Monday, July 1, 2013


“Today,” Admiral Roth somberly began her address, “we suffered a great blow. We lost hundreds. Some were our friends, some were our family. They were our mothers, our daughters, our wives. They were our fathers, husbands, sons, sisters and brothers. This is a day we will never forget. We will hold their memories in our hearts for all eternity.”


She paused, looked down at what had become her family away from home. They were all mourning. She thought about her son, her daughter and her partner, all fighters. All killed.


“And because of what they have done, it will be a day that Govern will never forget. Because of what they have done, we have an opportunity to strike back with a vengeance Govern has never seen.”

Admiral Roth’s podium shook with the volume of their cheers, the voices of every man and woman united in a fierce cry of agreement.


“We will not allow them to stomp out the light that burns within our hearts. We will not allow them to take away who we are. We will fight, in the names of those we have lost, and we will show them what a mighty nation we are. We are the Last Air Contingent, and we will not let our honor be forgotten!”

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Have a Shelf of People

     Over the years, I've met hundreds of characters: human, animal, and alien. Each one has a name, a back story, a family, a way of life, a personality. 

     I say "met" because they come to me, sometimes in dreams, sometimes when I'm doing dishes. What I mean is, I feel like they already existed when I met them. They are the ones who deemed me worthy enough to allow me to get to know them. 

    Some of them I've drawn, some I've asked others to draw, some of them I've put on a shelf like a plaything and returned to years later, and others have been left to themselves to 
gather dust in the recesses of my mind. 



    Like real people, they make me laugh and cry. I rejoice with them in their successes and almost yank my hair out in sympathetic frustration at their failures. I mourn their losses with them and help them along when they struggle.

      Many of their life-stories intertwine, weaving a tapestry in my mind, and it's hard to know where to start sometimes. If I choose to follow one thread over another, somewhere along the way I have to ask the character I'm speaking for, for guidance. 

    "Which direction do you want me to go? Do you want me to follow you some more, or would your life be better explained through the guy who stood behind you in that coffee shop?"

      Sometimes they don't have an answer. In those cases, I'm left to figure it out for myself and that can get overwhelming and scary. I have a hard time telling my own story, let alone theirs. How am I supposed to know which piece to tell next?


     It's like someone  made puzzles of that tapestry and they're all in one giant puzzle box with the pieces all mixed together. The pieces don't belong to one puzzle in particular. The center piece from puzzle A also fits in a corner of puzzle B. The piece beside that fits in puzzle C facing this way and in puzzle D facing that way, and if you turn it on its side, it fits in puzzle E quite nicely.

     I feel like I need some spring cleaning in my head. I can't possibly give each character it's due credit until I can sort these things out and cross-reference them. Otherwise, someone will be left out, and they're all too important to be forgotten.

    Each one deserves to have their story told. They're just as real as you and me. They're more than just words on a page; they're my friends, my family. 

Monday, March 18, 2013


   I could sit here and tell you that I know who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m gonna go, but anything I said would be a lie. Truth is, I don’t know where I came from. I’m pretty sure I have military training and a little brother somewhere, and that I love sushi, but I’d never eat tuna.

Sometimes, in my dreams, I can see children hiding from me -- from other men like me, men with guns in army fatigues -- and I wonder if I was the good guy or the bad guy. G says it doesn’t really make a difference. She hasn’t seen what I’ve seen. 


   To be honest, I’m not so sure it’s that black and white. 
I mean, the good guys sometimes do bad things. The doctors make fatal decisions, the senators take bribes, the guy who swears to protect and serve kills innocent people in the name of liberty… So maybe she’s right-- what’s the difference, really?  Maybe we’re all a little of both.



   I don’t know if I’ll ever know if I’m the good guy who does bad things, or the bad guy who does good things. I know my name. Alex. That’s about it. When I met G, she told me I’d wake up one day and remember everything; my birthday, my hometown, how I got here, all of it. It’s been three years. 

I’m still waiting. 


Monday, February 4, 2013



                                                   Friday, Night Time

I don’t like the way they look at me. All… mucky. Their faces, mucky. They don’t like me, I see it, I know, but they don’t care, and the other ones, they don’t see them. Probably plotting against me, like those things they call spoons. Not utensils, not at all, not when they’re so sinister. Sinister in disguise. I have proof, too. I saw him go, disappear, poof! Right before my eyes. I saw it. They don’t believe me. They laugh, the mocking things. I don’t need them to believe me, I have Gunny. She believes me. Every time I walk past a reflecty, I can tell Gunny what I saw. She waves when I wave, smiles at me like I smile, ‘cause she likes me. And Hans, he’s good. He gets it, he listens, he smiles. Not like the mocking things, they don’t smile or wave. 

