Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Story Bazaar

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Ninety-Five


“You Really Think Humanity Has a Future?”

by
Alexander M Zoltai

Paul and Jacinto had been friends since childhood; yet, their professional activities had kept them apart for over ten years.

Paul, successful self-publishing author—Jacinto, successful international journalist.

Jacinto had contacted Paul before he left Chile—disclosed his deep distrust of where things were going—said he was giving up his career to write his memoirs—at 36 years of age—before the world collapsed…

Paul was wondering about his own career—pondering what direction his writing should take—hopefully, to help folks better understand the potential for the transformation of humanity…

Paul picked his friend up at the airport and Jacinto immediately launched into his worries, with much verbal flair, until Paul said: “My friend, I agree the world is in sad shape; but, can we approach its faults with our hearts open to the potentials for change?”

“Ah… Paul… Paul… You deal with fiction and I deal with facts… Still, it was your recent series of short Tales that determined me to visit…”

“You’ve read the Tales on my blog?”

“Indeed… Much to ponder; especially, since you make fiction seem real.”

“It’s been said that fiction reveals the truths that facts can hide…”

“Hmmm… The facts I’ve dealt with for the last 10 years have made me want to hide…”

“I understand…”

They arrived at their formerly favorite café; and, after they ordered, Jacinto said:

“So… You really think humanity has a future?”

“Yes… After major restructuring…”

“Hmm?”

“The structures of society are tattered and rotting—they’re well past their prime and deeply disturbing the well-being of a large percentage of the human family.”

“It’s just the lies—constant lies giving the rulers a horrible advantage…”

“Yet, people could find ways to talk under and over their rulers—spin a more truthful web of knowledge, eh?”

“Perhaps you have a more insightful perspective than I’ve had…”

Their sandwiches and drinks came and they were quiet as they ate…

When the plates were removed and more tea ordered, Jacinto continued their heart-engaging discussion:

“So, tell me, dear spinner of tales, what potential for change exists in the world—why should anyone strive for plans of improvement?”

“Well… First, I have great faith in humanity’s ability to order their lives rationally.”

“Faith in rationally? Sounds like fiction…”

“Dear friend, you’ve been on the front lines of the end of the old world order—you’re a casualty and need recuperation…”

“I will quit my contracts—I have saved plenty—perhaps, we should share a home again…”

“You’ll have to meet my dog before we negotiate terms for habitation…”

Their hearty laughter drew general attention and Jacinto waved merrily at the other customers which made them all go back to what they were doing…

Paul continued: “You’ve been too much with the old world, the one that’s dying—what if you could explore what the members of the new world are doing to ensure the continuation of humanity?”

“And, if I find interesting material, I should add it to my biography?”

“Perhaps…”

“So, who are these members of the new world?”

“Folks who form supportive learning groups in neighborhoods, villages; and, in a few cases, whole regions of certain countries. They engage people in discussions of what’s needed for healthy and well-functioning individuals, communities, and institutions—they’re shaping a new way of living that has many aspects that have been known for centuries but distorted and suppressed by materialistic philosophers and rulers…”

“So… You can speak like you live here and now and not in your fictional worlds; but, what chance do a small percentage of people have against the tumbling weight of a dying society?”

“That small percentage has been working under the radar for many decades; in fact, from their true beginning, it’s been going on for nearly 200 years—a very slow start; and, now, rapidly spreading…”

“What’s their secret weapon?”

“Love…”

“So, we’re back to fiction.”

“Is a mother’s love fictional? Is a love for your neighbors fictional? Is a love of justice fictional?”

“One and two are not—three surely seems to be…”

“Ah… Yes… the world-traveling journalist has been in the murky trenches of the last bastions of false justice and false sentiments and false promises…”

“And, these magical creatures who love themselves into a new world are not a dream—a false hope?”

Paul reached into his briefcase for a sheet of paper and handed it to Jacinto with: “Here’s an excerpt from a book called, Peace: More Than an End to War.”

Jacinto read:

“World order can be founded only on an unshakable consciousness of the oneness of mankind, a spiritual truth which all the human sciences confirm. Anthropology, physiology, psychology, recognize only one human species, albeit infinitely varied in the secondary aspects of life. Recognition of this truth requires abandonment of prejudice—prejudice of every kind—race, class, color, creed, nation, sex, degree of material civilization, everything which enables people to consider themselves superior to others.

“Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first fundamental prerequisite for reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Universal acceptance of this spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. It should therefore be universally proclaimed, taught in schools, and constantly asserted in every nation as preparation for the organic change in the structure of society which it implies.”

When Jacinto looked up, Paul said: “It takes a lot of love to do that…”

Jacinto didn’t respond, looked shaken; but, in a good way—like the feeling when something suddenly makes all the sense in the world.

Paul gently said: “Could I introduce you to some of the members of humanity’s new world?”

He truly didn’t expect what happened next…

Jacinto said: “I think I need to meet these people…”

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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Blog Conversation Concerning “What Should I Write?” . . .


Our last discussion here was on June 6th & June 11th… On Writing

It dealt with Etymologies—word histories—and explored their value for readers and writers…

Since the last part of that conversation didn’t elicit any comments, I’m moving on to a new discussion…

And, just before I do that, I must announce that, after this coming Friday (when I’ll publish the last, and 95th, short Tale in my Story Bazaar Cycle.), these blog conversations will be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…

So—“What should I write?”

That plea might be uttered by a well-seasoned writer or someone considering writing for the first time…

If it’s a well-seasoned writer saying, “What should I write?”, it could be a consideration about a new work or the next steps in a current work…

If you happen to be someone considering that question for the first time (or, the hundredth time before you’ve begun your first effort as a writer…), the options are just short of infinite

And, from a certain perspective, the well-seasoned writer may very well face a slightly smaller infinity of choices…

I’ve relied on what’s called a Muse to help me narrow those infinities (which can also occur just before the very next sentence…).

Over on the Lateral Action site, in the article, 5 Reasons Why You Need a Muse, it’s said:

“‘A muse?’ you ask. ‘You mean some kind of invisible spirit that dumps creative inspiration into my mind?’

“’Exactly,’ I answer. ‘A genius. A daimon. An independent force in your psyche that directs your creativity, and to which you deliberately hand over ultimate responsibility for your work.’

“’That’s nuts!’ you exclaim.'”

“All creative block is ultimately identifiable as a manifestation of performance anxiety or performance guilt. Offloading your sense of responsibility for creative work onto another self is like flipping a switch. It instantly removes that pressure and lets you breathe again. It returns you to the state of relaxed receptivity that characterized your earliest efforts, when you were just playing around in a ‘beginner’s mind’ mode. This is when the best stuff happens.”

That article also references a Brilliant TEDtalk about the psychological concept of the Muse by author Elizabeth Gilbert

However, for the sake of conversation ( conversation being the whole purpose of these posts on this blog:-), there could be other ways to become inspired about what “should” be written…

Aha!

Should“…

Seems we might need a word history:

“c. 1200, from Old English sceolde, past tense of sceal (see shall). Preserves the original notion of ‘obligation’ that has all but dropped from shall.”

Somewhere back in my earlier decades of life on this planet, that word “should” was something folks could use in conversation without incurring violent wrath from certain listeners…

Is it conceivable to you that writers “should” write certain things?

That a particular sentence “should” follow that one you just wrote?

That a precise gem of a word “must” precede a particularly important other word…?

I had to include a few questions to, hopefully, provoke a few folks to comment :-)

My particular brand of shoulds for my writing hover around concepts like the one expressed in New Patterns of Community Life in an Urbanizing World:

“Large-scale migration to urban centers has, in many cases, led to social fragmentation, the depletion of limited ecological resources, and profound feelings of isolation and despair.”

But…

Things that large will henceforth be relegated to my ruminations about my second book of poetry…

Which brings me to the image up there at the beginning of this post…

It was created by my Best Friend, author Jane Watson, for what I thought was going to be a new work I’d publish every Saturday over on Wattpad—a “column” of articles on writing…

That lovely image up there was Jane’s creation for the cover of that new effort on Wattapd…

However, I got cornered by my Muse yesterday and was humiliated by her…

Naturally, I deserved it…

How could I keep up blog conversations here (along with the search for the re-blogs I share…) while reading the 21 books I need to explore, as research for that new poetry book; and, the depth of thinking that work will demand—along with my attention to my social media activities (and, to be sure, all the time this writer needs to just sit here and commune with my Muse and other, yet Higher, Entities…)…?

Plus, my Muse drummed into my skull, “Why don’t you encourage folks on Wattpad to come over here and peruse the over 2,200 posts you’ve already written?” (…nicely organized by topic in that handy Top Tags widget, in the left side-bar...)

So, has my exploration of “What Should I Write?” stirred up questions or ideas or feelings?

If only one of you shares a comment, this conversation can continue………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Ninety-Four


Racism Is Gone?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

My name is Beuiol and I’m a Violet.

I wasn’t always as I now am—I used to be a hater of the Roses…

Then, I became more enlightened and felt the Roses were just fine if they stayed in their place…

Then, I had a great shock—one of my fellow Violets, Seloit,  mated with a Rose, Straxsr, and had a litter of Fuchsias…

I went into a tizzy…

I had to question my morals—very hard task when my life had been relatively set and somewhat tranquil…

Then, the crisis deepened and widened…

Crisis on crisis…

My Daughter, a pure Violet, wanted to marry a Fuchsia………

I moaned at her and she groaned at me; but, it seemed there was nothing to do but disown her…

Seloit got word of my plight and came over specially to counsel me—she brought her litter of Fuchsias with her…

I couldn’t avoid it—the little Fuchsias were cute…

They were also extremely intelligent for their young age…

I had to reach the only possible conclusion—the hardest choice of my life…

I was a complete fool…

To think I would contemplate disowning my dear daughter just because she fell in love with a Fuchsia…

What a fool I was; and, what a lovely bunch of Orchids my daughter gave birth to………

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Ninety-Three


War Is Idiotic?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Ben and Paul were still at it, after many hours, over many days; and, way too many cups of coffee…

Already today, the owner of the cafe had to come to their table three times, cautioning them to be a bit less vociferous in their conversation…

They really tried to control themselves; and, when the owner came up the fourth time, they both nodded to him, stood up, and left the cafe.

