WHAT YOU OWN

WHAT YOU OWN

a lightning bolt
spider stalking across skies
is not your property
nor can  a rushing shush sound
of a curving river belong to you
no, you belong to it
it being that moment you share
with wherever you are
and whoever you are
or will become
You do not own this moment
no more than time owns you
but you can trap a lightning bolt
you can harness it
use it
for energy, for strength, death
or for imagination
a river’s rush can serve as well
a memory key
to set your mind free
But it’s on you. 

 

Book Review: Fran Wilde's UPDRAFT

Imagine living in the air, flying as free as a peregrine. Now imagine the sky exploding into a bloody red maw, a vicious mouth rimmed with glass teeth. This is the world of Fran Wilde’s Bone Universe.

The series starts with the richly layered Updraft, where we discover a human society living far above the clouds, on tiers connected to large towers of living, growing bone. 

Click the book art to buy the book on Amazon

Click the book art to buy the book on Amazon

Kirit Densira is an aspiring sky trader, hoping to soar on the air currents like her city-renowned mother. She dreams of flying from tower to tower on wings of delicate silk, bringing fortune to her family and fame to her tower. There's just one problem with this plan.

The humans aren't alone in the skies. 

Cunning, invisible predators await them in the clouds, hidden to the eye and possessing mouths filled with with dagger sharp teeth. These creatures, called skymouths, are some of the more dangerous secrets lurking in the skies of Wilde's densely imagined and tightly written world. Another group shrouded in secrets is the city's protectors, the Singers, who possess extraordinary skills at sensing and protecting the city from skymouths. 

And after a frightening encounter, the Singers realize that Kirit posesses a rare power that they must have. So begins a wild (ahem) journey of being ripped from one's dreams and shoved into a mystery that will threaten the very city itself.

Wilde's word craft is elegant, yet wrapped with multiple plot points and twists. It's  a well paced thriller-action piece woven together with a deeper drama about a child's identity as she becomes a young woman whose abilities push her to go beyond the City's plans for her. The characters are living and breathing people with complex motives, all of which Wilde plays out like a master composer, building until the epic, climactic battle. Wilde's ability to humanize her protagonist as well as the villains really make you see the horrors these people face as they come to terms with Kirit's powers. When the twists come and the tables turn, expect to be cursing the betrayal as much as the characters themselves do.

What really made me happy on my read through was the way Wilde would tease out a subplot thread just enough to leave me thinking about it, as opposed to beating me over the head with it, and still tying up most of them before the end, in an organic fashion.

The few ties she left loose?

Well, that’s what sequels are for.... 

White man’s lament II

please protect me
from seeing trauma
while no one protects you
from the blood the bullets
the teargas the concussion grenades razorwire
the fire and the hate

tell the truth
repackaged for me
that I might consume
without having to see
without having to consider
its ties to me directly
it’s not my fault
my house
my electricity
ruins your land
defiles your dead
I just live here
I don’t kill anyone
but don’t show me
your blood flowing freely 

Greater

 

It isn’t the gleam of her coat
or the sharpness of her eye
that makes a wolf beautiful
but her fearless, prancing step
as she glides through the forest
surely scenting her distant prey

A bear’s huffing growl and snarling basso roar
and towering angry stare isn’t what makes her great
but her carefree pleasure in fishing for a nap in sunlight
her willingness to die fighting tooth and nail to save her cubs

It isn’t our standing at the front line that makes us brave
but our strength in getting up at next dawn’s light to do it again
our Elders and ancestors guiding us through lies and violence
we work together, support each other, and rise up against greed & fear

 

Indigenous/Natives killed in 2016 in US/CAN


As of today, 42 Natives have been murdered, 15 by police.
( Updated 11/11/16)

The genocide against the Native Nations did not happen "long ago."

It's happening now. Ongoing
#AmericanGenocideNow

Joanne Neepin
Loreal Tsingine
Marilyn Munroe
Bradley Errol Green
Charnelle Masakeyash
Delaine Copenace
Azraya Kokopenace
Diane Pootlas
Jocelyn George
Joseph Molinaro
Raymond Gassman
Vincent Nageak III
Sherrisa Homer
Patricia Kruger
Francis Clark
Mark Nelson
Verl Bedonie
Hubert Burns Jr
Jamie Lee Brave Heart
Joey Tiah English
Cyril Weenusk
Roylynn Rides Horse
Rex Vance Wilson
Renee Davis
Jayden Eric Redden
Gustav Christianson
Kristie Hart
Sherry Ann Wounded Foot
Samantha Burnette
Phillip M. High Bear Sr.
Carla Yellowbird
Deanna Desjarlais
Colten Boushie
Todd Little Bull
Ernest Worm
Alvin R. Silversmythe
Dylan Laboucan
Cory Grey
Kira Friedman
Te'Ca Clifford
Jacqueline Salyers
Herman Bean Jr

What am I doing?

