Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday Snippet

It's Rainbow Snippets time! Alas, this Cauldron can no longer participate officially, since it's being blocked on Facebook. I'm hoping it'll be able to take part in QueerBlogWed. However, it would like to offer up a snippet. One that's a little longer than six sentences.

Here's a teaser for 'Waiting for Rebirth'. One of my things to do for 2017 is to clean this story up and post the whole thing at It's the first of the 'Tales From the Navel/The Shadow Forest', a prelude for all my other novels in that universe.

This blog uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I need to warn viewers about. Consider yourself warned.

The first thing I remember was darkness, It howled and swallowed everything for longer that I can tell, until the light came. It split the shadows, sent them scurrying away. 

A young man stood in the very center of the light. He captured my attention the way nothing had in a long time. He extended his gleaming white hand towards…me?

Yes, me. There was a me in the darkness, shivering in the light. Shivering at the sight of those pale, slender fingers.  

“It’s all right,” the young man said. “This is your rebirth, Christopher.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paula's Prompt

Here's my response to another Wednesday prompt from the amazing #PTWyant! To see her prompt, go to It involves a return, an encounter with a former friend, and a single snowflake.

Thank you, PTWyant, for giving me such excellent material for the April flash fiction challenge coming to Queer Sci Fi! I'm only posting a teaser here, since I'm submitting the entire story to that challenge, which I'm hoping they'll accept. (crosses fingers) Here's a taste of 'The Dark Lord's Heart', the story I wrote. Thank you so very much for inspiring me with your prompt to create this story!

Cookies are used by this blog, which I don't understand, but I'm obliged to warn visitors about. Consider yourself warned.

The dark lord appeared at the gate of the wizard’s cottage. This time, he didn’t bring his hobgobin army of twisted, lost desires, or his spectral minions to bring their shadow of despair on the rolling, green hills. 

Neither of these had ever moved the wizard, even though the dark lord had brought them chiefly to impress him. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

Happy Boxing Day! It's Me Me Me Monday, a day to celebrate one's me-ness. :) For the holiday season,  I thought I'd share a little bit of my WIP; 'Wind Me Up, One More Time'.

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“People still tell tales of a more primitive time,” Nathalie used to tell me. She had the kind of voice, which made you sit up straighter, holding your teddy bear close to your chest. Maybe your bear could share your excitement, as you listened. Nathalie’s voice was deep, but soft, giving every word a special significance. “Before gas and gears, before towns and cities, when people shivered within tiny villages, protected by the hunters among them. This doesn’t protect them completely. Monsters and beasts would still attack them, confident in tooth and claw. Physical might was still as important, as the quality of your weapons.”

This was scary, since I was very small. I’d never been mighty. I was glad to live in a time, when you could survive, even if you were small and weak. I might have survived, though, if I’d had the right weapons. Or if I’d been a beast, like Ted. Only Ted wasn’t a beast. She was soft and squishy. She had neither teeth, nor claws. This meant neither one of us would have done well, during this time. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Snippet

Happy Holidays, everyone!

It was hard deciding which Rainbow Snippet to post for Christmas Eve. (I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to snippet today, for that matter! :)) 'Seven Tricks', my m/m Nutcracker based tale? Or 'Wind Me Up, One More Time', my tale of teddy bears and childhood dreams?

I've got two Cauldrons, so why not do both? 'Seven Tricks' is appearing at Therefore, here's a taste of my f/f WIP, 'Wind Me Up, One More Time'.

“People still tell tales of a more primitive time,” Nathalie used to tell me. She had the kind of voice, which made you sit up straighter, holding your teddy bear close to your chest. Maybe your bear could share your excitement, as you listened. Nathalie’s voice was deep, but soft, giving every word a special significance. “Before gas and gears, before towns and cities, when people shivered within tiny villages, protected by the hunters among them. This doesn’t protect them completely.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday, where one promotes, struts, and shares one's Me-ness! :) Today, I thought I'd offer a little taste from 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower'. It's the first book in my 'Tales from the Navel/The Shadow Forest'. I'm currently revising it for publication.

