Me Me Monday: Phaedra and Sokrat

Phaedra: The cover Natasha Snow designed for our story is so beautiful. It’s as if she captured what’s in my heart when I fly the Timea, what came to me when I thought of love.

Sokrat: It’s quite a cover, isn’t it? Reminds me of what I’m searching for, what I’m always searching for.

Phaedra: What are you searching for, Sokrat? I tried to explain it to Quartz, but I don’t think I succeeded. He says hi, by the way.

Sokrat: Tell him hi back. (She winks in a roguish way.) Don’t worry about trying to explain it. How could you when I’m still figuring it out myself?

Phaedra: You mean you yourself don’t know what you’re looking for?

Sokrat: Discovery is half the joy of finding something. Discovering new people, new ideas, and new questions.

Phaedra: That doesn’t explain much.

Sokrat: No, it doesn’t, does it? (She tugs a stray strand of white hair.) The answers keep changing, even as I change, for which I’m grateful. You wouldn’t want the universe to stay the same, would you?

Phaedra: I’m not sure. How can I say what I wish the universe to be, when I’m still discovering it?

Sokrat: (She grins.) Clever girl, you catch on quick. You’re well on the path to being a seeker of truth.

Phaedra: Here I thought I was just answering your question with a question.

Sokrat: That, too. The most honest answers are questions. Tell me, what do you see when you look at this cover? You said it captured what’s in your heart. What’s in your heart?

Phaedra: Space. Possibility. An odyssey through the stars to find myself.

Sokrat: I see an odyssey, too, one that takes us straight into the goddess’s mind, where each and every one of us finds ourselves.

Phaedra: Really? Which goddess?

Sokrat: Which goddess comes to to mind, when I say the word ‘goddess’?

Phaedra: Well, my first thought was of Aphrodite. We talk about her a lot in A Symposium in Space. It makes me think of the various aspects of her, the ones we usually associate with her, and the ones we forget. This could be Athena, though, since she’s the ancient Goddess of Wisdom. A journey into the mind might well involve her.

Sokrat: If that’s what you think, the goddess’s mind might well belong to Aphrodite, a very complex and multifaceted version of her. Your version of Aphrodite. Or it could be your version of Athena. Or both.

Phaedra: Both?

Sokrat: If that’s what you think.

Phaedra: It’s comforting to think that they might both be one, even if it’s also strange. Agathea’s image of Aphrodite is everywhere, on billboards, in parks, delivered to us in a million forms which are all the same. This is very different.

Sokrat: Agathea may own the image of Aphrodite, but she doesn’t own the goddess herself. No one can.

Phaedra: No one?

Sokrat: Can you own the stars?

Phaedra: Well, many have tried to.

Sokrat: I’m sure they’ll continue to try. Will they succeed, though?

Phaedra: You don’t think they can?
Sokrat: (She lays a finger against her nose and shakes her head ever so slightly before turning away from Phaedra.) Natasha, thank you. You’ve not only given us a beautiful cover for A Symposium in Space. You’ve given us food for thought.

Phaedra: Yes, thank you, Natasha! It truly is a spectacular cover. (She turns to see Sokrat leaving.) Wait, you never answered the question. You just shook your head. Does that mean you cannot own the stars?

Sokrat: I wouldn’t say that. You’ll always possess your own unique vision of them. (She allows her wrinkled lips to bend into an enigmatic smile.) Yet everyone else has their own vision which may differ from yours.

(Phaedra is left to ponder this while Sokrat strolls off.)


#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+ stories, go to…

Mousetrick is going to pick up where he left off last Saturday in Seven Tricks…this will be much shorter than six sentences, hope you don’t mind…it’s the end of my official except. (bows)


The strange prince dropped his jaw, only to close it on my snout.

In a moment of intimacy, we bit each other.

I awoke with the taste of bitter sawdust in my mouth, mixed with the salty residue of nuts.


