I am back from vacation! I am catching up at the dayjob! I don’t have any links! Sorry!

But I like exclamation points!


As an apology for the lack of links, how about I give you two of everything else this wonderful Friday?

Current Earworm #1: A song described by my sister as “like Nirvana met with Chinese trad instruments and made sweet sweet music baby love.”

Current Earworm #2: Tanglefoot’s two voyageur songs, Paddle Like Hell and La V’La M’Amie. Celtic fiddlin’ meets Appalachian styles with French vocals? Sign me up!

The Friday Quote #1:

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Friday Quote #2:

I prefer to call religion “applied neuroscience.” ~Drew Jacob, The Rogue Priest

Instagram of the Week #1:

My partner, myself, and our dog BB, hiking in my homeland of West Virginia.

Instagram of the Week #2:

The place where my heart lives, inside these lapping waves.

I have been roadtripping from Texas to West Virginia to Pennsylvania to Ocean City and then back again, so we have only a smattering to report! But report indeed I shall.



I still have a Secret Project what needs editing! I’m about 18k words in to the 40k it amounts to, and when I’m done with it, I may actually have something to announce about it, instead of being all vague and cryptic and possibly obnoxious. Ahem. If I hadn’t forgotten the bloody document on the desktop before we left, it would probably be done by now! *facepalm*

However, I did write a random short story while at my mom’s house, which was mostly for fun. :D Being able to sit back and just meander-write is always a joy.

Somewhat related: I read three freaking books on vacation! THREE! I haven’t read that many in months, let alone two weeks! Holy crap!

If you’re curious, they were the second and third books of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, and The Leaves of October by Don Sakers. HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL.


I helped my mom by painting eyes on the horses she painted:

She also gave me a handful of jewelry that I can cannibalize for parts, and a couple pieces she wants me to remake/fix for her. Shiny objects ahoy!


One of my oldest and favoritest alien species are Korats, a hardy Lavanian predator with distinct color-phenotyped breeds. They, like many predators on Lavana, have a yawning reflex that they treat as a subconscious danger sense; if one is taken off-guard with a yawn, one will then carefully observe one’s surroundings and situations to see what prompted the display of all those thick, sharp teeth. I had never deliberately planned this; it was one of those worldbuilding tidbits that comes in a flash, and I never bothered to look into it.

Well, I’ve looked into it. Apparently, in wild animals, yawning can be both a low-level response to a threat (“you’re unimpressive, I’m not worried, yaaawn”) or, as Korats and some Earth critters (like baboons) use it, a display of very fearsome teeth to a potential aggressor. (There are also floating theories that it helps cool the brain a bit, which would also play into Koratian use for a nervous/excited/afraid body overheating a smidge.) It is, for Korats, still an instinctual/involuntary thing, but they’ve correlated that urge with a level of unease that they can’t always consciously detect, and they take it as a sign from their body to take a closer look at potential threats around them.

My intuitive worldbuilding is founded in science that I didn’t know at the time! Win.


I created a new cypher! This one will be offline-only and used to encrypt things I’d like to have a little extra security on; for that reason, I can’t give you any details about it, but I will say that, ten minutes after mapping the letter-changes out, I had half the thing memorized and could write simple sentences without looking at the translation key.

My brain is apparently getting good at this language stuff. In a somewhat unnerving way. ^^;


I performed Sister of Shadows (an original Kemetic song about Nebt-het/Nephthys) for my sister and her beau around a campfire. If my fingertips hadn’t frozen off halfway through, I would have been happier! But at least she got to hear it – I’ve been having a rough time getting this one to record, for some reason.

I also wrote a soft, simple chant-song for the ocean orisa Yemonja/Olukun while at Ocean City and utterly enthralled by the sea. Likely will record and share that soon!


Madcap week at work to catch up post-vacation! I’m not going to try to plan any creative work; it’ll be crazy enough just to get through to next Monday!

I have been working so much this week that I haven’t been able to scour the internet for a lot of links to share here – sorry! Consider this a small sampler instead of a hearty meal.

Current Earworm: Khajiit Like To Sneak by Miracle of Sound! I can’t resist linking to Nord Mead and The Sovngarde Song, as well.

The Friday Quote:

When in doubt, paint. Or when angry, or when frustrated, or worn out, or sorrowful, or confused, or lost, or… Fuck it, just paint. ~Abigail M. Markov

Instagram of the Week: A sampling of my office notepad, complete with doodles, Kalash (script), and Kommu (cypher).

Look! Two in a row! Pretty sure the world’s gonna end.



I have not actually written a damn thing this past week. Busy!


On the other hand, boy howdy did I art. I did a painting for Mama J’s birthday on Friday, and a very special painting for my sister on Sunday, which I will hand-deliver to her in about two weeks! And oh, the doodles, especially while at FenCon this Saturday. Have a look at my favorite below:

This is Tsaho, an enman scout; that thick arm of hers was sheared off and replaced with a robotic prosthetic, and she doesn’t like it much. (She’s also perpetually grumpy.) She’s one of the four main characters of Everything To Lose.

