Me Me Monday: Never Ask a Character’s Age

Quartz: Well, look at that. It’s almost the new year. I’ll be.

Christopher: You’ll be four years old. Four years from the day the scribbler created you. You’re pretty young, Quartz.

Quartz: Bah, that’s amusing, coming from a beardless boy like you. Just how old are you, eh?

Christopher: Officially, I was first created for Stealing Myself From Shadows in 2003 or was it 2002? Ah, my memory goes with age. Damian and I have been floating around our scribbler’s imagination for much longer than that. Since the 1980s.

Damian: (appearing to sling an arm around Christopher’s shoulders) This makes Christopher and I about 17 years old…unless we’re between 37-40. (winks at Quartz) Either way we’re older than you, lad. Much older.

Quartz: Don’t be cheeky. There’s no way a pair of beardless boys can be younger than me. (glowers)

Danyel: (appearing) Actually, there is. We’re all characters from speculative fiction, remember?

Tayel: (stepping out beside him) Ambient fantasy, a specific flavor, yet still part of speculative fiction.

Danyel: Which means we might be older than Christopher and Damian if they’re using the 2002 or 2003 date.

Damian and Christopher: (at the same time) No, we’re not.

Tayel: (crossing his arms) Definitely not.

Rhane: (who has been rolling dice in a corner, not that anyone notices) I was created in 2000 or earlier if you count my time as a character in the Keep. This makes me at least 19 years old…huh, that age seems to fit my concept.

Rhodry: (calling from the hole in the floor) Not for me. I was created in 1991, which makes me…31 years old?!

Kyra: (in the hole, in the darkness, in her miniature dragon form, sitting on Rhodry’s shoulder) Cheer up, you’re not as old as I am. Our scribbler created me when she was a child back in 1984, so I would be 35.

Grace: (appearing in her red jacket and green skirt, holding Theodora in her arms) And I was the first creator our scribbler ever created. (looks very proud of herself) I’m older than Kyra…I’m 36.

Quartz: Blimey, I’m…the youngest?!

Briar: (appearing to wrap her arms him) Not the youngest. Your brothers are the same age.

Quartz: (looking grumpy) Only you yourself are a little older since the scribbler thought of you first, eh?

Briar: (withdrawing) Well…err…

Nimmie Not: (materializing to wrap his arms around Quartz) Cheer up, old man! (cuddling up to him and stroking his beard) I’m younger than you, remember!

Quartz: Gah!

The rest of my characters and myself: Happy New Year, everyone!

#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, those participating post 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 of LGBTQIA+ stories, go here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

Right now, I’m racing to finish my Goodreads goal of finishing 100 of the huge pile of books I’m in the middle of. Like NaNoWriMo, I doubt I’ll achieve this particular task, but I’m giving it a good try. 🙂

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, once more, this week’s snippet is from this year’s project. I’m picking up right where I left off last Saturday in My Tool, My Treasure…

 

*Take a look, Leiwell, if you dare.* The challenge, all sensual provocation and courteous mockery swam through his head, bringing visions. *Take a look at the fate which might have been mine for my faith in one I trusted completely.*

Leiwell struggled, not wanting to relive Damian Ashelocke’s memories, not wanting to be him. He sank, slipping into the other man, right in the middle of the ceremony meant to make the Followers one with their god.

Leiwell wasn’t if he hated his victim all the more for this or if he wished to thank him.

Me Me Monday: Mom, the Nisse, and Me

Today we have a very unusual Me Me Monday blog…

1st Nisse: Yes, we do. (He looks a little man with a red cap pulled down over his eyes with a big nose and a long gray beard.)

2nd Nisse: We’re here, just in time for Christmas. Remember us? (He looks similar to the first, only he has a pair of beady eyes and a shorter beard.) Oh, wait, we’re secondary characters in a work in progress called Wind Me Up, One More Time.

3rd Nisse: That Quartz tried to interview us for Secondary Characters Speak Out. Without even offering us any rice pudding. The cheek! (He’s similar to the 2nd, only his beard is more tousled and his eyes are even more beady.)

2nd Nisse: We’ve changed a lot since then.

Many of you may be wondering, just what is a nisse?

I’ve got an unusual guest this Christmas Eve to answer that question…a real person. In fact, it’s my mother. 🙂 Mom, what exactly is a nisse?

Mom: A small little creature who lives in your house, often in the attic. Unless they live outside. They resemble small human beings.

2nd Nisse: (mutters) We don’t live in the attic, do we? (His dark eyes are bright with curiousity under his red hat.)

