The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 11

The Goatmen of Aguirra is one of my favorite stories and, based on comments, popular among my readers (thankee!). It appears in my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, as an individual ebook The Goatmen of Aguirra: A Tale Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, and was serialized in Piker Press in 2019.

I’m sharing it here because a friend is having some challenges using 1st Person POV, and The Goatmen of Aguirra uses 1st Person POV throughout.

Read The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 11.

Hope you enjoy.


The Goatmen of Aguirra (Part 11)

 
The translator is failing so I use it sparingly. The recorder I use because I can. I will take a guess and record the date as 916015.

Funny how much lighter these units have become without The Merrimack to power them. The mists cleared. The earth is churned more than before due to the leaping and running of the young billies. Most of the elder billies have gone, as have all of the young. There is no more rumbling. I peer over the edge of the Tower and make out the bodies of those who didn’t make it.

Tenku is staring at me.

“What happened here? What was this?”

He grabs my genitals. I don’t know if that is the answer, but it is the only response I get.

He doesn’t seem surprised by them. I am surprised at the gentleness of his touch. They must seem a child’s, weak and ineffective in his hands. How did an ancient Hebrew oath right find its way here, I wonder.

Back in the village, Hepob offers me the same porridge as when I arrived. It tastes slightly different and I see scrapings of the black root in it.

After I eat, I rest.

 

I slept long and deeply, yet my sleep was fogged by dreams as thick as the altiplano’s Aguirran gnats. I no longer know how reliable or intelligible this redaction has become.

I remember several dreams, although only a few clearly. In one, I was back at the ship. Sanders, Galen, Tellweiller, and Nash walk through me and past me as if I don’t exist, nor can they hear me even though I scream at them. The Old Ones have advanced. The Merrimack was called home.

In one dream, I watched Galen and Tellweiller on one of Dave’s C3I monitors, then realized I was Dave watching the monitor. This wasn’t a common dream, where you know who you are and have a sense of yourself no matter what you are in the dream. Here, I was more a passenger along for the ride; not David Sanders, but able to experience his environment, thoughts, and emotions along with him. Not a pleasant journey. He seems a lonely, fearful man.

On the monitor, I watched Tom ask Bob if he’d like to join him in a little exploring. “Care to come along?” I sat with Dave in C3I as they finished lunch in the Common. Dave tapped in the commands for a two-way screen split and zoomed a separate window onto each man’s face. His eyes, always quick, looked down and over his nose at the images on the screen. They went out of focus momentarily and he “hmmed”, bridging his fingers against his mouth and nose. His eyes still out of focus, he titled his head back further, just enough so he could see the tip of his nose in the foreground of their faces. This is an unconscious habit he has when talking to people.

As the two men cleaned up their table and left the Common, Dave adjusted the Eyes to follow them out of the ship. They hadn’t travelled far when they stopped. Without even looking for any remotes or robotics, they fell into each other’s arms, laughing and giggling, pulling off their suits and, making themselves comfortable against each other, finally … finally I looked away, not so much embarrassed as wanting to afford them their privacy. My only thought was “How could they have kept this secret so long?”


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Bees at the Bar

You’ve heard about busy bees, no doubt.

Anybody ever told you about the lazy bees?

These are worker bees who’ve decided to hell with all that pollen gathering and dancing and waxing and such, we’re going out for a good drunk!

They’re normally quite friendly.

Until someone touches their watering hole…I mean, birdfeeder.

Hummingbird feeder, to be exact.

Not only loiterous, also usurping.

Or slurping.

 

I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise)

[[This post originally appeared on my Stating the Obvious blog back in 2011. I’m resurrecting it because I’m currently taking a series of classes from people who are…interesting. Why interesting? Well, as an example, if you can’t remember the terms for what you’re teaching, perhaps you shouldn’t be teaching it. Or how about, if every student’s answer is correct – even when they contradict each other – perhaps the first part of the class should be “We’re going to be sharing opinions. There’s no right or wrong.” Or how about…

And this has more to do with me and my expectations than those teaching.

And I have definitely learned from them.

And here, for your enjoyment,

I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise) Enjoy!

This post is about lowering the bar. In a world where everyone is a guru, maven, jedi, rock star, queen, genius, leader and last but not least, expert, how do we recognize real ability from self-defined hype and bling? There have been two LinkedIn discussions that I know of, one in social media, the other in analytics, one from Apr 2011, the other from earlier in 2011 and both themed “What is expertise?” I wrote The Unfulfilled Promise of Online Analytics series (I’ll resurrect those, too, if you’d like) a while ago and one of its subthemes is “What is expertise?”

The level of “expertise” required to hang out a shingle has gone beyond touching the ground, it’s gone subterranean in many disciplines. And it’s pointless to create governance groups that offer accreditation because once such groups gain popularity they are usurped by vendors and HIPPOs to serve purposes different than governance and accreditation.

Let me offer some suggestions for marketers and consumers of expertise. Note: especially those marketing their teaching/editing/proofing skills.

Truth in Self-Marketing Rule #1: Never Believe Your Own Hype
Continue reading “I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise)”

Ansen Dibell’s “Plot”

First, Whoa!

