Category Archives: Fantasy

Spoils of War [fanfic 225]

“Wot the Seven Hells is that?” Patryck stared at the tattered and stained document his commanding officer had spread out on the wooden table.

“It’s the new map. They’ve divided up the lands all different now since the Day of the Dragon.” The commander looked down as he spoke. They were silent for a moment in memory of that horror. All present had lost many loved ones in the firestorm.

Foxcroft poked at the map. “That blue there is where the Iron Islands are just as before. I heard Yara got away from King’s Landing in a hurry.”

“Almost as if she knew.” Patryck said. “You think the Dragon Queen warned her?”

The commander shrugged. “Can’t trust a foreign usurper. But they didn’t seek any advice from seasoned military men, only imps and eunuchs.”

“Where are we headed?” Foxcroft asked, which was the question on everyone’s mind.

“New orders have arrived by raven,” the commander announced. “Danger stalks our wise one and he has seen his own death in a vision. Note where the red river diverts at the yellow marking. We go there to Eagles Nest to guard his nephew. Be ready to leave at first light.”

The men nodded and drank, oblivious to the presence of the new servant, a plain girl from abroad, who was listening closely while she served them ale.

~*~

Via Rorschach Test

FPQ23: I Burn Whole Cities

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that you’ve found to be particularly effective?”

My post title comes from the HBO show Game of Thrones where dragons have been known to release stress by destroying cities with fire. I am not a dragon, alas, though I have gotten vicarious pleasure especially during stressful times by reading A Song of Ice and Fire and from watching the show.

In general, I find that losing myself in a fantasy world of a novel or movie for a few hours is a great way to deal with stress. I do prefer movies over series, or series that have finished, because I don’t want to have to wait for the next season (and these days, that can be so unpredictable), which ends up leaving me at the mercy of people yapping online about the show and giving their predictions. Annoying!

Depending on what the stressful even was, I may wish to talk about it privately, with a daughter or a friend. I’m careful what I say to whom these days though, so as not to end up with more stress from the convo itself. I may write about the situation in a diary for my own clarification. I find the act of writing words on a page/screen to be therapeutic.

For immediate relief, deep breaths work. For a 24 hour period, repeating the mantra that “this too shall pass” helps a lot. If I can’t sleep, there’s always the Valium or Benadryl last resort. It’s really bad not to sleep because then I’ll feel even worse the next day, which will increase my stress. Cuddling my kitty and spending time alone at home usually helps me feel better.

Here are some stress management techniques that are supposed to help but do nothing for me:

1. Exercise. I know it’s good for me, but it makes everything hurt more and I end up with a (worse) headache.

2. Taking a vacation. Way out of my budget and I would be completely stressed about the money I spent.

3. Glass of wine. This is a migraine trigger about 50% of the time.

4. Music. This is tricky because a lot of songs pull up sad memories for me. I have to be careful about music. Plus, Gatsby doesn’t like it. Mostly I only listen in the car.

5. Sex. With a man? This was generally the cause of almost all my stress and giving it up has reduced my anxiety to nearly zero.

Dracarys! 🔥🔥🔥

Blanco & Me

Every day I watched the girl.

She had a pet fawn named Blanco

And kept a brush up her long sleeves

To groom his gleaming white coat.

One day I smelled fish cooking

On smoking mesquite wood;

My instincts took over

And I crept up to the door

Where the girl and Blanco played.

I did not apologize,

But brazened it out,

For I am a cat,

And that is what we do.

Luckily, it turned out,

She could love me too.

~*~

Poetry Prompt via Robert Peake (get yours!):

Include as many of the following words (or variations on these words) as you can:

forgetful, blanco, total, vanquished, physical, traced, chestnuts, apologize, exposed, persons, sleeves, instincts, vain, mesquite, razor

Also:

  • Include a familiar smell

[discovered at Larry’s blog]

The Most Important Lesson from GOT

***WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS GAME OF THRONES’ SPOILERS!***

It’s sport for GOT fans to mercilessly drag every episode of this last season, in gory detail, and I agree with the main criticism ~ the ending is rushed. The show runners spent 7 long seasons setting up an intricate story, and now they’re zooming to finish, stuffing two wars into three episodes out of six, and leaving lots of loose ends.