A random lovely lady at the filk circle at FenCon leaned over and told me that Tsaho was beautiful. Beautiful! I am full of glee that someone who is not me will consider Tsaho beautiful. =3


A novel project cooking up in the back of my head has another piece of worldbuilding added to it: the last names of people (who are humans) are either their profession or, a twist on the Donaldson = Donald’s Son pattern, Lilychild or Ariaborn. (In other words, mother’s name + child/born/son.) It’s a matriarchal culture. :)

I also sketched out the design for the small vehicles of the symbiotes (the arboreal octopi/flightless plainsbirds). It’s … honestly, it’s like an off-road Red Flyer wagon with a windshield and a front motor. They’re autodriving and only big enough for one person (and small amount of belongings/groceries) at a time. Think driverless taxi cabs: they’re everywhere in the city, and you call one to you whenever you need a ride somewhere. Personally-owned vehicles are rare in urban areas. There are also reasonably quick-moving scrolling walkways in the most busy and compact of areas – like in airports for us – so that people who don’t want to wait for a rocketwagon can move briskly without sprinting.


…I still don’t know what the symbiotes are called. ARGH.

I dug up an old favorite song – Carrie Newcomer’s Holy As A Day Is Spent – and translated it to Kommu to begin learning to sing it. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done something this simple – just cyphering English to sing – and it sounds wonderful. I’m having to take a French approach with fitting the Kommu syllables into the English pattern; the ends of words fall off or slur onto the beginning of the next, and sometimes the middle syllable of a longer word disappears (okay, that’s a little Japanese, not French).


See above! Yes, okay, that’s cheating. :D

I am both wanting to have the time to filk and really looking forward to seeing my family in early October. My partner and sister and I have started a wee tradition of singing/playing around a small fire for my mom and her fiance, and it’s such a heart-warming experience that I really can’t wait to do it again. I am excited to bring my guitar this time! I can do more than sing and drum!

Not my news but still worth squeeing over: My partner wrote a Firefly filk to the tune of Kishmul’s Galley by the Corries, and he sang it at the FenCon filk circle. SO AWESOME, YOU GUYS, OMIGAW.


Ah, well, I’m pretty much going to work my arse off this week in preparation for a two-week roadtrip to see family in October, so um, er, I’m not planning much. :D

One of my favorite things about the previous incarnation of this blog was a series of posts, one per Friday, of Things I Learned This Week. And judging by my friends’ and readers’ comments, those were some of your favorite posts, too. And I really enjoy collecting piles of cool stuff, so I have every intention of continuing this tradition. :D And I’ve added a few weekly extras, too!

So, without further ado, this week’s compilation o’ nifty:

Current Earworm: April March’s Caribou

The Friday Quote:

Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. ~Yogananda

Instagram of the Week: My excessively photogenic babycat, Kitsune.

This is an attempt at a weekly summary post. But since it’s the first one, it’ll be a “recently” summary post. In the spirit of play and exploration and wtf-is-this-new-thing-ness.



Wrote a short story on Sept 1! It’s right here. I wanted/planned to take part in StoryADay September, but dayjob+freelance workload proved pretty crushing, so I let that particular goal go in lieu of keeping myself sane.

I’ve also been rereading the first draft of Everything To Lose, my current WIP, and taking notes per chapter on major events so I can start the uber-revisions of Draft Two. I’m excited and terrified.


I doodled! A couple times! Of my alien symbiotes! (More precisely, a symbiotic pair of arboreal parasitic sapient cephalopod and herding proto-saurian flightless bird.) See:

Yes, they have pets. =3 The story link above also has a doodle of them, since it’s about them. And you can see alien cuddles here, too.


Been thinking a lot of the above symbiotes, their culture and how it’s derived from their physiology. A particular tidbit that made me smile is realizing that their oral narratives are almost exclusively in second person. They’re remarkably self-aware and mindful as a culture, and since all marketing is completely transparent and consciously understood for its symbolism and subconscious/psychological effects, they use the second person when telling stories because they’re quite literally wanting you to be in the story as the main character, feeling what that person feels and experiencing what that person experiences. Unintentional projection (psychologically and verbally) doesn’t happen when everyone understands what using the second person means on all levels and how it can affect the speaker and the listener both.


I realized that the Kalash script needs actual number symbols. Since it’s such an old-to-me, immature conlang (I was in high school, don’t judge), it’s basically an English cypher, and while I think there’s a more true-to-life form that’s phonetic, it’s not the one I use regularly and have memorized. So I might as well just pop in some symbols for Arabic numbers.

I’m also still working on the symbiotes’ language and thus wtf their species names are. I know the avian hosts are dĩ (pronounced dee(nh) – I’ll eventually learn and use APA symbols…), mostly because that’s kind of the noise they make and the tree-octopi named them when they were all younger as species and thus less, er, linguistically complex. But I don’t know what the tree-octopi are called yet, so I don’t know what the symbiotes’ species name as a whole is (it’s a compound word that doesn’t look compound). Argh! MUST KNOW. MUST. KNOW.


