A question for Ryan Fitzpatrick

Q: What would your animal totem be?

A: Totem
noun
a natural object or animal believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and adopted by it as an emblem.
(Thanks, the Oxford English Dictionary Online!)

I’m not sure about spiritual significance, but I can tell you that I have a bit of a thing about sloths. Three-toed or two-toed, brown-throated or pale-throated, I love ‘em all, and if you read my short piece “The Cure for Cancer”, you’ll notice that the slow-moving, moss-covered bradypus makes an appearance right there amongst the foliage, brushing up against the eponymous mushroom itself.

A couple of years ago, when I released my first few solo pieces of music into the world (spoiler: I’m not very good), I chose a cartoon picture of a sloth as the track’s ‘album art’. When I should be writing but I begin to doodle instead, it’s a sloth I draw. And, when I worked in Peru, for a few short minutes I was elated to finally see one in the flesh; a disappointingly shapeless brown blob at the top of a distant tree.

Oh well.

I don’t know what it is about them. I love animals in general, and can barely fall asleep without the soothing tones of a nature documentary somewhere in the background. Learning about the natural world is bad ass, and I suppose I could have chosen any animal to rub up against the cure for cancer in my story. But I didn’t.

I chose a sloth. And maybe that’s enough to make it my totem.


Ryan Fitzpatrick’s story “The Cure for Cancer” will be published on Friday, 1 December 2017.
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A question for Melissa Kojima

Q: What was your favorite children’s book?

A: Do I only get to choose one? That is hard, if only one. When I was a kid, I read all the fairytale books in my library. I couldn’t get enough of them. I also loved “The Boxcar Children”. I think I could relate because I grew up with 3 brothers and 1 sister and I wished we could go on adventures like them. Of course, I loved Maurice Sendak and Edward Gorey too. Their illustrations were just too amazing not to spend hours gazing at them.


Melissa Kojima‘s image “Magic in the Wytchen Woods” is the cover art for our December 2017 stories.Metaphorosis