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Welcome to Dandelyon's Worlds!


Welcome to my blog
I'll share my creative life
I hope you share too!

I value friendship and good conversation.  I look forward to talking with you all. 

For the 2014 A-Z challenge, I'm doing ficlets in a new fantasy world, featuring catkin and other fantastic beings.  Here is the A-Z prompt list, with links to the posts as I write them. As I write this, I'm still hoping for prompts for many letters of the alphabet.  Thank you in advance for your questions, prompts, and comments!


You can find links to my flash fiction, to my serialized story, Fireborn, and to my poetry and songs over at my new (under construction) website, www.wyld-dandelyon.com.

You can also find some of my fiction, poetry, worldbuilding, and artwork over at www.tornworld.net, along with the fiction, poetry, world-building, and art of my talented co-creators there.


If you miss my old, long-winded landing page, you can find it and the landing pages for various projects by searching on the "landing" tag.


Thank You to everyone who's supported me
with your comments, nominations, and sponsorships!



I look forward to chatting with all of you!

Blue Moon Card Draw

Happy Blue Moon, everyone!  I know that a blue moon is, essentially, an accident of the calendar, but still, it feels magical, so I feel a need to mark it somehow, and sharing some small measure of that magic seems appropriate.

So you're welcome to simply ask for a card or ask a specific question. You can also request inspiration for a creative project, a reading for one of your characters, a guide for a project or time period, or just something to meditate on.

Tips are welcome, but not necessary--I know that often when a person needs inspiration the most is exactly the time that they're pinched financially.  You can comment here on this live journal post using your facebook or via open ID. If you tip, you can also ask for an additional card, or a card from any other deck I have. Not sure if I have a particular deck? You're welcome to ask.

Free readings can be from the Daughters of the Moon Tarot, the Shapeshifter Tarot or the Faeries' Oracle. Alternatively, I can draw you (or your character) a Guide from my combined deck of Susan Seddon Boulet art cards.

Finally, you could ask to have my Torn World character, Rai Kunabei, do a disk reading for you or for a torn world character of your choice. This will take the form of an imaginary visit to Torn World and will feature the divination disks I designed for that world. Feel free to include some details about yourself to help me portray you in this world.

If you can, please consider dropping something in the virtual guitar case below! Readings take time and energy.  Tips should be at least $1 (Paypal charges fees) or at least one Torn World credit. If neither of these work for you, drop me a message and we'll work something out.

Signal boosts are also appreciated. If you are tipping or boosting the signal, please include that in your reply here, so I'm not guessing when I sit down to do your reading. If you tipped or boosted the signal, feel free to request a clarification card if you want one.

You can get a private reading if you tip; I'll send the reading to the e-mail you use for tipping or you can send a private message to make other arrangements. I'm also open to doing longer paid readings, for instance Celtic Cross or Wheel of the Year; again, please send a private message if you're interested.

I will do readings promptly, however, life's been complicated lately and there is one final bit of work on my house (a hole in a bump-out roof) that can't wait for me to pay off the other repairs, and if the guy who is to fix it is available (he's trying to schedule around when his wife has her baby) I may need to spend a bunch of time on that project.  I am also making an effort to be very well rested before I make the very long drive to visit my mother, since I'll be driving alone.  (My Angel is staying home to care for the cats and all.)  Anyway, all this means it might take a little time to get to your request, but I will reply to all requests posted here. In the unlikely event that the number of free requests nears my limits, I'll close this One Card Draw (with a nice obvious edit to this post) rather than risk leaving anyone without a response.

Finally, I want to say, "Thank you" for joining me in my celebration of the blue moon.

As always, in accordance with federal law, these readings are for entertainment and inspiration only. See my "Dandelyon's Readings" page if you have questions.






An Odyssey through a Sea of Clothes

So I got up last week and wanted to wear shorts and something sleeveless (but not one of my fringed t-shirts, which are fun, but not so much when I'm out with garden snips). The urge to shorts was prompted by the fact that controlling blood sugar has led to a somewhat thinner me, enough so that my skirts that used to be out of the way now are loose enough to hang low on my hips and be in danger of being stepped on going up stairs or trying to use a large shovel. (Also, cutting all the gluten and corn out of my diet means I'm not always afraid that putting on something that's tight around my belly will end up being painful or exacerbating gastrointestinal discomfort. I still love skirts and dresses, but other things are less likely to be uncomfortable now.)

Now, I could do a bit of sewing and put new waistbands on the skirts, but that takes time and is only worth the effort on skirts that I plan to wear for something more fun than digging up weed trees, painting my porch, and pulling smaller weeds. So I got in the car and drove to the thrift store, where I gathered a bag of cool things (some cool in terms of summer comfort only, and others cool in terms of being styles I am very pleased to wear. I then came home, my head full of images of the kinds of clothes that I can now fit into or will soon be able to fit into if I keep losing weight, and attacked my closet, pulling out quite a few things that are now too big and relegating them to a new destiny, that of being heartlessly abandoned at the thrift store.

It's not as if I didn't know, before, that I had reached a size where a lot of the fun clothes I love just weren't made in my size, but that knowledge didn't inspire me to eat differently.

You know, I always would have told you that I cared more about my brains than my looks, but didn't realize the proof would be so easily acquired once a doctor told me I had blood sugar problems and I realized (by changing my diet drastically in the weeks before I could get a new primary doc and get that treated medically) that the high blood sugar was affecting my higher brain function. I am writing more now, because my brain is once again holding all the bits needed to shape a story properly; heck, I can even see the difference in my facebook comments!

I'm well aware of the dangers of diabetes--I have a friend whose mantra in the gym, repeated rhythmically, is, "I want to keep my feet." Not getting the blood sugar under control is not an option if I want to continue to be able to walk and do art and see. But bringing it down had an unexpected and immediate effect on my mental acuity that (in my mind) trumped all of those other things. Now, when I look at simple carbs, it's a lot like looking at wheat and corn--when I feel tempted, I think of the results of eating the way I used to and the temptation vanishes. I do sometimes feel sad, but not tempted. I have no doubt at all that it's not worth the consequences. That never happened when I looked at cute dresses and thought it would be nice to be thinner so I could wear them. I guess I have my priorities!

But that doesn't keep me from enjoying packing away all the fat lady dresses (wait--where did that phrase come from? Oh, never mind, it's apt enough, and I'm not judging anybody, not even my former self) into plastic grocery bags and then into the trunk of my car. It also doesn't keep me from feeling glee at going through the old clothes I couldn't fit into but couldn't bear to get rid of (after washing the attic mustiness away) and finding I fit into clothes that haven't been seen on my body since before I became a Mom. Some of those are going into the trunk too, but a lot are going into drawers or my closet so I can enjoy them again.

And as I look at all of the clothes, I'm seeing them differently in other ways too. All the drab office casual stuff that served as a work costume, telling people I was competent and serious and professional, all that can go now, since I'm aiming to be a totally different kind of professional, one where a drab disguise isn't necessary. Not that I wasn't professional and competent and taking people's legal issues seriously, of course I was--and still am--all of those things. But I am so much more than that, and there's joy in embracing that as well.

Later this week, after I finish going through the stuff I dragged down from the attic, I'll take a trunkload (or more--the trunk is nearly full already) of stuff to the thrift store. I hope those clothes will bring someone else joy, as they did me when I needed them, but even if no one else wants them, I'm glad to be giving them away. I have no regrets and no doubts about moving into a future without them.

And that's pretty cool, in and of itself.
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, I'm seeing people post "Straight Pride" things. Now, I have no objection to straight people being proud of their sexuality and their families, but posting that probably means that they don't understand why queer people feel the need to assert their pride publicly. It probably means that they are not aware that straight people have always been able to casually show pride in their sexuality and in their loved ones. They never had to fear flirting with someone in a bar or at a party would lead to them being attacked. They never felt obliged to date someone they had no interest in to look "normal". They never had to fear the consequences of talking about their love at work, at school, at church, at the grocery store, or at Christmas dinner.

I remember being on my first day at a new job, and a very young attorney there was obviously embarrassed to say the word "lesbian". I wanted to say, it's OK to say it, it's not a bad word, but I was afraid that if this was a place where it wasn't OK to even say the word, speaking up could lead to me losing that job. I needed to keep that job so I could support my daughter. I kept my mouth shut (though I didn't feel good about doing so).

