#1703

Much to my delight and surprise, Garrett Ray Harriman of Short4orm nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I have no idea what that actually means, but I like awards and I sure like Garrett’s superb writing. Now, normally I don’t take part in the blog award posts because I use my blog as a way to keep track of how much I’ve written, and non-writy things throw off the count, but I thought of a way around that… I’ll answer Garrett’s questions in the form of haiku! Then this post still counts as creative writing, right?

sunshine-blogger-award

Apparently, for the Sunshine Blogger Award, the nominator asks 11 questions of their nominees. Nominees answer said questions, then choose 5 of their own nominees for the award (nominator excluded) and create 11 new questions to ask. Haiku not required (though encouraged by me!). Answers below, and then my nominees and their questions.

  1. How would you describe your sense of humor?

    I could have written
    Cards Against Humanity
    (though fewer sex jokes)

  2. Who are your writer heroes?

    Bradbury, foremost
    Kushner and Koja, of course
    Zelazny as well

  3. How do you define fear?

    something you can’t face
    be it monster or person
    for lack of control

  4. How do you define courage?

    something you still face
    despite fear, anxiety
    even if you’ll lose

  5. What was the first piece you wrote that moved you?

    “How to Train Your Cat”
    written at six; years later
    laughed until I cried

  6. What musical instrument would you be and why?

    maybe a sistrum
    Bast’s beloved instrument
    makes a joyous sound

  7. What is your favorite dessert?

    fresh baked rhubarb pie
    perhaps a bit of whipped cream
    and the perfect crust

  8. Second-best use for books besides reading them? (doorstop, projectile, etc.)

    build a fort of books
    with a blanket for the top
    hide from adulthood

  9. What do you do about procrastination?

    left this one for last
    I don’t have a great answer
    put off, then push through

  10. Favorite superhero that hasn’t been created yet?

    Crazy Cat Lady!
    she’s not really crazy, just
    rescues cats in need

  11. Question you wish I’d asked you?

    what book made you wish
    you had written it this year?
    I’d say Bel Canto

For my own nominees, I tag ContagiousQueer (for your thoughtful social justice posts), ThingsMatter (because I think you love this sort of stuff), Days of Stone (for your beautiful poetry), AlicePan (because I HATE YOU (jk love you)), and Bad Poem a Day (because you might actually do the haiku thing). No worries if any of you don’t want to participate, though.

And my new set of questions…

  1. Favorite flavor of tea (or other drink of your choice, if you don’t drink tea)?
  2. What mythical creature would you want as a companion/pet?
  3. Favorite supervillain that hasn’t been created yet?
  4. What food did you love as a kid but hate now?
  5. What movie do you think is overrated?
  6. If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be and why?
  7. What does your blog/username mean and why did you choose it?
  8. What song do you hate to love?
  9. Is there a fictional character you wish you had created? If so, who and why?
  10. Do you name your electronics? What are their names?
  11. Favorite god or goddess?

#1702

This summer will mark fifteen years that I have acted as scribe for Tanim and Daren. I still don’t know what to call them; are they ghosts who wish to be gods, or gods who wish to be ghosts? Remnants or fragments or the only true story, the one true mythology? Whatever they are, men and spirits and gods and demons, I have given every aspect of myself to them. Body, mind, heart, and soul. If the red string of fate truly exists, then it binds me as surely as a collar and manacles for which there is no key. I am a willing captive, though, honored to have been chosen by these forces who could once have haunted the great masters of literature and music. There is nothing else like them in all the world, in all of history. There is only one Lord Sun, only one Prince Moon, and I bow to them as scribe and devotee. No other will walk this path; it is mine alone, through darkness and light, fire and ice. It is mine alone, until my last breath – and perhaps beyond.

#1690

Sometimes I wonder if the things you show me in brief, fragmentary glimpses are even real. The blood and bruises; the streets and the sanatorium. You feed me as many lies as truths, I’m sure, and they all taste the same, so how am I to tell them apart? Which are purposeful fabrications, which are lies yet real all the same to you, and which are painfully and inescapably true? I’m only the scribe, of course, so I’ll write what I’m told – but I do wonder. Your beloved is the epitome of the unreliable narrator, blinded by love and loathing and eager to drink down any lie, yet you’re the one who truly can’t be trusted. Veiled and ever changing as the moon; I should have known.