The book’s entitled Plot and it has immediately useful (to me) techniques and examples on

  • Plot (duh!)
  • Story
  • Structure
  • Setting
  • Description
  • POV
  • Exposition
  • Scenes

and it does it all in 170 pages (which includes a seven page index)!

I’m blessed because I purchased most of my writing texts in the 1970s-early 1990s, long before anybody with a mobile could claim expertise and back when people had to demonstrate their abilities repeatedly to make any kind of claim.

One such demonstration was (duh!) getting a book published on a subject in which you demonstrated expertise. Publishing books cost money and took time. Honest-to-god real editors (line, copy, proof, continuity, …) actually read through a manuscript before sending it on to printing. Publishers weren’t going to put money into a project just because someone said they were an expert, that someone had to demonstrate they were an expert. Often.

And let me add, most people didn’t claim themselves to be a guru, maven, jedi, rock star, queen, genius, leader and last but not least, expert. Other people claimed it for someone once said someone proved their guruness, mavenhood, jediability, et cetera.

And usually it took a lot to prove.

How I long for the time when people’s expertise was actual expertise and not a vacuous claim because, by god, they’re going to get their fifteen minutes if it kills them.

But I digress.

Dibell’s Plot is comparable to sitting in a writing intensive. There are examples throughout, and she picks her examples wisely. Each example demonstrates several techniques but she never throws them at you all at once. She starts by demonstrating how someone is a good story/novel opening then cycles back to show how the exposition reinforces the nascent plot elements then cycles back again to demonstrate how the character reveal points to plot elements yet to come.

As I wrote above, Whoa!

Want more? How about Dibell’s explaining alternative plot structures (beyond traditional western 3-act, conflict oriented plot) back in 1988? (I’ll admit I missed these in my first reading.

Plot is one of several Writer’s Digest books I bought way back when. As a working author, they are revealing in so many ways. Most of these authors are recognizable by work if not by name, and all were full-time authors.

What causes a full-time author to write an how-to-write book? All the Writer’s Digest books I’ve read are wonderful learning tools. These authors definitely know their craft and are able to share it.

But writing an how-to-write book took time away from their writing their stories. I know I loathe anything which takes me away from my crafting (save posts such as these, were I relax my authorial muscles, stretch my imagination tendons, and basically take either a necessary or welcomed break from being creative (being creative is work. Ask any woman who’s gotten pregnant and delivered a child).

But writing an how-to-write book is another creative process. What this their relaxation?

Perhaps it was their way of testing their own knowledge? Of encapsulating it? I critique other’s writing and learn as much about my own craft as I do helping them with theirs.

And such musings are largely irrelevant. Plot is an excellent learning tool and strongly recommended.


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The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 10

The Goatmen of Aguirra is one of my favorite stories and, based on comments, popular among my readers (thankee!). It appears in my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, as an individual ebook The Goatmen of Aguirra: A Tale Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, and was serialized in Piker Press in 2019.

I’m sharing it here because a friend is having some challenges using 1st Person POV, and The Goatmen of Aguirra uses 1st Person POV throughout.

Read The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 9.

Hope you enjoy.


The Goatmen of Aguirra (Part 10)

 
845015:2200 – Tenku has returned. There is another billy with him, a young one just starting his horns, and not Gomer. They assume the talking positions, not including me. Tenku asks this other Goatman, “Where are you?”

“The Theisen … ” and a bark. Perhaps I would learn more if I didn’t rely on the damned translator. “Tenku has asked me to be with him and Journeyer. Gomer agrees this will help us know Journeyer and where he is, as Journeyer, we believe, is lost.

“We sit with the sisters and children of Hepob…”

This new billy’s recitation continued for fully forty minutes, at which time Gomer came over.

Before continuing note his reference to “The Theisen.” This seems odd to me as he did not smell of Wa’asis and I thought such was necessary for communication with “The Theisen” to begin.

Most disturbing to me was what he said as he came to the end of his speech; “…and there are some fallen stones. The Old Ones, placed without asking by the others from – ” the untranslatable word again “– those who dwell in the home who wants to be a rock.”

The young billy got up and Gomer took his place. Tenku asked, “Where are you?”

Gomer started, “As Shika said and…”

His recitation of where he is took days longer, even starting as it did from where the other Goatman left off and continuing far down the Towers, across the Altiplano and ranging over the continent.

The missing third leg of the triangle. I believe I have it. The oral history is truly rich and greatly diversified, everyone in the village has their own. They define where they are by their experience, starting at their immediate present, continuing throughout their personal histories and including racial histories when it is relevant to their personal recounting. Gomer, for example, recited a story about a Goatman called ‘Denihé’. From what he said, I suspect Denihé might be the Goatman I and I alone perceived when the others stood outside the Blind and Sanders dispatched the Rumbler. If not that, then Denihé is the creature who I became in that dream.

It is fascinating, this concept. To define your existence by your experience. Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking these creatures have names so much as they have icononyms, a single sound which acts as an arrow to a racial or cultural memory of their entire existence. It may explain why they laugh at ‘Goat Man’. The name denies them half their experience. To them, “history” is by its very nature an individual’s song.

I wonder what they made of “My name is Gordon Banks.”? Has that simple statement, denied of cultural references and identity, defined our interactions since?

Tenku sits facing me. There is black root in his hand.


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post and requires either General Membership (free) or a Subscription (various levels). Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!