             They’re just mucky.


Saturday, Morning Time

Somebody else went. In the night. I saw it. The mocking things still hate me, don’t believe me. Gunny says be careful.



                                                      Saturday, Night Time

I hear them whispering. All the time, just sneaking, whispering. They say I’m next. The spoons, they’re plotting things. Like the mocking things. Too many things. Gunny looks scared, too. I packed up camp. Not gonna let them poof! Not th-- 


The old man bent to pick up the stray notebook, closed it up, put it on Maude’s crate. She had a disease, one that required medication, but she couldn’t afford it.  She suffered from delusions, hallucinations; she ranted about them to anyone who would listen, about abductions, disappearances, and most people just laughed at her. She was just a crazy person. Few cared to get to know Maude better, to find out whether or not her ravings held some truth. The old man had just recently discovered that when she talked about “spoons”, she didn’t actually mean the flatware. She meant people dressed in odd suits, with rounded helmets. Probably just another of her hallucinations. He wondered where she had gone. 

Last night she had told him part of one of her abduction stories, one that she’d told some of the other villagers, but they mocked her for it. They didn’t believe her, because it was so implausible. He never got to hear the ending. He’d hoped to hear it tonight. He looked at the horizon; it was getting late. His wife was holding dinner for them, him and Maude. It was Maude’s favorite. She’d turn up eventually. She wandered often, getting lost in thought or running from the “spoons”. He pulled his jacket tighter around him, and began the walk home, odd whispers filling the night air at his back.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Like a Girl

When you tell me I run
"like a girl"
Australia's Melissa Wu
You're telling me I run with grace and poise.
When you tell me I throw
"like a girl"
You're telling me I throw with strength and power.
When you tell me I jump
"like a girl"
You're telling I jump with more force of will and ambition than you have ever seen.

When you tell me I think
"like a girl"
You're telling me what I already know--
That you have forced yourself into labeling me,
that you have allowed yourself to be duped into the false security
of assumptions.

Australia's Sally Pearson
I do throw
"like a girl",
I throw with power and calculated force.
I threw you for a loop, didn't I?
I threw you off,
startled you,
gave you what you didn't expect,
proved you wrong,
you don't have to tell me twice,                   
I already know.

You can't change me by telling me what you think I don't want to hear,
Can't insult me with your words,
Because I hear your words for what they really are--
Your insecurity.

So I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing--
I'll keep on being me--
And if that upsets you,
I'll even respond
"like a girl"--
With the self assurance and the knowledge
that I am who I want to be.

So the next time you tell me I do something
"like a girl",
I'll say
"thank you!"
And I'll walk away like a
 USA's Sanya Richards Ross

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Guest Post: Jibril

Today's guest blogger is Mary Jeddore Blakney with an excerpt from her novel Resist the Devil:

I am of the mujihadeen.

My father was a traitor and now he abides in the fire where he belongs. I will not be like him.

I am of the faithful ones and my day will come. The unbelievers will be surprised, and I will secure my place in the Garden.

My mother is a fool.

She listens to the lies of the unbelievers. 

 But I am of the faithful ones and my day will come.

I will secure my place in the Garden, and my mother’s eyes will be opened and she will be saved from the fire.

I am Jibril: Mighty One of God.

My day has not yet come, but it will come.

Perhaps my preparation will take longer than I had thought, but it will come.

I will be diligent and study, and I will secure my place in the Garden, and save my mother from the fire.

My training has taken longer than I ever imagined.

I have studied, I have researched, I have developed discipline, endurance, strength and skill.

My day draws near.

I am of the mujihadeen.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I wonder if this makes sense.
We sit here and smile as though  
we're both content,

When we both know there is 
nothing left to say,
nowhere left to go,

And we are caught
in a never ending loop of
"I'm fine"s, and rote interaction.

Things were great, for a while,
but then we couldn't ignore our
lies, our insecurities; our inability

To see past ourselves.
Selfish. We were selfish. 
To be honest, I think you still are.


I mean, come on. Who were you 
kidding when you said you loved me?
You can't love me. You don't even love 

Yourself. Let me tell you,
It's not easy being the third wheel
In a two-person relationship.


 I can't fix you.

I never could.

I just wish I'd realized it sooner.

Here's hoping the next girl you 
snag isn't so deluded.