Archive | February 17, 2017

MARKED – Magic classes…??

MARKED – 3.9

Nilien swallowed. “Oh. Oh, I see, of course.” She gave Lorque a quick hug. “I’ll see you after class, then.”

“Chin up.” Lorque looked a bit stunned, but, well, Nilien supposed what Professor Valents was saying made sense. It was one thing to be a bit behind — a week or two, maybe — in history or sciences, but in magic? “You’ll catch up in no time.”

“I’ll do my best.” Nilien no longer felt very certain, though. “I’m sorry, Professor Valents, I don’t mean to dawdle. Where…?”

“It’s all right, dear. It’s good you’re making friends so quickly. This way.”

read on…

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Lady Taisiya’s 4th Husband, Chapter 18: Boys and Girls – a fantasy/romance story

Find Chapter 1 here
Chapter 2 is here
Chapter 3 is here
Chapter 4 is here
Chapter 5 is here
Chapter 6 is here
Chapter 7 is here.
Chapter 8: here

Chapter 9: here
Chapter 10: here
Chapter 11 (R-Rated) here
Chapter 12: here
Chapter 13: here
Chapter 14: here
Chapter 15: here
Chapter 16: here
Chapter 17: here

You can skip Chapter 11 without losing the plot.

Sefton knew at least twenty games that you could play with three people, but the one he chose had simple base rules, numerous complicate variations, and used the alternate cards that all decks had but most games didn’t utilize.

It was not the best game to play when one was exhausted, worn out, and playing with new people, but it had some variations he thought Hothyan and Pherishhe would find interesting, and the complexities of it would keep him awake, hopefully.

He was dealing the Fisherman and the Soldier to Pherishhe when Jaco came back.

“What’s this? Nine-pocket?”

“No, it’s called Efferghine. My middle-father taught it to me.”

“Elephant’s-Ear,” Jaco translated. “Is your middle-father from Fesharon?”

“He is. He was always… well. I like him.” Sefton shrugged uncomfortably. Father Gerilon, his Fesharoni father, had always had the most interesting ideas, and he’d been more willing than anyone else to talk out against The Way Things Were. It had made things tense sometimes, in the husband-quarters, but Sefton had still paid wide-eyed attention.

Gerilon had been the only one to speak out against Sefton’s marriage to Taisiya. He had been outvoted by all the other fathers, and of course Sefton’s mother had the final say, but it had been nice that someone was in Sefton’s corner, looking out for what he wanted.

Sefton found he’d ducked his head and curled his lip up in guilt. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Taisiya, he assured the back of his mind. It was just…

“I know that look.” Jaco patted his shoulder heavily. “It’s fine.” He sat down and looked at Hothyan pointedly. “Sometimes you don’t want to get married. Lots of sons don’t. I didn’t. Everyone knows that. It’s nothing to do with your new wife. You don’t know her, might have never even seen her.”

“Like Isham,” Hothyan muttered.

“Exactly like Isham. And I know you’ve been thinking it too, eggling, when your turn is going to come. You’ve got your friendships and your special-friends and that lovely young lady a couple years older than you at school – of course I know it, Hoth, don’t look at me like that.”

“I didn’t hear a thing,” Pherishhe put in. “Father Feltian, show me how this deal works again?”

Sefton grinned at the girl and walked her through the deal again. It gave Hoth a minute to get his expression under control and Jaco a minute to consider whether he wanted to keep on teasing the boy or move on to something else. Sefton spoke slowly and carefully, and Pherishhe paid very close attention, and Jaco, in turn, decided, it seemed, to move on to something else.

“What about you?” he asked Sefton, just as Sefton finished explaining the complicated dealing procedure to Pherishhe. “Any special-friends you left behind? Girls you had your eye on?”

“What about you?” Sefton countered. “You’ve been here a while, sure, but did you leave anyone behind?”

“There was someone,” Jaco admitted, looking unhappy to have been put on the spot. Well, it served him right. “I mean, I guess everyone has a friend or two.”

