Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘short stories

I like short stories

I am a slow reader: I like to take notes and appreciate the writing process.

Frequently the hour pass-by and I just read 10 pages.

 

Many big books are done with quickly:

I read the abstract, the first chapter and the last chapter

If I what I read is encouraging, I flip to the middle and figure out the complications in the story.

I either drop the book or I restart from chapter 2.

 

Of all kinds of literature I like short stories best.

Shorter than novella and plenty of personal experiences.

 

If your publisher demand books of 300 pages

Assemble the many sub- subjects in the novel as short stories.

 

The perfect short story should generate two strong emotions:

It should make you cry laughing,

It should make you cry hating or loving

Same difference.

 

Save us from big books and tenuous reading.

Stats of 2013: Annual Adonis49 blog in review

WordPress. com failed to post its Helper-Monkeys Stats of 2013. Why?

1. Is it because the number of bloggers increased “exponentially” and the staff has more important responsibilities to tend to?

2. The algorithm of the Helper-Monkeys Stats was not designed to handle so many bloggers?

3. No one in the staff could come up with a new imaginative design for displaying the Stats?

4. Has it occurred to the staff that it is not necessary to forward Helper-Monkeys Stats to every bloggers? Best to encourage the new comers in the block and congratulate those who have been consistent, reliable and versatile bloggers through the years?

In any case, I decided to compare the achievement of this year with the previous year.

If you care to peruse the annual report of 2012 in its entirety, read https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/annual-report/

In 2012, this blog was viewed 91,000 times with an accumulated number of hits of 190,000 since Sept. 16, 2008.  This year registered a total of 325,000, or an average increase of 30 hits per day.

In 2012, there were 715 new posts (50 more than in 2011),  for a total of a 3,250 posts. This year witnessed a total of 4050 posts, a slight increase from 2012.

Actually, I could increase tremendously the number of posts, but I would rather not overwhelm my readers with more than 2 posts a day, or 3 at most.

I have over 20 pages of draft titles in the pipeline and I doubt that it will ever diminish at this pace.

This year I decided to update the articles of 2008 and 2009 in order to add relevant tags and allocate them in the proper categories that had increased to 45 since then.

For example, the category “Poetry” contains translated poems and subjects relevant to poetry. “Poems Mine” is reserved to my poems.

My plan is to sort out the Short Stories, those translated and mine

(Mind you that my blog is about words and not pictures, but I do re-post articles with pictures)

I translate what I read in French and Arabic into English, and I appreciate links to well-developed articles that I comment on, edit, update and add to them.

The USA has still the lion share of about 30% of readers, followed by the English-speaking countries such as Canada, England, India…

Lebanon is picking up and is among the first 5 countries.

So far, the blog is read my almost every recognized State, except a few such as China: I should double check for this year.

The dedicated subscribers increased 10 folds this year.

Whispered Tales landed in San Francisco...

Sabine Choucair and Chantal Mailhac, of the “Whispered tales from Lebanon” company, are touring many major cities in the US and disseminating 10 stories they captured from families in Lebanon. Here what happened in San Francisco.

“First trip within the Arabic diaspora

Loubna ( who actually put us in contact with Alif – Atlanta-  and CAC – Boston) was there to greet us and drive us around San Fransisco, to visit the space and the Arabic Cultural Center that was hosting us.

When we first discovered the space on the day of our arrival, we found it great and cosy, and we thought we’d have a very intimate moment during the performance.
And in fact, we were right.

The day of the performance, we’ve had an intimate event with an audience that was mainly of women. But not any women, those who are very engaged persons, and very active politically.

This actually might be the reason why the stories that touched them most were the ones related to the revolution and the fight against occupation, like the story of Hajj Abou Ali.

Now we are in Atlanta…
we performed last night and we are looking forward for our second performance tonight.

updates about the extremely exciting Atlanta experience will follow …
just after our second show.

stay tuned 🙂

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King cobra may kill female if rebuffed? (Nov. 9, 2009)

I watched National Geographic channel at 10:30 pm on Sunday.  I see a couple of cobras copulating.  The story is that the female was mating with a king cobra and a local male challenged the mating cobra.  The two males engaged in a harmless fight: they are immune to their poisons and just entwine for some time; I see their heads dancing close to one another.  The previous mating cobra gives up the fight and sneaks out of the picture. The female was sneaking away because she was either already satisfied or she felt that she had aversion to the intruding challenging vanquisher.

