The Woven Tale Press Vol. II #6

Page 1

The Virtual Child 1

Woven Tale Publishing Š copyright 2013 ISSN: 2333-2387

The Woven Tale Press


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Sandra Tyler Author of Blue Glass, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and After Lydia, both published by Harcourt Brace; awarded BA from Amherst College and MFA in writing from Columbia University; professor of creative writing on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including at Columbia University, (NY), Wesleyan University (CT), and Manhattanvill College, (NY); served as assistant editor at Ploughshares and The Paris Review literary magazines, and production freelancer for Glamour, Self, and Vogue magazines; freelance editor; Stony Brook University’s national annual fiction contest judge; a 2013 Voices of the Year.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Michael Dickel, Ph.D. A poet, fiction writer, essayist, photographer and digital artist, Dr. Dickel holds degrees in psychology, creative writing, and English literature. He has taught college, university writing and literature courses for nearly 25 years; served as the director of the Student Writing Center at the University of Minnesota and the Macalester Academic Excellence Center at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN). He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36 (2010). His work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art books, and online for over 20 years, including in:THIS Literary Magazine, Eclectic Flash, Cartier Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Sketchbook, Emerging Visions Visionary Art eZine, and Poetry Midwest. His latest book of poems is Midwest / Mid-East: March 2012 Poetry Tour. Kelly Garriott Waite Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Science Monitor, Thunderbird Stories Project, Volume One, Valley Living, The Center for a New American Dream and in the on-line magazine, Tales From a Small Planet. Her fiction has been published in The Rose and Thorn Journal (Memory, Misplaced), in Front Row Lit (The Fullness of the Moon) and in Idea Gems Magazine (No Map and No Directions). Her works in progress have been included in the Third Sunday Blog Carnival: The Contours of a Man’s Heart and Wheezy Hart. She is the author of Downriver and The Loneliness Stories, both available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

ASSISTANT EDITORS: Dyane Forde Author of forthcoming Rise of the Papilion Trilogy: The Purple Morrow (Book 1) Adrienne Kerman Freelance writer and editor, her essays have appeared in multiple magazines, as well as in The Boston Globe and Washington Post. She has authored a weekly parenting column, MomsTalk, for the Boston area AOL/Patch sites. Lisa A. Kramer, Ph.D Freelance writer, editor, theatre director, and arts educator. She has published non-fiction articles in theater journals, as well articles aimed at young people for Listen Magazine. Her fiction is included in Theme-Thology: Invasion published by She is the director of a writers’ workshop From Stage to Page: Using Creative Dramatics to Inspire Writing. LeoNard Thompson Has published opinion editorials, weekly columns and essays, and interviewed performers, practitioners, writers, politicians and personalities. Lynn Wohlers Awarded BFA from School of Visual Arts, NY, NY; writer for Daily Post’s Photography 101 series., Bluebrightly.

Our staff is an eclectic mix of writers and editors with keen eyes for the striking. So beware – they may be culling your own site for those gems deserving to be unearthed and spotlit in The Woven Tale Press.

Editor’s Note: The Woven Tale Press is a monthly culling of the creative web, exhibiting the artful and innovative. So enjoy here an eclectic mix of the literary, visual arts, photography, humorous, and offbeat. This month: Astropoetry, Dead Things, Mr. Nosey and More All submissions are credited with interactive Urls; click on an Url to learn more about a contributor.

To submit go to:

Trance Forma

Barre None


Dance Fusion




A few years ago, I visited the University of Maryland observatory and saw Saturn through a telescope–I was completely blown away. I was seeing an edge-on Saturn exactly as Galileo had 400 years ago. After numerous return visits to the observatory, my childhood love of astronomy was rekindled. And I’ve found that the

universe is ripe subject matter for poetry. We’ve all had moments of the sublime, looking up at a full moon; watching a rocket launch; viewing footage of Saturn from Cassini. The combination of my love of poetry with that rekindled one of astronomy has led to my pictorial Astropoetry.

The Local Merger


Cut text from the 1910 The Galaxy: A Magazine of Literature, Volume 3, Issue 10 pasted onto kimono fabric graphic.

I crept along a ridge of

broken stair

Background image is HiRISE image of ridge of Coprates Chasm on Mars (image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona). The cut-text is borrowed from Wordsworth’s “Prelude.” I had planned a grayscale image, but my scanner made a colorization error resulting in these strange colors.

