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Giraffe-Zebra Linkback Story

Leave a comment here if you’ve signal boosted my Giraffe (Zebra) Call !

Each signal boost will get another 100 words.

Ysabat: 3, Lilfluff 2, Inspector Caracal 2, Rix_scaedu 1 – currently posted. 

🍁

It was the first day of the Faire, and it was, as luck would have it, a rainy day, chilly, and thus mostly attended by the locals, the die-hards, and people who had planned their vacation around this fest and were going to enjoy it, damnit, come hell or high water (both of which seemed possible).

Autumn was hawking her wares as best she could – she paid rent on the booth whether business was fair or foul – and entertaining herself by offering free body doodles to anyone who bought a piece of art, however small.  It just so happened those doodles drew with them a little bit of magic.

🍂

The first patron to buy something was a skinny boy in goth-and-bondage street clothes.  He did an awkward turn at Shakespearean english as he asked if her she would draw the skulle of deathhe most foulle on his hand.

“But is death-thu so foul-leh?” she mused, “for you who invites his appearance?”

She was rewarded with a surprised look that said you’re not supposed to notice that and a little smile when she just lifted her eyebrows at him.

She sketched him a realistic skull, one tooth chipped just where his had clearly run afoul of something, and twisted in with walnut ink a line of show me, just to see where his skulle of deathhe took him.

💀

There wasn’t such a crowd that she couldn’t see him moving, just by the strands he trailed .  There were some bright ones , for someone wrapped in so much darkness, shiny lines of hope and one tenuous thing like a crush.  The skull-leh let her see the way he was reaching, grasping for something.  Did he think he’d find it at Faire?  Did he think he’d find them at Faire?  Most grasping like that was for someone, for some emotion, for –

his strands lit up at the archery stand, and Autumn found herself grinning.

🍁

Her second paying customer was a woman maybe twice Autumn’s age, in such absolutely perfect early-Elizabethan garb that she had to have sewn it herself. She bought one of the bigger originals, asking Autumn to hold on to it until the end of the day, and then pushed aside her partlet for Autumn to draw a design on her ample chest.

“Make it a sun,” she offered, “for this day has need of some light.”

“But the light is always with us,” Autumn teased; “it is merely we that cannot see it.”  She drew the sun, heedless of the way the chest jiggled with suppressed laughter.  “There, my lady.  May it warm you.”

“If only that touch of yours does, I shall count myself lucky.”  The lady curtseyed and exited.

☀️

Autumn made herself concentrate, despite a blush she hadn’t been expecting.  Sunshine-lady went the opposite direction from skull-leh boy, heading around the wool vendor with a set of strands that wiggled like a song.  She made friends easily, it looked like, but her connections were light, brushing over people before moving on.  She didn’t touch anyone deeply… oh.

Autumn breathed out in something very much like pain.  She had touched someone deeply once, far too deeply.

The woman slid into a jewelry store while Autumn considered her pens, her heart pounding.

🍂

Her next customer was, he said, looking for something for his girlfriend.  She wasn’t sure why she knew he was lying, but he was definitely not being truthful.

He was tall, blue-eyed, very tan, with sandy blonde hair and a chin so square you could use it to level-and-true buildings.  He settled on a unicorn that had a touch of frustrated need worked into it, an original – some people could tell the difference some couldn’t, but she’d only ever managed to work magic into one print and that one sold like hotcakes – and tried to turn down her body-art offer.

“It doesn’t have to show,” she cajoled, and he asked her for a hammer.

⚒️

Hammers were interesting.  She followed the construction he was trying, watching the strands that didn’t really touch him, even though they wrapped around him.  He was here for a reason.  He was here with people, but had slipped off.  He wasn’t here with a girlfriend, although he was here with a girl.

There were stories she could tell, but the one she could trace in his strands looked like a faire booth:  It had all the parts of a house, but it wasn’t a house.  Walls, floor, roof.

But something was missing.

🍁

Autumn was still puzzling over her third customer when a group of women walked through.

She could tell rental costumes; she could also tell that they were here to have fun and were determined that the weather wasn’t going to stop them.

One of them, a beauty with short-cropped brown hair and startling blue eyes, shyly told Autumn that she would buy every single piece of art that looked like her here, if she could.

