wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
I'm working on some urban fantasy worldbuilding over here:  http://wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com/229369.html

For this week's #FridayFlash, I'll share a bit I wrote yesterday, but shared first with the person whose comment inspired it.  if you're willing to play along, you can stop at the post I link to above and leave a comment or question.  Happy New Year!

In a Private Corner of the Morgue

The old coroner cleaned the corpse’s face, then wiped the dead woman’s lips clean of the smeared lipstick, leaving the mouth open wide. He crooked his skinny, wrinkled fingers by her mouth. “I can tell you’re still in there, my dear. You really don’t want to stay there while I do your autopsy. It would be quite unpleasant, I’m sure.” He wiggled the fingers of his right hand like a fond cat-owner offering a good scratch, and then waited, humming an old tune. His left hand picked up a tool from a nearby table.

He stood there patiently. After a while, there was a hint of movement in the back of the open mouth. The murdered woman’s body lay quite still on the cold steel table; the movement was only on the spirit-plane.

“That’s right, my dear.” He wiggled his fingers again.

Slowly, hesitantly, a glowing lavender and silver butterfly emerged from the corpse, wings all wrinkled like an earthly butterfly just out of its chrysalis. It climbed onto the grey lips and let its wings slowly stretch.

Very, very gently, the old coroner stroked the butterfly’s insubstantial wings, and the nervous creature slowly relaxed. The wings spread out, wider than the dead woman’s face, and the glow intensified.

“Don’t you worry, my dear, I’ll find your murderer.” He rubbed the tiny, furry head, then picked the butterfly up, placing it on a clean sheet of vellum he had waiting nearby. “Don’t you worry, I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Then he plunged a spell-clad needle through the iridescent soul, securing it to the vellum and paralyzing it in all it’s new-furled beauty.

“Don’t you worry at all. I’ll keep you safe and perfect in my collection.”
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
A First View of the Shrouded Land
a Torn World story  by Deirdre M. Murphy

Rreilan sat on the elderly stomper, ignoring it snatching insects out of the air that normally would have been worthy of her attention. Just at this moment, however, her attention was riveted on the landscape in front of her.

There were plants out there, but she couldn’t tell how similar they might be to the ones in the Empire. These were long and spiky, with intensely green foliage at the rare spots where they weren’t totally covered with what appeared to be spider webs. The leaves she could see from here were oddly irregular in shape, as if they’d been partially eaten by sticklegs, or as if, like oak leaves, they grew more where the sunlight hit them and less where the sun was blocked.

“You didn’t tell me there’d be spiders here—those are spider webs, right?” Onlai frowned from atop the younger stomper, though her eyes remained on the pack of young deathbeaks chained to her saddle. The birds seemed pleased at the outing, twisting their long necks this way and that to snap up flying insects.

Rreilan adjusted her brand-new black robes. She was the youngest full scientist assigned to the survey, but her superiors had deemed it more urgent to deal with the invasive flutter-beetle larvae than to ride across the border, so she’d been sent with a hired escort. “I didn’t know what we would find here, besides the violet butterflies and other insects that blew across the border when it opened. How could I? The Empire sent us to survey the resources and contact the people here.”

The ex-soldier gave a harsh laugh. “It doesn’t look like this is a place people live in.”

“Yeah.” Rreilan sighed, wondering how much closer she should get. She didn’t want to get in trouble for reckless exploration or for not doing enough. “That certainly looks like an arachnophobe’s nightmare out there.”

“Do you suppose they’re poisonous?”

Yeah, this place was definitely the stuff of somebody’s nightmares. Good thing Rreilan wasn’t afraid of spiders. “For all I know, that’s mostly butterfly cocoons,” she said, but she didn’t believe it.

Onlai laughed out loud, a good strong guffaw that distracted the stompers from their feast, though for only a moment. “I like you, scientist. Let’s get a little closer—close enough that you can make a nice, report for that sour-looking Science Leader, but not close enough to risk getting bit by anything on those webs.” Onlai’s pale wispy hair, where it fringed her wrinkled face, was about the same color as most of the webbing that covered the plants in odd-shaped drifts.

Rreilan dug out her notebook and pencils. “Nice and slow, then. I’ll be counting on you and those birds to keep me safe.”

Onlai smiled, showing a broken front tooth, and readied her cross bow. “The birds are still nice and hungry, and I’m ready if there’s anything big enough to shoot.”

They proceeded forward, stopping a few horse-lengths short of the webs. There were, indeed, spiders, and other creatures too, some large enough to identify from where they sat (rodents of some sort and a variety of insects) and smaller things too. Rreilan started to sketch.
________________________________

As always, drafts of Torn World stories shared here before they pass Canon Board review may be edited before appearing at www.tornworld.net.

Please let me know what you think!





wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
My #fridayflash for this week is up. It's a new Torn World story called [Poll #1772806]
I'll try to work the winner(s) into my Muse Fusion freebie!


Now, I must sleep.  But I look forward to your answers, and your reasons too!

