Sunday, December 30, 2007

Welcoming The Rain

It's raining today. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but here where I live it is very important. We've been living in a rather intense drought the last few years. Watering one's lawn has been so long forbidden I'm not sure anyone actually remembers how it is done any more. We had gotten down to the point where people were catching water from their air conditioners to water their plants and even putting buckets in bathtubs to catch the water run while the temperature adjusted. This was also hauled outside and used for watering.

Our governor has been in battles with neighboring states and the US Army Corps of Engineers for the last half of the year to slow the release of water from our reservoirs and keep some for ourselves. Our major water source, we have been told, could well be below the safe consumption level in less than two months.

But today it's raining. It rained yesterday as well. God willing, it will rain tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that.

The only ones who seem unhappy about this fact are my dogs. My cocker spaniel, King Charles and miniature dachshund are standing on the steps refusing to go out in the rain to do their business. My brittany could care less and is dancing about in the rain pointing things. Good old George. Maybe I'll give another turn at the blog for good behavior.

On another note:

My new book, Measure of Healing, will be released in just a couple of weeks by Cerridwen Press. It is a bit different than my last which was science fiction. Measure of Healing is a paranormal. In fact most of what I write are paranormals. I've been working all day on the follow up to Measure that I hope my editor will decide is worthy.

So I thought I'd offer up another excerpt from the upcoming release. This is a short bit and comes from the prologue.

Excerpt of a speech given before the Atlantean Council, Year of Our Diaspora 3,097, by Damian Santiago on behalf of the Floridian Cougars.

As I look at the faces of this council I wonder to what degree I am wasting my time and my breath. I come with no expectation that you will be eager or even willing to hear what I have to say but with the determination and resolve that you will hear and that this time the council will have no choice but to act. We are brothers all, all thirteen races who fill these seats.

For millennia this august body has sat by on its haunches and done nothing to address the plight of those of our people who live their lives in fear of annihilation. Instead it has mouthed useless platitudes about cooperation and negotiation with the humans for that which by right of superiority, by right of first conquest, by the right of a people to survive, should be ours. As the centuries have passed this council has sat here ineffective and neutered by its fear of the gifted humans, by its fear of their magic. But I am here to serve notice to this council that the Florida Cougar will not sit quietly while you allow the greedy, grabbing humans to force us into extinction.

When we were forced to leave our first home in this world our ancestors sought out the Western hemisphere and the powerful cougar that ruled it. To that mighty beast we have joined our lives. We claimed the Western continents and we flourished and thrived despite your contempt for us, your silent punishments for our refusal to pacify the humans by relinquishing our birthright, our magic.

Along with our animal counterpart our numbers grew and our territory spread to cover almost all that is now North America. We lived at peace with the humans who followed us to this rich and bountiful land. The Iroquois, the Seminole, the Apache, the Sioux, all of their human tribes lived at peace with us. Some saw us as spirits, some saw us as gods but all dwelt in cooperation with us sharing the gifts of the Earth. Even the gifted among these humans respected our right to live. Then came the European humans. Those who had behind them a long history of persecuting the Were, of forcing us into hiding. Their superstitions, their quest for power had already brought to heel and hiding even those whose Domini, whose leaders sat at the head of this council.

They came and they claimed the land we lived in. As they drove the Cougars from their homes along with our animal friends, we appealed to this council. Your assurances proved meaningless as you turned a blind eye to what happened to us. Instead of banding together as brothers facing a common enemy you turned against your Cougar brothers. You demanded that like you, we relinquish the only protection we had from the humans, our magic. We refused, as we have always refused and all of you, all of our brothers turned from us in our need. You stood by silent while they hunted us and took our land, forbidding us to fight back.

Now I stand before you as evidence of what your cooperation, your subservience to the humans has cost us. The Cougars are now small in numbers and decreasing every day and don’t think I mean only our animal brothers. The entire Eastern portion of North America has been cleared of our kind. In the West, we exist in hiding, every day watching as the humans encroach further upon our land.

But the real horror, the real slap in the face that must awaken this council is what is happening in Florida. The animal known as the Florida panther, an entire sub-species of our cougar brothers has been reduced to less than thirty individuals as even their last bastion of retreat, the Everglades, is whittled down to almost nothing.

Does the council forget that we are tied irrevocably to our animal cousins? Among my people, the Cougars of Florida, there are less than thirty families left. We have no more room to hide, we have no more measure to give. Make no mistake, when the gifted humans have used the unknowing normals among them to drive us from our last Eastern stronghold, they will move West. If this council does not act today to check the spreading menace of humanity it will be responsible for the extinction not only of a species of large cat but of an entire branch of Weres. The Cougar seat on this council will be empty, my people—our people, extinct and the fault will lie squarely in your hands.


Anny Cook said...

ooooh. Soon, eh? Excellent excerpt!

JacquƩline_Roth said...

Glad you like. It's a bit of a small prologue. It's also the first book in that world. Mating Stone follows in February (officially written as Elyssa Edwards) and Lovers' Stone in July. Same world but different characters. I'm hoping to finish the current WIP(s) soon.

Molly Daniels said...

Congratulations on the upcoming release!

Amarinda Jones said...

How I understand the need for rain. Water is gold. When you don't have it you know how important it is.

I loved the speech excerpt and I am dying to know what happens next.