Monday, October 26, 2020

Can I Post?

Well, what a surprise. The Formerly Forbidden Cauldron is mine again. With my updated operating system, I find I can post here once more. What shall I do with this Cauldron? I've already moved my weekly stories and posts to the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration at Perhaps I can use this place for guests rather than my livejournal at I think this Cauldron shall be a place of monthly updates, monthly snippets and blurby expressions of what I'm up to. Here's a little taste of something I've working on to celebrate this Cauldron's rebirth... “Leiwell, my Leiwell.” He buried his face in the younger man’s hair, tasting his brow with eager lips. “I have starved for you and the Shadow Forest has starved along with me.” “Starve no more.” Leiwell bared his neck, dropping to his knees before his master. “Feed until you are satiated.” Dyvian lay a hand upon his forehead but it was only a touch. “I can’t. Your brothers were right, Leiwell. You must be allowed to recover your vitality.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Paula's Prompts: Wednesday Words

On June 24, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at the Wednesday Words prompt 'a day late and a dollar short.'

This poem was the result...

The story is late again
The existing tales are a dollar short
They’re too many dollars short
Expectations of publication falling flat, tripping over reality
There’s no even enough for a cup of coffee
Publish enough and you’ll gain revenue from each work
Publish enough and save enough to self-publish
Only the works are disappearing from the venues
Rights reverting, stories returning
Sources of revenue drying up
Leaving me distracted, having to find them new homes
There’s still not enought to self-publish
What have I learned from publication?
No matter how hard I try not to, I make mistakes
No matter how cautious I am, I founder
Left with less cash for myself, let alone everyone else
Sometimes I want to cry
Knowing I’m a single voice crying out in a sea of voices
All a day late and a dollar short
Some never get published
Some never open that door
It’s just the first in a series of doors
May I move beyond a day late and a dollar short
Only I find myself in a place neither better nor worse
Looking at bigger and bigger problems
Along with bigger and bigger rewards
Part of my soul shrinks from this
My cautious, cowardly soul
Seeing the monoliths of success trapped on their pedestals
Yes, they misstepped, but it’s so easy to misstep
Say the wrong thing, write the wrong thing
Letting loose the arrow that strikes the vulnerable reader
I’ve loosed that arrow
I’ve been struck so many times
I’ve done all this while I’m still tiny
How much worse would it be if I was great?
Am I afraid of greatness?
How much is me being small?
How much of that smallness is fear of greatness?
I envy it, yet I fear it
A dangerous combination
To learn is to grow
What alternative is there, to shrink?
To stop learning?
I have to grow, I have succeed
Even if one of the obstacles is myself
I have to overcome myself to become myself
Opening door after door
Hoping there are wonders along with horrors 

All waiting behind the next one. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

#QueerBlogWed: Paula's Prompts

On May 20, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at a Wednesday Words prompt involving an imposter, a note, and a portrait.

This letter from Elizabeth Hartford to Westerleigh Hartford, characters from my attempt at elegant gothic horror, A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words, was the result...

Have you found this note, my little imposter? 

Yes, I know you’re lying. You’ve snuck onto my estate, into my library under false pretenses. Yet you are one of my blood, a Hartford. You’re one who’s looked into the painted eyes of my portrait, felt the craving to serve me, to worship me in all the darkest crevices of your secret heart you struggle to conceal from the world.

Well and good. This means I can grant your wish, my dear. I have need of you, for your lady has made terrible mistakes. Yes, this may be difficult for you to comprehend in your innocence idealism, but I still walk the earth, even if I no longer live and breathe. My soul is trapped within pain by one who once loved me, yet did not know her own power. 

It is essential that you come to know yours, my duplicitous, yet devoted descendent. You must unlock what lies within your blood and brain, to access the part of me which lives inside you. 

This won’t be easy. Anyone who loves you will resist your efforts. You yourself as an individual may resist. What remains of me, unliving and feeding on life, will not be your ally. This is why it is crucial that you prepare to embrace me, to allow me within your heart and mind.

I speak in riddles, a maddening practice, yet necessary for me to mentor you from beyond the grave while allowing you to develop on your own. You were clever enough to deceive the caretaker of my estate and achieve access to my home. You must be clever enough to un-riddle the meaning of this note. 

I swear to you, I will always be near you, even if I am limited in how much I can act. If ever you doubt yourself or me, go to my portrait. Look at me, into the painted eyes which represent mine. They are the windows to my soul, more truly than actual eyes ever are. They will give you courage. They will give you resolve.

I sense your adoration, a sentiment I cannot reciprocate, but you’ve hardly earned it, have you, little imposter? What you have is my confidence and my trust. No, you haven’t earned these either, but they are your birthright and of far greater value than any mere affection. Whatever else you might be, you are my blood descendent, a part of myself. My purpose has nowhere else to live but in you.

Do not disappoint me, little imposter. Do not disappoint yourself. 


Elizabeth Hartford