Dinner

The incandescent light-bulb and the creaking of mice competed to be the loudest sounds in the house. It was a lost cause however, as the silence was all engulfing. The silence was a thin veil over the couple’s meal and with each bite they ate a bit more of it. The woman nearly choked on it herself and gave a small cough. The man, pretending to be engrossed in what was happening across the world, didn’t look up. The woman put her fork on her plate and daintily dabbed at her mouth with a napkin. She got up and put her plate in the sink and turned on the tap . He again played his little game of complete ignorance. The thing about silence is, that it makes everything more intense so when the woman picked up her hapless husband’s plate and broke it over his equally poor head, the sound was so harsh that it scared the mice away.


A one paragraph story today. I’ve been a bit of a funk. Please, let me know what you make of it.

 

Living Plugged In

Technology is an ubiquitous and ever-changing force in our world. It makes it easy to connect, store data and experience new lands all form the comfort of our couch. But has this quick and easy method of communication, connection, and storage made us a ‘throwaway society’? Has having our phones always in the palms our hands made it harder to actually shake hands with someone? Have eyes glued to a screen made human eye contact impossible? And as my fingers type the keys will they be too numb to feel the touch of what is real?

Modern-day technology has so many great things to offer and with its current advancement there are more fantastic things yet to come. But as we wait and post, and tweet, and skype, and scroll are we losing touch with what’s actually right in front of us? I am a huge science fiction fan and can’t wait for singularity and the age of bio-integrated technology but at the same time I write most things in paper.

I worry that, amiss all the change genuine human connection will become far and few between as people ignore those around them for those far far away. I worry that, people will begin to forget a far away friend’s actual voice because they only talk to them via text. I worry that kids will no longer play outside because they’d rather sit at the computer all day watching cartoons. 

I worry that people will disconnect. That everyone will forget what is right there in front of them because they are too busy plugged in to care. And by the time they notice the person has moved on, that friend stopped calling and the air is too full of smoke to play today. 


Related articles:

http://nillunasserstelter.com/2014/04/28/the-forgotten-joys-of-longhand-writing/

http://www.ted.com/talks/abha_dawesar_life_in_the_digital_now

 

First Lines

Stephen King in his biography slash writing book On Writing he emphasized the importance of first lines:

“There are all sorts of theories and ideas about what constitutes a good opening line. It’s tricky thing, and tough to talk about because I don’t think conceptually while I work on a first draft — I just write….But there’s one thing I’m sure about. An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”

With that advise I began working on a few first lines of my own. Some, I’ve cheated on and made a paragraph and one went on to inspire it’s own separate short story. Here are a few of my attempts:

Sleep came sweetly; it laid upon her like a forgotten lover, hungry but tender, as the man sat in the chair in the corner just watching it descend.

 

Doris didn’t. Time tripped and fumbled around that mistake and she would always find herself wondering what if she had.

 

His death was the most ironic; he lay there by his canvas and a cheery orange paint still slid from his lungs.

Feel free to share some of your first lines.

Personality of Green Lantern

One of the most underrated members of the JLA, Green Lantern has perhaps the most potential. This is due in large part, to his powers which are literally bound by the limits of his imagination and concentration. Despite this, he’s often regaurded as just a guy who can fly, make a few unfunny jokes, with a magic ring.

I intend to break that simplification… somewhat.

The pilot slash superhero is an ENTP.

E is fairly obvious. He’s a charismatic bachelor-pilot. So, I’m fairly certain that he has a good social life. The extroverted part of his nature also reveals itself in his whit. A whit that even can get Batman to smirk, though, he’s probably not better then Flash. In short, he is a very personable person.  Extroverted in the Myers Briggs personality test can also mean clever and Green Lantern is very clever. He has to be; his powers rely on problem solving. And as such, his powers rely on his being able to think ahead and for that you need to be clever. 

N is for intuitive. Intuitive means being able to think beyond what is presently available. Being able to see beyond now, and distance yourself from the current situation. N is also for imaginative and that’s exactly what being Green Lantern entails. Which is probably why Martian Manhunter was never going to be ‘chosen’ by the ring as he is about as imaginative as a dictionary. Carrying on, being Green Lantern not only requires imagination but being able to imagine something deadly under pressure. For example say, fighting yet another overlord of some far away planet you need to avoid his lasers, while rescuing the girl, who’s still screaming, and concentrate on generating a shield and then some sort of weapon because he’s coming right at you and… That kind of pressure. Basically, be creative, or die. 

