The Epicentre

Deep in the glacier, Erik let go my wrist and said, ‘Stefan, this is my wife, Judy. She just arrived from town. The snow monster attacks are almost constant now.’

A slim, dark haired man turned from a table and smiled at me. ‘How can you bear to be married to him? He does not understand the niceties at all. Have you been offered some tea?’

I shook my head mutely, awed by his accent and air of authority.

‘Well, no matter. Here is some now.’ He held out a steaming mug to me. I took it gratefully.

‘Please, have a seat, and then tell me everything that has happened with the snow monsters recently. What compelled you to come here?’

I explained about the increasing attacks, the disappearance of Kitty Cat, and my fear for the children and how I had left them safely in the basement of the neighbor, and my terrifying journey here.

Stefan nodded. ‘You were right to come here. This is valuable information. We have just about located the epicentre of the attacks, and we are on the verge of determining the origin of the snow monsters.’

Dark and Cloudy

The sun is hidden today
A grey sky greets us instead
We blink in the light of winter.

Leafless Tree

Tall and proud against
The sky, lifting its branches
Despite threat of snow

A Day at the Beach

An expanse of sand
Warm to the skin, not hot
A length of striped terry cloth,
Bright stripes running down
Tossed upon the sand.

Surf rolling in
Wave after wave
Roaring up

Little feet running
Up and down the sand
Scampering in and out of the surf
Back and forth to the towel

A perfect day.

Diva Dressing: a poem

None of it works
I have a specific vision
A diva must always look spectacular
No, not that. I couldn’t possibly

I have a specific vision
And I must wear the clothes to match
No, not that. I couldn’t possibly
Don’t you see? Amazing is my trademark.

I must wear the clothes to match
My exuberant personality and how I feel today
Don’t you see? Amazing is my trademark.
I suppose I could try this on

A diva must always look spectacular
Befitting my exuberant personality
I suppose I could try this on
I do suppose it works.

Morning Rush: A Poem

Hurry and bustle
Rush all around
Getting ready for school
A rush, a hurry, a breath of spring

Rush all around
Mustn’t be late
A rush, a hurry, a breath of spring
Gather this, grab that

Mustn’t be late
Gather this, grab that
Hurry and bustle
Getting ready for school


Blue sky shining
Yellow flower blooming
Cool air gently blowing
Winter is over, spring is here.

Defense: a poem

Ready to defend the country
Against more than fire or flood
Our trusty park rangers
Also stand against fascism.

inspired by today’s prompt at Daily Writing Practice: the park ranger

This Week’s Reading

The Rules of Love and Grammar: Mary Simes
Beauty and the Werewolf: Mercedes Lackey
When We Were Sisters: Emilie Richards

Writing Stories & Cultural Appropriation

Do stories belong only to those who are in the story? Who has the right to tell stories of minority cultures, vanished cultures? Is it only the members of that culture? Can anyone else tell those stories in a valid way? When does it cease to be storytelling and become cultural misappropriation? (Or, in the reverse, when does it cease to be cultural misappropriation and become storytelling?)

The examples in this Slate article, Going Native, are extreme, obvious examples of cultural appropriation — a white person actually pretending to be Native American to cash in on the tragedy and poetry expected to be inherent in the stories of Native Americans. And this is not fair to real Native Americans.

The real victims are Indian citizens and writers. People who have for so long been denied the opportunity to express themselves. There are many Indian writers with stories to tell that are ignored because they do not fit the preconceived notion of tragedy and cheap melodrama that make books like Love and Consequences so appealing.

It is wrong to take on the identity of someone from another culture. It is ethically, if not legally, fraudulent.

If you stick to the most basic morality and keep your own identity and write about other cultures, where is the line drawn between storytelling and cultural appropriation? Is it different if you are from a minority group and are writing about the majority? Can someone from another culture ever authentically tell stories of a different culture?

Ursula K. Le Guin pulls it off beautifully. She uses her experience growing up as the daughter of anthropologists/ethnologists studying the Native Americans of California to write wonderfully crafted stories of other cultures. With one important difference. None of her cultures are on Earth. Her works are labeled as science fiction because they all take place on other planets, with alien cultures.

Is there space for writers to stick to Earth and the amazing variety of cultures and people found here? I don’t know. What do you think?

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