ll be posting my entry here by then.
Spin, Baby, Spin!
“Attention Earth base, this is Svigz base, do you receive?”
“Yes, Svigz base. This is Earth base, we receive. We are ready for your next instruction.”
“Excellent. We will transmit your instruction, but first we have some bad news. The conditions on Svigz have further deteriorated. We regret to inform you that Svigz is at war. Our entire planet. Our worst fears are coming true, as prophesized. The carbon in Svigz’s atmosphere is nearly depleted, and Svigzians are suffocating by the hundreds of thousands. We must transport our top officials, dignitaries, and wealth-holders immediately.”
“Oh the Svigzianity! Why didn’t we listen to our prophets? The science was there all along!”
“Pure Svigzian greed, my friend. But we’ve no time to dwell on our foibles. Is Earth ready for the Svigzian transport?”
“Only in the areas heavily populated by the dominant Earth life forms.”
“You mean the dominant life forms aren’t dead yet?”
“Not all of them.”
“What about the under-populated areas? The atmospheric carbon isn’t at a high enough level?”
“Not yet, but many of the moderately populated areas are reaching acceptable carbon levels.”
“But there’s a problem.”
“What? Dead Earthlings are piling up faster than you can burn them?”
“No. Some of the dominant life forms are starting to slow the production of atmospheric carbon emissions. Some are even switching from oil and coal power to geothermal and solar power.”
“No. That can’t be. Not after all the probes we put into the hydrocarbon and war industries. Are the probes malfunctioning?”
“No, they’re working at top efficiency, and have recruited the vast majority of the dominant life forms on Earth. But the worst development is that some of the highly intelligent Earthlings are switching to spin power.”
“What’s spin power?”
“It’s carbon-free and peaceful. I’ve researched it, and as far as I can tell, it uses Earth’s temperature differentiations to produce energy. The differentiations cause the atmosphere to shift over the Earth’s surface, and the resulting energy is captured by giant, elevated spinning blades. It’s horrible. The spinning blades not only produce carbon-free energy, they hypnotize the rest of the dominant life forms into making even more blade spinners. Soon Earth will be covered with giant, rotating, carbon-free energy machines. We’re doomed!”
“Did you hit the spinners with the plasmic octo-ice ray?”
“The ice ray doesn’t work so well on Earth. We only managed to temporarily disable one of those nasty spinny things. But now there are ten in its place.”
“We can’t give up yet.”
“But what can we do? The Earthlings keep making more spinny things.”
“We’ve no choice but to reactivate our Palin probe.”
“But the Palin already announced it would not seek presidential status!”
“Excellent. The Palin’s fan base will undoubtedly see the reversal as a display of maverick behavior. They’ll love it. And make sure Palin gets a bravery award this time. Tack a bravery pin on Palin’s wealth lapel, right under the USA flag pin. The USA-ers value bravery up there with myth-worship and wealth-worship.”
“Understood. But how do we secure the Palin’s award?”
“Plant a youtube video of Palin shooting wolves from helicopters. That will guarantee a bravery award. It worked for our Vick probe.”
Happy Holidays, readers!
Doing my part to promote lovely wind turbine energy,
Posted by CMStewart on December 9, 2011
If you’re reading this, congratulations, you survived the REAL, FINAL APOCALYPSE as predicted by Harold Camping. (Turns out Camping isn’t much of a math person.) Now you probably think you can enjoy Halloween without the nagging worry of undead, unraptured zombies stalking and infecting you. (As for me- I knew I would survive the non-apocalypse, because I’m already one of the undead.) But before you get too comfortable, I gotta tell you zombies are real . .
For any late-comers to my blog, take a gander at my 3-part story: I got the zombie spores in me. Then the zombie spores turned me into a zombie. Did you know zombies can re-generate limbs? Yep. Lucky for me, or I wouldn’t be typing this now. And those already familiar with the above trilogy would do well to re-familiarize yourselves, because . .
If you still think my tales are safely in the sci-fi section . .
And with all the catastrophic climate change, nuclear radiation, pesticides, and herbicides causing mutations in the already genetically engineered spores accidentally / on purposely released into the open fields, human zombie spores are just around the corner.