3rd Nisse: (raising his nose, which isn’t as red as the Ist) I certainly don’t. (nudges at 1st Nisse) He might.

!st Nisse: …

Mom: There are house nisse and outdoor nisse. They are very much a part of Scandinavian folklore. The Jul nisse shows up at Christmas bearing gifts. He’s pulling a sled with gifts on it. Does this sound familar?

2nd Nisse: Santa Claus is a nisse? Why doesn’t everyone know this?

3rd Nisse: He might have started out a nisse, but the legend of Santa Claus changed over time.

1st Nisse: All things change over time. Even us. This is why it’s import to remember our legends.

Me: ‘Nisse’ is a Scandanavian term, right?

Mom: Yes. The word ‘nisse’ is used in Norway, Denmark, and Southern Sweden.

Me: Are they in other parts of the world known by different names?

Mom: They’re all over Scandanavia. In Northern Sweden, they called tomte. In Finland, they’re tonttu.

Me: Are they in other countries as well?

Mom: There is something like them in the Netherlands and Estonia, although I don’t know much about them.

2nd Nisse: (whispering to the 1st) Does any of this sound familar?

3rd Nisse: (whispering back) No, but we’re from the town of Verity. We’re not entirely sure where it is, but it’s populated by people, especially women who came from all sorts of places. Including the women at the factory who made us.

2nd Nisse: We’re native to Verity if we were made there…does that mean we’re not really nisse? Do we have to be from Norway in order to be nisse.

1st Nisse: We’re nisse. As long as we keep what we were are alive in our hearts, we’ll always be nisse.

Me: About your own history with the nisse…when did you first start collecting them?

Mom: I saw my first nisse in 1974 at Karen Margretta’s, a Danish shop in Corona del Mar. Margretta, the shopkeeper, told me a little about house nisse and outdoor nisse. If you take good care of your nisse, it will take care of you.

2nd Nisse: That certainly sounds like us!

3rd Nisse: Yes, we plan to take good care of Heather since she gave us bright red caps.

2nd Nisse: I thought it was Heidi?

3rd Nisse: No, it’s Heather. We thought it was Heidi at the time Quartz interviewed us. Heidi is Carrot Monster’s human. You know, the stuffed rabbit?

2nd Nisse: I swear, all humans look the same to me!

Ist Nisse: …

Me: So you saw that nisse…

Mom…and I decided he had to be mine.

Me: You’ve been collecting them ever since, right?

Mom: In 1976, I bought quite a few nisse ornaments in Denmark. After the trip, I started making them myself. All kinds; nisse made pine cones, beads, balsa wood, calico, and pipe cleaners.

Me: You’ve been collecting them for quite a few years. I grew up with them on the Christmas tree.

Mom: I did go through a period where I stopped and collected glass ornaments instead. I found that the nisse made me more cheerful, so I returned to nisse collecting.

Me: You and a lot of other people. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of nisse with massive beards, big noses and no eyes.

1st Nisse: (smooths his beard and looks smug)

Me: Yet not all nisse are like that.

1st: (looses a bit of his smugness)

Me: For instance, you made my favorite nisse when I was a little girl. She looked quite young and had blonde braids.

Mom: Nisse can be many things. There are young nisse who look almost like elves with red hats. I’ve seen a few with gray hats, but I prefer red hats.

2nd Nisse: (shudders) I hated those gray hats.

3rd Nisse: I’m so glad Heather made us some red ones. I’m ever so much more cheerful while I’m wearing mine.

1st Nisse: (nods vigorously)

Mom: Nisse can be young or old, male or female.

1st Nisse: Or something in between.

2nd and 3rd Nisse: (bob their heads emphatically)

Mom: They can be thin or round. Their shapes vary.

Me: What are some special memories you have associated with your own nisse?

2nd Nisse: We are her nisse. Aren’t we?

3rd Nisse: No, we’re Heather’s nisse. Only we told Quartz the scribbler’s mother brought us out every Christmas.

1st: We were messing with him.

2nd Nisse: We were?

3rd Nisse: So who do we belong to? Heather or the scribbler’s mother?

1st Nisse: We’re fictional characters. What do you think?

2nd Nisse: Well, we might be based on nisse which belong to the scribbler’s mother.

3rd Nisse: We might even share some of the same memories as they do.

2nd Nisse: Why would we do that?

Ist Nisse: Hush. The scribbler’s mother is trying to talk.