Nowhere else to go but the city park—the children would be screaming and nobody could complain.

They sat on the west bank of the lake, well away from the clusters of kids, and renewed their argument…

“Paul, I want to go back to that point about the highland wars…”

“Shoot…”

“So… The two communities were trained to hate each other; and—”

“Wait! Trained…?”

“Sure, social training—the leaders of the two main tribes brainwashed the kids and, when they grew up, they threw them at each other.”

“But, you make it sound all planned; and, anyway, how do you know that’s how it happened?”

“Extrapolation…”

“Huh?”

“O.K., consider two sports teams—they have to be well trained to actually go on the field and batter each other—sustain injuries that can have lifelong repercussions…”

“O.K. But, sports and war are pretty far apart…”

“Only in the end results—sports tends to have less killed—war maximizes killing…”

“Hmmm…”

“Come on, admit it, I’ve got a point!”

“Yeah, a blunt point…”

“Really? You think you have a better way of accounting for war?

“Like I said, too many times already—it just happens when things need to change…”

“I cannot—  just happens…?”

“Yeah…”

Nothing just happens!”

“Everything just happens!”

“Bullshit! You’re an idiot!”

They both stood up and Ben began shoving Paul into the lake; but, Paul had a grip on Ben’s belt buckle and he followed Paul in.

They proceeded to punch each other silly as they drifted toward the deepest part…

They started ripping each other clothes and Paul gouged out one of Ben’s eyes, while Ben was applying maximum pressure to Paul’s crotch…

The kids kept screaming their mindless delights—the mothers and fathers watched their children and chatted—Paul and Ben continued their conflict…

No one seemed to notice the outcome of the Ben-Paul War…

It took a few hours before two lovers, strolling around the lake, found the floating bodies…

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Ninety-Two


False Friends

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

 

~~~ at the cafe:

Bill gave a deep sigh and said: “Life’s too hard…”

Jim patiently replied: “You’re sounding positively pessimistic…”

“I’m not only that, I’m also quite fatalistic…”

“What’s got ya down?”

“The usual—the world!”

“Right…”

“Can’t talk about it right now…”

“Right…”

~~~ at Jim’s apartment:

Jim gave his friend a tired look and said: “Bill, I’m worried about ya…”

“So am I… I don’t know what I can do—it’s all too much…”

“Well, we know I’m not as smart as you; but, I wanna try to help—what’s a huge specific thing that’s got ya down?”

“The Emperors haven’t, at all, disappeared; and, the Courtiers have multiplied—sure, their names have changed—lords are legislators and ladies are legislatorettes; but, they’re all unsexed automatons—can’t even stop their prancing around their Emperor long enough to make some laws that will start protecting kids at school!”

“Ah… That was a tragedy…”

“No! It’s all an apocalyptic catastrophe… It’s a fact that there are twice as many dead school kids this year, so far, than all the dead military in combat zones…”

“No shit?”

“It’s the numbers, man, tally ‘em up—sick, sick, sick…”

~~~ at the cafe ~ Ann joins Jim and Bill:

“Well boys, what’s kickin’?”

“Bill’s got me convinced the world’s nearly reached hell in its handbag…”

“Now how could I have missed that, Bill?”

“Because, sweet Ann, language has been subverted—meaning has been raped…”

“Uhh… My dear smart ass, Bill—do you deem me worthy of an explanation?”

“For your adoring consideration, Ann, the Rulers of our lives call massacres ‘tragedies’; and, when they need to act like they’re doing more than finding ways to get more gold from the one percent, they talk about ‘Important Considerations’ that are ‘Compelling’ them to ‘Discuss Possible Decisions’ that ‘Might Lead’ to ‘Important Actions’ to ‘Remedy’ the ‘Situation’…”

“What the hell…?”

“Kids are needlessly dying Ann—gunned down by the dozens; and, the ‘Elected Officials’ are dancing with each other in the halls of their brothel which they call ‘Government’…”

“Oh… That…”

“Jim, would you like to give Ann a clue?”

“Uhh… Bill… I think you just did…”

“Really? Then why is she just sitting there staring at you like she wants to take you to her brothel?”

“Bill, I think you’re losing your mind—there’s nothing to do except get along and try to have some fun. What the hell can we do about anything?”

Bill got up, bowed to them both, exited the cafe; and, they never saw him again…

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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If you don’t see a way to comment, try at the upper right of this post :-)
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message