Thomm Quackenbush, author

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    Xenology: A Trans-Girl on the Boys' Unit

    As a residential facility for boys adjudicated by the courts for a variety of crimes, the addition of a girl to the unit creates expected chaos.

    Our girls were not born with the bodies they want. The state takes a black-and-white approach to the occasional fact of transgender residents.

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    Q's in a Pod: The Unpresidential Debate Edition

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    We discuss the first presidential debate, which was far from presidential.

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    Xenology: A Light through the Forest

    If you tell them you are going to kill yourself, they will bring the police to your door to forcibly institutionalize you, or so the legend goes. I would never dare to tell the operators that, even if it were true. I am the grown version of the little boy who refused to tell anyone he had chicken pox because he assumed it was a fatal disease and didn't want to be a bother. It was nobler to die without being a burden on loved ones.

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    Xenology: My Students' Lives Matter

    If you are looking for an easy agreement with whatever you believe about the Black Lives Matter movement - pro or con - you won't find it here. I deal with young black boys on a daily basis, all who have committed crimes to be sentenced to six or more months in residential placement. My students are the likeliest to be in front of a police officer's gun, if not today than soon. They have a combination of brashness and bravado, mixed with so low a societal rank that they feel they can only survive by committing crimes.

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    Xenology: A Little Slice of Heaven

    As we are dancing (or rhythmically swaying without moving our legs too much owning to Amber's still sprained ankle) to Patty Smyth's "Warrior," I have the realization that I am happy. I don't particularly care about Patty Smyth, though I am amused that my town could book her for our tiny street fair - this speaks more to Patty Smyth's current career than the hipness of my town. She lectures the crowd to put away their cell phones. "I promise you, I'm going to sound better tonight than I will tomorrow on Youtube." In retort, even more people begin filming her set.

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    Q's in a Pod: "Getting the Slip" by Thomm Quackenbush

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    A live recording of Thomm Quackenbush's story "Getting the Slip," from the anthology Find What You Love and Let It Kill You. Narration by Thomm Quackenbush and Amber Haqu.

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    Xenology: A Creature of Epiphanies

    I am a creature of epiphanies.

    As a child, I spent some weeks trying to read. I learned how one night while drifting off to sleep. Before bed, I was illiterate and confused. Shortly after pondering why "A T" meant at, I was completely literate. To my tired brothers, I proceeded to spell every word ending in "at" I could think of, then moved onto other letter combinations. Once my reading module activated, everything else was figuring out pronunciation and meaning. (Diphthongs initially caused me to stumble, but I took to word roots like a duck to water.)

    I did not learn how to ride a bicycle by degrees but rather, having failed a dozen skinned knees, I internalized the basics when my older brother pushed me down the driveway. I saw my only options as learning finally how to ride a bike and slamming against a parked car. After my frantic pedaling inspired gyroscopic motion enough to keep me on an even keel, I was apprehensive about getting off the bike again in case my sudden ability would vanish, so miraculous did my new ability to ride my bicycle seem to me.

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    Xenology: Pokémon Go Outside

    In what is sure to become one of my most quickly dated entries, I would like to defend Pokémon Go.

    I am posting this two months after I joined, after all the initial excitement has died down. Updates (like actually being able to trade with and battle other players or group events to fight legendary Pokémon) may lead to occasional spikes in interest, but the wave has crested and rolled back. I am not invested in the hype reinvigorating.

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    Q's in a Pod: Human Progress Edition

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    You can't come after people for what qualities you are attracted to. Is this why human progress is ebbing? .

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    Xenology: Monday Morning of the Year

    Now is the tradeoff for two months where I am able to pursue my writing in a more or less full-time capacity (though usually "full-time" only amounted to three to five hours of focused work five or six days a week). I wonder what I could achieve if I were left to my own devices even longer. I nakedly envy those who are able to sit and write all week without having to interrupt their flow with more tangible work, but I have yet to earn that. I am not certain I ever will.

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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On B&N
At Double Dragon