Wrapped Up: A Poem

Since it’s officially fall, I thought I’d write a poem about something which is fall-like. Though we aren’t really in scarf weather where I live, yet!

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Image from WikiMedia by Tony Hisgett.

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Wrapped Up

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Fabric wisps fashionably draped are in season year round,

but a cozy knit waits for crisper air,

flames leaves fluttering to mound

in piles raked high,

ever-present pumpkin spice, hot cider, and pies.

As autumn dims to winter, the branches stretch bare

to the ice gray sky,

the warmest wools snuggle noses and tuck into coats,

and people hurry through the chill,

all wrapped up.

 

 

 

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Top Ten Tues: Characters

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

September 26:  Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

I like the sound of Top Ten Books That Feature Characters with Interesting Jobs.

  1. Catch me If You Can; Frank Abagnale. From con artist to catching cons.

2. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency; Douglas Adams. The weirdest P.I. ever.

3. Kitchen Confidential; Anthony Bourdain. Cooking is magic, when you get right down to it. Though being a cook is less magic and more work!

4. Memoirs of a Geisha; Arthur Golden. Not a job with a lot of choices, but still interesting.

5. Grave Sight; Charlaine Harris. Psychic finding dead bodies, definitely one of the weirdest jobs I’ve read about.

6. All Creatures Great and Small; James Herriot. I wanted to be a vet for a while when I was a kid, until I realized it involved blood and needles. But, still, animals!

7. Ranger Confidential; Andrea Lankford. A varied and sometimes dangerous job.

8. Population 485; Michael Perry. Comic/ volunteer firefighter is a great job combination.

9. Going Postal; Terry Pratchett. Head of the postal service, plus magic.

10. Just Mercy; Bryan Stevenson. Lawyering done the difficult way.

Weekend Writing Warriors: 9/23

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2016, currently called River, Tree, Mountain. It’s science fiction, set on a colony planet, six generations in–with 10% of the population born “marvels,” who have special abilities like dowsing, healing, or creating fire. The protagonist, Rekka, is a spark (fire), signed a contract with Brenton to provide him a child (NOT married/permanently paired), moves in with him, and more than a year later, is outside painting when L, the pink haired man, gives her a hand carved wood goldfinch. Last line is Rekka’s to L “Were you headed somewhere?”

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“Well, I was thinking about getting some food,” L said.

“Do you want some company?” Rekka latched the box of her art supplies closed, set it down to hop off her rock perch, then picked it up again.

“Oh, I…” L shifted his feet, then offered a slightly pained smile.

“Wait–I’m sensing a polite lie coming, but I’m fine eating by myself.”

He laughed ruefully, rubbing the back of his neck, “That obvious, huh?”

“Yeah, but don’t worry, it’s nice to meet someone who can’t lie so believably you’re never certain what’s true.”

He studied her for a moment, “Now I’ve changed my mind. You need to vent, and I’m willing to listen.”

*    *    *

Life on the colony planet of Kaibou was going uneventfully until the second generation of colonists was born on the planet, at some, at a young age, began showing various psychic abilities. When those people, called marvels, grew up, many of them formed companies, building compounds to live in and raise their children.  Due to population diversity issues, many colonists have children using genetic bank material, or choose a succession of partners. Now on the seventh generation, marvels are born both within and without company walls, and all must work together to use their gifts and make a living on a still wild land. Some of these outsider marvels sign contracts with company marvels, agreeing to give them a child raised within the company, in return for a permanent home in the company compound, a stipend, and other concessions.

Top Ten Tues: Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

September 19: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

(These are books I plan to read after the start of fall on September 22nd, but before winter rolls around. I’m excited about all of these! <3)

  1. The Language of Thorns; Leigh Bardugo. I love the grisha world, and this is tales from that world.

2. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns; Julie Dao. Dark magic, and a powerful destiny.

3. Ladycastle; Delilah Dawson. Graphic novel about women in charge.

4. Taste of Marrow; Sarah Gailey. Book 2. Diverse characters, high stakes, and people riding hippos.

5. A Plague of Giants; Kevin Hearne. New series by an author I like. With invading giants and magical beasts.

6. Godsgrave; Jay Kristoff. Book 2. Goddess of murder, people bent on revenge–very intense book 1.

7. Renegades; Marissa Meyer. Another new series by an author I like. Superheroes and supervillains!

8. All the Crooked Saints; Maggie Stiefvater. I’ll read pretty much anything she writes. About the price of a miracle, and a family who performs them.