Autumn couldn’t help asking her to model, with a little coy grin that usually didn’t offend.  “I think you’d make a lovely dryad?  Or a princess.”  When the girl demurred in a way that said it might not always be a no, Autumn drew the body art she asked for in iridescent green around a slender wrist.

🍃

Leaves.  Had she been inspired by Autumn’s dryad comment?  She watched the girls giggle off out of sight, the dryad-princess’ strands twisting past the echo of the skull-leh boy – still at the archery stand, and still flickering with joy.

She liked her friends.  She had a comfortable group with the nice tight weaving you got front long association.  She was reaching for something, something a little more, a little higher up on the tree.

She really would make a lovely dryad.  Autumn kept an eye on her strands as she called to some passing, umbrella-sheltered guests.

Patreon: A trunk story and a repost~

It’s not quite a kaiju story… but it involves Aliens, at least? According to the address on this, I submitted it at over five years ago, at my last apartment.
🛋️
The Center was slow today; in three hours, Amy hadn’t seen more than half a dozen refugees pass her desk. Maybe – though there was faint hope of it – the war was finally winding down?
<a href=https://www.patreon.com/posts/trunk-story-for-11894099Free for all “Trunk” Level Patrons!



Originally posted Mar. 7, 2012
💐

“I do not know what this is.”

Winter frowned at the glass rose that had appeared in his office mail cube; behind him, Latricia laughed.

“It’s a rose. It’s not going to bite you.”

Read on!!


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1341567.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Two old Patreon Stories: now open for everyone to read

After discussing it with my Patreon patrons, I’ve decided that any Patreon story written as a continuation of an extant public story will be made available for general consumption after three months. Here’s the first two.


This story includes portions originally posted http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/665445.html and http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/697268.html to make a complete story.
❄️
There was something amiss with Winter’s sister.

With the oldest of Winter’s sisters and the most steady, the most easy-going, the least likely to have things go amiss.

Read on!!


This is written to Clare K. R. Miller ‘s request for More Daxton & Esha.
~~
Daxton was captive again, struggling not to take it in ill grace. This time, it seemed unlikely that Esha could rescue him.

It was a captivity far more posh and sometimes far less comfortable than his time in the Red Queen’s dungeons.

Read On!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1341151.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Patreon: a Kaiju, a Pride Repost, and a Watering Can

Originally posted Aug. 8th, 2011 – reposted for Pride Month. Stranded World, the middle sister, Summer, negotiating a three-way relationship. Just a light fluffy piece on parents. 🙂
🌈
They had discussed it all beforehand. Summer’s mom was just an e-mail send. Bishop’s parents: “Dad’ll probably buy me a beer, and mom will swoon. No biggie, really.” So it was Melinda’s parents who would be tricky, and thus they managed to schedule that meeting earliest on Parents’ Weekend.

Read On!



This story fits in my Toot Planet setting, although it is considerably longer than many of the “tootfics” I have written for it, a tootfic being a fiction of 500 or fewer characters.

You can see many of those tootplanet microfics here, and the hashtag, which began with Catterfly’s planetary art, here.

That being said, here’s the story.

🌌

Explorer’s Log, Planet 7-3-3

(Planetary Date 4 days)

We landed harder than planned but not quite a crash, after an EMP on the way in — or something similar enough that the effects appear identical — fried every piece of electronics not in deep storage. Landed hard but not a crash-landing; the shuttle is intact, if unflyable, and so’s the team.

Read On!


🌳

Nimbus pulled her knees up to her chest and looked at Cartwright, trying to be polite but also a little worried — more than a little worried. Quite a bit concerned at his ridiculous assertion. “The watering can?” she repeated carefully. “Is Aereaxera thirsty?”

Free for all Patrons!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1338252.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Stranded Cat

The cat was trailing strands behind itself, so thickly that at first Spring could not see the color of the cat or the shape of it, just a cat-size ball of Strands.

“Did you-”

Her partner snorted. “That’s Ginger Tom. Well, that’s what I call him.”

Spring squinted, and noticed a line from her partner to the cat, no, several, thin but intense.

“Ginger Tom?” she prompted. This was… interesting.

“Well, Anna down the street, she calls him Pumpkin.” He strolled up the hill of his neighborhood as if it were flat. “And then Geordi down there, he calls him Nightmare. And Candid-and-Cariadad, they call him Only Man, and the redhead who won’t tell me her name, she calls him brother.”