I remember when people called their LGBT friends in far away cities to say, "I'll march in your pride parade if you'll march in mine" because the parades were mostly covered by local news, which made marching in your own city much more dangerous than marching a few hours' drive away. I was asked to the first Milwaukee Gay Pride Picnic, not because I am bi, but specifically because I was a college student attending school in a different state, so my face on the Milwaukee news wouldn't mean I would lose my job or be outed to my family.

Straight people have always been free to speak openly about their sexuality, talking about their spouses and other romantic relationships, their weddings and anniversaries and breakups, their loved one's health and welfare, and so on. In short, straight people were always allowed to be proud about and open about their sexuality. They never had to worry they would lose their jobs if they even briefly mentioned their loved one--heck, they could bring a spouse or romantic partner to company parties (even if said spouse was a doofus). They never had to prevaricate about the nature of their primary relationship to keep a job or a friend. They never had their child not want to invite friends to their home because the friends would realize Mommy isn't "normal", and said child reasonably feared that would lead to social consequences at school.

Maybe in the future, now that marriage equality is law, we will get to a point where it is not an act of bravery to say, "I'm queer", but we're not there yet. Saying that IS still an act of bravery, an act that risks the person you say it to trying to shame you or harm you (or your family) in some way.

The pride movement isn't a narcissistic "I think highly of myself" thing. It is a reaction to being told, hundreds or thousands of times, that we should be ashamed to be who we are and of loving who we love. It is proactively fighting all those negative words and actions, fighting for the right to be simply yourself despite valid reasons to fear the consequences of people knowing who you are--and fighting for the next generation, hoping for the time when people like us won't have to be afraid, when we will be able to be as casually and innocently proud of our relationships and families as anyone else, without fear, without harassment and certainly without risk of financial ruin or physical attack.

Tags:

Fire in the Sky and Music in the Air

All my life, I dreamed of being able to take pictures of fireworks. As further proof that I'm living in the future, now I can not only read books and play games on the phone, but I can, indeed, take pictures of fireworks with it.

On Saturday, we went to Milwaukee's Pride Fest and listened to various bands while wandering through the shops (I got a great brand-new $5 t-shirt because they printed last year's date on it instead of this year's), and then I danced during almost all of Ani DiFraco's concert, after she got on stage, said hello to Milwaukee, and told us when she saw the schedule, she hoped "Fireworks" was a band name, because she didn't know how to follow a fireworks display. Of course, she did just fine.
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I'll put more pictures up over on Facebook.

Though I do want to share this one, which was a huge sign by the bathrooms, which made me smile:

Full Moon Card Draw

Happy Rose Moon, everyone! My roses are a bit behind the times this year, unfortunately. But the moon keeps her own time.

It's been a while since I did a card draw, and the full moon seems like a perfect time. Also, Summer is starting, flowers are starting to bloom in my yard (I've been remiss in posting pictures here, but you can always check out my facebook to see what I've been up to that didn't feel like a whole LJ post when I wrote it. Also, when I went to Indiana for my daughter's college graduation ceremony, I stopped at the game and book store that was one of my havens when I was in college and picked up a new deck--and you have to use new decks. It's like a geas.

So, you're welcome to ask for a card or ask a specific question. You can also request inspiration for a creative project, a reading for one of your characters, or just something to meditate on.

I will leave this post open for free readings for at least a few hours; when free readings are closed, I'll edit that in here, so you don't have to guess. If you tip, it's helpful to mention that here and also to put your LJ name in the comments when you tip so it's easy for me to match the request and the tip.

I've written before about why I do readings and some of the decks I use here, feel free to hop over and check me out. I'll wait.

Today you can pick from my new deck, the Londa Tarot, the Shapeshifter Tarot, or the Faeries' Oracle. You can ask a question or just ask for a card. If you tip, you can also ask for an additional card, or a card from any other deck I have. Not sure if I have a particular deck? You're welcome to ask.

Alternatively, I can draw you (or your character) a Guide for the season (or a project or some other period of time) from my combined deck of Susan Seddon Boulet art cards. You can ask for this as your free reading if you don't ask for a card from one of the decks listed above.

