The Boy Who Was a Fish

Title: The Boy Who Was a Fish

Word Count: 750

Rating: G

 

Once upon a time – and yes that’s how this story starts. That’s how it must start for all good stories begin with those four words and this is a good story, even if it is just the beginning of it; there was a boy who was born a fish.

This is not so uncommon. His parents were fishes, and his grandparents, and as far back as his family could remember since coming to this land they had all been fishes. What they were before here is a tale for another day but today listen of the boy who was a fish.

He looked enough like his family and swam well enough like his family that for many years the sadness in his heart laid buried, unseen. For though he swam, his strokes were not quite as steady as the other fishes and he never dove as deeply into the rivers as the others. This was a small thing, in the beginning. But as the boy who was a fish (was, do you see where our story goes) grew up he became discomforted in his own skin.

These were not the waters he wished to swim; and though he loved his family out of duty, theirs were not the voices he wished to hear.

The boy who was a fish had a secret, one he did not quite know yet. He wished more than anything to fly.

The wish grew, as wishes tend to do when left unchecked,, until it was the only thing he could think of: wind and sky and sun and he wanted it so badly he thought he might die.

So the boy who was a fish did the only thing he could think to do: he began to try.

His family scoffed at him. “what use is flying when you can swim?”

“If I can fly I am bound by nothing but my own strength. Here we are trapped by the edges of the river, we can only go so far.”

His family did not listen.

“We are fish but we are also people. what use is flying when you can just as easily walk across the land?”

“Land is well enough for some and perhaps I could be happy there if I tried, but my heart calls to the sky.”

“You’ll never make it.” His family waved his wishes away. “You’ll be back. You’ll see, this is impossible.”

The boy who was a fish but wanted to be more saw he would get no support here. Although he did not turn to a sea witch for help, she would have told hi to do exactly as he did: climb out of his river every day until he traded fins for legs. Walk up the highest hill he could find until he thought he would collapse, and then run back down, jumping before hitting water’s edge and trading legs for fins again.

Every day the boy who was a fish did these things. Some days he made it farther than others. Some days left him, broken and weak on the side of hills until friends came to retrieve him (a girl who was a tree but thought she was a fish and some days was both and some days was neither but this is not her story, although she plays a part.) Every day he pulled himself from his river and did these things. Again and again and again.

The sea witch he did not bargain with would have said good, Now put that practice into use and fly. And the first day he jumped, shifting forms from boy to something else and felt the wind buoy him from beneath his wings he gave a cry of triumph and heartache, so intertwined were the two feelings that it would be many years before he untangled them.

The boy who was a fish had done what he had been told was impossible: he had flown. And although he was still a boy an dstill a fish, his fins were tailored differently now and feathered and more wing than fin, if you knew how to look.

“Those won’t take you far.” said the boy/fish/bird’s family.

“Maybe not.” He smiled. “But they’re mine and I’ll find out exactly how far I can go with them.”

He did not turn his back on the river, not completely because there was still love there. Obligatory family love and freely given love to those he called friends. But he walks away with head held high, spread his fins/arms/wings and flew towards the sun.

A Voice Inside Your Soul

Title: A Voice Inside Your Soul

Word Count: 4249

Rating: PG-13 for themes of depression and suicide.

 

Jonah was barely through the door when his mother called out to him. Can you sit down for a minute, we need to talk.

We need to talk. Nothing good ever follows those four words. He took a deep breath, jammed his hands in his pocket and said, “Sure thing.”

His mom was in the kitchen, bustling about mixing something in a saucepan. It smelled like hot chocolate. It was ninety-five degrees outside and his mother was making hot chocolate. She only did that for two reasons: It was actually cold, or she had something to say that required a cushion to soften the blow. Jonah tried to think of his school work; if there was anything he was slacking in bad enough to warrant a parental intervention.  But no… No, he was fairly certain his grades were up to snuff. He wasn’t an ace student but he got by. Continue reading

BPAL scent reviews

Do you know what BPAL is? No? That’s unfortunate. Here, let me educate you: BPAL stands for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (and for once I spelled Phoenix correctly on the first try, truly a thing to celebrate) and they create perfume oils.

I was first introduced to them some years ago by a friend who can’t bear the thought of me having any money in my bank account. She fixed this by going “here, have this eclectic collection of scents that cannot actually exist and yet they do.”

They offer a range of scents, usually based on some sort of theme (they have an Alice in Wonderland line, for example) and every single one of their blends is evocative and captivating and will take you somewhere else with one whiff.

