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

The Sharp Edge of Yesterday

I bought the first book in this series, Rough Passages, after hearing the author, KM Herkes, read a bit of it at a convention. I was intrigued, and the short stories in Rough Passages hooked me thoroughly. So I jumped at the chance to get an early copy of The Sharp Edge of Yesterday, the first full novel set in this world. And what a novel it is!

Some of the characters were favorites from the earlier book, now moving forward with attempts to make the world a better place for people whose R-factor goes active. I was particularly happy to see Jack and Elena again, working together, employed by a very new program that will allow people undergoing their rollovers with support at home, instead of being ripped away from their families and held in government camps.

There are new characters too, primarily Grace, a middle-aged mother who grew up believing that the R-taint in many people's blood is the work of the Devil. Her husband rolled over, causing trauma for her and her two daughters, and she left the religious compound she was raised on and is now living in the bigger world. She has prayed and prayed, yet now the government is sending her notices that her bloodwork shows she will rollover soon. And she is convinced, at a deep and totally illogical level, that she will die if she goes to one of the camps. She is the girl's one remaining parent. She can't abandon them like that.

So when Elena, now a young woman, shows up with a pamphlet about this new program, she agrees to sign on. And then suddenly things start moving very quickly, The very first energy surge Grace puts out is so strong that Elena's co-workers teleport her away, because she is defenseless--her blood is free of the R-factor that causes some people to rollover into strange new shapes, gain super (and not-so-super) powers, or both. Suddenly Grace is surrounded by people who aren't so vulnerable to, well, anything, mostly T-series Marines and former Marines, nine or ten feet tall and covered in armor that they grew when they rolled over.

From that power surge and other indications, it is certain that Grace will be powerful, but not what kind of power--or powers--she will have. Will she be able to control fire or water or weather? Will she grow wings or armor or a tail or keep on looking human? Or will she develop mind powers, like her former husband? And how will she reconcile whatever it is and her relationship with God?

For Jack, Elena, and her other keepers, the biggest question is whether they will need to take action to keep her from killing anyone as her powers roll in "hot" and strong, with her having no better control over them than a baby has over its fingers and toes. Can they protect her daughters, the neighborhood, and the city from whatever is coming, and keep her alive too? If they can't, they not only face immediate tragedy, but also the likelihood that their very new program will be labeled a failure, dashing their hopes for more humane treatment of people undergoing rollover.

I very much enjoyed The Sharp Edge of Yesterday. Things started out with high stakes and got more complicated, and I found both that and the ending very satisfactory. I hope the author keeps writing in this universe. I have no idea what she's working on, but I want to read the next book! This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/457249.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.
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Creative Joyous Cat

Out of Cope!

I haven’t said much about the MAGA terrorists’ attack on our capital. While I was watching that, I got a notice that a prescription was ready, and Mystique went out to get in the car and go get it, and found that someone had walked up on our property and broken a window in the car. They rifled through the papers in the glove compartment and either did or didn’t look in the trunk (the potting soil that’s been there for a while because it’s heavy and the insulated shipping thingies I store there to put groceries in, to keep warm things warm or cold things cold, depending on the season). My gloves were still on the dashboard.

I wouldn’t even be sure they’d rifled through the glove compartment except the registration and some other papers were on the passenger seat. They didn’t even take Mystique’s handicap parking card.

While I was out looking to see if there was other damage, a neighbor came out to his car, so I asked him if he’d seen anyone messing with our car. He said no, but that he’d seen the broken window “two or three days ago” and “he thought we knew about it”. He thought we knew about it when it’s been snowing on and off and we never even put a trash bag over the gap to protect the upholstery? Really? wtf?

So, watching vandalism in our capital, I called the insurance company to report vandalism here, and found that the window isn’t currently in stock, so we have to wait for Tuesday to get our window replaced. Now, having some idiot break a car window isn’t a new experience for me (sadly), but the combination, well, it didn’t inspire me to want to talk about either one.

And this happened, of course, after the furnace needed repairs on New Year's Eve, which were not completed before all the stores closed, so I woke up to still-no-heat on the new year, accompanied by surprise-no-power and wake-up-too-early-because-cpap-needs power. And the furnace problem was accompanied by smoke/soot in the house, which was not a good for my lungs, since even without a broken furnace, heating season is my worst time, allergy-wise.

Then today, I got a late e-mail notification that my order from nuts.com had been delivered. I’d been looking out on the porch pretty regularly—it’s become a habit, both to watch the stray cats eat the cheap cat food we’ve been putting out and to watch for packages (and some Yule gifts _still_ haven't arrived)—and didn’t see a thing. Still, I went to look. No box. I looked at the e-mail more closely. They said they delivered it to the back door—wtf? Nobody goes to the back door here. I have never, ever, gotten a delivery to the back door. I look there anyway. No box.

The e-mail informed me it was “delivered” by FedEx. We keep on having trouble with Fedex leaving things at the wrong house—but until today, they never claimed delivery to the back door. The e-mail was sent from nuts.com at 9:26 pm. It says Fedex delivered shortly before 7. Of course, when I tried to call FedEx, there was no one to talk to me, and Nuts.com was sensibly closed for the night.

I’m all upset right now. It would have been lovely to have my chocolate covered ginger and the other items in that box for the Festival of the Living Rooms this weekend, of course, but normally such a thing wouldn’t feel like such a big deal. It’s just that it happened on top of everything else, and now I’ll have to make phone calls tomorrow and likely fill out some kind of loss claim pixel forms, and I’m apparently out of cope. This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/457125.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 a December

December has, so far, been very down for me. It's hard to find the focus to do things, even things I enjoy.

Some of it is winter. Winter is always my worst season; the asthma doesn't do well in the cold, and as I get older my fingers and toes are cold and the skin gets too dry. The allergies have always been worse in winter too. And this particular winter there is all the stuff that goes with Covid-19.

I miss going to stores to look at stuff and shop for people, hearing the ubiquitous (and sometimes annoying) holiday music and seeing people--strangers even--and planning the trip to hang out with family (even though they are sometimes annoying). I still don't have some of the small-business gift buys--a group of things ordered in late November and dropped off at the USPS just one state over on December 2 _still_ isn't here. I had thought to drive into Chicago to drop boxes of gifts off on my sisters' porches (and either not see them at all, or see them only briefly outside from a distance and with masks) but there's no point with the gifts not yet even in my hands.

Some of it is that the house is still all disarrayed, as My Angel and I work on our walls and windows and stuff. It's not so simple as just putting things away, we're replastering and painting spots that desperately need it, and even if I had lots of money to throw at all that (and I don't, which is another depressing issue), with Covid-19 out there I am not willing to bring in people to do the work, so it is all on us. So instead of merely taking the stuff that was moved so the kitchen and dining room could be redone and putting it away, we are rotating stuff around pretty constantly, and in addition to the work on the walls, cleaning and sorting stuff, which is an additional challenge on the allergies, especially now that the windows have to be closed.

So I guess there's plenty of sufficient reasons for me to be feeling tired and overwhelmed and anxious and all the rest of it. But that doesn't really help. I thought finding some musical holiday specials might help, but the best I could find was sappy Christmas movies, all about the same level of mediocre. No, the best I could find was the holiday baking shows, which all come (inherently) with visions of allergens (stupid food allergies) but still, it's good cheer and pretty art and cool seasonal food that won't make me sick if only because I won't get to actually eat it. I don't even have to actually smell it, so I can imagine it was made with Deirdre-safe ingredients.

And I guess a little happy imagining is a good thing. This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/456844.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

Sensational bingo thingy

I think what with NaNoWriMo and everything else I'm doing, it's foolish to consider doing this challenge, but it's an interesting challenge, so I'm putting this bingo square here.

We'll see what happens.

moods associated with color mental or spiritual distress or joy electromagnetic fields sense of community/belonging sense of form/design
dreaming sleepiness or rested sense of body motion internal pressure position in space
subsonic or ultrasonic frequencies sense of self WILD CARD pheromone sense sense of time
sense of consciousness sense of balance awareness of nature personal visibility or invisibility sense of humor/laughter
mirroring sense sense of creativity and aesthetics proximity sense electromagnetic sensitivity and polarity sense of weather changes
This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/456630.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

A Song Not Sung

So, I've been participating in filk circles via zoom, and I got tired of seeing my face from below, so I bought one of those simple plastic gadgets for raising a computer higher on a table. They usually advertise them as lap desks for skinny teenagers or school kids, and maybe I could also use it for watching stuff in bed, though not quite as pictured on the box.

