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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Unwrapped: Five Decade Old Lunar Selfie


Something cool you should check out: https://ift.tt/3kIK31E " Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. " (Shared because you and I both live in a magical science fiction world, and I hope we shall all explore it, through as many words as we can, until we find the Beyond.)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Red Square Nebula


Something cool you should check out: https://ift.tt/3zHnAGJ " Explanation: How did a round star create this square nebula? No one is quite sure. The round star, known as MWC 922 and possibly part of a multiple star system, appears at the center of the Red Square Nebula. The featured image combines infrared exposures from the Hale Telescope on Mt. " (Shared because you and I both live in a magical science fiction world, and I hope we shall all explore it, through as many words as we can, until we find the Beyond.)

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Bubble and the Star Cluster


Something cool you should check out: https://ift.tt/3kHb6e2 " Explanation: To the eye, this cosmic composition nicely balances the Bubble Nebula at the right with open star cluster M52. The pair would be lopsided on other scales, though. " (Shared because you and I both live in a magical science fiction world, and I hope we shall all explore it, through as many words as we can, until we find the Beyond.)

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Perseid Outburst at Westmeath Lookout


Something cool you should check out: https://ift.tt/3zDvVv4 " Explanation: This year an outburst of Perseid meteors surprised skywatchers. The reliable meteor shower's peak was predicted for the night of August 12/13. " (Shared because you and I both live in a magical science fiction world, and I hope we shall all explore it, through as many words as we can, until we find the Beyond.)

A Neodymium Exodus Excerpt...for those of you who've been here.

 This is just the first chapter, of course--you can get the full book through Wordfire Press!

What book, you ask?

Well...

Lem’s a mace-wielding, teen space-ninja in a universe of sentient insectoids, purple jungles, and insane electromagnetic fields. She solves most problems by hitting harder, and never plays by her enemy’s rules—until Jared Diebol captures her.

Diebol is the rising leader of an army uniting the galaxy by force. He believes that the violent energy being Njande has “contaminated” Lem and her friends from another dimension to conquer the matter-based universe. Diebol’s army usually kills contaminated people—but he vows to cure Lem.

When Diebol kidnaps Lem’s family, he forces her to choose between the matter beings she loves and the energy person she adores. If Lem rejects Diebol’s cure, her family dies—but if Lem cuts out Njande’s energy, she opens our universe to a much darker thermodynamic attack.

A blend of hard biomedical science fiction with multicultural fantasy, Neodymium Exodus combines the introspection of classics like Perelandra with the vibrant boldness of modern best sellers like This Alien Shore and Space Opera.

And you can read the first two chapters below:

CHAPTER ONE

Lem

Everyone in the ice cream parlor froze when Lem Benzaran grinned.

Everyone except the meat-man: the literal lizard in a suit, consummate businessman who dealt in favors and pounds of flesh—he didn’t notice. His ruby-scaled claw left a streak of something like sweat on the plastic parlor table as he leaned over and cooed at Lem’s little sister. Lem stirred the dregs of her milkshake, her eyes never leaving her glass: in its reflection she watched the string of drool drip down onto the monster’s business suit. Lem was listening … listening to his heavy breathing.

She ain’t for sale, Skins,” Lem said. She said it for everyone in the ice cream parlor to hear. She wasn’t a big fan of warnings herself, but the people who ran her life required them.

The businessman’s green hair puffed in offense; his slit eyes gleamed in the sunlight filtering through the wide storefront windows. “Mind yourself, witch,” he sneered.

Witch, huh? Lucky for him he didn’t call her crazy.

A loud slurp silenced the whole parlor as Lem finished off her shake, savoring the cool sweet cream on her bitter tongue.

Four seconds later Lem had chopped down the businessman like an overgrown holly bush. No one interrupted. No one helped, either. The space-lemur policeman in the corner stared at the phone in his paws, ears perked as he pretended not to see; the Wonderfrog server behind the counter tapped his bulging fingertips on his skull as if truly worried about dessert.

