Archive | April 30, 2013

Giraffe Call Open: A-Z

Today’s Giraffe Call Theme is based off the Blogging from A-Z Challenge.

Over the next 2 weeks, I will write one fic to prompts for each letter of the English Alphabet – one prompt per person; a second prompt for donators.

If I receive enough prompts/donations to write a prompt for each letter of the alphabet, I will write two bonus stories to non-English (real or fictional) letter themes.

Leave as many prompts as you wish. Please leave your prompts in the form of:

A is for Apple
C – Cephalopod Creeps.
and so on.

I will list the letters here. As one becomes “full;” i.e., 4 or more prompts, I will cross it out.

If I get a large number of overlapping prompts, I may ask people to re-prompts with new letters.



Prompter Count: 23
Extra Prompt count: 1
Donator Count: 6
Total letters to be written: 36/26

Donations go towards summer renovations: still working on the foyer! I want to make a new bench, a storage area, and a slippers-for-guests arrangement. It’s an 8×4 space; budget is $300.

If I get two new prompters or one new donator, I will write a setting piece (setting chosen by poll) explaining something about one of my universes.

At $20 in donations, I’ll order pizza!

At $25 in donations, I’ll finally have enough for the hardwood boards, and find a hardwood store in Ithaca! – REACHED!

At $40 in donations, I will choose 1 non-donater at random to receive an additional microfic as well. – REACHED

At $50, anyone who donated $7.50 or more will have a copy of “Alder by Post” mailed to them if they wish. – REACHED

For every $50 donated, I will do a one-hour livewrite on Etherpad or googledocs during the next month.

At $65, I’ll write a third microfic to the prompts of everyone who donated. – REACHED

At $75, I’ll buy the accessories for the storage area. And post pictures!

At $80, I will write two extra 500-word continuations – chosen by prompters picked by random number generator.

Buy an Extension
500 words $5.00 USD
750 words $7.50 USD
1000 words $10.00 USD
1250 words $12.50 USD
1500 words $15.00 USD
1750 words $17.50 USD
2000 words $20.00 USD
100 words $1.00 USD

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First and Last Frost Dates

Getting impatient?

Three resources for last frost date by area:

(these read between May 2 and May 31 for last-frost for my approximate area).

here’s a map for the UK:
and another:

Something not entirely clear for Australia:

Of course, even with a chart, it helps to look at the weather on a day-to-day basis at the beginning and end of the season.

And I’ve planted some peas and put my first butternuts in the ground.

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

X is for Xeno-everything, a story for the Giraffe Call

All of my X prompts were to people for whom I had already written all of their allotted prompts, so I mushed them all together; have something strange for free.

When the Introductory Team went to a new planet, they made sure to bring samples of their culture with them.

There were three reasons for this.

The first was the human habit of hospitality and guest-gifts; if you were going to drop in on someone unannounced, it was polite to bring a present of some sort.

The second was to test for xenophobia. A new culture’s response to common human artifacts would tell the Team a lot about the culture: did they fear the new? Did they step back from common, everyday objects?

The third reason was very related to the first and second, and was what the Introductory Team was all about, in the end.

When they landed on Cunnel Six, the Team brought three of their best xenolinguists, their xenobiologists, and their xenoempaths. They also brought their gift bag of common items – a xylophone, a box of xocolatl, knitting needles and yarn, bread, and so on – and their gift-giver.

Matthiew Ornan had done this now on seven planets. He bowed carefully to the first representative from the Xantusia people, and then, even more carefully, imitated their greeting as best as his human body could.

The Xantusia – an approximation of the words they used for themselves – looked to human eyes like large bipedal lizards; their greeting involved clasping their hand-like appendages together tightly and then turning their back on the person they were greeting. They made clicking sounds – the xenolinguist told Matthiew they were approval, and his own empathy agreed – when he did a similar gesture.

“We bring you gifts.” He paused while the xenolinguist translated. “Things from our home, as tokens of our good-will.”

He watched the Xantusia as it picked up the box of gifts, its claws tinkling over the xylophone. Early studies of their broadcasts had shown that the Xantusia had a similar instrument.

“Xinpahzian.” It tinked its claws against it. “Lii-eer.”

Matthiew needed no interpretation to recognize kin.

He bowed again, hiding a smile. If the Xantusia could be made to recognize them as kin, than the rest of his job would be so much easier.

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W is for Whisk(e)y

To [personal profile] thnidu‘s prompt.

“There’s a reason it’s called the water of life.”

David was drawing circles on the floor of his dorm room, linked circles around a central circle, and in the middle of it all, an open glass of whiskey. “Uisce beatha,” he continued. “Hey, Wayne, pass me that second bottle, would you?”

His roommate, who had been walking a careful circuit of the room, wanting only to get to his desk, his computer, his tequila, and his chat with his girlfriend, nevertheless passed over the second bottle. “More whiskey?”

“This one’s whisky.” He turned the label so it was visible, the missing E clearly absent, and poured out two shots, and then a fractional third shot. “No e.”

“No E. Okay, I’ll bite. Isn’t summoning demons supposed to be a weekend activity? Elizabeth got awfully pissed at you the last time you started mucking about with the forces of good and evil on a weekday.”

“No kidding. And Miranda hasn’t talked to me since that thing with the bog monster.” David poured out two more shots, drank one, and passed the other to Wayne. “Go talk to Steff. It’s fine, I’m not going to do anything stupid.”

“You’re sitting there in a chalk diagram drinking whisk-no-e.”

“Yes, but I’m not going to fuck around with the forces of good and evil tonight. No demons, no bog monsters.”

“Then what in the unknowable Names are you doing?”

David grinned up at him. “Math homework.”

“Math homework?” He poured himself another shot of whisky.

“Finding e.” He drank down another shot himself. “Like I said. Water of life. This stuff is going to be a life-saver.”

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