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Friday, February 10, 2017

Smatterings, plus a "The Gryphon & the Basilisk" extract

          Smatterings, plus an extract from Narenta 3: 
                 The Gryphon & the Basilisk, volume 2


The Mica Keyhole
This story fragment was inspired by the artistry of Amy Brener (Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; Art and Science Journal (circa Dec 15 2013)
Amy uses “cast resin, concrete and pieces of trash...” plus “ and fresnel lens to create light sensitive sculptures”. I found a photo of one of her pieces in A&SJ which inspired the following story snippet. 

"We straggle to a stop within the last sheltering trees & study the cliffside blocking our way.
The slanted crease we thought a passageway is lichen & plants none of us recognize. What now? 
Slivers of winter sun peek down through high branches & wander over our barrier. 
First one and then another of us cries out, 
"Did you see?" 

We rush toward the fugitive sparkle. 

"A keyhole?" 
"Why here?" 
"Does it matter? We have no key." 
"Wait! Look through it!"

(If you have any idea about what happens next, go for it!)

A Children's Story in cognito
I've been trying to find the title of a YA book I read decades ago. Not remembering it is still driving me crazy! (Now you know how I got this way.)
Here's what I remember:
Gargoyles(?) take over a town. The adults, including the mayor, don't notice so it's up to the children to save everyone. 

The gargoyles are either pretending to be the mayor and the other adults or they're controlling them.
One of the children gets counsel from a sage-like person or animal, who tells the child to "Call a spade a spade."
Which may mean if you use the real name of the gargoyle --or its captive adult(?)--the humans become their normal selves. The gargoyles's lose their power and their true appearances are revealed, making it easy for everyone to chase them out of the village.

Lipstick Shoes

Once upon a time, I dreamed that I was going somewhere fancy in a lacy dress. Someone suggested some shoes but I said I had a kit for making them. 

Evidently, a company sent me a free trial offer where you drew the shape of the shoes that you wanted to wear on your feet. When satisfied with the design, you did something or other and the drawn pattern became actual shoes. 

The drawing material was very much like a tube of lipstick --in an obnoxious pink like fake strawberry whip. I wanted to create elegant sandles but produced worn loafers. I wanted to "erase" part of the stuff but had no idea how to do it.

Which seems a good segue into the Gryphon and the Basilisk extract.

Narenta 3: 
                 The Gryphon & the Basilisk, volume 2

Have you read fantasies where a woman resists wearing a dress? I read comments to a blog entry once where that was being discussed at length.

Strange. I’ve commited a millions words to p/a/p/e/r/ back-up disk, but I don't remember  writing a scene where a strong female character rejected wearing an elaborate dress as long as it was in keeping with the situation. Earthen visitors are champions of the Narentan people against the Shadow during their brief visits to the other planet. Since a few of my characters come from Earth, they usually arrive in jeans. Some of the "Outworlders" wear chain or hardened leather "on the job".

There are exceptions.

Here are two connected scenes drawn from "The Gryphon and the Basilisk 2", chapter 40, which together shows such an exception. The character names have been changed from those I used in G&B. Hey, you never know! The Gryphon & the Basilisk may be published some day. All three/four volumes of it. By which time maybe the covers should feature flying pigs?

These extracts take place on Narenta. (duh)

The two Earth women mentioned here were captives of the "bad guys" for several weeks and were freed by some Narentans just a bit over a week ago.
They and their rescuers are now in a "safe house"--or so they believe--and an evening of celebration has been planned by their host.

“Good! You’ll go if it will help Boris.” Waros grinned. “And Angela will go if I borrow a gown for her from the archon’s daughter.”

Angela nodded. “I hope he has one. I’ll go anyway, Waros. You two are up to something and I want to be in on it this time.”

Laurie laughed. “Nothing mysterious.”

“Ooh! That means it is mysterious!”

Laurie followed Waros to the door of their room. Before the fighter could open the door, she stopped him. 

With a glance behind her at Angela, she whispered, “Do you really think this will force his hand? Won’t he just stay up here?”


Her arms uplifted, Angela spun around in a circle.
“How’s this? Is this in style? I thought the skirt would be all puffed up and full like Cinderella’s.”

Her gown was nearly form-fitting to the waist and only slightly flared below that, the dark blue satin gored in flaming red.

Laurie mused, “You don’t think Cregic will find that a little overwhelming?”

Anglea asked in perplexity. “Cregic? Oh, that kid.” 
She smiled. “Yeah, I suppose he will.” The smile became a rather silly grin.

Laurie whispered, 
“Whoa! Angela the vamp? Remember, we have a job to do! Don't get distracted!
"Someone’s at the door. Can you get it? I can't find my shoes.”

Angela opened the door.

“Wow! Lord Boris, so glad you decided to go down after all! Is that what the best-dressed enchanters are wearing this year? You look great in navy. That’s a neat lion around your neck, too.”

She winked over her shoulder, then turned back to him. 

“Why Boris, we match! Navy and navy! It must be a sign.”
She stretched her arms toward him, and sighed in a seductive accent, “Darling, come with me to the Casbah and we’ll make beautiful music together.”

Boris gaped at her in astonishment.

Angela shrugged and pointed. “Oh, don’t worry about Laurie! We’ll just tell her it was bigger than the both of us.”

She reached up and gave the perplexed enchanter a peck on the cheek. Lifting her weapon, she slipped past him into the hallway and out of sight.

Boris stared after her a moment and then turned to Laurie. He whispered, “Do you think it wise to let her go downstairs like that?”

“Oh, she’s not drunk! It’s stuff from old movies. She’s just horsing around.”



Melwood Forest in The Provence of The Two Rivers, Tethra, Narenta

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