Category Archives: Fantasy

My Inner Daenerys

As some of you may know, I’ve been both reading the Game of Thrones books (finished Book 4 yesterday) and also catching up on the HBO episodes (halfway through Season 5, as of this bloggery). Enjoying it very much, though I’m getting a bit burnt out on all the blood and gore. My favorite characters have always been the Lannister siblings and their witty, cutting banter, and also the gorgeous, dramatic Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, which are now grown and uncontrollable. That’s the thing with dragons ~ they’re cute when they’re first born, but then they get huge and hangry. And burny.

I know the show is affecting me a bit, since I’ve been binge-watching, but I didn’t realize to what extent until the otter day. I was very busy at work when a man barged into my suite with a cart of boxes. Hey, he said, I have some steaks for you.

What? Steaks? No one here ordered steaks.

He was jabbering on an earphone thing and writing on a clipboard at the same time, all distracted, or pretending to be. He said to me, hey, my boss said for me to offer you guys these steaks for practically nothing because your friends next door couldn’t take them all. Three bucks and you get this entire box of frozen steaks! It’s like I’m giving them to you for free!

I was so mad. I knew it was just another stupid scam. In the past, I might have called for my coworker to come out of his office to help me, or threatened this guy by telling him I was going to call security. But the night before I had watched Dany demand that Jorah Mormont GTFO of her sight or she’d behead him for spying on her.

I interrupted the steak man in the middle of his sales pitch.

“Please leave,” I said. “Now.

He stared at me for a second and then packed up and left, muttering about how people are usually happy about cheap steaks bla and bla.

I felt good about all that, but too bad I didn’t have a real dragon who could have breathed fire on the steaks and cooked them right there. LUNCH!

Dany

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Dissolution

In the beginning, Sea and Terra lived as husband and wife intermixed together on Earth.

Eons passed and Terra grew restless. One day she announced to Sea, “I need my own space.”

Sea didn’t want to separate from Terra, but he didn’t argue. He retreated, at first methodically and then erratically, until Terra decided she had enough room for herself.

“Thank you!” she said. “We’ll both be happier this way.”

Sea didn’t feel happy, but he stayed quiet and watched as Terra flirted with Sun and began to blossom. Tangled jungles grew around her waist, decorated with fragrant flowers of every hue and shape. Insects and winds scattered their seeds. Apple trees grew to the North over Terra’s breasts. Sea watched with amazement as every part of her burst forth with lush vegetation and new creatures. Sun was always around to help nourish the burgeoning greenery.

Sometimes Sun overdid it and the plants died. Then there was only scorched sand for miles and miles with dangerous snakes crawling around the edges. Sea smiled to himself when he saw these barren deserts, for he had a secret. In his shallows, and floating discreetly on his surface, Sea hosted billions of beautiful plants and flowers. Some of them even took nourishment from Sun when Sun wasn’t paying attention. Sea felt no need to announce this to Terra. He found he enjoyed keeping secrets.

After a few million years, she commented, “Sea, I know you’re still sulking. Don’t you think it’s time you moved on? We’re never getting back together because I am madly in love with Sun!”

Sea shrugged and a giant tsunami swept over Terra’s Southern thigh, destroying some of her creatures. This made her very upset and she didn’t talk to Sea again for over ten thousand years. He was not unhappy about that. If they weren’t going to be together, he would rather she leave him alone.

As Terra continued her romance with Sun, and new creatures evolved upon her various surfaces, Sea grew depressed, stopped moving, and ice formed at his poles. He suspected she had always loved Sun and never him. This idea permeated every bit of his being, making him feel colder and colder, and since there was so much of him, this chill began to affect the entire planet.

“I’m freezing!” Terra complained. “All my Northern plants and animals are dying off. Can’t you do something?”

“What do you want me to do?” Sea said.

Terra smiled up at Sun, which made Sea sick. “Fall in love! Then you’ll be happy again.”

“I loved you, Terra,” Sea told her. Waves of his tears splashed over her lands. “There is no one else.”

“Sea, do you know something?” Terra said. “All this time, Moon has been in love with you.”

Moon? Sea slowly lifted his enormous watery eyes to gaze up at the night sky.

There, in a black velvet blanket spangled with stars, glowed Moon. Her eyes were steady orbs, her face a familiar comfort with a small, shy, but unmistakable smile.

