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.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Paula's Prompt

Once more, the amazing PTWyant has come up with a Wednesday prompt! To see her prompt and her picture, go to

I came up with a very short response at K.S. Trenten's Facebook Author Page. Here's my second response, one I've tried to work into my current NaNoWriMo project, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?'

Oh, how dark the sky was with the threatened thunder! Jupitre wanted to boom and roar, chasing his lost lightnings across the gray plain of his soul. 

Only they were part of his soul no longer. The storm had abandoned him, leaving him empty, hollow, mortal. 

“Come on!” Seraphix urged. Exquisitely beautiful, her gown and hair were as misty gray as the clouds. She offered one pale, ghostly hand. “It’s waiting for you, Jupitre! You just have to reach out and reclaim it!”

He stared at her hand. What did he have to lose by taking it? Did he have anything more to lose? He, who’d once ruled the skies and the heavens, now reduced to a mortal nothing, hammering on roofs with a bunch of chattering women? 

He reached and clasped her hand. How cool it was, like the icy wind, which sweeps away everything in its path. She pulled him up, after her, with remarkable strength. She pulled him out of the shell of himself. 

He howled in pained delight, as flesh rippled and the spirit soared free, but he was flying! At her side, he ran, flew, and soared, an eagle once more, ready to soar and pounce on tender mortal flesh. She screeched her approval, the wind beneath his wings, carrying him back to the otherworldy, the heavenly once more.