The winning cobra appeared wanting to mate for a few seconds but the female kept sneaking away. Suddenly, the king cobra changed his mind and decided to kill the female; did he smell his rival’s copulation or was he going crazy for the rebuff? The male cobra killed a female cobra after 45 minutes of an agonizing struggle. Before dying the female spins fast clockwise and counter-clockwise for a last attempt to survival. It seems that the female has less immunity than male to the poison and the male is at least a head longer than female. The male then undertook to swallow “whole” the female. The female snake turned out to be too big and he regurgitated her dead body.

What with this game of male challenges?  Couldn’t the mating king cobra resume his job by forgetting the intruder’s presence?  Anyway, I don’t think that the intruder would have challenged the mating king cobra; at least the mating one has this psychological superiority of being more capable of surviving and finding a female partner.  Why would a tired mating cobra endeavor to take chances and then run the possibility of hard scouring process of finding an agreeable and consenting female?

It seems that female cobra build a nest for around 25 eggs to hatch; she pile up a meter-high of tree leaves so that the eggs enjoy a climate of 25 degrees and then hatch after 3 months; the female fast for 3 months because she would not leave the nest.  Immediately after the first egg hatches then the female is out of her obligations; actually, she leaves quickly in order not to start eating her progeny.

The newly hatched cobras are already venomous and can hunt for survival; usually, only 2 out of 25 live to adulthood.  Cobras are attracted to areas where rat snakes abound; thus, rat snakes are attracted to areas where rats come to eat and then cobras follow rat snakes to feed on!

I got in bed by 12:15 am and was terrified by the program on natures.  Luckily, I don’t recall having nightmarish dreams.  What do I know? May be the bad dreams will strike me tonight; then I might sue National Geographic for late horror emissions.

All I am good for is learning Samba; (October 28, 2009)

As unexpectedly as I was sick, I partially recovered what I suddenly lost: seeing double. One month later, I woke up at 7:30 am on a Friday and I felt that I am no longer seeing double without my corrective glasses.

With my glasses the picture is still fuzzy with both eyes opened.  I guess without my corrective glasses I cannot look far enough to recapture the fuzzy picture.

I asked my sister to move her index right to left, and both my pupils were sort of synchronized in their movement: For three months, my right pupil was stuck in a side range.  (Read my post “I am seeing double”; I think it is funny).

For the time being, I am keeping this good news secret in order not to raise undue hopes for a couple of days. During the night I had a hot dream: would that be part of the remedy? Or is the medicine for blood thining contributing to recovery?

Two days later, I decided to see an optometrist hoping that my right eye might have undergone changes and that a suitable right corrective glass would do the trick.  It turned out that I am still seeing double and this ailment should run its time for total recovery.

The optometrist told me that a prism glass will let me see single, but that the right eye would never heal if trained to the prism; thus, I better wait for nature to care for me.

In the meantime, there are specialists for training the muscles of the eyes to accelerate the healing process, but I am not in the mood of visiting doctors.  I have been rolling my eyes for years in all three axes and in both directions (counter and clockwise) and I will continue to consciously train my eyes with added focus.  I have been doing the same exercises with my hip joints for years; all that I am good for now is learning Samba.

In the meantime, publishing my posts did not abate: I post two articles a day for 7 days a week, but my average daily hits is declining.  Readers who patronize my blog need to understand that I demand some kind of boost until my eyesight is back to “normal”; at least seeing single if not completely discarding corrective glasses.

In the meantime, I am specializing in designing eye patches.

“… Riding this camel is rougher than maneuvering a skiff” 

(September 2, 2009)

            My first visit to this fishing village was due to a malfunction in the small cruising ship. I have never traveled by sea and I longed for this kind of adventure.  I came to a small sum of money by lick late in my life.  I had no idea how to spend it.  I stumbled on a cruise pamphlet and my longing rekindled powerfully.  No, I didn’t care to board those most modern and most comfortable cruise ships: I wanted to be among a restricted hardy crowd that loved to go on an adventure instead of the predominantly cozy vacationers.

