Mar 29, 2013

Kids Will Be Kids - Part V (Conclusion)

Want to read this from the beginning? Here's Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.

Shrugging, Dougal continued on to cottage number five, Gizwold's, and had a quick look around. The sleigh bed was neatly made, and it looked like there were fresh towels in the bathroom. There were no suspicious looking stains anywhere, nothing to indicate any foul play. Dougal even went so far as to check a couple of dresser drawers and under the bed, but the place was clean.

He continued next door to number seven. There was no car in the parking space, but the door stood open.

"Hello?" he called from the veranda. "Anyone here?"

"In here," came a muffled reply.

Dougal entered and met Jendra as she came out of one of the bedrooms, a suitcase in her hand.

"Sheriff, I'm glad you came!"

"I -"

"This was our last day. Tibor and Julien have already left, I just had a few more things to pack."

"What I -"

"I didn't have enough time for a trip to town, I was going to leave you a note. You've been so kind, I felt you deserved to know how things worked out."

"Have -"

"The mystery is solved!" she beamed at him.

"How -"

Jendra pushed him unresisting into a chair. She perched on the edge of the sofa and leaned forward. "Julien really did disintegrate our neighbour."

"But -"

"It was a very naughty thing to do, of course it took awhile for Julien to understand this, but with the right kind of therapy I think there's hope for him yet."

"But -"

"Now, don't you worry Sheriff," she patted his hand. "We'll take care of everything. I was wrong to have bothered you in the first place. It turns out this wasn't part of your jurisdiction at all. You see, our neighbour was a time-traveller too. We've already reported it to the authorities in our time, they'll see that Julien gets the help he needs."

"Now just a -"

"We've already sent Mr. Gizwold's things on to his family, it wouldn't do to leave them in the past, would it? Julien has paid up Mr. Gizwold's rental fee, out of his own pocket too, I might add. It was only fair."

"But -"

A disembodied chime sounded.

"What -"

Jendra jumped up, "I've got to go." She picked up her suitcase and moved to the centre of the room. "Goodbye Sheriff, thank you for being so understanding."

Before Dougal could say a word Jendra was enveloped in a beam of light. It sparkled around her, then faded away, taking Jendra with it.

Dougal's mouth opened and closed several times. He stood up slowly, hitching up his pants. He removed his hat, ran a hand through his hair and put the hat back on. Shaking his head, he left the cottage.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

"Hey, Dougal," Doc greeted him at the Wednesday night poker game. "How's that crazy woman of yours?"

"Gone," Dougal said, sitting in his usual seat. "The whole works of them."

"What about that mystery of hers," Henry asked, "the body and all?"

"Well," Dougal replied, shuffled the deck of cards, "It's like this..."

By the time he was finished his story, it was time for a beer break.

There was silence for a moment, then George said, "That's some tall tale, Dougal. You really had me going for a minute there."

"You should write for one of them UFO papers, Dougal."

"Ain't you even going to search for a body? Been a long while since we had to round us up a search party," Henry said wistfully.

Dougal opened up a beer. "Don't see no point. The only real crime here was that Gizwold fella stiffing Carl. Carl's got his money and he don't want to press charges."

Doc frowned. "That Jendra woman was a real nut case, if ever I saw one."

"Crazy as a loon," several heads nodded in agreement.

"Ain't you at least going to put out a bulletin?"

"What for?"

"Well," Doc glanced around the table. "Well, at least a warning there's a family of lunatics running loose."

Dougal snagged the bowl of pretzels as it made the rounds. "No point. Like she said, it ain't my jurisdiction."


Mar 28, 2013

Delay . . .

If you've come here looking for the latest installment of Water, I'm sorry to say it will be delayed until later today or early tomorrow. Sorry about this but I had a couple of other things to get done first and the story just isn't coming as fast as I'd like it to. I promise I'll make it worth your while. ;-)

Mar 27, 2013

Mar 26, 2013

the Muses - Part X

Urania is not only the Muse of Astronomy and Astrology, but also of astronomy and astronomical writings. Her name comes from the Greek "Ourania", which means heavenly.

She had one son, the bard Linos, by either Apollo or Amphimaros (who was a son of Poseidon), although she is sometimes credited as the mother Hymenaeus as well (along with Calliope and Terpsichore). Linos grew to be an accomplished musician but provoked Apollo into killing him when he claimed to rival the god as a singer. A lament known as the Linos-song was created in his memory.

Men who have been instructed by Urania are raised to heavenly heights. Those whose chief concern is philosophy and the heavens are dearest to her. During the Renaissance, Christian poets looked to Urania for inspiration. In Book 7 of Milton's Paradise Lost, Milton invokes Urania to aid his narration of the creation of the cosmos.

She is creative and imaginative as well as philosophical by nature. She is touched by whimsy and tragedy alike. Urania is typically portrayed dressed in a cloak embroidered with stars. Her eyes are raised to the heavens and she holds a globe and short staff in her hands.

Mar 25, 2013

Martyrology Monday

martyrology ~ study of martyrs

It's Monday already? *looks around blearily* How did that happen?

Monday of last week I spent with a friend helping her set up a blog. To understand why someone would need help with something so simple you'd have to understand something about the town I live in - it's filled with computer illiterate people. ;-)

Then Tuesday I helped another friend set up her new lap top. And then a new router because no one could remember the password for her old one.