Bit of a status update!

Tweeting too much. Not writing as much fiction as I’d like, though I’m still setting words to the page almost every day. If you count my tweets, I’m getting a pretty good word count.

I’m also really sick/ill/feeling the effects of my physical disabilities piling on. I’ve had this leg infection now for months, and I have a nasty cold/virus that I cannot kick. I recently had surgery for my jaw/teeth, which was not cheap, and has in essence turned me into a digital beggar due to my Medicaid being canceled and no longer covering the gap in my Medicare payments. It’s getting to the point where I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pay off my medical debt,  afford my suddenly really expensive meds, and pay my part of rent.  Eeek! All the more reason to crak the writing whip!

I’ve also been polishing the manuscripts for various things, since getting my novel Escape Light ready for the next #DVPIT pitching session. Aside from that project the novella Withering Earth proceeds slowly but surely, and the final book in the Space Opera Trilogy is teasing me with its percolation. So maybe I can get that going too!

On the published front, I have a story in the amazing Indigenous Queer Sci-fi Fantasy anthology Love Beyond Space And Time, which is an amazing collection of Indigenous/Native written queer stories with such luminaries as Dr. Darcie Little Badger, Daniel Heath Justice, Gwen Benway,  Nathan Adler, Richard Van Camp and Cherie Dimaline to name a few. It’s an awesome collection where I feel like the newbie amongst masters, but it was a fun story to write! Go pick it up!

I also have something coming out that’s… well. It’s pretty dangerous. Head over to Erica Friedman’s website for more details. I’ll talk about this next week!

As always, I am surrounded by amazing friends, allies and family, even though some of them are only over broadband. But thank you. Thank you all so much for pulling for me. For praying for me, for holding me up when i’m crying like a baby and wanting to give up, for donating to help pay for my medical needs, buying my work, leaving reviews, and generally just making me smile. I appreciate and love you all!

See you next week!

Pain level 9

( don't worry, it's just a poeme)

oh death take me from this wretched plane
crack my mind into glowing starsand again
give me no more years of tormented empathy
let go my pulse and grant eternal end to me
Creation hath filled itself with foul contemptibly wild beasts
who think themselves better than everything else that they see
They kill each other for no damned reason at all
Tear themselves down to pretend to stand tall
They speak lies of compassion, progress and humility
while burning the skies, and destroying all of the seas
They enslave, rape and murder their own children!
Oh death when will you take me away from them?

Ain’t Like Water

I keep falling
for the wrong kind of love
for the wrong kind of smile.
And the wrong kind of gravity
so easily trips up a fool like me.

All these leaves keep changing color
governments keep killing our brothers, our mothers
black snakes rise, don’t tread on me, don’t tread on me

Men keep droning,
spewing their constant disease
that money honey
will meet all of our pressing needs.
Easy to drink in their lies
but oil won’t sympathize
don’t choke on me, don’t choke on me

 

 

 

Song for the Dead

Song for the Dead

Baby girl in the ground too soon
who sings on the ice for you?
big brother gone away
empty seems the everyday
tears come
tears don’t come
singing stones over the water
grief and rage like oil and blood
thunder booms through rains’ flood
drums lift the canyon’s colors up the wall
listen for the eagle’s keen companion call
Cry out your names to the clear blue sky
listen for the heartbeat in your loving eye
Blood and pain are all we know
dancing through the haze and red snow
drum calls us home
drumsong warms our bones
we cry for you
we live for you

When they say they honor us

 

Their honor
is eating our bones
crunching our bodies
stealing our children
crying about how noble we were
crowing that we are now dead, gone
painting their faces in scarecrow skins
of our cultures
calling themselves thunderbirds and
white buffalo
wondering why we don’t see their honor

Grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles
your honor is my lifeblood
your honor is cold spring runoff in the river
your honor is a drum’s heartbeat by roaring fires
your honor is that absolute stillness of
ice beneath violet skies shivering with Ghost light.
Thank you my ancestors for resisting their honor
for refusing their ways, 
their soulless, clawing desperate mockery
May my children remember your names

In the Woods.

 

I see our kids drowning in silence.
Oil burning off irradiated water. 
Demons laughing in their copper wires,
Redskins, squaws, prairie niggers,
their kids dressing like our corpses. 