But anyway, what I discovered was that if I put my words and chords on a page in landscape mode, it sits on the keyboard really nicely, right below where I want to be looking so I can see the audience reaction when I know a song well enough to process extra input. So I've been going over songs that I want to sing in the open circles and songs I might want to put on the set list for my Philcon concert, and reformatting them to a two-column landscape format.

In the process, I've found songs that I thought I had in digital format, but actually only have on paper (and rectified that for some of them). But I also found a filk I wrote in February 2016, right before the current occupant of the White House started being the Republican front runner. I was very excited about learning to play this song, and spent a significant amount of time figuring out how to play it on guitar.

By this, I mean figuring out how the original artist had played it (more than one way, actually) and making notes about one of those ways, that my short fingers would be able to just manage if I practiced it a lot, and I planned to do that practice, so I could sing both the original and my filk of it. I was excited about it, I remember that now.

But until I found it (without the notes about how to play the guitar part), I'd forgotten completely about it.

awkward fingers spread wide on a guitar neck

I remember 2016, my growing horror about the person so many Republican preferred to the woman some of my friends dismissed as a "boring grandma". I remain horrified that people would vote for such a blatant con man with such terrible morals. The more I learned about him, the more appalled I was, and the more I hated seeing him on the television, hearing the horrible, hateful things he said and all the lies he told. It was and remains traumatic.

And I learned so many good things about Hillary Clinton, and about how the GOP had been spreading lies about her for her whole life. Seeing how the news people treated her like an inconsequential woman even though she'd been Secretary of State and a U.S. Senator, and treating the con man who'd bankrupted multiple businesses as a man of stature, over and over. That was traumatic too.

I remember picking up a needle and thread, mending clothes, sewing dozens of patches on a silk coat that I loved that was falling apart, calming my fears and praying. I remember wanting to crawl into bed and just stay there when November rolled around, but I'd committed to being at Windycon, doing panels and other things, so I got out of bed, packed for the convention, and headed out into the world.

But I don't remember what I was doing with my fingers to start learning to play this song. I know I wrote notes somewhere, and who knows--I may find them someday. But I don't have them now.

There've been other things in the intervening years, house disasters and financial worries and my Mom getting sick (emphysema and lung cancer, too advanced for treatment), and the daily assault of a man who wants all the attention all the time, has no moral compass whatsoever, and who wants to keep the adulation of people who openly espouse racist, sexist, and other equally horrible -ist beliefs. And now Covid-19.

But I've found this song again, and I want to sing it, so I'm back watching you-tube videos of the original artist, staring at his fingers, trying to do stuff my fingers don't know how to do yet. The way I see it, I should've been singing this song for four years now, and I haven't been. I can't undo any part of the past four years (and if it could, I'd use that power for more important things than this), but I can at least get back to working on this song now.

And I will sing it. Not this weekend. Maybe not this month--and with NaNo coming up, maybe not next month either. But one of these days, once I've finished figuring it out and practiced enough that I can do it justice, I will.


This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/456439.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.
dragon reading

Gardening is Ongoing

So, I’ve been busy outside, pulling weeds, digging and loosening soil, adding compost in places, mixing all the weed clippings into the compost pit to make more compost, and slowly adding the plants I grew inside or seeds to various places.

I got the last of the cucumber seedlings in the ground outside today.

I spent some time digging up day lilies that are crowding our roses (I'll be doing that a lot, if I stay healthy enough, so if anyone local wants day lilies, let me know). (Actually, anyone where it’s reasonable to mail some, day lilies are really hard to kill and would likely survive being tossed in a box unceremoniously.)

I gave away some more tomato seedlings too. I still have a bunch of volunteer tomatoes to give away, and probably a few brandywine or other heirloom tomatoes too. If you're local and interested, let me know. And purple ruffles basil too. (The basil might also survive being mailed; it’s a lovely plant that reliably seeds itself every year.)

I have some pea plants that are flowering, and at least one bean seeding has broken out of the ground, though I have a lot of spots still to weed and plant more of the lovely purple pole beans.

I dug up three tiny rowan trees, because My Angel is sad that we had to cut the last old rowan down. I don’t know if we have an outdoor place to put any of them, so I suggested maybe she could learn to make one of them into a bonsai. We’ll see what she decides to do. (One of them almost looks like a tiny bonsai already; I suspect she mowed it down for a year or three).