The rest of the week was spent editing and . . . um . . . you got me - I have no idea where my time went last week. I did get my new story done for the Absolute Write Blog Chain. I won't bother with a link - if you want to have a boo at it then just scroll down a bit. And while you're down there, read the other stories in the chain. They're pretty awesome.

Craft-wise . . . I got no crafting in last week. Not even so much as a row done on my sweater.

My big accomplishments on the weekend were making two batches of soup - Pepperpot Soup for my lunch this week and a Summer Harvest Soup for the freezer. I also made a batch of banana/coconut muffins that are really yummy, if I do say so myself. I ended up making so many substitutions that it's practically a whole new recipe.

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: The conclusion of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 59 of Water - let's see what I can come up with this week to "interrupt" Ravi and Taja.;-)
Friday: The conclusion of Kids Will Be Kids.

Other Stuff For the Week

This is a short week because of Good Friday, but there's lots to do, starting with a poetry group meeting on Tuesday and a writer's group meeting on Wednesday.

Lots of finishing touches to the editing I've been doing lately so I can get the projects sent back to their respective authors. I'm always sad when this happens because it always leaves me without an excuse to avoid my own writing/editing. ;-)

April is almost upon us, and as some of you may know, April is National Poetry month. So in celebration of this I want to get back to writing some poetry. Specifically, poetry to be featured in a poetry book I'd like to have ready for my reading in June. If it's going to happen, I'd better start writing. And quickly.

Something else I've been neglecting is the edits on Magical Misfire. I really have no good excuse for this. It's been finished since mid-November and it should have been released by now. Bad author!

But when I'm not doing any of the above, this week is about . . .

**cue doomsday music**


Does anyone else hate doing taxes as much as I do? I highly doubt it. And I don't know why I hate it so much . . . I use a computerized tax program and it does all the work, I just have to plug in the numbers in the right places. I just live in fear that I've made some horrendous mistake and Canada Revenue is going to send the Mounties after me or something. I wonder how the WiFi is in tax prison? :-)

Mar 23, 2013

The March Blog Chain

Once again it's time for the Absolute Write blog chain. This month's prompt is: What the leprechaun said, but it can encompass anything to do with St. Patrick's Day.

When you've finished reading my story, please click on the links for the stories in the rest of the chain. There's fiction and non-fiction both - lots of good reading for you to enjoy. And now, without further ado, my link in the chain:

What the Leprechaun Said

Fiona sat in her favourite spot under the whitethorn tree, her back resting against the gnarled trunk. The tree grew from the center of what her Gran considered the wild garden, the part of the garden reserved for the wee folk.

She was glad Gran wasn't around to see how badly she'd let the family down. The letter from the bank had been a total shock. Why couldn't she have chosen a profession that had a steady income?

"Fee? You out here?"

"Over here," she called back, hastily wiping away her tears.

She was joined by her friends Tammy and Gillian, who sat down, one on either side of her. They'd been friends forever. Even after they grew up and went their separate ways in college - Gillian into finance, Tammy into teaching, and Fiona into art - they'd stayed close.

"I don't know why you love this old tree so much," Tammy said. "It's so scraggly looking."

"Gran's Gran planted this tree the day she arrived from the old country. Gran told me she used to meet the wee man under this tree."

"Your Gran met him, or your Gran's Gran?"

"Both of them," Fiona said with a ghost of a smile. "The 'sight' skips every other generation. Apparently you need the 'sight' to see them."

Tammy and Gillian looked at each other over her head.

Nobody spoke for a few moments until Fiona couldn't stand it any longer. "Well?"

"I'm sorry, hon," Gillian said, voice laced with regret. "It looks like your Uncle Sean started siphoning off funds from the trust account about ten years before he died. Between the falling interest rates and the rising taxes, the trust fund just couldn't keep up."

"So that's it," Fiona said duly. "I'm broke."

"Maybe Gillian and I--"

"No. Absolutely not." Fiona was adamant. "I'm not taking money from my friends to pay the back taxes. There's got to be another way."

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

That night, Fiona's Gran came to her in a dream. "Remember the stories," she said, and then walked right into the whitethorn tree. Fiona woke with a start.

From her bedroom window she could see the whitethorn tree bathed in moonlight. Tammy was right, it did look a little scraggly. She was really going to miss that tree, and the garden.

She remembered that Gran used to keep Guinness around to water the tree with once a month. And didn't she leave oat cakes or soda bread or something like that as well? For the wee man who lived there, she'd said.

Before Fiona could stop to think about it, she'd pulled on her jeans and a sweat shirt and was checking the cupboard under the stairs where Gran used to keep her liquor. There was no Guinness, but she found a bottle of Jameson's that was three-quarters full. Shrugging, she carried it into the kitchen and snagged a box of oatmeal cookies on her way out the back door.

Midnight found her sitting under the whitethorn tree, the moonlight streaming down on her.

"Here's to you, Gran," she said, waving the bottle in the air before taking a sip. She choked and coughed as the liquor burned its way down. "And here's to your wee man - I hope whoever ends up living here next will treat him right."

"Now ye would'na be thinking of pouring that good whiskey on the ground now, would ye?"

