The End of a Bad Week

Good beautiful Sunday morning everyone!

Yes, I’m posting my photoblog a day late.  Yesterday kind of dragged me down into a quicksand of nothingness.  It was simply a relief yesterday to not be as angry as I have been all week.  

Why have I been angry?  Chemical exposure.  I have a cat, one goofy cat who, as cat’s are wont to do, likes to use his litter box.  Daily (ish) scooping removes said litter and I ran out before I realized I had none left and, of course, no ability to purchase more until pay day.  So my daughter gave me the stuff she’d bought for her bunny – Yesterday’s News.  It’s fantastic – clean, absorbs liquids without a problem, hardly smell a damn thing.  

Except that I have MCS and Yesterday’s News isn’t made JUST from recycled paper.  

“Yesterday’s News is a paper-based cat litter featuring moisture-locking pellets made out of recycled materials that include newspaper, corrugated cardboard and reclaimed industrial sawdust.”
Corrugated cardboard is made with Kraft paper, corn starch and ‘special glue’.   The term ‘industrial sawdust’ just gives me nightmares.   And newspaper ink is something I have trouble with anyway.
I didn’t know about the cardboard and sawdust when we put the new litter in.  Nor did I think about the ink.  It’s recycled, that should mean it’s clean.  Also, with MCS not smelling doesn’t necessary equal not toxic.  So every time the cat used the litter he was releasing chemicals.  And my cat drinks a lot of water.

Cute little thing, no? Terrible kitty hunter! He caught a feather on a stick.  (My daughter took this picture)

So all week I was getting toxed, badly.  Mood got darker, ability to think constructively went away, I got more emotional.  It was a bad week.   And I am bloody fortunate to have people in my life who love me enough to deal with the days like that, even when they run on seemingly endlessly, and stick around.

We replaced the litter Friday night and I have been trying to air out my apartment since (except that I’m not there and I don’t like leaving the windows open overnight).  Yesterday morning my brain was a lot brighter and I was a lot easier to live with.  

Now I can work!

[[By the way.  Peter said last week that it’s a pain in the ass trying to see details on the smallish way the pics come out in the blog.  I can’t help that.  He said it’s a pain in the ass having to right-click > open in new tab to have to see them bigger.  I figure if you want to see more detail and like the pic enough, you’ll do it.  If you like it THAT much, email me (it’s on my About page) and ask me.  I’ll either send it or give you permission to save it, depending on the picture.]]

I don’t have that many pictures this week.  I should’ve taken my camera to the beach with us last night to catch the waves but we wanted to be tech free and just enjoy ourselves.   We most certainly did!   The water looked like this:  *digs up an old pic*

But without the ice and snow and snow fencing. The high waves and the white caps are the focus here.

And we were playing in it!  It’s the first time in YEARS I’ve had a swimsuit on and actually gone into the water.  I got beat up after being knocked off my feet and unable to get back up for several waves.  Took a couple face fulls of water (and what felt like a lung full, came up choking, hacking, with tears and drool and snot.  Fun times.) and a couple tumbles in the waves without being able to see which way was up.  I’m still finding sand in my ears.  😀  It was great!

Pain meds are paramount today though… totally worth it.

Last week Peter and I were sitting on the beach and I was trying to play with the night settings.  I do not have the fortitude to hold the camera still for the several seconds it takes the shutter to gather in enough light to take a photograph (if that’s the way it does what it does).  BUT I did discover that the “portrait at night” setting is a lot easier.

The Boyfriend. Good looking fella. And yes, he’s older than me, I like that sometimes. I like it in him, although it never comes up as an obstacle. There are times though when he says “When I started racing in ’73…” and I say “Really? I was an embryo in ’73.” hehehe

Yes, I’m an evil little girl.  People love me anyway.

I was playing with other settings too.  Like with this pic.  It was the pop art setting on the sunset, just for fun.

It’s not hugely different than a regular sunset photograph but I like the pop of the brighter colours and the blueness of the gull that snuck into my shot. Everything seems to be just more.

 

In the gated community Peter is staying in this summer they have a set of dumpsters – cardboard, garbage and one that’s kind of a donation thing.  If you don’t want it, toss it in there.  Sometimes the things are broken but rather a lot, people throw away stuff that other people can use.  So Peter likes to go, as it’s affectionately known around here, dumpster diving.  He heard a scrabbling sound from the rather empty cardboard bin.  He looked in and found this little guy:

Cute isn’t it? Barely a teenager he got himself stuck in there. We’re not sure how Rocky came to be in the dumpster but he certainly needed help getting out. He let me take several pictures (since I was incapable of holding the camera still, it seemed).

Then he got this hopeless look about him.  

Poor Rocky seemed to have resigned himself to being stuck there forever. We certainly weren’t going to reach in and pull him out! But Peter had seen this kind of thing before, at one of the places he used to work.

All that was needed was a ladder or a ramp for Rocky to climb.  So Peter looked around and spied a chair.  He set that carefully in the dumpster and we went away.  Next time Peter went over, Rocky was gone.  

My hero.  😉

Crow feather taped to a half inch dowel. Second best cat toy I ever made. (the first was a cat fishing pole with blue jay feathers as ‘bait’) Funny thing is, he HAS to play with it from under the chair. He’s crazy.

Thought I’d end the blog with a chuckle.  Have a great, lazy Sunday folks!  Time for me to get Peter up and see what we’re doing for the day.  Muah!

*wanders off to clean more sand out of her ears first*

 

 

 

 

Teases and Titillations

Well I am about to tease your socks off!  Maybe that should be “I’m about to tease your pants off!”

I have been working on developing Anna and Liam’s relationship, the kink side.  It’s obvious the vanilla side works really well but since she left  and he had to bring her back they’ve been working on the kink.  So I’m going to show you what I’ve been writing the last few days.  

THIS IS NOT KID-FRIENDLY.  If you are under 18, vamoose.  You shouldn’t be here anyway, this is an adult blog.

So, the rest of you, the grown-ups who have a good grip (hehehe!  I amuse myself) on their sexuality, are you ready?

I hope so…

 

Chapter Eight

 

Anna jumped about a foot and stepped into the bedroom, unable to see Liam.  The room was lit with candles and a small table was set with a single place setting, the food she could smell covered by a steel dome.  “Lee?”

Liam took a step towards her from the doorway and crossed his arms.  “Have you forgotten already that I am your Master?”

Startled again, Anna turned to face him.  She drew in a sharp breath in appreciation at his appearance.  He was wearing black leather pants that hugged his hips and legs and cradled the sleeping erection to perfection.  The pants were open at the top, the single button undone, and the trail of his light chest hair into the space between button and buttonhole made her want to see more. On his feet were heavy Doc Martens.  The boots had a buckle at the ankle and another near the top, where they stopped mid-calf.  Anna licked her lips.

Another step towards her and he growled softly.  “I asked you a question, girl.”

Anna’s eyes flicked up to his then down again.  “No Master, I haven’t forgotten.”

“Good.  Strip.”  Liam moved around her to the table to sit in the chair there.

“Yes Master.”  She turned to face him and removed her clothing, folding each piece and setting it aside in a neat pile.  Then she stood before him, arms folded behind her back so each hand grasped the opposite elbow and her feet were shoulder width apart.  It was only then that she noticed a thick, square box on the opposite side of the dinner plate.

Liam looked her over, eyes shuttered to hide the love and desire in them.  “Good girl, kneel. Thighs apart, hands behind your head.”  He watched as she did as he asked.  Her thighs were spread far enough apart that he could see her arousal beginning.  “Close your eyes.”  Again he watched as she did as she was told.

“Master I spoke to El-“

He cut her off.  “Did I give you permission to speak?”

Anna paused, surprised.  Then she murmured, “No Master.”

“Then don’t.”  He watched her for a moment to see if she’d answer.  When she kept her mouth shut he picked up the box and opened it.  Inside was a steel collar with a D-rig at the front, beside a hinge and an invisible lock behind it.  Liam leaned forward and slipped the cold steel around her throat.

Anna gasped at the feel of it, at the chill and the weight.  She opened her mouth then closed it again and waited.  She felt more than heard the snick of the lock fitting together.  Then his warm fingers wrapped around her wrists and he brought her hands down to her lap.  He left the left one there and she felt a slim object being pressed into her hand.  She automatically curled her fingers around it as her breath caught in her throat in anticipation.

“Open your eyes and look at me, girl.” 

Anna opened her eyes and looked up at him, resisting the urge to look at the thing in her hand.  She also resisted the urge to touch the metal around her neck. 

Liam smiled at his Mate.  “You are mine, Anna.  My mate, my pet, my wife.  The ceremony with the dress and flowers, that’s just for everyone else and the government.  You belong to me and you have from the beginning, isn’t that right?”  His voice was gentle.

“Yes Master, I have always belonged to you.”  Anna smiled at him.

“You have in your hand the key for the collar around your neck.  You must lock it of your own free will.  If you do you will belong to me completely.  You will wear the collar in our bedroom and you will wear this alternative when we are everywhere else.”  He lifted a necklace made of slim steel chain; the pendant was a tiny steel padlock not much bigger than his thumbnail.  “You have standing permission to change them when leaving or entering this room.”

Anna offered the key back to him.  Pain clouded his eyes for a moment.  “Please put it in the lock, Master, so that I can turn it.”

The pain cleared and pleasure flooded his face as he took the key and put it in the lock.  Liam watched as she twisted the key and gave it back to him.  He grabbed her by the collar and dragged her forward to kiss her nearly senseless.  Then he let her go and lifted his eyes to the shadows beside the door.  “You saw her.”

Marcus stepped out, scaring Anna badly.  “Aye, my Alpha.  I saw her lock the collar of her own free will.  She is your girl, your slut, yours from now until death.”

Anna frowned briefly, she hadn’t sensed him and it worried her.  Then she realized that she had been totally focussed on Liam.  She smiled at Marcus then lowered her eyes.

Liam lifted her chin.  “Inside this room you are not an Alpha, you have no power here.  You are what I tell you, you will do what I tell you.  And right now, you will suck Marcus’s cock.”

Anna’s mouth opened.  “But Master…”

“Did you just question me?”

“N-no Master.”  Anna blushed then started to rise.

“Crawl to Marcus.”  Liam smiled as she dropped to her fours and did as she was told.  “Good girl.”

Anna’s blush was body wide.  Her arousal added to it, turned the blush into firelight playing under her skin.  She reached Marcus and pushed back until her bum reached her heels.  It took her a moment to stop looking at Marcus’s feet and look up at him.  She blinked at him once then dropped her eyes to his knees.

“Ask him for permission.”  Liam’s voice was quiet.

It raced through her mind to remind him he had told her to do it but she was too far gone to be sassy.  The colour beneath her skin changed subtly as a dull orange began to swirl into the red. Anna peered up at Marcus again.  “Please, may I…”  Her voice trailed off. 

“May you what, Anna?”  Marcus’s voice was low and seemed to flow over her and caress her.

“May I suck your cock?”  It was a whisper but both men heard it.

Marcus began undoing the button fly of the jeans her wore slung low around his hips.  “Since it is the will of your Master, you may.”  He unbuttoned the casual Oxford shirt he wore and put his hands on his hips.  “Do the rest yourself.”

Anna’s brain clicked all the way over in slave mode and she reached for him without hesitation.  She parted his jeans and reached into the briefs beneath them.  Her fingers curled around a thickening cock and pulled it gently free.  With one hand wrapped around the base she leaned up and swept her tongue around the head and brushed it over the crown. 

Marcus’s cock twitched and she grinned.  Anna tongued the crown again and was rewarded with another twitch.  So she wrapped her lips around the head and sucked gently, tongue swirling over him.  Not only did he twitch but he groaned.  She sucked harder and felt him grow a little.  She enveloped all of him.  Her hands left his cock to reach around to his ass as she drew the semi-soft length into her mouth. 

The tip touched the back of her throat and Marcus groaned.  He looked to Liam, his hands moving from his hips towards her head.  At the shake of Liam’s head Marcus returned his hands to his hips with a groan of frustration.

Anna cradled his cock with her tongue and pulled back, sucking hard as she did.  The motion pulled blood towards the tip and made him harder.  She did it over and over again until Marcus was fully hard then she bobbed her head up and down the length of him, her tongue constantly moving.  She Fed on his pleasure, added to it and fed it back to him.  The act of sucking his cock, of making him feel more, feel every sweep of her tongue, every scrape of her teeth, kicked her arousal into high gear and flames swirled under her skin.

Marcus threw his head back and fought to keep his hands to himself.   He dug his fingers into his own flesh and ground his teeth audibly as Anna slipped his cock into her throat until her lips touched the base.  He had such a tight grip on himself he was leaving indents.  When Anna swallowed around him his knees nearly buckled.  She gagged and pulled back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you teased and titillated?  

Good!

That’s the plan.

Liam having Anna suck Marcus’s cock was his way of showing her that HE is in control, not her.  He is the Master here and she is the slave.  In BDSM that affords the slave very few rights of refusal, you give that up when you lock that collar on yourself.  They’d discussed him sharing her with others in both previous books. It’s something that intrigued her but she was, overall, against.  It was a fantasy but not one she felt she could really handle.

Blow jobs are a relatively minor thing for her to be made to do.  Liam is thinking he wants it to go further but I’m not so sure.   I don’t want Anna upset and I’m pretty sure that would upset her.  I think Marcus will orgasm and be sent away.

Since today is my first anniversary with Peter, I am going to go and make breakfast for us then get on with our plans for the day.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Wide Open Spaces

 

Good Saturday morning, my friends!  It has finally cooled down enough here to be livable.  So much so overnight, in fact, that I am wearing socks, a sweater and had a fleece blanket on my lap.  According to Environment Canada it got down as low as 15*C overnight (that’s 53*F-ish for you non-metrics), positively arctic after the last heat wave!

First I want to talk about something serious, because it’s something everyone should be aware of.  

My son scared the hell out of me yesterday.  One minute he was talking to me and then he wasn’t.  Mid-word he just stopped and began to fall forward, face blank, eyes open.  Freaked me the hell out.  I tried to be calm and see what was wrong with him but my first thought was “oh FUCK! My 16 y/o son just had a goddamn STROKE!”  I couldn’t remember all the things to check but I made him smile and talk to me.  I made him walk a straight line to see if he was off balance but that was all I could remember.

And I looked it up later.  The thing to remember is FAST.

F – Face.  Make them smile, if the smile droops on one side, there’s a chance it’s a stroke.

A – Arms.  Make them lift both arms.  If there’s drooping or difficulty on one side, there’s a good chance it’s a stroke.

S – Speak.  Make them repeat a simple sentence.  If they can’t… well, you get the idea.

T – Time.   Call 911 ASAP.  The damage from a stroke can be (almost) completely reversed if they get help within 3.5 hours.

Signs that should make you think of FAST are:  sudden weakness or numbness in face arm or leg; sudden onset of a severe and unusual headache; sudden difficulty speaking or sudden confusion and sudden loss of balance, especially when combined with any of the previous signs.

We took him to the ER.  I didn’t want to because when I mentioned seeing the doc Ben got really nervous.  We (Peter and I) left him at home to go to work, planning on getting him to the doc on Monday.  My Dad insisted on me taking him in and called Ben to tell him that we’d be coming back for him.  

Thank the Gods it wasn’t a stroke.  It’s a small problem with his heart and as scary as that sounds it really isn’t something major.  It’s called a VasoVagal Response.  His heart didn’t grow as fast as the rest of him did (some TWO INCHES overnight in the last growth spurt!) and as a result it sometimes has problems pumping blood to his brain when he stands up too quickly.  It’s like that plummet in blood pressure some people get – stand up and get dizzy.  But with this particular thing his brain says “hmm… no blood, must start shutting things down” and it does. 

To take care of it we have to wait.  He has to be heart health conscious, stay hydrated and be aware of the warning sign (tunnel vision).  If the tunnel vision starts he has to, as the doc put it, “Get your ass down to the ground as fast as possible” then lay down for a couple of minutes until everything is copacetic. 

We were extremely relieved.  Not so much that we missed the seriousness of this condition but it IS something he will (mostly) outgrow.  His heart will catch up.  As I understand it there may be a lingering bit of issue but basically, it shouldn’t keep him from doing whatever he likes.  When his heart catches up, he’ll be good as new.

So now you know the warning signs of a stroke and what to do about it.

My son will be fine.  I know he will be because I tend to be hypervilligant when it comes to my kids’ health.  And I’ll be making sure his father makes the changes in his kitchen to help Ben’s heart stay healthy. 

Back on topic!  It is photography day!

Today my photos will revolve around wide open spaces.  There’s one that is a tad blurry (should I chose to show it) but that’s because almost all the farming countryside photos were taken on the fly.  Zipping down the highway at 95km/h in traffic doesn’t always lend itself to stopping to take pics. 🙂

First though, I have a spectacular bit of look-what-the-sky-did! to show you.  It definitely qualifies as wide open space too.  

Isn’t it beautiful? Look at the way the light streams. And the colours. The silhouettes of the last remaining people on the beach. I loved the whole scene.

 

 

This is the same image about a hundred yards south down the beach and taken on the panoramic setting. The colours are just so vivid and soothing. The tiny dots of the sailboats in the distance… The whole package is simply one of serenity.

And yes, I am aware my horizons are off.  I’m still having problems with my right arm, it just doesn’t seem to be getting better and it’s making depressing the shutter button difficult.

I know, I know “wah wah wah.”  😉  

I live in the country.  My small town is surrounded by farms and wooded areas.  I love the views.  I love the growth, the greenery, the crops…everything about it  – except when the barns are open and the huge chicken & turkey coops open their vents and windows.  It’s nose hair curling, tongue stripping, eye wateringly, stomach heaving bad some days.  *laughs*

They say Montana has the big skies but it’s obvious those people have never lived in Southwestern Ontario.

Bush lines the north side of the far fields of soybeans while harvested winter wheat bisects the greenery and soybean plants bend with the wind in the foreground  (and is blurry with the speed of the car in the very front lol). Blue, blue sky stretches endlessly overhead.

