How funny that I haven’t bothered to post since my last “Never Stop Being Amazed” missive. Truth be told, I haven’t felt motivated or inspired to post lately. I was working overnight hours, the quality of my Play With The Prose entries took a massive dive*, and I’ve spent most of the last month preparing to move, moving, and looking for work now that I’m here. So all in all, not much to speak of. But today something has moved me to post again – the Red Bull Stratos Jump.

Felix Baumgartner is going to push the boundaries of physical human accomplishment my skydiving from 120,000 ft (22.7 miles). For reference, that is four times higher than most commercial airlines fly. He hopes to break the sound barrier – not by building a jet plane or space rocket. Simply by going high enough to jump from a place where he can fall fast enough. Baumgartner is willing to put his body, and life, on the line just to further human knowledge just that tiny bit. The answer of the expansion of medical insight and development of any new technology for the flight are great answers to “Why?”, but to me the better answer is “Because we can.”

Watch here:

*I’ll likely do a roundup of rounds 8-16 soon, but I really didn’t write much I care to share again.

Never stop being amazed

With the news of Neil Armstrong’s passing, I remembered one of my favorite quotes about space travel. It comes from a Cracked article titled “7 Awesome Images That Will Make You Mourn The Space Shuttle

At what point did we forget that the Space Shuttle was, essentially, a program that strapped human beings to an explosion and tried to stab through the sky with fire and math?

I’ve been fascinated with space travel since I can remember. I went to Space Camp in Huntsville when I was 10. I did my 6th grade TAG project on Apollo 11. As recently as this Spring, I was looking into being a test subject at JPL just so I could say I played a part, no matter how small, in helping the space program. A good deal of my fascination with space is because, as mentioned above, it’s not something meant to be done by people. Even flying (which I also love) isn’t meant to be done by people. It boggles my mind that it only took 66 years for people to go from a 12 second flight in North Carolina to standing on the Moon, accomplished with fire and math.

There is a full Moon on Friday night. Make the time to go outside and look at the sky and contemplate the fact that people have walked on its surface and just what it means in terms of what people are capable of. Be amazed.

“What?!” you might be saying, “what of challenges 5 and 6?” Well, Challenge Five I wrote an hour before the deadline in order to avoid a -5. Let’s speak no further of it. Challenge Six you can read here. I’m entry #3. It’s a breakup story. Spooky thought it was a little to vague to pop. I was trying to be a little inspecific so that if anyone had gone through a breakup like that, they could fill in the blanks with their own experience and it would resonate a little more. It sorta worked on nibbs and I got a point. So now on to Challenge Seven – family reunions Continue Reading »

Fabrice Muamba

Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it has given me so many opportunities. Above all else, I love the game and count myself very lucky to have been able to play at the highest level. While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for. I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to the members of the medical team who never gave up on me.

 – Fabrice Muamba

Muamba had a heart attack on the pitch back in March. He was medically dead for more than an hour. Here’s all the best to him in his post-football life.

(h/t The Fiver)

The challenge for this week was to write about a person or group of people who are one inch tall. My entry and judges’ comments after the jump: Continue Reading »

Jim woke sore and confused in the infirmary with the warden standing over him.

“Good morning. How are you feeling? I can see you are wondering what happened. You were assaulted during a card game. Allegations of cheating, it would seem.”

“And Tiny?”

“Mr. Douglas? Witnesses said he immediately retreated to your shared cell.”

“Asshole…Oh, not you Sir. Tiny.”

“Yes, well, let’s get you back to your cell.”

“What the hell, asshole?! Some muscle you are!”

“Sorry man, I got scared. Won’t happen again. Promise.”

The next morning, Jim again awoke with the warden standing over him. “Get up and come with us,” the warden said, gesturing to the detective at his side.

“So Tiny smothered himself with his pillow? That’s your story?”

“The guy is…was twice my size. How could I have possibly held him down?”

“You got a better explanation?”

“Yeah, I have telekinetic powers.” Jim laid the sarcasm on thick. “I held him down with my mind rays and choked the shit out of him. I don’t know, you’re the detective.”

“It’s no use. Take this mope back to his cell,” said the detective with a dismissive wave of his hand.

K: Two telekinesis stories in a row? What are the odds? Well, in this challenge, the odds are probably fairly good. Never mind. Anyway, though this story isn’t a “big” one like several others attempt to be, it’s much more successful because there’s deception on the part of the characters and the reader gets to savor knowing the truth while the detectives have it dangled right in front of their faces. BRONZE

P: mmkay… is this actually the sequel to one of my favorite challenges from last week? It really doesn’t seem to have the same whimsical spirit as that one did – it’s a lot darker, and a lot less fun than its predecessor. It’s sort of grimdark 90′s “well, he was a card shark, but now he’s using those powers to murder”. It doesn’t end up convincing me fully.

Continue Reading »

This week’s challenge was to write a story which took place entirely within the confines of a prison. Unlike last week, I didn’t have a 10 year old story rattling around in my head about prison, so I was forced to start from scratch. The results and notes after the jump.
Continue Reading »


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