Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Essays for Lunch, Essay fo Tea

Okay so I think I've lost the essay writage that shoved me through my degrees, or maybe I'm burned out. It's driving me nuts. I've been staring at these words and a the screen, I've been reading texts, essays, and everything I can get my paws on and I can't wrap my head around the subject. Or the question. Maybe the question, a little bit. I just don't know if this whole student thing is me anymore...but I figure that that's the pressure talking. I don't know if I can do this writing paper thing much longer. It's driving me insane. I feel like I'm completely out of my depth with this subject, literary theory is just...I mean, it's interesting, but I sit there and read half of what Derrida or Lacan are saying and my head just doesn't absorb it, and that's nevermind the Foucault, Barthes, or Deleuze. I used to have this stuff for breakfast... what the frak is wrong with my head? I don't like it.

I'm going to bed. I'll check in again with less whiney news later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thinking Out Loud: Fadeless.

Originall posted here...

Mordign Sevrisil was not one to take anything lying down - it was said he even made love standing up, though of course that rumour was never spoken within his hearing, though his wife had made a few choice comments about the fact that it was not entirely untrue. Not that he had visited her bed since the birth of their second child, a fact that Jae'lean Fyras r'Sevrisil made no attempt to deny pleased her greatly. The Duke had plenty of mistresses, both at court and in the country, and the Duchess cared very little for his games. Theirs was the coldest of arranged marriages, made purely for political reasons.

Kae stared at the Dol'Carn hall once again, she was bored. All this talk about taxation and agriculture played havoc with her brain, she could not understand how it managed to bind so many minds and so many afternoons. Koryan had asked her to wait for him, he had to sit with his father for this session, and she - foolishly - had opted to sit in the less comfortable section of the spectator's benches. She was alternating between kicking herself for having come at all and fighting to stay awake when Sevrisil stood and the chamber, previously rife with chatter, fell silent.

"The last time this council met I called for Swords," he said into the silence, "that call went...unfulfilled. However, changes are upon us..."

Kae leaned forward out of curiosity, her blood stirring in her body; something was about to happen. On his throne, Lantor nodded and made a gesture at Voine, who rose to his feet.

"Duke Sevrisil speaks truly. A single tenday ago emissaries were sent across the border into Kardysha to convey the First Princess' desire to meet with Caine Shadowhand," the Ryn'Carn spoke, his strong voice echoing throughout the chamber, "they were returned to us with tradition human flair: their heads in a sack."

A murmur stirred throughout the chamber, a murmur that steadily rose to a garbled, collective roar of rage and promises for vengeance.

"If we had gone to war when I suggested it those men and women would still be alive!" Sevrisil shouted over the top the noise, "if we had not listened to the First Prince, if we had disallowed his - "

"Sevrisil, this is not about your vendetta with Teforne," Vendris cut in, his voice a knife through the racket.

"We will answer this violence with steel of our own!" a voice in the benches rose, "we must!"

"The humans have never desired peace!"

"We call for War!"

The shout trilled into silence and all eyes fell on the King. Lantor pressed a hand against his forehead, rubbing his temples. He had fought so hard to maintain the ragged peace Queen Moran had brokered for Feranath, but now...

"They have left us with no choice, scouts tell us that Kardyshan forces are massing at the borders," Voine said softly, "we must counter."

Lantor nodded.

"So be it. We are at War."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thinking Out Loud: Fadeless.

Originally posted as a 15min ficlet here...
The room was unlit, no fire in the hearth and none in the chandeleirs or candles. Vendris had no trouble making out the furniture and the shape of the others, two by the window, one by the shelves, and on seated in front of the hearth.

"You're late, Kainiri," the latter said.

"You didn't exactly leave me much time to get here after the Dol'Carn, your Grace," Vendris told him.

"Perhaps not," Duke Sevrisil mused, "but we need to talk."

"Apparently," Vendris pointed out, waving the miniscule slip of paper at him, "you said 'urgently'."

"Yes, I did."

Vendris sat down in the armchair on the other side of the fireplace.

"So, talk, your Grace, I am at your disposal," the Count told the Duke.

Sevrisil glanced around in the darkness, and waved a hand.

"Light a candle, I'm tired of this darkness," he instructed, and one of the other three complied. Vendris noted their faces as the candles lit up their features.

"Better. Wine?" the Duke offered, raising his own glass.

"No, thank you."

"As you wish."

"Stop playing with me, Sevrisil, I've got better things to do than sit here and wait for you to get to your point," Vendris said wearily, leaning back in the chair and crossing his legs comfortably.

