Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Sharp Cut

I am thrilled that my poem "The Sharp Cut" was chosen by Northern Narratives for publication in Issue 6! It touches on a feeling that has only pierced deeper with the passing of the years. 

 


 The Sharp Cut

 

 “The children who swallow the star are the poets—

like Yeats or Tolkien—who become wanderers 

between two worlds.”–Colin Wilson

 

 I throw these words out

like ground-down diamond dust

for all the children who once

gleefully gulped star beams,

and yet now find their shadows

time-bound, stretching far and away

into grown-up bones and days

where worn skin barely holds heart

inside anymore—

Just don’t forget

the sharp cut of clean rays

across the glad blue of you, or the slide

of starlight through dark and dreams

thick with possibility and the rich

twinkle of questions

once—

You dared to ask the universe.

*If you can still wonder,

you may wander

yet again.

 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Lessons from the Iris

I hope I may bloom like the Iris one day. They grow straight and sleek as blades cutting towards the sky. My favorite flower only blossoms for a few stray weeks in the summer, but oh, what showy diadems they bare under blue airs! Fragile and fleeting and utterly worth every hour it takes to grow and mature into something that defies gravity with beauty. 

Many years ago, I hoped to burst into unyielding incandescence. But now, I bide my time and grow in the soft dark of my dreams, ever so slowly constructing a transient tiara of ink and pages. 


One day, perhaps I will have a coronet of petals to share in the light, too.




Saturday, July 23, 2022

Unexpected Flowers

Unexpected flowers are the best! My little African Violet, which a fellow writer friend gave me over a year ago, surprised me with showy petals this July. I think that petals can be like pages, too ... such stelliferous secrets furled in both syllables and hue! 





Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Poetic Musings and Moonlight

 A poetry free write . . .



 Shadow Maide

Oh, there’s a girl grown gaunt with dreams—

she fed too long on wishful things

made of airy wings of gossamer,

with no meat or bone or blood

to sustain her wistful frame.

Now the daystar blazes

too bright for her face,

and even the moon

calling her name 

with silvern rays

burns like

shadows

on fire.

 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Falling Stars

Sometimes falling stars are hard to catch! 

I'm meandering along through my Agent Regalia draft, and I know I probably won't be done until the end of the year. But I'm having fun with my ink again! The storyteller in me has recovered a handful of sparkles from the dust.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Visualizing the Scene

I am still slogging through my first draft of Agent Regalia, so I made something fun with ACNH to inspire me . . . 

The scariest scene from chapter three! What do you think is happening?

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Starbeam

I read a poem recently about starlight, and how much we admire its twinkle and shine, but sometimes we forget just how long and far it took that little slant of brightness to reach us. A journey not unlike the process of creativity and revisions and storytelling. A single little spark flares in the dark, and casts its beams across the void!

But sometimes, that void seems . . . endless. I doubt my ink. Even so, I try to spark a scintilla. And I must thank the random reader who bought a paperback copy of A Fair Account of the Traitors Snow White and Rose Red this month. I sincerely hope you enjoy the read! May it bring you a tiny ember of enjoyment in a world that has always spun in the dark.

I shall finish with a simple poem I wrote probably 20 years ago . . . it held such joy, and I feel that echo still.

Star Pins

When the colors

Fluid, flowing

Cross the heavens

Spilling, going

When the mountains

Stain the sun, and

The daylight comes undone

Then my heart

Is free in delight

Glad for sapphires

Pinned up at

Night.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Gearing up for SFFpit!

On Thursday, the #SFFpit Twitter pitching contest begins! I've decided to participate this year and will be sharing ten pitches for my MG SF verse novel, Bad Species.

I will parcel out one tweetable story bite per hour from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time. I would love any suggestions for improvement before then:

1. Pearl can’t escape the bygone bluster of blue sky humans who want her to care about their lost world. But born under Azuride’s green skies, she dares to dream of a future free of the ghost stories of a planet utterly alien to her: Earth.

