Conversations with Christopher: Grace and Theodora

Once again, Christopher faces the little girl and her bear, sitting opposite him in the mists of the Cauldron.

Christopher: How are things?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: We just did the first round of edits and we haven’t even reached the hard part.

Christopher: Still you’ve made progress.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Uh-huh.

Christopher: What’s changed?

Grace: Parts of our story or the stories within the story. I think I’m more me now, if that makes sense.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Ours is the longest story our scribbler has ever worked on. Parts of what she’s going through in edits is familar, yet it’s with Shenanigans Press, a new publisher.

Christopher: Are you excited about what’s happening?

Grace: Oh, yes. A little scared, too. I mean, how is the world going to react to us and our story? I mean, Theodora is the best, but how are they going to react to me?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Aww, thank you! (She cuddles her bear.)

Christopher: What did she say?

Grace: She says I’m her child. There’s nothing to worry about.

Christopher: I’m sure there isn’t.

Grace: Yes, but, well, I’ve been part of the scribbler’s imagination for so long. My story got forgotten. For years. (She giggles.) It’s funny, how I’m a child, yet I’m older than you are, if you count how long I’ve been in the scribbler’s head.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Theodora, too. Only she used to be a teddy bear. It wasn’t until years later she became a Theodora.

Christopher: When was that?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Well, the scribbler started thinking about this steampunk submission call, which reminded her of Theodora and myself. Only she started to think about Theodora becoming a Theodora Bear. The title; Wind Me Up, One More Time first popped into her head because she was thinking steampunk.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Theodora was originally going to be clockwork. Or turn into clockwork. The clockwork shows up in a different way in this story as do gears.

Christopher: You mean the gears of industry?
Grace: You know about them?

Christopher: It may have something to do with my role as Happily Ever After. Or I could be just drawing this knowledge from our scribbler’s mind.

Grace: Yes, well, I spend a lot of time being frightened of those gears. Industry, too.

Christopher: Why?

Grace: Gears of industry can grind you up or catch you in their rhythm until you’re nothing more than a part of industry.

Christopher: I see.

Grace: Do you?

Christopher: I have something like that in my universe, my birthplace, you might say. There are shadows which can tear people’s memories away, leaving them no longer themselves.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Sounds scary.

Christopher: It is.

Grace: Good luck in escaping them.

Christopher: That would be a lot easier if I wasn’t one of them.

Grace: Huh?

Christopher: Never mind.


#RainbowSnippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ fiction, go to…

I just finished the first round of edits for Wind Me Up, One More Time, but I need to check with my editor first, see if it’s OK to post and share pieces of that while it’s currently in something of a fluid state. (wry grin) Instead, I’m going to post something from Quartz’s story, something one of you has been waiting for a long time…(winks at Paula) 🙂


Thick. It’s a word I associate with stone. Solid. Comforting.

It’s also a word for stupid. Never quite understood it until I ended up in this bloody crystal coffin, dreaming like one of the very stones I let myself become one with.

Conversations with Christopher: Quartz Grumbles

Once more a stocky dwarf and a slender youth sitting facing each other amidst the misty haze of the Cauldron.

Quartz: I’ve often wondered if this Cauldron isn’t a bit like your Shadow Forest.

Christopher: Sometimes. The Shadow Forest can be whatever you wish, if you open its Door.

Quartz: Right. (He smooths his beard.) Rock and stone, Christopher, I’m in the scribbler’s head, yet I’m feeling ignored.

Christopher: (He looks down.) I know.

Quartz: Of all the times for the scribbler to get obsessed with some TV show! One that isn’t even airing any more! (He makes a growling sound.)

Christopher: The relationship at the heart of it reminds her of another she loved, which never got expressed completely, yet this one has its own dark charm. The mixture of nostalgia and the new is hard for to resist, especially right now.

Quartz: She’s in the middle of edits!

Christopher: She’s working on those edits, but she’s been intrigued, yet afraid of this TV series for some time. Now she’s hooked.

Quartz: Yes, she’s hooked. Bloody posh cannibals with their gentlemanly manners and their pretty empaths, trying to catch them in more ways than one, bloody distraction! I feel ignored, downright neglected. (He makes another grumbling sound, stroking his beard.)

Christopher: Remember, our scribbler also just got bad news about a friend. This distraction helped.

Quartz: Aye, I can’t blame her for that. I don’t. I just wish she’d let us distract her a bit more.

Christopher: Well, perhaps we should see if we can distract her.

Quartz: Eh?

Christopher: Tell me about your story, Quartz, without telling too much.

Quartz: Eh, it’s a sort of why I’m not dead tale. Along with how my six brothers and I came to be in the Forest of Tears when we met our girl. There’s a cuckoo clock in this story as well as a crystal coffin.

Christopher: Hence the title, Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins.

Quartz: Not that I’m fond of that title. The scribbler has yet to think of anything better.

Christopher: You meet Nimmie Not in this story.

