Involuntary laptop exchange at the office [en]

Involuntary laptop exchange at the office. Saved passwords and unhealthy curiosity. Suzy was after some gossip, but ended up with way more than she could handle. She paid it with her life, but not before doing her country a great service and finally finding a meaning to her life.

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He was preoccupied. Twenty miles later [en]

He was preoccupied. Twenty miles later, he realized that the car he was driving wasn’t his. There was an unconscious girl on the back seat.

They fled through the country, narrowly escaping death more than once. They never found her daughter, but many years later, had one of their own.

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I'm going away for the week-end [en]

“I’m going away for the week-end. When I come back, I want you and your stuff out of here!”

Sobbing and frantic, she started packing up her nearly four years of life with him.

Lived 3 months on Sarah’s couch. Fell madly in love with Josh. Forgot all about Mike.

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I took my shoes off and put them [en]

I took my shoes off and put them carefully beside the bed. My ruby red slippers.

I crawled under the bed and curled up next to the cat. I couldn’t remember when I’d abandoned the top of the bed. It just seemed safer with something above my head.

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She grabs her gun, hops on her horse [en]

She grabs her gun, hops on her horse, and makes for the village where her lover is living. She charges into the house, killing everybody in the way. Reaches the room where he is sleeping, picks up the cat curled up on the bed, and blows his brains out.

Love.

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She pulled the curtains and slipped between [en]

She pulled the curtains and slipped between the sheets. The neighbours’ bed upstairs was creaking rhythmically.

“Not again!” she thought.

Sally remembered that time in the restaurant with Harry. She still had it in her.

Tomorrow morning, they would be the ones looking at her enviously in the entrance hallway.

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The little old lady had spent her evening [en]

The little old lady had spent her evening looking through faded photographs. Her children, their children — and theirs.

She remembered one photograph that appeared to be missing.

She made for the loft and reached for the big staggering box of her husband’s memorabilia.

It knocked her down dead.

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Like the others, I was greedily eying [en]

Like the others, I was greedily eying the last chocolate in the silver tray. We tried to keep the conversation going and our saliva under control.

Susie opened her mouth.

John’s hand moved.

Awkward silence.

Rex jumped up and whisked away the chocolate with an expert flick of the tongue.

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Writing Stories [en]

[fr] Depuis toujours, j'ai envie d'écrire des romans, mais je me sens fondamentalement incapable d'inventer des histoires. Je sais raconter une histoire (enfin, de façon relativement compétente, je pense), mais si mon cerveau fonctionne en surchauffe pour produire des idées d'article ou des pensées à développer dans mon blog, il reste désespérément muet pour ce qui est de la construction de scénario.

Après quelques conversations avec Suw et son ami Vince, qui en est à son cinquième roman, j'ai décidé qu'il était temps de prendre sérieusement cette envie qui me hante (oooh... ohhh...) depuis belle lurette. L'imagination et la créativité, ça s'exerce. Je vais exercer mon cerveau à inventer des histoires.

Had some interesting conversation these last two days here in Leeds with Suw and Vince about writing fiction. Vince actually writes fiction, Suw has quite a bit at some point, and I’ve always wanted to.

I write loads and always have (mainly on and around this blog during the last years), but it’s mainly essay-ish or fact, like the many pages of my journal of the year I lived in India. What little fiction I have written, mainly in my school years (some of which you can find in the writing section) is mainly scenes, atmospheres, small episodes. No stories, really.

I’ve always wanted to write stories, but always felt myself fundamentally incapable of doing so. I remember two attempts to write meaningful fiction in my early years. First, I must have been nine or ten, and I had received a nice thick notebook. I decided I was going to write a story in it, but it fell flat after one line. Second, I was a teenager, and I spent a good part of some winter holidays diving into the creation of a science fiction novel. I think the impulse came after reading a C. J. Cherryh book. I had a main character, a bit of a world, but no story. I just started writing, and about 12 pages later it was going nowhere and my interest fizzled out. I still have what I wrote in a folder — it was called “Aurora”.

My head is always bubbling with ideas of things to blog. Stuff to comment upon, ideas about the world, life, or tools that I want to talk about. But my head is completely void of stories. It’s as if the storytelling part of my imagination was broken, or so still it couldn’t move. Well, I can tell a story if I know what the story I have to tell is (so, based on fact) but I can’t come up with one. At least, I don’t come up with stories naturally.

What the conversation with Suw and Vince made me understand was that I could excercise that skill. I can train my mind to think up stories. I just need to do it explicitly at first. I need to try to think of stories.

Vince told me to think up an ending before getting started, and I think that’s a good point. A good novel can be killed by a lousy ending, and a medium story can be redeemed by a good ending. And I remember, in school, when we started creative writing, our teacher mentioned that it was often really hard for us to come up with good endings, and that she recommended we do not try and write stories with ends, and stick to vignettes or scenes. I think it was good advice at the time, but now I’m not 12 anymore. I’ve grown up and am probably capable of thinking up endings to stories 🙂

So, yesterday, as we were driving Steph and Virginie to the airport, I found myself daydreaming and trying to come up with stories. Interestingly, what I came up with was mainly “world ideas”. Minor changes one could make to our world and which would create an interesting setting for a story.

But no stories yet. I’m going to keep working on it.

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Récit de rêve [fr]

Un rêve de cette nuit qui vient de me revenir subitement.

[en] A dream I had last night. It just came back to me.

Passant devant Mémoire Vive, je glisse et tombe, me faisant mal aux doigts. Je passe ensuite par le marché, je souffre, et en examinant mon annulaire gauche je vois qu’il y a un gros morceau de verre bleu dans la blessure. Je l’enlève, et vois qu’à  l’intérieur de mon doigt il y a encore plein d’autres morceaux de verre coloré, comme des perles pour collier vertes et bleues.

Je décide qu’il faut que j’aille au CHUV me faire opérer. Je pleure tellement j’ai mal. J’appelle l’école, en retard, pour dire qu’il faut me remplacer. Je passe voir la secrétaire, je n’arrive pas à  penser clairement, je cherche mes bagues et mes clés de voiture pour pouvoir partir. Elle me dit que si je peux conduire, je ne dois pas avoir si mal que ça. Elle ne me prend pas au sérieux, semble penser que je suis en train de me défiler, que je joue les douillettes. Je lui explique que j’avais la voiture avant l’accident. Je l’ai laissée au parking du Valentin et je veux simplement trouver mes clés.

Je suis en Inde, au Kérala. Je laisse mes bagages chez quelqu’un, sans y faire vraiment attention, et je pars pour Kochin. J’y retrouve Madhav. Mon doigt me fait toujours horriblement souffrir, et je me rends compte que je suis au mauvais endroit. Je devrais être au CHUV! J’envisage d’aller me faire opérer à  Pune. Misère, j’ai laissé mes bagages à  Allepey, à  1h30 de train, et dans l’autre direction! Je dis à  Madhav que je ferais peut-être mieux de rentrer en Suisse… mais je dois de toute façon aller récupérer mes bagages, et je ne sais pas trop où ils sont. Comment diable ai-je pu être aussi insouciante avec mes affaires? Je me sens complètement paniquée, dépassée, angoissée. Jamais je ne serai de retour à  l’école à  temps.

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