Lem tightened her grip on the meat-man’s wrist, spitting through her teeth as she ground his face harder into the plastic table. “Whatever I am, everyone in here knows you’re selling little girls to the grays, and one day I’ll prove it and get Officer Scritch there off his duff for a change.” Her voice dropped to a husky whisper. “But the day you talk to my sister again? Officer Scritch won’t be lookin’ for you. Won’t be a you to find.”

Meat-man grunted. He got it. A’ight. Lem straightened, wiping her brow on the sleeve of her rough brown civvies. She yanked the guy to his feet. He wheezed hard—she whacked him on the back. “Go, get outta here. See a healer about that asthma.”

The ruby-scaled businessman stumbled between the cafe tables and out the wooden door, huffing and crying. Lem smirked after him—man, if only all problems could get solved like this. If they’d just let her off her leash, she’d turn the entire town upside down.

Lem’s wristband lit up with an incoming message; she groaned. See, this, this was exactly the problem! I didn’t violate any treaties this time, man, just roughed him up a little. How’d Captain Rana catch her so fast anyway?

When rules matter more than people,” Lem grumbled. She waved at her little sister: “Hey, Juju. We gotta go.”

Juju slid out from the booth, eyes wide in her mahogany face as she licked the purple lechichi fruit topping her frothy cream-shake. Her hair, strangely blondish for its tight, kinked texture, stuck out like a halo as she trotted head down, mouth shut and eyes open while Lem guided her, hand on this warm, bony little shoulder, out of the cool shadows of the parlor into the tropical heat of the Luna-Guetala sun. Good little girl. Pretty little girl—exactly what the meat-markets wanted alive and the grays wanted dead.

Lem’s stomach knotted as she glanced at the message on her wristband again, then scanned the crowded black-earth street for someone on their phone or transmission screen. Who’d reported her? Man, she was always in trouble, but this was record time from beating up the perv to the “in-my-office-now.”

The civilians stared back. Lem slowed her swagger to pretend she didn’t care, shoulders back and chest out. Her military issue “civilian clothes” looked like she’d raided a tablecloth factory, and people liked to pretend there wasn’t a war on.

That wasn’t why they were staring, though.

Witch.

It stung, you know. When people you protected feared you for the one thing that made life sweet.

Lem counted her tense paces along the blistering street, and took a deep breath of relief when she and her sister finally slipped into the shade of the jungle beyond the town. This, the soft velum of the leaves against her skin, the playful vines tugging at her ankles, the gentle give of the earth under her soles, this was home. Her toes longed to sprout claws and clamber up the bark of the nearest trees to hide from it all.

But she was human, and she had a human family now. Gone were the days of freedom in the treetops, hunting peacock-feathered guinea pigs and wrestling with her space-lemur brother. Lem set her jaw and unchained her sparrow-shaped air-rider from its roost, checking the camouflage engine for sabotage, small explosives, tracking devices …

Why’d he call you a witch?” little Juju asked, shifting from one foot to another with a little ice cream slurp as Lem knelt to check the air-rider’s undercarriage.

Because I talk to an invisible guy,” Lem said. “Same reason the grays want me dead.”

Well I noticed something,” Juju said. Lem’s fingers dug into a groove under her seat, tapping the gritty metal as she felt …

What’d you notice, sweetie?”

Lieutenant Seria and Dr. Patty—they don’t talk to invisible people. But the Growen still want them dead, too.”

Lem grinned. “Yeah, the grays kill anyone who don’t like to be told what to do.” She didn’t bother to tell her sister that sometimes the other freedom fighters struggled to keep “witch” off their tongues, too. Juju didn’t need politics yet. Lem hefted her up over the swooped wings onto the long bike-seat of the air-rider and swung herself up behind her.

I wish we could go north to the city next time,” Juju sighed. “I heard they got pretty birds, and glass airships like gems.”

You know that’s Growen territory. We’d get shot.”

