littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Preparing for Uni: Japanese

I have been watching the University website for updates on what to read and how to prepare for my classes. At the moment, I’ve been particularly looking at Japanese. The University has a Facebook page for students of Japan and Japanese, and sometimes people post links to cultural things.

Here’s one.

These are particularly interesting. The last one particular grabbed me, because it’s a phrase I’ve heard before on Facebook, if in a different context: Hate Speech.

In this case, it’s a buzzword that started when anti-Korean protests in a Korean section of Tokyo happened sometime last year. Either way, it’s a particularly important phrase for a number of things, and as I’ve seen on Facebook, important to know the difference between it and Free Speech.

Here’s another one.

Here’s another Facebook link I found. I already do some of these, but there is probably a wider range of music I could listen to, and making notes on things is something I didn’t think of.

There are also tips for those living in Japan. These are things I would probably have thought of anyway, as I often eavesdrop on people when I’m bored anyway, and the same goes for reading signs. In fact, once when I still lived in the Sydney suburbs, when I used to catch the train into Parramatta, there were a few Japanese people who lived even closer to the bus stop, who came out and started to talk in Japanese. They even took the same bus!

The problem was, the only word I actually caught was ”かぞく” (kazoku), which means family. But I knew it was definitely Japanese, because one of the girls had a luggage tag that said so.

Another time on the bus, I met a girl who was studying Japanese too, because she had the same textbook as me.


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Trifecta – Mask

It had all happened so suddenly.

One minute a volcano had erupted, the next the entire US was without a food source, and he was driving in the middle of a desert that looked more like a snowfield, to a place where it was known that crop seeds lay safe inside a warehouse.

Of course, it would take much more than just the crops themselves; America would need a place to raise them, and of course the government had greenhouses all over the country for that. But there was one more danger out here, dangerously close to ground zero…

Zombies, previously creatures of fiction, were now fact, destroyed by the supernatural volcano deep within the heart of Yellowstone. It just so happened that the storehouse was in that same region, almost the same state, as the famous national park.

The people once known as and laughed at Doomsday Preppers might yet save the human race. He tightened his air mask; even in this regal limo, he didn’t feel safe.

It wasn’t a wide open area like the Sahara out there, nothing but yellow sands and one solitary road. This desert was dirtier and rockier than that, just on the edge. And just when the President finally thought he was safe… this road trip was about to get a lot rockier.

He pulled his seatbelt tighter against him as the awkward, long car was sent over high and low rock hills, landing smoothly or jarringly each time. They had to get away, for the good of their country. But no matter how fast they sped, the zombies were somehow faster.

Darkness fell, even through the tinted windows, and they knew they had failed. They had caught up. All the dead and rotting bodies pressed up against the windows, smashing them, pale hands reaching out.

“The President!” called the driver, and he could see the flash of a phone. “We won’t make it! You have to –”

The line went dead.

Tale for Trifecta

Inspired by a game on my phone called Zombie Road Trip


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Friday Fictioneers – Deserting Home

Copyright - Janet Webb

There was no going out tonight. Not here, not ever again… I couldn’t even take my writing. I left my dress hanging out over the balcony, and my notebook there on my bed.

I felt a tug from my heart as I left my bedroom for the last time. We could take nothing with us. It was too poisonous, the radiation already exceeding the Ukraine.

I was just a teenager. I didn’t want any of this. Leaving everything I knew and loved. My mama held me in her arms. Within hours, the streets would be empty.

Time to leave… Chernobyl.

For Friday Fictioneers.


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Trifecta – Gas

jeux-de-miroir-bordeaux-1_l.jpg

The bomb went off in the square. Children and mothers scrambled around in the fog, looking for each other.

Slowly, the toxic air began to invade their lungs.

Mass murder in the Vatican.

Image prompt taken from Trifecta.


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Daily Post: Dystopian Writing Challenge

From the Daily Post , inspired by this source.

She stared out the barred window with a sigh. With her hand over her pink triangle, she watched the wind blow through the green, tear-shaped leaves. It was strange how the architects of this building could manage to make this hospital look so modern, yet so restricting.

