The Friday Prompt :: July 14th 2017

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Want to tell me what to write for the next seven days worth of MicroPoetry and Haiku?

Here’s your chance: reply to this post with a prompt: it can be anything at all. A picture, a video or a song, even a .GIF is acceptable, or perhaps some poetry or a snippet of dialogue. Post it in the comments, and if I like it enough, I’ll use it as a prompt for my Sunday afternoon writing session.

If your suggestion is chosen, I’ll make sure you get credited for the inspiration.

Submissions close at 12.05 pm, Sunday July 16th.

AWAY YOU GO.

Adventures in Micropoetry [ONE]

This is also the first week that I’ve taken a prompt for the Micropoetry (which will happen again) and it was a piece of video, provided by @rjdeducation:

From this sequence came the following five pieces:

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Now, see both sides
Understanding
Both good and bad;
Consequences.

Your point of view
Dependent on
Too much, at once
To guess at will.

An upshot, not
Ever certain
Dictated by
So many things.

This simple act,
Outcome clouded:
The final path
To journey’s end.

Open your mind:
Accepting truth
Each choice is more
Than what is known.


 

Adventures in Haiku [ONE]

As you will know, I’m experimenting with my poetic styles as part of daily content on the @InternetofWords Twitter site. This week, I wrote a 5 part Haiku, which forms a larger sequence, and I’m really rather proud of it. Therefore, it seems appropriate to reproduce it here complete.


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Your picture, taken:
So perfect. Turn to ignore
Chaos and anger.

What has happened here?
The sudden alteration
of joy to sorrow.

We were perfection:
an unbreakable union,
’til doubt split apart

these tender efforts;
soon discarded, forgotten
in the heat of rage.

Take this image: now
remember beauty was here,
between us, as one.


 

Start

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It might seem like bad planning on my part, but I’m going away this weekend for the first time in many years, just with my husband. The spontaneity of the moment was part of the appeal, I’ll be honest, and it’s not two days lying in the sun. I’ll be riding a bike, indulging in vintage everything and having fun at the Eroica Britannia. If you follow my personal Instagram and Twitter accounts, there’ll be lots of pictures across the weekend, but I’ll be calling a halt to ‘normal’ posting until Monday morning.

Before I go go however, I wanted to extend a MASSIVE thank you to everybody who has committed a pledge to the Patreon thus far. I really do appreciate your support, and starting next week you’ll get to see exactly what it is you’ve handed over your cash for.

Until then, may you have a restful and enjoyable weekend.

Internet of Words :: T Minus 14 Days

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The Internet is never more frightening and unpredictable as it is now. Witness yesterday as a largely typical day: the President of the United States brings Twitter to a standstill not with his choice to step away from a Climate accord, but a typo. Hours later his mistake is still the news, whilst the British General election debate is viewed and commented on by millions simultaneously not simply via their TV’s but a dazzling array of social media platforms. The clever politicians already grasp that it isn’t just about the quotes that will make tomorrow’s newspapers: pick the right sound byte and it’ll can become a Meme before the average person’s boiled their kettle and the Debate is over. Once upon a time, online was just for academics and gamers: not any more. Now, this is the place that Governments fear and want to control, that they’ll blame from everything from extremism to bad press for themselves. It is also the place advertisers desperately need to monetise, with the data you willingly (and often without realising) hand over becoming as valuable as the Bitcoin currency hackers favour as their extortion reward of choice.

As a result, there has never been a better time to learn how the Internet can truly work for you.

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For most, getting the best out of their virtual world largely involves shutting off the noise of objectionable souls they don’t want to hear, laughing at cat pictures and watching porn. We all know what the Internet is good for, but when was the last time you truly challenged yourself using it? Honestly, at the end of a hard day you’d rather switch off and watch Netflix, I understand this completely. The reason why I’m launching the Internet of Words is to try and make people consider the possibility that perhaps there could be more to the World Wide Web than esports and Seniors React to Anything videos on You Tube. Education isn’t only possible, but should be always be encouraged. I’m hoping to use the raw materials around me and present both knowledge and information by combining the present and past, to present a new view on the future.

