I have disappeared from the blogosphere for six months, but it feels like a week. I’m not sure if that stands as testament to my ability to procrastinate, or a sign that my neighbour is actually an evil, time-eating monster.
Tags: Barnes & Noble, ebook, review, short story, The Candle Maker's Widow
Tags: short story, The Final Transformation
I haven’t written anything in a month, and that feels like a lifetime away! Ah well. Life intrudes, sometimes.
Anyway, I received a piece of good news last week. My short story, The Final Transformation, has finally been published in Roar and Thunder, a magazine for speculative fiction! Do read it, whether or not you’ve got time to spare ;)
How quickly I change my mind. I truly am corrupt. Or so it seems.
A book voucher is all it takes for me to change my mind about a person.
That said, I doubt there are many of us who will nurse a strong hatred for any one entity for the rest of our lives, so I console myself with the thought that I am just like anyone else. And who knows? I may demonstrate some consistency by returning to my original dislike in a few months or so.
I still want that book voucher, though.
The water flowing from the tap seemed a little strange. Shimmery, although it was dark in the bathroom. I didn’t turn on the lights. There was this inner radiance you get when there’s a light inside a room made of translucent glass. Only this was water.
I put my hand under the stream and it was warm. But it was a cold night. I needed to know more, but I couldn’t do that by just looking. I had to do something. So I drank the water.
It felt like I just ingested peppermint-infused oil. Really disgusting – I closed my eyes and tried to keep that vomit inside. (Yeah, that sounds more disgusting than ever, but it was either that, or cleaning up the mess I made.) Anyway, when I opened my eyes, I was no longer standing by the sink. I was standing behind the sink.
Which is technically impossible, because the sink was welded to a wall. I must have been in the wall. Then I realised that I existed only from waist up. I had no legs – I couldn’t feel them, and I couldn’t see them. In fact, I couldn’t see anything at all, apart from the bathroom in front of me. There was blackness where my legs should have been, blackness behind me, around me. Everywhere.
I reached out and touched the air in front of me. To my surprise, I felt a cool resistance, like glass. I couldn’t see it though. I remembered there was a mirror on the wall above the sink. I must be in the mirror, then.
That made sense. After all, my surroundings would have been a reflection of the bathroom, so they wouldn’t really exist as tangible objects. And whatever existed below my waist were never reflected by the mirror anyway. I never saw my legs through the mirror, so they never existed in the world of the mirror. Actually nothing existed in the world of the mirror.
That was when I understood my own existence. I didn’t need a philosopher to explain it to me.
Tags: ebook, erotic, Pope Pius II
I found myself with some free time yesterday, and used it to read this one novel I’d been wanting to read for some time – The Tale of Two Lovers by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (full story available here). As the title of this post says, it’s an erotic novel. Not a genre I read, I dislike erotic novels. But this one I was interested in because the author (believe it or not) later goes on to become Pope Pius II. An erotic novel by a would-be pope. Hmm.
I can’t say there was anything particularly interesting about that novel, apart from the author. A lot less sex than what you’d get from books from the 21st century, which would disappoint hardcore fans of erotic novels. But even that I personally found was too much. I’m not prude, but I feel that when sex becomes the focus of any story (be it a novel, a film or a play) just to spice it up, it cheapens the story and obscures any merit that the plot might have. Sadly the 21st century is teeming with such books – take authors like Sandra Brown and Julie Garwood. (I’m only familiar with them because they were the favourites of curious young teenagers during my days. I’ll bet they’re reading E. L. James nowadays.)
I’ve got nothing against the plot of The Tale of Two Lovers. It’s a story of passionate love, which can be classy (take Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights). Only this story wasn’t because Lucretia and Euryalus were one-dimensional sex-obsessed characters. But then again, I’m no expert on erotic novels, so maybe that’s the point of it all?
The novel was still worth a read though. Primarily because it gave me a huge ‘aha’ moment: POPES DO HAVE LIVES BEFORE THEY BECOME POPES!
But it did nothing to change my perception of erotic novels. If anything, it kind of reinforced my dislike for them.