The Camera Microphone Was on Low

Why do lecterns have to be so tall?

This is not on YouTube. I figure I’d spare Google this time around.

Well, here I am. It was a fun evening. Tuesday, February 22, 2011. Sometime between 6 and 7pm.

This is quite possibly the best 5:24 of your lives. I mention drugs AND coffee on BYU property, and security didn’t carry me out.

Turn up the volume if you want to hear me, unless you’re content with staring at my mouth move in silence. Behind a microphone. I’m pretty hot either way. However, I do stumble over a few words, and it’s funny to me that one of those words is stutter.

Keep checking this link for the updated online version if you want to read along. (It might take a while – maybe a week? – but be patient.) If you were lucky enough to get a copy of your own, you can read along that way.

Just FYI, signing autographs is fun. I like talking with people who have a similar appreciation for the creative process. This group also happens to include my friends. Blessed hour.

Also, the other readings that night were phenomenal. I felt honored to be reading among geniuses. It was way cool.

Enjoy.

Hemingway’s Shortest, and Supposedly Greatest, Story

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Can you imagine?

I was scanning the Ad  Board on campus this morning while waiting on the bus to work. When I saw this photo, I thought of Hemingway, but I also thought of the bloke who doesn’t get to wear the ring. Similarly, my heart broke.
My heart has been hurting a lot this week.

Whirlwindia

A cute little puppy walked along a grassy path. The puppy’s name was Yip. Her floppy ears flopped and her thin, high tail bounced as she ambled through the tall grass. What Yip didn’t realize was that she wasn’t on a path, but in a meadow, fluffy with flowers and butterflies.

Indeed, it was a butterfly that led Yip off a path where many others before her had worn the grass short and even left a few bald patches. She followed that dancing pair of wings, and the unsuspecting insect drew her closer to a dark, damp forest.

She didn’t really notice the grass brushing her coat as her jaunt carved a little puppy trail through the meadow. A gentle breeze swept along, and the green, filamentous stalks bowed briefly before springing upright, reaching again for the sun which had only woken a few hours ago.

The butterfly caught a mellow draft and found a spot in space that Yip was lucky enough to see. The shiny, delicate powder on its wings reflected the sun’s rays and spread the light like magic. Yip saw colors and joy. She dared not blink, fearing the butterfly might disappear, but her tail whipped back and forth, a happy metronome.

Yip and the butterfly came closer to the forest. The butterfly crossed the meadow’s boundary into the weald, and the cute little puppy eagerly followed. Her paws immediately felt damp earth. Her eyes did not adjust quickly enough to the abrupt darkness, and she thought she went blind. Her tail lowered, and she sighed a low whimper.

But the butterfly seemed to beckon the cute little puppy, for she caught sight of it again when her pupils widened, allowing her to see the shadows and silhouettes of trees. Yip knew trees. Those magical wings led her through a gauntlet of bubbling mud and swarms of mosquitoes close enough to tickle Yip’s ears.

Even though Yip was a cute little puppy, she knew she should feel scared, and she was. But she also somehow knew the butterfly would not hurt her.

Sometimes the butterfly flew too fast. Its wings still held their shine, so Yip would see a flash and then it would go dark before appearing from behind a tree. Her confidence began to grow and her cautious steps turned  into a determined chase through the forest.

Yip felt, but did not see the other animals in the forest watching her: Owls and foxes and squirrels; snakes and hawks and things with pointy teeth. Their eyes glowed green or red, and Yip felt, but did not see this. Even as a cute little puppy, Yip knew where she didn’t belong.

The butterfly floated along, and Yip followed, and they eventually passed through the forest into a cute, little village. The butterfly picked up a swift return wind, leaving the cute little puppy alone.

She wandered along the village’s quiet streets and realized the whole place looked familiar to her, from the houses to the stores to the other puppies and their dog parents.

She had been here before, and this scared her.

But she knew she couldn’t be there long.

Yip began introducing herself to everybody. She said her name is Yip. Her name is Yip, she said.

And everybody smiled at her. Or they hugged her. Or they smiled and hugged her.

She was confused, but something told her she shouldn’t be, because if she had been there before, then these people already knew her. And if everybody looked so familiar, she wondered why she didn’t feel closer to them.

What had she forgotten?

Across the cute little town, the bell tower pealed and everyone filed toward the church. Yip lagged behind but was close enough to watch the double doors open and vacuum up all the villagers. She heard piano music and could no longer control her curiosity. She ran and stepped into the chapel just before the doors closed.

Yip slipped into a rear bench. She saw the most beautiful woman standing in front of the altar. Her eyes smiled and brimmed with tears at the same time while she faced a very handsome man. They held each other’s hands.

The priest pronounced the couple husband and wife, and the couple kissed. The piano started again, and the bells chimed. The couple walked with linked arms back down the aisle while everyone stood. Tails wagged everywhere.

Just before the couple stepped through the chapel doors, the new bride turned and looked at Yip. She smiled at Yip and the warmest, most comforting feeling overcame the cute little puppy.

Yip was her cute little puppy.

The couple left, and everyone dispersed.

Yip knew it was time to go back.

She crossed the village and bounded through forest and across the meadow to where it meets shorter grass and occasional bald patches.

She knew the butterfly wouldn’t be there.

Announcements

First, it appears I’m one of the winners of the flashfiction contest I entered this week.

The results are posted here, and that page links to the story, which awaits your perusal.

Thanks to all those who provided feedback. Readers have the serious responsibility of being able to enjoy what they read without tripping over sloppy writing. I appreciate all the comments and suggestions.

Secondly, I’m going on a short texting and chatting hiatus. I feel like I’m losing touch with a lot of you, and sometimes my compulsive texting gets in the way of true, personal contact. Chatting isn’t as bad, but I have to reconcile with some of its grating aspects.  Mostly, it’s my way of dealing with being so far away from so many of you. I need to be more okay with not seeing or hearing from you as often as I’d like. This is the wonkiest logic that will ever hit your brain, but it makes perfect sense to me.

So, I’ll try calling more, if that’s okay.

I’ll respond to emails, and I’ll return phone calls.

Plugging Away

I posted a flash fic on a website for a contest last night.

If you have the time, go read it.

If you have more time, leave a comment.

If you have even more time, check out the other stories. A couple of my friends will be posting their stories today, and I’ll provide links to their stories as well. They’re terrific.

It’s just exciting to see people writing. People I know and love. Awesome people.