Big skies.  Big fields, we’re talking dozens and dozens of acres together.  In some places, hundreds of acres together.

Harvested gold as far as the eye can see… Until the eye hits the bush anyway. 😀 The bales of hay are huge, standing some 8 feet tall. That puts them close to 1500lbs apiece. There are smaller ones but those weren’t them.

Peter pulled over so I could take that one.  We’d just turned off one road onto another and he decided he liked this (potential) image enough to pull over.

Same field, taken with 2X zoom. I can’t decide which I like better. It was a perfect day, weather wise, if a lot too hot.

Finally, we have the last of the wide open spaces.  Once again, taken while driving.

Corn in the foreground, wheat to the left, soybeans to the right, trees in the background. It’s a peaceful countryside. The energy is good, life abounds. It’s beautiful and I love it.  I also happen to like the focus perspective here. 

I’ve been across Canada and through most of the States and I’ve seen some beautiful places – the Hualapai Mountains in Arizona, mid-Kentucky, parts of Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina – but nothing compares to home.  

Time for me to get on with writing in HW3!  I started a wonderfully HOT scene yesterday and it’s time to finish it.  

Here’s a little kick start to your day for those of you who like to sleep in!  Adios, amigos!

 

 

The Birth of a Character

Sometimes…. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.  And sometimes it’s all Anna’s fault.

This time, it’s Anna’s fault.  She said, “You REALLY have to include she-who-shall-be-named-Jules in the book.  I want her.”

I groaned “But Anna!  We have enough characters!  There are some who have fallen by the wayside as it is.”

She waved a hand. (You have to understand this conversation took place in my head in the yard my characters like to idle in when they’re not busy.  Yes, I’m weird)  “The minor ones come and go, you know that.  Just because you stick someone in there in the beginning of book one doesn’t mean they have to be in every chapter.”

“Sure, that’s true but you want her standing there with you through this book, which makes her a fairly major minor character.”

“Just do it or there’ll be the Great China Wall of writer’s blocks!”  She started to leave.

“Great Wall of China!” I shouted at her before mumbling, “Fine. Pretty sure ‘Jules’ won’t like it though.”

And she doesn’t, the woman the character is based on.  But she’s been told that she doesn’t have a choice, by that group of friends in Scotland.  They have tried to explain how my writing works.  And they’ve told her that any actual resemblance is purely co-incidental.  Sort of.

Real-Jules is tough.  She’s a bit brash but respectful, most of the time.  She’s had to fight her way through her life, as best we can tell. (She’s somewhat secretive about her past. I believe there’s a Bad Thing in there) But I’ll tell you that she cares deeply when she cares and her loyalty to her new friends and family is fierce.

Jules is the same way.  

Neither of them will take less than they think they deserve.  I think Real-Jules is a little more willing to follow the rules, once she knows them.   *laughs*  Jules took matters into her own hands.  Real-Jules is new to our crowd, just like Jules.  Real-Jules still doesn’t trust us all the way but it’s getting there.

Jules just decided she wasn’t an Omega and she set out to prove it, breaking all the rules in the process.

As for physical appearance, they’re only the same in the most basic sense – they’re both hard-bodies.  That’s where the similarity ends, physically.  Their pasts are different.  Jules comes from a moneyed Pack in Wales, a relatively easy life in some ways.  With power comes corruption sometimes and the Alpha there was not a nice man. She left it when the Very Bad Thing happened.  She decided that she didn’t have to live like that, especially in a Pack that wasn’t Home.  It wasn’t where she felt she belonged.  They had found her when she was a small child living with her human parents and siblings, they’d stolen her, raised her as one of them.  So she’d run, changed her appearance, learned to fight better.  Then  she followed the call of a true Alpha – Liam – and found herself welcomed into the Four Claw Pack.  

Jules loves her new Pack because they do things differently and, in her view, better.  

Jules snarled as she turned on Anna.  “That’s what they always say isn’t it?  What if we women raped the men?  What if we used our guns and shoved them up their asses without so much courtesy as a little spit?”

“Jules…”  Anna spoke softly as Jules’s agitation began to get the better of her.

The quiet authority in Anna’s voice stopped Jules cold and her anger drained from her.  She still wasn’t used to the way this pack ran things.  It wasn’t with random threats, hits or shouting.  They didn’t kill pack members for stupid reasons.  They disciplined with talking, with procedures and rituals.  They had ancient traditions they valued and still followed.  When Jules’s other Alpha was killed she felt the pull of this pack in Glasgow and followed it.  The other pack hadn’t been home.  It had been a prison.

This is our introduction to Jules:

Then there was the cake tasting and caterer.  They returned home a few hours later exhausted and walked into the kitchen to see Terry patching up a young female Wolf’s face while another Wolf, male and much larger, held an ice pack to his eye and glowered at her.  Liam was leaning against the fridge with his arms crossed while Marcus appeared to be in the middle of a coughing fit.

Anna looked at all of them, one brow raised while she, Chelle and Doug dumped their bags on the table.  “Lee?  What happened here?”

Liam pushed off the fridge and moved to greet her.  He snaked one arm around her waist and kissed her.  “It seems that Jules here has decided she wants to move up through the ranks.   However, she’s not doing it the right way. “ He gave Jules a stern look, staring her down until she dropped her eyes.

“Is that so?”  Anna moved to stand in front of Jules.  She watched as Jules stoically suffered the stitches Terry was carefully weaving into the gash that curved around her eye.

Jules, almost as tall as Anna but slimmer with well defined muscles, looked up, rolling her eyes upwards and keeping her face still.  She watched as Anna took a step back to make it easier on her.  Jules revised her opinion of the Alpha Mate.  “Yes Ma’am.  I am not an Omega and I refuse to remain as one.”

“How many have you beaten so far?”

“I am up to the Xi, my Alpha.”

“From Omega?”

“Yes Alpha.”  Jules hissed in pain as Terry tied the last knot then clamped her mouth shut and swallowed the sound.

Anna smiled a bit.  “It’s okay to feel pain, Jules and to express it.”

“If you say so, Ma’am.”

“I do.”  She turned to Liam.  “What is the proper protocol?”

