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

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**Warning: This is a naked post about public nudity. If that’s not your thing, this is a good time to avert your eyes, to avoid streakers! **

Okay, if you’re still here, I’m assuming you want to be. =)

This post is part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest…an annual celebration of beauty in all its forms…for more, here’s August herself! =D

What makes you feel beautiful? What’s helped you embrace your body/appearance as it is? What area are you still working on—or should you? What makes you feel sexy? What helped you embrace, rather than shame, your sexuality? What’s stopping you? How do you define real beauty or sex appeal? Who epitomizes beauty and sexiness, IYO? What advice would you give your younger self or a girl in your life about beauty and/or sexuality?

I’m a person who feels more comfortable, much of the time, in my own skin than in clothing. That’s reflected, maybe, in the nudity that pervades my writing- my aroused Vulcans see little logic in wearing clothing that will only get in the way of their goals. And my Tribed characters – well, when they aren’t in the animal forms of their inner Hunters, they tend to be naked in all but the coldest weather.

There’s more than a little of my own nature in that, in imagining a culture that lives wild in nature, unabashedly naked and bare to the world.

This is me, in Oregon’s deep woods, against an ancient tree, celebrating it and myself. I’m the mom of a teen boy, so I’ve covered the bits that might be embarrassing to him, and others…so this becomes a modest nude. =)

It wasn’t a planned shot. I saw that magnificent tree, and some deep impulse surfaced. I stripped down to get elemental by this piece of the natural world. The only things I was wearing was my wedding rings and a headband.

At the time, I thought I looked fat, and I was embarrassed that I hadn’t shaved my armpits. Fifteen years or so further along life’s journey, I see it differently. Armpits grow hair; that’s natural. Whether to shave it is a matter of choice, or fashion – not an obligation. These days I either do or don’t, and I don’t think much about it, either way. And that body that seemed so unappealing, then? Reminds me of a Rubens painting, now – a lush and strong body, padded for pleasure! =) No Tacivaarii Huntress would be at all embarrassed to wear it.

Oregon is an interesting place for nudity…even of the public type. There are several clothing optional hot springs there, and we visited two of them in our pre-parenting years. McCredie Hot Springs was tucked just off a state highway, accessible by a nondescript dirt side road. It was a short trek through the woods, and the pools were of varying temperature, sprawled across a generous area, and kept natural. We shed our clothes before we got to the springs, and ran through the trees, soon immersing ourselves. I can imagine the Pride having a place like this, at the Pridekeep.

On one visit, while we were soaking, a middle-aged man arrived. We chatted for a bit – the empty conversations people have when they’re filling up space and attempting to present an image. And then my Accomplice moved to a cooler pool, and I was alone with this man…

For a moment, I was nervous, and hugely aware of my nudity. I hadn’t thought of my clothing as social armor, before that incident – but it is. We tell others how we want to be perceived, and how we perceive ourselves, by the way we dress.

Without clothing, I was truly socially naked – and so was he.

There was nothing sexual about it, but it was very intimate. Our conversation took a turn, and became far more personal. He spoke of his wife and her dog – not his dog, but hers, to keep her company when he was on the road. He was a trucker, and often stopped there for a soak before heading home. He spoke of his grown daughter; I talked about my still young marriage and our travels. We both spoke of our hopes for the future, and then we parted ways.

I can see the Tacivaarii, frolicking and connecting in those pools, lounging and washing one another, weaving new and stronger threads into their Huntthread, which sustains their Tribe.There’s something of beauty and honesty in being naked with other people in this way, being as naked and open and vulnerable as the living and growing things that surround us.

The social barriers fell away, that day, and we were two people, genuinely sharing. Two people who might never have connected, if we were wearing our respective suits of fabric armor.

Bare skin has greater powers than the ability to attract prospective partners…

Baring skin can lead to baring souls. To realizing that we’re all connected, beneath the layers of identity we don to get through our lives.

And there is something beautiful in that.

How about you? Do you have any beautiful, inspirational, nude stories? I’d love to hear more about them!

Find more Beauty of A Woman Girl Boner Edition here!

 This post is also for Love Is In Da Blog, Day 23.

 

Find more LoIsInDaBl here!

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It’s #WIPpet Wednesday !

 K.L.Schwengel’s brainchild encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is December 18, 2013.

  • I added the month and the date: 12+18=30.
  • I then added the digits of the year: 2=0=1=3=6; 30+6=36.
  • I subtracted 2, for the number of weeks left to the year: 36-2=4.
  • Today’s offering is 34 sentences.

