My grandfather was a US nurse in WWII and I found a bunch of cool patches from his service. Over the years, I’ve sewn them over all sorts of holes in my clothes. A bit too late in life, I was called out on my blatant ignorance… what I had once thought were a couple of cool lightning bolts symbolizing who-knows-what, is actually a Nazi SS patch, which I have been parading around for entirely too long. Now, I think it’s interesting that my grandfather had an SS patch in the first place. Did he save the life of a POW and get the patch as a gift? There might be a story here about humanity and the realities of war. I’ll never know, but I’m proud of my grandfather for his service and think he was a wonderful man. However, no one else knows this but me. Anyone who sees my SS patch will come to other conclusions. I will insult, push away and alienate who-knows-how-many people if I keep wearing that patch, and I will continue to show my ignorance. I’m removing the patch, of my own free will, because even though I like where it came from I don’t like what it symbolizes to the rest of the world. And by the way, the government doesn't give a shit, and will never force me to remove the symbol from my pants, but I completely understand if they don't want to use your tax dollars to stamp it on my license plate, or paint it on a school mural in honor of my grandfather. Happy freedom day.
Lately I've been feeling rather uninspired by staring at a blank computer screen. More than that, I've been feeling unsatisfied by words and craving substance - things that speak with texture and form.
I suppose that's what you call art.
I spoke to an old friend about this - someone I grew up with, produced backyard plays and bubble machines with, and who is now working towards her Masters degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It turned out that she, too, was breaking out of her usual medium, and had written a beautiful piece that explained some of the abstract art she had been creating over the last few semesters.
So when I visited Grace in Chicago we collaborated - she gave me her words and had me write them across her body. Photography was a medium I fell in love with in high school but essentially gave up after after losing access to a darkroom, so I was extremely excited to photograph the result using a top-notch digital camera (and knowing that I had a top-notch digital editor).
Grace DuVal is a lifelong friend and inspiration. If I told you she makes amazing things, you wouldn't begin to understand. So don't try to understand. Go see for yourself.
Get your fix of post-apocalyptic fiction and dystopian landscapes! Follow Riley as she navigates a world where women are an endangered species, a wanted commodity, and a subject of scientific research. Don't miss your opportunity to read THE BREEDERS for free!
Katie French is a friend, writing buddy and business partner. She is also a best-selling author on Amazon. I am excited to announce that THE BREEDERS 3 is now available, and I am proud to have been able to help with some of the early editing stages. If you haven't read any of this best-selling series, I highly suggest that you download THE BREEDERS 1 to your Kindle. And why not? It's free!
Boscombe Revolution is a poetry and flash fiction anthology that embraces different revolution-centric themes in each issue. It is published by Hesterglock Press, a small press based out of Bristol in the UK. They look for "angry, funny, experimental, collaboration(al)…" work.
Boscombe Revolution, Issue 3: Revolution and Gender, will feature a piece of flash fiction I wrote called "In it Together." Other authors include Sarer Scotthorne, Markie Burnhope, Rose Drew, Linda Mannheim, Agnes Davis, Julia Boore, Myriam Lee, Kevin Reid, Kyra Hanson, Emma Lee, Dom Schwab, Lucy Humphreys, Barbara Donne, Lucy Furlong, Gary Budden, Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi, and Sasha Kasoff. I'm honored to be a part of this collaboration!
It will be published in early 2015, but you can pre-order now!
The other day, I discovered that yet another one of my short stories was accepted and published at Every Day Fiction! It's called "Overexposed" and I should warn you, be prepared for some graphic images... and hopefully a giggle, but mostly just general awkwardness.
So far, it's remained on the list of "Top Ten Stories in the Last 30 Days" and if I can just get a few more votes I might be able to solidify a spot among the "Top 10 Stories This Year." So, if you like it, show your love with a star rating!
You can read it here!
Despite my love of words, I fear it is impossible to truly capture life at sea. I could explain the sounds: the rumbling engine, the rattling needleguns, the puff of blowholes. I could explain the smells: the turpentine, the sewage, the fresh-cooked dinner. I could explain the sights: the blue horizon, the ominous skies, the sunsets, the stars. I could explain the feel: the vibration of the engine, the rocking of the ship. I could explain the people: the excitement of new crew, the confidence of old-timers.
Hell, I could document every second I’ve spent at sea, but it wouldn’t do any good.
Because to understand life at sea, you have to feel time stop while the world keeps turning. You have to write home and pray for responses. You have to juggle boredom with panic and excitement. You have to call the dock of a foreign port 'home.' You have to gaze at the horizon while you breathe salt air and diesel fumes. You have to become part of the living, breathing organism that sustains you, tortures you and satisfies you, all the while holding you prisoner…
In order to understand life at sea, you have to live it.
Originally posted on Underground Book Reviews.
So long as there is wind there will be sails
So long as there are sails there will be sailors
And as sailors fade and age
New sailors find their way
To learn from their mistakes
And make the same ones
So long as sailors sail there will be port calls
So long as ships are in there will be bar brawls
Until the sailors crawl back home
And find themselves alone
So they ship out once again
Even the sane ones
So long as ships arrive they will be leaving
So long as ships depart hearts will be breaking
For sailors sail away
We are married to the waves
And so long as there is wind
We will be sailing
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