Tag Archives: Swan Song

Uncertainty – a ROW80/WIPpet post

Well come to my little internet home (well, one of them…  this is more like my apartment in the City I stay at to avoid the congested daily commute)!

It’s Wednesday again.  Time for another ROW80 check-in and WIPpet post.


I’m not worrying about directly linking to the WIPpet today.  As I made a Sunday post, I don’t have a lot to report.  I’ve written , but most of it involves paperwork for my son and very little creative work.  I guess it’s  good to be exercising other mental muscles.

pottery bowlsReading has gone well.  I finished I Shock Myself by Beatrice Wood last night, and though I prefer to not write reviews, I will say I liked the book a LOT more than I thought I would.  Impulse buys, especially in the book world, seem to suit me, if not the walls and floors of our house.

I’m getting somewhat excited about this new project “Some Thing (4) Sundays”, I’ve started.  For the first time in too long, I am finding myself looking forward to blogging.

Lastly, ROW80 Fitness…  I’m getting out and moving about more again.  The ankle has healed well and walking no longer hurts.  I’m seriously out of shape though.  I used to be so flexible, but these days,  I creak, muscles protest, resistance proceeds any movement…  Bleh!  I’m thinking of taking some yoga classes.

Have any of you found your body staging a coup d’état against your mind lately?


First, let me start with a song.  For a long while, Hearts by Yes seemed to fit in the world of Swan Song (although I wasn’t sure where).  I first thought the character is most suited was Val (‘Listii’s twin brother), but as I grew to understand the dynamic in the family Hastor and the world in general, I realized it really was Alanii’s song.  It always had been.

Now onto the WIPpet…  Date, date… Oh, yeah…  September 11th.

Let me give you eleven (small) paragraphs from Courting the Swan Song…  the beginning of the draft as it stands so far.


Dressed in a black leather jerkin over a sun-washed brown linen blouse and breeches that had been washed thin in several spots, the Guard at the entrance to the recruitment pavilion settled back to his cautious perusal of the men in line as soon as he barked out that order. Trying to not look as bored as he was after three days of this duty, the man clearly had no interest in standing at attention for any amount of pomp and circumstance.

PavillionsAlanii looked about to see if the man who’d been in front of him for the past several glass had made his return from the jacks, then surrendered to the urging of the men behind him. Uncomfortable with usurping the other man, he pulled his jacket closer around him and stepped forward.

The Guard focused on him now. Alanii looked at him briefly, then into the pavilion. The interior lay just to his left, dark enough to add to his uncertain mood. Was he making the right choice?

The Guard, instead of resuming his bored perusal, looked again at him, and Alanii forced himself to meet the man’s gaze, knowing it would do him no good to attract the man’s curiosity further. He certainly didn’t want to give the man a chance to recognize him before he did what he came to do.

“In there?” he asked, lowering his voice some so that he might sound older than his years.

The Guard smiled with a touch of indulgent consideration. “In there, lad. Our Katsdan is the man with the red hair.”

Alanii nodded, though he’d known that much. Indeed, he probably knew as much about who Katsdan Lanilis Kailiis was as the man in front of him. “Thank you,” he said, and his throat hurt him from the effort it took to keep it low and gruff.


“Your name?” The man looked at him across the rough plank table someone had creatively made for this occasion out of a few loose boards and two stacks of straw bales. Both the Katsdan and his companion had looked at Alanii with calm expressions when he’d entered the Royal Guard’s makeshift recruitment pavilion, but now the man’s manner seemed stern and uncompromising. His gaze narrowed, a sense of dissatisfaction growing as Alanii hesitated. “For the official records, lad.”

Military identity disk (“dog tag”) of the Germ...“And for these,” added the much shorter of the pair. The man looked aside for a moment as he gathered up a small forged medal badge and held it aloft. “You’ll be wearing this in your breeches from now on, so if there is a need, we can identify your corpse.”

The Katsdan flashed the second a scathing look, one that would have made Alanii cringe were he receiving it. The smaller man only shrugged and set down his treasure on the plank table in front of the pair. With a sigh, the taller of the pair nodded. “My aide is correct. If you do die on the field of battle, son, we need something to identify your body. A record of your death needs to be made by the Elder in the histories. And we’ll need to know where to contact your wife and children.”wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0

As always, a ginormous “Thank You” to to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for her hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to visit other #WIPpeteers at our linky.  We love company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques.

