I felt like writing something sad and horrifying…

… today. It’s been a bit of a difficult day. No details necessary, nothing serious, just a few challenges that were overcome, although not without effort. I felt exhausted, angry, frustrated… then I thought, “hey – I’ll write something instead”.

A short story is now in the makings, a bizarre concoction of today’s events, completely transformed and transported to another place, another time. This is one of the big reasons why I write. I need to re-think and work through some of the things that happen in real life, to create a positive out of a negative. I guess this is the fuel that powers the strange machine inside my head that constructs stories.

Now I feel relieved.

A relationship as fragile as the living paper creatures holding it together.

I read a wonderful short story today. 2012-Hugo Award nominated The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. It’s a story about shunning one’s cultural heritage, about fear of not fitting in, about parenthood. The mother’s ability to create living creatures out of paper is a subtle, yet grand form of magic that seems fully natural to her son, the narrator of the story, but this ability is not enough to hold his interest and as he ages his dislike for his mother’s heritage and her way of acting and speaking, which is so different from what is the norm in the society he grows up in, grows stronger. She is from the country-side of China, now they live in the USA. The mother’s struggle to connect with her son is as heart breaking as it is desperate. A painfully beautiful story.

You can read it online here, link found at the blog Worlds Without End.

Mysterious dragons, nightly terrors and silly situations…

… are what I found in John Scalzi’s “The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City (Prologue)”, a short story nominated for a 2012 Hugo Award. I’d never read anything by Scalzi before and so had no expectations when approaching the text, but was pleasantly surprised by the lovely tone of the narrator and the humor of the text.  I read the text online at Tor.com, here.

I first found the link in this blog post at Worlds Without End, where four other 2012 Hugo Award-nominated short stories are also listed and where they are available online. As they say on WWE, apparently “The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City (Prologue)” was published online by John Scalzi as an April-fools joke. Made me laugh!