August 6th, 2005

Writing - XanaDuMalion

And we're off!

Future posts will be story posts. This one isn't. (Sponsors: Ask me questions!!!)

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When you do make your donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I ask that you make it in memory of Liz Shappee. tx_db8r on LJ. Liz was 20 years old when she died this March, and just a few days away from her wedding day.

What struck me most about this, when I heard, was

a) I did not know her nearly well enough. Not nearly as well as she deserved. And now I never could.
b) She wasn't done. 20 years old. She would never get married. Never graduate college. Never do so many of the things she planned to do. So young. She was. not. done.

Multiple sclerosis robbed her of that.

This is what her fiance Daniel said about her, when I said I wish I'd known her better...

Liz was the most wonderful person that anybody could have ever known. I'm a bit biased, though. Liz loved to collect things. Anything. Movies. Books. Grand Champion Horses. Barbies. Cat Figurines. Lighthouses. And most importantly to her... Eeyores. She loved ice cream, dark chocolate, popsicles, fudge... basically anything that wasn't quite good for you. She loved to watch movies and tv on the couch with me. We would watch TV on Thursday and Friday nights... all night... with either her head in my lap, or mine in hers.

Liz loved to have me stand behind her when she was at her computer, and kiss the top of her head. Afterwards, she'd lean back and stare at me until I kissed her lips. Only then would I be permitted to leave. :-) We kissed a lot, although many times, it was across a crowded room, or even between rooms (she'd make a loud kissing sound at me until I'd return it). She always wanted to hold hands. We could be doing anything, and she'd be happy so long as I had her hand in mine. I didn't mind one bit.

Liz loved to read about all the neat people on LJ. She was a bit too self-conscious after all this to go to an LJ meetup, though -- We were both serious homebodys. As long as we were with each other, everything was good.

Liz was vivacious in her own way, although I doubt very much she'd agree with me. She was always willing to try new things (in the bedroom and out) just so long as I'd try them with her. She was always trying terribly hard to make me happy... and never realized that simply having her around was all the I needed. The reverse is also true, though. I did everything possible to make her happy. She was quite spoiled after a while. I still simply couldn't say no. I still think I have should have earned a frequent buyer discount at the Eeyore... er... Disney Store.

Liz had terrible money sense. I mean terrible. I'm still getting overdraft notices from her checking account. That's fine. It's just one of her quirks and they're even more endearing now.

Liz also had horrible cleaning habits. I was very accustomed to having a tidy, if not clean, home. When Liz moved in, that not-so-slowly moved into having a home that looked like the result of a small tornado. I'd probably categorize Liz as an F4 or so. That was fine, though. I soon learned to live with it and clean up on my own if I wanted to have it presentable for company. I'd try to guilt her about it once in a while, and she'd always respond, but being tidy is just not something that Liz was. From her friends, I found out that this was true for all of her life.

Liz possitivly impacted everyone that she touched. I was astounded at number of new and old faces that attended her funeral. People that she'd worked with for only a week before they grew sick of Liz's working environment attended because they were torn up to see her gone.

She's not gone, though. She's still deep in my heart. I can feel her watching over me and occasionally hugging me when I really need it (did I mention that she was all about the hugs?)

I hope I've given you some insight into her and her life. She is such a wonderful person that I simply cannot perceive how people would not like her. Again. I'm biased -- I was going to marry her and wanted nothing less than spending our entire lives together.

Okay. I can't write any more or I'm going to lose it again.

Thanks for being her friend, even if you'd never met personally.


Her MS was a shadow that hung over us both since it was discovered last November, but we were both determined to truck on the best we could and not lot it affect us too terribly much. She was an absolute trooper about it. I tried to be strong for both of us, anyways, but I'm simply not as strong as her. The funny part is that her folks thought that I'd leave her once we discovered it, and I did think about it... for about 3 seconds. It simply didn't matter. She was worth going through any hardship for, and while she was in the hospital, there was quite some hardship for us... and yet she was smiling and holding my hand the entire time. (And I was there with her for all except 8 hours. I had basically been ordered to go home or they'd have to admit me for fatigue. Of course, she understood.)

So now you know something about Liz.

I often feel powerless - I want to cure everyone, save everyone. I can't do much, when it comes down to it, especially in my condition.

But, dammit - I can write.

And I can reach out to you.

That was Liz. She was a nifty person. And she's gone because of this disease.

What can you do?

Give a little money to help find a cure.

Please click here and do what you can.

