A Huntress is Born, Lives, and Stalks Through My Fantasies…

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It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

The purpose of K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math: Today is October 16, 2013.

  • For today’s offering, I’ve subtracted 3 from the date (16-3=13).
  • You get 13 sentences today!

During October, I offer the paired volumes,Chameleon’s Dish (Trueborn Weft series), and Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series). Chameleon’s Dish is my YA fantasy WIP. Here’s the logline I’ve created for it:

In the dangerously superstitious past of Shakespeare’s England, an amnesiac girl and a foundling boy must keep her strange nature hidden as they stalk her lost identity.

This week, Henry gets a powerful and visceral reminder of how different Nockatee is from his kind.

This rough-draft passage is lightly edited to remove obvious gaffes and for style. Enjoy!

She’d begun a stew, yesterday, when he had the good fortune to take a rabbit on the way back to the cottage. He brought it out from his pack,and her eyes lit, and so he gave it to her.

She tried to skin it herself, but needed him. Once he’d opened it for her, she tore into it, with her teeth, eyes glittering, and snarled at him when he came close. He had almost forgotten, with her here in his cottage, and now that the shock of finding her had eased, that she was certainly a wild thing, and he ought not forget it.

She claimed the choicest bits of still warm organs with all the ferocity of any predator, and crouched over her prize, her eyes shining ferally in the growing shadows.

Henry backed away to the far corner until she had done with her meal.

Slowly, the eerie light faded from her eyes, although they still glittered and glowed. She licked the drying blood from her hands ,then used them to wash her face in the manner a grimalkin might employ.

He stayed where he was, unmoving, and watched the intensity of feasting give way to the satisfaction of a full belly. She curled up with the carcass, and made a sound that minded Henry of nothing so much as purring.

After a time more, she yawned, and stretched, and sat up, considering first the carcass, and then meeting his eyes; hers shying and wary in a way they hadn’t been since he had first found her and brought her here.

“I – I don’t why I did that,” she said, her face puzzled and frightened.

 There we have it – Nockatee is still a wild thing, still strange in this place and time. She’s more dangerous than even she knows, and they are both frightened by that fact. Will they come to terms with this part of her? Will Henry be safe with her in his home? Will Nockatee be safe in this reality, as she is? Will she somehow give herself away? No, I’m not telling you – not yet. There’ll be more of Henry and Nockatee’s adventures, in two weeks.

Today, I offer a classic video – not a perfect fit, but still…. =)

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself! We love new folks, around here!



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Here is my progress on the current month’s noveling projects.

Since I posted and began following this plan, I have felt far more focused with my noveling. I have six novels in various states of WIPdom; and plans for at least three more, and all belong to the same double series.

With this plan, I know where to use my noveling energy, and that has led to two finished novel drafts, two new novels solidly begun, and steady progress made on another, which, when separated into fanfic and original elements, will become two books.

June is about endings (Blood and Breath); progress (To Be or Not to Be); and beginnings (the A to Z stories forming the foundation for my July CampNaNo bid as the Trueborn Genesis WIPs.).

There’s been craft research on both plotting and revising, and I feel more knowledgeable and better prepared for the next three months, at least, which will be rich in lightning drafting and editing.

So, what have I been up to, specifically?


CompleteBlood and BreathTarget attained!

Add 25,000 words to To Be or Not to Be – On target..

  • Chapter Thirty- Six completed.
  • Chapter Thirty-Seven planned.
  • WIP total to date: 131,402 of ~ 200,000 words.
  • For June: 18,402 of 25,000 words.
  • Remaining for June: 7, 598 words.

Create rough plans for the rest of Spock and Niaan’s Trueborn Warp and Weft Genesis novels. On target.

  • These will carry both through the moment of truth when they choose their own destiny, by means of an act that cannot be revoked….killing Kaitiiraan, and accepting appointment to Starfleet Academy, respectively.

Niaan’s Genesis ( Working title: The Stars are Fire):

  • Story arc complete.
  • Early planning notes progressing.
  • Rock Your Plot: Story Question and Goal/Motivation/Conflict sections completed.

Spock’s Genesis (working title: Perchance to Dream):

  • Story arc: 7 of 13 stories completed.
  • Planning notes underway.
  • Files for pending scenes added.

Sign up for Camp NaNo. Target attained!

