Publication: “Their Song”

This week my second published poem, Their Songappears in Strange Horizons.

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Weekend Writing Warriors (Sunday 16 October 2016): The Clone’s Complaint (character interview)

Each week, Weekend Writing Warriors presents a selection of excerpts from writers in a variety of genres. Check out the other offerings here.

***

I know who she was. I’m bigger, I’m stronger, I’m faster. If Naime were to come back from beyond the stars and meet me as one mortal to another, I could beat her in any fair fight, including swinging a sledgehammer. I can outrun her, outrow her, certainly outlast her in any contest on land or air or sea.

I’m only human and only mortal and nobody in particular, but I have studied this frame and I know what I can do with it. I’ve made it mine, this house on earth. 

I’m a bigger woman than she was at this age. 

***

The clone considers her glorious progenitor, and decides in her own favor. Character interview for NaNoWriMo 2016 project The Clone’s Complaint. 

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Weekend Writing Warriors  (Sunday 9 October 2016): The Clone’s Complaint (character interview)

Each week, Weekend Writing Warriors presents a selection of excerpts from writers in a variety of genres. Check out the other offerings here.

***

When we sat with my parents to watch The Shipwright at Landfall, Martisset incessantly nudged me and shook her head. No, that wasn’t right: the Shipwright wouldn’t have dressed so, because that particular sartorial item was long out of fashion even before her older-father’s patron’s time; she wouldn’t have held her saber so, because they didn’t do that until two hundred years later.

And no, she definitely wouldn’t have sung that song at seventeen, because Phila the Flute-Player hadn’t written it yet. 

I didn’t mind so much, because it’s my parents’ favorite opera and the likely genesis of their notion to have a clone of Naime Shipwright for their very own. Martisset’s pedantry saved me from having to think about it too much.

Also, she was taking my part. Her nudges and head-shakes and eye-rolls rendered my parents’ taste ridiculous. They did not care about essential details, which exposed them to my sister’s sharp censure. 

***

Martisset can’t abide historical inaccuracy, even at the opera. Character interview for NaNoWriMo 2016 project The Clone’s Complaint. 

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Weekend Writing Warriors  (Sunday 2 October 2016): The Clone’s Complaint (character interview)

​Each week, Weekend Writing Warriors presents a selection of excerpts from writers in a variety of genres. Check out the other offerings here.

***

The wind gusts and the windows creak. Good to be inside on such a night. That weather’s periphery, but I like to lean back into my cushions and pay it mind, even as I’m absorbed in the story. Here the domestic enclosure is like a ship abroad on the depths of the Inland Sea, far from shore, or on the limitless vastness of the True Ocean. 

Martisset’s face glows in the flicker of the story; Chaika whirls through another fight-and-dance (hard to tell the difference), like old-fashioned sword-dancing only with a far more modern accompaniment. Light glitters on her sword, when that blade isn’t light itself. 

Martisset doesn’t even say what she might on another occasion: silly to bring aboard a spaceship a weapon that could cut through the hull. Of course she knows shipbuilding, has grown up around it, but for once she’s enchanted too.

***

A tale told in light, on dark and windy evening. Character interview for NaNoWriMo 2016 project The Clone’s Complaint. 

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Weekend Writing Warriors, Sunday 25 September 2016 (character interview: The Clone’s Complaint)

Each week, Weekend Writing Warriors presents a selection of excerpts from writers in a variety of genres. Check out the other offerings here.

***

It was one of the nights at the coffee-farm I read that old poem, the one about the curse, where the speaker prays to the dark gods to be an orphan out of story. Story as curse. I like that, but I don’t know what story I belong to.

I’m already an orphan. My parents are not my parents. My gene-parents are more than six hundred years dead. All who knew me the first time are dead. 

But that wasn’t me they knew.

***

A prayer out of deep antiquity strikes a chord. Character interview for NaNoWriMo 2016 project The Clone’s Complaint. 

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Weekend Writing Warriors, Sunday 18 September 2016 (character interview: The Clone’s Complaint)

​Each week, Weekend Writing Warriors presents a selection of excerpts from writers in a variety of genres. Check out the other offerings here.

***

Martisset’s coming over, straight from the flying-field. I try not to think about that part (just try ignoring that itch, I know) but we’ll be watching pirate dramas. Winter’s closing in, past Storm-Gate; I think I like that holiday best of all. The nights are getting longer, the wind off the Inland Sea bites with fresh chill and blows the first of the snow against the double casements, now closed for the season. 

Lamplight, holo-glow, song. We’ll settle ourselves in her favorite room, which is not where she sleeps but studies–facing over the battlements of the Shipyard to the grey expanse of the Inland Sea. The bots will dance attendance on us, bringing hot noodles in salty broth, and endless pots of tea. 

Martisset curls up on the divan in a nest of cushions, and offers me the makings for my own. 

***

As winter closes in, it’s time for cozy snacks and pirate dramas. Character interview for NaNoWriMo 2016 project The Clone’s Complaint. 

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 11 September 2016 (character interview, The Clone’s Complaint)

Each week, Weekend Writing Warriors presents a selection of exercpts from writers in a variety of genres. Check out the other offerings here.

***

“Sister,” she greeted me, with the double kiss that’s traditional at South Continent weddings, kissed me on one cheek then the other, hands closed over my upper arms. A warrior’s kiss, a sister’s kiss. 

She took the bottle out of her rucksack. “Let’s drink to the wedding beyond the Dread Gate.” 

I stared. You know there are stories of marrying the dead, and none of them end well. 

But no one of whom such a tale is told can resist.

“Come on,” she said, “I have a boat.”

***

An invitation to a wedding beyond the Dread Gate. From character interview for The Clone’s Complaint (NaNo 2016).

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