9. City of Lies; Victoria Thompson. New series! 1920s mystery with a con artist protagonist.

10. Artemis; Andy Weir. Loved The Martian, curious to see what’s next!

Weekend Writing Warrior: 10/22

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2016, currently called River, Tree, Mountain. It’s science fiction, set on a colony planet, six generations in–with about 10% of the population born “marvels,” who have special abilities like dowsing, healing, or creating fire. The protagonist, Rekka, is a spark (fire), signed a contract with Brenton to provide him a child, moves in with him, and more than a year later, is outside painting when L, the pink haired man, shows up and gives her a hand carved wood goldfinch, saying “It reminds me of you.”

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He must’ve read the surprise on Rekka’s face, because L swiped his hand through the air as if to erase what he’d said. “Not the coloring, of course, or that you’re a bird, because you’re not, but… you made me something, and I thought I should make you something, too…”

“It’s lovely, really,” Rekka reassured, “but it must’ve been much more work than my painting.”

“I travel a lot, and sometimes you’re stuck somewhere with nothing to do, so I make these out of scraps,” he waved his hand again, slower, dismissing his efforts.

“And I’m like a goldfinch,” Rekka prompted.

“Bright, inquisitive, and chirpy, yeah,” he said, without hesitation, having abruptly gotten over whatever troubled him.

“Chirpy,” Rekka repeated, considering if she wanted to accept the word. There was, she decided, a certain cheerfulness to her nature, and a definite willingness to peck at people when it amused her.

“I’m touched you thought of me, L. Were you headed somewhere?”

*    *    *

Life on the colony planet of Kaibou was going uneventfully until the second generation of colonists was born on the planet, at some, at a young age, began showing various psychic abilities. When those people, called marvels, grew up, many of them formed companies, building compounds to live in and raise their children.  Due to population diversity issues, many colonists have children using genetic bank material, or choose a succession of partners. Now on the seventh generation, marvels are born both within and without company walls, and all must work together to use their gifts and make a living on a still wild land. Some of these outsider marvels sign contracts with company marvels, agreeing to give them a child raised within the company, in return for a permanent home in the company compound, a stipend, and other concessions.

Top Ten Tues: Throwback

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

September 12: Throwback Freebie: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog, Favorite Books Published 5 or 10 or 15 Years Ago, Ten Older Books I Forgot How Much I Loved, etc. etc. Tweak however you want!

Let’s throw it waaay back, shall we? Top Ten Books from the 19th Century.

  1. Persuasion; Jane Austen. My second favorite Austen, for variety.

2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Lewis Carol. A trip.

3. Oliver Twist; Charles Dickens. Can you have some more?

4. The Three Musketeers; Alexandre Dumas. Every book needs some sword fights.

5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Arthur Conan Doyle. Witty and short. Holmes is kind of terrible, but still entertaining.

6. Frankenstein; Mary Shelley. We’re all a little bit the monster, I think.

7. Treasure Island; Robert Lois Stevenson. Pirates! Arrr!

8. Dracula; Bram Stoker. You rather have to admire this old school vampire story. It’s creepy and gothic, and monstrous.

9. Around the World in Eighty Days; Jules Verne. Packed full of adventure.

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray; Oscar Wilde. A really terrible character that gets what’s coming to him.

Weekend Writing Warriors: 9/9

*****The edge of the storm has passed my city. Very little damage, keeping the coast in my thoughts.*****

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2016, currently called River, Tree, Mountain. It’s science fiction, set on a colony planet, six generations in–with about 10% of the population born “marvels,” who have special abilities like dowsing, healing, or creating fire. The protagonist, Rekka, is a spark (fire), signed a contract with Brenton to provide him a child, moves in with him, and more than a year later, is outside painting when L, the pink haired man, shows up and starts rummaging in his bag for something–his last line “I have something to make up for…”

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“For?” Rekka prompted.

“For?” he blinked at her, hand still in his backpack. “Oh, right, for my rudeness in forgetting…” he paused to rummage more, and then finished triumphantly, “your name!”

L lifted a small wrapped bundle to the light, and then folded his fingers around it while he stuffed everything else back into his backpack. That achieved, he snagged her hand with his free one, and deposited the bundle on her palm, smiling broadly.

For a moment, Rekka was caught in the pure pleased good humor of that smile, then she dropped her gaze to the object in her hand. He’d wrapped it in a twist of pale blue fabric, something cut raggedly from a larger piece, and fraying, threads tickling her hand.

She poked at it, finding a seam, and unrolling, until she revealed the object nestled in the curl of cloth—a carved wooden bird, feathers cut into the pale wood, and sections dyed black and yellow, making the carving recognizably a goldfinch.

“This is very well done,” Rekka tipped it this way and that in the light, admiring the thin, curved cuts, which brought the otherwise simple shape to life.

“Thanks,” he ducked his head, ruffling his hair, “it reminds me of you.”

