Since tomorrow is officially the next ROW80 check-in, I’m not sure I should bother with a check-in now. I have plenty of time to complain tomorrow…..
One thing I should do, especially given the large number of nifty pages I have been acquiring in my Blog Mash folder is actually share these gems that have inspired contemplation and thought in me. Every once in a while however, it seems prudent. Besides, there are so many wonderful places on the web to explore, this paltry selection should encourage you to find many, many more of your own.
Mash-Up Mix-up, etc.
First we have, courtesy of my software engineer (translation: programmer, a.k.a geek) husband, an interesting rant/piece on what good design means. Matt Simmons makes a very good point that sometimes what we think should makes sense doesn’t mean it will work for the majority of people. Or, that even if it does, that it’s a good idea, since it’ll be that one person that it doesn’t work for that will ruin things for many many others. Good design tries to take into account how people act, not necessarily how they think.
Here’s a cute thing I intend to try one of these days, perhaps: Merit Badger. For one, I love badgers. And two, it’s easier than trying to sew through the things (that backing is tough!). And given how long I’ve been qualified for some of these, it’ll be just like scouts… Or maybe not “just like. I did sew on three of those badges.
For a topic that hit uncomfortably close to home for me and others, I found these pages on male infertility while researching any potential hang-ups that might affect certain characters of mine. Granted neither ‘Listii nor Alanii are actually infertile (just strong affected by their Calls), I began to wonder if sperm count is increased/decreased in a Called man according to connection with his ‘tianiel. Since the connection of a Life Call something that can actually be diagnosed (and somewhat affected by chemical means (see ‘Listii’s situation in the Unnamed Story), I imagine there could be other symptoms of the connection.
For Atyr’s people and what might happen with both the Antianii and Wanderers after the Cataclysm and the Flight, I found this on Natural Gender Selection. As far as it went, reading this made me think a bit sadly on the historical trend of infanticide that probably came from this fact. Where males have traditionally been considered stronger and needed to pass on family names, put stress on the system so that more daughters are born, it follows that more daughters were probably destroyed. :-( Sometimes the research I do breaks my heart.
And for your viewing pleasure… This post full of wonderful links to artwork draws me back to it on a regular basis. I could (and would) spend far too much time in a gallery that showcased these works. I love art that allows me to look again and again while each time discovering a new multitude of details.
And now a Tuesday Snippet
We rejoin Atyr and Val as they try to find some peace and understanding between them.
The priest came in to find them like that. When Val finally heard the man’s discreet footsteps, he eased Atyr away, murmuring a gentle “I love you.” Then he glanced over to the fi-Harnii who was now watching them from the bed with a benevolent smile.
“I pray you will excuse the interruption, but it is the first day of full meditation, Sier.” The man’s tone was honestly apologetic.
He sighed and allowed Atyr and the priest to help him to the bed. “Full…meditation?” He cast both of them a curious look.
Atyr frowned slightly as she wiped away tears that stuck to her cheeks and jaw. “Dreamwalking in the spirit planes, Val. You need to tell your priest about your call with ‘Listii.”
He noted she didn’t mention the talia he held with her, though it was possibly because anyone with a priest’s talent could detect such a link. More likely though she meant that he needed to confess he’d been harboring a mind talent all these years.
As if she’d read his thoughts, she nodded. “Go on, Val. It’s not as much of a secret as you might think. Alanii knows.”
He wasn’t sure he wanted to know how that scamp had figured it out. And she was right. The time for hiding the truth was long past. This wasn’t Tralan where admission of that family secret would have destroyed everything generations of his kin had fought tooth and nail for. He felt a gentle reassurance from the more spiritual planes where he’d been spending so much time of late.
He sighed and turned to face the fi-Harnii, who’d taken a dignified perch on the stool by his bed. The man’s patient expression belied the curiosity of the man’s encroaching thoughts and expectant pose.
The priest continued to wait save for a small “yes?”
There was no pressure from this man. There never had been. A good man. He’d served with him for years, knew and trusted him as well as he did any man. This was still a big step of faith even so.
Well, wasn’t that what all this was about? Faith?
He smiled wanly. “First confession of the day, Silah. I’m talented in mindcraft. Enough to sense strong thoughts and sendings and to send myself, if I….” He coughed and accepted the cup of broth Atyriia handed him gratefully.
She finished for him. “It’s not a strong talent, Silah, but he’s developed it fully. If my guess is right, he’s been dreamwalking alone for the past few weeks already.”
He gave her a brief sideways glance then looked at the stunned expression on the priest’s face.
The priest sat silent for several moments then reached a hand over and wrapped cold fingers around his wrist. He felt his shielding pierced before he could bolster it. Natural reaction forced the man’s probing mental touch away and out of his head before common sense stopped him, suggesting that the priest had done this for a reason.
The hand holding the cup shook. Warm liquid splattered on his bedgown before the cup was lifted from his hand and both Atyr and the priest were helping him lean back on the bed.
His own defensive reaction had nearly depleted him beyond noticing. All he felt was gentle flows of energy from them and a soft urge to sleep. He opened his eyes with effort and looked at Atyr.
“Mouse?” He barely heard his own voice.
She looked at him curiously. “Yes, Val?” She’d begun brushing his hair back from his face with light finger touches. Her expression was serene.
That reassured him. If she wasn’t worried…. He closed his eyes and relaxed to the lull of rest their sendings encouraged.
Atyr watched as Val drifted into the dreamstate far more peacefully than many she’d seen before. She smiled knowingly at the priest. “I was right.”
The fi-Harnii had begun his preparations for sharing the meditation with Val, but he paused long enough to nod. “Yes. And that is no small talent he holds either. In such a weakened condition, I wouldn’t have expected him to have cast me out so swiftly, or easily.”
“Hmm?” She helped move Val’s arms into a meditative pose.
The priest shrugged. “You’ve clearly felt him use his talent before this–”
“Only once, last night. I’d never detected it before this.”
The priest nodded. “Think of the strength it takes to hide such a skill, particularly from a witch of your caliber, my lady. For a man to shield himself and his family for so long….”
Her gaze narrowed. “Come now, Silah. Val wouldn’t have kept that a secret from me.” Alanii’s words rang through her thoughts, now sounding ill-considered. She glanced at Val, his stoic expression revealing nothing even in his state of mental enhancement.
A flicker of his right eye lid–barely a twitch–and she felt something faint akin to an apology touch the back of her mind. No regret, simply an admission of the truth.
He had hidden the knowledge of his talent from her.
She sighed and drew back her hands to her sides. “When he comes out of it, tell him I expect to hear from him, Silah. I must visit Katsdaniis too though, and I might as well get that out of the way while he’s busy.”
The priest nodded. “Certainly.” Then, before she could say more, the man had taken a seat at the edge of the bed in contact with Val.
So, secrets upon secrets… The Hastor are living up to their reputation it seems.