Waking Up to the Unreal

[Image: promotional still from The Troll Hunter, a 2010 “mockumentary” from
Norway about — well, perhaps you can guess.]

From whiskey river:

Fairy tales were maps formed of blood and hair and bones; they were the knots of the sub-conscious unwound. Every word in every tale was real and as true as apples and stones. They all led to the story inside the story.

(Alice Hoffman [source])


Sky Burial

This is the way they dispose of the dead
in Tibet. Letting nothing go to waste.
The loose bodies, with their blood still,
are lifted to high roofs, offered to the sky.
In this way everything becomes a temple
and bells ring to catch the carrion birds
in flight. Glorious bells! Unsettling circlers!
They alight like balding mathematicians,
like ancient men huddled over maps.

Their steepled wings flap now and again
like a preacher searching a hymnal;
their beaks could be penning red sermons
as the umbral body is unsewn, consumed—
concealed through all avenues of heaven,
borne again aloft in a scream of grace
echoing down the mausoleum of dark.

(Michael Titus [source])

[Read more…]

Send to Kindle

Book Review: Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan

Here’s how I imagine it must have gone:

The woman went about her work calmly but with determination. Cupped in her hands before her, on the table, was a mysterious jewel; depending on the light in which and the angle from which viewed, sometimes the jewel glittered with color and sometimes seemed black enough to suck the air as well as the light from the room. The woman bent, and put her face over the jewel, and she breathed on it. As we watched, the jewel changed form, became a living, a visibly breathing creature.

It both made us clap, and scared the hell out of us…

The woman was Margo Lanagan; the jewel, the fairy tale of “Snow-White and Rose-Red.” And the creature? Oh my, the creature: Lanagan’s 2008 young-adult novel, Tender Morsels.

My review of this book is now online at The Book Book blog.

[Read more…]

Send to Kindle

July 4th: (Momentary) Freedom from Self-Consciousness

So there’s this new writerly-blogging trend — not really a dangerous one, but it sure feels like one to a cautious soul like Yours Truly. Which is: throw caution to the winds. Post online something you’ve written, and… ask for feedback.

I think I’m going to try that, and I’ll get to that in a moment. [Whoops — too late!] I’ve tried that, briefly, over the last couple days, and depending on how that works out I may post about the experience later.

But first I want to lay the groundwork. I want to tell you about a sort of breakthrough I had last week, in working on Seems to Fit. (That’s the WIP’s new title — coming up with a final (?) title not the breakthrough I speak of now, although it was a huge weight off my mental shoulders then, and still.)

[Read more…]

Send to Kindle