Tag: fiction

Member Post

 

My name is Gordon, “Jack” Gordon, and I’m a private detective. To be more precise, my name is Alexander Dunbar Douglas Henryson Jardine Keith Kerr Stewart Gordon. I am descended from many Scottish noble families. I am also descended from all of the most famous of the Scottish makars, including the two men involved in […]

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Part 1 2 3 4 5 Part Six Dusty started undoing all of the magic spells that still lingered around the conference room. He quickly pulled Walpole and Percival aside for a few words, and then led us back to the door that joined our hotel. I retrieved my baggage from my room, and then […]

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Two Sisters Finally Get Adulting

 

Jen Nilsson has it all, a great condo in California, a fast-track job in a Silicon Valley start-up, and a seemingly limitless future. Life is good and bound to get better. Then her sister Katie, ten years younger, and just out of college, calls and asks if she can move in with her big sister. Katie can no longer stand living with their parents.

“If You Can Get It,” a novel by Brendan Hodge opens with this. Jen wants to say no, but Katie is not calling from their parents’ home near Chicago. She is right outside Jen’s California condo. Jobless Katie lacks the money to drive home. Jen is stuck. She has to say yes.

The two sisters prove separated by more than just a ten year age difference. Jen is a quintessential Gen-Xer, focused, and deliberate. She has an MBA and a fast-track career.  Katie is an archetypical Millennial, impulsive, and spontaneous. Her degree is in comparative religion, preparing her for a job at Starbucks. Jen is an extrovert. Katie is an introvert.

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Although Gibb was a greasy little stain on the collective name of economic historians, I was quite sure that he wasn’t feigning his quirked eyebrow at my tired appearance. Age might have left me thick, gray curls and a firm posture, but it had still taken its share away, and the deep lines drawn expertly […]

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Black mud boiled beneath a torrent of furious rain. What fool could hope to spy movement in such a riotous storm? But Jack had to know. It was happening everywhere. To everyone. Even to the genteel, sensible folk of Spring Valley. Or so they claimed. Thunder growled from the nearby woods. Good, Jack thought. Where […]

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Group Writing: The Mystery of the Missing Mermaid, Part Two

 

I hopped down from my barstool and took a few steps towards them, evaluating the situation. It looked like the five of them were ready to start throwing spells, which could be detrimental to Larry’s business, other clientele, and furnishings.

“Hey,” I yelled to get their attention as I navigated through the tables to get to them. That redirected their attention. All five started throwing curses and jinxes my way. I merely put out my hand to “catch” them and kept walking towards them.

Group Writing: The Mystery of the Missing Mermaid, Part One

 

I adjusted my collar and put my hand on my hat before walking out from the alcove that was the entrance to my building. The magical fires from the torches lit the street, paying no mind to the wind and the rain. I didn’t pay the weather much heed, either. It was a dark and stormy night that had lasted more than five hundred years. I didn’t have to think about adjusting my collar or securing my hat. It is just something we all learn to do as we grow up. We protect ourselves from the wind and the rain. Most folks cast a simple spell to deal with the weather, of course, but I can’t do that. They call me “Jack the Magicless,” and I’m a detective.

Those little things we do naturally and without thought are very important in our lives. There have been times when I was thinking about a case when I fixed supper, ate it, cleaned the dishes, and then realized I had no real memory of what I had eaten. These actions become all part of a routine, and we don’t pay them any more attention than we pay to the weather. What’s it like outside? It’s a dark and stormy night. What will it be like outside tomorrow? It will be a dark and stormy night. What will it be like outside next week? It will be a dark and stormy night. What will it be like outside next year? It will be a dark and stormy night. We don’t have to think about these things once we get used to them. They become part of the background of life. But every once in a while, something brings them to the foreground.

I Read All 24 Jack Reacher Books This Year

 

In 2019 I read 40 books, pretty evenly split between biographies/history books and non-fiction. Largely because of our tinpot dictator governors shutting down so much other activity this year (sporting events, concerts, restaurants, dances, etc.), I’ve been reading a lot more, and have gone through 56 books in less than eight months, including all 24 of Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher series.

Several months ago, there was a Ricochet post about favorite books and someone mentioned the Jack Reacher series, none of which had I ever bothered to try. I downloaded one from our library (not the first of the series, it had a bunch of people waiting) and whipped through it in about a day and a half. After that I was hooked; most of them took me no more than two days. I wasn’t able to read them in any particular order because of library availability, but I just finished the last one, which ironically is the first in the series, Killing Floor. It has an interesting prologue from the author outlining how he became a writer and his basis for the character.

