Thanks to all of you who took time from your busy weekends to post, taking advantage of our special alert! Our photo prompt this week showed a sculpture by Colorado artist Jerry Wingren. Born in Alaska with Scandinavian heritage (well spotted, Mark A. King!), Wingren creates sculptures that play with the forms of native Alaskan peoples’ traditional totem poles. In their element his works soar through skies, float nebulously above mountains, or stand like monoliths against passing time. We were eager to see what you made of this one. See more of Wingren’s work here.
Honorable Mention: Their Guardian Generals by Catherine Connolly
After our first read, both of us Luminous Creatures said to each other: “What was that one about?” We were flummoxed until we read it several times and this story’s complexities began to reveal themselves. Catherine created a richly-layered world based on an arcane mythology with an undercurrent of anxiety juxtaposed with laughter. We wanted to know more. This story interacted with our imaginations in loose and surprising ways—evoking images of China’s Terracotta Army and Korean shamanism, as well as harkening the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Picture This by Holly Geely
Holly Geely opened with an interest-picquéing “No,” and we were hooked. In just a few well-chosen phrases she communicated a clearly drawn world with a full history. Taking a looser interpretation of the idea of magic, Holly won us over by framing it in real world terms. Every writer can probably relate to the poignant fancies of imagination in this story. We admired Holly’s vivid, taut writing.
Elle by Mark A. King
Scandinavian legend inspired Mark A. King’s image-rich story with a well-drawn and very dodgy main character. Color dots his narrative landscape with the “bruised aubergine sky,” hair like “strands of woven gold,” and “eyes more blue and pure than the glacial fjords.” Details of place made a believable but magical world: the frigid wasteland of Alaska, the stars a “bed of a million shiny nails.” And we couldn’t help but feel that shallow Clive came to a fitting end.
World is the World by Voima Oy
Voima Oy brings us to an entirely different world peopled by tall, beautiful, zen-like creatures. In this paradise of soft colors—pinks and purples—”orchids grow out of the snowfields,” and blossoms open “as pink as the sunlit clouds.” With great description and broad imagination, Voima evoked the shamanism of worlds old and new that was reflected in the final conclusion when our two leads were united and fused with the consciousness of the flowers.