Just now, my story “Ravenous Mermaids” arrived in Bourbon Penn, Issue 17. (!!) You can find the whole story here.
“Ravenous mermaids have migrated from the deep sea and into the local ponds and waterways where the local children play,” says the issue’s intro.
Ultimately, it’s a story about healing, in its own way — by way of ravenous, lovely mermaids with shark teeth; and wild wolves; and the mythology of our lives.
Bourbon Penn 17 looks like a wonderful issue. I’m psyched to be in it, and I’m looking forward to reading all the great stories there. Looking for a journey? Dive into my “Ravenous Mermaids,” if you dare.
Watch yourself, mind.
This morning I discovered my backyard had become a crystal wonderland, and then I passed a crow in a tree meowing at the moon. A couple hours later, he was still at it, sharing his wintry secrets.
Here’s the real life account of surviving. It’s not staged with theme music or applause.
The greatest achievements and miracles happen alone in private, even though society is in love with the spotlight and disbelieves any value that isn’t bought by the crowd. One day, I’d like applause too, but I don’t want to abandon my soul’s gold to get it. So I stay in the dappled shade by the trees, along with my miracles and meaningfulness and divine love.
It’s their eyes, I try to remember, that don’t know how to adjust beyond the spotlight so they can actually see. We’re blessed when we know we are, not when someone else agrees.
I was thinking of something else when I realized, O, was I hanging out with my dad last night in my dream? And then it seemed like his presence was recent, that connection we shared.
What was he saying?, I tried to recall.
The chorus of the song playing cut in then, and the timing was perfect enough to feel choreographed:
“And I can only say
that I have hoped for you
safety from fears and darkness.
Are you feeling better
It sounded like him at his best. The song is called “You Are the Light.”
I keep listening to it.
In my dream, I was telling the sad giant it was okay that he wasn’t a hard torrential rain like his brother, because even slow gentle rains like him can have the same effects if they last long enough. He was big and bald and crying in a motorcycle sidecar, but the thought that he could cause huge damage too made him tilt his shaved head and smile shyly.
Praying mantis on the screen outside my window, languorously cleaning herself — licking elbows to wipe around and across her ruby eyes, swiveling her triangular head — completely mesmerizes me, puts me in a spell as I observe for I don’t know how long, and then she tilts her head back to face me and we just watch each other. She tracks my movements in 20 degree shifts of her neck’s angle, and finally lifts a folded arm to lick her elbow and slowly, carefully continue preening the top of her head.