Friday, July 23, 2010

Fic rec, Poetry rec, dreams and nightmares

Searching for the Giant Squid by Jimmy McCullough, whose entire gallery is mindblowingly strange and interesting.


The Inky Deep by Bryan Russell.

Hi. I'm RSB. And I'm a recovering cephalopod addict. Meet my new pusher.

Just when I thought I'd got over my love of all things tentacular, along comes the delicate and spooky brine that is Russell's prose. Told in a unique voice and with words and formatting that are different and yet, somehow, don't disturb the flow of the piece at all, this is not something you'll have read before nor will you be likely to read again.

It's funny to read the comments. Whose side were you on? You can bet you know which side I was rooting for.


Sood's poem touched me on several levels. Mostly, this poem is about choices: how we choose to behave everyday, how we can react to others, and most importantly, how we choose to perceive the world around us.

While some might be tempted to call Sood "victim" in this poem, he transcends that description and rises above. There is a beauty in his attitudes and perception that begs to be shared, and if this doesn't alter your frame of mind for a bit, you must've only skimmed through. I applaud Sood for espousing a view that isn't very popular these days, and through his eyes, I see a better place.


Two submissions today, and I look towards August with a fretful but excited eye. Pieces submitted months ago are approaching the August deadline for a handful of places, and most say they'll respond within a month after the deadline. I try not to get too wrapped up in the submission process, the waiting, etc, but there are two pieces I'm especially hopeful for.

My dreams have been so vivid in the last week, and incredibly disturbing. I don't put too much stock in dream interpretation (sorry, Teri!), because most of the parts are obviously lifted from my waking life.

For instance, I have a bird feeder. I love feeding the birds, and watching a crowd of 20 or 30 jostle and flutter is very entertaining. Like everywhere else, we've also got squirrels. We bought a Yankee Flipper, which is a battery-operated feeder with a ring that swings around whenever something heavy enough trips it. It flips the squirrels off. Works marvelously well. The squirrels have learned to just sit on the ground and eat whatever falls, thus leaving the ring for the lighter birds to sit on.

But recently, I went outside to find a row of birds sitting on the fence, none on the feeder or the ground beneath. There were birds on the lines. Birds in the lilac. No birds eating.

Puzzled, I went out to see what the problem was. To my dismay, I found a pile of feathers underneath the feeder. Watching it for the rest of the day, I saw a young squirrel who hasn't learned any manners come and sit beneath the feeder, and any birds who got close were threatened. He was quite the thug.

This pissed me off. I moved the feeder, and any time I saw this particular squirrel in the vicinity, I let my German Shepherd, Lucy, out the door. She's quite the squirrel hunter. After two days, he gave up, and I haven't seen him again. The birds have returned in droves.

This same week, I noticed a lot of wasps around. Their nest wasn't on my property, because I scoured it for signs of a wasp nest. I decided it was probably the neighbor's garage, but I wasn't sure. I should tell you that in my early twenties, I got locked out of my apartment when I went to get a pizza and forgot my key (pizza place was literally across the street). I thought it wasn't a problem, as there's a fire escape and the door to that was unlocked. So I went around back and climbed the fire escape stairs, pizza in one hand. Halfway up, I came face to face with an enormous hive of hornets, just beneath one landing. I froze.

White-faced hornets. Nasty creatures. I don't know how many times I was stung, but my hands swelled up like sausages from the bites, and I was in such shock that I had to be stripped by my boyfriend and sister as I stood, motionless, in the living room and they killed the hornets that were just sitting on my skin and stinging me over and over. I'm not sure I was really, truly conscious throughout.

So. Wasps in the backyard now, thug squirrel...

I had a dream in which the feeder was being swarmed by creatures. They had dark grey squirrel bodies, but giant wasp wings, giant wasp eyes, and worst of all, huge stingers. They were attacking the birds, grasping them with their squirrel paws and stinging them repeatedly, to death.

Even now, I'm trembling a bit. I woke up crying.

Worst of the week, no doubt, but there have been some others which left an impression long after I woke up. I'll be glad when I dream of normal things, such as flying above the earth or baking a cake (I dream of baking a lot...).

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