Fiona yelped, and almost dropped the bottle as a tiny man dressed in green appeared beside her.


"'Tis a good thing yer an artist instead of a writer. Now just pour a wee drop in here." He held out a tiny cup.

"You . . . you're a leprechaun!"

"Aye, it's observant she is," he replied, tipping back the cup and then holding it out again. "Did your Gran ne'er tell ye the story of how I came over on the boat with her Gran? 'Twas more than eighty years ago an' I been guarding her treasure ever since."

"What? Wait. What treasure?"

"Why the treasure the first Fiona O'Shea brought with her from the Green Isle," he said, polishing off another cupful of whiskey. "She saved me life, you know, from that flea bitten ship's cat. And in return I promised to guard her gold until she had need of it."

"Tell me more about my great-great-Grandmother and her gold," Fiona said, settling back against the tree. "And would you like a cookie to go with your whiskey?"

"Thank ye kindly," the leprechaun said. "But would ye happen to have any pipe tobacco on ye?"

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

"I can't believe your great-Grandmother buried a fortune in gold in the garden," Gillian said as they sat on the patio enjoying a glass of wine. "And your Gran knew about it and never said a word?"

"It was my great-great-Grandmother, and Gran never said anything because as far as she knew there was no need, she had plenty of money already."

"Until your Uncle Sean got his hands on it," Tammy said darkly. "But how did you know exactly where to dig?"

Fiona smiled as she looked over to the base of the whitethorn tree where she'd left a pint of Guinness an ounce of the finest pipe tobacco she could find. "I just did what the leprechaun said to do."

I hope you enjoyed my story. Don't forget to check out the other links in the chain.

orion_mk3 - (link to post)
robeiae - (link to post)
writingismypassion - (link to post)
Sudo_One - (link to post)
randi.lee - (link to post)
pyrosama - (link to post)
katci13 - (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes - (link to post)
Angyl78 - (link to post)
KitCat - (link to post)
Bloo - (link to post)
dclary - (link to post)
ConnieBDowell - (link to post)
Lady Cat - (you are here)
Araenvo - (link to post)
MichaelP - (link to post)
Ralph Pines - (link to post)
mdgreene50 - (link to post)
scatterjoy! - (link to post)
SRHowen - (link to post)
dolores haze - (link to post)

meowzbark - (link to post)

Mar 22, 2013

Kids Will Be Kids - Part IV

Want to read this from the beginning? Here's Part I, Part II, and Part III

Monday afternoon, just as Dougal was opening the latest issue of Gun Lovers Monthly, the bell above the office door jingled and Jendra entered.

"I feel I must apologize, Sheriff." she said. Today she was wearing a coat patterned in a painful swirl of purple, orange and green. "My husband and I talked it over on the weekend and Tibor feels you can be trusted with the truth concerning our situation."

"Ma'am, I -"

"You see, Sheriff," she said, perching on the edge of one of the hard wooden visitor's chairs, "we're time travellers."

"Time-travellers," Dougal repeated.

Jendra nodded. "We come from the distant future. In fact, this has been quite a popular spot this year, all our friends have been here." She bit her lip. "Anyway, Julien has always been somewhat of a problem child. My family thought he might settle down if he could live in a simpler time, which is why we brought him here."

Dougal remembered what Carl had said about the odd people who'd rented his cottages this summer.

"He truly is incorrigible though," Jendra continued. "We didn't even know he'd brought a disintegration gun with him, until he used it on poor Mr. Gizwold. My husband confiscated the gun, I know you'd rather have it as evidence, I think you call it, but we aren't allowed to leave future technology behind, I'm sure you understand."

Dougal nodded, bemused.

"Anyway," she said, rising. "We'll be leaving tomorrow. I'm sorry to leave you without any evidence of Mr. Gizwold's murder, but I really don't think we should leave Julien behind, do you? I shudder to think of all the damage he could do in this time period."

She reached out and took Dougal's unresisting hand. "Goodbye, Sheriff, and once again, I'm sorry for all the trouble we've been."

She was gone in a swirl of her eye-blinding coat.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Sleep didn't come easily to Dougal that night. He tossed and turned and what little sleep he did get was haunted by indistinct nightmares. It was just as well Mama was visiting her sister, he didn't feel up to an explanation of the puffiness and dark circles under his eyes. It was going to be hard enough when she got back, explaining his part in the goings on of the last week.

As Dougal started the coffee going at the office the next morning, he turned Jendra's story over in his mind. She sounded like she really believed all that foolishness about ray guns and time travel. He wondered what her husband thought about it. Did he even know what his wife was up to? Maybe he should.

He told himself on the drive out to Bayview Cottages that he was only going to make sure the husband, Tibor, knew what was going on. What kind of name was Tibor anyway? Sounded foreign to him. Maybe the whole bunch of them were foreigners and that's why they acted so strangely.

Carl came out of the office to greet him.

"I was just trying to ring you up, Dougal. I had the strangest thing happen ..."

"Wouldn't happen to involve the Nixtrom's, would it?"

"The Nixtrom's? Nah, they're leaving today anyhow. I'm talking about that Gizwold fella."

"Don't tell me he came back?"

"Didn't see him, but the stuff he left behind disappeared and he left what he owed me on the bed in the cottage."

"You don't say ..." Dougal rubbed his chin. Did Gizwold really come back? Or was all this a cover-up for his murder, just like in Real Crimes Magazine. "Say Carl, that woman, Mrs. Nixtrom, said her nephew was visiting too. Did you ever get a good look at him?"

"Yeah, creepy little bugger. Had this crazy look in his eyes. Like to play space alien out in the woods - even had a little ray gun. Kept threatening to disintegrate me if I got in his way."

"Maybe I should take a look around, Carl. I'll have a talk with the Nixtrom's too, just to be on the safe side."

Carl gave him the cottage numbers. Dougal left his car by the office and followed the winding path down to the lake. Something seemed to be missing and it took him a moment to figure out what. It was the gnomes. Carl had a collection of the ugliest garden gnomes you'd ever want to see and they used to be spread out along the path.

Dougal stopped to look around but there was no trace of them. Maybe Carl had moved them; he'd have to remember to ask. And didn't there used to be a big old cement fountain in the picnic area down near the lake?

Mar 20, 2013

Hump Day Hunk

All tied up and no place to go? ;-)

I saw this picture and it brought to mind a story by Trinity Marlow called The Paramedic, in her Working Stiffs, Hardcore anthology. You can buy it from your favourite online retailer, or go to the Brazen Snake Bookstore. And while you're there, check out Trinity's latest release, Chocolate Cream. It's hot enough to melt chocolate. ;-)

Mar 19, 2013

the Muses - Part IX

Thalia is the Muse of comedy, which the Greeks define as any story with a happy ending, and pastoral poetry. Her name is derived from the Greek word "thaleia" which means rich festivity or blooming. Thalia is also the name of one of the three Graces, and it is believed by some they are the same person.

After becoming intimate with Apollo, she gave birth to the Corybantes. These were seven male dancer/priests, armed and crested, who worshiped the goddess Cybele. They celebrated the goddess's licentious festival days with drumming and dancing.

Being the Muse of comedy, Thalia has a somewhat happier nature than her sisters. She seeks to bring out the humour and drama in life's situations. She loves inspiring dramatic creativity because she feels that acting is an insightful yet light-hearted way to experience life. Life is theatre and drama happens everywhere; comedy is the spice which keeps us laughing at ourselves.

Her goal is to breathe life into the theatre and to inspire others to develop the creative and dramatic sides to their personalities. She also enjoys wandering through meadows and forests, favouring more rural pursuits. This is why she is sometimes portrayed with a shepherd's crook.

She is most often shown holding a comic mask in her hand with boots on her feet and a crown of ivy on her head, the ivy considered sacred to her. Sometimes she's portrayed holding a bugle or trumpet as well, as these instruments were used to accompany the actors' voice in ancient comedy.

One of the favourite Muses, she is revered because those she favours flourish.

Mar 18, 2013

Morsitation Monday

morsitation ~ act of biting or gnawing

Everybody wear green yesterday for St. Patrick's Day? Eat any green food? Drink any green beer? I dressed in green from the hair clip on the top of my head to my poke-a-dot socks on my feet. I don't usually make anything green to eat, but I did have a green salad and washed it down with green tea. Does that count? :-)

Despite last week being really messed up because of a bunch of social obligations, a couple of which took more time that I would have liked, I felt like it was a productive week. At least the last part of it was. I got a crap load of editing done (none of it for myself, unfortunately) and six pages of a St. Patrick's themed short story.

Actually, I did two stories. One was 55 words for a monthly contest, and the other was intended for this month's Absolute Write blog chain. There's supposed to be an 800 word limit for the chain, and I've got about three times that already and it's only about half done. I guess there's no rush to finish it now that St. Paddy's is over, but I'll definitely have it ready to go next year.

As for my spot in the blog chain . . . well, I guess I'll just have to come up with something else. *sigh*

You may have noticed that last week's installment for Water was a little late . . . My characters went on strike or something and just wouldn't talk to me. I begged and pleaded and finally, just before bedtime, they got all chatty. If I could have stayed up another hour I could have finished it had it scheduled to post, but I had to get up early. But it didn't take long to finish it in the morning, so it all turned out well. Plus I got some really good ideas for books 4 and 5 in the series.

Craft-wise . . . I finished the red to purple Sashay scarf twice, and I can now call it done. I did it the first time in the wider stitch, which made it shorter, and it seemed a little too short. So I knitted it over again and it turned out much better at the longer length. Now that I've got the hang of it they go really fast.

I've got about six or eight inches of my navy cardigan done. I am much, much slower knitting it than I am the scarves, but I'm still pretty pleased with my progress.

It's going another busy week - one day devoted to helping a friend set up a blog, another helping someone set up their new lap top. Plus I've got a book and a novella to finish editing (neither of which are mine). Good thing that even when I don't feel like writing I'm always ready to edit. :-)

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part IX of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 58 of Water - let's see what I can come up with this week to "interrupt" Ravi and Taja.;-)
Friday: Part four of Kids Will Be Kids.

Weekly Words

Surprise, surprise. I took the day off from editing on Sunday and got about 2,000 words done on a short (rapidly turning into a long) story. It's not the 3500 for my weekly goal, but it was only one day's worth of writing so that has to count for something.