Quartz: Aye. (His nose turns red.) Along with my Fairest. I help my human daughter get over her lost love, yet it forces me to think about a few things I’d rather not. (His nose turns redder.)
Christopher: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins is a cross-over with Fairest, then.

Quartz: Aye, which is one of the scribbler’s worries, convincing Nine Star Press that a sequel to a story in an anthology is acceptable. She’s going to write my story, though. I’ll see to that.

Christopher: You see? You’re already getting our scribbler’s attention. I can feel it. Can’t you?

Quartz: We’ll see how long we can keep it. (grumbles under his breath)

Christopher: You said your story was a cross-over with Fairest.

Quartz: Aye. Our girl, our Fairest is in my story. The crystal coffin in the bloody title is the same she was in.

Christopher: And the cuckoo clock?

Quartz: Bloody annoying thing. It’s a relief mine is an alternate fantasy world. Cuckoo clocks are younger than most fairy tales in the scribbler’s world. Not that they’re all that common in my world, thank the magma. Humans have yet to start installing the chirping monstrosities in their homes as Nimmie Not is ever so fond of pointing out.

Christopher: Which is why he left you a cuckoo clock in your cottage?

Quartz: Hmmph. Thinks he’s ahead of everyone else and wants me to drag there to. I often wonder if that cottage is really mine and my brothers. I got it because of a bargain I struck with Nimmie Not, but one should never trust a bargain with a kobold.

(A red curtain appears behind Quartz and Christopher.)

Nimmie Not: (His voice comes from behind the curtain) You wound me, my dear Quartz! Tsk, tsk! After everything I do for you!

Quartz: Gah! (jumping in his seat)

Nimmie Not: Oh, come, come! Did you think you were only one who could play this red curtain trick? Besides I’m never very far from you.

Christopher: I think that’s a good point to end this-

Quartz: No, it’s not!

Nimmie Not: Oh, yes, it is! Ta, ta, dear readers! Please wait with baited breath for my next entrance!

#RainbowSnippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction at their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+ fiction.

To read a wide variety of LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

For my own, Phaedra will continue where she left off last Saturday in A Symposium in Space. This will be a little longer since it’s the last sample I’m going to offer of this particular story…

If I looked into Pausania’s eyes, I might still yield. I could end up apologizing and falling into her arms. Again.

Not this time.

“I hope you’ll be there.” I laid my hand on the door panel, a bit of the modern amidst the archaic. Touch sensitive, it made the wooden barrier slide open. “For my sake, if not for your own.”

I stalked out of our home and into the world.


Like what you’ve read? Want to read the rest? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press:


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Conversations with Christopher: Congratulations!

Once again, Christopher sits, facing a now familiar little girl, holding her stuffed bear.

Christopher: I hear congratulations are in order. Your story now has a home.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Yes, with Shenanigans Press. They’re the Young Adult stories for Mischief Corner Books.

Christopher: And they’ve accepted Wind Me Up, One More Time.

Grace: We’re so excited! (giggles)
Christopher: (He smiles, but his eyes are a little sad.) Again, congratulations! I’ll admit I’m jealous.

Theodora: Growwr?

Grace: Isn’t our scribbler working on your story right now? I thought she wrote something while she was in England? Or was it Scotland or Ireland?

Christopher: All three. It’s more Leiwell’s story than mine, although Damian and I did get a little attention while our scribbler was in Scotland. It was part of a response to one of Paula Wyant’s prompts, her Wednesday Words. I didn’t get as much attention while the scribbler was traveling as Leiwell, though. Or for that matter, Quartz.

(A red curtain appears behind the boy, the girl, and the bear.)

Quartz: (his voice comes from behind the curtain) Hah! Finally some quality story time instead of playing secondary character to you!

Chrstopher: (pointedly) We’re not even in the same universe, even if we end up together a lot in this Fourth Wall space. Besides, shouldn’t you be busy with Secondary Characters Speak Out?

Quartz: I’m a modern character, even if I’m part of a fantasy/fairytale setting. I can multi-task. Besides, as you say, we’re in Fourth Wall space. Congratulations, Theo, on your new home. Now if only the scribbler would hurry up with my story and find me one.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: She’s working on it. She got some ideas while she was in Scotland-

Quartz: She’d better get some ideas after a fine display of stones like that. The National Museum of Scotland is quite a place.

Grace: -and she started steady work on it while in Dublin-

Quartz: Another fine city, I’ll admit. The people there have rhythm and moves. I ought to take Nimmie Not there…wait. What am I saying?!

Christopher: (chuckles) Behold the consequences of the scribbler’s attention.

Quartz: Oh, hush!

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Remember, our scribbler will be busy with edits for our story, though. Plus she’s got five notebooks filled with stuff she needs to type up.

Quartz: Right, right, she’s a busy scribbler as always. As long as she doesn’t forget to make time for me.

(The curtain disappears.)

Christopher: Five notebooks? Has it really been that many notebooks for her?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: She finished two journals while on vacation, plus one spiral-bound notebook. All written by hand, since she left her laptop in the care of friends. All part of her unplugging. Sort of unplugging.

