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my poem is up at Through the Gate

Hi all!

My poem "Sita, Leaving" is up here: http://throughthegate.net/16/


"Walking on Knives" is being published!

My long short story/novelette “Walking on Knives” will be published as an ebook by Torquere Press. It’s got a Goodreads page here and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Here’s the summary I’ve put together until the real copy is out:

“A fairy tale romance based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”– with a happy ending that may not be what you expect.

The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she’s being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch’s sister is falling in love with her.

When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid’s secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…”



“We would have lost memory too as well as voice, if it had been in our power to forget as it was to keep silent (tacere).”
Tacitus, Agricola

Too many silences crowd upon
Each other like applause.
Keep still, and when the tyrant’s gone
Write then of what he was.

Save memory with sacrifice
Of your strangled voice.
Be pliant, willing, weak and nice
You haven’t got a choice.

What lives of Agamemnon’s war?
Only hexameters.
They stretched the poem out with gore,
But make your epic terse—

The words like those we now share
In delator-bred fear.
The briefest snatch is all you dare
Among those you hold dear.

Sing, Muse, at last, of what we knew,
Of what we could not say,
But as to what we didn’t do—
Forget that void, we pray.


Refugee crisis fundraiser!

Donate $20 or more to the Refugee Council or any other effort to help refugees (take a screenshot of the “thank you” page and post it) and I will write you a poem on a subject of your choosing, or a short fanfic for one of the following fandoms:

-Les Miserables
-Harry Potter
-Shakespeare (any play)
-The Duchess of Malfi
-The Vorkosigan Saga
-The Three Musketeers (book)
-Don Carlos

-Don Carlo/s
-Le Nozze di Figaro
-Il Barbiere di Siviglia
-Andrea Chenier
-I Vespri Siciliani

2014 reading

1. Scardown- Elizabeth Bear
2. The Talisman- Walter Scott
3. A Coalition of Lions- Elizabeth E. Wein
4. The Sunbird- Elizabeth E. Wein
5. Spring in Geneva- Sylvia Kelso
6. The Quiet Gentleman- Georgette Heyer
7. The Alphabet Stones- Ursula Pflug
8. Seaward- Susan Cooper
9. Return to Night- Mary Renault
10. Hild- Nicola Griffith
11. The Misanthrope- Moliere
12. Where It Began- Ann Redisch Stampler
13. Fiesco- Friedrich Schiller
14. We Were Liars- E. Lockhart
15. Range of Ghosts- Elizabeth Bear
16. Passion and Politics - Friedrich Schiller
17. The Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-Revolutionary France- Robert Darnton
18. La Princesse de Cleves- Mme de Lafayette
19. Mistress of the Revolution- Catherine Delors
20. La Princesse de Montpensier- Mme de Lafayette
21. The Oxford History of the French Revolution- William Doyle
22. Violetta, Il mio diario- I miei segreti, i miei sogni- Silvia Gianatti
23. Fratelli d’Italia: pagine politiche- Goffredo Mameli, edited by David Bidussa
24. Le Petit Prince- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
25. Candide- Voltaire
26. Ourika- Claire de Duras
27. Don Carlos- Thomas Otway
28. Philippe II- Marie-Joseph Chenier
29. Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life- Peter McPhee
30. Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen
31. The Mill on the Floss- George Eliot
32. Dom Carlos- Cesar Vichard de St Real
33. Moderato Cantabile- Marguerite Duras

Plus 32 books I can't talk about (for anonymous reviews and such), bringing the total to 65 books read last year.


State of the writing

I finished Thorns, my first novel in five years (wow, let's not have that long of a gap again), and am now moving back to work on Lucretia, of which I have a good 11.5k and some other scenes out of order.

I have an epigraph for Lucretia:
"We’re more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can’t give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They’re all blood, you see."
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

So my projects for the rest of the year are a) get Thorns in shape for submission to agents, and b) solve my second-quarter-of-the-book plot problems for Lucretia so I can start making progress on it again.

beta readers wanted

Anyone interested in beta-reading a 40k YA fantasy novel? I would really appreciate it. Comment here or message me if interested.


The Comet (ottava rima)

I have been following a falling star,
Observing how it cuts into the night
And as it falls, it leaves a burning scar.
We two together, doomed but bright,
Flew close to the sun, for too far
From danger, we would blaze no light.
Why share the ending of our story?
For a while we shed a trail of glory.


Half a Duet

I would you sang. You have too oft of late
Lain silent, like keys that know no touch,
Though you are the virtuoso you await.
I would you recognized yourself as such.

Still you are mute. I have no counterpoint.
I play denatured music without you.
I press on but the sound is out of joint.
Nothing I say alone can I say true.

You do not laugh. Nor do you ever cry.
You make yourself an absence; am I right
In thinking you would teach yourself to die
If without noise you could escape your plight?

And you say naught. If you have lost your voice,
I’ll join you where you are— silent by choice.


An Apology, for Ignoring the Birdsong

I cannot make you hear the linnet sing
(Nor indeed tell you that it has a cry).
I’ve read in books of such a thing as spring
But never cast my eyes up to its sky.

I cannot relate the whispers of the breeze
While whistling past, obstructed and yet free.
I’m told the wind has murmurs such as these,
But if it does, it shares them not with me.

They tell me that to write, I must observe.
To ignore the world around me is a sin.
Details culled second-hand will never serve,
Nor can I find all that I need within.

I wait and watch and never have replied--
The nature I examine lies inside.

Maya Chhabra, August 2014


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September 2016