I wrote many of the Children's Fiction blurbs in the May and June 2014 issues of the Noe Valley Voice. Check them out here: http://www.noevalleyvoice.com/backissues.shtml
My Vignette, A San Francisco Symphony was published in the Noe Valley Voice February 2014 issue. Read it here: http://www.noevalleyvoice.com/2014/February/index.html
I contributed to Silver Moon Photo's calendar again this year – there are some beautiful photos and lovely accompanying writing pieces by several different writers. See it here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/silver-moon-photography/calendar-2014/calendar/product-21326775.html
My poem won Thinkgeek.com's monthly techie Haiku contest and was published in their newsletter today under the title, "Astronaut Warning." The original title was "In space, no one can save you from your own stupidity," but it was understandably shortened, as the title was nearly longer than the actual poem.
When on a space ship,
Do not open a window.
It's not refreshing.
I just can't resist taking on new projects. I've recently taken up a rather ambitious one called The Thousand Words Project with a small group of creative and talented writers and photographers, with the aim of merging writing and photography to tell some fantastic stories! The website will be live June 7th at www.1kwordsproject.com.
I took up a project with a friend of mine – we made a calendar together (his photos, my poems), with the theme of animals representing the different opposing forces of the universe.
You can check it out/ order it here:
Why is it that happy endings are often considered to have less depth, less sophistication and overall less "artsiness" than sad ones?
It is true that we as a species seem to have an enduring fixation with destruction, which can likely be attributed to our fascination with our own demise, and what comes after. A mystery that we will likely never solve, though mysteries do make great stories...
However, I do not believe that our collective morbid curiosity quite accounts for the whole picture. I think that somewhere, we know how a story is supposed to end. A true ending is as final as the plunge of the guillotine's blade, for every life ends in death, and every flight in a fall, or at least a return to earth. Any story, or history, that tells us otherwise, simply has not continued long enough.
So a happy ending marks an incomplete story, and we feel it, even if we are not quite able to articulate why. We feel cheated, tricked, infantilized, because the writer is keeping something from us that they don't think we can handle.
As a writer who has written many endings, both happy and sad, even I cannot say what compels me to end a story in one way or another, except perhaps something in the story itself. But I can say that sad endings cause me as much pain to write as they do to read. I do not want to end a story in tears, because if my readers were half as attached to my characters as I am, I may well start a violent revolt.
So if happy endings are not true endings, that's fine with me. I'll take a wedding over a funeral any day.
I wrote a short story inspired by thoughts of the great writers and philosophers Pascal, Walt Whitman and Nietzsche for my English class that is probably not going to be in my next anthology (A Brief History of Totem Poles). I've therefore decided to post the entire thing as a freebie. You can find it under the title of Infinity in the "Short Stories" section of this blog, and it's a painless (and dare I say interesting?) way to get yourself thinking about some of life's big philosophical questions. Go read it!
I'm going to call it writer's syndrome, though there may be a real name for it, I expect it's fairly common. I've had this kind of eenui for as long as I can remember—it's not terrible, just...there. The gist of the feeling is this: no matter how good life gets (and life is pretty awesome; I love life), I can imagine better. So far, I don't sound too special, I know. Everyone has those moments, whether they're ambitions, imaginings, dreams. But being a writer, specifically a writer of fiction, more specifically a writer of fantasy, I am always dreaming, and my dreams are always impossible. And since I write, I have to imagine the impossible thoroughly as if it were everyday life. While I'm writing, I'm living the impossible, and it's difficult to pull myself out at the end. They say that what is even worse than knowing something is impossible, is having even the slightest hope that it isn't. Now I'm not not a head case; I don't believe in fairies, etc. But I do believe that in order to write about something convincingly, a writer has to find something very close to belief in the moment that she is tying words together from pure inspiration and putting them down on screen or paper. The result is a sort of warring Yin and Yang (yes, I realize that's contradictory) of hope and belief in one's own stories, and the knowledge that none of it can ever exist.
...Is there such a thing as a fashionable straightjacket?
In honor of NaNoWriMo, I have started a new sci-fi novel called Violeteye (no relation to Breaking Violet). I highly doubt that I will have the rough draft finished by the end of the month, as I can't bring myself to stop working on my other writings, but I'm very excited about it. The main concept is of a city of thousand-story towers (called The City) where there is a strictly enforced class system based on eye color. The Browneyes live on the Low Levels of the towers, beneath the perpetual ash could, the Greeneyes live on the Middle Levels and the Violeteyes live on the High Levels. In order to reach the High Levels, one must pay a lot of money to have the necessary "iris enhancement surgery," but few ever do. November Locke is a sixteen-year-old Violeteye who must start making her own way, but on only her fourth excursion outside of her parents' mansion, she discovers some very unsavory secrets about The City and what really happens beneath the ash cloud. In order to find the truth, she will make a dangerous journey that will take her from the very bottom to the very top of the towers, all the while evading the Redeyes – The City's half-mechanical police force – and the millions of cameras spaced at every interval. But she won't have to do it alone. Her history tutor, Aris goes with her for her protection, and because he wants answers just as much as she does...
Miranda Phaal is a college student born in San Francisco and currently living in Boston. She first became interested in writing at age
seven when she wrote a series of short poems. From there she started
writing short stories, some of which are published through Blurb.com in her most recent collection, Midnight Diner.
She has a second short story collection in the works now, as well as