Fascinating courtly intrigue and bloody power games set on a generation ship full of secrets―Medusa Uploaded is an imaginative, intense mystery about family dramas and ancient technologies whose influence reverberates across the stars. Disturbing, exciting, and frankly kind of mind-blowing.” ―Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Michael's Chronicles: You're Just Making Up Words

Michael Thiele is a woodsmith who makes musical instruments and playable furniture. He spends most of his life either in the shop or out on the road buying wood and selling his work at craft shows. In recent years, his travels have begun to inspire his own writing, so he sends me his thoughts.

You're Just Making Up Words

“You’re just making up words.”

I looked up and then down to catch where the voice was coming from. Kid voice. Figured. Girl. Little girl. Maybe six. This sort of thing never works for me. Never. Leave it to a little female to call me on my B.S. But I’m a guy, right? I can’t let this stand. Gotta respond.

So I was at the Brookside Art Annual yesterday, midafternoon when the midget showed up with her mom. I barely noticed. Pretty good crowd in front of my booth. First thing she said was, “How did you figure out how to make that sound?”

Not looking up I simply said, “I’m skilldy” I kept playing my creations figuring that comment would suffice. Someone asked me how my instruments work and I went about explaining it. Some lady asked how I figured out how to tune wood and, tapping my right index finger on my right temple I said, “I brainerized it.” The lady and some other adults laughed and waited for the real explanation.

“You’re just making up words,” blurted out the girl sucking all the fun out of the moment. I had to recover.

“Really. What makes you say that.”

“Cause burnerized (butchering what I had said) isn’t a word is it Mommy,” looking to the mom for support. Mom looked away just leaving me hanging. Thank you mom.

The little attack dog dug in.

“You can’t just make up words, you know.”

“Who says?”

“My teacher. She says words matter. You have to use real words.”

“Like twerp,?” I thought under my breath. But what I really said was, “All my words are real because they’re all full of letters.” She cocked her head and scrunched her nose, glancing again toward mom for support. Not catching mom’s attention, she looked back at me and said nothing but slowly rotated her head side to side indicating “Nope, you’re wrong and I know it.” She left.

All my statements include words. What’s the big deal here? 

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