Skip to content

headspace is full of dust and old clothes

All I ever wanted growing up was a room of my own. Like Virginia Woolf, I fantasized about some sunny, airy bunker that would be mine and no one else’s. It would be a haven against unwanted influences, a grotto of creativity. In my mind, I arranged and rearranged the furniture of this hypothetical oasis endlessly. The desk would go against the far wall, right beneath the windows for maximum lightly, or angled off on a diagonal if I wanted to make room for a cushioned window seat. Sometimes I had a drafting table as well, side holders crammed with paints and brushes for whenever the artistic mood struck. Dramatic, haunting paintings–not prints–hung on the walls, their unrelieving intensity broken up by framed poetry calligraphs on parchment. And of course, the books: piles and piles and shelves and shelves of everything I loved, learned through, and shamelessly stole from.

The room’s location varied as often as its design. At first I tended towards castle turrets reachable by winding staircase only, or secret rooms concealed behind hinged bookcases. After I moved north, my priorities shifted to windows and lots of sunshine. And if it came with a lake view or was up in a treehouse in the middle of forest, all the better. At times I thought that all I needed was a room like any I’d ever imagined throughout my life, a place I could retreat to and shut out the rest of the world, and I would want nothing else.

Last year, we bought a house. Two bedrooms for one couple. I claimed the second bedroom as my own and declared that no one would set foot in it without my express invitation. Furthermore, when I shut the door, I was not to be disturbed under any circumstance whatsoever. You could shove pizza under the door to keep me alive, but don’t you dare try to turn that doorknob.

I got my desk, my bookshelves, my windows. I arranged and rearranged furniture. And then, somehow, I never went in. Papers collected in haphazard piles on the floor. The PC I inherited from an ex-boyfriend sat in a corner and pined for lack of use. Only the books remain clean, though they leave tracks in the dust whenever I move them on the shelves. I can’t even remember the last time I sat down in my office chair. Instead, more often than not I find myself at the kitchen table with my laptop, the clutter of shoes and backpacks and airplane-sized snacks everywhere and my fiance cooking or watching TV on the couch, a space as crowded with his as with mine and not a single painting in sight, and I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing.

Advertisements

missed you, missed me

fixtureshadows

We found each other by accident down Third Avenue one warm day after the Fourth of July, the city air still choked with fireworks. Our eyes locked. In that instant, we knew: this was who we’d been searching for. And who’d been searching for us. All our lives had been zeroing relentlessly in on this moment where time lost absolute meaning and all that counted was the relative measure of who made the first move.

She was fast. So was I.

With so much gunpowder in the air, a little more wouldn’t hurt. Bullets, on the other hand, always do.

clarion west write-a-thon week 4 report

Short story: “Beneath Stone Tides”

Word count: 1,856

Status: Complete!

The good: Urban exploration. And treasure (that may or may not be pirate booty).

The bad: Greeeeed.

The resigned: This week’s story was sparse. Very sparse. It definitely needs to put more meat on its bones. But it has a coherent start, middle, and end, so it still counts.

Coming up next: Betrayal, revenge, the whole nine yards.

Excerpt:

The man was called Trevor. He worked as a surveyor for the local Authority’s office with one of the girls, Madeleine, who was responsible for liaising with the quadrant office. Jess was her roommate. She worked as a bioengineer for a local concern. Like everyone else in Purple Dot, they were slick with high fashion and flaunting the latest in bio-integrated tech in not-so-discreet-you-won’t-notice hints of chrome and stainless steel round their eyes and ears. Jess’s was the most extreme, elongated silver darts that wrapped from the corners of her eyes to the curve of her ear and flashed with neon lights depending on her mood. She’d even shaved around her ears to make them more noticeable.

_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

the becoming thing

My friend over at flutterinspacetime has sponsored me for the Clarion West Write-a-thon! You, good sir, are a pinnacle of awesomeness. :D

As thanks, I promised to write a short poem for him on a topic of his choosing. Which, flutter, was a damn sight more difficult than it should have been.

