Rainbow Margay Mage

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!
Creative Joyous Cat

Garden Visitors

I took the car back to the dealership because it was drifting to the right and because the tire pressure monitor light was on. I sat there for what seemed like a long time, but that was all right, they had a chair and table that I could set up my computer on and work on the first-pass edits to the cozy mystery.

After that I did some grocery shopping and still got home in time to do some gardening.

The first visitor does not get a photo--it does not deserve a photo, as it dropped "fertilizer" on my arm and new gardening glove before flying off. I wiped off what I could with some dandelion leaves then went in to wash both me and the gloves. Ugh.

The second visitor was a surprise. It came around the neighbor's garage from the alley and walked right up to within a couple of feet of me. I talked to it--I didn't want to surprise it. It walked up, looked at me, and left. Or maybe it was looking at the trash in the neighbor's driveway, to see if there was food to grab.

possum in the driveway, very near

I live in the city; usually possums are much more shy. This one was waddling around in daylight, out in the open, and either not at all afraid of me or convinced the flimsy twine "fence" between us (designed to support peas and beans) was sufficient to protect it from me.

But at least it didn't bomb me with fertilizer!

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/454757.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

Mending the Fabric

My mother died unexpectedly about two weeks ago, and I'm not doing very well making new things right now. So I thought I'd share a bit I wrote two years ago, with a picture of part of the jacket I was working on then. This was written and posted on FB May 11, 2016.

soft, bright crazyquilt

A few days ago it was Mother’s Day, and—as is usual on my Facebook these days, because I have friends who care deeply and passionately about our world and the people in it—there was a lot of politics on my wall. One of the things on my wall was a friend (admittedly not a Clinton fan) who expressed horror that Hillary was willing to accept support from Republicans. In her mind, that was proof that Hillary doesn’t share any values with liberals.

And I cringed. This was, after all, Mother’s Day, a day when we all—liberals, conservatives, the apolitical, and people whose politics are best described on some other axis—celebrate our marvelous mothers or console our friends who had the misfortune to be born to mothers who aren’t so marvelous. We all value family, just as we all value warmth when it’s cold. Like today—cold and rainy, prompting me to reach for something warm. I tried a sweater, and it was too scratchy. With all the political uproar, I wanted more comfort than that.

There’s this old silk jacket I have. I bought it at the thrift store years ago even though it was a bit threadbare because the colors—purples and blues and greens—are marvelous and it fits gently around me and it’s so soft and sensual. It feels good, like a warm hug made of rose petals. It was old when I bought it, and now the outer silk is pulling apart in strips and shreds. Periodically, I pick this jacket up and give in to the illogical urge (why not just replace it?) to take satin scraps or shapes cut from old silk shirts and patch the areas that are the most tattered.

I pick it up today and put it on long enough to warm up a little, and rip it some more trying to put my phone into a place that, as it turns out, is not the pocket after all. I look again at my Facebook and see more vitriol against that other mother who hopes to help the world from the big white house in DC, and I take the jacket off again. I cut a bit of purple from a ripped silk sleeve I’ve been using to clean my glasses and start stitching it to the coat, and I feel comforted.

Our social fabric is tattered right now, pulled apart by low income and bigotry and fear. But we can’t just throw it away and buy a new one. Someone has shared a quote showing that Trump thinks he can get the nation through hard times by not paying our debt. I sigh. I so very much don't want to see more things like that, so I switch over to Live Journal on the computer and read a poem where a policeman tries to help a person with superpowers who has PTSD. Then I listen to an interview of Hillary, so I can close that tab on the web browser. I enjoy listening to Hillary when she can actually talk about her hopes for what she can accomplish if she’s President, and it’s easier to sew when I’m listening instead of reading. I reflect that our world is kind of like the poor super-kid in the poem, broken and traumatized and scared.

The bit of purple silk stitched firmly to the sleeve, I go looking to see what I can find that’s suitable to put next to it. Our youngest cat, Nebula, is sleeping in a box of material, and is quite bemused when I pull the box out and dig through things around and under her. She blinks at me, strange human, and I rub her under her chin. I find a scrap of white brocade not much more than an inch wide, and some blue satin and green brocade, and part of a tie whose off-white lining could work. And a hairball. Ugh. I brush the old dried mess into the trash and consign that bit of cloth to the laundry, along with some clothes that will probably be donated.

