Oct 23, 2014

Earth - Chapter Forty-five


This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!

Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~ Ch 13 ~
Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~ Ch 23 ~ Ch 24 ~
Ch 25 ~ Ch 26 ~ Ch 27 ~ Ch 28 ~ Ch29 ~ Ch 30 ~ Ch 31 ~ Ch 32 ~ Ch 33 ~ Ch 34 ~ Ch 35 ~
Ch 36 ~ Ch 37 ~ Ch 38 ~ Ch 39 ~ Ch 40 ~ Ch 41 ~ Ch 42 ~ Ch 43 ~ Ch 44 ~



Something was tickling Zephryn's nose. He frowned, eyes still closed, and swatted at it.

There was a soft giggle, and the tickling sensation returned. His eyes snapped open. He must have been more tired than he realized, to have slept so soundly. Chloe was leaning over him, tickling his noise with her hair. She was straddling him as he lay on his back . . . and she was naked.

"What's going on?" he croaked.

"What do you think's going on?" she asked with a mischievous smile.

"I think I'm dreaming a most wonderful dream. Either that or you've decided to kill me in the most pleasurable way possible."

She leaned down further to kiss him, the fine silk of her hair sliding across his face. By this time he was fully awake, but when he reached for her she sat back up out of his reach.

"No," she said, shaking her head.

"No? But--"

Laughing at his expression, she gave him another quick kiss and started on the fastenings to his shirt. "What I mean is, you're not allowed to touch. This is all about me, so I'm going to do all the work. Keep your hands to yourself."

"If it's all about you, shouldn't I be the one doing all the work?" he asked hopefully.

"The work is half the fun," she said, scooting down just enough for him to sit up so she could remove his shirt.

He smothered a groan as she moved down further to start to work on his pants, his fists clenching the blanket beneath him to keep from reaching for her.

"You're taking an unconscionably long time about this. Are you sure you don't want my help?"

She stopped what she was doing, a patently fake look of concern on her face. "If you'd rather we didn't . . ."

"No! I mean, don't stop. I mean--" His breath left him in a whoosh as she ran a finger from the base of his throat down the center of his chest. Zephryn's eyes narrowed. She wanted to play, did she?

The breeze was so subtle that at first she didn't notice it. It swept over her skin, a ghostly touch, just cool enough to make her nipples pucker. It moved in a serpentine pattern, across her belly, up and around each breast in turn. Chloe shivered and looked down at Zephryn accusingly.

"What are you doing?"

"Me?" He strove for an innocent expression. "I'm keeping my hands to myself, just as you requested."

"Zephryn, you--" Her accusation ended in an outrush of breath as invisible hands began caressing her most intimate places. Chloe moaned in pleasure as she arched her back, forgetting she was supposed to be the one in charge.

Zephryn's wind seemed to be everywhere at once, cooling her heated flesh and at the same time making her burn with desire. Pleasure coiled deep in her belly, winding tighter and tighter like a spring until all at once it broke, and she shuddered to a climax, calling out his name.

She was still shuddering with the aftershocks when she collapsed on his chest.

"You cheated," she accused, gasping for breath.

"Yes, I did," he admitted.

While she was still weak from the after effects he deftly rolled them over so she was underneath him and quickly finished divesting himself of his clothing.

"That was . . . amazing."

"I know." He grinned down at her, then slowly lowered his head to kiss her - a lingering kiss on the lips and then a trail of kisses along her jaw and down her throat. He could feel her pulse in the side of her neck beating rapidly still, and continued down the slope of her breast, drawing one taut peak into his mouth.

Chloe moaned, threading her hands through his hair as he lavished attention on first one breast, then the other. Her back arched as he bite her lightly.

"Zephryn!" His name came out as a gasp.

"You have the most perfect breasts . . ." He raised his head to look at her; she'd never looked more beautiful, her face flushed with desire, her hair tousled, her eyes ever so slightly glazed.

"I can't wait. Please," she begged.

One last kiss to the tip of each breast and he moved upwards again. His head dipped down to kiss her lips once more, swallowing her gasp as he slid home. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he stroked in and out, but he kept his pace unhurried, drawing out the pleasure for both of them.

She trembled beneath him, covered in a fine sheen of sweat. He made love to her as if it was the last time they'd be together - for all they knew it might be. But as much as he tried to make it last, their being together was still too new. All too soon his pace quickened, his strokes harder and faster.

"Yes," she gasped.

Somehow he managed to hang on until she tightened around him, crying out his name, and then he let the pleasure wash over him as well. Zephryn slowed, then stopped. Wrapping his arms around her, he shifted so that he wasn't crushing her while they caught their breath.

"I still say you cheated," Chloe said, when she could speak again.

Her head rested on his chest as his laughter rumbled under her ear.

Oct 22, 2014

On My Weirdo Cats . . .



I don't know if it was the weather, which took a turn for the colder and gloomier last week or what, but my cats have been acting really weird lately. Not that they're exactly normal at the best of times, but lately they've been really strange. And it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the cycle of the moon either - the full moon was around the 8th and they were perfectly normal that week. And the new moon isn't until later this week.



Look at them laying there, all innocent looking . . . actually, two of them look kind of dead. But step too close to the spot I keep the treat jar and watch them spring to life.

Here they are doing their zombie impressions:



That picture was taken an hour before feeding time and they were making sure I didn't try and sneak off before they were fed. Normally they start gathering about an hour early, but last week they started lobbying for food an hour and half to two hours before it was time.

So let's take them one by one. We'll start with this guy:



His name is Julius, aka Sunny Bunny. He's the hubby's cat, although he'll purr for anyone, especially if they have treats. He's been spending a lot of time lately wandering around the house, meowing. As far as I can tell he's not meowing for any particular reason, he just seems to like the sound of his own voice. And he's taken to meowing before he goes up or down stairs, like he's announcing himself.

This guy is Dante:



Lately Dante likes to play with invisible toys. He'll be bouncing around like he's found a live mouse, only there's nothing there. He's always been the most aloof of my cats, but last week, especially right after supper (mine, not his), he's been demanding cuddles. On my lap, no less.

You have to understand, these cats are not cuddly cats. They never have been. I blame their mother, Panda (aka Pantaloons).



She was nuts. Totally crazy. She used to chase the boys around the house and tackle them, holding them down while she washed them furiously. And because she was there to raise her kittens, none of them really bonded with the humans of the house, so when she died at five, they were kind of cast adrift. It's only been the last couple of years that Dante has been letting me close enough to pat him, so him curling up on my lap is unheard of.

Now Taz, the boys' father, has always liked the occasional cuddle.



You'd think he'd have taken over after Panda crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but no, she had him too well trained. He was never allowed to have anything to do with his sons - no disciplining them or playing with them - nothing. Now he finds them rather intimidating and they seem to know it. While they don't pick on him or anything like that, they do like to follow him around and try and steal his favourite sleeping places. Good thing he has so many of them.

Lately he's been making a pest of himself. I can't eat at the table anymore because he'll be right in my face, demanding his share. And it's not like he really wants whatever it is I'm eating, it seems to be more the principle of the thing. And he's been pretty demanding when it comes to cuddle time too. We cuddle when he says so, even to the point of getting between me and my lap top. Since he never stays long, it's easier to just give in. Besides, that way I can keep the drool off my lap top. Yes, that's right. He drools when he wants pats. I've never had another cat that does that.

And finally, there's Romi:



Even though the boys are from the same litter, I always think of Julius as the youngest, Dante as the middle child, and Romi as the oldest. He was also Panda's favourite, so he was really at a loss when she died. The other two had formed tentative bonds with the humans of the house, but he never did. And having a lunatic for a mother makes it hard to relate to others. For instance, there are times when Romi will come to me, wanting pats. But Panda would show him affection and then suddenly bite him, so he grew up thinking this is normal. I will start to pat him, and even though he asked for the pats, he'll do his best to bite me.

And there you have them. My weirdo cats. All that's left is The End.

