Me Me Monday: About Agathea

Phaedra: Thank you for letting me use your symbol again, Quartz. I can’t tell you how excited our scribe and I are about Natasha Snow’s concept art she showed up…but it’s a bit early to reveal anything.

Quartz: Don’t worry about it. So picking up where we left off last Monday, let’s start with Agathea. She’s your host at this symposium, right?

Phaedra: Right. She’s one of the most powerful citizens in the Intergalactic Democracy. She owns most worlds’ rights to the image of Aphrodite.

Quartz: Aphrodite? The ancient goddess of love?
Phaedra: Currently being marketed and too often copyrighted over known space.

Quartz: Copyrighting a goddess…just what is your universe coming to?

Phaedra: Don’t worry. The Intergalactic Democracy isn’t a place most men care to visit. Those who are still left.

Quartz: I’m not exactly a man, at least not a human one, say, what’s this about those who are still left?

Phaedra: Most of the human men are dead or we haven’t heard from them in centuries. Much of what we know about them are legends. (looks a bit uncomfortable) Not very nice ones, I’m afraid.

Quartz: Eh, I don’t always care for human men myself. All height and no beard, ahem, let’s get back to this Agathea. To copyright a goddess’s image must be no mean feat. (mutters) I half expect said goddess will show up and strike this woman blind or something.

Phaedra: Actually I’m not sure if Agathea considers herself a woman. That’s an old-fashioned word. She may prefer the term life giver.

Quartz: Life giver? Ah, I see, because women give birth.

Phaedra: Well, actually a lot of life givers don’t. They just give their ova to a fetus creche. Scientists have created a substance called sohm, a substitute for the cloned sperm samples preserved from Ancient Earth. It used to be quite costly to reproduce, since there was so little, but since the invention of sohm, your daughters can be grown in a creche.

Quartz: Just daughters, eh? No sons?

Phaedra: Sons? (blinks) You mean male children? Oh, I never thought of that! I suppose you could have a son if you wanted one.

Quartz: Only most of your what was it? Intergalactic Democracy? I’m getting the impression they’re not interested in having sons.

Phaedra: I…I never thought about that. It’s just, well, most history about Ancient Earth is about men, all the terrible things they did to live givers when they were women. One of the reasons the first pioneers who settled planets in the Intergalactic Democracy was to get away from that planet where men ruled. We’re taught that the universe became a better place…once females outnumbered the males, goddess worship returned, and life givers had their own space apart from men. (looks embarassed) Once we were free from our roles as women.

Quartz: Huh.

Phaedra: I don’t know how much of this is true. I’m sorry. Pausania talks a lot about this, how terrible ancient times were when men ruled…but it’s not like she was there. She can’t know what it was like on Ancient Earth. I’ve, um, started questioning a lot of the old legends. This is what a lot of citizens believe.
Quartz: Eh, it’s all right. Male dominated worlds, female dominated universes, human foolishness, dwarven prejudice, goblin mischief…all of these seem to be based on putting someone down to make someone else superior. Got to wonder how accurate any of it is. (looks thoughtful)

Phaedra: Sokrat says it’s good to question everything. Not to make judgments until you’ve seen someone with your own eyes.

Quartz: Hah, well, Sokrat strikes me as being a sharp one. (nose turns red) We were talking about Agathea, though.

Phaedra: Yes. Anyway she owns entire planets and controls the advertising on countless others.

Quartz: Controls? All right, I’m from a fantasy world and a limited environment, only catching glimpses over the fourth wall at other characters’s realities, but this universe or part of the universe you live in, it’s a democracy, right? Isn’t one person controlling the advertising against the rules?

Phaedra: She’s not stopping anyone else from advertising, as long as they don’t use Aphrodite. I mean, it may be possible, but it’s legally questionable. Anyway, she’s not preventing other businesses from promoting their products on the airwaves or in the sky. She just has more money than most people, so hers are bigger, fancier, and command more attention. Agathea dominates three dimensional banners on top of a lot of major buildings. It’s impossible to ignore her face, her products, her image of Aphrodite, or her philosophy. They’re everywhere.

Quartz: Her philosophy?

Phaedra: Oh, yes. She’s figured out a way to market it, make it part of the Aphrodite image.

Quartz: What philosophy is this?

