Friday Fun and fantasies

Another gorgeous Lowcountry Friday.  Sunshine, perfect temperatures (at least for this summer loving girl), breezes off the ocean, and so many flowers in bloom it is hard to pin down a single fragrance to love the most.

The frogs are in full throat.  The anoles are courting madly.  And the big snake that likes to frequent the back porch is just huge this year.

Have I told ya’ll about the snake?  Big one, as big around as the three year old’s wrist, loooong (as in when the back is twined around the limbs of the bush beside the door, the front end is already curled inside and down along the leg of the desk inside the door), so probably about 4′, and totally gorgeous.  When we saw it coming inside the first time this spring we were afraid the kids slamming through the door might hurt the snake…so we slipped it’s tail off the branches and let it slide on into the porch and out of sight.  Next time I saw it, it was headed out of the porch under the door… I happened to open the door and there it was.  So I knelt down and gently caressed it’s back and down it’s tail.  It paused, raised it’s head and looked back at me for a long time as I continued to stroke it.  I told it what a lovely animal it was.  Then it sort of ‘shrugged’ (if snakes had shoulders, lol) and slipped through my hands and went about it’s business.  Now when it sees me, it doesn’t slither away but waits to see if I am going to stop to pet it or not.  I think we have an understanding.

I also think it is a female…and quite possibly gravid, based on just how heavy it has gotten.  Won’t that be exciting?  Lots of little snakelings racing about the yard?  😀

Image result for how long do garter snakes get

now for the fantasy part… the lovely reptile reminded me of my current wip… and the drachen that live in that world.  Not ‘dragons’ in the sense we, especially in the West, think of them but actual reptiles and coming in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and habitats …as most species do.  Some have no legs, some aquatic, ones with wings have only two as the forelegs have become wings (no six-legged reptiles here 😉   Nor do they spit fire, although they can be fearsome creatures…particularly some of the larger ones…they are also intelligent and fiercely loyal.

I rather like this one, although the one I am most partial to in my story has ram-type horns (as some dinosaurs did) dragon wings defense - Google 検索:

What do you think?  Would you like to share your world with the drachen?

 

Fantasy Friday

What seems like a lifetime ago I used to post Fantasy Friday pictures and prompts.  Sometimes they were interesting snippets or interesting concepts which, with a weird and rampant imagination like mine can lead to very odd places at times.  Others they were photos or pictures of artwork of interest.

I love to see where other peoples’ thoughts and creativity takes them.  There is beauty and wonder in even the mundane.

Today is a Friday…and filled with wonders…and more than its share of the mundane as well.  Somehow here, on this first Friday of this new month, it seemed like a great time to bring back a little fantasy fun.  What do you think?

Great concept for a city:

April foolishness

A gorgeous day in the Lowcountry…mid 80s, clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Wisteria is coming back from the frosts that killed its first flush a couple of weeks ago, camellias and azaleas are offering a scant but determined final bloom and all around my neighborhood there are pinks, reds, corals, and soft purples rejoicing in Spring’s renewal. We have all the windows open every day and night and the fresh air is such a joy after the claustrophobic chill of winter.

The dogs spend a lot more time outdoors.  I spend more free time at the first wave of farm markets.  Last week’s excitement was over asparagus.  This week I am giddy over the prospect of first crop green (spring) garlic (as farmers thin their fields) and sugar snap peas.

Spring’s bounty in Asparagus, leek, and green garlic soup

https://i0.wp.com/cf.bojongourmet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/asparagus-leek-and-green-garlic-soup-111.jpg

The bluebirds are nesting in the backyard. I love watching them skim across the open flight path between the azaleas on one side, the shrubbery on the other, over the ancient wisteria to their little houses along the back fence.  As we are contemplating the possibility of moving from this lovely old house to a smaller place the one thing I should truly miss the most is this yard.  Most people miss their homes…apparently for me home is the outdoors, not the in.

Which means I probably should not be surprised at little environmental themes that seem to be continually popping up in my writing. Who knew dragons had such an important environmental niche to fill?  (okay, so that doesn’t really surprise me as they would be an apex predator and as such a linchpen in their cycle…. I just hadn’t really given it much consideration till they showed up)  Glad they did.

 

MARCHing toward spring

And as we begin a new month, and look hopefully toward a new season, things here get more and more complicated.  Life is never dull.

Everything is in bloom now, it seems.  Azaleas in reds, pinks, corals, fuchsia, and white blaze across lawns.  Camellias are still in bloom and jasmine scents the air.  The dogwoods are in bloom, my pear tree’s abundance of tiny white flowers offers the promise of a bumper crop of fruit again this year.  The wisteria trail along fences, and wind through trees and shrubbery borders, spring bulbs have begun to open, and everywhere there is new green.

Beautiful yellow Sulphur butterflies were among the first arrivals and flit about the garden en mass now, along with small white butterflies and the first monarchs.

Lateral view of adult male cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), nectaring at smallfruit beggarticks, Bidens mitis.