"Your friend is costing this nation more than he's worth," the Duke stated, "and the rest of us are losing patience with him. His political influence over the King is out of control."

Vendris rose to his feet in disgust.

"You called me here to discuss the First Prince because he didn't let you win the Swords this morning. That's pathetic, Mordign. What is it you expect me to be able to do?"

"Sit down, Kainiri," Sevrisil snapped, his patience obviously wearing thin, "you are the only one who has Teforne's ear, you're the only one he listens to."

"And you want me to convince him that renewing our hostile relations with Kardysha?" Vendris asked, keeping his voice calm as he leaned against the hearth.

"I would like you to speak with him," Sevrisil stated, "he is not without reason, and he and I would make powerful - "

"I've heard enough," Vendris said, "I am not his messenger, nor am I his ambassador, or his keeper. I am his friend, as you so delicately put it. I have no intention of approaching him on your behalf for anything. Teforne Ameandir is the First Prince of this Realm, and his is the recognized Vael'ne'Nayl, you wish to sway him, then sway him."

"Be careful, Count," Sevrisil said, his voice low and menacing, "for all that your hereditary position and power at Court you are not without enemies, and don't think that we didn't notice that it was you who called for the Sixth sword. Your continued friendship with that thing - "

"Mind what you say of the First Prince, Sevrisil," Vendris interrupted, his voice as tight as the Duke's, "I do not take my friendships lightly, and Weaponsmaster or no, I will not stand here and listen to you slander him."

" - has cost you more than you know," Sevrisil continued.

"I will keep that in mind, your Grace," Vendris replied.

"See that you do, Kainiri."

Vendris gave him a shallow bow, closer to a nod, and walked past him and out of the room; none of the others tried to stop him. They glanced at his face and stepped back to let him pass.

Outside, removed from Sevrisil's apartments, Vendris forced himself to quiet, and took a breath. This is getting out of hand, he thought; something was going to have to happen with Sevrisil, or perhaps to. He took another breath and tucked a strand of auburn hair away where it wouldn't drift into his strange, amber eyes. First things first, he would have to tell Teforne about this meeting. Perhaps that would waken the First Prince's interest in the political state of the country, or at least shake it away from his depression, or whatever he wanted to call it. He blinked, and breathed out.

A few seconds later, a tri-coloured patches cat sauntered around the corner in the direction of the Nath'Nayl, looking up and out at the world with strange, amber eyes.

This takes place after the Dol'Carn in Lady of the Glaive, during which Sevrisil calls for the Swords and Vendris and Teforne mess with his plans. I'm not sure if this will actually make it to the final cut, though I think it might be a good way to introduce the Vendris/Mardis duality thing. Maybe. I'll have to think about it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Originally posted here...
Gabrielle was running. The ground rushed beneath her feet as she forced herself to bolt faster and faster down the abandoned track. She could hear the dogs behind her, they were getting closer. Not good, girl, not good. This was ridiculous, if Michael simply shifted the rules:let her fight these creatures instead of playing this redundant evasion game! She wasn't a child anymore! This training exercise might have been useful for a six year old, but seven years later it was old. It didn't matter that she was faster, more able to hone her God-given power now than she had been when she had been little.

As if summoned by her thought, Michael materialised, hovering beside her as she ran.

"Faster, Gabrielle."

She knew better than to snap at him, so she gritted her teeth and pushed harder.

To anyone who might have seen her there would be perhaps a blur of movement as she streaked through the forest, leaping over or sliding under. The hounds were closing in, however, faint shadows of physical shapes themselves.

She was the last of the First Wiches, sure, it made sense to push her, to train her to whatever limits she had - limits they had not yet discovered - but Michael made a sorry surrogate parent, especially when her mother was out on a hunt.

Something up ahead caught her attention, a sign of some sort, with red letters. She did not bother to read it and leapt over it instead, clearing the several feet that it took to get that high. Landing in a roll she kept going, pushing, always pushing. Faster and faster. Her muscles began to scream their protests but she ignored them, knowing that whatever it was in her blood that made her so damn powerful would kick in and propel her past the pain.

"You can push harder, child," Michael's voice sounded in her ear and she spared him a half-glance. His strange almost violet black hair streaked against his face as he ran beside her, or perhaps flew, it was difficult to tell.

A cliff up ahead, she knew it was there from the way the land felt beneath her booted feet. A cliff and below it the beach.

"Jump," Michael instructed when she started to slow, trying to gain some space to think.

She could feel the heat of the hounds' breath on the back of her legs. The cliff materialised in front her, she took a breath, and jumped. The air rushed up around her, her tangled hair beating her face as the ground rushed up to meet her.

"," Michael's voice breathed.

She curled, hit the ground with enough force that would have killed any normal human, and rolled out, back to running at full speed. Above, on the cliff, the dogs dissipated.

"Well done," Michael told her as she rounded the beach.

He was sitting by their campfire, her two swords crossed by his knee.

"You know you need to come up with a new training routines, Arc," she told him flatly as she came to stand before him.

"And you need to come up with new lines."

Obviously set in Fith Fathing, from a time before the actual story. A training session of Michael's devising to get Uriel's FirstWitch into shape.


A 15Min Ficlet originally posted here...

"Plati-what?" Aphrodite asked her sister, blinking her large blue eyes in confusion.

"Platitudinous," Athena replied impatiently. She pushed the spectacles she didn't need back up her nose and waggled her eyebrows up and down.

"You <i>know</i> I have no idea what that even means," her sister pointed out turning back to the mirror and her sublime reflection and set her brush back to her hair.

"It's what you were being in the Hall tonight, <i>platitudinous</i>."

"Look, contrary to common belief I'm <i>not</i> dumb. Just because I'm a representation of pure beauty and desire, doesn't mean I didn't come equipped with a brain."

"And yet you still don't know what the word means?"

"No, and repeating it at me will not make me understand it. I thought you were suppose to be smar, why don't you tell me what it means instead of baiting me in this useless fashion," Aphrodite grumbled, piling her blonde-then black- then brown hair up onto her head and admiring herself in the mirror. Behind her, Athena sighed and crossed her arms, shaking her head in some sort of dismay. Aphrodite didn't bother to pay attention to <i>that</i> particular gesture; it was petty and trite.

"It means full of platitudes, as in...boring, basic, <i>dull</i> things," Athena said at last.

"Well why don't we just say 'boring' then, instead of the other word that only the brainy really understand?" Aphrodite asked, poking through a jewelry box to retreive her favourite combs.

"Because that's not the point of <i>language</i>," her sister said wearily, "it's about the beauty of the language, the way it flows, it's meant to make you <i>feel good</i>"

"Like sex?" the other goddess offered, turning around to look at her sister, an earnest expression on her face for the first time.

"Well, I wouldn't know about that, - "

"Right, virgin-goddess, my bad," Aphrodite said waving it off, then her voice took on a rather concerned tone, "but surely you've had an orgasm, you know, on your own?"

Athena turned bright red.

"I will <i>not</i> discuss such a matter with you!"

"Awwww, sissy, it's nothing to be embarrassed about," the Love Goddess said, resting a perfect chin in her perfect hand.

"That is of no matter to you, either way, and you are changing the subject!"

"No I'm not, you said language was beautiful and made you feel good, like sex. I am merely bridging the gap between our two areas of expertise."

Athena stared at her in utter amazement.

"What? I <i>told</i> you I wasn't dumb," Aphrodite chided, and glanced back at her reflection in the mirror, "now, what do you think, blond or brunette?"

I have no idea what universe this takes place in, although it could possibly find a home in the Valerian Night verse. Maybe. I was just having some fun with the words and the idea of barriers and everyone having their own fortes. Just a random piece really.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


There's a certain bittersweet taste to packing up one's belongings into a series of boxes (always too many) and saying goodbye to a place you've spent enough time to have unpacked them in the first place. You'd think you'd get used to it after having lived an entire life based on the uprooting of a family unit every four years; maybe some people do get used to it, I'll admit there's a certain appeal to allowing yourself to acclimatise to it, but I can say with surety, if I ever felt good about it, that part is long gone. I don't hate many things, but I do hate moving.

I don't actually dislike the packing, or the unpacking, that's doable, and often even entertaining - and a really god time to go through belongings and say 'that's really got to go'. I figure I've done my part for charity this year, to say the least.

I've re-made an astounding discovery: I have a lot of things. What can I say? I'm a material girl, and I like it that way.

Sometimes 'materialism' develops a bad connotation, certainly the drift in my nuclear family. Sure, you could want it, but why would you need it? That seemed to have been the general feeling of my growing up. Don't get me wrong, I think it's saved me from growing up into a spoiled rich brat, but I've also realised that I like shiny things, I like gadgets and technology, I like fancy cars and expensive jewelry, I like Diesel jumpers and shirts and jeans, I like my shiny new boots that I didn't really need but I really wanted. I've also come to the late-life discovery that it's okay to like these things, even if I can't get them all at once, it's alright to aspire to own that shiny plasma TV or that blu-ray player, or want to drive an expensive car after I've got a liscence.

