Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writing Playlist

Thought I'd share the music I'm currently writing to. It isn't stuff I'd normally listen to, to be honest. I tihnk I may need to burn a cd of it for the car, though, because I'm really enjoying it.

If novels had soundtracks, the one for mine this time around would be "Into the Night", by Santana, featuring Chad Kroeger. That, however, isn't necessarily on my writing playlist. It just sums up the story really well.

The playlist:
1. Freefall by Pitch Black
2. Shining by David Morley
3. Beautiful Things by Andain
4. The Longest Road by Morgan Page, featuring Lisse
5. Fight for You by Morgan Page
6. Agnus Dei by Morgan Page (/Apparently no video is available on You Tube for this one.)
7. Only Human by Morgan Page


Some Minor, But Important, Characters

The first couple of these are true bad guys.

Bel is basically a bully, with power. He can be very cruel and vicious, which is how got not only got to where he now is but also how he's managed to stay there for a few thousand years. He's used to getting what he wants, when he wants, as long as he doesn't step on the toes of those higher up the power food chain.

He now considers Mina to be an ungrateful, traitorous bitch for her desertion and is rather ambivalent about getting her back, not that he wouldn't welcome her back into his bed, after she was suitably humiliated and punished of course. As long as Selena is meeting his carnal needs, he's rather content. And he does keep his opinion to himself. He didn't get to where he was by being stupid.

Selena is the boss of her own coven, but she wants an alliance with Bel's coven, which she is willing to forge via his bed. She's pretty sure that Mina's return will dislodge her from there and would rather not see that happen.

She either wants to see Mina not return or, even better, return in total disgrace and humiliation. Basically, Selena is a politically grasping, vindictive, hell's fire bitch, with an agenda.

Nefriah is the angel who watches over Mina. He's extremely benevolent and has great faith in the goodness of others, even demons. He very much wants to see her succeed.

God has great faith in Nefriah and his instincts. They've very rarely been wrong throughout the millenia.

Novel Notes

No, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth, although it sometimes feels like it. Next year I shall treat doing NaNo and YWP as a full time job and act/prepare accordingly. Wow, it's been a busy month keeping everything straight.

Speaking of keeping everything straight, I worked out these notes two weeks ago and keep forgetting them at write-ins. So, I'm treating all of you to my little character treatments by using this blog post as a place to stash them where I can access them again at a write-in if I need to. It's been quite frustrating not having them when I want - almost as frustrating as being so behind in my word count..

Children of Lilith
Exactly what the term implies - they are the children of Lilith that she took to Hell with her when she cast her lot in with Lucifer back at the beginning of time. Definite anger issues run in the family. They are also very beautiful, even if it is usually only skin deep. While no one in Hell ever really trusts anyone else, Liliths' Children tend to form alliances with and side with one another before other types of Fallen.

They also tend to have a bit of a disdainful attitude towards humans, although some of that is out of jealousy. However, they also consider humans to be a great source of amusement. Some of their attitude towards humanity is also a bit of a front for feelings of insecurity. After all, in some small way, they are still partly human because Lilith was originally human.

Lilith has also instilled a great distrust/loathing in them of God, who they feel abandoned their mother in favor of Adam. They do not like feeling inferior to others, although that's a bit unavoidable in Hell.

Finally, Children of Lilith aren't technically "Fallen" since Hell has been their only home. They have no real idea of what Heaven is like other than what the truly fallen have told them. They tend to serve as Temptors in the physical realm - lust, glutton, etc...

Wilhemina "Mina" Stanilos (main female character)
 Mina is a Child of Lilith who decided to become redeemed about 9 months ago. She's still not fully trusted by many in the Angelic Host.

She was one of the best Temptors in Lust that Hell possessed.

Her former lover, Bel, is a sort of "boss" over a group of demons (coven). He specializes in tempting others with promises of power. Mina was with him as a means of protection, since none of the others would mess with her as much if she was with him.

Mina is curious for a demon and has never completely bought all of the hype about the freedom they're given in Hell. It took a long time but she eventually became dissatisfied enough to seek out something else.

Her mentor and primary contatct in the Angelic Host is Nefriah, who has great faith in her desire to be/do good.

Mina has dark, thick black hair, green eyes, and full red lips. Her complexion is pale and creamy. She's slender, but not skinny, and full of curves. She stands at about 5'4".

Devin "Newcombe" (main male character)
Devin is also a Child of Lilith who can exude the charm and sophistication of a James Bond if necessary. (Actually, he could probably make Bond look like a rank amateur if he really wanted to.) He is also part of Bel's coven.

Devin has been attracted to Mina for a long time, but could never act on it because of Bel. He's finding himself torn between successfully getting Mina back for Hell and dragging things out as long as possible. Also, he's having issues with how happy Mina seems to be and is a little torn by his need to destroy that. He also figures, correctly, that she'll never forgive him for it.

Devin has dark brown hair just long enough for some curls to form. His eyes are a greenish/gold and he's got a strong, wirey build, even though he's not necessarily a "big" guy. He stands about 5'9". Oh, and he's also a Lust Tempter and quite good at what he does.

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Novel Writing Month 2010

Yep, it's that time again. November is upon us, which means a bunch of crazy folks are trying (and succeeding!) at writing novels. And once again, I'll be among them. I absolutely love November and National Novel Writing Month.

It's only 9am and already one writer has been talked down from the edge and there are two writing events in the next two days - three if you count my lunch time write-ins over at the elementary school with the Writer's Club kids. Of course, I still haven't written word one on my own novel yet. Maybe I should go get to work on that.....

Happy November, ya'll.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Was Once Called Gay

Of all the things I thought my next blog post would be about - my job, writing, November - bullying certainly wasn't on the list. I post a lot of what I consider civil rights and common sense and decency issues to Facebook,  but I really do try to limit a lot of the political stuff to issues that are really important to me. This post will touch on two of those issues: bullying and gay rights.

(For the record, I've friended several folks whom I went to school with on Facebook and consider several of them to be geniune friends should we meet on the street. This isn't intended to make them upset, but I need to tell the story as it happened.)

You see, I was that kid that everyone picked on in school. In elementary school it was mainly by exclusion - I simply didn't fit into any of the various groups. And yes, I was teased, although I doubt any of my tormentors meant it to be mean. Middle school was an entirely different matter, though. There were a couple of 8th grade girls who took delight, for whatever reason, in deliberately tormenting me. Maybe I wore an invisible "Kick Me" sigh that only school bullies could see. By the middle of the year, the one girl had taken to calling me "gay" whenever she saw me in the hall. She obviously enjoyed my embarassment and discomfort. I was a very shy, quiet, and awkward kid, preferring to blend nicely into the background thank you very much.

The torture lasted for the better part of the year, until she nearly split my lip on a water fountain (accidentally) trying to show off for her friend. Maybe she decided I was cool for not making a big production out of it because that was pretty much the end of her torment. (Goodness knows I could have made a big deal of it if I'd wanted to. Braces meeting water fountain isn't fun. AND I was in good with the admin folks, but I knew it really was a stupid accident.)

I really must have worn an invisible sign of some sort, because when I started at a new high school in 9th grade, on the other side of the county, there was a girl in my new class who reminded me so much of that other girl, although she didn't call me gay. She did, however, try her best to pick a fight with me - for months. I simply wouldn't take the bait and didn't appear bothered by her one bit. I'm sure it confused her. I had no problem with being called chicken, because I wasn't. It's just that a fight would have been stupid. (One day I walked up to her in the cafeteria after lunch and further confused her by asking what I had done to offend her. She looked at me like I was an alien. *grin* I told her that if she could tell me what I'd done, I'd happily apologize. The torment stopped that afternoon. She simply didn't know what to do with me after that.)

I survived the teasing and have obviously gotten on with my life. Sometimes it wasn't easy. I had to do a lot of work on self-esteem and confidence issues and sometimes I still need to work on them, but I got there and I'm rather happy with my life now. However, I've never forgotten what it feels like to be called names. The girl in question wanted to hurt me, for whatever reason. I can understand the need of marginalized and tormented students to either escape somehow or to reach out and hurt those who are hurting them.

Obviously, I'm not gay. I'm happy married to a guy I love and I've two wonderful daughters. If I had been gay, even if I hadn't realized it at the time, this story might have a different ending. I was already suicidal in high school. Maybe such teasing and name calling would have pushed me right over that very narrow edge. Maybe not.

I do feel for those who bully. In most cases something is obviously lacking in their life. However, I feel sorrier for those who are bullied. Too often their innocent victims, in the wrong place at the wrong time and attracting the wrong attention. There should be zero tolerance for bullying. There should be zero tolerance for tormenting a kid because of who he or she might be attracted to. Goodness knows that they're probably having a difficult enough time dealing with things as it is. And there should definitly be zero tolerance for seeing just how vicious you can get and how far you can push someone just so you feel big, and powerful, and important. You're noticed all right....for the wrong reasons.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Quickie

As soon as I'm feeling better, I really will do a proper post. This virus that I came down with last week has just left me exhausted. In the meantime, for the 3 people who actually read my blog ;-), the very nice lady at One Pearl Button has a neat giveaway for a one-of-a-kind charm-like bracelet. Go check it out!