Sea shook his mighty head and giant waves rushed across the Western shores.

“Stop!” Terra cried. “You’re so moody! Just be calm. Think about Moon and how lovely she is.”

As requested, Sea calmed, but he did not want to think about Moon. He turned inward and gazed at his favorite coral reef. A graceful pair of pink dolphins captured his attention. He watched them somersault through the turquoise waves on the morning side of the Earth. Whitecaps hissed gently to shore around the islands as diving birds swooped across the sky.

All day Sea’s mind remained blank. He refused to consider Moon, but the bitter jealousy toward Terra and Sun had subsided. He simply observed his water creatures and he felt the ocean reeds sway beneath his undulations. This made him content. As the sky began to darken, he listened to the birds sing, but then he realized Moon would be coming around again.

Sea could have changed his focus to the West, where morning painted the sky, but he remained in his Eastern mind and waited for Moon to fully rise. There she was! He felt her tug at his tides slightly and understood he’d grown so used to this in the eons since he and Terra parted that he had been taking Moon for granted.

“You’ve been a good friend to me, dear Moon,” Sea said. “I should have told you so sooner.”

Moon proffered her shadowy smile. “Thank you,” she whispered.

Sea appreciated her understated cool silvery beauty as a balance to his wild moods. Let Terra have the bold bright beaming Sun; Moon was the perfect counterpart for Sea. He only wished he had seen the truth a billion years ago. Sea’s waves churned with agitation as he fretted that he might have hurt Moon’s feelings.

“Shh,” Moon whispered. “Everything is all right.”

Soothed by Moon’s serenity, Sea unruffled himself for that night and many following. While he didn’t directly express his love toward Moon, nor she toward him, in the blatant ways that Terra and Sun announced their emotions, each night for millennia Sea and Moon cherished each other in quiet reverence.

Sea and Moon.

Moon and Sea.

And so it was.

And so it shall be.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Moody

Blowin’ In The Wind

Last evening after work I headed from my office in Irvine toward a poetry meetup in the city of Orange. I had my navigator on and was listening to oldies tunes in between the directions. Nav was telling me to get on the 55 in some convoluted way, but I’ve learned not to argue with her. Just follow along, like a sheep, baaaa.

As I was driving on Warner, I noticed there was something taped low on the passenger side of my windshield. An ad? Not sure. Usually ads are stuffed under the wiper on the driver’s side to make sure you see them, plus this looked too small to be an ad. I didn’t think it had been there in the morning when I drove to work ~ surely I would have spotted it then. But perhaps not, who knows.

I remembered that the homeless dude who keeps his stuff in one of the storage cabinets at my apartment complex left a note on my car a few weeks ago thanking me for letting him use my cabinet. First, I haven’t “let” anyone do anything; I simply didn’t shriek at him to go away like my neighbor did when she encountered him. I just shrugged when I saw him and got in my car. Second, it’s not my cabinet he’s using. Third, when he left a note, it was on a ripped piece of cardboard sitting on top of my trunk, not something taped to my window. This of course doesn’t preclude a leveling up of note-leaving by said homeless dude, so we can’t rule it out.

I didn’t go out at lunch yesterday, so the note (or whatever) couldn’t have been left from an advertiser in the shopping plaza nearby. If it was from someone like that, s/he would have been sneaking around a private garage during the workday, which is unlikely, but not impossible. Someone who has legit parking privileges could also moonlight as an Avon rep or whatever and be leaving ads on cars in the garage, I guess, though it’s probably against the rules.

Or… it could have been a nastygram from someone who found fault with my driving or parking, sort of a prelude to the guy who yelled at me later in the evening for parking on a street near the poetry place without a permit. I had to get back in my car and repark on a different street. What a pain in the ass that all was, but… pomes!

But my favorite idea is this… imagine that some man has had a crush on me (shaddap! it could happen!)… he sees me in the garage at work from time to time. Maybe he he’s even been in line with me at the cafe for a coffee or lunch. Perhaps he’s held the door for me and I’ve said thank you, but haven’t really noticed him. We may have taken the same elevator together, or possibly he works on a higher floor and uses the other elevator bank. Could be he doesn’t always get to work at the same time every day like I do, but he does know my car now. He decided that the next time he sees me he’s going to say something, but our schedules haven’t meshed for a while. So, he left me a note! It was something cute, witty, with a pic, contact info, whatever, idk. Nothing creepy.

