( meeeemories [tw: body issues, graphic descriptions of sexual acts] )
( meeeemories [tw: body issues, graphic descriptions of sexual acts] )
I have written too many words today
and now I’m out.
They needed to be written. The book won’t write itself.
This is how I earn
whatever fraction of a cent
they pay me for every letter.
The problem is that now I’m out of words
and have started to forget the names of things
like that thing, right over there,
the gray one
that isn’t a toaster.
I turn on the radio in search of words.
It doesn’t help.
The radio’s words are all “jobless rate” and “insider trading.”
I can’t do anything with that
like trying to fill a dry well up
There are no words growing in the garden
and reading is unsettling
those words echo too much
their footfalls sounding in an empty hall
with no words of my own to muffle them.
And the worst part—
the very worst—
the fear that now I am deprived of prose
and will be forced to communicate in poetry
or worse yet
the bones of what you believe (21623 words) by hawksjolras
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Brandon Bollig/Brandon Saad/Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bollig/Brandon Saad, Brandon Saad/Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bollig/Andrew Shaw
Summary: Brandon kneels because it’s what he’s supposed to do. It’s part of being a rookie, it’s part of belonging, it’s part of hockey.
Full disclosure: the reason I read this fic so quickly after it was posted (despite the characters not normally interesting me) is because the author contacted me a while ago to say that they'd read my Tyler Seguin/Jaime Benn kneeling AU fic and were writing their own fic set in that verse and then told me when it was finished and posted. (I WAS SO EXCITED! This is such a great AU concept and I want MOAR PEOPLE to play with it! I actually think hockey in UNIQUELY suited for this particular AU and wish to see it fully explored.)
This story's protagonist is not actually a super touchy-feely person with a giant fondness for praise kink, but I, as a touchy-feely person with a giant fondness for praise kink, certainly felt like it was WRITTEN FOR ME.
This story has SO MUCH HUGGING. And PRAISE. and KINDNESS. And people taking care of each other in small but significant ways. IT IS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER WANTED. For future reference: THIS IS HOW I LIKE MY PRAISE KINK. So, so, so awesome oh my god. UGH I want ONE BILLION STORIES set in this kneeling AU jesus fuck.
I just. At every juncture this story did not disappoint. It treats its characters with such respect and nuance and shows power exchange dynamics in SUCH A GREAT WAY (where people are different things to each other depending on where they are, in what context, what room, which day, what mood) and just. SO MANY FAVORITE MOMENTS. It was like a gentle deconstruction of so many tropes I've been longing to see properly deconstructed.
Anyway, go, read, enjoy, leave feedback, write me more of this.
Benedict Anderson, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World.
Started off slow and I thought it was gonna be more of what he wrote in Imagined Communities, but really much more engaging and as Dr. G said, more interesting. Covers a lot of regions: Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia. Some interesting observation on historical trajectories of radicalism and independence.
Elleke Boehmer. Stories of women: gender and narrative in the postcolonial nation.
Mostly about how postcolonial writers write about women as stand-in metaphors for the nation and national identity. I'm not crazy about it because there was a lot of close reading of things I never read before.
Ketu Katrak. Politics of the Female Body: Postcolonial Women Writers of the Third World.
More stuff I never read before, more gender stuff, lots of things that we already talk about as women writers ourselves, idk.
Gayatri Gopinath. Impossible Dreams: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures.
Was afraid this would be more of the same, but not really. Diasporas trouble the concept of national identity; queerness does the same on the gendered national body. If the nation is gendered according to patriarchal norms, then queerness creates a destabilizing frame with which to approach and trouble national identity. Kinda cool, eh?
Khoo Gaik Cheng. Reclaiming Adat: Contemporary Malaysian Film and Literature.
