Sep 29, 2014

Mythoclast Monday

mythoclast ~ destroyer of myths

You know, I came to a conclusion yesterday while I was cutting the lawns. It's not the cutting I hate, it's the lawns themselves. And the lawn mower. The back yard, even though it's bigger, isn't so bad. But the front yard is bumpy and pitted and you really don't notice it unless you're walking back and forth across it. It's gone beyond rolling to fix it. What it needs is a load of topsoil spread over it to smooth it out.

The lawn mower now . . . I swear this lawn mower was one of the first ones that ever ran on gasoline:

Okay, maybe not quite as old as the one in the picture, but it's pretty darn close. It's wobbly and rickety and held together with spit and a prayer. Even the hubby's having trouble starting it these days. But year after year it keeps hanging in there, despite all odds and oodles of neglect. You kind of gotta admire a machine that faithful, but that's not going to stop me from doing a happy dance on its grave when it finally does give up the ghost. ;-)

Now there's an interesting idea for a story . . . the ghost of an old lawn mower comes back and haunts the family that replaced it with a spiffy new one. Sort of like Stephen King's Christine, only on a smaller scale. LOL

Happiness would be a hover-mower. One that glides over the grass as it cuts. It would respond to your slightest touch - no more struggling and man-handling it to get it to turn. And it would have a push button start so you don't hurt something pulling on those stupid cords.

Somebody get right on that, 'kay?

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Last week was a pretty good week for getting stuff done, despite my extremely grumpy mood. I added another 5,000 words to Lucky Dog, got some editing done, finished knitting my fingerless gloves, and got another few rows added to the baby sweater.

I keep thinking the end is in sight with Lucky Dog, but every time I do the characters hare off on some other side trip. Right now Jessica is having an intense, but necessary, conversation with her dead mother. She really needs to just shut up and get back on track. ;-)

The fingerless gloves turned out perfect, which is saying something because I didn't use a pattern. Too bad the weather has turned warm so even first thing in the morning I don't need them. They were great for working on during TV time 'cause I didn't have to pay such close attention to what I was doing. Unlike the baby sweater I'm doing. I'm almost finished the main piece, then I just have to add the sleeves and do the booties and bonnet.

In the meantime, though she appreciates the effort I'm putting into the pink one, the daughter has requested a white one as well, just in case. Apparently the doctor who told them it's a girl is known for being wrong . . . about 50% of the time.

She's also put in a request for cowboy booties, which look simple enough to do, and there's even a crocheted cowboy hat to go with it.

Good thing the new season on television's started, I might have a chance at getting them all done before the baby comes. LOL

Sep 26, 2014

What I'm Reading

Once again it was pretty slim pickings on the reading front last week. I had a bunch of stuff that took me away from home which made it a little hard to squeeze some reading time in. But I did manage to buy a couple of books from a thrift store. ;-)

Electronic Books

I had every intention of paying some attention to George last week, I even had the opportunity. However, what I didn't have was any juice in his battery. But never fear! His battery is all charged up now and next week is a new week.

Tree Books

I haven't made much progress in Eyes Like Leaves, by Charles de Lint. Don't for a minute think I've lost interest in it, the truth is I just didn't have time.

One of the books I bought at the thrift store was The Anthology of Love and Romance, edited by Kate Alexander. It happened to be in the car when the battery in my Kindle died, so naturally I started reading it. It was published in 1994 and has some really, really, old stories.

This book has love stories by such names as Rudyard Kipling, O Henry, Charlotte Bronte, and Georgette Heyer. Like I said, old stories. ;-)

I'm actually finding it pretty interesting. Don't judge. :-P


I'm plugging away with Swords Against Darkness V, edited by Andrew Offutt, but it's been slow going. Once again, lack of time is the culprit here.

And that's pretty much it for the reading last week. I honestly don't know if next week will be any better, but one can only hope. ;-)

Sep 25, 2014

Earth - Chapter Forty-one

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 ~

Zephryn woke from the strangest dream. It took him a moment or two to reorient himself to the here and now. He blinked several times to clear his vision and sat up.

"I must be still dreaming," he said.

He was in his bed on the scout ship. How by all the winds did he get here? The last thing he remembered was . . . it all came back to him in a rush. The cave-in siren, Chloe, and . . . "Granny!"

"The one you call Granny is not here," said Da'nat from the doorway. He was looking as calm and serene as ever, no outward sign of the turmoil his thoughts were in.

