it’s beginning, it’s beginning, it’s beginning

“tell me about it,” my sister asked a few weeks ago.

i responded by mumbling and laying dramatically on the kitchen chair, which by the way, is the hardest thing to sit on for days at a time. “i don’t know how.”

“well you’re gonna have to figure it out if you’re posting about it.”

blah.

“it” in this case is referring to a very cool person’s book that’s coming out in a couple days or months, give or take, and by now you should know that cool person’s name, which is weez, and her book, the lightest heaviest things, or at least heard *some* kind of iteration of the concept known as subpar art. if you remain oblivious, well. i feel sorry for you. and will probably enlighten you by yeeting a copy at your face.

anyway, weez must’ve made the mistake of entrusting me with something, because she asked me to help her out with throwing books at people’s faces getting tlht out to the people, whoever the people may be. and i must’ve made the mistake of assuming i could, because the next thing i knew i was swiping through a copy for review and going “what what whAT” for an hour.

so anyway, here’s me figuring this out and here’s the book of potential cult classic status, per weez’s interview with clara (read that or i will fight you).

roll film.


“The trees are tall, and the giants are not actually taller than the trees. You told me that the giants aren’t real. I don’t know if they’re real. They look real, to me, but they also don’t seem real. You don’t see them, either.”

Peri, alone in her house, has spent a lot of time observing the silent, strangely sad giants that move just on the edge of her vision. They never speak. They never laugh. They are always alone. Drowning in her own loneliness, Peri doesn’t think much about where the giants came from, or what they might need from her.

When Peri’s best friend Wink starts seeing the giants too, though, they decide that they need to find out why the giants are so sad and alone. This sets them off on a quest that neither of them is quite prepared for, through the woods and up the mountain.

Magic, melancholy, and myth collide in their lives, showing them a world both worse and better than they ever knew.

It’s beginning.


liked

the atmosphere. HHHHH. i’m a sucker for the ambience of a place, and the lightest heaviest things did not disappoint in that regard. there’s many ways the stereotypical country story can go stale, but the way this one went was refreshingly simple and yet heartwarming, like a place you’ve seen before but don’t really know. the instant i read through the first few pages i remember thinking “yep. i wanna explore this place a little more.”

the characters. peri, the main character and the newest fictional love of my life needs a HUG. i admired her complexity and really connected to her fears and thoughts and the way she saw her world. the little details weez spun along the journey and the way she revealed peri’s story bit by bit was very cool, to say the least. wink is a fascinating best friend/foil character that has a lot of pluck and nerve and also needs a hug. she reminds me of samwise gamgee’s character but with childhood angst, as we all tend to have. ull, my dude, is a friendly hungry magic kid with excellent rhyming skills, and i would’ve liked to have met him. his arc is bittersweet, and i think it was very well done. all of the kids have a lot of story that gets revealed through the people they meet, that for a moment it’s like they could be real kids.

the dialogue. the oneliners and quips and back and forths were hilarious. to prove my point:

“we’re going to save the giants.”

“we’re on a quest.”

“we’re hungry.”

*chef’s kiss* i rest my case.

this banter and the humor behind it carries on throughout the story in a very endearing way, and i simply don’t have enoug hwords to say how much i like it. it’s just that good. go read it for yourself.

would’ve liked

more backstory. i think the plot is solid in terms of how engrossed can you get in a book and end up crying a few dozen times, but could’ve done with having more exposition, more details, more development into each character and the world they interact in and with. there’s so much for potential and if anything this feels like a teaser of being so close and yet not close enough to actually entering paper and ink and living in that world ourselves.

giants. i say this because even though the giants are peri’s catalyst and a big part of the book, and even though we get descriptions of them and why they’re here, i didn’t feel like i saw them exactly? that may be something left to each reader, that may be something that comes with rereading, and that may be because all that needed information will come somewhere else. who knows?

just more in general. everything in this book was great, full stop. no denying that. but i think in the way a bunch of little kids want to know what’s next when someone tells them a story, readers of this one will be absorbed enough to demand more, simply because it’s at a level that can only get better with more of it. so go read it and get weez to write another one because i won’t be able to rest otherwise *nods seriously and gets attacked with incoming pillows*

overall

this book feels like childhood. it feels like growing up and adventure and food and friends and running and bravery, sadness and pain and fear and all of these elements of our younger selves woven into magic and fantasy and it feels nostalgic, and it feels foreign, and it feels right, and it feels like this search for home, like coming home.

but in many ways, it’s a beginning. not just for these characters and the story, but also for the indescribably talented weez phillips and her not-so-secret superpower of making me people cry. i really think that ability and the creations that come from it will only grow, and how amazing to be at the start of it all watching it happen. i also can’t believe i’d lasted this long without realizing the periwinkle pun. dang.

i’d recommend this book for people who enjoy filling in the blank details of a book with whatever their imagination gives them,

readers who enjoy growing up stories and adventure,

and kids who feel alone, and scared, and just need a little shot of hope to go bravely.

it’s a feel think hope kinda thing, and this book presents that wonderfully.


click here to preorder The Lightest Heaviest Things on Kindlehere to add it on Goodreadsand here to see the Redbubble merchandise collection. (and leave reviews and posts wherever you do that so weez has to write another one : D )

(also. that merch. hhh.)

did i do it? was it okay?

