Mal: You are very much lacking in imagination. Zoe: I imagine that's so, sir.

'Out Of Gas'

The Great Write Way, Act Three: Where's the gun?

A place for Buffistas to discuss, beta and otherwise deal and dish on their non-fan fiction projects.

dcp - Jan 09, 2021 8:03:30 pm PST #6616 of 6632
numb little bug

I'm in an odd mood. I may regret finally posting this, but here goes....

Do you recognize this?

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth...."
from "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee Jr.

I've always loved that first line, and hated the rest of the poem.

I haven't flown as anything other than a passenger in 26 years. But (to adapt a quote), I still "...walk the earth with my eyes turned skyward, for there I have been, and there I will always long to return."

My first textbook when I started learning to fly was The Joy of Soaring. That title has triggered a lot of thoughts in the decades since then. I've been noodling at this for at least 35 years. In prose they boil down to:

There is a joy in soaring, just as there is in sailing, or driving, or skiing, or surfing, or even dancing. The combination of physical motion, mental stimulation, and exercise of technical proficiency creates a profound, layered, *textured* experience of synergistic pleasure.

Which seems pretentious, but I like it anyway.

I've never been able to turn it into poetry, just thoughts and fragments. I release them into the wild. Perhaps they will inspire thoughts in others.

  • *********

There is a joy in motion
That takes my cares away

There is a joy in soaring
In breeze that blows against the ridge
Or thermal swirling higher
Or mountain wave so glassy smooth
Which rises, falls, repeats

There is a joy in surfing
Balancing the wave's surging lifting push
Against gravity's sliding falling pull

There is a joy in sailing
With sounds of wind above and water below
Making the best of current and course
Adapting to constant variation

There is a joy in driving
Speed and brake and turn and go
Skid and slide, twist and recover
Playing with velocity and uncertain traction

There is a joy in walking
Old sights, new sights, arriving home again
It's about the journey, not the destination
"The road goes ever on and on...." to steal a phrase.

There is a joy in motion
That takes my cares away

  • *********

I've never been any good at dancing. The closest I've come to it has been flying. "Danced the skies..." yes, but "...laughter-silvered wings"? Pfui.

I haven't yet found anything nice to say about running.
I find no joy in running, myself.
All my thoughts get overwhelmed by an incessant internal voice, relentlessly counting every breath and every step.
Odd that it doesn't happen when I'm walking.
The runners I see don't look like they enjoy it either.
I've never seen a runner who looked happy while running.
Yet still they run.
I hope they catch what they are chasing.
I never did.

Amy - Jan 11, 2021 10:30:45 am PST #6617 of 6632
Because books.

Thank you for sharing that, dcp! I think all of us have thoughts like that at one time or another, that just sort of burrow and stay, until you make some sense of them.

I especially liked the driving one, because driving (no traffic, windows down, music on) is one of my pleasures.

EpicTangent - Feb 06, 2021 5:09:28 pm PST #6618 of 6632
Why isn't everyone pelting me with JOY, dammit? - Zenkitty

That was lovely, dcp. Thanks for sharing with us.

Gudanov - Jun 28, 2021 2:42:57 pm PDT #6619 of 6632
Coding and Sleeping

That's awesome, dcp.

Beverly - Jun 30, 2021 5:03:53 pm PDT #6620 of 6632
Days shrink and grow cold, sunlight through leaves is my song. Winter is long.

Hey back, Cindy. Popping in again to see what I missed, and I have to recommed Bird by Bird by Annie Lammott. It is possible I have used too many double letters in rendering her name but I'm too lazy to look it up. Some of her later work has value, but the Goldberg and the Bird book were helpful.

If anyone's interested in doing Artists' Way, I have a new, shrinkwrapped boxed kit thing, and a nearly-new book, yours for the cost of postage. Profile's good.

DCP, I sat with that poem for a while. It's very visual, very visceral, and breathtaking, in a way that recalls the sensation of velocity and the exhilaration of controlling forward movement. It speaks to me. Thank you for sharing it.

dcp - Jul 04, 2021 8:53:44 pm PDT #6621 of 6632
numb little bug

Thank you all for the kind words. Six months on, and I still have mixed feelings about having posted it.


erikaj - Oct 05, 2021 1:42:43 pm PDT #6622 of 6632
This machine kills fascists

I tried The Artist's Way, but my life is, like, this huge messy blob that I don't really run on a good day, and then I have to find a way to seduce my the thought, but kinda don't think so. Anyway, I'm here cause I'm bad at plotting. What might a newbie candidate(who's also my character's annoying college close-to-frenemy that she hasn't seen in years) want a private investigator to look into?

dcp - Oct 05, 2021 3:14:36 pm PDT #6623 of 6632
numb little bug

A political candidate?

erikaj - Oct 06, 2021 4:01:45 pm PDT #6624 of 6632
This machine kills fascists


dcp - Oct 07, 2021 4:27:36 pm PDT #6625 of 6632
numb little bug

What might a newbie candidate...want a private investigator to look into?

These are categories rather than specific ideas, but here is what came to mind:


  • opposition research
  • own party research
  • vetting campaign donors
  • vetting staff
  • extortion/blackmail/threats
  • scandal claims


  • vetting family
  • vetting alleged family
  • vetting significant others
  • extortion/blackmail/threats

Which would fit your story? Which allows for the most mis-leads and twists?