This wasn’t an old fashion; it seemed hate was the new black. Or it had been, since Hitler took over the world. She took little consolation in the fact that the world’s population was down since the war that changed everything; in fact, it was a burden.

She just wanted somebody to love. Why did it matter so much that it was a woman that she would love? Even without Hitler, the world remained in the hands of the Nazi party. And most people, people like her, were too afraid to rebel. He’d killed everyone who rebelled.

She was just determined sick, stuck in this institute, and hidden from the world.

She rubbed her knee, imagining someone else there. Anyone else, someone to help comfort her through these bittersweet times.

No one was coming to rescue her. No one.

“Come on…” said the nurse at her side, forcing her to her feet slowly.

“What?” she replied, reacting slower than her body, already standing up.

“We’re rounding everybody up to go outside…” the nurse said.

She smiled. That nature, that freedom that she’d dreamed of just moments before… it was coming. Was there a hero out there after all?

As she squeezed out the front door, and unusual pressure enveloped her hand. She looked down at it, to see her other dream come true. Looking up to the person holding it, she smiled back at the face that greeted her.

“We can do it, just me and you,” said Val. She squeezed her hand. “I’ve always loved you.”

She almost melted, but remained firm on her feet even while her chest fluttered like warm caramel. “Me and you,” she said.

They weren’t free. As they reached the front garden, the staff chained the arms and legs of every woman there together, as they sorted everyone into lines. Val and Zoe stood beside each other.

We’re not leaving, she thought. Till death… She never thought it was possible… But now that she knew how Val felt, after all these years, she couldn’t go.

Not now, not ever. Not even if it meant…

A line of gunmen lined up against them. Heavily uniform, red armbands on each left arm, rifles casually at their sides.

Something must have happened. The world wasn’t willing to keep them alive anymore. Just a bunch of old dykes, no one cared about them.

She wondered if these same gunmen had been on duty all days, killing sick people like her. She imagined all the gay men in the hospital, the ones she’d met and talked to each day. Bullets splatting their blood, heads knocked back, brains flying.

It was a disgusting thought. She squeezed Val’s hand tighter.

She squeezed back. “Don’t worry, Zoe. I love you.”

And that was enough to distract her. No more did she think about bloody bodies. Now all that was on her mind was all the things she never got to do with Val. All the kisses, all the touches, all the rest of it…

And in her mind, she smiled back again, telling Val she loved her. Zoe was only too aware she didn’t, had never gotten a chance to fall in love with Val,  but if she had, it would’ve been enough.

She could’ve been happy, just with that. Instead spending her last days mourning for the life she lost long ago; the one she never even had. Turns out it was up to her, all along. She wished she’d known that before.

The gunmen raised their double-barrels onto their shoulders, ready to fire.

She took a deep breath, counting along to herself. 3… 2… 1…

A jolt of black wracked her. She began to fall.


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Autistic People Should… Be Embraced

Question Everything. Personally, I think that’s true of all people. Never mind bigots of all sorts of things across all differences, there are assumptions too. And if Scott Westerfeld’s to be believed, (and I think he is) nothing ever is as simple as it seems.

That’s a principle I live by. It’s the reason I’m an atheist. It’s the reason I’m more open-minded about different sorts of people than some people are. It’s the reason I like to educate myself as much as I can.

Of course there’s no right or wrong way to be. There’s no shame in being different, even while people tell us otherwise. It’s this idea that I’m able to go on liking myself. You can’t just let people dictate your thinking. That can be easy or hard, depending on your sensitivities to your differences, but that’s something you have to say to yourself regardless of how you act outwardly.

Okay, there are a couple of screencaps from the above link I just have to comment on:

question-2

 

That is just not true. We’re Autistic, not Idiots. We’re well aware of other people, we just don’t entirely relate to them. And even that has it’s limitations; there are things about normal people we do relate to, just not in the way we process or communicate.

I may only be Aspberger’s, but at least I know that.

question-4

 

Bullshit. I have plenty of creativity. The wall between Autistic and normal people is merely what we show, not what we lack, in my opinion.


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Forget Doomsday; let’s start over with Chinese New Year!