~been running for so long, jo~

^^ that song reminds me of this so go listen to it while you read it

ethereal

the sun shines through a foggy pastel sky
burning orange against faint pink and blue
it peeks behind a mountain,
hiding from the ocean in its view.

the rain has been pouring for hours,
wailing in the darkness, crying in the showers
puddles lie in the crevices of the ground
drops falls from leaf to leaf and roll all around.

blue streaked feathers dart amidst the trees
like this place is an early morning sacred sanctuary
a second of peace to be gleaned from the sky
this moment is ethereal, and passes from all unobserving eyes.

i’ve been enjoying watching the storms pour and staring at the clouds for hours on end, hence all the weather poems. idk i just think they’re neat

ode to the ordinary

empty street during daytime

clara thought we should do a thing, and i agreed with her.

Clara

Do you hear it, the way the silence echoes, overflowing into the places that used to hold the rhythm of the ordinary?

Pacing aimless and bored through the grocery store, searching for misplaced siblings and dancing to terrible radio music, exchanging friendly insults from across the produce section with employees-turned-friends. Being alone on a college campus for the first time, holding heavy doors for vaguely familiar faces, marvelling at the freedom of letting yourself be purposely lost for a while.

Going out for a meal and losing track of the hours, lingering at the long-empty table until closing time to listen to the rambling aspirations of a waitress who’s been waiting for someone to care. Taking the long way home, windows down, leaning too far into open air to watch the trees sway along the edge of the dimly lit park. Mornings that barely exist and afternoons where time stands still, hesitating in the doorway of the tired post office, breathing in the smell of newspapers and fresh ink and forgotten letters.

Turning down the offer of a bookbag at the library and stumbling to the desk beneath a precarious tower of hardbacks, searching through endless pockets for a library card, talking to the librarians about school and movies and summer reading lists. Deciding last-minute to go to an open mic, shoving instruments into the car, reading off a piece of paper for an audience of three and letting them applaud even when the harmonies are more than a little shaky.

Drinking expired hot chocolate and taking pictures of odd little paintings, watching a convenience store sign shine through the rain, cheering for both the overconfident karaoke singer and the uncertain poet alike. Running across the freezing parking lot and still being the last ones in the classroom, fighting headaches and dropping pencils, waiting for a ride home and lamenting over the certain fact that we both failed. Untangling earbuds and stretching out across the ground in the pale sunlight, ignoring the glances of passing students, lining up interesting stones along the edge of the sidewalk.

Wandering with a camera into unexpected places, catching a smile from a stranger, a sunbeam between two road signs, an angry admonishment from the woman in the gas station. Feeling the familiar jolt of empty railroad tracks beneath car tires, piling into the outdated one-room apartment and collapsing on the couch, nearly suffocating beneath siblings and faded throw pillows. Sharing sandwiches and mixed conversation amidst a comfortable sort of quiet, falling asleep to the sound of a humming air conditioning unit and low, familiar voices as they discuss everything and nothing at all.

Those blink-and-you-miss-it moments were the heartbeat of the everyday, slipping quietly away with an unnoticed ease, forgotten until they fell suddenly still.

neapolitan

(happy death sentence— nanowrimo month
i wrote a thing
enjoy
also weez inspired this thank you weez)

photography of burning camp fire

“This was a mistake.”
“I like it Kate.”
“It won’t wash off fast.”
“It looks good on you, Kate.”
“I’m an idiot.”
“You’re a lovely person, Kate.”

She places the dyes on the bathroom floor, tousling her soft, freshly colored hair. The white and pink are fascinating to look at, contrasting with her natural brown– but it’s too bold, too quick, too soon, what would everyone say? What if they laughed? What if they even noticed?

“I’m scared Dad.”

Her father lifts his head from his work, filling out a dozen reports for the small precinct he was assigned to. “And why is that?”

Kate points to her head. “I look like a clown.”

“No,” comes the reply, void of any actual opinion. “You look very unique and interesting.”
“Nobody respects interesting. I want to be liked.” She leaves the messy hair paints on the slightly stained floor, shuffling to the ancient couch across from her dad’s desk to vent her woes.

“Mom’s gonna be so mad. She might shave my head in her sleep.”
“Your mother won’t try. I’ll talk to her about it.” Her father closes his laptop, reaching out to pat her cheek. “I really do think it’s lovely.”

Kate smothers a smile underneath a face-plant into a pillow. “Well. Uh. thanks.”

They glance at each other, two members of a mostly decently split family. They share the same brown hair and green eyes, same sharp chin and quiet face. Almost identical copies, if you ignored the pointed nose, perfect eyebrows, curly hair, straight teeth.
Those were all her mother’s doing.

“Did you talk to the lawyer about transferring custody?” She tries not to sound hopeful, but there’s a small glint in her eye that can’t quite be dimmed.
Another feature from the missing person in their family.

Her father seems to notice this, and his eyes avoid Kate’s as he fiddles with his paperwork.

“I have to meet up with the Sarge for a briefing. Maybe next week,” he replies reluctantly. He arranges his stray papers and props them up in a nice flat little line.
“But by then Mom’s gonna pick me up and drive me to Charleston.” The corners of Kate’s mouth turns upside down, a small sigh of disappointment creeping into her voice.
“I know.”
“You dislike briefings.”
“I know.”
“Then why–“
“Bills, Kate.” Her dad opens up a drawer and places the stack of papers inside, standing up. He treads on creaky carpet to the kitchen, leaving Kate sprawled on the couch.

“But–“
“You’ll understand.”

His voice comes out wearily, resignedly, and Kate hears it with distaste in her gut. She shakes her hair out of her face and follows him, sliding around on taco patterned socks on the kitchen’s marble floor.

“Yeah, well, I don’t.” She crosses her arms, leaning on the kitchen table as her dad pulls out a soft drink.
“Neither do I.” He raises the can, and Kate swipes it from his hand after one swig to chug it down for herself.

They burp in near unison.

“Then you’re just a liar,” Kate mutters in cherry coke breath.

Her father says nothing. He lifts a uniformed arm, stroking her hair with a roughened hand. “Looks real nice on you. I like the ice cream thing you were going for.”

Kate half-heartedly raises her shoulders. “Whatever. Mom’s gonna be ticked.” She turns away, taking the can of coke with her. “Why’d you have to break up again?”

She’s heard the response a million times, but her mind insists on hearing it again. The cold finality of a judge’s gavel swinging hasn’t stopped ringing in her ears. The mom sized gap in this house is raw and empty and she hates it.

Her dad could’ve stopped it. He’s stopped so many other horrible things before.

“That’s– That’s not fair, Kate.” Her father pinches the bridge of his nose, arms leaning on the table. “And you stole my drink.”
“I’ll give it to you if you answer the question.”

She almost feels bad at the sound of a tired sigh, but she daintily sips the carbonated sugar regardless.

“It just didn’t work.” He whispers these words like a sacred secret, confessing some little known sin.
His priest scoffs.

“Please. You swore forever.”
“And forever wasn’t enough!”

His hand collides with the table, voice rising beyond his seriously quiet good cop tones. Kate drinks, unfazed.

Her mom could never understand why she wasn’t terrified or upset at her dad’s occasional explosions, just like she never got Kate’s own tendencies to scream the night away, but they did. That’s probably why they got along so well. What was anger if not to release it dramatically?

“Forever. Forever implies the existence of enough, Dad.”
“Tell that to the judge, Kate,” her dad sighs. He straightens the knocked over water bottle that toppled over in his outbreak, stepping around to pry a half empty can of coke from Kate’s hands. “I’m gonna start a fire outside if you want to join me.”

The sound of heavy feet walking away is paired with the sipping of a sugary drink encased in a light metal cylinder, which Kate absentmindedly registers as her father walking away.

She watches him from the window to the backyard, grabbing kindling together. Kate chews on her lip.

Okay, maybe she was too hard.

Her father is casually chatting with a neighbor over the fence by the time her converse covered feet land on the patio. “Yes, it’s a lovely night. Fire’s really calming.”
The neighbor nods. “I can see that, Dave– my goodness. Is that Katherine?” They squint over her dad’s shoulder at Kate’s small, wiry self, curled up on a patio chair. “What an interesting child. And her hair.”

Her dad chuckles. “She just dyed it this afternoon, like that ice cream, y’know.”
“It’s neapolitan, Dad,” Kate can’t help adding. Dave winks at her, turning to their bemused neighbor.

“Well, it is quite the creative choice,” they agree. “Y’all enjoy yourselves now.” They give a little nod and return to their own backyard haven, all aglow in citronella candles.

Kate feels a tiny ping of pride pop up as her dad joins her around the fire pit, watching the sparks fly.

“See? You look just fine, Kate.” He leans back, breathing in the smell of stars and smoke. They sit in the silence, the fire crackling into light.

She grabs a stick to poke into the ground. “Can we do this again next next week?”
Her father raises his eyebrows. “Maybe.”
“Can we get some ice cream?”
“The three-flavored horror you like so much?”
Kate sticks out her tongue, flapping her similarly colored hair in the wind. “Neapolitan’s me. It’s a me flavor. And it’s like, so good.”
“It would melt from the heat.”
Dad.

Kate mock sighs in all the power of exasperation, trying to capture the feeling of night and fire and grass and hair dye, the sad grin on her father’s face when he softly tells her

“I’d have neapolitan every day if I could. God knows if I could pick I would.”

Kate shrugs.

“Back atcha, Dad.”

She twirls a finger around her colored locks and watches the fire burn.

spare change for the jobless? even a dollar helps. i can write more stuff!