*    *    *

Life on the colony planet of Kaibou was going uneventfully until the second generation of colonists was born on the planet, at some, at a young age, began showing various psychic abilities. When those people, called marvels, grew up, many of them formed companies, building compounds to live in and raise their children.  Due to population diversity issues, many colonists have children using genetic bank material, or choose a succession of partners. Now on the seventh generation, marvels are born both within and without company walls, and all must work together to use their gifts and make a living on a still wild land. Some of these outsider marvels sign contracts with company marvels, agreeing to give them a child raised within the company, in return for a permanent home in the company compound, a stipend, and other concessions.

Butterfly Smile: A Poem

Inspired by a friend’s Facebook post, which reminded me of these moments.

Image from WikiMedia by Alberto Salguero.

***

Butterfly Smile

Wearing butterfly wings that rose over my head

and stretched past my shoulder

painted in black and red and gold

a bright bold fairy at Scarborough Fair

I was walking when a man called out

“Smile!”

when I turned to face him, silent

“Come on, smile!”

when I walked away

to my back, shielded only by gauze wrapped wire

and rapidly dissolving joy

he shouted about ‘fairy extermination’

and laughed

Later, I felt a tap on my shoulder

and turned to find two fairies

both winged in greens and browns

carrying wings larger than mine

with leaves and flowers in their hair.

One blew her pipes, a rising note

question

the other held out his hand

with a star-shaped bead gleaming blue in his palm

and when he dropped the star into mine

he smiled

and I smiled, too.

 

 

Top Ten Tues: Struggles

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

September 5: Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down (the theme is…books you had a hard time with…tweak it how ever you need)

I’m quite particular about the books I read, which cuts down on the failures, so I’m splitting this between DNFs and Struggles.

DNF

  1. Hue 1968; Mark Bowden. Too dry. The writing didn’t engage me, so I put it down.

2. Seven Dreams; Charlotte English. The characters felt flat, and the plot failed to catch my attention.

3. The Shape of Bones; Daniel Galera. Disjointed, with a narrative so confusing I couldn’t quite tell what was going on for some time.

4. Empire Ascendant; Cameron Hurley. The first book was dark, and this book proved to be darker.

5. Jitterbug Perfume; Tom Robbins. I found the prose overwrought, and everything that was meant to be funny didn’t amuse me.

Struggles

6. The Library of Fate; Khorana Aditi. Loved the idea, but there were too many weaknesses in character development, plot, and pacing.

7. The Massacre of Mankind; Stephen Baxter. A sequel to War of the Worlds that didn’t feel like it really added anything.

8. All the Sounds of Fear; Harlan Ellison. A collection of dark, sometimes hopeless sci fi tales, I had to spread this out among other reading. Haunting, but interesting.

9. Heartburn; Nora Ephron. I got the audio book pretty much because Meryl Streep voiced it, and she did a good enough job to keep me going.

10. The Leopard; Jo Nesbo. This is the eighth book in the series, but each one is a slog, driven by the well-written mystery, and slowed by the terrible characters.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors: 9/2

*****The edge of the storm has passed my city. Very little damage, keeping the coast in my thoughts.*****

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2016, currently called River, Tree, Mountain. It’s science fiction, set on a colony planet, six generations in–with about 10% of the population born “marvels,” who have special abilities like dowsing, healing, or creating fire. The protagonist, Rekka, is a spark (fire), signed a contract with Brenton to provide him a child, moves in with him, and more than a year later, is outside painting.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

 

 

 

“Hey!” a male voice came from behind Rekka.

She swiveled, glancing behind her, and saw a broad-shouldered figure approaching, features washed out by the sun. As he drew closer, she recognized the wavy pink hair falling just short of the man’s violet eyes, his skin tanned a darker shade of brown than when she’d seen him last.

When he stopped a few feet from her stone perch, she smiled, “Hello, L. It’s been awhile–a year, I think.”

“Yeah, about that, but you still remember my name.” His tone was sheepish, and he ran his fingers through his hair, his gaze on the ground before he made eye contact.

“I have the advantage of writing your name down,” Rekka uncoiled from her seat, shifting to face him more comfortably, her legs swinging in the air,  “Mine’s Rekka.”

“Well, Rekka, I have, in fact…” he paused, rummaging in the backpack thrown over his shoulder, “something to make up for…” he took a few wrapped bundles out of the backpack, pinning them awkwardly between his arm and his body while he kept searching.

*    *    *

Life on the colony planet of Kaibou was going uneventfully until the second generation of colonists was born on the planet, at some, at a young age, began showing various psychic abilities. When those people, called marvels, grew up, many of them formed companies, building compounds to live in and raise their children.  Due to population diversity issues, many colonists have children using genetic bank material, or choose a succession of partners. Now on the seventh generation, marvels are born both within and without company walls, and all must work together to use their gifts and make a living on a still wild land. Some of these outsider marvels sign contracts with company marvels, agreeing to give them a child raised within the company, in return for a permanent home in the company compound, a stipend, and other concessions.