            It took me about a month of investigation to find a sea cruising Travel Company with my specifications. I had first to take to sea to Alexandria to board the cruise. I could have flown but I wanted to taste the sea and check if I could sustain the travel. The trip was to circumnavigate Africa and then cross the Suez Canal on the return trip.

            A hovercraft landed us in this fishing village. Many preferred to stay in the ship for the duration of the repair. I was among the “adventurers” who wanted to trample the shores of Mauritania.  It turned out that the village was about a couple hours drive to Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

            I liked the village and it was the cool “rainy” season.  I decided to pay a deposit for an old rundown house with a functional well situated on a mound and at about 300 meters from the Atlantic Ocean.

            I returned the next year by air with plans.  I could speak and understand classical Arabic but I needed much more time to learn the local slang. I planted roots as a serious business man, not the occasional tourist, by buying shares of a camel caravan leader.  Caravan business suffered serious predicaments.  Caravans by camels moved loads of salt to the interior and going as far as Mali.  Modern transports and the abundance of salt were killing this old fashion trade. I had a mind of transforming part of the business into a tourist old fashion desert cruising enterprise.

Raising camels is a hard job; finding comfort on top of a camel is a misnomer: You might as well say “riding this camel is rougher than maneuvering a skiff”. I have not yet mounted a camel, not even a horse, never a lousy pony.  I figure that you should take a dizzy pill for precaution, just climbing up high, not to say looking at the undulating sand. I figure that riding camels is not an ingrained behavior and gaining patience for camel traveling is obviously not one of the human characteristics.  Either you are trained to focus inwardly like yogi (focus on a point in the desert is out of the question) or you might have developed powerful imagination (like reciting Kublai Khan Poem and adding quatrains to it).  It is not like plunging your kid in deep sea to teach him swimming: quick sand spots are frequent encounters.

In the second millennia techniques for designing saddles for camels as a mounting fighting beast during wars were introduced; there were saddles located ahead, on, or behind the boss of the camel for specific fighting advantages; the main specifications related to matters of control of the beast, stability, and range of vision.

            The Bedouin castes were created by the urban merchants to domesticate camels and then used later to support caravans as fighting guards against raiders.  Raising camels thus became a lucrative trade that specific tribes of Bedouins had the monopoly.

 

Note: this post and the previous one “Out in Mauritania” are day dreaming stories; it up to you to actualize.  These two posts might unfold to a novel or be cut short. Your feedback could be a catalyst to my design.

Jane or love innuendos (July 25, 2009)

 

            I was signing my latest book at “Barnes & something” somewhere in New York City.  I had decided to transform these utterly boring sessions into enjoyable events for me; fuck the planners and organizers: they were created for wrecking my nerves out of jealousy.  I had decided to invest an average of one minute chatting with every fan who came to visit me at the library.  Gorgeous women were submitted to over three minutes of investigations; women flooded with perfume not to my liking were thanked with a polite smile: it is good business to learn to smiling.

            I recognized a tall figure in the line but I failed to localize the circumstances: time is a vicious enemy and it does affect beauty of the body; I reckon time affects the spirit far worse but people do not comunicate long enough to find out. As her turn came she hesitated for two seconds before giving her name; I sensed that she was hoping that I’ll recall her name too.  She simply said “Jane?”.  It dawned on me like a thunderbolt.

            I roomed at her 90 years old mother while studying at the university. Jane mother was by then a tall, svelt, beautiful, and kind senile woman.  It was not Jane who hired me to stay with her mother, just having someone there close by for emergencies; heck, I was not even paid; I paid rent for a room in a smelly house.  I even had to take so many crap from two of the seven or eight grown up “children” gone for lovelier and greener pastures.  I could have been older than gorgeous Jane but she looked and behaved far more mature: she was no longer a student no matter how high was the degree I was shooting for. 

            I signed “Jane H” and looked up. Jane was surprised and had a slight semi-victorious smile.  She said “Jane H will do”.  I resumed my dedication “It feels stronger when love is shyly declared; no need to insert direct love for expressing friendly felt inclinations.”