I was wondering recently… Why are the Mayans and their so-called doomsday prophecy so famous, and Chinese New Year is left on the back burner?

The truth is, the Mayan prophecy is just the end of an era for the Mayans. It doesn’t mean that we’re all going to die, just that now’s the chance to decide where to go from here, with all there is to worry about in this modern world.

If we’re speaking of foreign calendars, then the Chinese New Year can contrast with the Mayan calendar, and act as our redemption.

Let’s celebrate the spring of new beginnings with the start of Chinese New Year next February 10. It’s the Year of the Snake this year, which is my animal, so I guess it’s more significant for being my year as well.

This is my year to get active. Especially since I’ve already begun my new life on the Sunshine Coast, this will be my year of working, writing, surfing, and perhaps even blogging.

Start here and discover the truth. Mayan calendars were often misunderstood. Don’t waste your second chance not understanding the Chinese one.


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Can a woman be a likable success?

It was highlighted on Modern Family once. Women who are successful are often seen as unlikable. They’ve even said it about Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

And I’ve always said, “I’d much rather be successful than liked.” After all, it’s true. But thanks to this article, I’ve also come to the realisation that being liked is something that I care about too. The reason I’ve always said that, though, is because I wish I didn’t.

I’ve never been liked. Not when I was growing up, not to the people around me. And I would bet that, even though my life has gotten better since then, it’s still something that rings true. It’s still something that undoubtedly happens, and it’s still a fear of mine enough that, like Daniel Koeker has recently said, I run from things like bad reviews and negative feedback.

Not just in writing, either. In my opinions. Which I can feel the need to express inside. I can be embarrassed easily.

And I do this partially because I’ve read that it’s something good writers do; even though it may seem childish to run from one bad review, it’s ultimately better for your health not to seek out those bad reviews. This, from what I’ve read from a writer who saw one bad review of something he’d written in the paper amongst good reviews…

I took all this in because it comforted me. I’ve always told myself I need to grow a thicker skin, but the fact that I could avoid bad reviews if I wanted, without guilt, eased my mind greatly. And I’ve always said anything that eases my mind is needed; my mind can be pretty uptight. If it’s too much, I’m afraid I’ll crack.

It was also comforting when Daniel Koeker said that criticism to a writer doesn’t have to roll of their back… I don’t necessarily have to work too hard on growing a thick skin. That helps.

The thing is, as a writer, likability goes hand in hand with success. At least in that arena, a woman can be both. After all, I consider JK Rowling to be likable. As do I find her series.

And I know that’s something, because looking back on how I think of my parents, I consider my mom to be a nag… and yet a compulsion to listen to my father. Hell, for years I wanted him to be my favourite parent. But our relationship just wasn’t like that.

Hell only knows why I think that way. Or why anyone else does, for that matter.

So, even with my issues, there’s one thing. If she can do it, why not me? (And yes, I’m paraphrasing Harry Potter when he was teaching Dumbledore’s Army there.)

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The Ivan Project, #59

Too many times she wondered if she was being transparent, if they could see right through her to the haunted child within. Haunted by her own father’s bigotry and violence, the fear for her life.

It was a cruel world. If there was any justice, her father would be in jail and she would be free to be herself. But there wasn’t, and never could be.

His crimes had been on the news. Even his trial had been. Her mother had done a good job keeping her away from the cameras. But she was always watching, always knowing.

It wasn’t by nature, but she was convincing in her hatred for gay people, anything to keep herself safe.

If he ever saw through her, she was as good as dead. That’s all he’d see in her, anyway.

So she was the fly on wall. She was used to it.


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The Ivan Project, #28

Looking back on the last century, Angus wondered how people could be such bigots in such recent history.

Of course, just like in 2000, the TV was full of specials celebrating and commenting on the 21st century. 2012 was considered the turning point in this new era; even though it was still rife with injustices, there was a global parliamentary rule that finally began to turn the tides. By 2042, the civil injustices were gone.

At least, that’s what he learned from watching one of the specials that were running everywhere on TV. 2100, the start of a new century.

And he was named after a McDonald’s burger. How was that moving forward?

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