Now Spring could make out the cat, a big orange – no surprise – ginger tom. “They all know him?”

“Know him, love him, feed him. you can see it, can’t you?”

“The way he’s connected to the whole neighborhood?” Spring paused. “No, that’s not right. Not quite connected.” She found herself smiling. “Smart cat. I didn’t know they could do that. He’s made himself the neighborhood.”

“Not a mouse or vole in a mile radius.” Her partner was definitely proud. “And he brings the other cats around like a posse, too.” He gestured towards several other cats. “Shares the food. He’s a good cat.”

Watching the strands twisting around the hill, Spring had to agree.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1307202.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Worldbuilding Month Day 9: Building Worlds

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
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This ninth one is from [twitter.com profile] medicmsh3141: What’s your favorite part of mapmaking?

Oh, no, favorites!

…All of it?

Okay, so when I was working on my first-ever Nanowrimo novel, The Deep Inks, one of the flaws in that book is that I spent like… 3 chapters describing an entirely-useless-to-plot town that the antagonists had built… I don’t even remember why.

But I LOVED that town.

Forget killing my darling lines, when I worldbuild–>write, I have to kill my darling TOWNS.

Okay so.

Map-making.

First, I’m rubbish at visualization, so when I make a map, I can start to actually SEE a place come together.

Second, it’s arts-and-crafts, and I really, REALLY like arts-and-crafts. I get to pull out the lentils/split peas/other pulses and play like I’m finger painting, I get to draw shapes that aren’t going to look “wrong” because, let’s face it, it’s an imaginary world. I get to get out the watercolors and PAINT.

…there’s more than one reason I do all my mapmaking on actual paper with pencil. 🙂

Okay, so there’s the haptic side of it, there’s the visualization side. There’s getting to play with logistics, too: where would they put cities? Roads? Fords/bridges?

I’m gonna put floor-plan making in here too, ‘cause it fills many of the same urges. “How would they cram as many people as possible into this space, to both fill basic needs for shelter AND to encourage them to spread out and build proper houses?”

(That one’s Colonize Earth, which I never did get too far with).

Maps and diagrams are all about questions. How would they do that that is different from how I would do it?

I’m still not one hundred percent sure why Cya built Cloverleaf in a series of circles – but I love it. Might’ve been for the tower in the middle, everything pointing like arrows at the giant thing that, after all, is not actually the school.

Anke prompted me with “treehouse” the other day and I’m still playing with all the details of a post-apocalyptic scrounger’s tree house…

…I considered going into architecture, you know. Sometimes I really regret that I didn’t.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1285229.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Worldbuilding Month Day 8: Tell Me a Story

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
🌏
This eighth one is from [personal profile] sauergeek: You have storytellers in at least three universes: Autumn in Stranded, Tanakae in Calepurn, and Rosaria in Aunt Family. Am I missing others? How do their styles overlap, and how do they differ? What are their goals in storytelling? (Lotsa questions!)

Ooh! I probably do have other storytellers, because I like the trope of the storyteller. I like telling stories within the confines of the story, for one – some day I hope to do an at-least-triple-nested story, like Arabian Nights. Maybe for Camp Nano in July~

Autumn tells stories for two reasons: One, because she is a small-change artist, and engaging your audience by telling stories is a very good way to get their attention and interest them in buying. As a Neil Gaiman story I just read says, people don’t buy the art, they buy the story. (Paraphrase). Two, because she is a dancer on the strands of life, and she has found that sometimes a story is the best way to engage someone, to get them to heal their own strand damage, to create their own connections.

Tanakae tells stories because it’s her career. She started out doing her world’s version of rap battles, and evolved from there into high art – think like Shakespeare having a patron. She likes political satire best, because if you put something into a catchy phrase, it makes people – if not think, let’s be honest – at least remember the phrase. She’s her time’s equivalent of a Facebook meme on a bad day, and on a good day she’s Mark Twain. She likes the way words flow together, and making them fit properly is like a really good puzzle for her.

(Okay, I probably write a lot of storytellers too because I am, by chosen trade, a storyteller.)

