The Loan Beach Walker. (13.7.9)

The night is still, silent as motion can be. A silver moon hangs low across the water, casting it’s light over the rippling waves. They crest at the beach and break over the dark sand. Rocks and seaweed are light against the black sand beach. A sea wall up the beach a way, now the end of the beach, stacks logs against it and things live there. Things besides the children of the day in their imaginations as they play.

Things that you’ve never seen, things you couldn’t see even if you tried.

The beach is full of people in the day, practically swarming with them. They’re alright. They live behind the sea wall only a road and a sidewalk away, where the beach used to end. They put the concrete down and built the wall. They hold the sea at bay yet wish they had more contact with the natural. With something they haven’t touched. Only when they wade in the water and the kelp brushes their legs do they think about this, and then it’s only I wish I could see more, or holy shit, what’s touching my leg?!

Tonight the water is alone, the people are gone. The colors fade between blue, blue green, silver, gray, and black. The picture is layered, water, waves, crashing surf, layers of beach, logs, sea wall, and a jagged reaching of buildings and people’s creations behind it. The fence and gate keeping the sea from the people and the people from the sea are locked. No one should be here.

The beach is alone, nothing shares with it the space beyond the fence at this time. The consequences of such an action are severe, and no one should tempt the harsh government of the time.

The tall figure of a man walks along the beach near the surf’s edge seems to fade into the shades of the beach. He walks here alone every night, watching the sea and the surf. He knows this beach, every contour. He knows what the people bring to it, and he knows what they take away. He watches as it changes, and he feels a calmness the sea brings out in him.

As he walks, occasionally he stoops, plucking a piece of plastic or bit of fabric from the sand. With each thing he picks up and stows away in his bag, the line of his jaw tightens. A spark of fire lights in his eyes, and burns his soul to see the rubbish left here. This is his place to be himself, alone, with his thoughts and himself. Everything he sees is a personal insult, an affront to the sea.

He’s been a boy when the wall was constructed, he had been watching the men always moving things around, building, creating, destroying. Yet through everything, even when the beach looked its worst, it had been his. More than anyone else, it was his.

And no matter what the people did to it, the sea seemed to like them. To care about them, help them. And the beach was his, friend. He would help its task, and he would keep it safe, as much as he could. He and the beach, the man who walked along the monochrome layers of sand and salt and waves, and the water that rose and fell to his step, they were a team.

This piece was originally written for the Seattle Acquarium’s Creativity Inspiring Conservation creative writing course, and was displayed during their 2013 student art reception.

The statement written for the program:

I feel like there’s a deep connection between people and the environment, I think it communicates with us, and I hope it will get easier to find people who are willing to try and listen.

Parasites and Monsters. (18.9.24)

The ship floats calmly amongst the waves on the high seas. Ship’s Captain’s words carry, his shouts ferocious. The ocean may be calm, but aboard the ship, they prepare for fighting. Frantically.

.

They came from the water so long ago. Now they sought to tame the oceans. They threaten all the world, parasitic and tasteless. Loud, abrasive, and crass. Seeking our destruction.

We must wipe them out. They hunt us. We’ll return the favor.

We only wish to live, but we will defend.

.

Only a birds’ eye view could see the monsters the ship prepared for.

Beneath the waters there was a seething mass. Old creatures, born of this earth millenia ago, yet far more traveled than earth alone.

These were no simple Kraken.

This mass, was beautiful as much as deadly.

Flesh tendrils drifted, twitched, and slid together. Deep shades of red, this was a pinnacle of evolution, change, and combination. Their massive bodies surrounded the entire area of the ship. Even racing, it could never escape the grasp of the writhing below it, if they thought to grab for the ship like kindling.

The bodies were reminiscent of octopus. Smarter still. Except, the textures. They were diverse. Jelly soft tendrils. Chitinous claws. Plated metal covering larger sections. It wasn’t technology, exactly. It was more innovation and design itself, built within biology.

If the fear that spread from the ship as a black cloud of evaporated sweat weren’t so great, it might be a moment to stand and marvel at the beast beneath the pretty blue waves. At the feathery tendrils feeling out the bottom of the ship, cataloging each barnacle they found.

The stillness of the morning is torn when the ship’s canon fires into the waves.

.

Parasite fired first.

.

It was over, ship there in the blink of an eye gone. Pulled down, ripped apart, and swallowed, into the red creature, no visible sign it had ever existed at all.

Peaceful morning, peaceful existence, resumed.

Vividly. (19.4.26)

Exploration

New forms

New combinations.

.

New bounds

For capturing beauty

Motion

Emotion.

.

Imagining process and creation

Its own delight

Even as the eyes arrange what they see

World of fantasy

.

What is it that others see

In this beauty?

.

Vivid

Touch, Taste

.

Tantalizing

Texture

.

Bright

Joyful

Real.

April: Camp Nano and SEAF Wrap Up. (19.5.5)

For this year’s April Nano I decided on a low, maintaining habits type goal. I put in 10K as my goal, and managed to keep my stats decently ahead of their targets most of the month, even while I wasn’t writing every day.

Camp Nano stats screenshot showing steady progress upwards.

The last week and a half or so was more of a struggle as other life things seemed to drain most of my energy and brain power.

I am happy to report that I managed, on the 29th, to make my goal! I now have 10K words more of draft, notes, and additional story work than I had previously. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve been making on the novel so far.

Camp Nanowrimo 2019 Winner badge, featuring cartoon tent and trees.

It feels a lot more ambitious than my other long projects, possibly because this is the farthest stage I’ve gotten to as of yet, and because I can feel my skills and thought processes leveling up. I can start to picture how this work is going to turn out, and I’m impatient and excited to see it done. By the time I finish with this draft, I’m feeling the confidence that I’ll have the skills I need to edit it. That confidence is new, and I’m really hoping it’ll stick around through the rest of this project.

Zoe Brook stands in front of a mural of six green, black, and white stylized wings and a flaming green, black, and white crown.

At the end of April I also have the privilege of attending Seattle Erotic Art Festival as a contributor to their anthology for the second time. I enjoyed getting to look at the artwork and see the performances. There was a lot of incredible work there. I’m honored that my work was selected for the anthology.

I hope I have the opportunity to attend again in the future.

Overall April has been a chaotic and trying month, but it’s had some lovely gems, and good progress hidden amongst the rubble.

See you at the next bump in the ride!