Things I Googled While Writing

Conclusion: This is why I donate to Wikipedia.

What color are oysters, what color are dead oysters, do oysters bleed, prison eating utensils, funeral customs, Victorian parlor games, wiki dancing mania, are nail files allowed in prison, wiki animal sacrifice, what makes a blue flame vs orange flame, why don’t candles burn hot, why can’t I forge metal in a candle flame, online chemistry courses, what weapons are prison guards equipped with

What is Barbie’s hair made out of, what are American girl dolls made out of, poem about Egyptian monument turning to dust, wiki forgery, are figs fruit, do figs grow on trees, fig shrubs, are olives fruit, clavicle bone or bones

How long do koi live, how fast do bears move, how far do bears travel, does steel rust, how to hail a taxi, wiki tree farm, wiki tree plantation, how many clavicles does the human body have

Do koi have teeth, how many people have been killed by piranha, what will acid do to bones, what are most restaurant plates made out of, has anyone in ever tried to lay out a journal issue in Scrivener, clickable toc Scrivener

What does tar smell like, how many anchors have been dropped in the ocean, what happens to anchors left in the ocean, what are moth nutrients, how many feet do moths have, list of canned foods, how many eggs do eagles lay, how fragile is pumice

Wiki killing a god, wiki famous mansions, wiki famous manors, how long do trains stop in a station, how high up do trapeze artists perform

How do astronauts keep their helmets from fogging up, what types of rooms echo the most, do mosquitoes bite the dead, what does the areca nut palm smell like, wiki Naga fireballs, wiki abandoned ships at sea, fat snakes

What do turtles drink, can turtles drink honey, how many full moons in a year, cicadas live in what kinds of trees, what does a broken arm feel like

Sunday Six: “But in the morning these living oysters are dead”

A writing idea from Carlea, who in turn got it from some trend going around on Tumblr, is to share six sentences from a current writing project every Sunday.

This is from a fairy tale retelling I’ve been working on.

But in the morning these living oysters are dead. Pulverized. Their shell fortresses laid waste to, the valves ground down. Their little hearts limp and grey, leaking wetly all over the dining room floor, leaving paths like the shiny trails of snails.

The cobbler who makes shoes from oysters is dismissed. In fact, he is executed.

Also, two cool photos of “oyster shoes”: here and here.

(Featured image: Illustration by Errol Le Cain)

Friday Fiction: “My Strength Is That of a Hundred Men Because My Heart Is Pure”

Because I read a lot of stuff and so much of it is awesome and I feel compelled to share, I’ve decided to do just that every Friday. Kind of like a #fridayreads thing, but short fiction, most of it available for free online.

This week it is:

“My Strength Is That of a Hundred Men Because My Heart Is Pure” by Jessica Francis Kane on Narrative. It’s an iStory, a genre Narrative designed for their mobile app. 15o sharp words. Read it! This piece shook me. Because it’s so short, I won’t excerpt any of it out and will just direct you to sign up for an account with Narrative because it’s worth it.

“The Grammar of Happiness: An Interview with Kate Bernheimer”

Cate Fricke, whose utterly fantastic story “The Nursemaid” I had the pleasure of illustrating for Lightning Cake, has posted her interview with Kate Bernheimer at the 2013 AWP Conference on her blog. You can read the interview here: “The Grammar of Happiness: An Interview with Kate Bernheimer.”

It’s a terrific conversation, and reading it excited me. Some of the gems in the interview include a word from Kelly Link, writing for children, writing from childhood, and myths—this last being the subject of the new anthology Kate is editing: xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths.

Excerpt from the interview to whet your appetite:

KB: There are fairy tales that are part of children’s literature, but not all fairy tales are part of children’s literature, depending on how the boundaries of “children’s literature” are being defined, which is not a constant. Too, when it comes to definitions of fairy tales, there are as many definitions as there are desires to have definitions. I don’t think that there is any one definition that has ever really functioned perfectly in any universal way, historically speaking, and that is part of what makes fairy tales so mysterious, engaging, and enduring, for sure. They are a trickster art form. Just as you try to contain the fairy tale, it eludes you, like fairy, right? It’s the fairy way to do that. If there is an operating definition for me, it’s bound up in their evasion of definition as a fixed thing – fairy tales are a becoming, I’ve written. And in my writing I speak of “Fairy tale” as a language, identified in the “fairy way of reading.” For me, it’s less “what is a fairy tale,” that is, how do you identify a fairy tale through a definition, than how does a reader or viewer or author or artist experience a fairy tale as a kind of affect, as a way of becoming in the story. And so you recognize a fairy tale through its techniques, and through its effect on you.