By now, there is a good chance that you know about the monthly DD Discussion chat, even if you haven't yet been to one. If you've caught up on all of the excellent literature DDs from August (or even if you haven't - we'll actually only be discussing a small number of them), now is your opportunity to share your reactions in a book-club-style chat.
All are invited to the CRLiterature chat room this Saturday, September 15 from 11am-1pm Pacific Time - see what that is in your time zone here. Keep reading to the bottom of this journal for the short list of deviations that will be discussed.
We believe that discussion with friends and peers is a valuable part of how a reader experiences literature, and since the Daily Deviations are some of the best literature that DA has to offer, they are particularly suited to casual and thoughtful conversation.
How is this different from a critique chat?
Rather than an opportunity to give and receive suggestions for improvement, this chat event is primarily an interactive experience for literature appreciators. For the purposes of this discussion, we will treat the deviations as finished works of literature, much like the poems or stories that we might read in a magazine.
What do I need to do to prepare?
If you don't have time to do anything to prepare, that's fine, just come to the chat! If you do have a bit of time, check out the list below of deviations that we intend to discuss. To keep things running smoothly, it is helpful if folks who plan on coming to the chat read those ahead of time.
The Short List
The authors of these Lit DDs will be participating in the chat and available to answer your questions about their process and inspirations.
Longer Prose (strongly recommend reading before the discussion
Old Rain Man"Creepy man! Creepy man! Old rain man! Old rain man!" my young voice echoed through the humid air.
The target of these anxious yells was old rain man. He was a sort of village curiosity, the local boogeyman.
The origin of his name was as simple as it gets: the old man was only seen when it rained. Then he'd leave his house, cross the yard and sit down on the bench in front of it. Once the rain stopped, he'd vanish back inside.
We kids had our share of stories and ideas about him. Some said he was the one who made it rain. Others said he wanted to flood the village. There were even a few who thought he was secretly an amphibian who needed the rain to survive.
In our village, there were never so much as a few days without heavy rain. Considering that, those stories seemed more than a bit plausible to us kids.
We kids often dared each other to provoke him or go near him. This time it had been my turn to yell at him to see if he'd come after me. In the end, though, the old man did nothing.
Consequence of Being HumanAnnelise was a beautiful name, and she happened to be a beautiful woman. When she picked herself up into the black van that had stopped at her Compound to pick her up, Esper sat up against the other side, grasping to the arm rest with two small hands. His eyes were wide as Annelise adjusted herself in the seat beside him, tugging at the shorts she wore to cover more of her leg, frowning down at the v-cut of the shirt she wore. It was a warm day in the west, and even under the air conditioning of the van, her pale skin glistened with faint perspiration.
She caught Esper staring as she put on the seatbelt, and a uniformed attendant rolled the door closed beside her. Her eyes were blue, set into a face dotted with faint freckles and framed by ringlets of blonde hair. Just looking at her set Esper’s heart astutter in his chest, and the teen was quick to look away -- right down at his feet.
“... what’re you doing that for? You some kind of human or something?” Anneli
Shorter Prose (recommend reading before the discussion)
FFM 2018 27: Tomatoes for FlowersIn our first months together, we swallowed each other whole. Sucked each other’s fingers like chicken bones, squeezed each other’s flesh like peaches, waiting for juice to flow from each other’s crevices. Now I can’t even lay a hand over her breast without her scooting to the other end of the bed. She’s running a temperature. A sheen of sweat clings to her lips when I kiss her goodbye.
She tells me to bring home tomatoes, the freshest I can find. I’ve only just closed the bamboo fence behind me when I spy the juiciest tomatoes I’ve ever seen, just on the other side of the dirt road. I walk closer to turn one over in my palm when a voice as melodic as rain calls down to me.
A girl combing her long black hair smiles down at me from the second-floor window of the Torres residence. When I ask whether she’s a guest there, she tells me she’s a niece who’s watching over their house, as they’re staying in a city hospital while M
Soulful Brewing, Filled With Spirits [FFM 23 2018]Dude, during their interviewing process, everything seemed normal—when asked about the process of making spirits, I described my usual steps: dissolve the sugar, add in the molasses… but when they took me back to the factory area, I couldn’t help but notice that the sugar was red instead of white and the molasses had a foul stench to it. I mean, like, right off the bat, man, something seemed off.
I was about to address this, but then the interviewer—he was an older guy, with tufts of hair and a beak-like nose—gestured and said, “Welcome to Soulful Brewing, where we are are full of spirit! Now, I’ll show you around, and after we’re done interviewing all our candidates, I’ll be in touch with your results.”
It was something to that extent. Anyways, he proceeds to tell me (are you gonna finish those chips? Thanks!) that I need to put on these special glasses, and this weird purple coat. So I put on the gear and stuff, figuring it&
Kiss Me, I'm ModifiedLuoxuan “Helix” Fang is trying to enjoy himself. And somehow, he's succeeding.
Leaning against a wall in the swankiest hotel in Taipei, champagne flute in hand, he watches the big wigs rubbing shoulders together. A holographic banner looms over the stage: BioSynGen Awards Ceremony. The letters have a Mandarin translation underneath.
To his left is one of the leading scientists in medical research. To his right, a couple who won a Nobel Peace Prize last year. Far in front of him, that woman wrote three books on the ethics of bio-genetics.
Suzette Ruan, his not-quite girlfriend, stands next to him with a plate of dim sum and a pair of red chopsticks. Tonight, she's looking very lovely (not unusual) in a black cheongsam dress with polka dot trimming. And she's wearing perfume too, which is a shame. She smells nice enough all on her own.
Suddenly, Suzette pokes his arm and whispers in hushed excitement. “Look, look! It's Hsui Liang!”
Helix turns and sees a woman pas
Poetry (still recommend reading before the discussion for best experience)
Something's Missing: an anthologyThere are fifteen poems
ever since I was young,
I knew something was missing.
something wasn't… there
in my mind and in my body.
while others giggled through health class
and joked about the other gender's body parts,
I sat through it and tuned it all out.
it didn't interest me at all.
people tell me,
"you're just young;
it's understandable that you don't feel anything.
you just gotta meet
the right person,"
but I tell them,
"nothing will make me feel
something I wasn't born feeling,"
is it some genetic thing?
is it a mistake, a glitch in the code?
is it just completely random?
something I'm born with,
something assigned as birth?
or is everyone right...?
have I really not found the right person?
am I really too young to know?
I hear it so often,
it's hard to not doubt...
I touch my stomach,
wondering why I feel no heat,
no tingling, no pleasure.
my hand drifts lower
but still, nothing.