Still. I still wish.”

Lem laughed gently. “Quit tryin’ to get me in trouble with your wishing.” She revved up the engine—

Whoosh! Lem’s stomach jumped backwards and Juju squealed as the air-rider zipped off into the woods. Lem leaned into the wind, oh, she delighted in the speed, the chill on her cheeks, the warmth of the little back pressed against her chest, the pure unfiltered joy—!

I don’t care if they say you’re crazy!” Juju yelled into the wind. “You’re not!”

I know!” Lem called back, laughing as the air-rider soared towards the treetops and then dove again—oh, a smile, in the ripples of air around her! Invisible fingertips brushed her forehead. “Njande, where are you?” Lem whispered.

Me? Her invisible friend’s laughter tickled in the wind and flapping jungle leaves, and something like words, but not quite, flooded Lem from her spine to her fingertips. Me? said the something. I Am Now. Where are you?

I’m here on the double-planet, in the woods,” Lem whispered back. “You know that, right? You mean, where in time, or something?” She didn’t catch his answer. “Man, I can’t hear you. Hey, what if I could race into your dimension? Go so fast I just bust through this thin reality, open a barrier in space time …”

I love your thoughts, Njandejara said. Look! I got you a surprise. Left, as you come around this bangla tree.

Lem hurtled around the trunk and looked—and leaned waaay back to slow the air-rider down hard. “Whoa!” she mouthed. She tapped her sister’s shoulder in lit-eyed excitement, pointed left, and then let that finger dart to her lips to signal silence.

They’d have missed it if they hadn’t been looking for it. A grove of thin trees rose like a fence between the sisters and a sunlit clearing, and in that clearing grazed an enormous, long-necked beast as long as a small skyship. Live butterflies covered every inch of its hide; if you knew what you were looking at, you could squint between the butterflies’ wings and just barely make out green and yellow flowers growing from the creature’s nose to its long tail. It was a reptile, a Behemoth—the tree-trunk-limbed giraffe-like jungle monster, sparkling like living gold with all those dainty wings.

The girls watched for a few minutes before the thing slunk off into a darker grove.

Wow, I never saw one of those before!” Juju clapped as they started off again.

They’re shy,” Lem smiled, crossing her arms across her chest. “Even when I lived out here I only saw one or two. Cool, huh?” To Njande, she mouthed: “Thank you—I wouldn’t have seen that.”

I know! I saw you coming, and checked in the Back Then, and there I set up an airfield that pushed Tomorrow’s storm south, so it broke early and drove the Behemoth up here!

Wait … you saying you went back in time just to set up a view for me?”

Well, and a sister moment. She’ll remember this one for a while.

No, that’s not the part I’m fuzzy on—it’s the ‘back then’ stuff.”

Don’t worry about Back Then. I Am Now, remember? Where are you?

Now, too, I guess.”

Drink it in.

Yeah.

Yeah, this Now, racing through the cool purple, red, green canopy with her sister, no bombs, no screams, no one shooting at her—this was as good as it got. Screw command, and the other soldiers, and the explanations and standing at attention that made her so nervous she got straight up silly—screw them all. This was the Now she was fighting to defend: her planet, her sister, her invisible best friend.

Maybe she could talk Captain Rana down to just two weeks scrubbing the slop chute after meals.

Chapter 2

Cadet Commander Jei Bereens

I didn’t mean to be a jerk. I just see too much death to take any chances. When Captain Rana called me to his office, I figured that long overdue promotion was coming—finally time to toss the cadet commander bars and start enjoying lieutenant stripes a full year ahead of the other cadets my age.

I was training when my wristband lit up. My boots impacted hard earth as I leapt from the tree, slamming my mace down in front of me. I tasted blood in my sweat. One, two—another shove of polarized charge down towards the earth, and I leapt again, flipping towards the forest canopy. Okay, three, four, spin, smack my mace there, there, hit targets five and six painted on the side of the tree—just two more, and I’d fix the tactical weakness that had cost me one of my rescuees last week.