Thinking is something I’ve been harping on for this entire article and I apologize but the harp shall continue to play. This thinking attribute has less to do with sheer brain-power and more to do with Hal Jordan being a logical and analytic person. Logical or analytic are not the first things you’d peg Green Lantern with at all, but just hear me out. Yet, when you consider his military background it makes sense. Hal Jordan is a pilot for the Air Force ans ash such he was taught to think analytically and discipline (though he may not show it). On top of that, he’s a pilot and if you’ve ever seen the dashboard of a plane you’ll know that they are incredibly complex and he needs to be mindful of all the readings the plane gives. To do that he has to compartmentalize them all… while soaring thousands of feet above ground. 

P is for perceiving. P is also for being open-minded and not fixed on any one idea. In short, he’s versatile. He can think of things on the fly and think himself out of trouble with ease. And all with a few bits of canned humor thrown in.


 

This will be my last superhero profile post on this blog. Instead I’m going to compile all those I’ve already done (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash) and the rest of the Justice League from the New 52 and from the Justice League Unlimited Series into an e-book that will be up by the end of next month. 

The flying carpet bed

The dog stared dismally at the floor, wondering if he’d ever feel it again. He didn’t like this fancy new dog bed his master got him. It floated a few inches above the floor so every time he wanted to take a nap he had to expel energy to do so. Otherwise he had to sleep on the hard wood floor. A lazy dog shouldn’t have to work to be lazy! It should be the easiest recourse, a solice from doing nothing all day. And now it was work to take a nap. The dog stared at his owner who was typing at his desk. Soon, he’d have to work to feed himself too… He already had to go outside to pee and he didn’t even have an awning lest it was wet!
The dog sighed.
It’s hard to be lazy these days.


 

Jones glanced at his pug laying lazily on his new bed. Jones chuckles to himself as he types.
What wouldn’t give to be that dog! My only job is to sit there, maybe do a trick or two, and eat! I could sit at home and take a nap or watch TV. I wouldn’t have to do anything.
The pug glares half-heartedly at his master and Jones only chuckles and returns to his work.
Two more spreadsheets to go.

Personality of Flash

Flash. He’s the fastest man alive. Nearly faster then Superman in speed and powered by the omnipresent Speed Force Flash is a force of nature. Or actually a science experiment gone wrong (or right) if you are being particular. Often regarded as just a fast guy with no other skill talents or worth Flash is the friendly, but sadly one of the most undervalued of the Justice League.  

I will break such assumptions.

Flash, as well as being the fastest man alive (because we are assuming all the other super fast people are dead or lost in the Speed Force (except Superman of course)) is also and ESTP.

E is for extroverted. That is obvious. Flash is friendly, talkative and witty. He also has a lot of energy (go figure). That’s not what I’m going to point out. What I am going to address is why they are good qualities. The obvious answer is because it blocks out Batman’s gloominess and while that may be true that’s not why it is a good thing. Besides Hal Jordan everyone on the Justice League will keep to themselves for the most part. Superman may be extroverted but he is too busy being the leader, and Wonder Woman if not planning some talk at some lady convention she’s planning a strategy if Priscilla Rich every breaks free. Batman and Manhunter are no help. That leaves Hal and Flash to be the social centers of an otherwise introverted cast.  Hal Jordan may try and liven things up but that is only when he’s actually there (remember he is a pilot and has a job outside of being Green Lantern). With that leaves Flash. Flash is a very witty and funny person he’s able to charm even Batman (which is very hard to do you can imagine). Because of that he’s likable and is able to lift the mood, which I will talk in greater detail later.

S is for sensing. Flash besides just being extroverted cares and can tell what others are feeling. This may seem like a completely unimportant characteristic but just here me out. When things are tense in the Justice League who do you think breaks the tension? It’s not Superman, not Wonder Woman, especially not Batman. Martian Manhunter may sense something (in a purely analytic way) but is unlikely to know what to do in the situation. Even Hal Jordan keeps secrets if he has to. Again it comes down to Flash who can break up the situation acting as a peacekeeper and mitigator. Some, are still unconvinced. Well, in a room full of super humans (and one relatively normal guy in a cool suit) who could, if provoked probably destroy the world if they were to go to battle wouldn’t it be nice for someone to be able to ease everyone’s nerves? Superman could try to do that be he’s too morally simplistic for either Batman or Wonder Woman at times where as Flash can sympathize with both view points to an extent. Another characteristic that goes with sensing is that he is hands on. That being said if Flash does see that Batman is a little gloomier then normal he’ll go and try to cheer him up or at least get him to chuckle.

