“The Ace of Knives” was a story in Postscripts to Darkness 6.
Nisi Shawl uses it in her workshops as an example of code switching.
But it’s a juried award, so I don’t have to campaign for it, lol.
Interview with Carmen Maria Machado, where she addresses the subject of writing as activism:-
As for the question of “activism,” I think that if you’re a woman, a queer person, a person of color, a non-cisgender person, a non-able-bodied person, etc., writing is inherently a form of activism because you’re staking a claim in a world that is not meant for you. When you try and put your work into the world, you’re saying “I think that what I have to say, in the way I say it, is so important that I am willing to try and get it to other people, no matter what it takes.” And that requires ego, in the best way possible. It requires that you take yourself and your craft and your voice seriously. When you’re not white, not male, not cisgender or straight or able-bodied, that ego is a radical act. So yes, the fact that I take myself seriously as an artist and do what I can to put my work out into the world is a form of activism.
Words for today…
And with the coldest blood, Azlanteca had almost overlaid my mind with a new, dark consciousness, a terrible superhuman logic. It was no wonder these… men had had an Adze puppet to so easily alter and manipulate. Because I had somehow resisted him, my mind had been left to its own devices, free. But I could easily have now been a stranger to myself.
“The old gods,” he pointed skywards, “up there, in space, where it is utterly cold, where there is no air… and me… see this world as full of so much… unripe fruit. You may call them humanity. But every so often one comes across a seed… with so much potential… a seed such as yourself.”
“Are you a god?” I asked him.
“A god regards me as I regard a mote of dust. No,” he said. “And that mote of dust is you.”
“A mote of dust that will not move,” Galibi added. “Stubborn.”
“You will stay in line, and I… we, Galibi and I, shall ensure that.”
You will have to be brave. You will have to get comfortable with discomfort. You will have to see past the intense angst and understand that writing is just pen to paper. The judging is the problem. The idea of yourself as a myth maker, wordsmith, visionary, golden fingered scribe only helps when you’re promoting your work–when you’re actually working what helps is patience with your fumblings, the wisdom to know that awkward scenes, wooden characters, embarrassing dialogue is only a starting place, the faith to believe that this misshapen lump of prose will get fit, will grow muscle, will grow and then fly.
Yes, you must kill your darlings, but first you must feed your ugly ducklings.
It’s like twice this big now, so this is literally a snippet of it.
Thanks to Tade Thompson and a weird pic he posted on Facebook.
Somewhere in downtown Toronto, a homeless man had shoes whose soles were flapping. A stranger, seeing this, pointed to them, smiling, saying he had talking shoes. The homeless man didn’t question when the soles started closing up of their own accord. But, then, around his bare ankles, with ashy, dry skin, there appeared teeth. Suddenly fearful, he took them off. There begins the tale of the man who had shoes who could not only talk, but sing for his supper. He started to think this was a sign, and maybe now, this time, it wouldn’t be so hard to move out of the streets… see his grown daughter, who had disowned him, his grandchildren…