So often, I feel like what I am, what I do, how I exist is not enough in wake of the Big Bad in this world. Then I remember a quote from Sunshine by Robin McKinley, one of my favorite reads of all time and something I’m planning to treat myself to re-reading for #FridayReads after some editing. We must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can. I hope this Friday finds us all using what we have and being who we are as best we can to make the world brighter, kinder, and more full of win. Happy Friday!
Writers do what they do for eleventybillion reasons and then some. I know–I’ve counted. And at least half of those are the same reasons that drive me to keep working towards publishing what I write even when it’s not an easy road to tricycle or bigwheel or otherwise travel. And so it goes, me doing what I do because Reasons. But sometimes, someone gives me a reason or at least provides context for me to articulate one of my reasons for doing what I do. This happened to me last week. I’m neck-deep in edits for a SUPER exciting piece, planning and outlining several more rad projects of win, hammering away at Day Job duties while life happens in its lifey way around me when suddenly, bam—a message from an old friend.
We back-and-forthed for a bit but she utterly floored me when she told me that she had two of my characters in her head, just hanging out with her while she folded laundry, that she had deliberately carved out time to not just read my work, but leave a super!awesome review on Goodreads. Best of all, she told me that she wanted to read more. This friend is a busy woman. She is immersed, as all of us are, in the thousands of big and little things that drive us through these minutes into hours into days of our lives but at some point, she allotted some of that time to my words and then took more time still to tell me that those minutes with my words made her day better.
What grander of a compliment can a writer receive? More of your work, please…more that I will have to make time for (totally not her words, but that is the reality of sitting down and getting a thing done)…
I write to explore, yes. To build worlds. To be who am I not, and doubly who I am. However, in the end, I write to communicate and if what I’ve done takes someone on a journey, provides respite or just a bit of fun then holy wow, I’ve done something right.
So to my friend, and any other readers who have enjoyed my work or to all the other writers and readers out there creating and seeking narratives to enrich their lives in some way—thank you. You are the everything, to quote R.E.M. You are the BEST. Read on, write on, and now that I’ve taken minutes to say these words, back to edits! <3
Writing sci-fi romance, speculative fiction and sci-fi poetry reminds me time and time again of how I am reaching for light-trails, dreaming through life and living the questions, as Rilke would have it–how I am exploring my realities through narratives. Here’s wishing you all a week full of big, beautiful dreams and luminous realities!
Why hello there, Starchildren! Welcome to this February 2017 edition of Horrorscopes, the Valentine’s Celebration special!
Love is a strange thing. Even stranger when we consider the enormity of what we think and feel against the dogged practicality of the phenomenon itself. We survive in part because we love, or so biology seems to indicate–safety in numbers, herd to hide, love to make more of whatever we are. Does that freefall crash we experience when we realize how much we care for someone result from pheromones, from instinct, from a complex cocktail of neurotransmitters and the sensory responses and impulses that follow? Is it a meeting of minds? Co-mingling of souls? Or all of the above?
Or is it nothing?
Oh, stalwart Capricorn, inquisitive Aquarius, gentle Pisces, determined Aries, sensual Taurus, capricious Gemini, sensitive Cancer, bold Leo, dignified Virgo, harmonious Libra, subtle Scorpio, independent Sagittarius…the time has come.
What time? You may well ask.
The time to put aside your thoughts on love and your feelings on feelings and to consider your vast, unending aloneness at the end of all things and the beginning of all others. Though time as we like to imagine it—linear, parsed, neatly arranged in seasons, cycles, calendars, ticks and tocks—does not exist, we must make time to consider the monster in the room—your thorough, ineffable sense of isolation against all of that which society tells us love means. It was time to think on this before you existed and will remain time to think on this long after you are dust and even longer after the world itself is a blasted shell and again when all folds around on itself, it will still be time.
For in knowing at the end/beginning of all things that we are only who we are with no reference to any other being, there is power. So yes, it is time to think on YOU.
Time to assert your personal strengths and to sound your roar through the vast nothingness.
Time to own your weaknesses with good humor yet an almost grim desire to remedy them.
