Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VII

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VII
A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

The morning had dawned far too bright, and it was too warm as well, making Flame’s head and stomach hurt as if she’d spent the night enjoying herself. She huddled under her hood, enduring the warmth in favor of shade as they left the Stone Eye.

“Flame, do you really think you should take a hearth-cat into the wild?” Lory asked.

“I’m just going,” Flame said. “He’s the one following.”

“He came from the wild,” Kessa said. “He probably doesn’t want to be a city cat. Do you?” She scooped up the cat and cuddled it. “Him doesn’t want to be a …

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Clearing the Decks

My daughter has more than fifty stuffed animals. As far as I can recall, she has never willingly parted with a single one.

She’s eighteen and she has clothes that last fit her when she was twelve. You can’t tell her she’ll never wear them again–she is quite certain that she just needs to lose a little weight. Those clothes are absolutely not lost to her wardrobe forever.

Her room, as you might guess, is a bit of a mess.

Of course, I’m not innocent. I have nearly every notebook I ever wrote in. Every file of course, but also at least one printout of most of my stories. Some of the book-length manuscripts have multiple copies. And, of course, just about every book I ever loved.

I have a similar issue with furniture–especially handed-down furniture. I like it. I like possibilities. I hate to let go of something so useful (and expensive to replace!) as a decent piece of (free) furniture. I move desks around, change shelves, rearrange rooms, trying and trying to find the best configuration… For years, my entertainment center was a baker’s rack someone gave me. It worked! Ugly as hell, but it worked. It’s still ugly, but at least it’s in the kitchen now.

This past weekend I had a much needed clearing-out. As I argued with my kid about a box of stuffed animals she hasn’t opened since we carried it off the moving truck nearly three years ago, I told her, “You have …

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Perils of an Echo Chamber (Not Actually About the Election)

So in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 12-18 months, I’ll explain that here in the US, we’re coming to the end of a long, painful election process. (Not that the US is the center of the universe, but I do know people are watching. I’ve heard opinions on the candidates from friends around the world, thus the hiding under a rock assumption.)

As far as I’m aware, all my friends hold the same strong opinion as I do on which candidate will make a better president. Everyone in my Twitter feed, everyone whose blog I follow on Tumblr–we’re all agreed.

But obviously someone out there thinks the other nominee is a better option. That’s how one becomes the nominee, after all–people vote. Lots of people voted for the other candidate to be nominated, and a whole lot of someones are planning to vote for that other candidate in the general election, according to the polls that have me checking in several times a day. (Just after typing that, in fact, I ran off to fivethirtyeight.com to check in.)

Only one of those other-candidate voter-someones wanders through my Facebook timeline sometimes. That one person is family. If we were not related through my daughter, we never would have met, let alone become Facebook friends.

echo chamber: any forum for communication in which all members agree with everyone else. See also preach to the choir. ~online slang dictionary

In some ways, social media being an …

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New Horizons

Did you hear about Elon Musk’s plans, outlined yesterday at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico?

He wants to go to Mars. Not just a billionaire taking a jaunt, but he wants to build a colony there. Put a bunch of stuff up there, engineer reuseable ships so they don’t have to build them again and again, send out teams every time Earth and Mars are close… He believes with SpaceX’s new rockets, they can make the trip take three months.

Musk isn’t the only one. Mars One had 78,000 hopefuls in the first two weeks they were accepting applications. Mars One, I should point out, doesn’t plan to bring its people back from Mars. Their idea to cut costs is to make it a one-way trip. They plan to raise the money doing reality-tv stuff, as their astronauts train and learn to live and work together.

These scientists think it’s better to send older people if it’s one-way. Apparently the thinking goes that 1) older means they won’t be having babies after the radiation exposure and 2) they won’t mind going there for the rest of their lives, since they don’t have much time left. I guess.

NASA is thinking about where to start.

I love the idea of going to Mars, though I can see the point of someone in my Twitter feed yesterday, who said we had no business taking and mucking up another planet instead of fixing what we’ve …

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Walls Never Work

So a certain figure currently in the news keeps talking about building a wall. (Don’t worry, it’s just an oblique mention.)

Whenever I hear about it, I make the comment “Walls never work. Haven’t these people seen Pacific Rim?”

I mean, look.

Tonight I was reminded of this, as the “play pen” cage I’d purchased for kitten-containment was breached in less than half an hour. First they climbed it. I fortified it, making climbing impossible. So they jumped it. Two foot high pen, two month old kittens, and both were on top of it before I could even get it properly assembled!

We’re fostering two kittens for the Humane Society. They get the kittens socialized and growing up in a home, not a shelter. We get two energetic and adorable furballs that we don’t have to pay to support get to give back when they grow up a bit more.

This is Sunset. The mighty hunter. Her royal highness.

“Your nightstand? I think you mean the royal bed.”