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I need to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned.

A chill ran down Danyell’s spine. Every hair on the back of his neck stood up and shivered. He rose from the grass. Behind his brother was the cottage where the two of them had spent the last thirteen? Fifteen? Danyell couldn’t recall exactly how many years he and Dayell had lived there. Not that they’d lived anywhere else. 

No other cottages kept their home company. It was alone in an empty field, which stretched out in either direction, until it reached the forest. While trees could be watchful, they tended to be sleepy and relaxed. The only energetic thing in the woods was the bubbling creek and the wildlife it drew.  Nothing there had the focused hunger in this gaze, not even a snake eyeing a squirrel.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Paula's Prompt

Here's an answer to another amazing prompt from PTWyant! To see her prompt, go to 'Wednesday Words' at  This time it involved a flower, a gear, and a lost charm.

I got really attached to this story I wrote. I wonder if I can shrink it down to 300 words for the Rebirth Anthology in April?

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I'm supposed to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned.

The gears rolled when Gear turned the crank in the machine. 

All of the other girls waited, breathlessly as they stared at the clear glass bubble at the top of the device which would decide which of them was the incarnation of the Lost Charm. The legendary charisma the first queen had possessed, until a witch drained it from her and trapped it in a machine. 

Now it was a small, golden locket to be dropped in the hands of a different woman every six years. That way, no one would be queen for too long. No one could make the land suffer as the first ruler had. 

No one would have a chance to get so angry, a curse would well up in her heart. A curse like the one which had activated this machine. 

Now, it was part of their sacred tradition. 

“Turn the crank!” an old woman wailed. Her cry was taken up by other woman. “Turn the crank! Turn the crank!”

She pushed the lever in a counterclockwise direction. Objects appeared within the bubble to whirl around. Trinkets, snatches of ribbons, boughs of holly. A flash of gold appeared amid the other items, a hint of the locket’s presence. 

At the end of a queen’s reign, she’d surrender her locket to Gear. Gear would drop it in the opening on the top of the machine, even as it filled with ribbons, holly, and flower petals. 

Not that anyone was interested in these other things. All eyes were fixed on the charm. Whoever owned it would possess the legendary charisma which could ensnare a witch. It was every girl’s dream to ensnare a witch. A woman who could catch one of these legendary charm creators might possess something even better than the locket. 

Once, twice, thrice, Gear pushed. The gears groaned in protest. The machine wanted to go on turning. It wasn’t ready to stop. 

She’d learned to trust the machine over the years. Three turns was law, though. What’s more, it was tradition. Three cranks would determine whom would be queen. 

The girls crowded together. Every one of them stretched out their hands towards the machine. One pushed others aside to put her hand directly beneath its opening, a girl with a sallow face and a pinched mouth. 

The charm dropped into her hand. She closed her fingers over it before anyone could see it. 

“I have the charm! It came to me!” the girl, Brusque said. Only she was Brusque no longer. Like every queen before her, she would be known as Charm. 

Whoever possessed the charm became Charm. No matter how ill suited she seemed to such a name. 

“I am now Queen Charm!” Brusque, no Charm crowed. The queen allowed her mouth to pucker into a smirk. “You all have to do what I say, even if you hate it!”

“Congratulations, Your Majesty,” Gear said, forcing her lips to smile. She dropped into a bow, just as she’d bowed to every Queen Charm before her. 

“Quiet!” Queen Charm said, wrinkling her thin nose. “I refuse to accept congratulations from a mere mechanic!”

The new queen turned her back on Gear and stalked away. Almost every girl followed after her. 

Once, they would have stayed for Gear to turn the crank. To snatch a bough of holly, a little ribbon, or anything else the machine might offer them. 

Only Queen Charm had turned her back on ‘the mere mechanic’. The other girls did the same. They surrounded Queen Charm, simpering and fawning, each one trying to get their new queen’s attention. 
All except for one girl. A dark haired, dark skinned maiden, who lifted her open hands towards the machine. 

“Won’t you turn the crank for me?” she asked. She smiled and met Gear’s eyes. 

Gear looked into those black, intelligent orbs and wondered what would have happened if she’d kept turning. If she’d given over to the will of the machine. 

Only it was against tradition. 

She pushed the lever around, allowing the machine to dictate how many. It allowed her to go for five turns before it let out a shuddering groan. 

A flower dropped from the machine’s opening. Not flower petals, but a camellia in full flower. It fell into the girl’s hand. 

“Thank you,” the woman who might have been Queen Charm said. She lifted the flower to her nose and breathed in its scent. “Maybe I’ll change my name to Camellia now.”

Gear found herself smiling in spite of herself. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday! A day where you promote your me-ness. :) I'm in bad need of a pick me up right now, so how about a little f/f between an arachnocrat and a wandering celestial? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you will in a moment. :) It's a rather heated conversation between Duessa Ashelocke and Gabrielle about boys. Or men. Particularly Damian Ashelocke, Duessa's nephew. Warning, this is a dark discussion. Males don't have a very pleasant existence in arachnocratic society, nor a very long one. Gabrielle is hoping to do what she can to change that for Damian.

I'm thinking of putting this scene in 'My Treasure, My Tool', the next book planned in 'Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest'.

This site uses cookies. I don't quite understand them, but I'm supposed to warn you about them. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned.

“Manflesh? Tough with arrogance and rigidity?” Duessa let out a laugh, which was mostly hiss. Gabrielle noted the way all eight of her knuckles whitened, as some of them gripped the railing in front of her. Others formed childlike fists.

Duessa raised her her arrogantly. Gabrielle wondered if she was defying the spirit with her words to come back to haunt her. Duessa had an almost superstitious dread of words at times. She also had a dislike of mature males, which felt quite personal.

“We have our marriage feasts of boymeat. Best to savour them, while they’re still young and sweet,” Duessa said. Two of her eyes opened. They were an almost human hazel, wistful and pensive. “Best to strike them down, when they’re young and bursting with hope. It’s better than waiting for their dreams to curdle into the sourness, which is every man’s lot.”

Including Damian’s? Gabrielle wanted to ask, but she didn’t dare. 

“Sweet or seasoned?” ‘Brie asked instead. She leaned against the railing as well. Its stone was smooth and impersonal. It carried no sentiments, or judgments. “Experience is what truly adds flavour to anyone, man or woman.” She shot Duessa a sidelong glance. “One wonders why one of your marriage feasts might be like, if he lived to attain such experience. Especially if he was extraordinary to begin with.”

“Are you flirting for Damian’s life, ‘Brie?” Duessa asked. Her third pair of eyes opened. They were a brilliant, blood rose, unveiled from under thick, curling eyelashes. Gabrielle wondered which marriage feast had gifted her with a pair of eyes so like Damian’s own. “Or are you saying one of my ladies is missing out on a feast beyond measure, in not allowing my nephew to ripen properly?”

“You of all people appreciate the value of patience,” Gabrielle said. “Whether it’s in giving yourself time to savour a meal or a man.”

“Such a value is not limited to men,” Duessa said. Her fourth pair of eyes opened. Hot and hungry, they moved over Gabrielle’s lips, the curve of her cheek, following the line of her throat. 

A part of Gabrielle wanted to shrink back from such dangerous attention. Memories of Rafaelle came back, of her trembling hands, as they brushed Gabrielle’s hair. Only Duessa wasn’t ashamed of her desire for the younger woman of a different species. Duessa Ashelocke wasn’t ashamed of anything. 

“I’m willing to make a deal with you, ‘Brie,” Duessa said, as her tongue emerged to moisten her red lips. It was easy to imagine her rouging them with young men’s blood. “I wonder if you’ll take it?”

“I’d be a fool, if I dismissed it out of hand,” Gabrielle said, tensing from something other than the delightful fear of shared desire. Ashelocke deals were legendary double edged swords for those who accepted them. “However, I’d be a fool if I accepted it too quickly, as well.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Queer Blog Wed

It's Queer Blog Wednesday! Where you share something GLBT at your blog and tweet it with the hashtag #QueerBlogWed. If you want to find a variety of queer posts, look for the hashtag on Twitter!

I thought I'd share a snippet in a book I'm revising for publication, 'The Hand and the Eye in the Tower'. It's the first in a series called 'Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest'. The second book, 'Stealing Myself From Shadows' was last year's NaNoWriMo project. This third book, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' was the third book. All three books need revision, so a revising I go. :)

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I'm supposed to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned. :)

This is a little longer than six sentences. I wasn't sure if I should follow the Rainbow Snippets' rule of six sentences or not. I tried to make my sample fairly short, though.

“I know you’re there.” Something cold and damp was inches from his face. A misty breath kissed his quivering lips. “I can taste you!”

“No!” Danyell cried, trying to squirm away, waking up as he did. Grass prickled his cheek and tickled his nose. He rolled over and looked up to squint into the sunshine.

A shadow leaned over him, blocking out the sun. Danyell gasped, as a face exactly like his own loomed overhead.

“There’s no need to be afraid,” Dayell said. His twin was looking down at him. “At least, not of me.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trying to Get My Rights Back

I have a sad announcement to make. I'm asking for the rights back from Torquere Press, LLC, of which Prizm Books is a Young Adult line for 'Fairest', 'A Symposium in Space', and 'At Her Service'.

I haven't been paid by Torquere. Not even once since I signed my first contract for them. Not one single paycheck. I'm not the only writer who hasn't been paid. A lot of the staff I worked with on 'Fairest' and 'A Symposium in Space' are no longer with them. No one has gotten paid from what I can see.

This feels like I'm unpublishing myself in many ways, but I can't afford to continue on in this way. I'm trying to be a professional author. I'm happy to offer free samples, but I can't write for free. Not all the time, not even a lot of the time. I'd be spending a lot more time at 'Archive of Our Own', if I could.

I've asked for my rights back via email. I've also sent a certified letter to the publisher. I have yet to receive an answer or the paperwork for my Revision of Rights. My stories are still up and for sale. I'm simply not getting anything for them even though I wrote them.

Please spread the word. Let other readers know I'm trying to get the rights to 'Fairest' back. Along with 'A Symposium in Space' and 'At Her Service'.

I'm not going away. I plan to keep on writing. I'll continue to share bits of my work here. I'll continue submitting my stories to publishers and looking for ways to self publish.

Keep an eye on myself and my work. Remember, the Cauldron is always bubbling with potential stories, waiting to be shared with the world.

This blog uses cookies, which I don't quite understand, but I need to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned. :)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Snippet

It's Saturday, a day of Rainbow Snippets! This Cauldron can no longer officially play, since it's been blocked on Facebook. However, it wants to offer up something. Since this isn't officially a Rainbow Snippet, it's longer than six sentences. I tried to keep it fairly short, though.

Here's a little teaser from 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower', the first novel in 'Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest'. It's got m/m. It's got f/f. Above all, it's a bromance between a pair of twins, living in isolation with their family in the shadow of a mysterious tower.

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I'm obliged to warn people about. Particularly people living in the U.K. Just so you know. :)

“We’re all like that rose.” Someone was speaking to him, someone who wasn’t Dayell. His voice sent a shiver of mingled fear and devotion down his spine. “Every boy with magic in his soul is a rosebud waiting to bloom. If I don’t force my dream upon you, you’ll never blossom. I hope you understand this.”

Danyell felt himself nod, the strange thoughts filled with eager anticipation. He took a step forward, feeling the Shadow Forest closing in around him...

“Danyell! Don’t let yourself be stolen away!”

