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“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I haven't posted any fiction for a while, so here's a story. It's the one posted over at Big White Box not that long ago.


As she lies beneath crisp white sheets, I imagine Grand-mère's eighty-nine years of memories repeating over and over in her mind, jumbled by time. When she's remembering a good one, the crinkles around her eyes are a myriad of tiny smiles. I wonder if she's thinking of someone she knew, someone long dead, someone she hopes to see soon. Or is it her garden in Strasbourg, the cathedral looming high behind? "Dat shade vas a shade from God," she'd often say.

Last year I was in Strasbourg, in that shade, Mom explaining, pointing, a good tour guide but not knowledgeable enough to know when silence said more. I wanted silence, to feel the cool of that shadow on my cheek, to think about Grand-mère feeling it, too, back when she was my age, back when she was striving to feed her young family on puny vegetables grown in the cathedral's shadow, her neighbors calling, "Janine, how goes it?" in the dialect of Strasbourg, and Grand-mère's answer, "The weeds, they grow."

And she grew. Struggled, fought, endured. Thrived on it all.

Me? I collect my paychecks, shop the shops, glide along, untested, unchallenged. Could I have done what she did? Not just survived, but thrived, as she did? I need my microwave, my cell phone, my laptop. She had her wood-burning stove and her hands, strong and competent.

Now, her hand nearly weightless in mine, Grand-mère's wandering in a memory. "Have some potatoes," she says. And I remember her potatoes, sautéed brown with onions or creamed in a casserole, potatoes fixed a hundred different ways. I'd eaten them all, but have no recipes, only the flavor memories on my tongue.

"Don't fret, Liebchen," she whispers, her touch light as a butterfly wing. "The shade, it grows."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Big White Box

One of my writing groups (I'm in three; just sayin') has an experiment going on. We've set up a website where we showcase authors and their work. This has been live for a few months now. I'm just getting around to posting about it.

Our featured authors so far include Brad Walseth, Jim C. Hines, Frances McNamara, and Eric Larson. If you are or know of someone who'd like to be featured, please use the contact form on the main page. Alternatively, you could leave suggestions here and I'll forward them to the group.

We're also putting up our own short fiction. Each Sunday (or thereabouts) our webmaster posts a story under Big White Blog. Today's story - "Shadows" - is by me! The stories are mostly less than 500 words. I think we each have three or four pieces up there so far. There's no common theme or genre, so hopefully you'll find something you like.

We're also trying our hands at running writing contests. Our first one closed recently. That's all I'm going to say about it until we complete the judging process.

So, if you're looking for something short to read, try our Big White Blog. If you like what you see, please tell your friends. ;-)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February First Blizzard

Nothing like a snow day to encourage creativity! All my plans were cancelled due to snow and wind. Snow alone wouldn't stop things, but the high winds and associated Blizzard Warning! and Dangerous Travel! are ignored at peril.

I'm not fond of peril for myself. For fictional characters, the more the better! But not so much in real life.

I've taken a few pictures, and I'll add more as the day progresses. Here's my patio at around 11 am this morning:

And here it is around 1:30 pm: