Banned Books Broadened.
When we thought of the Challenge, "Write the first chapter to the sequel of your favorite banned book," we agreed that the entries might be few compared to the other Challenges, but they would be things worth reckoning with.
Not to end that sentence with a preposition, but in formal attire it looked pretentious.
The level of writing, and the love for the books from which the work was spun, is purely beautiful.
At the time of recording the video, there were four entries.
Mavia leads the feature with a take on, 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' that is so well-written, it would earn a begrudging grin from Harper Lee, herself.
WhiteWolfe32 follows with '1985,' which is perfect, in so many ways. Absolutely took Orwell’s baby into a 2023 contrast, in the narrator's opinion.
That leads into FarrellTimlake's 'Herd of Pigs,' where a prologue to the sequel of, 'Lord of the Flies,' is written with an airy wonder of sorts, above the weight of itself.
Number four is by Ferryman, with 'Whiskey & Iron," his take on 'The Gunslinger,' currently banned somewhere in Florida. Interesting. He tells the tale in his style, dust and smoke and fear and fate intact.
Here's the link to the channel.
We'll link the writers and the posts in the comments.
Here's the Challenge.
Plenty of time left for more...
Thank you for being here.
-The Prose. team
Faith and Meth on Friday
Two great things that go great together... But: Before we get to the two featured writers, we want to congratulate Eric Johnson, or ErJo1122 here on Prose., for the near-future release of his book, There's Gold In Those Hills, a collection of short stories that will be available on Kindle the first of next month. We'll link it below if you want to pre-order yours. Congrats, again, Eric, on the accomplishment!
Today, two posts are featured from the Spotlight page, two of our columns in the Pantheon of Prose., two poems by two great men. See the links to the pieces and profiles below.
And here's the link to The Prose. Channel for their narrations.
Thank you for being here.
-The Prose. team
Short Story Collection Being Released
I just wanted to share that I'll be releasing a collection of short stories on February 1st. Many of the stories in this collection have been featured here, while others haven't. If anyone is interested, you can find it on Amazon here:
I'm pretty excited about this and I just wanted to thank The Prose community for being the major reason for this collection. Before I joined this community, my writing was directionlesss and you've help me find direction.
So, thanks everyone!
Without me, Without you
We have played this game since the end of it,
Who can act like they never cared the most?
You ended it,
But I cut contact.
This is what started it,
I couldn't stand being the stray who did you favors,
having me be your therapist,
but you didn't even reach out after the accident,
That's when I knew and I walked away from your sadness and sorrows.
Nobody tells you how much silence hurts,
stuck in a room with someone who used to fill you with such happiness,
now only unsaid bombs plague the air.
Who knew silence could cut me to the core?
You were bitter and in turn, lashed out,
In turn, I became bitter too,
because how could you care so deeply then hurt me so for putting me first?
something you knew I already had great trouble with,
but you couldn't let it go and had to make it that much harder.
You kept hurting me because you couldn't handle how life treated me.
So I took it a step further and removed myself from all aspects of your life.
I let the ocean sweep me away
because I couldn't take the shore beating on me any longer.
If you cared so little why did you keep watch of me like a guard dog?
We were caught in a never-ending dance of who could do the most damage,
I did mine by removing myself,
you always hated that I could leave so easily when I knew my time was up
because you could never do the same, letting people abuse you for fun.
You did yours by making me a number,
you knew I hated how you could rank me on your scale in your notes,
skillfully threatening where my name would end up on that list,
you never knew how to hold back did you?
Then one night you visited me once again,
we were where we first met,
we were just kids, yet we were here all grown up now.
I carried on as if nothing happened laughing like my life depended on it.
You questioned me then,
You broke the fourth wall of my dream
and asked why I was so happy after everything that has happened
I was taken aback it is my dream after all, so why can't we just enjoy it?
I replied that I had learned and moved on,
I have grown from what you have put me through
and have chosen to put it behind me.
You paused baffled at the way I carried myself.
I then asked how you have been dealing with life,
We talked about everything with no hindrance or malice,
and when we were both content with the conversation,
The morning came.
With it so did the confusion of the rawness that a dream could hold.
I just pray you were there in that dream too,
That we talked and connected about what happened,
That you got the same closure I did,
even if it was never really you who gave it to me.
I want you
I crave you
I'm not usually this mean
but i need you like a drug
like I'll die if i don't have
your warmth and your body
if i don't have my hand
tight around your neck
I'm sure i lose my mind
you don't want that, do you?
you say that its hot
the way i throw you around
but i swear to God all i need
is your hands on me
and my name ringing through
your gasps and begging
i have such a hunger for it
like an itch i must scratch
like an animal who hasn't eaten in days
i want the tears to run down your face
but not in a bad way
in the way that you're begging
for more and more and more and more
all hunger must be satiated
one way or another
and i know you'd do anything for me
so just, help me out
be a good boy
The window above our bed is open, and there is a hot and salty breeze. Or is it his breath? I open my eyes, brushing the wet ends of my hair out of my face. He is beside me, on top of the covers, and I am underneath the covers and underneath his arms and one of his legs. The top half of his face is warmed by the peeking red glow of the Everglades sun. He looks for all the world like a child— save for the stubble around his gaping, snoring mouth. We were married yesterday evening, an autumn chapel wedding in Florida with family and a few close friends. I am now a wife.
I am 18 years old. I slap a mosquito bite on my arm, then one on my thigh, then one on my chin, then I sit up in bed and shut the window. I feel both matronly and very young, kneeling in my long pink gingham nightgown. He wears just his gray cotton boxers and looks naked and smells like sweat. He is also 18. I want to sit and look at him for a while because he is now my husband, and this is my first morning having a husband ever in my life. And he still is so handsome to me, even today, even drooling on my hair and on our pillow. But he smells like sweat, I smell like his sweat, the room smells like his sweat, and I decide that I will watch him sleep some other time. I want to bathe. I need to make breakfast. And as soon as he wakes I still need to air out the sheets, which will never air out in the sultry Florida air. A fresh new mosquito bite stings on my lip and then on the soft back of my hand.
We are staying for our honeymoon in my great aunt’s farmhouse, and I have only been here once before. The master bathroom has a great big window with no curtains or blinds. I won’t change in here. I will change my clothes in the closet after I make breakfast and then bathe. I splash water on my face and brush my teeth with the toothbrush we share as of last night, since he forgot to pack his. It is the pink toothbrush I brought from the pack in my bathroom at home, my parents’ home. My brother has the purple toothbrush and my sister got the green one. I can taste my husband’s breath. I spit the sparkly blue toothpaste and rinse it down the sink.
The sound of the running water wakes him up, and he calls, “Good morning, sunshine!” My heart flutters like a bird. Through the doorway, he is sitting up and grinning. The sunlight is changing from red to yellow. Hopping back to the bed, I hug my arms to my chest. He wraps me up in his strong arms, kisses my forehead and I laugh. My voice sounds like a little girl. We say nothing else and just sit on the bed. I am so very hungry and have not eaten since before the ceremony because of the butterflies in my stomach. On cue, I hear his stomach growl. My ear is on his chest and I don’t know if I should make a joke or not, and the moment passes, so I don’t. Through the window I see the grapefruit tree and the chickens. I will have to collect the eggs and squeeze the bitter juice for his breakfast. But for now, I close my eyes, listen, and wonder how many of his heartbeats I will have the privilege to hear in this lifetime.
tastes like chicken
(took a little bit of searching... but let us get spooky, shall we?)
The red is delectable
Savory and sweet
I look at the table
Stare at my feet
Savor each bite
As if it’s my last
I cut off another piece
I chuckle to myself
Everything "tastes like chicken"
So they say
I beg to differ
I think people taste different
this poem is almost a year old and remains my favorite
a happy day for some
a dreaded one for others
yet none of those people
are ones I know today
I also assumed
I would be so successful
famous by 11
is what I told myself
I'm still a nobody
but a nobody with a drive
And I'm left purposeless
but after those lows
come the highs
come the late night calls
and the car rides
and the smiles and laughs
a berry cake
and tomato soup
so 18 years ago today
a star was born
but not one of talent
but one of light
18 years ago
the potential to be the good
happy bday to me! right?
Dear Sexy Minds That Rule Our World:
By request, here's a, hmmm, well...a warm and special story about a stroll to the lake under moonlight; contemplation, introspection on a certain level, and quite possibly something else...
Here's the link.
Thank you for being here.
-The Prose. team
Books feature on Prose (and my projects)
I've been playing around with the books feature here and I wanted to share what I've made and some brief thoughts as a user of seven(ish) years:
I've been sitting on a stack of writing that I haven't had any clear direction for but knew that I wanted to put out in some way. The books feature is neat because it allows me to do this in a way that is structured and easily customizable. I like to have creative control, and this gives it to me. So I would encourage anyone who wants to organize their work into an easily accessible collection to try it out. This is my first time giving it a go, and my first impressions are generally favorable. There are some technical issues, but I assume those will be addressed in time. There's authors who were way earlier to the game than I was and they are a wealth of information and deserve props for being pioneers. I really love the idea of being able to find a writer and peruse a book they've written and see posts that may have flown under the radar otherwise.
You can post the books for free, for a flat flee or on a chapter by chapter basis. Right now, I have a mix of free content, paid content, and subscriber only writing. Some of my books are for a flat fee, some are chapter by chapter, and others are are now, and will always be free. A high percentage of my posts will be openly available, and my "edgier" (however you want to define that) or more extensive standalone pieces will likely be subscriber only. I will always have this mix of paid and unpaid elements, though there are details to be worked out. I'm still figuring it out, especially with the addition of Lobby, Mezz, and Emerald.
I still have work reserved for traditional(ish) publishing outlets, but most of my stuff is here on Prose. I've set my subscription cost at 3.33. But as I said, I intend to keep a lot of stuff free or at the very least, available at a low cost. As of right now, the books are unfinished, evolving entities and will continue to be updated for the next little while as Prose. continues to fine tune the changes on the site. Some elements of them are free and some are subscriber/purchaser only. Writing is a career for me, so subscription and purchases make a big impact. That said, we live in exceptionally difficult times. So please don't feel obligated to do either. Take care of yourselves first.
Also, if you want to show support to a writer that either can't or doesn't want to put their work behind a paywall, there is a now a tip feature.
I am pulling from a fifteen year old body of unpublished work, so it will be some time before these are complete collections and will be added and subtracted to many times until they are complete. But here are my published projects so far:
Best Of: TheWolfeDen- a collection of popular works, challenge winners, and personal favorites
Goddess- poetry and prose inspired by female spiritual figures
Labyrinth- stream-of-conscious writing focused on self-reflection and patterns of behavior
Gardenia- poetry and prose inspired by the natural world
Stuff and Things- a chaotic collection of random writing
The Sins of Aphrodite- poetry, prose, and creative non-fiction centered around love, heartbreak, and everything in between
Skeptics and Soothsayers- works inspired by esotericism, religion, and spirituality
Psychonaut- creative non-fiction drawn from psychedelic experiences
Kintsugi- essays and memoir style creative non-fiction
Dreamscape- dreamy prose and poetry
Dungeoncrawler Daydreams- fantasy/sci-fi/horror short fiction
Kingdom- a medieval poetry collection
Justice- a mythical murder mystery series
Madame Kavindra's Freakshow Theatre- a horror(ish) anthology (in progress)
I've tagged people that I think would be interested in this. Thanks for your support (however you choose to give it).