Time to know you are exactly enough to exist now, here, precisely as you are.
Time to give your love to your shadows, your fears about who you are beneath all those layers. Time to give your love to what you wanted for the world. Time to give the world your best even when it has not given what you want.
Time to whisper those three words we adore and fear into the void, the chaos, the dawn, the beingness that slips between the cracks when the world seems to be collapsing around you…
I AM HERE.
I AM ENOUGH.
Breathe it in, let it fill you with strength you never knew you had, with strength you never knew anyone could have.
I am here. WE ARE HERE.
I҉̳ ̱̝͕͖̞̞A̗̤̪̝̦M͟ ͚͔͇̬̯̜ͅH̲E̞̦̬͎͍R̷̤̫̗͚E̶ ̙̯͍̳͖̝͠
̬̠W̧͕̙̖̣͉͈̥E͈̞ ̻̲A̬̫̙̤̲R̞E̯̕ ͇̯̹͖ ̳͉͘ ̲̲͔̺͖̗ ̜͖̰̫̟͓̯ ͏̞ ̬̺͓̝̞͞ ̼̦̻ ̬̼̹̱̫̱̹Ḥ̘̪E ͏̱͙̲̯͎͍͉ R̤̟̀E̼̱̱̘͍ͅ
̣̤͘ͅT̻H̗E̛ ̖̙͚̪̠̭ ̸̤̥̗̤̼ ͜T͈͕I͉̜͟ME ̩͢I̛S͈̮͎̟̭̗ ̖Ń̲͕̼O̬̰͓̖̘͠W̙̩̲̩̙ͅ
̖̹̬̪͈H ͎̖͇̼E ̠̼̖͕R͉ ̝̤͓͇̜͓͖E͇̙͟
͔̪̦̀N ̸̠̱̟̺ ̠̣̣̟͈ ̛̟̱ͅ ̠̣͍O͕͇͕͘W̸ ̤͙̝̹I̛ ̰A͍͕̮̫̼͖̲̕Mͅ ̞̟̟̻̮̯H͎̪̮̝̲̯̖ ͘E̸̺̙̦̼ͅR̶͎E ̛̦̟̬ ̙̪̗̙͓̫ͅ ̯͙͖̲͔͘ ̢̖̖̥̮̯̰͓ṰH̜̻̪̞̳ ͇̙̙̺E̷̮
̵̟͉̬̜T̶͍̪̖̪͕̯̰Ì̲͉̣̫͍͈͔ ̸͚̘̱̞̱͔M̦̪̭͍̩̝̀ͅE͏̟̻͕͚ ͏͙I͔͚̩̙̼S̷̙̯̲͖͙̝ ̦̬̱̦Ņ̤̖͔̭̜̗͎O̗̰̺͇̲͉ͅ ͖̥̘W͕̺͖͘ ̞̳̭̞W̮̱̘̗͚̝E̤̱̙A̧̩̹̫R̸͖̥̜E̳̺̰̦͉̙H͏̩͇͚̪̤E̪͎͕̖̥̙R̻͓Ȩ̮̖͈̳ͅT͚̰͇͈͇̱H̵̰̞̲ ̯̪̰͕E̻̜͞ͅTI͕̘̹̩̞̻ME͙͍̣̲̘ͅĮ̜͉͈S̸N͙͉͓̱̱ͅO̮̰͇͓̫͕͜ẂW̧͇̻͉̪̙͈̳Ẹ̷̱̝͓A͍͕̰̖̼̠R̯̥͙̫͔͖E̵ ̗͓̖H̸̻͉̰̻E̶̳̩̘R̫̙E̦̹̝̼̟͚͘ͅT̹̳̞̖͜H̘̠̝͍̦͎͡E͔̘̲͢
̺͈͇̺H̞͇̲̟̤ ͉̜͟E̯͔̼ ͚͓̱̺͖͞ͅR̶̝ ̗͖E
Hello, space cadets. Another year is off to a…start, and new years can mean new projects. I have some exciting things on the horizon, I’m happy to say!
I am so incredibly happy, over-the-moon and SQUEEEEEEEEE *ahem* pleased to announce that The Book Smugglers will be publishing my not quite as sekrit project of win, a sci-fi novella due out in Fall 2017! Stay tuned for more details on this Big Good Thing in my writing world!
I’m also crazy-excited to tell you about my new online weird/short/ephemeral fiction endeavor, Transmissions, a Tumblr blog centering around the mysterious fate of Aegis Coalition’s deep space exploration flagship Omid and her crew. The project is serialized and multi-media–an amalgamation of imagery, fiction, poetry, and whatever else is needed to get the job done. You can find the project on Tumblr at https://aeashtransmissions.tumblr.com/. Please stop by, take a look, and if you like it, follow and check in for weekly updates.
I hope you are all faring as well as you can–In the meantime, I’m over here sending light, love and hope for gentleness and equanimity out into the world. <3
2016 has slogged itself off into oblivion and now 2017-yet another construct to help us wrap our minds around the strangeness of our existence-is the new kid in town. I cannot say that I am not relieved, though I do not like to rush away my life, or to wish for time to be so quickly behind me.
The allure of the new, though, is strong as ever. Shiny, chrome, sparkling. A blank page, an open road stretching ahead into something unknown…it’s exciting. I cannot help but hope for good things, and I aspire to make the most of the time I’ve been given.
I actually made some specific resolutions this year but in a quiet, note-to-self kind of way. They are more about quality of life than anything. Gestalt wellness gained through itty-bitty small steps of everyday self-care is the biggest of my goals. Writing, well…that one’s a given. And most of all, I want to cultivate gratitude in the midst of maelstrom and fair skies alike.
I know I can do this.
I will have so much good news to share in regards to my writing. Big projects are in the works for this year and hopefully the next, and I am working hard at coaxing some new worlds and their myriad characters into existence. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the gentle quiet of winter weather and am finding ways to incorporate creativity into a busy schedule. I hope that 2017 brings unexpected goodness into the world, and is a time of healing and peace. For anyone reading this, Happy New Year–may joy and light be yours, and may your new year be so amazing. <3
Stay a while, friends, and I shall relate to you of The Battle of The Bug and how I ended up at home so early on a sunny Tuesday. I was sitting in deep contemplation (read: frustration) before a bank of Excel spreadsheets of a budgetary nature–a daunting puzzle, to be certain. I felt a mild discomfort in the environs of my left leg then suddenly realized that the strange crawling of my skin was literally something crawling *on* my skin. Thankfully I sit in a secluded back area so nobody saw me hike my pant leg nearly up to my knickers and also, nobody heard the strangled scream/yelp as I saw something about the size of a Palmetto Bug (aka, GIANT FLYING ROACH) skittering on my person.
Flailing ensued. Also, screeching and shuddering while the monstrosity crawled beneath the copier. I dragged the behemoth machine aside and proceeded to stomp on the bug, which skittered yet again, this time with a chilling sense of purpose and unfathomable speed. I stomped more. And more. I slammed it with a trash can. IT WOULD NOT DIE. I had noticed before WHEN IT WAS CRAWLING ON ME that it smelled peculiar in my office area–turns out it was TRAILING ITS UNHOLY STENCH over my person, the carpet around me, my recycling bin, and goodness knows what else. MORE STOMPING. I tend to count repetitive motions because I am me, and I lost track at fifteen–it was a mighty foe, and I will never forget its awful, hellish prowess. Finally, my desk area in wild disarray, adrenaline slamming through my veins, and my clothing covered in awful nightmare-stinkbug foulness, I watched it DIE. Suffice to say, my supervisor let me go home immediately and the proper people are being called in to address the situation. I’m assuming that means priests and exorcists, HazMat containment specialists, shamans, and people wielding blowtorches. I had to keep the windows open driving home. Clothes went straight into the washer, and I do not know that I have used that much cleanser in a shower, ever, in the history of all showers. I am itchy, but vindicated by the prospect of an afternoon of doing nothing but playing World of Warcraft, where at least the giant eldritch horrors I slay have the decency to drop loot. This is my story…let it be a cautionary tale of nothing terribly important, but awfully, awfully smelly.