Me Me Monday: Conversations with Christopher

Christopher: How are you doing with My Tool, My Treasure?

Me: I’m past the halfway point. You know if I added up everything I’ve worked on this month…Morning Pages, brainstorming sessions for my NaNo project, random fragments of My Tool, My Treasure, fanfics, and reviews, what would my word count be? A lot of this is related to my NaNo project, even if it’s in an indirect, inspirational way.

Christopher: Please don’t do that until a few days before the deadline. At least try to see how much you can finish of My Tool, My Treasure.

Me: All right, all right. I’ve also got a Christmas letter to write, which I need to finish soon…but all right.

Christopher: Surely you’ve got more to talk about than the word count?

Me: Well, yes. Much to my surprise, you’re not the main character in this story. Neither are Danyel nor Tayel.

Christopher: No, we’re not. Damian is…and Leiwell.

Me: I’ve noticed you’ve given Leiwell second billing even though My Tool, My Treasure begins with him.

Christopher: I have every reason to. Leiwell wouldn’t even exist in this form if not for Damian.

Me: Well, Dyvian had something to do with it.

Christopher: Don’t talk to me about Dyvian. If there’s a creature worse than Leiwell, it’s Dyvian.

Me: Well, this is a surprise. As Happily Ever After, your feelings toward Dyvian were…complex. 

Christopher: Yes, they’re complex. I’m bound to someone via shadow essence who tries to control me, dominate me, and imprison me in alternate forms. Not to mention I suspect he’s done terrible things to those I care about.

Me: I wonder if the twins didn’t absorb some of your sentiments toward Dyvian when you breathed your essence into them.

Christopher: Once again, I’ve got reason for my antipathy. What happened to Damian, whatever happened to Peter, I sense Once Upon a Time had a hand in their fates. Danyel and Tayel are wise to be frightened of him.

Me: I’m trying not to spill any more of our stories’s secrets…I’ve already spilled too much at this Cauldron. I’m not saying any more.

Christopher: I wish you’d spill a little more.  It’s a relief to see Damian playing a major part in this NaNo project, but what about Peter? What has Dyvian done with him?

Me: (looking guilty) I can’t tell you. All I can say is as Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After, you and Dyvian have certain abilities, enabling you to perform certain functions.

Christopher: I hate it when you get all cryptic.

Me: Why, thank you (smoothing my lapels…only I don’t have any, so I smooth my sweater instead). I do my best.

Christopher: …


#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Each Saturday, 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+ stories, go to…

For mine, I’m picking up right where I left off last Saturday in My Tool, My Treasure (my NaNoWriMo project)…


Leiwell glanced around the room, saw Meggie’s wild chestnut curls escaping from a half-hearted attempt to pin it up.  Her thick lips were slack, eyelids drooping yet her bosom heaved.

For her, this was positively energetic.

Gryluxx stood next to his wife, one possessive hand covering hers, even while he ignored Meggie completly. He fixed his sharp, beady gaze upon Dyvian, his torso quivering through the black velvet of his tunic. The tailor lifted his chin and flared his nostrils, smoothing the silver talisman on his breast, showing off each of the flashing rings on his fingers.

Me Me Monday: Conversations with Christopher

Christopher: So how is My Tool, My Treasure going?

Me: …

Christopher: That bad, huh?

Me: No. It’s going. Each day I’ve made progress. I haven’t gotten stuck, well, not for long. It’s just not enough.

Christopher: You haven’t reached the halfway point?

Me: No. I’ve made it to over 21 K, but not 25,000 words. Other people have already hit 50,000 words.

Christopher: Aren’t you juggling other projects?

Me: Yes and I’ve got the rejection notes to show for it. They haven’t added to an overall sense of positivity.

Christopher: You’ve also gotten kudos from Archive of Our Own. Some readers appreciate your work.

Me: It just feels like too many people are unwilling to spend any money on it. (sighs) I thought I’d found the perfect place for some of my poems. I thought wrong. Those rejection are having a domino effect on my confidence. Everything I’ve submitted, everything I’m trying to work on, everything that’s happening in the world…I need a screaming tree. Only I hate to take my frustration out on a tree. Trees, plants…they’re among those that lift my spirits. Unless they’re giving me allergies, catching fire, burning my state down-

Christopher: Um, why don’t we concentrate on My Tool, My Treasure? What’s troubling you about your NaNoWriMo project?

