A New Story, Well Told

That’s what I’d hoped for. That’s what I wanted to do. And I learned last night that, according to a reviewer in my field’s flagship publication, I managed to do it.

I’m not going to rest on my laurel, but I freely admit that I pulled a muscle patting myself on the back after I read the review. Because I did what I’d set out to do with that book. Continue reading

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Saturday Story: Reaping the Harvest: Part Five

Chapter 5: The Second Betrayal

 

The journey took four weeks, which the courtiers said was a fast time for spring. Kiara shuddered to think what a slow journey demanded. They had to ride on horses or in sledges because the roads. Well, there were no roads, not of the kind Kiara knew from Hämäln and had read about elsewhere. No Lander pavements remained in this part of NovRodi, or so her books had said, and what the men around her called a road Kiara would have called a pseudo-deer track. Except pseudo-deer did not make so much mess, cutting deep ruts and tearing up the ground. Everywhere around them trees loomed, cutting off the sky and closing the world into a small strip of not-road. Dardogs haunted the woods, and great spotted hunting cats lurked in the maze of trees and marshes. “Truly, the Landers displeased Godown, that he forced them to leave the plains and settle here,” one of the men said as he made Godown’s sign. Continue reading

Not Funny, Not Appealing: Society and Catalogues

I first noticed it last spring. I was reading the blurb for a white jacket, which was told as a vignette. The first time I read it, I was amused. Then I wasn’t. The more I thought about that little piece of verbiage, the more it irked me. Subsequent copies of the same catalogue revealed a pattern I’d not seen before this year. Successful women were all corporate raiders or high-power lawyers, in some cases who could send men out of their offices weeping. That was the catalogue copy-writer’s idea of a strong woman. Ugh.

Last week a junque catalogue came that purports to be about entertaining and encouraging women. The items range from paeans to alcohol, insults about men, grrrrrl power, mermaids (apparently mermaids are trendy?), a few things about happy marriages, more booze-themed stuff, and snarky posters and plaques, and folk-art-lite jewelry. Continue reading

Driving to Alburquerque: How Alma Sees It

Yeah, on the road! Pastures look good.

Look at that lush pasture!

Dang windmills, blagh. Nice native grass there. Winter wheat looks good. Oh, yeah, feedlot. I need to try that cafe there. More good grass. Hmm, playa’s a little dry. Wheee!

Down the cliff we go!

Down the escarpment and still in Texas. Yipe! Gotta play dodge-truck. Those guys are nuts and I’m getting away from all three of them. Continue reading

Ignorance and Bliss: A Historical Precedent

Note: This piece is about adult topics. I’ve tried to keep it PG-13 or better, and I’d appreciate the comments’ section staying clean. Thank you.

Readers of yesterday’s excerpt, and this week’s chapter, will wonder how any young woman could be so completely unaware of “the ways of man and maid.” Surely that is pure fiction, overdone for the purposes of plot. No one could be kept in the dark about the facts of life so completely once they reached physical maturity, could they?

Yes, they could, and were, into the Twentieth Century. And going back to the 1600s. Something I’d thought was overdone Victorian prudery happened all across northern Europe well before Victoria was crowned in England. Continue reading