Photo credits:

  • pottery bowls (Photo credit: Ronmerk)
  • Pavillions (Photo credit: Velorutionary)
  • Military identity disk (“dog tag”) of the German Bundeswehr (1961) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shifting — a ROW80/WIPpet post

A new month, a few changes in direction and understanding…  and need.  Because of this, the ROW80 check-in comes first today.  For those here to only read the WIPpet, click here to skip to the end.


ROW80LogocopyHappy September!  For some people it is “Back to School” time.  Even here, with our part homeschool, part private school setup, we’re going through changes in schedules and patterns.  The changes are gradual.  The choice to go to school a few days a week was our son’s, and so he’s probably even more careful about making sure he gets to bed on time so he can wake up refreshed for his first day of school next Tuesday than I am.

I’m already missing him though.  The creative streaks that always came around 10pm are fading now–so are the cool discussions that we’d have as we were both settling in to the peace of night.  His thoughts are less on things involving his dad and I…  now they involve his friends from school and his excitement at seeing them again after a summer away.

So to move with his shifting interests, to be available, yet not too intrusive, I’m also shifting.  My new schedule for the blog represents and element of that change.  As I haven’t been spending a lot of time with photography this summer*, I’m dropping the Friday Photo series completely for a time.  I’ll, instead share a photo here and there, as I always have, in my regular posts, which will include a renewed Sunday post each week.

Little pieces

Little pieces of Past and Present

I’ve also noticed another shift in my writing as Swan Song calls me back from my fan fiction world.  Today’s WIPpet comes from the third book of the series; although my recent Five Sentences additions have been to the first book in the series, Courting the Swan’s Song.

My writing goal from now until the end of ROWnd 4 is to finish Courting and have it sent to beta readers in January.

And while I’m at it, I will be working on my edits, beta reads for other people I’ve committed to doing, and lots of reading.  My newest in the “I’m reading this now” pile is The Dreaming Game by Philip Kundhardt, Jr., a memoir about his mother.  Along with my reading of I Shock Myself by Beatrice Wood, I find myself once more drawn back to the amazing women of the early 20th Century.

I find myself wishing I knew more about my great-aunt Pearl, about my grandmothers, wishing I’d lived up better to their dreams that I’ve so often shared….

And realizing I still can.

And that’s something I didn’t write in my check-in last week.  I guess I needed a week or so for the epiphany to sink in fully.  But I realized after the challenges of trying to bring my husband into the joy that our son and I find in the Unschooling Conference each year and watching the joy our son shows towards his approaching time at school with his friends that I’m not obliged to make everything in our lives about “us“.

While increased family connection is one of the perks of, and even one of the reasons we chose, homeschooling, there is no rule that says I cannot do things for myself, alone if need be even.  All my choices don’t have to be dictated by a “is this right for the Boodle or for our family”.  I won’t do anything to hurt them, of course, but I can also do things for myself without feeling obligated to weigh the  potential benefits for everyone else.

This sense of us all being able to share something and yet each have our own specialties seems to fit this cool video that my son and I just watched on Youtube because of his love of the Smothers Brothers and their song “Chocolate“….  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did:

It’s like my childhood all over again.  That time when I saw the wonders of the world and was convinced I could go forth and take them all into myself.

Have you experienced a personal revelation lately that is changing your outlook on life?  If so, what are you doing about it?

*the massive virus scare of a few months ago that destroyed a good portion of my software kind of dimmed my passions there and I haven’t worked on it enough to rekindle it yet, though it is slowly rebuilding


Hi, fellow WIPpeteers!  If you read the ROW80 check-in section, you already know that my writing focus is once again shifting back to the Swan Song series.   I chose today’s piece because it reflects the sense of inner and outer changes I have experienced.  It involves Alanii during his first command mission.

In celebration of our new month of September, the ninth month, I am including nine (smallish) paragraphs from the third book of the series.  Right now I’m calling the book “Ensemble”, but that probably won’t stay the title.

A full breath, two passed, then the man sighed. “You… shifted, sir.”

Alanii stared at him. He knew what shifting was—or rather what it was supposed to be. As far as he knew the shifting ability had died out of his people generations ago. No one had (rightly) wanted their children to pass along such wild blood, and the few shifters that had ever been seen were often slain in the cradle well before his own great-grandsire’s birth. “Don’t be daft, man. I don’t have that ability. No one does anymore.”

