Tag Archives: Val

Declaration and a Tuesday Snippet (on Tuesday even!)

English: penulis = writer

English: penulis = writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of you have likely heard of Jeff Goins and his book You Are a Writer.

If you haven’t, he’s a stand up guy who Tweets about writing, blogs about writing and generally encourages other people who love writing.   And he has something going on over at his website called the 15 Habits of Great Writers (we’ll leave the debate as to whether Plato or Aristotle or even Homer considered themselves great writers to the experts).

Today was Day 1, and the mission was toDeclareas in “Declare yourself as a writer”.

Well, here’s mine: I am a writer and I love chocolate.

Hmm, that chocolate part just snuck out there.  Oh, well…  😉

But seriously, I am a writer.  Those of you who have read my blog know that I have written a fair amount and many of you have said you like what you see.  So the question of course then becomes…  Why am I not submitting this stuff to a real publisher?  Or why am I not taking charge and self-publishing?

Jeff hit it in one when he said (as if he was reading my mind along with so many others out there):

Unless…

Unless, of course, you are like most of us and you’re afraid. You’re hesitant — for some reason or another. Maybe someone told you you weren’t good enough or that you didn’t have what it takes. Maybe you’ve told yourself those things.

No, this isn’t new news.  Not really.  But I think the reason that it resonates so well and so true is that we often lose focus of how much we can do (and do well) for doing all the things we think we should do.  I know I have.  And I know that many people I’ve met have, telling me how they had to wait until the kids were grown up or they graduated college  or bought a house or….  well, basically any number of things that some societal dictate or overcautious maxim preacher drilled into their minds as stuff that MUST BE DONE before one could “let themselves” explore their passions and talents.

So, yes, I am a writer.  I am also an artist (I have posted some of my drawings here before).  And I am also a photographer.  Amateur all three…  however, that is simply a matter of financing.

What are you?  What do you want to be?  What WILL you be?

And now for the

Tuesday Snippet

When we last left Acaria, we had Atyr volunteering herself on ‘Listii as his passenger  for his flight back to the capitol despite the fact that neither of them have been able to speak about the disconnect that had broken into their lovemaking last night.  Does ‘Listii want to bring her back to husband?  And what of Val?  Does Alanii know what sort of arrangement the brothers have with his wife?

Atyr arrived at his car just seconds after he did. He’d managed to gather his own papers as well as some from ‘Mara for the Council.

A call to the Complex had settled another concern.

She smiled as he helped her up the steep first step. “Thank you.” With a brief look around, she accepted the seat he offered her. He watched as she fumbled with the harness a moment. Then she dropped the straps in disgust. “Could I be any more inept! What am I doing wrong, ‘Listii? I didn’t have trouble like this in ‘Mara’s car.”

He took the controller’s seat next to her own and smiled. “Military and civilian models of these older cars were designed differently. Here. Watch how I do it.”

It only took one example for her to fix the tangle she’d made and strap herself in. He was glad. There were some things that even a call to his main base couldn’t stop. Touching her again so soon….

For the first few minutes they traveled in silence. She spent the time watching the departing Home out the window with a small, appreciative smile. He could understand the sentiment having starred in awe more times than he could remember at the wild beauty of his brother’s land.

When the island was out of view behind the clouds, she sighed. “I know I’m being intrusive, ‘Listii, but I need to talk with you—about something that happened last night…and this morning too. I was some straight answers.”

He frowned, checked his controls and glared at some bird splatter on the window. He’d just managed to quell last night’s memory under another notch of control, and she wanted to talk about it? And straight answers…. Who did she think she was dealing with? He’d never misled her before this. Why would she even think such a thing of him now? “Some straight answers? About what? Just because I’d rather not risk getting you pregnant, you–“

What?” She whirled from where she’d been staring at the clouds to meet his gaze. Her expression was one of disbelief and confusion. “What are you talking about?”

He blinked, realizing he’d spoken too soon. He adjusted a dial a touch then shrugged. “You said you wanted to talk about last night. I just assumed you meant–“

“Don’t.” She sighed and leaned back in her seat. “I admit. I was curious about that, but that was your business, not mine. And, if that’s why, well, I understand. Who knows how things would happen since Val and I are called and you are so similar to him.”

He nodded. “My thoughts exactly. We know ‘Lir is Val’s son for certain now, Atyr. He’d understand, but Riia wouldn’t have.”

“She may have. But no matter, I’m not ready to risk being pregnant again either.”

“So what did you want to know?” He felt more relaxed than before with that easy acceptance of his feelings. More confused as well. He glanced at her curiously.

She wasn’t smiling. “Last night Val sent to me, ‘Listii.” She paused and started picking at a hangnail. “And the way you held me back after we stopped tearing your bed apart makes me wonder if you are as talented. Alanii says you are.”

He looked away to the window and his controls. Val’d sent to her…. Damn him. And how in Hell did Alanii figure it out? “It’s nothing, Atyr. We’re just sensitives.” Goddess forgive him for the lie. He realized he had no hope that Atyr would forgive him. It was clear she already felt as betrayed as his wife had before she died.

“That’s not what your brother’s priest thinks. And I have to agree with him, considering. No small talent can be hidden the way you and your brother have hidden yours. Nor could someone with a small talent block out a trained priest after three weeks of guastu the way your brother nearly threw that poor fi-Harnii across the room with his shielding. What I want to know is how long you’ve known about your talents.”

He pursed his lips together, uncertain for a moment. She knew the truth already, at least the truth that could hurt him or his kin. What she wanted to know…. It could only hurt her now. “We always have. At least we’ve known since Father told us as children.”

She was silent for several moments, long enough to make him look at her. She’d started sucking on the finger she’d been worrying earlier. Her eyes were moist with tears that hadn’t escaped yet. She noticed his gaze. The first tear fell.

“Why, ‘Listii? He told me how much he wanted to share mindtouch with me, how much he wanted to touch my mind the way I could his. He told me how much he regretted that he couldn’t! He lied to me! He lied to me, ‘Listii. Why?”

She wasn’t really listening for an answer. He knew that. There was no way she’d even hear him through her wails unless he yelled at her. That wouldn’t help anything. He left her to her tears a moment, not sure of what to say anyway.

Finally she began to calm. He waited a bit longer then spoke.

“He didn’t lie to you, Atyr.”

“He said he couldn’t do it!” The tears started again.

Clearly he hadn’t waited long enough. He shook his head. “He couldn’t.”

“Bullcrap! He has ability enough to do so without even thinking about it. He lied to me.” She sniffed heartily. ” I’m over that, I guess. But I’d hoped for better from you, ‘Listii.”

He looked at her after flicking down the speed to a hover and switched on the autopilot. “Why expect better from me than him, Atyr? Val would never have hurt you like–“

“He lied!”

“No, he didn’t. He said he couldn’t. That wasn’t a lie. Having an ability doesn’t mean one can do something.” He resisted the urge to get up and comfort her. A silent prayer of thanks was in order for his office. Seldom did they adjust his levels so well. Normally he wouldn’t be able to resist the pheromone drive to her when she started crying.

Likely he’d have to have them cut him back when he reached Yiira. At least he would survive this trip moderately unscathed.

She was silent, watching him carefully out of the corner of her eye. “What’s gotten into you, ‘Listii?” she muttered more to her chair and hands than him.

“What do you mean?”

“You were never so distant before. I thought I could talk with you about anything. You always said I could. I thought we were friends.”

“We are, and you can.” He resumed the car’s acceleration.

“But you–“

Forcing himself to not snap at her, he still decided to cut off her insinuations before they grew more fanciful. “Just because I’m not over there coddling you, Atyr, don’t mean I care any less than before. I’m trying to fly the car and avoid a collision with those peaks over there.” He motioned toward the Estanes. “And I don’t need you damning my brother or myself for something we didn’t do wrong. Val never lied to you about his talent. He said he couldn’t do things. He couldn’t. Our father swore us to secrecy about it long before he met you. We could only use it with kin–bloodkin, Atyr. Father, our children, not even cousins. Our father’s father had done the same to him. Val and I did the same with our sons.” He sighed. “Why he sent to you is anyone’s guess, but he shouldn’t have. I’m sorry you are hurt, but Val never lied to you.”

She was staring at her fingernail again. It was bleeding. “And just when was I supposed to find out?”

“Never.”

She looked up to meet his gaze this time. “Never?”

“Never, Atyr.” He sighed. “Look, it’s done, for good or not. I’ll deal with it from here. Enjoy the knowledge you if you want now with him. Maybe Val was saying he accepted you fully as one of us. Congratulations, Atyr. You’re fully Hastor.”

She turned to the window. “Take me to Katsdaniis, ‘Listii. I think I need to be by myself for a while.”

Something about her tone made him cringe, a finality that said he’d handled this situation no better than he’d handled things with Riia during those last days.

All his levels set, every adjustment fine tuned…. It didn’t matter. He felt a burst of panic that broke through his caution. He reset the autopilot, tossing away the the thought that he shouldn’t rely on that sketchy programming job Kariin had done for him last month. If he’d cursed himself to an experience with her like he’d suffered after his wife’s death, it didn’t matter if all the damned machines worked right or threw them into the blasted sun. Then, disengaging his harness, he moved over to crouch next to her. Even with all the controls on him at maximum, this close he could feel the press of her, the quickening of his own body to hers.

Strange how easy it was to notice the chemistry between them when his own was being so carefully adjusted by the office. He added to his own personal barriers and reached over to touch her hands gently.

“Atyr, I’m sorry. I should have known better, but…. Well, it’s not something I’m used to talking about.”

She moved her hands away. “No doubt.”

He tried again. She squirmed from his touch. He sighed and undid her harness despite her attempts to stop him. When she was freed, he grasped her arms to her sides and drew her up to him. Then, because she held her head turned away from him, he blew her hair gently from her ear. Leaning in till his lips touched her earlobe, he began murmuring gentle reassurances, while he nipped softly at her flesh. Giving a small leash to his own talent, he teased her mind’s brittleness with ghostlike touches till she began to relax, soft coos of pleasure escaping her lips.

She turned to kiss him.

It was electric even with his controls in place. He loosened his mental checks just a touch more. He owed her that much.

Suddenly she froze again, the brittleness returning tenfold and pressed him back with a strength that her small frame belied.

He regained his balance just before he landed against the console. “What was that about?”

Her expression was stern. “What are you, Valistii Mirniia? Does sex solve everything for you?”

He blinked. “Who mentioned sex?”

“That wasn’t a fond brother to sister hug.”

“You seemed to be enjoying yourself enough, Atyr. If it works–“

He realized he’d misspoken again only second before her hand rose. He didn’t try to block the swing. Too little effort, too late, spent on the wrong thing. His vision spun as she contacted, the sharp burst of pain suggesting that he check his jaw later.

“You asshole.” She sat down and buckled herself in, crossing her legs defensively despite the venom in her tone. “Bring me to Katsdaniis before I have Alanii shoot this damned car out of the sky.”

This time he didn’t fight it. He took her to Katsdaniis.

Well, there you go…  I really love this particular scene.  What do you think?

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A Mini-Mash and a Tuesday Snippet

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.

English: This is Saipradeep ravipati working a...

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 because I’m completely befuddled by Copyright Law, with thanks to Shan Jeniah, I post this: Copyright 1, 2, 3, and 4 (and the series goes on…here is a list of the entries and podcasts)

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.

“Silah?”

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.

A Little Something and a Tuesday Snippet

I missed my Tuesday Snippet last week.  I must have been in another world of some kind.  By Wednesday, I completely had forgotten I had missed it.

I thought Life had been pretty easy on me.

Well, here I am, still late, offering an apology to you all.  Sorry.  I’m a ditz.  Not only that…  I’m a ditz who writes.  Very dangerous!

Now that all the supplications have been made allow me to add “I have nothing to say today” as the majority of this post.  That’s right.  I’m posting about nothing.  I’m posting a snippet and deliberately NOT filling you all in about the events of the past few days.  Mostly because they’ve been sucky, but also because I’m still trying to figure out what actually happened.

Do you ever have days like that?  When suddenly everything that seemed to have been going well just dissolves into emotional sludge and you feel like you’re drowning in some subterranean ocean (no air pockets here, btw)…

Oh, and just for the fun of it…  Here’s a One Minute Writer piece I wrote today for the “Clothes” prompt (to describe the most comfortable clothes and make the reader “really feel them“):

They were soft, not quite like another skin, warm in the light of the sun, but allowing the cool of the breeze to drift through, just enough.  There were no lines, no seams…  the colors, the way the weave of the fabric was so smooth that I cannot feel even the drag of the spirals and whorls of my fingerprint.

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