“We set a time and a protected Circle and the one who wishes to rise through the ranks fights the one above them.”  He glowered at Jules.  “One at a time.”

Anna nodded, thinking.  “She’s already beaten at least 9 correct?”

“Aye.”  Liam answered after a brief moment to count.

“It would be a shame to make her fight them all again.”   She looked at Jules.  “Why do you want to move up?”

“Because I’m not an Omega!”  She pushed Terry’s hands away from her face, uncaring that she hadn’t cleaned all the blood off yet.  “I don’t deserve to be there.”

Like I said, she’s tough, she’s bold, she’s brash.  And she knows what she deserves, what she wants, what she is.  Jules is now in Anna’s personal security detail.  ….What, after all that’s happened to her you did’t think Anna would go unprotected did you?  Liam is wary about putting such a new pack member with Anna but she currently has Chelle and the Master-At-Arms Doug with her too. 

Anna is all smug in my head.  “I told you she’d fit.”

Sometimes I hate it when she’s right.  

 

Just so you know how hard she’s fought so far.

Design, Appreciation and Research

Good Monday morning folks!

My writing has been hung up a little bit because of research and the increase in one of my medications.  I’m struggling with the fatigue side effect.  I take it three times a day – breakfast, mid-afternoon and bedtime.  The bedtime increase in tiredness is fine, I sleep better.  But taking my pills at 6:30am and needing a nap by 8 is kind of unacceptable.  It makes it more difficult to focus.

Research has involved family trees.  As it turns out, the Dalrymple family seems to have died out.  Why do I need to know the family tree for these people?  John Dalrymple – the 1st Earl of Stair – is the one who signed the papers to kill off the MacDonalds of Glen Coe. (hmmm Random thought just popped into my head – illegitimate children)  So I definitely have to research Robert Campbell.  And William of Orange – I think his tree will be easiest. 

I have also been working on the detail stuff.  Like what the Pack lands look like, how big it is, how big the house is, what it looks like, what’s original and whats recent (say the last 200 years) renovations.  All this stuff is helpful.  So I have been in the midst of design.  It has to work.  It has to be doable.  If I ever publish a companion book all this stuff is going to be in it.  (That would require a LOT of help! lol)

I opened wordpress this morning to discover that I have hit the 200 Likes mark!  WOOT!  Thank you everyone!  I also have 48 blog followers, 4 following comments, 14 Twitter followers and 28 Facebook followers.    

You people rock and it’s almost time for a giveaway!  

I’m going to share Elsie’s tale with you because that is some writing I DID get done and I think it turned out really well.  And I tell you, I am going to have to start writing daily; writing something, even if it’s not HW3.  Nano is coming up and that’s a 2500 words-a-day undertaking.    Shake off the effect of the medicine and make my brain work.  

I wish it were that easy.  We’re coming up to the end of the first week of the adjustment and I hope it won’t be too much longer.  It had just better not be permanent!  

Caffeine.  I need caffeine.  Too bad I don’t/cant’ drink coffee. *laughs*

Anyway, here’s Elsie’s story (it’s a bit of a read).  Enjoy your day and keep cool!  

Oh btw, if I’m getting any of Elsie’s speech syntax wrong, please email me and let me know how to fix it – caitybowman@gmail.com

Elsie appeared near Anna where the woman was talking to another, the one Elsie had enviously watched fight a man much larger than she and win.  The younger woman saw the ghost first and rose to her feet with her eyes narrowed.

“Who are you?  What are you doing here?”  Jane tried to make her voice intimidating and succeeded in Elsie’s estimation.

“Ye know me, Dearie.”

Jane looked past her desire to prove herself and recognized Elsie at once.  “Oh, hi.”  She smiled then winced and looked at Anna.  “I think Elsie wants to talk to you, my Alpha.  I should go.”

Anna smiled at her.  “Sit Jane, we can both hear what Elsie has to say.”

“Yes Ma’am.”  Jane sat down again as Anna shifted to face Elsie.

“Hello there.  We have some talking to do, aye?  I need to know what happened that night before I can help.”

Elsie was surprised to be pre-empted in her effort to bring their plight to Anna’s attention again.  “Aye, we do.”  She twisted the lock of hair around her fingers again.  “Me amandan of a husband wishes me to push you to allow us to find peace.”  She scowled.

“It’s alright Elsie.  I made a bargain and it’s time I kept it.  Please tell the MacIain I thank him for the time to rest.”  Anna leaned back and folded her hands in her lap.  “Please tell me why you and yours cannot rest.”

“We canna rest because we were betrayed!  We canna discover who did it.  Until we know we are trapped here.”  Elsie’s eyes were troubled.  “We are also missing members of our clan.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, we are aware of the clan members who lived and their descendents, so long as they remain in the area.  And we are not ashamed t’admit that we do on occasion visit the ones remaining in Glen Coe to check on the others.”  Elsie smiled briefly.  “But there are fifteen or so who are missing, including me own son Alasdair, the youngest of our family.”

“What would you like me to do?”  Anna was frowning over the missing people.

“We’d like you to find our betrayer that we might exact retribution and finally move on from this life!”  Elsie’s anger made her glow like a full moon on a cloudless night and she paced as she spoke.

Anna held her hands up and out, palms up.  “We can do that.  Why don’t you tell me what happened?”

Elsie rubbed the fingers of her right hand as she thought.  “There was a war between our beloved King James and Prince William of Orange.  Willy was offered the throne of England and decided he wanted to expand his holdings by taking over our country.  Well, our Jimmie would have none of that now!  We fought, the men of the Highlands and the English.  Willy won and eventually offered amnesty to those Highlanders who swore fealty.

“Jimmie dithered about responding to the Chiefs’ requests to allow us to do so and save our clans.  My Allie was late settin’ out and then when he arrived in Fort William, the governor turned him away.  He sent him to Inveraray.   Along the way Allie was stopped and held up by Drummond at Barcaldine.”  Elsie stopped and took a breath she didn’t need.  “He arrived late at Inveraray, aye, but his oath was heard by Sir Colin Campbell,” she spat the name, “due to the letter Hill sent him with.  Allie returned to my arms satisfied that we and our holdings were safe.”