            I vividly recall sending Jane a feedback letter on her mother’s conditions; one of the paragraphs was a bare innuendo of love declaration smartly injected within how a mother is missing her girl.  I am devoid of sensibility and lack imagination; with Jane I somehow felt that my mysterious and tumultuous love couched sentence will drive Jane home.  Jane replied a week later reminding me of that paragraph. The next week Jane visited her mother from Santa something, maybe Santa Maria, in Northern California. I would love to get a copy of that paragraph: I must have been a good sneaky writer even then.

            Jane went out on her evening jogging and returned to rub her feet with lotion.  I am crazy with strong large women feet; with athletic galbe. Jane demanded that I join her for a walk.  I dreaded that moment: I knew Jane needed direct and definit answers.  Writing is so much easier than face to face verbal challenges; especially in love matters; especially for me who lacks verbal intelligence.

            In the first few steps Jane rushed right to her point; I valiantly avoided the question; I played it dumb which was not far from reality. I went on to state how confused I was; how I had no idea why I decided to resume my higher education and oh, how miserable I feel.

            After I finished the dedication sentence I looked up at Jane who was beaming with relief from the inside; confirmation of a doubt and revenge are always welcomed emotions. I invited Jane to stay for the dinner party. Jane needed five interminable seconds to nod: closure was overpowering for her: I could live without.  You think that behavior changes with time; I was no longer kiding myself; I knew that my verbal intelligence was deteriorating at a fast pace.  I decided to learn mingling the hard way; I will obey my editor’s representative immidiately. 

            Lilie, the editor’s representative, was a striking beauty and her frequent gazes at me convinced me that definitely we had a date after the official dinner. I told Lilie “I don’t know much of New York by night. I am terribly lazy for planning.  Would you arrange for a night out the two of us? You decide for the location of your predilection”  What else could I say? I forgot the American slang; as so many other formal words.

            Dinner was served in an almost empty restaurant with plenty of space; drinks were reflecting individual moods.  Lilie was greedy with her body heat: she kept her distance from me.  A man with haphasard hair sat by me and was highly interested in the Near East problems. He wanted confirmation that Palestine is the Jewish Homeland.  I replied: “You mean that before Palestine the Jews were living in a no man’s land? That after they were transferred hundreds of years ago they still were living no where?”  The man with crazy hair got heated and blubbered something of a God given or assigned nation for the Jews.  I replied that the concept of nation is a new concept fabricated by the colonial powers to dividing the spoil and fictitiously increasing the number of their citizens by expanding their borders until determined confrontations stabilized the limits. The colonial powers inforced that concept by all kinds of coercive means.  The Zionists ideplogy was an idea of the time and found its expression in Palestine against all odds and by using the colonial ruthless means and with their blessings.

            Jane joined us and grabbed my arm and offered an excuse for an important private matter.  I was glad for the first second and then terribly worried the next second.  Jane claimed that I read minds. I retorted: “I don’t read mind. You speak so loudly to yourself; I can almost hear you.  You speak a “fleur de peau”, kind of at best skin deep”.  Jane said: “Well, were you in love with me?”  I guess I was in the driving seat this evening and in a chatting mood. I replied: “You looked beautiful, healthy, dedicated, and determined. I was relatively ugly, short, confused, miserable, and I needed you.  If I was somehow handsome and tall then I am certain that you would have commanded me to follow you. The handsome guy might not have obeyed but I would have at that time; at least to have the opportunity to travel to California and rediscover the milder weather”.

            Lilie decided to make her move as our body gestures worried her that the conversation might drag on.  Lilie approached with her taquila sunrise glass; I like taquila if you skip the sunrise but my acute thirst asked for a sip.  I had this enginius quick idea (they are many but way delayed after the real time) of selecting the location of Lilie’s purple lipstick stain and had a sip and gently gurgled.  Jane said: “How romantic” I said “I like to spread Lilie’s beneficial germs”.  I made a surreptitious exit with Lilie standing tall; I felt tall that night.

 

Note: this is mostly a fictitious story.


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