All the above went through my mind in about two seconds and I decided I should pull over and retrieve the note. Because obviously it was from a secret admirer. Right?! Yes, yes. But I was in the left lane, and before I could move to the right and find a place to stop, the note detached and blew away.

The end.

secret-admirer

Since You’ve Been Gone

Stephen King has a short story in Bazaar of Bad Dreams called “Ur,” which is centered around the notion of an experimental Kindle with an extra menu feature that gives access to alternative literary realities. Forex, say you type in a random number… in this world of words Shakespeare lives five more years and writes a couple more plays. You get to buy, download, and read these plays on the new Kindle. It’s addictive, as you might imagine, for you could spend day after day checking random numbers and writers to see if your favorites appear in parallel universes with new works to read.

But it’s also comforting to know that the authors we love will continue writing in their familiar styles in the alternate realities. If we search for Ray Carver, we don’t want to find vampire romances. We want what we expect. Most of us anyway. That’s why when I go to a vegan restaurant and order a lush looking dish of macaroni & cheese I’m invariably disappointed ~ it appears so beautiful and cheesy, but it never tastes as expected. I’m always better off with a salad where the veggies taste the way they’re supposed to.

*

I dream about my mother frequently. This month is nine years since she was diagnosed; next April nine years since she’s been gone. In my dreams, she just goes on as she ever was ~ present, helpful, sometimes annoying. Nothing super dramatic. In the last one, we were at a table with a bunch of other people (I don’t remember who) discussing an arts & crafts project. At one point, I turned to my mother and complained that my pantyhose kept getting runs in them the first time I wore them, sometimes right out of the package. She commiserated. I don’t remember if she had any advice, but it’s almost certain she would have. Because Mom.

This was a comforting dream. Mom was being Mom.

*

In the King story, the protag next discovers that the experimental Kindle feature also has alternative reality newspapers. Some of these are funny, especially King’s election ideas. And then our protag finds his local future newspaper. ~ doo doo doo doo ~

I am highly enjoying Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

A Lurve Pome, More or Less (Mostly Less)

I’m glad I never got to know you–
You thought I lived too far away.
The commute is horrendous:
Orange County to Ellay.
No one wants to do it;
You’d have to be insane.
No one is that desperate,
Certainly not you,
Handsome, successful…
I looked up your schools,
Well, everything really–
You’re quite googleable.

Remember when I wrote to you
On Plenty of Fish
And said I wished
You’d forget your rule
About distance
Just this once?
Of course you don’t!
But you said I was pretty
And a good writer too.
High praise, I thought,
Coming from you,
Even if it was
Polite bullpoop
Just to get rid of me–
Someone in your industry–
And you did not want
To make an enemy.
It was very civilized,
And I hope you’re doing well tonight,
Not that you need good wishes from me
Or anything else
Obviously.

I refuse to get nasty
And slide into snark
About the fifty miles by car,
Even though
People get together, I’ve heard,
From different states and even
Other countries, but then again
They don’t have to merge
Onto the dreaded four-oh-five.
I get it, I really do, my friend;
All’s fair.
You’re a busy guy–
You don’t have time
To make that drive;
Even if I had met you there,
You would have had to do it
Eventually.
You knew that,
And declined
For your peace of mind,
But sweetly,
Unlike the usual crude galoot
Galumphing about these sites.
I soaked up your drops of praise
Like a thirsty desert daisy.
Rejection made sense, and
You’re nothing but logical,
Which I have to respect.
And I do.

But then today
After yet another near-disaster
Of epic proportions
(Is there any other kind?),
And an anxious, sleepless night,
What do I find?
Facebook has bought a clue
To my old stalking of you
And suggested we be friends.
How about that?
Would you like to see
Pictures of my cat?
Perhaps you’d enjoy
My episodic complaints
About parking spaces,
And I could comment on
Your erudite opinion of the day.
We could be lovely friends;
How clever of an algorithm
To match us up
Once again.