Phaedra: Wisdom without passion and style is meaningless.

Quartz: Meh, I have a feeling someone I detest would have loved that philosophy! (scowls, before his brow smooths out) At the same time, I can see the appeal. (strokes his beard)

Phaedra: Yes, but who decides what is stylish? What right do citizens have to look down on others for choosing a style different than their own?

Quartz: Huh, you have a point.

Phaedra: Sometimes I feel like Agathea is just looking down at us from her floating billboards, looming over the sky. She frightens me, even if she is awe inspiring. At the same time, she can open portals to unimaginable opportunity. This is why I really want to meet her.

Quartz: And she wants to meet you. Otherwise she wouldn’t invite you to this symposium of hers.

Phaedra: It really is an old fashioned word. It intrigues me. She intrigues me. Plus I’m curious. Why did she invite me? I’m really hoping I’ll find out.

Quartz: I’m sure you will. Let’s stop there and we’ll pick up next week, talk a little about, um, Sokrat.

Phaedra: You’re blushing. (grins)

Quartz: (mutters) No, I’m not.


#RainbowSnippets: Seven Tricks

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+ stories, go to…

I’m getting mine ready ahead of time, since I’m about to plunge into edits for an extended version of A Symposium in Space. 🙂 I figured I’d let Mousetrick continue where he left off last week in Seven Tricks…

Never had I seen such an enormous, toothy jaw. The scent of roasted nuts wafted from his mouth, making my nostrils flare with hunger.

I crept up to this still, defiant beauty.

He didn’t move, or acknowledge me, even when I was a paw away from his face. The strange prince just stood there and grinned.

This infuriated me.


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Me Me Monday: Phaedra

Phaedra: Um, hello. It’s interesting being at these blogs. Very old fashioned. No floating interface. I like it. Oh, I’m Phaedra. I haven’t spent a lot of time at this Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration, such a delightfully old fashioned name. I’m usually at the Forbidden Cauldron. Only I understand it’s no longer forbidden. That’s good news, I think? Um, anyway, I’m the main character in the scribbler’s upcoming release…the scribbler? Shouldn’t we call her the scribe?

Quartz: If you like. Never mind that now. Don’t be scared of this here Cauldron. You’ll get used to it. The print is a little bigger, so readers have an easier time seeing what you have to say.

Phaedra: Really? Good to know. Anyway, I’m the main character in A Symposium in Space, whcih was released in short story from in 2016…by the goddesses, that was a long time ago!

Quartz: Ahem. Phaedra?

Phaedra: Yes, I’m getting to the point. A Symposium in Space will be coming out in novella form from Nine Star Press. The scribe sent out the cover request for Natasha Snow, so she’s really excited. I understand her divine hand has done some exquisite skies and starscapes for other stories, so I’m quite eager how she’s going to do ours.

Quartz: Before it comes out, you can use my quartz symbol. Just until Natasha Snow fixes you up with something pretty…yes, she’s quite good. Yes, I can see why you’d say she has a divine hand.

Phaedra: Well, of course! Natasha Snow is an artist, touched by the song of the muses themselves.

Quartz: Or she’s talented and works hard to focus that talent.

Phaedra: Isn’t that part of being touched by the divine breath of the muses?

Quartz: Eh, I wouldn’t know. At least I don’t think I would. (mutters) One could consider what I do with stones art, but divine? I’m not sure about getting gods involved with my existence. Dragons, witches, vampires and kobolds are quite enough. Not to mention nisse.

Phaedra: Excuse me?

Quartz: Shadows trying to be gods give Christopher and the twins a hard enough time, although I suppose it works both ways.

Phaedra: What was that?

Quartz: Er, never mind, my dear. Just use my symbol for as long as you need to.

Phaedra: Thank you, Quartz.

Quartz: Eh, don’t worry about it. I’ve already shared it with Christopher. We characters with Nine Star Press should stick together. And if you could give, ahem, my best wishes to Sokrat, I’d appreciate it.

Phaedra: I haven’t seen her in a while. Alkibiadea may have kidnapped her. Again. I’m sure Sokrat will escape, though. One she does, I’ll pass on your best wishes.

Quartz: Blimey, that’s quite the relationship Sokrat has with that space pirate.

Phaedra: Yes, I learn about it myself in A Symposium in Space.

Quartz: Only A Symposium in Space is your story, isn’t it?

Phaedra: Yes and no. It’s my story, told from my perspective. Only it’s also Pausania’s story and Sokrat’s. Even Agathea’s.

Quartz: Pausania is your lover, right?

Phaedra: Right. I’m her beloved.

Quartz: Eh?

Phaedra: Pausania is older than me, supporting me, guiding me. This makes her the lover while I’m the beloved.

Quartz: The lover is always older, supports and guids the younger person in a relationship in where you’re from?

Phaedra: I know. I’m getting a little tired of it myself.

Quartz: Is that what this story is about?

Phaedra: Partially. At the center of everything is a symposium, a dinner party. Pausania, Sokrat, and myself have all been invited. I’m not sure why, although Pausania is uneasy about it.

Quartz: You’ll find out, eh?

Phaedra: It’s not as sinister as that, I hope. Plus I really want to go.

Quartz: Hmm, maybe you ought to stop there before you give something away

Phaedra: You think I should?

Quartz: Wait until next Monday. When it comes, you can tell readers more about the other characters you’ve mentioned. This Agathea. And of course Sokrat. (nose turns red) How does that sound?

Phaedra: This sounds like a good idea.

To be continued…

#RainbowSnippets: Seven Tricks

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 LGBTQIA+ fiction, go to…

For mine, Mousetrick is going to pick up where he left off in Seven Tricks (my mousecentric version of The Nutcracker) last Saturday…

Wooden was he, keeping his arms and legs stiff and motionless in his bright red coat and green trousers. Wispy white hair stuck out of the crown on his head and square chin.

Ah, he had to be a prince of some sort. Perhaps a prince of the wooden dolls? Some of the humans kept such poppets as toys or slaves. Not much of a royal title.

The beauty bared his teeth at me in a seductive show of defiance.


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Me Me Monday: Effort and Results

Quartz: Well, here were are. I’m pleased to say we now exist in the imagination of a more positive scribbler.

Christopher: We’ll have to remember how important Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, and exercise are to her.

Quartz: Not to mention eating right and making sure she gets her daily intake of creativity.

Christopher: And making sure she writes. Not just Morning Pages and blogs, but other things.

Quartz: Got to keep her moving forward. Otherwise, she gets into a slump, taking us with her.

Christopher: What did you inspire her to do?

Quartz: Heh, have a gander at this…

“Everyone loved it down underground. Everyone except me.” Nimmie Not shivered.

For the first time, he looked fragile. A tiny poppet of a sprite, thrown among giang walls of crystal. “How can you like all this silent stone?”

“Stone isn’t silent.” I fumbled to put into words something I sensed every time I laid my hand against the cool smoothness of my namesake. “It speaks. It sings. Warm, living beings are so loud, even when we breathe, making it hard to hear them. You have to let yourself be still and listen in order to heart quartz’s voice.”

Christopher: Thoughtful words.

Quartz: Lad, I am thoughtful when it comes to my namestone. What have you got, huh?

Christopher: This…

He opened his eyes, felt his body leaned against the floor, the warmth of the youth holding him.

If only it had been Christopher, but it wasn’t. Leiwell cradled him in his arms while Christopher leaned over him.

“Welcome back.” Violet blue eyes glistened with silver tears, no, this wasn’t Christopher either. Tayel gazed at his face, an enigmatic smile tugging at his tiny, rosebud mouth. “This is your rebirth, Damian.”

An exact likeness of Tayel, ah, this had to be Danyel, didn’t it? stretched out a small, pale hand to him, so like Christopher’s.

Only it wasn’t. Christopher wasn’t here. He was lost somewhere in the Shadow Forest.

“No, he’s not.” Leiwell murmured into his ear. “He’s here around us in these walls.”

“It’s hard, isn’t it?” Danyel’s lower lip trembled. “To be reborn, only to have the one who gave this  new life to you disappear.”

“He hasn’t.” Tayel shook his head. “You just have to look closer to find him.”

Quartz: Heh, I sense a similar theme in our stories.

Christopher: Well, we were both trying to inspire our scribbler at the same time.

Quartz: Being engimatic, aren’t you? Letting Leiwell and his little brothers speak for you.

