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Week 6 Lab Microfiction: The Astronaut and the Bombs

6 Word Story: "Where's my tether?" said the astronaut.

25 Word Story: When he left the city, he wasn't the same man anymore. Actually...nobody still alive was the same anymore. Atomic radiation can change a person. 

Author's Note: Wow, six-word stories are hard. I looked up some examples and was blown away by the creativity that people displayed in their six-word versions. However, I actually think that reading some examples made it harder to come up with a novel idea. Also, given the themes of my last microfiction, I really wanted to avoid anything depressing sounding. Which, unfortunately, is what many microfictions center around. If I had to give some inspiration for this story, I guess I'd credit the movie Gravity just for the whole drifting away in space idea. The 25-word story was a little more fun and easy to write given the latitude I had. I wanted to try and build the story backward, suggesting an ending and then letting the reader imagine the events…
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Just Sit Under the Tree Man || Reading Notes: The Life of Buddha Part B

And boom! You're the Buddha! Or a Buddha? Were there more before?Siddhartha has a son and wife when he leaves.While he is destined to become the Buddha from birth, it still seems strange (in relevance to other religions) that he does not begin his true search for truth until he is a full-grown adult.The fact that he marries and has a kid is also a deviation from most other messianic figures from other religions.Siddhartha tells the horse Kanthaka that he is a magnificent animal and that his reward is one day coming. But the Kanthaka just dies?I find it interesting that Chandaka was not really punished in any way for failing to keep the prince in the palace."...mortifications in this world are followed by gratifications in the next, and thus the reward of piety is impiety."I think that this is a very powerful line. What is the point of piety in this life if your goal is to be impious in the next?"If, to be sanctified, it is enough simply to be abstemious, then the d…

When You're Such a Cute Baby... || Reading Notes: The Life of Buddha Part A

That your mother literally dies of joy...It is interesting that the kind of peace and happiness that the Buddha was known for bringing later in life sort of seems to happen to his parents before he is even born.Healing miracles performed by Queen Maya. Similar in some aspects to the miracles of Jesus in Christianity, though several hundred years before,Easiest. Birth. Ever.Sometimes with these "Birth of Savior" stories, there is a reason that a savior is born at a specific time. Is there a specific reason that the Buddha was born when he was? Did the gods have some specific plan?Since the gods pay tribute to Buddha like he is a god himself (or something greater), did they decide when the Buddha would be born? Or did he "decide"?The language kind of suggests that the Buddha determined his own parents so why not also his time of birth?Was he born because of his parents? They are said to be very generous or with great virtue. Did the Buddha decide to be born because …

Week 5: The Eighth Voyage

As you know, I had resolved to never go to sea again.

My terrible fortune at sea and the hardships that I endured after my last voyage guaranteed that I would not find the prospect of a water voyage appealing again.

However, I had not been home in Bagdad for more than two years when I felt the pull of adventure calling me again. Disdaining to travel by boat, I instead put together a caravan with wonderous goods from my own stores and set out with many other traders whom I knew.

We did a brisk trade all the way to the Indies, growing richer and richer as we traveled. But alas! On our return to Bagdad, we were set upon by bandits.

Half a dozen of our caravan lay dead before we surrendered. When at last we gave in to our captors, we were bound hands and legs and left upon the desert while the bandits drove our horses and camels away.

Sprawled on the desert floor, I cursed my wanderlust. We wept at our misfortune and thrashed about, desperate to loosen our bindings. The heat of the desert…