It was a day

selective focus photo of obalte green leafed plants during rain

Photo by Bibhukalyan Acharya on Pexels.com

Yesterday ended up being a day off for cleaning.

I walked into my closet and it was a mess of clothes on the floor and boxes spread around so that when I pushed on the door I couldn’t get into it.

I live in a small apartment so when one room is messy it spreads to the other rooms. I walked away from it and started the dishwasher. I had started cooking again. It’s hard to to cook in the summer here with the heat. But a few days ago I had made chicken stock and red roasted pepper sauce so I would have it in the freezer when I wanted to make my style of spaghetti or pizza.

So it started with cleaning up the messes on the counters and then scrubbing the floor. I just got a new steam mop and it picks up dirt that I can’t get in other ways. When I got the kitchen to a semblance of organization, then I went to that closet. I washed clothes and put things away. I threw plastic boxes on shelves.

There were consequences. My back started to hurt about halfway through cleaning. I try not to remember how I used to be able to clean an apartment in a couple of days from top to bottom. I’m looking at the carpets today. They need a good vacuum and maybe a little steam cleaning. At least I figured out a way to do it. I’m not sure if my body will hold out for another hard day of cleaning.

In the middle of all this, when I usually take the dog for a walk, the rain came down hard and heavy. It’s what happens in our winter. This morning the sun is shining and the temperature is a balmy 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

I went anyway, pushing my black dog buggy. Foxy, my black chihuahua-terrier mix, loves to go outside, but she doesn’t enjoy getting wet. She definitely doesn’t have any Labrador genes in there. We were a sight. I was wrapped up with a black wool coat, black scarf, and a blue hat to keep the rain off of me. She was in a small carriage with a cover over her. She was quite happy there.

When we finally got back, everything had to dry on towels. The buggy was wet from top to bottom and the dog was dry. I now understand why wool is the cloth of choice in rainy places. The water had rolled off my coat. I only had to hang the coat up to dry with the hat and scarf. I changed my socks, but I came out mostly dry.

Once I had a few minutes to sit and hold the doggy in my overstuffed rocking chair, I had time to think of brain glitches and memories. Before I had chemo at 41 for Wegener’s Granulomatosis (also called GPA) the memories were sharp, clear, and emotionally laden. After the chemo, those memories that were clear became fuzzy and indistinct as if they happened to someone else. The emotional content was gone.

In some ways that was good because I have stories that would curl your hair.

Let’s just say that my mother shows the signs of the “narcissistic personality” even though she has not been diagnosed.

It took a couple of years after taking cytoxan (I took it for a year) before I began to feel anything but anxiety and fear. My late-hubby tried hard to make me feel safe. When I started to write again about four years after my diagnosis and treatment, I started to gain my emotions one step at a time. Cytoxan made it hard to remember from day to day.

Plus I have found that immuno-suppressants (it’s chemo… don’t let the doctor’s fool you) does the same thing. It fuzzes the memories and the softer emotions. Then add into it the “Mandela effect.” I was shocked when I saw that the “Berenstein bears” was Berenstain bears.

I have two theories about it– one is collapsing timelines and the other is dimensional travel. It sounds pretty woo-woo until you start reading about Quantum mechanics. I have wondered for a long time if we can unconsciously travel. This idea gets into “astral” travel and “remote viewing.” It feels like we are living in the age when science and the occult are starting to touch.

In the collapsing timeline theory, I think more people believe one thing than another so it collapses to the believers. In the Mandela story, I remember hearing a rumor that Mandela had died, but he was presented as living. So in my timeline and memories he didn’t die. Although with him being so far away from so many people, who knew unless a body was produced?

In the dimensional travel theory, I think consciously or unconsciously a few people will travel to their opposite number. I have a few memories that change abruptly or even people who changed abruptly. That change could be that I went from a self-centered child to a noticing child. My opportunities changed abruptly too. In this dimension I have had to finagle and push for every success. Nothing has come easy. I remember times when opportunities were easy.

