Drabble 26 – Nature Morte

Nature Morte

Still-Life With Apples and Grapes by Claude Monet

I’ve never been much good at visual art. The vision in my head is almost never what turns up on the page, and I spend so much time striving for perfection that drawings typically get rubbed out by my eraser before they get the chance to fully take shape.

I took an art class in middle school–just one, because that was arduous enough. No matter how much praise I got for my oil pastel self-portrait or the seamless blending on a colored pencil name tag (which I remember as being the project I was most proud of), I gave up on visual art because it was just too hard.

Editing fiction is invisible–you don’t see the steps to get to the final product, and I can trash or burn the first draft as a sort of sacrifice to the writing gods if I feel it’s awful enough. There are layers of work in visual art (and digital art is a whole different animal), but I can’t stop thinking of my own failures buried deep beneath layers of graphite and oil and paint.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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Drabble 25 – Triune


The Remorse of Orestes by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

I read The Oresteia for a class, and while there were a lot of things that lingered about the play, what really left an impression was the Erinyes, or the Furies.

What’s not to like about three snake-haired women who pursue those who spill family blood into madness? And like, I get that Agamemnon is a big war hero and by Greek standards he’s pretty great, but by modern standards he’s a jerk and uh, hello, also killed his daughter. Not to mention the cheating double-standard and the fact that he brings his war prize, Cassandra, home like some kind of fancy goblet to show off to his wife.

Only his wife kills him. And then her children get revenge. And then the Erinyes come for the son, Orestes, for spilling his mother’s blood, only Athena intervenes and turns the Furies into the Kindly Ones with a bunch of goddess of wisdom trickery and a thinly-veiled threat of god-killing lightning bolts.

Blood for blood may not be the best solution to a problem, and three vengeful goddesses with snakes in their hair maybe aren’t the best representation of women. But damned if they, like so many other goddesses and other mythological figures that come in threes, aren’t more interesting for all their evilness.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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Drabble 24 – Induratize


Anatomy of the lungs and heart by University of Liverpool Faculty of Life and Health Sciences.

There are so many pithy quotes about being kind and compassionate and loving, and I have a confession to make:

I love them all.

It’s too easy to be cold and unforgiving and apathetic. I know; I catch myself doing it all the time. Vulnerability and weakness and caring make us–or me, at least–feel fragile. If we’ve been hurt, doubly so. I think scar tissue is as much a protection as it is a response to trauma.

These quotes deserve to be needlepointed on pillows on your grandmother’s couch. They’re greeting card stock. They’re things you wrote in your third-grade diary when that girl on your bus said something mean about your hair. And they’re true, at least for me, and sometimes they echo in my mind as a reminder that sometimes bravery is not stoicism but rather letting everything, even in the bad things, in.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

Iain S. Thomas – I Wrote This For You

Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies–God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

Kurt Vonnegut – God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

And so on, and so on. Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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Drabble 23 – Tarantism


Spiderwebs are beautiful when they’re not covered in terrible spiders. Spiderweb by Erik Schepers.

It probably comes as no surprise that I’m afraid of spiders. Something like thirty percent of people are, but few of us are able to pinpoint exactly why. Too many eyes, maybe. Too many legs. That skittering thing they do, or the way they run, stop, run, stop, and somehow vanish completely from your sight.

I try not to be afraid of spiders. I like to garden; I should be living in harmony with the creatures that keep more harmful pests out of my backyard. Sometimes I watch a big golden cross spider spin her web in the morning and devour it at night. We have a tenuous sort of friendship–if I know where she is, I don’t feel afraid of her, and if I’m not afraid of her, she’s not in danger.

Still–think too long about them and you’re liable to feel them crawling all over you, eight legs tickling your skin. And it’s funny that we’re all so afraid of them, isn’t it? Like something deep inside is warning us to be frightened of creatures with eight eyes and legs, with quick movements, and with fearsome, man-eating women.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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#BGSD: 5 Ways I Organize My Disorganized Life


My pens and trusty planner. The cat is not necessary to organization, and may in fact be an impediment.

Organization is hard. I say this as a person who now keeps a detailed planner, cleans house daily, and has no greater satisfaction in life than checking something off a to-do list. I haven’t always been this way; in fact, I still struggle sometimes with thinking about all the work staring me in the face. I freeze up, particularly when that work is an invitation to rejection.

But I have to eat. To eat, I have to work. To work, I have to organize my time and not let myself be paralyzed with fear. Organization is a work in progress for me. I’m getting better at it, and the system I have now seems to be working for me. Even so, I’m always looking for more ways to streamline my work process.

I can’t promise that my organizational methods will work for everybody, but because freezing up is not actually a sustainable method of dealing with your problems, work, or social life, I thought I might as well share them with the world. Think of it as a series of potential tools, not a cure-all tonic; what works for me and my quirks might just be annoyances to you.

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