Christopher (a tiny smile similar to Tayel’s playing on his lips) Perhaps.

Quartz: Just how angry are you at Damian for disappearing?

Christoper: (lays a finger against his mouth and shakes his head)

Quartz: (mutters) Tease.

Christopher: Always.

Thank you, Quartz and Christopher, for helping me to fight my funk. It’s true, a little more exercise, losing a little weight, and forcing myself to get going helped a lot. And yes, a very special thanks to Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron! That exercise I did, modeled on suggestions you made, really helped lift my spirits. Once they were lifted, it was easier to get started on other things. I really appreciate the advice!

#RainbowSnippets: Seven Tricks

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 samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

I just took some of Julia Cameron’s advice in the Artist’s Way to banish my funk. Yes, I’ve been in a funk. My characters are worried…see the last entry, Sad Scribbler. She suggested cutting out clippings from magazines of media stars and posting my own face (well, the reader’s face) among them.

I decided to find a picture of myself, Pin it in my Authors’s board and add Storm Constantine, Elizabeth Bear, Nicola Griffith, Sarah Monette, Sappho, Plato, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Christina Rosetti, Lord Byron, Christopher Marlowe, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jane Austen, Phyllis Wheatley, and Algernon Blackwood’s pictures afterwards. (I already had many of you Pinned, my Snippeteers. ;))

Nothing like surrounding myself with the very best of company to lift my spirits. 😉

Speaking of which, a lot of you enjoyed Seven Tricks last week, so I figured, why not go a little further? Mousetrick will pick up right where he left off last Saturday…this is just a little longer than six sentences, forgive me! (bows)


I flicked my whiskers in humble acknowledgement of the Mouse Queen’s words.

In truth, winning the throne was what she desired, not I. What I wished for was a bit more romantic and complicated.

I’d had a dream involving our coming Christmas, but it wasn’t of me ascending the throne, oh no. I’d dreamed of an endless supply of tissue, scattered about the giant shrubbery humans insisted on covering with baubles.

Not that the shredded paper was what I desired, although there was enough for all my subjects, saving the king-size portion for myself.

No, what I wanted was the exquisite creature standing half in and half out of a giant box left open on the floor.


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Me Me Monday: Sad Scribbler

Quartz: I’m worried about the scribbler. She’s in a funk.

Christopher: (nods) First there was the rotten rice in the pudding, followed by not finishing 100 of her books before 2018. This, plus her recent failures, all add up in her imagination as bad omens.

Quartz: She’s curling up inside herself, unable to make any resolutions.

Christopher: Plus she’s depressed about gaining all the weight. Only two pairs of pants fit her right now.

Quartz: Knock me sideways, this cannot continue! She’s starting a downward spiral.

Christopher: What we need is to do something to lift her spirits.

Quartz: Right. She needs a success. Just one small accomplishment.

Christopher: Well, how about we see if we can inspire her?

Quartz: Eh?

Christopher: Come now, this is the sort of thing you’re good at. Whisper into her ear suggestions for your story. I’ll do the same.

Quartz: Hmm, it’s worth a try, isn’t it? We’ll meet back here in a week. See if we’ve had any success.

Christopher: All right!

To be continued…thank you, Quartz and Christopher, for trying to pull me out of my New Year’s funk. We’ll see how well we all did next Monday.

#RainbowSnippets: Seven Tricks

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…

It’s Ephiphany, the Twelfth Day of Christmas, so I thought I’d share a sample from a little Christmas story I’ve written. It’s called Seven Tricks and it’s available at…

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This is a little longer than six sentences, forgive me! (bows)


Some say a mouse king has seven heads with seven crowns. In a way, this is true. A mouse prince must play seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are over. If he doesn’t, he cannot claim his throne.

“You must prove your worth before I acknowledge you as my heir,” Madam Mousenip said to me in the shadow of the enormous ticking tower. “Only by succeeding at seven tricks will you possess what you desire.”

She herself had become our sovereign through seven capers of her own, earning the name Mousenip for delivering tiny bites, which left cheese looking unscathed and humans whimpering. She’d nipped a human princess once. The bite turned the girl’s face into something so beautiful her people fainted at the sight of her. That was Madam Mousenip. Kind even to hideous giants.