So, adat, a thing I don't really understand but anyway, Khoo argues that modern media allows for the recuperation of adat. Lots of focus on Tuah/Jebat binary, critique of ketuanan Melayu, and Malay cinema as Cinema of Denial with tensions between adat, Westernization and Arabization. Put this way, the feeling I get from local writers querying me about whether mythological creatures in their SEAsteampunk submissions makes sense; I'd been worrying about getting more "magical East vs. technological West" stories as if magic stuff is really all Asian writers have to offer to the SFF ouvre, but set in a context of reclaiming adat it kind of makes more sense. Still, would like to see a good mix of hard science steampunk alongside fantastic myth steampunk.
Achille Mbembe. On the Postcolony.
I did not so much read this as skim it; lots of big statements, sweeping theory, very grand, very Africa-specific, many big words I could not handle at this point in time.
Martin Barker. The New Racism: conservatives and the ideology of the tribe.
Less a theory about race than an examination of the rhetorics surrounding the many justifications of racism and xenophobia (this was written in 81). Really goes in deep talking about Hume and sociobiological stuff.
Amin Sweeny. A Full Hearing: Orality and literacy in the Malay world.
A look at how oral culture remains steeped even in the print culture of Malay storytelling. Not sure I buy the argument but it's pretty interesting!! I thought I could buy it especially when thinking about Twitterjaya but hrm, I just don't know.
Sulastrin Sutrisno. Hikayat Hang Tuah: Analisis Struktur & Fungsi.
The prof loaned me this book just to see how I'd react to it, and it was strange. Apparently it was a really big deal when it first came out! Because it was the first time anyone had ever thought to analyze Hang Tuah using structuralism. And I don't like structuralism. It's got diagrams and shit. Also a handy summary of the whole hikayat. Which was kind of strange. Lots of things I don't recognize from the usual Hang Tuah stories. Also a genre discussion because genre discussions never die.
Keris Mas. Jungle of Hope. English translation of Rimba Harapan by Adibah Amin.
I really liked it! It was slow, as most of these things are, but I really liked the ensemble cast. I've never been bothered by shallow head-hopping, especially when it's done to show how complex people are. It ends at the point of tension, but it's a long-term sort of novel which also hits my buttons.
Somerset Maugham. "The Force of Circumstance"
Racist white woman can't handle that her racist white husband had a Malay live-in mistress and three kids before she came along. It's too bad because they are so very in love. She might not even be racist but for constantly calling the Malay woman "black" and it was kind of jarring to see the N-word being used.
---. "Footprints in the Jungle."
Murder mystery! Telegraphed whodunit from page three!
---. "The Yellow Streak."
Yellow streak referring to the Malay blood in the main character who has some crazy white anxieties about being tainted by his mother's blood.
---. "The Outstation."
The classist snob versus the racist bully. Classist snob has principles informed by noblesse oblige adopted from his aristo friends; racist bully has a chip on his shoulder because he's a white dude born "in the colonies" so not as good as a ranking officer or whatever. The latter gets killed. He had it coming.
Fatima Busu. Salam Maria.
Posted about it earlier. I'm not crazy about it, but then I am not crazy about cardboard characters and special snowflake figures.
I mean, very, very slow, like travelling
an inch and a half (they call
it distance) in eight hundred
million years (they call
it time). You’ll have
to distinguish between here
and there - yes, yes,
we all know there’s only
the here and now,
but you’ll have to see
it their way - with everything
reduced to three dimensions.
It comes with being
exiled in a mortal
body, you see, which is not
entirely a curse, I assure
you. Space is the disposable
furniture of a mind
enmeshed in its own
a meter stick under
our immeasurable sky.
You’ll need wings.
I am doing a blog hop thing! I was invited to do it by Shannon Phillips, who has a story in a new anthology from World Weaver Press. It is like a promotional meme — you answer a bunch of questions about writing and then you link to other writers and tell people about them — so here goes.
