Jarad has gone and written part of short story that features another Sacred Chickens employee, our Uncle Mortimer. Be sure to check back on the blog to see how it plays out (if he ever manages to finish it)! In the meantime, here's a sampling of what he's written so far!
“Are we going to be playing tic tac toe?” he asked, amused.
“No,” she said, sat down, and began drawing on the concrete porch, next to an old iron kettle full of red flowers that reminded him of a witch’s cauldron. While she concentrated, he picked up a piece of chalk, and for a reason unbeknownst to him, drew a pentagram on the table. And then another, followed by three more on the ground beside him. She saw what he was doing and inspiration from it.
It wasn't the concrete fountain that was magic, that's for sure. It simply stood in the center of the Church Park, slowly collecting long forgotten pennies, quarters, dimes, and discolored nickels. A girl with red hair tossed a nickel in once, probably wishing for a boy or a new top. Her father threw a coin in too, likely in the hopes that the boys of the future wouldn't be too much trouble. A widow dropped in a coin, maybe a single hope for a new life beyond her recent loss, closing her eyes as it clinked at the bottom of the pool. Whatever the wish may have been, the change fell to the bottom and snuggled in with the rest.
that James Cameron
made a movie about me
that had nothing to do
with my life
I was only referenced
the special effects making me
and it was a box office failure
even with 26 explosions
in the first three
and a woman
who jumps off a building
that used to be her
in an alternate
A Secret History of Witches
Written by Louisa Morgan
Review by Jarad Johnson
The multigenerational novel takes us through five generations of witches, the Orchiere from 1821 France to England in WWII. The novel shows the reader a brief history of each woman, usually around the time she inherits her power, which is passed from mother to daughter. But, I have to say, for this to be a book about witches, there is surprisingly little magic in the novel, and the witches in the novel don’t seem to use their power all that much. I was curious about this, and after some googling, I found an interview in which the author called the sort of things we would normally associate with witches like cauldrons, broomsticks, spell casting, etc, “easy magic” and that “Their craft represents knowledge, and power, and the thing some people fear most in women—independence.” I actually really like this approach to witchcraft. (Of course, I still would have liked more magic to appear in the novel.) The novel has a strong feminist core, that comes to the forefront when the mothers insist that their daughters understand how their magic gives them power.
What are we recommending this week? The New Guard Vol. VII, a collection of short pieces, poetry, and stories. There's something in this volume for everyone. And there's a special surprise! Julie has a piece in this volume, in the letters section. This year's theme is "Letters to Aliens." Julie's piece is entitled "Dear Essie" and you can find it in the very front of the book.
But don't stop there! This volume is extremely diverse, from the Featured Fiction, to the winners of the Machigonne fiction Contest, and the Knightville Poetry Contest.
Order your copy by clicking on the image of the book.
Featured writers as listed by the New Guard Website:
"TNG Volume VII includes work by our Machigonne Fiction Contest winner, Maureen Connolly and our Knightville Poetry Contest Winner Christine Kalafus; our Featured Authors, Grace Carpenter and Eamon Murphy; and all the contest finalists and semi-finalists. Judges for this volume were Chris Abani (fiction) and Mark Doty (poetry). The letters section theme is "Letters to Aliens." Letter writers: Claudia B. Manley, Julie Carpenter, Carter Goodwin, Liliana Nealon, Irina Martkovich, Lee Woodman, Roberta Senechal de la Roche, Bernard James, Lola Rainey, Patti Tod, Naomi Ulsted, Zoe Stoller and Jessica Lipnack. TNG Vol VII will come out in November, 2018. Cover art: Abraham Danso"
Click here to learn more about the New Guard and its editorial arm, The Writer's Hotel. Learn about their support system for new and established writers.
Here are some of the favorite reviews from the Sacred Chickens archive!
Home and Other Places I've Yet to See- Dan FLores III- Review by Julie
The Hate You Give- Written by Angie Thomas- Review by Mekayla
An Experiment in Love- Hilary Mantel- Review by Jarad
Here are some of the books Sacred Chickens wants you to read this week!
The Knife Thrower by Steven Millhauser
What? A collection of eerie dreams that take the form of short stories where a place as ordinary as a department store becomes a fantastical world of its own.
Why? Because Millhauser sees the world the same way as your old Uncle Morty does, thin spots here and there in the walls between reality and fantasy, haunted by the flesh-covered who imagine themselves mundane instead of the extraordinary accidents they actually are.
Written by Dan Flore III
Review by Julie Carpenter
There’s something light and clean about Flore’s poetry, even when he talks about stints in psych wards, homelessness, or other traumatic events. Reading one of his collections is like sitting at the beach watching the ocean wash over the garbage, cleaning the detritus wave after wave.
The Hate You Give
Written by Angie Thomas
Review by Mekayla Trout
In The Hate U Give, the protagonist, Starr, faces a series of heartbreaking challenges following the murder of her childhood friend Kahlil. Because Starr goes to a private school called Williamson, unlike most of the kids in her neighborhood, who go to the Garden Heights public school, she struggles with having censor herself around the different groups of people in her life. In the world of Williamson, Starr holds herself back, fearing casual racism from her peers. In the world of Garden Heights, Starr feels that she has to work harder to be accepted because she goes to a predominantly white school.