Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Flogging Nano

So today I flogged out a bazillion (okay 50K+) words on HEART OF THE FOREST and flogged NANOWRIMO three days early. I'm so happy! Now I can happily finish writing the book without feeling the sting of not getting enough done on time. I done do'ed it!

That's why I haven't been on here recently. This year it was especially hard because every time I sat down to write I got unspeakably tired. Like I couldn't keep my eyes open for another second without a hefty nap. But I pushed through.

I also have been having a rough time with my computer since I very stupidly allowed a company to put software on my computer. Now I want it OFF. I'm never going to buy a thing from them again. Ever. I figured out a way around the craziness by turning off my wifi until I need it. Makes me happy when stupidity falls away and the sunshine peeks through.

So the itinerary? I'm going to finish writing HoftheF and then write FORLORN HOPE, the sort of prequel to HoftheF. It's a strange setup, since FH will be in a different genre. I'm hoping it'll work out fine. I'll enjoy reading it, anyway. I'm hoping it'll be a less gritty Bernard Cornwell offering. Okay that's ambitious. In that vein. There.

So. Now I'll have time to look at Christmas lists and start shopping and spend some quality time with my dog and when they show up, kiddlings...:o)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Catching Up-ish

Holy crow it's been forever since I wrote here. I'm getting ready to write either FORLORN HOPE or HEART OF THE FOREST for NANOWRIMO. I can't figure out which. HEART is actually sort of a sequel although it won't be the same genre. I know. What shelf will they put it on in a bookstore? But FORLORN has to get written because it's there in my head, banging to get out. So that's what I'm preparing to do in November. The bad thing was that my publisher didn't pick up the last book I pitched them...mostly because I think they're having a bit of a rough time lately. I'm hoping they can pull that bunny out of their hat again. Hopefully HEART will be what they want.

I had a blast at ANWA conference this year. I got several prayers answered and in a very deliberate way. It was clear why I needed to be there. The lady I pitched to wants my query letter. I've got to churn that thing out soon.

It's been a hideous summer full of angst and termites and more angst. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight, since one of us is comfortable with things as they are in the house...sigh. But that's a tale for face to facing. Suffice it to say that I am now really good at spotting the horrible little destroyers.

So our house is still in flux, although we have most things back inside--just not in a place I'd like them to be. Slowly I'm edging them back in, because it's going to be the new millennium before anything gets done.

Riley the dog is a wonderful little pup. I absolutely love that brilliant little soul. He's into chasing squirrels and cats at the moment, and was contemplating my friend's guinea pig with relish for a few seconds.

We got to go to Indiana (me twice) to see my eldest and her sweety and the kids in their new habitat. It's fabulous, but unfortunately includes chiggers. Don't like those cusses because they render those enormous yards next to worthless. We went to see the Moundbuilder Mounds (a way cool place that I wished I could have excavated). We celebrated two birthdays while we were there and played lots of games. The kids and I made a wishing well to go with their fairy village. Very fun. The baby is greased lightning in army crawling. They mostly had fun with Grandpa, though. He really enjoyed that.

I also went to CO to see my folks. I took the dog and he absolutely LOVED chasing deer. He'd take one step and launch himself off the deck. That deck later collapsed, though not the dog's fault. We went to the hot springs and to garage sales and to Durango to look at the fire that burned so much acreage.

In a while my sister is going to Southeast Asia and I get to go watch her kids. I think she should watch her kids and I go traveling. Yeah. Although I guess I get to take kids to Canada to play hockey every week.

Anywho...not loads to look forward to right now. I'm going to be steam punky for Halloween. Woo.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dove UnLove

See. This woman's trying to throw the dove out the door too.

I've mentioned my dislike affair with doves, mostly in poetry. Yesterday I had reason to dislike them further:

Sometimes we have the door open for the dog to go out and come in. Today, instead of the dog, a DUMB dove flew in and got up in my bottles on the shelf and was strutting around knocking bottles off the shelf. Luckily none of the dye water-filled ones fell. But he wouldn’t get the heck off!!! I got the antenna I use for putting drawstrings through, and poked it and poked it but it kept trying to fly out the closed windows up there. Finally I got something else to force the bird onto the antenna and launched his butt out the door. As a result, my big blue bowl and a dainty red candle jar fell and shattered. I guess I’ll add them to my colored glass sculpture in a bit.