Eden Mabee offered a favorite for this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, so this week I offer a snippet of my Trueborn Weft series fantasy WIP, Chameleon’s Dish.

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.

We rejoin Henry and his wild mate, Nockatee, at the White Hart Inn, in London, where they’ve gone to trade and to seek the words Nockatee feels hold the answer to the mystery of her identity.

This snippet occurs shortly after the events of my previous WIPpet, Tisira, Named. It’s the companion volume to Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp Series Star Trek fan fiction.)

“Your friend is as fine a worker as ye, Henry lad.” Goodman Thomas was a round man given to cheery laughter; now he set steaming stale bread trenchers before them. Nockatee’s nose wrinkled as she scented the mutton stew, and then she licked her lips and set to. Henry slid a little ways down the bench from her; she had that look, almost, that she had when she savaged the rabbit.

Goodman Thomas backed off half a step, eyeing Nockatee warily. ” He wants table manners, though. Best ye eat offhours, lads, but if ye’ll sweep the dining room, wipe the tables, and clean the dinner pots, I will be sure that your goat has oats and a stall, and ye’ll have full porridge bowls, at fastbreaking.”

What say you, Nockatee?” But she only made a sound that might have been answer, or a snarl of warning. “I will haply work, Goodman Thomas, and I thank you most heartily for the kindness.”

The innkeeper shook his head and turned back to Henry rather than watch Nokatee attacking her meal.“Those dishes you brought with you, Henry lad. My wife favors them, and bid me offer you coin, and a room for the season, if you will sell them to us.”

“They are Nockatee’s dishes, and so it is -” he caught himself at the shadow of warning in her eyes and the stronger caution of her presence in his mind. A deep breath, and he said, carefully, “His choice.”

Mayhap it were better I ask later, then…when he is not eating.”

But Nockatee, ever full of surprises, had another. She set aside her spoon, sipped the wetted flat beer with a wrinkled nose, and then said,”I will sell them – Henry, will you set the price? I know little enough of that manner of trading.” And then she went back to the trencher, as though she would not stop until there was nary a crumb remaining for the roaches to feed upon.

Later, when the dishes had been unpacked in the serving nook, and the dining room and pots gleamed with care, they went to their tiny room up under the thatched eaves. 

There was a narrow ticking bed, which would demand that they sleep snuggled together, and a near as wide as the room opening above the courtyard, which was quiet with the night chill and the season. They opened it, and sat together on the bed before it, looking out.

This is the place where the play will be performed?” Nockatee’s voice was faraway, and her language strange in Henry’s ears, almost like when he had first found her there beneath that ancient pine. Aye, she was more Tisira now then his Nockatee, and there was something in it that clutched at his heart, for fear that he would lose her to that other, unknown life.

Aye. In this courtyard, and in others. We have coin enough to go to as many as it takes for you to hear your words.”

She nodded, and her lovely blue eyes reflected starlight as she gazed upon the heavens, her expression faraway. In his mind, too, she was – dimmer? – than she had been, earlier. Almost as if she were elsewhere – elsewhere, in the life Tisira had lived. But was there a place for him, in that other life?

He touched her hand, and, gently, stroked her presence in his mind. He only wanted her to know that he was with her, and would be, as the words they had spoken promised.

He held to a hope, as he curled into the bed, with her warmth against him, that whatever was of Tisira within her wanted to keep the promise his Nockatee had made.

There we have it – Henry and Nockatee have a room, and a plan to find her words. But will finding her identity mean the sacrifice of the life they now share?

For December,pick the WIP, and POV character! If you have a favorite, don’t be shy! Someone decides, and it could be you

Here’s a song for Henry,  Nockatee, and the shadowy presence of Tisira …

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read and/or join in yourself!


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 June 26,2013.

  • Adding the digits of the date (2+6=8) takes us to Chapter 8.
  • Adding the month and the last two digits of the year (6+1+3=10), means that you get ten paragraphs.

Today, we have our last bitof Chameleon’s Dish for a few weeks- it and Bounded by a Nutshell are taking a July hiatus, so that I can be bringing you, instead, my July CampNaNo projects (two more intertwined novels), as they are being created.

Beginning next week, we will explore Niaan and Spock’s childhoods, and how they came to be husband and wife, in the Trueborn Genesis WIPs, The Stars are Fire (Niaan), and Perchance to Dream (Spock).

They will be based upon the 26 flash fiction pieces I wrote for the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

But, for now, we return to our little girl lost in the woods, unsure of where and when she is…

This scene takes place before the injuries I referenced in After the Fall and Upon Waking. Tisira knows who she is, and her memory is intact, other than during times when she seems to be gripped by a fever she calls soulfire, and which she knows comes to her through Father, who is desperate to have her back with him.

