This Big Long Purple Paragraph

First some good news. I came up with the title of Altered Seasons while reading H.P. Lovecraft’s prose poem “Nyarlathotep.” The opening paragraph conveys the sense of a world changing in terrifying ways, very basic rules and assumptions on which human civilization is built being thrown out the window with no regard to how it affects us all. When I read this paragraph, I knew I just had to use it as an epigraph. Here it is in all its glory. (You might want to wear sunglasses to read this — Lovecraft’s prose is so purple it’s ultraviolet.) To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing

"The Caged Hummingbird"

I’m still plugging away at Year Five of Altered Seasons, which really is getting long. I also finished “The Caged Hummingbird,” Chapter 7 of Locksmith’s War. I’ve mentioned this chapter before. Let’s just say that once, back in college, I wrote a short story from the point of view of somebody being trampled to death by a crowd, and that was the darkest thing I’ve ever written… until now. I wasn’t entirely sure I could get away with including this chapter in a YA novel, until I read another YA novel which contained an actual rape scene. (I’m not going to mention the name or author of the novel, because I don’t think this is quite the sort of publicity she wants.) “The Caged Hummingbird” doe

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