Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's a Conspiracy

I’m going to offer a contest to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of my usual writing spurt. Summer is when I get most of my writing done. So, I will put the names of everyone who responds to my blog this week into a hat and draw. I’ll give the winner a copy of Seeing Me and a deck of the Ellora’s Cave Silver Screen playing cards.

For some reason that I cannot begin to comprehend, today was Drive Up Jae’s Tailpipe Day in traffic. Every other driver was running up on me in traffic until their headlights disappeared. And I am not a slow driver. I am, in fact, one of those people who believes that the speed limit is more of a general suggestion. But I do not tailgate. It is not only dangerous it is just bad manners. Especially in rush hour traffic.

School is almost out. Three more days of kiddies. Therefore today must have been declared Drive Mrs. Roth Crazy Day as well. It seems as if everyone under the age of 15 has forgotten their common sense and really has no clue where they left it. As if today of all days the rules were suddenly not going to apply to them. Sorry, Jim-Bob, it doesn’t work that way. I swore if I had to tell D to sit down one more time in the 50 minutes he spends in my room he was not going to make it to his next period class. No I’m not threatening bodily harm to a child. I don’t need to. I have a healthy supply of office referrals and I’m not afraid to use them.

And can someone tell me when it became acceptable for the younger generation to toss the word “fag” at each other a dozen times a day? Why do you need to have it explained to you that unless you are in Great Britain and are asking to borrow a smoke, the word is just as offensive as a racial slur? I inevitably end up explaining the etymology of the term each year. For the record. The term is applied to homosexual men because during the middle ages and into the time of the witch hunts in Europe and North America men who were “condemned” of such an “unnatural” act were bound and placed in the fires that were used to burn the witches and heretics. And since the term faggot originally referred to the bundling of sticks for firewood, the term became applied to homosexual men. As I explain to my students, when you use such a term for someone, you are saying their life is so worthless and meaningless that they deserve to be burned to death as kindling for more important criminals. I usually only have to explain this once and then they start censuring each other…at least around me.

Today my copy of the August 2008 Realms of Fantasy came in my mailbox. Do not ask me to explain the rationale behind the August issue appearing in my mailbox in May, because I can’t. What I can tell you is that the ad includes my Cerridwen Press release Measure of Healing. Measure is a paranormal romance about a Were-Cougar Halfling who seeks out the only help he knows of for a young Were-Cougar child who is suffering from sever trauma. Unfortunately, the only help he can find is a human doctor whose secrets could just get them all killed. Measure of Healing is the first story in what I hope becomes a series I’ve tentatively entitled The Children of Semira. I just recently finished the primary draft of the follow-up to Measure. It picks up the story of the young Were-Wolf who shows up at the end of Measure. Her story was originally planned to come first, but Alejandro Ramirez demanded precedence and you can’t argue with Alej.


[Alejandro] was starving and exhausted. He’d had little time before her arrival that evening. Just enough to throw some things in a bag, gulp down a bit of dinner and be ready. He’d had to spend most of the day at his father’s office dealing with one of the more unsavory construction companies his father was forced to sub-contract with by the economic conditions.

The Ramirez family was in demand for their work on hardwood flooring and custom cabinetry. Given the nocturnal nature of his animal side, he usually spent the bulk of his days sleeping and late afternoons and nights in the workshop making the cabinets, railings and scrollwork that was ordered. He still worried that his brothers would have trouble keeping up with the orders. Eddie had promised to help but he had a job now that took him away from the family and the last thing Alejandro wanted was for his father, at seventy-two, to have to try and pick up the slack. His two oldest nephews were showing an interest in the business and were earning money for the college years that were fast approaching by working part-time but the family agreed their schoolwork came first.

He followed her down the hall. She entered a large room with a king sized bed, a dresser, night stand and large wardrobe. The furniture was a dark mahogany that matched the wooden trim running along the ceiling and floor. A wooden chair rail circled the room separating a plum striped wallpaper on the bottom and a pale mauve paint above. The wood had been laid in alternating strips of mahogany and cherry. He ran the palm of his hand over the door jam and the nearest section of the chair rail. Someone had known what they were doing. She crossed to the wardrobe and pulled out a small stack of clothes from a drawer that she left open. He half watched her as she moved to the closet and pulled out a blanket and pillow. He walked further into the room, running his hand along the wall. Then he moved toward the bed and his palm stroked the wood.

“Stop that!” she said sharply.

Alejandro’s eyes widened in surprise. She was glaring at him with a peeved expression. “What?” he demanded.

“Stop scent marking my house. You rubbed against the wall in the boy’s room, now you’re marking this one. I swear if you spray something I’ll neuter you myself.” She stomped out of the room.

He looked up at his hand where it still lay against the wooden post of the bed. And he laughed. He hadn’t realized he’d been doing it. He’d rubbed his back on the wall in the boy’s room on purpose. He wanted Tomás to know he was there. But he’d been rubbing his palm along the surfaces of this room, her room, absently. The palm of his hand where, like the pads of the cougar’s feet and along his spine, he had oil glands that left his mark upon what he touched. His amusement faded slightly as he began to wonder at just how much about him and his kind his little doctor seemed to know. He left the room and followed his nose to find her. She was making up a bed in a smaller room. It was so small it fit only the single bed and a narrow dresser.

She looked up at him, still irritated. “What have you got in that thing?”

He frowned, “What thing?”

She stood up from smoothing the blanket and pointed at his bag where it hung from his shoulder. “What, you keep all your cash in there? The secret map to a treasure chest heaping with gold? Why are you still carrying it? What’s in there that’s so special?”

He lifted an eyebrow at the sudden return of animosity and sat it down on the floor inside the door. “Nothing special, just your basics.”

She walked passed him, picked up the bag and headed down the hall. “Hey,” he went after her, “that is mine you know.”

“Cats,” she muttered under her breath. Reaching the larger room she placed it on the bed. “Then you’ll probably want it in your room.”

Realizing what was happening, he shook his head. “No, thanks little doctor but I’m fine in the other room.”

She smiled at him with a wicked light in her eyes that set him on edge. “You don’t think I’m sacrificing a good night’s sleep for you, do you?”

“No. Now why would I think that? You’re only trying to give me the bigger room, your room.” Alejandro gestured with his hand. “You’re sleeping in here. I’ll take the other room.”

Her eyes narrowed. Brie was well aware it wasn’t exactly nice of her to deliberately confuse the poor man but all things considered it was damned satisfying. “I thought you said you were going to cooperate with me?”

“I said I wouldn’t interfere in your treatment of Tomás.”

“Well, that’s exactly what you’re doing.” Her hands rested on her hips. “I need to be in that other room. It’s closer to him, it has a vent between the two rooms that will allow me to hear him, allow him to hear me and allow my scent to reach him even when I’m not in the room.” She moved to the door. “So be a good boy and sleep where you’re told. I’ll get the rest of my things moved in the morning.” Pausing she looked back over her shoulder. “Meet me in the kitchen when you’re done. I’m going to put something on for dinner. Hope you don’t mind but I’m a strict vegetarian.” She flashed him a wicked “you’re so screwed,” grin and left.

And then more stuff happened...
Check out the blogs on the left. Sandra Cox is running a contest on her site too for a very cool bracelet.


Amarinda Jones said...

Jeez...I cannot imagine how you deal with kids all day wihout sipping vodka under your desk

Molly Daniels said...

I can hardly wait to read this one. It's up to #19 on the master list:)

Anny Cook said...

This was an excellent story! So happy your ad came in now... all summer to play. Congratulations!

Heather Hiestand said...

Good luck with the last few days of kiddie-hell!