Reread and create rough To-Do lists for:

  • Instead of diving into this project when my plate is full, I read and highlighted Rock Your Revisions, and am currently in the process of creating a plan from it, which I will begin to pursue on August 1, or perhaps sooner.
  • Once the lists are complete for both, begin prioritizing , so that August and September can be used for focused editing runs.
  • Additionally, I have been sharing excerpts from both WIPs as part of the WIPpet Wednesday meme, and receiving feedback that will aid the revisioning process.

And what is on tap for July…..


Begin Trueborn Genesis novels.

  • Goal- 100,000 words duringthe month (remembering that things may slow down during Rock the Campground).

By the time I update this plan again, it will be ROW80 Round 3, and summer will be in full swing. May you find fun, joy, and passion between now and then!

I’ve streamlined this list, deleting all but the current month’s projects. This should make it easier to read and follow – for all of us.

Since I posted and began following this plan, I have felt far more focused with my noveling. I have six novels in various states of WIPdom; and plans for at least three more, and all belong to the same double series. It can be very easy to get lost in all the ideas, and stall out in a muddle of confusion.

With this plan, I know where to use my noveling energy, and that has led to one finished novel draft, already, one slated to be finished this week, two new novels solidly begun, and steady progress made on another, which, when separated into fanfic and original elements, will become two books.

And this month, I add editing to the mix, for two previously completed rough drafts…

It’s very stirring, and the ideas are flowing for at least three more volumes, which I hope to play with in 2014.

So, what have I been up to, noveling-wise?


Complete Blood and Breath – On target.

  • 96,336 of ~100,000 words.
  • Chapter 18 completed.
  • Chapter 19; Scene 1 planned.
  • Complete by June 15. 

Add 25,000 words to To Be or Not to Be – Pending.

  • Chapter Twenty-Nine planned.

Create rough plans for the rest of Spock and Niaan’s Trueborn Warp and Weft Genesis novels. On target.

  • These will carry both through the moment of truth when they choose their own destiny, by means of an act that cannot be revoked….killing Kaitiiraan, and accepting appointment to Starfleet Academy.
  • I began creating the story arc for Niaan, and taking early planning notes as I reread.
  • 5 of 14 stories added, through “In The Pridekeep”.
  • I have added files for scenes to be added, and considered secondary POV characters.

Sign up for Camp NaNo. – Pending.

Reread and create rough To-Do lists for:

  • Chameleon’s Dish– Pending.
  • Bounded by a Nutshell – Pending.

Once the lists are complete for both, begin prioritizing the lists, so that August and September can be used for mass editing runs….with lots of focus available. – Pending.

A little solo eroticism for your Thursday afternoon, courtesy of the very wise August Mclaughlin!

Girl Boner

“Good sex is like good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.” ― unknown

Young woman playing with her self on bed

One thing I’ve learned about body image is that self-nurturing goes out the window along with it. When we perceive ourselves as not attractive or worthy of love, we treat ourselves as though we don’t deserve either. Our healthy eating habits tank. We work out excessively or not at all, sleep too much or struggle for any, and let everything from annual physicals and dental checkups to well-deserved rest time slide. If sex enters our brain, it’s likely to seem like a chore, a waste of time or even something horrifying. (“I can’t let him/her see this!”) Luckily, we can turn all of these factors around. From a Girl Boner standpoint, I believe that doing so starts with masturbation.

There’s SO MUCH I’d like to say on this topic, and…

View original post 601 more words

Curious? Click here!

I awoke with slick silks upon my skin – not my bed at home….and not T’Pau’s stone cell within the Forge. The air smelled as though it had been scrubbed clean, with gentle notes of Mother, and stronger tones that belonged to Father. A deep thrum resonated through my body…

We were still on the shuttle.

I had a dim memory…Mother helping me to bed. Niaan everywhere. With me. Within me. Parted from me, and never parted….


I jerked upright before I found any control; my head was too heavy, and not securely attached to my neck. I clutched at the edge of the bed as I found my balance – but, for the emptiness in my soul, there was no help…


She was not here – and I could feel her only as a hollow memory…Had she been only a dream? Was I yet alone, belonging truly nowhere and to no one?’

“Seek within yourself, my son. If she is there, you will find her. If she is not, it is best you learn it now.”

I was standing in the doorway, quite unclothed. Father leaned forward in the chair by the window, his eyes intent upon me. Mother slept on the couch, her breathing soft and comforting.

