Drabble 30 – Kodama

The moment anything goes wrong in my life, I have an instinct to run away to the woods. There’s no good reason for this–I have no wilderness survival skills, no particular instinct for directions, and no idea what sorts of things forest-dwellers eat.

It’s not even that I want to be some kind of quiet forest hermit. I imagine myself existing not as a fixed person, but as some kind of spirit-like entity that shows up to guide lost folk out of the woods. Given my lack of wilderness skills and my general lack of magical ability, this is not likely.

Maybe sometimes I’m a vengeful spirit, wreaking subtle havoc on the lives of those who disrespect my home. Mostly I’m kind, but what spirit can exist without a hint of darkness?

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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Drabble 29 – Astrolatry


Orion Constellation by Miska Saarikko

There are few things more fascinating to me than religion. I’m not religious, personally, but not following a religion myself doesn’t mean that I can’t be interested in the things other people believe. Religion brings a lot of comfort to a lot of people and hearing people talk about their beliefs is them sharing a bit of their worldview with you–it’s informative and fascinating and wonderful.

That means that I have quite a few words on my enormous vocabulary list that end with –latry, meaning “worship of” the preceding noun. One of them is here, and at some point I’ll have a bunch more too. The only words on my list that approach the number of -latry words are those ending in -phobia (which has shown up once) and -philia, which means “an abnormal liking for or tendency toward,” and if you’re familiar with the suffix, you might have guessed why I haven’t posted any of those yet. Someday, someday.

Words are interesting. We construct our whole world, including our belief systems, out of them. Words are very, very powerful, and not just when they end with -latry.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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Important Work and Imposter Syndrome

Important Work

I don’t know if it’s just me, but being asked what I do is a source of unrepentant dread.

I write. I write here and I write on a couple of different websites, including Women Write About Comics, which you should be reading. I also do a podcast on geek culture. When I tell people these things, they always want to know what they’re about.

And I appreciate that enthusiasm and interest, but I can never seem to find a good answer. As much as nerdy stuff is popular right now, saying I take it seriously enough to critique it still feels like I’m asking to be shoved in a locker. It’s one thing to enjoy, say, Game of Thrones, and it’s another to discuss the implications of lily-white Daenerys’ subjects all being poor brown folks, right? Like, who cares? It’s a television show. Can’t we just turn off our brains and stop being offended by things for two minutes?

(No. Well, yes, but I believe the question is not can we, but should we. I’ll get there.)

And the writing–more than once, I’ve had the reception to my answer of “fantasy” for what I write about be…less than enthusiastic. It has put me in more than one uncomfortable position where I wriggle around in my seat and try to dodge the question to avoid the stares of well-meaning but skeptical family members.

Which inevitably leads me down a sad and well-populated road full of questions–most important, does what I do matter?

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Drabble 28 – Autochthon


Not that I think the moai were once people, but…who knows? Photo Credit: Uspn via Wikia.

First of all, I’m posing drabbles on Tuesday now because Mondays are kind of atrocious with my workload. I hate changing my schedule for anything, but I sincerely doubt that anybody is going to raise a fuss about me changing the day I post a hundred-word story to my personal blog, so, you know. If you’re going to raise a fuss about it, tough.

I can’t get enough of reading creation stories. I love reading about how cultures explain their own existence–where we come from and how we got to where we are is a fascinating story with or without myth. My favorites are the ones that involve trickery, the ones where all of humanity springs from a devious joke or some kind of seedy beginning.

Because even more than creation stories, I like tales of rebuilding. I like the stories where we’ve been utterly destroyed–whether by ourselves or by an outside force–and we put ourselves back together, better than we were before. There’s hope in that; hope you don’t find in your average dystopian story, the thinly veiled allegory for how, if we don’t get our act together, the world will end in violence. Those stories have their place too, to warn us of what can happen–but I like to know what we learn, what we’ll do better next time.

Sometimes you have to burn it all down to start again, but I like the building part better.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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I Am Scared of Literally Everything

HorrorI find that I can blame a lot of things about myself on books. My love of horror is, I think, one of them.

My first memory of reading something scary was my cousin locking me in the bathroom and forcing me to read a glow-in-the-dark book of ghost stories with her by flashlight. I did not enjoy the experience.

But then, at a formative age (I can’t remember precisely when, only that I was of just the right age), I read Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Headless Cupid. The book concerns, among other things, a young girl trying to impose some order on the world through witchcraft and studying the occult. She also happens to be of poltergeisting age–which, if you’re not familiar, is puberty.

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Drabble 27 – Auspice

I’m fascinated by methods of telling the future. I dabbled in tasseomancy as a kid (I was a weird kid, you may recall), but now I mostly play around with Tarot cards when I’m feeling conflicted or uncertain. It’s not that I necessarily believe in telling the future, much less my own ability to do so, more that I like the feeling of thinking, even for a second, that the world is organized enough that I might be able to divine what’s in store.

Omens are fascinating, and I have a particularly good one to share. I was walking to school once with my best friend (with whom I do an excellent podcast, by the way), when she asked me what that sound was. I looked at her, confused, and suddenly there was a crunchy, solid thump behind us. We turned around to find a crow dead on the sidewalk, having just fallen out of the air behind us.

How can you not take that as an omen? Looking up the symbolic meaning of crows, they themselves are not necessarily bad omens. A dead one, though? A dead one that plummeted out of the sky right behind you? That’s a little more difficult to say.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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