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It’s Saturday and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents, a blog hop where we share about 200 words from something we’ve written. For rules and links to other participants, click the logo above.

I am still posting from Both Sides Now, a WIP that blends science fiction, adventure, politics and a touch of romance. Doc has just mentioned his frustration that though they have access to stolen Confederation supplies, they have no idea what they are.

Kevi was suddenly alert. “Do they have the Confederation codes on them?” he asked.

“Yes, but we can’t read them. We don’t even know if any of them are medical supplies.”

“I know the codes,” Kevi said thoughtfully. “If you have a marker and something I can write on I’ll show you the top-level symbols for medical supplies, food, and shelter. No telling what drugs are there until I see the boxes, but I’ll know how to use them and if there are things we need.”

We need? Coralie grabbed a marker stick and pad off the counter that served Doc as a desk, but Kevi was unable to grasp the narrow marker. He tried, frustration clearly growing, but his hands were simply too distorted to handle something so small.

“Maybe it’d work better if I just looked it over and picked out the boxes with medical supplies,” he said finally.

Doc snorted. “Other side of the valley, on those feet? No way. Not if I have to sit on you.”

“Give it to me,” Coralie said sharply, snatching up the marker. She selected one of the cloth rolls from the bandage shelf and began re-rolling it around the marker stick. “Try that,” she said when she was finished.

Year 10 Day 300

I can’t explore to the north this time of year. Not only is it bitterly cold, there is no sunlight. But in studying the images the ship captured as we crashed, there appear to be ice caps at both poles. And at this time of year, a little after the southern solstice, the southern polar regions should be at their warmest and brightest.

Granted, this continent I am on does not extend very far south – barely 35°. I can see nothing but ocean south of it, no matter how high I levitate. The images, which were taken at nearly this point in the seasonal cycle, are not much help, as there are too many clouds to tell whether I am looking at land or ocean.

That many clouds, of course, translates to stormy. After a day of flying due south from the southernmost cape, I was soaking wet and exhausted. I considered teleporting to the pole, which I could have done – I’ve learned that much. But what if this south pole is not water? What if it is high, perhaps even as high as the snow-capped mountains I have seen? Teleporting myself into sold rock, or even solid ice, is not a good idea. Even I know that!

So I will teleport each day to the coordinates I left the evening before, fly southward until I am soaked and cold, and then teleport back to my home. If I teleport into a region of thunder and lightning I will leave, but so far these clouds seem not to belong to that kind of storm.

Quotes from Terry Pratchett

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between August 14 and August 20, 2014. The first 6 are by Terry Pratchett, from Mort.

Mort cover“Magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances come up nine times out of ten.” At least in Discworld!

“It’s the people the gods ignore who get the really rough deals.” The gods take an interest in tragic heroes, but sometimes it’s even worse to be ignored.

“The awesome splendour of the Universe is much easier to deal with if you think of it as a series of small chunks.” Mort, just apprenticed to Death, is trying to deal with cleaning the stable of Death’s horse.

“People don’t want to see what can’t possibly exist.” So they don’t.

“REALITY IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS.” Death, explaining to Mort that those surrounding him are aristocrats, who are very good at not seeing what they don’t want to.

“PEOPLE CAN’T EXPECT TO HAVE ME RUNNING AROUND AFTER THEM ALL THE TIME.” Death, the first time he sends Mort out to attend deaths.

“What was wrong with her, that she had forgotten so thoroughly the dangers of her home?” Sue Ann Bowling, Homecoming. Marna’s thoughts just after she has almost been attacked by a butterfly cat, forgetting the predatory nature of these beasts.

Quilt BThe sun will rise this morning at 5:48 , and set 16 hours 12 minutes later at 9:59 this evening. It will drop 12° below the horizon tonight—almost astronomical twilight.

It’s mostly been in the 70’s or high 60’s, with nighttime lows still well above freezing. We’ve had a little more rain, but mostly it’s just been occasional showers, and the forecast for next week is more of the same.