Rosaria tells stories because it’s how she sees the future, the past, and the present – it’s a type of divination. It’s also how she engages her family – some too young to be interested in the truth behind the stories, some too involved in their own world, their own lives. It also gives her a chance to talk to her grandchildren and grand-nieces and -nephews and keep an eye on them.

In terms of style, Tanakae’s style is far more elaborate and ornate than either of the others. Tanakae is much more interested in the wordcraft and in showing off her skills. Rosaria’s stories are the most likely to sound like fairy tales, where Autumn’s are the closest to “no shit, there I was…”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1283884.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Worldbuilding Month Day 7: Strands and more Strands

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
🌏
This seventh one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Does everyone who does magic work with Strands? Corollary: if there are people who think they don’t, is it just like how Autumn uses ink – it’s their approach, not the fact that it’s different magic?

Also, what ARE Strands, anyway.

Okay!

So, in Stranded World, everyone who works magic is working with the Strands. Like Autumn and sometimes Summer, they don’t always directly manipulate the strands, and some of them don’t realize what they’re doing at all, but all magic involves manipulating or reading (or cutting, although I guess that’s a manipulation) the Strands.

So, yes, a psychic might be using tea leaves or a palm-reading, but what they are actually seeing is the way the Strands seem likely to move in the near future.

And the Strands are… the world.

Autumn sees primarily the Strands that are connections between people, because that’s her strong suit. She visualizes them as lines, and there are indeed Strands connecting people – love, hate, co-workers, family – everything that makes people touch and make a connection, even eyes meeting across a subway, causes some sort of strand.

They are the actions of people, too, past, current, and potential, streams of movement running through the world; they are the connections people make with things and things make with things.

Some philosophers haves suggested the whole world is just composed of Strands upon Strands. They may be right.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1278011.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Now on Patreon: Like Queens, The Tale-Teller, and Why Addergoole?

Like Queens

In Firrset, as in many places, there are poets. The legend goes that even in the First Days, when there was no food to eat and no time to do anything but hunt, plant, gather, and store, there were poems they would tell each other across the field.
But the greatest poet of the time came quite some time after that, but in a time still mostly buried away from history’s records.

Free for Patreon Patrons!


The Tale-Teller

The thing was, she was both the tale-teller and the story. She was both the portrait and the model. She was the song and its subject.

There were theories about that, of course: theories and theses and stories and myths. Stories have a lot of power, after all.

And storytellers have a power, a mystery, all of their own.

Read On!


Why Addergoole?
☘️
I wrote this several years ago as an in-character explanation of why the school was named Addergoole.

☘️
“I’ve been wondering, Professor. Why Addergoole?”

It wasn’t the primary thing on her mind, of course. They were studying an array of Change descriptions and, of apparently more interest to her Mentor, “inherent non-Working abilities,” something that Kai hadn’t really been aware existed.

Read On!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1273242.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Hazards of Sisters – a ficlet of Winter/Stranded

In the past – when Winter is in his late teens
❄️️
Winter leaned forward, his lips only a millimeter from Karen Schneider’s.

He could feel the place where the Strands were about to be disturbed. He could see the disturbance, even with his eyes closed.

He kissed her anyway. Kissed her and then wrapped an arm around her and rolled them both to the side.

“What!” she gasped and tried to pull away, but Winter had practice with this, if not with Karen.

The water balloons hit the tree behind them, right where they would have been if he hadn’t rolled them.

Winter released Karen and rolled off to his side so she didn’t feel the least bit restricted, just as his little sisters ran up to him.

“Winter!” Summer complained. “You cheated!

Karen was finally catching up with what was going on. “You saw them coming?”

“Heard them,” he temporized. “I like this shirt. I imagined you didn’t want it getting soaked.”

It was a nice mint-green top, thin enough that even dry, he could see the lines of her bra strap through it. Wet, it would have left nothing at all to the imagination.

She blushed. “Thanks. Thanks, it’s just… you startled me.”

“You cheated,” Summer repeated.

“No.” Winter had far too much practice not getting irritated with his sisters. “As I recall, you three promised not to bother Karen and I for at least an hour. So I’d say you cheated.”

“Come on.” Autumn took Summer and Spring’s arms and steered them away. “He’s not any fun when he has company.”

Winter appreciated the gesture, but he could see that it was already too late for this particular date.

Want More?

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1270515.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable