Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Paula's Prompt

Forgive me, Paula, for I am late. (rueful grin) I've finally got a response to your Wednesday Words on May 17, 2017. You asked for something involving the boy next door, a wrench, and a vegetable garden. Thomas wanted it. He wanted the wrench. He wanted the boy next door. He wanted to be the boy next door. Danyel wasn't sure if he wanted to do this, but he wanted to take his old name out for a test drive. Dayel wanted to use this post to let Thomas know such a story would only take place in his dreams. :) And so this story came to pass...a wrench used to be known as a spanner. Due to the weird nature of Omphalos, I thought it was all right to use the word 'wrench'.

BTW, this site uses cookies I need to warn you about. Please don't eat the cookies. They're inedible. :)

“Yo, lady boy!”

Danyel dug his fingers into the earth, doing his best to ignore Thomas. There was nothing wrong with being a lady. There was nothing wrong with being a boy. Thomas never failed to put them together with a sneer, aiming them at Danyel. The air was jagged with the boy next door’s hostility, ready to cut and bleed. 

“More like the creature next door,” Danyel growled, pulling a fat, orange carrot out of the ground. “Too ugly to be human!” 

He glanced over at Dayel, to see if his twin was smiling out of the corner of his mouth, but he wasn’t there. 

Why wasn’t Dayel there?

Something queasy fluttered around Danyel’s stomach. He rose to his feet, trying to quell the sensation. He looked across the garden for his brother. 

There was no sign of Dayel. There was no one, except for Thomas. 

“Too ugly to be human, am I?” Thomas said, smiling, but his small eyes narrowed in anger, almost losing themself in the flesh of his cheeks. He tossed something long, slender, and metal from meaty hand to hand. It gleamed, dazzling Danyel’s eye. 

“What’s wrong, lady boy? Never seen a wrench before?” Thomas asked. He brandished it towards Danyel. “Real men use them to tighten things. Or loosen them.” The end was stained with flakes of something reddish. “Some things get twisted and need to be loosened.” He smiled, revealing discolored teeth. “Like that relationship between you and your so-called twin.”

Thomas moved slightly. Something was laying in the grass behind him, something with the same golden curls as Danyel. It should have been a someone, but the figure was laying way too still. Its curls were matted with blood-

“No!” Danyel cried, thrashing himself awake, kicking his twin when he did. 

“Nightmares make you so violent,” Dayel grumbled. He turned over to open one sleepy eye, fixing it in a glare at his brother. “Do that again and I’ll kick you out of the bed.”

Danyel sat up and stared at Dayel, whose curls gleamed in the moonlight from the window. The only thing they were dried with was a little sweat. 

“You’re alive,” he said. He shivered at the sight of his brother opening his eyes, which had taken on a silvery gleam. The sight of every annoyed wrinkle on his forehead was a relief to see. “I thought Thomas had killed you!”

“He wishes,” Dayel muttered, but his brow smoothed. He studied his twin with narrowed eyes. “It’s far more likely I shall kill him.”

“The only weapon we know how to use is the Dance,” Danyel objected. “It doesn’t work like that.” He wasn’t entirely sure why he should be so certain of this. He, Dayel, and Leiwell had only just begun learning the Dance. According to Map, there was much more to it than a few simple moves with your hands and feet. “You can block his fist, or shove back anything he throws at you, but you can’t try to hurt him yourself.”

“Everything Thomas throws at us, including words, are hurtful.” Dayel uttered the words with merciless flatness. He shut his eyes, not allowing his twin to see whatever glistened within them. “It’s just a matter of time before his own blows strike him down.”

“That ‘wrench’ was a weapon in his hands.” Danyel shut his own eyes and lay back down. “What if it doesn’t have to be?” He turned towards his twin and opened his eye. “What if it loosened something which truly needed it?”

Dayel’s eyelids trembled. His lips twitched. He didn’t know what a wrench was any more than Danyel had. His twin would love to know more, but he’d never ask. Dayel refused to ask questions. 

Danyel felt his own lips quirking towards a smile. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Please Lose the Extra 'L'

Danyel tugs at my imagination hesitantly. “Excuse me? Um, Lady Author?”