After the Awful Silence

Background is a raw image (i.e., uncalibrated and unvalidated) by Cassini; the intended image target was Atlas. Image credit: NASA/JPL/ Space Science Institute. Text used to build poem was borrowed from John Goad’s 1699 “Astro-Meteorologica.” 4

There the Heart Text from an old Ladies’ Companion borrowed for a poem about the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Text pasted onto old partial map of Southern Hemisphere.

A Fly Speck on an Orange Cut-text poem created on ilustration from an out-ofcopyright article called “The Earth’s Interior.” The cut text is from the 1874 work, The Stars and the Earth, Or, Thoughts Upon Space, Time, and Eternity. 5

Turnkey Construction Turnkey Construction So many stones broken — yet we build the house,

Morning Glories

a beginning muscled into shape. To cleave

I mark the burn of a summer day in the twisted necks of the morning glories,

at night under that single roof, we agree to leave open more windows, air the difference between this fact and that truth. One of us prefers high walls to open spaces. One of us still resists coming clean. Who holds the turnkey?

the garden's trumpeting blooms loosing a rocket of stars from deep inside their creamy-white throats. By the time the sky empties itself of its azure hues, the boys have come in, as boys do, mouths puckered in the red of raspberry kisses, hands grass-greened and inked in blackberries popped by the fists-full.

Maureen E. Doallas is the author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems (T.S. Poetry Press, 2011). Her work has appeared in the anthologies Open to Interpretation: Water’s Edge, Open to Interpretation: Love & Lust, and Oil and Water. . . And Other Things That Don’t Mix; and in Felder Rushing’s book Bottle Trees 6

Euphemistically Dead

Humans have a real problem with dead. Euphemisms abound to describe the state in humans. We don’t refer to other dead things with quite the same measure of delicacy, however.


As long as stuff stays stuck to the thing it died on, it’s dead. When we chop it off, stick it in a vase, and bring it indoors, dead-as-a-door-nail stuff magically becomes dried. 8

I am fairly certain I never heard anybody say of a dried flower arrangement, “What lovely dead flowers!� These roses are the newest of the dead stuff. 9

I kept a fair number of dead things for years. I still have this Yucca fruit. Most of them got too dusty and were thrown out, however. The oldest dead thing I have now is an open cotton boll. 10

It looks exactly as it did t day I broke it off in the fie some twenty years ago. I figure I saved it from a rather inglorious end In Q-Tipdom.


And, of course, there is the seed pod sarcophagus. The mummy inside is a bit fragile, but the empty sarcophagus will survive for years, assuming that some over-zealous housekeeper Doesn’t mistake it for rubbish. (I chuckle to think of the comparison to archaeologist-grave-robbers, fancy coffins, and dried corpses)

A friend gave me this little Silkie chicken egg. I kept it in the refrigerator for several years. One day, I discovered that the chick inside had apparently mummified. Now, when I shake it, the inside rolls around like a large marble.

the eld

These stamens probably won’t dry into anything recognizable But, unlike all the fuss surrounding Napoleon’s shriveled part, Nobody will care one whit.


The Parable of the Matador and the Juggler

There once was a man who learned how to juggle. He found joy in the act of bringing flight to inanimate objects, and comfort in the fact that he was performing an activity with no practical application. It brought peace to his wandering mind and pleasure to stray audiences. The juggler’s father was a hard-working man, toiling each day from sunrise to sunset, planting and harvesting, chopping and toting, heaving and hoeing, and generally sacrificing his body to a lifetime of labor. He was glad to have a son to ease his burden and share his load. But the boy had other plans. When the juggler showed his unique ability to his father and declared his intention to make it his life’s work, the old man’s heart crumbled to dust in his chest. Undeterred, the juggler set off from his family’s home and wandered the countryside honing his craft. There once was a man who learned how to fight bulls. The man was no match physically, in weight or musculature, for the raw strength of the bull. The man had only a thin fur and the woven threads of plants or skins of other animals to protect his own; the bull had two sharp horns protruding from the top of its thick skull. So the man crafted a horn of his own from melted stone. The juggler’s wanderings led him to an orchard whose apples were the perfect fit for his hands so he set as many as he could flying. He followed the apples away from the low hanging branches of the orchard to a field where the matador and the bull were paying attention to nothing but each other. When the matador caught sight of the juggler he was amazed. “What strength that must take,” thought the matador, loudly enough for the juggler to hear. “Juggling takes no strength,” the juggler told the matador, “just enough flexibility to let the laws of nature work in your favor.” The juggler’s strange talent also caught the eyes of the bull. The matador watched the reflections of the apples in the bull’s eyes and was inspired. This distraction was just the 13

opening he needed to plunge his sword deep into the neck of the beast. He drew his sword. The bull forgot all about the juggler and returned his attention to the matador. If he distracts the bull from me, I will kill the bull, thought the matador. If he distracts me from the bull, the bull will kill me. The matador turned this information over to his brain and concluded that this could not be allowed. The juggler’s attention was on keeping seven apples aloft, so he was unprepared when the matador plunged the sword deep into his neck. The apples and the juggler simultaneously succumbed to the law of gravity.

Cynthia Hickey Fudges Along With I.B. Nosey NOSEY: Greetings, cybernuts! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter! Today I’m coming to you from Thorny Green Thumbs Nursery and—hey! (bangs fist on greenhouse door) Open up in the name of the only Pukelitzer Award winning journalist on the internet! (Door slams open, bonking NOSEY on his name’s sake and throwing him to the ground. Woman donned in gardening hat and soil-stained gloves stares at him) WOMAN: Really, Nosey. Sitting down on the job. Come along. NOSEY: Ow. (delicately touches tip of nose) After an intro like that? WOMAN: Well, we have work to do, remember? NOSEY: (snarls) Work is a four-letter word.

Follow along with I.B. Nosey, your favorite intrepid internet reporter, as he interviews compelling guests, uncovers important truths, and embarks on harrowing, suspenseful adventures. 14

WOMAN: (smiles secretively) But aren’t you eager to learn about fudge?As in chocolate? NOSEY: (brightens) Huh? CH: That’s right. I’m Cynthia Hickey and you’re here to speak about my book, Fudge Laced Felonies. I’ll answer all your questions, but I’m potting some…um, er…plants back in the corner there. (leads way inside greenhouse) NOSEY: (wipes face with sleeve of blazer) Man, it’s like a hothouse in here! CH: (arches brow) There’s certainly lots of hot air floating around. But, as you can see… (gestures to indicate various greenery) this is where I grow ...things. Including the seedlings of some of my best plots. NOSEY: Yeah? (eyes narrow in suspicion) How come I’m getting a weird feeling all of a sudden? CH: (laughs) Probably because that earthworm is crawling across the top of your shoe. NOSEY: Yikes! (leaps back) CH: Here, Nosey. (lays book in the palm of his hand) Why don’t you read the blurb while I busy myself with my potterings? NOSEY: Potterings? Is that a word? CH: (shrugs) I’m a writer. I invent all kinds of words. 15

NOSEY: Um…well… (uneasily gazes around) Man, it’s steaming in here. (swipes fog off glasses) CH: The blurb, Nosey. Read! NOSEY: All right, all right! (mutters) Sheesh. Pushy authors. (clears throat) It says here: “While transplanting the rosebush her church’s handsome greeter, Ethan Banning, inadvertently killed, Summer and Ethan discover a hidden stash of diamonds, a rusty can full of cash, and a bloody-gardening glove. This discovery sets Summer and her candy-making aunt on a search for a killer. As Summer gets closer to the truth-not only of the theft but of her true feelings for Ethan-the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth” (gasps) Oh, no! CH: What’s the matter? NOSEY: Ethan killed Rose Bush! CH: No, he didn’t. NOSEY: That’s what it says right here, lady, in your very own ‘“inventive” blurby words. He killed Rose Bush. What I want to know is how did he do it? CH: (sighs) It was an accident, really. Although the rose bush was intended for the country fair, it wasn’t the end of the world, except— NOSEY: (gulps) Uh huh? CH: It almost resulted in my death when I decided to investigate. NOSEY: Say what? CH: (nods) Add in a candy-making aunt to the mix— NOSEY: But she only uses the finest ingredients from Gum Drop Island, right? 16

CH: Of course! Where else would she get them? NOSEY: Heh heh. Just testing ya. CH: Hm mmm. Are you trying to accuse me of writing a plot about that cheap chocolate from Dollar Hollar? What kind of author do you think I am? NOSEY: Uhh… CH: Well? (stomps foot impatiently) NOSEY: Ahem. (tugs at collar) Moving right along, Ms. Hickey. You know, as a Pukelitzer Award winning reporter, I should have been notified right away about this crime. How come I’m just now hearing about it? CH: Take that up with your PR department, Nosey. But you know, if you can possibly help, I’ll take all that I can get. In fact, feel free to solve any of the other mysteries floating around. NOSEY: What other mysteries? CH: (waves glove under his nose) Does this ring a bell? Read the blurb again. NOSEY: Uhh… CH: Go on. The part about “a glove”? NOSEY: Oh, yeah. (snaps fingers) Yeah! It says it’s bloody. Hey! (jumps away from CH) CH: (giggles) Not my glove, Nosey. The glove in the story. NOSEY: Right. Whew. (sighs with relief) How did it get that way? The thief cut himself on that rusty can full of cash? CH: Wouldn’t you like to know? (coyly bats lashes) You’ll have to read the story to find out. There’s more than one rusty can popping up, too. NOSEY: Speaking of popping up…(points to soil bed) What’s all that? They look kinda… I dunno. Colorful. CH: (claps hands in delight) They’re about to bloom! Quick, Nosey. Hand over 17

that watering can. NOSEY: (watches as CH sprinkles water over bed) Tell me, Ms. Hickey. You say you plot plots in here.(looks around) Strange environment to conceive books, if you ask me. CH: Different streaks for different freaks, Nosey. But my ideas come in a daydream when I’m staring into space doing absolutely nothing. NOSEY: Uh huh. Yet you created a book about a candy-making aunt, a rose bush, rusty cans full of cash, and a diamond thief. And if I read that right… (rechecks wording of blurb) “the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth.” (wags brows) If he hatches, what does that make him? A rooster or a chicken? CH: (clicks tongue) Which crossed the road first? The chicken, or the diamond thief? NOSEY: (scowls) Hey, I’m the reporter. I ask the questions here. Like, for instance… what are you doing with that fudge sauce? CH: Fudge laced, Nosey. Everything I create is fudge laced. (pours fudge over rapidly emerging plants) Books, name it. NOSEY: Oh. And, that reminds me. Speaking of names, why did you name your heroine Summer? CH: (rolls eyes) Duh. She was born in the summer. I thought for sure with your amaz-


ing skills, you could have figured that out. There! (sets down fudge pitcher and pulls off gloves) My newest hybrid, Nosey. Isn’t this exciting? NOSEY: (bends and peers closer) I know your nursery is called Green Thumbs, but, uh… these plants aren’t green. Lookit them, they’re...they’re all these strange colors, like a kalight -um, kalit -kazoo…

potter plotter? (scoops up plant bed and beats a hot path toward the exit door) The world ain’t ready for these, lady! CH: Bring those back, you posey thief! (calls after Nosey) I’ll sic Summer and Ethan Banning on the case! They’ll put a stop to your fudge laced felony!

CH: You mean, kaleidoscope? That’s because they match your bargain-basement blazers. NOSEY: They what? CH: Yes, Nosey. Meet “Fudge Laced Nosey Posies.” Don’t you think they look exactly like you? NOSEY: (shrieks) Aiii! You’ve grown miniature Nosey’s? What are you? A mad hatter

In Black and White Colin was too brave, too curious, and too trusting for his age of thirteen. He knew all the rules about approaching strangers, breaking into vacated houses, and daring to explore the large drainage tunnels under the road, especially those–a maze of dark, damp, and dangerous concrete pipes. But from his position straddling his bike on the sidewalk, thirty yards from an open garage door, he just couldn’t envision any danger lurking behind all the newspapers stacked up along the walls. In fact in those stacks, there had to be cool 19

photographs of cars from the fifties. Maybe a ’57 Thunderbird with its sleek, lowrise hood scoop. Or, yeah, a ’57 Nomad with those rear wood accent panels. That would be the bomb for sure. And maybe, just maybe, a surfboard strapped to the roof, its fin pointed up like a shark’s. Way too awesome. Maybe even a photo of the Beach Boys, his dad’s favorite band. They weren’t Seether or Nickel-back but their songs were fun. Colin stood on his top bike pedal, pressed

down forward and hard, his back tire screeching, to close the distance of the thirty yards in two seconds flat—a new track record. He stopped short, before the gaping maw; the papers were like decaying teeth, and the concrete floor a gray, diseased tongue. His heart now racing, he started to back pedal, turning the handlebars for an easier escape. Then he heard something. Was that...yes! It was “Surfin’ USA” by the Beach Boys! Leaning closer to the open garage, he tapped his foot to the beat. He lay his bike on its side, ignoring his dad’s constant reminders about the kickstand. He walked into the garage, the beat of the music carrying him along on an imaginary wave. The wave broke over him just as he reached the small concrete crack separating the garage from the driveway. Stepping over the crack, Colin held his breath, and glanced up at the retracted door. A large strip of metal gleamed sharp. Razor sharp. He could imagine the door closing and chopping off his toes. This little piggy. A smell hit him like a punch. A wet, stinging smell like the dead, bloated and hairless cat near the stream a few blocks from home, and he nearly wretched. Holding his breath against the stench, Colin took the garage in. Every wall was covered with newspapers stacked tightly, the bottom of the stacks as yellowed as pee-stained underwear. The middle of the stacks were fading to yellow, and at the top, still the grayish-white of a fresh Sunday delivery. Each row was two stacks

deep, and between them, a corridor led to a door. Nothing else was on the garage. No bikes, or wagons, or cardboard boxes full of yardsale junk. The only thing out of place was a newspaper on the floor. It was the same color as the piles nearest the ceiling. He picked up the paper. Behind him, the garage door slammed shut. He was in the dark. Panic gripped his heart in an icy fist. Then that door between the stacks creaked open. “Well, well, well. What’ve we got here.” The voice, ragged and sharp as a hacksaw on metal, came from directly in front of Colin. Small ovals of yellowish light danced in the dark, disappearing to reappear. Colin’s chest ached and his pulse sprinted, his veins threatening to burst. The oval lights vanished, and now a brilliant, blinding light flooded the garage. The Beach Boys sang “Surfin’ USA” again. “You like this song, don’t you, Colin.” The voice came from behind him now. Colin spun around so fast, he landed on his can. “Look, I, uh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, uh, sneak in. I wasn’t going to steal anything. I” He scooted back a few feet, trying to distance the chill he felt emanating from this man. “I know you didn’t come to steal anything. You’re just a curious boy, aren’t you? All boys are curious.” The man’s grin exposed yellowed teeth, some cracked, chipped, or missing. Scars pitted his face from either 20

acne or, some so deep, maybe even a fire. “Aren’t you going to answer, Colin?” He said, silver stubble flashing on his chin. “Uh, yessir. I mean I’m curious…was curious.” The words sounded empty and insincere despite the fact that he was telling the truth. He’d just wanted to look at a newspaper or two, was that such a crime? “Let me help you up.” The man extended a gloved hand, the cowhide leather faded and cracked. The fingertips were smeared with black. From newspaper ink? Colin shook his head. “I can do it.” He pushed himself up from the cold floor. Lifting the newspaper he said, “I found this on the floor.” He looked at the paper for the first time. There was a border around


a blank space where a photo seemed to be missing. “Oh, that picture is for you, Colin. It’s a little token of my appreciation for you being so nosy.” The man spat as he talked, and Colin snapped his head away from the spittle. Wet drops landed on his neck. Sick. He wiped away the saliva, flicking it from his fingers as if it were acid. “Sorry about that, young man. My momma always said I had poor manners.” The man sounded much older than he had a few moments ealier. Ten, no, thirty years older. He paused and licked his wet lips. “If you open the paper up, you’ll see yourself

there. Go ahead, open it.” Colin flipped through the pages, stopping at the third–Could it be true? The picture frame had been empty when he had looked before. Maybe it’s a magic trick, he thought. Maybe he could go surfin’ with the Beach Boys. Because there he actually was–surfin’. Blue waves rising, ten, twenty, thirty feet. He was paddling a surfboard, and adrenalin pumping, he climbed to his feet and steadied himself. “You’re making me younger, Colin.” The man cackled. “Your happiness and dreams are now mine!” The wave crashed out of the picture frame and washed over Colin. He was slammed onto the cement floor, choking on salt wa-

ter. He clutched at his trachea. He thrashed on the floor, rolled over, and tried to cough up the briny liquid. That same rough-leathered gloved hand snatched him off the floor. The newspaper appeared before him. “See, I told you it was you.” The picture changed from the king-ofall surf spots to a mirrored image of Colin, and of the man who was now growing younger behind him–while Colin himself grew smaller, small enough to fit into the photo’s frame. Then he was turned to black and white. A young man added the paper to a pile.