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However much certain people moan over how bad the Internet is, and that they don’t like what it is becoming, it is their ignorance and arrogance which fuels the very negativity they perceive. There is immense good to be found here, if you will only take the opportunity to stop and think. That’s the first main objective of my project: learning to think objectively, so that when something is viewed that could be considered as objectionable, time is taken to understand what it is and why it has been presented. Often, as was the case with the Presidential typo, it was a mistake that eventually got deleted, but not before it fuelled the creativity, frustration and disbelief of millions of people. If the right person can do that with just 140 words as their limit, think what could be possible if you wrote more. The problem is, of course, most people don’t want more, they need less (and with pictures) or else it simply doesn’t register… and that’s why, in the face of such desires to make things compact and concise, I’ve turned up and asked people to think about reading more than a tweet at a time.

I may be insane, but I believe more rather than less is the way forward.

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So, I invite you to come with me and relearn how to see and think for yourself in a Digital Age. Once you understand what people do with images and words, we’ll start exploring what the past can tell us in reference to the future, how science can help predict outcomes, how knowledge really is power.

I hope this journey will enlighten as well as educate, and I can’t wait to begin.

The Final Countdown

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I mentioned back on May 5th that I was going to have to go in for what turned out to be quite important surgery. My recovery, although fairly swift, is not as rapid as I had either hoped or planned for. As a result, my intention to go live with Patreon next week is, on reflection, somewhat optimistic. That means there will be some minor changes to project timings, to allow me a chance to get completely back to normal and present the level and depth of content that I think this entire project deserves.

With this in mind, amended timings are as follows:

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Early Adoption Patreon will now go live on June 12th, with general access available on June 15th. This also allows me to finally complete the Top Tier rewards to be photographed, and have the enamel badge rewards in hand. I’m also considering some additional rewards that I’ll let readers of the IoW Twitter feed know about starting next week. If you want to be a part of my Early Access Team, please follow @InternetofWords on Twitter where there’s already a daily dose of Micropoetry and Haiku to keep you entertained.

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I’ve decided to do a massive update of all of the various online presences ahead of the Patreon launch too, as an excuse to standardise everything across the board and organise better going forward. The physical changes for this are already in place, it will now simply be graphics and content that changes long term. Here’s a reminder of where you can find me, and that all of these places will be getting a freshen up starting tomorrow:

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I’d love to tell you more, but honestly I’d like to keep some surprises under my belt… needless to say, it’ll be worth your time.

I look forward to seeing you bright and early tomorrow morning 😀

Health Advisory

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If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know I have a medical issue that’s now become something that requires fairly swift intervention. As a result, I may be in Hospital for surgery as early as next week, but it is more likely that I’ll be dealt with around the 16th. This had the potential to but a bit of a crimp in my plans for the Patreon, but I refuse to let that happen.

I am planning to launch regardless on June 1st.

What this does mean is that I am a bit behind on the Blogging Guide, but the plan is to publish two parts this weekend and effectively get up to date that way.

If you want to keep informed on developments, following the @AlternativeChat Twitter feed will keep you in the loop 😀

IW Update :: Patreon

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This week has been rather overshadowed by personal health issues, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my eye on the ball in terms of preparation, which should step into high gear starting on Monday. What that has meant in practical terms is preparing my Patreon space and finally pinning down what rewards will be available on ‘launch.’

Stage One Patreon Rewards have arrived 😀 #photographer #InternetofWords

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Right now I’ll be offering what I consider as a pretty decent set of physical incentives. On  order are Enamel Badges with the IW ‘logo’ plus special ‘Thank You’ cards, with these rather snazzy wristbands already in hand. On top of that there will be 10 ‘Founders Rewards’ which represent my top tier of participation, which are being routed in solid wood and which I will hand finish myself. Having read some stories about how there are those who unscrupulously pledge only for rewards and then leave, I’m hoping what I’m giving here is unique enough to simply appeal to those with a genuine interest. It has also been suggested I wait for a month’s pledges before anything goes out and that might also be a wise move on consideration.

The nuts and bolts of the tier rewards themselves are now sketched in a notebook, and I’ll exclusively reveal them to my Twitter feed this weekend, not simply as an early incentive but to check whether people think they’d be interested in what is being offered. To see what else is on offer apart from the physical rewards it is time to

where you can be actively involved in lots of cool stuff ahead of time.