Thank you. *hugs*

The 'thon is on, y'all!
Fenris - by Xanadumalion [Purges]

Fenris: When did you know that Capri knew that you were her birth father?

He felt the Hound coming at him from from behind - too fast, and him too slow.

I'm getting too old for this shit.

He dropped, flinging a forearm up to block, too goddamn slow -


And the world was suffused with blue light, and the Hound.... *bounced*, sword and all.

Astonished, he looked across the battlefield - Capri, on her knees beside Julia, one hand outflung toward him, eyes desperate. Capri's impenetrable shield cast over him.

Did she say...?

She bit her lip, nodded to herself, pulled herself to her feet beside Julia. Yes. No time for that now. Time only for him to get his bearings, taking this Hound out, and the next one, and the next one.

And pray to the gods that he'd make it to her side. They had a very interesting conversation to have later...


The Battle of Julia, at the end of Act II. Lots of interesting stuff will come to a head then. Excuse the poor writing - my medicine has me brainweird. Writing through it. Whee!

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Capri - xanadumalion

Capri: When did you know that Fenris was your birth father?

She laughed quietly. "As long as I can remember, really."

"You never said."

She looked up at him, and Fenris was struck by her maturity. They were all so accustomed to playful little Capri, tomboy Capri, even precocious teenage Capri, but she was a woman now, and it showed through in flashes that stunned him silent every time. Becoming someone new. "You never said. I assumed that you wanted it kept unspoken."

"How did you know?" he asked gently. "We tried to keep it a secret. I - we - Marcus was your mom's husband. Marcus was your father. I didn't want to... interfere with that."

"You never did," she smiled. "But you never stopped loving my mom. And she never stopped loving you. Fenris... you all make such a big deal out of my shielding abilities. So much so that you forget that I'm the second-strongest empath in the city. I was reading the current between you and my mom - between you and me - by the time I was eight!"

He sighed heavily, a weight off his shoulders. "You've always known."


"I've always loved you, kid."

"I know."


This isn't quite right. *frown* But it does get the point across that she's an incredibly strong empath, and that that's always forgotten. Which is important in more instances than this. I also like that the maturity comes through in flashes. That's the way lots of things are with her.

You just - you need more background in this scene; this scene needs to be way longer than I can make it in the allotted time! I'll rewrite later. Hm. Also - I'm not in her head, here. I'm outside. Hm.


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Talthar Kithrayna

Alanna: When did you realize that Jessamyn had to be killed?

She has raised my House against me.

House Bartomn is bad enough - they would need to be taken care of, in the long run, but I could ignore them if I liked. I'm strong enough.

But that bitch has declared herself the Kithraya of House Tamra.

That's what I say to the Council. Those are the words I mouth. And heads nod, and sabers rattle. The Council has been eager for bloodshed for years. They've wanted to see what the Hounds can do when they're truly loosed.

But it doesn't matter, not at the core of it, does it? Because she's right. Because I'm not the Lishaya. Not that she knows that. Not that any of them do, or ever will.

So it's not because she's declared herself Kithraya of House Tamra, not really. That's politics. That's Janos's game, and Olivia's, and Jeramie's.


Jessamyn has to die because of this:

When we said her name, I caught a flicker from Jeramie's mind...

He has feelings for her.

For that traitorous bitch. He wants her - and worse, he cares for her. He's trying to get safe passage for her. He's trying to just get her husband killed, keep her alive - keep her alive for him.

He thinks I don't know.


I've changed the orders.

Her death will not be clean.

And he will know that I did it.

I may be his - but he is mine, and will have no other loves before me.


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Boondock/can't believe

Napalm: When did you know you had superpowers?

He lay in bed, sweating. "Dude, Mom, I'm serious. I can't go to school today."

His mother peered in from the doorway. "What is it this time?" she asked sarcastically. "Ebola?"

"I gotta fever. Seriously."

"Your temperature came out perfectly normal, Aisling."

He closed his eyes. The bitch of it was, it had. 98.3, even. But he was burning up. He could feel heat shimmering off his body. "Mom, seriously. Please?"

She reluctantly left for work, convinced that he was faking. Well, he'd faked before, but this time? Dude.

Heat-shimmer before his eyes.

And around his arms.


He watched, fascinated, as... something... seemed to move down his arms. Down his hands. Toward the sheets.


He yelped as he jumped out of bed, yanking his newly-flaming sheets off with him and stomping on them. "Holy shit holy shit holy shit..." And as he examined the sheets to make sure they were out, he noticed something.

He wasn't warm anymore.

Slowly, he grinned.