“I – ask pardon for my outburst.”

“There is no need. Thy cause is sufficient. Learning to balance within a bond is an imprecise -” he paused, for a moment, and his brow lifted. “- and often disquieting – process.” His scent carried – tenderness? Amusement? Understanding? – as he rose. “Do you require assistance?”

“I am uncertain.” That much was true. I was uncertain how to regard this new closeness and concern, when I had expected to do battle. I was uncertain what action to take, beyond that I could not remain thus, naked in the doorway.

I was uncertain, too, of Niaan, and what was between us. “Parted from me, but never parted….”

Father’s breath caught in a rare display of surprise. He came slowly nearer, and the lines around his mouth had softened, as had his scent. He took a woven blanket from the back of the chair. “I would welcome your company, Spock, and there are things we must discuss. However, it is possible that you have not done with sleep, or with Souldance.”

He remained in the chair, and did not meet my eyes, and I was illogically happy about both. I lifted my chin, allowing myself to express some element of Niaan’s wildness…and my sense of her rekindled, and I made a soft sound, as I reached outward to her…I could feel her, could see, through the window, the heading that would lead to her.

“I will not surrender my bond with Niaan, Sarek. Do what you will, but know that I will not.”

“Be at ease, my son. I have no desire to undo is done, and I doubt that it could be accomplished without grave damage to you both. That is between you and she, alone.”

He came with the blanket, wrapped it around my shoulders, then lifted me as I began to tremble in the new warmth. I allowed Father to carry me to the chair he had occupied. He settled me, then went to the servitor, returning with a laden tray. I smelled Mother’s soup, and a tea I did not recognize, and my stomach clenched emptily, bringing nausea I swallowed back.

“A marriage has been arranged, for you, Spock, with a daughter of House Kontrin. Her name is T’Pring, and you and she are of an age.”

I accepted the soup that he offered. My hands shook…with weakness, and with rage I knew I could not voice. I drew three breaths, and swiveled the chair so that I could look out at the stars – and there was Father’s face reflected there, obscuring the path that led to her, inescapable. “A marriage? I am bound to Niaan, and desire no other.”

“The arrangements are provisional, my son. There will be a Promising. Your minds will be locked together, against your eventual need.”

I wanted to protest, to release all the words and accusations built up over a lifetime of living within the constraints of Father’s will. But Mother had been right. Only logic would sway Father. Mother might employ emotion, and so win her way, but I could not. “There is no conclusive proof that I will face such a need. Also, I may well find her.”

“You are correct. Logically, that means that there is also no proof that you will not. Your bondmate is not of this world, or any world we know of. Logically, we cannot assume that you will find her. Therefore, we must see that you have – an alternative solution.”

Curious?Click here!

Tacivaar’s yellow stare was near as eye-burning as looking directly at the nooning sun. He didn’t blink; it didn’t seem, even, that he drew breath. Some instinct – mine? Kaivelt’s? Something born of our Solemating? – knew I would to meet that stare as long as he chose to give it.

~ I am uncertain that that is a wise approach, my own. He can easily outlast you, can he not?~

I readied to argue, but, before I could gather my protests – false as they would be – he touched them gently. ~ He is an adult, and we, children. He is of an ancient species with powers you have inherited only in part. It isn’t logical to challenge, Niaan, when you cannot win.~

Fury that he would dare to show it to me vanished as quickly as the sun-warmed dew. He did not hunt meat, but his mind was a fine Hunter, swifter and more patient than mine. Already, he was offering other means of resistance, and I felt his a life of unspoken tension, a battle to be simply who he was, against all that would wish him to be something else…

It was a feeling I knew too well, but I always, pulled back so forcefully that there was a backlash. I’d never considered using my Huntskills to enact a quieter, camouflaged rebellion…

Until now.

I set the empty bowl aside, saying nothing. I Changed and stretched my forelegs, delighting as always in the tugging as I dug my claws into the bark of the log that was my perch. I didn’t drop my eyes in defeat; instead, I simply moved as though it had never been my intention to accept the challenge, to begin with, and as though there was no question that, if I did not choose to speak of my Solemate, I was not obliged or duty – bound to do so.

“I had thought you done with such insolence, child!” My head rocked at the cuff; and Kaivelt’s rage was hot green fire running through me, outrage that I would be struck, that anyone would be treated so.

