The Connoisseuse of Slugs
By Sharon Olds
When I was a connoisseuse of slugs
I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the
naked jelly of those gold bodies,
translucent strangers glistening along the
stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies
at my mercy. Mostly made of water, they would shrivel
to nothing if they were sprinkled with salt,
but I was not interested in that. What I liked
was to draw aside the ivy, breathe the
odor of the wall, and stand there in silence
until the slug forgot I was there
and sent its antennae up out of its
head, the glimmering umber horns
rising like telescopes, until finally the
sensitive knobs would pop out the ends,
delicate and intimate. Years later,
when I first saw a naked man,
I gasped with pleasure to see that quiet
mystery reenacted, the slow
elegant being coming out of hiding and
gleaming in the dark air, eager and so
trusting you could weep.
Otherwise my day was taken up with news bullets and more news bullets, a late carpool in horrible traffic, a walk in the evening with my older son around the neighborhood taking pictures of flowers and wandering cats, my younger son remembering as usual on Thursday night that he has an assignment he was given on Monday that's due Friday that he has not started and family-wide panic trying to get him to do it, dinner and things like that. Also, I made the
1. Kai Winn: Was she always so yummily evil or did power corrupt her completely? I take her at her word that all she really wanted was for the Prophets to talk to her...because to her that IS power, and she would have taken any path to get there. She wasn't interested in secular power until she already held the highest religious position on Bajor; I think she assumed that if her being Kai did not get the Prophets' attention, being First Minister might do the trick. Once she realized that they had no intention of letting her into their club, ever, she switched allegiance to the Pah-wraiths quickly and relatively easily, and when they also betrayed her -- for Dukat, no less! -- she switched back to the Prophets again, hoping the Emissary would bring her into their graces, I suppose. I'm afraid that while she may not always have been so yummy, she was certainly always entirely self-centered, and her evil grew out of that.
2. How did you get started in freelance writing? If you mean how I got started writing articles for no apparent purpose or certainly of publication, I always wrote those...when I blew off English class in eleventh grade to go see Return of the Jedi on opening day, I wrote my teacher a ten-page paper (by the next morning!) on archetypes in the Star Wars saga. *g* But if you mean how I got started doing it for a living, it came out of working in journalism in general: when I was in college, occasionally other publishers (Seventeen U) would come along and ask about reprint rights or expanded versions of articles, so I would meet editors that way. I owe my current career to Kate Mulgrew though: I was writing Trek reviews for fan club publications, so I had a stack of credits when I went in to interview at AnotherUniverse.com, and that opened a lot of doors.
3. If you could become an animagus, what animal would you pick and why? The animal chooses the wizard rather than the other way around. I would like to be some kind of bird that flies...preferably not one that eats carrion or live animals. But I'd probably become something that hibernates. *g*
4. Pick one book [or book series] that you would want to live in, and why. There isn't one. I know that sounds like a copout but whenever I play the game where I think about trading places with anyone or trading this era in for a different one, the disadvantages are just too great. There are lots of places where I'd like to live for a few months or a year, from Middle-earth to a pirate ship, but I don't even think I'd pick up and move to Star Trek's future.
4a. Bonus addendum question: Within that book/series, would you rather be yourself or an established character? Who and why? I'd always rather be myself. Okay, it would be fun to be Jack Aubrey for a couple of hours or Galadriel for a couple of days, but again, not long-term.
5. Severus Snape: IYHO, moaner of screamer? Please back up your answer with examples. *veg* [You had to know I'd turn the question back to you, yes?] This is not a fair question as I don't believe that one is actually allowed to turn the question back on the interviewer in this meme. *g* However, in the interests of full disclosure, I refer you here, here, here, here, here, here...because by not quoting I don't have to lock this entry, but it should be obvious that the answer is LOUD. *veg*
Tourists on the cruise we took from Greenwich to London taking photos of the Royal Navy's RV Triton.