I switched hands; two more targets on the way down met two bulls-eyes from my pistol, and I landed again, this time light as a leaf, tapping my bitten lip with my finger to check the blood as I squinted through the salt in my eyes. The jungle here was as humid as the inside of a Burburan worm’s mouth.

I knew from experience.

The birds and day-lizards sung and squawked in the hidden crevasses of the trunks above; the sunlight seemed to poke holes in the leaves far, far away up there. The burnt marks and strikes on my makeshift training ground confirmed that I’d fixed my error, but I needed at least thirty more reps to solidify that change.

Shouts of anger put all my hair on end.

I ran towards the sound of children, sorting their voices out from the jungle chitters, the tap-crunch of my light step weaving around the trees, and the distant hum of motors from the nearby fort. I floated up a trunk at the edge of the clearing by the fort’s white wall, forcing my heart rate to slow its foolish panic.

No danger, just stupid kids. Four preteens in our typical Frelsi fighter uniform circled a smaller boy, who hugged himself, cringing as they yelled and pointed. One of the larger boys walked around the periphery with a large rod, whacking the earth over and over as he snarled at the terrified kid in the middle. He reminded me of someone. Not in a good way.

I landed beside them. They scared easily and all drew the small regulation pistols they’d been assigned—until they recognized me.

Then they jumped to attention.

What did he do?” I asked, leaning on my staff without acknowledging their respect. I nodded towards the kid they’d trapped in the middle.

Uh, sir,” the big kid with the stick turned a bit red. “It’s nothing, sir.”

Not nothing!” a squirrely looking human snapped, pointing an accusing finger into the circle. “He’s why the grays killed my parents. They must have sensed him because he’s Contaminated, and the whole group got caught!”

Contaminated—someone who speaks to an invisible interdimensional energy being. Usually one in particular, since our universe only had contact with a few and most of them hated matter-creatures like us. It was a common rumor that some of the Growen commanders could “sense” Contaminated people.

I broke a cinna-coke twig off the neighboring tree and put it in my mouth. “Were you there?” I asked the accuser as I chewed.

No, but he just admitted he’s Contaminated!”

That’s a gray term. Don’t use it.” I didn’t bother to yell. They’d seen me throw adults ten meters with just my finger. “Who or what Shrimpy here talks to makes no difference to your parents now. The Growen did it. Blame them.”

The sharp flavors of the bark tingled the roof of my mouth as I turned away from the clenched teeth of the orphan to gaze at the trembling “Contaminated” kid. I didn’t ask about what had happened to him “last year,” about the people killed in front of him, about the lie that when something happens to you it’s because of you, and I knew he hadn’t answered all the pestering questions of his grieving, angry classmates. You can’t, not for a long time. He had a future full of nightmares and sweaty memories ahead of him.

I knew that from experience, too.

You’re all wearing Frelsi uniform. You’ll be soldiers when you’re regulation fighting age.” They had no choice; the Growen would slaughter kids, too, if we didn’t learn to fight back. “Act like soldiers, not slobbering rabid dogs. You,” I nodded at the poor Contaminated kid. “Walk with me.”

He trotted after me in silence. I laid my hand on the seamless pearl wall of the fort, and it recognized my DNA, and then the kid’s, and slurped us in.

The dam on the kid’s snot and tears nearly broke. I listened to his heavy breathing as he tried to choke everything down. “They’re jerks,” he said finally.

When your parents die, you’ll look for someone to blame, too,” I said.

He said nothing then. I looked at my watch again. Five minutes. I had ten to get to Rana’s office. I didn’t stop to change—the bioactive compound in my undershirt had wicked away all the sweat and grossness while I walked. It cost more, but some sentient species communicated by smell, and I preferred not to make my presence known on stealth missions.

It was Stygge Diebol,” the boy whispered.

I stiffened. My skin crawled, and my mouth dried. “I’m listening.”