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Me Me Monday: Two Characters, Once One

Amberwyne: Hello. No, I’m not Phaedra. Phaedra has withdrawn into her universe to take a rest I’m Amberwyne, another fictional character. In fact, I’m the fictional character of a fictional character. We’re both in another of our scribbler’s Works in Progress, The Players Are the Thing. (She looks around with bright, inquisitive blue green eyes at the misty ambiguity which is the inside of the Cauldron.) I say, this is the original Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been here.

Ariadne: (A young woman, dressed in a leather jerkin with leaves her muscular legs, wiry arms, and long neck bare strides out of the mist.) You’re usually at the Forbidden Cauldron at I’m usually here.

Amberwyne: (She starts at the sight of another girl about the same age as herself, yet with a confidence she’s never possessed.) Who are you?

Ariadne: I used to be you. I also used to be blonde. (She runs a finger through glossy raven curls, cropped to just below her ears.) I prefer to look this way.

Amberwyne: Um, yeah, I can see why you’d think so. (She catches herself in the middle of staring and shakes her head.) That’s right. I used to be a child in one incarnation. I’m older now and noticing things like, um, you. (She blushes.)

Ariadne: (She smiles, showing no self consciousness) Quite understandable. (She turns down her mouth in a more grim expression.) You’re right. You were a child when you took my name and became a changeling. A rather silly, mad changeling.

Amberwyne: I took your name? (She rubs her nose.) I don’t remember that. I’ve changed again. I was reborn in the Keep. That was where I found Rhane. (She touches one of her own long, curling amber tresses.) I thought she was the one who gave me the name ‘Amberwyne’, after looking at the color of a wine she was drinking.

Ariadne: That’s true in your current incarnation in The Players Are the Thing.
Amberwyne: Yes. I’m part of Rhane to this day. I started being part of her in the Keep, when the two of us somehow split, due to mental and mystical problems she was having. (She frowns) Now I’m her character in a roleplaying game she’s in. (She smiles, tosses her back the curl of hair out of her face. ) This is why The Players Are the Thing is a story. There’s our story, the characters in a roleplaying game and the story of the players playing the game. Only we characters notice our players are having problems in their lives and decide to help them. Thus our worlds end up overlapping.

Ariadne: The idea for The Players Are the Thing came to our scribbler in a cafe, did it not?

Amberwyne: Why, yes. (She rubs the top of her head, fidgeting.) I can’t remember which cafe. I’m sorry. Neither Rhane nor I are good at remembering things.

Ariadne: (She throws back her shoulders with a defensive pride.) You and I were created in the Book Cafe in Capitola during the 1990s. We were born in the very first draft she came up with for Trouble at Caerac Keep. Not that she knew the title of our story at the time.

Amberwyne: Or where she was going with the plot. Or much of anything. (She reaches out to tuck a wayward amber curl behind her ear.) I think I’m starting to remember you. Us. We were first created for a roleplaying campaign.

Ariadne: Only our scribbler didn’t want to let us go. Thus we were reborn in that first draft.

Amberwyne: Funny how we keep getting written about in cafes, yet we live in fantasy worlds populated by taverns. I only got to visit a cafe when I was a changeling.

Ariadne: Yet we both love taverns.

Amberwyne: Well, I don’t think I like the crowds or the smoke in taverns, although I enjoy some of the people I meet there.

Ariadne: (sighs) I am not fond of crowds or smoke either. They are challenges I must overcome. Regardless, I will face them without flinching. (She raises a hand to her mouth and lets out a slight cough.) There is also the beer. We have nothing like that in Thaethyria, only wine. It is…interesting.

Amberwyne: (She grins at the expression on the other girl’s face.) I’ll bet it is.

Ariadne: Don’t mock me just because I’m fascinated by the wheaten lady. (She ducks her head and blushes.)

Amberwyne: Heh, I never thought of beer as being a lady. I guess I’m grateful there’s enough of the New World in our scribbler’s fantasy stories that I’m able to get chocolate.

Ariadne: Chocolate? In a tavern?

Amberwyne: Oh, yes, there was this really great tavern in the Keep where I used to meet up with other people’s characters. I got this giant stein filled with hot chocolate, covered with chocolate foam, whipped cream, and chocolate chips…mmm! I couldn’t get enough of it.

Ariadne: (She wrinkles her nose.) I begin to see how you and I have become separate characters. All that sweetness together in one beverage sounds decadent.

Amberwyne: Yeah, isn’t it great?

Ariadne: I believe that is enough for this particular blog. Go along and enjoy your sugary…concoction. (She mutters to herself) Too much decadence is not sound for the body…

Amberwyne: Alas, I’m no longer at the Keep anymore. I wonder if the scribbler could write such a drink into The Players Are the Thing for myself or Rhane. Scribbler?

Me: (I’m pretending to be passed out from too much Italian wine.) Zzzz….

Amberwyne: (She lets out a sigh.) You know, we only let you get away with that on your birthday…

#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 of LGBTQIA+ fiction, go to…

Mousetrick is going to pick up where he left off last weekend…

“Maybe you’re a giant nut yourself,” I said in the way of mice, which sounds like chittering to anyone without the talent to understand our speech. “Do you taste as good as you smell?”

I sank my teeth into his hard shoulder.

His head turned very slowly. He regarded me with wide hungry eyes.


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Me Me Monday: About Sokrat

Quartz: So tell me, um, about Sokrat. (nose turns red)

Phaedra: Alas, I’m only just getting to know her myself. (rubs her own nose) I’m guessing she’d say that not even she knows herself. She wanders through the universe, seeking truth, beauty, and wisdom. Or maybe not even she’s sure what she’s looking.

Sokrat: Life on the intergalactic highway, eh? Where did you meet her?

Phaedra: On a used spaceship platform. Actually, I was inside the Timea. (Her eyes become far away and dreamy) This was where I saw her for the first time.

Quartz: Sokrat?

Phaedra: The Timea. My beautiful spaceship.

Quartz: Eh, err, congratulations. (He strokes his beard for a moment, looking a bit discomfitted.) This is also where you met Sokrat, right?

Phaedra: (blinks and focuses on Quartz) Yes. I was trying to buy the Timea from Gytelem, the owner of the used shapeship platform, but I’m not very good at haggling. (She’s the top of her dark purple hair in a subconscious manner…yes, Phaedra’s hair is almost black, but it has very subtle purple highlights.) Sokrat helped me out. Only I can’t talk too much about what happened. It might spoiler our story. Let’s just say Sokrat and I left in the Timea together. Fast.

Quartz: Heh, I can guess why you might have had to leave in a hurry. (He rolls his eyes.) Something to do with Alkibiadea, eh?

Phaedra: She does have a tendency to, um, crash into our story.

Quartz: All right. I won’t ask too much more to avoid the spoilers. Only, um, are you still in touch with Sokrat?

Phaedra: (She smiles.) There’s a freebie story up at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron ( showing how I stay in contact with her. You can thank Paula Wyant and her prompts at for inspiring that moment.
Quartz: Ah, Paula, what would we do without you? Get a lot less attention from our scribbler, we would. Phaedra, if you could, m’dear, pass a message on to Sokrat for me?

Phaedra: What message?

Quartz: Oh, nothing, nothing…just tell her I said hello. (His nose turns even redder.)

Phaedra: I’d be delighted to.

Nimmie Nott: Hmmph! (He’s hiding behind a red curtain.) Who does that dwarf think he is? Flirting with characters in completely different universes! He’ll be having drinks with other writer’s vampire characters next!

Phaedra: (She glances back at the curtain.) What was that?

Quartz: (He lets out a sigh.) Pay no attention to the jealous kobold behind the curtain…

#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 figure I’ll just let Mousetrick continue on where he left off last Saturday…

Who was he grinning at, if not myself? Was he mocking me?

I nudged him with my snout.

He rocked on his stiff wooden legs but didn’t budge. The creature stood like a human being, but no human possessed so broad and beautiful a mouth as he. Nor did they smell so deliciously of roasted nuts.


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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.