Oct 20, 2014

Macrural Monday

macrural ~ having a long tail

Another Monday. And a dreary one at that. I don't know about you, but for a short week last week it felt extremely long. I'll spare you the brutal details (you're welcome!) but suffice it to say I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I'd hoped to.

And although I didn't get much writing done on the weekend, I did get a crap load of editing done, which was bad for the two books I want to get finished before NaNo but good for the author who received her book back last night.

Man, oh, man it was a good story! I can't wait until I'm able to announce its availability, which *knock wood* should be in time for Halloween. It starts with a woman on a date and ends with a . . .

C'mon, you didn't really think I was going to make it that easy for you, did you? It's full of suspense and drama and it makes you wonder what you'd do when pushed to the limits of your endurance and then one step beyond.

It's written by my buddy Alex Westhaven, and if you want to learn a little more about it, go HERE.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


So . . . originally the rest of this post was about my cats and how weird they've been lately. But it kept getting longer and longer, and when you added in pictures it was way too long for a Monday post. So I guess I have my Wildcard post written for Wednesday. :-)

I was really tired last night, and fighting what was bidding to be a bad headache, when I started this post. So I ended up going to bed before it was finished and took a couple of extra strength Advil. Surprisingly, it worked and I'm feeling much better this morning. And, so far the only thing I've kept from my original post is the title. LOL

I actually sat down and made myself a list this morning. Not like my old lists where I'd pad it with all the little things I have to do - I don't know who I was trying to impress - but a list of things that I'd like to get done today. Like finishing this week's scene for Earth early, and cleaning up my office.

One step at a time. First, I have to change out of my workout clothes and have a shower. I'm freezing! Maybe a cup of tea might be in order too. :-)

Let's hope this is a more productive week for us all!

Oct 16, 2014

Earth - Chapter Forty-four


This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!

Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~ Ch 13 ~
Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~ Ch 23 ~ Ch 24 ~
Ch 25 ~ Ch 26 ~ Ch 27 ~ Ch 28 ~ Ch29 ~ Ch 30 ~ Ch 31 ~ Ch 32 ~ Ch 33 ~ Ch 34 ~ Ch 35 ~
Ch 36 ~ Ch 37 ~ Ch 38 ~ Ch 39 ~ Ch 40 ~ Ch 41 ~ Ch 42 ~ Ch 43 ~



It was still morning. Had nothing happened during Chloe's shift at the mine she would have been home for supper the day before, but she'd been trapped by the mine cave-in for hours and dawn had just been pinking the sky when they were released.

Zephryn looked up from the note in his hand, taking in her slumped shoulders and the lines of fatigue on her face.

"Look," he said. "This dinner is hours away. Why don't you get cleaned up while I fix us something to eat, then you should have a rest for a while."

"I would like to get cleaned up," she admitted. "But I don't think I could eat anything." There was a gurgling noise from her mid-section and she flushed. "Well, maybe just a bite or two."

He chuckled, though he felt anything but light hearted, and hugged her to him, then gave her a gentle push towards the bathroom. Catching sight of himself in the mirror above her dresser, he grimaced at the dust and dirt left on him from the wind and cleaned up as best he could in the kitchen sink. It would have to do.

By the time Chloe reappeared, he had a light salad cobbled together from vegetables that Granny had brought from her garden, and a piece of fish he'd found in the ice box simmering in a creamy sauce. Her eyes lit up when she saw the food.

"It looks good enough to eat," she told him.

"That's the idea."

After a few bites she hummed with pleasure. "You're spoiling me - I could get used to this."

"Good," he said. "I think you need a little spoiling."

"Zephryn, I--"

"No," he shook his head. "No serious talk. Serious can come later. Let's just enjoy our meal and then you get some rest."

"But--"

"We'll talk, I promise. But later."

"Fine," she said with a sigh, then deliberately changed the subject. "Tell me about Ardraci."

"I wasn't there long, you understand, but what I saw of it was beautiful. It was . . . " He looked away as he thought about it for a moment. "If you took a colony of artists and let them design a world, I don't think they'd be able to come up with anything more breath-taking. The buildings are tall spires or rounded domes, which shouldn't work well together but somehow do. There are gardens everywhere, with waterfalls and fountains. There's little industry so the air is fresh and pure."

"It sounds like a paradise."

"It is," he said, looking back at her with a self-depreciating grin. "Which is why it was so hard for those of us raised in the compound to adapt easily to it. Our world was grey and sterile and suddenly there's this explosion of colour and space."

"It must have presented quite the challenge."

His grin broadened. "The earth elementals are the ones who adapted the easiest."

She laughed. "But of course!" Shaking her head, she said. "I must confess I find it difficult to think of myself as an elemental," she stumbled over the word. "I'm still just a miner, albeit a miner with an unusual gift." Her statement was punctuated with a yawn.

"A tired miner with an unusual gift," he said, laughing along with her. "Go get some rest. I'll clean this up."

Nodding, Chloe rose from the table. She took two steps towards her bedroom and then turned.

"Zephryn?"

He looked up from the act of gathering up the plates.

"Could you come with me?" She looked almost embarrassed as she added, "I . . . I don't want to be alone."

"Of course! Now that I've eaten, I think I could use a rest too."

Leaving the dishes, he was by her side in two strides and took her hand. Kissing her knuckles he took charge, leading her to the bedroom. There was just barely enough room for them both on her bed. He lay with his back to the wall and held her back to his front, one arm across her waist to hold her in place.

"This is nice," she said sleepily.

"I could get used to this," he whispered, kissing the top of her head.

There was no reply as her breathing evened out and she slept. Zephryn thought nothing had ever felt so right as he held her in his arms, and at last he, too, slept.

Oct 15, 2014

On Finding Poetry . . .

My book nook is all but finished. I just need to sew up the cushion for my back, find a light source for inside it (because my hubby wants his clip on light back), and stash the boxes I have sitting all around my office in the bench. If I can get all that done by next Wednesday, maybe I'll do a post about it then. But in the meantime . . . I "found" a poem I'd like to share. :-)

This isn't a new poem, it's one I wrote a couple of years ago. Or maybe "wrote" isn't quite the correct word - I didn't write it so much as create it because it's a Found Poem. A Found Poem uses words and phrases from another source, generally some kind of everyday written material (e.g. headlines, lines from a television program, advertisements) but combines them in new ways.

A pure Found Poem (which is what mine is) consists entirely of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

Writing a Found Poem is like an artist making a collage. You take bits and pieces that are pleasing to the eye and join them together to make something new and beautiful. It can really spark your creativity as you put together things you wouldn't normally think of as fitting.

There are all kinds of sources for Found Poetry: Newspaper or magazine articles, books, horoscopes, textbooks, letters, notes, spam e-mails - I even know a poet who created a beautiful Found Poem from graffiti.

I have not been able to discover what the etiquette is regarding citing the source for a Found Poem, however I “found” my poem in the introduction of the book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Wild Woman

We may have forgotten her names,
we may not answer when she calls ours,
but in our bones we know her,
we yearn toward her;
we know she belongs to us and we to her.

A sense of her comes through vision;
through sights of great beauty.
I have felt her when I see
what we call in the woodlands
a Jesus-God sunset.
I have felt her move in me
from seeing the fishermen
come up from the lake at dusk
with lanterns lit,
and also from seeing my newborn baby’s toes
all lined up like a row of sweet corn.
We see her where we see her,
which is everywhere.

She comes to us through sound as well;
through music which vibrates the sternum,
excites the heart;
it comes through the drum,
the whistle, the call, and the cry.
It comes through the written and the spoken word;
sometimes a word, a sentence or a poem or a story,
is so resonant, so right,
it causes us to remember,
at least for an instant,
what substance we are really made from,
and where is our true home.

The longing for her comes
when one happens across someone
who has secured this wildish relationship.
The longing comes
when one realizes one has given scant time
to the mystic cookfire
or to the dreamtime,
too little time to one’s own creative life,
one’s life work or one’s true loves.

We eventually must pursue the wildish nature.
Then we leap into that forest
or into the desert
or into the snow
and run hard,
our eyes scanning the ground,
our hearing sharply tuned,
searching under,
searching over,
searching for a clue,
a remnant,
a sign that she still lives,
that we have not lost our chance.

The Wild Woman has no name,
for she is so vast.

Oct 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanskgiving ~ Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.



Seeing as it's Thanksgiving, therefore a holiday, I thought a little trivia might be in order. :-D

The Canadian Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the second Monday in October since 1931.

Algonquin Indians were among the first to harvest wild cranberries. They used them as food, medicine, and a symbol of peace.

The tradition of breaking the wishbone dates back to the Etruscans of 322 B.C. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England and the English colonists carried the tradition on to America.

While pumpkin pies are a staple of many North American Thanksgiving meals, the pies weren't popular in Thanksgiving dinners until the early nineteenth century, according to The Oxford Encylopedia of Food and Drink in America.

The cornucopia, often associated with Thanksgiving, is a symbol of abundance and nourishment. The horn-shaped container typically contains produce, flowers, nuts, or wealth in some form

Canadians purchased three million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2011, according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada - about 32% of all whole turkeys sold during the year.

Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in Canada, except in P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Thanksgiving was first celebrated in Canada when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a feast in what is now Newfoundland to mark his safe arrival to the New World in 1578.

Oh, look. A quiz! Thanksgiving Quiz

And here's another one 'cause today's a holiday and you have nothing better to do. ;-) Happy Thanksgiving Quiz

But it's not just a holiday for Canadians. Our Yankee friends to the south get the day off too. They get to celebrate:



So just to be fair, I had to look up a little trivia about Columbus Day too.

Columbus Day has been celebrated nationwide since 1937. On a state level, Columbus Day was first celebrated in Colorado in 1906.

The day, as the name suggests, honors Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the Americas.

Columbus landed in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492 with a crew of 90 people.

While the federal holiday is called Columbus Day in the United States, it is called Día de la Raza ("Day of the Race") in many Latin American countries.

Christopher Columbus wasn't the first European to find the Americas, as he set foot on islands in the Bahamas. Technically, Columbus never entered North America and never knew he discovered a continent.

The region is believed to have been discovered 500 years before Christopher Columbus' birth by Norse explorer Leif Erikson.

In the United states, four states do no recognize Columbus Day. Those states are Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and South Dakota. Instead, Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day, South Dakota celebrates the day as Native American Day and Oregon does not recognize or commemorate the day. Other states, like Nevada and Iowa, do not celebrate the day as an official holiday.

There is a movement to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day. The city of Berkeley, in California, has been celebrating the day as such since 1992.

And what do you know . . . there's a quiz for it too!

Columbus Day Trivia Quiz

Christopher Columbus Day Trivia Quiz

No matter what holiday you're celebrating today, have a good one!

Oct 10, 2014

What I'm Reading




If it's possible, I did even less reading this week than I did last week. But you know what's going to happen? One of these days I'm going to suddenly pick up a book and then I'm just going to start reading to the exclusion of all else. 'Cause that's the way I roll. ;-)

Electronic Books

Nope.

Tree Books

I finished the chapter I started a couple of weeks ago in Eyes Like Leaves, by Charles de Lint. I even moved its resting place to the dining room table so it was more "in my face", but it's a brand new book so I don't want to mess it up by reading while I'm eating.

No progress on The Anthology of Love and Romance, edited by Kate Alexander. While I found the first half of this book really interesting, the second half is kind of dragging because the stories are mostly excerpts from novels and some of them are really long. I like something a little shorter and snappier when I'm reading during meals.

Re-Reads

I must have lied last week when I said I was about two thirds of the way through Swords Against Darkness V, edited by Andrew Offutt, because I'm about that far now and I did actually get some reading done on it. Still enjoying it too. :-)

So what have I been doing instead of reading? Writing, mostly. And when I haven't been writing I've been working on my book nook. AND I'm happy to report the book nook is pretty much done. All of my science fiction/fantasy books have been catalogued and moved into it. The only thing left now is the finishing touches, like hanging my gargoyle head above it, adding the cushions for my back, etc. With any luck I can finish it off this weekend and some time next week there'll be a full blown post about it. Then I can start re-reading all the books in it!




Happy reading!