Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yesterday's Drabble

Why even pretend anymore? I didn't post this because I am lazy and distractable.
Nothing reminds me of my childhood as much as the song of the mourning dove: Coo-ee-coo-coo-coo. Doves were as common as crows and noisier in the twilight hours. It always sounded not like a mournful wail but a lonely whistle – there were birds in my parents’ backyard that cried like children, but the mourning dove was the sound of wind through a flute; empty, sweet, and alone.

Now, its longing call, through the gray mist of memory, reminds me that I am no longer a child.

Coo-ee-coo-coo-coo; you have left.

Coo-ee-coo-coo-coo; you can never go back.

Coo-ee-coo-coo-coo; it is gone.
I have discovered that I cannot write my short story without reading some more Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and possibly that I should read Frankenstein, The Island of Dr Moreau, and The Moonstone as well. This whole trying-a-different-style thing is interesting. And non-trivial. Next step: download an anthology onto the Kindle.

So, it will be a while (especially when the next quarter starts and, again, I drop off the face of the planet).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Drabble: This time, with the same number of words.

I know immediately the flowers aren’t for me. No one sends me flowers. The only occasion upon which I have ever received a bouquet was my twenty-first birthday; a bottle of champagne nestled in a small yellow, white and pink arrangement. When someone wants to please me – when I need to cheer myself up - a used book store is a better bet. So the vase squatting at my doorstep cannot be mine.

But I don’t know who, or where, the rightful recipient is, and so I indulge in a brief, harmless fantasy.

And throw away the card, strangely guilty.
There's another one in my head. Perhaps that one will be tomorrow! Or perhaps (gasp) I'll actually write a full-out short story. I have the recipe for one: a first line, a premise, and an idea for a plot.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

OMG Bioperl!

So, I've been doing a lot of thinking and have not had much time to actually put any of that thought into action. I have two short stories that I swear I'll sit down and write... sometime. I'm thinking spring break, which fortunately enough starts oh-so-soon (by which I mean, basically, Tuesday).

BUT, what I have been doing is programming in Perl. Specifically, bending those wanton BioPerl modules to my will. And I am (fairly ridiculously) proud of the output, so you all get to see it. I think it's pretty darn beautiful, if I do say so myself. Once I figured out how to print anything in an image, the rest of it was fairly straightforward (surprisingly, since it took me basically a full day to find a server I could run my script on and get it to print anything even close to what I wanted). The overlay at the bottom took me quite a bit of puzzling to figure out, because online there were three tutorials that described ways to do it (none of which worked, of course), and because the parts of BioPerl that our instructor even vaguely went over were all "here's how you download a sequence" and "here's how you find enzyme digest sites on that sequence" and not "here's how you output a picture".

Next quarter: Computer Analysis of Biological Images, in Java! I will learn how to deal with the data I was getting last year; all those pictures of nuclei I dreamed about. And given that my favorite parts of this quarter have been learning Perl, I think it's fitting that I'm now taking a class in Java. I'm pretty excited, but I predict that my friends will not be in that class, since they (by and large) did not enjoy Perl nearly as much as I did. Which is sad. *sigh*