2. Forget Earth. I don’t need some imaginary homeland, I’m here already I’m not wrong-born! But I wish those who sprang from this planet first didn’t reject all I am for the tell-tale traces of a different star I can’t hide inside my red, iron-rich blood.

3. Descended from the shipwrecked survivors of the Marie Antoinette, Pearl’s always taken pride in her heritage as the captain’s granddaughter. But faded grandeur won't change her future when humans have lost the stars and can only muck in blue mines.

4. Bad Species pursues a friendship never meant to exist between a human girl born millions of light years from the stolen world of her ancestors, and a boy from another planet who finds their chance alien encounter worth every danger.

5. Bad Species captures the end of human heart and mind with the loss of our mother body, Earth, through a 13 year old girl’s struggle to find her place on a hostile world where she can never be anything but alien trash.

6. Bad Species explores a girl’s journey to heal her family’s wounds and escape the gravity of planetary loss: “Sometimes, I pick a tiny blue star in the night sky and pretend it is Earth, praying for her mutilated ghost to find peace in the black.”

7. On her 13th birthday, Pearl discovers a forbidden heritage when she sneaks into the HIE Dome: the Human Immersive Exhibit, a museum filled with the last artifacts of her species. After she dares to steal a scrap back, she sparks a tiny rebellion.

8. Are we still human if we take all our human things away? Pearl’s name holds a tiny grit of dirt to remind her of Earth, but sometimes not even that is enough to salvage her worth when she can only be an “offborn” trespasser on her birth world, Azuride.

9. Inspired by the doomed voyage of Harry Martinson’s Aniara, Bad Species follows passengers who survive the void only for their children to risk losing everything. When each generation has less hope for survival, what kind of person do you become?

10. Bad Species chases a girl’s lethal wish for freedom on her 13th birthday: “My blood churns wild and raw inside me as I make it to the captain’s chair first—what is this energy, vast as starlight? I almost feel like a blue sky human: Invincible.”




Sunday, February 6, 2022

Review: The Brain's Lectionary by Elizabeth Pinborough

My friendship with Elizabeth Pinborough began when we first met in a poetry class in our undergraduate college years. Our love of the written word later blossomed into Young Ravens Literary Review, an online venture we have co-edited together for fifteen issues now! I am very pleased to offer my own little review of her recent poetry collection, The Brain’s Lectionary: Psalms and Observations.  

Pinborough takes the reader on a transformative journey through her experience with a traumatic brain injury, and the long road towards healing and a new understanding of herself. She reveals the deep yet delicate anguish of her harsh reality on the raw edge of her opening declaration, “I do not want to look at the beautiful things of the world with damaged eyes” (2). In each poem, she loops the shimmering beads of a broken necklace of dreams and lost expectations into sentences, carefully restructuring the pieces into new and exquisite patterns like “laminated pearl with memory” (45). While acknowledging the bitterness of her body’s impaired capacities, she also urges kindness towards her physical frame in “Today, be gentle,” reminding herself, “She has brought you here, by whatever means necessary” (21). For what cannot be wholly recovered, can still be wondrously reclaimed. As Pinborough meditates in “Perhaps my brain is a star,” life continues to evolve beyond wild borders: “Endless, quaking, scintillating with beingness, light and mind—consciousness—I am cosmos talking to herself” (14).

 

 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

The Secret Squeakoid Society (An ACNH Inspired Adventure)

Presenting Something Supremely Silly...in which I dabble in ACNH fanfiction because gyroids are awesome!

The Secret Squeakoid Society

At midnight, when the almighty island resident had finally logged off her cyber kingdom, the four squeakoids of Mirage stole away from their designated posts. Mr. Salutations, Lady Pinkerton, Squeaksalot and Waverly assembled in the heart of the rock garden for their usual secret meeting.