"Da'nat! What the hell's going on?" Zephryn got to his feet and stalked over to the door, towering over the Illezie. Da'nat was not in the least bit intimidated. "Why am I here?"

"It was for your own protection."

"My protection? What about Chloe? What about her protection?"

"She is safe. She is in her home."

"Then I need to go to her." Zephryn pushed past the alien easily and headed towards the hatch.

"That would not be advisable," Da'nat said, behind him now.

"I don't care what's 'advisable'," Zephryn said, placing his palm on the hatch's locking mechanism. "I'm going to see Chloe and you're not going to stop me."

The door slid open to reveal a wall of earth. A few loose stones and clumps of dirt fell inside the ship. "What kind of game are you playing?"

"I, more than anyone, know this is not a game. But as you see, you cannot go to her."

"No? Watch me!"

Zephryn created a small whirlwind between himself and the door. It spun faster and faster, confined in place. Then he began feeding it with air molecules, thickening it, making it denser and denser still. When he judged it to be of sufficient strength, he tipped it, sending it point first into the barrier in front of him.

"This is not wise--" Da'nat tried to warn him.

"I don't care."

The whirlwind acted as a drill, burrowing its way up and out. Loose bits of rock and organic material were caught up in the vortex, strengthening it. When it broke through to the surface, Zephryn focused on expanding it so that it created a space large enough for him to pass through.

Outside the wind became a raging storm, scooping up twigs and leaves as well as small stones. The dust in the air made it almost impossible to see, but Zephryn didn't need to see to know which way to go. Chloe's presence was an invisible beacon.

Da'nat shouted something after him but the roaring wind swept his words away.

You're not going to talk me out of this, Zephryn said, mind to mind.

I do not try. And you would do well not to forget how powerful she is.

I won't.
Zephryn hesitated for the briefest of moments. I'll be back. We both will.

Yes. And if her mother lives you will need to bring her as well.

Thank you, Da'nat.

May your winds never fail.

The old Ardraci blessing, coming from the Illezie, was enough to startle Zephryn into almost losing control of his winds. Looking back at the hole leading to the ship he frowned, then used the storm to uproot a tree, toppling it over to conceal the space. He'd figure out how to move it again when the time came.

He moved towards Chloe's house, the storm following in his wake. There were no worries about being seen, the dust and debris churned up in the air was an effective cloak, and he'd already proven at the old mine that any surveillance devices were no match for him. When he was almost there he released the winds, allowing the storm to move off so it could dissipate as it would.

There was no hesitation in him as he entered the house. Chloe's jacket was lying on the floor where she'd dropped it, covered in dust but it appeared to be intact and there was no blood anywhere on it that he could see.


He didn't wait for her to answer but continued down the hallway, and suddenly there she was. His arms went around her and he buried his face in her hair, holding her tight. She sobbed out his name and clung to him. He couldn't help himself and started kissing her - her lips, her eyes, her face. They stood that way forever, which wasn't nearly long enough, before he finally loosened his hold.

"Pack your things, your mother's too," he said. "We're getting out of here. All of us."

"Zephryn." She loosened her grip and stood back a pace. "I can't go with you."

A fist clutched at his heart. "Oh, I . . . I just assumed . . ." He backed away a step as well and ran a hand through his hair, dislodging a small cloud of dust and leaves. "I . . . it doesn't matter if you're not feeling what I feel. You can't stay here. It's not safe. You need to leave - we can get your mother the medical attention she needs and then you can go anywhere you want--"

"Oh, Zephryn." Following as he backed away another uncertain step, she wrapped her arms around him again. "You ass. Of course I want to go with you." She choked on her next words. "It's my mother - she's gone."

"Gone?" Zephryn's arms went around her automatically as he looked down at her in shock. "What do you mean she's gone? Gone where?"

"Gannon took her." Chloe's voice was muffled against his shoulder.

He held her as she cried, then picked her up and carried her into her bedroom, sitting down on the bed with her.

"We'll get her back," he promised. "And then Gannon be damned - we're leaving this place. All of us."

Sep 22, 2014

Muffineer Monday

muffineer ~ dish for keeping muffins hot

You know, I feel like I talk overmuch about the weather, but you have to admit it's been pretty darn interesting lately.

We had a couple of perfect fall days - sun was shining but it wasn't overly warm - followed by a couple of really cold days - to the point where I even turned the furnace on one morning to take the chill off - and these last couple of days have been downright muggy.

