Slowtime: Prelude – "Slipping Under"

Thus continueth the Slowtime serial. For those who didn’t see earlier episodes, Slowtime is a concept album by my friend Paul Ramey. It’s set in a dust bowl future of overpopulation and shortages.

–  Slipping Under –

The warning chime rang.

“My love, it’s time for Quietus to begin.”

“Will it hurt?”

Enu hesitated a split second. “They say it’s like falling asleep,” he said. “But you won’t have your bad dreams.”

“What if I get stuck in a nightmare and stay there for all of Quietus?”

He pushed a lank blonde lock out of her face. “Elaida, you won’t. I promise.”

“You can’t promise.” At least she was smiling now. “Nobody knows.”

“I’ll be in the cryochamber next to yours. I’ll be the first thing you see when you wake.”

The fading sun slowly slipped behind the plateau.

She bit her lip, “I guess I should do my civic duty. I know there’s too many of us. It’s time for someone else to be Awake.”

The chimes rang the hour. Everyone else had already began. Silence washed across the desert.

“Don’t be scared.”

She slid down into her cryochamber, looked up at him with sad eyes, “See you in a year.”

He kissed her with a ferocity that startled them both. As he settled into his own chamber, her voice floated over.

“Tell me I’m not giving my life away for nothing, Enu.”

“You’re not giving it away. Just leaving it for awhile.”

The cover clicked shut.


Curious? Read the next bit, Slowtime Episode 1: “Waking” and Episode 2: “Falling”

Five Sentence Fiction: The Library’s Whispers

I almost missed this week’s Five Sentence Fiction by Lillie McFerrin. That would have been a real loss, as she chose this week’s theme – my favorite, Faeries – and mentioned me and my Faerytaleish board most graciously.

The Library’s Whispers

All she’d said was “I never want to leave this place.” – a simple, childish wish, but someone had heard her.

Years passed and her beloved books crumbled to dust from the rain that pattered through the sunken skylight. She splintered every piece of furniture in her rage but one, though she never sat.

The wind rattling through the eaves sounded like a whisper, sounded like a giggle.

She pressed her face against the chill glass of the window and watched as yet another twilight faded from the sky.

A Room of My Own: Tracy McCusker

Today we are featuring writer, poet and artist Tracy McCusker (aka @dustyjournal on Twitter). Her first book of poems, Letters from Nowhere, is now available on Amazon (free through 6/27/12).

Q) Please describe your space, describing any features that make it extra special to you.
A) My creative space is a dual art and writing area. It is part of the living room/dining area in a tiny apartment (isn’t it fun to live in the city?) and takes up at least half of the room. My desk is half a card table, and my art area is a sheep skin throw where I can sprawl out and trip anyone heading to or from the bedroom. I use a Dell Studio XPS desktop with a fairly monstrous amount of RAM to run all of my digital art pizzazz.

In the morning, the sun beams directly onto my monitor and directly back into my eyes. In fits of pique, I will tape the blinds to the wall to keep the sun rays out. Both areas are usually scattered with ink-smeared paper towels to blot my fountain pens and clean ink spills (not pictured above). I keep several sets of books around my space, including a stack that forms at the foot of my computer chair. These books form a barrier that is physically hazardous to pass. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by creative junk!

Q) What is your favorite/most inspiring object in this room?

A) The most inspiring object in the room is a piece of my own artwork in its specimen case, “Layer Mask”. It’s one of my illuminated journal pages that’s pinned up with insect pins to make a physical layer mask. It’s sitting next to a gaudy little neon London Underground sign which I never plug in. Looking at it reminds me that a little effort every day can result in incredibly beautiful, unplanned things.

Q) What rituals do you go through when you want to write in this space?

A) I will collect all of my writing pens together (not an easy feat, I have over fifty of them in the apartment), select three or four to line up my desk in a neat row. I’ll grab whatever journal I need for the task. I have a general journal, a poetry archive journal, and at least two active sketchbooks / Rhodia dot notepads.

When I feel comfortable with what I am writing, I will switch to typing on the computer. I open Notepad and type up what I’ve written, revising as I go along. Pens are still important at this stage, as I like to fiddle with one when I’m working on particularly difficult lines.

Q) Any other details you would like to share about your special room.

A) My space usually has a giant Wacom Cintiq sitting next to my monitor. It’s currently in its box because I discovered that I *like* having writing space next to my computer.

Thanks to Tracy for sharing her Room with us. Want to share your Room? Email me at annabbps AT with a photo and answer the above questions.

Keep an eye on this space for more writers/artists and their inspirational spaces!

See the spaces of other creatives in “A Room of My Own”!

* Steven Watson

* Daniel Swensen

* Angela Goff

* Angie Richmond

* Ruth Long

* Lillie McFerrin