I could've done this better - this is one of those "Aagh, I have been goofing off upstairs and it's 5 minutes til posting time!" posts. Sorry. And I see it more in comics form than prose form.

This wasn't the way I imagined him finding out; I adn't thought he'd feel sick. Hm. Hm, I say.

*waves to docorion, who is reading from a fetish event!*

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Capri - xanadumalion

Question from laurelian

Blogathon sponsor laurelian says: "I'd like to ask everyone (or perhaps mostly Capri and the other characters of your choice) what their dreams are, what do they want out of life? What is their biggest hope for the future? Also, what do they fear most? What is it that scares them to death."

Of all of my characters, Capri is the most forthcoming; sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get Fenris or Julia to let me in, but Capri is always very open. I think that's due in part to how isolated she is. New readers: Capri is my Rapunzel, hidden in the Tower from the Council. She only ever sees the Kirayth (the city's police force) and a few others. Until just before the battle mentioned in my first Blogathon post, that is. So she's always very eager for the company.

Anyway, you asked Capri. And she's sitting on her bed cross-legged and wants you to sit opposite her, and she's happy to answer. (Note: It seems that this is before she meets Julia. She feels like she's in her late teens here.)


What do I want? Well, the easy answer is that I want what my mom wanted, what we all want. I want the city to be free of the Council. I want the true Lishaya here - because Alanna can't be the true Lishaya. No true ruler could do the things she's done. Yes, maybe I'm naive, but I really believe that. I believe in the inherent nobility, the inherent goodness, of the true Lishaya.

That's what I want for the city. What do I want for me? Ooooh. Well. I want Halloran. I know, I know, I always say that. But it isn't just a crush. It's a soulbond. And I want a chance to show him... how very much we can be, I guess.

He is... amazing. You have no idea. And I don't just think that because he saved me.

So, my biggest hope for the future, I guess, is that the real Lishaya comes home, and we kick out the Council, and Halloran stops being stubborn and lets me in. And... I want to have kids, too. A boy and a girl. Maybe more than two. But I'd start with two.

My biggest fear? Gods. Well... everyone I love... Halloran and Kieran because they're the heads of their Houses, Fenris and the Kirayth because, well, they're Kirayth... they're all targets. Every day, they're targets. And I'm safe up here in the Tower, but... no one I love is ever, ever safe. They have a big target on their back even when they're just walking to the bookstore.

So my biggest fear, what scares me to death? Another Purge. Losing more people I love. Losing my Halloran. Losing Fenris - my godfather. Losing Kier. And I wouldn't be able to protect them. I'd be trapped up here safe and couldn't help them.

That's what scares me.

We need to find the real Lishaya. We can't let that happen again.


I picture her pulling up her knees and wrapping her arms around them at the end.

Still brainfucked from meds, but less so. The Alanna bit's the one I touched most so far, I think.

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Fenris - by Xanadumalion [Contemplative]

Question from boutell: "What does Fenris like most for breakfast?"

There were many perks to being a member of the Kirayth. One got free coffee at Tyka's Cafe, as long as one did not abuse the privilege. One got a discount at the Wicked Sisters Bookshop. Free PO Box at the post office. Free plumbing and mechanic work. Because, let's face it, the Kirayth kept the city safe, for certain values of safe, and the city was grateful.

But as many perks as went to the average Kirayth, there were some things that were too rare in the walled, isolated city of Shayara to be given away to the rank and file - things that went for high prices in the Farmer's Market, when they were available at all.

Such things were given only to the leader of the Kirayth. Only to Fenris.

The eggs were not entirely uncommon. But every so often, Fenris sat down to a breakfast of eggs and bacon, and he knew that that would be a damn good day indeed.


Dude, I don't even eat eggs. *laugh* But yeah. Meat is rare in Shayara, if only because it's unusual to have the room to raise livestock. Eggs, as said, are more common. A chicken coop is easier to manage than a pigpen! Most of what you'll find at the Farmer's Market = veggies, and almost everyone in the city has at least a tomato plant on the balcony or something. Meat is very expensive, as is anything imported.

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No one has clicked since first thing this morning. You totally should. Unless you already have, in which case: Dude, you rock, send me a question.
Writing - XanaDuMalion

Jessamyn: When did you know you were falling for Marcus?

His dark hair was falling down over his face as he scribbled in his notebook; smiling, she reached over and gently tucked it behind his ear.

He darted a quick grin of thanks at her, and her fingers lingered at his temple.

Oh, gods.

Marcus's eyes, Marcus's mind, so damn different from Seth's.