Dayell’s frightened cry brought Danyell back to himself. He looked down at his hand, which was small and thin, as always, though his palm had red marks upon it. The sky overhead was morning blue, as it should be.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paula's Prompt: Something Else

Here's one of my responses to this week's prompt from the amazing Paula Wyant at! It involved a dalmatian, a piano, and a pair of gloves. It's the only response to her prompt which isn't competing in Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Flash Fiction WriMo contest. I didn't feel this story was GLBT enough to compete. (rueful grin)

This blog uses cookies I don't really understand. However, I'm supposed to warn viewers about them, especially in the U.K. Consider yourself warned. :)

“Take off your gloves,” the dalmatian said. It sat with its muzzle lifted with a certain aloof arrogance. 

The human looked down at her hands. Yes, she was wearing black gloves. They hid the scars underneath. 

The piano seat beckoned the human. If she sat down, she could play again. She could be free. She just needed to take off the black gloves. 

“They’ll see my scars,” the human said out loud. 

“Well, yes,” the dalmatian said. It lowered its head slightly. “Unless you can make them think of something else when you play.”

The human hesitated. There were a lot of her kind in the room. Most of them were milling about the bar. Drinking cocktails. Watching each other out of half lidded eyes. No one was paying attention to her. 

It was comforting, but also a little irritating. Here she was, trying to see if she had the nerve to pull the gloves off. No one was acknowledging her dilemma. 

No one, except for the dalmation who sat curled up on the sofa. It watched the human with liquid eyes. Expectantly. 

The human got up and pulled her gloves off. 

How ugly the reddened, puffy flesh looked! The human shuddered to see her own hands. She glanced over at the dalmatian. 

The dog turned its muzzle towards the piano. It flapped its ears with the motion. 

The human walked over to the piano. 

Now, other humans were starting to watch her. However, her attention was drawn to black and white keys, awaiting her. Ebony and ivory, side by side. She shyly touched one of them. 

The sound was perfectly in tune. It reverberated in the human’s ears, sending shivers down her spine. 

She began to play. 

Other humans turned their heads towards the one playing the piano. Not one of them looked at her hands. 

The dalmatian nodded her head and allowed her tail to thump the cushions beneath her. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Snippet

Saturday is time for Rainbow Snippets, where six sentences of GLBT fiction are posted and shared. Alas, this blog can no longer officially play, since it's been blocked from Facebook. It still wants to play, unofficially. This snippet is longer than six sentences as a result.

The Cauldron must also warn you, if you live in Europe that it uses mysterious cookies that neither its keeper nor it understands. We are obliged to warn you about them, so consider yourself warned. :)

Today, we're sharing a lost scene from my National Novel Writing Month project, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' This scene didn't make it into the draft. I may insert it doing the revision process, because it shows a little more of the relationship between Danyell and Thomas, before that relationship changed.

His name was Thomas. He had a round, reddish face that constantly scrunched up into a sort of sneer. Thomas was taller than Danyell, not to mention twice as big, something he never got tired of pointing out. 

“I take after my father,” Thomas would declare with noisy pride to any boy who would listen. “My father is a hero. He’s killed hundreds of monsters, bringing home all kinds of treasure he took from them.”

“Why?” Danyell asked. Thomas clearly expected him to be impressed by this information, but Danyell didn’t get it. “Why did he kill the monsters? Was it just to steal from them?”

“Of course not! My father isn’t a thief! He’s a hero!” Thomas looked outraged at Danyell’s question. “Heroes are supposed to kill monsters and take their treasure!”

Monday, November 21, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday, a day to strut and promote all things Me. :)

I've been working nonstop on my NaNoWriMo project, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' I'm almost at the end, but I'm feeling a little frustrated.

A lot of scenes I wrote in advance. A lot of them didn't make it into this draft of the manuscript. I'm hoping to change that. I thought I'd share a little scene here, which I badly wanted to use, but I didn't get to.

These site uses cookies I don't understand, but I'm now obliged to warn you about. Especially if you live in Europe. Consider yourself warned. :)

“They’re not your brothers, not really,” Dyvian said, as he moved a little closer to Leiwell. His multicolored gaze was fixed upon the younger man, changing into an icy blue, the same blue as Dayell’s power.

He’s studying me, Leiwell thought, as if I were a puzzle he had to solve. Perhaps I am. He said nothing, even though he could feel himself tensing at the suggestion that the twins weren’t really his brothers. He wanted to interrupt with a snarled denial, but he’d listen. He had to take Dyvian’s measure, find out what his intentions were.

“Danyell and Dayell are creatures of shadow and desire. They are fragments of other people, given form and identity.” Dyvian paused, clearly choosing his words with care. “This is why they have an instant connection with so many people.” His white eyebrows shot up, as he nodded, ever so slightly. “This is why they can never truly be your brothers, or yours in any way.”

“You’re wrong.” Leiwell’s own words came out soft, but the compelling truth within them was palpable. Dyvian could hear it, he was sure, even taste it. “They’re not just my brothers. They’re my reason for living, for smiling, for striving to be anything.” Confront the lord with the truth, the way he always confronts you. “They’re my hope for a better world.”

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Snippet

It's Saturday, time for Rainbow Snippets, six sentences of GLBT fiction! Alas, this poor little blog can no longer participate officially, since it's still being blocked by Facebook. However, my Cauldron here would still like to play, so it's offering up six sentences from 'A Godling for My Thoughts?', my NaNoWriMo project. It's a little longer than six sentences, but the sentences are short.

“A godling for your thoughts?” The question was a low tease, as the man pulled the tiny icon out from behind the boy’s ear. It was a trick, an illusion. Nothing, but a coin laid in the man’s hand. The boy still giggled at the sight of it.

The man smiled, seeming to bask in the boy’s laughter. His multicolored eyes, however, were troubled. “Seriously, Leiwell, what’s the matter?”

Friday, November 18, 2016

Promo Friday!

It's Promo Friday! A day to show the world what you've got, what you're up to, and what you're planning.

Lately, it's been all about National Novel Writing Month. I've been working hard on my book, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?'

'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' is part of a series. I call it 'Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest'. Fairly strange, eh? No kidding. This series may be the weirdest thing I've ever written. I struggled with the first book, 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower' for years.

I love it, though. 'Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest' and its wacky, jumbled denizens are very dear to my heart.

Which is why I thought I'd share a taste from the very first book, 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower' here today.

“I know you’re there. I can feel you. I’m blind and cannot touch without you.” It was a childlike plea, as well as a seductive whisper. Danyell wanted to respond, but didn’t dare. He lay very still, so the voice couldn’t find him.

“I know you’re there.” Something cold and damp was inches from his face. A misty, icy breath kissed his quivering lips. “I can taste you!”

“No!” Danyell cried, trying to squirm away. The movement of his own body woke him up. There was grass against his cheek, almost poking his nose. He looked up, squinting in the sunshine.

A shadow leaned over him, blocking out the sun. Danyell gasped, as a face exactly like his own loomed overhead.

“There’s no need to be afraid,” Dayell said. His twin was looking down at him. “At least, not of me.”

Monday, November 14, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday! To celebrate the glory of me-ness, I thought I offer a couple of teasers from my f/f fantasy fairytales, past and present.

One is from 'Fairest'.

“Once upon a time, she was the kingdom’s greatest treasure. Now, she is its greatest sorrow,” the good witch murmured. The anguish in her voice made my chest tighten in pain. I didn’t know why. “She was the fairest of them all.” With a visible effort, she turned her head. She looked at me, as if she were forcing herself to see me. “You’ve met her. She’s the one who put the curse on you.”

The second is a of 'At Her Service', my gender bending interpretation of 'Cinderella'. 

Eager to please, I’d open the closet. A cascade of all kinds of slippers, scarves, and gowns would come pouring out of the wardrobe, knocking me to the ground.

The noise would distract my mistress enough to look up. I knew better than to try and meet her gaze, though the temptation was always there, along with the fear. 