Sharon came by Thursday. She helped me with the chickweed and gave the herbs and mints a much-needed haircut. Some of the herbs, such as the pineapple sage and the parsley, were shading out the others. The trimmings will go to people who can use them – I use fresh herbs, but not that many! She also helped trim the lower leaves on the zucchini, finding a 7 ½ pounder that I took to the food bank Friday. I took a photo with my iPhone, but I can’t seem to get it to import*, so another quilt from the quilt show will have to do for today.

*Turned out to be the USB daisy chain. Here it is.Zucchini

logo WWW Vet

Sunday again, and time for weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo below.) Join in one or both of these blog hops next week if you’re interested.

I am still posting from Rescue Operation, a WIP almost ready to publish. This conversation is continued from last week. Emeraude, Lelani and Keishala are Roi’s wives. (Roi is non-aging; his Human wives age normally.)

Veil Nebula - Segment #3
Source: Hubblesite.org
Emeraude, twenty years younger than Keishala, unwound her bitter-chocolate body from the exercise bars and pulled loose the scarf that had held her beige hair. “What happened?” she asked.

“Zhaim ‘solved’ the problem of Horizon’s not paying its dues by authorizing one of the big slaving companies to collect them—in people.” Roi still couldn’t quite believe it.

“Is it that serious?” Keishala asked, putting her music tablet down on Lelani’s table. “I mean, I know how you feel about slavery, but there are planets in the Confederation that sell their own citizens. Ginger says it’s a lottery on hers.”

“It’d be every bit that serious,” Emeraude shot back.

To be continued next week.

Snippet Sunday logo

SFR Presents logo

It’s Saturday and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents, a blog hop where we share about 200 words from something we’ve written. For rules and links to other participants, click the logo above.

I am still posting from Both Sides Now, a WIP that blends science fiction, adventure, politics and a touch of romance. Doc is introducing Kevi to Coralie, who has been acting as his nurse. Her brother, Mik, was one of those who rescued Kevi.

“Kevi, this is Coralie. She’s acting as my nurse, but she’s Mikal’s sister.” He wasn’t sure how to warn Kevi, in front of Coralie, about her history, or how protective Mik was of her.

Kevi moved back to the table and sat down, favoring his feet considerably more than he had, and nodded his head to Coralie. “I am most pleased to meet you. Have you had a chance to examine Nonie physically? I didn’t dare try without deep anesthesia; she was too afraid of me. And I understand you have no anesthetics.”

Coralie had relaxed visibly, and it took Doc a minute to realize that Kevi, by limping, sitting down and making sure he was not between her and any exit, had deliberately made himself non-threatening. He wasn’t sure whether to be reassured or threatened by the R’il’noid’s ability to read and respond to body language. “Nothing stronger than your willow bark tea,” Doc said.

“Except the Confederation supplies,” Coralie responded.

“We don’t know what they are,” Doc said, exasperated. “Those tubes could be wound dressing or lubricant, we don’t know. Same with the other stuff. I don’t know why your brother ever traded for them.”

Year 10 Day 298

I’ve wondered before how long wild dogs live, but now it has become a matter of some urgency. I think Patches is dying.

Her appetite has not been good the last couple of fivedays. It’s even hard to get her to drink water. I am not much of a healer, but when I try to feel what is going wrong with her, I think her blood cleaning system is shutting down. She’s lost interest in swimming, in chasing game, in all of the other things that used to be her consuming interest.

It’s strange to remember her as the orphan pup that came into my life even before I knew the People were here. She has become very much a part of my life. I remember how destructive she was, yet at the same time, how adorable.

She is an animal, I tell myself. So are the People, some part of me answers. They too will grow old and die. Is it my fate to live on, alone?

Jarn’s Journal is part of the remote back story of the universe in which my science fiction is set. For the entire Journal to date, check my author site.

