Thursday’s Treat: Rocket Man

Thursdays can be tricky…well into the week, too far from the weekend…so, as a public service, I’ve reserved this space for interesting tidbits and snippets I’ve picked up around the Internet.

This Thursday’s Treat comes from YouTube: A man who (maybe, for many people) needs. No. Intro. Duction.

Besides, what would I be able to say that would compare to Bill Shatner performing Elton John‘s Rocket Man, as Only. He. Can?

Well, that was…..Shatner. Extremely Shatner. Nuff said.

Remember to beam your comments into the receptacle below – would you like more Shatner – oh, yes, there is much more! Something else? Let me know!

Until next Thursday, shanjeniah out.

Write1 Sub1 March Check-in…..

I am getting to this a little late, because I began the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge on April 1, and my second round of ROW80 on April 2.

Today is a catchup and learning day, so I thought it was a good time to roll out this update……

Write 1:

I have written several pieces of flash fiction and poetry this month.
Here’s the rundown.

Submit 1:

I submitted more than one piece, as well, this month.  It was out of my comfort zone, but I did it in small burts, one step at a time.

  • I submitted a flash erotica piece, “Twice-Coupled” to Clean Sheets Magazine.  It was rejected several days later.
  • I submitted a poem, “Le Reve des Etoiles”, to Black Heart Magazine.  I expect to hear in a few weeks.

I also had an essay accepted for publishing on the Tiny Buddha blog.  I know it isn’t fiction, but it’s a big thing for me. and I am excited!  =)

I will have more to report next month! =) 

Second Challenge – Platform Building Campaign….

Second Campaigner Challenge

Do one or more of the following:

Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)

Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts

Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)

Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts

Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

For added difficulty/challenge:

Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)

Write in a genre that is not your own

Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. After the Challenge closes, you may wish to re-post your revised piece(s), and I’ll include a Linky List at the bottom of this post for those wishing more feedback on their revisions (note: revised entries will not be judged, so please label clearly your original post and your revisions. Please do not offer critique unless someone asks for it, as per the usual blogging conventions. If you do ask for critique, make sure you ask for it clearly so people know you want it, and please be prepared to receive feedback that may not be 100% glowing. If you are a critiquer, please be tactful and courteous, and remember to provide positives as well as negatives.)

I would very much appreciate critiques, please! =)
The Prompts:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.

  • Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words) -

No Ordinary Magic  (96 Words)

 Too often, our modern world of technological marvels seem almost magical. And still we demand more, and more. Are we so jaded and numb that we miss the moments of true and simple magic in our own lives?

Come open your soul as we delve into the rare magic in everyday moments such as kicking a ball across a bridge on a bright cold day; artistic play with water and light; the moment just past striving; or an instant of mutual interest.

To the attentive, all of life is sparkling, extraordinary magic!

  • Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts.

Facets (191 words)

I wait, and watch, as time grows short. Passersby, all in a hurry, seem not to see me at all.

They won’t allow themselves to slow to the pace of breath, of life, of magic.

A small boy bounces, kicks, and chases his ball across the bridge, snuggled in a jacket this crisp, waning afternoon. Skipping, random rhythm; soft scrape of feet on smooth stone…

A young woman in a suit, posture tense, repeatedly plays a video of a pear conjured of prismatic water droplets. Her expression is flat. She checks her phone, then again.

Little knot of children, shirtless and rumpled and dark in the sun. All squat and stare, their intensity clear and unmoving. Fascination for small simple gifts in a patch of earth….

The laptop shifts to dancing line art. Frantic texting. Lovely patterns, lovely autumn park, met by indifference.

A girl sits beneath the crumbling old bridge with a dripping cut on her leg, a boy with wet hair beside her, his arms uplifted, then, sparkling glittering arc down to her finger. Waterdrop rainbows, joyful embrace, impassioned kiss…

Time grows short.  Enchantment, wisdom  – life…

  • Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words).

Enchanted Vision (  119 words)

Park bench, late afternoon.

Crisp September light.

 Little boy bouncing ball on wide stone bridge.

 Soft scraping of feet,

 Quick, laughing breath.

 Young woman with laptop and cell phone.

 Conjured waterfruit and dancing lines.

 Wonder and beauty on her screen.

 Rapid-tense texts; frustration-sharp sighs.

 Three shirtless children squat studying patch of dirt.

 Motionless, silent, intent on this instant.

 Attending the gift of the earth and life.

 Under the bridge, a pair of young lovers.

 Scratch-broken leg, wet hair clings to scalp

 He scoops the pond, lifts the prize,

 Adorns her finger…..

They melt together as air finally ends

 No one notices my soundless pleading.

 I know the magic of life at last

 In the instant I die.

  • Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts.

Instants in Time 

Sunlight, shadow, sea, square tiles, and columned railings become the playground of a small boy in a long red coat, following joy in the form of a bouncing ball. A young, dark-haired woman with a bleeding leg sits under the old concrete bridge; a young man sits beside her, hair and clothes dripping unnoticed as he slips the diamond ring upon her shaking finger. Beside me on the bench, my neighbor’s laptop shows the birth and death of a water pear, again and again, and she ignores it, texting frenetically and breathing in short, sharp sighs. Three little children, shirtless and dark and seemingly not bothered by the cooling breezes, explore the patch of dirt between them with motionless attentiveness. As my last breath ends, the hot dog still lodged in my airway, a lovely digital sculpture shifts gracefully across the screen, and, above the sounds of her texting, I hear the woman complaining that her time is up.

  • Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

Fruit of Life (145 words)

I stare in wonder at the digital legerdemain on the laptop screen. I try to imagine how the conjuring was done; what miracles of science, math, art, and programming were involved in the glorious fruit, seemingly formed of water and delicately, impossibly balanced. Who conceived of such an elegant and lovely mirage, and how? Was it brought to virtual life as an act of personal passion, or with the calculation of a team with a product to hawk?

Then, I am captured by the pure leaping joy of it, the ethereal beauty of the instant when it, as though from nothing, clings to the shape in a shimmering dance of life – life suspended, to end in the next heartbeat, before this breath is expelled….

The form collapsed, in iridescent spray – a wordless lesson in the momentary nature of all life.

I completed the entire challenge, including the increased difficulty option, and, as stated above, I welcome criticism!

Follow the other Platform Building Campaigners!

La Reve des Etoiles (The Dream of Stars)

This is, in my opinion,  the best poem I’ve ever written.

The word “unfettered” has been a longtime central theme of my life; this is the first documented case of my using it in my writing.

This was written either during or just after my senior year of high school, just because I had words and ideas in me that wanted out into the light. Guess I’ve been unschooling me for quite a while, now…

Venus reflected in the Pacific Ocean

Image via Wikipedia

La Reve des Etoiles (The Dream of Stars)

Written by Shan Jeniah Burton -Copyright 2012

Why is it that some souls never hunger for the stars?
They spend their lives searching for
a simple pot of gold at rainbow’s end
and find that mystery enough for a lifetime.
I’ve never been content with normal riddles.
Instead of a gold pot, give me the ball of Sol’s gold.
If I could only go beyond Venus, then Mercury,
I’d soar so close, I’d be caressed by heat as none before.

I’d let it cleanse me, burn away my imperfections
leaving me elemental and without flaw.

Then, beyond the burning and back toward Earth
From the golden fire into silvered ice.
I’d bound about freely, unfettered by mundane gravity,
Become doubly purified by Moon’s austere beauty.
I’d try to lie on my back and make moon-angels.
Then rise up weightless from luminescent surface.

O! Pearl of immeasurably great value!
I’ll leave Pearl behind for swirls of diamonds –
Each fiery starjewel alight with possibilities.
Other planets, other lives, other hopes and fears…
Other eyes looking up and outward to the stars…
Other souls striving to catch a dream,
To dare the impossible and touch ultimate light.
The dream of stars is a universal thing –
Intelligent life seeking control of its future.

Moon Dreams

Moon Dreams (Photo credit: jurvetson)

Write1 Sub1 Monthly Challenge – February Update


It’s time for the second monthly update of my progress in the Write 1 Sub1 Monthly Challenge.  

This Ray Bradburry-inspired writing challenge is fairly self-explanatory.  The goal for the monthly challenge  (there’s also a weekly challenge for the extremely intrepid and productive type!) is to write one work of fiction or poetry each month, and to submit one work of fiction or poetry each month.

It can be the same piece, as Bradbury did it, or separate pieces.

Write 1: I didn’t have any trouble with this part….

  • On February 4, I wrote and posted 43 Weeks, a photo-prompted piece of flash fiction.
  • On February 11, I wrote and posted The Last House, another photo-prompted flash fiction piece.  I really felt this one, and it received many positive comments.
  • On February 19, I wrote and posted A Hawk From a Handsaw, a Trifextra Challenge. I always wanted Hamlet and Ophelia to have a happier ending –  or just the chance to follow their hearts, and so I gave them one.
  • I worked, intermittently, on a piece of flash erotica, eventually named “Twice-Coupled“.
English: Mignon Nevada as "Ophelia",...

Image via Wikipedia

I might have written more, but my husband was in a life-threatening motorcycle accident the same night I finished my Trifextra piece.  He spent 10 days in the hospital before a Leap Day release, and life is just now settling back into some more regular rhythms as we all adjust to being together, again…..
Sub 1:  This part is still the more challenging, for me.  Writing things to give away free suits me well.  Writing things and asking for specific types of recognition triggers a lot of ingrained patterns set in childhood.  I’m aware of it, and learning, by proceeding in tiny increments, to take that plunge.  This month, if I had not had the challenge, I would likely have put off any effort at submitting…..
  • I  completed, revised, and polished “Twice-Coupled”, the flash erotica piece mentioned above. Just under the wire, on February 29, I celebrated Jim’s return home by submitting it to Clean Sheets.
  • At this writing, I have not yet heard back from the publication.

So, there you have it….may second month, and I managed to complete the challenge and then some….and I am looking forward to even more activity, this month!

Check out some of the other Write 1 Sub 1 participants!