This week I had a new experience. I was invited to guest host the Great Hites podcast. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot while doing it. I mainly learned that I sound like a robot when I try to just talk. I feel like I am getting better at reading my stories, but I found when I was doing into's or commenting on someone elses stories, I was a bit stilted.
The most fun was making up some feedback. Here it is:
Here is some feedback from someone named William Shatner. He says:
Excellent story, Mr. Roche, I think Gene would have liked it, if he were still around to read it. As captain of the enterprise, there was one thing I always liked to tell myself… Peace or...UTTER DESTRUCTION...it's up to you. Take that for what its worth, Scott. Oh, and if you ever need a good price on a hotel room, just tweet me @therealenterprisecaptain, and I’ll negotiate something special for you.
(Thanks Mr. Shatner, coming from someone who spent so much time in the enterprise, that is a real compliment)
Here is some feeback from Barak Obama:
Dear Jeff, I and all the chiefs of staff love your podcast. I have my speech writers working on an entry for the anniversary episode #52. I think that the prompt ‘It's been a year what I have done with myself’ seems like an appropriate subject for this administration. We’ll see if they can get it written in enough time for me to record it.
(Thanks Mr. President. We’ll look forward to your entry, It will be kind of like a state of the union address with out everyone standing up and applauding all the time.)
OK, here is another one from someone calling herself Hillary Rodham-Clinton, she says:
Ashley, I’ve finally found you. Are you trying to avoid me? I miss our late night talks and long walks on the beach. Call me, your cousin, Hillary.
(Hmm. Well, take that for what it’s worth.)
Finally, here is some feedback from someone who calls herself, “Madam Fatima, psychic, fortune teller, palm reader.”
She says “Great Hites is one of the most popular podcasts amongst dead people. They have been sending me E-mails and asking me to forward them on to you. Some examples are:
Elvis says “Thank you very much.”
Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy say “Great podcast, love the variety.”
Ronald Reagan says “Thanks for quoting me, I came up with that myself”
Richard Nixon says “Expletive deleted”
And Shakespear says, “Beware the ides of March”
Well, that’s a little late….oh, (ha, ha, ha) They sent the feedback in February. Typical, huh?
Gene Rodenbury says, "Checking with legal right now to see if there are any copyright violations. ROFL. Not really, love your story Scott, you're doing a great job."
Well, that’s if for feed back.
I probably spent 5 to 6 hours working on the podcast. I'm sure that would cut way down, once I got used to how it is done. A lot of time was spent lining up the music after importing it from an mp3. That being done, would make it faster as well.
I also volunteered to record anyones story that wasn't able to record, or was afraid to. I'm hoping someone will take me up on that. I think reading what someone else had written would really improve my skill at presenting.
Here is my story for episode #50 of Great Hites. I had more people read this before recording than I have ever had before. I found through their feedback, that the theme of the story wasn't clear, and the story was confusing at times. It is one of my favorites so far, and I hope to add to it.
The prompt was "He found himself if a very unfamiliar place. Here it is:
'No Body but you'
He woke up to find that he was having a bad day. He could tell that it was, because his body was missing, again. Though it was usually difficult to think clearly when he was separate from his body, it didn't take much mental processing to see that his body was, in fact, gone.
"It must be Wednesday", he thought, "this kind of thing always seems to happen on Wednesdays." He was pretty sure that it was mid-week though he couldn't be sure or the exact day, separated from his body as he was.
He walked across the bedroom floor and ducked his head as he walked under the bed. He didn't need to worry about hitting his head on the bed frame, since his his head was with his body, but of course, it wouldn't occur to him in his current state. He ducked his head out of habit; this is the nice thing about habits, they don't require thought, you just do them. He walked around under the bed, looking in an empty shoe box and behind neglected stuffed animals.
It was a pleasant spring morning in New Orleans; it was warm enough for short sleeves, but not at all like the sticky humid heat that would come with the summer. The young family was strolling casually down Bourbon Street. Traffic was light, being the middle of the week, early in the day, and not during The Mardi Gras. Still the young couple was vigilant in keeping their daughter close to them at all times.
As they crossed a small side street, she broke from her mothers hand and dashed up the alley shouting, "Dolly, Mommy, dolly!" The parents caught up to her as she reached a grimy shop window, and peered into the darkness, her nose pressed hard against the glass. The faded gold leaf name on the window identified the shop only as 'Jezareel'.
Through the window they could see in the dimly lit shop, the homeliest excuse for a doll either of the parents had ever seen. Its bald ceramic head was expressionless with its black beans for eyes and a small flat horizontal cleft for a mouth. The body appeared to be made of random pieces of thread, yarn, twine and cloth, wrapped tightly around old popsicle sticks and twigs. Its only clothing was a simple cotton serape, held in place by a piece of yarn around its waist.
The father felt a chill run down his spine as he looked at the ugly doll, discomfort growing with each passing moment. The girl kept her face pressed against the window, trying to get the best view. Finally, he said to the girl, "No, honey, you have enough dolls at home, you don't need any more. Come on, let's go."
Her tantrum was so sudden and violent that both parents stood, shocked, mouths open, staring at what they could not believe was their child. Eventually, they broke from their stasis. They knelt to console the girl and try to convince her to come along back to the hotel. They coaxed, bribed and threatened, but nothing would calm her.
When she stopped her screaming, it was as sudden and shocking as when it had started. With a great sob and sigh, it abruptly ceased. Relieved that the ordeal was over, her parents looked around to see who else had witnessed the embarrassing event.
A woman stood in the open doorway of the small shop. She was as old and dark and dusty as the store itself. So wrinkled and small it was impossible to determine her ethnicity. Was she French, Spanish, or African? They couldn't tell.
"Madam Jezareel sees the dolls little girl," she slurred mysteriously in a rich southern accent. "Come," she commanded them, "The doll must be held."
They followed Madam Jezareel into a shop so small that here was barely room enough for all to sit around a small table without bumping the walls or one another. On the table and on a bookshelf there were bits and pieces; scraps of cloth, snips of thread, beans and soft, grey, clay; to make more dolls, but there were no other dolls near completion.
The old woman placed the doll in the little girls lap, who immediately hugged it around the middle of its lumpy body. Jezareel closed her eyes and began repeating arcane words while moving her hands in circles in the air between herself and the doll. At times she would raise her voice in volume while raising her hands higher into the air. At other times she barely whispered the incomprehensible words. At one point, when she was getting fairly worked up, her hands making great circles, her voice a shrieking wail, she inhaled a bit of saliva, that caused her to pause her incantation. She sat, looking ahead, for a few, long seconds, and made a small cough; then another. At first, it appeared that her coughing was under control, but soon she was hacking and choking, spraying the family with spittle with each wheezing gasp. Eventually, she stood, beating herself on the chest, coughing and gasping for air. Just as the girls parents stood to see if they could help the old woman, the hacking subsided.
She sighed and sat back down, as if this was nothing out of the ordinary. With her chin raised and her eyes closed, she took several deep calming breaths.
She took up her chanting where she had left off, and while it was not as frenzied, she spoke much more rapidly. The now recognizable arcane words and phrases came to a sudden stop. Jezareel sat with her hands flat on the table, eyes closed and breathing steadily and deeply.
She opened her eyes and looked at the doll, still clutched tightly in the little girls arms. The surprise was evident on the old woman's face. She stood again and reached for the doll. The girl was reluctant, but allowed the doll to be taken from her. The old woman held the doll close to her wrinkled face and squinted into its black bean eyes. She supported it by placing her hands under the dolls arms and shook it lightly. "Dear me," she said, "dear, dear, dear, dear, me." Then placing it face down, its stomach on one of her hands, she patted it on the back with her other hand, like she was burping a very small baby. She turned it onto its back, its lifeless stick and twine arms flailing behind it. "My, my, my, my, my", she said, shaking her head.
"Well," she said, an unmistakable note of finality in her voice as she handed the doll back to the little girl who quickly took it and clutched it again to her chest. "Well," she said again, firmly and with a nod. The family understood that they were being dismissed. They left the shop in a daze and wandered back to their hotel as if the unusual evens of the morning had been a dream. All the while, the little girl held the mysterious gift tightly, but lovingly in her arms; evidence that the experience had been real.
He crept out from underneath the bed, careful, again, not to bump his head on the bed frame. He scanned the floor, the corners of the room, the furniture and bookshelves. There was no sign of his body.
He went to the door and looked up and down the hallway. To his horror; if he could have felt horror without his body; perhaps his body, where ever it was, was feeling the very horror, that his brain was having difficulty perceiving at that moment; in the hallway outside the bedroom door, was a piece of himself.
He bent to pick it up, but couldn't, naturally, not having a body to pick it up with. But it felt good to be near it, and he did know that if felt good. He followed the bits of himself down the hall and around a corner until he found himself in an entirely foreign and wholly unfamiliar place. He knew the bedroom, the kitchen and dining rooms, the tv room, all places his girl had carried him. He had never been in this tiny room. There were two large white machines, boxes of soap powder on shelves, and brooms and mops hanging from hooks on the wall. Next to the white machines was a large plastic pan with sand in it, and an awful odor exuding from with in. He could smell the odors, hear the sounds, and began to understand what was happening.
With a rush, comprehension and realization he woke him to his dilemma. There, before him, between its litter box and its bowl of water, he found himself in the razor sharp claws of the family cat. With its wicked teeth it tore at his body of string, and yarn and pieces of cloth. Suddenly back in his body he could feel the burning pain of the cats teeth and claws as it chewed on his head, neck and chest.
The 100 word challenge this week was, "Falling Bricks Hurt", and my story is:
Blocks away, across the city park, he set up the complicated apparatus. Multifaceted photoreceptors gathered solar power. He laughed vengefully as he flipped the lever on the clattering machine. A wormhole disintegrated the lower half of his ex-girlfriends apartment building, the upper half of the clay brick structure, subsequently, dropping though.
His victory over the woman, who embarrassed him in front of all his friends, was short lived.
The falling bricks hurt for only a moment, as the last of the upper three floors of apartment building dropped out of the other side of the wormhole, directly over his head.
Pattern Testing, Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch
10 months ago