“Cinders.” She never yelled my name, though the sharpness of her voice was jarring than any shout. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Snippet

Today is a day of Rainbow Snippets, where six sentences of GLBT are posted and shared. This poor little Cauldron can no longer participate, since Facebook continues to mercilessly block it. :( However, it can play, unofficially.

Lately, I've been working hard on my NaNoWriMo project, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' It's part of a series called 'Tales from the Navel/The Shadow Forest'. I thought I'd share a teaser from the first book in the series, 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower'.

“There’s no need to be afraid,” Dayell said. His twin was looking down at him. “At least, not of me.”

“I’m not afraid of you,” Danyell said, but the words tasted like lies. Dayell’s eyes were filled with silver light. Tiny, gleaming triangles changed their violet blue color into something eerie and strange. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Promo Friday

It's Promo Friday! Lately, I've been busy; living, breathing, and writing 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' during NaNoWriMo. I haven't forgotten my other projects, or my other universes, though.

I was so close to finishing 'Aissa and Polyxena', though my muse was nudging me, kicking me, and saying there should be an extra segment taking place in the underworld. I may end up giving into my muse, since some of the ideas he'd tossing at me are pretty tempting. :)

I thought I'd share a little of m/m mythical Work In Progress here. Just to let everyone know I have forgotten it. Not to mention that I plan to return to it, finish it, and submit it. :)

The pedlar man nodded, ever so slightly. He barely looked at Lycomedes, or Deidamia for that matter. His gaze flickered between Aissa and myself. 

“The lady seems to have captured herself a lost princeling, while wandering on this island,” Patrocles said. It was hard not to flinch, at the way his narrow eyes examined me. Their hungry jade shifted to a poisonous brightness. 

“He calls himself ‘Polyxena’,” Deidamia said, as she jerked her head in my direction.

This provoked a roar of bawdy laughter from the big brute. Patrocles smiled, but there was no humor in the curl of his lips. The bearded pedlar did not laugh. He simply stared at me, as if I were a riddle he was trying to comprehend. 

“You’re Trojan, aren’t you?” the bearded man asked, frowning. “From your bearing and manner, I’d say a high born Trojan at that.”

I tensed at this, really wishing I had my sword. Whoever this pedlar was, he was the truly dangerous one in the room. 

“What if he is?” Aissa asked. She raised her head, almost challengingly at the beared man. “Scyros has no quarrel with Troy, even if all of Helen’s former suitors do.”

“I see you’ve heard of the suitors’ promise,” Patrocles said, as his eyes roamed over Aissa. I found myself taking a step forward, in front of Aissa, reaching for a sword, which wasn’t there. Again. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Paula's Prompt

Despite everything that is happening, the remarkable @PTWyant still came up with a prompt this Wednesday. To see it, go to

Here is my first response. 

She regretted going down to the basement. It was dark. It was cold. It was lonely. The creatures that dwelt down there would rip her throat out, drink her blood, or do any number of horrible things to her. 

The monsters in the basement were still better than the creatures living above. 

Once, she’d truly believed the above dwellers were good. That they believed in freedom and equality. However, they used their national flag, made up of the colors of the differing races which made up their country as a tool of oppression. As a symbol of elitism. 

And what was their reason for choosing leaders, who chose to corrupt the meaning of the flag in the way they did?

“Everyone is voting for him,” another student had said in a long ago class, when she tried attending one of their schools. “If you think our people are smart, choose him as your leader.”
That’s your only reason? she thought. You’re choosing this leader, simply because everyone else is? It couldn’t be only thing which drew people to that candidate. However, it was the only reason many of the surface dwellers needed. 

This terrified her more than any monster did. 

This was why she was headed down to the basement. Where the zombies, ghosts, vampires, and other killer monsters awaited. 

At least she could understand them. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday! This Cauldron can't participate, since it's being blocked on Facebook. It can still offer something up in its bubbling contents, though, for those who happen to stop by.

I've been working hard on my NaNoWriMo project, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' Here's a little teaser from its pages...

