Tag Archives: fiction

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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A Dying Dreamland

17 Oct

dreamland 1

I think I have forgotten how to dream. There is a dead and dullness in me that can provide no spark for the shell of my imagination. My soul has gone silent, weary.

When I lay down at night, my head is filled with the noise of the words I was meant to think during the day, when only the repetitive, solid clunk of sandpaper phrases like “job search” and “paying rent” were heard instead, because no matter how I try, I do not have time to sit and think. Not when there are textbook chapters from a week ago to be read. Not when there is neurology homework to complete. Not when I woke up too early, stayed up too late, been too sick and too tired for too long and my brain is too slumped from fighting itself or too hazy from illness. Not when there’s always one more thing to get done.

I am empty. I have written myself – what more can I do? I have faced the truth of myself, found the cathartic relief, the cathartic release of turning myself into words. I have written my pain and written my cracks and written the rawest understanding that I have of myself. I have written my memoir. I have written my truth. Now, all else feels a sham.

I have always been too much in my characters. My heroines, they are vessels of my dreams set out upon a sea of words. They are the stories I could not tell in my life, the adventures, the happily ever after. They were the stitches for wounds I had no other way to heal.

But it was all subconscious before. Sure, to some extent I knew I had been projected into my characters, but now – there is an awkward consciousness that what I am trying to write is just one more shadow.

Do I have no more dreams? Every time I set my mind wandering, the worlds all feel thin and shabbily built. Nothing feels like a good enough premise. Nothing feels good enough to be made real.

And so I toss the frail wisp of narrative away and watch it drift off, flimsy and sticky on the wind of being forgotten.

There is a ghost of a girl mourning within me. She holds a pen. She thinks that I have forgotten how to dream.

The Dowager Queen

1 Aug

dowager queen

She was the dowager queen, they said,
never married at all but once.
But I have seen the wrinkles in her eyes
and know they are faded
far beyond the skin of time.

Boys will be fair, she said one day
while I sat at her knee,
and men may be kind,
but life is cruel
and in the end a heart can break
more than once.

I looked up at her,
the questions in my eyes,
and for once
there was no disguise
for the pain behind the laugh lines
and the crow’s feet
and the bags
that so often escape the notice
of those who do not look for life’s weight.

 
She smiled,
the only cruel mockery
time had left her
of a once whole heart,
shook her head,
and sighed.

 
In the end they will disappoint you, my dear,
the lovers, the suitors, the husbands, the friends.
They will murmur sweet words
while they lay in your bed
but the days always come
when the dream will end,
and you will be left
with the scent on your pillow
and nothing but the excuse of their lips.
And even should the sweetest stay,
in the end this world will have its way
and the lips will turn cold
even if the heart does not –
and time will do a man’s job for him
should he refuse.
If he does not leave,
then he will be taken.

 
I raised my face to protest
but there was nothing to say,
not when the dowager looked that way.
Not with the memories tearing through her eyes
and ripping across her face,
her old, veined hands trembling,
held by a thousand ghosts.

 
They say the dowager was only married but once.
But I,
I say that she has been married forever –
or not at all.