Friday, 31 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 13

Other people's problems: sometimes you've gotta chuck it in the f*ckit bucket.

Chapter 13: Natan left his personal self back at Ari's. He hoped he'd return soon to pick it up.

It's one thing to be Uncle Natan. It's another to be Natan Mayor.

Natan manages to keep his sanity by neatly separating the aspects of his two lives. He knows how serving family and serving community can be at odds.  He also knows that if he takes the worries of Sacred Spring too personally, they will eat him like a toddler eating free-range cake.

One of the tricks Natan has to relieve the burden is to place his worries in a little worry box next to his bed. One by one he'll dump them in there, if only to let him get some sleep. Yes, he has to open the sucker up first thing in the morning, but until then, he likes to have his nights worry-free.

Natan's compartmentalisation is probably his best coping tool for his job.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 12

Preliminary sketch for cover art.
Where does your fiancee take you on a date?

Chapter 12: In darkness, Adrastea's bare feet touched down on cold stone.

Mor-Lath's not really a dinner-anna-movie kind of guy. Nor is he always the kind of date who'll knock on the front door.

When he takes Adrastea out to pitch some woo, he likes to take her somewhere she's never been before.

And he has a good reason.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 11

Home is where the warmth is.
Where is the place you call home?

Chapter 11: Adrastea sat at Ari's kitchen table, a coal oil lamp the only light provided.

Adrastea, now a journeyman healer, had been Ari Healer's apprentice for many years. She'd spent more time with Ari than she did with her Mother Lillybet, especially during her adolescent years.

For those times when Adrastea can't turn to her mother, she had Ari, the woman who practically raised her.

Ari offers Adrastea a kind of stability. When Ari forms an opinion, she tends to hold onto it. When Ari's opinions align with Adrastea's goals, naturally Adrastea turns to her, knowing that Ari will have her back.

Well, most of the time. Ari's got her own issues as well.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 10

If it's the mayor's job to sort out Sacred Spring, whose job is it to sort out the mayor?

Chapter 10: Ari sat at Natan's table, close to his tiny stove.

Once upon a time a young Ari Healerprentice fell in love with a young Natan Weaverson. She had plans for this kind young man who'd caught her eye and her heart. She wanted to marry him, someday.

Imagine her heartbreak when he was offered an apprenticeship to the Mayor.

Mayors don't marry.

When this kind of thing happens, a young woman has three options:

  1. Give up on the love of your life.
  2. Break convention and marry him anyway, even if it means he can no longer be a mayorprentice.
  3.  ...

Ari made choice number three. A tiny corner of her heart regrets it, but not as much as it would have, had she made a different choice.

Her Grace wants to wish Richard Armitage a happy birthday. He would be offered first right of refusal for the role of Mor-Lath in a movie/tv adaption.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Science: Us Figuring Out the World

Hello random Internet user,

Chances are you are here because you read Natasha Hurley-Walker's excellent article "What is Space Made of? It's Complicated..."  It's really good, and not just because of my very simple explanation of the Periodic Table of the Elements for Astronomers.  (And here I was thinking you were here for my books.)

Anyhoo, astronomers really do classify the elements of the universe as Hydrogen, Helium and metals.  Everything that isn't H or He is called a 'metal'.  For those into etymology, this is rather ironic, as the word metal comes from the ancient Greek word m├ętallon, which means mine or quarry, suggesting that metals were something that were found, not made, like wood or wool or fire. In Astronomy, H and He are 'found', whereas metals were made by stars, in one way or another.

Various elements do have certain significance to astronomers for one reason or another.

The  CNO Cycle  is a fun one, and the Lithium Problem is another. The first goes to show us how much we know about the Universe, while the second shows us how little we know.

Probably our most interesting use of the metals in astronomy is through the observation of spectral lines.  Astronomy is almost purely an observational science, with very, very little hands-on experience. Pretty much everything we know about the universe has come because the information came to us, usually in the form of variances in the EM spectrum. As energy moves through the universe, the universe acts upon it, either by bending it, dilating it, or absorbing/re-emitting it.

Matter in the universe tends to absorb or emit at certain frequencies. If we find spectral lines that we know match up with certain elements, then we know that element is present.

Each and every elements does have a particular significance, and we're quite grateful for that mere 1-2% of non-hydrogen and non-helium in existence, which allows us to learn so much about our universe.

But yeah, ask an astronomer about the periodic table of the elements, and they're all, Hydrogen, Helium, and.... everything else.

The spectrum of the Sun, showing absorption lines, demonstrating its metallicity.
The Sun is a Population I star, meaning it's rather metallic, aka, it's full of dirt.

More into astronomy and not so much into Romance novels? I have posted astronomy posts, including an A to Z series about Astronomy.  Go ahead and read those.  Otherwise, go read my novels. I've got three more out in October.

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 9

What to do when the buck stops at you?

Chapter 9: Natan sighed as he left Lillybet's house.