#1684

I’m going to spend my lunch break freewriting instead of reading about kitties because I’ve been really lazy with the whole writing thing lately which I like to blame on the boys being silent but really it’s my own fault for just not trying, or at least not trying hard enough, putting sweat and blood and tears into it, I used to but I don’t so much anymore, not sure why, maybe just more things to spread the crazy over so the writing doesn’t get hit with the full force of an anxious, depressed, obsessive compulsive mind like mine, though it doesn’t help either that I’ve been doubting, wondering just how much of my belief really is that crazy mind just wanting to cling to nice ideas, goddesses that care and gods who exist outside of the chambers of my mind that is so many hallways and so many doors and so many rooms, it’s easy to get lost, equally easy to turn a corner and think you see something, someone, but probably not, they’re probably not really there, you’re probably just lonely or scared or angry, yeah, I can do anger well when I need, though these days the spark isn’t so easy to coax into a roaring flame, it’s more like a pilot light you forget about or maybe a lighter with no liquid left so you’re just flick flick flicking the switchy thing to no result, I wish I could be angry at a world that might not be as magnificent as I hope, that might honestly just be what you see is what you get, no magic or mystery, I wish that could make me angry but instead it just makes me, I don’t know, afraid I guess, but that fear that comes from not wanting to admit something might be true, if you say it out loud you might make it real but if you never say it, if you carry that dead coal deep in your chest maybe it’s not really real, not quite, and maybe one day you’ll have that experience that proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that everything exists, everything at all, but let’s be honest, probably not, that’s just a little too good to be true, not everyone can be right about everything, and anyway I guess the mystery is the point of it all, the not knowing, the believing despite the lack of evidence, but that’s stupid, honestly, that’s bullshit, what’s so bad about evidence? what’s so good about blind faith? and when some say it’s good to doubt and others say it’s bad to doubt, who’s right when everything right or nothing’s right or whatever, I’m losing steam here, and my train of thought, and really it’s only been like fifteen minutes, how did I ever do this before, this roundabout whirlwind wordvomit that somehow made sense before, had a point, seemed maybe even a little fucking profound, at least to the me that was writing it at 2 AM, and maybe that’s the problem, maybe that sort of thing can’t be written at 12:09 PM on a lunch break but I’m asleep at 2 AM these days and I like it, I like the not pacing and weeping and tearing at my hair, though I guess I do miss the result, haven’t really written anything I could call good in who knows how long, even stuff like this feels like cheating, just strings of words connected by the occasional swear because I’m edgy, see?, but I remember how it was once upon a time, the urge, the compulsion, the flow, fierce river of words that didn’t suck so fucking much and didn’t need to be framed in a haiku because otherwise there aren’t enough to make anything of any value, and yes every time I write a haiku I know it’s a stopgap measure, water on one plant in a desert of dying vines, wow, getting real poetic here aren’t we, maybe 12:12 is the magic minute, though probably not, this lunch hour might have been better spent reading someone else’s words, especially since I’m really winding down, no anger or sorrow or indignation or other words that would sound nice here, no, I’m down to one maybe every twenty seconds, twenty five at the end of a thought, the what now? with no answer, I guess another few words, I forget what I wrote about up there but it was probably stupid, this is too so I probably won’t do anything with it, I’ll delete it all in a burst of another word that I can’t think of, maybe I should take up nope don’t backspace can’t backspace here that’s not how it works, there are rules, stupid rules but if we don’t have rules then everything’s chaos or whatever, though then again everything IS chaos right now, isn’t it? so maybe no one would even notice, and honestly no one’s going to read this anyway, not even me on some far future midnight because ugh, what’s the point, why walk the same old same old same old circles, it’s 12:17 now, can I be done? I can manage to eke out a few more words if you really want, banana combine harvester ecclesiastical wow I spelled that right on the first try, oughta get a sticker for that, and oh hey stickers! maybe those would help, though I doubt it, but at least it’s 12:18 now, see how the time flies, here are a few more words for you or maybe not, maybe my mind will go completely blank like a thing that’s really blank I guess, fuck off simile, which I guess I can’t spell, some grade level teacher would be disappointed in that but you know what Ms I can’t think of any teacher names well they can fuck off too, I’ll spell all the words wrong if I want, not trying to get published anyway, just yelling into the void and I guess taking up some precious storage data or something but hey it’s 12:20 so fuck this

#1661

I don’t feel worthy of much right now; of looking into The Lady’s amber eyes, of reading and interpreting the cards, of channeling the dark gods. I wonder what any of them would want with me, why they would bother to answer my summons or pleading. I’ve nothing to offer lords and princes, after all, and even a mother can tire of her child’s fumbling antics. And fumbling I must certainly seem, confused and desperate as I am. The writing I do produce must look to them all like marker scribblings on paper, shapes you could maybe make out as people and a house with curly smoke if you squint and turn it sideways. Hardly something worthy of putting up on the cosmic fridge. So what do I do? Do I avert my eyes, wrap up the cards, apologize profusely and crawl back into bed? At what point is trying no longer good enough?