Meanwhile, I’m basically enjoying the eps, besides wishing there would have been more of them. I don’t share the common criticism that the plot twists and character arcs are “unearned.” The first seasons generally followed the books, so if you’d read them, you weren’t shocked by twists. Ned’s beheading was accepted because those of us who read the books knew it was coming, but normally the sudden death of a beloved character early on would have generated criticism from fans.

So, when I read today that people are upset about Varys’ death, I roll my eyes. The dude was a great character, but he was always plotting and scheming against rulers, and it was inevitable one would discover it and kill him. You have to wonder why it took so long really, except for the fact that he was smarter than all of them. Littlefinger was also, but Varys was not evil and selfish, so he caught more breaks. Both men were lucky they lasted as long as they did.

People who are carrying on today about Daenerys going “mad” haven’t been paying attention. She has stated all along that she was going to take what was hers “with fire and with blood.” She has torched people throughout the show, but that was okay with us because we didn’t like them. Her character has been stable, her mission unchanged, and her vision focused on one goal.

If you want to pick apart the military strategy of Euron and his crew, I get that. One day he takes out a dragon with his first shot and sinks the entire opposing navy; in the next encounter, he’s totally inept. What the hell happened there? Gotta say though I enjoyed his rambunctious battle to the death with Jaime. Good stuff, though I did think Euron would have mentioned the baby he thinks is his. Might have thrown Jaime off-balance.

Okay, so Jaime fooking Lannister, amirite? People are yelling about his character arc. Pffft, I say. You know what? It’s perfect. The more I think about it, the more perfect it is. Here we have a handsome, spoiled, rich jerk who is in love with his sister and does horrible things for a long time. Some of these things he does for her and some he does just because he’s an arrogant ass.

Then, Jaime gets captured, tortured, and has his comeuppance and epiphany. He begins to be a slightly better person. He sees that he could maybe love a woman who isn’t a monster and be loved in return. He could fight for the people instead of his shitty family name. Some of his interior ugliness is replaced with goodness.

But then… then… bratty, snotty Sansa (more about her in a sec), says nyah we’ve taken King’s Landing and your sis is gonna die! Jaime immediately reverts to form, dumps his new sweet love and breaks her heart, and gallops back to his wicked twin. Why?

Because people don’t change!

That’s the lesson here, folks. And it’s a good and important one. Dany never changed, not one iota. Jaime appeared to change, but he didn’t really. And what about Sansa, who began as a pretty wounded bird and allegedly turned into a strong confident woman? Nah fam. She’s still a petty, snide, gossipy bitch. Dishonest and backstabbing.

Jon/Aegon never changed either. He can’t help but be a noble, relentlessly honest lump of boring. Tyrion is still the same brilliant little scamp who puts his family first no matter how terrible they are. And he does sometimes back the wrong horse, especially when it’s very pretty. Sandor had one main mission in life, and though he did get sidetracked with other tasks along the way, ultimately he refocused on his goal, the Cleganebowl.

Arya? Let’s see what she does in the final ep. Any predictions? I admit I was wrong when I predicted Jaime would kill Cersei, and I’m glad to be wrong. I love that they stuck to the “people don’t change” theme instead, and decided to ignore Maggie’s prophecy. Now, the prediction is that Arya will kill Dany. I don’t know… What do you think?

Thanks for reading all this!

Priorities [flash 61]

Jake stood at the command center. “Officer Liam, proceed to navigate this ship away from star base now.”

“Aye, Captain.” Liam brought down the hammer and commented, “It’s cloudy.”

Jake frowned. “What is that large, slow-moving object behind us?”

“It’s Mom,” their mother said. “I told you kids to clean up the family room before you began playing spaceships again.”

Yarn [flash 172]

Sterling Q. Posh IV waited next to the fish tank at the library for his date. Her name was Skye Raine and he didn’t think they were a match, but the dating site had given them a score of 99.9, and Sterling didn’t argue with numbers. Oh, here she was… finally.

“Hi!” Skye said. “Have you been waiting long? Ooh, hello fishies!”

