After many months of silence, I’m excited to finally announce the publication of Sincere Forms of Flattery from O+S Press, an anthology of short stories inspired by some of our favourite writers. Each story is accompanied by a brief essay explaining the relationship between the contributor, their story and the author whose work inspired it. Inside, you’ll find my short story, Needs Must, and an essay about how Neil Gaiman’s Sandman served as my introduction to urban fantasy, along with five other stories and essays, and some truly beautiful artwork:
Archive for the ‘Ink & Feather’ Category
Tags: Anthology, Essay, Needs Must, Neil Gaiman, O&S Publishing, Sandman, Short Stories, Short Story, Sincere Forms of Flattery, Writing
Tags: Blog, Blogging, Book, Essays, Personal, Release, Speculative Fiction 2012, Writing
Three days ago, the Speculative Fiction 2012 anthology was released. Edited by Justin Landon and Jared Shurin, it’s a collection of fifty fascinating SFFnal essays, reviews and blogrants that all appeared online last year, containing pieces from, among others, Kate Elliott, N. K. Jemisin, Aishwarya Subramanian, Abigail Nussbaum, Lavie Tidhar and Tansy Rayner Roberts. And also – to my absolute pride and astonishment – me.
This WordPress site isn’t my first ever blog. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been writing and ranting across various online platforms with varying degrees of skill and vitriol, but this was the first one to earn me a readership – or at least, a readership not consisting solely of schoolfriends, partners and family members. It’s also the first blog I ever wrote openly, under my own name, and therefore represents my first real attempt to take myself seriously as a writer. That was way back in May 2008, almost two years before I first became a published author, and if you’d asked me at the time how important my blogging would become to me, I never could’ve guessed the answer.
So, yeah: Speculative Fiction 2012. It’s an amazing collection of essays, and I’m honoured to be a part of it.
Tags: Books, Poem, Poetry, Reading, Subway, Tumblr, Underground Books, Underground New York Public Library
A poem inspired by this amazing tumblr of people reading on the subway.
hands more varied in colour than
the pages they turn pause,
spread into lectern-cradles for words
as open-edged as breath, whose authors span
cities, countries, centuries more
varied than the scintillant plumage of birds;
each face unguarded, caught engrossed
in worlds-that-are-worlds-that-are-not (that are nonetheless
temporarily more real than
the darkened tunnels their carriage crossed
before this; may each voyage bless
them – eye, heart, ear & tongue) – and
when they land, bookblinked & isolate
on concrete sands,
let them recede gently, like seafoam;
let them be slow to close the cover; let them be late
for work; let ink & stories stain our hands
like henna, honey, loam.
Tags: Anger, Angry Women Are, Bias, Catherynne M. Valente, Christopher Priest, Feminism, Flarf, Flarf Poetry, Gender, Poem, Poetry, Sexism, Women
So, in keeping with the feminist themes of my previous two flarf poems (Is She A Whore? and Women Can’t Write), here is another. This one was inspired by Catherynne M. Valente’s excellent post on the Christopher Priest scandal, wherein she points out that women are not generally allowed to get as angry as men without suffering worse social consequences.
Angry Women Are
What to do when a woman is angry?
More than anything, it’s time that we answer.
Women usually get the message
that anger is unpleasant and unfeminine.
(Women are often ashamed.)
The angry women
are sitting in Encorpera cubicles across the nation,
seething with rage
that following feminist directives has turned them
into control freaks, looking for an alpha male.
(Anger is unacceptable.)
Angry women screech about equality,
and ensure it is only you
who may one day be drafted.
(Anger hurts a female candidate.)
An angry woman, a she-monster melding
images of Medea, the Furies, harpies – see,
other women hate her. They see her as a threat,
a great big husband-stealing threat
in a semi-permanent state of panic.
(She is rarely welcomed.)
Angry women are angry.
Since when were artists,
especially female artists, required
to prostrate themselves and allow
people to verbally ejaculate on them?
(Don’t be angry.)
Why do women feel so angry?
Angry women are powerful women.
Angry women are sharpenin’ their knives.
Welcome to the age of female rage.
Angry women are right here and
we’re not going anywhere.
Tags: Australia, Detainees, Detention Centre, Diwali, India, NASA, Patrick Lion, Photo, Poem, Poetry, Politics, Suicide, Villawood
- reblogged from here.
Furious refugee groups have questioned how long the federal government will continue mandatory detention after the suicide of another refugee at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul today slammed the government following the death this morning of the Tamil refugee known as Shooty to his friends.
The Immigration Department has confirmed the man was taken to hospital earlier today but died.
Citing poisoning as a possible cause of death, Mr Rintoul said a number of approaches had been made to DIAC to have Shooty released into community detention, but they had been unsuccessful.
He said the man’s failed bid to be released to attend a Hindu festival may have sparked his suicide.
