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Author of speculative fiction and poetry. I love storytelling, horror, pop culture, gaming, and more. (She/her.) Newsletter:

The Internet

Thumbnail for the Unus Anus announcement video, featuring Ethan Nestor (left) and Mark Fischbach (right) standing in front of a black and white spiral.
Thumbnail for the Unus Anus announcement video, featuring Ethan Nestor (left) and Mark Fischbach (right) standing in front of a black and white spiral.
Thumbnail for the Unus Anus announcement video, featuring Ethan Nestor (left) and Mark Fischbach (right). (Source: Fandom Wiki.)

For its part, Unus Annus is situated within this crossroads of art and technology, embodying fine art traditions through a digital medium well suited to the cyberpunk world in which we live.

What would you do if you knew you only had a year to live? This philosophical question lies at the heart of Unus Annus (latin for “one year”), a creative experiment developed by gamers Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) and Ethan Nestor (Crankgameplays). The YouTube channel served as their own answer to the question. …

Photo: Thierry Meier.

I recently rediscovered the joys of swimming in the ocean. In Northern California, this means plunging into the Pacific, which is bitingly cold. The water when it first hits your feet is almost unbearable, and it takes patience to go deeper—skin tingling as the salty waves reach your belly and then your chest and your shoulders.

On my most recent trip to the seashore, I waded into the dark blue waters until I was neck deep. …

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

1. Write.

2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

— Neil Gaiman, Ten rules for writing fiction

Although geared toward the writing of fiction, Gaiman’s advice is excellent for pretty much any form of writing. In order to succeed as a writer, you have to practice your craft—and that means putting down words and editing them until they are completed.

For years, my Medium account has been just sitting around collecting dust. I’ve decide to change that by being…

In my recent conversation with Carl Marcum for the New Books in Poetry podcast, we discuss his new book A Camera Obscura (Red Hen Press, 2021).

A Camera Obscura is a lyrical exploration of external and internal worlds. The heavens described in these poems could be the stars glittering above our heads, the pathways of faith, or the connection between human beings. Playing with scientific understandings of the world, along with the linguistic conventions of the poetic form, A Camera Obscura is a compelling journey that simultaneously drifts through the cosmos while being rooted to the ground beneath our feet.

You can listen to the interview here or on the podcast app of your choice.

Photo by Elisa Cobalchini on Unsplash.

Once, the tree sagged, so heavy
with yellow orbs each shake of the branch
would release a thudding
of overripe fruit. Too many to make lemonade,
they sat rotting, turning green
and then gray. Evidence of entropy.

Life is a shifting of present
moment to present moment.

The association of lemons to hardship
is false. Or, true. But no more true
than relating lemons to joy. One puckers
at the sourness of the juice; one also puckers
to receive a kiss.

Once, I watched a friend pluck the curled
lemon peel from her martini glass
and place it on her pink tongue…

Cover art for Resident Evil: Village. (Source: Capcom.)

After struggling for almost a year to make it through the harrowing experience of The Last of Us 2 (I’m still not done), I needed to stop and shift toward a more lighthearted game — something that would bring the fun back to my gaming life.

So, naturally, I turned to Resident Evil: Village.

Following a few years after the events of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the story follows Ethan Winters and his wife Mia as they try to deal with the trauma of past events, while building a peaceful life in their new home. …

A couple of weeks ago, I escaped from the routines of my everyday life and disappeared into the woods for four days. As the video above explains, the intention of the trip was to shape a small writing retreat for myself. I packed up some pens, notebooks, my laptop, and printouts of a poetry project (along with some books and art and mediation supplies).

The goals of the retreat were low-key:

  1. Disconnect from social media, the internet, and other distractions that fill my time with mental clutter.
  2. Rest, relax, and rejuvenate through reading, walking among the trees, and meditation.

“You may not even crack the spine.
You may place this on the bookshelf,
or worse, under a stack of papers.
You may forget it and regift it later
to someone as a Secret Santa.
I will never know.”

— from “The First Poem in the Imaginary Book”

I’ll admit that Sarah Kay’s No Matter the Wreckage has indeed been a resident of my bookshelf for too long — though it was never forgotten. Every time I perused the shelves, I would notice it sitting there and remember, Oh, yes, I need to read that. …

What a lovely essay. It definitely has me thinking about the nature of empathy and how it relates to the expression and consumption of art. I'm also interested in reading the article about Anna Anthropy's point of view on this, as well as exploring some of her work.

I resonate with this so deeply. I just recently returned from my own mini-retreat and it was so enriching and enlivening. It provided me the space to be still and quite and with the natural world. And perhaps most importantly it provided the solitude I needed to hunker down and finish a poetry chapbook that's been idling for years. I'm definitely going to have to make room for such retreats in the future.

Andrea Blythe

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