Wednesday, September 21, 2016

thin


So here's the deal. It's here. The book is here and ready to go. I'm still in the process of setting it up on Etsy, so that'll be a few more days. In the meantime, if you're local or expecting to see me in the near future, just send me a message, on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, whatever, and I can get it to you without the whole Etsy thing.



The cost is going to be $5.00, and you'll have to allow a week or so for me to get your copy printed and bound, as I'm doing them all by hand, one at a time.



As a reminder, the information I posted about the book earlier this month:

thin will be a collection of 21 poems, some new, some previously published elsewhere, about living with an eating disorder. These are poems that I've written in the year and a half or so that I've been struggling with this, from a few months before my diagnosis to about a year after I left treatment, and I'm publishing them primarily in the hopes that they can help others understand and process their feelings as they deal with similar issues. The books will be saddle stitched, all hand-bound by me, and will most likely be available mainly on Etsy.


Oh, and I turn 23 on Monday. Help me celebrate by buying a copy of my brand new book!





Sunday, September 4, 2016

*#@% You, Mary

This story is actually called “Mary’s Child,” or “Our Lady’s Child,” usually, and it shows up in the Brothers Grimm. And it will be a miracle if I can get through this essay without using some seriously bad language (but I’ll try, because my grandparents read this blog), because I am bursting with anger today, and the Virgin Mary deserves all I have and more.

Not the real Mary. Just to clarify. Fairy tale Mary. Fairy tale Mary deserves more anger than I have to give. I'm cool with the real life mother of God. No issues there.

Okay. So first of all, you got this baby. This baby’s dad is all broke, like everyone in fairy tales,  so one day when he’s out chopping wood, the Virgin Mary just appears all out of nowhere, like, hey man, you can’t afford to raise a kid. I’ll take her.

And this broke wood chopper dude, he’s like, yeah, okay. So the baby goes off with Mary to grow up in Heaven.

All good, yeah? Sounds fun.

Well, the crap is coming.

So the girl is like fourteen now, right? And Mary’s  gotta go on a trip. She decides—hello, Bluebeard—to leave all the keys to Heaven with this kid. Except of course one of the keys opens a door the kid’s not allowed to open.

Now this raises a lot of questions. Like, why would you leave these incredibly important keys in the charge of not only a child, but a living, human child—i.e. the only person in Heaven likely to make big with the sin and all? Or, like, where on earth does Mary have to be? Dude, you’re dead. Take a load off. Jesus came, Jesus went, your work is done. Naptime. Or, like, where exactly is God in all this? Or why are there locked doors in Heaven? Why are actual physical locks even a thing? Like, can’t the power of the Lord keep the special doors closed? And, most importantly, why is God putting up with all the crap the Mary is about to pull over the next several years of this child’s life?

So. Kid has the keys. Kid is hanging out with her little angel pals, and they’re all curious. There some arguing about how that would be wrong, we shouldn’t do that, it’s a sin, but you’re dealing with a high school freshman who grew up surrounded by the Sinless, and she is way past due for some rebellion.

Newsflash, Mary: Kids mess up. They can’t all be like your first one. Jesus was a special case, Mary. This kid is normal, Mary. She may be fully human, Mary, but she sure ain’t fully God.

Door opens. Mary returns, and it becomes obvious that the door opened—kid’s finger turns gold or something. Kid tries to lie about it, so that doesn’t help. Golden fingers don’t lie, kid.

So Mary dumps this child back down on earth, and she takes her voice while she’s at it. Recap: Girl, fourteen years old. Experience with other flawed human beings, zero. Experience with the trials of real life, particularly the wilderness, zero. Voice, none.

And here she is, smack dab in the middle of a forest, a child, and her clothes are all ripped and she’s tired and she’s hungry and she’s scared. And suddenly, a king.

I mean, you know where it’s going from here, right?  It’s not the first time. Big grown up king man marries the little girl with literally nothing, not even a voice to say no. And before you know it, she’s all knocked up.

And along comes Mary, in the middle of the night right after the baby is born, and she’s all like, hey, kid. You got a confession to make? Maybe one concerning a door you totally didn’t open?

And the kid says, “Nope.”

Okay. So, not the brightest. Not the most honest. She’s a stubborn girl. But, okay. She’s what, fifteen, now? And she can’t talk, and aside from the whole statutory rape thing, you really can’t say no to a king, especially when you have no voice. So I don’t think it’s all that much of a leap to assume this relationship was less than entirely consensual. And she’s a little girl, and she’s all alone in the world, and now she’s a mother. And she got kicked out of freaking Heaven. She has literally nothing left, and it’s all Mary’s fault.

And just thinking about it, I’m already all like screw you, Mary. So imagine how she’s feeling. I wouldn’t be about to admit defeat in the face of this crap either.

So Mary gets all pissed and takes away the newborn baby, and the next morning everyone’s saying that our girl ate her offspring.

But the king, he’s really into this whole child bride situation, so he decides to let the cannibalism slide just this once.

A year later, along comes baby number two. Mary shows up in the middle of the night, and she asks if the kid opened the door. And the kid is down a baby and the respect and trust of her people, on top of everyone else. So she’s just like, “Screw you, Mary, I didn’t open your stupid door.”

Bye bye baby number two, hello continued rumors of cannibalistic infanticide.

Fortunately, the novelty of doing it with a little girl who can’t talk back has yet to wear off, so the king lets it go. Who needs babies for kids when you already got one for a wife?

Another year passes. Deceit and childbirth, take three. Mary asks, girl lies, baby goes away to Heaven to live with Grandma. And maybe a mute seventeen year old wife isn’t quite as fun as a sixteen year old, or fifteen, or fourteen, because finally, the king is like, “Okay, enough with the baby-eating. We gotta burn this chick at the stake.”

So apparently, the fire from the stake-burning melts the “hard ice of pride” around our girl, and she’s just thinking, like “Crap, I really wish I’d told Mary the truth.”

And BAM! The voice comes back, and she admits to God and everyone that she opened that stupid door when she was fourteen stupid years old.

The fire goes out, Mary descends from the heavens, returns the babies, and FORGIVES her. Girl makes one mistake when she’s young and stupid, and Mary torments her in every way imaginable for the next three years, and then MARY forgives HER.

It’s a problem.

So, in conclusion $#%@ you, Mary.



Friday, September 2, 2016

Writing Update

This has been a terrible month for blogging, but a really great one for all the other writing I do. I've just finished going through the final, final draft of my second novel this month - the last run-through to catch spelling mistakes and awkward wording, things like that. So I've got two books ready to go, though I don't intend for them to go anywhere anytime soon; more details about that coming eventually. But I'm also fairly certain I've finally worked out the formatting glitches in the chapbook I am releasing soon.

It will be a couple more weeks before it's actually available for purchase, but I figure it's about time to start telling people about it. thin will be a collection of 21 poems, some new, some previously published elsewhere, about living with an eating disorder. These are poems that I've written in the year and a half or so that I've been struggling with this, from a few months before my diagnosis to about a year after I left treatment, and I'm publishing them primarily in the hopes that they can help others understand and process their feelings as they deal with similar issues. The books will be saddle stitched, all hand-bound by me, and will most likely be available mainly on Etsy.

I hope that this book will be able to help a few people, and if it does well, I look forward to releasing more chapbooks in the future.

In the meantime, I need a bit of a break before I launch into my next major revision project, so let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see on this blog in the near future. Questions, comments, fairy tales you want to hear me complain about.

The Night the Mermaid Reclaimed Her Voice

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Night the Mermaid Reclaimed Her Voice

The night her prince said yes to another woman
The mermaid sat at the edge of the motel pool
Frozen by a late fall chill
The night he left her
The mermaid screamed into the burnt out streetlights
Testing the voice he’d once tried to steal
The night her prince said yes
She danced on broken ankles
Thinking how he never listened
All those days she used to yell
The night he left her
She plunged a knife in the pool to shatter the ice
She shucked off the trappings of the life he led
And dived naked into the ice cold chlorine
When the prince left the mermaid behind
The mermaid left man
With prayers for another soon-to-be-broken girl

When the prince said yes, the mermaid swam home

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Books Are at Barnes and Noble!!!!

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, because I somehow wasn't, but both of my books are available through Barnes and Noble! BN is way cooler than Amazon, and also it's where I work when I'm not writing, so you should totally order it here




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Monster, a Child

I know I’ve already written extensively on this subject (on a related note, stay tuned for next week), but last week I went to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and, well. Here we are again.

The thing about the live action musical, first of all, is that it drives me nuts. I hate it. There’s like three new songs. The Beast is illiterate. Like, what? I know the matter of his age at transformation time is shrouded in continuity errors, but the most reasonable choice is that he was eleven.  Who doesn’t teach an eleven year old to read? Especially a royal eleven year old? This is Beauty and the Beast, people, not The Whipping Boy.

So I was, while mostly enjoying the experience immensely, stuck through the entire first half on that one little detail. Why couldn’t he read? He was eleven. He was eleven.

He was eleven.

He was eleven, in a gigantic palace, and he was the only one around to answer the door. Where were his parents? Where are his parents now? Why didn’t they teach him to read? Why didn’t they teach him to be kind to strangers?

He was eleven, and he was horribly cursed for being rude. Has this fairy never heard to stranger danger? Of course he wasn’t going to let her in. Newsflash: kids are rude. They’re also sensible, at least the ones not named Snow White. (Seriously, kid? The first two creepy old ladies you invited in when you were home alone tried to kill you, but surely the third is a nice one. I mean, come on. Really?)

When a creepy looking old lady knocks on the door, an eleven year old boy, home alone, is probably not going to want her to stick around. And who could blame him? He’s a child.

So now, having long since come to the conclusion that the fairy is the bad guy in the original novel, I’m beginning to have serious doubts about her in Disney, too. Fairy raises little boy, fairy wants to marry little boy, little no says no. Bam! Little boy is a monster now. Fairy approaches little boy, late at night, in a creepy disguise. Little boy does not react with kindness and maturity. Bam! Little boy is a monster now. I’m noticing a pattern, and it has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with her. (And with his mom, because seriously, lady? You leave your child with a pervy old fairy for years so you can fight a war. You try to prevent him from marrying the girl who saved him. You don't teach him to read. You are not around when he is terrified and newly monstrous. Get your act together. Your son needs you.)

Even in the versions where they try to make the Beast look like he deserved it, we’re still seeing him punished, if not for nothing at all, then at least in a manner that is nowhere near proportionate to his crimes. And the Beast is a victim. And the Beast is a child. Again, and again, and again.

Never trust the fairies.





P.S. The second half of the play was pretty much the most incredible thing ever, and the Beast was awkward and adorable and displayed traits consistent with someone who had been neglected and abused since childhood and was still very young, and long story short I kind of wanted to marry him, and also got glared at by lots of people when I couldn’t contain my squealing.