Possibly it was the same dove that was sitting on her nest in my plant hanger when I moved it to the tree. The dove left when I went to move it, leaving two little eggs. Those eggs were both in the nest all safe and sound when I left it. The mom sat up on the roof of our carport and screamed WHO WHO WHO at me. By the time my Hubs got home from work a few minutes later, the eggs were gone. Either something was so fast as to climb up there in ten or so minutes, or the smartest mommy dove in the world flew over there and got her eggs to safety somewhere on someone's car or shoe. So maybe it was the same irate mom dove that decimated my bottle display. Maybe she's the one who blasted my glass as well as pooping all over my newly made bench plus the family vans. Everywhere PooP!!! Plops of it all over the bench, porch, walk, cars, and windshields. And the windshields were HARD to clean off this time. It's all a plot, I tell you.

In fact, maybe she started all this because I was badmouthing doves for being so stupid that they only had one thing to say on a constant basis. Who? That's it. In one note, usually, although some of them slide lazily off to one more note. Doves are definitely NOT Mockingbirds, which are some of my favorites. Nope. Doves will build nests on your ladder. Or in your boot. Or on your car or a cupboard, or a palm tree, where the birdies slide right out and hit the ground. Clearly they've got a screw loose somewhere.

No idea how they got to be everybody's idea of a peace mascot, or the fav bird to have at weddings. I wonder how many of the dolts flew right into the cake when let free. Or how many ran right into the lights or got hit by the getaway car. I think the Mockingbird should be the mascot of peace. Because when they finally shut up after singing all night (sometimes I like lying in bed and listening to them, sometimes NOT), there is PEACE!!!

Lest you think I'm a horrible person who should be lynched for bird hatred, I'm not. I don't actually hate doves. I just think of them as flying rats. I'm just annoyed at the species right now for crimes perpetrated against me. Perhaps someday I'll meet a dove I like (for more than food). Until then, they need to prove their worth. So far it isn't happening...rofl

I can think of other things to add later. I'm blasted right now and heading off to bed because my eyes are closing on their own. Probably the dang bird flu.
I think my dad had the right idea. Fill them with enough shot and they can be worth something...rofl

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Reformation of Lady Elinor Review

Review for REFORMATION OF LADY ELINOR by Darryl Harris

REFORMATION OF LADY ELINOR is about a young widow who is very devout Catholic during a time when the climate of religious belief was changing. Elinor is set to spy on Garrett Bloxham, a handsome man suspected of smuggling English language Bibles into England, a burning offense. She finds, however, that not only is Garrett definitely smuggling books and tracts, but why.

Elinor takes a pilgrimage to Rome in order to pay for some imagined sins in her early life she has been told by her priest has caused her daughter to be blind. She feels that the pilgrimage will earn healing for her daughter, and possibly buy her own way out of Purgatory.

On the journey she takes with Garrett Bloxham and his servant, she finds that things are rotten in Rome. Instead of finding the meeting with the Pope and his servants blissful and fulfilling, Elinor finds that he is definitely a man with feet of clay. She flees to the safety of Garrett’s arms, in spite of turning him away because he continued to throw a damper on her fantastic journey.

What Elinor learns is nothing if not earth-shattering. All her life she has been a staunch defender of the Catholic church. She begins to learn, under Garrett’s tender care, that God wanted His children to be able to read their own scriptures and make their own way back to Him.

Throughout the story in which she meets Tyndale and Luther, there is an element of menace in the form of Oswyn Pygott, a commissioner for the King, self-appointed punisher of smugglers and other heretics, and “admirer” of Elinor. I say admirer, but he actually only demands she marry him to get her money and name. Oswyn is determined to catch Bloxham at his smuggling and torture him to death.

I enjoyed this book about the Reformation. The research Mr. Harris did was exhaustive and complete. He puts you right there during the stew that was England at the time of Henry VIII. What a dangerous time in which to live! This book makes me glad that we live in a country in which there must be due process of law and separation of Church and State.

While I am a religious person, I would not want to have my every move dictated to me. I like to form my own conclusions and manage my own beliefs and morals. It is clear to me why my ancestors fled Britain for the Colonies.

There is one spot in which Princess Mary is mistakenly attributed to Ann Boleyn, when she was actually Kathryn of Aragon’s only child. I found no other slips of this nature.

My one other warning is that Mr. Harris pulls no punches. Catholics may find this book obnoxious and heavyhanded. I find it to be a mirror of the times in which the book is set. Harris lays out every tenet by which reformers like Martin Luther lived and taught. He makes it clear why those men would risk their lives as later Protestants would as well. I found this work well-researched, an interesting story, and fast-paced. Harris puts you right into the action, showing what it would be like to attend the King’s Christmas tourney, as well as what it was like to go on pilgrimage. You walk the streets of Rome alongside Elinor and Garrett.

I give this work six out of seven pilgrim staffs and look forward to reading more of Darryl Harris’ works.
You can get it here.