Through the singing pain in my ears, and the tears I could not blame on smoke from the woodfires, I wondered at this. It said things about his world, and about him – and, although I did not like it, also about me and my world, too.

I shook my head, and laid down on the log; I knew my stubby tail thrashed, but something in Kaivelt that echoed with my own mind said that there was little point in worrying over what could not now be otherwise.

“Is it insolence, Huntleader, to prefer privacy in my play at Matehunt? Is any other child required to speak of those they Solemate, or any other fancy?”

“If you have Solemated…I must know. You are not of an age, yet, youngling, to choose for yourself, and, when you are, first I will have of you my Truestborn.”

Kaivelt recoiled, sickened fury raging at what had planned. ~Wrong, ugly, and unnatural! You are a child, and he -!~ He would do whatever he could to prevent it. ~Thee art bound to me!~

I delighted in his response, and it fueled my daring. “I am yet a child. In my play, my Solemate lives on a world that circles a point of light in Everdeep….” I almost felt I could point the direction; all of me was pulling toward him. “We may never meet, but, if we do, you can’t prevent our Solemating, so long as our Witnessing is accepted.”

“Even as play, I will never accept it, child. Know that. Know it to your core, and be certain that you SOLEMATE knows it, as well!” Another cuff, rolling me from the log to huddle behind it, as though there were some shelter to be offered there. But, of course, there was none, from him, in the Pridekeep, and none in Mother’s, either….always, there was threat, and danger…

~ I will be your safety, and your shelter, Niaan, my own. ~

And so he was. The words I spoke next were from his mind. “Then you will have killed me, and my mate, and you will have no Truestborn of me – and a people as enemies who have never been defeated, people of means you cannot begin to imagine. For, if he can touch me, others will know how to follow.”

A third cuff, and something within me – something not of me, or of him, but of us – broke free. I bristled, and snarled, and then hissed, “You do not own my mind! And you never will!”

Then, while he raised his clubbed paw, I leapt, springing, claws out, onto then over his back, bounding out to the ledge with his yowl of thwarted pain behind me, not stopping, out into the moonslight, my fur ruffling in the cooling summer breezes as I Ran….

Curious? Click here!

Mother fell silent as we walked. I tried not to clutch at Niaan’s bonding-robe, wishing she were here, and I might see her wearing it, and the pleasure of removing it, her skin lustrous and alive under T’Kuht, or her own doubled moons.

I should feel shame at desiring it, at the way the fabric of my robe slipped and tugged against my skin, bringing an intense pleasure I could not ignore. It whispered of delights to come, once we were together, and grown enough to enjoy them in their fullness. But I felt alive and whole as I never had before.

Such sensations were not part of the Kiral’s lessons – perhaps, then, they were a human failing.

The silvery-cool run of her mind threading through mine, growing, weaving….it was a far richer learning.

“Parted from me, but never parted. Never and always touching and touched…” They had sounded strange, when the Kiral bade me recite them, more human than Vulcan. Almost illogical…

“You understand now.”

Startled at Mother’s voice, I realized that we had come to the shuttle pad -unoccupied save for us – and that I had spoken aloud my vow to

Niaan – my own.

“I understand, Mother. I do not wish to discuss the nature of my understanding.”

She laughed, softly, in this public place. “I won’t ask you to. I’m happy that you are happy, and that you have found someone you choose to give your life to…”

She trailed off, and I knew her concern. “Father objects. His mind is set. But, Mother, I cannot now bond with another. I belong to Niaan.”

Father would deem my tone ‘unacceptably reactive and emotive’. Mother did not. She smiled gently,her hand hovering above my shoulder for 3.5 seconds, offering affection and support that didn’t jeopardize my control….still far less perfect than Father required.

Spock,” she said, so quietly it was possible that she could not hear her own words. “We’ll discuss this in the shuttle. I know you -and your bondmate- have questions.”

That was true. I was fascinated to feel that Niaan was impatient; while at her Hunting, she waited, motionless, as long as was needed. Now I realized how heavily the waiting sat with her, her longing for answers NOW, without another breath’s hesitation.

It was the official Ambassador’s shuttle. I wondered if Father wanted to assign an official level to this visit, or to honor my bond. I suspected the former, but did not have enough data, to form a valid hypothesis.

