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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Stone Telling! Poem! 
27th-Sep-2011 02:59 pm
Alice: World of my own
"The Changeling's Lament" is up at Stone Telling!

Like I said when I sold it, I am excited on a bunch of fronts. I mean, great magazine, SRSLY, and you should go read the whole thing, because Delia and cucumberseed and time_shark and yhlee and sovay and everybody.

But also. It is a poem about gender stuff. And they let me read it aloud (which is awesome, as it was written to be read aloud (at Readercon)), and you should listen to both versions.

I was talking to shweta_narayan about writing, and she asked if there were certain narratives I felt were expected from me. And yes, hell yes. I have written kind of extensively about sexual violence. And I continue to do so. But one reaches a point of desperate exhaustion when one is constantly being tapped for a certain narrative, and I wrote "The Changeling's Lament" to address one of the other big things in my life that doesn't get as much airtime. So it's awesome to me to get stuff out there that's about other parts of my life experience. I am large, y0. I contain multitudes.

There's more about that in the roundtable interview with the inimitable skogkatt.

Anyway. Please go read, and I hope you like it, and I hope you come back and talk to me about it! I'm off to go immerse myself in the entire rest of the issue because yay.

I will probably have deeper thoughts, but I'm getting interrupted by beloved people in my household about every fifteen seconds, so I cannot write a coherent post right now - maybe tomorrow!
27th-Sep-2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
Will read it when not swamped by work, but "Stone Telling" always makes me think it is secretly about The Stone Tape
27th-Sep-2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad I got to hear you read "The Changeling's Lament," back at Readercon. It adds something to be able to remember what expressions you wore and how you were standing, reading it now.
27th-Sep-2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
I wish I could read in person always! I do not like my voice, but in person I can make people forget that I sound like I'm twelve...
27th-Sep-2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the publication; it's a poignant work.
27th-Sep-2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
27th-Sep-2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
I am also a changeling.
27th-Sep-2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
I think there are a lot of us out here.
27th-Sep-2011 09:14 pm (UTC)

Different values of, I didn't have too much trouble with the "girl" thing (though my parents weren't that rigid about it; things like hammers and drills and saws were as comfortable in my hands as the crochet hook and the kitchen things). The music, the lessons from age 7 - that was my own obsession, central to my life, and how to explain, in 1964 when the Beatles first became popular, that they were OK, but really nothing matched Bach? Uh-huh, right.

My problem was mostly one that I think so many of us share, of not fitting in anywhere at all, of homesickness for a home one had never known (except maybe sideways with the adults in the choral group when I was a teen, stuff like that).
27th-Sep-2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
I needed this poem so much, Shira. Speaking as a person, not as an editor. Though obviously also as an editor :P
28th-Sep-2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
This. We both did.
30th-Sep-2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
Y'all are making me misty-eyed over here! **hugs**
30th-Sep-2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
You and Shweta are making me blush! :)
30th-Sep-2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
I'm going to post something about this under lock on Sun, if you don't mind.
30th-Sep-2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
I look forward to it!
10th-Oct-2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
look under lock.
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30th-Sep-2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
I feel like we might benefit from some sort of coalition of changelings.
27th-Sep-2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Much as I loved the poem, I wanted to reach through the words and back through time and grab your mother and say, "Forget Pavlova! Look at Isadora Duncan, and keep your offspring safe from scarves and wheels!"

"Not beauty if you don't bleed." So said Cinderella's stepmother. Had you been recognized as a creature of the line of Isadora Duncan, they'd have known that you NEEDED your calluses, for how else can one dance barefoot no matter the floor or the ground? (Here I go and I don't know why/I spin so ceaselessly...) They would have known -- you don't lace that sort of creature into stays. Clothes that flow, clothes that follow. If you bleed, it's because you're walking on broken glass.

You were always a girl. They just never knew the sort of girl you were, and they tried to tell you that you ought to be a kind that you never could or would be.

The poem is beautiful. But I want to argue with it a LOT!
28th-Sep-2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
It's always fine to argue with poetry, of course, and it's awesome when a poem resonates enough with us that we see it on our own terms; but note that it isn't fine to then impose those terms on other people and tell them what their identity is. Please do check out the roundtable discussion, in which shadesong says, I didn't have a name for my gender identity until fairly recently! It's huge to me that I'm able to have that conversation now, that we've made that conceptual leap from "sometimes I'm a guy, and I can't really explain that to you" to "I'm genderqueer..."
30th-Sep-2011 06:18 pm (UTC)

I get the point that there is no one true way to be a girl, and I totally support that! rikibeth, I am 100% with you right up until "You were always a girl", because I never really was; not just that I don't consider myself one now, but I'm pretty sure my gender was always fluid.

Oh, do I love Isadora Duncan.

And I welcome people arguing with the poem; if I'm not making you feel something, I'm not doing my job. :)
28th-Sep-2011 02:21 am (UTC)
28th-Sep-2011 06:17 am (UTC)
Thank you again for this poem. I loved it at Readercon, and I love it still now. I've been listening to it in both voices over and over and over again.
30th-Sep-2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
28th-Sep-2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
That was a lovely poem. Very evocative.
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14th-Oct-2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm all-around amazed and thrilled that so many people have felt that connection with it.
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