55Friday: The “I Feel Fine” Edition

oh, hell no.jpg Set adrift on memory bliss…

My screen says, “Please replace this generic password.”

Either my kappipaal hasn’t kicked in yet or I’ve got a severe case of Spring fever (perhaps cowbell could cure it?). I can’t focus, let alone devise a password with 12 letters, one symbol, two numbers and an exclamation point. One of my favorite co-workers stops by my desk, with an eyebrow raised.

“You look lost.”

“Can you like, pick a password for me? Like, passwords are hard.”

Like math?”

This is our favorite inside joke, this reference to Barbie’s great fustercluck of ’92. Still, despite legendary vacuous utterances, Barbie is beloved not just by me but also his six-year old daughter, because as we three agree, them Bratz dollz are slatterns.

“Sure I’ll pick something for you.” He seems serious.

“You like music. Use a song lyric.”, he instructs, before striding in to his office, which is next door to my desk. Then he pops his head back out…

“I used to use ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine’ as mine.”

“R.E.M. fan, eh?”

He smiles at me in response. We’re nearly the same age; we were both dorky loners who probably spent all our free time between classes with our headphones on, tuning out the world. We both remember how the release of “Green” in 1988, during the fall quarters of our Freshman/Junior year in high school defined a moment, a mood. Continue reading

No One’s Perfect, not Even Indian Girls (updated)

Listen, my children to your Akka so old,
For she has a story, which today should be told.

Once upon a time, well over a decade ago
Akka received a call from a voice whispering lowÂ…

“Help. Oh my GodÂ…I don’t know what to doÂ…”
“Wait—Gigi? What’s happening to you?”

“Anneka, I can’t take it anymore; I just want to dieÂ…”
“Shhh, stopÂ…you’re a devout Catholic, I know that’s a lie.”

“WhatÂ…no smile? That’s hilarious, G. Laugh.”

But my own laugh faltered and fell back in my chest,
This was no cry for help, this didn’t feel like a test.

“Anneka, I love you, please always remember that,”

“You stupid bitch Geee, stop, take that back!”

“I won’t let you say Good-bye, this isn’t the end,
I refuse to let you take away my best friend.

I know you feel like you are already dead,
I know about the demons in your heart and your head.

But please, don’t do this, it’s a permanent answer
To a temporary—

She sobbed, “This is worse than cancer,”

“At least then people would feel sorry for—”
“Screw them, and if they judge youÂ…well, fuck them more.
I know; they and your past are impossible to ignoreÂ…


But I also know that I’ve never met anyone with a purer heart,
That you are spun from light and goodness, unlike this tart.

Gigi, where are you, I’m already in my car
Damnit, this is Davis, you can’t be that farÂ…”

“No, please, don’t. I’ve been enough of a burden to you—”

“Gee, I swear to God, I’m going to find you and slap you.”

“Anneka, please don’t hate me for what I’m about to do,
Promise me you’ll forgive me, I’m so sorryÂ…I love you.”


Click.

“GIGI!” I screamed in to an ominously silent phone,
yanking the german car she loved over to the shoulder, alone.

Redial, redial, redial, at least twenty times
Tachycardiac beats and my breath form rhymes. Continue reading

55Friday: The “Number 1″ Edition

The ping came from the right-most tab of my browser; soon, the unavoidable flashing would commence, alerting me to someone’s attempt to chat from within GMail. I avoid AIM like it’s meat, I don’t even have Yahoo or MSN screen names, but Google…ah, you still own a little bit of my heart. Just who was interrupting my intense reverie? It was one of you. 332000746_dc20193e2a_m.jpg

“Shawty… today is Friday.”

“?”

55s

“ah…watching Ronin. maybe it will inspire me…”

“Ronin!”

I hope it’s not a side effect of turning 32 (as my relatives in Kerala loved to point out– an unmarried woman in her 30s is a CRAZY woman), but I have had blogger’s block sum’n fierce for the past week, which is why I’ve been all Mathangi on your kundis. Unfortunately, Ronin didn’t provoke anything besides salivation over the prowess displayed by a certain M-propelled E34.