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After that, next week will see my back end planning shift up a gear, and there’ll be areas appearing on the site to cover the body of work that will be produced under the Internet of Words ‘concept.’ I’ll be introducing each ‘strand’ as we go, and looking for feedback and interest at the same time. I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank everybody who has encouraged and supported me thus far. I’ve been literally gob-smacked that not only are there those of you willing to take a chance on my ideas, but that you’re already offering help and support for the journey.

Thank you so very much indeed.

All I Want for Christmas is You

My husband phoned me this morning, and the conversation went as follows:

– What do you want for Christmas?

Cuddles

– You have a standing order for cuddles. This is not helpful. Really, what do you want for Christmas?

– … Cuddles?

Honestly, this year there is nothing I really want. Except maybe this chair but it costs £2000 + and I’m not that dumb.

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Then I thought about it. I’d like the Novel done (which I’m working on so you know, it’s going to happen.) I’d love a publishing deal. After that, honestly, there is nothing I want. I don’t crave anything. This is not about aggressive consumerism and never was. I’m remarkably simple to please. Treat me with respect, make me tea now and again and offer some cake and honestly, we’re utterly good. The Man with the Bag can skip me and go give someone else the cheer.

This is a roundabout way of me telling you guys that come the New Year I’m hoping to be a lot more active with general posting, and that the whole process of writing is still going on despite a daily word count update. I have a ton of stuff I’d like to discuss involving process too, quite apart from the other things I’ve promised myself to write. I just gotta get it all organised and out there and that’s always been half the battle.

If I’m quiet, you can guarantee at this point it’s because I’m working.

DEFAULT :: Part Sixty-Two

Previous section is here


London positively rejoices in the understanding that not only has Summer arrived, but it intends to remain firmly in charge of the city for as long as possible. Ronni owns no qualms over sitting in traffic either, windows open in the DB5 which was her only concession to keep as the new Poster Girl. She could have ridden the bike in, or even free run, but had worked late last night pouring over paperwork and assessments in bed. Her flat’s due for redecoration early next month, changes she’d wanted to make but never gotten around to implement, and now with the hike in salary? She could move, but there’s no point. The original accommodation that came with the promotion’s got a squatter who refuses to leave, and who’ll own the deeds outright anyway come the Autumn. Once her tenure’s done, and assuming nothing changes? She’ll just move down the river a bit and spend extremely long weekends in Scotland. Ronni’s beginning to warm to the idea of holidays in the north, especially as she can be flown there and back with the minimum of fuss.

The future, as it stands, is packed with possibilities that make her vibrate with excitement.

It’s the first time she’s been back to the Barracks since the refit was completed, and the place looks particularly well packaged with fresh paint and understated signage. Ronni parks in her space and stands, looking at the rectangle of tarmac that remains the only external concession to what she has now become. Being the first woman to hold the 007 designation might sound like the amazing made real, but in truth there’s only a few people who’ll ever get the relevance. To everybody else, she’s just the female in the suit.

That’s all she’s ever wanted to be: anonymous, yet useful.

She signs in without ceremony, new receptionist giving her scant attention. He’s more interested in social media on his phone, until registering sign-in details illuminating on screen. Then Q’s now standard issue custom unit is almost dropped in surprise; Alistair Greer is staring at her, Ronni waiting for brain to catch up with understanding.

‘Good Morning Ms Flemmings. I’m sorry, we weren’t expecting you until 10am: I have internal mail and messages for you, one moment please.’

They’d offered her full name back, but Ronni’s not bothered. The question of using Bond’s had been raised, then dismissed, because as Tanner pointed out keeping that legacy associated with the number is not anything a sane person would get involved in. Instead this is just what it always was, except the designation’s increased by three. This morning’s schedule should include a Senior Staff meeting, routine small arms assessment and then lunch with Q, because they now make the time to go to expensive London restaurants to spend their Civil Service wages on things that matter to them both. He’s standing, looking at her with amusement, wearing a Spencer Hart suit that would have been off the radar a year ago. There’s gym time too, on the quiet, she knows because the man wants to be ready for her next mission, whatever and whenever that might be.

Any chance they have to work together from now on will be seized with customary thoroughness.

‘Good morning 007. I’m going to keep referring to you by designation because I think it really does suit you. I assume you don’t have an objection?’

