At some point in your life earlier than that, however, you will be brave enough to look in the mirror and say to yourself: this is what I am, this is who I am. You will cry, you will laugh, you will feel like leaving the party early. You will try at least once. Don’t. Your story doesn’t end here.
Once upon a time, in a used bookstore in Houston, I came across a book called The Seven Serpents by Steve Jackson.
Listen—one day you're gonna find yourself out in the ocean, / in the world, and you're gonna stop and feel the electric / heartbeat of the entire world in the water around you—
That our flower girl would sprinkle / tobacco leaves instead of rose petals / before you plucked me apart / with your blood-smudged claws.
Kristian is fidgeting and asks the dreaded and inevitable question for the umpteenth time. "Mummy, Ma, are we there yet?" "Almost there, sweetpea," says Maarit, sharing a grimace with me. I’m concentrating on remembering precisely which wooded path it is that leads to my family’s summer cabin. Sometimes it feels like the forest changes . . . .
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Sara Norja's "Water, Birch, and Blood."
I want to challenge how women's bodies are thought of and represented—in comics especially.