But, I miss you and I miss this exactly-55-words-thing we do, so I left “Freude am Fahren” behind and turned to what I should have in the first place for some inspiration– music. I grabbed my ancient shuffle and resolved to use whatever song played first as motivation. Et voila, Goldfrapp. It is an apposite choice and not just a random one; this is the first nanofiction orgy of 2007 and I concur with Alison when she sings, “You’re my favourite moment, you’re my Saturday”. I already told you that you were.

This Friday, collect 55 words and arrange them in to the shortest of stories; create nanofiction about your “firsts”, about digits, about whatever your number one might be. Leave your first-rate short-short in the comments below (or let us know where we should go, in order to find it). Happy new year, mutineers…here’s to much fiction and fun with my number ones in ’07. Continue reading

55Friday: The “Cherub Rock” Edition

320970637_27ac60949d_m.jpg

I believe in Sliding Doors.

I believe in Serendipity (though I never ventured there myself).

And yes, I believe that at least one angel watches over me. There’s no other explanation for my stupidly good luck or the consistent little miracles which always make my heart lift a little bit in my chest as my hands fly to cover my face from either shock, delight or both. I’m a girly-girl and a Christian one at that, so for me, this is a season for miracles. True to my Orthodox roots (and like a certain Uncle and Auntie in Florida who used to wear buttons pointedly declaring this fact), I believe that Jesus is the reason for the season. If I do THAT, then I have to suspend cynicism, don’t I?

:+:

7:15. Metro. Red line to Glenmont. I hear the infamous, “Doors closing!” as I’m rushing down the escalator at Tenleytown, just as fast as my Connolly-colored mukluks could take me.

I skip the last three steps but it’s too late. Six minutes to the next train. That’s not so bad– it seems better than the Orange line, anyway. Six minutes pass, I board and after Cleveland Park, we pause for no apparent reason as the operator announces “Stand by.” I roll my eyes. I just want to get home. Continue reading

55Friday: The “I Want Your SEX” Edition

It is time for further explorations of today’s “You asked for it…” theme, via flash fiction on a Friday: 317440697_ad6e519f2e_m.jpg

Jai: As someone recently mentioned on the News tab, this blog is screaming for a Bad Sex in Fiction-themed 55Friday, like a man and woman simultaneously exploding in a 2000-gigaton thermonuclear detonation of desire and mutually-assured destruction, the mushroom cloud of their passion suffusing the bedroom like acid rain in a post-apocalyptic nuclear winter.
Pooja: A N N A did respond to my suggestion with a “Hell, yes!”
We’re waiting… ;) .[linky]

Wait no longer, my pets (though allegedly, if you do it’s that much better)– the porntastic version of 55Friday is here. Jai and Pooja? Membership has its privileges, because this DJ doesn’t always take requests. ;)

For those of you who are utterly confused as to what we three book-lovin’ pervs are going on about, Ennis wrote a post entitled “Good Writers Finish Last” about a dubious competition–the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award– which inspired the comments you see quoted above.

Now in its 14th year, the award is given to the passage considered to be the most redundant in an otherwise excellent novel…
The judges said the award’s mandate is “to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it”. [linkypoo]

Hopefully you still have enough stamina to mount an attempt at some 55age, though I know some of you must be exhausted from all of that passion expended over on the “size matters” thread. You may write total fiction, obscure some, ahem, non-fiction or use Mutineers or anyone else you please in your nanofiction. Come now, it can’t take you all that long to recover. ;) After all a 55-word story is nothing but a quickie. You’ll be done (and so very satisfied) before you know it. Continue reading

55Friday: The “Thank You” Edition

What, like you expected somthing else, after all this? :)

Due to one memorable mindfulness class I took in 2003, I have spent the last few years growing more conscious of how we are surrounded by opportunities to be grateful. It’s been such an eye-opening experience, to the point where I feel horrible about the past, because I know I was oblivious to so much goodness which I didn’t acknowledge. I can’t do anything about that, but I’ve tried to incorporate gratitude in my daily life, because the truth is, the act of appreciating something or someone can be transformative and beyond that, it’s just the right thing to do. 294638412_005769f1fb_m.jpg

