Snapshots | February 9th

Scrawled 9 February, 2016, 7 Comments

Rather shockingly, I am alive and kicking – at least enough to write this post – after that monstrous bout of fever! I have spent most of the Chinese New Year weekend in bed, but I have gained permission to venture out into the world, which is quite a relief.

Mostly I have been reading things (I’m currently reading Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write; such a fascinating set of meditations on life and theatre and storytelling, especially recommended for actors & playwrights) and watching films (I saw The Breakfast Club and cried hard enough for my fever to spike a few degrees), but in between: I have indeed been getting work done!

Half Mystic is falling into place; submissions have been rolling in, especially for music, which is really quite wonderful. (A small reminder: we do have an open spot for composition editors, if there are any musicians in the crowd.) I have been hard at work on the new website, as well; our aim is to spotlight our blog posts more, and I think we are certainly reaching that. I am so very excited to unveil it for you.

In addition, I am working on a small side project – a literary magazine at our school. It has been dormant for a few years, but I am joining the team to help bring it back to life once more. It is always fun to work on literary magazines, and though I don’t have a large hand in it (mostly I am the advisor, since I have some experience on the staff of several magazines), I am looking forward to seeing it come to life.

And finally – perhaps the most exciting thing – I am headed off to England!! Perhaps you will remember that last year I went to Cebu as part of a school trip, and this is the same program – but instead, I am travelling to London as part of a theatre program. I absolutely cannot wait for it; we will be seeing four or five shows as well as going to behind the scenes to quite a few, and it will be so wonderful. I will be leaving on Saturday evening, and I am counting down the hours!

And how have you lovelies been? We have not gotten a chance to speak in quite awhile, and so I would love to know what stories I have missed. Please do let me know in the comments – I am so very excited to hear about it. xx

Friday Poetry: “Quell”

Scrawled 6 February, 2016, 10 Comments

I’m sorry for being absent this week, lovelies – alas, I came down with a fever and was rather incapable of blogging much. I do hope the dragons kept good company while I was away, though; I have been working on training them, so you will perhaps observe that they singed you noticeably less often. ;)

I have been mainly lounging in bed and eating ice cream and reading Superman comics and checking my temperature every half hour, but in between those productive pursuits, I did indeed manage to spin a poem out of my fingers for Friday Poetry! This is in a rather different style than those I generally write, and to be honest, I am not quite sure whether I like it all that much.

Perhaps I will leave that up to you to decide, though. Your thoughts & comments are, as always, welcomed with open arms – please do let me know your feedback in the comments section. I would so love to hear it.

A very happy (early) Lunar New Year to you all, and I do hope no one else has come down with this pesky virus! All of my love to you; I will see you next week. Enjoy. xx


It goes something like this: / she and I are in the hospital. Then we are in the car. / Then we are in the hospital / again, only now she is talking to herself and the ghosts and me and now / it sounds like a strangling. / Now that’s a metaphor I can get behind. / It goes something like this: / it’s not a metaphor anymore. / It goes something like this: / a knife and a finger / could almost pass for a quiet accident. / Let me talk to you about all of the ways she pronounces mercy. / Nobody else has given me time to explain / how her tongue licks around the syllables like a creature / on the pavement to paralysed. / It goes something like this: / a fugue. / A forged invitation. / A little girl with something in her lungs / and then she is not a little girl. / How it sounds like / take this moment and do not let it go. / How it sounds like please. / Please, darling. / How it sounds like a bite / and then a kiss swallowing its own tongue. Something in the distance screaming like the old wounds do. / Something in the distance forgotten until it isn’t forgotten / anymore. / How it sounds like / a softness. A strangling. / Please, darling. Don’t ever / let it go.

Half Mystic: Growing Things

Scrawled 1 February, 2016, 12 Comments

I have a particular sort of fondness for growing things.

Flowers come to mind. People, the best kinds. Dreams. And now: Half Mystic.

Perhaps it was inevitable that our team would come to this. We are, after all, the best sort of dreamers – just insane enough to take on the challenge of turning this tiny journal into something bright, blooming, beautiful.

And so, the news is that the submission deadline for Issue I has been extended. And here is why: rather than simply an online journal, as we had originally planned, the first issue of Half Mystic will be released in print, soft-cover and perfect-bound.

It is utterly thrilling that this is what we have come to. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am that we are tackling this challenge – but in order to succeed, we need your help.

In conjunction with the print issue, we have a goal to accumulate as much gorgeous work as possible, and for that reason, we have extended the deadline (which was originally February 5th). Lovelies, we want to showcase your writing and music. Send us your work teeming with melody. We want the privilege of letting the world see what beauty you have created. Please do submit to Issue I; we are so looking forward to marvelling at your talent.

And yet another exciting piece of news: along with the deadline extension & print issues, we have decided to create a new website! (Goodness. To think that we would outgrow our old one in just a few short months.) We want the flexibility of a self-hosted website and the consolidation of our blog and website into one, especially since our issues will be published rather infrequently. And so I will be working on this in the coming days; keep an eye out.

But along with all of the above: we are now hiring one to two more blog correspondents, who will be aiding in keeping the new website updated! Applicants will have the opportunity to grow HM’s audience through their posts, and, of course, the wonder of watching this beautiful thing evolve into whatever direction it takes. I think I speak for the entire team when I say that we would so love to have you join in.