More Quilts

One of the enjoyable aspects of the quilt show at the fair is hearing a name I know. This year I was surprised and delighted to see a couple of entries by the Department of Geological Survey, one for a baby quilt for one of the employees, and the other as a retirement gift for a volcanologist I knew. Chris Nye used to work at the Geophysical Institute when I was there. Volcanoes are pretty important to Alaskans. Not only do we have a lot of them (exactly how many depends on how recently one has erupted to be considered active) but they are extremely important to air travel. You don’t want to suck volcanic ash into a jet engine! Since the Aleutians, which are highly volcanic, are on the Great Circle route across the Pacific, keeping tabs on Alaskan volcanoes is extremely important business.

To add to the enjoyment of recognition, another quilt was made by Sheila Dailey, who planted most of my garden for the last couple of years, for another old friend, Shirley Weiss.

A baby quilt, each block made by a different person, but all followed the rule of bright colors.

A baby quilt, each block made by a different person, but all followed the rule of bright colors.


Retirement quild for Chris Nye. Most of the blocks have something to do with volcanoes, though a couple such as his portrait are more personal.

Retirement quild for Chris Nye. Most of the blocks have something to do with volcanoes, though a couple such as his portrait are more personal.


Not as fancy as the other two, but made with love for an old friend.

Not as fancy as the other two, but made with love for an old friend.

Quotes from Jane Austen

Here are the contexts for the quotations tweeted from @sueannbowling between August 7 and August 13, 2014. All but the last are from Mansfield Park, 200 years old this year, by Jane Austen.

Mansfield Park Cover“If the part is trifling she will have more credit in making something of it.” Tom Bertram, trying to make Julia contented to play Cottager’s Wife.

“She was safe, but peace and safety were unconnected here.” Fanny has been saved from acting, but by Miss Crawford to whom she does not wish to be obligated.

“There is very little sense in a play without a curtain.” Mrs. Norris, as usual overpraising her own part. (She has been making the curtain.)

“Selfishness was lost in the common cause.” Sir Thomas has come home unexpectedly early, and though for a moment Julia is one with the players, this feeling is quickly lost as she sees Maria and Henry Crawford.

“I come home to be happy and indulgent.” Sir Thomas, while pointing out that his indulgence will not include any more rehearsals.

“He was more willing to believe they felt their error, than to run the risk of investigation.” Sir Thomas’s attitude toward his children.

“Dressing well and feeling beautiful will make you feel more confident.” Homecoming, by Sue Ann Bowling. Cinda, encouraging Marna to dress up for her first meeting with Lai.

Mansfield Park Rev coverJane Austin’s Mansfield Park is 200 years old this year, and I’m celebrating by reading and watching a number of re-tellings, re-imaginings, and sequels. For this book, possibly the least popular of Jane Austin’s novels, the main problem is simply finding enough books and DVDs for one review a month!

I happen to like Fanny Price, and think in many ways she is among the strongest of Jane Austin’s heroines. Many people, however, consider her far too insipid to be interesting. As a result, the stories based on Mansfield Park almost without exception try to “improve” her, or (as in the current story) leave her out entirely.

Yes, leave her out. Mansfield Park Revisited starts with the death of Sir Thomas Bertram in Antigua, followed almost immediately by the departure of Edmond, Fanny, and their infant son to straighten out the Antiguan property. From that point on it is essentially a retelling of Mansfield Park with the somewhat more forward Susan replacing Fanny. There are bits brought in from other Austin novels; Mrs. Osborne seems taken from Mrs. Croft in Persuasion, for instance. But on the whole it is a retelling of Mansfield Park with the names changed.

The book was originally published in 1985. It was reissued in 2008, 4 years after the author’s death. At some time at or after the reissue, it was also released on Kindle, and this is the version I have. Unfortunately it was never formatted for Kindle, and my major criticism of the book is just that: the e-book formatting is a mess. Words and sentences have odd breaks, and from having formatted a book for Kindle myself, I suspect that the PDF of the print book was simply transferred over to Kindle. It doesn’t work.

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