It's weird, having these epiphanies all at once. It's probably because I'm doing this 'on my own' for the first time, with a little help from friends, but not with my parents - bar the financial aspect of course. I guess I've realised that I'm really allowed to be my own person, with my own opinions, grown up in my own right. I don't have to hold to the person people expect me to be.

Huh. It's weird, and probably a long time in the coming, but you know what? I feel damn good about it.

Little scared about the move, little intimidated by other circumstances, but excited too, really excited to be doing this and to be moving forward. I've picked what I wanted, I can work out how to get there, and then...the world is my oyster.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thinking Out Loud: Fadeless.

Originally posted here...

It wasn't even her real name; "Mirror" was what they called her because that's where they'd found her: next to the Mirror Pond, one of the places where water settled in the wide open desert. She had been with the Deyshann for seventeen years now, more or less; adopted into their ranks, even doted upon by the Kardis - the great ruler of all the clans - but she didn't even know her real name. She had been six or seven when they had found her, curled up. She was human, something that the Deyshanni Elves hardly cared about, mostly peaceful as they were. Of course, the Commander of the Knights of the Veil had had a word or two to say about that, but Kardis Myriahl had stepped in and that was the end of that and Mirror had been adopted straight into her household as a ward. This meant of course that she had had an adequate playmate in the Kardis' only child, a son named Dahr'kyr. Dahr would not inherit his mother's crown or throne, that would pass to her nearest female relative, in this case a young cousin who Mirror rarely saw.

She stared up at the sky now, absently pucking at the embroidery on the veil that clung to her face. All Deyshann wore them, the longer and more elaborate the veil, the higher your status was. Ironically, only the Knights didn't wear them; practicality must have won out over showmanship.

"What're you thinking about?" Dahr asked her and she became aware that he had been watching her for some time now.

"This..Feranathi princess of yours - " Mirror started hesitantly.

"Rayhn?" Dahr offered with some amusement.

"Yes...she's a little short tempered, isn't she?"

"You have no idea, rai," Dahr told her, laughing loud enough to draw the eyes of his mother and fiance both.

Mirror studied the shapely form of Princess Rayhn Saldin-yn'Ameandir, the eldest and only daughter of Cordin of Feranath. She had heard that the the elven princess was a Visionary, able to see flashes of the future. Rumour had it that she was terrified about this marriage to Dahr on accounts that she had foreseen herself as the cause of his death, and yet, because they loved each other - and no doubt, because Dahr had probably spun a foolishly masculine line like 'I do not fear death' - they were going ahead with this anyway. Part of Mirror thought it was highly romantic, but the overpowering sense of pragmatism that she had told her that this mushy business, alliances or no, had a chance of killing her Prince. She sighed and shook her head.

"You'll like her, little sister," Dahr assured her, "in a lot of ways, you two are well-matched."

"Well, for you, I will try," Mirror murmured and Dahr smiled reaching across the distance between them to ruffle her hair.

"Hey!" she protested, trying to keep her veil in place as she tried kick back at him from the saddle. Dahr laughed again and booted his horse, catching up with his fiancee and mother.

Mirror watched him in silence for a moment as she adjusted her attire. "Well," she thought to herself, "if you love each other then be happy, but I for one will not let you die."

It was then that she saw a look that passed between the princess and her intended. There was such joy there, such unbound happiness, limitless that it made Mirror's eyes well up. That in itself made it all worthwhile, didn't it? To see Dahr this happy?

Mirror looked up into the sky and breathed in the desert air, dry and rough as it always seemed to her. High above them, the moon was full and brilliant, and all around the caravan the desert was thrumming with its age-old rhythms. Mirror smiled.Truly a beautiful night, even for one with a name not her own.

Had to change Dark'yn's name to Dahr'kyr, the pun was getting a little childish and old. I think I'll like Mirror, she might even become a regular character in Fadeless, she'd be a useful tool to spark Rayhn's temper for starters.

I realised I haven't really done a lot of work in Deyshann. I know very little about them save for the random on-off mentions of them. The Knights of the Veil already existed on accounts of their appearing in one of the battles listed in the Feranathi history. I'll have to work a little more on their structure, and on the culture as a whole.