The pale blue dot
so still from space
serene, placid, and composed
up close, its seething masses shrill
their anger and their fear
out there, amidst the black
the voices fade
the calm, the quiet overtake
down here, the noise rains down
barrage upon the stronghold of the soul.
From afar it seems so peaceful
so tranquil, the pale blue dot
solidarity enshrined in that single pixel
a lone world and its lone people
united against the black.
Instead the tide of humanity
erodes the bedrock of its home
blue flame burns away the dream.
Photo credit: NASA/JPL
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Time flies when you’re accomplishing nothing.
Okay, I can’t quite say that. I do feel much at a standstill. But still, things have happened, and there is more to come. Since my Q3 update in July, I have:
- edited and posted ‘The Edge’ and ‘His Brother’s Keeper’ for sale on Smashwords
- finished ‘The Invasion’ (currently titled ‘No Such Place As Home’) and prepared it for submission
- written a second article for The Mary Sue
- started work on ‘Counter Clockwise’ with my writers group
- created a plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo
- continued writing fic on AO3
- created a new blog just for babbling about Doctor Who
- taken yet another new direction with ‘The Way’
- created a script version of my Tenth Doctor fic ‘Volcano Day’
Okay, now I look at it, that’s quite a lot! :)
I realize now I haven’t actually outlined my NaNo plan anywhere. It’s for a series of Dragon stories based on my sister’s artwork, three tales of dragons in three cities beginning with Paris, continuing to St. Johns and then (I think) Seattle. I have an idea at least for each of them. I’m not sure how NaNo is actually going to go, given that I’d like to work on ‘Counter Clockwise’ and I still have editing to do on ‘Ghosts’ for Smashwords and I’d like to wrap up my Broadchurch fic. I will have to pick a focus, and get at least one thing done and done. Probably the dragons, though I’ll keep taking ‘Counter Clockwise’ to the writers group and with luck (?) finish ‘The Ex-Detectives’ before then. (In two and a half weeks. Maybe, maybe not.)
Wish me luck.
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I came across a thing on Tumblr.
Like many things on Tumblr, it is collaborative. It begins with the end of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Fans of the series take turns imagining the aftermath of the final battle from the point of view of its survivors, and those who come after them. Both the immediate aftermath and the long term; both the general effects and the intimately, painfully personal.
Read it, if you can, and discover where it leaves you.
I did not get far – I hadn’t even finished the original post – before I began to imagine a different world from the one Rowling and her fans created. A world we might define as ‘real;’ a world that is part of our history. A world where millions died senselessly for the accident of their birth, or the nature of their personal beliefs. A world where neighbor betrayed neighbor, where friends defended friends at the cost of their own lives. A world where children and adults on both sides suffered guilt, loss, and betrayal. A world of ‘before’ and ‘after,’ where nothing will ever be the same – and yet all is not forever lost.
I wondered if these fans had accidentally described the aftermath of the Jewish Holocaust in Europe.
Most of us weren’t there in 1945. Most of us don’t know anyone who was. Some of us know the stories of people who were; diminished by time and history, perhaps, or, undiminished, too painful to confront. Too horrific to imagine. Yet these (probably) young people, in the freedom of their imaginations, cushioned by fantasy, imagine it. They confront and struggle with it. They, possibly all unknowing, empathize with real people and real tragedy and face the consequences of horrific acts. From the safety of fiction they learn about the world, about themselves, and make decisions that will guide them forward in their lives.
This is the magic of fiction. This is the place fantasy has in our lives.
Neil Gaiman says it better than I ever could, but the short version remains: Fiction is real.
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‘The Edge,’ available at Smashwords for $1.99. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/474592
This story has not appeared anywhere before. Grab it while you can.
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Okay, so I haven’t been here in a while. It’s not because I’m not doing things; the things I’m doing just aren’t ready for prime time. I’ll have some things to post soon, no really I will.
Among the things:
A second article for TMS, scheduled for 9/1 or thereabouts. I’ll post it as soon as I see it.
The Edge and His Brother’s Keeper for Smashwords. HBK is nearly there; Edge needs a cover.
The Invasion, which needs a new title, is nearly done. I’m having second thoughts about submitting it; I’ve worked on it for so long, I want to post it, and the submission process takes forever. On the other hand, I have a whole new story to write from scratch before making another book, so it doesn’t actually matter if Analog wants to sit on it for four months. On va voir.
I’m still posting stuff on Archive of our Own so feel free to go by there. And I promise there will be things here soon.
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