I jest of course.
No worries — you’re safe!
Though I was happy to gaze
Upon your kindly face
That Facebook presented:
The gentle smile
And twinkling eyes.
I always thought
You looked kinda hot
In that plain grey tee–
Arms crossed,
Not showing off, but…
Anyway, what is it now,
A decade old?
I’ve seen a current photo
With less hair
And more flesh,
But still appealing
Nevertheless,
On your company site,
Where I just happened to click
After googling because
Everyone else is so awful.
And you know what?
You’re probably awful too.
Despite the nice rejection,
I know this, or suspect.
You’re likely not insane
Like the guy last night
And most of the others
I somehow attract
Like flypaper for freaks
(As a friend fondly puts it),
But you would not have
Enough time for me,
Mr. Busy Guy,
Guaranteed.
And it would
Ultimately
Break my heart.
How do I know
In advance?
Trust me, I do:
I have had this dance.

So, I am glad
I do not live in Ellay,
Or you behind the curtain;
It’s better this way.
Better to think of you:
Handsome, aloof,
Successful and kind.
And if you remembered me
(Which of course you do not),
You’d say ah the pretty one,
Yes, I thought she could write,
Has she sold a screenplay?
HAH!
Sold a screenplay?!
I’m dying!
We’d clink our glasses
And we’d laugh.
I’m sure you have a wonderful laugh,
Never mocking, not sarcastic,
No “New York sense of humor”–
Code for being an asshole,
Not you.
You would be… a nice guy.
That sounds boring.
Who says this anymore?
A nice guy, pffft!
You probably wouldn’t be one
In reality,
Or I would break you bad
Like I apparently do to all men
Over and over again.
Yet in my dreams,
You will remain
That sweet guy who
Said I was pretty and could write,
The nicest guy I never met:
You.

Not So Purrfect

OK, so in my continuing mission to read various sub-genres of romance novels, and blab about them to y’all, I recently finished an adult shape-shifter story. If you recall (and why wouldn’t you?), I previously reviewed a young adult dragon shifter story and to my surprise enjoyed it quite a bit.

Not so the case with Her Purrfect Match by Milly Taiden. Gawd, what a pile of dreckage. Where to begin?

1. Loads of errors. I realize that we can’t all afford an editing service, but geez it’s awfully distracting to have screw-ups throughout. (Plus Taiden is a very popular Amazon author, with 363 reviews on HPM alone, so you would think… )

2. No attempt at explaining how the tiger-peeps came to exist or how they shape-shift, what it feels like to the shifter, how an observer experiences it, etc. In the dragon story, I felt the wings stretching under the skin and the emotional conflict associated with shifting. Here? Nothing. Just bam, he’s a tiger now.

3. There was nothing “tigery” or even weird about the guy when human. He was simply an Alpha male who liked a lot of hot sex in the usual ways. So, why bother with tigerness at all?

4. Author uses tigerness as a lame excuse for the usual noncommittal sex men like to engage in, with the only twist that Tigerman needs to reproduce because enemies, or whatever thing. Again, there is no reason for him to be part tiger. He is just an ordinary jerk, until of course he is REFORMED BY LURVE.

5. The heroine is annoyingly insecure about her “curves” and also super-dumb in much of the book. Forex, she doesn’t catch on that she actually stumbled onto the man she’d been shifter-matched up with even after he keeps giving tiger cues. I wanted to smack her. Duh! It’s him! The guy! TIGER DUDE.Ugh.

So, while I am a tiny bit curious about the heroine’s friend who gets matched with two wolf-shifters, I think I’ll pass.

(TWO WOLVES! Polywolfism. Is that a thing?)

Tiger snadwich

Firelight

So, I just finished Firelight by Sophie Jordan. It fulfills my promise to y’all to read a “monster” erotica. Er, sort of. I’m not sure that dragons count as real monsters, since they’re so pretty and all, and I’m damn sure there was no erotica in this book. But it was definitely a romance ~ a young adult romance. Gah! I didn’t realize that when I bought it. Basically I grabbed the novel because of the cover.

Anyway. There were things I enjoyed about Firelight. One was the fabulously detailed and specific description of what it feels like to be part dragon. It was good enough to get me to suspend disbelief, which is not an easy task. Jordan did a great job of hooking the reader via vivid emotional conflicts. And the family drama was solid and relatable. The not-fitting-in at school theme was well-done, but I’m old to care about high school angst situations these days. That all was predictable and somewhat clichéd. Back to good things ~ the surprising revelation about the hero near the end was very fun to read.

