avoided symmetry

Nephogram Label via Creative Commons

The pedestrians scowled to look busy beyond the usual realm of preoccupation. Their expressions were deliberately set in a way that was supposed to read, “the person behind this expression is extremely busy and very important.” The old woman ignored these airs of feigned dignity; suits or sportswear or filthy rags, she knew no one of any real import would be walking the street at nine-thirty in the morning. Her clever eyes picked out a reedy looking woman with an upturned nose and a slouching gait.

“Could you let an orphan boy starve this afternoon?” the crone asked, her voice gravel-soaked.

The reedy woman stopped. “Beg pardon?”

“Could you let a starving orphan die today?”

“I—“ the woman stopped. “How am I supposed to answer that question?”

“It’s a yes or no—“

She interrupted, “—If I answer ‘yes’ then I’m saying, ‘Yes, I’ll let a starving orphan die.’”

“So I guess—“

“—But if I say ‘no’ that implies I’m willing to give you money.”

The old woman waited for a beat, not wanting to be interrupted again. “I didn’t ask for money.”

“Here,” the younger woman spat, thrusting out twenty dollar bill. The old woman snatched it up.

Today’s installment of Aspiring Voices showcases Maggie Giles, a world traveler and fellow design school graduate. I caught up with Maggie and picked her brain about managing the research required for historical fiction, the influence of travel on writing, and how writing has changed the way she looks at the world.

Photo courtesy Maggie Giles

Photo courtesy Maggie Giles

Paul: I saw from your website(s) that you’re a multimedia designer. Do you think you ever bring a design sensibility to your writing? How is the process for doing design work different from your process for writing?

Maggie: I went to school for Multimedia Design. I did everything from animation to web design to 3D modelling to programming. It was a blast! Now I work in Marketing.

I can’t say I really bring any of my design or schooling to my writing since I feel like it uses two different versions of my creativity. Painting a picture in my head is different than designing a visual for me to analyze.

That being said, my process for both is pretty similar. Each has a planning stage. I need to make a skeletal outline before getting the details added. Although, one is usually diagrams and site outlines, and the other is character backgrounds and plot lines. [laughs] Eventually it becomes a finished piece of artwork.
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chiaralily via Creative Commons

As patron saints are to human hope, cacodaemon are to human fear. And I am that which hovers over all, a blister known as Kakodaimon. I am the pride of the zealot converted into judgment. I am the hunger that consumes a life, a secret sin indulged in dark. I am the forebear of a silent curse, I am mother of the wretched lie.

My speciality is deceit, a trick of self delusion. Where righteousness exists and masks cruel intent, there I feed and smile. Certainty is my instrument, superiority my song; love is not my mortal foe but yet another stanza I sing. When tears are shed for the benefit of audience, it is I who lap them up. The apology that serves to blunt the edge of a newly-public shame is choked up past a lump I form and the words are drawn from my whispers.

I am children born to save a bond; I am the innocence tossed happily aside; I am worry over privilege.

I live in the light and you all pray unto me.