Where did she go?
She was just walking the road home,
they’ve soaked this road in our blood,
their dogs’ bodies churning red mud.
I want to scream so loud and  for so long,
for everything you ignore that’s so wrong.
Instead I swallow my rage, let it go and flame,
sing my prayers best I can through the pain.
They didn’t find her…
they found her

Uni-untied

Unity, you see
That's the way
United, you and me
Hand in bloodied fist
Together no matter what

Times are tough, you know?
My country tis of thee
(Stop crying during the anthem)
This land was made for you and me

But we are united, mission accomplished—
Now we have all the oil and coal we need—
And the blood will wash off, probably—
Those dogs though, I can still hear the screams—
Making America great again isn't easy— 
You gotta break some eggs to make an omelette.—
And look at you, lady! You're a good egg! —
(The only good injun is a dead injun)—
But at least we got the oil and we're United, no matter what.
Weren't Christian graves we bulldozed anyway—
We got the oil and the coal, Amen.
America the beautif-the Great Again.

GO GET MY LATEST SHORT STORY IN THIS AMAZING INDIGENOUS SCI FI ANTHOLOGY!

Edited by Hope L. Nicholson, Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. And my story, Imposter Syndrome is included, which is YAY! It’s the first published story I’ve had in six years, which coincides nicely with the birth of my amazing but attention-requiring kiddo! 

Imposter Syndrome is the short story of Aanji, a noncitizen artificial life-form who is desperate to escape a grim fate, using her human ancestors’ memories. Set several (hundred?) years after the events of Escape Light, it details one person’s attempt to reclaim her soul. It’s also very autobiographical in some spots, which is why I’m nervous and pleased as punch that the wonderful Hope L. Nicholson is publishing it, alongside amazing Indigenous authors like Doctor Darcie Little Badger, Daniel Heath Justice, Nathan Adler, Gwen Benaway, and Cherie Dimaline.

So if you like my work, make sure you preorder the book from Bedside Press, here. At just $10 it’s an amazing deal. It’s scheduled to be shipping from September 16th. I can’t wait for you to read it with me!

a poeme

GAIA


water, shifting, swirling dancing whirling
sunlight—distant, imperious warm eternal bright
soil—bones and blood of a trillion mountains’ toil

She is verdant, soft, spiky, alluring poisonous
He is bright, uncurling, yearning, soft, lethal
They is ethereal, smooth, translucent, real

Three together as one under the bright star
we have begun to think of as our only sun
We think so much of our conceptual empires
but we have many stars yet to touch, so many so far.

Wars suffering agony bone fire and flesh crushing
snowflakes of death spinning into the night, rushing
our plastic and glass and steel tombs luring us into
believing that we can forget the Earth, our first womb

But star dust does not lie
either we aim skyward and fly?
or under our sun’s fire, we die. 

Natives get nothing for free. Nothing.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE GET NOTHING FOR FREE, WHATEVER WE GET IT IS PAID FOR IN BLOOD, MULTIGENERATIONAL STRUGGLES, AND SUFFERING. 

Estimates of Pre Contact North American population are 75-150 million Indigenous people. 525 years later there are only 6.4 million left . That's 68 million to 143.6 million people murdered. Not by accidental disease (it was planned) but by murder.  That's %95.6 of the total population of a people gone, with the remaining %4.4 survivors put into prisons, adopted away from families, and the survivors were  forbidden from practicing and maintaining their cultures. All so that the land could be "given" to Settlers. 

But we turned those prisons into the hearts of our cultures, we made the reservations our own, & we maintain our cultures. Our families are reuniting, our people keeping the histories and the sacred ways of our ancestors. Descendants of Settlers? We see you. 

We see your oilfields and mining operations and logging and city construction on the sacred land and bones of our people. We see you mocking our peoples and cultures as though we are long dead. We are not. We see the oil spills, the forest fires, the radiation leaks in the water. We see the inaction of your Environmental Profit Agency, the laws you write to make theft legal, the babies you've stolen. 525 years of Indigenous genocide and erasure, but we see you. We know your part in this. We see how you benefit from our deaths & erasure. Think long and hard on whose land you really sit on. Whose blood soaks the soil where your home is. Because we see you, & we remember. 

"That's all in the past! It has nothing to do with me!” you cry.

Wrong

We are still being murdered by Settlers and the State. In Canada, USA, and Mexico. The Dakota Access Pipeline HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Lands are being destroyed, along with the peoples, & it has everything to do with you. It's where your food, gas, & homes come from. TODAY. And the colonizers and settlers stole an entire people, from tribes and clans and lives of their own, and treated them worse than tools. Millions of lives interrupted so people could be brutally made into nothing more than labor units. From free humans to slaves, And now the freed descendants of those Stolen People have to fear for their lives from the police—groups created to hunt them. Kids shot dead. Mothers murdered. Therapists shot, lunchroom workers killed. No, the genocide continues in Native & Black communities.

And. It. Has. Everything. To Do. With. You. 

If you live in the USA, Canada, Mexico. Indigenous & Black Genocides, ongoing, and they are for your benefit.