Finally, you could ask to have my Torn World character, Rai Kunabei, do a disk reading for you or for a torn world character of your choice. This will take the form of an imaginary visit to Torn World and will feature the divination disks I designed for that world. Feel free to include some details about yourself to help me portray you in this world.

Please consider dropping something in the case! Readings take time and energy, and I am currently funding home repairs. (Yes, I was doing that last time too, but between then and now, the city inspector added things to my to-do list.) Signal boosts are also appreciated. If you are tipping, please include that in your reply here, so I'm not guessing when I sit down to do your reading. If you tipped or boosted the signal, feel free to request a clarification card if you want one.

I understand all too well that sometimes people don't have cash or spoons, and it is generally during those times when people most need inspiration! Don't be afraid to ask for a card if you can't tip.

Tips should be at least $1 (Paypal charges fees) or at least one Torn World credit. If neither of these work for you, drop me a message and we'll work something out.

You can get a private reading if you tip; I'll send the reading to the e-mail you use for tipping or you can send a private message to make other arrangements. I'm also open to doing longer paid readings, for instance Celtic Cross or Wheel of the Year; again, please send a private message if you're interested.

I will do readings promptly, but I irritated the degenerative tendon disease in my right shoulder and intermittently typing hurts, so if I get a lot of requests I may need to rest the arm, and if so it may take a little time. I will reply to all requests. If the number of requests nears my limits, I'll close this One Card Draw rather than risk leaving anyone without a response.

Thank you!

As always, in accordance with federal law, these readings are for entertainment and inspiration only. See my "Dandelyon's Readings" page if you have questions.

Dreams of Rocketships

I've never been nominated for a Hugo, never even come close, not in all the years I was a fanzine writer, not as a storyteller, and certainly not as a filker.

The filker thing is a sore point for me. There are fan writer, fanzine, and fan artist categories, after all. Why are fan musicians ignored? But it's more than that, really.

Like I said, I used to do fanzines. I stopped--and I can pinpoint when, in retrospect. It's when all the "friends" I had who thought fan writing was a big deal not only were unwilling to support a filk Hugo, but they were really nasty about it. Laughing in my face was the least of it. It was like getting a series of slaps in the face, though actual hands weren't swung. It made me flinch away from those people, and focus my energy in areas of fandom where I wasn't being ridiculed and belittled.

Still, the dream remains. Someday, maybe, if I get good enough, I might win a Hugo. It's a very long term dream--not a goal, really; for a lot of reasons, but mostly in my mind, "goals" is a label for things that are more in my control. But still, the Hugo is one of the markers high on the speculative fiction mountain, and knowing it's up there helps keep me focused on writing and learning skills to keep climbing toward my goals.

In the last year, that dream has seemed a little more real to me than before, not because I was doing anything different, but because for once the Hugos weren't dominated by people who happened to be heterosexual white men. Over and over I've seen the hype (in Hugos and elsewhere) go mostly to men, despite the huge number of very talented women in the field. Even back when I was talking about a filk Hugo, there was a distinctly misogynistic aspect to the comments people made to my face. I can only imagine what they were saying behind my back.

So this whole "sad/rabid puppy slate" thing feels just like another set of slaps in the face. Not only are these "puppies" unwilling to welcome people like me into the fold, they chose to to reach out to people known for trollery and death threats to try to keep us from even getting on the ballot. Like, you know, those were their natural allies.

In looking to see who was on the slates, I also saw that "for a small fee, you can vote". In a world where women make significantly less than men (even women nurses earn less than men nurses, and that's a traditionally female field), the fee is a larger part of women's budgets. I can't speak for all women, but I know that the fee isn't "small" to me. As much as I hate it, I've mostly resigned myself to living in a world where gender matters more than competence, but this was just one more slap. These guys are apparently happy to use their bigger economic power to further the goal of keeping us down.

The whole thing bothers me. This is an aspect of life that I don't want in my politics, much less in my fandom.

