Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Inheritance, episode 2 June 30, 2014

Filed under: Serial Monday — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:30 pm
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Episode 2

Smoke. Heavy, acidic, dry smoke that smelled of sand and rocks and burnt animal skins. His lungs constricted. He knew this smell. Smoke billowed around his face, his arms, his torso. He tried to move. He had to get up. Only a Fang raid produced this smoke. The fire would come next. The fire, the screams, the cries of the children, and the strangled choking sounds that his flock made when frightened.
Get up! He yelled to himself. But he could not move. Something held him down, something heavy and hot pressing against his body, burning into his legs and abdomen. He choked and struggled. He gasped for breath. He began to scream.
“Aeland! Wake up! Wake up!” Someone was shaking his shoulders, startling him awake. “You were screaming again, Aeland.”
“What? The smoke! The smoke is here, the Fangs, they are raiding, the screams…” Aeland trailed off, confused. He looked around him. The tent walls around him were moving gently with the desert breeze. The air smelled of incense from the small shrine on the table and wax from the flickering candle his sister had lit. He was safe. “I’m sorry, sister. I woke you again.”
“It is alright Aeland. I was not sleeping.”
“You were. I am sorry. It was…it was the dream again. That night, I can’t get it to leave my mind,” he whispered.
“Nor I,” she replied. “Do not worry. We are safe here. This caravan is larger than the last one. We will be protected.”
Aeland nodded. He did not believe her words. The Fangs attacked ruthlessly and without warning, and in numbers that were impossible to count. He saw their faces when he closed his eyes—angry and scaled, their long, dirty hair hanging limply down to their waists, and their bright blue eyes that looked straight through you with such coldness. He could not sleep any longer.
He rose from his bed and picked up his staff from the floor. He used to value his staff as a most precious tool, one to guide his flock and defend them from danger. Now its primary use was to aid his walking. He winced at his stiff leg as he limped toward the door of the tent.
“Where are you going?” His sister asked.
“To check on the herd. I can sleep no more tonight. I’m sorry again for waking you.” He walked into the open air, onto the sand that still held some heat from the day’s sun. The breeze was cold, but it cleared the memory of smoke from his mind. He walked slowly towards the pen where the flock slept.
“Animals must not dream,” he muttered as he approached his small flock. Their scales glistened in the moonlight and their quiet snuffling breaths calmed his nerves. This flock was all he had left, just twenty, underfed and scrawny, but still precious. They had survived all the attacks. Some had been scarred beyond use, but he didn’t have the heart to leave them behind. So he continued to care for them all, even when the rest of the caravan mocked their appearance. Aeland knew that his patience and care would pay out eventually. And these twenty were all that was left of his home. He smiled and climbed over the rough fence to sit down amidst their legs and snouts and tails. He leaned his head against the smooth skin of the belly of the sleeping lizard closest to him and closed his eyes. No more smoke, no more fire, no more screams. Just the snorts of sleeping animals, the smell of their dry breath, and warmth of their bodies around him. He breathed deeply and fell asleep.

 

Serial Monday Episode 1 June 23, 2014

Filed under: Serial Monday — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:41 pm
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Serials used to be a HUGE part of the fiction world. I guess in a way, they still are, but now they are manifested as television shows. However, I am of the opinion that serials should make a comeback because blogs are very popular, and people love reading short, fast-paced, interesting stories online. So I am going to write a serial here, every Monday. I have the story in mind, and I even have quite a few characters, so it might end up being very Dickensian in style. I do know that it will be fun, though, because it can go anywhere and turn into anything. Here goes!

Inheritance Episode 1

The marshes stretched all around them, flat, wet, and warm, for miles and miles. This was their second week slogging through the coastal marshland, looking for small settlements and asking for any news of the mystic who could help them. Fira was ready to give up, and the damp air was irritating her skin, making her scales glisten and rub against her clothing uncomfortably. She grew up near the desert, on the outskirts of of the Jumper territory with her mother, but she hadn’t been back there for five years. She couldn’t go back there anyway, but anywhere would be better than these smelly swamps. Marden had insisted on traveling through them on their way to the towns, but she was tired and sore, and so far no one had even heard of Kauanoe. Or if they had, they wouldn’t say so.

The Slicks were notorious for being private and taciturn. Their settlements only consisted of three or four people, and even then, their houses were spread out. The only way to tell that you were actually in a settlement was that a Slick would suddenly appear out of the fog, swathed in their typical greenish garb, looking at you with muddy brown suspicious eyes. They were hard to see even when you were meant to see them, and they were all but invisible when you weren’t meant to see them. But even Fira couldn’t deny that they were a kind people, even if they were very private. She had the features of one of the most hated and feared races in all the lands, yet the Slicks showed no prejudice in their treatment of her. It may have helped that Marden had their same smooth skin and muddy eyes, but the Slicks seemed to make no differentiation between races, even when they found out that Fira and Marden had no inheritance. They listened patiently to their inquiries, provided them with food and shelter for a night, and quietly disappeared the next morning, leaving some supplies for the two travelers as they journeyed to the next settlement.

