Author: smoshea

Genre Shenanigans and the YA Craze

Photo of a bookshelf

Book Store in Kabul (5274518186)” by Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA – Book Store in Kabul Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Earlier today (a week ago, by the time this is posted) I had a rather interesting conversation with writing friends Tatiana and Melissa Dominic. Tatiana had mentioned her frustration with the combined shelving of YA, NA, and adult fiction in bookstores. Now, I’ll admit I didn’t actually know that NA was even a thing, and there’s some debate as to how much of a “thing” it actually is.  This link, kindly provided by Melissa, does a pretty good job of explaining it, but from what I gather, New Adult is essentially YA lit aimed at college students, with similar structure and pacing, but with more mature subject matter and material, usually dealing with the looming specter of adulthood lying in wait just beyond graduation.

While my first instinct was to write the whole thing off (after all, it seems to be unique to St. Martin’s Press, and thus strikes me as the literary equivalent of Hallmark’s Sweetest Day) I have to admit that I do remember wishing for something along these lines, before I had developed the inevitable literary snobbery that comes with being a 20-year-old student of writing and philosophy at a private northeastern liberal arts college.

On Nostalgia and Childhood Favorites (Or, DIGIMON IS BACK)

Screencap of Takenouchi Sora, from Digimon: Our War Game

For many of us, the first stories we truly loved are the reason we write our own today.

For those not in the admittedly niche Digimon Adventure fandom, August 1 is Odaiba Memorial Day. It’s the day the bulk of the action occurred in the first series of Digimon Adventure, and an excuse for the now-adults who grew up with it to indulge in the nostalgia of Netflix marathons, art, and old favorite fanfiction. It’s not something I necessarily participate in. I never really stop revisiting old favorites, so a fan-created holiday, while fun, doesn’t actually affect my engagement with it. I have all the movies worth watching saved on a decrepit external hard drive, the first series on DVD, and all the seasons I care about saved in my Netflix queue for when I care to blind myself attempting to read the awful yellow subtitles.

Digimon was an important thing for me. It was the first time I truly loved a story, and shared that love with others. It represents the best years of my childhood, and the first time in years that I could depend on a group of honest-to-goodness friends without questioning whether they wanted me there. It was the first time I adored a story so much that I tried to continue it myself, imagining alternate endings and scrawling fiction in my school notebooks. We would have entire sleepovers dedicated to writing ourselves into it, imagining characters and assigning ourselves crests and creating partners. It was the dream of being chosen for something greater, and impossibly, feeling as though we already had been.

Poetry: “Galatea”

I am the daughter of the stone, which hewn,
became the shape and study of my mind,
But even all the hands which stone exhumed
could never hold a mind so disinclined.
If every hand that traced this ivory brow
could reach into the cavern just behind,
then what of great Pygmalion, even now
who everything but life in ivory finds?
Though many tools did free me from the earth,
it was intent that shaped a finer face
and shadows of the ones that came before
that granted focus to a sculpted gaze.
Though every one created by a few,
the shadow I might cast is longer too.

Poetry: “Stitches”

i am held together by the threads of your eyes
your pupils: needles piercing, digging through
musculature, drawing shattered bones together
my nerve endings skittering like spiders.
you draw me in and you draw me close,
and your white teeth snap together, pull
the thread taut. With it, my flesh, veins
capillaries bursting at the sight of you,
all of me is closed behind your exit,
and all locked inside me itches,
feels wide, empty, exposed

Poetry: “Carbon Copy”

The same carbon in your flesh
creates the stars, and me.
Does that mean that we are
one with the universe?
How, then, am I in any way
unnatural? The third law
of thermodynamics states that
when everything else is lost
you and I break even,
but the second law says that
in the real world, we never can.
There is no formula to calculate
everything lost between us.
There is no science to your hate,
and there is no logic behind the
fact that despite our kinship
on a molecular level,
you and I will never be the same.

Poetry: The Dreaming Hours

the cracks on my ceiling
get longer in the dark.
they crawl like vines,
destructive fingers in
brick and mortar,
leaves made of shadow
photosynthesizing the shafts
of moonlight that break
through my blinds.
what are the things that
only grow in the dark,
evaporating into mist
in the orange sun?
what do I see in the
early hours, when the
blackness teases my
insomniac pupils?