Topic: write a short poem about a person who wants to become stardust.
_____

in the absence of a cohesive core we resort
to diffusion: inner workings
extruded, particulates turned
inside out. to seeing molecular bonds
unraveled and
the gulf between protons amplified
on a scale of galaxies, each part greater than
the sum-all being. what’s more perfect than
total, absolute dissipation?
like every aimless vagabond, I want
nothing more than to say, for a microcosmic moment,
that I was vaster than the ghost of me.

clarion west write-a-thon week 3 report

Short story: “The Hounds of Stony Mayhill” (formerly “The Emperor’s New Dogs”)

Word count: 2,890 (5,604 total)

Status: Complete!

The good: Cybernetic space wolves…getting revenge.

The bad: Arrogant barons.

The resigned: There are definitely parts that will need to be fleshed out and edited to make a cohesive story.

Coming up next: ANOTHER NEW STORY! Yesss. I’m torn between the Fountain of Youth and good old-fashioned arguments over Who Gets the Gold.

Excerpt:

Oh run, my lord, as fast you can

And carry nothing in your hand

For crimes come paid and murders solved

When strikes the hour of the wolves

_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

clarion west write-a-thon week 2 report

Short story: “The Emperor’s New Dogs”

Word count: 2,714

Status: Incomplete

The good: Cybernetic space wolves and mothers out for vengeance.

The bad: Someone decided they wanted the cybernetic space wolves for themselves.

The resigned: ARGH, did not finish this week.

Coming up next: I’m going to carry this over into Week 3 rather than start on another short story. At the end of this all, I would rather have a couple of completed short stories rather than six half-finished ones.

Excerpt:

The prints were enormous, half again as big as my hand with all fingers splayed. Judging from the way they smeared through the dirt, the owner of those paws had been running. I could read in the tracks how the beast would’ve shot out of the underbrush into the exposed air, braked its body against momentum, and plunged right back into the bushes, leaving a half-crescent bite in the road. As for why it’d been running, who knew. Maybe chasing prey. What the prey was, I didn’t care to speculate on.

I considered turning back. The prints were dry, baked into the substance of the road, which meant nothing except that it hadn’t rained here in a while. But back meant three days’ walk with nary a soul in sight and a pack of supplies that wouldn’t last me more than another two. And it would mean retracing my steps, not something I liked much to do.

_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

clarion west write-a-thon week 1 report

Short story: “Father of the Earth”

Word count: 7,502

Status: Complete!

The good: Rainforests in the middle of deserts, walking luggage, and heartlessly mercenary small-town girls.

The bad: Too much gravity and pompous big-city engineers.

The resigned: Close your eyes, point to a random spot in the story. Yep, that’s a rewritin’.

Coming up next: How about space wolves? Let’s go with space wolves.

Excerpt:

Two squat cars rattled behind a repurposed fusion-powered engine down tracks clean of rust only where the wheels ground against the rails. Heat vented from the engine and warped the horizon. It was a cool spring day, but even with the windows wide open for breeze, the passengers barely felt it. Dragged into the wake of the engine’s heat exhaust, they filled the two cars with sweat.

The cars were double-deckers, kitted out with an extra set of seats on each roof for whoever wanted them. Aside from me, only one other person did, a fellow a couple years younger than me who looked like he belonged in prep school, with a slick, shiny combover that moved all in one piece whenever the train hit a bump. He slouched in his seat, a wide-brimmed bushwhacker over his face. Snores issues from beneath the hat.

Next stop: Moira’s Valley. Moira’s Valley, arrival in five minutes.

The tracks dipped and curved. The train entered the bowl of Moira’s Valley, and the desert vanished. Green bloomed on every side, snaked through with watery glints. Even the overbearing heat of the laboring engine eased, overlaid by a pall of cool freshness, though the world outside the train continued to ripple and writhe with heat.
_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.