National Poetry Month--Day 30--Questad Poem plus spare

On this last day of April and the last day of the poetry challenge, I'm doing a Questad poem. And yes, I was just as confused as you are about it. I thought it had something to do with a quest...which it doesn't. Learn about them here.

It's been a pleasure writing poetry and stretching myself to do something creative. (Actually I'm probably going to go add bits of broken mirror to my broken glass chandelier so that ticks another creative box.) I hope you've enjoyed my often freakish sense of humor. Thanks for reading these and leaving the occasional comment. They make me feel like someone actually comes here and this isn't all a colossal wasteland where words go to die alone and unwanted.
I give you Windchimes:

by H. Linn Murphy

Chimes dance as the world's breath blows them
Singing lovelier notes than a hundred doves (not hard if you've ever heard doves, by the way, but it sounds good on paper)
Making magical, mystical morning music 
Ting. Ting. Tinginging away
A message from the wind
Like a rippling stream
Filling my life with traceries of lacy love from the One who set it all in motion.
You are loved, they say.

And while I'm on the subject of doves....

The world loves doves, 
Mascot of peace
Chosen to lift wedding wishes
To the heavens
In a cloud of feathers rising.

Not me.
In reality doves are
Idiot birds, denser
Than a bag of wet toilet paper
They lay nests 
In ridiculous places
(The ladder, a hanging planter, 
Palm trees, cupboards you use all the time, etc)
So their children fall
Paralyzed to the ground.

They freak out if you go near
Their nest, which they
Build next to your
Front door or on top of your car
And if you move that object
On which they park their butt
They abandon 
That nest and their eggs,
Choosing instead to sit somewhere close
And Who Who Who WHO WHO at you.

Plus they sing one monotonous note.
Just one.
Who. Who. Who. Who. Who. Who.
And over.
And over again
Sending me to beg
For fingernails on a chalkboard
To rid my ears of incessancy.
All of this is true. 
So why do I try to rescue 
Those poor ugly babies?

© 2018 by H. Linn Murphy

Sunday, April 29, 2018

National Poetry Month--Day 29--Haiku and a Wish Poem

In honor of Sunday and the reason for it.

I'm writing this Saturday night, so I have no idea what Stephanie is ordering for the poem today. I'm doing a haiku:

Christ reaches his hand
To lift his sibs from trouble
Catch on tight, brother.

Diamond studded moon
Sails on an ocean of stars
Lantern of my God

Weed whacker growling
Biting the plants we don't like
Good thing it can't get............

(One of these things is not like the others. I wrote this
while listening to my husband whack weeds. Weeds 
are Gods creations too, right?)

Here's the spot where you can find out about Wish Poems. And here's my Wish Poem for today:

I wish I could hear your voice louder than I can't hear his.
I wish the way we're together but in two different universes could change.
I wish he cared enough to break back into my universe and rescue me from the glass tower I'm stuck in.
I wish he looked at me the way I thought he used to
I wish the voices of people saying things will work out in the end would be louder and more insistent and truth-filled than the ones saying personalities won't change.
I wish I felt Your love more deeply--down into the core of my soul
I wish I felt like there was one person on this earth who needs me to be me, and who cares.
If wishing were chocolates, I'd be a hippopotamus.

© 2018 by H. Linn Murphy

Saturday, April 28, 2018

National Poetry Month--Day 28--Superhero Poem

It seems like we're celebrating superheros today, since yesterday a big superhero movie came out. And while I like superheros and think the movies are entertaining, I think they're mostly rather two dimensional. You never really see them doing anything but fighting (except maybe the Incredibles).

So my poem today is an ode to the sidekicks and the clean-up crew we never hear jack about. They can be every bit as much superheros as Superman and Thor are (sort of). If you want more information about superhero or courage poems, go here. Otherwise read on.


We think of superheros like Superman and Flash 
And Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Thor
But somehow no one asks just who will pick up trash
When these fighting heroes generate some more

They blast the guy with freeze rays, some giant rocks, or cars
Without a thought to what is getting wrecked
Who cares about those runners getting squished and seeing stars
While the buildings all around them blow to heck.

I'm for the mighty Janitor--comes in when fighting's done.
He sweeps up all the broken glass and bricks.
He picks up all the little kids and makes sure that they run
Instead of concentrating on hot chicks.

He's the one who cleans the roads and picks the buildings up
He turns the cars and buses back upright
He reunites the mommys with their weeping little pups
I'm sure that watching him would be a sight.

Of course we're always grateful that we don't have to endure
The terrible debacles of Thor's Loki
Or any of the thousands of other villains to be sure
But I'm thankful for the Janitor, okey dokey.

© 2018 by H. Linn Murphy