This is Shannon Phillips:
Shannon Phillips lives in Oakland, where she keeps chickens, a dog, three boys, and a husband. Her first novel, The Millennial Sword, tells the story of the modern-day Lady of the Lake. Her short fiction has been featured in Dragon magazine, Rose Red Review, and the upcoming anthology Fae from World Weaver Press.
And these are the questions she sent me!
1) What am I working on?
I’m working on yet another revision of my Regency fantasy of manners about England’s first black Sorcerer Royal. This has been my main writing project since late 2012, but in intervals between working on it I’ve also been working on Space Villette (not its real title), a novella based on Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, but with a space opera setting influenced by the early kingdoms (or should I say mandalas?) of maritime Southeast Asia.
Well, I say it is a novella, but it’s almost 30k words in and the Lucy Snowe character hasn’t even started to make googly eyes at the M. Paul equivalent. That said, I plan to rewrite the whole thing from scratch once I’ve got the first draft done, so pretty much everything I say about it now should be discounted!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
All of my stories are about colonialism. I guess the most obvious point of difference is that the main characters are usually non-white. To the extent that I can, even when I am playing with very Western/Eurocentric genres or tropes, I try to infuse my stories with a non-Western sensibility, to refocus the narrative around characters who aren’t as often in the spotlight in English-language fiction. I don’t know how successful I am at doing that, but I keep trying.
Of course, when I am actually writing my main goal is not to make some big political point or other. My main goal is to write as many long rambling conversations and dumb jokes as people will let me get away with.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I remain profoundly shaped by my childhood reading and am processing it the best way I know how. I got told a lot of stories by my mom that I want other people to hear. I like reading long rambling conversations and dumb jokes myself. I think comfort reading shouldn’t come in just one flavour, or have just one kind of character as the focus. I’ve got a niche and I might as well keep going with it. History is interesting. I can’t write other stuff — I mean, in theory I could write a baseball economics book instead, but I don’t understand baseball or economics.
Lots of reasons!
4) How does my writing process work?
(i) Do anything except writing for as long as I can.
(ii) Bash out some hasty words just before bedtime, when I can no longer put it off.
(iii) Repeat the next day.
I generally take off one day a week, and don’t tend to write on holidays or if I’m travelling.
I’ve tagged the following authors, who will be posting the meme next week:
Alexandra Singer graduated from SUNY Purchase with a B.A. in Creative Writing. The is the author of the ongoing independent comic, Sfeer Theory. An avid fan of historical fantasy and fairy tales, her short stories have been featured in publications such as Chamberton Publishing’s Spotlight anthology and Crossed Genres Magazine. Her blog is at http://moonsheen.dreamwidth.org.
Eve Shi is an Indonesian writer. Her YA supernatural/horror novels are available in Indonesian bookstores. She’s working on more books of the same genre, as well as planning to write books in other genres.
Mirrored from Zen Cho.
It took me years to be comfortable
With calling any elder “you.”
How a language could be so simple
Was beyond my comprehension;
There was no understanding
In Vietnamese, honorifics are law.
You are to address someone
In relationship with their age to yours—
An older man of the same generation:
Anh, older brother.
An older womxn of the same generation:
Chị, older sister.
Cậu or dì, Mother’s brother or sister,
For someone as old as Mother.
And for someone as old as Father,
Chú or cô, Father’s brother or sister.
And a person older than both parents
Is bác, a parent’s older sibling.
And even older, an elderly person,
Like Grandpa or Grandma,
Is ông or bà, grandpa or grandma.
To separate the non-kinship
From the familial is then impossible
For we, Vietnamese, are family.
To pay homage in any other way
Because “you” is impersonal—“You”
Can be any stranger on the street.
Cultural Appropriation: Non-Western Viewpoints (Sat 10am - 11.15am)
The recent cultural appropriation debates seemed to be very U.S. centered. This panel will seek to hear from people of non-dominant cultures (i.e., not mainstream US, Canada, Western Europe or Australia) and talk about CA from a more global perspective. This discussion may be more complicated when national lines may add to racial ones. Is it true that from the outside any culture is perceived as monolithic while inside it is much more fractured? What are the perspectives of people to whom Western culture is a colonizing influence?
Steampunk, Historical Fantasy and POC (Sat, 4pm - 5.15pm)
Period pieces with magic and anachronistic tech abound, but very few feature history from the perspective of People of Color. What happens when a marginalized group is erased from re-imagined history? We talk a lot about representation of POC in the future, what about POC in the past?
Recovering Worlds Beyond Whiteness (Mon, 10am - 11.15am)
In too many works of science fiction, the landscapes and characters reflect the assumption of white culture as the default. Many fantasy worlds reflect a distinctly Western European look and feel, with characters of color few and far between, and non-European-based civilizations that are a predictable mish-mash of stereotypes and Othering. How has this affected writers' ability to imagine and create worlds outside the boundaries of white culture? How has it affected the ability of fans to relate to and find interest in characters and stories that challenge rather than unconsciously reflect white-dominated narratives? How can we, as writers and readers, move beyond whiteness?
I also have the honour of being an "opening act" with ktempest for the GOH Hiromi Goto on Friday, 9pm!
We also spent all last night mainlining My Cat From Hell with 21freckles . Now that I'm a dog auntie I am obsessed with looking at dogs on the street, and am considering a cat even though the idea of a litter box repulses me. Which brings me to my next thing: Lori, me, our friend Dasha and her fella Tobi all moved into this place together last September and we love it here and wanted it long-term, but circumstances for the landlords have changed and now they'll want to move back in September. Which, ugh, those are shitty circumstances for all involved, so if you've got the time and inclination, please send wishes or prayers out to the universe that they change their minds or that we find a really awesome new place! September's a whiles away, so who knows what can happen between now and then, right?
And finally, I am gonna be using my makeshift recs journal (missmaggierecs ) as a more all-purpose recs journal now. So not just fic and art, but really anything else I try out in life that I feel like reviewing. Right now, I'm doing makeup!
When Cleopatra received Antony on her cedarwood ship,
she made sure he would smell her in advance across the sea:
perfumed sails, nets sagging with rosehips and crocus
draped over her bed, her feet and hands rubbed in almond oil,
cinnamon, and henna. I knew I had you when you told me
you could not live without my scent, brought pink bottles of it,
creamy lotions, a tiny vial of parfume—one drop lasted all day.
They say Napoleon told Josephine not to bathe for two weeks
so he could savor her raw scent, but hardly any mention is ever
made of their love of violets. Her signature fragrance: a special blend
of these crushed purple blooms for wrist, cleavage, earlobe.
Some expected to discover a valuable painting inside
the locket around Napoleon's neck when he died, but found
a powder of violet petals from his wife's grave instead. And just
yesterday, a new boy leaned in close to whisper that he loved
the smell of my perfume, the one you handpicked years ago.
I could tell he wanted to kiss me, his breath heavy and slow
against my neck. My face blue from the movie screen—
I said nothing, only sat up and stared straight ahead. But
by evening's end, I let him have it: twenty-seven kisses
on my neck, twenty-seven small murders of you. And the count
is correct, I know—each sweet press one less number to weigh
heavy in the next boy's cupped hands. Your mark on me washed
away with each kiss. The last one so cold, so filled with mist
and tiny daggers, I already smelled the blood on my hands.
-- Aimee Nezhukumatathil
by Wallace Stevens, 1931
Every time the bucks went clattering
A firecat bristled in the way.
Wherever they went,
They went clattering,
Until they swerved
In a swift, circular line
To the right,
Because of the firecat.
Or until they swerved
In a swift, circular line
To the left,
Because of the firecat.
The bucks clattered.
The firecat went leaping,
To the right, to the left,
Bristled in the way.