Poor Natan Mayor. It's his job to keep Sacred Spring together. The last thing he needs is to have to deal with family as well.  Traditionally, mayors do not marry. Their lives are dedicated to serving their village. A family would only be a distraction.

But what about the drama of a family into which you were born?  Both Natan Mayor and Lillybet Weaver's parents are dead (as is Lillybet's husband). For the longest time their family had consisted of brother and sister.

Now that Adrastea has picked up an unwanted suitor, Natan is torn between doing what's best for his niece, and doing what's best for Sacred Spring. What might happen if those two goals do not align?

Thursday, 16 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 8

Sometimes change can be difficult.

Chapter 8: Mikal still felt like one of the Innkeepers' brood.

Mikal, Adrastea's younger brother, had been fostered out as an infant to the only other breastfeeding mother in Sacred Spring, Marta Innkeeper.

Marta and Lillybet never got along, so there's a whole lotta bad blood there. It wasn't so much the fact that Mikal was fostered out that bothers Lilly so, as much as it is that it was Marta to whom he went. This caused a good decade of drama.

But now that change has come to the village, stirring up dusty old ways, Lillybet's thought process has shifted about, and she finally comes up with a plan for her son.

Sometimes drama has its uses for obfuscating what's really going on behind the scenes.

Monday, 13 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 7

There are two ways of learning things: the easy way and the hard way.

Chapter 7: Adrastea had learned caution.

Sometimes one can grow complacent. This does not always serve one well when the unexpected rises up. The habits and trust of a sleepy village can be a detriment when a stranger comes to town.

If someone knocks on your door, sometimes it's best to call out, "Who is it?" before opening the door.

Friday, 10 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 6

Not everyone reacts the same way to the same news.

Chapter 6: Adrastea looked at her mother, whose hazel eyes burned with a desire to know.

Tell five different people the same news and they'll react five different ways. Just because you might consider something horrific doesn't mean someone else might not express morbid curiosity.

Everyone's world view is different, even people who were raised in the same village. Adrastea's shared her dilemma with the four people closest to her. Each one reacted differently, and each have offered their version of advice, some of it possibly contrary.  The one thing they are united on is that they must stand together against Mor-Lath. 

The whys behind their unity are not the same.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 5

WikiHow can teach you how to sneak out.
When bad things happen, one does not usually broadcast the fact.

Chapter 5: Mira slipped out of Ari's house as quietly as she could, into the back garden.

Being a story, bad things happen and they're getting worse. While it is a good idea to enlist the help of a few trusted souls when one's life goes snafu, it is a bad idea to broadcast your problems willy-nilly. Your business is not everyone's business, nor should it be. There's just some things that certain people don't need to know. Adrastea trusted Mira the village priestess with her secret, knowing that Mira would keep it safe. After all, this knowledge in the wrong hands could be very dangerous.

Sometimes a secret can be an additional burden for the person to whom it is delivered. I wonder if this is why some people can't keep secrets; the burden is too great for them to bear alone.

For Mira, she considers the nature of the secret and ponders its significance. Being the spiritual and moral leader of the village of Sacred Spring, it is up to her to be knowledgeable about the ways of the Light. Only now does she consider that maybe she needs to be more knowledgeable of the ways of the Dark, especially if she is going to stand up to the Dark God.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 4

By Taleides as potter (signed), Taleides Painter -
Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011), CC BY 2.5
Like the Greek nymph Adrasteia, one can care for a child, even if that child is not of one's body.

Chapter 4: Adrastea sat alone at Ari's dinnertable, her bowl of food before her untouched.

In the village of Sacred Spring, where Adrastea lives, fostering children is a common practice. In their part of the world spring sickness often sweeps through. In some years many people die, often leaving children orphaned. They are taken up by other families and treated as their own. Fostering isn't only for the orphaned. If a parent finds themselves incapable of caring for their offspring, for whatever reason, that child can be handed over to a trusted friend or family member to care for them until the parent is able to resume their duties.

Lillybet had a tragedy in her life that required the handing over of her children to someone else. Adrastea went to Ari, as Ari had already offered to take Adrastea as an apprentice later. Adrastea's brother Mikal went somewhere else.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

First Sentences: God of the Dark Chapter 3

What do you do when things go bad? You run to your momma.
Adrastea, moon of Jupiter,
and the first Adrastea I fell in love with.

Chapter 3: It was easy for Lillybet to keep the secret.

No one should have to face tragedy alone. After Adrastea received one of the biggest shocks of her life, she seeks out the nearest safe haven: her mother Lillybet's house.

Lilly's no stranger to hard times. Who better to listen to Adrastea, support her, and give her comfort than her experienced mother? Lillybet has learned the hard way that what a person needs during hard times is love and unconditional support. This she gives to her daughter.

In Greek Mythology, Adrasteia was the foster mother of Jupiter. Rhea had charged the nymph Adrasteia to watch over her infant son and protect him from Cronus, who had a habit of eating his children.