Around this time of year, it’s even easier to say “Thank you”. :) After all, you get time off from work to do it! I’m not sure if some of you partook in that ritual last night where you go around the table and state whatever you’re thankful for, but if you did, I’d love to hear what bullet points you offered to your family and the turkey carcass. Perhaps you can contain what thrills you in exactly 55 words, but because it’s a holiday, I’ll be just as appreciative if you haiku it. I’m just grateful that you kids play along with my inconsistent flashes of silliness and I’m delighted that a few of you mentioned how you are thankful for “55s” in the comment thread of my last post. It’s nice to know you care. :)

This week, our theme song is extra flexible, because I can’t decide if I’m referring to the Dido version of “Thank You” or Alanis Morissette’s much-mocked take on the phrase. I know, the fact that the latter contains the phrase, “Thank you, India” might militate in favor of choosing THAT as our tune du jour, but then, if we invoked the Manish-Vij-anti-exotification clause… ;)

So, write about flavor-free poultry, family, cranberry sauce, gratitude, popular female singers (one of whom was naked!) or whatever else you are loving right now. While you do that, I have to go remind my Mom to make her famous cranberry pickle while the berries are still available, because that exquisite hotness is ridiculously yummy. Unlike the rest of you foodies, I didn’t stuff my strict-vegetarian face yesterday so I’m still hungry. I could totally go for some chor, mor and pickle right now and you’d best believe I’d be thankful for how good rice, yogurt and an extra-spicy condiment always taste. :D Continue reading

55Friday: The “Blue Jean” Edition

Let’s motor“, a certain red Mini whispered my way late last night, so I happily complied. Careening down Rock Creek Parkway, I thought I was already as blissed as I could possibly be, since I had a sticky car on a curvy road obeying my right hand’s every whim. Then I realized that XM’s Fred was sending me some David Bowie-flavored sweetness; I hadn’t heard “Blue Jean” in at least a year, which is unfortunate, because it’s one of my top three Bowie songs of all time. Laughing out loud, I made the volume dial spin clockwise as I threw caution out the sunroof. My wrist chose sixth and my night was sublime.

I tend to name our nanofiction orgies after songs which helped me survive high school and “Blue Jean” can definitely take some credit for that feat. No, seriously…I don’t have any other reason for choosing it. It’s not like I’m trying to indicate a subtle preference when it comes to college sports or anything. CoughGOBLUEcough.

:+:

Today, we’re going to do something a little different with our flash fiction festivities. Yes, you have a theme, which you can mutilate as you see fit (blue, jeans, space oddities…it’s a very special Abhi-edition of the 55). You may also ignore it, if you have words within you that have nothing to do with the song which is still stuck in my head. However, if you are not inclined to write an amuse-bouche of a tale which is composed of exactly 55 words, I have another option for you. Continue reading

55Friday: The Callipygian Edition

I know. Normally, there is a song title plucked fresh from my iTunes to grace that prominent, headlining area, but today, by very special request, your girl Friday is going to acknowledge one adorable-assed comment from a few weeks ago and sample it for this post. This is the remix, etc etc…

So I see a word I don’t recognise. I go to dictionary.com to look it up. I find out this word means:
having well-shaped buttocks
Having beautifully proportioned buttocks
I suddenly discover a whole new meaning to my life, to insert this word into conversations whenever I can, because it is as curvacious a word as the thing it describes. I think this has taken over as my favorite word in the English language, which used to be ‘Serendipity’, followed closely by ‘luminous’ and in third place ‘lepidoptery’.
But now I know what callipygian means, I am in love with that word. Please write a post featuring this word in the headline.[link]

And you thought I wouldn’t remember…silly sepiates. I’m all about the love, especially when that’s MY word you’re crushing on (well, it’s mine along with “apposite“…can’t overlook that one). Red Snapper’s kind command has been playing on my mind for these past two weeks, as I considered what post would be…um…apposite for such curvaceous titling. Finally, I have decided to take the easy way out. ;)

This Friday, take a crack at writing a flash of a story, with just 55-words to flesh it out. Take your inspiration from Sir Mix-a-lot, Wreckx- n-Effect or anyone else who’s got love for the booty (HELL, YES!). Write nanofiction about Wessside interpretations of Miami Bass, extra-memorable Seinfeld episodes, Boricua starlets who destroy innocent Beatnuts songs or how “kundi” is going to be Sepia Mutiny’s big contribution to the emerging 2nd gen cross-cultural lexicon (HA! Take THAT Northies!). Or, write about something else which fits in exactly 55 words. Just write something. And then post your astounding ass-terpiece in the comments below, so we can ogle it shamelessly, okay? Get crackin’, you mutinous poo-flingers.