- Patrick Lion, Refugee advocates slam mandatory detention after refugee suicide
The lights are lit
to welcome a goddess.
Good has won, and nations gleam
with rainbow lights
as evil is driven out by love
and families meet
and laughter is shared
and just for a night
the world is remade –
the stars are rivalled
by earthly brightness:
billions of hearts
and billions of candles
blaze like auroras
and banish the dark.
But elsewhere, as always,
The cell has no candles.
It punishes hearts
by denying them hope
until life is a box
without doors or space
and the whole world hangs
from the tip of a key
whose name is release
that is rarely spoken
and seldom used.
And into this dark
comes the rumour of light
that is called Diwali,
and all good things
are remembered again,
and the promise of love
is music in ears he thought were deaf;
and the promise of kin
is touch to a body long denied;
and the promise of free
is bread in the mouth starvation claimed –
but at the last, the man in the cell
Despair is his poison.
He swallows it down
and the lights go out,
for the key called release
fits a second door
whose name is death
and whose lock will open
even when cells
A billion candles
to welcome a goddess –
and yet we could not light one
to welcome a man.
- also posted here.
Tags: Camera, GameBoy, Geek, Girl, History, Life, Nostalgia, Personal, Photo, Poetry, Random, Tetris
I just took a photo of a photo
In it, a twelve- or thirteen-year-old me
sits on a wedge of carpeted stair,
a GameBoy in her hands as a fixed stare
rearranges TETRIS blocks, with her gold hair
lopped at shoulder-length, tan arms bare
and noticeably darker than a chest more fair,
a pale slope yet without cleavage; and a still air
of concentration. I doubt she knew the camera was there.
My mother sent me the photo. A friend of hers
dug it up, then passed it on.
None of us can recall where it was taken, or why:
the steps are unfamiliar, the occasion itself, if there was one,
lost to history. Still, I recognise things:
the green shirt, favourite, acquired at Christmas – my best friend had one, too;
the black crepe skirt I wore to the theatre;
the sandals, as yet new, which I wore and wore
until they fell to bits.
The GameBoy isn’t mine, though.
This one belonged to my godmother’s son,
a special clear case with black and white graphics
made (or so I can Google now) in 1995.
Mine was yellow, a colour model
not released for another three years, at which time
I saved my birthday money to buy
what my parents wouldn’t. Either way,
it dates the photo: December ’98, I think,
or early ’99.
And now I hold the image twice: once in the print
propped up on my desk, the physical copy passed
from hand to hand, plucked from some album
and mailed overseas; and now, again,
in digital form. I pull out my camera
and suddenly, I’m sucked through time and space,
back to that unknown date and unknown place
to take a photo of my younger self
with a camera more advanced than the game she holds
by a full decade –
And then I’m back, sitting at my rented desk
in Scotland, staring at a tiny screen
and the unblinking face of the girl I was,
wondering what else she knew, and did,
that was never seen.
Tags: 2011, Banks, Death, London, London Burns, Money, News, Personal, Poem, Poetry, Politics, Rant, Riots, Writing
The dreadful ease with which a fire starts,
that match-head flick and short, sharp scratch
that brings the sparks like shrapnel shards
and sets the world ablaze.
We choke on smoke, the London sky a failing lung
consumptive with the greed and deeds
of men who run, and men with guns,
and humankind who, hungry, hunt,
and wanting, wreak
but do not speak
a language easy on the tongue.
When rhyme and reason mount the curb
and see their foes, and will not swerve,
and better men who stood to save the things they loved
are knocked instead to early graves
we ask ourselves where parents were –
what bridles checked might otherwise
have reined the rage and spared their lives –
when everything is going up in flames.
Elsewhere, a po-faced banker knots his tie
and strangles like a Tyburn son
in auto-erotic ecstasy; but then he kicks the chair away
and jerks and spasms in the throes
of sex and death and – look, who fucking knows?
But that’s the joy of double-dipping, chaps:
the money breaks, and and then its spenders snap.
And everyone is asking why,
as though some word or magic curse
could tell them how to steer away from worse.
But in the rubble, born and grown by greed
that burns both ways, and fear, and hurt, and need
Dame Trickledown is turning deadly tricks
for stolen gold
and newly-bloodied bricks.
Provoked by this news article.
Tags: 2011, Book, Book 2, Date, Launch, October, Release, Scotland, Series, Special Things, The Key to Starveldt, The Rare, Writing, YA
The Key to Starveldt is here! My second novel is now a real, live thing that I can hold and flip through and poke! It’s due for release in October 2011, which is barely two months away, which is awesome – but which also means, alas, that my ability to launch said novel will be curtailed until sometime early in 2012, being as how plane trips from Scotland to Australia do not come cheap. But! That doesn’t mean I don’t have Special Things planned in lieu of a timely launch.
Oh yes, internets. Special Things, the nature of which shall be revealed between now and October. But until then: new book! Squee!