It was seconds. He killed everyone like you could blink, and—everyone was burnt and crushed,” he swallowed, and his gaze grew distant. “There was blood and somebody’s arm and this crunchy sound and—”

I knelt down and stopped him with my hand on his chest. He was breathing fast, his heart fluttering against my palm and his pupils constricted in terror. “Stop,” I said.

I can’t,” he whispered.

Think of the color green,” I said. “What kinds of things are green?”

Leaves, sometimes,” he said.

What else?”

That’s—that’s all the green, I can’t, I—”

Some birds are green, right?”

Yes. And some singing lizards.” His breathing slowed down. “The big ones.”

Right. You like singing lizards?”

He nodded. An uncertain smile flickered on the edge of his lip. “Njande made the lizards for me, I think,” he whispered.

I tried to smile back. I didn’t talk about interdimensionals. It was too personal, painful, even, something that brought back once upon a time with excruciating happiness and confusing pain, because back in the wooden cage, guarded by Growen soldiers under the command of Bricandor himself, I too had a secret friend.

Okay,” I said. I patted the kid’s back awkwardly as I stood. Panic attack over. Kid needed to leave; I never reported late, and wouldn’t now. I nudged him toward the secret entrance to the children’s barracks with my palm. He trotted, then paused:

Should I report them?” he asked.

Up to you. If they bother you again send them to me,” I said, then slipped myself through the silvery wall of the neighboring command building.

Alright. Promotion. With a grown man’s rank at only seventeen years old I’d finally have the leverage to make a difference around here. I checked the crease in my pants, sharpened the folds of my sleeves over my biceps, and walked in to give my Wonderfrog captain a crisp salute and even crisper smile.

Captain Rana’s return salute was more like he was batting away annoying flies, and Wonderfrogs never bat away flies. He pointed a ball-tipped blue-green finger behind me.

I turned to see another uniformed Frelsi cadet, an Enforcer one rank below me. My smile evaporated like the mists back home.

It was troublemaker Lem Benzaran.

I don’t think I know her, sir,” I lied.

Yeah, look, Captain, whatever it is, I didn’t do it,” she said.

Right?” I said; I could see why she’d think she was in trouble. “Muddy uniform, half-jacked salute—” Her elbow knocked a glass of water off the shelf. I caught it in mid-air. “Are we even in the same military?”

I dunno, I’m in a military, you talkin’ like you’re in a fashion show.”

Be quiet, be quiet, be quiet,” Rana grumbled. He rose on all fours off the large cushion by the compuwall, dropped his lion-sized girth right between us, and snatched the glass out of my hand to splash on his face. “You! And you. Especially you,” he pointed at each of us twice. “You need to work together, together, together now.”

I opened my mouth to protes—

With all due respect,” she jumped in ahead of me, suddenly polite as a princess. “Sir, you assigned me to my first human trafficking case this morning, remember, to help return that little boy to his family, right, and I really got a good thing going, I think I know the perp, I promise, just gimme a little—”

Rana gurgled. Both Benzaran and I tightened our stances. “Lem-Lem, I’m aware,” Rana said, referring to her by doubling her first name for some reason. “Aware, see? We’re small and spread thin, thin and small. Don’t have the luxury of always doing one thing at a time. Seria will work the case till you get back. It’s still yours yours yours.” He paused, his large, wide-mouthed face inches from her chin. “Have you ever heard of a Stygge?” he asked.

Diebol. My breath boiled in my throat; I had to force it down.

Stygge—that the new drink they got down on the town?” Benzaran joked. “Think I spilled that on my civvies this morning.”

I know them, sir,” I growled, interrupting her shenanigans.

A buzz about them within the Growen,” Rana went on. “A buzz like flies. They do things … things like you two. Electrics. Magnetics. Fires. From their fingertips. Fingertips!” He leaned back on his haunches and flexed his webbed forefingers.

