Writer. Editor. Leximaven. Game Girl. Vorpal Blonde. Midas's Touch. Schrödinger's Brat.

There’s no getting out alive, but you hope to avoid a deadline

posted on: March 14, 2014
in: 42., Blog

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A few years back, I read Haruki Murakami’s book, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.”

“I run,” he writes, “to seek a void.”

I wanted to seek a void too. But I had a complicated relationship with running. I used to be a runner. And I used to hate it. I was a smoker then, a wheezer, even though I looked like I was in perfect health and I hid my smoking habit from everyone who might think it was shameful. I did a couple of half-marathons, even a couple of full marathons. And I never, ever got my promised high. Agony and agony and agony. And yet, I thought it was something that needed to be mine. My dad does triathlons (and he’s spectacularly fast — or he was, until he had to get knee surgery). My sister and her fiance are runners (I don’t know if she’s fast, but I know that she is driven, and thus she is as fast as she can be, mostly due to ferocity of will).

I no longer smoke. It’s been years and years. And I no longer run.

I write. I have learned that the void is the period at the end of each sentence. The void is the thing that characters don’t say to each other but that the reader feels in their spine. The void is the place where you close a book and you forget, for just a moment, that you aren’t there, in that life, with those people anymore.

My grandmother passed away this week, and I am seeking a void. Is it possible to seek a void with someone else in it? If so, that’s what I am doing. I want to seek that place where she bought me choose-your-own-adventure books every Christmas. The place where she tried to teach me how to play the organ–and then taught me how to plug in headphones so only I could hear the caterwaul that came from my determined and supremely untalented fingers. How she always wore blue jeans in the winter and had her colors done regularly so she could choose clothes that were good for her skin.  How last time I saw her she teased me, with a kind of delight, “So I should look for your books in the sexy section of Amazon?” The place where she always put her cool, dry hands on the sides of my face when she looked at me, and then leaned in and kissed both my cheeks with a love so clear and true that you felt it in the very softness of your heart. She was 85, and glorious.

I write. And discover that the void is the period at the end of these sentences. That the void is the things you didn’t say to each other but felt in your spine. That the void is the moment where you close a book and remember, just for a moment, that she isn’t there, in this life, with you anymore.

It is agony and agony and agony. And worth every word.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

**Title line courtesy of Galveston, a novel by Nic Pizzolatto (he of True Detective). You should be reading this book. I promise.

 

Yesterday’s Words: 5,000

 

 

Miles Walked This Year:

 

Words Written This Year:

 

My 42 Writing Projects This Year: 

7. Numenera Short Stories (gaming/fiction) 1,000/12,000


6. Sir Arthour’s Guide (gaming)


5. The Ninth World Guidebook (gaming)


4. Numenera CO (gaming)


3. Izaltu’s Needle (gaming) 3,500/8,000


2. Love and Sex in the Ninth World (gaming)

1. Kinky Rewrite (non-fiction book) 50,000/60,000

 

Mothership

posted on: March 8, 2014
in: Blog

(An old poem of mine, a little something for International Women’s Day. May we all deflect our bullets).

 

Mothership
Shanna Germain

When observed from across the kitchen,
her bracelets are unending coils of red and blue

curved around wrists of steel, gauntlets that
deflect bullets, laser beams, showers of crushed cubes.

Look closer: it’s just a mother
keeping madness at bay with

paper cups, the bottoms cut out.
Instead of ice, she chews the edges of

her veins. The cold bothers her teeth,
makes it hard to hear the rabbit in the window.

Once, she opened a man’s heart.
Once, she stopped the moon from breaking.

Her apron strings unravel, cascading toward earth
in a coiled arc. If she knots them again and again,

she can turn back time. Before my birth, her tongue
tasted a dozen languages. Now when she crosses her wrists

in front of her, even her daughter cannot get through.
I am a weapon of her own making, gravitational

planet crashing every moment.
Wait. 

She will reach up to find the coarse salt,
expose the soft underbelly, the Amazon heart.

Once, she saved the planet.
Once, she took off her bracelets.
Once, she saved her fury

for a better place.  The earth moves.
Light speeds  
through glass, freezing us

in this island of kitchen. Her truth
rubs our hearts raw with its constant shift.  

~

My Butt Hurts

posted on: February 26, 2014
in: 42., Blog

That is to say: I’ve sat on my keister and written for about sixteen hours straight the last two days.

Despite how it may seem, this, as Martha says, is a good thing.

Words, baby, words.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

 

Words for the Past Two Days:

6,000 gaming

 

Miles Walked This Year:

 

Words Written This Year:

 

My 42 Writing Projects This Year: 

7. Numenera Short Stories (gaming/fiction) 1,000/12,000


6. Sir Arthour’s Guide (gaming)


5. The Ninth World Guidebook (gaming)


4. Numenera CO (gaming)


3. Izaltu’s Needle (gaming) 3,500/8,000


2. Love and Sex in the Ninth World (gaming)

1. Kinky Rewrite (non-fiction book) 50,000/60,000

 

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.

posted on: January 31, 2014
in: 42., Blog

Sometimes I get lost inside who I am. I contain more than multitudes. I am the view of dark space through the Hubble telescope. I am the ultra deep field, stars streaming my face like lost eyelashes. I contain 10,000 galaxies within the dark of my eye. With every action, I create a life. Destroy a species. Wipe out a pair of moons. Birth a dying star.

This is true of all of us. Infinitely large and utterly insignificant.

I got an email yesterday, from someone who thanked me for what I write. He said that this year, he came out to his wife as a transgender female. That women like me gave him the confidence to be himself. It made me cry. All things like that make me cry, that we touch one another across time and space, move planets, break stars open to make accidental light.

Since I was old enough to read, I knew what my calling was. Write stories. Write stories. Write stories. Change the world through words. Tell the emotional truths. Say the thing I’m not supposed to say, the hard thing, the difficult thing, the true thing. All of my multitudes know this. It’s the only thing they agree on, the only thing that keeps an infinity in equilibrium. And when I forget? A dying star writes its swan song. Light escapes from a black hole. The dark space goes beyond dark into something unknowable.

Sometimes I get lost inside what I am here to do. The internet pretends it’s a universe, but it’s just a shack on the outskirts of town. Important in its own galaxy, but small as the tip of an eyelash pressed to the Hubble. My real work is out there. In the dark space, where it is my job to bring the light.

My real work is to tell the stories that only I can tell.

What is your real work? Answer me that.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

 

**Today’s title courtesy of the poem, Flying at Night,” by Ted Kooser

New Words:

2,700 gaming

Miles Walked This Year:

 

Words Written This Year:

 

My 42 Writing Projects This Year: 

6. The Bone Key (novel)


5. Love and Sex in the Ninth World (gaming)


4. The Ninth World Guidebook (gaming)


3. Numenera CO (gaming)


2. Izaltu’s Needle (gaming) 3,500/8,000


1. Kinky Rewrite (non-fiction book) 50,000/60,000

 

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