By Soren Narnia

When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher asked me to sit next to a handicapped kid named Sean and help him along a little if I could. It wasn't easy, because he was quite slow, but I tried. When Sean got especially excited about something, or if he was told he had done something well, he would smile and shout out nonsense words. One of them I remember, which he used to shout many times over the few months I sat beside him, was "Sorinarneeya!" Again and again, it was a harmless word he used when he was happy, and seeing my puzzled expression would just make him say it once more, even more pleased than the first time: "Sorinarneeya!" For some reason that word stuck with me for years, until one day as an adult I realized how neatly and curiously it cut in half. And I thought that was so perfect, how this little gem of a thing had sprung from a bit of the absurd and a bit of the tragic. That seemed like all of life to me: momentary bits of perfection out of all the absurdity and tragedy. And amazingly, they just keep on coming.

Twitter: @sorennarnia


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Those Snowy Nights You Read to Me, They'll Never Be Forgotten

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A Listing of the Holdings of the National Museum of Romance

In December of 2003, the National Museum of Romance in Tristia, New Jersey, closed its doors due to lack of funding. On December 14, the public came to bid on the artifacts in the museum's permanent collection, fascinated by the stories of passion, yearning, and heartache behind each item. From the longest breakup letter ever written (214 pages), to the movie prop which represented true love for an actress who died knowing it only on the screen, to the lawnmower used to fashion one of history's most time-consuming and comically aborted marriage proposals, the museum was filled with the evidence of ordinary people who became extraordinary in the thrall of desire. Poignant, awe-inspiring, and sometimes just plain funny, the artifacts described within these pages were highly coveted by those who came to buy them that cold winter's day--especially by one secretive and jaded bidder who arrived ready to give up everything to reclaim his past.



Roll! They Cried
Some ballplayers have their glory fade slowly, some stick around just one season too long. Then there's Ben "The Blemish" Glinton, whose catastrophic failure in the biggest game of his life tainted his middling career and everything that came afterwards. Years later, a chance meeting with a young fan opens his eyes to the possibilities of APBA Baseball, the time-honored tabletop simulation game which Ben sees as a vehicle for reputation rehabilitation. If he can master the game, stage a tournament of top players, and coach his simulated self to victory through the intelligent management of dice, cards, and charts, he can finally know peace. His obstacles to regaining his past glory include an irritating training regimen under the watch of a mysterious APBA guru, a cross-country journey in a vehicle unfit for even driveway travel, and a collection of fellow board game diehards whose friendship makes it rather tough to concentrate on ultimate victory. The comic novel Roll! They Cried is a light-hearted salute to a lifestyle which has consumed thousands with its benevolent opportunities for athletic greatness in miniature.



Tyrant, Draw Thy Sword
The year was 2007, and conditions in the Joke, one of the most squalid and dangerous housing projects in America, were at their worst. When its residents were displaced through a deal to sell the land to a predominantly white Christian university, tensions in the community rose to a breaking point. Finally, a televised debate about the crisis led to a Congressman's unforgivable public slur, and a civil rights leader's shocking act of martyrdom. It was then that the last remaining citizens of the Joke--gang members, drug dealers, and desperate men turned remorseless freedom fighters--vowed not to give up its deserted streets without a battle to the death. Told as an oral history from a distance of two decades, Tyrant, Draw Thy Sword is a grim snapshot of a December night when this country watched its troubled divide between cultures become tragically violent.



Signs Pass By
When data analyst and closet comedian Calvin Tarby enrolled in depression treatment at a facility in the middle of nowhere, he was prepared to slog through six long weeks of isolation. But then he was tipped off to an unexpected perk of the program, and suddenly the barren winter fields all around him no longer held him completely captive. This is a story of unscripted travel via the kindness of strangers, and facing tough odds with a lightness of heart and a fierce spirit of adventure. With sketches by Kimber Petersen.



Song of the Living Dead

The zombies rose, they walked, the world went mad, and then the zombies laid down again--all without committing a single act of actual violence. Song of the Living Dead uses the words of scholars, politicians, and baffled eyewitnesses to recount the days of the strangest plague in this country's history. The restless dreamer Lionel chimes in with his own account of his travels with a close-knit group of survivors seeking freedom in the post-zombie chaos. The difficult choices he faces in a new America which has shocked him with its inability to unite in crisis become far more frightening when the dead rise once more. This time they are not so docile, and Lionel must try even harder to understand the design of an absurd universe lost in the realm of B-horror movies--and more vivid real-life tragedies.


Whatever You Find Within You

Whatever You Find Within You is a romantic comedy of both solemn longing and bumbling confusion, and the rather fine line between the two. When an unread love story by the great nineteenth century Icelandic playwright Dari Stanislad is discovered in 2011 by the brain trust of an educational institution of dubious reputation, numerous obsessed parties squabble like overstimulated chickens over its vast financial and intellectual significance. Just one problem: the play is incredibly awful, and promises benign ruin on all who dare turn its lousy pages. In no time, The Cobbleswoddler's Tale becomes a magnet for literary chaos--but on the plus side, it does bring together a pair of lonely and frustrated academics with fading dreams, wildly different opinions of romance, and a strong desire to get as far away as possible from Dick's Notch Community College.



3:13 a.m.
It is 3:13 a.m., and now the human imagination reaches out to places and yearnings that it shies away from during life's daylight hours of quiet desperation. The brief parables, random episodes, and emotional wanderings within these pages act as a repository of all that can be felt and dreamed when the night is dark, the soul is alone, and our thoughts become uncaged until the first blue of dawn ends the spell.




Sketch of a Bird in Flight
This poignant novella follows young Tobin Millane, lonely outcast and reluctant gunslinger, on his run for survival across the Kansas prairie in 1881. His desperate travels lead him and his silent partner into violent conflict with the bandits he stole from, the law enforcers who see him as nothing more than a lowly thief, and the wrath of a brutal Midwestern winter. Yet in the midst of his hopeless situation, a single ray of beauty unexpectedly touches his life. Created by a genius more famous than he will ever be and pursued by a murderer more infamous than he could ever imagine, a coveted artwork becomes Tobin's final reason to fight on. Sketch of a Bird in Flight is a fable about the nature of courage, an ode to the immortal longing within men to reach for greatness at a cost that often cannot be endured.



Witherheart
A lone U.S. soldier stalks the burning ruins of a Baltimore slum hours after its total immolation by fire, hunting its sole surviving citizen for one purpose: to deliver a revenge which has festered for three decades and cost thousands their lives. Thus ends a love story. Beginning in Germany with an intimate confession of passion and ending with a disastrous military action to capture America's most wanted enemy, Witherheart traces the struggle among four men to take possession of the mysterious secret of eternal life. When a tortured immortal, blinded by his love for an unattainable woman, attempts to end his solitude through extreme means, it touches off a perpetual chain of vicious reprisals. Two fathers and two sons are slowly torn apart, and the social fabric of America itself is threatened as both heroes and villains lash out from the shadows of their tragic isolation.


Wanderings


The Knifepoint Horror Podcast
Knifepoint Horror pays homage to the most primal element of storytelling--a single human voice describing events exactly as it experienced them. These are first person narratives from agonized souls, minus all the stylish techniques which tend to dilute, stretch, and burden tales of terror with unnecessary detail.
Listen to the Knifepoint Horror podcast on iTunes now or online here .
Download a PDF of the entire collection



Loft
For seven years around the turn of the 21st century, America was enthralled by one of the most intense sporting competitions ever invented. The game of Loft demanded extraordinary precision, athleticism, and daring, rewarding only those who made a total physical and intellectual commitment. This is the story of Loft's rise, glory, and controversial disappearance from the sports landscape. Its history was defined by the efforts of two men: its enigmatic creator and its indomitable, single-minded superstar. When their dreams came into conflict, Loft took on greater meaning, reminding the world of both the heartbreak and beauty of being unable to hold onto great things forever.

Joke Meets Ground
When you don't know what to write, make easy jokes at the expense of others, archive them, repeat, slap the "blog" label on it, move on.

New Players Welcome Here
An audiobook. One manís fictional reminiscences of his time working for a board game company populated by dreamers with endlessly creative designs, all brought to the world through the recklessness of a CEO who understood ambition and adventure far more than dice and cards. (85 minutes)

My Poem About Kicking Your Ass
Last but not least, this is my poem about kicking your ass.



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