Wednesday, February 29, 2012

once every four

[This story was begun by Katie in August of 2011:  below is her original introduction.]

The Adventures of Fillipia and Naomi

As we head into the Arctic, we will find our brave adventurers Fillipia and Naomi. Now Fillipia is very forgetful, clumsy, and crazy about junk food, especially chocolate chip cookies. Naomi is the smart, prepared one.

"Can we stop walking, my feet hurt really bad!" Fillipia whined, "And I'm freezing!"

"That's because you forgot your cashmere sweater. Here, I know you forget a lot of stuff!" said Naomi with a smile.

"Thanks," Fillipia said. Naomi looked and thought of anything else Fillipia needed. She looked at her shoes.

"Why are you wearing sandals?" she questioned.

"Because they're more comfortable!" Fillipia answered proudly.

"Aren't your feet freezing?"

"Yes, that could explain why

Just so stories / Rudyard Kipling

snow laced trees!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

in the flatlands

We were scared, terrified, beyond the reach of any logic or reasoning, because there didn't seem to be any logic or reason behind what was happening. We had asked our experts, our doctors and scientists and ministers and elected leaders, and no one had an answer or a solution. We were susceptible to every suggestion from every source, every conspiracy theory, every crackpot. There were some families who were untouched; they began to hold themselves separately, to interact only with each other. There were rumors of bomb shelters or bunkers, and constant speculation about the unaffected gathering together and moving somewhere untouched and healthy, but no one knew for certain. Most of us had a family member, a brother or an uncle or a best friend or a baby sister who had changed, and we didn't trust those who were unaffected, we wondered if they were part of the conspiracy. 

"The Best American Essays 2009", editor, Mary Oliver

final swimming lesson . . . before kayaking resumes?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

below the surface

We didn't know what was thickening the water and mutating our echoes, but eventually it began to prey upon us, individually. There was a slick giddiness about the surface of the water: smooth, sleek, like the most perfectly silvered antique mirror or polished obsidian. The water reflected back not who we were, but the seductive quality of who we wanted to be, who we believed ourselves capable of becoming in the deepest pockets of our souls. Staring, gazing deeply into the eyes of the not-us, of the us as we could be, it was but a gasp, a hesitation, to reaching out a hand to touch this ideal, other self. And then, then, in the moment of reaching when a hand just brushed the surface of the water, with a gloppy whoosh the surface broke, releasing the mirror image hand.

listening to the archive of RadioLab
listen listen listen

lacks of snow

Friday, February 10, 2012

the astrolabe and the compass

Instead, allow me to tell you of the lands of cinnamon earth, dirt as red as fire and as fine as dust, and when we traveled through it the air was filled with the glitter of gold and the smell of the autumn harvest. Although it was in fact early spring, trees were just budding out, the smallest blossoms emboldened against the cold nights, somehow the air filled with the memory of red leaves, bonfires built large, fallen apples, ripened squash. I knew if we were to remain in that red land, the land of golden air, the land of autumn, during early spring, that we would go mad, each of us driven to insanity by the unsynchronous patter of our metabolisms against that of the earth.

Cat's eye / Margaret Atwood

warm warm clear clear skies

Sunday, February 5, 2012

changes thereto

Gentle reader,

As of today, the fifth of February, 2012, there have been just under 300[*] posts to the mostly weekly DYP!, begun in the autumn of 2007.

The vast majority of these are stories, the vast majority of which are magic realism numbers with a dash of Grimm's. (Plus the bonus filler of studio updates, photos of ampersands and travel postcards.) The stories-word-count-accumulation stands at 242,772; there are over a million characters, not including spaces. A lot of that is drivel. A lot is redundant. A lot needs heavy editing, possibly with a shredder. But some of it I'm quite fond of. Maybe you are, too.

I like sharing my writing with whoever decides to spend a coffee break reading it. But one of the weird things about taking my writing more seriously -- being more intentional -- is that many places won't consider anything that is previously published. And in the grey area of online publishing, many of them consider appearing on DYP! as previously published.

Going forward, thus, and back: stories will be edited down to excerpts, which will appear at DYP! per the standard Wednesday-ish typing schedule. Studio work and photographs will perhaps appear with greater frequency. If you miss reading my stories[^], send me a note, and you'll get a weekly email with the current story attached.

Very sincerely yours,

[*two hundred eighty two]
[^and I like you, and/or you aren't a stalker]

Thursday, February 2, 2012

folds of memory

I had just returned from the land of white foxes and red roofed houses and smoke smelling of peat fires and dried fish, and was immediately inoculated against whole kingdoms of micro-organisms and sent with a team and an ill-packed rucksack to determine the truth. The jungle was a child's picture book jungle, full of Rudyard Kipling animals chattering, slithering, camouflaged and caught in a moment of Riki Tiki Tavi clarity before disappearing again, becoming nothing more than the shadow of a tree. There were Tarzan's apes and chimpanzees and tiny little long-tailed monkeys who would hang upside down from branches, like children on a playground. There were all manner of flying birds and insects, the entire scale of the animal kingdom inverted, hummingbirds of bright tangerine orange no longer than a thumb, and wasps of yellow ferocity that were the size of kittens.

Any human heart by William Boyd

the warmest winter ever, all for the new boots and coat