‘Q, you’re still in charge, so who am I to ever contradict?’

He hugs her as the receptionist returns with a file and some envelopes, handing them over with what probably passes for starstruck awe in MI6. The Quartermaster accompanies her into the large open-plan reception area, all stripped chrome and live news feeds, world running its course as they pass. Emmanuel is at his station, smiling as she acknowledges his presence, watching the growing team in Data Encryption standing front and centre, defending the country electronically. The future however is him with a gun, because she’s seen his scores and is well aware that prestigious talent won’t ever go to waste here again, not while Andrew holds the reins. Rachel dominates the whole left side of the Facility now, Lizzie her ultra efficient PA, pretending to be in charge of one thing but instead owning so much more. Her demeanour and enthusiasm is brilliant, carried with the confidence of a woman who finally found, embraced and beat the hell out of her true calling in what many would consider the twilight of her career.

Finally, they turn the corner to where M now resides full time, as he maintained that you didn’t keep the man in charge away from where the action happened. He’d sensibly given up the 1950’s for good, but this area’s less chrome and more wood and warmth. The office is still obscured, but instead of fake padding and Whitehall veneer the dividing wall is a living, breathing representation of London itself, permed from the range of security footage the Department keeps tabs on across the capital. It is an ever-changing collage of the city, alive and vibrant in an early June morning, and Ronni is temporarily distracted by the beauty of montage.

‘This wall is beyond impressive, Q. I could stand and watch for hours.’

‘I’ll do the same with the view from here.’

Bond is staring from his desk, smile her immediate reward. She’s not seen him since Friday morning, as he’d insisted on spending time acquainting himself properly with Q’s new technology suite. The glasses are a surprise too: she knew he’d been never be truly comfortable with the contacts. If he wasn’t a field agent, then it didn’t matter, besides they make him look… distracting. There is the lightest of touches to her hand and Q is gone, leaving her to wait while he goes and gets M for the Staff Meeting, and Ronni approaches one of many new mission briefs. James looks oddly comfortable sitting with his effective demotion, and that’s a surprise that will take some getting used to.

‘Good morning, 007.’

‘Bond. I approve of the eye wear.’

‘I thought you might, I’m just grateful to not have to do contacts ever again.’

‘Who knew you’d be squeamish?’

‘You live and learn, as I have in the last three days. Been a long time since I pushed myself into something new. I’m looking forward to being the unchallenged geek in this relationship.’

‘You shouldn’t do labels, they’re divisive.’

‘Knowing what you are is useful, a label helps other people understand the context. That’s why when I call you 007, everyone knows that’s their benchmark. I approve that you finally became the metaphor. I feel that, more than anything else, makes all this worthwhile.’

He makes her blush, warming body in ways that are continuing to prove both surprising and fruitful. The long-term plan is that he becomes her handler, but requires a measure of training first. He’ll also keep the desk occupied that used to be Moneypenny’s because he thought the juxtaposition sent exactly the right message to anyone in the building who didn’t grasp exactly what had changed between Spectre’s unmasking and their eventual downfall. This is the new world order not just for the Secret Service, but beyond. It is no longer about an outdated methodology or ancient beliefs: anybody, regardless of their ethnic and sexual background, was capable of doing any job.

Bond stands on cue as M appears from his office, Q at his arm, smiling with a warmth Ronni’s not seen in him before, extending hand to shake hers.

‘Good morning 007, I trust you’re comfortable with your new working space?’

‘I am sir, Q’s done a fabulous job of integrating old and new, and I am looking forward to being an operational part of process as well as in the field. I’ve taken a look at the applications for Active Consideration you sent at the weekend, there’s a lot of good to be considered in the selections.’

‘Indeed, this is possibly the best group of individuals we’ve seen for close to a decade, present company excluded. Bond, I’d also appreciate your insight on this. You can redirect calls back to reception while we’re occupied.’

Ronni’s predecessor is already two steps ahead of the boss, tablet in hand, stenography skills surprisingly adept for a man who couldn’t type with more than two fingers a month ago. That had always been his problem, serially overachieving had become something of an advantage when it came to keeping up with organisational requirements. In fact, nobody did competence now quite as efficiently or stylishly as he did.

No-one understood the importance of Secret Service evolution quite like James Bond.


FIN


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OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:

Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.