Like Bricandor’s Twelve?” Lem narrowed her eyes. “I thought those were just rumors Growen soldiers tell to make their commanders sound badass.”

Rumors? My left hand clenched over the old burn in my palm; I repressed a bitter grin.

One Stygge can destroy your whole unit,” Rana went on. “A swipe of the hand, all gone. One swipe. Except maybe you and Bereens here because, well. Fancy fingers. Fancy fancy!” Rana extended claws from his own webbed ball-tips as he talked. “But almost nonexistent, yes?” He turned back to his cushion, undulating across the floor on all fours like a sidewinder, and tapped the compuwall. “Until now.”

Pictures flickered across the wall beside us, images of the large rec center in the middle of our barracks area. A shadowy figure poised atop it, orbs levitating around its head.

There was an attempted bombing last week at the edge of the fort,” Rana said. “Surveillance caught these images before he ripped out the cameras with an electromagnetic pull.”

Was that the ‘training accident’ we all know wasn’t training?” Benzaran scowled. “Where Colonel Win got hurt?”

Reported and stopped by your little brothers, actually,” Rana nodded at her; her eyebrows lifted. “A story for later. The attacker left a fur sample on the roof of the recreation center. Computer says Bichank land-walrus, walrus, Bichank: the boys say Stygge powers, powers, powers. We have no idea why he went for the rec center, instead of a more tactical area.”

That’s where the moon refugees are staying!” Lem declared. “The Biouk space-lemurs who came in last week? My cousins.”

I rolled my eyes and said nothing at this other human calling space-lemurs family. I only had a glancing acquaintance with her, but I’d overheard her in the mess hall multiple times talking about how much she missed space-lemur life. I always wanted to tell her to suck it up—we all missed something or someone the Growen had taken.

Perhaps the moon refugees are the target of the bombing. Perhaps not. More concerning, concerning concerning …” Rana’s long tongue flickered out across his eyeball. “It sounds like there are more like him, more reports of electromagnetic people than ever before, across the Growen ranks and attacks in all our bases in the Contested Zone. This is the first time we’ve caught one on camera. You track him—” Rana wiggled his fingers. “You find him—” He did it again. “You find out how the Growen suddenly have so many Stygges.”

Yes. This made me so hungry. There was no way my old cellmate wasn’t involved here, and I wanted back at him like I wanted a world that allowed cinnamon pie for breakfast every day. “When do we leave, sir?” I asked.

Immediately, right away, go,” he said, stomping his big, webbed hind-foot with a plat on the floor suddenly. “You’ll find your mission leads uploaded to your wristbands. Dismissed. Dismissed! Goodbye.” Two webbed hands platted on Lem’s back and shoved her out the wall. I didn’t need a push. My old Stygge friend had a thing or two coming. My wristband beeped, and I was already reading mission details as I stalked down the hallway. I was known for this, for knowing—I stole and devoured Growen tech read-outs with the same hunger some people my age memorized Burburan soap operas on the lightchannels.

I’ll see you at the air-rider station in twenty,” I shot to Benzaran without looking up from my reading. “Bring your mace.”

She stumbled after me with a scowl. “Excuse me, Mr. Orders, but—”

Oh, and Lem-Lem?” Rana called after us, shoving his face through the polymerwall.

Sir?” Lem turned back. I paused, too.

Rana’s big eyes blinked with another twinkle of amusement. “Two weeks scrubbing out the slop chute when you get back.”

Yes sir.” Benzaran laughed with a sigh of relief, as if punishment was an inside joke.

I shook my head and left. Whatever she’d done, it wasn’t my business, and I didn’t care.

But she had better not screw up this mission. We had a galaxy to save.

#

Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.

Lem Benzaran was late. She came strolling towards the air-rider station surrounded by kids. I stood back, arms crossed, resisting the urge to tap my foot on the stone floor. The big parking station hummed with technicians chattering, engine parts clattering, and air-riders taking off through the huge garage door that opened towards the jungle. Kids’ voices weren’t uncommon here, but these were little kids, not even old enough to break a man’s finger. Thirteen is regulation fighting age when you live in a world where adults will kill you for sneezing at them wrong … maybe one of these kids was thirteen.