Omphalos was an ancient word for ‘navel’, according to Ashleigh. It was the perfect name for the growing village she’d decided to help build. None of her new neighbors contested this. Names had power, and their new village would be at the heart at everything. 

It was certainly loud enough. Dayell woke every morning to thumping, sawing, cursing, and chatter, which carried through the cottage walls. Ashleigh’s voice rose above the rest in a dramatic boom, which commanded everyone’s attention.

“Look at her,” Danyell said. He was standing at the attic window, staring down at what had once been an empty field. 

Ashleigh was scampering up a ladder, carrying a heavy beam over her shoulder with a bounce in her climb. The long piece of wood appeared to weigh no more to her than a light basket.

“I didn’t think Ashleigh was any stronger than we are!”  Danyell said, unable to hide the envy, mixed in with his admiration.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Snippet

It's Rainbow Snippets time, which this poor little blog has blocked by Facebook from participating in.  It makes this Cauldron sad. It wants to play, so it decided to pick off, right where I left off at This teaser is from the first chapter of 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' My NaNoWriMo project has both m/m and f/f, but this particular teaser is m/m.

“Seriously?” The boy looked up at the sunlight shining through the trees overhead, down at the mossy log he was sitting on, before they settled upon the man, standing over him. “My thoughts don’t matter.”

“If that were true, this place wouldn’t exist.” The man nodded at their surroundings. Trees surrounded the man and the boy, as the breeze tickled and whispered in their ears. “I wouldn’t exist.”

Friday, November 4, 2016

NaNoWriMo Challenge

NaNoWriMo issued a challenge yesterday. To write a goodbye letter from one character another.

They issued the same challenge last year.  It was the perfect thing for Damian Ashelocke to write to Christopher, when I was working on 'Stealing Myself From Shadows', so I did it. Unfortunately, I was worried that the letter contained too many spoilers, so I didn't post it.

This time, the letter is from Ashleigh to Map. I won't say anything more about them, other than they're characters in 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?', my NaNoWriMo project for this year. I'll let you find out the rest for yourself in the letter.


I’m writing this letter, although I doubt I’ll ever have the courage to give it to you. After all, I left you. I left the boys. 

I doubt I’ll ever be able to explain the reason why to you, either. This compulsion of mine to open every Door to every world I can find…but that’s just an excuse. The title ‘Ashleigh Beyond the Door’ sounds impressive, but it’s as much about running away as it is about running towards anything. 

The boys scare me. Oh, we call them our sons, but neither of us gave birth to them. Not exactly. They just appeared under strange circumstances, if not downright weird ones. Leiwell, Danyell, and Dayell don’t belong to us, any more than the ground, the sky, or any of the shadows cast between ever can. 

I admire you, Map. I admire your courage in raising those boys, as if they were human. As if they were truly our sons. 

I want to love them, I truly do, but I’ve never had the courage, or the generous, accepting nature that you do. You’ll never know how much I regret not being able to care about them the way that you do. 

Perhaps there’s something else I can do for them. Something which will make you, myself, and the boys part of something greater than we could ever be as a family. To bring us together in a community the likes of which we’ve never seen, since we lost Omphalos. Since Christopher, myself, and everyone else abandoned the little village we once called home. 

I write ‘everyone else’, but that’s not quite true. You never abandoned Omphalos. You raged against it, hated it, but you never abandoned it. You were the only one who didn’t. 

I want to bring that world back to you. I know you mistrust it. You’ve got good reason to. We were happy there, for a while, regardless of what it became. You, Christopher, and myself had something very special in that cottage. I want to return a little of that happiness to you. I want the boys to experience that happiness, as well. I may not be able to love them, but I may be able to do right by them. Friends, a community, an entire village of people like themselves; I’ve got a chance to give them these things. 

Of course, there’s a price for all this. There always is. I’m more than willing to pay it, if it means returning our home to you and making the boys a part of it. Maybe there’s a chance we’ll finally be able to spend time together as family. I pray to Seraphix that there is. 

I love you, Map.