And she so wanted to kiss him right now. So strong a wave of need that it felt like a biological imperative.

He raised his hand to hers, stroking her fingertips, eyes intent on hers.

Oh, Gods.

He was closer now. So close. Too close. His mouth was -

She pulled away. "I can't - Marcus, I can't -"

He was immediately contrite. "Jessa, I'm sorry - did I read you wrong? I was certain that you wanted-"

"I did." Oh, Marcus. Swift wit and strong heart. "I do. I - I can't."

"Why not?"

"Seth," she whispered. "I'm Seth's girl."

"You're your own girl, Jess."

She shook her head. "I know. I didn't mean to make it sound like that."

He put his hand on hers. "And being 'Seth's girl' - means you can't be my girl, too?"

She closed her eyes, very aware of the warmth of his hand - and of the increased access to his emotions that the physical contact was giving her. That he was deliberately giving her. "Yes. It does."

"Is that what you want?"

"I've always been Seth's girl. He - he's my best friend." I will always be Seth's girl, she knew in her heart, and knew that he felt it. I've never not been with him. And he'd never, never...

Gods. What do I do?


Seth is Fenris; he has taken the name Fenris at this point, but Jessa never calls him that. He's always been her Seth.

Yes, these are Capri's parents.

Poor Jessa.

I am verra tired. Have passed the quarter-way point, though. Lunchtime now.

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Talthar Kithrayna

Question from eyes_of_cyrene

eyes_of_cyrene says: "Fenris, Jessa, Capri, Donna, Kieran, Julia, Napalm, Alanna, Jeramie, and on and on. Any combination of them, and others who pop their heads in, or sweep into the room of your mind.
What is the last thing you think about at night, lying in that half-drowsing state before sleep?"

Jeramie's the first to answer.


I feel him sometimes, just as I'm dropping off to sleep. In the moment that I relax my control of the mind, the body.

Nisar, whose body I have stolen, whose spirit I have desecrated. Mutilated. Hollowed out, burrowed into.

He is nothing but my mask. During the day, at least. But in those half-drowsing moments, I feel him stir - still impotent, still helpless, but there, conscious. Attempting to fight me.

The bastard was incredibly strong, to be so strong still.

But I am skilled in my arts.


Jeramie wasn't born evil.

It's harder this year than last year; Trileptal = teh mindfucker. docorion is upset about this. When I move to Boston, no Trileptal.

So I have not been writing overmuch lately at all, which is a Bad Thing; this Blogathon is good because it forces my brain back there. Doesn't matter if it's Good Enough, if I'm thinking straight enough, if I'm There. Have to do it. I promised.

Foodwise, I had some tuna casserole and half a bagel. (I had the other half for breakfast, with potato latkes.)

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Julia in color - xanadumalion

Julia: What do you want?

"I want you to leave me the fuck alone."

Kieran's jaw tightened. "You have to deal with me at least in passing, Julia. As the Kithrayn of my House. Unless you're going to kill me to pass the mantle to another."

"Don't tempt me."

He laughed, then realized that she was fairly serious. "Julia - what have I done to you?"

She threw her hands up in the air, whirling to face him. "You're - you're broadcasting at me all the damn time -"

"I'm shielding -"

"Shut up! You asked me a question. Let me fucking answer it!"

He sat down, trying his hardest not to glare. Capri cast him a worried look from across the room. Sorry, Kip.

"It doesn't matter that you're shielding. You can't shield enough. Not with the soulbond. And not with - not with me being what I am. So all day - all goddamn day, every day, you're pining after me, and you're pursuing me, and you're loving your Lishaya-on-a-pedestal, and you're forcing all of that on me. I don't want it. I don't want you. I can't fucking stand it."

Capri shifted in her seat. "Kieran, maybe if you stayed away from meetings for a little while, gave her some space?"

Julia held up a warning hand in Capri's direction. "Capri, I love you, but this is between me and him, not you..."

Capri stilled. "You - what?"

Julia drew back, pale, shields slamming up. "I - that wasn't - I didn't mean to say that. That wasn't supposed to come out like that."

"But - before you shielded. I felt truth behind it. Am I right?"

Julia sighed, biting her bottom lip. "Yeah. I'm - I'm sorry that this was how it came out."

Capri grinned. "I love you, too."

"Yeah. I know."


"What! You've been practically saying it out loud for weeks now."

"I just didn't want to scare you."

"You don't scare me," Julia said softly. "You know me."

Capri looked over at Kieran. "Kier? This would be a great time for giving Julia some space."