As we join her, she is just awakening from one of these spells…

Tisira came back to herself in a rush that drove her to her knees. She was huddled, naked and trembling, in the snow, in the midst of a small clearing …nowhere she knew she had been.

There was a pit a tenpace before her, and it was rank with the scent of bear…she scented, very carefully, keeping completely still lest the animal was still there…but the scent was not fresh and vital. The faint decay of early death was upon it – it was below freezing now, but had not been, in the day.

It was a day she could not remember.

All her memory held was the endless round of feeling Father, feeling them all, through Father – and having them ripped away again, and again, until her soul could hold no more joy and sorrow.

And through it all had been the flames, always the flames, singing, burning, consuming, and leaving nothing of her own free will….

She came aware enough to Change, and the solace of fur was delightful. She was tempted to dig a nest into the snow and curl within it, nose tucked under a paw.

But there was the pit, and the smell of bear, and death, even stronger with her Change- sharpened senses.

There was a boulder at the edge of the pit, and it bore her footprints, half filled in with snow. She had waited here – but for what?

She returned cautiously to the boulder, crept up, and peered down, ready to leap up again at the slightest sound or movement from the animal.

But the bear was dead, along with the half-eaten sheep it shared the pit with…

Ahh, a mystery. Maybe even a cliff (or boulder, anyway) hanger!

How did the bear die? Why is Tisira there? What’s up with this memory loss and the flames…?

Tune in during August and September, when this WIP goes into edits, to learn more!

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

 


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The stars surrounded me, and Xanaas had built the cookfire nearest up to warm me. Pelts were piled high and fur sides in, all around me, mounded so high that I could barely see above them, and only my face could feel the chill of the spring night…

But I had the stars….and, I watched, feeling Kaivelt in them, and knew that he felt me, too, when his soul twined with joyous peace through mine…

I opened myself to every detail of the weather, the Pridekeep, the location of each and every star I could see in the sky, as a whirling picture, noting their colors, their brightness, the picture-patterns the Singers told the stories of, and which twinkled, for in his mind, as he drifted into sleep, dreaming for me the stars that had been moving – MOVING!, – said that such things were important….

I pulled in as much of the Huntthread as I could hold – open to me, to help in my healing, and made stronger by the arytana nectar and broth the healer spooned into me every minor moonslength….

Tacivaar felt what I was doing, and I felt his anger….but Xanaas stopped him from coming near, and insisted that he must leave me to what I was doing, which was as sima garo provided, and must therefore not be altered.

I knew the healer feared for my life, but I didn’t. I had Kaivelt’s strength, and my own, and the Pride. A I had never been stronger, in spirit.

~I am still here, my daughter. You have traveled far; far beyond my sphere. You know the greatness of what you call Everdeep, which is my home. I will help you to bring your Solemate here…but it will be to you to do the bringing….sima garo provides as it will, even for me.~

“How will you help?” I was growing sleepy, and my voice was almost a whisper, and thin, weak….but I feel as strong as Aletris, as Everdeep…..

~I will add my sense of place to yours, and to the thread that leads you to him. If he chooses to, he can follow that thread to you, if he has the strength and time enough for such a journey. He is a great distance, my daughter, and he doubts….~

I knew it true. Kaivelt was not like me, and he knew little enough of my ways. Sima garo was a truth he might come to, but he was ruled by a need for proof and logic. What he felt, he didn’t trust; emotions had undone him, before, and would do so again if he was not on his guard against them…

But, when he dreamed, when he allowed himself to feel, as he did now, in this space, he sought me, and, if his mind and his awareness of sima garo were clumsy in their reaching toward me, the fierceness of his desires and the way he wielded them was not.He was breathtaking, even in our dreaming…..and, of a sudden, I was wreathed in arytana, as I had been on that first night I had sensed him, and become one with him….

We were together, in furs, in the bower, but with enough open space above to watch the stars….

“There,” he whispered into my ear, his breath hot and soft, and smelling, still, to me, like the fruit he had eaten, the fruit that had first let him sense me, touch me…

He pointed up, straight up. I followed the path of his finger, and together we studied the sky. “It is the red star, there….almost, it cannot be seen, from here, but, if you learn its place, sometimes, in some seasons, as your world turns, you will see it, and you will know that I am there…..there, looking for you, here.”

We watched the sky, without talking, for a time. Then he said, “My star is at the zenith of your sky, in this place, and at this season, my own. If you can track its movement, perhaps we can use this to find your star in my sky, and I can begin to calculate the space between….”