Mom: I think one of the most surprising moments was during a Christmas faire in Ventura, California. A Norwegian lady was selling nisse. I bought one and realized I could make more elaborate, intricate nisse myself, so I started to. I made the ones out of pipecleaner, the ones you loved as a child?

Me: I remember.

Mom: I found a tiny basket and thought a nisse should be in it. I used to make them with long, blonde hair. Many of them resembled you as a child.

Me: I remember those, too.

2nd Nisse: Have we met any nisse like that?

3rd: Not that I remember.

1st: Hush.

Me: Anything else you’d like to add?

Mom: Be sure to put something out for the nisse on Christmas Eve, both outdoors and indoors. They’re particularly fond of rice pudding. If you don’t have any rice pudding, you can put out a little milk or fruitcake. Or cookies. 🙂 This may be where the legend of leaving something for Santa came from.

2nd Nisse: Mmm, rice pudding.

3rd Nisse: You think we’ll get some?

1st Nisse: The scribbler’s mother said she’d leave some rice pudding out. Just be patient. Soon, very soon, it will be ours.

2nd and 3rd Nisse: 🙂 🙂

Thank you, Mom, for agreeing to be interviewed and talking to me about nisse! Next time I’ll actually send you questions. Alas, I had to paraphrase or put your words into a form which worked for this interview, sacrificing accuracy to do so. For which I feel bad. 😦 I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to share your stories about the nisse with everyone!

And everyone who celebrates it…Merry Christmas! And Happy Holidays to all who are enjoying something else! Those who’ve already celebrated theirs…I hope it was spectacular. (hugs)

#Rainbow Snippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

This is a little longer than six sentences, forgive me…

They’d thrust these wishes in prayer form upon the god themself, shaping them like helpless clay. There was something disparaging in everyone’s regard for Seraphix, the Followers’s worship of their newborn deity. Seraphix was nothing more than a tool, a treasured tool to be used.

*Would you rather be a tool?* The smirking arachnocrat within his heart and mind whispered within his doubts. *Or a treasure? Either way you’re an object, something to be used.*

*Shut up, Damian.* The essence mingled up with Leiwell’s own always had to spoil everything.  Unlike Leiwell, Damian Ashelocke had a cynical lack of faith in anything, especially people. Worse of all, he was usually correct in his dark assessments.

 

 

Conversation with Danyel and Tayel

Christopher: Scribbler? (looks around the misty white space which is currently the Cauldron)

Tayel: (silver triangles appearing before the rest of his violet blue eyes, followed by his face and the rest of him) She’s empty, off in the real world. Nothing but an echo which is us.

Christoper: (looking him up and down) You do have a way with words. Not to mention appearing out of nowhere.

Tayel: The shadow is calling the mist opaque. Most amusing.

Christopher: More riddles, you do like them, don’t you?

Tayel: Ask me no questions. I’ll try not to make the truth too painful.

Christopher: Is there such a thing as a not too painful truth?

Tayel: That was a question.

Christopher: It’s going to be a very short conversation if I cannot ask questions.

(A small, pale hand reaches out to touch the center of Christopher’s back. Christopher starts and spins to see Danyel, a slight boy with tousled golden hair and violet blue eyes very like Tayel standing there.)

Danyel: Not to mention Tayel hates answering them. I think this is his way of telling us he doesn’t want to talk. Hello, Christopher. (blushes) Sorry if I scared you.

Christopher: Hello, Danyel. I don’t think your twin likes me very much.

Danyel: He doesn’t like anybody. Don’t take it personally.

Tayel: Take it personally, Christopher, Happily Ever After, or whatever name you choose to hide behind.

Christopher: Why? What did I ever do to you?

Tayel: Stole what’s most precious to me. In the past, in the present, or in the future.

Christopher: I’ve given you far more than I’ve ever taken, as I recollect.

Tayel: You’re always losing your recollections. Don’t trust them or spoil plots to come.

Danyel: I think we’ve spoiled quite a few plots, already, don’t you think? Christopher didn’t say anything too revealing.

Tayel: Revelations come in many forms. As always you side with the revealer, Danyel.

Christopher: I’m still baffled by why you dislike me, Tayel.

Tayel: Dislike isn’t as close to the truth as distrust. No matter how fair or friendly a face you put on, I distrust it. I certainly don’t want Danyel getting too close to you.

Christopher: (wincing) I can’t say I blame you. I don’t entirely trust me either. (frowns a bit) You were once part of me, though. What does that makes you?