Once the door to the private cabin slipped closed, Mother pulled me into a tight embrace. Had there been anyone to witness, she would not have done so; nor would I have permitted it. Now, though, my body and mind instinctively reacted by relaxing.

“I’m happy for you, Spock, and this mysterious bondmate of yours. And worried, too.”

“You are concerned that Father will not come to a place of acceptance, and will require an arranged Promising.”

She released me; went to the servitor to prepare two glasses of water with lemon – and I caught the welcoming scent of plomik soup – her own blend, made in our kitchen at home, while Father had been away, and we’d spent days simply talking, cooking, reading, tending to our home and our garden, walking into the desert – not too far for Mother’s human tolerances.

“You’ve grown wise and perceptive, Spock. More so, since we’ve met again. There’s more to your bonding, than you have said. I’m not asking, but, Spock – show your father this.”

“You cannot sway him?”

” Sarek is – Sarek. He is the leader of the family, and he will do as he thinks best. I’m not Vulcan, and so my opinion is not as valid, against the necessities of your future.”

I went to the servitor to help her. “I am not wholly Vulcan. Perhaps -“

“Your father won’t accept ‘perhaps’, Spock. It’s his duty to tend to it. And he takes that duty more seriously than any other.”

“It is my life – our life. I cannot bond to another; I belong to Niaan. I will not sever what we have forged, Mother. Not even at Sarek’s command. My life is my own, and I have promised and bound it to Niaan.”

I sniffed at the soup, appreciating the rich blending of flavors and memories that stretched back to infancy, when I had suckled it from Mother’s fingers.

“Do you want anything else?”

“Mother, I have known how to use the servitor since I was 3.7 years old.”

She smiled. “I know. Forgive me for being a human mother who sometimes forgets that you are not a human child. I know that isn’t logical, but it’s true, just the same. My instincts want to care for you as though you were a human boy.”

I sat beside her, and turned to her. Vulcans did not use eye contact as humans did – another of my “failings” was forgetting to repress that human impulse. But with Mother, alone,it was a way to express affection and respect that, as Father had made it clear that I had outgrown ‘physical manifestations of rampant emotionalism’.

“There is nothing to forgive, Mother. I regret, sometimes, that I am alien to you, and you to me.”

Her voice was thick, and I smelled tears in her scent. “I knew that it would be this way, when I chose this life. You didn’t choose to be of two peoples, though.”

“Mother. I am as I am. I am bound to Niaan That will not change, whatever Sarek’s opinions or actions.”]

“He won’t force you to Sever your bond, Spock. Eat your soup, before it gets cold, and drink your water. T’Pau’s message said that you were dehydrated and wandering, when you were found.”

There was as little point in arguing with her about sustenance as there was in wishing Father would accept me as I was.

Niaan sampled the soup through me, and found it pleasing.

“Mother, I cannot be Promised to another. I am bound to Niaan.”

“He’ll want assurances in case you don’t find her. He will demand logic, and proof you understand the risks. I suspect he will make it a joining in name, for your security.”

” I will refuse, Mother.”

“That’s a matter between you and your father. I will advocate for you. But I won’t interfere.”

Within me, Niaan stretched, and prepared for the Hunt.


Can I help you with your entrance?

Public domain image via Google.

One of my goals for this round is to create blog rolls for shanjeniah and Trueborn Jottings.

I know some blogs I will definitely be including, both those of followers, and those that inspire and educate me.

Since I like diversity, I would like a long and lovely list of blogs to welcome visitors to my space to wander off on whatever trails beckon to them.

So, here’s the deal.

If you would like your blog to appear on my blog roll, please drop me a line and a link in the comments section below, so I can visit you, and, if you catch my imagination, add you to the spiffy, shiny new blog roll that you can see over there on the right!

And, by the way, I would love to be a little link in your blog roll, too…

Shinjao nursed her child as she listened to the lulling sounds of the village-tree. They gave ample assurance that all was well, and that she was free to explore Jeniah’s branch of the Huntthread.

The Trueborn was weaving, a tapestry even more complex than the patterns woven on the huge loom Rachyl had constructed in the early days, when Osiiraan and the rest of Aletris were just beginning to heal from the twins’ Breaking. Any who wished might weave on the hangings made there, and the patterns grew intricate – but as nothing to what Jeniah was creating.

