Yesterday was a Beautiful Day & 8th in the Agent Amanda Story:

Good Morning Ted and Jody:

After much winter (rain).  The clouds decided to shift to a new wardrobe yesterday.   Since they were on the runway, I got out my trusty Brownie and took a few photos of them.  It not quite so promising this morning, but then, it isn’t raining either.

For some time, yesterday, I had a bit of trouble getting up the old enthusiasm for writing the next episode in the Agent Amanda story.  You will have noticed that the story has focused on the protagonist for five (six counting today) of the first six (seven counting today) episodes.  I got to wondering if that is too much exposure all at once.  Maybe that was responsible for my enthusiasm deficit.  Perhaps, I should have interspersed scenes with the protagonist with other characters like I did in Amanda7.  As I say, I don’t know. I would love to know from the reader’s perspective?  At this point she is the central figure in the next three or four segments before we get back to anything like the present.  As you may recall, time travel is a strange way to go.   In any event the 7th episode is appended after all the photographs of clouds from yesterday.

I hope this finds you in good health (at our age, that usually means breathing), happy, and warm.

Warmest regards, Ed20170211_172106 ns email.jpg20170211_141340 cns email.jpg20170211_141401 ns email.jpg20170211_142025 ns email.jpg20170211_142138 ns email.jpg20170211_155341 ns email.jpg20170211_172446 cns email.jpg


008 Alice Reads Obituaries

Fiction in 446 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017


Alice Beaverton awoke to the sounds of surf. She stretched her arms while still in bed and smiled. ‘Now, if I can sleep without any background noise, I will finally be free of that place.’ she thought. “Computer did I successfully complete the sleep module for the fifth course required prior to receiving an ATI implant?” she asked.

The screen in her cubical came to life and the computer replied, “Yes, you successfully completed the sleep module for the fifth course required prior to receiving an ATI implant.  Did you want the surf soundtrack to continue?”

Alice said, “No, computer you can turn off the surf soundtrack.” 

Alice busied herself with her morning prep for the day. ‘I really am a creature of habit,’ she though. Pulling her clothe out of the freshener after her shower, she shook her head at the old dress. ‘If I went anyplace that anyone knew me, I might be embarrassed; but, I’m not, so tough it out old girl.’  She finished dressing and said, “Computer give me a list of Asian female infant death notices in the Chicago, Illinois, United Sates of America for 1978 to 1982.”

The computer replied, “There were 107 Asian, female infant deaths in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America for the period requested.”

“Computer, list them in the order of oldest to youngest and show me the obituary for the oldest one” asked Alice.

“The oldest one is on the screen now,” said the computer.

She began reading.  After a few minutes, she said, “Computer show me the ones on the list that died with no surviving family members, oldest first.”

The computer said, “There are six Asian, female, infant deaths in Chicago, Illinois, . .  .”

Alice interrupted, “Yes, yes, computer, show the obituary of the oldest.” 

The computer displayed the first death; and, Alice began to read. “The whole family in an apartment building fire: Samuel Chu, Susan Chu and Silvia Chu a husband, wife and 5-month-old baby girl.  No surviving family of any of the victims. Recent immigrants, green cards, child citizen.”  She made notes in her facsimile notebook and said, “Computer, show me Silvia Chu’s birth certificate from March, 1978 in Cook County Hospital.”

The computer replied, “I am displaying Silvia Chu’s birth certificate from the State of Illinois vital records.”

Alice made more notes, in particular the file number and date filed.  She then asked, “Computer now Computer show me Asian female infant death notices in the Chicago, Illinois, United Sates of America for 2005 to 2007 who died leaving no surviving family members.”

The computer displayed one and Alice took notes on her notebook facsimile with her pencil facsimile.


About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
This entry was posted in fiction, photographs, weather, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Yesterday was a Beautiful Day & 8th in the Agent Amanda Story:

  1. beetleypete says:

    A real feast of cloud photos there, Theo. The second one with the reflections looks amazing.
    I don’t mind the long intro to Alice. It helps to fix her in the mind.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      As you could well imagine, I could barely contain myself with so many clouds to photograph and so little time. 30 years ago, when someone asked me why I wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest, I tried to explain, that if one wanted great photographs, one only had to click the shutter no matter what direction one’s lens was pointed and the results would be spectacular. Yesterday was just like that.
      The comment on Alice is appreciated.
      Again, be sure to wish Ollie a Happy Birthday for me.
      Warmest regards, Theo


  2. Lovely photo’s, I especially like the last two. I too don’t mind the long intro to Alice, this is a new place and time for us to get familiar with. I’m still not warming to her, 🙂 and look forward to catching up with the characters from Amanda 7 when you’re ready to bring them back into the mix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      I like the second to the last best, myself. There is something about a naturally framed shot.
      You comment on Alice is appreciated; I have been using her to explore what up-line from here (AKA, A future) looks like. I am trying not to make her the epitome of evil. She is going to meet one of the Amada7 minor characters in a forthcoming episode. Patience, my friend. Patience.
      Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      I am sure you could do it standing on your head. But, don’t, for there are so many more interesting things on can do than that while waiting.
      Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😊 I have been thinking that you must not wonder to your readers for opinions on how the book should go. This is your story, and only you know how it should pan out. Don’t think about who’s reading, just tell the story how it is in your head. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      As I write the story and move from one thing to another, you are right. Actually, the characters do take over. Since I have written all the Alice martial required to make the rest of the story what it is, that part of the story is already done by the writer. Having finished this segment, I do wonder if a slightly different organization might be in order later when the book goes into first and second edit before the final proof read. I am wondering if interspersing the rest of the story with the sections of Alice might be a better approach? (More like the organization of Amanda7.) I will not know until the story is finished. In a sense, I am getting ahead of myself by looking that far into the future. But, having said, that, whom better to ask?
      Again, thank you. Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddy Winko says:

    Clouds and reflections, I need to build a pond!
    The story is going well, as you say you are building a picture of the future which will all come into play later and that’s fine by me. Just enough information for us (the reader) to try and second guess the plot so that you can then confound us all later, sound like a good formula to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      Sometime in the near future, I will find a photo that was taken using a mud puddle as the reflector and send it to you. Yes, a pond would serve well, but you might get along with a strategically located mudpuddle.
      Thanks again for your comments.
      Warmest regards, Ed


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s