I disliked the ending. I understand this is a series, so the ending couldn’t be final and had to make me want to keep reading. Except it didn’t. I felt like a TV show had trailed off too soon and, meh, I don’t really care. I have no intention of buying the next book in the series. But again, part of the problem is the fact that this is a book for teenagers, and while I liked some of the writing, I’m just not that interested in the story or characters to continue.

Dragons are cool though. I wouldn’t mind some dragon stuffs in a real romance novel written for grownups.

I gave Firelight three stars on Goodreads.

I Tumbl For Ya

Not sure if y’all know I have a Tumblr ~ well, I do.

What I put there are pretty things ~ pics of rainbow cakes and kittehs and pomes and things. So, if you like that, go check it out. Sometimes I forget about it, but then I want to see some uplifting stuffs and I return. Or I think of a new pome to stick in and do that. Also, I include pomes about death and despair just to keep things interesting.

It can’t be butterflies and cupcakes all the time.

My Pentagon
by Heather Christle

It was the military
coming together

on paper under glass

to shine on me! they
called me

damp thing it was
my name coming

together under orders

nothing would go
unlaminated

they said
they said

under orders after death
all things must shine

Too Much Barney

Dinoluv

 

 

You let your sweet innocent little girls watch this stuff and the next thing you know they’re writing things like Taken by the Pterodactyl. Well, not MY girls, but someone has been churning out monster erotica (it’s a thing) and slamming it all over Amazon, which isn’t THAT weird, I guess, cuz people will write any sort of crazy crap, but what’s really mind-boggling is that buyers have been totally gobbling up dinopr0n.

Unfortunately just when we find out that it’s a thing, Amazon has declared WAR on it. We can’t have peeps reading dinopr0n cuz it is too gross. Actually, it kinda is ~ just google up images for monster erotica. Yucky. Not to be judgmental or anything, but what a bunch of sicko freakazoids. Readers and writers both. I am not above putting all sorts of keywords here to get hits however.

What?

It is my dream to have the Barney lawyers contact me with a take down demand. I live for that kind of excitement, my peeps.

In the meantime, let us attempt to assign proportionate blame for this oogy mess. Surely the Flintstones must get some for showing people coexisting with dinos, yes? How about that dopey Creation Museum? Those Young Earth peeps must accept some responsibility for the spurt of dinopr0n. Who else?

You’d better check a couple times for that monster under your bed. Eesh!

Let’s Get Physical

Gekko asked, regarding a romance novel we’re both reading…

I do wonder if it’s standard and required for nipples to be dusky pink? Also, must the guy be “handsome” and “hard bodied” all the time, or are there romance novels where the guy is a bit pudgy and squishy? Not that I find “Mike” off-putting (yet)! I mean, I’m all for good looking, hard bodied males, lord knows! I just wondered if there was a standard.

I think that in novels where the heroines are Caucasian, the nipples are pretty much universally described as some shade of pink, though not necessarily “dusky.” I’ve just glanced through a few books on my shelves and found these descriptions: “rosy peaks” and plain “pink” … that’s it from a cursory check. Frankly I was surprised I didn’t find more flowery phrases, but then again, most sex scenes are written from the female POV, so the reader is given her feelings and descriptions of the hero, not the other way around. The scenes that are from the hero’s POV are more likely to be ones where he has to chase some bad guy who’s abducted her.

All romance novel heroes are handsome and fit, though it is acceptable to have a war injury, not that this can ever affect performance in bed obviously. A hero is not “squishy,” physically or morally. Speaking of that, James Bond would not be a true RN hero because he has sex with women already in relationships. Idk what made me think of James Bond. Weird! 🙂

Heroines, though, can be all different. Some are  young and slim; others are older and curvier. Jennifer Crusie writes overweight heroines and makes them super-sexy. They can be anywhere from petite (short) to supermodel height, and don’t always fit the established standard of beauty, while the male lead in general must be classically good-looking and over six feet tall.

Isn’t that interesting? Don’t we always assume that romance novels give unfair stereotypes of women, but maybe we’re looking at it the wrong way around. Remember that women are largely writing these novels, as fantasies for other women.

Oh, the novel that Gekko and I are reading is called Fiona’s Fling ~ you should buy a copy for yourself!