Then back to my old jacket with safety pins and material. I cut and lay down several more pieces and pin them in place. Some of them will doubtless get moved around as I stitch, but it’s a plan. I thread the needle again and continue. The lovely smooth texture of the silks and brocades calms me. It feels as if each stitch is sending healing energy out into the world, a gentle prayer or bit of kind sympathetic magic to help us all in our quest to make the world a little healthier, a little less ragged, and a little more beautiful.

I use up the thread on my needle and tie it off. Next is a spot where the original fabric is just gone, the rough lining showing through. It reminds me of the places where lies and hatred have hurt me and people I care about, but I smile, because here on this jacket I can fix things. More green, I think, to cover this spot. Green would look good. We could use more green in our politics too, and fewer lies. More kindness and less fear. I pin and I stitch, and I send my good wishes out into the world, and in my head is a line from science fiction that has, contrary to all expectations, become popular culture: “Make it so.”

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/454611.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

It's not bad for things to be mysterious

I wrote a bit for patreon, released first to my patrons, but set to become public after a while. Now I'm putting it here because I'd love some conversation about the things I was musing about.

If you want to see things like this or excerpts from works in progress, you could follow (or even properly join) my patreon.


I’ve been reading Tarot cards for a very long time, but the Tarot is still mysterious to me. It seems to work—but how? I’ve done readings for so many people who say the reading was spot-on, people I know, people I don’t, people online and far away. But it’s more than that. I’ve done readings in LARPs and role-playing games too, in character, and the reading proved accurate for the character (and not the player).

A character has no physical presence in the world, except insofar as it is embodied by the player or writer. If one follows the theory that someone’s aura, their physical or mystical presence, somehow interacts with the world, that would imply that characters, even casually created characters that have only been imagined for hours or days, still have a mystical presence that is strong enough to interact with the cards’ mystical presence.

It seems even more mysterious to me when I’m drawing cards for a story, where all the characters are only in my head (or some other writer's head) until words flow through fingertips onto the screen or page. I mean, if even their creator doesn’t know what the plot is or who these imaginary people are, how can the cards possibly interact with their mystical presence?

Yet I get good readings when I use the cards as prompts for stories, or for plot points in a story that’s stuck, and I've also had other people tell me they found readings I gave them were helpful

Doing readings over the internet also means the people I’m interacting with aren’t there to physically interact with the cards. How does this mystical presence thing work when there are hundreds or thousands of miles between the cards and the querant? If it’s a mystical presence thing at all.

Another theory, of course, is that the cards are truly random, and any meaning is created by the human mind. With that theory, it’s easy to explain why the cards work for writing: I’m using the cards to get me thinking, like any other set of prompts. Which doesn’t explain why the cards work better for me than a random plot or random character generator. I suppose that could just be that I’m more inspired by pretty pictures, or that the symbolism on the cards I use works for me.

That theory might explain how I can do accurate (or at least accurate-seeming) readings in person for people I know. My mind can, in theory, create meaning because I know the querant or because I can read their reactions as I talk.

It’s not a convincing explanation for how I personally do readings in person for strangers, especially since I’m not particularly good at picking up on body language, and when I started doing readings (and having them pronounced accurate) I was pretty abysmal at it. Not the cards, I was abysmal at reading people. That theory also doesn’t explain how I can do accurate readings for strangers over the internet.

Like I said, it’s mysterious.

The scientist in me is frustrated by the lack of explanations. The mystic in me, however, finds the lack of explanation, the fundamental mystery of it, quite satisfying. It says to the rest of me that we are finite beings in an infinite world. There should be things we don’t understand.

My approach to fantasy is like that too. The scientist in me wants to understand how magic works, and why, and for it to be predictable. But still, when reading or writing, I’m more drawn to the mysterious, the unexplained, sometimes even the unexplainable. Maybe especially the unexplainable. I find magic in stories most satisfying when there’s a lot of wonder, and very little “game mechanics.” Or to put it another way, when it feels magical.

And never mind that that other side of me never stops trying to find the explanations. Or maybe that’s a part of the attraction? Here’s a thing I don’t know yet. How can I not want to get to know it better, to find it in the wild (even if just in the wilds of my own imagination) and try to tame it?

Is it a kitten or a lion cub or something totally unexpected? With time, persistence, and patience, perhaps I’ll find out.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/454177.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

Home Matters

So, life has been busy. I’ll try to post about October later, but for the moment, I thought I’d natter about this week. Or at least one part of this week, that being house stuff.

I’ve been waiting for the weather to be dry enough and calm enough (in terms of wind) to get my roof repaired. The first snow of the season made it Very Clear that I needed to get part of the wall repaired too. This is not good for my budget, but the repairs will indeed be good for my house, even if it will have something of a patchwork look—I don’t have enough of the old siding to cover the repairs, so they’re putting new siding on the walls they are repairing. I’m not sure when we can do the rest of the house; I’ll have to consult the budget and it seems likely that the weather wouldn’t cooperate for redoing the whole thing anyway.

While I was waiting, and writing at the kitchen table (sometimes a change of scenery is good for the writing), I got tired of looking at a kitchen window where the top has persistently refused to be closeable—you know, the old double-hung windows, designed so you can open the top for air flow in the summer? I’d hoped a little stubborn insistence and careful application of brute force on my part would let me close it up for the winter but no. Someone in this house’s past had painted it in place, down more than an inch on one side and less than an inch on the other. Yes, they painted it not-shut crooked.

So I’ve been taking the window apart and repairing plaster and trying to get that corner of the kitchen ready for paint, and also doing stuff like painting bits of wood in my kitchen so repairs outside will have paint that doesn’t slough off because it froze instead of sealing to the wood. And today I have the old mailbox inside, for sanding and painting, so it can be re-hung over the new siding without looking rusty and disgusting.

I guess it’s like editing a story—the bones are good, but there are bits that have to go, and bits that just need fixing up. And it always seems to take more time and futzing than you expected. It’s also good to have friends who can help. A friend came by today to show me how to wiggle the wood to get that top window, which I’d finally gotten to move, out of the casing altogether so we can re-do the glazing compound and be assured the glass won’t fall out some cold, windy day.

Also, thank goodness for storm windows. I get to do all this and stay warm in the kitchen.

So, have you had home-repair, decorating, or organizing challenges lately?

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/454068.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

Irish Fest Quest

Yesterday, we went on a quest. See, Mystique bought me a ring years ago, a goddess/tree of life that, at first glimpse, resembled a stylized owl's head. I lost it a while back when we went to see Tammy Baldwin speak.

We got it from the artist at Bastille Days, but the last time we saw the artist there, he told us had decided to only come to Milwaukee for Irish Fest. I really wanted to replace the ring, but was stymied because I couldn't remember his name and didn't have contact information for him.

So, yesterday's quest was to see if he was still, after all these years, showing work at Irish Fest, since I had no clue how else to try to find him. We peered at the map near one of the beer stalls, and a gentleman suggested we head to the far north of the fest grounds.

We did indeed find some beautiful jewelry there, but not the artist we were looking for. So then we walked all the way to the south end, where we found beautiful music, but not the artist we were looking for. I was disappointed, because we thought we had found all the little clusters of artists.

So we headed toward the band some of our friends planned to watch, but on the way we found a building with more people selling stuff. So it was that at the far end of the last group of sellers, we found him--and he remembered us!

Of course, he hasn't sold that particular ring for years, so he didn't have one with him. But he remembers it and can have more made. I tried on a ring with a similar shape, for size, and he made a note of it.

So, now when he gets home, he is going to send a picture to make sure we're talking about the same ring, and he will have one cast for me. He warned it would take a while, and I should be persistent about checking back with him until I get it. But I will be able to get a replacement!

It took a while to find our friends in the crowd. That happened with the help of a lured pokestop. It's amazing how much I've come to appreciate having virtual landmarks in crowded places. I'm also finding a lot more of the art and historical monuments around me because of the silly game. That virtual landmark thing.

A little later I went on a separate quest, hoping to find food I could trust not to make me sick, and totally failed. I hadn't thought that would be so hard, but the two places I'd found that could feed me at Summerfest weren't there for Irish Fest.

But I knew I had food at home, and the quest I thought was less likely was successful, so overall I'm pleased.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/453883.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

Belated Birthday Card Reading


It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I’ve been busy gardening (I’ve gotten pictures on my Facebook), working on defeating the GOP (I’ve posted about that on Facebook too), and writing. Time flies when you're busy; I didn't realize it's been so long.

I have also been posting to my Patreon.  A good number of the posts become public after a while, and I  recently put a few things there open to the public as gifts to my friends as a kind of birthday celebration.  You do not have to sign up as my patron to read or comment on public posts, though if you can and want to, you would be very welcome. 

As to the writing, I’m almost 29000 words into my Cozy Mystery With Sea Monsters. (That’s the elevator pitch, at least, and I suppose it’s the working title too.  I’ll worry about a real title later.)  My amateur sleuth is busy annoying the professional ones, of course.  I'm having fun writing it.

I also wrote a story to submit to Sword and Sorceress 33—and it sold!  The anthology will be out in November. It's called Lin's Hoard. More details when I have them.

More recently, I wrote a 6500 word story for an anthology on fighting fascism, which I think is a really good story.  At least I hope it is!  Longer stories usually have to be excellent to sell.  For some reason, I'm having more trouble than usual forgetting this one is out there, in the editors' submission pool.

Cleaning house and otherwise getting ready for a phone bank pretty much took up my birthday, so I was delighted to find a surprise package in my mail today.  When I opened it, I found two absolutely beautiful Tarot decks!  I am totally claiming them as belated birthday gifts. My errands today ran long, so instead of wrangling things to get the pictures to post directly here, I'm sharing my facebook post.  The post is public, so you should be able to just go there and see it.

In honor of the gift, I’m doing a card reading.


As always, New friends and old are very welcome.

About the readings, I'm doing something a little different.  All free readings will be done with one of the new decks (the 78 Artist Nautical Tarot or The Oracle of the Dragonfae). 

People who tip and people who are supporting my Patreon will get a three card reading from one of the new decks or can ask for a single card from one of my other decks.  Patreon supporters can always ask for a clarifying card.

The guitar case below is my personal PayPal link, featuring my own artwork, which does inspire me even though it isn't Tarot-related.

If you want a larger reading we can discuss costs. A signal boost for readings or for my Patereon will also allow you to ask for a clarification card on some part of your reading, if you wish.

Regardless of the length of the reading, you may ask about real life or a creative project, even for a character you play in a game. I can draw a card for you to meditate on, to represent the Guide you need right now, or to get you unstuck. I can read for your protagonist or villain, can draw a card or cards for you to use as writing or art prompts. Let me know if you have any particular request.

The first card is free (though tips are always appreciated). I understand all too well that when people don't have cash or spoons that is generally when they most need inspiration. Don't be afraid to ask for a card if you can't tip.

When you tip, it's helpful to me for you to mention it here so I can connect your Paypal information with your request. Tips should be at least $2 (Paypal charges fees). If Paypal doesn't work for you, drop me a message and we'll work something out. It's also helpful to remind me if you're a Patreon supporter, especially a new one!

I will reply to all requests. If I start to get overwhelmed, I will close to free readings; in that unlikely event, that will be in nice bold letters. I plan to stay open until late Friday for free readings. After that, you can ask for a paid reading, if you want one.

Thank you, Blessed Be, and may your day be full of joy and dreams made happily true!

Status: Open!

As always, while I work hard to offer insight and inspiration, all I can legally promise is entertainment. See my "Dandelyon's Readings" page for a little more about my readings.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/453488.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

Tarot Musings

This should probably be a Patreon post, and I will likely put some version or follow-up of this there, but you folks asked me about whether I've thought about designing a Tarot or other divination deck, and that led to thinky thoughts about what I would want to do, if I were going to go to the trouble of designing 78 (or so) cards. And I'd like feedback on these thoughts, which is more likely to happen here.

So, my first thought is that one of the things a Tarot deck is is a symbolic representation of the world and the people in it.

Given that the decks were first designed in the middle ages, it is not really surprising that the worldview pictured in most decks is really pretty true to those origins. We have kings, queens, knights, and pages. Women other than queens are not represented in the court cards, and are generally treated as beings of lesser importance than men. Likewise, children and elders are rarely represented. Intersex, trans, and enby people are not represented at all.

And yet, if we move away from the imagery of kings and queens, knights and servants, what would be a better representational model for the world?

