The solidity of earth keeps me grounded even as I traverse realities
As Maya weaves through time and space, she experiences many alternate worlds. She writes about the people and places she encounters in her stories. One such alternate world is that which Svevi inhabits, the world of Svevi Avatar. The first stories of Svevi Avatar take place in the land of Constantina.
And so the pandemic began five years ago. With Qingshan, who did not even know what had found a new home within her. She sits quietly at one end of the long table. The only Chin person in this ominous room. It would be better if she were not present here in this Meeting of Conclusions. Bitter words of the recent pandemic agitate her most vehemently. So much so that her anxiety resonates with my thoughts and emotions.
Constantina – Land of Settlers
Constantina has been a site of power struggles and growing nationalist fervor since it was occupied by invaders from Europa in the 1600s. For decades, Constantina’s settlers have been taught to believe in their racial and cultural superiority over minority communities and their neighbors beyond Constantina’s militarized borders.
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“And that is why our work is not finished, Constantinans. The enemy still surrounds us. They still try to snatch away our liberties. Why should we let the savages tell us how we can use our lands and our rivers? Why should we simply accept the borders they have imposed on our nation? And why — why should we allow those Godless barbarians to tell us how to worship?”
From the Novel
Svevi Avatar: Persecution of Constantina
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Discover the world of Svevi Avatar through the hearts and minds of its characters.
14 October, 2020 — Changing Winds 6
Bunim took a long look at the mesmerized crowd below the balcony and then turned firmly away. He had had enough of the adulation and meaningless rhetoric. Bunim leaned on his stick and walked toward the main road. As the crowd’s clapping and shouting became quieter, he heard a different kind of sound behind him. It was the tapping of sharp heels on the cobblestones. He quickened his pace, trying to ignore the surge of pain in his leg. The tapping increased in frequency. Whoever it was behind him was following him.
9 September, 2020 — Changing Winds 5
This is what Bunim disliked so intensely about politics. The art of empty speaking that most of the politicians seem to revel in having mastered. Why it was a skill to utter words while saying almost nothing of substance was unfathomable to him. It saved so much time to simply speak one’s mind and to tell the truth. As he stood there listening to Paul up there on that balcony, he felt revulsion filling his mouth and throat. That little man’s vacuous words were as distasteful as his condescending manner. Why the people around him were so beguiled by him, Bunim didn’t understand.
24 August, 2020 — Changing Winds 4
The cobblestones of his childhood glistened beneath his shoes, as Bunim made his way to the center of town. It was still early morning and people were already hurrying along the streets. They were going in the same direction as he was: toward the Governor’s summer residence. It was one of the only buildings in this part of Cardiff that hadn’t been torn down when the town had been run over by the big city dwellers. He was not looking forward to having to attend the rally. Even though he was a senior government official, he didn’t care much for politics.
17 August, 2020 — Changing Winds 3
Supporting himself with his walking stick, Bunim climbed out of the boat. The little marina on the southern side of Cardiff had grown quite a bit in size since the out-of-towners had arrived a few years ago. There were many boats anchored to the sturdy wooden pegs built into the wooden boardwalks. In his childhood, there had been one solitary boardwalk. Now, five of them crisscrossed each other. Bunim strolled down the wooden path, breathing deeply of the fresh air on the southern outskirts of his home town. He walked toward the center, passing by the institute.
10 August, 2020 — Changing Winds 2
How Bunim envied the river, for it didn’t seem to be swayed by the vicissitudes of human existence. There were times when he wished he could just give himself over to the waters and float away without a care. But duty called. He had to be in town in time for Paul’s appearance. It would be unseemly for him not to make an appearance when his men were required to. Bunim sighed and began to walk slowly toward the little motorized boat that waited for him down the river.
1 August, 2020 — Changing Winds 1
24 July, 2020 — Split in Two
Some days are more difficult than others to be two people at once. What a surreal land I live in, where the person I am inside cannot be the person I show outside. At times I envy the people of my town, most of whom haven’t set foot much beyond our walls. But my daily reality is a different beast altogether. For when you work with the Constantinans, your personality needs to be as pale as their skin. Otherwise, they feel uncomfortable and insecure, and you risk losing your livelihood.
18 July, 2020 — Qingshan’s Zeal
I have no patience for laziness. I have no compassion for weakness. It’s very simple: if you don’t have what it takes, then you don’t belong here. There’s no sugar-coating it. I’ve been proving my whole life that I’m better than all of them put together. So they have no choice but to recognize my abilities. After all, they’re the ones who tout this as being a meritocracy. If it isn’t, then don’t prevaricate.
11 July, 2020 — Paul’s Pleasures
I’m the Governor’s right-hand man because I’m good at what I do. Those losers who whine about how I got to where I am because of white privilege are just jealous because they don’t have what it takes. People love me. I’ve heard many of my fans tell me that they feel like they could just grab a drink with me and chill out. That doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s my particular brand of magic.
9 July, 2020 — Beatrice’s Peeve
I do what I need to so I can survive. I’m not going to apologize for it. Different people are born with different gifts. Some can throw a ball really well. Some are great with their minds. Well, I was born with beauty. So why should I let that go to waste? What’s the difference between someone using their brains for gain and me using my looks?
29 June, 2020 — Bunim’s Doubts
Should I now question the dream our Founding Father had for Constantina? We built our settlements with hard work, but now I learn that we were misled. Does this mean that our very foundations are rotten? Should we let our patriotic pride curdle into clumps of guilt and grief for the lies we believed and the suffering we caused?
19 June, 2020 — Kasin’s Struggle
I don’t know what waking up to the certainty of security feels like. When I open my eyes each morning, the first question that enters my mind is how will I have to alter my behavior today, so that others don’t feel threatened? How will I have to speak and look so that I appear less than what I am? Less strong. Less dark-skinned. Less different. How will my hair offend? How will the way I speak be mocked? No, I don’t know how it feels to feel secure with being who I am.