Julia's a volatile girl. Capri's grinning because that's pretty much how she expected to be told, if she was ever so lucky as to be loved by Julia. I can totally see her going "squee!"

La la la, pretty girls in love...

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Sick Hippo

Format break!

I'm breaking format so I can quote from All In My Head by Paula Kamen.

Because I can't shelve the book til I'm done putting the quotes up, and it's driving me crazy having the book sitting on the table when it should be on the shelf.


Regarding all of the freebies doctors get from pharmaceutical companies... and a persoal note here: docorion doesn't take freebies. Not a pen, not a post-it pad, nothing. It has become a firm personal policy of his.

Paula says:

"Gradually, I realized that the problem was not really with them, these salespeople, but with how doctors seemed mindlessly to obey them. Doctors had a choice not to take all their knickknacks, giving the appearance that they were willing to be bought and sold for any shiny new object. They were also obligated to look critically at the drug information they are given and not automatically turn to the newest (most expensive) drugs. They had a duty to take the time to learn about the drugs and get patients safely on and off them, meanwhile considering all the reports of side effects, even those that hadn't made it to the medical journals yet. Taking drugs was a skill for the patient, which had to be nurtured and supervised. Just giving a patient a powerful drug and then turning her or him loose was like teaching someone to drive by just handing over the car keys and a driving manual - and then considering the person high-maintenance who wanted an instructor to ride along."

The first part of the paragraph, I like for docorion; the second, for me. As I feel, obviously, that I'm not getting the personalized care that I need.

docorion has said "There's no such thing as the 70-kilogram patient." The 70-kilogram patient being the typical patient. Sort of like the 160-pound male that seatbelts are tested on. There is no 70-kilogram patient, and yet all drugs are prescribed for the 70-kilogram patient.

How many kilograms does 90 pounds work out to?

I think I feel a manifesto coming on. :)


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Sick Hippo

More format break - The Waiting Place

The book talks a lot about chronic pain and quite a bit about its sister, chronic fatigue. This part spoke to me, as it's akin to my brainfuckery.

Kamen writes:


One friend responded that in reading the article detailing the miseries of chronic pain, she kept thinking of Dr. Seuss's classic book Oh, The Places You'll Go!, a treatise on the natural cycles of life. In the book, Seuss described an inevitable unpleasant place, "The Waiting Place", where all of us are doomed to spend time when life is just put on hold and you can't do a thing about it.

I agreed with the observation that this is what having chronic pain is like, but then I also thought: To a chronic pain patient, The Waiting Place means more. It does not just represent a temporary stop now and again; it's a way of life. For when all else fails for a pain patient - when neurology becomes destiny, when pills and powders and positive thinking don't work - waiting is all we have left.

We wait sometimes for an hour to feel better, so we can then finish writing a report. We wait three nights to return a phone call to a friend. We wait a week to get the energy to scour a bathroom tub. We wait an entire summer to withdraw from a powerful drug, meanwhile moving through the edginess and tremors and insomnia and blurred vision that it leaves in its wake. We wait an entire year, pill by pill, to see if a class of drugs will work over time, in higher and higher doses...

In this process of trying to live in the moment, we face constant tensions and contradictions, many all at once: the struggle between pushing through the pain or ministering to it; the struggle to be dependent on others or stand on our own; the struggle to continue an expensive and time-consming treatment or move on; the struggle to accept our disability while not overly identifying with it; the struggle to take responsibility for our health, but then not feeling guilty when the pain persists.

And during this time, here is the real challenge: while we wait for pain to release its grip, we try not to put the rest of our lives on hold, and to manage to participate in other parts of life as best we can.


For "pain", read "brainfuckery"; this is my life.

australian_joe may've been right about this not being okay for me at my current ability level. Syill. I persevere. Almost to the halfway point. zarhooie takes over at 9 PM.

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For Enderfem: The one memory Julia wishes she could get rid of

It's a dream, and she knows it's a dream. She knows she left this room years ago Left the coppery smell of blood. Left the horrible silence.

She hadn't known. She'd just been so scared, and she PUSHED -

And she was walking dreamlike past her foster father's body. Into the living room. So cold. So quiet. Her foster mother, brothers.


Meggie, seven years old, the only person who'd made this life tolerable. The only sounds Julia could hear as she knelt by Meggie's body were her own heart, her own breathing.

Meggie's eyes were still open. Blood pooling around her ear on the floor.

So quiet.

And Julia jolted awake - not twelve anymore, not that girl anymore, safe in Shayara, in full control of her powers. She struggled to catch her breath, pushing sweaty hair back from her face with shaking hands.

Wishing she could forget what her powers could do, had done. Knowing she never would.


Halfway done! And thanks to jmspencer, we're up to $965! Almost a thousand!

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Julia in color - xanadumalion

Julia answers laurelian's question...

Which was, once again, "I'd like to ask everyone (or perhaps mostly Capri and the other characters of your choice) what their dreams are, what do they want out of life? What is their biggest hope for the future? Also, what do they fear most? What is it that scares them to death."


I already told you. I want to be left alone.

You really want to know?

I don't want to be the Lishaya. I don't want to be responsible for everyone.

Not because I'm lazy. Because I don't want to fuck it up. Because I'm scared of fucking it up.

There you go. There's your biggest-fear answer, too. I'm scared of fucking this Lishaya thing up.

Okay, no.

I'm scared of letting myself love Kieran. I'm scared of allowing myself to do that. To trust him.

I'm scared of outliving him. Every time I love him, I outlive him. And every time, it breaks me.

I'm starting to remember the Fall, you see.

You tell anyone that, I'll kick your ass. Just tell them I'm most scared of fucking up as the Lishaya. It's not like I'm not.


Julia's talking more than I thought she would...

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Capri - xanadumalion

Format break

I'm fighting the porn.

When I'm writing idly, porn is sometimes what happens. Because hey, I'm chronicling these characters' entire lives, and hey, they have sex sometimes.

Especially Capri. Heh.

So I wrote the Capri-and-Julia mutual-declaration-of-love thing, and even though I wrote stuff after it, my brain keeps bending back to what they'll get up to that night. And my brain says, "Ooooh, hot girlsex! Let's write about the hot girlsex."

And noooooo. Cannot do that here!

But the hot girlsex is happening in my brain. And goodness, Capri's got talented fingers, and LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

(This is about when Kieran pops into the side of my brain with "*ahem* Ah, I actually would like to read about the hot girlsex, thanks." And I say, "No, if they wanted you to see, they'd invite you in. You don't get to see for like, another year." And then I realize that I'm talking to myself, and I go get a cookie.)

So. Yes. Fighting the porn. *brandishes a fist* *hastily puts the fist away, because Julia's not into that, and Capri probably is, but the author referring to herself in third person does not want to write about it, because she herself is not into that, being far too small, and actually Capri's pretty small, too, but so's Julia, so - LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU*

Um. Yes.

Sponsors: Send me questions so I can think about something else! And I'm feeling all isolated down here in the basement, so, uh, say "Hey!" if you like hot girlsex!


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Capri - xanadumalion

Question from wytchchyld

wytchchyld asks: "So. Capri. Tell us how you really feel about sex with Julia. What your favorite parts are, what you'd like to do more of, what you like it when she does ..."

The author glares at wytchchyld and slaps duct tape over Capri's mouth. She quietly instructs Capri to keep it to a PG-13, as the author is freakin' shy, okay, and they're using her hands and her words... and removes the duct tape. Capri grins, arranges herself cross-legged on the bed again in what's becoming her default interviewee position, and ponders - as she knows that too graphic an answer will piss Julia off, too.


My favorite part... I guess...

Julia is so tangly, emotionally. She's so... locked down and guarded. She can be really defensive.

But not with me. And especially not in bed with me.

What I like best is seeing all of that melt away - all the emotional barbed-wire. Seeing, feeling her open to me, and not just physically. Feeling her let go.

She's more her in bed than she is anywhere else. Because she feels safe. She couldn't come with me if she didn't feel safe with me.

And omiGODS, empath sex. WOW. Hee!


Dude, all I had to do was say "hot girlsex"? Thanks to wytchchyld, deyaniera, and people whose names I don't recognize, we're at $1,025!

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Jessa answering eyes_of_cyrene's question

...which was, once again, "What is the last thing you think about at night, lying in that half-drowsing state before sleep?"


She rested her hand lightly, gently, on her sleeping husband's arm, timing her breaths to his, long and slow and deep. The room was dark and quiet and warm. Safe.


Down the hall, their daughter slept; Jessa had looked in on her before coming to bed herself. Tiny little girl taking up a truly ridiculous amount of room on the bed, limbs akimbo, deep red hair fanned across the pillow. Mouth open, unselfconscious in sleep.

Her daughter, her husband.

Jessamyn rolled over, her hand falling on the cool sheets on her other side.

Her daughter. Her husband.

But not her best friend - her missing piece.


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Boondock/can't believe

Question from mgrasso

"Which member of the Shayara cast has the most trouble with computers?"


Jason frowned at the computer. He laboriously clicked the mouse, then clicked it again.

Tessa bit her lip.

Jason did it again.

"Jason - when they say double-click, they mean in rapid succession."

"I am," Jason growled.

Tessa held up her hands in mock surrender - and watched him do it again. "Um - I could -"

He glared up at her, his look softening as he realized he was taking it out on her. "Fine. Okay. Thanks." He pushed his chair back and allowed her through. "I know I'm a Luddite. I just can't get the hang of these things. I know Connor says we need them for Sanctuary business these days, but I just can't get accustomed to them."

She peered at the document he'd been trying to open. "Jason? This is a virus."

"A what?"

"Okay. Um. Never open e-mail from people you don't know. Gods, I'm glad we got you a Mac..."


He's a total Luddite.

Hey, thanks to mgrasso and ckd, we're up to $1,070! :)

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deyaniera's question

deyaniera asks: "Janos, what did you want for Shayara? What did you dream of making this city into?"


I have been accused of grasping for power. But no - my goal is merely to keep from relinquishing it.

The Council has held this city in trust for nearly two centuries now. Why should we, who have kept everything running so smoothly, surrender simply because a crop of Talthar Kithrayna brats all happened to be born at more or less the same time? What right do they have?

No more right than I do, I assure you. We have the child Lishaya now. Little Alanna. And we have certain... secret weapons.

The status quo will be preserved.

Actually... I can think of a few improvements.


I'm sorry they keep jumping around timewise. This must be terribly confusing. He's talking to you from before Julia and Capri's birth, for example.

I am thinking less about hot girlsex right now, as Janos is kind of sexless and dry and icky.

Let's keep this party going, kids!

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Talthar Kithrayna

rustymarble's question

rustymarble asks, "Of any character or characters, what's your favorite website? If that doesn't work... how bout favorite place, book, or food."

I don't know why sometimes I get scenes and sometimes I get interview-answers, but Kieran feels like answering you directly. Regarding his favorite place/food, anyway. His favorite website? You can see a bit of a devilish look in his eye, but he must consider his reputation. Well, he already has a bit of a reputation, but - the reputation of an honorable Kithrayn, dear lady.


My favorite place, my favorite food. Ah, my guilty pleasure.

Wildflower Honey.

You must know of it. It's the one restaurant in Shayara that's so ritzy that it won't even give a Kithrayn a discount. They grow all of their food on the premises, so it's all incredibly fresh. Well, the vegetables, of course. The meat they import, but from just outside the city, and the fish is caught from just outside the seawall...

Why is it a guilty pleasure? Well, as Kithrayn, most of my living expenses are tithed to me by members of my House. It's hard for me to mentally justify the expense of fine dining. I don't want to take advantage overmuch. So it's a rarity.

I can't wait to take Capri there...

Favorite food there? Honey ice cream, the honey taken from their own hives. Yum. :)

My favorite place that's not a restaurant? Would have to be the Library. Donna pretty much raised me after my parents died. I live in House Narsan now, have for years - but it's the Library that truly feels like home.


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Writing - XanaDuMalion

Question from ian_gunn

ian_gunn says, "Shayara is very isolated but there must be some commerce with the outside world. Tell us a story about how outside good get into Shayara. Is it highly regulated? Is it a lot of small independent operators? Is there a lot of red tape from the council trying to maintain control of it or is it very open?"


Shawn stood, blinking, in the dust of the bus. The bus driver's eyes had seemed glazed over, almost; he'd made the stop, but seemed wholly unaware of the huge iron gates in front of him, of the massive city walls. And none of the other passengers had even looked out the windows.


He hitched his pack up on his shoulders and trudged toward the city. Hm. Bunch of crates and boxes right by the gates. He stopped to inspect the abandoned goods.


He jerked his head up, seeing a bunch of kids right on the other side of the gate. "Yeah?"

"That's The Mail."

Shawn could hear the reverence in the oldest boy's voice. The Mail. Clearly, one did not mess with The Mail. "Well - should I be taking it somewhere?"

"Liss'll tan your hide if you take The Mail."

"Damn straight," a new voice added. A tall, tan woman with short auburn hair emerged from behind the other gate, driving a small cart. Shawn backed up apologetically, and she eyed him. "New in town?"

"So new I'm not even in town yet."

"Give me a hand with this, and I'll get you situated."

He nodded and did as told, piling boxes into the cart and following Liss in.

In through the gates.