Bumblebees are out on the warmer days, and I have seen some very small bees I haven’t identified yet that look like honeybees but perhaps half the size.  Anyone know what these new arrivals might be?

I have begun to see in my writing how my passion for nature colors settings: description of waves crashing against the shore, the scent of a salt marsh, details of plants and forests and landscapes…and beyond that, the way these environments influence the people and the story itself. It seems a very ‘natural’ thing to me for that connection to be present on the page just as it is present in our lives.

Then I look around and find that same connection in my pottery.  I love to create pottery. The feel of the clay,  opening to reveal the shape within.  Pots with flowers dancing down their curves,  imprints of seashells or coral, playing with natural firing techniques, finding a glaze that is exactly the right color to make a piece sing a song of the ocean, or forest, or a lovely spring day like today.

That flower child who became an earth mother seems to be finding that connection in all the things I choose to fill my life.  That is a blessing beyond measure.

 

Something Sunday

It was a lovely day today…a bit too cool for my liking, but positively balmy compared to so many places.  The week looks to be warming wonderfully to right around 80….then plunging precipitously on Thursday…just in time for my Little A’s birthday.

No worries, it will move indoors for Thursday and hopefully be warm again for his party on the weekend.

It is, of course, SuperBowl Sunday.  We used to watch it… okay, David watched it, sometimes some of the children watched with him, mostly I avoided all of it by staying in the kitchen making a mountain of snacks for hubby and the kids and then a special dinner and more snacks.  My only foray into the living room was to watch the Budweiser commercial.

This year… well, we don’t get tv any more, and even if we did none of us have any desire to watch the Patriots, who are beyond boring.  Poor David.  All the football fandom died with him.  However, there will be a couple of special after-supper snacks…just for fun.  And… watching the Budweiser commercial on the computer.  😀

Meanwhile…back on the ranch, or in this case at the old homestead…life goes on. I did weird and unusual things to the ‘stroganoff’ for supper…curious to see if they eat it based purely on my calling it by that name, lol.  Hey, ya work with what you’ve got 😉

(postscript… picky 7 yr old and suspicious 16 yr old just came through asking for seconds 😀 SCORE!)

The edits for Khyr will be completed tonight.

consider...:  Well…okay, my edits.  Next up…get a couple of beta read-throughs. Fix whatever they find….and in the meanwhile, work on my current wip, which is a fun mash up of eco-punk, fantasy, and who knows what else?  😀

14 Fashions That Put The Steam In Steampunk:

 

 

 

What now?

I wanted to begin back to blogging here the first of this New Year.

Frankly I was too depressed and worried to have anything encouraging to offer.  It wasn’t just the sudden terror of the new administration…although that certainly was more than enough.  There was a lot of turmoil on the home front too.  Culminating in a court decision we never ‘saw’ coming and broke our hearts but not our spirits.  We go on.  We fight on.

Some things… these kids… this country… are too important to yield to sorrow and despair

So here we are.  February.  January and February are, traditionally, ‘winter’ here in the Lowcountry.  Not so much this year.  The camellias are in bloom.  The azaleas are beginning to open. The sun shines and it has been low to mid 70s almost every day. Can’t really complain about a ‘winter’ where you can happily play at the beach without needing sweats.

Writing continues.

THIS was my Christmas gift from my amazing kids.  A printed hardcopy of my manuscript!

christmas-joy-2016

I cried, LOL!

Edits on that one are almost completed and there are others in the works.  Always a story waiting to be told. And in these days… that is a bright star on a dark night indeed.

 

Letting go…

Finally, after long weeks …months… of stubborn determination that somehow she would hatch her (unfertile) eggs… Scooter gave up.  She pushed her final egg from the nest and came up to the top of her cage to feed for the first time since she began sitting.

Now I have cleared her sad reminder of no much wanted nestlings and she is happily shredding her new bedding.  Welcome back, Scooter.

There has been a lot of ‘letting go’ this month.  Leaving NY and my beautiful daughter, hubby, and Squid there.  Letting go of a many decades old friendship… trying to find the new left within it…and accepting that this introvert must let go and allow ‘new’ friends inside. So outside my comfort zone.  Time for changes.  Time to let go.

And I let go of Khyr.  I finished those first edits and handed him to my beta readers.  So scary.

And then sat here in total disbelief that for the first time in …how long… I don’t have Khyr to keep me company.

EEEK!

It isn’t I don’t have lots of stories started to play with…but the ones I do ‘for fun’ are not my big loves… not my Aerlinn or Khyr.  So Mathias, Ronyn, Nevar, and Luach will wait…and I will play with them each in turn between major writing sprees on whoever comes to fill this enormous void Khyr has left.

And then he came. His name is Truian (True-yen…with a very soft second syllable)  and we are still getting to know each other but I already feel how strong, and stubborn this man is going to be,  And he loves dragons.  Who can resist that?

So in keeping with our introduction to Truian…  dragons for Fantasy Friday.  Enjoy!

eastern dragon: