eurydicebound: (Default)
This is the best rejection letter I've ever gotten:

Dear Ms. Lyons,

Thanks so much for submitting to Tor.com, and for your extreme
patience while we evaluated your story. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that
"Swan Song" isn't quite right for us. It's always hard to reject
something well-written and unique. I wish you the best of luck placing
it elsewhere.

Please send us more of your stories in the future, and we'll try our
best to have better response times.

Best,

Tor.com Submissions Staff


Yay! They kinda liked it, if not enough to actually publish it! I win!
eurydicebound: (bleed words)
Once upon a time, there was a girl.

Oh wait, that's not true. Or rather, it is true, but completely beside the point.

Oh.... what the hell, right? We're already here, might as well go through with it.

So once upon a time, there was a girl. And this girl met a guy, and fell in love and out of love and through days and across the wide and shifting sea, with waves that bent like grass under the wind, until she was very far from home.

She came to rest on a shore she did not know, filled with plants whose shapes were unfamiliar. Animals she could not recognize stared out from the woods at her with glowing, silent eyes. Although the place was very beautiful, in her heart she felt sore afraid.

She glanced around her, in her little boat, looking for her friends who had traveled the wide and shifting sea with her. The little bear, the solemn knight, the faithful hound... these were her boon companions and truest friends. They cared for one another deeply, and together had fought off the Terrors of Darkness, sending them back to the King of Shadows, in his realm beyond the Great White Door.

There was no one there, however. She thought she remembered them stopping off at the last dream for a bite to eat, to catch up with her later, but who can tell how these things go, and what may come from dream to dream? Regardless, here she was.

Alone, with nothing but her courage and a boat which seemed determined to rest here in this foreign land (if she could have turned it around, she would), she set foot upon the shore. Her feet sank into wet, cold sand, and the wind whipped chills along her spine. A keening sound carried on the wind and she hugged herself tightly against it, wishing it quiet and pretending that it was.

She had taken no more than a few steps when a figure stepped forth from the wilderness, dressed in clothes that seemed familiar, yet unlike her own. "Do you come alone?" it said.

"Yes," the girl answered. "I have friends, but they are not with me."

"What do you want?" it asked her.

"I don't know," she said. "But I'm here, and I think I have to stay."

"That is too bad," it said. "For I am a lion, and I must eat anyone who tries to pass."

The girl stared at the figure, which looked far more like a person than a lion. "You don't look like a lion," she said at last.

"No? Perhaps you need glasses. For assuredly, I am a lion, and I must eat you up."

The girl took off her glasses and looked at them closely, wiping the lenses, and looked at the figure again. It still looked like a person. She put them back on and blinked, and looked again. Still a person, though perhaps a bit taller than she'd thought. "You look like a person, not a lion."

"And what does a person look like?" it asked.

"Well... like me," she said. "I'm a person."

"Are you sure? Maybe you are a lion."

The girl wrinkled her forehead at this assertion. Surely if she were a lion, she would know it. She said, "No, I don't think--"

"Don't you?" it said. "I think you do. Perhaps," it said, "lions are different where you are from."

"Perhaps," she replied.

"Nevertheless," it said, "I must eat you."

"Must you?" she asked. "I have traveled so far."

"I can see that you must have, for you do not know a lion when you see one. What a strange world that must be."

"Do you think..." she said, pausing to choose her words carefully "...do you think it would be absolutely necessary for you to eat me this very moment? The lions I know rarely act with such haste."

The figure looked at her for a moment, its eyes flashing green, startling in the dim light. "Perhaps that is hasty of me," it said finally. "After all, you might be a lion too."

"Would it be just the same if you ate me tomorrow?" she asked, shivering slightly.

"Well, not just the same," it answered. "One never knows about tomorrow."

"Still... if no one would mind, tomorrow might be better," she said. "It would be greatly preferable for me, as I am too tired now to have any interest in being eaten."

The figure drew itself up proudly. "I would mind," it said. "However...." it looked at her, and suddenly she wondered if it knew something she did not. "I would not press death upon one so unready to greet it." It stepped aside from the path. "Tonight you can be my guest. Tomorrow I will eat you, as custom demands. The game must be played."

The girl tilted her head a bit, looking perplexed, but then nodded slowly. "I accept for tonight, then," she said. "Tomorrow we shall see."

She stepped forward cautiously, uncertain how to regard this stranger. She walked slowly up the path to the figure, who remained in the shadows. Taller than she, holding no weapon, she could still feel its eyes on her, and chills ran across her skin. As she approached, it bowed to her, and gestured for her to move forward. She stepped ahead of it on the path and moved further into the forest, toward the lion/person's home.

She had just moved ahead when she heard it fall into step behind her. The sounds of the other animals stopped silent, and she wondered for the first time what manner of wilderness she had found. The creature spoke, then, its low voice quiet in her ear and it's breath hot on her neck. "And perhaps, if you find you are a lion, we will have to eat each other up. And that is the best game of all."

"But I'm not a lion," she said.

"Tomorrow we shall see," he answered.
eurydicebound: (writing)
This isn't really finished or edited or anything, but it's not bad for working out this week's stress-related issues. It's the first time I've worked on something new that wasn't for school or pay in a long time.





Vanishing
“Have you lost weight?” he asks, looking at me as though this is the first time we’ve met in years.

“Yes,” I said simply.

Charles looks at me intently, the crease between his eyebrows becoming more pronounced. “You look really thin.”

“I haven’t lost that much weight.” I walk to the couch and sit. It’s a long way, or at least it feels like it.

“Still...” he says. He gives me a brief, worried glance. I smile back at him, shaking my head slowly. He half-smiles, sheepish, then looks back down at his book. I turn and look out the window.

I told him the truth. I haven’t lost that much weight. I wasn’t small when all this began, although I wasn’t huge. A bit of lost weight wouldn’t hurt me.

I turn and look back over at him. Chelsea, our cat, pads over to me across the back of the couch. I reach slowly over to pet her, but she sniffs at my hand instead. The air above my hand is the slightest bit fuzzy and I lose sight of her eyes through it. It’s hard to focus.

She turns away and trots back down the couch, going to settle by Charles. She won’t let me touch her any more. I can’t blame her, really.

“Charles...” I say his name softly. I was trying for louder, but it sounds muted to my ears.

“Why don’t you go get some lunch, baby,” he says. “I’m going to be a little while.” He doesn’t look up.

I rise from the seat and walk into the kitchen. My vision clouds for a second, white vapor drifting up before my eyes. I take the steps into the kitchen and let the door shut behind me. Looking down at my body, my arms... the mist is here too... at least I think it is. My skin looks oddly pale under the florescent lights in the kitchen. I close my eyes and turn my head, listening to the bird singing in the lilac bush outside the window. I can still see the negative image left from the glowing lights behind my eyes.

Everything is very far away. It’s quiet now... peaceful. So much easier. I open my eyes and take a moment to readjust to the light. The kitchen seems almost cloudy... I can see sunbeams through the air, as glittering as champagne in a flute glass on a warm night. I look around the counters for food, but I don’t see any. I know I went to the store just the other day, but... none of it feels like food any more. I feel vaguely nauseous at the thought of eating, anyway. It’s too solid.

I know what this is. I’m vanishing.

I tried not to, at first. I fought. I called him just to talk, but he was busy. I asked my friends to go out, but they had things to do. I thought that if I could get someone to focus on me, to make me real, it would help me be real. I know, crazy. Doesn’t work that way... it comes from inside or not at all, and something happened to mine. Whatever kept me solid just... stopped and got quiet and still. With no one to miss it, it was no time until it was gone altogether.

I don’t miss that, actually. Quiet and still are good. Peace is good. These things I have.

I’m feeling lighter now, light headed and light bodied. The shadow of my arms against the table looks lighter than it did. What started with emotions went to action. People stopped noticing me because I stopped being someone you’d notice. It was easy. Nothing to disturb the still, calm waters. No pebbles, no bills, no boyfriends to make waves.

It was a week before I was aware enough to worry, but then it was too late. I’m losing weight, but I’m not on a diet. Charlie doesn’t know the difference, but I do. It just... won’t stay. And I can’t seem to eat, so it doesn’t come back. It evaporates, like lifting yourself out of a hot bath into a cold room, watching the water vaporize off your arm in waves of steam.

I’m not losing weight. I’m losing me. Piece by piece, atom by atom. Sometimes I can stave it off, but not now. My size stays the same, but now I’m... not hollow, but thinner somehow. Translucent. Dissipating.

Vanishing.

It won't be long now. Sound has gone quiet... too much so. I can't even hear the refrigerator hum anymore. Everything before my eyes is a fog of white. The only thing I can still hear is my breath, coming oh so slowly. I don't breathe in much anymore. It feels as though if I did, I might pop like an aging soap bubble, a swirl of brilliant colors and then... gone....

Breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe....

Innocents.

May. 14th, 2008 10:41 pm
eurydicebound: (writing)
Today I got my comp copies of World of Darkness: Innocents. I'm really proud to be a part of this book. It's pretty and awesome and I'm quite pleased with it. If you're looking for my stuff in particular, go with my essay, the opening of Chapter One, Nate's journal entry, Sahara's letter to Santa, Caralyn's letter from her teacher, and the adventure seed "The Forever Club."

Anyway, I'm pleased with this book. You most likely will be too. Check it out.
eurydicebound: (writing)
My teacher really liked this one. I think it sounds like something written for a high school graduation ceremony. That said, it's not bad.
Read more... )
eurydicebound: (rose in book)
Evidently this is what my brain does when it wants to avoid homework. It's too bad it didn't want to be written in iambic pentameter. Then it would have been my only real sonnet ever. I still kinda like it, even if I did fudge one of the rhymes.

Choices

A rose, untimely touch'd by frost
Red petals fair yet edged by death
with little care for what is lost
perfumes the air, its dying breath

What can such tender blossoms know
of what lies past, a moment gone
or yet to come as breezes blow
and kiss or kill with each new dawn

Yet shelter seeks it not, its thorns
do prick all well-intentioned souls,
daring those who'd see it shorn
from its life's blood, though death it chose

In choosing, petals fall like rain
and, kissing earth, find peace again.

Michelle Lyons
eurydicebound: (writing)
No title for this one; the assigned topic was "somebody hurt you." You can take from that snippet that this isn't necessarily a cheerful moment portrayed within. Take that as you will.

Story behind the cut. )
eurydicebound: (writing)
So, for my English class, we are required to hand in "short essays" every week. These are between 250-500 words, though we are not to take that as a hard limit should we feel inspired to do a bit more. Essay is a bit of a misnomer, though, as they can be stories or personal anecdotes or whatever. The only things he said are right out are poetry, mathematical forumlae, and Other People's Writing. :) We are given a choice of topics and the ability to interpret them however we wish.

As for me, I can't help but think: Hmm. 500 word pieces of short fiction that doesn't have to do anything else or be connected to a larger story? Why, it's the second cousin of game intro fiction! Awesome. Even more awesome is that it's short enough to post HERE. :) So that's right, friends and neighbors, I will share my homework assignments with you. Comments are encouraged. If something seems good enough and well received, I might even think about trying to do something else with it. *grin*

So without further ado, today's first assignment. The topic assigned was "ice," so we herewith present "Frost." Enjoy. )
eurydicebound: (Default)
It's another writing post! Batten down the hatches!

Read more... )
eurydicebound: (Default)
I have a love/hate relationship with horror. I appreciate the craft it takes to scare someone with words. I even enjoy a good spine-tingler now and again. Unfortunately I lack a sufficient distancing mechanic to really indulge in it, especially when it comes to images and film. I get tired of rebooting my brain from nasty places so in the end I don't partake of horror very often. I tend to regard it as something fascinating but best studied from a distance, rather like train wrecks or Republicans.

That doesn't mean, though, that I don't have an appreciation of the craft. I actually spend a decent amount of time now and then studying the craft of storytelling, of which horror is a valuable part. After all, the fight-or-flight instinct is powerful and close to the fore in people. If I can figure out how to scare you, how to involve you and trigger that, then I'm halfway to getting you to buy off on much subtler responses such as sorrow, or joy, or vague misgivings. Given that I'd actually like to be a published author one day, it's an important field of study and one I'm still plugging away at, generally more slowly than I'd like.

Writing blather behind the cut. )

Aaaand that's enough rambling for today. Off to dance class.

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