So, I saw posts about the slates and the Hugo nominees, but I was trying not to think about it much. I was doing the real work of a writer--planning stories while I reviewed paperwork and worked on my taxes. Then I saw someone saying (and I paraphrase), "I'm not a sad puppy, I worked hard." That's what led me to seeking out the slates. I found, to my dismay, that he was on both of them.

To be fair, I believe he did work hard--but so did the people in his category who weren't on the slates. So did all of the people who were qualified to be nominated in the other categories too. I do art and writing and, as a musician, dramatic performance. Doing any of those well requires hard work. Heck, doing them even at a mediocre level is hard work.

So now I am left wondering, is this guy really one of the puppies, who is trying to further game the system by claiming otherwise? Or was he put on the slate and didn't know? It's possible, despite his connections in the field, that he was just as clueless that he was on those slates as other people were clueless that there was a conspiracy to keep certain kinds of people off the ballot. If so, it's possible that he still didn't know about the slates when he accepted the nomination.

If all of that is true, then this situation is unfair to him. By putting together a slate and by going outside of the community to get more votes, the people who made the slates ensured that he will never know if he would have been nominated without their scheming. They ensured that if he does win a Hugo this year, people will always wonder if he deserved it. They are the reason people are already wondering if he deserved the nomination, or if he's on the ballot because the slate-makers approve of his politics.

Similarly, it is unfair to the people who were put on one or both slates, and who removed themselves from consideration from the Hugos only because they were unwilling to benefit from what they (and I) feel was an unfair nomination practice--though they, at least, get (and deserve) kudos and recognition for their integrity.

I don't need to mention why this was unfair to the people who didn't get recognition they did earn and would otherwise have received, had the slates never happened.

I'm so sad about the whole thing. It isn't fair to anyone, and it wasn't the kind of unfairness that's unavoidable (for instance, disease or bad luck). Someone engineered this unfairness on purpose. And I hate it when people go out of their way to be unfair to other people.



I started this post needing to express this overwhelming sadness, but as I got to the end of my ramblings, I realized that underneath the sadness I am angry--those rocketships are supposed to be fueling my dreams, not making me sad.

Oh, well, they're just a signpost along the way. Those people may be able to steal or deface the sign (temporarily) but no matter how much they try to own the whole mountain, speculative fiction is way too big for any one faction to own it.

Now, that I can set the sadness aside (at least temporarily), I'm off to claim a bit of that mountain the proper way--by doing the work, writing and submitting the stories, and hopefully enriching a lot of people's lives thereby. And if a bunch of those words are fueled by my anger, well, that's a constructive use for that kind of energy. I can live with that.
In fact, I can see it from my window. How cool is that? I won't get to watch the whole thing--the moon will drop below the horizon all too soon. Still, I got to see it with my eyes, and without the intermediary of a computer or television screen.

That's something I couldn't do during the last few eclipses due to cloud cover. I had to satisfy myself with other people's pictures, taken in other parts of the world. But just as there's a special magic in being able to do that, there's also a special magic in being able to see it here.

(pause for sleepy moon-watching)

So, I had to go to the attic eventually, since the moon dropped behind the houses across the street, and then watched it vanish--not at totality, really, just slivered to the point where the pre-dawn light and the tree limbs between me and it obscured it quite handily.

(pause to watch the total eclipse online, and to fall asleep on the couch, to be awakened by the wise advice that it's better to sleep in bed, and by a day's work of chores and errands)

I wonder, if I could live forever, or at least for thousands of years, would I reach a point where I was bored by things like eclipses, or tulips opening in the spring, or the taste of a perfectly ripe strawberry?

I don't mean, if I reach a point where I can't see or smell the perfect beauty of the first rose of spring, and can't taste the butter melting into my potato, and can't enjoy sleeping and waking due to pain and infirmity--it's not boredom if the body can't take in things properly, that's something else altogether.

But would I get bored if I were perfectly healthy, but had just experienced so many meals and flowers and strange phenomena that I didn't care?

I don't think so. It's a very personal answer, of course, but looking back, the times I didn't appreciate the little things as much as I normally do were all times, in retrospect, that I was sick or exhausted (and usually both). And even then, it was more like not seeing the sun rise because of the fog.

You'd think I'd remember this faster, when I'm having trouble focusing and finding the joy in getting things done, with all my experience with chronic illness--but that's the thing about chronic illness, it's sneaky. It's not like breaking your leg, it's like an eclipse. Things seem perfectly normal, then just a little off, and you never quite see a moment of discontinuity, a moment when there's a big change, it's just at some point, you realize not only have things been changing, but the change is dramatic and significant.

And unlike the eclipse, chronic health issues don't just go away. You have to do something about them.

But that's another post altogether.

This post is about appreciating the good things in life--the playfulness of a cat, the taste of halapeno jack cheese, the green smell of spring returning to the world, and soon, the soft gold of dandelions in the sun.

And stories--stories of cats and dragons and magic, of love and truth and kindness, and always, always, stories of people.

But for tonight--check out that moon! Isn't it cool?
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Tidepool Memories, a Torn World ficlet

This weekend is the Torn World Muse Fusion (if you are so inclined, we'd love to get your questions or topic suggestions, whether they are specific to Torn World or just inspiration in general).

To Ellen's prompt, Tidepool Memories, I wrote this piece. They live in the arctic of a world that includes sea monsters and other dangers. Ivara is featured in a number of other stories over at www.tornworld.net.

Torn World is crowdfunded; this story is my freebie glimpse at the world for this weekend's Muse Fusion.

Tidepool Memories

Ruvardu sat by the ocean, listening to the waves. Her toes rested in a pleasantly warm tidepool. She had a bowl of red beans in her lap, and her fingers worked clumsily at the once-easy task of separating the rich beans from the bitter husks. The stroke that had stolen the cleverness from her fingers had not taken her ability to enjoy the sun and water on her skin. She looked up to see Ivara hang a gutted fish onto the smoking rack and set her knife down to stand and stretch.

For just a moment, Ivara looked stiff, like an old lady, like Ruvardu herself, but then she twirled and did a few dance steps, her long hair sailing around her like a shawl. She looked so young, dancing with Reqem on the big drum, their feet pounding out the rhythms of young lust. Ruvardu danced too, but not on the drum, she was more interested in flirting with Firl and drinking beer. The combination made her giggle, and the firelight shimmered like the ocean, and her toes were wet with spilled beer. “Oh, that was a night!” She opened her eyes, and saw a tiny fish in the tidepool nibbling at her toes. She could barely feel the soft fish lips against her skin. “You and Reqem were so beautiful dancing on the drum.” Her words were blurred, but she knew Ivara would understand.

Ivara danced over and bent to make sure Ruvardu’s shawl was tucked close around her. “You and Firl were beautiful too.”

Ruvardu laughed. “We were silly and drunk. To hear you talk, all new-adults are beautiful. Just like all babies are beautiful.”

“Well, they are.” Ivara smiled, and sank gracefully to the sand, picking up her knife again. She reached for a fish, humming an old tune. A pregnant young woman came by with a basket of new-caught fish and poured them into the basket next to Ivara. “Who was that Itakith woman?”

Ivara didn’t answer; she sat there with one hand on her swollen belly, then reached for Ruvardu’s hand to place it there. Inside, the baby-to-be was moving, and Ruvardu caught her breath. Her own pregnancy wasn’t as far along. So far, all she could feel was a tickle, a sensation in her gut like beer felt on her tongue, tingly and intoxicating.

The woman from Itakith leaned forward, her brown hair falling over her shoulders. “Can I see too?”

Ivara pulled her shirt up, and they all saw the shape of a foot pressing out, to one side of her distended belly button. The woman reached out her hand, hesitantly.

“Of course.” Ivara nodded.

The other woman put her hand on Ivara’s belly and then laughed. “The baby is so—so alive!” She reached back to lift up her own shirt and bare her own brown belly, which was only starting to swell. “Will I see my baby’s foot like that?”

“Probably.” The old mother-tender set a bowl of fresh fruit and greens in front of her charges. “But every baby is different. Some move a lot, while others seem content to sleep all through a pregnancy.” She smiled, her wrinkles moving on her face like grass in the wind. Ruvardu wanted to thank her, but her mind was as stiff as her old fingers.

“I can’t remember their names.” Ruvardu looked down at her belly, finding it old and flat and full of a bowl of red beans. She had forgotten the beans again, and so she reached into the bowl to pick up another, squeezing it to split the hull and free the beans.

“That’s nothing to worry about.” Ivara sounded sad. Ivara so rarely sounded sad, but there were times. There had been so much blood, the day the whalebear surprised her little son, Firuu, on the beach. She had screamed and threw rocks at it, and Ivara snatched up a fishing spear and charged the bear, snarling like a snowcat.

The bear clamped its jaws around the boy’s leg, and Ivara darted in, pushing her spear into the thing’s chest. Teeth still clammped, it roared, loud enough that Ruvardu couldn’t hear her own screams, and swiped at Ivara, who danced away and then back again, over and over. Finally, as Reqem ran up with a heavy hunting spear, Ivara sunk the fishing spear deep into the creature’s eye and it collapsed.

Reqem pried the bear’s jaws off of the boy, but it was too late. He was hanging limp from the monster’s jaw, and not breathing. Where he wasn’t covered in blood—his and the bear’s—his skin was too pale. Reqem laid the boy, blood and all, in Ruvardu’s arms. Tears fell silently from her eyes, her grief too strong for sound.

“Firuu—“ She choked it out, and was shocked, again, to hear how blurred and frail her voice was. She couldn’t even say the name of her firstborn properly any more, and that made her cry even harder.

Suddenly, Ivara was there, holding Ruvardu, humming a different tune now. They had made this tune together, when Ruvardu’s first grandchild was born. Varlii had wanted to travel to Itrelir, to be with the baby’s father for the birth, and Ivara and Ruvardu had accompanied her on the journey. They should have reached Itrelir a month before the birth, but the baby was impatient, and Varlii had gone into labor on the trail.

Ruvardu had been so scared for her daughter. They didn’t have a healer with them—what if something went wrong? But Ivara kept them telling stories and singing tunes until the baby came, such a perfect, tiny girl she was, all red and wrinkled and hungry. They camped by a small lake for a tenday, Ruvardu setting traps and Ivara tending them and gathering firewood. The lake was so beautiful, and so were her daughter and granddaughter. Ivara was right. New-adults and new babies were all beautiful.

Ruvardu tried to sing along with Ivara, but since the stroke, she couldn’t hold a tune. She smiled at Ivara. “You can sing for the baby.”

Ivara patted wetness from her cheeks, nodding. Ruvardu looked up—was it raining? The sky was clear, except for a few Others floating far above, out over the ocean. It must be just the surf. She asked Ivara, “Dance for me?”

Ivara looked sad, though she smiled at Ruvardu. “I will always dance for you.” She tucked the shawl tighter around her age-mate and stood to whirl and leap in the sand at the edge of the waves.

I Found the Perfect Desk -- Fundraiser

I found the perfect desk at the Milwaukee Restore this morning. It's big enough for art projects, has two small drawers for pencils and pens and the like, and instead of blocky drawers at both or one end, has legs like a table. It's covered with glass and is a beautiful walnut (the wood, not the stain). And there's the rub. Because it's old and walnut and in good condition, it's way over my budget for a table.

perfect desk

Even if I wait until Thursday, when the store has a general 20% off price, it's well over my budget, and there's no guarantee it will be there that long. The Restore is a place where people donate furniture, tools, and building supplies to benefit Habitat for Humanity, so when they get something in, it's gone when it's gone.

So, if you're willing to help me buy my dream desk and benefit Habitat for Humanity, I'm willing to do Card Readings (for fun and inspiration, as per federal law), write, or do art. If we don't raise enough or if this desk sells before I can buy it, I will reserve the funds until something else suitable shows up at the Restore, so your donation to me will still go to the same place eventually.

The sticker price for the desk, which would probably be more than $1000 in a regular, for-profit store, is $495.

Current funding level: $25 of $495 (This total includes donations from people here and people elsewhere)

You can send gifts to me at deirdremmm at aol*com or use the Paypal button below to tip. Paypal does take a cut of the donation if you use the button.

Thank you!








Please post here to let me know what (within reason) you want as a thank-you for your assistance in furnishing my writing office. I do reserve the right to refuse a request and refund your money.

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