Aletris was offering threads, and Kaivelt Jeniah’s once and perhaps future Solemate, and the Tacivaarii and the Canivaarii, and Everdeep….even hints of the Otherworlders who raped and killed in search of whatever they were taking in their poisoned diggings.

 And she was weaving the disparate threads into a pattern that shifted as the winds and snows, as the flickering pictures in the stars, as the phases of the moons and seasons, as the nature of relationship within Tribes, and between lovers…

Jeniah wove, and, in the weaving, drew these varying threads closer, intertwining, so that it was clear that, together, they were making a net in which to entrap the Otherworlders – not to destroy them, but instead to release them, back to whatever world had birthed them,and, in the doing of it, to free Aletris, as well…and, perhaps, in some way, to assist Kaivelt with the shadowy threat he sensed.

There was something strange in being witness to this, the most vital and powerful of weavings. It was both calming and unsettling, to know that such an act was being committed, and to feel the undertaking of it, the way it absorbed and consumed the former Huntleader, and how she seemed made for this weaving more than for anything that had gone before, in her life.

But, each time, the simpler, plainer weavings of Osirraan and the Tacivaarii drew her in, brought her out of the depths of what Jeniah was doing. She could not truly belong to that striving, consciously. She would become a snag, because she had neither the strength nor the awareness to sense and follow all of the nuances of the new-made fabric.




Now, it was Arys and Cataan, coming back from a run together in the waning storm, with a string of rabbits who had ventured forth to forage in these lean times. “Three of them are mine!” Cataan exclaimed, dancing around her and making the baby giggle and twist away from the breast, so that she could follow him with wide eyes and still-unruly fists.

“Three!” She looked at Arys, who nodded solemnly, but his eyes sparkled with pride at his Soleson. That, and wanting to be with her, to share this moment with her. Running in Winter’s Knell always made him long for her, and a lingering Matehunt.

 “Three! And Arys has said that he will show me the skinning, so that I can learn it, and then to clean my own kills! And, Mother, I want to give the strongest heart to (baby sister). I caught it for her firstmeat. You said it was time.”

 She looked into his bright dancing eyes, and laughed. “Then you shall, Cataan. You have seen it done often enough; you need no one to tell the doing of it.”

 (baby sister) reached waveringly toward him, gurgling the new beginnings of words as he came near and took her from Shinjao’s arms.

 Arys came to her, so that she could examine the rabbits. It was his choice, which to keep and which to share, but he always left it too her, since the babe’s birthing. He had vowed to do so until she was able to hunt once more.

 His hands were warm and rough as he caressed her, savoring her and awakening her desire, so recently returned to her. She smiled, and told him, “Cataan will surely sleep soundly, before many sunrounds pass, for the air and the exertion. And then…”

 She explored the rabbits, using all her senses, to know which met the needs of her family. She could tell which of the eight were Cataan’s; these she set aside – the choosing of what to do with these was his alone. Of the others, she kept two large, soft does carrying near term early young. “We will have these, Arys, and the skin of the large buck. Osiiraan may have the rest, to use as she will.”

“I will see to that, once Cataan has finished with the babe and is ready to join me.” He kissed her. “Will you be here, when we return?”


Shinjao felt herself melting into his embrace, wishing they could simply couple, as they had in those first days. But there was also a spice to waiting, to knowing what they intended, after the day’s tendings. It was a glowing ember of pressure within her, and she could hold it, nurture it, as they went about what they intended, until they could meet again…


“Perhaps; perhaps not. I will be yet with Rachyl, if I am not. There are matters we must discuss, in private; I will go to her in her nursery, and return when we have done, and are full of visiting.”


“It is well that you have female friends.” He smiled. “And that you have a son who honors me by including me in his life. I will await with a gift suited to you, my lovely woman.”


She gave him a little shove as she sighed and drew away. “You, Arys are always gift enough.”


But his smile as she turned to the children said that there would be some gift, nonetheless, as he always presented her with one, each night – some small tribute from his day, that said she had been still with him in every breath they had taken apart.


That knowing blended with the upsurge of awareness of Jeniah’s weavings, a sensing so strong she could almost make out the pattern of it, feel its texture, scent the threads and the dyes…


She gathered the infant into her, settled her into her carrying sling, and went to Rachyl, half-lost in the Trueborn’s intertwinings…


Found on the Internet…..a merchant’s home in the Untribed lands might look like this….



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