Her mother was just a sketch of fading white. “Please,” Soal said, putting her free hand out. “Come.”

“But I failed,” her mother whispered.

Soal shook her head, tears filling her eyes. “I cannot know,” she choked out. “I do not know what you are. But I do know that you are the one who first showed me that I was . . . unwhole.” She reached her hand out further. ”You are the one who taught me my name.” Her hand slid through her mother’s ghostly hand. “You are still someone to me.”

Continue reading “Pausing Soal: Letting Book-Making also Be Soul-Making”

Did you listen to them? Arro asked wildly. Did you . . . eat?

Soal hid her face on the pallet. Tears spilled onto the cloth, and she clutched herself, as if that would keep the memories from spilling out, too. A million memories rose at her throat like a word that wished to be spoken. A million memories of blue-lit voices, tender, flickering hands, and a vision of the home they–and she–had been severed from.

And in that instant, something cold came over her. She could not let Arro see these memories. She would not.

Continue reading “Revising Soal: Claiming a Choice”

Sparks coalesced along the Svetskyn’s fingertips, and the light spilled in a frenzied path from his hands.

Soal struggled against the grasp of his mind, gasping as the living Memory echoed from both his mind and hers. She had to dig past it, she had to find the light in her veins before the Svetskyn’s light struck her body and burned her whole. But the Memory was strong. Leaping nyun. Flaring nyun. A deadly arc—

In a last, desperate jerk of muscles, Soal flung her hands up over her face—and opened her mind to the electricity that streaked from the Svetskyn’s hands. I am Soal! she cried to it.

Continue reading “Drafting Soal: Learning to Honor a Broken Self”

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