Bird's Nest Fern's bracelet giveaway on One Pearl Button.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I had really hoped to get into the habit of posting at least weekly on my blogs, has other ideas. My head is about to explode from all of the videos and course intros I've been watching and reading for Drama Queen's beginning year at OHVA. The checklist is almost done, thank goodness, and she's getting started on her assessments adn trying out a few lessons here and there. Monkey Girl is almost ready to start back on Tuesday - hair cut and a new dress to wear to school. Supplies have been purchased and will soon be packed.

However, when that's all over, I get to finish up my article on Perseus and the Clash of the Titans movies. I'm really enjoying working on it and hope those of you who buy next year's Magical Almanac enjoy reading it as well.

So, probably no new blog updates until early September, unless I just need that particular mental break.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Blogs!!!

What has the Elven Thief been up to lately, since she hasn't been writing on her blog? She must surely have been busy, right? Right?

Well....I"ve slept. ALOT. Blame it on the heat and the incredibly horrific allergies this year. Pretty much everyone in the county has suffered, it's been that bad.

However, I HAVE been doing some writing. There's an article on both Clash of the Titans movies comparing them to the classical mythology. I've also started TWO new blogs, which is something I've been contemplating for awhile now. The first, Oak and Olive, is to help me get down what it is I believe from a spiritual perspective. Should be fun and will definitly be interesting.

The second one, Bridgette's Scrapbook, is to share items from our Adventure! Tales from the Aeon Society game, which a dear friend GMs when he's home. I've been drawn to writing snippets of fiction and such for it ever since we started, several years ago. The setting has a bit of a horror base to it, as well as elements of Vampire, Changeling, Werewolf, and now Promethian, plus whatever else we dream up. It's been great fun.

Well, that's it for now. I need to try to get some more work done on the article. I hope you enjoy the new blogs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Personalized Psalm 126

This was an activity we did at Bible study last night. We're studying the Bible and Brahm's Requiem. Thought I'd share.

When the Lord revealed herself to me
I was like one who had dreamed.
My heart and body were filled with joy and I wept.
My soul was no longer empty,
but was filled with love. With peace.

You have done great things for me, o God.
Please, continue to give me the strengths
to face life's challenges,
to find humor in the negative,
and to remain positive in times of trials.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

10 Cool Things About Camp

So, a week ago this little church-going polytheistic witch found herself at church camp once again. All of the little traditions that make up the PHYO Conference didn't leave me feeling overwhelmed, like last year. I could even remember most of them. :)

So, what are 10 of the coolest things about being at camp?

10. Wireless Internet Connection - Yes, Camp Christian has internet in the admin office and the dining hall. And I took Mathilda along with me this year. I didn't get much work done, though, as a couple of us made our computers available for the kids to vote for Hiram Farm in the Pepsi Refresh Everything contest.

9. AC in the dining hall - This was the saving grace this year. I'm not sure I'd have done as well as I did with the heat if it weren't for being able to spend some free time, as well as class time, in here.

8. Adirondak Chairs - There are two huge circles of these on the main part of the campus and they are a truly great place to hang out and get to know everyone. PHYO is such a small conference that most of the kids get to know most of the other kids and there aren't really the cliques you get with a larger group. Everyone is okay hanging out with everyone else, regardless of where they might be on the social food chain back at school.

7. Spiritual Journaling Workshop - The kids who took my workshop this year apparently really liked it and have requested it again next year. Made me feel great for having tried something new.

6. Singing - Yes, the songs at breakfast and lunch are silly, but they're fun. And the more serious songs at dinner are beautiful. And the singing is absolutely beautiful. Many of these kids are in choirs and choruses back at home and you can tell. "Sanctuary" gives me goose bumps and it's not the only song to do so.

5. Sacred Space - You know the moment you pull past the camp's sign that you are somewhere special. The land definitly belongs to God and you can feel it in the energy of the place.

4. Camp Traditions - There are too many to even begin with, which can make it hard on newcomers - campers and counselors alike - but the more experienced kids are great at letting you know what's going on. And, well, the Order of the Fork just rocks.

3. Gospel of John class - The cirruculum I got to team teach this year dealt with the Gospel of John. We had some great discussion and well, I got to show Rowan Atkinson's "Amazing Jesus" sketch. How much cooler could it get?

2. Adults - I have no idea who some of these folks are out in the "real world", but here at camp they are so much fun to interact with. And to know that some of them were so glad I came back makes it even better. Camp is wonderful for everyone's self-esteem. :) And yes Chad, OU is a real school. Sorry the hills scare you.

