Tannins work like that.

8 June 2018

Today for our Kickstarter we feature two stories from Broad Knowledge which have elements of agriculture: pig-farming in “Profanity” (“So I wander over to the barn, stand at the pens, watch the ginormous mama pigs lying in the dirt fattening up their little piglets. ‘Thanks in advance for your kiddies,’ I say. They don’t get it.”) and tea-farming in “Sunbasker” (“A day later, an alert tells me that Kalo has finished picking baskets upon baskets of tea. He’s cleaned up the whole field. I book a truck to bring the leaves back to my lab.”)

In both stories, the intentions of the farmer color the narrative: in “Profanity,” the pigs are mindlessly being fattened for slaughter just as the cult members are being made mindless by their adherence to a nonsensical religion, and in “Sunbasker” the narrator’s desire to help a farmer under a curse is reflected in the magical origin of the tea she uses, which was given to humans by the Goddess of Mercy.

Liz Ulin writes:

The idea for my story, “Profanity,” was bouncing around in my head for years before I found the right voices to tell it. I remember sitting in the coffee shop of the LA Science Museum and describing the concept to my brother: A religious cult where “cocksucking cunt” is a compliment. Why? Because using the Devil’s words routinely rob them of their power, and robbing them of their power honours God! Twisted? Did I mention it was a religious cult? My brother had on that same face you probably have on now. The what the hell? face. Anyway, the voices finally came to me (not divine ones—no worries—just narrative ones). Surprisingly, they were the voices of two kids. And they sure had a lot to say about Profanity, Saskatchewan, where “every kind of devilishness is turned inside out”.

D.A. Xiaolin Spires writes:

“Sunbasker” comes from my many conversations in Taiwan and specifically hanging out with people I know in tea-farm-rich breathtaking Maokong mountains in Taipei. I have some food purveyor and tea grower friends and also met the boss of a certain sweet shop there—and the ideas for the story kind of just whirled away out of my mind from there. I wrote my process of writing this story on my website. The narrative streamed through my fingers while I was in at Taoyuan airport in Taiwan, where I was about to board to head elsewhere. I was just about ready to get on the plane, staring at a mural of tea farmers picking leaves in the terminal… when the story hit! They were calling my group number and I was still typing, trying to get it all down before the story winked away!

About the Authors

D.A. Xiaolin Spires stares at skies and wonders what there is to eat out there in the cosmos. Spires aspires to be a 3-D printing gourmand, but will happily concede with producing and consuming quixotic fiction and poetry. Trips to East and Southeast Asia continue to influence her writing and leave her craving durian, fermented foods and copious amounts of wonder that fuel her body, spirit and imagination. Website: daxiaolinspires.wordpress.com.

Liz Ulin is the winner of the 2014 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, and a finalist in The Canadian Short Script Competition, The Canadian Authors Association Short Story Competition, and The Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition. She has also had several short stories adapted and produced at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre.

Entry filed under: Anthology, Fiction, News. Tags: , , .

This is what the apocalypse looks like Here is more a question of when than where.


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