Monday, April 21, 2008

Ch'i Lin and the Cup - A Flash Story

The following story (500 words) won 2nd Prize in a Flash Contest at Whim's Place in 2006. I thought I would share it with my readers:

Ch'i Lin and the Cup

SHE REACHED OUT and took the cup, her eyes closing, shutting the world out. She would not see the edge as it touched her lips and made bitter the sweetened rice brew that sealed this pact. Her red veil was raised, but her heart was far from the moment. As the acrid cooling brew washed bitter over her tongue, she recalled her childhood—a recollection that had ended with that brutal cup and this heartless pact.

“Ch’i-lin,” came the voice. “Are you here Ch’i-lin?”

She was here. She felt the gentle breeze of the kitchen on her cheek, although she stood in the parlor surrounded by guests. She had left her father at the door with the many gifts for Master K’ung—gifts that matched the family’s expectations. She had left her mother down the road, peering over the wall, tears of mixed-joy standing in eyes like water bags on a mule’s back, stubborn to flood her arroyo cheeks. Ch’i-lin was content behind her father’s walls, content to be just a girl, flowering and useful to mother’s chores, her sister’s games and her father’s doting. Life for those who have the misfortune to be born bereft of testicles are distracted by those who had them; and those that had them had cash and good connections.

Ch’i-lin felt the kitchen’s breeze and she knew that her new mother stood in the portal planning the life of her new charge. Life for a childless woman was set, even at the age of thirteen; and childless Ch’i-lin would be. They all knew that. She heard that voice again—Ch’i-lin, but instead she heard the call of the kettles and woks, the buckets and the carry-poles. She had a strong back—her gift to the union as no issue would be coming. She shuddered and for a moment she wanted to answer the voice.

“I am not here. I am in my father’s gardens sewing daisies to my mother’s skirts. I am singing to the willow and making my erh-hu sigh to the west wind. I am watching the rain kiss the bean fields and praying to the radishes as they quake from the soil. I am there, but never here. Never here.”
The kitchen breeze and her new mother’s voice cawed. “Drink and make it so.”

Ch’i-lin opened her eyes and swallowed. It was a hollow choke—a bitter vision. Beyond the toil of her new life, her husband sat slumped in a muddle beside his mother. The rice wine slurped to his chapped, blackening lips; the drops beading down his sallow cheeks like grease from a roasting duck.

The corpse wore crimson raiment, silks much finer than its skin. Soon it would wear white funeral robes hosting another ceremonial. But first—this one; the one bonding two properties in peace and civility. Ch’i-lin shuddered and her childhood and maidenhood passed along with the cup—the cup that made her the widow K’ung and a mule to her new mother.

Edward C. Patterson

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cherokee "Talking Leaves"

To me, readers and writers are a single unit. My motto has been "From my mind to your imagination." Reason: My work is not complete until it connects to a reader, and the reader needs to invest themselves in the book to complete it. My writing, like Koontz's writing, and King's, and Dicken's and Twain's, and Thucidides' . . . is a time capsuled communique.

I am Cherokee and my people call such things (the written word), "talking leaves" because they surplant the human voice and quietly whispers their messages across time. They are alive beyond the writer. Perhaps that is why the Cherokee were the only Native American nation to create a writing system, so they could convey the unspoken like new leaves in the wind.

Despite the economics of success or failure, as long as I have committed worthy stories on those eternal leaves, and as long as a reader picks one up and completes the process, my creative circle can be closed. We all dream of selling books like hotcakes. I still have that dream about my epic work, The Jade Owl Legacy, but in the end, everything that I deem worthy from my pen will be released (published, if you will), so they can seek a reader's imagination to complete them. I need no longer exist to do it. Our written children take on a life of their own and graduate to new care through adoption.

Edward C. Patterson
A-wu-di A-gv-lv-s-gi (Medicine Flower)
Bobby's Trace the Cheese Irish Need Apply

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rainbow Reviews Gives No Irish Need Apply 5 Stars

Rainbow Reviews Give No Irish Need Apply 5 Stars

The following is from Rainbow Reviews on my novel No Irish Need Apply:

"No Irish Need Apply by Edward C. Patterson is light homoerotic contemporary romance.
Kevin and Louis may know what prejudice feels like, but otherwise their childhoods are vastly different. Kevin has always gotten along fine at school where as Louis has always been treated with disdain and thought of as gay. They saw each other at school, but never really met until Louis is assigned as Kevin’s study partner. Louis has always known that he is different and he hopes that Kevin is that way too. Kevin has always done what is expected until he meets Louis and begins to have strange feelings for Louis.

As Kevin begins to explore these feelings, they both realize that slogan No Irish Need Apply relates to their situation more than they care for. Neither Louis or Kevin are truly out of the closet about how they feel for one another or their sexuality. Will they find the strength of will to acknowledge their feelings out in the open or will they like many people be doomed to deny their true selves?

Mr. Patterson has created an incredible story by linking it with prejudices that happened earlier in the century. By using this analogy that many understand from their study of history, it allows the reader to see how modern day prejudice effects people in the same manner it did years ago. I think that Kevin and Louis were very brave to stand up for themselves and in doing so they may have helped other young people in their same situation. I find this story very compelling and a must read for anyone who doesn’t understand how bigotry can effect people. I will be looking for other stories by Mr. Patterson.

Review by Teresa"
Rainbow Reviews

No Irish Need Apply

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bobby's Trace Reviewed by Rainbow Reviews

The following review of Bobby's Trace was posted at Rainbow Reviews: (4 stars)

"Perry suffers unending grief at the untimely loss of his lover, who isn't quite as gone away as Perry believes.

Bobby's gone: bright, sparkly, creative, lovable, never-miss-a-trick Bobby, and Perry, Bobby's survivor, cannot cope. He's not sure whether the odd experiences he's encountering, which constantly remind him of his loss, are positive or negative. He just knows the grieving won't end. Some experiences aren't accountable for by the natural laws of physics, and while those around Perry scoff and attribute them to troublemakers, deep down Perry knows better. His beloved is still reaching out to him in love. However, the living seem able to still anger the dead, and a deceased spirit can wreak job havoc for a computer programmer. Poor Perry: trapped between the unyielding, unforgiving rock of grief and the hard place of exorcism of a spirit whom he loved in life.

A subtle and wry humor never detracts from the intensity of the characterizations, which rather unfold like the peeling of an onion to reveal unexpected layers and depths. The characters belong in the category of "more here than meets the eye at first" and indeed, so does this story, which left me happy I had chosen to read it.

I was also left with a quote that quite blew my mind and provoked thought: "The fiction is never gone when you're in the closet." What an encouragement to do as Socrates recommended and be true to ourselves!"
Review by Frost's Fancy Rainbow Reviews
Bobby's Trace is at

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Three Novels Published on

Come visit your friendly on-line bookstore for a copy of one of three of my latest titles. Follow the yellow brick road:

Bobby's Trace (Kindle Edition)
No Irish Need Apply (Kindle Edition)
Cutting the Cheese(Kindle Edition)