I also found two volunteer rose plants in the lawn, one out of the way enough that we’ll probably leave it where it is, and one that I dug up. Two days later, it looks as healthy as it did in the yard, so I’m pretty sure it will survive until we decide where to put it. The volunteers I found in the garden a few years ago are now taller than knee-high and at least one of them has flower buds—we’ll finally get to see what color roses it will grow!

One of the tomatoes that overwintered may not survive being put outside, but the rest are doing well, as are the seedlings I planted outside so far. A different overwintered tomato is already flowering!

My Angel weeded one of the garden plots and planted acorn squash and bush bean seeds. The next morning, one part of that line had been thoroughly dug up, probably by the squirrels. We got out the remaining chicken wire and made a little wire tent over that area, which will remain until we have seedlings and need to put in the tomato cages.

So, we’ve been keeping busy outside. I have hopes that we can get a lot done there this year, if we remain healthy, since there won’t be any summer trips or cons to interrupt things.

How’s your garden growing, whether it’s a literal place with plants or something else? This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/455696.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

Poetry Fishbowl Signal Boost

Today is the YsabetWordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl on the theme "Quiet Revolutions". It is a particularly apt topic, given current events. I'm really looking forward to reading the poems from today's suggestions. This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/455583.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 turns out worldwide pandemics are distracting

It's no surprise, of course. Lots of stories are set during or after such things--I even started a novel with that premise long ago. I've no idea where the files are; I'm pretty sure I backed them up to a floppy disk, one of the smaller newfangled ones. Of course, I have no way to read floppy disks any more, and the last time I looked at it, I decided to pursue other projects.

It's a lot less troubling to contemplate fictional characters having to live (or die) of a flu-like disease that changes everything, either for a little while or forever. I watch the news, hoping for better news, even though I know better.

I've had allergies and asthma since puberty; every time someone I shared office space with got sick, I did too. I've been railing against the social rules that people should work when they're sick instead of staying home and not sharing their germs my whole life, and predicting that a severe virus would be a worldwide personal and economic cataclysm for just as long.

Now, I'm amazed that I'm not among the first sick. And yet, here I am, taking my asthma medicine religiously, and having trouble focusing on, well, everything. And sewing face masks for me and my partner. When I find the sewing machine, I'll make some to donate. A friend of mine linked me to a local hospital's preferred pattern and materials, and where to drop them off once I've made them.

But in the meantime, I pray you all are well and have enough money to survive through this disaster.

And look online for live music. There's an amazing lot of it, live filking on zoom, artists doing concerts or a handful of songs, often via Facebook Live. I always feel so much better after seeing smiling faces at the open filks. It's led me to give big smiles to neighbors when I see them at a distance, hoping to lift their spirits in a like manner.

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/455322.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

Hello!

It's been a while since I posted much. A tiny part of that is that when I've been short on spoons, I have prioritized posting to my patreon. A major part of that is that I've been very short on spoons and time.

Two Octobers ago, the very old siding started falling off the housee at about the same time as my house insurance company demanded some minor roof repairs if I was to keep my policy. That was confusing and stressful as the insurance company sent the money back and once the repairs were done I had to make calls and run around making sure they got their money back in time to keep the insurance. The siding issue was expected; we'd been patching with the leftovers stored in the basement for as long as I've owned the house, and I would not be surprised to learn that the previous owners had been doing that too. There was a spot on an outer wall that clearly had a window when the siding first went up, that had been turned into wall with a neat but obvious siding patch over it.

That November, I found out that a stock fund my Aunt had reached a deadline, and it had to be sold and the proceeds sent to me. Naturally, that year it had made a substantial profit, which screwed up my Obamacare health plan and had substantial tax consequences. This was confusing and stressful, but it also meant I had some money to get the siding redone, and a few other things. Having the siding done was stressful too, as there was damage to the walls in places that had to be fixed, and that was more cost as we found the areas with problems.

It was also stressful because it meant a lot of mornings when people were banging on the outside of the house for hours, unsettling the cats and disrupting our sleep. (We both are natural night owls.) I had a couple of other things repaired--bits of the porch roof/upper porch deck needed work, for instance, and two of the panels in the back door had split across, letting the wind blow through in winter, so we got a new door. They don't make doors the size this one was, so there was reframing to do as well. And I put in a window where it had been before.