Bye JE, bye Jake—Juju, Joseph, J’maih, Jaynes, and,” Lem stopped to kiss the head of a little baby carried in the arms of the maybe thirteen-year-old boy. “Bye Jackie. Love you.”

She swung herself up on the air-rider beside mine. “You coming?” she asked—as if she’d been waiting on me—and took off, out of the garage and into the jungle.

Whoa, hey!” I zipped after her as we plunged into the hot air outside. “Let up just a second!”

I didn’t know then that she wasn’t one to “let up.”

Get the full book now to keep reading!


Saturday, August 28, 2021

YouTube's support for Black creators is FAKE.

 By now many of you have seen the banner ads that scream, "we're celebrating Black voices!"

I encourage you to click on those ads.

Not because then you'll have the opportunity to support struggling Black creators. You should do that.

But because you'll have the opportunity to see YouTube trying to take credit for Black work.

Every single creator in that highlight is HUGE. These are creators who have created their own kingdoms DESPITE a racist-designed algorithm that only shows people things that are similar to what they have seen in the past. 

You have to understand that the algorithm, while not racist itself because it is a machine, creates racist results with this "only show you stuff I think is similar to what you've seen before." See, because of financial access to filming, because of technology access, because of historical inequality, what people have seen in the past, the strongest accounts on YouTube, are white creators for the most part (with the exceptions of Asians like Ryan Higa, the once-king of the platform before the Pewdiepie era). 

The algorithm is changing. But the fact is that most of those creators on that YouTube voices showcase succeeded despite, not because of, YouTube's "help."

So it's kind of gross for YouTube to use their faces as a "hey, look, we're not racist!" 

I hate YouTube's CEO, too, by the way. 

Yo, YouTube, if you really want to support and showcase Black creators, find SMALL creators who haven't had their big break. African Xhosa ASMR does an amazing job showcasing her culture, by the way...would you ever showcase an ASMRtist, or are you too afraid to admit how much money we bring in?

There are other smaller Black creators who don't necessarily agree with your ideology but deserve the spotlight, too. I'm well aware of what you did to Machosauceproductions, that while you allow white conservatives to get a break, for most part, you demonetized him, a Black conservative, because Black people aren't "allowed" to have various diverse opinions. Look, he's no friend of mine--he kind of ghosted my team and wasn't very polite to my Black female producer. But he made content he believed in, had a lot of fans, and you silenced him. 

YouTube, do a search for smaller creators. You have the option. Showcase them, and give them their big break. If you have the balls, instead of hiding behind numbers Black creators drummed up on their own. 

Egh fake allies drive me nuts.

Monday, January 4, 2021

You can have the SUPERHERO MEGA ANTHOLOGY for free.

 It's been eons since the days when I used to blog here faithfully, trying to tell you stories. Now, this is a place for ghosts, and for my memories of ghosts. But ghosts also need love, and so, dear ghosts, here is an entire book, over 600 pages, with Marvel artists, an SFWA director, and over 13,200 creator hours inside it. If you enjoy superheroes, this is my gift to you. <<< Click on it there.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A Text

It's been years, and I still dream about you--your queenly roman nose, straight and pale below the soft fluff of your bangs, and your chin, as it leans on your hand, and then off it, as you lean forward with the weird, theatening intensity we both have when curious, or passionate.

I want to place my lips on your forehead, and whisper into your brain that you will be safe. I remember so vividly the evening I listened to you, gently touching your tired scalp with my fingers twirling in your long, light hair--hair very different from my heavy Asian thickness, hair that like you seemed like a wisp in the wind. You used to walk on tip-toe like a fairy, like my little sister did. 

I love you more with the passing distance, through space and time. I was never ever so happy as with you, not in the entirety of my life. Not with my husband, and certainly not with yours, not without you. You don't remember calling for you not to leave us alone? I despise your husband more with each passing month. It's sad, because I do remember, factually, loving him very much, and I factually recall a beautiful hike, and medical lessons, and playing with him, and you, and the children, but my actual feelings, beyond the facts, have melted and rotted past sweetness into this fetid disgust, rank with flesh maggots. I don't know if it was meat that rotted, or eggs, under the syrupy crystallized rotten fruit, and it used to bother me that I don't know--that I can't tell if I ever had pure joy around him, or if there was always this slight disgust, because I remember the moment you said you thought he was good-looking, and I wanted to laugh in your face, and I remember the moment when I met him that my first instinct was to be afraid of him. Which seems ridiculous, factually, because I know he was a friend, and I know I am responsible for Paradise Lost, but I also know those moments were true, and that what happened afterwards was true, and that right now, it is true that I despise him.

I despise him, and I despise the churches of men that warped the way you see humans and sexuality so you'll trust the wrong people and okay the worst human abuses, because if it were not for them, you and I would be together, still. I would still take your cooking to work with me; I would still do your dishes; I would still hold your children, and brush their wispy fairy hair, and tell them stories.

The last dream I had, you and I met in a coffee shop, and sat and talked while the children played. There was no one else. And you met my eyes, and you smiled.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Maw

He used to look at me
Eyes glowing with the light reflected off my brown skin in the moonlit scented spring
Rough fingers tracing thrilled goosebumps.

Now he cannot see me
Blinded--

--thought I from the pale sickly glimmer of my fat ill flesh, reflective in glutinous adiposity, but I healed myself, toned every muscle like cord, effort sizzling me like simmering sirloin, savory scent drowning other men's mouths with sweet saliva, sweated skin, and still he saw nothing, so--

Perhaps it was not light reflected off me, but light passing through me.
Am I dead, a hungry ghost, 
Translucent personality faded into memories
That I eat to fill in the space, pack on pounding pavement-chunks of person--
Person that is person, no matter how small,
"We are here, we are here, we are here"
I scream as I shove cake into my jaw
Hoping with rocks in my stomach perhaps it will weigh me down
Color in my lines
So he can see?

Or is he the ghost
The spectre of love dead
Translucent, pale like a cave fish
Jaw unhinged, drifting aimless
Jumping, dopamine flush, at the slightest tremor in the dark water
Fingers on the video game controller
The metaphor, like the man, is dead.

And til death do us part
So I die
And if I die
Before I wake
At least twelve hours it would take
Before he noticed.

I die
I must have died
For this is just a shadow
Of what I once called life.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Her neck (#poetry)



You

With the neck that's a curve of soft golden marble

That I kissed in innocence
Then paid in blood


You nearly killed me.


You, do you watch me

Like I watch you?

Lady with the curls

Nose Greek in its hard perfection

Lady who steals from shopping markets

Because you think they deserve it

Genius who reprograms lab equipment

To break it

To punish the next shift

Lady, like luck, you are cruel.

And I love you.


Great Expectations

Was it a game?

You must have loved me, you must!

Every picture

Of my future

Centered on you,

And yours.

I loved yours, I love them, my heart aches, I cannot stop, my children, my children, my children!


Rachel weeps

My children are no more my children

They were always yours.


"Miss, you're just like Mommy but nice."

I wasn't trying to steal them.

I was only showing kindness

You were too angry

I wasn't trying to correct you!

Only help!

It wasn't my fault they loved me!

I was just nice

I was just myself.


That's the worst of it

I think you know that

I think you know that you threw ME out

Because YOU had been outcast


By you.


I hate adults.

When I breathe, they die.

One by one.

But now I can't breathe

Without my chest aching

My ribs, so tight

Encage a heart

Around you.


You know they don't love you, right?

I would have died for you.

You, in my dreams

You

With the neck that's a curve of soft marble gold

That I kissed in innocence

And paid

In blood