So last week when I said the cooler temperatures were here to stay? I lied. Or more specifically, the Weather Network lied. But then we tend to expect that kind of behavior from them, don't we? However, if they could be wrong about the cold weather being here to stay, maybe their predictions for the coming winter will be wrong as well.

*knock on wood*

As well as being a mixed bag weather-wise, last week was a bit of a mixed bag of accomplishments too. A little of this, a little of that . . . a couple of migraines . . .

I think my biggest accomplishment is my consistency with the words on Lucky Dog. I'm now up to 80,000 words, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because wow, that's a lot of words! And bad because whoa, that's a lot of words and a great many of them are going to have to be cut. But the end is near. Two more major scenes, but a whole lot of little stuff in between too. Will I finish this week? I have no idea. At this point I think I just keep writing so I won't have to start editing it. ;-)

I have another baby sweater about half done . . . this one is for my grandchild to be, due at the end of January. It's in optimistic pink and I will definitely be doing the booties as well as the hat to go with it. The daughter put in a request for a boob hat (also known as a breast beanie), but that is so not going to happen!

No. Just . . . no

In other news . . . I also got a little reading done, some editing, and some more books loaded into the nook. I have a large basket that I use for gathering the books that are going in there, and I figure if I even do one basket full a day, I should have the book part of the nook finished by the weekend. Then it just needs a few finishing touches and - cross your fingers - I'll be able to do my nook post next week.

The temperatures this week are supposed to be moderate and sunny, which will be perfect for giving the gardens a clean out in preparation for the coming winter.

Yeah, right. Even I don't believe that one. LOL

Sep 19, 2014

What I'm Reading

For anyone keeping track of such things, I never did get around to starting to get caught up on Goodreads. Okay, I totally forgot about it. Just one of the many things I need to leave a note to myself about.

Oh, here's a thought. Why don't I write out a note - red marker on white paper - and tack it to the cork board that runs the length of the bookcase that backs onto the far side of my desk? There. Done and done. :-)

Once again it was pretty slim pickings on the reading front last week. When I wasn't busy doing other things, I was too tired. A lame excuse, perhaps, but it's the only one I got.

Electronic Books

No electronic reading to speak of. Poor George. I joined a gym, so I'm not using the stationary bike at home any more, and I haven't been on any appointments to speak of where I need to wait. I'd better check to make sure his battery hasn't run down. And then maybe make an effort to dust him off once in awhile like, say, reading at breakfast or lunch.

Tree Books

I started reading Eyes Like Leaves, by the amazing Charles de Lint. Mr. de Lint is better known for his urban fantasy, but in the beginning he wrote mythic fantasy as well.

I actually bought this book a few years ago, but had a hard time getting into it. Lately I need to be in the right "mood" for mythic fantasy and after reading The Wood Wife, by Terri Windling, I found myself ready for Eyes Like Leaves at last.

It's reminiscent of a couple of his earlier works, The Harp of the Grey Rose, The Riddle of the Wren, and Into the Green. In fact the names of the two characters I've been introduced to so far sound familiar to me. This is not one of your quick reads. This is a book to be savoured and savour it I am. Which is another way of saying I'm not very far into it as yet and I refuse to be rushed. ;-)


I finished Swords Against Darkness IV, edited by Andrew J. Offutt, and have begun Swords Against Darkness V. It's more heroic fantasy than mythic, but fantasy none-the-less.

I appear to have gotten away from the science fiction and romance altogether in my reading lately, which is probably why I've been writing full steam ahead on my fantasy novel whilst having trouble with my sci/fi romance. Hmm. Something to think about.

Sep 18, 2014

Earth - Chapter Forty

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 ~

Chloe's feet were dragging by the time she made it home. She was exhausted both mentally and physically. She still couldn't believe Martin had figured out what she was, although they hadn't had an opportunity to talk about it so she really had no idea how much he knew.

A five day rest! A smile curved her lips. A bath, a good sleep, and still plenty of time to get to know Zephryn better. Her smile dimmed a little. That was provided he felt the same way. They hadn't really had a chance to talk since their . . . encounter.

Her quiet life had been turned upside down lately. There were so many questions to be answered, like who had set off the explosion that trapped them in the old mine, and why. And the cave-in at the new mine . . . had it really been because of the shoddy shoring materials, or was something else going on. And Gannon . . . why was he suddenly showing so much more interest in her? Other than the obvious reasons.

She definitely needed to talk with Zephryn. And Granny. Maybe it was time to unbury his ship, at least enough for him to get inside to assess the damage. When she first rescued him, her mother said something about using his ship to escape, it would probably be a good idea for her to take part in the conversation as well.

Opening the door she frowned. She was sure she'd locked it. Shrugging off an uneasy feeling, she went inside, shedding her dust covered jacket as she did so.

"Zephryn?" she called.

It was a little surprising he wasn't there to greet her. She was hours late, and he must have heard the siren and wondered what it meant. Continuing down the hallway she called again, but there was still no answer.

Poking her head into her bedroom as she passed, she checked to see if he was sleeping but the bed was made and there was no sign of him. Surely he hadn't been foolish enough to venture outside? She supposed if he had, as long as he was dressed in the clothes Granny had found for him, no one would notice another face in the crowd. But still . . . it was a stupid, if not dangerous, thing to do.

She nearly tripped over a pile of clothes and bedding in the kitchen.

"Laundry?" she said aloud. "You were going to do the laundry?" She gave a laugh.

The man was a never ending mystery. But the mystery of where he had gotten to was one she needed to solve as soon as possible.

Her eye was caught by her mother's door. It was standing open. It was never left open. Chloe felt the first true chill of fear. She knew better than to believe her mother could have done it.

Slowly she approached, afraid of what she might find.


The bed was empty, the bedding pulled off to the side as though in a struggle. The small table beside the bed was overturned and the lamp was on the floor, broken.

"Zephryn? Answer me!"

A cold fist clutched at her heart. She couldn't bring herself to believe that Zephryn had anything to do with her mother's disappearance, but what else could have both of them vanish?

"I'm sorry," Granny said from behind her.

Chloe spun around, tears filling her eyes. "What happened?"

"We heard the siren and he wanted to go after you. I couldn't have that."

"Granny, what did you do?"

The old woman's chin lifted. "What I had to do. He's safe," she added hurriedly as the ground began to tremble as though reflecting Chloe's rising anger. "He's just a little . . . incapacitated for now."

"And my mother?"

"I'm not sure," Granny said unhappily. "When I came back, she was gone."

Her remaining strength seemed to leave her and Chloe sank down onto one of the kitchen chairs. "Where's Zephryn?"

"Back on his ship." Granny was unapologetic. "In fairness to the boy, he didn't go by choice. I may have had to knock him out a little."

Chloe never thought to wonder how Granny could have accomplished this. Nor did she need to guess who had her mother, obviously Gannon sent his men for her while she was trapped in the mine. Were the two events connected? Could Gannon have caused the cave-in to keep her from stopping him?

"I need Zephryn," she said with quiet determination. "He can help me get mother back. And then we can leave this place once and for all."

"You don't--" Granny stopped what she was about to say as a strong gust of wind rattled the windows of the small house. Neither of them had been aware of the rising storm outside.

"What is it?" Chloe asked.

"I'd say your beau is awake," Granny said dryly. Another burst of wind slammed into the house. "And he ain't happy."

Sep 17, 2014

On . . . New Poles . . .

Normally something as mundane as the neighbourhood getting new hydro poles (telephone poles, utility poles, call them what you will) wouldn't really be post-worthy, but for some reason the whole process fascinated me to the point where I even took pictures. That and it was noisy as all get out and I kept going to the window to see what they were doing.

It started a few weeks ago when men with cans of spray paint descended on the area and left their marks. There was blue for water, yellow for gas, and a mysterious pink one. After contemplating this for several days, I figured the pink marked the spot where we were getting new hydro poles.

My suspicions were confirmed when a few days later a truck deposited a pile of hydro poles in the circle of our crescent. Ha! I was right.

So about a week after that a truck came around for the first step, digging a hole for the new pole:

Actually, they dug two holes with their nifty machine. The second one was for the wire that braces the pole:

They dug the holes throughout the neighborhood over the course of two days.

The next step was planting the new poles. First, they used a baby digger (I forget what these machines are called) to drag the poles, one by one, from the pile to where they were going to be placed.

They used a cherry picker on a hydro truck to place the pole in the hole:

Then they back-filled the hole with gravel:

And the final step was planting the anchor for the bracing wire:

And . . . I didn't realize until I started writing this post last night that I didn't have a picture of the pole firmly in place. *sigh*

Oh, well. They still need to move the wires over from the old pole to the new one. Guess that'll be a post for another day. ;-)