Pherishhe looked back and forth between them and Hothyan. “I get the feeling you don’t mean like Meliodane and I.”

“Well, that — no. Probably not.” Jaco’s cheeks colored and he ducked his head. Sefton watched, fascinated by the sudden change in demeanor. “I don’t know if girls really have that sort of, ah, that is.”

“They do,” Sefton assured him, feeling a little bit unkind, “but not nearly as much, as far as I can tell, as boys do. At least, that’s what my sister told me. They know so many less other girls than we know boys, for one.”

“But do they… ah.”

“You had sisters, didn’t you?” Sefton peered at Jaco. A family line that had no girls at all was considered a little aberrant. Then again, a family line that had too many girls was almost as strange.

“They were all younger. Too young for special friends, at least when I was at home.” Jaco glowered at Sefton.

Sefton acknowledged — to himself — that he probably deserved the glare. He’d gotten nearly as uncomfortable when Taisiya asked him about his.

Then again… but that was a different matter.

“As far as I can tell, when they do, it’s much the same as it is with guys. But that’s their secret between girls, like the other is a secret between boys.”

Pherisshe looked back and forth between them. Hothyan was staring pointedly at his cards.

“So,” she asked, as if trying to answer a classroom question. “There are things that are secrets but everyone knows them?”

“That’s pretty accurate. It’s.” Sefton shifted so he was looking at her straight-on. “So, when we grow up, men and women, we have different lives, right?”

“HUsbands’ territory and wife’s territory.” Pherisshe nodded.

“But when we’re kids, we all go to school, we all live in the nursery.”

“But girls get treated differently,” Hothyan pointed out. “Better food, safer hiding places.”

“They do,” Sefton agreed. “But we’re treated a lot more similarly as kids than we are as adults. I think you can agree with that?”

Hothyan’s eyes fell to the chains on Sefton’s wrists. “Yeah. As adults there’s a lot more difference.”

“So, I — um. What my shell-father would say is ‘your sister is your shell-mate, the same as your brother. You wife is from another shell, and you must always remember that.’” He held up his hand. “You have to think of a metaphorical shell here, because it’s very very rare that two people are actually shell-mates, and then they’re always boys. But the point stands. We have our shell-family and our second-house family, and they will always be different.”

“But then you come here and you’ll be shell-father for babies and then aren’t they your shell-family?” Pherisshe frowned. “So you go from your shell-mates to your shell-children? And I would, too. Because women are always the shell-mother.”

“That’s true.” Sefton was in way over his head here, and he couldn’t expect any rescue from Jaco when he’d thrown him in the deep end already. “It’s, well, it wasn’t my saying?” He shrugged uncomfortably. “I always took from it that my relationship with my second-home and the women there would always be different than the one I had with my sister or even my mother.”

Pherisshe looked at him long enough that he thought he might start to sweat. Her expression was far too piercing and far too thoughtful. After a long time, a time in which Hothyan started shuffling the cards over and over again and Jaco started whistling, she nodded. “All right. I understand. Your brothers are almost your sisters. You don’t have to pretend anything with them. But once you’re grown up, then you have to fit the rules that you’re given, with everyone.”
“Shell-family is about learning who you are?” Hothyan tried on. “And then Second-house is about being part of the greater whole.”
“Hey.” Pherisshe grinned. “That makes a lot of sense. I don’t think — I think it’s silly we have to pretend, when we’re grown-up, that we don’t know how boys and girls work. But it makes sense.”

“Good.” Hothyan was smiling at the praise. “I’m glad something does.”


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Weekend Blog: Writing Letters

Writing letters and cleaning house: that’s what I did last weekend.

I’ve been taking part in the Month of Letters (, it’s also for almost half a month now — really, a whole two weeks, because I started writing on the 29th and mailing on the 30th January.

It’s weird. That’s the short version: It’s really weird. Also, it’s fun, although it’s perhaps, like most things I do, a little too all-consuming.

My letter-writing falls into a few categories:
* Writing to relatives I haven’t seen in a long time, or very rarely in that long time.
* Writing to facebook friends, who are generally IRL people I haven’t seen in a very long time and barely interact with.
* Writing to twitter friends — people I talk to every day on twitter but rarely see in person.
* Writing to people I encountered on the LetterMo site.
* Writing to and/or as fictional people, mostly to real people I know.
* Writing to family I see on a semi-regular basis.

All of these have their own unique challenges, and I’m finding all of them quite interesting for that.

For instance, writing to LetterMo people combines this “getting-to-know-each-other” sort of protocols with a fear of being judged by (and this isn’t really a thing) Professional PenPals (Okay, it might really be a thing, but I don’t know anyone who is). Like, am I doing enough? Is my letter pretty enough? Are there unspoken rules I’m breaking?

And then you add in all of that stress with contacting estranged family — people my father feuded with, or feuded with him, for instance, back when I was in college. Do they even want to hear from me? Do they remember me? My dad has four siblings, a half-sister, and four step-siblings, and almost all of them have kids. That’s a lot of nephews and nieces to keep track of.

(Okay, so there’s a lot of anxiety going on there).

Letters to family, I’ve been trying just to put into the world and let go. If they answer, they answer. If they don’t, I’m no less connected than I was before.

Twitter friends — that’s it’s own challenge. I talk to these people every day, or very near to it. (These people? Many of them are you guys.) What do I say that I wouldn’t share on twitter, or on gchat or in e-mail?

The thing is, for the most part, a little anxiety aside, these are fun challenges. And getting letters back in the mail — that’s amazingly fun. It makes going to the mailbox a blast!

Will I keep writing letters after LetterMo? Well, April is National Letter-Writing Month…

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January by the Numbers 28: Everyone Eats Everything, a ficlet

January by the numbers continues deep into February…

From sauergeek‘s prompt Everyone eats everything: a ficlet, although more of a start of a story than a story.

As far as strange rules and regulations go, the colonies usually didn’t rate too far up there. When they were colonies, at least, they had far too much to worry about to spend time making rules, other than the very direct: “everybody works” sort of regulations. It was only as time went on and they found themselves in situations where their original survival-based rules were insufficient that most places started coming up with more and more elaborate rules.

Egdarton Seven was a little unique in this matter. It was settled by a small, closed group – one of the few cases where that was allowed, but there was a trend for that around that time, social or avocation groups gathering together and filling a colony. It worked best if the group had wide enough skills to fill all the positions, because one or two outsiders in specialized, necessary positions led to some pretty bad social dynamics on some colonies.

Egdarton Seven, however, had none of the common problems, but it did have a long-standing hobby group with a wide range of skillsets, both within and outside the hobby group and, more, a wide range of already-extant rules and the sort of personalities who enjoyed enforcing said rules. The rules you need to know were posted at their rudimentary spaceport, and woe betide the visiting ship’s-crew or scientist who didn’t read and follow the rules. For a first offense they might be warned, if the person who caught them was feeling generous. For a second offense, they’d be escorted back to their ship and politely told not to come back.

(“What happens if someone part of the community breaks one of those rules?” asked a disgruntled scientist who hadn’t understood the severity or sincerity of the Oxford-Comma rule. The persons escorting the scientist to the ship had clucked in disapproval and not answered. If the scientist had been, perhaps, an anthropologist instead of a xenobiologist, things may have gone very differently for the colony on Egdarton Seven. Certain things were not actually allowed, no matter how they were written into the colony’s charter.)

The one rule that threw almost every visitor, the one rule that got more people evicted from their station, was one that every single member of the colony agreed on wholeheartedly: Everyone Eats Everything. In practice, this meant that if you hated a dish, you could eat a tablespoon-sized scoop of it and be done, but in theory it meant that every person on Egdarton Seven was eating the same things, and that the entire colony ate together.

Like every other rule on the colony, no official explanation for this edict was ever offered, although one teenaged member did like to whisper, melodramatically and none too seriously, “poison!” any time any visitor asked.

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