Anna nodded as Jane leaned forward, fascinated.  “I’ve heard this tale.  You’re one of the MacIains?”

“Aye lass, I am the Chief’s wife.”

“Wow!”  Jane’s enthusiasm was boundless.  “Is it true that a Campbell rode into your home?”

“Aye.”  Elsie sighed.  “He and his men-“

Jane interrupted. “The first and second companies of the Earl of Argyll’s Regiment of Foot.  They were about a hundred and twenty strong.”  Anna laid a hand on Jane’s arm and Jane shut her mouth with a snap and a blush.

Elsie smiled gently at the young Wolf.  “’Tis alright, lass.  We know that our history has some renown.  Aye, they were one hundred and twenty men.  They accepted our hospitality for ten days before that fateful morning.”

 

Chapter Six

 

Just before dawn, February 13th, 1692, Glen Coe

Captain Robert Campbell slipped from his official billeted place in the house of Alasdair MacDonald, otherwise known as the MacIain, and set about rousing his men as quietly as possible.  He didn’t notice the younger Alasdair sneaking away.  He sent one Lieutenant Lindsay and a small company of handpicked men to the MacIain’s house.  “Make sure you slay him and his wife along with any ye may find in his house.”

The Lieutenant snapped off a salute.  “Aye Captain!”  Lindsay was a hard man and he was pleased to see that the men the Captain had chosen were ones he had worked with before.  He knew they’d do what they had been ordered and they’d enjoy it. 

The four men crept through the pre-dawn light and surrounded the Chief’s house.  They peered in the windows and saw the man and wife still slumbering in their beds.  In another room were two young women who helped keep house.  They pulled back and discussed their course of action.   They had to move fast, the MacIain was the first to go, the other houses would be invaded as soon as the Lieutenant was inside.

Lindsay decided that they’d knock on the door.  He smiled at the disheveled MacIain as he spoke.  “If ye’ll forgive the early intrusion, Laird, I’ve a message from the Captain.”

“What’s that bastard want at this hour?   Come in, come in.”  Alasdair turned and shouted for the others to wake and bring their guest some refreshment.  He’d spoken no more than two words once his back was turned and all four men shoved their way in. 

Lindsay put his gun to Alasdair’s throat.  “Listen to the screams of yer kin, all slaughtered in the name of William of Orange for failure to swear fealty.”

“But I did!  That filthy bastard Colin!  He delayed me apurpose!”

“Aye,” sneered Lindsay as Alasdair’s wife and servants were dragged into the room, “he did.  The MacDonalds must be wiped from the earth.  Now watch as we take those closest to you.”

Alasdair roared in fury and lunged towards his wife.  Lindsay shot him in the left knee with his blunderbuss pistol.  The MacIain fell to the floor amidst the screams of his women. 

“Allie!”  Elsie cried his name and tried to get to him.  She was punched in the kidney and hauled back by her hair.  She curled into the pain as best she could.

Lindsay’s men looked at him expectantly and he nodded.  The two young women were shoved face down on the table and their gowns torn from their backs.  The men holding them were soon thrusting into them with cocks hardened by adrenaline and a sadism that was honed by years at war.  The men grunted and groaned as the girls screamed and begged.  Almost with the same thought the soldiers grabbed them by the hair and yanked their heads back.

“Watch them die, violated, in pain and fear.”  Lindsay made sure Alasdair was looking.  He gripped the Chief’s head with both hands and turned his face towards them.  He barked at the third man.  “Make sure the whore wife is watching too.”

Elsie’s head was yanked up and she was made to watch.  The soldier was getting hornier by the second and he folded Elsie’s tit.  She was older, the mother of four and they were large, sagging a bit with their weight.  He didn’t care.  Elsie slapped at his hands and he pinched her nipple until she screamed.

“Do not waste your seed yet!  There’s another to be used.”  Lindsay laughed as he gave the order.  “Kill the girls.”

Blood sprayed in twin arcs as their throats were cut open simultaneously.  Silence descended suddenly as their screaming stopped and the older couple stared in shock.  Screams and shots filtered in through the walls from other houses and the streets.  It was a long moment and then Alasdair roared in pain and fury again and lunged at Lindsay.  Lindsay hit him in the temple with the butt of his gun and Alasdair collapsed.

Lindsay strolled over to Elsie and picked up her right hand.  “Those are pretty baubles.  Give them to me.”

“No!”  Defiant, Elsie glared up at the larger man.

He shrugged.  “It matters not.  I’ll have them one way or another.  We’ll share the bounty, boys!  Take her to the table and hold her down.”

The man holding Elsie began dragging her to the table.  The others leapt to help him and between the three of them they shoved Elsie face first on to the bloody table.  They tore her gown from her and looked her over. She was plump  from childbirth but firm from  the hard work she put in daily looking after her man and their people.  She was in her forties and the years showed on her.  Her people thought she was beautiful and they were right.

These men didn’t care about that.  They didn’t care what she looked like. 

Lindsay snapped his fingers.  “Lundie, hold her down.  You two, help me get the old man into a chair and tied up.  We need to rouse him for this.” 

A short time later Alasdair was choking and coughing.  He glared at Lindsay.  “Do what you will but you’ll never kill the MacDonald spirit.  We will endure!  We will live on.  And you will pay whether it’s a year from now or a century.”  A clap of thunder accompanied his words, making them all jump.

“Say what you will, Allie,” Lindsay sneered the pet name, “you will all die this day.”  He turned back to his men.  “Lundie, you’re second, McNeil you’re third and MacDonnell you’re last.”  He approached Elsie, lifting his kilt as he moved.  “Hold her tight now, but not so tight she can’t struggle.  I like it when they struggle.”

The three men raped Elsie while Alasdair shouted his outrage and promises of retribution.  While MacDonnell was pounding away at her, eyes closed in bliss, fingers digging into her ample hips, Lindsay wandered around to the other side of the table. 

“Such pretty jewels.  I think we’ll have them now.”

“Ye’ll not!”  Elsie curled her fingers back into a fist. 

“Oh I will.”  He pulled his dirk from the sheath on his belt and laid it on the table.  “Open yer hand or I’ll cut your fingers off.”

Elsie, still with the faint hope of living opened her hand but not without a whimper.  In the next moment she fought hard as Lindsay picked up the dagger again.  “Ye said ye’d take the rings!” 

“Oh aye, and I will.  Along with your fingers.  Disobedience will not be tolerated.”  He held her hand tight against the table and set about sawing off each beringed finger.  Blood flowed and Elsie screamed and cried.  Alasdair bellowed curses and promises of pain.  Lindsay looked at him.  “Lundie, your pistol.”  He paused long enough in his cutting and shot Alasdair between the eyes.  “Do shut up.”  Then he laughed at himself and finished cutting off Elsie’s fingers. 

A moment later she too was dead.

 


 

Chapter Seven

 

Glasgow, Present Day

Elsie rubbed her right hand compulsively.  “After that I don’t remember anything for several days.  When I awoke, I guess you could say, our village was burned to the ground.  Eventually we accounted for everyone but my youngest son and about two dozen people.  In all these centuries we’ve not been able to find those few.  We canna search beyond our village and the nearby hills, though not more than a couple kilometers.”  She slumped into a chair.

“Oh Elsie!”  Anna was aghast.  Jane sat in silence as Anna pushed her astral self forward to hug Elsie.

The ghost clung tightly.  “I’ve nae allowed meself to grieve much past that first decade but I donna miss them any less.”

“Of course not.”  Anna looked up as Jane growled.  She moved back to her body and looked at the young Wolf.  “What is it?”

“It’s wrong!  Those men should never have touched those women like that.”  Jane jumped up and prowled around the room.  She’d never told them how she found them, beyond feeling a pull.  She had never told them her past.  They weren’t even sure if Jane was her name. 

“Of course not, Jane, but that’s the way of war.”

Jane snarled as she turned on Anna.  “That’s what they always say isn’t it?  What if we women raped the men?  What if we used our guns and shoved them up their asses without so much courtesy as a little spit?”

“Jane…”  Anna spoke softly as Jane’s agitation began to get the better of her.

The quiet authority in Anna’s voice stopped Jane cold and her anger drained from her.  She still wasn’t used to the way this pack ran things.  It wasn’t with random threats, hits or shouting.  They didn’t kill pack members for stupid reasons.  They did it with talking, with procedures and rituals.  They had traditions they valued and still followed.  When Jane’s other Alpha was killed she felt the pull of this pack in Glasgow and followed it.  The other pack hadn’t been home.  It had been a prison. 

Jane sat down slowly and took several deep breaths.  “I’m sorry, my Alpha, I lost my head.”  She lifted her eyes to the ghost who watched her sympathetically.   “You have my apologies too, Elsie.  There are… things in my past I am striving to forget.”

Elsie smiled softly.  “One should not forget the past, young one.  Learn from it.  Use it to make yourself a better, stronger person.  The past shapes us, it makes us who we are but it is the choices we make that help that.  You do not have to be bitter, angry and hateful to everyone.  You can take the things you’ve been through and use them to help you be confident, strong and a true leader.  You can use those things and be compassionate and caring of your fellow pack members or you can take them and let them mold you into the kind of monster that made you so angry.”

Jane nodded slowly and sat back in her chair to think about it while Anna and Elsie talked.

“What is it you need, exactly, Elsie?”

Elsie sighed and thought for a while.  Then she spoke carefully.  “We want to be at rest.  That means we need to know what happened to our missing kin and we need to know why and who betrayed us.  Allie thinks he needs revenge still but the anger is long past.  We simply need answers.”  She lifted anguished eyes to Anna.  “We canna leave Glen Coe to search for the answers ourselves and there’s been nae a single person who could see us like you can.”  She gestured at Jane.  “We’re not sure why the rest of your Wolves can see us; we think it’s their connection to you.  But no one has.”  She paused.  “Well, nae a one that would listen.”

Left-Handed Photography

 

Good morning everyone!  It’s Saturday and you know what that means!

Photography!  Woot!  

 

Middle of July.  It’s been a sweltering summer already, people are melting under the heat.  Fortunately for those of around here we have a great big, wonderful lake to play around in.  That makes it somewhat easier to bear and we were there again last night.

It’s been a hell of a week this week, folks.  I had one of my medications upped (by 900mgs a day!) and the adjustment period has been slow going.  It makes me really, really tired and leaves me spacey.  The tired is okay at bedtime but when I take my pills at 7:30 and need a nap by 9 it’s not so good. Last weekend I woke up pain in my right elbow and forearm.  It got worse rapidly.  My doc says, “Lateral epicondylalgia.”  I stared blankly at him and he clarified, “Tennis elbow.”

My shoulders slumped and I sighed.  “Oh.  Shit.  Now what?”

“Get a brace.”

Um… sure, easy for him to say.  If he’d given me a prescription for one I’d have it.  But he didn’t, so I don’t.  And I’m right handed.  So, of course, I use my arm.  Which, obviously, makes it worse.  By Wednesday I was in tears and being nagged  by Val (yeah, you heard me, woman, nagged!) to put it in a sling or something.  So my son and I fought with figuring one out with a scarf.  It helped.

Most of the photos today were shot last night, left handed.  *laughs*  Once Peter fixed the sling so that one, it wasn’t pulling on my neck and two, kept me from actually using my arm anyway I was stuck using my left hand to record our walk. 

First though!  I have a couple of amusing things to show you.

One is doofy cat.  I was cleaning my room last Sunday (that included cleaning out the suitcase I don’t need for the next couple of months) and the cat decided to help:

Apparently I was not allowed to put the suitcase away. And yes, that is some kink paraphernalia. 😉 I never hide what I am.

I opened my cupboard to get the brown sugar the other morning and saw the middle shelf.  For some reason it struck me as funny as hell.

Yeah, it’s tea. Not very amusing at first glance but there are 11 kinds of tea in there (and two cans of baking cocoa). At least 3 different brands, although you can guess what my favourite might be. Peter calls me a tea slut. *laughs*

Now, we’ve made some pretty cool things this week too.  Like the sword.  

