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About Literature / Student Core Member M.A. HinkleFemale/United States Groups :iconpersistent-practice: Persistent-Practice
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Tokka Week: Nap Time
They spent the rest of the class discussing who would have custody of Lin at what times.
Well. Not really discussing. Toph told him.
“The only times I cannot actually have flour baby—”
“Her name is Lin,” said Sokka. He smiled at her lazily, like he was enjoying interrupting her at every turn. Toph was tempted to grab his ear and yank his head up off the desk, but she would get in trouble for that, not him.
“Fine. Lin. The only time I cannot actually have ‘Lin’ in my lap, like we are supposed to, is during my music lessons on Monday night and during my Tai Chi lessons on Friday. I will bring ‘Lin’ to you at the last bell. Fair?”
Sokka tilted his head from side to side, considering this. “You know, there really needs to be more trust present in our relationship. You talk like I don’t know anything about babies, but you’re not even holding her right.”
Toph looked down at the flour sack, resting betwe
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 3 1
Tokka Week: TLC
There are two phrases every student dreads: group project and your partners will be assigned.
Toph ground her teeth, waiting for Miss Joo Dee to reach her name. When she did, she wanted to claw her face off. The class slacker. Because what else kind of luck would she have?
Joo Dee finished reading, and Toph glanced over her shoulder. Sokka hadn’t lifted his head from his desk; he looked like he might be asleep, like always. Scowling, Toph picked up her bag and moved to the back row. She accepted the assignment sheet from the girl in front of her and poked Sokka with her pen.
He stirred, then jerked upright. “Shit,” he muttered, lifting his head.
Toph narrowed her eyes at him; he didn’t seem to notice. As she skimmed the assignment packet—it was huge—the teacher called them up one by one to claim their flour babies. When she called their group, Toph started to get up, but Sokka beat her to the punch, sliding her the smile that made him
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 6 3
Between the Stars
Benji kisses like she talks: slowly, deliberately. I never thought I would be into that.
Then she pulls back, frowning a little, but her eyes are here with me and that’s all I care about. “You realize this is exactly what I meant, right?”
I feel like I should frown back at her, but I can’t stop smiling. “I’m sorry. Should I have submitted a written proposal or something?”
“Don’t be pedantic. It doesn’t suit you.” She bites her lip, then cards her fingers through my hair. “You know what I mean. You never look before you leap.”
“If I did that, I’d never kiss anyone.” I blush, dropping my eyes. “Not that—there’s anyone else I really want to kiss.”
“Good.” The way she says it sends a tingle down my spine.
“I mean—” I reach over and pick up her hand, lacing our fingers together. “I mean maybe what we were doing wasn’t working out,
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 2
I Move the Stars for No One
I’m going to start crying if I keep standing here waiting for her to say something. I should know better. I’m always the one who breaks the silence, not her. I turn back to her doorway, but I hear Benji get to her feet. I can’t make out her expression from her reflection in the glass; her face is a blur.
“Would you just—”
“What.” My hand is still on the doorway.
She puts her hand on her head. “I’m not going to ask you to wait for me,” she says, her words slow and even and her posture straight and tall. “But you should sit. If you want to.”
The easy way is walking out the door. To have the last word, since I’ll never come up with an actual phrase better than Benji’s. To hold on to my anger and let it burn through me and leave me empty. To leave the fallout for another day.
But the truth is—I don’t want to leave. I turn, slowly, and try to think before I speak, even though that’s i
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 6
You've Run So Long
Benji gives me a ride home, but we don’t talk. Her hands are tense on the steering wheel, her lips pursed. Usually I would respond to this with chatter.
But right now—Rowan’s words keep echoing in my head.
You can live with a broken thing. Until you can’t.
I’d never thought of me and Benji as broken. But I’d never thought of me and her as fixed, either.
I try to go to sleep early that night, hoping I’ll wake up feeling better. But I toss and turn—it’s hot, and nothing makes it better.
And every time I get up to try and fix it, it gets harder and harder to lay there, still and quiet, when none of my thoughts will finish themselves.
I mean—
I am not an angry person. There is righteous rage, of course, when someone breaks my friend’s heart or when I get caught breaking a stupid rule at school. And Benji only lets me drive her truck when I promise I will not swear at other drivers. But, in general, I don’t let thin
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 5
You've Run So Far
Rowan doesn’t like to talk. Never mind that she was talking now—it would end quickly. All I had to do was use up her words before Benji walked in.
And then Benji walked in, which put an end to that fantasy.
I spoke up, quickly, before Rowan could say anything. Even when she does talk, she talks slowly, and I do not. I can still make this work. I have plenty of practice spinning things to my advantage, and maybe Rowan will take the hint that this is not what I want to talk about. Ever. “Rowan thinks that ‘Dance, Magic, Dance’ is an integral part of the structure of the movie. I do not. Gentleman’s disagreement.”
Benji looks at me flatly. “If you’re going to lie, do it better.”
I manage not to react, but only because that flat look will get worse if she hears what we were really talking about. Rowan doesn’t get it. My relationship with Benji works because we do not push in one direction or the other; we are balanced, but o
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 2 6
Within You
Most of the conversations I have with other people are in my head.
That’s why it’s so hard for me to talk when I’m really upset. In my head, we’ve already spent the afternoon talking about how worthless I am, and there are just no words left.
So, yes, I did a lot of thinking about Marta and Benji—after—but it was mostly along the lines of they really must hate you for taking up all their time or they’re trying to be so good to you and you can’t even be decent enough to lift your head and answer them. All you’re doing is getting in the way of what they could have.
It never mattered that they said and did all the right things—I knew what was really going on, and nothing outside my own head could change that.
Lorena helps. It isn’t easy to talk to her, but it feels safer; she is two steps removed from everyone I know, my secret of secrets. She likes to ask me to explain why I think the things I do, but som
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 0 6
I'm Buried Near
It’s almost like things are back to normal now.
I mean, Rowan wears fishnets or long sleeves all the time now, and she puts the bra on under her shirt whenever we’re all alone together, and the only thing she has to talk about is her new therapist, Lorena, who apparently is a very nice woman and helping Rowan a lot.
Well. I’m reading between the lines. Rowan never talks much, so you have to draw as much as you can from single statements.
“She won’t lay off on the coming-out thing,” Rowan mumbles when we ask her how her first session went. “But she was good about everything else. Calls me a girl and stuff.” She picks at her fishnets. “I’m going back next week.”
“That’s good,” Benji says, settling back against Rowan’s pile of pillows. “Really good.”
I try to catch her eye, but she is looking out the window, her face unreadable.
Benji gives me a ride home. I’m so used to crashin
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 0 5
There's Not a Moment to Undo Anything
Call me a cynic, but I was expecting to do the bulk of the work in securing Rowan a secret therapist. Marta and Rowan both don’t like making phone calls or checking out websites or scheduling appointments, whereas I am such a control freak that I took over that from my parents as soon as I could.
Anyway, this was already a stressful situation for Rowan—if she wanted to maintain an independent life, she had to keep going to see Dr. Creed so her parents would think they knew what was going on, but if she wanted to make any actual progress, she would have to find someone she could trust, and that meant lying to her parents more
And that’s not a bad thing. It’s just who I am. I’m not impulsive and interesting like Marta. I’m not able to put my head down and go with the flow like Rowan. I like plans and lists and writing my name down at the top of forms. I don’t know what to do with myself otherwise.
Rowan hadn’t asked me to make a list of
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 2 4
41 Percent
41 percent of transgender individuals have attempted suicide at some point in their life.
This risk increases to 57 percent if family is not supportive of the transgender individual.