Jack Reacher is a retired Army military police major and son of a Marine sergeant, and his adventures often involve military or national security themes. He has no fixed address and roams the country by hitchhiking or riding buses while trying to get a feel for the country and its people that he didn’t get to experience as a kid in his Dad’s overseas Marine postings or his own MP activities. The usual theme is Jack minding his own business on a cross-country bus, eating in a diner, walking through New York City or some podunk town in Nebraska or Maine, and lo and behold, crime and adventure find him. It usually involves him going toe-to-toe with a crew of nasty, evil villains while helping out someone who needs to be rescued from the bad guys. Jack is pretty smart, is a numbers freak, and his background in MP investigations serves him well, but at 6-feet-5 and 250 pounds, when the rubber meets the road he has to use brute strength to get him through the tough spots.

Acclaimed author Lionel Shriver joined Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky, Staff Editor Madeline Osburn, and Townhall Staff Writer Ellie Bufkin to discuss the demand for wokeness among fiction authors, and the recent glorification of the body in society. Shriver is the author of the new novel, “The Motion of The Body Through Space.

Shriver argued that the left now dictates how writers must assign their characters. For example, she said, all black characters must serve as exemplary, wise, and kindly role models within stories. The woke left has limited authors’ creativity and made books less interesting, she said, by setting a standard for each type of character.

It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

 

As the doorbell rang, I let go of the napkin I was fingering and hurried, then slowed down, as I walked to the door. Ted watched me from the other side of the room and smiled reassuringly. My heart felt as if it would leap out of my chest. I took a deep breath, paused at the door, put a smile on my face, and said a brief prayer. As I opened the door, Valerie was on the other side with a silly grin on her face.

She said, “Hey you!! How have you been? She stepped in confidently and gave me a big hug. It felt great, and we held onto each other for an extra moment and then stepped back with tears in our eyes. She saw Ted and called out, “Hey, big guy!” He grinned back.

“Well, I’m lots better now that you’re here. Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

Member Post

 

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” Remember this alleged quote from an unnamed military source during the Viet Nam War?  Well known New Zealand-born reporter, Peter Arnett, has asserted that this quotation was something that an “American major said to me in a moment of revelation.”  This major was allegedly […]

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I am trying to read more this year and I have a stack of non-fiction to read. But if I read that before bed I will keep myself awake trying to solve the worlds problems(update: so far unsuccessful)  I need fiction book recommendations that I can read before bed. I would like to find something […]

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The Tattered Black Shawl, Part II: A Very Short Story

 

She sat on the wooden bench, her left arm resting on the rod iron armrest, and absorbed the late afternoon sun on her face. The sun had dropped over the last half-hour, bidding her good-bye, and a cool breeze had come up, picking at her shawl. She was waiting for her last visitor; she’d named him “Ringer.” He rode by on his bicycle around this time of day, pedaling his bike like crazy with a joyful smile. He was probably about ten years old, still delighting in his youthful freedom but sweet enough to greet an old woman like her. And he always made sure to ring his bike bell twice. Then they exchanged smiles. Ah, there he was, and they did their dance. Now her time here was complete.

She didn’t want to leave yet, but the coolness crept into her bones, her stiff arthritic hands and her unpredictable feet. She knew her body had lingered longer than it was due, but she rejected medication and was willing to tolerate the pain, to make sure her mind was vivid and true. A few gold and red leaves tripped across her feet in the breeze, a reminder of the disappearing day. She stayed a moment longer, the sun lingering on her face. Still, she was growing colder, and she prepared herself to stand to make the journey home.

(Un)broken Movies

 

With the notable exception of Chappaquidick, the post-Vietnam movie industry, including the later original content cable television business, has relentlessly bent history and even powerful works of fiction, imposing narratives designed to immunize younger viewers against ever discovering inconvenient truths and other voices. I started mulling this over with Angelina Jolie’s shocking betrayal of a man she claimed to deeply respect, in her deeply biased big-screen rendition of Laura Hillenbrand’s profound Unbroken. I saw both Jolie’s Hollywood production and a small budget Christian production of the rest of the story. I’ve cogitated over this and found more and more productions attaching to the idea which formed: this is all quite deliberate propaganda.

Unbroken broken as told in two movies:

The Near Side of Space

 

“This is really important. I need this at the top of your list.”

The boss-man looks haggard. He’s definitely not been getting enough sleep. And, judging by the look in his eye, he knows exactly how silly of a request he’s making. He’s still gotta make it. He and I aren’t the only ones on this call, and the boss-man has boss-men of his own to appease. That’s life.