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State of the writing

courage, james sant
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

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

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The Comet (ottava rima)

courage, james sant
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.

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Half a Duet

courage, james sant
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.

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An Apology, for Ignoring the Birdsong

courage, james sant
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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Despair (sonnet)

courage, james sant
If only the well of feeling emptied out,
And left us parched, like summer without rain,
And in that thirst we found relief from pain,
And learned to bless the unrelenting drought.

If only these never-ceasing thoughts would cease,
These bearers of confusion, hooks that tighten,
Piercing my brain, never to enlighten,
Only to rend my few moments of ease.

And if humanity had never risen
Had ne’er surpassed four-legged beasts in thought
I fail to see the loss; what did we gain
In trading our mute state for the mind’s prison?
Did we lose then the peace I long have sought,
For want of which I have become insane?

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Commitment (villanelle)

courage, james sant
I am afraid that I will walk away.
I do not know if I can play this part.
I think I could be happy if I stay.

None of your just fears can I defray.
I never seem to finish what I start.
I am afraid that I will walk away.

Of course I do not want to go astray.
I can’t stand the idea of being apart.
I think I could be happy if I stay.

What if our love should soften and decay
Grow putrid till the rot can reach the heart?
I am afraid that I will walk away.

But more afraid of what I will not say
Except in whispers marred by stop and start:
I think I could be happy if I stay.

Do not give me the chance to you betray.
For one day while you sleep, I may depart.
I am afraid that I will walk away.
I think I could be happy if I stay.

Maya Chhabra, August 2014

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Little Ways (rondeau)

courage, james sant
In little ways I came to fall from grace.
I noticed something lacking in your face.
I began to drift away when you would speak,
And to descend from our love’s lofty peak,
Not realizing that I had left that place.

Off and away, to win the race,
At first we with the best kept pace.
But our boat sank. We let it leak
In little ways.

I could with you each step retrace,
Find when indifference did replace
Rapture, when ardor grew weak.
It would not return me what I seek,
What bound us from our first embrace,
In little ways.

Maya Chhabra, August 2014

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Bad Boy Blues (a rondeau)

courage, james sant
Go to hell. I’m done with you
And everything you ever claimed was true,
That we had something really cool,
When really you just saw me as a tool,
When really I was just an easy screw.

Wrecked hearts and promises forgotten strew
Your path, and yet I thought alone I knew
Your heart; I am a fool.
Go to hell.

Yet if one day out of the blue,
You came to me, began anew,
For you I’d break my every rule,
And on that fire throw more fuel.
I’d follow my heart’s path askew,
And go to hell.

Maya Chhabra, August 2014

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The Observer Effect: a sonnet

courage, james sant
Ask me where I do go when you are not
When to reality I am not pinned.
Do I become as formless as the wind,
Body dissolving, spirit soon unwrought?

And ask me who I am when I’m not yours.
Perhaps I am monster of the deep
Who stalks the little children fast asleep
Or else a blithe young sprite who dips and soars.

I would you asked and yet I cannot give
You reassurance; touch me while you can
And feel that I am solid flesh; delight
In what we have, but let me while I live
Preserve my mystery; tis not my plan
To tell my being to one made of light.

Maya Chhabra, August 2014

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