In my many years of being a comic book fan I have come to know people who think that Flash is just a fast guy who’s not that smart but hey he’s nice. I, being a naive nerd that I was once believed that until I did more digging into his background. Barry Allen is a detective for the C.I.A.. The government goes not give security clearances to those with a 2.0 average. Also, he’s a detective, not an agent or a police officer. That means that he must have considerable knowledge of  crime, criminology, sociology, psychology, the crime patterns around certain districts and must be able to piece together a near complete crime scene with minimal evidence. So, he’s smart. If that wasn’t enough Flash must be quick on his feet (no pun intended). He must think fast because he travels fast. One must make quick and decisive decisions when traveling at the speed of a jet liner on land. Especially when one wrong step can hurl you and trap you in another dimension entirely. T is for thinking.

 P is for perceiving. P means that you are bound to no law, constraints, or in some cases, reason. To explain I ask this: Do you think that if Batman were to suddenly get Flash’s powers that he would try them out? Realistically, the answer is no. I say this because Batman is a creature of logic. He must know all the possible risk and challenges each step must take before he makes his move. In a high risk power as super speed Batman wouldn’t take that chance. I know I wouldn’t.  Remember when you were first learning how to ride a bike? And you didn’t want your dad or mom to let you go because you were afraid you would fall? Well, imagine that same emotion but instead of a bike it’s your feet and instead of just falling a few feet, you skid across the pavement at the speed of sound. 

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Let me know if you have any questions.

Personality of Wonder Woman

What can one say about Wonder Woman? To start, she’s a warrior princess from an island full of other female warriors in the middle of nowhere. She’s also a diplomat and has a lasso, and a stupid invisible jet. She’s pretty…

Yep, I think that just about raps it up.

No, not quite. Wonder Woman is a woman of many hats. From princess, to warrior to diplomat and peacekeeper Wonder Woman seems to be able to do it all. She’s the modern icon for American feminism and just plain cool.

She’s also an ENTJ.

As Diana Prince and as Wonder Woman Diana is a force to be reckoned with. I shall explain. As Diana Prince her role is as ambassador and peacekeeper. Many of us watch the news and see how long and tiresome negotiating in Washington can be. It takes forever and while the little island Themyscira may not be the biggest threat it is also a nation full of highly trained and deadly warriors who will launch war if they feel even the slightest bit threatened. Diana handles this well partially because she was born and raised among these warriors and partially because she was also groomed to be queen of them. It is often over-looked that Wonder Woman isn’t called the Amazon Princess for nothing. Until her mother kicked her out Diana was all set to be queen. While she may not retain her royal training she still has all of her training as a warrior and general. Because the Amazon’s are primarily a fighting nation Diana is also a general in her own right. And not necessarily the kind that sits on the pedestal watching everyone else fight. However, this does not mean that she rushes into a fight without a plan either as I will discuss later. In short, she has an abundance of leadership experience and training so much so that judging from qualifications alone, Wonder Woman is actually the most fit to run the JLA. E stands for extroverted. But it also stands for pure power.

The N in ENTJ stands for intuitive. Wonder Woman is smart. She can also take things as they go. She knows when to fight and when the battle’s already lost. Going back to her warrior upbringing, Diana was taught how to fight, but she was also taught how to engage the enemy. There is a difference. Fighting involves just brute strength and power, anyone can fight. Perhaps not well but everyone can throw their weight around and hit someone. Engaging the enemy takes an entirely different set of strengths. When one engages one keeps in mind all of the opponent’s possible moves and balances them accordingly. One plans out their attack and for all counter attacks. One reads the mind of their opponent and tries to anticipate what they are going to do next. Think of it like a game of chess. The hits you take are your pawns lost but you are always gearing for the knockout punch that takes their king.

T is for thinking. While this may be repetitive (and I apologize) but again I must sight Diana’s warrior up-bringing. Wonder Woman is objective and decisive. She knows what everyone’s greatest strengths are and how to use them. She’s also very blunt, as she will say what needs to be done and will leave emotions out of the equation. While that may seem harsh, she does care about her people and her friends but she has a very Unitarian point of view in that if you have to sacrifice a few to save many then you do it.

The last letter in ENTJ is J for judging. Judging deals with determination mostly. A person decides what’s worth their time and sticks to it and pursues it with all their might. In short, Wonder Woman is determined. She will not back down, even if sometimes it is irrational. She will always stay true to those she cares about and will do anything to protect them or their loved ones. So on the off chance that you are a very bad man threatening one of her friends you might want to get out of the way because unlike Superman, she takes no prisoners.