It’s not finished yet, we need a belt sander to take some of the “hey look it’s a dowel!” appearance but I like it a lot. It’s the right length for an Archer’s sword. It’s not the right weight but I can at least begin to learn to use it some and work out Anna’s battles better. I’d like mock ups of a few of the guns I need to work into HW3… as soon as I figure out what they’re going to be.

And a couple things I made then the photos I took last night.

We bought me a new beach hat. I needed something that covers my face, ears and neck since I’m so susceptible to burns and I liked the hat, looks good on me. However, we didn’t much like the band that came with it. So I made a new one…

I wrapped three pieces of sea glass in slim steel wire and strung it with tiny purple plastic beads and varying shades of white glass beads with tiny sea shells. It took me three hours (the twine and the holes of the beads didn’t always get along) but I’m very happy with the results.

And the last thing: 

While I had my tools out I decided to make a necklace for my daughter. The string is that plastic line they use for making “invisible necklaces” that have become such the fad. I’ve made her a couple others with it because she likes it better than the leather or suede thongs. This is a piece of glass we found that had ridges in it. I filled the ridges with red coated copper wire then strung it with tiny and medium purple beads and large red glass ones. I think she likes it but hasn’t found anything she wants to wear it with yet. I may end up wearing it first on Tuesday. *laughs*

Time for left-handed photography!   We went out after dinner, just in time for the sunset.  

Taking pictures with my left hand generally came out okay but there were a couple shots that looked like this:

Hurts the brain doesn’t it?

Most of them came out alright though.  

This type of gull is one we’ve almost never seen on our beach. But he’s beautiful and he stood there and posed for me. 😀

And just to not bore you all to death, one last one.  I do have a few more pics I wanted to show you but … well maybe tomorrow.

So many people on the beach, so many toys. But this was my favourite. A throwback to my childhood and my brother’s.

Have a great Saturday!

 

A Year in the Life

Happy Sunday afternoon folks!

Little late in the day for my blog but we went to the flea market this morning.  Lots of fun, lots of things to see.  Gave us some great ideas about cars.

So… NaNo.

Like I said yesterday, I don’t normally have any ideas  about it until 4 or 5 days before, if I’m lucky.  NaNo starts on November 1st and runs until November 30th.  You have that much time to create a 50,000 word book.  Don’t worry about editing or formatting, just get those 50,000 words in.  That is, if you’re going to stick to just a goal of the 50k, 1,667 words a day.  However, if you want to hedge your bets against days you’re unable to give as much time to writing as you’d like, you up the daily count.  Like me; I aim for 2,500.   Then I have time for missed days because of my health and time to get a higher word count if the story calls for more.

So what’s my idea this year?

“A Year in the Life of S. Claus”

Yep, the main man:  Santa!

However, it’s not going to be your typical Santa image.  And I will be doing my level best to stay away from any Santa Clause the Movie references.

Peter and I have been working on this together.  We have decided that “Santa Claus” is a corporation and the big, jolly fat man is an image.  Perhaps it’s his flight suit, rather than what he looks like.  We think that the man behind Santa is just that – a man.  A man who was imbued with immortality and magic for as long as he remains in the position.  Someone who was… promoted from within a toy production company.

We figure that Santa Claus Enterprises owns companies like Fisher Price, Little Tykes and Tyco.  He owns shares in Apple, Samsung and sits on the boards of companies like Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Santa Claus isn’t the only gift giving myth out there, there are other cultures that have similar tales.  Iceland has the Yule-Lads.  Thirteen  mischievous prank playing gnome type characters that… well, look for yourselves:

Mostly, though, the Yule Lads have become known for their playful nature. Each of the thirteen is known for playing a different, often quite weird, trick. Ketkrokur, for example, uses a long hook to steal meat, while Gluggagaegir spies into people’s windows in order to find things to steal in the night. Stekkjastaur, a personal favorite, is said to walk on peg legs and harass sheep.

Gift-Giving Style:

The Yule Lads aren’t just about playing strange pranks—they also give gifts to children. Accompanied by the Yuletide Cat, which is described as a hungry beast that is known to eat bad children, they place small gifts in the shoes of well-behaved kids in the thirteen nights leading up to Christmas Eve. Naughty children, meanwhile, are given potatoes.

Read more: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-santa-legends-from-around-the-world.php#ixzz203jwSV3n

Peter & I have decided that we’ll stay home for Christmas.  At least, away from Iceland.  *laughs*

There are still more.  We also have La Befana from Italy.  She is most often depicted as a woman who gave food and shelter to the Three Wise Men.  She is seen as an old hag wearing a black shawl and riding a broomstick while carrying a bag of gifts.  She’s said to like her privacy and will whap any kid spying on her.

We may stay away from Italy at Christmas too.

There are many names and many stories for Santa Claus around the world and, in this book, some will be glomped into my main man but there will be others who will be separate.

The main conflict?  A hostile takeover from one of the other Gift-Givers.  Someone who wants to be Santa Claus and not…whichever.

We have been having fun developing Santa’s off-season personality.  The man behind the character.  We have decided he’s a car guy.  But he likes cars that aren’t mainstream.  Like a ’68 Chevelle convertible.  Usually people pay attention to the 67 and the 69 but not a 68.  It’s my personal favourite.

It’s an orgasmic drive. 😀

 

We thought he’d like something like this…

The 1957 Chevy Bel Air Wagon

And a little ’32 Deuce Coup:

Little beauty of a ’32 Deuce Coupe.

And those are jsut the cars he drives in North America.  We figure that he probably spends a month or so traveling from one car show to another.  From big ones like the Philadelphia Auto Show to the Hot August Nights in Nevada to smaller, more local car shows like the Import Expo in Markham, Ontario.  

And finally, for tooling around Europe we figure he’d have something like this:  

A 1955 Fiat 1100. Isn’t it cute?

I like the car next to it too.  *laughs*

What kind of man is he?  An overworked, stressed CEO who works 10 months of the year and takes 2 to himself and his wife…if he has one, maybe he’s a bit of a womanizer.  Or maybe he just hasn’t found anyone in his 600-odd years he’d care to share his immortality with.  

So there it is, a year in the life of the very busy Santa Claus.  

No, that’s not all of it.  It’s not even all of the brainstorming that’s been done in the last couple of days.