Rowan had expected some backlash from her parents, but nothing like this.
“If your father is paying for therapy,” Rowan’s mother explained, “then it only makes sense that he chooses the therapist. Dr. Creed is an old family friend. He’ll be able to help you.”
Rowan wanted to open her mouth and say that she definitely did not want to be treated by someone she had seen at fancy dinners and company functions her entire life.
As usual, the words did not come out.
In one survey, 827 transgender respondents said that they had avoided needed medical care for fear of discrimination from healthcare providers.
Dr. Creed was very nice. Rowan had always noticed that about him. He talked like a shrink: careful, unaggressive phrasings; soft, calm voice.
And h
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 2 20
Tell Me How This All Unfolds
Rowan emerges first from the dressing room, which was not part of the plan—she was supposed to wait until Marta and I got into an argument about something stupid, providing her with the chance to escape.
I grab her by the elbow, turning her away from any possibility of notice by the salespeople. I open my mouth to tell her that was stupid, but Rowan looks up at me and smiles—really smiles, like we are all just back in her room goofing off again. The words dry up; I’m left staring, and Rowan steps out of reach.
Marta comes out a moment later, looking as perplexed as I feel.
I glance at Rowan, although my words are ostensibly for Marta. “Did it work out?”
“Yep,” Marta says, her voice high and nervous. “Perfect.”
We don’t have to discuss what to do next, even though Rowan’s deviation from the plan changes things. Marta goes up front to pay; I steer Rowan out of the store and over to a bench by a large koi fountain.
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 9
Tell Me That You Don't Belong
When I look in the mirror, I look for the boy who has stared back at me all my life, but he isn’t there.
The girl who lives in my head isn’t there, either; she has softer cheekbones and hips, and she smiles.
The person in the mirror isn’t quite one or the other, and that’s okay—I’m not nonbinary, but plenty of people are, and maybe someday I'll be as brave as they are, brave enough to be who I am.
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 2 10
Tell Me Why I'm Discontented
Rowan is quiet on the trip to Victoria’s Secret, but I’m not sure if that means anything. She’s quiet anyway—she doesn’t have an opinion on everything like Benji or me.
Or maybe she does. It’s hard to tell with her. I feel like I’ve known her all my life without learning a single thing about her.
Benji wants to plan this like a robbery, but that’s how she handles everything. As we sit in the food court, Rowan shreds her napkin into pieces and does not speak, so Benji and I have to do the planning for her.
“I’ll distract the salespeople,” Benji says. “I’ve never had a fitting there, so I can just pretend to be really indecisive. And then we can just sneak Rowan into Marta’s changing room.”
“They’re going to think you’re my boyfriend,” I say, nervously. “There’s no two ways about it. I guess we could say it’s for cosplay or something.”
Rowan shakes
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 4
We Wait and We Breathe
We take it slow. Rowan doesn’t like to initiate things, so we pull her in to what we were doing anyway.
While we’re marathoning Jim Henson movies, I paint Marta’s nails. Rowan comes next, even though she has to clear it all off before she leaves the room. She admires the sheen only when she thinks we are not looking.
Another day, Marta complains she is low on eye shadow, which means that obviously I have to take her to the mall right this second or she will expire on the spot.
While we are there, Marta buys two sets of her favorite products because she and Rowan could be mistaken for twins, not cousins.
We have to get Rowan a little tipsy to let us show her how to apply it, but that’s okay. Marta was going to bring the booze anyway. It might as well be put to good use.
Then, one day, Rowan sits down between us on her bed, her face still and silent and cold.
I can sometimes anticipate Rowan’s low points—one would expect her to be upset aft
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 6
Just Begging You Please
“I guess I wasn’t thinking ahead,” Rowan mutters when she is finished crying.
I wipe the tear streaks off her face. Rowan scowls but does not struggle. “Thinking ahead is for losers,” I inform her.
I look at Benji over my shoulder, wearing the smirk I know irritates her the most. I do my best not to needle Benji, but that just means eventually I cannot stop myself. “You are the exception that proves the rule, dear heart.”
Benji folds her arms over her chest, shaking her head. “No, no, I know how you think of me. It’s all right. Just don’t expect me to help the next time you need someone to Google shit for you.”
I press my hand to my heart. “I shall try to soldier on.” I turn back to Rowan. “Come on, babe. Let’s clean you up.”
We go into the bathroom; I press cold wet towels against Rowan’s eyes to bring the puffiness down.
Rowan mumbles something. I take the towel aw
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 1 4
Without Losing that Soft Glow
Being friends with Marta is difficult.
She is, of course, deliberately difficult, but that’s not what I mean. I mean—
I mean sometimes she is just the worst. Like the time she decided she wanted to hack the school website and got Rowan to help her because she’s good at coding. They didn’t tell me, but when I logged on to check my grades and saw that the teachers’ portraits and the picture of the school had been replaced with the equivalents from Hey Arnold, I knew it was them.
Or the time she decided we should have our own fireworks show and almost set my hair on fire.
Well. I have plenty of examples of Marta being awful, but that is not the whole of her.
The whole of Marta—
Put it like this.
The day after her bandages come off, Rowan is silent. You’d think she would be happy, because she couldn’t stop picking at the gauze, but today she is quiet and I know it is the cause.
I tell her that the scars are barely visible
:iconskysongma:SkysongMA 3 10