 “Why does the Brewstoid get all the squeaking glory?” Mr. Salutations grumbled. “I greet the visitors at the airport, so you’d think I’d get a stately seat to park my keister. But no, Tiny B gets a plush velvet stool and an entire cafĂ© with his own owl-faced cookies right next to the fashionable Able Sisters. Me, I don’t even get a proper furniture item! I have to sit atop a  . . . a squeaktacular bug crate (species: monarch butterfly).” His head fronds shook with the sheer humiliation of the situation. “Even a simple Zen cushion would be more dignified!”

 “It’s really not that bad,” Waverly said. “I think Mistress Ellabelle meant for your post to be whimsical. Like, welcome to the isle of wings and a thousand wishful things—”

“Oh squeak off,” Mr. Salutations interrupted. “At least you’ve got your own karaoke corner in a prime location by Resident Services with proportional adorbs factor: a desktop mic just your height, and an adjacent cute radio with a customized dance tile to lure in villagers to sing with you.”

 “I know, right?” Waverly preened with a toss of her rainbow head fronds. “I’m super squeaktastical! Although, it would be nice if I had some stage lights—”

 “Pipe down, you two.” Lady Pinkerton raised a squeak of her own. “If anyone should squee their displeasure, it’s me. I’m just a pink wall accessory in a pink cherry blossom room all a-glow with PINK star garland lighting.” Her head fronds shuddered. “I all but bleeeend away into a sickening pink oblivion . . .“

Mr. Salutations reached out a consoling hand blob and patted her on the back. “We’re practically invisible, aren’t we?”  

“Nah,” Squeaksalot objected. “You guys just need to amp your squeak up to max RAWR! Look at me: I sit in the middle of a vegetable plot. I’m half-hidden by sugar cane and tomatoes, but I don’t let that stop me from guarding the cyberveggies of Mirage with totally squeaksome terror. Gotta keep that dang diglett Mr. Resetti out of the potatoes, the sneaky bunny garden decorations out of the carrots, and the illuminated deer herds? Out of everything else. Get my squeak, squeakums?”  

Mr. Salutations chuckled darkly. “I like your style. Maybe it is time for a little rawr of rebellion! We need to make the Island Resident listen to our grievances. What if we bury pitfall seeds all around Mistress Ellabelle’s house? Get her stuck in a squiggle loop in the dirt until she surrenders, and bestows us all with swanky velvet stools!”

Waverly rolled her head fronds in derision. “Don’t be such a squebe, or Mistress Ellabelle might think the game is glitching and reset it.”

“There are far better ways to achieve our goal,” Lady Pinkerton admonished the squickering pair. “I heard that Mistress Ellabelle desperately wants to win a dream tour with the renowned YouTuber, Britney of Bonsai Bay or some-such. If we sabotage the island—a dropped item here, maybe an extra stick there—it won’t be long before Mirage loses its precious five star rating.”        

Waverly gasped. “But . . . if our isle drops to four stars, the Lilies of the Valley won’t sprout anymore.”

 “Squeakzactly,” Lady Pinkteron said, her aura pinkening with a nefarious blush.

 “M’lady, you’re squilliant!” Mr. Salutations said. “If we pick up all the seashells and then drop them back on the shoreline, they will count as dropped items against the 5 star rating. But I doubt Mistress Ellabelle will ever guess that the shells have been tampered with—squee-hee-hee-ha!”

“What’s in your little squebellion for me?” Squeaksalot demanded. “If I help you, do you think Mistress Ellabelle might reassign Redd’s pirate cannon to the garden plot?” He struck a fierce squigglesome pose. “Then I can blow any intruders clear off the farm!”

Waverly cleared her throat with a tiny trill. “And, do you think I might ask about that stage lighting?”

“Of course—follow my lead, and we shall acquire everything our mysterious gyroid hearts desire,” Lady Pinkerton assured her fellow squeakoids. “Meeting adjourned.” 

Current Dream Code:

DA-6664-4756-9470