Despite the fact the story is seasonal, I really want to get it finished ASAP. I'm trying to train myself to get my editing and things for other people done during the day, leaving the evenings for my own stuff. It's a double-edged sword though. Evenings are also when the best TV shows are on and they're just a little too distracting at times. Ideally, when there's nothing on I need to see, I should be going into my office to work. But my recliner is just so much more comfy . . . ;-)

Mar 15, 2013

Kids Will Be Kids - Part III

Want to read from the beginning? Here are the links for Part I and Part II

The bell over the sheriff's door tinkled as Doc entered. Dougal sighed and closed the hunting magazine he'd been reading. Doc helped himself to a cup of coffee and sat down in the padded chair beside the desk.

"Any news on your nut case," he asked, grinning.

Dougal frowned. "Might be. Carl had a man up at his cottages who left without paying."

"You don't say -"

The bell over the door tinkled and Jendra rushed in. Today she was dressed in a metallic red pantsuit.

Doc's eyebrows rose.

"Oh, Sheriff, I'm so glad you're here," she said, breathlessly. Turning to Doc who'd half risen from his chair, she held out her hand. "I'm Jendra Nixtrom."

"Pleased to meet you, ma'am. I'm Doc Snowden."

Jendra's eyes lit up. "A real, old-fashioned doctor? How wonderful!"

Doc bristled, "Now see here -"

"I have some important information for you, Sheriff," she said, turning to Dougal. "I've discovered the name of the man Julien, that's my nephew, has done away with."

"Done away with? No one said anything about doing away with anyone -"

Jendra looked puzzled. "I'm sure I mentioned it the first time we met. Didn't I mention a murder, or something about bodies being reported?"

"Well -"

"I suppose I was rather flustered, but Julien swore he had done away with someone, and I just found out it was the rude man in the next cottage."

Dougal held up a hand. "Wouldn't happen to be a fellow by the name of Gizwold, would it?"

"Why, how ever did you know?"

"This fella went missing about two days ago."

Jendra beamed. "Why, that's wonderful, Sheriff. Julien didn't tell a falsehood after all. He tells falsehoods quite alot you know," she said in an aside to Doc.

"What's your nephew got to do with this?" Doc asked, still stinging from the term "old-fashioned".

"Why everything! Julien's only been here a few days, but he gets bored so easily, he's just a child you know, and try as I might, I'm only one person and there are times I do have to take my eyes off him for a split second. Have you ever wondered how a second is split?"

"How old is this nephew?" Dougal asked. He was beginning to get a headache from trying to follow her train of thought.

"He just turned eight. Such a precious age, don't you think?"

Dougal relaxed.

"Anyway, he was only going to explore the flora and fauna, he's very interested in flora and fauna. Why he -" she broke off as she glanced at her watch.

"I've got to be going," she said, jumping to her feet. "Nice to meet you," she called over her shoulder to Doc as she dashed out the door.

"No more sense than a hummingbird," Doc snorted.

"She's starting to spook me," Dougal admitted.

"No reason for it, she seems pretty harmless. I think she's just hankering after attention. I wouldn't worry, 'less of course a body shows up." Doc snickered.

"Yeah, well I'm going to keep my eye on the situation, just in case."

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

The next day Dougal was alone in his office when he saw Jendra coming. He heaved a sigh and stuffed his True Crime magazine into a drawer.

"Good afternoon, Sheriff." She looked almost normal in a deep purple metallic trench coat, belted tightly against the stiff breeze outside.


"About this murder ..."

"Let me see if I've got this straight. You want to report that your eight year old nephew has confessed to murdering this man Gizwold, is that right?"

"In a nutshell, Sheriff."

Dougal muttered something under his breath about pots calling the kettle black.

"We want to co-operate in every way."

"Well, first ma'am, you'll have to take me to the body."

"Body? Oh, dear. Oh, my." Jendra bit her lip.

"Let me guess, you don't have a body?"

"I'm afraid not, Sheriff," she said apologetically. "You see, Julien used a disintegration gun on the poor man, so of course there's nothing left."

"Disintegration gun," Dougal muttered. "Now see here -"

"It's so very annoying, we didn't even know he brought it with him, he couldn't have got it here, could he? And who knows what else he's made vanish. He'll only admit to disintegrating Mr. Gizwold, and I'm very certain he was provoked into it, Mr. Gizwold was such a nasty man, but of course Julien is just a child, and I'm very much afraid he's covering up some of his other misdeeds."

"Does your -"

Jendra's watch suddenly chimed. "Oh, my. I'm so sorry, but I've got to run."

"Now wait just a -"

"I'll be back on Monday," she called over her shoulder. Without further ado she rushed out the door and disappeared down the street.

Dougal, forgetful of the fact he was using a party line, phoned Doc to bring him up to date. This let him in for a great deal of ribbing over the course of the weekend, which he took, for the most part, good naturedly. He did, however, grow extremely tired of being asked if he'd found any bodies yet.

Mar 13, 2013

Hump Day Hunk

Hmm. I think that should be, "Back against the wall!" instead of "Hands against the wall." What do you think? ;-)

Mar 12, 2013

the Muses - Part VIII

Terpsichore is the Muse of dancing and dramatic chorus. She's sometimes referred to as the "red" Muse because of the fiery colour of her hair. But despite her red hair she isn't temperamental. She is, in fact, one of the friendliest of the Muses.