Wolf and shadow

The senior Hastor shook his head. “Clearly someone in your family did, sir.”

Alanii didn’t want to accept it. What would it mean for him to be the child that survived the cradle? He didn’t want to accept—but he did.

He looked down at the small scar that now they could all see on his chest. Perfect alignment for his heart… He’d had it for as long as he could remember, and no one he’d asked had been forthright with answers as to how he’d gotten it. He swallowed and looked back up to the Hastor.

The man nodded. “The men are upset with your father, my lord. Not you, but I know you can sense their discomfort.”

That broke through his shock enough. Alanii coughed slightly. “My father made the choice he felt was best. The men have no say in it.” Nor do I, for that matter… “If they wish to express their disapproval, they can address it to him directly. But they’d best find a way of not reminding me how much they wish he hadn’t kept me for the rest of this trip.”

The Hastor’s, both Hastors’ eyes, as well as the cook’s. Vartanian opened his mouth as if to protest, then shook his head. “It’s not that at all, Alanii.” The man’s expression turned as fatherly and nurturing as he’d seen at times when the man was dealing with family. “Not at all. We don’t mind what you are. We mind that it was kept from you. Without your knowing what you are, your father put you and all of us in danger. I—We understand why he wanted to hide it from the other Houses, but hiding it from you and the Guard was foolishness on his part. It’s lucky that we found out here where none can tell.”

Alanii had to agree with the man’s logic on that. He understood the strength of the Guard’s Oath well enough to know his secret would be safe among them. His father’s actions… Had Vartanian really called Father foolish? Oh, they were foolish, but… Alanii sighed. “I understand. What… what do I do now?”

As always, a huge “Thank You” to to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for her hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to comment here, and visit other #WIPpeteers at our linky.  We love company, comments…  even gentle critiques.

And how about you?  Have any grand changes become part of your life lately?

Photo credits:

  • Little Pieces  cred. Eden Mabeee
  • Wolf and shadow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rest Stop — a WIPpet/ROW80 post


Wednesday evening here we are… Time for another WIPpet post and ROW80 check-in.

Today is the 7th of August, so here are seven lines for your reading pleasure from Swan Song, third book of the series (still working on the name).

For this WIPpet, I am taking you  back to Vissellii and ‘Listii as they are leaving home to head for the market.  This scene happens before Meeting and after Finally Gone.   ‘Ssellii has taken her brother to one of the small gatherings of houses that the migrant Holder farmers that help her family in the Harvest seasons.

Instead of getting upset, ‘Ssellii sighed. It could have been far worse, she figured. And so, she walked over, uprighted the empty pails and poured the remnants of the tipped pail into the wash basin.

Washing basin

Then she retrieved the full pail from her brother’s unresisting arms. She didn’t trust his stumbling step to not spill the water everywhere as she had him move over to the trench hall.

She’d chosen this Holder House specially once she’d seen it for its trench hall. She would deal with outhouses and streamside washing when she had to later. For now she had access to shelves and spare sponges and clothes… and a seat to sit her brother on that would keep man from collapsing in his own offal if he became off-balance while relieving himself.

Maintained and promoted by K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse, #WIPpet writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to comment here, and visit other #WIPpeteers.  We love company.


I took days off.  Many, many days…

The first Ferris wheel from the 1893 World Col...

I was supposed to have had a First Friday Photo post this past Friday.  I didn’t have any inspiration for the post, nor did I have Photoshop up and running for all the neat pictures I’ve taken lately.

Most weeks I’d feel somewhat guilty.  I don’t this one.  My husband took the week from work.  We’ve gone out for a “date day” of walking in the woods and a visit to The Great Escape yesterday.  We’ve had some home time, some television togetherness time, some…  us time.  I missed my sponsor visits on Monday because we didn’t have internet access in the house when I didn’t have to be driving my son places.  Mondays are busy days for us.

I got a lot of exercise (walking around amusement parks and trying to not spend any money on park food is great for weight loss, trust me…), a lot of reading done…  and even my five sentences a day.

What wonderful things have happened in your lives this week?

Photo Credit:

  • Washing basin (Photo credit: Ahoova)
  • The first Ferris wheel from the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)