Caesura – The No-Tryout Solo

All my readers who have sung the “Alleluia” Chorus from the Messiah raise a hand, forefoot, or paw. All those who have heard (because you never did it, I’m sure) an impromptu solo in the next-to-last measure keep your appendage up. Thank you. You can lower them.

The caesura, or sometimes called a “grand pause” is a technique composers use to build or maintain tension in a piece of music. It is also one of the best opportunities for an instrumentalist or vocalist to have a solo without the need of practicing or trying out. This is generally not a good thing. Continue reading


Sunday Shikhari

In which an uninvited guest comes for supper…

“Foo pwease?”

Rigi smiled. “Yes, Tamara, you may have some food.” She carried the young one into the dining room. Milk in a warmer, as well as several dishes of minced or mushed foods, waited for them. Andat no doubt had warned Nahla when Tamara awoke. And unlike her older brother, Tamara ate anything that did not move. This was not always a good thing, Rigi reminded herself as she secured the large bib onto her daughter and started spooning white-root into the small pink maw. They’d already had one scare with yellow berries, and Tamara had learned the hard way that some kinds of rose-hips were not eaten raw. Removing the prickles from a toddler tongue… Rigi understood now why her parents had raised her and her sister on Eta Toliman. The older colony world had fewer “interesting” native plants, and better-protected Earth plants.

“Ah-chew.” Continue reading

December Wrap-Up

Whunf! The copy-edits and tweaks to both Woman’s Work (Shikhari 4) and Merchant and Empire (Merchant and Magic 4) are done and awaiting covers and formatting. I’ll format them when I get the covers.

I’ve started the fifth Shikhari book, and need to do some research in my rapidly shrinking free time. It’s been a while since I read Hopkirk.

I don’t know if there will be more Familiars in the near future.

The last Colplatschki book will come out later this spring.

Artifacts, Culture, and Adoption

Last week I came in on the last half of a PBS program about “The Secrets of Stonehenge.” I’d read most of the different bits and pieces, but it was nice to have them all pulled together with attractive shots of Stonehenge and its environs. However, the last ten minutes or so raised my eyebrows and started me wondering… Continue reading

Shikhari 5 Snippet

This starts six and a half years after the end of Woman’s Work. No, I was not planning a fifth Shikhari book. No, I don’t know where this is going yet, but I do know that if Kim wanders through, I won’t blink.

“Moooother!” the wail rising from the hallway outside Rigi’s office pierced the walls of concentration Rigi had developed over the past six years. She saved her work file and stood, turned and stepped into the short corridor. “I’m hungry!” Rigel Solomon Prananda complained. However, he stood with one hand on his back-side.

“Indeed? And did you look in the pass-through for your school snack?”

He sniffed, then sniffed again.

Rigi walked past him to the half-open kitchen door. She caught a glimpse of Nahla, the third Stamm cook, standing with her back to the door, ears almost flat, one broad hind-foot tapping the floor with irritation. A strong scent of //annoyance/relief// undercut the scent of food. Nahla had managed to catch Rigel before he contaminated anything. She’d also applied her forefoot to his rump, as both Rigi and Tom├ís had advised Nahla to do if she needed to. Rigi returned to her son. Continue reading