This is Stormy. AKA Flo-Jo and/or Usain Bolt, because this kitten is fast.

stormy

AKA Piranha, because if the food offered is not to her liking, she is quite willing to explore living food sources. After all, I don’t really need ten toes and ten fingers, do I?

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See the Positives

Two weeks ago, I spent $560 on my car. The intake manifold was leaking, among other issues, and I had to get through emissions to register her–so I had a  a deadline.

I barely got her back, and the AC went out. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a really bad time to be without AC in my neck of the woods. That cost me $322—and they’re not confident they fixed the problem, as they’re not sure how they got it working.

Last week Erin talked about what it’s like, living mostly without pain. Putting nearly a thousand dollars into my car over the course of a month has made me think about what it’s like, having a life without lack.

People like to complain about their jobs, and their bills, and how their paychecks are gone before they even hit the bank account, and I think it’s important to get that frustration out. I also think it’s important to remember that jobs are good to have. Lots of people out there would love to have a job. Though most of us would love not to need a job, until that awesome circumstance comes about, it’s good to have a job.

Bills are good to have. Bills mean (probably…?) you’ve received something you wanted.

I whine a lot every summer about my electric bill. When summer hits and we start running the AC all the time, my electric bill quadruples. See above link to the weather.

But you know …

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Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VI

Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

 

Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate VI
A Serial Story by KD Sarge

 

“You said you would come alone,” the boy blurted when Flame stepped out of the shadows in the correct alley. Flame rolled her eyes.

“My chaperone. He annoys me, but I’ll vouch that he’ll treat everyone else well.”

“The mistress is ready for surprises,” the boy warned, eyeing the ranger. “And she is never questioned when bodies turn up in the lake.”

Ryahled rested a hand on his sword. Flame shot him a glare. “I will vouch for him,” she repeated. “And further vow that if he starts anything I will kill him myself.”

The boy snorted and turned away. “Come, then. Mistress Pwyllydwen …

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Standard Operating Procedure

I’m office manager at a school for children with autism. That title may be a little misleading, as I don’t really manage the office. I am the office. Just me, little old me, and the director, who couldn’t find a pen if it was in his pocket (it usually is, and it’s usually not his) and who generally has about seventeen things going at once, none of which in any way involves following those pesky ~rules~ set up by HR or Payroll or Accounts Payable.†

With any school, it’s important that no matter who is sick or absent or distracted, things keep going. When you’re talking about a school for kids on the spectrum, it becomes a bit more imperative. Breaks in routine are Not. Good.

So recently when the boss was telling someone how I’m awesome, that I’m office manager, receptionist, nurse, occasional janitor, sometime maintenance tech, and all the while somehow manage to keep him mostly in line so HR doesn’t come hunting him with torches, and that without me the whole school would fall down–I appreciated it, but I also decided it should not all depend on me. I’m human. I get sick. And sometimes I need a vacation. So I started collecting my checklists and notes on how things work into a Standard Operating Procedure Manual. Kind of like this except not so formal. So if I ever needed to, you know, not go to work, the entire school wouldn’t fall down while I lolled around …

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City of Hope and Ruin

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A Fractured World novel

 

Every night the monsters hunt.

A city that is the whole world: Theosophy and her companions in the City militia do their best to protect the civilians from the monsters, but they keep crawling from the Rift and there’s nowhere to run. Theosophy knows she’ll die fighting. It’s the best kind of death she’s seen, and at least she can save lives in the meantime.

They say the Scarred carve you up while you’re still alive.

A village in the shadow of a forest: Refugees from the border whisper about the oncoming Scarred, but Briony can’t convince her brother to …

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Titans and Mummies of Literature

Forgive me if I’m a bit garbled and parenthetical. Tonight I almost flunked Writing 102 (and I may yet!)

Okay, I wasn’t going to flunk tonight. I was going to drop it. Tonight. With two weeks left in the semester. And I’m a bit embarrassed about it. I can give you all the excuses, but the simple fact is that I thought I had a week longer than I do, so I didn’t work fast enough. Because I was avoiding it.

But why would I, a writer, avoid writing? Especially when it’s a self-paced, show-up-when-you-want class and I don’t have to deal with any obnoxious classmates?

Let me tell you. But if you’re worried about spoilers from literature, you should probably not read any farther.

All right. If you’re still here, then you can’t complain when I tell you the ending of some stories.

Here‘s the first story we read for the course. If you don’t want to read it (I don’t blame you) it’s about some boys playing around in a dangerous place, and someone takes disapproving action, possibly just to scare the boys into making smarter choices, but instead one of the children falls to his death.

Yeah. Dead kid, no warning. Thank you so VERY much. I had to walk away from my homework to rant at my poor unsuspecting roommate.

Well, it happens. People write about death. It’s natural. With some people, it’s really popular. I point to the current show-that-must-be-watched, How to Get Away …

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