His mind sank into a place I didn’t understand, a place filled with knowing as alien to me as the Hunt was to him. I smiled, because this was who he was, and I had no wish to change him. “You will have your Hunt, my fierce one, and I shall have mine. And, if sima garo provides, we will find each other.

And I looked up at the place in my sky he had called the zenith, and watched until his star passed out of sight, and I fell asleep with it, and my awareness of him, glowing redly in my soul…..


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I shiver-sweated in my furs, and heard my voice emerge in Kaivelt’s tongue.

…In my furs?

I shied from the question – Kaivelt was slipping away, melting like snow the spring sun has too long warmed, becoming, once more, only a part of Everdeep, only a part of my dreaming…

But not by his choice…

And not by mine.

We spoke the words, together, while we could still feel each other. His soul knew them for binding words that would seal us as tight as the Huntthread.

No.

Tighter.

“This is no dream. I am real. I await you.”

Wherever he was on that dusty red world, his Healer pumped curatives into him, and he was slipping, slipping away, becoming nothing…and I was slipping too, away from him, icy Everdeep pulling me away, away…

I faded into his fevered dreams, unable to cling more tightly.

He was of a people who did not count dreams as true. I must not be his dream, and nothing more!

“This is no dream. I am real. I await you.”

As my own life pulled me back more and more powerfully, I felt him grasp at that thought, hold to it, with something as deep as life, deeper than reason.

Gasping whoosh of breath, of awareness of place….sweatdrenched furs, cookfires, roasting rabbit and kalaana, the scent of Healer Xanaas, and Trinna, and Tacivaar, and the rest of the Pride, worry threaded through all, the sounds of the other children at play and the Singers weaving a healing song…

“Will she live?”

“It is up to her. She may choose to stay with her dreaming, and create her truth there. If she does, her body here will die.”

“Die?”

“You speak, Trueborn?”

Kaivelt was nothing more than shadow or mist on a fall morning.

I could follow where it led, still, find him, be with him…I could scent the trail, feel it to my marrow.

But then there could be no Runs in the Huntlands, no prey – no Dancing, or Singing –

~Be with your people, my own. I will find you.~

Only his fierceness and his stubbornness allowed as much. He was smoke against the stars of Everdeep, rising and fading until I could barely scent him in my mind, less than a dream.

One thought more…

~Remember.~

We thought it together, and then my eyes opened to stare up past the cookfires – to the scrap of Everdeep seen through the venting hole…

Somewhere in that vastness – vastness within vastness, endless vastnesses – was my prey, and my Hunter…


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Disclaimer – This post contains mild sexual content, and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

The dancing was nature – weaving, endless, lovely, all belonging and knowing. The feast of Souldance and the gorging glut of Matehunt…

The feast, the gorging…., then, sleep, and dreams….

Dreams flowing, out to the comfort of nearkin, in this place of wildness and freedom. They slept, wound together in their own weaving, and dreams of tending to us, to themselves…of sheltering, and feeding, and sustaining peace, that there would be no need or tension from without the dancing to pull us from it…

They sighed, and turned into one another, and safety and affection grew, embracing, surrounding….

Then the others…no – we did not want to go there, but the dream rolled on, carrying us, and they were there, a sharpness of scent that pooled within nostrils, whispering unknown danger, here….

Danger to the dancing and the weaving of souls and lives. Danger we must attend to…

They attracted and they repulsed, at once. Desire stabbed through them both like a thorn neither would admit caused hurt.

“You will return her to me, and to the Keep, at once.” Voice-lash, as though it were the leather cord, another weapon to wield.

“No.” Flat, back turned, but ahnstav threatened, with thoughts of sinking within, of vanquishing, of feeling the woman struggle beneath…

Grappling, the others, gone, for a time, Souldance surging, selves twisting, twining, in a dancing surely more ecstatic even than Matehunt, while clumsy too-young bodies struggled to echo, to attain what was yearned for, straining, hungry…

Welts on her hands were infected. She will stay at the Pridekeep.”

Now he turned, yellow eyes narrowed, unblinking, and the woman stepped back, shrinking and trying to not seem to. She did not know that her scent was a clutching, sour-sweat shiver.

“That is not the whole of the story, although I warrant I will never hear it all.” Fear made her reckless when she ought to be silent and learn. Her words bounded out, sharp, percussive – the lash again, and again – “The chit was back here a full twoday before expected, and clumsy as she never is. The kitchen mistress reports that she was running when she entered, and that her eyes did not seem to see the maid she knocked asunder. She has never before returned a grain afore the time she was required, and, often as not, comes dragging her slippers in the dirt of the Merchant’s Road. There is something to this that you are not saying, and it happened in your accursed Wildlands.”