Me: Each book…A Godling for Your Thoughts?; My Tool, My Treasure; Blades of Inspiration, and My Cusps Runneth Over is inspired by a suit in the Tarot deck.

Christopher: Except for Stealing Myself From Shadows and The Hand and the Eye of the Tower. You used imagery from the Greater Trumps to draw ideas for the setting, various scenes, encounters, and obstacles.

Me: I told you I’m somewhat confused about wands and swords, which is fire and which is air. I’m also confused about how the scenes even link to the progression of images in swords and/or wands.

Christopher: Only you’re basing the story very loosely on the images. When you first wrote Stealing Myself From Shadows, you tried to write about them in a literal sense. You couldn’t move the plot forward and I had trouble moving. Not to mention I was a dull character.

Me: Sorry about that. When I developed you more, your desires started to move the plot forward, shaping the images into forms which were obstacles and encounters tailored for you.

Christopher: You haven’t gotten away from what the characters want in My Tool, My Treasure.

Me: True. Only I worry I’m getting too far away from the Tarot imagery.

Christopher: Doesn’t the imagery alter itself to the characters’s perception?

Me: Definitely. Those pictures can mean a variety of things. This is why so many people can read Tarot cards, interpreting them in a way that’s personal to themselves.

Christopher: Maybe you’re interpreting them in a way that’s unique to your story, which was one of your goals in writing this series.

Me: Definitely.

Christopher: Is that a problem? I’d think it would give you more freedom to write what you wish.

Me: True. Even the general descriptions on those cards are contested. Some of my sources about Tarot contradict themselves on what they mean. One argues that the sword suit is negative, sinister, ominous in general. Others see it in a more neutral light.

Christopher: What do you think?

Me: I think the notion of a dangerous, overpowering ideology, which slices through what you are is quite in the spirit of this story. At the same time, I don’t want the transformation the characters are going through to be completely negative.

Christopher: Are all the symbols associated with the sword suit negative or threatening?

Me: Well, no. A lot of them are, though, according to several sources.

Christopher: This story is inspired by the cards, though, right? It’s not literally about the cards.

Me: Well, yes.

Christopher: If so, don’t trouble yourself about it. Don’t worry about the word count either. Just keep telling the story, see where it takes you…along with the rest of us.

Me: I suppose that’s sound advice…thank you.

Christopher: Thank you by not being too cruel to Damian, Danyel, or Tayel.

Me: (mutters) I might have known he had an agenda for giving me a pep talk…

#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, 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 here…

Right now, I’m having a really hard time concentrating on my NaNoWriMo project. Real life is terrifying right now. My state is burning and I’m worried sick about my loved ones who are already having trouble breathing because of the smoke. Plus I’ve gotten three rejections this month…I’m impressed by my colleagues who manage to keep going, maintaining a professional attitude, increasing their word counts…or even reaching their goals! I haven’t even hit the halfway point. (wry grin)

Christopher: (nudging me) You are making progress, though, even if it’s slow going.

Quartz: Don’t borrow trouble, scribbler. Just keep going and do what you can do.

Thank you…I’ll do my best.  Here’s a little more right where I left off last week…


Such realistic details. Yes, creatures born in the Shadow Forest could mimick real humans only too perfectly.

Silver trim lined billowing sleeves, open, exposing his sinewy arms. Perhaps Gryluxx had made these robes for Dyvian. Or had he given the task to Meggie?

Where were they, the haughty tailor and his sleepy wife?



Me Me Monday: Conversations with Christopher

Christopher: Conversations with Christopher? Is that what you’re calling this entry?

Me: Well, it’s kind of catchy. Besides it was either that or About NaNoWriMo.

Christopher: Yes…about NaNoWriMo. How is My Tool, My Treasure going?

Me: (scowls) Damian has completely taken over the story.

Christopher: Well, that’s not so bad, is it? You wanted to tell Damian’s story in the Gardens of Arachne in Mystere. You even came up with a name for arachnocratic lands.

Me: I did and I do want to tell Damian’s story. Only other characters are getting neglected. Danyel and Tayel haven’t even shown up yet!

Christopher: They were outside the Tower turned Temple of Seraphix at the end of A Godling of Your Thoughts? All of My Tool, My Treasure has been happening to Leiwell.

Me: Only he’s experiencing Damian’s memories. This is so weird. Mind you, it’s weirdness I’ve been wishing with all my heart to write for years, but sometimes I get confused.

Christopher: What are you having problems with?

