Tag Archives: Creative process

When is a Dance…

I considered not posting anything today, since I’m likely to be abysmal at returning comments or visits for the next few weeks (and I haven’t been great at it as it is lately).  But I will try my best…  I promise.

This week I have eight smallish paragraphs (1-9 for the 19th of April).  It’s from Marche in the Swan Song Series.  It’s part of a smallish “I’m not sure it belongs” scene that came to me when I was thinking about my one character ‘Listii (the ‘he’ in this scene) and how in the eyes of many people around him, his transformation from childhood to that of a mature man with wife and children in the matter of a few days.  Of course, it’s more nuanced and gradual than that, but, despite living with him all his life, these people don’t see the inner developments happening the way most family members see their children/siblings grow and change over time.  Vissellii (the ‘she’ here)  and ‘Listii are two of a set of triplets, and yet… she’s seeing who he is for the first time.

It’s a common thought these days as I watch the news and read biographies…  when do we stop being the child and suddenly become the adult.  Frankly, I still feel like a teenager a lot of the time.  But even beyond that, because I do a lot of reading about the darker sides of humanity…  where do they start?  Is this something that has always been there?

When does this…  become something…  different?

Her brother, instead of watching the dishes, was moving, slowly, almost ritually. Dance moves, yet more. She watched for a moment, marvelling at his balance and control.

She’d seen him being taught to dance and known he would know how to dance… perfectly mimicking the same way he’d been taught it, as with everything. But she’d never expected him to actually dance. Knowing moves was very different than knowing how to move, how to adjust for differences in the ground or proximity. Though he wasn’t following his steps perfectly anymore—she could see several places where he’d have had difficulty with a partner, at the moment he was really feeling the dance.

But she had to smile some, picturing his poor imaginary partner. The woman would have broken toes, shoulders and likely a jaw to match.

“You might want to imagine you have a partner with you, ‘Listii, before you disappoint some lady horridly.”

He paused mid-move, holding his pose so perfectly balanced that Visse could not imagine any statue so solid and yet so fluid—as if ready for flight. The only move was when he cocked a brow at her before replying. “I was.” He set his foot down, standing solid again. “You thought I was dancing?”

She wondered if she shouldn’t leave well enough alone, suddenly realizing those imagined injuries had been intended.

She should have realized that, as malleable as her brother had been through most of his youth, the House Elders would have found him the perfect tool for their private wars with the other High Houses. Emotionless, able to follow an intricate set of directions without needing repeat instructions…

Damn them for turning this… this heartbroken, lovelorn young man into a murderer!

As always, why not head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members after you’re done here.  And while you are there, wave “Hi” to Emily Witt, our gracious host.



Yep, I’ve definitely got this day late thing down. Just need to watch to make sure I don’t get as good at the “and a dollar short” part.

I’m not doing Wednesday ROW80 check-ins this Round of Words, so these few intermittent WIPpet posts I make are going to be all story. Okay, maybe story and some odd thoughts on a few links.

Plastiglomerate — via The Scientific Fisherman

Like this one…  because I have been seriously trying to imagine what it would be like to be the ‘next species’ on a planet that had perhaps suffered a huge die-off event (say, something post-WWIII apocalyptic experience on Earth or something similar) and to be finding these: Rocks Made of Plastic on Hawaiian Beaches

I have to admit, after a quick Google search on these, that some are oddly lovely.  Will future jewelers look for specific colors for high-class ornamentation?  Will what we now consider detritus become rare and valued art?

And what will the future think of the society that these ‘treasures’ originated from?  Will there be anything left of our books and recordings that will allow them a glimpse into our wonderfully chaotic and often maddening lives?  It was considered a huge boon when in 1973 archaeologists found the first of  what are now known of as The Vindolanda Tablets which include personal letters from soldiers, business people, and even housewives from the 1st century AD.  Yes, archaeologists had found records of lives long before this, not just from Ancient Rome, but somehow those carved letters at the base of triumphal arches and statues just isn’t the same.

An ancient birthday party invitation

Thing is, these are unique resources.  These letters are personal, pieces written by people of the time to share with people of the time…  not a record for the future, not a copied and edited version of an old story.   These are the emails of today and the little notes of less than a century ago written on shaved bits of wood that survived almost 2000 years by chance.

Don’t know about you…  but I’d be interested to know how much of our ephemeral lives will last 100 years, let alone a 1000.    Maybe that’s why I write the stories I do.

