Onwards, Intrepid Hero…
What I wrote:
The point of this was to write outside my comfort zones, so I decided to use plot and genre prompts, courtesy of Springhole. Here’s how it went.
The Story: The Mourning of the Hunt
The Genre: Historical Fantasy
The Plot: On Halloween Night, an insane man, a gamer, and a programmer transform a strange creature into the bones of a werewolf hunter using a strange board game, a missing episode, and a remote control.
What I read:
Wednesday (day 1):
- Short Story: Sunwake, in the Lands of Teeth by Juliette Wade. – Odd. Took me awhile to wrap my head around it, but actually really fun to read- humans take a backdrop against a war between the Aurrel and Hnnwan on a planet nothing like Earth. The heart of the story is a grizzled general trying to reconnect with friends and stay alive in a rich backdrop that I definitely want to read more about. I’ll be hunting down more of Wade’s work. Definitely recommend this be read.
- Essay: Julia Blackburn – Sleuthing for Napoeon’s Ghost (1/5) from BBC3’s The Essay – This has a giant tortoise called Johnathan. This pretty much guarantees I’m listening to it again. Also it’s a rather posh Limey lady going to France to find Napoleon’s ghost. I can’t complain at all.
- Poem: The Fall of 1992 by Randall Mann – Honestly, I’m not sure what I think of this one. I’ve listened to it and read it a couple of times now. It’s certainly evocative- I can imagine the gnats and the humidity of the rains, but there’s an undercurrent of (maybe?) crushed hope that I can’t quite put my finger on. The preamble gives context which is helpful. I still need to listen/read it a couple more times to make up my mind.
Thursday (day 2):
- Short Story: The Sound of by Charles Payseur – Creepy. Not in a scary sort of way, but the encroaching interferance of authority and the constant knowledge of being watched… it creeps me out. For me personally, the Sound almost takes a backdrop even though it’s the last bastion of freedom. Accepting it is absolving the self of responsibility and autonomy and that is a huge no for me. Highly recommended.
- Essay: Andrea Stuart: Josephine (Napoleon 2/5 from BBC3’s The Essay) – Something of a closer look into the wife of Napoleon. I enjoyed this one; learning something new.
- Poem: From summer, somewhere by Danez Smith – Evocative and emotional, and a glimpse into a life of experiences completely alien to my own. Much better listened to than read.
Friday (day 3):
- Short Story: Black, Their Regalia by Darcie Little Badger – Aspects of Native American culture, goths, the supernatural and a plague ridden apocalypse. There’s a lot packed into this short story. It focuses on the characters rather than the surroundings- giving just enough detail to ground the story. I think this story would have benefited from being a touch longer, as the resolution is a little sudden, but aside from that I really enjoyed it.
- Essay: Adam Nicolson: On living with his father (Napoleon 3/5 from BBC3’s The Essay) –
- Poem: Black Map by Bei Dao – Strangely maudlin Not exactly a fun read but worth reading nonetheless.
Saturday (day 4):
- Short Story: The Lily and the Horn by Catherynne M. Valente – Beautiful, deadly, a story of lovers separated by war, and of war played by the hands of women- poisoners and healers. It’s an unusual take and, honestly, it’s my favourite so far. Highly recommended.
- Essay: Kirsteen McCue – the Ettrick Shephard (Napoleon 4/5 from BBC3’s The Essay) –
- Poem: The Prophets Really Prophesy As Mystics The Commentators Merely By Statistics by Robert Frost –
Sunday (day 5):
- Short Story: A Prince of Thirteen Days by Alaya Dawn Johnson – I love this story. Absolutely love it. I spent the first part confused about whether the people were human or not, but everything is explained at the end and everything resolves itself. It’s really a lovely half coming-of-age half fairy story and I love it!
- Essay: Je suis un Table by Ian Sansom from BBC3’s The Essay – An exploration of the literary, philosophical and cultural history of the table.
- Poem: Call it Music by Philip Levine – (2 pages)
Monday (day 6):
- Short Story: The Pragmatical Princess by Nisi Shawl – A highly intelligent, somewhat rebellious Princess, a father set on a course of conquest and colonisation, and a dragon watching after his own health. This- this was not at all what I expected and it was wonderful. HIGHLY recommended.
- Essay: Homage to Caledonia: Scots Abroad by A L Kennedy (from BBC3’s The Essay) – What is Scottishness and what it means to her. Featuring tartan, a kilt and a sense of identity.
- Poem: 1, 1, 2000 by Philip Levine
Tuesday (day 7):
- Short Story: The Dryad’s Show by T Kingfisher – Aww! This is such a sweet little story It’s a retelling of Cinderella, but it’s adorable. It has a tlaking bird and gardening. I fucking love gardening, and Hannah is filled with righteous ire when her seed beds are trampled.
- Essay: Homage to Caledonia: Morality & Misery (from BBC3’s The Essay) –
- Poem: 1-800-FEAR by Jody Gladding – No punctuation. The bane of my life. It took me a few go throughs to find the rhythm. It’s an interesting thought- door to door evangelists talking about fear. Makes a change from Jesus.