The Seventh Estate

In Seldith stood seven estates.

There were many houses, of course, some of them large enough to be considered manors, many buildings and homes and a great number of farms and plantations – but there were seven Estates.

From East to West, the first was the home of the Leader and thus whoever lived there had the First Vote, which was most powerful.  The second home was for the Head of Priests, who held the second vote. Continue reading

 Zen and the Art of… art?

I discovered probably a year ago that drawing maps, when there’s no stress and no requirement, is a very soothing activity for me.  I have some doodled maps that chart spaces that don’t yet exist in fiction and may never see paper, but they were still very fun to make.  I even plotted a journey of an unknown adventuring crew over one map!

(This may also be why I have more unfinished maps than finished ones…)

Yesterday, I discovered, or rather, perhaps, solidified, that folding-paper things also does this for me.

This is interesting, because I am a) not great at following diagrammed instructions (for a fox I made to stick in a piece of mail, T. figured it out from the directions and then showed me), and b) not great at precision at all.   Like, even the amount required to cut a perfect square is really pushing it for me.

But it’s fun.

I’ve been making scrap-paper envelopes, which are sort of barely folding-paper stuff, so I bought 3 calendars for 30 cents each at the Dollar General to play with.

And for Christmas, my friends got me The Art of the Fold, by Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol ( https://www.artofthefold.com/ ), so I’ve started working through these.

This led to me making a teeny accordion book (an inch and a half by just under three inches finished size) from one calendar page and putting little 1/3 index cards into each of the pockets, on which I wrote a rather short letter.  Since, you know, I’m still writing back replies from Month of letters. 😀

What will come next?  Stay tuned to find out!

Funerary Rites 42: Eat a Candy Bar

🔑

The tension in the van was slowly receding.  Ezer looked pleased with himself.

“Chitter, good job as always on getting into their systems, and your little bugs are the shit,” he kept on.   “Love ‘em. Allayne – you patched Erramun up so fast, I didn’t even get a chance to see the hole. Thanks. And Senga and Erramun, you guys definitely held their attention and kept to your roles the whole time.” He looked back in the mirror at them.  “Try not to get so bloody next time, all right? It makes me techy.”

Without a word, Chitter passed him a candy bar.  Ezer snorted. “Fine, fine, it makes me bitchy.  I don’t know, Chitter, anything out of that security guard?”

“Allayne triggered something, not an alarm, some sort of tertiary back-up.  Yes, I know I should have caught it, yes, I feel like an idiot for not catching it, but it was really well hidden.  It was – look, here, see?”

“You know it doesn’t mean anything to me,” Ezer complained. Continue reading

Feast of Sterha

New setting or one-shot, just an idea that came to mind, slightly inspired by The Exiles Trilogy and slightly by my inability to stop singing Good King Wenceslas.  

🎖️

“So let today hereby be named the Day of the Martyr Baloran, with all due pomp and ceremony, and let us remember this day by, hrm, bu picking up rocks from our neighbors’ fields and using them to help build the walls between fields, on my authority and honor as the leader of this colony-”

“Ah, honored one?”  Gerilip did not like interrupting the Leader, but her job lead her to need to quite often.  “Today is the day of the Blessed Epolitie.”

“Ah.  What about Baloran’s birthday?”

“The day of the Blood-Consecrated Delfikin.”

“Ah, hrm. The day Baloran joined the Service?”

“That’s the feast of the Holy One Relian.  Honored One,” Gerilip cut in, before this could get quite silly, “there is only one day left open on the calendar.” Continue reading

Hidden Mall 59: Nice Abby. Good Abby.

Abby took ‘Via’s hand and put it on her hip, curling the fingers around her belt loop, and squeezed until ‘Via  held on of her own volition. She took Olly’s hand with her left hand and held on to Liv’s arm with her right hand.  

“Close your eyes,” she told all three of them.  “Keep them closed. We’re going to walk forward now, everyone all set?  There we go, forward, forward.”

She shut up as she came nose to nose with the first ghost, closed her own eyes and took two steps forward.

It felt like a ghost of fire touching her skin – like the memory of sensation without the pain or the heat, just a strange flickering touch.  She moved forward as one of the three – Had to be Olly, the sound was coming from her left – yelped. Continue reading

Haunted House 39: Honest

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous:  Upset

🌳

Once again, Mélanie was in the wagon, this time back in the front. Once again, she was leaving the House behind. She waved as they left; two of the shutters on the second floor clacked back at her in what she was going to assume was a wave.

The horses seemed to like the trip to town. Their ears were pointed forward and their clip-clopping hooves seemed happy, like they were going someplace they knew and liked.

Jasper caught Mélanie looking more than once.  “You can still talk to them if you want,” he encouraged her, the third time he’d smiled at her as she’d turned away blushing.  “They like the apples the carter in town feeds them, I think, but I don’t really talk well to them.”

“I can?”  She leaned forward happily and muttered a Working, slipping into their contented minds. They liked going this way.  This way came with happy places. They was way easy, and the Human was happy when he left here.

She chuckled. “Aw.  They like you, I think.  They like you being happy.”

Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 36: Guests

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Hunting

🐻

She watched the pebble flow true and thunk hard against a forehead before she had time to process who was standing there.  No weapons out, no Imperial insignia, not someone she knew — they looked startled and took three steps back.

She dropped her slingshot in a pouch and grabbed her longknife.  “Hello.” If they had darts, they’d be going for a pouch; a wrist-dagger, they’d be shifting their wrist, a sword or blade, reaching for their back or thigh.  Sher shifted her weight to her back leg and got ready to block with a wrist or an elbow if she had to.

The woman had her hand halfway to her neck when the “Hello” seemed to make her pause.  With her hand still hanging in the air over her shoulder, she cleared her throat. “Hello.”

“Are you here to kill me?”  The woman had the same blonde Bear-family hair as Deline, the same blue eyes and broad shoulders. Probably not a Deklegion bounty hunter, but it didn’t do to take stupid risks.

“Depends.”  The woman rubbed her forehead where the rock had hit her.  “Who are you?” Continue reading

Month of Letters / Int. Correspondence Month round-up and plans ahead

It’s March! Aaaaa!

Okay! So, in February, I:

* Sent out 26 initial letters or postcards, to which I received 6 replies, to which I’ve replied, so far, to 4, with one more almost ready to mail
(32, 6 in)
* Received 6 initial letters, to which I’ve replied, so far, to 4, with one more almost ready to mail
(32+4 = 36; 6+6=12)
* Received one reply to my reply, which I’ve replied to.
(Total: 37 out, 13 in)

I mailed out two letters already today as well, both initial.

I wrote to:
* 5 relatives, with 4 more planned
* 10 complete strangers (from Twitter and the LetterMo and InCoWriMo sites)
* People I’ve known for years
* People I only know on Discord or Mastodon
* 1 person who used to live with me
* 1 person I met through 4TheWords

And, as far as I know, I have had one piece of mail completely lost in, well, the mail.

I plan to:

  • finish my list of people-to-write-to, so if you haven’t gotten a letter yet and you asked for one, have faith!  It will get there.
  • Write back to everyone who wrote to me
  • Take the 10th, 20th, and 30th of each month to write out letters to people or reply to letters I get in the meantime.
  • Finish my STAMP card eventually (LetterMo Bingo, shown below)
  • Make some envelopes
  • Keep making Letter art.

Continue reading