Mar 23, 2011


Yes, it's been a while since I posted. Yes, I'm going to be lazy today and post pictures. Yes, you can berate me for not having time to write something. *meekly fetches pictures*

Blooming daffodils in our front yard. Isaiah 35:1-2:
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
Our yard sure looked like a desert and parched land there for a while. Thank you Lord for GREEN!!

A kite tail in the breeze. I love how those things snap and fly in the breeze. Isaiah 13:2:
Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.

I love watching the trees bud. This is a rosebud in our side yard. Psalm 96:12:
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
I really do think the trees are glad to get their leaves back after shivering bare all winter. :)

Beautiful green (can you tell it's my favorite color?) grass with dew! Genesis 27:28:
May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.

And that's about it for now -- that is to say, I'm tired of wrestling with Blogger and want to go outside. All pictures were taken by me and may be used for whatever, 'cause I'm cool like that. :D Hm, thinking of spring, I need a new blog design...

Mar 11, 2011

My Adventure in the Dark Pt 3

"Aaron's discovered your water closet," Wyn said, leaning on the back of the chair.
I blinked and nearly chopped the end of my finger off with mom’s chef knife. "The wha -- oh, the shower." I looked up. "Is he actually using it?"

“No. He’s just trying to figure out where that water comes from.”

A clunk from the bathroom made me wince. “He’d better not break it.”

Iri snorted and sprawled in the chair by the window. “Are you kidding? That’s what he’s best at.”

I sighed. The knife slipped again. Wyn stepped forward. “Let me do that.”

Raising an eyebrow, I handed her the knife and watched in astonishment as the carrot under the blade’s edge flew past within ten seconds. She reached for another. I shook my head and headed for the ‘water closet’.

Aaron hadn’t, in fact, broken it, at least not yet. I explained about the pipes in the wall. He asked where they went. I told him the water tower. His face showed a blank. “It’s a tower,” I said, slowly. “A tall one. With water in it. When I turn this” – I yanked the faucet around – “the water rushes down from the tower, through the pipes, and out that hole. I think.”

Aaron looked out the window. “Where’s the tower? And how do you heat it?”

I closed my eyes. “I have to go cook supper.”

Aaron tagged along behind me, barely restraining his other questions. I didn’t know how I could tell, but I did.

Strangely, I found Wyn in complete control of the supper preparations. Mom stood back, looking dazed. I watched the vegetables seem to mince themselves under her hand, then leaned over to whisper, “She grew up in an inn, working for food. Of course she’s a good cook. You’re taking this awfully well.”

Mom looked at me blankly. “I’m either dead or dreaming. You pick.”

I grimaced, yet another hope of help falling from my hands. “Dreaming, most likely,” I said, patting her comfortingly. “You’ll wake up soon.”

“I can’t wait to tell you about it tomorrow morning,” she sighed, wringing the dishcloth in her hand. I groaned.

Something clanked at the other end of the kitchen. I whirled to see Aaron standing on a chair, investigating the light fixture. “Why don’t your torches smoke?”

I grabbed his arm and pulled him down. “You’d have to talk to my dad about that one. Try not to break anything, please?”

Aaron shrugged and wandered into the living room.

“By the way,” Iri said lazily, trying too hard to look casual, “you still haven’t explained this author business.”

I forced a laugh. “There’s really not that much to explain. You all are basically my imaginary friends.”

Wyn’s knife paused. “Your what?”

“My only friends, actually.”

Mom rolled her eyes. “Do you want to show them? I can take over.”

“Do,” Iri said, levering himself out of the chair. “It might clear up a lot of things.” He followed me out of the kitchen. Wyn trailed along behind. I dragged Aaron out of conversation on my way to my room, promising that this wouldn’t take long. I should have known that the technologically-minded elf would find a friend in my engineer dad.

“They’re over here,” I said, flipping on the light. The others peered around my room. I knew it was a mess, but there wasn’t much I could do about the multiple stacks of papers, books and clothes at the moment. I pulled the notebooks off my desk and passed one to each of them, keeping the last one for an example should they need one.

It turned out we didn’t need one. Aaron flipped open to the first page, read a line or two, and dropped it onto my bed, rubbing his temples. Iri reacted similarly; opening to a random page, skimming over it, then setting it down carefully with a grimace of what looked like pain. Wyn just stared blankly. I cocked an eyebrow.

“Headache,” Aaron grunted. Iri nodded and sat slowly, blinking hard.

I took the third notebook from Wyn’s unresisting hands. “I didn’t know it was that bad.”

“What, the writing?” Aaron squinted up at me. “The writing’s good. But I can’t … it’s …”

“Too much,” Iri groaned.

I glanced at Wyn. She looked ready to faint. I hurriedly piled the notebooks back on my desk and tossed a sweatshirt over them. “Better?”

“A little.” Aaron shook his head. “I think you’ve proven yourself, Author.”

Wyn nodded reverently.

“Don’t call me that,” I snapped, feeling guilty for everything; Aaron’s scars, Wyn’s past, Iri’s discomfort. This was one time that guilt was accurate. “It makes me feel important. Here.” I pulled my camera down from the top of my bookshelf. “Look at this.”

Aaron examined it, his pained expression fading. “What is it?”

Iri and Wyn gathered around to look. “A camera – that is, a painter, of sorts.”


“It makes pictures.” I pushed the power button. Aaron jumped as the lens shot out. I grinned. “Say cheese.”

All three of them puzzledly said cheese, then jumped back when the flash fired. I sighed and turned it off. “Let’s try that again. One, two three …” This time, the picture was slightly blurry, but recognizable. I tried again, separating the three and putting them back together again in different shots from every angle. Grinning, I hit the playback button. “Wait’ll I post these!”

“How does it do that?” Wyn bent over a picture of herself, mouth open in wonder.

“There’s a … device inside, that paints pictures.”

“It’s awfully fast. How does it not run out of paint?”

“It’s digital,” I answered, then remembered that my modern descriptions didn’t do anything for them. Earth to Carseld. Elaya, we have a problem… “Listen, you’ll have to trust me.”

“The last time you said that, it got messy,” Iri grumbled.

Mar 2, 2011


I'm addicted to Minesweeper.

No, really.

I was tempted to post a picture of myself attempting to play the advanced version, but I decided not to be deceptive. Truth is, I'm not even very good at it. It frustrates me. I tell myself I'm building up a tolerance for numbers (something not included in my particular brain package, evidently), that I'm learning logic (if this mine is here, then it can't be here, so I can click here ... whoops) and that I'm familiarizing myself with the level of graphics on my new laptop.

See, it came with these cool sound effects, and all the mines blow up when you find one, and it even has a "Flower Garden" mode for the people who can't handle the violence mines entail ...

Ahem. Sorry. Point is -- I couldn't hide this from myself for long -- I'm procrastinating. I almost always have a word document open in the background that I can't stand to face. At least, not yet. Just one more game.

When it's not Minesweeper, it's electronic chess, or solitare, or you-name-it. The fact that my fans are clamoring for the full edited first draft sometimes does light a fire under me, but there are those times when nothing will come together. So I resort to that lovely little game icon on my taskbar.

"So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left..." (Deuteronomy 5:32)


Writing/revision is tricky and exhausting. So is my mind. I will go to no end to convince myself that I am doing something productive when I'm really just wasting my precious time. A little aside here, I do think that the occasional game break is good. Get your mind off the story, get a fresh look. Chess, minesweeper, whatever your procrastination method is, go for it. Just make sure to come back after a reasonable amount of time? Please?

*makes note to self and resolutely glues the word document to her screen*

Feb 22, 2011

Music for Monday (on Tuesday, again)

Yes, I know, I'm late. But by the time Youtube got this uploaded it was bedtime *bares teeth and shakes fist at procrastinator website*

Anyway, this is my first uploaded video. And, y'know, if y'all wanna subscribe ... *hint hint*

This is me playing Elfin Dance by Adolf Jensen on our 100+ year old piano.

