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Darker Fables

Writing and reviews. Adventures, maybe? Exciting, definitely.

The Boat Party

We took a boat,
bobbing beside
the grey asphalt,
on a river I’d been reading about.

Looking at the water, swilling
black, echoing back the noise
of our animal crowd, I was thinking
about that unfortunate man,
the Moroccan who drowned.

My head was a book on state violence,
and I was a state, as violent as Nevada.

That brat, crowing
about her boyfriend, and his gifts
that she didn’t even want…
It made me thirsty for her blood,
for salt water and a better wine.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

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Review: Anne Rice’s ‘Angel Time’

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Oh, but this was baaad

Angel Time is my first experience of Anne Rice, and it utterly dashed my high hopes of her writing, because this novel is nothing but a poorly written, Bible-thumping drag. And that’s to say nothing of the two-dimensional plot device of a protagonist.

It was just so disappointing, on every front, from its stilted, unnatural dialogue to its overcooked, purple descriptions.

“And now my tender darling, brought to this strange city of Norwich, and beloved of all who laid eyes on her, has died, helplessly, of the iliac passion as we stood by unable to save her…”

I’m not so narrow-minded that I’m not open to books with religious themes, but with this one I felt that a good story had been sacrificed in favour of zealous Christian fervour. A bad beginning wound up with bad ending, and things were no better in the middle.

Our protagonist, Toby, an assassin with a chequered past, had little potential to be interesting. There were over fifty pages of meaningless exposition before we even got to his clichéd backstory, and after that the meagre scraps of originality which might have redeemed this novel were squandered on an utterly inconceivable, shockingly simplistic, and imaginatively poor plot.

Don’t even get me started on the dullards who peopled the secondary cast.

“I want you now,” he said. “But your redemption lies with The Maker, with your faith in Him. The faith is stirring in you. You know that, don’t you? You’ve already asked for forgiveness…”

The lack of subtlety in this novel is almost offensive, and in its crude, juvenile devotion to the Christian redemption rhetoric it seems less a sincere expression of the author’s faith than a trite piece of conversion propaganda

I just could not take it seriously. I’m really hoping this was just a poor choice of Rice novel on my part, because if Interview with the Vampire is even half as bad as this, there are accountancy documents I would go out of my way to read instead.

Angel Time: to be more aptly remembered as a waste of time.

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Gran Torino (2008)

The Old Religion

The earth is soft and sweet.
It sinks beneath my boots,
just as it did for priestesses
of the old religion.

Things are only half dead
between these concrete walls,
but it’s true;
we are not living in Camelot.

The ground is writhing,
and the roots are snakes,
winding up my ankles,
but if I’m afraid,
it’s not of this.

I could be pulled down
to the untouched places
at the heart of the world,
and I wouldn’t really mind
about the damp, or the darkness,
or the insects crawling in my hair.

I’d just lie there,
like it was a bed
instead of a burial ground,
and forget about the world.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

New: Songs for Writing

New month, new me. I say that at the start of most months, but on this occasion I’m quite serious that a disciplined writing schedule needs to come into being. There is much that must be written, much more that I want to write, and the weeks are ticking by towards the end of my first semester. So here are some of the songs I’ll be listening to, whilst I’m beavering away at my computer.

1. Rae Morris – Eye To the Storm

I’ve dug through every song this woman has written, and no matter how much I listen, I still can still listen again. This is one of my favourites.

2. Annie Lennox – Pavement Cracks

This song reminds me of sitting in the car with my mother. The CDs get changed so rarely that I think I’ve been hearing this one most of my life. Fortunately, it’s very worth listening to.

3. WILDES – Ghost

And here’s something with a darker sound. I like the melancholy of this song. I think it’s good for writing dramatic tragedies and death scenes (something prevalent in my fiction).

I guess that will do for now. This month I will make sincere efforts to post on a regular basis. So, day one, done!

The Water House

So strange to be back here,
back here again,
in one of the many places
I still think of as home.

Under the dust sheets,
and inside plastic bags,
things have already
started to moulder.

Even my winter shoes are flaking,
crumbling into clouds of pale green fur.

Strange to say it,
but I no longer care
for these things I didn’t
ever want to part with.

It’s been moons, you see,
but not that many.
Not enough, I thought,
to efface me so completely.

Truth is, no one knows what
language I’m speaking
when I walk in the kitchen
like dew from the river.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Billet-Doux

I’m going. In fact I’m gone,
and you have to understand
that I’m not the type of girl
to cry, or wring my hands.

I come from a long line
of stone-hearted adventurers
who mapped the world
and never really went home.
So you see…
I’m not very good at goodbyes.

There’s a truth here
I should acknowledge;
poetry is the worst way
I can sincerely express this.
This being that which I can only say
in the quiet, the dark,
and not on the page.

I’ll keep your kiss, paramour,
my darling, my gem,
and say it won’t be long
before we meet again.

I could go waxing lyrical
with quotes and metaphors…
perhaps even a fine gold pen,
but I’m not John Donne,
and this isn’t the end.

Deanna Scutt, 2017

Autumn News

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So, it looks like I’ve been off the grid for a bit… again. Like most of my creative outputs, blogging seems to come in fits and starts. One month I have too many ideas, and the next, not enough.

A lot has happened since I last updated that I didn’t write about at the time, but I think sometimes that’s the way of things. The most important moments strip away any ability to articulate them. I have to break them into pieces, and write about those pieces rather than the incident as a whole. Quite often I also have to wait a while, if I’m to stand any chance of being more objective than sentimental.

But wait over.

I started university five weeks ago, and I’m already waist deep in a gritty essay, a short story about carnivorous mermaids (less weird than it sounds), and the looming shadow of my dissertation. Here I breathe a sigh of relief, because going back to education has proved a good decision, and I’m enjoying it, maybe even more than I did before.

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And let’s talk about now.

We can’t without saying that the Parisian summer is just about over. It’s officially the time of year when spiders creep inside the house, ghostly encounters are most likely to happen, and the gutters fill up with leaves.

And I have some personal news… which is that unexpectedly, accidentally, and without my having a great deal of say in the matter, I have fallen in love. And maybe it’s a strange thing to say, but I don’t want to write about it. It’s like a secret I’ve been trusted with. One which I’m not only happy to keep, but one which I feel privileged to have been trusted with in the first place.

How insufferable.

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I’m going before I give into the temptation to be annoyingly self-indulgent, but I just want to welcome you, my new followers, and thank you, the less new, for your continued interest. My output has been poor for the last month or so, but I am truly flattered that you find my site worth visiting.

Here’s hoping it will be a productive autumn, for me and for you!

I’ll write again soon, but until then…
Deanna, out ❤

Salt

I was singing to myself,
some song I didn’t quite know,
though it was probably about love,
like every song, ever.

It was at the public pools,
where I went for the water,
in memory of a grey, industrial harbour.

I was looking for something
to remind me of home, or at least
the many cities where I really grew up.

I don’t think it was happiness,
the feeling of walking onto the stones
and watching a white dog lick the ground,
but it was something, like something
I couldn’t find in other places.

Something, like something
that we used to say.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Oh, You

You did it again, girl,
and this time, yes this time,
I really, yes really, want to rip out
your eyes.

Just close your mouth,
close it up like a cave of poison gas,
and let’s pretend this silence
isn’t the aftermath,
or a self-inflicted
winter
of the nuclear variety.

You’re so much
like an acrobat.
One who broke both her legs,
returned to the bar and
came crashing down again.
This time on her
neck.

You never learn,
unless there’s blood,
on the ground, dripping
from the knife you’ve got
your knuckles around.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

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