1. The Kids - The reason I went back this year, aside from the fact that last year was a blast, was because of the kids. Before the week was up last year, several of them were asking me back this year. And they meant it. I had to ladies in my cabin this year that had been in my cabin last year and it was wonderful to see them. It was their last year at PHYO, as they both graduated this year, so that made it extra special.

Bonus: PHYO Love - This shouldn't need explanation after the above list, but I've certainly been going withdrawl from all that unconditional outpouring of affection.

My kids love camp as well, although they both still go to the younger camps, but all too soon they'll be at PHYO and I think they're looking forward to it. And since Monkey Girl has already been at camp this year, we had stuff to talk about.

So, there you go. And that's only a partial list of what makes camp so cool. I'm not sure I could even begin to catalog all the little traditions that make camp so very special. Every kid should have a place to go to where they can completely be themselves without worrying about what their friends - or in some cases, family - think. I'm so glad Camp Christian exsists and that my dear friend, Rev. D, talked me into giving it a try last year.

Monday, April 19, 2010


What was I thinking? Oh, yeah, I didn't let myself think before I did it or I would have chickened out big time. What is it I've done, you ask? I started reading my rough draft from November to the fifth and sixth grade classes here at the school. The response has been a writer's dream, but now I'm worried I won't get to finish reading it to them. I may get lynched!

Seriously, though, the kids are amazingly wonderful and buy me to keep reading. It really is a dream the overall response I've gotten.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm writing this from the elementary school today, where I'm volunteering in the library. I do this a couple of times a week, give or take. During the book fair, I'm here pretty much all day, all week. Two weeks ago COSI on Wheels came to our school and I volunteered at that as well. Every to often someone comments on how much I do. Something along the lines of "bless you for giving so much of your time" or something like that. (By the way, I know at least a couple of folks who volunteer far more time to things than I do, although it's not necessarily sometime like time at a school or nursing home.)

I appreciate those comments, although they get a little embarassing. You see, I'm totally selfish about volunteering. I love my time at the school more than I can find words to describe. I AM blessed. It's a fabulous "job". Every smile. Every hug. The looks of excited expectation for a good story well read when the kids come in for library time. Finding that book that has even the more fidgity of kids sitting still in rapt attention. Being told that I'm their favorite teacher. (I love that one!) I get paid so very well and gobble it up greedily, coming back every week for still more. Honestly, I'm not really giving anything up by being here and I'm getting so very much.

There are other places I could volunteer. I'm sure my time could be well spent working with favorite causes, stuffing envelopes. However, I don't think I'd enjoy them as much as this. Seeing these kids when the world opens up before them thanks to a book, or story, or even a personal anectdote. Taking the time to listen to their stories and worries and truimphs. Letting them know I see them as individuals and that I value them. My time is well spent and I am, indeed, very blessed. I can't think of a better way to spend my time than here at the elementary school.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Tired Random Thoughts

I have decided to make it official - I hate February. Not only do I hate February, but the season of death that I was hoping left us when the calendar rolled around to January 1, didn't. No one close to me has passed away, but enough folks that I care about have suffered loss already this year. It can quite whenever it wants.

I do, however, like the snow, so I'm not complaining - too much - about the snow days the girls will have to make up. it's been beautiful. (Some photos have been uploaded to my Facebook profile.:)

What's up with the reading list? Yes, that list to my right. A friend from NaNo tries to read 100 books a year and I'm playing along. I thought this would be a fun way to keep track of what and how many I've read. It's been fun so far.

Okay, I think it's now time for Melinda to go to bed. I'll try to make the next posting have a little more substance.

Night all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh Dear!

Almost three months since I've written anything on here, let alone posted some fiction. I'll try to post the end of "Divine Visions" over the weekend, really I will. And next year? I'm already planning to just take January off as much as possible. Between the work/stress/creating of November and December, I'm pretty much a mental zombie by January and shut down regardless. It's been that way the past two years, so I may as well plan for it. I did win NaNo this year again though, while sick. And I got to enjoy seeing some area winners cross that finish line for the first time as well. It was a heady month.

In the meantime, I've been promising a friend that I'd write up the following recipe for the most heavenly black bean soup. It'll warm you to your toes with its tastiness. And, it's vegetarian!

Heavenly Black Bean Soup

4 cans black beans, rinsed
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
3/4 c. button mushrooms, sliced and then loosely chopped
2 tbsp. preserved garlic in oil, heaping
1 packet dried onion soup mix

Toss it all into the slow cooker with about 4 cans worth of water, more or less, and let cook for at least 4 hours. Enjoy.

Yep, pretty easy. You could probably do it on the stove as well and just let it simmer for at least an hour. If you need to cut the amounts, try for a ratio of about 1/2 black beans to 1/2 veggies. This served six people, although a couple of us didn't eat that much for various reasons.