Tag Archives: challenge

Pi Day Challenge

14 Mar

Happy Pi Day, lovely readers! A late pi day, to be sure. Now readers, I’ve got a challenge for you all!

Let me first introduce you to an amazing magazine called Fireside. It’s a crowd-funded fiction production that states its mission as “finding and publishing great storytelling regardless of genre, and fair pay for creators.”

Both of which are awesome goals. Espeeeecially that second one, about fair pay for creators. The forces behind Fireside are writers and artists and musicians themselves, the lovely kind that understand the financial shit that most creators have to put up with. They’re in it themselves, really. So they want to pay their contributors as well as they can.

And they’ve got some friggin ridiculous quality contributors! Chuck Wending contributes short stories, Lucas J.W. Johnson is giving out copies of his experimental fiction and music project as one of the perks, Hugo-winner Galen Dara is the magazine’s illustrator… seriously, it’s a giant compendium of artistic greatness.

But… if it’s not successfully funded, the magazine won’t run this year. AND I WOULD REALLY LIKE FOR IT TO RUN THIS YEAR. You know. Just a little.

So, I’m beseeching all you readers to help with a challenge. It’s pi day. Let’s celebrate! I want to see the number of backers that Fireside‘s got go up from the 208 it has as I write this post to 314 (get it, 314, like 3.14, for pi? eh? eh?). And I want to see that happen within the next 24 hours.

We can do it! This is the internet! The massive force of world culture! It only takes $2 to become a Fireside backer. That’s less than the cost of a latte. I really, really hope we can get 106 people to pledge $2 for cultural goodness.

And, beyond the awesomeness of being that much closer to another year of Fireside, I’ll add to the perks too! If we get up to 314 donors within the next 24 hours (so we’ll say 9pm PST on Saturday), I’ll release a cool little poem that I wrote for pi day and that’s been all artsy-ed up right here on my blog. MORE POEMS FOR FREE WEEEEEEEE!!!!!

If you do go and back Fireside but we don’t get up to 314 donors, I’ll email ya the pretty little ditty. If you comment below with your email address or email me with it. Honor code, people. No saying you donated when you didn’t. Doing that would make you a shitty person and I wouldn’t like you in real life. So. You should just go give Fireside $2 to earn a poem and my good favor. And then share! Ask your friends, your family, your coworkers that you only talk to for a very awkward minute while you’re both in the elevator! Do it! DO IT!

become a Fireside backer here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/firesidemag/fireside-magazine-year-3

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One Thing, Ten Ways

28 Feb

Alrighty, folks. I follow this famous writerly person called Chuck Wending, which means that I get about half a billion blog posts from him filling up my inbox every day. It’s pretty good, actually. Wending has added half a dozen books to my oh-god-please-just-read-me-already list, and his, uh, spritely writing style constantly challenges me to make sure mine is adequately colorful.

Anyhoo, every week Wending hosts a challenge of his own – usually in the form of a flash fiction topic, but this week, as an assignment to take one thing and describe it ten ways. Abstract ways, concrete ways, literal and figurative ways. All that jazz.

So. I figured I’d describe something that I know pretty damn (read: way too fucking) well: depression.

I know, sounds like a depressing topic, right? Depression sounds like it’d be pretty depressing. I mean, I think that’s why they call it that. But… well, depression has been with me for a long while, and it’s a beast I well know the shape of. It’s a terrible beast – but I’ve learned from the best of books (the ones like Harry Potter and the Young Wizard Series) that if you can describe something, you have power over it. Why do you think the best of magic is always done with words?

And so if I must keep this bedraggled familiar in check, at least I can do it eloquently.

So. Here goes. Depression is…

  1. Hopelessness, helplessness, soulessness, joylessness – all those “lessnesses” that come in the form of deceptively paltry checkboxed lines on a psychiatrist’s diagnostic sheet.
  2. A searing pain felt in hot tears down cheeks and a throbbing throat and a chest that’s constricted and convulsed with crying.
  3. Nothing. Nothing at all. Numbness, listlessness, a-motivation. An inexorable annihilation of being that turns a person into glass eyes and an empty shell.
  4. The point of last resort – self-harm, eating disorders, suicide, all those co-morbidities of depression arise not as a wall of rock bottom but as a desperate attempt to tunnel back out. Sometimes you shut the door behind you.
  5. A paradoxical battle in which there are no sides. It’s not an I against the world, an I against a villain, an I against a situation. It is an I against an I. Not even two clear-cut sides tearing a someone down the middle; a confused and blurred raging that smashes everything together and leaves nothing whole.
  6. A murderer, plain and simple.
  7. Not a fault, not a choice, not a mistake of the patient. Ever.
  8. Incredibly mis- and mal-understood.
  9. A broken brain; a disconnection between know and feel; a mis-firing, bad wiring; a nontraditional way of processing neurochemicals and pharmaceuticals aimed to fix them; a bastard to consistently properly medicate.
  10. A demon that yet an angel can make, in more ways than one, and likely more ways than ten. But that, I suppose, is for another description.