The Breath of Soldiers

So. For all of you who have asked who drew the cover of ZAZEN the answer is….Stefan Jecusco!  You can click on his scary ID photo beneath the Rat Queen for more insight into his evil schemes.

Regarding today’s chapter, I will say little. Below is a thumbnail trailer. I leave it to you to make your own associations….

Grace shops for shirts atthe library

Hint: These are in order of appearance. But shuffle them in your mind.

roaming charges
it heals all that?
russian doll set of the gods

and finally…a sign, a possibility, a —

surely they would not be missed


  1. re: Zazan – I normally have zero tolerance for fiction so weirdly I got attached to this novel via Arthur. Ok, it runs just a tad too parallel on too many levels to my own non-fiction – so I am reading it as though it was a true story. My only crit is that there is just no mystery, nothing is hidden from the casual observer. It would make a neat subversive undercurrent in the great female tradition – and clinch the bit about my personal mirror, if Della was making a quilt (or knitting) – the only thing this book is missing is a stitch n bitch.

    1. I’m glad you are enjoying the book and wanted to respond to your critique by way of an explanation. The work that della does that takes the place (for me) of quilting or knitting is her work with mapping and the head of John the Baptist. Your comment is (I think) that there are no places in the novel where what Della does is hidden from the reader’s view. (Ironically, I should say that most criticism I’ve had complains that Della was too withholding). In earlier drafts, though, she was working on a mosaic made out of broken tile in the bathroom with Annette that served a similar purpose. The mosaic was unseen and it was created by women, which leads me to your second comment about female subversion. I think you meant that the novel lacked a space for women’s mysteries and/or resistance strategies. I can understand this, but Della doesn’t knit;) I do, however, and am very familiar with stitch and bitch, ravelry etc…Seriously, though, I didn’t feel I could put something in her hands that didn’t belong to her. Geologically informed cultural maps of the blackberry apocalypse? yes. Fire sermons? yes. Head of John the Baptist (which I might argue does constitute a feminine mystery ritual) yes–but stitchwork seemed out of place when I wrote her.

      Still, I truly appreciate your taking the time to read and hope you continue. It is strange to publish this way. I was my own editor, which is wonderful and tragic.

      thanks, again, Vanessa

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