I wonder if somewhere else I became a scientist who studied the brain. I wondered if somewhere I was singing opera. I wondered if I became an astronaut. By the way, I didn’t give up that dream until I went into the Navy and found that the Air Force supplied NASA with pilots. In my Mandela effect I was sure the Navy was the supplier.

All of those were dreams and ambitions I had as a young child. The one dream I am fulfilling is the dream of writing.

Sarah Hoyt wrote “Who are you really? What I mean is if you met yourself at seven, are you the same person?.” The rest of the blog is here.

I am not that same person. I think I would have listened to that child of six who was making her goals and planning her life and thought she was sweet and precocious. Would I believe that she would become an electronics tech in the US Navy, earn an English literature degree, be a writer? No. I would have been like the adults around me and said that she would change her mind when she met boys. She would probably get married and have a ton of children.

Maybe in another life, I did just that.

****

Now for a  little promotion

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2

Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?

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Tuesday Snippet: Unlicensed Sorceress Chapter Seven

unlicensed sorceress 2017Koenigstadt
Michael Ordson

Michael walked quickly down the cobblestone path. He didn’t stop to look at the stone buildings that had been there for hundreds of years. He didn’t look at the fountain with undines dancing and swooping in the tinkling water.

He didn’t notice the sylphs as they tangled and slid up and down the oaks planted near the pathway. As a student he had not been able to see the elementals at play except when they manifested in the classroom.

He didn’t stop and stare because he was focused on finding his mentor. There had to be some way to stop the inevitable. Since the mage wars, unlicensed mages were chained, stripped of their powers, and sometimes killed in very public ways. The only reason Morcant would try to strip Hilda’s powers was because she had been of service and couldn’t be killed publicly without a lot of repercussions from the Mercenary Guild.

No one wanted the guild mad at them. The members trained for years and also went to war against each other. They knew tactics and weapons. They had planned for every disaster including if they were attacked by their host country. They were hard men and women who would do anything for their own. Hell, even the retired mercenaries were dangerous. He thought fondly of Grandpa Stevens. That man could kill with a look. He didn’t even have to use his hands.

When Michael found his mentor, he was in a better mood after the long walk and his thoughts of Grandpa Stevens inevitably lead to thoughts of Josephine. He missed her. He really missed her. He would give up all of his ambitions of fame and fortune to be her at the inn.

Michael’s mentor was on his knees in a garden. His earth elemental, a gnome, was watching him plant bulbs along the walkway.

“Isn’t this a little early?” Michael asked him. The sun’s weak rays didn’t warm him. The cold went clear to his bones.

“Yes,” his mentor said simply. “But my friend here will watch them and make sure they don’t freeze. They’ll be ready to bloom in spring.” He got up off of his knees and brushed off the dirt that had accumulated on his pants and robes.

The mentor straightened and then looked into Michael’s eyes. “I hear you brought us some trouble.” His words came out slow and thoughtful. One of the reasons the mentor received so many students was because he didn’t rush to judgment. A lot had to do with his affinity to earth. He knew it took time for students to reach their full potential.

Then he smiled and switched the subject, “Congratulations. I see you have an undine.”
Michael smiled back, “Yes.”

The mentor’s eyes unfocused. He murmured. “Your fire ability has been badly burned. You’ll have to tell me what happened. How interesting.”

He reached out and touched Michael’s hand. He continued, “You grew another one. How did you?—” He opened his eyes. “Once again, you’ll have to tell me later. Come with me. We need to talk in private.”

They didn’t walk much farther until they reached a door in the wall. His mentor made some hand motions and the door opened by magic. “It’s keyed to my magic, I’m afraid,” the mentor’s eyes crinkled in amusement as Michael watched him intently. “No one can get in here, but me.”

“So have you terminated many students here?” Michael joked. When the silence grew, Michael started to feel uncomfortable. There was a reason why normals thought mages were insane.

“You have nothing to fear,” said his mentor. “We are just going to talk.”

His mentor motioned to an over-stuffed chair that had brown and yellow stains on it. Michael didn’t look closer. He didn’t want to know what the stains were although by the smell, some student had probably peed from fear. It was a stringent sour odor. Michael ignored it and breathed through his mouth.

“So,” the word drawled out of the mentor’s mouth. “Are you here about your magic or about your sister’s?”

Michael was not ready for the question. He flinched. He tried to say something smart, but all that came out was, “uh, uh, uh.”

“Your sister then,” said the mentor. The mentor quit looming over Michael and sat down on a stuffed couch facing him. While Michael wasn’t looking, a tea tray appeared on a small tray beside his mentor.

“Since I am not your mentor anymore,” the mentor said, “You may call me Mage Godfroy.” He poured two cups of tea and floated one of the tea cups to Michael.
Michael plucked the tea cup out of the air and took a sip of the tea. “Thank you,” he murmured. The tea tasted excellent. He didn’t test for poison. Doing that in his old mentor’s office would have been an insult.

“So about your sister,” the mage said. He sipped his tea and then put it down. “She has magical talent, yes?”

Michael nodded his head. All of a sudden the tea tasted sour in his mouth. “She had a meeting with Mage Morcant today.”

Mage Godfroy grimaced. “He tried to strip her of her power, yes?”

Michael nodded his head. “He wasn’t successful, and he will try again.”

“You have a problem,” said Mage Godfroy. “You should have reported her magical talent as soon as you knew. She should have reported it when the fire element came to her.” He took another sip of his tea. Michael relaxed slightly. The mage could give a tongue-lashing like no other. He was not expecting this calm.

“Mage Morcant,” Mage Godfroy continued. “Had every right to strip her powers—except he shouldn’t have done it without the consent of the Mage Council. You do know that it would be easy for Morcant to get permission now that they know she is able to stop an attack.”

“I would think that they would find her useful.” Michael felt the blood rush to his head. “She has been trained in war.” He could feel the his face warm and burn. He felt his undine caress the back of his neck until he cooled down. His temper went cold and blue sparks shown in his eyes.

Mage Godfroy didn’t smile, although there was a twinkle in the back of his eyes.

“Good,” he said abruptly. “You’ll need that when you go to war for your sister. It may only be paper and diplomacy, but if you cannot get them on your side, then your sister will be as good as dead.”

Under the cold anger, Micheal felt his stomach sink.

******************

Now for a  little promotion

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2

Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?

 

Does my writing suck?

person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook

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Here’s the thing. As a writer I don’t know if I write well or not. I feel the words come out. I try to manage the characters and I work on things like dialogue and description, but when it comes down to my writing, I can’t judge if it is good or not.

I’ve talked to other writers who have numerous readers and they always say the same things. They cannot judge if their stories are good or not. It is the reason that many of us ask our readers to write reviews.

When I was first starting to learn the story structure, I would send my stories out to small magazines, publishers, and agents. I had the impression that this group would give me advice or at least tell me my weak spots. It was pretty naive. But at the time, when we were marching through the publishing gates– the gatekeepers had complete control of what stories were being told.

In my cleaning endeavors over the years, I have thrown away hundreds of rejection letters. I think I managed to publish one story in Bibliophilos– a very small literary mag. Not one of those rejections gave advice or encouragement except a sci-fi mag. There I was told that they wanted to read more of my work, but that the story I had sent was not the kind they published.

I should have pursued that one. My problem at the time was that I had just finished college after pursuing an English degree and it was right when I started to have problems with Wegener’s Granulomatosis. After taking the meds for that disease, I pretty much lost my brain and had to start over. It took two years before I could even read again. I only started writing again in 2009.

So after you read something you like, go give that author a nice review. It only has to be one or two sentences. I am pretty sure that it will be the most joy that they’ve had in weeks or longer. I know that I reread a good review over and over to pick up my spirits.

Why? Because all of us who write don’t know if we are any good and many of us think we are just hacks, but we are still brave enough to throw our babies into the wind so they can float or fall.

************

Now for a  little promotion

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2

Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?