Christopher: You’re right. I forgot, she filled out three notebooks before she left. They’re full of stories, poems, Morning Pages, notes, quotes, and book reviews. Put them all together and there are five of them.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Plus she’ll need to keep up with her weekly and monthly blogs, along with our edits.

Christopher: Not to mention NaNoWriMo is coming up. In addition to everything else.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Christopher, you should get some time during NaNoWriMo. She’ll be working on My Tool, My Treasure.

Christopher: When she isn’t working on your story.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: True.

Christopher: Well, I guess all there is to say is good luck! I hope you enjoy your new home with Shenanigans Press.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Thank you! Good luck to you, too! May you enjoy your NaNoWriMo time!

Christopher: I’m not sure if “enjoy” is exactly how I’d describe what’s coming…well, maybe I will enjoy it. (He smiles a little.) Thank you.

Theodora: Growwr!

Grace: Keep an eye out for our story with Shenanigans Press, everyone! Remember, it’s Wind Me Up, One More Time! (She waves goodbye)

#RainbowSnippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

For mine, Phaedra is going to pick up where she left off last Saturday in A Symposium in Space…

I stared at the archaic wood greaves in the portal to our home. So hopelessly old-fashioned. One of the things Pausania and I had in common was we both loved ancient, traditional things for all their connection with a patriarchal past.

Why did those connections have to be so bitter?

“I’m going to Agathea’s symposium.”

I didn’t turn around.

Intrigued by what you’re reading? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press:


Barnes & Noble:



Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not Presents Himself

(Picking up where Christopher and Quartz left off last week with Nimmie Not materializing right in the middle of Quartz’s conversation…and Quartz’s lap. )

Quartz: Gah!

Nimmie Not: Have you missed me, my dear dwarf? (He opens his skinny arms, wiggling a bit.) Feel free to show me how much!

Quartz: Get off me!

Nimmie Not: And yet you’re not knocking me off your lap. (He twitches a pointed ear even while he waggles his eyebrows.) This shows how fond you’ve become of me!

(The little bald man in a red cap with a bell on the tip, pointed red shoes with bells on the toes, wearing a matching red tunic under a bright green vest and equally yellow stockings disappears from Quartz’s lap. He reappears standing between Quartz and Christopher, grasping an enormous book in his knobby hands.)

Nimmie Not: Christopher, Christopher, just who is this boy you’ve been spending so much time with? (He opens the book, starts turning the pages.) Ah ha, he is! Yes, Christopher is a Personage of Importance but not in our universe. Therefore his significance has no bearing on us.

Christopher: Uh, thanks, I think? Only maybe I should be worried.

Nimmie Not: Which makes me wonder what you’re doing here with him. (He gives Quartz a severe look.) Especially when he shouldn’t. He’s from a different universe, Quartz. Terrible things happen when you cross universes.

Quartz: You’re going to lecture me on what’s right and wrong? That’s a laugh. This is the fourth wall, you bloody sprite. Characters from different universes can gather here.

Nimmie Not: And just what is your purpose in gathering here?

Quartz: Can’t you see that for yourself? I’m talking to Christopher! Yes, we come from different universes, but neither of us have had much story of late.

Christopher: Actually you’ve gotten more work on your story than I have recently.

Quartz: Oh, hush. Don’t distract the scribbler when she’s paying attention to me.

Nimmie Not: Yes, don’t distract the scribbler. Don’t distract Quartz either with those pretty looks of yours.

Christopher: Huh?

Quartz: What?!

Nimmie Not: Don’t look at me like that! I know you’ve got a soft spot for delicate, slender young humans.

Quartz: She was my daughter, you idiot sprite!

Christopher: And I’m not human. Not really.

Nimmie Not: Whatever. (He shuts his book and disappears, only to reappear behind Quartz with his spindly arms around the dwarf’s neck.) I can’t help getting jealous. After all, Quartz is supposed to be my Person of Importance, my bride.

Quartz: I am not your bride!

Christopher: Whatever convinced you that Quartz was all that?

Quartz: Good point, although you could have put it differently.

Nimmie Not: I was convinced by Quartz’s presence in my magical book, of course. It lists all Persons of Importance in its pages.

Christopher: And what convinced you that Quartz was your bride?

Nimmie Not: Because I want to marry someone interesting, of course!

Quartz: That’s it? You’re saying you could have just picked anyone interesting and chosen them as your bride? That’s why?

Nimmie Not: You sound almost disappointed, my dear dwarf.

Christopher: Surely there must be other reasons for picking Quartz.

Nimmie Not: Maybe, maybe. Yet you don’t expect me to reveal them to you, do you? (He sticks his tongue out at Christopher and disappears.)

Quartz: You’ll have to forgive Nimmie Not. He’s a jealous little kobold, but he…well, actually he’s just a jealous little kobold.

Christopher: (He raises an eyebrow.) I think that’s the first time you’ve told me to forgive someone else.

Quartz: Don’t start.