Which leads, at last, to…


I should have posted this yesterday. It was picked for yesterday. It’s 12 sentences for the 12th of April, a snippet from The Swan Song Series: Marche (yes, the extra ‘e’ is intentional). Alanii and his aide de camp are the characters, location and time are outside a barn just after sunset on a courier mission.

An evening mist had begun to roll in, far later this evening than it had for the earlier points of the trip. The lack of sun for so many days had finally taken its toll. And, as if the sky were intent on adding its own insult, a soft drizzle, barely more than a mist itself, started.

He stayed where he was despite the sputtering of the torch by the house. His hair began to stick in thick damp hanks to his forehead. Rivulets of oil and traildust and rain began to flow down his cheeks. They stung his eyes. He would not have allowed himself to cry otherwise.

“You should go back in the barn, sire.”

Alanii didn’t allow himself to whirl around despite his surprise to hear Vartanian’s voice. He just sighed, earning himself a taste of gritty water for his trouble, which he spat out promptly.

He could almost hear the Hastor not-smirk, the man’s silence was so blatant.

Hope you enjoyed yourselves today. Head on over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. And while you’re there, give a cheer to Emily Witt for being our gracious host. 😀

And lastly, if you have the time and would like a very nice read:  Please enjoy this little author interview with Margaret Atwood on The Handmaid’s Tale.

Trying Something New

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start back up with both my blogs this year, and after some thought, I’d seriously considered shutting this one down to focus on The Garden of Delights (my “name” blog).   With so much going on lately though, I realized I need an outlet that’s me, but not me.

So, I’m back again with some small “what I’d been plotting for Wednesday” offerings (at least things I’d been plotting before the internet and searching things to do in England just sucked me in for two days straight).  It’s been over ten years since I was there last, and so much has changed, both there and in my life.  This trip, instead of with my husband, will be the Boodle and I, for three weeks of touring and experiencing.  It’s a bit daunting, but magnificent as well.

And speaking of magnificent…  my husband forwarded me THIS in my Twitter feed the other day:

Our Sun in decreasing wavelengths from left to right.

Our Sun in decreasing wavelengths from left to right.

That image definitely got me thinking about how we see our world.  I write fantasy world stories and some science fiction.  What if someone’ eyes didn’t see things in the visible spectrum we as human so often do?  How would the world look to them?  They certainly wouldn’t perceive color the way we did.  They might not, given that more of their senses were probably different enough from ours, feel things the way that we do.

This sort of world where such a small difference—the change between red light or blue light (both part of our visible spectrum)—can reveal layers we could have only imagined.  Look at the last quarter of that image, on the far right, and consider those wave-like features (ultraviolet radiation, if what I’ve read is correct).  Now imagine that sort of energy related to communication in an alien species?

Oh, the possibilities!

And, of course, there are plenty more views to consider.  Here is a link to another picture of a similar type of thing on NASA’s website, with an explanation of why this sort of research is done.

Next thing I’d like to share with you since this was intended to be a Wednesday post (dang you, Internet, for being so delightfully distracting 😉 ) is a WIPpet Wednesday snip of fiction.

We have what-would-have-been Wednesday the 25th of January…  so seven paragraphs (2+5)  minus one for the month.  Six short paragraphs…

I’m dragging this piece my Unnamed Story, which is pretty much always a Work In Progress (WIP).  I keep the notebook next to me for whenever I am having too much trouble thinking of what comes next in my main WIP (a restructuring of Courting the Swan Song).

Valmara reached over and started filling another round of drinks. There was a set to the younger man’s face. His dark gaze rounded their group. Alanii wondered if he might also be thinking about Valistii’s continued absence. Then the man downed his newly poured glass sharply and fell back into his chair.

“She’s going to sleep with all of you—” The man grimaced. “Or is that all of us?” The edge of his voice spoke horror as well as disbelief and awe.

Unsure of how he should answer the young man, he hesitated. While he considered his words, Ytramli and Lan glanced from Valmara to him then to each other.

Well, it's not

His cousin’s expression changed to a dreading knowing. The man’s mouth twitched, opening twice and closing in silence. Finally he reached for the lighter and took several abrupt puffs. At last the man groaned out something that resembled words.

Alanii just nodded. Since it had sounded to him like the man had said “she’s mad” he had to agree.

Lan hadn’t been far behind Ytramli in realizing what they were trying to not discuss. The older man mouthed the cigar he held still unlit. His expression seemed thoughtful. At last he shrugged. “Technically she should, but perhaps your priest will excuse you and she from that rite. Though I question your priest’s wisdom in selecting her.”

As always, if you enjoy what you see, or if you’d like to participate, head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. Emily Witt, thank you for continuing to be our gracious host. 😀