The Disgusting Truth About Cloth Diapers Last night I spent a whopping 20 minutes dunking cloth diapers in the toilet to clean off the solid leftovers of the boujee baby food that two days ago my wee lad had made a grand show of protesting. Pretty gross, huh? During pregnancy with baby number two, my husband and I swore the solemn cloth diaper oath. We got the 17,000 diaper inserts. We got the 13,000 designer cloth covers. We even got a bidet attachment for the toilet. We bought the special cloth diaper laundry detergent to go with the ridiculously overpriced cloth diaper pail that came in colors like Dusty Sahara Rose and Ecru. We settled on Robins Egg Blue. Learning that we could not use regular butt paste with cloth diapers, we purchased organic balms and coconut oil. Not having any idea how to use cloth diapers, we read hours of reviews and tutorials online, which included some hilariously confusing YouTube videos. Whenever we met up with our parent friends, we would grill them for tips and advice. We were heavily invested in this kid’s derriere. During my nesting phase of pregnancy, I washed those suckers repeatedly and line dried them in the hot summer sun. One wash might have been enough, but some23

where I read that the more I washed them, the more absorbent they became. And by golly, that stash of cloth diapers had better absorb. I neatly folded each one and lovingly piled them up in the baby’s rapidly expanding changing area. Forget the changing table, this kid was going to need his own bathroom. When babies are brand spanking new, they are pretty much biological blobs of love. When they poop it is actually kind of cute and funny. Parents love to talk about baby poop. You think I’m kidding? Ask me about my oldest son’s first month of life and chances are you’ll get at least four poop stories. When babies progress into roughly month six or seven they begin to eat solid foods. Sure they don’t eat much, but they eat enough so that those delightfully charming and expensive diapers are now disgusting poop traps for the business end of a growing kid. Fast forward to last night. My son has been increasing his solid food intake, which is great. Although, since he is exclusively breastfed, this whole solid foods thing is a tricky new adventure. He is reluctant to give up the boob. I am reluctant to clean up his diapers. But we push on into the exhilarating world of gastronomy.

He filled two diapers…one right after the other. The thing about breastfed babies is that it is common for them to not have a bowel movement for a few days in a row. For this lucky housewife, it had been three beautiful poop free days of diaper bliss. So there I was in the bathroom with two cloth diapers filled with poop. Step one was to open them up and remove the inserts. Gross. Step two was to scrap the solid mass off the cloth lining. Grosser. Step three should have been to soak them before tossing them into the wash. But oh, no, no. This was no ordinary mess. This required scrubbing. Being the Mom, it fell to me to figure this one out. The bidet we special ordered did not have the spray power to tackle this job. So on went the pink rubber gloves as I plunged my hands and cloth diapers into the toilet to scrap off my dignity. After my tactical bathroom challenge, I tossed the offending diapers into the wash and set the washer to heavy-duty soak. There really ought to be a setting called Just This Side Of Obliterate. Then I put my feet up and took a deep breath of clean air.

As a quick side note, I should just say thank God for aunts. My marvelous aunt was online last night, and she shared some entertaining poop stories about my babyhood. It made me feel the humor of this disgusting situation. She also kindly – and in a round about way – reminded me of why we wanted to have cloth diapers in the first place. They may be gross and a serious pain in the derriere to take care of, but they are good for a baby’s skin and good for the environment.

Besides, they make for some pretty darn funny stories.

24 Aidana WillowRaven, a tradigital artist, has illustrated and/or designed over 500 books and ebooks. While her work is primarily digital, she applies traditional skills, such as classic lighting and contrast techniques employed by master painters. She builds her base images in 3D software, then refines and enhances them in Photoshop.


Her Name is Alice


The Keeper 27


Return to Dune Towers


Samples of WillowRaven’s traditonally designed work:

Children’s book covers, drawn with colored pencils.


Pen and Ink drawings


Warped Reflections

The Past needs to stay there, they say. Romanticized memories, made so by glass-half-full optimism and naivety. Or was it self-preservation? I suppose it was. Is. Blips from long ago, like jagged stone, tumbled and molded by the river of life. Transformed into smooth, round rocks that glow burnt orange and mustard yellow under the shimmery surface. I’m mesmerized by their simplicity. Content. 31

I take one out of the water to inspect it further. See it for what it really is. It’s ugly, jagged stone. I recoil and throw it back in the water where it can beautiful again. Clean. Harmless. After the stone breaks the surface, ripples continue as far as I can see. This gives me clarity. I understand now why the past is still here. Ripples. I don’t blame her. But I do. I hate her. But I don’t. I resent her. Yet I try to have perspective. I lean over the bank to see my reflection. But too often, it’s hers that stares back at me. The horror. The beauty.


Digital Art

Lone Tree



Fish Dance 34