Tayel: (scowls) There you go, asking questions again. Shadows hunger for what they once possessed. This doesn’t mean the possessed are about to let themselves be taken. (his eyes glitter with a knife blade fierceness)

Danyel: (moving to touch his twin) Tayel, there’s no need for that. Christopher hasn’t threatened us.

Tayel: Yet. (He presses his own fingers on top of Danyel’s. Both twins disappear.)

Christopher: (watching them go) I guess that’s end of that conversation. And still no sign of the scribbler. It does get rather lonely without her. Or the twins. (sighs) I wish Damian, Peter, or ‘Brie would show up. Or Quartz with some eggnog.

Duessa: (eight disembodied eyes opening in the whiteness) Are you yearning for companionship, tidbit? I could come and keep you company.

Christopher: (turning pale) Err, I think that’s enough for this blog post!

#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 just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

I’ll be picking up where I left off last week in My Tool, My Treasure…

 

This was why they were all here. Only the Followers weren’t here for Dyvian’s sake. Not all of them. Leiwell doubted they cared about worshipping Seraphix, other than in a pragmatic fashion. Each villager of Omphalos who’d accepted Seraphix’s talisman wished to use their newly created god to gain their hearts’s desire. To be transformed into their own ideals, using the power they’d fused into their coins, which they’d channeled into their wishes.

Me Me Monday: Conversations with Christopher…and Quartz

Christopher: Where is everybody? Scribbler? Quartz?

(There’s a contented belch which comes out of nowhere. No, wait, a crystal coffin materializes within the space of the Cauldron.)

Christopher: I’m from the Shadow Forest. I should be used to the landscape shifting and changing, yet there’s something disturbing about that. (He takes a cautious step in the direction of the coffin.) Um, Quartz?

The lid slides open. A dwarf with a nose currently red enough to rival Rudolf’s pokes his head out, blinking bleary eyes.

Quartz: ‘ullo, Christopher, my lad. You’re looking pretty as a picture, almost like my poor Fairest. (He hiccups.)

Christopher: (gives him a wary look) Are you drunk?

Quartz: Fun thing about being in the scribbler’s imagination. Hic! What she thinks about, I can taste…and consume. Her imagination introduced me to eggnog. Hic! Do you know what happens when you mix eggnog with mead?

Christopher: Err, no.

Quartz: Neither do I. (takes a deep breath, gets his hiccuping under control, scowls) Because the scribbler won’t try it.

Me: (I’m currently a disembodied voice) Eggnog and mead? That could be interesting…or really nasty.

Quartz: Like mixing eggnog with Bailey’s is any better. That’s rich…literally.

Me: I haven’t had a Bailey’s with eggnog! Not this year!

Quartz: No, you just devoured the better part of a paneforte. Not to mention-

Me: Fine, fine, it’s the holidays! I’ve been eating a lot. Too much.

Christopher: It seems like we’ve hardly seen you lately. Where have you been?

Quartz: We miss you, scribbler.

Me: Really?

Quartz: Of course. Our stories aren’t going to write themselves.

Me: I might have known there would be an ulterior motive.

Christopher: Which brings me back to my question. Where have you been?

Me: It’s not like I’ve been idle! I’ve been working on all kinds of stuff.

Christopher: What kinds of stuff?

Me: Blog posts like this one. Wrapping presents. Writing reviews-

Quartz: Ah ha, I knew it! You’re reading!

Me: Well, I have all these books I’m in middle of or close to finishing, so I thought I’d use that challenge from Goodreads to try to finish some of them.

Christopher: What challenge on Goodreads?

Me: To finish 100 books before the end of the year. I easily have a hundred books on my Kindle I haven’t completed, along with all the physical books on my shelves. Plus there are all the books I want to read again that I haven’t listed on Goodreads or written a review for.

Quartz: In other words, we have to fish you out from under a pile of books. (He pulls himself out of the coffin and stumbles away from it.)

(The coffin transforms into a pile of books. You can see my eyes, peeking over the shadow of a few covers.)

Quartz: Heh, I thought so. Scribbler, you’ve got a positive talent for going to extremes.

Me: I swear, I’m trying to lead a more balanced life. Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution, to try to lead a more balanced life between reading, writing, eating, drinking, everything else in my existence.

Quartz: (rolling his eyes) Right. You. Balanced.

Christopher: Enjoying a good book is all well and good, but don’t forget to write. Remember you yourself get cranky when you’re not writing enough.

Me: Very true. In fact, there’s something I need to go write. A letter. If I can just get out of this pile of books…

Christopher and Quartz: …