#1659

What magic do I need to summon the words – any words? What ingredients do I need for the spell to draw them forth from the ether, from the depths of my soul? A circle of torn paper and candles the color of creamy vellum; a mixture of ink, rainwater, and fresh turned earth, smeared onto both wrists in a sigil for poetry? Or one on the forehead to unlock fiction’s power? I think I could write the spell, maybe, just maybe, I might have that much left in me at least… but do I even believe in magic? Enough to make it work?

#1652

(Don’t be late. They want an offering. Something metal. Something thin. Don’t be late. Be careful with the cards. There’s something waiting in them. Don’t get lost. They never had a reason to get you lost before. You can’t find your way if your compass is broken. The room is white. They painted it white. Don’t give Them what They want. Give Them what They need.)

[ A summoning by candlelight and shadow, music and whispering, unfamiliar cards full of blood and beauty and possibility, heart hammering, eyes darting, there and away again, nervous and afraid and determined to do this right, to understand, to mollify, to earn a scrap of approval or respect, to be worthy. ]

Fool. Traitor. You left us. You forgot us. You dishonored us. You should bow. You were ours first. Completely. We suffer you to wander; don’t take advantage of our generosity. We don’t need you. You are a means to an end.

No. No, I don’t believe that. I think you care.

Don’t challenge me. Don’t test me.

I’m not. But the scribe tells the story. And that’s part of it. You chose me for a reason. You know I can do this. You know I’m the one. I’m not challenging you; I’m just stating the truth. Your signs, your sigils, are branded onto my skin. I am yours. We’ll go over the cliff together.

You’ve grown, little scribe. You’re gaining a backbone.

You made me. You bent me down until I needed one to stand back up. You meant for that, didn’t you.

It’s not fun if it’s not a challenge.

Is this a game?

No. It’s life. Of course we must test you. It’s our way. It’s who we are.

Are you disappointed in me?

No.

Always.

Be gentle. She isn’t made of steel and ice like you.

I can take it.

You are fallible. Like us. That’s part of it, too. You must learn.

Learn what?

To tell the whole story.

What haven’t I told?

The end.

The end? All I tell are endings. Do you have to be so damn obscure?

Would you have us any other way?

…no.

Now pick up the cards.

[ Page of Cups; a floating citadel, pipe organ and chains, the cello neck like The Emperor; the connection is struggling, love must be nurtured with nostalgia; where have you been? ]

[ Queen of Cups – veiled eyes, war helm or crown, pale breast bared, rigid and royal; go within yourself to seek the spark of life, embrace creativity and art; remember what you once accomplished ]

[ Two of Wands – bird skulls, red and black; be bold and authoritative, do what must be done; you are on the right path here, keep it up ]

The page grows into the queen. You too can become a queen. Grow that backbone. Be fierce. Become the lioness. Stars are sharp as hell.

Go on now. His turn.

[ The High Priestess – much like the Queen of Cups, breast bared, eyes covered, a floating throne, cello necks like rays of light, rigid and regal; secrets and shadows, subconscious stirring, magic; we give you this gift, we are that part of you ]

[ Knight of Pentacles – a hand reaching, grasping to make contact. armor shattering to reveal pale fingers beneath, framed by the full moon; be steadfast and true, reliable, the old ways are proved good; you know what to do, you have done it before, now do it again ]

[ Queen of Wands – eyes veiled by lace, pierced and patterned flesh, dangling key, proud and fierce; practice constancy, sustain creative vision, understand your skills; do not leave us again, do not waiver in your faith or loyalty ]

What now?

Ours. Past. Present. Future.

[ And more – Two of Pentacles, Knight of Swords, Ten of Pentacles … Page of Wands, King of Swords, King of Pentacles – but the reading muddled, uncertain, it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t speak clearly, what does it mean, why isn’t it clear like the other? Frustration, failure, grasping for meaning, can they not be read? What is past, present, future to the timeless, deathless? ]

What now? Have you said what you wanted to say?

We have much more to say. But not now.

Do you understand now? What we wish from you? What you must do?

Yes. I think so.

You can’t think. You must know.

I know. I see. I am yours.

And we are yours.

Remember this feeling. [ Exhausted, drained, empty and overflowing, uncertain and determined, humble and deferential, such power, such power ] That is true devotion. Go. For now. We will speak again.

[ Music ends. Candle blows out. Ready to collapse. Dazed and unsure but…rightness. ]