(I am still very nervous to be at all public/noisy about my music. It’s so heart-deep to me, and I’m still so new to the crafting thereof, that I am pretty much abjectly terrified that someone will critique what I’m doing and I’ll wither. But, well, trying to work past that.)

I finally added chords to my printed songbook, which had previously just contained lyrics. I also played through/sang through a few songs I haven’t touched in a while. Man, I want to play guitar more. (Read: I want to be better, dammit.)

I also thought of doing a Kemetic filk version of the murder ballad Edward involving Set, Aset (Isis), and Wesir (Osiris). Iii am such a geek. :D


  • I will finish my note-taking on Everything To Lose and begin The Great Outline!
  • I will do a sigil painting for Mama J’s birthday later this month!
  • I will do a very special Kemetic painting for my sister before the end of the month!
  • I will attend FenCon and possibly get up the balls to sing in the after-hours filk circle!
  • I will figure out the symbiotes’ freaking name!

*dusts microphone off* Is this thing still on? I think I forgot to pay the power bill…

lights flicker on … sound of static …

Well hey, lookit that, I do still have a space here.

Hi folks. I’m going to play with this being a blog again. You’ll still be able to read my randomness on Dreamwidth and my spiritual/Kemetic musings as Emky, and my free flash fiction will stay right here for your perusal.

I’m refusing obligation and rigidity and expectation here, for this wee blog. So I may use it several times a week, or once a week, or a couple times a month, or it may fluctuate between all of the above (which is probably the most likely). I know I want to play with it as a record of my creative endeavors, which will hopefully metamorphose into a record of completion/public results.

I also think it’d be nice to have a singular place to showcase all my random bits, from Mythic Curios jewelry and paintings to my little worldbuilding doodles to my new short fiction to my process on my novel projects to maybe even new songs/musical doodles. Having everyone in one place that’s updated maybe weekly with relative news/links would be pretty cool, n’est-ce pas?

I think so. Let’s find out. Commence playtime!

I found a bunch of creative, witty 404 error pages.

I learned that boats are an elder god’s only weakness. Seriously, you have got to read this – it’s friggin’ hilarious.

I read about how corvid intelligence differs from parrot intelligence.

I saw some gnarly examples of what it would look like if men in comic books were drawn just like females are. Worth it for the art, guys, holy crap.

I learned that “… the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new.” A great post about carving your own path, with all the greatness and pain that comes with it.

I learned the truths about the top ten myths about introverts and identify with most of ‘em myself.

I learned that some sneaky bugger is planting story excerpts, dollar bills, and little notes in envelopes around town. Sweet!

Whoop! Last-minute addition!

I heard a Republican Senator say something that’s utterly perfect: “You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing. … I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.” (source)

Senator Roy McDonald, you are fucking awesome, sir.

Your Friday photo is totally not mine. It is © Michael Rathmann on Flickr, and it was taken about 15 minutes from where we’ll be moving next month:

Last Friday, I did not post because I had but three links to give! So you get two weeks’ worth of shiny things. Enjoy!

I learned that there is a giant water bug that eats turtles. Holy crap.

I saw fabulous photos of outfits from genderfunky weddings. :D

I learned how to spread warm fuzzies and not let a good memory just be a memory. Pay it forward!

I learned what “Twitter” and “tweet” would be in Latin. Yes, seriously.

I learned why heroism makes a pretty kickass religion.

I read writing tips from 22 authors.

I saw the first photos of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes in Brazil. Wow.

I learned that great white sharks love AC/DC.

I sent my name to Mars with the next rover – and you can too! AWESOME. (It closes June 13th, so don’t dawdle!)

I read about four things you can do in the morning to totally rock your day.

I found a thing that replaces Peanut’s dialogue with random tweets. This is surprisingly funny.

I read a lot of one-liners that interrupt negative thinking.

I found out what one person means when they say “queer”.

And I read about what “bitch” really means and how to take back the word. I hate that word, but I like this post.

Your Friday photo is totally a cheat, since I haven’t processed any of the photos from the camping trip yet. It is a flower that finally came back to our yard, which delights me to no end, because it turns into this GIANT PUFFBALL that’s bigger than my fist!

When we went to Six Flags, the weekend before last, we also visited the ocean. Unfortunately, the camera’s battery was completely dead, but J’s phone took some rather decent shots.

(Last weekend was our four-day camping trip with the redwoods on the coast, so you’ll be seeing a lot more photo posts for a while. We took over a thousand photos last weekend alone.)

I love driving through the green hills of northern California, I tell you what.

Driving In California

The Hills Are Alive

We went to Point Reyes, where the sea is angry and the cliffs are high.

Point Reyes Seashore

Looking Down from Point Reyes

And we saw some ten or so tule elk from the road.

Tule Deer