Ten Years of THE HUNGER GAMES

All Hail to Suzanne Collins, Queen of Everything.

  • The Hunger Games Aesthetic:

 

Power Dynamics: THE STONE SKY, Ch. 4

Trigger Warning: Torture

  • Kill only one, initially. Pick someone who tries to harm you — but only one, even if more than one tries. Disable the others, but take your time killing that one person. Make it painful. Make sure your target screams. That’s important. If the first one that you kill remains silent . . . kill another.

Dystopia In Progress

Self is going to try, while she’s at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, pulling all her science fiction together into one collection.

What to call it?

She’s toying with the idea of making this the first story:

THE FREEZE (published in Bluestem)

Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine

Thanksgiving was just a week ago. I served brined turkey with oatmeal rolls and my special fig-and-rice stuffing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cost of Paper, vol. 5 (published by 1888 Center, Orange, CA)

DSCN0097

Sadly, both the AWP2019 panel proposals self was included in were rejected. One was a mixed-genre panel, the brainchild of Philadelphia poet Anne-Adele Wight. The other was a Quarterly West panel on experimental fiction.

Nevertheless, self still has much to celebrate. Such as, her story This Is End being in The Cost of Paper, vol. 5 (It’s the last story in the anthology). The anthology’s editor was Julianne Berokoff.

Self just had another story picked up for the Winter 2018 issue of Prairie Schooner, due out this December. And the two stories couldn’t be more different: the one in The Cost of Paper is space fantasy, the Prairie Schooner story is straight-up realism.

This Is End is the third story in a cycle about a boy named Dragon, a missing girl named Her, a teacher named Fire Lizard, a bully named Big, the bully’s friend Drinker, and a new student named Knot.

Dragon saw Big knock Her out cold (in the middle of a class, why). Her never came back to class, but sometimes Dragon thinks he sees her waving to him from a window of an abandoned space station called the Kobayashi Maru. Ever since then, he’s been itching for revenge.

Big doesn’t show up to class one day, Knot asks Dragon:

“Is it true? Tumor he had?”

We spot-check each other for tumors. We’re so afraid of it.

“Ecchymosis?” Knot persists.

Here’s a link to 1888 Center’s Bookstore.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Story-in-Progress: “Feint” (Dystopia)

I was not born with this sense of foreboding, just as my parents weren’t born with a sense of despair.

Work-In-Progress: “Feint” (Genre: Dystopia)

For a woman who could not write a word of dialogue when she began her Creative Writing Program (and who moreover wrote in English, which was not the native tongue in her country of origin), her stories now seem to consist of nothing but.

“Is that you, Maa?”

“Yes. Can you send Le Ponant?”

“No. Why? I’ll have to clear it.”

“How long will that take?”

“A day or two. Is it lunchtime there?”

“No.”

“Well, it is, here. I’ve got to go.”

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

 

Lord of the Flies: Terrible and Beautiful

p. 181:

The parachute took the figure forward, furrowing the lagoon, and humped it over the reef and out to sea.

Is this nightmare scenario believable? Absolutely.

Stay tuned.

Flies in Lord of the Flies and This Is a Trigger Warning

The flies do finally appear.

That is all.

If anyone were to tell you that killing a pig isn’t the worst thing in the universe, self would say, read Lord of the Flies.

The funny thing is, a pig being killed is so not just a pig. It develops an ineffable aura, and before you can say Holy-Cow-Its-a-Metaphor, you begin to develop all sorts of feelings for the poor pig. And self would just like to say that never has a killing been so ineptly executed, except perhaps for that one in Half-Broke Things by Morag Joss.

Self is rambling because she suddenly remembers Jeffrey Dahmer. He used to torture insects by pulling off their wings. Then he got hold of a neighbor’s cat. Then he wound up storing human body parts in a freezer. There was progression.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lord of the Flies: Reasons

Self is almost halfway through this novel, its pacing is so fleet. She thinks there’s a good chance she can smash her 2018 Goodreads reading challenge to bits and then some.

So, about the novel: the descriptions of the island are so on point! Except, there appear to be no forms of animal life other than boys and pigs. Everything else is flora and fauna: gorgeous tropical flowers, vines, rotting trees.

She’s just arrived at the part where Jack and his choirboys kill a pig. This is where the symbolism starts getting a little heavyhanded: the choirboys chant, Kill the pig, which shows how far they have sunk since Jack introduced himself by saying, “I sing in high C.”

Also, the fat boy is called “Piggy.”

Uh-oh. (Self: why are you saying uh-oh like that, as if you’ve never read the book?)

Also, he just won’t shut up. Worse, he keeps nattering on to Ralph, and Ralph finds him dull. Great word choice, William Golding! Now self knows why people never listen to her!

Anyhoo, splendid Ralph (who goes running naked through the forest, a natural athlete, doesn’t even flinch when vines and what-not “savage” him) is up against Mad Jack, who’s already sunk to the level of painting his face, just like that crazy man in Apocalypse Now.

Self could tell dear blog readers what happens next, if she weren’t so sure that at least 95% of dear blog readers already know, since they probably had to read this book for school.

Instead, she will just say that she identifies with Ralph, especially in this moment, when he has a very adult epiphany:

  • He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching one’s feet.

A page later, he has this one further thought:

  • With a convulsion of the mind, Ralph discovered dirt and decay, understood how much he disliked perpetually flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes, and at last, when the sun was gone, rolling noisily to rest among dry leaves.

His way of resisting the meltdown is to call assembly, which self thinks is really quite brave of him, but she can’t help thinking that Ralph is like Sisyphus, condemned to an eternity of trying to roll a stone uphill, especially when he can’t even get the boys organized to build themselves proper shelters.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Littleuns in Lord of the Flies

Question: Why is this book called Lord of the Flies when there is not one single fly on theĀ  island? Could there have been flies, only the boys didn’t think it was worth bringing up? That said, it’s a a good title, for sure.

Self really enjoyed Golding’s description of the ‘littleuns.’

  • The undoubted littleuns, those aged about six, led a quite distinct and at the same time intense, life of their own. They ate most of the day, picking fruit where they could reach it and not particular about ripeness and quality. They were used now to stomachaches and a sort of chronic diarrhoea. They suffered untold terrors in the dark and huddled together for comfort. Apart from food and sleep, they found time for play, aimless and trivial, in the white sand by the bright water. They cried for their mothers much less often than what might have been expected; they were very brown and filthily dirty. They obeyed the summons of the conch, partly because Ralph blew it, and partly because they enjoyed the entertainment of the assemblies.

She forgot that there were six-year-olds on the island!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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