Needless to say, I’m a bit obsessed. I’m not going to run through my entire collection (of which there are many and they are varied.) But I am going to give you a down and dirty review of the latest collection of scents I bought from them, because I too cannot stand to have any money in my wallet.

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Winter Storm

Title: Winter Storm

Word Count: 879

Rating: G

Notes: This is an alternative draft for another piece, The Other Mirror which I thought would be fun to share, to see how things could have been.

 

Outside a winter storm raged; shrieking winds, black sky, ice and snow sleeting from the heavens in a classic display of ill-tempered weather gods. Inside, however, the ski lodge was warm and cozy, if a little over crowded. People milled about with warm drinks in hand, skis propped up on any stable and still surface, chattering about how sweet the powder will be come tomorrow.

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Regarding Conceptions

When I started this blog I had these grand ideas that, hey, I’m paying for a space this will encourage my cheap ass to actually use it and be more proactive with my writing.

Except I wasn’t.

Then I decided, hey, let’s start doing book reviews. Critical thinking is a good skill to level up and maybe I’ll have something to say about a book that nobody else has said before (says every book reviewer ever.) And that went okay for a bit, except I wasn’t reading books I wanted to read, I was reading “new” books, advanced reader copies, and not always for things that I enjoy. Reading rapidly went from being this thing I did to unwind to a chore that I looked forward to with the same level of enthusiasm as emptying the litter box (spoiler alert: I have a weak stomach and can’t actually empty the litter box. The kind and benevolent boyfriend has to do that. Sadly, I have yet to figure out how to make him review a book I didn’t want to read.)

2016 was supposed to be my golden year. I was going to be the most productive I had ever been on every front.

Except, you may notice judging by the archives, it was the exact opposite.

I had created such a lofty idea of what I wanted this space to be that I ended up circling back around to ignoring it completely.

I’m paying for this space and I chose to ignore it. I’m changing that in 2017.

I thought, as an aspiring writer, I needed a clean space where just my writing happened. And maybe that would work for someone else but for me, it ended up feeling… sterile. Unwelcoming. I ended up not writing anything because I wanted to write the perfect things to be shown on my site.

Which brings us here. Once, I had this crazy idea that I would have a schedule something like this: Monday would be book review day, Wednesday would be a personal blurb day, and Friday would be new fiction day. I don’t know who I thought I was but that schedule is impossible for the me I am now. Maybe one day I’ll have a blog like Chuck Wendig, who updates with something approaching regularity, but for now I have to accept this space for what it is: mine.

Instead of holding myself to some sort of impossible standard, I’m going to post when I can. When I feel like it. My current goal is one piece of original fiction a month, no matter how long or short, and anything other than that is gravy.

This probably means a lot more rambling from me. This probably means some personal stories, potentially embarrassing people who know me in real life. But, that’s part of me too, isn’t it?

So. Officially, welcome I suppose. Lets see what tomorrow brings, both here and in the world, shall we?

Growing Certainty of Over

Title: Growing Certainty of Over

Word Count: 804

Rating: PG

Notes: Written to the prompt Recovery also reposted because wordpress ate my formatting and despite my best efforts, I could not fix that entry.

Her childhood bedroom is almost exactly as she remembers leaving it: pastels and stuffed animals and a shelf full of terrible body sprays painstakingly curated from over priced stores in the mall. Her bed looks too tiny – threadbare little mermaid quilt smoothed into place, beckoning her back, beckoning her home.
This is her life now. She sat her bag down, small and lonely and grown up though it was. Terribly out of place in this room of the past.

Much like her.

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Book Review: Wreck and Order

wreckandorder From the publisher:

Decisively aimless, self-destructive, and impulsively in and out of love, Elsie is a young woman who feels stuck. She has a tumultuous relationship with an abusive boyfriend, a dead-end job at a newspaper, and a sharp intelligence that’s constantly at odds with her many bad decisions. When her initial attempts to improve her life go awry, Elsie decides that a dramatic change is the only solution.

An auto-didact who prefers the education of travel to college, Elsie uses an inheritance to support her as she travels to Paris and Sri Lanka, hoping to accumulate experiences, create connections, and discover a new way to live. Along the way, she meets men and women who challenge and provoke her towards the change she genuinely hopes to find. But in the end, she must still come face-to-face with herself. (304 pages)

My thoughts under the cut!  Continue reading