Monthly Archives: May 2013


Friday Photo — On the Road

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Last week I went out and about…  ROAD TRIP! Actually, I was mostly just heading out to meet family in Syracuse.  But there are a lot of cool places between our house and Central New York…  I didn’t have time … Continue reading

Neglecting Things — a #row80 check-in #WIPpet Post


A not busy bee

A not busy bee

Busy! Busy busy busy!!

It’s not a complaint.  Imagining a better couple of days could prove difficult.

In my perfect world, I’d have gotten more writing done and not forgotten to practice guitar three days in a row.  But I have a newly tuned piano, and I played my first waltz on it last night–and it sounded like real music!  😀

As the title notes, it’s time for another #WIPpet post and #row80 check-in.  So let’s get on to those now….


The #WIPpet blog hop comes to us courtesy of K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse.  Writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that coincide somehow with the date hoping to attract interest and helpful commentary.  As with any skill, writers improve with feedback.  Feel free to comment; I appreciate any time and consideration you are willing to give.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t write much of anything new this week.  So I’m going to continue from last week’s WIPpet post and give you fifteen paragraphs of Swan Song (most are short, one sentence things).

The Guard commander harumphed something. “Good thing.” The man took a hearty swallow of his own mug and then smiled back to him. “Whatever else your decision to become your own man may end up doing to my career, you’ve certainly given me a few days of good clean entertainment, Andarniis. Courting a Hastorinii!” The man chuckled again. “And here I’d been under the mis-informed opinion that your father hadn’t even chosen you a First Lover…” The man stopped chuckling when Alanii began to look off in distress. “You have had your First Lover, haven’t you?”

Alanii pursed his lips together then idly scratched at the grain of the table. “Not as such… Father had tried finding me one, but it… it didn’t work.”

The guard commander leaned forward slightly. “How so?” Then as Valichii came back from the bath house to rejoin them, nodded to the Hastor. “Congratulations, corporal. It’s not often your House sees its daughters attending the court of the Higher Houses.”

Instead of smiling as the man had earlier during their visits with the Lanii fosterlings or the few times they had been mentioned Vissellii during their afternoon together in the jeweler’s quarter of the city, Valichii grunted. At least the man left it at that and drew up his mug to drink and listen rather than say whatever had inspired his sudden pessimism.

Alanii sighed. He could imagine the Hastor must have heard something as he was approaching their table. Or perhaps he’d figured out the problem already on his own. It wasn’t as if the man didn’t know most of his private affairs. He glanced apologetically to the man, then returned his attention to the guard commander. “I can’t touch most women. It…” He tried to think of a word that could describe the sensation. Pain didn’t fit, nor did repulsion, though it was something of both and more. “It’s just wrong.”

Instead of confusion the guardsman just nodded. “I imagine. And the Hastorinii, she…isn’t wrong?” Before he could answer the man raised a finger and added, “I do know about the ‘tianii you shared with your cousin Atara, my lord. Are you saying you are Called to Vissellii Marae as well?” There was something of an eagerness in the man’s tone that said this would be a wonderful thing.

And of course Alanii could only deny him. “Not that I can tell. At least I don’t feel the same sort of draw to her that I remember feeling toward ‘Tara.”

“Perhaps it’s a lesser link?” the man asked.

Alanii could only shrug. “Maybe. But if it is, it’s much less. Certainly nothing I can actually sense as one. She isn’t there in my flesh the way ‘Tara was even when we were apart. Vissellii is just there when she’s there. Pleasant enough, and she’s gorgeous…” He cocked a glance with something of apology in it toward his friend. “I know I didn’t do things according to tradition, but I wasn’t about to treat her so… so crassly. Whatever ties might or might not end up Calling us to each other, she deserves better than to be assumed my mistress, from me and others.”

The Guard commander listened quietly this time and only nodded when he’d said his piece. “All excellent reasons to choose one’s lady, my lord. But the fact you haven’t taken your First Lover is going… Well, if you mean to honor this relationship and your word to her and her family, you’ve got to fix this now.”

Alanii nodded. “I know.” He wasn’t exactly looking forward to the idea. Not that the idea of losing his virginity bothered him, but the fact that he had set so sudden and brief a deadline on its happening. Such a limit meant hiring a whore and dealing with whatever discomfort that touching the woman with all his body, not only a hand and perhaps his lips might entail without having any chance of stopping until the act was done and over. It meant that he could feel his flesh was being burned from his body for all the world would care. Until he’d performed the proper social rituals, his words to the Laninii and to the Hastor were little more than childish fantasy at best, outright lies at worst.

Lanilis Kailiis glanced over toward Valichii. The Hastor was trying to not frown. “You aren’t bothered by this, corporal?”

Valichii shrugged, but there was an abruptness to his gesture that suggested anger. “Alan meant well, but…”

“I meant what I said, Val,” Alanii said quietly.

The Hastor’s dark-eyed gaze met his stonily. “Where you think we’re going to find you a whore that’ll not offend your delicate sensibilities, eh? Oh, right… You have her now.”

A younger Valichii Mirniia... and by that token, something of a younger Valistii as well.

My drawing of Val

There you go!  Thanks for taking the time to read it.

ROW80 check-in

The title says it all…  at least where writing is concerned.

I have to wonder if my excursion out to see family last week wore me down more than I thought.  I felt vibrant and energized on Friday night when I came home.  Then I flumped all day Saturday, reading and playing video games.  Sunday I managed my blog post then spent the rest of the day with family (no bad thing there).  I read more, typed in old notebook writing  and gathered ideas for more stories.

Since that Sunday post, I have done about the same.  Yesterday I attended a Findlay Cockrell concert (ironically, he is called a Swan Song pianist–though he’s been saying “Farewell” since 2006) at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.  Then I went with my husband and son to a rockclimbing/caving gym.

If I needed more inspiration to get in shape, that place offered it.  I so wanted to share in the experience and fun with the Boodle.  I did try doing some basic wall climbing and read a lot more.

I need to get back to my five sentences.  They were helping, but I let them go for a few days.  Today I will be able to attend #teamsprinty on Twitter.  YES!  I love the energy of a good social writing group.

Goal for the rest of the week, which will be including two more concerts, a trip to the Albany Institute tomorrow, and a trip down to the J. Popp Butterfly Conservatory on Saturday is to not miss a single day of five sentences.   It’s not a lot, but it’s something.  It’s forward motion.



A big thank you to Kait Nolan for the ROW80.  If you’d like to help with our fundraiser for fellow writer, Lauralynn Elliot, head over to the ROW80 blog and donate.  Or buy one of Lauralynn’s books…  You can’t lose there!

Here is the ROW80 linky–go and say “Hi” to some other great writers.


Some Words Sunday–Mother’s Day

Running (cred. Dan Mabee)

Running (cred. Dan Mabee)

A shortish post today–it’s Mother’s Day in these parts.

Mother’s Day in our family is spent doing things for and with the Boodle.  It has been that way since I became a mother, and I have no interest in changing the pattern.

I became a mom through the Boodle’s presence in my life.  What better way to celebrate that fact (especially given the fun we have together)?

The truth is that I have a problem with any commercialized holiday, and Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day fall just under Christmas and Halloween for commercialization in my book.  And at least All Hallow’s Eve and the Winter Solstice have some real historical precedence.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate motherhood, or fatherhood, or parenthood in general.  Honoring those we love is never a bad thing.  Setting aside a special day where people buy cards, take mom out to dinner and tell her how much they appreciate her sounds great in theory too.

I favor the longer term approach though.  Instead of cards and remembrances on a special day–leave me a solitary flower on my pillow unexpectedly, bring me my tea in the morning with a smile, or just come over and hugs me daily.

Oh, yeah…  my husband does most of that anyway.  He doesn’t leave the flowers, but the Boodle brings dandelion bouquets all year.  The hubby comes in while I’m working and rubs my shoulders and tells me I’m beautiful regularly.

Who needs Mother’s Day when one has all that?

Spring kittens

Spring kittens

Then there are those who have no concept of a special day for mothers.  It’s not a worldwide phenomenon, but I was thinking a bit more local… as in our deck.

See, we have outdoor cats.  You may have read some of Shan Jeniah‘s posts about her semi-feral cats.  Well, because of the winter ick and life happening here, we missed our chance to get their sister, Punkin, spayed in time.

It was actually quite funny when I found that out yesterday.  Creamsicle met me on the stairs,  all love and mews and leading, as she tried to lure me over to the nest, a “Come–come see the grandkids!”  Even Grandpa Beauty has been a lot more civil lately.

Punkin wanted none of it.  All wild animal instincts triggered by new motherhood, she hissed and yowled from behind to try to draw our attention to her and away from her babies.  Thing is, the silly girl made her nest right in front of the sliding glass door on the deck….

Just outside the window

Just outside the window

We moms are pretty funny sometimes.

ROW80 Check-in

After all that great news the last few check-ins, I almost feel depressed by this Sunday’s.  Of course, I spent two days driving out to Syracuse to spent time with family.  My grandmother turned 90 on Thursday.  My grandfather is in a nursing home (not quite on death watch but we know all the time we have with him is borrowed).   And the same ick and steady series of small calamities that kept me from getting our cat fixed in time also kept us from making the trip out (especially the ick, as Grandpa is on antibiotic therapy).

After a time, phone calls and letters just aren’t enough.

I did bring my laptop; I did get some editing done and I wrote some journal entries.  I didn’t write any new fiction at all.

Along the drive, I took time to stop off and see some new places that we usually don’t have time for during these trips.  Instead of the highway for the whole drive, I took rt. 5 from Canajoharie to Utica, and grabbed pictures along the way.   On the way home, I detoured down toward Fayetteville and passed by my Great-aunt Pearl‘s former house.

I even gathered up the courage to knock on the door of the lady who owns it now and introduced myself.  We had a wonderful talk, and in the way patterns repeat, I can see how she’s becoming much like my great-aunt once was.  I wonder if her brother has a daughter too…

Dungeon Office

Dungeon Office

I also took some time to hike the trails at Chittenango Falls and had supper in the “Dungeon” of Beardslee Castle.  Not much writing time, but lots of fodder for the future…  And despite the sitting and driving, I made my ROW80 Fitness goals for the week.  😀

I almost wanted to be depressed by the lack of writing, but… as you can see, I can’t.  It was a good week.

I hope whatever your Sunday brings you, it is good.