Me: Well, the Followers of Seraphix should be becoming one with their deity and each other. Instead Damian is taking a little Me Me trip down memory lane of his own, dragging Leiwell along with him.

Christopher: If these are the only consequences Leiwell suffers for devouring Damian’s light, memories, or whatever he took, he should count himself lucky.

Me: You’ve done the same thing.

Christopher: I never said I was any better than Leiwell. It doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven him for what he did to Damian.

Me: Well, in all fairness you can give, too. You gave life to Danyel and Tayel by offering them part of your essence.

Christopher: And I’ve hungered for them ever since. Does this mean Damian hungers for Leiwell?

Me: I guess that’s something we’re all going to find out during NaNoWriMo…

To be continued…

#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, 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 has to be LGBTQIA+.

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

For my own, I’m going to share a little more of my NaNoWriMo project, a rough draft of the fourth novel of Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest. (I’m hoping when I release the first book, Stealing Myself From Shadows, to be able to follow with the other books without making readers wait for too long.) Here’s a little more of My Tool, My Treasure…


Powerful. Commanding. Ready to catch him, no everyone when they fell.

Such a burden, to have to catch them all.

Leiwell peeked under his eyelashes at his master.

Dyvian raised his arms, white robes falling back to expose pale skin, lined with delicate lavender veins.

Me Me Monday: My Tool, My Treasure

Christopher: So now we come to the fourth book in Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest, our ambient fantasy series. My Tool, My Treasure.

Me: Yes, it’s my NaNoWriMo project. I’m working on it now. What a mess.

Christopher: How so?

Me: Well, I feel like a strong book has a solid plot that hooks readers in with the very first sentence, never straying far from that central story. I’ve stayed true to the title and theme of My Tool, My Treasure. I’m worried that the plot is so surreal, it’s garbled.

Christopher: You’re writing about my kind, the halflings, part real, part dream. A great deal of the story involves the Shadow Forest. Isn’t all of this by its very nature surreal? Not to mention the worlds we walk in and our very existence?

Me: Yes, but there’s a difference between surreal and meandering from the path, err, plot. I’m going back from Leiwell’s thoughts to Damian’s memories, trying to emphasize how confused those two thing get, while trying to draw in the other Followers of Seraphix.

Christopher: Damian?! He’s shown up?

Me: Err, please don’t take this the wrong way, but he’s never very far from Leiwell.

Christopher: (gives me a sharp look) What do you mean?

Me: I can’t say, I really can’t say. You’ll find out in time. Some of what’s happening I’m discovering myself as I write. I’m learning about you, too.

Christopher: Me?

Me: Oh, yes. Damian was close to you long before he drew you out of the darkness in Waiting for Rebirth. In fact, I’m thinking of writing that moment from his perspective.

Christopher: In this book?

Me: Perhaps.

Christopher: Tease.

Me: Some of the people I admire most are…or were teases. I’m honored to share this quality with them.

Christopher: (lifting an eyebrow) Of course you are. All right, oh, teasing scribbler. Do you have a blurb you’d like to share for My Tool, My Treasure?

Me: Coming right up…

The Followers of Seraphix are about to become one with their god. On the verge of their triumph, Leiwell is having doubts. Recalling memories which aren’t really his, a life that’s not truly his own. Nor is he the only one.

For neither he nor the Followers are what they seem. Each and every one of them is being shaped into a tool, a treasure, or both.

This has happened before. Leiwell’s younger brothers, Danyel and Tayel were given life due to such a process, along with the one whom created them. To toy with the energies which hold them together could unravel everything they’ve built as a family. For tools are meant to be used. And treasures are too often locked up and hoarded.

Christopher: This is different than what you wrote at the NaNoWriMo website.

Me: Once again, it’s a blurb in progress.

#Rainbow Snippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, 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+ stories, go here…

We’re returning to the Shadow Forest for mine. Or perhaps I should say Omphalos? The town which in one reality houses the Navel.

Not in this one, though. Omphalos is a village in My Tool, My Treasure. A village which is currently attempting to become one with Seraphix, their would be God.


“We’ve gathered together to offer ourselves to Seraphix.”

Light slipped in beams through the holes in the Temple, stray clumps of moss coyly averting their eyes from the might of the sun. Yellow and white circles picked out the various Followers, kissing their upturned faces.

Or slapping them.

Don’t think like that. Leiwell closed his eyes, let Dyvian’s voice caress his ears.