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I Have Always Loved Winter
I have always loved winter
With its caressing touch of icy-bright fingers
That stroke past my flesh with a tingle that lingers
A crystalline splinter
I have always loved winter
She was constantly cold
Her skin was of porcelain, her hands were of snow
And timidly soft into my hands they’d go
But her lips were more bold
She was constantly cold
Like embers her kisses
That latched onto mine like a coal hotly dropping
Down fast onto ice sheets without sign of stopping
And sputters and hisses
Like embers her kisses
But I liked the cold best
That bit of her most like a clear, frozen shard
And it pleased me to see her grow pallid and hard
More than the rest
I liked the cold best
And hard she did grow
When the winter’s invidious, envious chill
Slipped into her heart and set out to kill
That angel of snow
And hard she did grow
I crept into her tomb
Before they could padlock and shut the door fast
I crawled quietly in for a parting look last
At her in her room
I crept into her tomb
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Daily Literature Deviations for December 4th, 2012
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Daily Lit Deviations for December 4th, 2012
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:icondailylitdeviations:DailyLitDeviations 19 3
Remembrance by Pugletz Remembrance :iconpugletz:Pugletz 19,799 1,493 Mononoke Hime by Sugar-H Mononoke Hime :iconsugar-h:Sugar-H 4,896 420
you were
the smoke pouring out of her mouth,
(misty coils of a vague filth,
dancing to noir jazz, fading with each note)
smudged lipstick on the side of of her mouth,
and the little streak that crawled to her tooth
when she bit her lip in a supposed wonder,
and her eyes threw a faint film over themselves,
(like an elegant lady wraps a silk shawl around herself in a light breeze)
you had
the light feet of a dancer
whose calluses were hidden under tight shoes,
whose toes would arch like Nut over her children,
(and she or you would spin with the earth, holding her frame as if-
as if earth was something of mass, as if it had a shape to hold onto)
whose leg would stretch over her head,
her arms, long, pretty, snakes, her fingers curled, and her wrists tense
(her eyelashes were grazing her cheekbones,
her ballet whisking her like a beaten egg, and the laces of her shoes
caught on a rusty nail, which sliced her ankle open, a wince danced on her lips,
mocking her)
you sang
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A nightingale sang in Berkeley square.
Hundreds of years later, an angel and a demon perch on the top of a pyramid, feet digging in against hot slanted stone and wings spread up to shield them from the sun.
They look over the blazing white landscape to where the sphinx shimmers in the air.
"Oh dear," Aziraphale says. "That really has worn down a fair bit."
Crowley hums in agreement, looking down at the parched sand below. "Used to be a hell lot greener, too," he mutters. This part of the Nile had dried up a long time ago.
Aziraphale tuts. "This really is quite a shame," he says, for the hundredth time that month. "Do you remember when they built those, dear?
"What, the slavery and oppression and bullwhips? Oh yeah, good times," Crowley grins bitterly. He takes a swig out of the bottle, then passes it to Aziraphale.
Aziraphale looks at the bottle and sighs, then tips his back and drinks out, not bothering to wipe it off first. He fumbles with it, tries to set it down on the angled face
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    I traveled to San Diego Comic Con this year and participated in the portfolio reviews they where holding from Thursday to S
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M.A. Hinkle
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
I write. And write. And that's pretty much all you need to know about me. :heart:

Yep, it'll be noisy around here again.

I don't know why both my Flash Fiction Month projects involve people with gender-related issues and suicide. Also gay ladies. I guess it is just my thing. 

In other news, my group is a year old now! :iconpersistent-practice:

ETA: The lovely, the perfect, the wonderful :iconrobinrone: is doing another Kickstarter for her comic Ley Lines! Please, if you haven't, take a look at the comic. It is funny, touching, and epic at turns, and you will not regret it. 



Journal History


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hypermagical Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2016
Miss seeing you around. Sad dummy 
LeSieur Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015
I know it's been forever and a half. Life; and all of that, sadly. But I wish you a happy birthday, friend of old.
Tamamakitty Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your icon sooo much! It is adorable!
HugQueen Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014   Writer
Happy birthday. <3
JadestarXL Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Happy bworfday
williamfdevault Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Professional Writer
Happiest of birthdays!!  :blackrose:
SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014   Writer
Happy happy birthday! :tighthug: :party:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014   General Artist
happy happy birthday! may you be blessed with unlimited cake! :glomp:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014   Writer
happy birthday! :cake:
haileyanimefreak Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the llama!! ^~^
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