I'm still writing poetry. It's been cathartic for me to make political art for its own sake and publish it to my blog. Here's another piece.
You cannot always be drowning.
You cannot sink forever in a bottomless sea.
Brine fills the lungs, but these are finite vessels,
and the body cannot endure that awful fullness.
It spasms, pinches the larynx shut, blackens the mind.
You do not want to die.
Even the small fish of the deep make plans,
zipping past your body toward a story you cannot fathom,
while the whales who pursue them sing in tongues -
too profound for any human understanding.
Fight the flailing of your limbs.
Fight the clenching of your throat.
Fight the darkness at the edges of your sight.
I've been writing this poem since Remembrance Day. I'm still so conflicted about what has happened, what is happening now in the States. I think this piece reflects that. Make of it what you will.
By then, her knuckles were thick and gnarled,
but the needle piercing her quilt scraps -
was sure as an old woman's prayer.
"Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah," she would intone -
over the television, as if President Jimmy Carter -
spoke with the voice of Almighty God.
"Never voted Republican once in my life."
Neither have I. It wasn't enough.
I should be there now.
From now until the end of the year, I'm going to donate all of the profits I make from the sale of The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales to Planned Parenthood. I'm doing this because American women are facing the greatest challenge to reproductive health I've seen in my lifetime, and I want for Planned Parenthood to be there for them, just like it was for me. I'm also doing this because it's something I can do besides sit and stew in my own fury at the election of Trump/Pence (which I'm already doing in spades). I have to do something.
I've settled into my PhD program and thought I'd post about it. I haven't had much time to do more than keep up with my class work and release my collection, but today I'm taking a minor breather to get a haircut and go see Dr. Strange before the big push to write term papers begins. So I thought I'd post a quick update about my life so far in St. John's.
The Folklore Department and Discipline
Merry Samhain to you, and welcome to issue #21 of my newsletter, e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2016.
A Book Is Born
The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales is now in print! I'm so proud of this book, and I'm equally proud of Nancy Farmer's cover art and Kimberly Mayfield's cover design. I hope you enjoy reading these tales as much as I enjoyed writing them. Here's where you can buy the collection:
Release day is tomorrow, and this is my last post about the kind things other writers and editors have said of The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales. This one is from Nebula Award and Shirley Jackson Award finalist Mike Allen:
Release Day is nigh, and I only have two more posts about the kind things other writers and editors have said of The Longest Road in the Universe. This one is from author and editor Rhonda Parrish:
I'm reading a science fiction trilogy right now which has begun to annoy me. It has a great plot and an interesting protagonist, but the story itself is told via a litany of social justice issues. It's as if the author had a list while she was writing and went down it, item by item, until she had thoroughly covered them all. I could play a drinking game to this series - "Drink a shot every time the author beats you over the head with her ideology," - but I'd end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning.
Why are pre-orders important to writers?
Because on release day, they're all processed at once as if they were placed on that day, which can offer a nice boost in sales ranking, especially on Amazon. This boost can increase the book's visibility to other new readers, which can further increase sales.
So if you're planning on buying the The Longest Road in the Universe anyway, would you consider pre-ordering it? Thanks!
Here's where you can do that:
The print edition is still in process, but as soon as it's available for pre-order, I'll post the link here.
In other news, I'm still working on those review copies, but they'll be in your inboxes soon, reviewers.
I've been posting these to social media, but I thought I ought to be sharing them on my blog as well. So here's the third of five posts about the kind things my fellow authors have said of The Longest Road in the Universe. This one comes from Alex Bledsoe, who writes:
This collection of short stories has a rich texture and a profound appreciation for human courage and decency, even when its characters aren't entirely human. From avenging sentient bombs to former slaves struggling to remember their ancestors' humanity, it's a vivid, epic and touching journey.--Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver
Folklore Genre Series
Introduction to Folklore Genres
What is a myth?
What is a legend?
What is a memorate?
What is a personal experience narrative?
Summer Solstice Newsletter 2019
What is a ballad?
What is a märchen?
What is a fable?
What is a tall tale?
What is a ritual?
Winter Solstice Newsletter 2019
What is a rite of passage?
What is a superstition?
What is a charm?
Folklore & Fiction Supplement: Keeping a Journal in Uncertain Times
What is a curse?
What is a folk custom?
Summer Solstice Newsletter 2020
What is material culture?
What is a conspiracy theory?
What is language and verbal lore?
What is child lore?
What is performance?
Winter Solstice Newsletter 2020
ATU Tale Type Series
Introduction to the ATU Tale Types
ATU 60 "Fox and Crane Invite Each Other"
ATU 365 "The Dead Bridegroom Carries off His Bride"
ATU 780 "The Singing Bone"