Sepia Mutiny does not waste your time. [link]

It does on Fridays, mang. ;) Continue reading

Sunday55: The “Black Dog” Edition

One of my best friends sent me a virtual pep talk at 5:15 pm; he had no possible way of knowing that the words he borrowed from Winston Churchill to make his point were already on my mind. Reading his GMissive on my august, semi-blinged phone’s meager screen while parked in traffic at M St + Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown reaffirmed my belief that nothing is accidental and that especially in my life, continental, oceanic and ironic plates clash together to create quaking moments which belong on celluloid. What are the odds? I get that email when I’m already pondering the British Bulldog, while “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin blares through every straining speaker of this zippy red morsel of German perfection, which is mine for the evening? G-d is one hell of a director; I dig all the synchronicity.

Currently, I’m being haunted by the spectre of a black dog myself, as I reboot my entire life and go it alone, in every possible sense of the word. I desperately wish that I had just one pair of my venerable Docs with me in this cocoa city, to stomp through all the omnipresent ick with…alas, every set of bouncing soles lives with Moms, 3000 miles to the left. Incidentally, that picture you see above was taken the day I met Sepia Wizard Paul for the very first time, in North Beach, for a day of molesting Harry Potter (that was me), being confused by elderly Asian people (both of us) and mais oui, espresso at Greco (that SHOULD be everyone). I’m always a sentimental old bat, but I think tumult like this makes it even easier to conjure the past, as if to remind myself that this, too, shall pass, just like everything else has.

We haven’t held a festival for 55-word nanofiction in several weeks, so this Sunday, write about your black dogs, your love of fog, your fear of being a cog. Whatever floats your clove-smoking, black wet-n-wild nail polish-wearing, Gothic boat. If you’re not too black and blue to do so, that is… Continue reading

55Friday: The “Monkey Gone to Heaven” Edition

see no hear no speak no macaca.JPG
…and that mother$>@%!#& Macaca apparently got there on a mother$>@%!#& plane. Whether the simian sported a mohawk or a mullet is still open for debate.

Today is Friday and on most Fridays at the Mutiny, we write flash fiction. Co-ink-i-dinkily, today is also August 18th and thus, a very special holiday. It’s Bad Poetry Day!

Bad Poetry Day is a day to create some really bad verse. But, why you ask? Perhaps, the answer is simply “because you can”. Maybe, it exists to allow us to better appreciate good poetry. Or, perhaps it is to be written to irritate someone…the intention is to gather a group of old high school friends, and write some really bad poetry. Then, send the poetry to your old high school teacher. Wow!, That sounds like a lot of fun…[linkage]

Indeed, it does, especially if you ignore that part about sending it off to a teacher– I mean really, who has the time?

The last time the Mutiny did anything collaborative with poetry, it was Valentine’s day and we invited you to submit haikus; since you enjoyed that so much, I thought I should encourage you to write more of those spare, elegant poems, especially if it means that people who normally don’t 55 can participate in our creative corner of Sepiadom.

Many of you ask me either in person or via email, “but how do you write one of those 55 things?” To which I generally and unhelpfully respond, “You just…do. MS Word. Wordcount. Before you know it, you’ve got 65 words and then you find yourself doing some careful pruning.” The reaction to this incoherent response is almost always further confusion or frustration. Well, it may seem daunting to tell an entire tale using less than five dozen words, but what about a three-line work of art? You could manage that, right? It’s a mere 17 syllables (arranged thusly: 5-7-5), you can so do it.

Annnnnd, I think I’m done here. I have one of the most addictive college rock hits EVER happily lodged in my head, you have TWO options to get busy in a thoughtful, literary way and we all have fantastic reading material to look forward to…right, Kobayashi-san? Any mentions of

  • snakes
  • the Confederate flag
  • planes
  • macacas
  • noose-lovin’ Senators
  • Tunisia
  • hairstyles which are all "business in front, party in the back"
  • fake-ass-cowboys
  • Palos Verdes
  • the power of the interweb (in both of those situations!)
  • Samuel L. Jackson

will be enjoyed heartily, I assure you. Now get crackin’, macacas. Continue reading