“My ‘accursed Wildlands’ keep you and yours well fed. What passes within the Huntlands is no concern of yours. The child was not ill or injured, when she left them.”

“You accuse me of – !”

They faced one another, the man calm, the woman enraged. We watched, distant, unseen, as any hunter must be to learn the truth of the prey, gathering information as one must to test a hypothesis.

“I have worn the marks of your leather. I know their look, and the pain they bring. The child is Trueborn, the purest the Pride has had in several generations, and is not a resource to be wasted.”

~ Resource – ?~

“She is my Kaiess – also ‘not a resource to be wasted’.” Her scent was secrets hidden deep, dank and fetid, poisoning her…

“She is the child of my blood. She belongs to me, whatever the law. In her soul, she is mine.”

~No! We are- ours, and no others’!~

He knew it was not true; but would not accept. Only Niaan, daughter of his blood, his Trueborn, could beget him, with his blood, the Truestborn he longed for…and so he would command her, when she was of an age to bear…

Revulsion, in layers and levels. Wonder, that there should be revulsion.

Sudden shattering of unity, spiraling into a reality we could not share.

Alone….


Approaching the size of Osiiraan…from my Pinterest boards…

Lise was asleep somewhere between 9 and 10, and Miah around 11, tonight, and Jim and I were left with the luxury of an earlier night…time together, when we could both manage to stay awake.

So, we watched a little TV, I showered,and we set my Kindle up to play Paul Simon’s  The Rhythm of the Saints while we spent some time in connection – something like a date night in our own bedroom, listening to the music…

And then, I heardSpirit Voices”, and had a flash of revelation…

This song is the inspiration for Osiiraan, which is a central setting in my Trueborn Weft Series books.

I hadn’t realized it before, but this place – the hollowed space within a tree that would dwarf a sequoia, where Untribed and Tribed first learn to live together and create a society with room for all, in what had once been Huntlands, but which now are freely occupied by whomever chooses to live there… – this place is my interpretation of the brujo described in the song.

There is the greatroom, born of this snippet of lyric:

“Women with their nursing children sleeping on the floor,

We join the fevers and the broken bones.”

The huge inner chamber of Osiiraan is where most of its life happens. Many of the Untribed sleep there, else in the area just above. There are areas that serve for cooking, gathering, weaving, and other arts and needs. It’s as communal a life as any of them choose, and yet, their is room for privacy there, as well… Osiiraan is a bustling, alive place, centered, integrated, and usually peaceful without the need for lawkeepers…

And yet, it has also been the one shelter remaining in a time of destructive warring, a place where the broken and dying are taken, a place deeply threatened…

I think Osiiraan is so much more real to me than the other places – the three Keeps, the Merchant’s Road, and the Untribed settlements (I’ve never even given these names, they are so unreal to me, as yet…), because those were created to fill a need.

But Osiiraan – Osiiraan sprang from a song that first spoke to my soul over two decades ago. A song by my favorite songwriter – maybe my favorite writer, ever.

Osiiraan was once a tiny seed, dropped lovingly into the fertile soil of my soul, watered by experiences, sustained by the glow of imagination, and thriving with time.

From this one song came so much…not just the place, but an evoked mood, a state of being, expressed with skittering, lively drums, spare yet intensely poetic language, Paul’s obvious fascination with other cultures, his keen ability to observe and pack worlds of knowing into only a few words:

“Candlelight flickers,

The falcon calls,

Lime green lizard

Scuttles down the cabin wall.

And all of these spirit voices

Rule the night…”

Osiiraan’s massive root structure? Another Worldbuilding pin…

For all this time, through maybe a thousand hearings, and maybe ten thousand times the lyric has flitted up to awareness, and all the innumerable times it’s been a hidden part of dream or fantasy, this song, like a subterranean river, has been feeding my world, tending to Osiiraan’s roots and trunk and branches and leaves. Tending, too, to the beings that inhabit her, be they Tacivaarii, Canivaarii, Untribed, or wild creatures…tending to their spiritual and physical lives…

Feeding me, and healing me. Thank you, Paul Simon. You may never know what you did, but I do.

You offered the seed that became a place not just in a story, but also a mood I try to evoke in my own life, in this (much smaller than a sequoia) little home I share with my beloveds…human and otherwise.

There is a sweetness and beauty to that, a sense of rightness, that makes me smile, now that I know – because it suggests that the most precious gifts we can every receive are the honest offerings of another’s soul, when we are willing to accept them as they are, and allow them the space to grow and move within us….



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