I’m writing new stories, frantically, some under deadline, some not. I’m writing and writing.
I speak bee. No one believes it, but I learned the language. My mother taught it to me, when I was very young. What you do is you place honey on your finger, your nose, and then a splash of floral perfume upon the back of your jeans. Then, you go into a field to speak to the bees, who find you because of the smell, and then they watch you to see what you have to say. You shiver, and move forward, then shiver again. Shivering looks like shaking your butt, like shimmying, but it’s not. It’s shivering. It’s a complex language. It took years of practice.
My mother was an expert. She could guide the flocks of bees over the highway, into safe harbors all over the city. Someone had to keep them safe from the killing men, that came in fancy trucks to spray the streets. Someone had to protect the bees from the changing places, where the old buildings that should have been a refuge were doomed to be rebuilt.
In this world, no one cares about the bees. Father doesn’t care about them. He doesn’t believe in my mother. He says the powerlines have changed everything. Everything will be connected together that’s human, and anything that can’t ride along the lines might as well be forgotten.
My mother agrees with him when he says that, but she still taught me to speak bee….
There’s a giveaway next door, at the Night Bazaar, where I was asked to speak a little about world-building, and I did, late at night, when I was awake far too late, because I was afraid of something terrible.
Often, I am bored by world-building in the books I read. I’m not really into “cool” worlds. I read for characters and to find the questions of my life that I did not know I was supposed to be asking. I mean, really, what matter whether a river is purple or a mountain is made of glass if the people of that world are not changed by it in some fashion, and not just in that they need special shoes to walk on the purple water and climb the glass mountains? I mean imagine that the glass of the mountain is a metaphor for a bright, shining, religious lie, and it is so massive that all the stained glass windows in the world have been thrown up together into one, huge monument to the lies. I mean that the character who climbs this mountain discovers a truth upon it that makes the monument a lie, because the thing that inspired it all was wrong to begin with. Things are different for a reason, and it has to do with art. Otherwise, we’re just messing with reality for the sake of making reality cooler than it is, and it feels lazy to me because reality is actually very cool, already.
Go there, and leave a comment there, and be entered in a giveaway to receive both LAST DRAGON and NEVER KNEW ANOTHER.
Comment here, and I will offer you nothing but a nod, which is invisible to you as far away as you are from me in this world
I noticed a story in the New York Times about something Angie and I did yesterday, by the way. We have so many foraged figs from a friend’s backyard. She’s out of town, and told us to sneak into her backyard and take figs. She has so many, and they’re just sitting there, ripe and delicious and about to rot. So, we pulled in yesterday morning, slipped into a strange backyard, and went nuts to gather about six pounds of figs right from the tree at a house that’s abandoned for most of the summer. I call them our “ninja figs” because I felt like a ninja sneaking into a yard to get them. (We were invited to do it, and not trespassing, but her neighbors didn’t know that!)
The people in this article are friends of friends, on the local farmer’s market scene where my fiance works every day. They’re right to do what they’re doing, too. At the EAV markets, every dollar of food stamp is worth two dollars in produce. The people who need it most get what they need at a better price.
Don’t let the food rot on the tree or the vine, I say. Atlanta has so many empty houses, empty yards, empty lots. If we don’t do something about this place, we’ll end up like Detroit, all hollowed out and polluted with drugs and crime in all these empty houses. I hope it works out for us.
I’m going back to work, now. Input/output… Io…. Mourn with the bees..