Compulsive Wheedling

I don’t notice the difference in beguiling flattery coming from your mouth right off. You always turn to wheedling me when you want something. I’ve learned to shut down the listening part of my brain when you get going.  But tonight, the shadows have grown long across the prairie, yet still you haven’t given up asking. I can’t imagine you’d want to visit the corner store with your friends this bad.

‘Why Do You Write?’ What I would have asked myself as a teenage writer instead of the question I got

One memory about my time as a member of the Writers’ Club in my high school sticks out to me. The English teacher who organized the club had reached out to a local writer, asking her to meet with our group at the local coffee shop in the tiny town where our school was located. My area oozes writers—probably because of some cosmic vortex that churns them out of the dry dirt, reaching hands up toward the vast, impossibly vast blue sky overhead for literally anything beyond a monotonous high plains landscape—so she could’ve been anybody. I didn’t catch her name because I was a teenager and bad with names. 

I’m still bad with names but no longer a teenager. I wish I’d remembered who she was. 

My friends and I met with this writer in the evening, early enough in the school year that the weather hadn’t yet changed to nasty, blustery cold. We sat outside, where we could barely hear each other every time a train rumbled past on the nearby tracks. We held our notebooks poised, ready to jot down any writing wisdom she thought to dole out.

Spooktober 2022 Day 27: Teeth

Life for everyone changed forever the day my teeth broke your skin. 

But it was bite, or be bitten. 

And your bite had the power to make me one of you. A rotting, shambling corpse. Someone else’s teeth had already transmitted a curse to you. A curse which drove you to pay it forward when you’d cornered me in that storage shed.

Book Review: Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace

The plot of Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace asks what unfinished business might make effectively a superhero unable to find peace and pass on. Wasp, a desperately lonely archivist of ghost behavior, is tasked with finding out what happened to the world long ago from any ghost that might talk to her, in addition to fighting upstarts each year who want to take her life and her place.

But she meets the dangerous, unnamed ghost of a supersoldier on the hunt for someone he has lost in the underworld. And he thinks Wasp can help.