There is more coming: soon, soon, soon. There is planning happening behind-the-scenes. So much discussion. Some arguing. (What is a team without a good argument once in awhile? ;)) Laughter, of course. And we are spinning HM into something that belongs to not just us, but to you.

These are only the first steps. But it is growing. It is all happening. And oh – I cannot wait for the things that come next.

On Infinity, or the Pursuit of Loveliness

Scrawled 28 January, 2016, 15 Comments

(for T, the loveliest)


a quiet thought pulled out of a quiet night sometime in this past quiet week:

the pursuit of loveliness.

i am always coming back to lovely. it is, inevitably, a word that saturates my vocabulary, that i weave into any situation, the slowness and warmth and malleability of it, a funny romantic sort of notion that i do so adore rummaging into. loveliness. it is this: the grace. and courage. kindness. softness. love, always love. the loveliness of loving. of – living. whatever fickle, fluttering definition it might have.

the pursuit of loveliness. 

how every breath is a work of art.

the truth is this: that our souls sometimes do not know what it means to be caged. perhaps this is where all of the anxiety comes from, the depression. how our heads and our hearts forget that they are parts of the same machine and begin to snarl at each other instead, partaking generously in each other’s destruction. and eventually, their own.

like all wild things, sometimes they bite. like all alive things, sometimes they bite each other.

so a falling, a drowning: perhaps the shittiness is an infinite thing.

and then, a resurrection of sorts: perhaps the loveliness is, too.

i have yet to wrap my head around the idea of permanence. sixteen years, i believe, is not nearly enough to examine the length and breadth of time (though perhaps even the oldest human being could hardly comprehend the magnificent resonance of a clock’s second hand).

i think that there is something infinite, though, in all of the shitty stuff. in the anxiety. the sadness. the loss, and the things that are lost, the ones that cannot come back. stuff that is wasted. minds broken, in more ways than one. heart-stuff gone.

and yet – a (strange) loveliness, an (unprecedented) loveliness, too. of the weathering, the withering of it all.

i am beginning to wrestle with the idea that my mental illness is not something that will go away. perhaps ever – or, at least, not for a very long time. it is a difficult infinity to realise. it is not one i want to realise. it is one i am only beginning to realise.

but if there is any infinity, then there is this: life. it will go on.

and i am learning that there is more to infinity than the shitty stuff. there is the loveliness, too. and there is an infinity in that. and the act of choice: today is a sad day. but i will choose to pursue loveliness anyway.

even with the shitty stuff, we can choose. we have the choice. and the reverberation in that. and the act of freedom. and the act of acknowledging our boundaries only to find the paths around them. and the way we choose to pursue the loveliness even when it skitters away from us. to teach our minds and our hearts the kindness that they have forgotten to feed each other. to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. this is the pursuit of loveliness. even on the bad days. it is the action of stepping back and choosing the right infinity to follow.

this is what i mean, and this is what i am learning:

there is the loveliness. and there is the choice to pursue it. and these are the only infinities.

and here is all of it: the shitty stuff and the lovely stuff, all wrapped up in one, suffused and dripping in a light that perhaps we will never know how to name. that softness, that delicacy. of being friends with both the stormclouds and the sunlight. the savouring of the loveliness, and the spreading it into the magnificent, endless universe, and the knowing of the pursuit, so close – only an infinite, resonant clock-tick away.

Half Mystic: An Assorted Amalgam of Updates

Scrawled 19 January, 2016, 6 Comments

Firstly, and most importantly, I am incredibly excited to tell you that we are welcoming a new member into Half Mystic’s little family: Mai Nguyen Do is here as our social media manager!

This was another one of those positions where it seemed that we had countless applicants, all very much qualified but none possessing the spark that makes Half Mystic the lovely, powerful thing it is. When Mai applied, it all clicked into place, and I can think of no better person to help us spread musical enchantment across the Internet. Mai is also the social media manager at one of my favourite journals, The Femand her first poetry collection is coming soon from Platypus Press. She’s absolutely incredible, and I am so very delighted to have her here. Please give her the warmest of welcomes.

Also: HM is now on Instagram! Feel free to drop by and say hello; we are quite new with this whole thing, but hopefully we will be up and running there soonsoonsoon.

In Issue I news, a deadline has officially been announced: Friday, February 5th is the last date to get your entries in. The theme for our inaugural issue is allegro – the skipping pulse, the desperate escape, the dash of fastfastfaster – and we would so love to include any and all interpretations of the theme in the issue. Please do share your gorgeous work with us. We can’t wait to see it.

And if you are less the submitting and more the reading type, you can always subscribe to our email newsletter. We rarely send emails, but when we do, you will be the first to know – of announcements, of issues, of blog posts, of updates.

We are all hard at work behind the scenes to bring you a collection of melody brimming over with the kind of enchantment that one is hard-pressed to find. Keep an eye out – it’s all happening, and it is happening soon. I am in awe of how fast this journal is growing. And I think I speak for every single one of us on the team when I say that I hope you join us on this journey. It is one with windows down and wind singing through our hair and a damn good mixtape in the stereo.

You should come along for the ride. There is no one we would rather have here.