Marden was resolutely sure that they would find Kauanoe soon. They had to. She had been expelled from her land as soon as she was born, unable to even see her mother except the few times a year that she came on land to visit the Halfer settlements. Marden lived with her father there, a social pariah, for her whole life. When she heard stories of the mystic Slick woman who had the ability to give Halfers an inheritance, her whole life became about finding that woman. She left her village, her father, her brothers and sisters, everything she knew and loved, in order to find Kauanoe. And now, after traveling for three years, she still knew nothing.

When she met Fira, her life got a little brighter, and she appreciated her friendship, but Fira did nothing but complain in the swamps. Marden almost felt at home there. She didn’t have the abilities of the Slicks, and her long, plaited, leafy hair was like her mother’s, but her father had been mostly Slick, so she understood a little bit of the culture. More than Fira at least. Fira never knew anyone but her mother, a Jumper who lived in a village on the outskirts of the territory, a woman with a sad but common story and a daughter that was a constant reminder of her shame. A daughter who looked like the Fangs who conquered and slaughtered hundreds of her people. Fira had a bitter temperament, but her heart was passionate and loyal to those she loved. Marden wished she could have that sense of loyalty, but she only felt longing. She wasn’t even sure if Fira wanted an inheritance, or just a place to hide, but at least she was willing to travel with Marden anywhere, and that made her a good companion. She knew they would come to the towns soon, and once there, it was unlikely they would find out anything other than rumors of Kauanoe. So she stalled as much as she could while they were in the swamps. The Slicks living there had to know something, and she would find out more, even if it took her three more years. She doubted Fira’s loyalty would last that long in these swamps though, so she grew more anxious each day. She knew that they had one more week, at best, before the towns came in sight, and she planned to use every minute to the fullest.

 

Wednesday is poetry day! June 18, 2014

Filed under: Wednesday is for poets — Dorothy Lynn @ 10:00 pm
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At least it is here on my blog. At least, it used to be. I am going to try and be better about regular postings since school is out and my days are a little less hectic. Honestly, I’m still pretty busy with wedding planning and moving and such, but I can definitely manage a twice a week deal.
So for now, I leave you with some poetical advice. Read Robert Frost. Any and all of his poems. Just do it. Because he is honestly one of the best American poets ever. The fact that most people recognize his name is a big deal for poetry, but when you really take the time to dig deeper into his work, you find so much more depth and beauty than just the inspirational pieces we all had to read in school. I have posted a few of his poems on here before. Just check out my Wednesday Is For Poets category to your right, and you will find them. But I also want to post another one today. It is long, but that is good. In our Twitter-pated and instant gratification culture, it is very refreshing to take the time and read a well written, deep, long piece of poetry. So please, read the whole poem. It might take more than three minutes to read. It might mean that my blog gets a few less views and is less user friendly because it is more than 120 characters. I don’t care. Take ten minutes and read it. Then, if you can possibly spare it, take 15 more minutes and read it again, slowly. Trust me, it is worth it.

The Bonfire

“OH, let’s go up the hill and scare ourselves,
As reckless as the best of them to-night,
By setting fire to all the brush we piled
With pitchy hands to wait for rain or snow.
Oh, let’s not wait for rain to make it safe.
The pile is ours: we dragged it bough on bough
Down dark converging paths between the pines.
Let’s not care what we do with it to-night.
Divide it? No! But burn it as one pile
The way we piled it. And let’s be the talk
Of people brought to windows by a light
Thrown from somewhere against their wall-paper.
Rouse them all, both the free and not so free
With saying what they’d like to do to us
For what they’d better wait till we have done.
Let’s all but bring to life this old volcano,
If that is what the mountain ever was—
And scare ourselves. Let wild fire loose we will….”

“And scare you too?” the children said together.

“Why wouldn’t it scare me to have a fire
Begin in smudge with ropy smoke and know
That still, if I repent, I may recall it,
But in a moment not: a little spurt
Of burning fatness, and then nothing but
The fire itself can put it out, and that
By burning out, and before it burns out
It will have roared first and mixed sparks with stars,
And sweeping round it with a flaming sword,
Made the dim trees stand back in wider circle—
Done so much and I know not how much more
I mean it shall not do if I can bind it.
Well if it doesn’t with its draft bring on
A wind to blow in earnest from some quarter,
As once it did with me upon an April.
The breezes were so spent with winter blowing
They seemed to fail the bluebirds under them
Short of the perch their languid flight was toward;
And my flame made a pinnacle to heaven
As I walked once round it in possession.
But the wind out of doors—you know the saying.
There came a gust. You used to think the trees
Made wind by fanning since you never knew
It blow but that you saw the trees in motion.
Something or someone watching made that gust.
It put the flame tip-down and dabbed the grass
Of over-winter with the least tip-touch
Your tongue gives salt or sugar in your hand.
The place it reached to blackened instantly.
The black was all there was by day-light,
That and the merest curl of cigarette smoke—
And a flame slender as the hepaticas,
Blood-root, and violets so soon to be now.
But the black spread like black death on the ground,
And I think the sky darkened with a cloud
Like winter and evening coming on together.
There were enough things to be thought of then.
Where the field stretches toward the north
And setting sun to Hyla brook, I gave it
To flames without twice thinking, where it verges
Upon the road, to flames too, though in fear
They might find fuel there, in withered brake,
Grass its full length, old silver golden-rod,
And alder and grape vine entanglement,
To leap the dusty deadline. For my own
I took what front there was beside. I knelt
And thrust hands in and held my face away.
Fight such a fire by rubbing not by beating.
A board is the best weapon if you have it.
I had my coat. And oh, I knew, I knew,
And said out loud, I couldn’t bide the smother
And heat so close in; but the thought of all
The woods and town on fire by me, and all
The town turned out to fight for me—that held me.
I trusted the brook barrier, but feared
The road would fail; and on that side the fire
Died not without a noise of crackling wood—
Of something more than tinder-grass and weed—
That brought me to my feet to hold it back
By leaning back myself, as if the reins
Were round my neck and I was at the plough.
I won! But I’m sure no one ever spread
Another color over a tenth the space
That I spread coal-black over in the time
It took me. Neighbors coming home from town
Couldn’t believe that so much black had come there
While they had backs turned, that it hadn’t been there
When they had passed an hour or so before
Going the other way and they not seen it.
They looked about for someone to have done it.
But there was no one. I was somewhere wondering
Where all my weariness had gone and why
I walked so light on air in heavy shoes
In spite of a scorched Fourth-of-July feeling.
Why wouldn’t I be scared remembering that?”

“If it scares you, what will it do to us?”

“Scare you. But if you shrink from being scared,
What would you say to war if it should come?
That’s what for reasons I should like to know—
If you can comfort me by any answer.”

“Oh, but war’s not for children—it’s for men.”

“Now we are digging almost down to China.
My dears, my dears, you thought that—we all thought it.
So your mistake was ours. Haven’t you heard, though,
About the ships where war has found them out
At sea, about the towns where war has come
Through opening clouds at night with droning speed
Further o’erhead than all but stars and angels,—
And children in the ships and in the towns?
Haven’t you heard what we have lived to learn?
Nothing so new—something we had forgotten:
War is for everyone, for children too.
I wasn’t going to tell you and I mustn’t.
The best way is to come up hill with me
And have our fire and laugh and be afraid.”

 

Rain and wind June 8, 2014

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 6:33 pm
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There are some days when answering the question “how are you?” is too daunting of a task. On those days, I can’t smile and reply lightheartedly like the rest of the population, yet neither can I speak the truth, because I am not a part truth kind of person. You either get a full out lie or the whole messy honest deal. And on days when I can’t bear to do either, I stay at home by myself. Perhaps I am a little too introverted for my own good. Perhaps I am just not quite strong enough to deal with my emotions in public, among other people.
Today was one of those days. Unfortunately it fell on a Sunday, which meant I didn’t go to church. I feel bad for not going, but on this kind of day, I can’t sit in a room with 100 other people for two hours, much less talk to them before and after the service. It is too difficult, and sometimes almost physically painful. Not like, autistic overstimulation painful, more like constant faint nausea painful. Ha! My secret’s out! People make me nauseous! I must be a true artist…..
But today turned out good because even though I had to be alone, it rained today. I have always loved rain, in any amount, and generally, I prefer a rainy day to a sunny one. (In sharp contrast, my best friend prefers hot, bright, relentless sunshine…it’s a wonder we ever venture outdoors together.) today was cloudy and rainy and breezy. Perfect for sitting on my porch and reading and listening to the 40 or so birds that live under my carport. I could wear a light sweater and pants and drink espresso(super sweet with lots of creamer), and relax. And it hit me hard today, that I am pretty sure I have always been destined to live in a climate that has these kind of days, wet, cool, humid, green, nature-noise filled days. And it makes me ecstatic to think that I get to move to a place where 80% of the days are like that! a place where I can stay with people or if I choose! can get a little bit lost in the vast forest.
Days like today need rain and wind, weather to remind me of home, so that tomorrow I can face people again. Being an introvert is a strange way to live.

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Foto Friday June 6, 2014

Filed under: Foto Friday — Dorothy Lynn @ 2:35 pm
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Here is a picture since it is Friday, and I need to start updating again.

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Mmmmmmm Russian dumplings! Food photography is kind of genius. If the photo is taken well, it instantly makes you hungry. It is possibly one of the best advertisements ever.