“Twenty-three minutes,” Sterling said. “I like your poncho. It’s quite… colorful.”

“Thanks!” She twirled around so he could see the poncho in its full glory. “I made it myself. Some of the stitches on this were difficult, but I was very tenacious.”

“May I be forthright?” Sterling asked.

“Of course.”

He leaned in close and whispered. “I also enjoy crocheting. And knitting too. In fact, there’s nothing better than an evening in with a bowl of buttered noodles, a detective show on TV, and my basket of yarn. Except of course someone to share those pleasures with.”

Skye clapped her hands with glee. “Me too! This must be fate!”

Question Fun a la Rory

Today’s topic is ………….. Creativity & Imagination!

What is creativity?

What isn’t?

Is creativity a good thing to have?

Until you poke your eye out…

How much does a mountain weigh?

On which planet?

If the wheel had not have been inventented, where we would be now?

Rockin’ but not rollin’ 🎶

How many books in the average library?

100 (average ~ C ~ 100).

Why do we wear shoes, l mean is it really important?

Yes, actually. You can die from a foot infection.

What’s more important, creativity, imagination or knowledge and why?

Depends on the situation.

Do you think that creativity is part of human nature or is it something that must be nurtured and learned? I mean are we born creative?

Born creative and it’s stifled by life’s drudgery.

What’s the worst name you could give a raccoon?

Rocky.

What the best name you could give your goldfish?

Rocky.

If you could curse someone – what curse would you choose?

Remember everything all the time.

If you were in the worst possible natural disaster you could be in would you survive?

No.

What was your natural disaster then?

Tsunami.

You have been tasked with the role of imagining a new government – what would you conjure up and why?

All women running everything. Why not give that a shot, since men seem to have made a mess of it and women are good at cleaning shit up.

What is imagination in your eyes?

Letting your thoughts flow freely.

Given the choice would you prefer to be creative, imaginative, inventive or self aware?

Inventive. I’m already the other three, but they’re pretty useless without actual physical talent.

Why?

See above, plus it would be awesome to invent something useful and make bank.

3-2-1 Quote Me

Di of Pensitivity 101 has kindly invited me to participate in this round, which is on the theme of inner beauty. Thank you, Di! 💖

These quotes appeal to the rebel in me. I appear to blend in, but so often I “fly away” to another place, a universe of pure words where superficial appearances don’t matter and only inner beauty shines (or not). The older I get, the more frequently I float off into daydreams.

Now I’m supposed to tag three bloggers to continue the challenge…

How about you!

And you there in the back?

And also you trying to slouch down and hide. Mm hmm. Yep. Gotcha! 😂

Y is for You [A2Z]

You’ve Got Mail is my favorite romantic comedy. It stars Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, both outstanding, and it’s written and directed by Nora Ephron. I love the build-up of conflicted feelings between Kathleen and Joe, who not only are business rivals but also are with other partners as the story opens. (Both sets of couples break up before K&J get together.) None of that can overcome their growing attraction toward each other though ~ and for quite a while it’s not a physical attraction, which is the best part to me. It’s a combination of an emotional and intellectual connection sustained in writing via chats.

I’m not gonna lie: it’s always been my preference/dream to find this with someone before meeting in person and discovering that it translates to physical chemistry as well. Probably this is why I was so magnetized by the idea of dating sites in the first place. But just like in this movie, most men are deceptive in chats; in real life, though, the ending doesn’t work out so happily ever after.

To me, You’ve Got Mail is simply perfect, the epitome of a romcom. The best of the best. I only wish I could have saved it for last, but there’s one day left…

X is for Xenobia [A2Z]

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James is a perfect Regency romance novel. It has everything a fan of the genre wants. There is a beautiful and headstrong heroine, who is determined to live life on her own terms, even if it is 1799. We also have an arrogant, handsome, bastard son of a duke, focused on marring someone sweet and biddable. Said sweet miss is terrified of the bastard and would much rather hang with the affable country doctor. School friend comes to visit bastard and says hey nice decorator you got there… shame if some other man took her away from you. Bastard doesn’t like that idea!

Very fun book with little Easter eggs (homages) to other pieces of literature buried in the pages. I probably missed some. Explicit sex scenes abound.