There are other things to consider as well. Economic and political models have changed a lot since medieval times. Education has changed as well, and radio, television, and the internet have also changed how the world works, and how we see ourselves and each other.

I don't see a need in this world for yet another medieval-world-view Tarot deck. I'm not sure there's a need, exactly, for a Tarot that more accurately reflects the world of today and tomorrow, but certainly if I were to spend the time needed to design and properly execute a new deck, that would be far more interesting.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/453306.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

I'm so upset

It is a constant drain on my energy and focus to know that our government is currently being run by evil men. It is so very hard seeing that there are still Americans who support those men, who don't see that they are doing evil or don't care. It is hard to believe that all of the phone calls and other work I'm doing is making enough of a difference.

And the bad men keep ramping up their evil. A friend's husband, who is very sick with multiple conditions, just had a doctor decide to stop prescribing one of his medicines, in between visits and with no explanation. They think it's due to some new policy of our GOP governor. The man who lost the popular vote, but got elected anyway, has ordered our government to take small children away from their parents, with no plan to ever give them back, no way to even track which children belong to which parents. Reportedly, some of the parents have been deported while the children remain here.

This horror has been brought to us by "the family values party."

Mind you, at least one parent told a reporter, "They can deport me, I'll be killed, but at least my daughter will be safe if she's allowed to stay here." I bet the daughter would not be so happy about that result, if we could find her and ask her.

All of this makes it hard to write fiction, hard to do art or music. Heck, it makes it hard to want to open my eyes and get up in the morning. This isn't the reality I want to live in.

But I'm not going to stop fighting this madness. And I'm not going to stop writing and arting and making music. The creative stuff will just be slower, I'm afraid.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/453000.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.
Creative Joyous Cat

Rambly Garden Post and Related Stuff

I had some tomato plants that sprouted very late last year. I'm not sure why I was still watering those pots inside, but I was, and once they sprouted, well, they were alive and mine to care for. It was clear they wouldn't grow big enough to give me tomatoes if I put them outside, so I moved them into bigger pots and let them grow inside overwinter.

We got the three biggest ones outside yesterday, but unfortunately My Angel shoveled through the seep hose in the process. So we spent hours digging most of a new trench to relay a replacement. At least when they were on sale last year, I bought an extra one, so we were able to get started right away. However, my knees are NOT happy with me.

I was so tired, I slept through my alarm, and so my morning's plans were effectively cancelled, but I did get to the pokemon raid gathering, and a few people were very happy to sign petitions to get Tammy Baldwin (our wonderful Democratic U.S. Senator) and another Democrat on the ballot. It was a bit chaotic, getting signatures before and after raids, but it was fun.

But I also ended up a bit sunburned from being out so long two bright days in a row, so soon after we had snow. I don't burn the way I used to when I was younger, but that doesn't mean I don't burn. So I got back home tired, aching, and headachy. I guess it's a good thing I chose a t-shirt with sleeves, knowing I planned to be standing outside whether or not it stayed warm. This is bad enough without adding sunburned shoulders.

The rest of the seep hose will have to wait a couple of days, I'm afraid, which means watering the newly-planted tomato plants with gallon jugs. But that was the plan anyway, since the line that leads outside leaks badly. That on the list of things to be fixed very soon.

So, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was tired, headachy, and not very with it when I got home. I grabbed some chicken, Beanitos and cold water, smeared aloe vera cream on my face (and eventually on my scalp) and stared at some TV we wanted to see before erasing it from the DVR. And I paid some of the month's bills, slowly.


And then fell asleep, without posting! Happy Monday, everyone.

I guess I should get to work paying the rest of the bills and doing other paperwork, since I shouldn't go out in the sun at least until it's a bit lower in the sky. The more air between me and those rays, right now, the better. Too bad--I've got beans to plant, and doubtless other stuff. But this sudden leap from snow-covered everything to summer weather is hard on a person, and pushing too much today won't be more productive in the long run.

But still, it's frustrating that now that the weather isn't keeping me from planting stuff, I need to stay inside.

Bills. Right. See you all later.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/452644.html. Be welcome to comment wherever you prefer, but be warned that LJ has not, under the new management, been sending me notifications of comments. I will check LJ periodically, but life being what it is, commenting on DW will likely get you a faster response.