From the music sheet:
A pleasing study in scherzo playing. The sixteenths even, well articulated, precise, yet light. The pedal, if used at all, must be held but little if any more than the time of an eighth note, and merely for the purpose of affording the fundamental a little more resonance. The tones before rests are always to be played with a finger staccato, the hand (and perhaps the arm) springing up a little but not enough to delay the movement. At a) the sustained tone is held out its full length.

To be played "Vivace con grazia", at quarter note = 80. Adolf Jensen, Op. 33 No. 5.

Feb 4, 2011

My Adventure in the Dark, Pt 2

I should have felt safer, with three armed people following me, but I didn't. Especially not with my back to Iri, in particular. As has been said before, I knew him too well, and I knew that at the moment his hand was probably wrapped around his dagger hilt for comfort. Well, his comfort, anyway. It didn't do much for mine.

I rode a little closer to the middle of the road this time, deciding not to risk meeting someone else in the ditches. It could be Klista. Or possibly Faulkner. I shuddered at the thought. Iri was as close to a villain as I wanted to get. At least Aaron and Arionwyn weren’t fond of wantonly killing people for the least offense. You also never knew what offended him. Unpredictability, that was the plan. He was one of my most vivid characters. I had, however, never counted on meeting him in person, but relegated that honor to other less fortunate individuals. I found my thoughts spinning.

They solidified into one horrified mass when two blinding pinpoints of light appeared on the road ahead.

Three swords flashed in the dark. “Um,” I said, tongue-tied. Again. “It’s just a car – an automo – it’s a ... oh dear.”
“You were saying?” Iri growled.
Arionwyn edged a little closer to Aaron. Aaron narrowed his eyes at me. “What is that?”
I adjusted my grip on the handlebars again and stared straight ahead, my shoulders inching upwards and guaranteeing a headache. “You’re just gonna have to trust me.”
“And we should do that exactly ... why?” Iri asked, shifting nervously.
“Look, this isn’t your world.”
“We guessed.”
“And things work ... differently here.”
Iri glanced at Aaron. “Should I shut her up?”
I involuntarily pedaled faster. The elves kept up easily, but Wyn started puffing. Aaron came around in front of me and clamped his hands on my shoulders. The bicycle fell over. “What kind of monster is up there?”
“M-monster?” I said innocently.
He spun me around. “There. The glowing one.”

I felt his hot breath on my ear. “S-step off the road.”
The car zoomed closer. I shut my eyes. “Just do it!”
“Should we attack it?” Iri volunteered, twirling his blade. “I think – ”
“We all know w-what you think. Get off the road. Now.”
Iri shrugged and stepped onto the shoulder. Aaron let go of me and followed. I scrambled to collect my bike and get out of the way. The four of us stood panting in the dark. Aaron hefted his sword. I wanted to slap him. Closer, closer. The headlights filled the night. Iri squinted into the light, leaning forward to get a look at the ‘monster’, probably so he could figure out how to kill it. I closed my eyes.
I later wondered if I held them all back by sheer force of will. Whatever happened, the lights zipped past us and on into the night. I nearly collapsed with relief.
Miraculously, we met nothing else even remotely frightening until I pedaled up our driveway. The three behind me stared up at the brightly lit house. An explosion of laughter and wild screams trickled out of the open windows. Yep. My house, alright.
I parked my bike on the front sidewalk and ran up the steps to the bright blue front door.
Someone behind me cleared his throat. I jumped. “Oh ... right. You three had better stay here?”
“For how long?” Iri asked, eyebrow cocked.
“Until I can explain ... well, you.”
“And then what?”
“I’m figuring this out as I go along, alright?” I snapped. Aaron shrugged. Wyn craned her neck to look in the window. I winced. “I’ll be back.”

A flood of hot air and smells from the kitchen flooded over me as I stepped in the door. I shut it quickly, resisting the urge to lock it behind me, and nodded to my dad, who sat with a newspaper in his favorite chair. He winked.
The kitchen was a morass of dishes, sounds of popping grease and various items simmering or frying or flaming on the stove. My mother clamped a lid on one unfortunate pot and emerged from the cloud of steam. “‘ello. You’re home.”
“I am!” I said, more enthusiastically than I felt. She enveloped me in a hug that smelled like biscuits and raw bok choy. “Mom?” I mumbled into her shoulder.
I grinned in spite of myself. It had been a frequent joke between us ever since reading the Discworld novels, and we had to laugh every time. “I ... had a bit of a run-in.”
She pulled back, one eyebrow raised and mouth curved into a mischievous smile. “With what?”
“Who is more like it.”
She looked at me.
“I think I’d better show you.”
She shrugged, looking more worried now. I took a deep breath and led the way to the door, motioning through the window for the trio to enter.
A minute passed. Someone fumbled with the unfamiliar doorknob. I sighed, stepped forward, and pulled it open. My three siblings chose that moment to race through the room screaming, happening to dash in front of Iri as he stepped into the room. My three-year old brother yelled, half in fright and half in fun as the elf tripped over him and sprawled to the floor. My nine-year old sister stumbled and ended up on top of him. They stared at each other. I wanted to crawl under the couch and die. Trouble was, the space under the couch was only about a inch high.

Aaron stared down at Iri from the doorway and burst into laughter. Iri glared at my sister. Her eyes went round and she scrambled off of him, hiding behind the couch. My brothers watched from the kitchen, howling with laughter. Wyn peeked out from behind Aaron’s back, then stared at my mom. “I’ve seen you somewhere.”
I frowned. “How?”
She stepped forward, over Iri, and into the room. “I don’t know. But ...”
Mom stood like a large icicle, the dish towel limp in her hands. “M-mom,” I began, “this is – ”
Aaron settled it for me. “Aaron Darkstar, at your – ”
“Russel,” Iri said, slowly getting up from the floor.
“Yes!” Wyn exclaimed, jumping forward. “Russel. I knew I’d seen you somewhere.”
Mom blinked.
Aaron blinked. “How is that possible?”
I raised my eyebrows. “I don’t know. She doesn’t look like Russel. Russel’s red-headed–”
“And chubby with freckles,” Mom finished. “I don’t know what made her think to base him off me.”
I glanced around. No one else seemed to think this was entirely nuts.
A remote control car zoomed past Iri’s feet. He stared at it.
Mom gallantly recovered her composure. “W-would you like supper?”
“Please,” Aaron said, ever the gentleman.

Feb 1, 2011

Race No. 5 -- Haethor

Haethor are humanoid with large silver eyes and slit pupils. The Haethor's eyes, whether they are of mixed blood or pure, are always a bright nearly luminescent silver with flecks of metallic color that match their hair. The pupils of their eyes are created for precision sight in any lighting, from being a nearly invisible slit in full sunlight to filling almost their entire iris on a moonless night. They are not usually deep-set.

Their hair is usually fairly thin and fine, rough in texture with a low level of shine. It is worn in short ponytails or cropped close in men and is worn long for women and boys. The males prefer to have facial hair of some sort. A beard denotes age and commands respect. Their noses are soft and shaped without angles and are not prominent. Their skin is medium brown in color and not easily sunburned. It's thick and leathery and built for work. They are not easily wounded, but are notorious for long, drawn-out recoveries and frequent relapses.

Their emotions are hard to read if they do not wish them to be shown. The forehead is low and wide. They have to prominent cheekbones. They have a very strong, prominent jawline. The Haethor's build is not at all delicate. Their height averages between 5' 7" and 6'. They are thickly built and very strong and muscular. Sense of sight rated at 4 1/2, touch at 2, hearing at 3 1/2, taste at 3, smell at 2 1/2. Their movement is slow and deliberate with moderate grace and agility. Strength and stamina are both excellent.

Mountains or other areas with difficult terrain are ideal habitats. Their talents or gifts from God are mining, smithing and stonemasonry. They learn at a very young age to shape rock and metal to their will. They forge marvelous weapons, armor, and other implements with amazing speed and skill. Often the things they make will take much longer to wear down or break than identical objects forged by another race. Their stone palaces are said to stand for hundreds if not thousands of years.Swords forged by them always fit the ones they were made for, even if they were not measured beforehand. By tradition, almost all Dragonrider swords are Haethor-made.

One of their faults is unsurpassed stubbornness, like the rocks they work with so often. They value solid, unchangeable things. It is very hard to provoke them to anger, but once they are angry they are virtually unstoppable. They hate arguments. They are not known for friendliness to strangers. Their leaders are chosen by tournament.

Their native language is called Hae and is similar in sound and structure to Spanish. They usually speak softly but quickly. They live in secluded, secret locations known only to friends of the race. Because of their affinity for stone, it is often hard to remember things about them. They usually have single children every five to ten years. They live for around 150 to 200 years on average, though some cases have been recorded as dying at 300 or older.

They are comfortable in many climates, and can live nocturnally or diurnally as they please, Overall, they are a gentle and humble but strong people. If you want them on your side, you will have to prove yourself first.

Jan 24, 2011

Epic Music for Monday

*zaps glaring snow and looming clouds into vibrant green grass and beaming sunshine*

*sigh* ... I wish.

So, I'm feeling the need for a little bit of cheering up, and this song does the trick almost every time.

Composer/Artist: Immediate Music
Album: Trailerhead
Impressions: Galloping across the plains; soaring aerial view over mountains; eagle's flight; a life progression; a planet whirling through space; elapsed time shot of a forest coming to life in the spring; dungeon locks breaking; candle piercing the darkness; ship sailing into sight around the edge of a bay; unsheathing of a magical sword; softly glowing crystals in a glittering cave; dragon hatching.

Share your own impressions. :D

Jan 16, 2011

My Adventure in the Dark, Pt 1

I'd never much liked unfamiliar places at night. True, I'd been along this road hundreds of times, but not usually alone and never after dark. I shifted my bike one gear higher and felt sweat slip between my hands and the handlebars. My dad had once bet me five dollars that I couldn't go out alone to the pole barn behind our house at night. Ever since the age of four I'd been too proud to admit defeat to anything, whether it was a race against someone five feet taller than me or my own (incorrect) choice of key that would open the garage door. I'd taken him up on the bet. Getting to the barn at a reasonable pace wasn't the problem. Turning my back to it on the return trip was.

I'd received my five dollars and never turned my back on the dark since. Willingly.

But I couldn't stay at Wednesday night youth group forever. So. That meant at some point I would have to turn around and go home. I'd never been a particularly irrational person, so I knew not to be afraid of the bug-eyed boogeymen every normal person (probably) imagined in the shadows. But those terrible rabbits along the road, just waiting to grab me and --

I grunted in frustration, suddenly reminded of a very cheesy Monty Python clip. The handlebars were getting slick. I felt rather than saw the steep, deep ditch next to me and considered the possibility of paying it a visit if I tried to wipe off that sweat...

I shouldn't have seen it. The moon was a faint, pathetic blotch of light behind soupy clouds and there was no one else on the highway besides mosquitoes, and they aren't known for generating any sort of light to glint off anything. But glint something did. My hands forgot their job of steering and flew up to my mouth as I stared into the blackness of the trees beyond the ditch. And, as any bicycle veteran knows; where you look, you generally go. I had a very bad habit of looking in the wrong places.

I had often imagined what it would be like to fall into one of those ditches. It would be nice to say that my imagination was right and more, but all I really remember is a lot of "Oof" and mouthful after mouthful of grass and assorted insects. As I landed at the bottom and began the customary procedure of gasping, groaning, and searching for whatever limbs had gone missing, the sharp, cold tip of the glint rested at the hollow in my collarbone.

"Light, please?" said an oddly familiar voice, sharp, accented, and distinctly male. My heart went ker-thlunk.
"Blast the light," growled someone else to my right. "Can't."
I edged my hand downward toward my pocket and grasped a tiny flashlight with a texture like snake scales. The thought didn't help much at that particular moment, lying in the rather squishy grass at the bottom of the ditch, but I had more pressing things to worry about at the moment.
"Hold still," said the first voice, sounding oddly frightened. "Don't try anyth --"
I flicked my light on and beamed it upward.
The shiny blade of a broadsword angled from my collarbone to the hand of the man who held it. "Um," I said, feeling the light slip in my shaking hand, and shone it where I guessed his face would be. I almost fainted.

He winced and moved backward. I flicked the light to the side, where it came to rest on a young, fair-haired girl shifting nervously from foot to foot, then a broad-shouldered man leaning against a tree and trying to look nonchalant. I didn't fall for it.
I knew him too well.
The light landed back on the man holding the sword. He squinted into it. I swept my gaze over his face, once, twice. It didn't change. High, proud features, untidy black hair, and four scars across his left cheek.

"You might get that out of my eyes," he grumbled.
"That hurts," he said patiently, glowering. "Get it off me."
"Oh," I said, still eyeballing the sword. "You might let me up."
"Might I?"
"Give it up, Aaron," said the other, shifting from his stance against the tree. His entire body radiated tension.
"I wish Smoky was here," whimpered the girl.
"That's it," I said, dropping the flashlight. "I'm dead. Maybe unconscious. Lord, help me, I want to wake up now."
"What makes you say that?" said the shape in the darkness.
"You. You can't be here. You're in Carseld, chasing whats-his-name."
Silence from the unlikely trio.

"Iri," I said mechanically. "Irivel Fairbrow, only son of Fairivel Fairbrow and Varia Moonchild. Forty-one, birthday June 23, height 6 feet 1 ½ inches. Gold ring on the third finger of your left hand. Am I right?"
"Um," said Iri.
"Thought so. Aaron. Naryn Darkstar, firstborn son of Kherin and Vialyn Darkstar. Forty, birthday March 5, height 6 feet 2 inches. Rider pendant with red stones around the rim. Wyn. Arionwyn Genevieve, raised by -- "
"Enough," Aaron snapped, the sword trembling in his grip. "Who are you?"
"Dead," I responded, close to tears or hysterical laughter, I couldn't tell which. "Or dreaming."
"She's not ... I mean, she can't be the Auth --" Wyn began.
"If I had a notebook I'd prove it. But I don't. Fresh out of pencils too." I began to giggle.

Aaron sheathed his sword, evidently deciding I was too insane to be much of a threat, which was probably true. "Is this Carseld?" he said slowly, clearly.
"Um ... no," I supplied, helpfully. "This is the United States ..."
"The wha --"
"Look," I said, sitting up carefully and checking for broken bones, "I think you'd better come home with me. If I'm not dead, we'll need somewhere brighter to sort his out -- please?"
"Lead the way," said Iri grimly.

Jan 3, 2011

Lesson 2: Grammar is Everything

When I was very (very) small, when I'd finished anything I would shout very (very) loudly to whomever was in the house at the moment, "III'MM DOOOONNEE!"

My dutiful father instructed me on the basics of grammar. He bent down on a level with me, his lips quirking in an attempt not to smile. "You aren't something cooking. You are a person, and you finished something. Ok?"


"A little quieter, muffin."

So on an afternoon not long before the New Year, I sat, pen in hand, on my bed with the shades closed and a dramatic aura of determination surrounding me. I was supposed to be doing my chores, but this was too epic to interrupt.

(I might mention that this is around ten years AFTER said incident.)

I wasn't in any particular hurry. I didn't feel especially ready to laugh or cry or even gasp in relief as my pencil scratched out the final words:

I placed a hand on his shoulder. "Don't lose hope."
The dark elf turned to me, pulled me closer, holding me as if he would do so forever. "I never have."

I sat up and rolled my pencil to rest in the crook of the pages. I glanced around the room, mildly surprised to see that nothing had exploded. Then I pulled in a deep breath and bellowed: "IIII'MM FIIIINNIISHEEED!"

This is how my new year came in. Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to yell that while the entire family was asleep at midnight on January 1, but this was good enough. Mom was looking at me funny by the time I came in to where she was sitting. "What?"

"Hey! Hey! Hey guess what I did!!"

She rolled her eyes. "What?"

I held up the bright purple notebook to give her a clue.

"You didn't."

"I did!"

She jumped up, smile as wide as ever. "I wanna read it!!"

Whatever else I have, I can count on devoted fans. Little did I know my father's well-meaning instruction would inspire a lifetime of fussiness over grammar. And spelling. And other various aspects of writing.

If only he knew what he started.