Her name, which is sometimes spelled Terpsikhore, means "she who rejoices in the dance," taken from the Greek words tepein (delight) and xopoc (dance). And extension of her name is found in the word "terpsichorean" which means "of or relating to dance."

She is believed by some to be the true mother of the Sirens, fathered on her by the river god Achelous. The Sirens are creatures with the head of a woman and the body of a bird who lure mariners to their destruction with their beautiful songs. They're not to be confused with the Harpies, who have the bodies of vultures and harsh voices.

Terpsichore enjoys stories that flow well, include rich description, and have happy endings. She delights her disciples with the good things to be attained from education, choral dance, and song.

She is most often depicted sitting down and playing the lyre to accompany the choirs providing music for dancers.

Dearest to Terpsichore are those who honour her through their dance.

Mar 11, 2013

Mammonism Monday

mammonism ~ devotion to pursuit of wealth

Can I have a do-over for last week? Pretty please?

I wasn't any more ambitious last week than I was the week before. In fact, I might have been even worse than the week before, if such a thing is possible. But on the up side, it appears that my reading binge is officially over. All it took was a book on my Kindle that ticked me off to the point that if it had been paperback I would have thrown it across the room and then burned it. I wanted to reach in there and smack the characters upside the head and then hunt down the author and do the same to her.

I haven't been super vigilant in regards to my eating habits and exercising, and it shows in the fact that the needle on the bathroom scale hasn't budged. So I decided to step up the exercise a bit. I'm still riding the stationary bike, but at a faster pace and every other day I'm going to use the rowing machine instead.

I also decided to step up the healthier eating and included a greater variety of veggies when we grocery shopped on Friday. Some are for when I'm craving something crunchy to snack on - I even have low fat dressing to dip them in. The rest I can use in stir fries or soup for my lunches this week. You might wonder why I haven't been eating more veggies all along . . . It's not that I have anything against vegetables per se, I just tend to forget they're in the crisper until they've turn to mush. :-)

As far as my crafts go . . . Remember the sweater the cat pulled off my knitting needles? Well I actually got it fed back on the needles again, but after knitting a few rows I realized I had not, in fact, figured out where I was in the pattern after all. One of the cables running up the front of the sweater was a little off. So I unravelled down to the ribbing (only sniffling a little as I did so) and then started again. I've only got about three inches done but every time I pull it out the guilty cat decides he wants to snuggle on the foot of my chair and I don't want to take the chance of him snagging it again, so I put it away. I'm sure it's only coincidence that once I put it away he wanders off again. ;-)

I did another ruffley scarf on the weekend. My daughter requested a blue one, but I couldn't find any blue in the Red Heart Sashay yarn, so I had to go with the Bernat Twist & Twirl, which I don't like nearly as much. The scarf turned out better than I thought it would though. Now I'm doing one in a red to purple in the Sashay.

It's going to be a busy week this week. On top of all my regular writing and editing I promised to meet with a friend today to help her set up a Paypal account and a blog; tomorrow my hubby's aunt is coming over so I can help her set up her new lap top; and Wednesday I have a writer's group meeting for which I'm supposed to have a St. Patrick's Day themed story done. I really should start that soon. I fully intend for it to double as my story for this month's Absolute Write blog chain. :-)

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part VIII of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 57 of Water - let's see how far Ravi and Taja get on their "date".
Friday: Part three of, Kids Will Be Kids.

Weekly Words

You'd think with my reading binge over I'd have time for all kinds of extra writing, wouldn't you? Alas, my moodiness turned into a black hole from which I only started to emerge on the weekend. And then I had so much to do on the weekend I didn't have much time for extras. We'll try again next week. ;-)

Mar 8, 2013

Kids Will Be Kids - Part II

In case you missed it, here's Part I

The weekly poker game was something the women of Sweetwood had resigned themselves to long ago. It was held in the Sweetwood Tavern, which closed at eight on Wednesdays, just for that reason. Mama McAndrews approved of the game, she was even known to participate now and then, which was the other reason it continued. As she said, there were worse things the men could be up to and this way the women of Sweetwood could keep an eye on them.

"Hear tell you were looking for me," Doc said when Dougal joined the game. "Official business?"

"What's the matter, Dougal, another hangnail?" one of the players asked. Someone else snickered.

Dougal glared at the offender.

"There's this woman, keeps coming into my office --"

There were hoots of laughter. "That sure is a problem, Dougal, at least for you."

Dougal's ears reddened. "It ain't nothing like that. She's some tourist. I ain't sure, but I think she might be trying to stir up trouble."

As the game progressed, Dougal filled the others in on the strange woman and her bizarre visits.

"Well," Doc said slowly when Dougal was finished. "She sure sounds a few sandwiches short of a picnic."

"Sounds like city-folk to me," Henry Wendly said. "You never know what them city-folk'll do."

"Maybe she was on drugs, Dougal," Charlie Spritzer put in.

"How about it Doc, you think drugs could be making her talk crazy like that?"

"Can't tell without seeing her. Might be possible. Anybody phone in about strange goings on?"

Dougal shook his head. "Everything's been pretty quiet."

"Then I wouldn't worry about it."

"I heard tell Carl Jenkins has cottages for rent down at the cove," Amos Freeman volunteered. "Maybe you should talk to him."

"I just might do that," Dougal replied, frowning.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

The next morning Dougal was on the phone to Carl Jenkins.

"I was fixin' to call you, Dougal. Yeah, I got cottages for rent, and I just had someone skip out without paying. Fella by the name of Gizwold."

"When did this happen?"

"Oh, must have been a couple of days ago. Real quiet fella, strange dresser."

"What kind of car did he have?"

"Didn't see no car. Ain't exactly sure how he arrived. Ain't sure how he left either, but he sure left a lot of junk behind."

"Junk, you mean all his clothes and such?"

"Nah, most of it's just garbage. Papers and odds and ends. Probably wanted to travel light. This ain't the first time this ever happened."

"That's so," Dougal agreed. "Be easier to track him down if he had a car. You come on down to the office, Carl, and fill out a report. We'll get a bulletin out on him."

"I appreciate it, Dougal. He owes me a week's rent, and I sure can use the money. Not much business, this time of year. Once the leaves start turning it gets too cold at night. Only got one other family."

"Had me a woman come into my office," Dougal said. "Pretty little thing, dark hair, real snappy dresser, that the same one?"

"Sounds like it. Talks real fast?"

"That's her."

"Seen her and the kid around, not much of the husband though. They're paid up for another week. They in some kind of trouble?" Carl asked anxiously.

"Just checking," Dougal said smoothly. "She just seemed a little odd, got me wondering."

Carl snorted. "Got me a whole mess of odd ones this year. Must be something in the water."

Mar 6, 2013

Hump Day Hunk

Aw, isn't he cute? Don't you just want to take off his ball cap and ruffle his hair? ;-)

Mar 5, 2013

The Muses - Part VII

Polyhymnia is the Muse of divine poetry and sacred religious music, often referred to as "She of sacred hymns." Her name comes from the Greek words poly (many) and hymnos (praise or hymn) and means many songs. She brings honour and distinction to writers and poets.

She appears to be more circumspect than hers sisters, although according to several sources she is believed to have been the mother of Triptolemus, the threefold warrior who learned the art of agriculture from Demeter. His father was either Cheimarrhus (son of Ares), or Celeus (the king of Eleusis).

Compared to the other Muses, Polyhymnia is very serious and conservative. Because she is such a deep thinking person, she is also considered to be the Muse of thinkers and is credited for the invention of the science of geometry.

She is sometimes depicted as both pensive and meditative, often holding a finger to her mouth, dressed in a long cloak and veil and resting her elbow on a pillar. Most often she is shown looking up to the sky as she plays a lyre, which she is credited as inventing.

Many of the ancient Greek thinkers give credit and praise to Poyhymnia saying that it is she who helped inspire them to think great thoughts.

Mar 4, 2013

Monoblepsia Monday

monoblepsia ~ colour-blindness for all but one colour

How does Monday always manage to creep up on me without notice? It's like it has stealth mode or something.

Honestly? I didn't get a whole lot done last week other than blog posts and reading. It was just one of those weeks where I was feeling unambitious and anti-social. It happens from time to time and I make no apologies for it. And at least time spent reading is better than time spent playing MSN or Shockwave games. While I'd honestly planned to get more writing done - it just didn't happen.

In the continuing saga of the Sashay scarves . . . While I completed knitting them, I wasn't sure how to finish them off - all the on-line instructions seem pretty vague. With regular knitting you just cast off the stitches and pull the end of the wool through the last loop. But I wasn't sure if you could do that with the Sashay yarn. So I took my knitting with me to my writer's meeting and one of the ladies there showed me how to do it properly. And yes, it was as easy as the rest of the scarf. :-)

Yesterday I decided to pull out something different to knit while watching TV at night, and, remembering my goal of finishing things, I opted to not start a new sweater as a Christmas present for one of my sisters, but instead work on a sweater I started for myself a couple of years ago. It's a deep navy blue cardigan with a cable running up both sides.

The first thing I discovered was that instead of the regular stockinette stitch for the rest of the sweater, I was using some kind of lacy stitch. So I pulled out a second pair of needles and a ball of yarn to see if I could figure out what I was doing without screwing up my sweater. In the middle of this, one of my cats was really adamant he wanted to cuddle, so I made him wait until I got to the end of the row I was working on and then took a cuddle break.

Cuddle time over, the next step was to figure out exactly where I'd left off in the cable itself. After much counting and cursing, it appeared I was on the fifteenth of sixteen rows. So. I started knitting the lacy stitch, turned the first cable, continued with the lacy stitch, reached the second cable, at which point cat #2 decided he wanted my attention, just like his father. Unlike his father, he didn't want to wait until I got to the end of my row so he swatted at the knitting needles, somehow got his claw caught in the sweater, freaked out, and leaped off my chair taking my sweater with him - right off the needles. Yeah. This would be the point I decided to read a book.

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part VII of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 56 of Water - we'll see if Ravi is making things better or worse for Rayne.
Friday: Part two of my old story, Kids Will Be Kids.

