This is from “Singing With All My Skin and Bone”, which will be out at some point in Nightmare, and which I’m posting because I’ve been thinking about it, because it’s pertinent to my post last night, and it remains the most intensely personal thing I’ve written in a long time. It is essentially autobiography through a veil. It was frightening to write. I’m glad I did.
Let me tell you what I wish I could have said, when they saw the blood and the pits in my flesh and tried to get me to stop, because everyone knows a little kid shouldn’t do this shit to themselves. Let me tell you that when you discover a direct line into the fabric of the universe, it’s very difficult to just leave that alone. Let me tell you what it’s like to wear every mark like a secret ornament that only you find lovely, and to hate them at the same time because of what they’ll mean to everyone else, so you hide them as best you can with long sleeves and shadows but they always see in the end. Let me tell you what it’s like to make blood magic, real magic, because packed under your fingernails the world loses its power to hurt you anymore. Let me tell you want it’s like to run pain through a complex refinement process that makes it chocolate and warm sheets and dappled summer sunlight. Let me tell you what it’s like to select your instruments of sorcery according to their sharpness and keen edges. Let me tell you what it’s like to be a witch in junior high school. Let me tell you. Shut up and let me talk.
I wish I could get this into words. None of them are coming out quite right. I want to tell you what it’s like to have magic in your skin. Sit down beside me and let me illuminate all my scars, let me tell you all my many early names. No, they weren’t bestowed like honorable titles and they hurt worse than the actual wounds, but they dug into me just like everything else, and I have them still. Not all scars are the kinds you can see. Not all scars are beautiful. A changing body is a dangerous thing; a body that can be changed is more dangerous still. All these little bodies, all this potential, and imagine if they all found out how to take hold of it all at once. Every single beaten-down body, rising in angry flames.
God, we would have been terrifying. Can you imagine? Can you just imagine that? There’s a reason why we send children off to war.
The new issue of Ideomancer is up and free to read, and features my short piece of QUILTBAG eco-horror, “The Horse Latitudes”.
I love this story and have been looking for the perfect home for it for a while now, so it’s great to see it finally out in the big wide world.
Today, on the Feast of the Superb Owl, I got word that my shortish take on fairy tales and the Monstrous Feminine “To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More” is going to be published by Apex Magazine later this year. Which is happy-making.
What’s even more happy-making is that I’ve been feeling a little frustrated by my writing lately, and that Apex is one of those markets that I’d sort of wondered if I’d ever sell to. And hey, I have. And I also have chicken and chocolate chip cookies.
All hail the Superb Owl and her fearsome beak and catchsome claws.
Back from Philcon. It was, in a word, fabulous. I made fabulous friends. I went to some fabulous panels (including one that was actually awful in a fairly fabulous way). I had fabulous Indian food. I met Catherynne Valente and she was fabulously gracious and remembered the essay I wrote about Silently and Very Fast and Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto. So yeah. Fabulously fabulicious.
by Katie Rose Pipkin
Here are a couple other fabulous things:
- My short work of SF eco-horror, “Invasives”, is up to read for free in the current issue of The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. It has some awesome art. For those who care about such things, it came from an experience I had as a child camping with my father, where the trees around the campground were covered in disgusting gray caterpillars and I refused to go near them because I think on some level I was afraid they were going to leap on me. Childhood trauma for the literary win.
- The Scheherazade’s Facade giveaway is still technically going on here, but I decided that Tumblr might be a slightly better tool for this, so you can also enter to win there by simply reblogging. Same terms: I choose a winner at random this upcoming Friday. Goooooo.
Okay, so, a number of things have happened since I last posted.
First: THE NOVEL IS DONE. Well, the first draft is. But I generally write relatively complete first drafts, so I don’t anticipate very much needing to be done to the structure of the thing in the editing stage–which I plan to start in a couple of weeks. I may have to vanish again right about then but for the present I plan to return to at least a semi-regular posting schedule.
Second, my numbers station-inspired story “The Cold Death of Papa November” is now up to read for free at Three-Lobed Burning Eye. You can also hear me reading it at that link (and you can download the mp3 for ipodery). I really do love that weird piece of… something. The story, I mean. I’m glad it’s been loosed on the world. And the rest of that issue of 3LBE is very worth your time.
And finally, another plug for Shadows & Tall Trees #2: Issue #1 sold out, and it’s very likely that this one will too, given the limited print run and the fact that people seem to like the magazine. So if you want it, I’d get it sooner rather than later. It is also very worth your time, and not just because of me (seriously, Steve Rasnic Tem’s piece in there is way unsettling).
And that’s it for me for now. But watch this space.
This is almost cheating, since the WIP I’m posting a snippet of is very nearly no longer a WIP. I’ve finished at least a draft of “The Horse Latitudes”, the short story that I posted a bit of last week. It’s since gotten not so short, and will probably need a good bit of carving and reshaping before it’s ready to send out. Nevertheless, for a story that I waited a year to write I think it’s not all that shabby.
Here’s a little bit of the last third: