Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 44: Nothing gained

This is the 44th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Wolf’s Time, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 14th January 2012

Word count: 586

Theme: futility, war, loss, destruction, politics, alliances, waste

The story:

“We’ll not stand for this,” those were the words my king uttered that launched us into a decade of warfare.

King Correstus was right to oppose the kingdom of Sowii’s threats, blackmail really, of annexing our Eastern holdings if we didn’t support them in a war against our ally the kingdom of Eglasia, not a single man of the court would disagree.

So the land of Casii readied itself for war. The army was enlarged in a wholesale recruitment drive, the nation’s blacksmiths went into overdrive to provide the arms we would require, (though as any soldier will tell you, the quality left a lot to be desired at times), farmers and laborers doubled their efforts to prepare to feed a significant portion of the population that would no longer be working towards the goal of providing sustenance or resources. Our less powerful allies were pressed for support in a variety of ways, and of course we contacted King Veron of Eglasia.

Two months later in a coordinated move the armies of Casii attacked the Eastern border of Sowii, while the armies of Eglasia attacked the Northern border.

It should have been enough to force the Sowii to surrender, but they had prepared for war too, and they had large companies of mercenaries to swell their numbers.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 43: The Snow Angel

This is the 43rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Snow Angel, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 13th January 2012

Word count: 594

Theme: family, father, loss, joy, pride, growing young, snow, winter, love

The story:

“It’s here, it’s here!” the little boy shouted with such joy.

“Calm down, calm down,” his mother urged him, “it’s too late to be going outside. Besides it’ll be better when you awake in the morning, trust me. Now get to bed.”

“Okay mummy,” the boy acquiesced. He climbed the stairs and went to his room, looked out the window once more with a smile and crawled into bed, eager for the hours of the night to vanish and for it to be morning.

Early the next morning, the boy was woken up by his mothers gentle rocking, and her whispered urgent words to wake up, “Come on Timmy, come see.”

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The Writer Cometh and Backupeth

For once I have good reason to be quiet, I’m currently working on editing my NaNoWriMo novel. It’s excessively slow going, but I’m keeping track of what I’m doing and how I do it, so I’ll go into more detail once I’m doing. Got a few days off work in a couple of weeks, aim to have it finished by the time I go back to work.

Just wanted a quick comment on backing up, in light of the attacks from the US authorities on any sites they deem to be involved in piracy.

I won’t comment here on the righteousness, or the risks to the perception of a free Internet, I do that plenty in other places.

No, what I want to say is that online backups are a great idea. Take it from someone that’s destroyed plenty of hard drives and USB sticks in my time, and plenty of my work with it. Just don’t rely on them as your sole place to backup information.

I’ve lost a few photos and videos over the years as seemingly permanent services were shut down. Now with corporations targeting any service they don’t like, these services are more risky.

The Cloud, (used to think this was a bloody stupid and pointless term, but like a cloud it can be blown away by a blast of hot air apparently), should just be one part of the solution.

These days my backup routine goes like this:
My computer
Mobile phone
Box.net
USB stick
USB hard drive

And any active project will be put on all of these each week at least.

You will also do yourself a lot of favours if you manage your version control. It will allow you to spot the most recent version of your work.

Your words are precious, protect them.

A poem very close to my heart…

This morning, I couldn’t sleep and went for a walk. Up the slanting street I went, and found myself by the field behind Osmondthorpe Lane, facing the bridge I’d climbed up after I came back from hospital, the night my Granddad died.

I wrote a poem for him after that, I’d intended on reading it at the funeral – I messed up though, it was the first funeral I’d ever been to, and I left it at home, and even though I’d practiced it, I didn’t dare stand up and read it, in case I spoiled it.

By no means is technically a great poem, but it’s a poem that means more to me than any other. Since I ended up at the bridge, and the memories and chain of thoughts led me to rekindle my blog, I thought it was fitting I put it out there once more.

One of the last great heroes has gone

One of the last great heroes has gone,
A warrior of sea and life,
Lost to us, but for memory,
And love in our hearts,
He will be there for us in the strife,
And always too when life is merry.

But on that sorrowed night I prayed,
Just for two minutes,
Two minutes, to say my love,
To share my heart,
He had given his all to life’s fight,
And from his body he flew, released like a dove.

I wish I could have said more in the time we had,
How much we all cared for the tailor,
I know, I hope,
With all my heart,
That we loved with out failure,
Only with that faith could I cope.

By Jonathan Lawrence, 5th April 2003