Monthly Archives: November 2011

Just entered a 600 word short story contest

Hi! Just as the title reads, I just entered a 600 word short story contest on Lulu. So just for my readers and followers, I’m going to post my entry on this website. Read it here, and post a review. Thanks a bunch!

“A Flight-weary Mouse” by Steven White

On his way home from Kitty Hawk, Buttermouse, as he came to be called because of his butterfly-wing-shaped ears, is blown off course by one of the nastiest storms he had ever seen. It had been hours since he’d seen land, and he suspected he was lost somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. “If I only had a compass,” he thought.

 Tired and thirsty from thrashing about the skies and struggling against the storm, the flying mouse was beginning to believe that the balance of his existence could be measured in minutes.

 And then suddenly, Buttermouse’s ears began to hurt from a deafening sound that seemed a thousand times louder than the storm’s worst burst of thunder. At that instant, he momentarily seemed to be frozen in time and space, and the sky opened up in front of him in the form of a gaping hole. It was as if the entire universe began to churn, trapping him in its gravitational pull. Simultaneously, the immediate world around him transformed into an egg-shaped region of distorted space, and not unlike a celestial black hole, the dark core of the opening began to swirl and rotate, pulling everything in its grip to the center of the cavernous break in the sky – including the flight-weary mouse.

 “This is impossible!” Buttermouse shrieked as the blackness swallowed him whole. 

 To resist the wormhole’s pull was useless, Buttermouse thought, so he braced himself for an uncertain landing on the other side – he hoped. As he faded from the real world’s view, all visible light vanished with him. Truly, the force was so great that even light could not escape.

 Then, as quickly as the wormhole appeared, dispelling all myths about black holes or wormholes in space-time, the unpredictable marvel spat Buttermouse out the other side into what must have been another dimension, or perhaps another time in history.

 As the rodent regained his balance and orientation in the new world, an image began to take shape over the distant, foggy horizon. The closer Buttermouse flew to the figure, the clearer it became. Unfortunately, the clearness of vision was in direct proportion to an uneasy feeling creeping into his thoughts. There was something very strange about the object before him.

 A dark misty cloud hovering above the heights aided the deception, giving the air of a thing uncanny, unwholesome, and dangerous. But whatever the object was, Buttermouse had to find a place to rest his ears – lest he become fish food.

 The ocean phenomenon baffled Buttermouse’s fatigue-ridden intellect. He wondered if the strange cloud above the mysterious thing was a carrier of moisture. Often, the wind would drive away the mysterious cloud, only to be pushed or pulled back together with a howling of air that sounded like lost souls or demons.

 Buttermouse didn’t know what to do. “I must find a place to rest!” he said to himself. “I have to keep flying toward that thing in the water.”

 Swallowing his fears, he made a beeline for the mysterious thing, until finally, the vision before him became crystal clear. “It’s a pirate ship!” he shouted.

 The heyday of pirates was supposed to be a thing from the past, but when Buttermouse saw the Jolly Roger at the top of the ship’s mainmast, he thought to himself that he was either dreaming, or he had traveled back in time. But it made no difference – the ship was there.

 Only time would tell if he could survive life on board the Sails of Plunder!

Copyright © 2011 Steven R. White

All rights reserved.

3 Comments

Filed under Author updates, Steven's posts

Five sure ways to improve your chances of winning

What are the best ways to win a tennis match?  What do you need to achieve?  If you want a workout, thats one thing, but if you have multiple matches in a day, then conserving energy is very important especially for the junior player who may have two matches in a day, or the league player who drives from this match, to that one. 

1. Over Power your opponent.   If you can overpower your opponent, then do it!   Hit the big serve, get the short ball, stay in control of the point then hit the winner.    When NOT to do try this:  A. When you have two errors for every winner or more.  B. When your opponent is not phased by your power.  C. When your opponent loves the pace and counterpunches you. D. When the opponent is more powerful than you.

 2. Pressure your opponent into errors – Come to the net, move the opponent around on the court with shot combinations, deep short, side to side, high/low, fast/slow, much spin/less spin etc.    This is smarter than #1, but might take longer.  Do not do this, when you are playing someone who feeds of your creativity and then becomes more creative themselves.  Some players love to counterpunch against crafty players.  

 3. Disrupt the Rhythm of your opponent – Similar to #2, but with the intent of finding out what your opponents favorite ball is and never giving it to them.  I have seen many players with inferior technique and athleticism defeat stronger more technically proficient players by never hitting two shots the same and completely discombobulating them.   

 4. Take Time Away from your opponent – When they are at the net, lob.   Whenever they hit short, come to net.  If they are a baseliner only, bring them in on your terms.   If they love the net, bring them in on your terms.   When you intentionally hit very short and to the side, it brings the opponent forward in a zig zag pattern instead of coming straight in to the net, they also come in off balance if you hit short enough.

 5. Grind it out –  This is the WORST way to win. Sometimes you are off your game, and it all comes down to will to win.  Run everything down, hit it back the way it came or crosscourt, keep it deep as possible and just wait for your opponent to miss.   Of course, be sure not to throw in a bunch of errors, and you better be more fit than your opponent, because if you are not, then they will grind you out.  

P.S.  There must be more ways to win.

3 Comments

Filed under Steven's posts, Tennis tips