Weekly Words

All right, all right. You caught me. Other than emails, blog posts, and a snail mail letter, I didn't do a whole lot in the way of writing. I appear to be on a reading binge lately. I was pretty much mainlining books all week - Elly In Bloom, by Colleen Oaks; The Painted Boy, by Charles de Lint; Immortal Ever After, by Lynsay Sands; Tale of Two Vampires, by Katie MacAlister; and Spirit Bound, by Christine Feehan (which I'm currently reading).

I did manage to squeeze in some editing - for others as well as myself - but I didn't keep track of how many pages total. Maybe I need to create an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of these things. :-)

Mar 1, 2013

Kids Will Be Kids - Part I

Here it is the end of the week, the first day of March, and I made a rash promise on Monday that I'd post something here today. I've been thinking about this all week and I've been coming up blank. I seriously could not think of one thing to post about.

Okay, actually I thought of a whole bunch of things - a photo essay of my bookcases, my cats, organizing my books, what I've been reading lately . . . But none of those ideas appealed to me. So then I thought I'd tell you a story.

This is one of the first stories I ever wrote, and while it is a short story, I'll still be breaking it up into four parts because it's just too long to present all in one go. But hey, look on the bright side. At least I know what I'll be posting on Friday's for the next four weeks. :-)

Kids Will Be Kids

Mama McAndrews believed that her son Dougal was born to be sheriff of Sweetwood. He was a tall, husky man with short blond hair, piercing blue eyes and an impressive start to his middle age spread. He had no discernable talents or hobbies, no ambitions for higher education. In truth, it had been all Mama could do to see that he finished high school. The sheriff's uniform suited Dougal as nothing else ever did. Mama said so, and when Mama McAndrews said a thing, folks around here listened.

It was Tuesday, the crisp kind of day that set a man to thinking about the hunting season. Dougal was sitting in his office reading a fishing magazine, feet on the desk, chair balanced carefully on the back legs, when a woman rushed in through the open door.

She had short, dark hair and was dressed in a very short, metallic gold dress, with a silver trench coat overtop. Shiny white boots covered her to her knees. Her eyes were hidden behind an oversized pair of rhinestone studded sunglasses.

"Please," she said, in a breathless voice, "Has anyone reported a murder?"

The front legs of Dougal's chair hit the floor with a bang. "What?"

She caught her lower lip between her teeth. "I suppose you'd have to have a body for that, wouldn't you? I mean, you couldn't just take my word for it."

"Now see here ..." Dougal began.

"You see, my husband and I are from out of town. We've been staying at a cottage by the lake and my nephew came to visit. We've always been very close, my nephew and I, that is. Well, as close as one can get to a child like that, but now, oh dear." The lip caught again. "Maybe I should just come back tomorrow. Surely something will have turned up by then. I just thought I should check around while I was doing a few quick errands. Sorry to have troubled you."

With a swirl of her silver trench coat she was gone, before Dougal could say a thing. He stared at the door a minute, then shook his head and leaned his chair back up on its hind legs so he could finish reading his magazine.

"Flaky tourist," he muttered.

She was back the next day.

"Are you the same officer I was speaking to yesterday?" she asked hesitantly. This time she was dressed in metallic blue with red boots and sunglasses.

"I'm the sheriff, ma'am. And I'd -"

"Oh, good!" her face lit up. "Is being the sheriff an important job? I guess it must be or they wouldn't leave you here alone. It's a beautiful office, all this wood panelling and all. I'm sorry I left so abruptly yesterday but I really don't like to be away from Julien, that's my nephew. The girl who comes to clean has agreed to watch him, but only while she's cleaning. She gets very testy if I'm gone too long. By the way, my name is Jendra," she flashed him a smile and held out her hand.

Dougal shook it absently, wondering how she could talk so fast without stopping for air.

"I feel I should explain myself to you. About yesterday I mean. It would take far to long to explain my whole self to you, wouldn't it?" she giggled, then went on. "I suppose I sounded a little irrational. But Tibor, that's my husband, is away and so it's all up to me, isn't it? And when I'm upset I get flustered easily, and when he told me what he'd done I became very upset."

"Who told you what?" Dougal was having trouble following her train of thought.

"As I've told you, we're from out of town. We've been staying at one of the cottages at the lake for a holiday. May I sit down?"

Dougal nodded and she perched on the edge of a chair.

"My nephew came to visit yesterday. No one else would take him. He's a little on the psychotic side. He's very prone to temper tantrums, well, more like psychopathic rages. I think he gets it from his father's side, certainly we've never had any problems like that in our side of the family."

"And someone's trying to murder him?" Dougal jumped to the conclusion.

"Goodness, no! Who would want to terminate, I mean murder, an innocent child?" She shook her head in disbelief. "As I was saying, he's got a very nasty temper and everyone thought that perhaps a change of environment would do him worlds of good. Oh, dear -" she looked at a large watch on her wrist. "I've got to be going. He's been left alone too long now as it is."

She was gone before Dougal could protest. He stared thoughtfully at the door a long time before picking up the phone and dialling.

Doc Snowden wasn't in, but Madge, his nurse, assured Dougal that Doc would be at tonight's poker game.

"Can I give him a message?"

"No, thanks. It's official business," Dougal replied importantly.

Madge snorted as she hung up the phone. The last time Dougal had 'official business' for the doctor was when he had a hangnail on his big toe he needed removed so he could swagger down the street without limping.