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No, the book isn't out yet...

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I'm just having a bit of fun with an online cover generator.
If only writing could be that easy!

Harvie Part I Cover Rectangular
Harvie Part II Cover Rectangular
Harvie Part III Cover Rectangular

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Romancing on ice

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... and may the world be at your feet!








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No matter what happens...

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don't forget to bend your knees!







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The Red Shoes

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THE RED SHOES

Anne Sexton

I stand in the ring
in the dead city
and tie on the red shoes.
Everything that was calm
is mine, the watch with an ant walking,
the toes, lined up like dogs,
the stove long before it boils toads,
the parlor, white in winter, long before flies,
the doe lying down on moss, long before the bullet.
I tie on the red shoes.

They are not mine.
They are my mother’s.
Her mother’s before.
Handed down like an heirloom
but hidden like shameful letters.
The house and the street where they belong
are hidden and all the women, too,
are hidden.

All those girls
who wore the red shoes,
each boarded a train that would not stop.
Stations flew by like suitors and would not stop.
They all danced like trout on the hook.
They were played with.
They tore off their ears like safety pins.
Their arms fell off them and became hats.
Their heads rolled off and sang down the street.
And their feet – oh God, their feet in the market place -
their feet, those two beetles, ran for the corner
and then danced forth as if they were proud.
Surely, people exclaimed,
surely they are mechanical. Otherwise…

But the feet went on.
The feet could not stop.
They were wound up like a cobra that sees you.
They were elastic pulling itself in two.
They were islands during an earthquake.
They were ships colliding and going down.
Never mind you and me.
They could not listen.
They could not stop.
What they did was the death dance.

What they did would do them in.

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Once Upon A No-Time

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It's the second draft of the story, as appeared in "Born Digital" competition:


ONCE UPON A NO-TIME


“Now, listen. Once upon a time…”
“What is time?”
“You promised to listen! Time means… Well, doesn’t mean anything really. Just a word. Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess, a daughter of a king, who ruled the land and the sky and the sea…”
“I don’t like the story.”
“I has dragons in it.”
“Still, I don’t like it.”
“Which one would you like then?”
“About voices.”
“Voices?”
“Like us.”
“We are no voices…”
“You promised me a story! Come on. Once upon a time…”
“Right… Once upon a no-time there are… Are you sure?”
“Positive.”
“Okey-dokey. There are… ok, voices.”
“W-w-what are you d-doing h-here?”
“Shhh! It’s a story!”
“S-s-story?”
“Shhhh! Later! Listen!”
“Voices, who live in their Voiceland with no land and no sky and no sea and no sun and no stars…”
“Beautiful…”
“You promised to listen, and not interrupt. Where am I? They are big voices and small voices, brave voices and meek voices, voices that sing and voices that stutter…”
“L-like m-m-me?”
“Shhhh! Don’t interrupt! Carry on.”
“Then there is that one very beautiful voice…”
“H-how do you kn-know?”
“You always know when the voice is beautiful. The one that flies and sings, and tinkles like a little bell and rolls like dew drops off tiny blades of grass. Soft, like a touch of a fair lady’s hand, sturdy like dragon’s scales.”
“Hah! You’ve got dragons in this one too!”
“You can't have a story, and not to have dragons! Listen, there’s more…”

*

“My Mac has been acting funny.”
“I thought you were happy with it? Had enough, so soon?”
“No, that’s not what I mean. It has been… talking. To me.”
“Your Mac talks to you. Great.”
“You think it’s normal.”
“I think for you it’s pretty normal. Better than having the spirit of Douglas Adams talk to you in Morrison’s.”
“In fact, he’s a charming companion.”
“No doubt. Better than your husband.”
“More open-minded.”
“Indeed. Perhaps you should talk to him about these voices.”
“Douglas Adams? Naaah. He won’t be bothered. I think he heard it all before.”
“So what do they say?”
“Who?”
“These voices.”
“Well… not much. Just telling stories.”
“Stories, of course.”
“Of course. What else would they say?”
“Sure. Should have guessed.”
“I like the way you hands smell. Soft.”

*

“… and then there was that girl, of course, not really a girl, ‘cos she was grown up and everything, and lived in her lovely cottage with her lovely husband and her lovely cat.”
“W-what is a c-cat?”
“A cat is a voice without a voice.”
“H-how can that be?”
“Forget about the cat for now.”
“No! You can’t have a cat in the story and not know what it is!”
“You can have a dragon.”
“Dragons are different!”
“Fine, then. Well… a cat is a dragon, only a very lazy one.”
“How can a dragon be lazy?”
“Well, that’s why he’s not a dragon any more. He lost his dragon essence and became a cat.”
“H-he lost his v-voice?”
“He lost his voice, yes. Indeed.”

*

Sometimes I think I made myself up. I took a name, I took a picture, a carefully selected set of clothes, things that tell who I am, so I don’t have to. I came up with a tale of me, a true story, edited and digitized and re-packaged for a wider appeal. Here is me, smiling, looking smart. Accomplished. The accomplishment is in the looks, that slight tilt of head, the glitter in the eyes, carefully chosen lightning. Curves, hue, saturation, white balance. She looks accomplished, I think. She.

*

“What do you think he thinks?”
“Who? Cheater?”
“Yes. I think he thinks all the time.”
“Does he talk to you too?”
“Not funny.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Not funny.”
“I think he thinks whether his lazy butlers are going to get up and feed him.”
“U-huh. Have you seen my laptop?”
“It didn’t tell you where it was going?”
“Not funny.”
“Have we got any cereals left?”
“You may try some catfood. Nutritious.”
“I doubt Cheater would agree to share.”

*

They say memories are selective; that there’s a point they stop being memories and become fiction, stories that we choose to remember, told and retold, lest we forget who we were in the first place. You can rewrite you story, you memory, you can start with typing: “I am…” or, better, “she is…” and then cut and paste a select choice of identifiers. “She is a…”, “she used to be…”, “she has become…”
And if you chose a wrong word, if you mislabel her, she’s going to disappear, be forever lost. Misplaced.

*

“So where did that girl live?”
“Hmmm… Haven’t though of it yet. Where do you want her to live?”
“Seaside! No, mountains!”
“Then you have to make up the mountains.”
“How can I make up something I haven’t seen?”
“Have you seen a dragon? Sure you can make one up.”
“D-do mountains h-have v-voices?”
“Of course they do.”

*

Do mountains have voices? What a silly thing to type. I hate that blinking bar, the emptiness, the expectation mark between nothing and a word. A word creates a meaning, an essence, a substance; a being. Is there a being that exists in its potential inside the emptiness? A verbal embryo, a notion not yet formed, a not-yet-a-being. When is it born?

*

“I want a new Mac.”
“So soon?”
“I told you it’s been acting funny.”
“Nice try.”
“I know.”
“The new one may come without voices.”
“Is it such a bad thing?”
“I don’t know. It’s been talking to you, not me.”
“Sure. How would you know.”
“Then tell me.”
“If only I could.”

*

The memory of a space preserved in a phonetic form, in a graphic form. A memory of a feeling becomes an arrangement of Verdana symbols. A Tahoma memory. An Ariel Black emotion. Times New Roman times.

*

“You see, she wasn’t an ordinary girl. She could travel to the Voiceland, and talk to the voices, and bring their stories back to her world.”
“Wow, how would she do that?”
“How do you think? I don’t know – is it really possible to take a voice out of the Voiceland? It wouldn’t be a voice anymore, would it?”
“No, it wouldn’t”
“Then how can you she take them back?”
“She couldn’t. And it made her sad.”
“So what did she do?”
“She stopped coming.”

*

“It’s not going to happen.”
“Huh?”
“I never gonna be a writer. I made it all up. I’m a fraud. I do not exist.”
“So what?”
“So nothing! If all this is not real, then what is?”
“You think too much.”
“I know.”
“Of course, you’re real.”
“How do you know?”
“I just do.”

*

“So she n-never came b-back? To the Voiceland?”
“Of course she did. How could she not?”
“They always come back.”
“Who?”
“They. The story people.”
“You should call them ‘characters’, really.”
“No. The story people. That’s the way I like.”
“Fine, have it your way. The story people. That’s what they are called.”

*
<meta content="" name="Title" /> <meta content="" name="Keywords" /> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" /> <meta content="Word.Document" name="ProgId" /> <meta content="Microsoft Word 2008" name="Generator" /> <meta content="Microsoft Word 2008" name="Originator" />
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<span lang="EN-US">&ldquo;
Once upon a no-time
&rdquo;</span></p> <!--EndFragment-->

*

“What are you writing?”
“A story.”
“About what?”
“Nothing… Voices.”
“What kind of voices?”
“You know… just voices.”
“…voices that sing and voices that stutter…”
“Get out!”
“Ok, ok!”
“I think I should write a story about a cat.”
“I think you should. Better than writing about voices.”
“Do you think so?”
“Cheater would agree.”
“Deal. I’ll call it A Cat’s Tail.”

*

“And this is the end of her story.”
“That’s it? You promised, there will be dragons! You cheated! Cheater!”
“Cheater!”
“No, I’m not!”
“Cheater! Cheater!”

*

“Cheater! Cheater!”
“Leave him. He doesn’t want to come in.”
“Cheater!”
“Let’s go. He’ll come back when he’s hungry. He always comes back.”

*
<!--StartFragment--> <p style="margin-bottom: 6pt;" class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">&ldquo;
Cheater! Cheater!
&rdquo;</span></p> <!--EndFragment-->

*

“Once upon a no-time…”

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Writers do not choose

Orange
Writers do not choose what novels to write. Novels choose their writers. Like human souls between the cycles of re-birth, their characters tread carefully past the hopefuls who wait for the inspiration to strike, looking into their eyes, into their dreams, searching. And then they make their choice.

Many writers say about their how they develop their characters: “I don’t make them do things. They do their own things, and I write about it.” I certainly belong to this type. Instead of creative freedom I have a kind of ability to see my character’s future, often, several possible futures, but I don’t have the power to change it. All I can do is to offer them a choice and see if they accept it.

There is a reason why books choose their writers. They bring along a lesson to be learned, first and foremost, by the author-to-be.

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