Writing, discussing, and understanding through literature, pop culture, and black girl magic.
Writing in the quiet of a bedroom filled with music with the scent of peppermint tea between catching superhero flicks, going dancing, and generally being a self titled party nerd is my passion. Science fiction and fantasy fill the pages I write, as well as helpful tips and advice to get by in a world like this. I'm proud of being a powerful black woman and if that's a problem then it's your loss.
This article was originally published at Comics Bulletin on May 26, 2016.
Every two weeks in a new installment of “Leading Questions”, the young, lantern jawed Mark Stack will ask Comics Bulletin’s very own Chase Magnett a question he must answer. However, Mark doesn’t plan on taking it easy on Chase. He’ll be setting him up with questions that are anything but fair and balanced to see how this once overconfident comics critic can make a cogent case for what another one obviously wants to hear.
So without any further ado…
Why are the best superhero comics love stories?
I just got out of The Lobster, which is arguably a love story. Love isn’t a genre of story though. I’m not sure what exactly you’d call it, maybe a mode or a goal? But I’m certain it’s not a genre. Romantic comedies aren’t a genre, they’re just a trope…
Blurb: Play the Piano introduces Charles Bukowski’s poetry from the 1970s. He leads a life full of gambling and booze but also finds love. These poems are full of lechery and romance as he struggles to mature.
I received the notice for jury duty with mild annoyance. I hoped I wouldn’t get picked as I put the date of the summons on my calendar. I thought about how jury duty would throw me off my work schedule; how I didn’t want to participate in this particular part of civic life in small town Alabama; how I didn’t want to help someone, probably another Black person, go to jail.
But I didn’t spend too much time worrying. It was summertime and the date, during a week in the middle of September, seemed an unpleasant blip on the road far ahead. I pushed it out of my mind and tried to enjoy the remaining pieces of a waning summer in my sleepy southern town.
Eventually the summer break gave way to the fall semester, though the weather…
I highly reccomend that everyone try to incorporate reading three micro fictions a week. They’re quick ways to get your imagination engine running. For writers they’re amazing ways to learn and practice how to condense a story. For readers, especially of genre fiction, this gives you a quick potent fix of your favorite stories. We don’t always have time to sit down and read a whole chapter, needless to say a whole trilogy. Seeking out micro fiction can be a great way to get a wonderful story into your day’s schedule. They’re short enough for lunch breaks or coffee breaks. They’re great for when you just can’t concentrate on anything for long periods of time. Being mom or dad or gran, or babysitter means you do a lot of running around, but you just might be able to read a whole piece of micro fiction before someone needs their next cup of juice because they changed their mind about wanting the glass of milk you poured five minutes ago. By searching blogs for short fiction, or buying collections on kindle or nook you may find exciting new authors and stories that stick with you forever.
Trust me the right micro fiction by the right author is totally worth it!
Continuing with the Southern Gothic theme of the last post, here is the current opening of the novelette I mentioned, The Hell I Burn Through.
Chapter One: Part One
Incense mingled with the smell of soil, salt, roses, and graveyard dust, filling Sula’s nostrils, as She sat in the darkness of the parlor. She exhaled, holding her hands out over the water bowl in front of her with her eyes closed. She inhaled again, and got a strong whiff of the graveyard, mossy, yet almost like rotten thyme and cooked spinach. Maybe it was strange she’d come to like it, but growing up around goofer dust,taken from old cemeteries, had that effect on those who’d grown up in that world. Miss Faye hated that word, goofer. Apparently it sounded far too low country for her tastes. No matter what you called it, Sula found its comfort. Somehow it still didn’t feel like she could breathe the air, despite this being her element, her birthright. The tension in the house was already thick, and it felt all the thicker when Miss Faye gave her work. But that was simply what life in the house entailed, and always had.
In her mind, Sula saw the room as though her eyes were wide open. Sula knew which way the flame of each of the twenty seven white and black candles around the room flickered, and she knew what direction Miss Faye, in her ocean blue headscarf and yellow flowers chose to pace. She could see herself too, sitting at the little table at the center of the room with the bowl in front of her, the woven dime bag satchel of whatever bodily matter brought to use to the right of the bowl, and the burning incense in front of the bowl. The bowl held filtered rain water and her reflection, which was almost perfectly still due to the bowls construction. Supposedly, according to Miss Faye, it’d been a gift for Sula though Sula was only allowed to use it when Miss Faye asked. Some people called helping themselves a gift, Sula knew, and Miss Faye had always been one of those. Well, at least, as long as Sula had been alive. Sula peered directly at herself, and realized she still had some sleep dust in the corner of her eye and that if the shoulder of her blouse fell you could see where Miss Faye had taken a switch to her shoulder yesterday. The bruise was a deep purple against her brown skin.
If Sula couldn’t do what Miss Faye wanted today? Well, then she’d be in for a world of hurtin. She had to focus. She had to breathe. There was nowhere else. No one else. There was life and there was death. There were no borders except the ones she’d been taught, and she’d been taught to break them down to find the universal connections between past and present; here and there. Somewhere a distant ancestor’s breath matched her own. Somewhere a flower blossomed. Somewhere became everywhere, and Sula breathed. From the recesses of her mind her grandfather whispered “Let yourself fall,” and she, ever the obedient girl, slipped down into everything. Before her eyes, in the dark, glitter began to flicker and there came her target, Mr. Johnson. He was a kind man to children, and often gave Sula fresh fudge from his cart for free every Christmas, and whenever he’d been by to see Miss Faye. His bald held gleamed, his once muscular body stretched from a yawn so big his fifty year old round belly jiggled. Once upon a time Miss Faye had been crazy about him, but she’d been crazier about the social club Mrs. Johnson headed.
Sula was gonna miss that chocolate and gooey fudge.
**Chapter One Part One of Draft 2** The Hell I Burn Through is a southern gothic of intriguing whimsy and fascination with the world of southern high society, african american conjure, mojo, sensuous affairs, innocent loves, and good down home cooking.
Announcing the Launch of Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form — Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I. Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but […]