Archive for July, 2013

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between July 25 and July 31, 2013. All but the last are from The Snow Queen, by Mercedes Lackey.

cover, Snow Queen“If you did not have a way to make something make sense, you would construct it for your self.” Annukka’s comment on how memory worked.

“Good news keeps company with the turtle; bad news with the hare.” An old Sammi saying.

“People are people, and often they act like frightened sheep.” Annukka to Kaari, when Veikko’s loss results in the townfolks turning against them

“A Wise Woman learns how to put her own woes aside when need calls.” Annukka, putting aside her concern for Veikko as she makes plans to trade for what they need.

“We become truly great only when we work for others as well as ourselves.” The Snow Queen, talking to Kay.

“It was amazing what changes could be made in a relatively short period.” The Snow Queen’s thoughts about Kay, who she has been trying to cure of selfishness.

“You and your nautical terminology! Why not just say you’re going to fasten the front sail in place?” Bowling, Tourist Trap. Amber to Timi, after Timi says he’s going to bend on the jib.

New grass pre-mow 7:22:13The sun rose this morning at 4:42, and will set 18 hours, 28 minutes and 35 seconds later at 11:10 this evening. We’re losing almost 7 minutes a day, but the summer heat is still present. It was mid-70’s to 80 last week, with only a trace of precipitation, and this coming week is supposed to hit 80 or more just about every day, with no precipitation forecast. It is cooling off to the mid 50’s at night, thank goodness.

New grass mowing 7:22:13I’ve felt well enough to water daily, so the yard and garden aren’t suffering too much. The area changed from weeds to lawn (eventually, I hope) was mowed for the first time a week ago, and yesterday only the southwest corner looked as if the grass was totally smothered. I hope it takes a second mowing all right this afternoon; I deliberately did not water it Sunday. Watered plenty of other areas, though.

new grass 7:28:132+ weeks after the first round of chemotherapy, and I’m feeling much better. The long-term effects are starting; nosebleeds and my hair is coming out in fingerfuls, if not handfuls. I’m going to have to decide whether to go (1) bald without hiding it, (2) turbaned, or (3) with a wig. The Cancer center has the second and third, and I may go a day before my next chemo (due Friday) and have a little photographic fashion show. Think I’d look too strange in a blond wig? Shall I post the photos and let people vote?

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It’s Sunday again, time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo below.) As I said last week, snippets will be random for a while, and this one is from my second published book, Tourist Trap. The setting is Falaron, a planet terraformed to resemble Earth during the Pleistocene, and the animal is a flat-headed peccary, common in Pleistocene North America and considerably larger than any peccary now alive. A herd has invaded the travelers’ campsite while they slept, and a young sow has gotten her head caught while trying to get the last of a bucket of honey.

HubbleThey dived in from opposite sides of the mad, blind creature, shoulders brushing as Timi’s weight collapsed the animal’s hindquarters and Roi landed atop the shoulders. The peccary’s frantic squeals, amplified and directed by the bucket, reverberated in Roi’s ears, and its odor was rank in his nostrils. Its coat was as rough and bristly as it looked, harsh against his hands and arms.

It wasn’t totally blinded, Roi saw. The handle if the bucket was caught behind the sow’s ears, and the eyes were set so high in the skull that he could see them, rolling wildly, from where he lay. But it could not see ahead of itself. Roi opened his mind and used his physical contact with the animal to force his own awareness into the animal mind, controlling its struggles and he had quieted the three horses during the storm. “Hang on to the rear legs until I tell you to let go,” he told Timi, and began struggling to get the handle of the bucket back over the flathead’s ears.

Tourist Trap is available in hard cover, soft cover, and ebook at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For some reason I can’t get through to Amazon that I’ve lowered the ebook price to below $5, so the Kindle version is ridiculously expensive relative to the Nook or the publisher price. Complain to Amazon; they aren’t listening to me.

Next weekend Horse Power will be free on Amazon, and I’ll have a little more of the stampede.

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Year 8 Day 1

Venus of Willendorf, from Don's MapsThank goodness the groups will be back soon! Surely I can find some couple as acolytes who can hunt, cook, make clothing, and do not have and are not expecting a very small and inquisitive child. Rhino and Torch Flower are already borderline on the food and clothing, and I can only hope that Torch Flower waits until Meerkat or someone of similar experience returns before she has her baby!

It has not discouraged her efforts to seduce me. Indeed, by the standards of the People she is at her most desirable when very obviously pregnant. Not by the standards of mine! Broad hips and full breasts, yes, but actual pregnancy …. How shall I put it? It elicits protectiveness, care, but not physical desire.

In the case of Torch Flower, even the protectiveness is muted.

At least Rhinocerous, though he has very little more intelligence than his namesake, is able to learn. I have finally gotten across the idea that if he is to hit a moving target with a projectile, he must aim at where the target will be, not at where it is. And that when it is a living target, he must use his imagination to tell which way it is going to move.

Nor is there anything wrong with his stamina, and we are eating much better. Or would, if Torch Flower were up to cooking.

At least I’ve gotten a lot of mapping in this year. I have a very good feel for this continent now, and may look over the one to the north next year.

Jarn’s Journal is the record of an alien stranded in Africa 125,000 years ago. I tells the earliest history of the Jarnian Confederation, in which all of my science fiction is set. The Journal to date is on my author website.

Quotes from Tolkien

Here are the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between July 18 and July 24, 2013. The first six are from The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Map of Eriador“Time doesn’t seem to pass here, it just is.” Bilbo’s description of Rivendell.

“Someone else always has to carry on the story.” Bilbo to Frodo, after he has seen the ring again and realized what he has let his nephew in for.

“There is naught that you can do other than to resist, with hope or without it.” Elrond at the Council, after Gloin tells of his worries that Bilbo is being sought by Sauron.

“The story still does not seem complete to me.” Bilbo, wanting to know more about Frodo’s flight from the Shire.

“I let the matter rest, watching and waiting only, as we have too often done.” Gandalf at the Council, regretting that he did not immediately put more effort into finding Gollum.

“Treason has ever been our greatest foe.” Gandalf, saying that although his fears about the hobbit’s ring had been awakened 17 years ago, he did not want to start a rumor that might reach Sauron’s ear.

“I’ll try, but I really doubt I can help.” Sue Ann Bowling, Tourist Trap. Roi when Marna asks him to look for something out of the ordinary in her memories of Eversummer.

Pineaple sage 7:20:13

Pineapple sage

The sun rose today at 4:18 in the morning, and will set almost 19 hours 17 minutes later, at 11:34 this evening. We’re back to the rapid shortening of days, losing over 6 minutes a day—almost seven, by the start of next week. Solar elevation at the highest is barely below 45°, and the rains have finally arrived. For the moment, they’ve left again, but probably not for long.

Herb bed and bordering flowers

Herb bed and bordering flowers

Yes, it turned cool and wet. Last week, while I was feeling disinclined to do anything but spend 20 hours a day in bed, it was hot and dry, and by the time I managed to dredge up enough energy to water the pot plants on Wednesday, the pineapple sage looked as if it was on its last legs —

Salmon Lynchis

Salmon Lynchis

sticks and dead leaves. That is one tough plant, as well as one that smalls wonderful, because by Thursday you’d never know it was even wilted. Thursday Sheila came over and watered everything (as well as doing a lot of weeding) so of course it’s been raining since Thursday night. Then Friday she put down fresh weed-stop between the raised beds, as well as taking me to the cancer center for tests.Saturday we had a few brief peeks at the sun, and by Sunday it was peeking out often enough I could take some pictures.Today so far there’s hardly a cloud in the sky.

I’ve made some changes in the garden. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve planted the non-raised part, so I had the lawn service put it back to grass

Lantana edging raised bed

Lantana edging raised bed

this year. Right now it looks like a bed of chickweed, but there is grass growing, and I am assured that once it gets tall enough to mow, mowing and a little mild herbicide will take care of the weeds. (I normally avoid herbicides, but that particular area really needs something.) The raised beds are normally squash, beans and peas, but the only one I’ve been keeping up with on harvest the last couple of years is the squash. Two of the other three have been converted to mints and herbs, with flowers bordering them. The third is dirt now (it was chickweed) but will be getting transplants from the volunteer perennial seedlings. The white iris and delphinium seed like mad, as do some of the columbine and (most years) the lynchis. Might as well give them a home where they won’t be mowed.

We’re supposed to have sunshine again today, with temperatures in the 70’s. So far there’s not a cloud in the sky.

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It’s Sunday again, and time for 8Sunday (click on the logo above) and SnipSunday (click on the logo below.) I’ve posted as much as I’d planned to from War’s End, and for a while I’ll take turns posting random snippets from my published science fiction. Today’s is from Homecoming, available in all formats from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This snippet is from Marna’s re-acquaintance with her home planet, Riya, after a plague has depopulated the planet.

HubbleBack among the trees, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye, and caught her breath with delight as she managed to make out the form of a butterfly cat, as long as Marna was tall, even without its tail. Its sleek coat was greenish yellow with dark green swirls on its sides, rings of the darker green on its legs ad tail, and four angled swirls like butterflies flaring out from its forehead to encircle its eyes and its tufted ears. Butterfly cats were solitary hunters, and rare, and Marna felt privileged to see one.

She kept walking, afraid any break in her steady movement would frighten the animal away, and tried to watch it out of the corner of her eye. Its peridot eyes clearly saw her, but the creature showed no sign of fear. It was stalking something, she thought, its movements as fluid as the river and utterly silent. She reached out with her mind, wanting to feel its wildness ….

The beast was stalking her, and preparing to spring.

Sorry if I don’t get around much this week, the chemo has really caught up with me.

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Year 7 Day 295

Gorilla, MorguefileI think I’ve found another relative of the People, though not nearly as R’il’nian-like as they are. This one is much more massive, and while it can rise and travel on two feet when it needs to carry something, it more often travels on feet and knuckles. It apparently lacks the ability of the People to form bonds with other species, and while a certain amount of communication among individuals certainly takes place, it is not nearly as good a communicator as are the People.

It certainly does not have anything like the People’s delight in adornment, nor does it appear to decorate itself.

Unlike the People, who seem to prefer savannah and forest edge habitats, these gorillas, as I am calling them, live in dense forest and even swamps. Neither Torch Flower nor Rhino seem to know what they are, but that may be because of their youth. I will ask the shamans when the People return.

Meanwhile, they are clearly not the same as the chimpanzees I found earlier. Not only are they much larger, but the gorillas are much more vegetarian than the chimpanzees, who hunt the smaller monkeys. It would be fascinating to uncover their evolutionary history, but it is clear that the People have evolved here, and are not some lost branch of the R’il’nai. Yet in many ways they are so much like us ….

Quotes from Andre Norton

Most of this week’s quotes were from Gate of the Cat, by Andre Norton.

Cover, Gate of the Cat“Without sight, her imagination was limited.” Kelsie is trying to find her way in a darkened maze.

“Those of evil did not hang together.” Kelsie is trying to understand why one group of her enemies, the Sarn Riders, is dragging another, the Thas, to sacrifice them.

“She would have to rely on her own choices and powers.” Kelsie, lost in the dark and trying to find Yonan.

“What is death but a gate and we of the mysteries know many gates.” Wittle, arguing with Yonan.

“This is a thing beyond the bounds of what must be.” The witch Wittle when Kelsey’s jewel appears stronger than hers, though to her mind Kelsey is a thief.

“It should not be, but it is. Therefore accept it.” Yonan’s reply to Wittle.

“He needs a family.” Homecoming, by Sue Ann Bowling. Marna to Lai, after she learns the story of Roi’s birth.

DeophiniumWe have two sunsets today! The sun set at 12:01 this morning, rose again at 3:54 and will set after 20 hours 3 minutes and 48 seconds at 11:57 this evening. Last weekend was hot and clear – in the 80’s and sunny, with some smoke. Some increase in clouds is forecast for today, but still warm.

ColumbineI am happy to report that the first round of chemo went well, aside from transportation problems and spending the entire lovely day indoors hooked up to medication. They Herb beddid insist on steroids to protect me from possible allergic reactions, and I was predictably a mess Saturday on blood sugar. Steroids are notorious for that. I was up to 200% of my normal basal Saturday crashed Sunday morning, and bounced up again Sunday night.  But the nausea and vomiting did not appear, though my appetite was pretty well gone by Sunday night. Other side effects (such as hair loss) take longer, but I read Saturday evening at the Alaska Writers’ group Saturday reading, and attended Community Writers’ Group Sunday.Unfortunately I think that was overdoing it — by evening Sunday the aches and pains started and I’d lost all appetite.

I also felt well enough to tackle the garden a little Saturday. We got the herb bed finished and the perennials tied up Thursday, and Saturday I did a little cleaning up between the raised beds and took some photos. The tall columbine is blooming, the delphiniums are just starting and so is the salmon lynchis. I was afraid I got started too late watering the area that was garden (not raised) and has now been seeded to lawn, but by Thursday a good crop of grass had appeared. I hope once mowing starts it will discourage the chickweed!