I’m a little taken aback at this courtesy. Most of my characters are never this polite. Particularly Quartz. 

Quartz: I heard that! 

Surprisingly, Quartz settles down right after that comment. Whatever Danyel is saying is important enough not to interrupt. 

Wait a minute, I’m calling Danyel ‘Danyel’. Not Danyell. 

Danyel: That’s just what I hoped to speak to you about. I’d like my old name back, please. (He glances over at his twin.) Dayel would, too. 

I look across the shifting landscape within the Cauldron to see Dayel, nodding vigorously, Dayel, not Dayell. 

It looks like my twins are taking back their old names. 

What brought this on? I changed their names a while back to differentiate them from the characters they’d been when the twins were first created. To create a subtle change between whom they were in those online roleplaying games and whom they are now. Plus, I was worried about copyright. I did use the name in a bunch of posted stories with other people. 

Dayel: You already checked on copyright. Your characters’ names are yours. (Dayel scowls a bit at this. He’d like his name to be his, not mine, thank you very much.)

Danyel: We just don’t quite feel like ourselves with the extra ‘l’ on the end. 

Me: I’m still worried about this. Dayel, your name was used by a character in a Terry Brooks’s novel. Danyel, your name was used by a character in a Robin W. Bailey novel. I changed your names to protect us all. It seemed easier and safer. 

Dayel: Other people use the name. One shouldn’t own a particular name. 

Me: Unfortunately, sometimes they do. Why do you think the princess in ‘Fairest’ has no name? Every fiber in my being felt she should be Aurora. This was her name in the ballet, but Disney may have rights to the name. Someone else suggested calling her Dawn, but ‘Dawn’ didn’t conjure up images of her in my mind. She ended up nameless as a result. I tried to make sure you got names which felt right. Leiwell had two ‘ls’ at the end of his. This makes your name sound like his. 

Danyel: Why don’t you call your princess Rose? You’ve already claimed the name Briar for her beloved. 

Me: (thoughtful) Now, there’s an idea…

Dayel: Danyel! 

Danyel: What?

Dayel: Stop meandering and being distracting by characters in other universes. Return to us and our names. 

Danyel: (looking abashed) Right! Lady Author, we’re really not comfortable with the extra ‘l’ at the end of ours names. I’m not sure if you are, either.

Me: (wincing) Well, I wasn’t. Not really. Other people who knew you before weren’t, either, I think. 

Danyel: You see?

Me: I was starting to get used to it.

Dayel: We never will. 

Danyel: We’re still not comfortable with these names. Could we please change them back?

Me: (relenting) I’ll think about it…

So I’m thinking about it. What do you think? Danyel and Dayel? Or Danyell and Dayell? 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Paula's Prompt

Hello, my poor Cauldron. I've been away for far too long. I imagine you still use cookies, which I should warn visitors about. You've been far too neglected. I've returned with a poem for you. You can thank Paula Wyant at for this. She posted a picture prompt back on Wednesday; May 10, 2017. I jotted it down, but I'm only now typing it up and sharing it with both you and her.  It's her picture which we're using today. As usual, it's a lovely one of a staircase going up through greenery. I've been so worried about Naples, about the caldera awakening under the city that it's been difficult to think of anything else. The result is this poem is uttered by the personification of a volcano which spoke to me with the voice of an entity which bring creation and destruction.

I’ve given you life, now I crave death
Reaching out from the roots of the earth
Hungrily grasping as you pluck my fruits
Creating pies you shape for hours with your clever fingers
Cavorting with my riches before the word
Claiming them as your own
Dare you to follow my green staircase?
It leads up and away from the fire
It’ll take you to the very source of the flame
The heart of fertile lands, nourished by rage
Thick vegetation layers itself on top of a grave
Just keep climbing, observing my empire
Right before my fury envelops it

Burning all this verdant life away. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Crossover Crash!

We've Blogged From A-Z here. We've Blogged From A-Z there (at Character Snippets are everywhere. Now, that 'Fairest' has been picked up by Nine Star Press (coming soon to ), there's been a crossover crash within the character's imagination...Quartz was here in 'Q is for Quartz'. Zenobia was there in 'Z is for Zenobia'. Quartz, Opal, and Garnet are three of the seven dwarves in 'Fairest'. Zenobia is a queen, both rival and romantic interest to Kyra, main character of my WIP, 'A Suitor's Challenge'. Yes, somehow they've all come together from different universes, thanks to the Wednesday Words of P.T. Wyant (see . Yes, there are cookies. Please be aware of them, if you're from the U.K. Don't feed them to the ceramic turtle or the garden gnome. :) Special thanks to Critical Role for warning the public that goblins often pretend to be garden gnomes. The dwarves are now traumatized. :)

“What is this?” Zenobia demanded. She held the ceramic turtle in her hand, studied its lack of gold or gems, and tried not to feel too disappointed. She had, after all, just raided the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration, which was an author’s blog. Treasure was not a writer’s speciality. 

“It’s the representative of a deity of wisdom.” Opal spoke with bland courtesy, not allowing his thick lips to twitch. “Some say it carries the world on its back.”

Zenobia nearly dropped the turtle at the audacity of this squat little commoner daring to answer her question. Opal caught the turtle before it could smash on the ground. 

“You have hair on your face.” The Kalanthian queen regarded Opal with distaste. “We find this most displeasing.”

“You loved a girl, but treated her as a slave,” Opal retorted. “I find that most displeasing.”

“Arrogant little man!” Zenobia bared her glittering white teeth at the dwarf. “I could have you flayed alive-”

“A dwarf’s beard is tied to his sense of beauty and pride!” Garnet thrust a garden gnome between his brother and the queen from another universe, not entirely sure what he was  doing. “Surely, you don’t mean to insult another queen’s favorite?”

“Hold your tongue!” Zenobia growled, but she was distracted by the gnome. “What is this idolatry? Did you trap a piece of your soul in this likeness?”

“What?” Garnet goggled at the queen, fondling the gnome in shock. 

Opal wasn’t about to take this. Not from some jumped up queen from another project which hadn’t even been published yet!

“Are you blind? How can you even compare a dwarf to a common garden gnome! A creature that’s half goblin!” Opal shook his fist at Zenobia. “I don’t care how powerful a monarch you are! Get back to your Work in Progess, you upstart-!”

“Opal, shut up.”

It couldn’t be. He was dead. Yet here he was, standing between the queen and his brothers. 

Opal’s mouth opened and closed in sheet terror at the sight of Quartz, cradling the turtle to his chest. Garnet nearly dropped the gnome. 

“You’re dead!” Garnet hugged the statue in his arms in sheer terror. Never mind that it was entirely too much like a goblin. It was the only thing standing between him and his zombie brother. “We all saw you die!”

Zenobia was the only one not terrified by Quartz’s appeared. Her eyes widened at the appearance of yet another little man with hair on his chin, but not with fear. 

“Ah, a Wise One!” Zenobia regarded Quartz with a respect she hadn’t shared with either of his brothers. “One who has been to the lands of the dead, yet chosen to return and share his stories.” She actually inclined her head towards the newcomer. 

Opal and Garnet turned their horrified stare from their brother to the queen. 

Quartz took no notice of them. He smiled and bowed to Zenobia.

“A gift from the lands beyond to one whose beauty requires a tribute.” He offered the queen a single, black feather, along with a roguish half wink. 

“Wise One, you honor me,” Zenobia breathed. She accepted the feather, offering Quartz a coy smile. 

The next moment, she and Quartz vanished. Garnet and Opal were left, holding the turtle and the garden gnome. 

“He’s always had a soft spot for human women,” Opal muttered. “Strangely, they seem to have a soft spot for him.” 

“What just happened?” Garnet gasped, looking around wildly. “Will you please let me know what happened? Has a witch enchanted us? What was that?”

“Authorly weirdness,” Opal said with decisive firmness. He wasn’t entirely sure where the phrase came from, but it seemed appropriate for unexpected occurrances. 

Garnet would have tugged his beard, but his arms were filled garden gnome. Perhaps he should trying hugging these creatures more often.

On the other hand, it did look entirely too much like a goblin.