But I was tired and distracted and all of this raised dust and the allergies were bad. I don't want to go through it all, but I felt like I was on a treadmill. And I was happy with the results, and with the people doing the work. It's not easy finding people willing to work on my roof, so when winter came around and they asked if there were any indoor things I wanted done, I agreed to having them do some ceiling repairs in four different rooms.

So we moved stuff out of the kitchen, the front hall, the front vestibule, and to a lesser extent a small sunroom off the dining room. This created chaos and clutter in other rooms. My washing machine broke while I was dealing with a huge amount of plaster dust from these repairs, and it was right then that I got word that my mother was sick enough to "not want to be alone". She moved to the west coast to be a hermit, so this was alarming. And I had to do taxes. And then they discovered that what I had thought would be a small patch in the sunroom had to be expanded substantially because there was mold in the ceiling plaster behind a layer of wallpaper. Plain normal mold, not the nasty black stuff, but I'm allergic to plain ordinary mold, so that was a very unhappy discovery.

We moved things in a hurry into the already crowded dining room. They promised to seal off the bookshelves in that back room and to seal it from the dining room and the rest of the house--and they tried, but failed. All the stuff in the dining room and bathroom ended up with a dusting of moldy plaster dust, just when my washing machine was broken. Including all the clean towels, which were then not clean at all, and I desperately needed to clean that dust off of myself.

I survived somehow, did my taxes, and got on a plane to Oregon to help sort out what was up with my mother. Eventually, we learned she had emphysema (long standing and her doctor had apparently not told her about it) and lung cancer. The cancer was inoperable and too advanced for chemotherapy, and her blood pressure had been too fragile for years for airplanes. We ended up gathering up her and her remaining cats and driving across country to get her to Chicago, installing her in a room she had lived in for a while some years ago.

My sister tried hiring a nurse to be with her overnight, but the very nice woman couldn't resist cleaning things, which Mom was not happy with, so I ended up moving in to my sister's house where I read or wrote all night and slept during the day. The work on my house mostly stopped. Some of the stuff in the dining room got cleaned while I was gone, but not all of it. In time (too soon for us and, I think, not soon enough to suit Mom, who didn't want to leave us, but there was no stopping it and dying slowly has never appealed to her), Mom died and we did the things one must do to honor her and each other.

And I returned home to a list of details unfinished and things jumbled into crowded chaos in the rooms that weren't essentially construction zones. Somehow in the room they'd taken all the plaster out of and put in new walls and ceiling, they'd broken a windowsill. And other things. Slowly, I got things done. I put in my garden, important both for my mental health and for fresh tomatoes and herbs. I prepared for Worldcon in Ireland--I'd already paid for it, I figured, so I might as well enjoy it.

And I did enjoy it, though the week of writing and sightseeing time I'd scheduled turned into more of a silent retreat than a writing one. I needed time to de-stress and to heal. I returned, again, to chaos and things undone, and to water coming in a dining room window. I called the guys who'd put the siding up, assuming that something had gone wrong with that, but no, it was a roof leak, with shingles blown off in a recent storm.

That was the first of two roof leak claims, which led to more expense, since we couldn't just fix the damage caused by the storm, we also had to fix the problems caused by an aged roof, so insurance only covered part of it. We had to wait for the insurance inspector, and make plans. That part of the roof was repaired, and then we had another wind storm. Another claim. Now the dining room had to be emptied, and also the bedroom above it.

The fixed-up rooms look a whole lot better, and we have painted the old cabinet in the dining room that had already been painted, and some of the old wood bookshelves, and soon I should be able to move my Aunt's china back into the dining room and get my kitchen dishes back into the kitchen. And there was other stuff during all this too, like the water heater sprung a leak and had to be replaced.

In short, I have spent more than a year with house things and family things and anger about our current "administration" crowding my head and draining my time and energy, and keeping up with writing was impossible, though I never stopped, doing music was a challenge and sporadic, and writing here? Reading here has been sporadic. Writing here moreso, though there are some cool things over at the patreon, many of which are available to non-patrons, at least for the time being.

And now, of course, there's the novel coronavirus too. Which is not at all a good substitute for a newly-written novel or two, but life is what it is, and I don't get to rewrite it to fix the glaring problems I see.

Which is a very long winded way to say I've missed you all, and I've missed being here, and I'm hoping to be back here more regularly. Oh, and I plan to do a card reading soon. Any preferences as to which decks I should include this time?

This entry was originally posted at https://wyld-dandelyon.dreamwidth.org/454935.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.