STILL don’t believe me? Then believe the USA government’s official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s real. All we can do is prepare ourselves for the inevitable zombie apocalypse and the resulting mob cruelty and mass disrespect.
And console ourselves with candy.
To stock up on good karma, here’s a list of the most cow-kind, most chicken-respectful (vegan)* cookies and candy** on the USA market, alphabetized by brand:
Anna’s Almond Cinnamon Thins
Anna’s Ginger Thins
Back to Nature California Lemon Cookies
Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Big League Chew Gum
Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
Brach’s Orange Slices
Brach’s Root Beer Barrels
Brach’s Star Brites
Chew-ets Peanut Chews (Original)
Chocolove Cherries and Almonds Dark Chocolate Bar
Chocolove Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar
Chocolove Orange Peel Dark Chocolate Bar
Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate bar
Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar
Entenmann’s Fudge Delights Fudge & Mint Cookies
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate)
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Oatmeal Macaroon)
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)
Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)
Ferrara Wafer Swirls With Chocolate
Food Lion Animal Cookies
Food Lion Ginger Snaps
Food Lion Oatmeal Cookies
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Assorted)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Creme)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Fudge)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Double Creme-O’s)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Duplex)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Mini Chocolate & Vanilla Cremes)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)
Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)
Food Lion Sugar Cookies
Fruit By the Foot
Ghirardelli Twilight Delight Intense Dark
Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Mix
Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (Original)
Grandma’s Peanut Butter Sandwich Cremes
Hubba Bubba Bubblegum
Hubba Bubba Gum
Hunt’s Snack Pack Gel Snacks
Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
Keebler Vienna Fingers
Kozy Shack Jammin’ Gels
Lance Choc-O Cookies
Lance Peanut Bar
Lance Sugar Wafers (Strawberry Creme)
Lance Sugar Wafers (Vanilla Creme)
Lance Van-O Lunch Cookies
Landgarten Pumpkin Seed Snack – Dark Chocolate
Mary Janes (Regular and Peanut Butter Kisses)
Mike and Ike
Mrs. Freshley’s Oatmeal Crème-filled Cookies
Murray Butter Cookies
Murray Cinnamon Grahams
Murray Coconut Bars
Murray Southern Kitchen Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Nabisco Double Delight Mint’n Creme Oreos
Nabisco Ginger Snaps
Nabisco Halloween Oreos
Nabisco Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Nabisco Nutter Butter Sandwich Cookies
Nabisco Oatmeal Cookies
Nabisco Oreo Chocolate Ice Cream Cones
Nabisco Oreo Cookies
Nabisco Oreo Thin Crisps
Nabisco Spiced Cinnamon Cookies
Nabisco Teddy Grahams (Chocolate and Cinnamon)
Nabisco Uh-oh Oreos, Spring Oreos, Chocolate Creme Oreos
Nature’s Path Deep Chocolate Cookies
Nature’s Path Ginger Spice Cookies
Nature’s Path Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Nestle Double Chocolate Thin Mints
Now and Later
Nutter Butter Bites
Pure De-Lite Coconut Bars
Safeway Fudge Mint Fudge Covered Mint Cookies
Smarties (U.S. version only)
SunSpire Organic Dark Chocolate Almonds
Sour Patch Kids
Whole Foods Organic Chocolate Truffles
**May contain trace amount of animal-sourced ingredients.
Hopefully I’ve provided you with the resources and information you need to make it through Halloween alive . . or at least undead, thanks to a sugar OD . .
And here’s a creepy, campy, rockabilly bonus video for those who skimmed through to the bitter . . or rather, sugary end.
Have a Happy Halloween (while you can)!
Posted by CMStewart on October 22, 2011
“Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear that is inherent in the human situation.” -Graham Greene
A traumatic event in your life will activate the visual cortex and limbic system in your brain- the areas which control emotions and the bodily manifestations of emotions. In turn, this deactivates your brain’s speech-production centers. So an image of the trauma is imprinted into your brain, and the memory of the trauma will seem to be incompatible with language. “There are no words to describe what I’ve experienced,” is a common lament of people with posttraumatic stress disorder or depression. By forcing a connection between the traumatic event and language, the memory of the event is encoded differently in the brain. This language-centered encoding is often the first step to healing trauma and depression.
