Drabble 14 – Aubade

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I know a lot about bad breath in the morning – I have two cats.

I don’t know why I keep getting all of these romantic words–I use a random number generator to figure out which of the 600+ words in my vocabulary list I’ll be writing about, and then keep generating numbers until I find a word that strikes me as interesting in that moment. The random number generator and my list of vocabulary are conspiring to make me write nothing but sappy mush.

Honestly: I love sappy mush. I find it incredibly difficult to express without dramatic understatement or sarcasm, but I can’t get enough of love stories. I’m particular about them–very particular–but I love reading romance if it’s about characters I care about.

Grand, romantic gestures are fine, but I like stories and poems that explore the smaller moments. Clementine von Radics  does this particularly well in number ten of her Ten Love Letters (all of which are lovely, but, as a warning, number five concerns sexual assault):

I know you and I are not about poems or other sentimental bullshit, but I have to tell you even the way you drink your coffee just knocks me the fuck out.

That’s my kind of love poem.

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Hurts So Good: The Wicked + The Divine Tore My Heart Apart and I Loved Every Minute of It

The Wicked + The Divine is totally something I judged by its cover, by which I mean I saw a preview image of the cover for issue number one floating around and decided that I needed to read it.

The premise helped considerably; as I’ve said multiple times, I’m a sucker for mythology of any kind. I’m also a music fan (who isn’t, really?) and I know too well the feeling of being so invested in a band that it becomes an enormous part of your identity. Plus, gorgeous artwork and beautiful colors. There’s nothing not to like.

A brief summary: The Wicked + The Divine follows Laura, a normal human who finds herself entangled in the affairs of the Pantheon and twelve (ish–we meet them over the course of the narrative) people who find themselves to be reincarnated deities. For two years, they live as glorious pop stars, inspiring orgiastic rapture in their fans. Also, drama, power struggles, and puns.

The Wicked + The Divine happened to come out around the time I graduated college and suddenly had time to read things for fun. It’s been a slow swan-dive into comics hell ever since then, and this beautiful, terrible, painful comic is part of the reason I have big heart-eyes constantly for the medium. And no issue sums up the beautiful, terrible, painful nature of the medium than issue eleven of The Wicked + The Divine.

Warning: MAD SPOILERS BEYOND THE CUT. LIKE, ALL THE SPOILERS. AS A PERSON WHO DOESN’T NORMALLY CARE ABOUT SPOILERS, I’M TELLING YOU RIGHT NOW THAT YOU SHOULD REALLY READ THE COMIC BEFORE READING THIS POST BECAUSE THE REVEALS, TWISTS, AND SURPRISES ARE SO GOOD YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO EXPERIENCE THEM FOR YOURSELF. Continue reading

Forelske

Drabble 13 – Forelske

Forelske

Forty-five tons of locks used to hang on the Pont des Arts in Paris as symbols of commitment.

I’m at the age now where a lot of people I know are getting married. I’m married, too, which is a fact I sometimes forget because we skipped the big traditional party and had a backyard barbecue with eight people.

Here’s an unexpected fact about me: for a long time, I didn’t believe in love. Familial love, sure. Mutual respect and a desire to spend time with somebody in a romantic context, yeah, sure, but for some reason 17-year-old me was incredibly cynical and thought of love as a convenient chemical concoction that was for species survival and nothing else.

(Seventeen-year-old me read a lot of books by bitter divorced men. Not sure why that was a genre I was drawn to, but we all have strange tastes in our youths, right?)

I don’t talk about my relationship a lot because it’s incredibly personal to me, and I’ve developed this weird protectiveness over it, like if I say too much about it I’ll ruin it somehow. Kind of like how in fairy tales giving up your real name gives somebody power over you. There’s probably some weird, deep-seated cynicism in there I gleaned from reading too many divorced dudes in high school, but it’s either a flaw or a quirk, and calling it a quirk feels better.

Anyway, this is a work of fiction. No truth here. This was not inspired by a real event. Move along.
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Tsundoku

Drabble 12 – Tsundoku

Tsudoku

Charlotte “Chuck” Charles from Pushing Daisies, my fictional character soulmate.

As far as vices go, mine are pretty harmless. I have a small candy addiction. I watch the same movies and TV shows over and over again when I’m stressed. I sometimes get the urge to bake pies.

Also, I buy books. There’s something incredibly cathartic about wandering into a new bookstore, thumbing through the shelves, and asking the owner for recommendations. I’ve found some of my favorite books thanks to bookstore owners and fellow shoppers–a bookstore owner recommended A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle to me because she said I was a kindred spirit, and a woman browsing the young adult section with my pointed out that I should try The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones. Another woman told me to absolutely without a doubt stay away from So You Want to Be a Wizard… by Diane Duane–I ignored her, bought the book, and fell in love with the series.

What this means is that I have quite a collection. That collection takes up a lot of space. When I was in school, I didn’t have time to read many of the books I continued to accumulate on bad days, such as the book of English ghost stories picked up one rainy day, the adult fairy tales collection with the pretty cover, or a book of poetry I bought to pay for parking.

Now that I’m graduated, I’m working my way through that pile, but I remember the feeling described in this drabble all too well.

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Drabble 11 – Offing

Offing

H. P. Lovecraft’s signature on his original drawing of Cthulhu, seen above.

I grew up near Puget Sound. For a long, long time, I thought that meant I grew up near the ocean. Sure, the water is salty, and yes, there are plenty of sea creatures to be found lurking in tide pools, but there are always islands in your field of vision, proving that the water can’t go on forever.

I don’t remember the first time I went to the ocean, nor do I remember the first time I looked out at the sea and understood how people might once have thought that the Earth was flat. But I remember picking up bull whip kelp and imagining it being tentacles of a giant creature, jellyfish stranded on the beach like alien beings, and seeing a whale be bigger than I could possibly have imagined.

The ocean is kind of scary. It’s deep and dark and full of mysteries. The idea that there could be enormous beings down there that we know nothing about is one of the things that attracted me to H. P. Lovecraft’s writing, and while I prefer my fear of the unknown without the side of racism and xenophobia, there’s just something compelling about entities that might lurk in the places we’re too afraid to look.

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