Dark Wonderland: a gander into Murakami’s world

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Dark Wonderland: a gander into Murakami’s world

Book Review: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

 

I picked up the UK edition of Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library in a bookstore last year. Its ambiguous cover immediately drew me in; I had heard of Murakami before, but never actually read him. Interested, I skimmed the first few pages to get a taste of what was in store. I ended up reading the whole thing in a 30-45 minute sitting.

To be honest, I didn’t know what I expected from The Strange Library. People had told me that Murakami had an unorthodox manner of writing and quite a unique literary voice.

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Author Spotlight: Thomas Robins

Thomas Robins is an emerging science fiction author who has quickly gained a loyal readership through perseverance and effective self-publishing. I was able to pick his brain about how he got his start and what his advice to new writers would be. Read on for some insights and sage advice from an author who has been there.

 

“My best ideas for stories come when I am mowing the lawn and if I can remember them until Wednesday, you get to read them, too. I am desperately dependent on word-of-mouth to get people to read my books because,

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Destigmatizing Mental Illness

The stigma of mental illness has long-lasting effects on both its sufferers and those that support them. Many advances have been made to recognize psychiatric disorders as medical problems largely outside the patient’s control. There is still much to do, however, to completely alleviate the isolation and discrimination they can cause. Negative stigmas have numerous effects; they cause a disinclination to seek treatment and make patients feel as if they must keep their struggles private. In their attempts to encase their disorders in secrecy, many patients wind up feeling isolated and become depressed. If those with mental illness begin to become their diagnoses it leads to self-doubt and shame.

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The Right Day

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

“Today the day, Tom?”

“No. Not yet.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Yeah, maybe.”

“Geez, Tom! I thought you’d decided. You got the vodka, pills, plastic bag… a hose in case you use the car.”

“Damn it, some days are good, some days are bad. I’ve got to be sure. Trust me,” Tom winks at Tom in the mirror. “You’ll be the first to know.”

Tom winks back.

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Value of a Dollar

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

My little boy needs diapers. Rent is past due. The phone was shut off, then the water, and now the heat. Winter is coming. If I can’t support my family, can they still call it earning a living?

The clerk jarred me from my doldrums, “Lotto’s huge today; chance your luck?”

He handed me a dollar in change. “No, thank you. Just the diapers.”

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Moving Together

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

Sweat dripping, their bodies move together in unison. They breathe in quick gasps, occasionally slowing to moans.

Biting her lip in anticipation, she cries out: “Nearly… there!”

With an inarticulate grunt he gives a final thrust of his huge organ and then they collapse in a flail of tangled limbs and self-congratulation.

“Next time… you want to move this… damn piano… ask… someone else!”

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Love Story

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

Just a boy who loves a girl.
Or a boy who loves a boy.
Maybe a girl who loves a girl.
Either way, it’s a love story.
Two souls unite as one.
Through the good and the bad.
Until death do they both part.
A love story is just loving someone else wholeheartedly.
No matter what gender, religion, ethnicity.
Just love. Forever and always.

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Antiemetic

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

Lionel feels natural remedies are best. He stirs warm milk in the rusty pot; the ginger has steeped for an hour. Each torturous round of treatment is more horrific than the last. He hacks and gags reaching for a cigarette, milk still astir. He plugs the smoke into the gaping orifice of his throat; the cancer had played dirty. Yes, natural remedies are best.

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The Empty

Illustration by Anon D’mowlse

A blank page.

That’s the scariest thing.

The need to fill the space.

The compulsion to make it less…

Empty.

Because the empty can swallow you

The empty will eat you alive

The empty speaks of forgetting

The empty speaks of things to do

Of the lost and the unfinished.

That’s why the empty scares us.

More than anything.

That is why

The empty.

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molted-cat-coats 0

Molted Cat Coats

Illustration by Sam Beck

We have two cats

and they molt their fur

wherever they walk.

If we gathered it all

we could stitch a cat coat.

Molted Cat Coats

These coats

might become all the rage

named after the breed:

The Tabby

The Siamese

Or maybe after the cat:

The Isabelle

The Chester

To get the business started

what we really need

is a reclusive cat hoarder.

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The Ticker Regatta 0

The Ticker Regatta

Casey hopelessly flounders behind his younger rival who suddenly lifts his oars and stands, letting’er run; they share a reverent gaze as Casey overtakes him.

Casey awakens to a sore chest and his doctor listening to his heart. “She’s sounding strong, Case.”

“And the donor, Doc?”

“College kid. Smart…an athlete, I think.”

“Crew?”

Doc reels, startled. “Yeah.”

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