Writing therapy is the recording of words for the purpose of emotional healing.
Write a poem expressing your phobia
Keep a journal about your crappy job
Start a book addressing past abuse
Try some free-association exploring anxiety
Commit to a diary to vent at the end of a day
Write a letter about a failed relationship
It doesn’t matter much what form the writing takes, or if anyone else ever sees the writing. It’s the act of writing itself that is healing. Some people prefer a free-form approach to writing therapy. Others prefer a structured approach:
“Writers can treat their mental illnesses every day.” -Kurt Vonnegut
Posted by CMStewart on December 6, 2010
A few days ago I read an article about math-comprehension enhancement through electrical stimulation of the brain. I saw the word “dycalculia.” Oddly enough, I think that was the first time I had seen that word (Wiki’s “Dyscalculia” page has been heavily edited since I wrote this post, and now gives little useful info about dyscalculia. I am, however, leaving the link as I am fairly confident the information will be corrected and expanded.) even though I now know I am dyscalculic. I did some research, and now my life-long math anxiety makes sense. Dyscalculics are people across the IQ range who, regardless of traditional schooling, don’t have a solid sense of numbers or how they interact. Dyscalculics also usually have difficulty mentally fixing their own bodies in space, interpreting spacial relationships in general, and ordering events in time.
School was surrealistic for me. In grade school I was at the top of my class in reading and spelling. But I struggled with multiplication tables. I simply could not memorize them, even under the threat of a paddling in front of the class. I was always the last in my class to finish in-class math assignments. On the school bus, I would ricochet off the seat edges while walking the aisle. I learned to tell time well after the other kids, and I took remedial math classes during the summer. My piano teacher was embarrassingly kind. She every week she sat through 50 minutes of 1-minute songs that each took me about 5 minutes to play. I didn’t understand how the dots and lines and spaces on the music sheets fit the keys on the piano.
In high school, I flourished with vocabulary and reading comprehension, but math was rotten. In algebra, I used the same pre-filled-out “show your work” paper for each homework assignment when the teacher walked the aisles to check our homework. He would always pause at my desk while I sunk in my seat. But he always wordlessly moved on. I frequently forgot the order of my classes and my locker combination. Running a straight line for track practice was impossible. In chemistry, my teacher went to grandiose lengths explaining the definition of a “mole.” To this day I have no working conception of it, even after re-reading its definition. My chemistry tutor patiently re-explained how to set up and calculate chemical equations every week until we both gave up.
In college I took what was described as a basic math class. The professor spent the first couple weeks teaching matrixes without quizzing the class. I tried to mentally pound the numbers into my brain, but they would crash and smash instead. The look of utter confusion on my face was so obvious, the professor called me into his office and asked me why I wasn’t “getting it.” I didn’t have an answer, so I dropped the class and finally swore off math for good.
Now, as an adult? . . I can’t immediately recall my own telephone number without the act of writing it. I still sometimes forgot how to do basic division and still transpose numbers. The few money-handling jobs I’ve had were nightmares. I don’t drive. I don’t think I’ll ever write another check. Hotels and shopping centers spontaneously morph into mazes, and I don’t know north from a hole in the ground. Even though I have perfect vision, I still sometimes run into walls while turning corners, or trip on chair legs. Keeping score in card games is baffling. I love science- except for the math parts. I know math is the language of the universe. Math is magic. But I’m not a magician.
I used to think I was just “numbers lazy.” That if I just tried hard enough, I would “get it.” Now I am relieved to know it’s not laziness, but a physical brain difference. Dyscalculics are often strong in language, perhaps to compensate for their math deficiencies; or perhaps the same mechanism which weakens math ability strengthens language ability. I don’t “get” the language of the universe, but I revel in my own language. I think I wouldn’t change a thing.
Posted by CMStewart on November 8, 2010