He felt the change, felt it reverberate through him - felt colors sharpen, brighten. Felt his mind clear.

Felt memory rushing in.


Gods, he could even see the castle at the heart of the city from here.

Everything he'd ever dreamed.

He heard a small noise, and looked over - Liss, clearing her throat quietly and smiling, leaning in a nearby doorway. The sign above her head said "Post Office". He nodded and followed her in.

"So," she said. "Do you expect to get mail from the outside world?"

"Um, yes."

"You'll need a PO Box."

"How much is that?"

She shrugged easily. "You want to do cash or barter?"

"Uh. I don't... I don't have anything I can barter."

"Sure you do. What do you do?"

"Well - I'm a musician."

"Ach, boy - you can barter a song for damn near everything in this town. Don't you know that?"

"I wasn't told," he said slowly. And I thought I knew damn near everything about this town. Thirty seconds in the gates, I'm proven wrong. "Ah, Liss - how does mail get here, anyway? If those without Dasaroi blood can't find the city?"

"They can find it at need 'bout as well as your bus driver did. They don't really see it - and they forget they were here as soon as they've gone. I guarantee you your bus driver's already forgotten not just about this stop, but that you ever existed."

"Kinda creepy."

"Yeah. The gate-glamour is weird. But it gets us our mail. UPS, too."

"And to get stuff out of the city?"

"I put an outgoing-mail crate out. It gets picked up." She shrugged. "Stuff works."

Shawn grinned. "Stuff works because of you."

Liss brandished a fistful of letters. "The magic of The Mail!"


I've actually known about Liss and the Post Office for a while...

There wasn't a way to say it smoothly, but the reason it's like OMG Teh Mail? Not many people get mail on a regular basis, since many people in Shayara don't know people from the outside world. So The Mail is this big deal.

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Another departure from theme.

Here I am.

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What? Like you don't?

If you clicked that cut-tag, you are so seriously morally obligated to sponsor me. *gigglefit*

We're still at $1,070 raised. i_descend suggested that I write hot girlsex for sponsors. I may yet. I think I need to have some to refresh my memory.

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Sponsors, ask me Shayara-character questions! I'm not posting any more nude photos. Well, probably not. Well, definitely not for non-sponsors.
Dancer/Holy Ground - by Iroshi

A question from enderfem

enderfem asks, "...Kier...what music really moves you?"

Kier wants to be interviewed again. He doesn't seem to want to be approached indirectly. Conscious of the need to manage his PR, maybe?


Gods. That's like "What kind of air do you like to breathe?"

I like to dance.

Strike that - I live to dance.

So what moves me? Anything that gets me moving, and lots of music does. I love the experience of listening to a song and just having it fill me up to the point where I can no longer keep from moving with it...

I live some club-type music, because Ryan likes it. And I like dancing with Ryan - he's one of those tall, slim, nimble guys who move like air, like water, when they dance.

But what really does it for me personally is Celtic music, specifically Celtic rock. I don't know what it is - I'm not like Halloran, it's not a big cultural thing for me. And I didn't have many significant lives in that area. But there's something about a fiddle, a bodhran, that just picks me up and spins me right around.

Yeah. So right now I'm very into Tempest, Ashley MacIsaac, Oysterband, Great Big Sea, Boiled in Lead, Carbon Leaf... stuff like that.


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Break from theme

My cat is on my lap.

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zarhooie is taking over the Blogathon later tonight.

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zarhooie is my LJ-daughter. I also have a real-life daughter.

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This post brought to you by the digital camera memory card reader that docorion just gave me, enabling me to access a year's worth of pictures. Yes.


Thanks to new sponsor docwebster, we're up to $1,095!

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Quiet - PhotoGnome

Goodnight, sweetheart, well, it's time to go...

*bows grandiosely* This concludes the shadesong portion of the shadesong/zarhooie Blogathon for this evening.

I shall now pass the baton to my teammate zarhooie who will ably entertain you between the hours of 9 PM and 7 AM, at which point I will return to bid you good morning and thank you kindly for your sponsorship. zarhooie wishes to inform you that there will be "pictures and singing and kind-of stories. I am doing ballads in parts in phone posts which are mp3 encoded because I am lj 1337."

Right this way, ladies and gentlemen - simply click here to sponsor us, then go along and visit zarhooie...


I'm not dead yet. The impulse is to blog til I am.But I'm more than half-dead. And I've done a lot for the condition I'm in.

Thank you, zarhooie, for taking over.

Thank you, dear sponsors.

Thank you for letting me do this.

See you at 7...