Later, the firecat closed his bright eyes
Sparrow, my lady's pet,
with whom she often plays whilst she holds you in her lap,
or gives you her finger-tip to peck and
provokes you to bite sharply,
whenever she, the bright-shining lady of my love,
has a mind for some sweet pretty play,
in hope, as I think, that when the sharper smart of love abates,
she may find some small relief from her pain--
ah, might I but play with you as she does,
and lighten the gloomy cares of my heart!
This is as welcome to me as (they say)
to the swift maiden was the golden apple,
which loosed her girdle too long tied.
tr. by H.J. Walker
( original text )
1. Dancing tonight!!
2. I finished Heyer's Cotillion and it was fantastic, and I don't think it is a spoiler to say that I think Freddy is the greatest, heh. :D
3. Reorganizing the closet, I stumbled upon a pile of BPAL things from a few years ago that I never really got round to trying! I tried one that seems to have aged well (Crow Moon) and which smells interesting enough on me that I may keep it, but knowing my usage habits, there's little point in me attempting thirteen more smell tests at this late date... I can put up a list, if anyone is interested?
4. Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?
If by real you mean as real as a shark tooth stuck
in your heel, the wetness of a finished lollipop stick,
the surprise of a thumbtack in your purse—
then Yes, every last page is true, every nuance,
bit, and bite. Wait. I have made them up—all of them—
and when I say I am married, it means I married
all of them, a whole neighborhood of past loves.
Can you imagine the number of bouquets, how many
slices of cake? Even now, my husbands plan a great meal
for us—one chops up some parsley, one stirs a bubbling pot
on the stove. One changes the baby, and one sleeps
in a fat chair. One flips through the newspaper, another
whistles while he shaves in the shower, and every single
one of them wonders what time I am coming home.
-- Aimee Nezhukumatathil
I'm so overwhelmed with feelings for this show, I feel like if I wait to review it when I'm calmer it'll never happen. And I need everyone ever to watch this show yesterday, so. The thing is, I've seen it mentioned a bunch of times here and there and yet it never seemed like something I might want to watch. I don't really care about the 1950s as a period (Mad Men has apparently exhausted my ability to care - just seeing the costumes bores me now), and crime mystery shows aren't particularly exciting to me, even if they do have an all female cast.
So, let me rec this to you as it should have been recced to me.
Four women: a mathematician, a linguist, a manager and a girl with a photographic memory get together to solve crimes.
A mother, a waitress, a librarian and a housewife meet ten years after serving together at a top secret military base and decide to stop a serial killer.
Bored with the life of a middle class housewife, an ex-codebreaker gathers together 3 friends and they attempt to outwit the police, the military, and a murderer who's killed a dozen women.
The show that deals with women in the 50s having jobs, ambitions, skills, careers, successes, friendship and superpowers.
And now, because again, we really should get it out of the way, let me babble about why this show, aside from being excellent in general, was so deeply, deeply personal for me, and how this is literally the story I never, ever expected to see told in a piece of media.
( personal stuff )
( actual discussion of the show, no spoilers )
I and Pangur Bán, my cat
'Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight
Hunting words I sit all night.
Better far than praise of men
'Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.
'Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way:
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.
When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!
So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.
( Original version... )
Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.
Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
An owl’s cry, a most melancholy cry
Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,
No merry note, nor cause of merriment,
But one telling me plain what I escaped
And others could not, that night, as in I went.
And salted was my food, and my repose,
Salted and sobered, too, by the bird’s voice
Speaking for all who lay under the stars,
Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
I took a walk today! unfortunately where I live in Riverside is not very interesting, just houses and apartment complexes. =/ sigh. i miss living in a downtown area!
investigating multivitamin powder options. preferrably something with high folic acid content, since i always forget to take my pills. the protein powder smoothies in the morning seems to be working out for me, so time to look into this further. two scoops of the stuff help with the texture a lot. it's not like using a banana, but close enough!