See you all this weekend!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
My #fridayflash for this week is up. It's a new Torn World story called [Poll #1772806]
I'll try to work the winner(s) into my Muse Fusion freebie!


Now, I must sleep.  But I look forward to your answers, and your reasons too!

See you all this weekend!
wyld_dandelyon: A cat-wizard happily writing, by Tod (wizard writing)
My newest #fridayflash story is up:  Going Somewhere, Someday.  It's a new Torn World story.

Tomorrow, the Torn World Muse Fusion for this month starts.  I'm looking forward to seeing people's prompts!

And there's another pool party this weekend.  I wonder if going swimming will help the creative process?







wyld_dandelyon: (great wizard by djinni)
The sun set and I opened my eyes. The coffin was closed above me, just as it should have been, but something felt wrong.  I lay still as the dead, listening. My human servant was humming softly, unconcerned. I opened the lid.

She looked at me with a delighted smile. “You look good tonight,” she said, as she always does, but there was an extra twinkle in her eyes.

I lifted my hand toward her cheek and stopped, looking down at myself. I was covered, head to toe, in glitter paint.

She laughed gaily as I sparkled in the candlelight.

--Deirdre M. Murphy
_________________________________________________________

The form for today's bit of flash fiction is called a drabble--a bit of fiction exactly 100 words long. I had fun writing it.

I really enjoy your comments, so I hope you'll take a moment to let me know you were here.

wyld_dandelyon: (great wizard by djinni)
The sun set and I opened my eyes. The coffin was closed above me, just as it should have been, but something felt wrong.  I lay still as the dead, listening. My human servant was humming softly, unconcerned. I opened the lid.

She looked at me with a delighted smile. “You look good tonight,” she said, as she always does, but there was an extra twinkle in her eyes.

I lifted my hand toward her cheek and stopped, looking down at myself. I was covered, head to toe, in glitter paint.

She laughed gaily as I sparkled in the candlelight.

--Deirdre M. Murphy
_________________________________________________________

The form for today's bit of flash fiction is called a drabble--a bit of fiction exactly 100 words long. I had fun writing it.

I really enjoy your comments, so I hope you'll take a moment to let me know you were here.

wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
We had company last night; once they headed to bed I sat down to write and fell asleep instead; as a result, I got a slow start in this Muse Fusion. Then, of course, the first idea that really grabbed me will take a little while to complete. But the first scene works well as flash fiction, I think. I look forward to your comments.

A number of people have asked, "What happened to Osatha?" in response to last week's story, Marli Knows. Then this month, one of Ellen's prompts was babies, childbirth, and related topics. Those two things blended in my mind, and I got an image of a central problem, and I started writing.

This story (or the start of it, anyway) is set the day before Marli Knows. Additional installments can be sponsored at $10/1000 words.

Feeding the Hungry
A Torn World Story
by Deirdre M. Murphy

After work, Osatha lifted the box of food that was too old, even using time crystal technology, to retain for the next day’s business. Then she headed out to the edge of the city. She had a license to distribute leftovers to the poor and homeless, and people came up to her as she walked. Her regulars got a handout with no fanfare; new people, however, had to show a license—a begging license, or at least a personal license. She was studying for a license to work with purists, to try to bring them into the Empire, though she really didn’t care about that. She cared about people, and hated to see them hungry or suffering.

One of her regulars, Fleigil, a runaway... )





wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
We had company last night; once they headed to bed I sat down to write and fell asleep instead; as a result, I got a slow start in this Muse Fusion. Then, of course, the first idea that really grabbed me will take a little while to complete. But the first scene works well as flash fiction, I think. I look forward to your comments.

A number of people have asked, "What happened to Osatha?" in response to last week's story, Marli Knows. Then this month, one of Ellen's prompts was babies, childbirth, and related topics. Those two things blended in my mind, and I got an image of a central problem, and I started writing.

This story (or the start of it, anyway) is set the day before Marli Knows. Additional installments can be sponsored at $10/1000 words.

Feeding the Hungry
A Torn World Story
by Deirdre M. Murphy

After work, Osatha lifted the box of food that was too old, even using time crystal technology, to retain for the next day’s business. Then she headed out to the edge of the city. She had a license to distribute leftovers to the poor and homeless, and people came up to her as she walked. Her regulars got a handout with no fanfare; new people, however, had to show a license—a begging license, or at least a personal license. She was studying for a license to work with purists, to try to bring them into the Empire, though she really didn’t care about that. She cared about people, and hated to see them hungry or suffering.

One of her regulars, Fleigil, a runaway... )





wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Here's my Muse Fusion Freebie, just barely in time for #fridayflash.

Torn world has newspapers, both official ones and "grey rags". Today, at the Muse Fusion, [livejournal.com profile] hawkwolf asked about how news and rumor travel in the Empire. That led to this little piece:

Marli Knows

A Torn World story by Deirdre M. Murphy


“Did you hear?” The rag seller waved his paper, cleverly folded to show just the name, “Marli Knows” blazoned in ornate letters at the top.

“Did I hear what?” Lassati replied, automatically polite, as she wiped the table. Osatha hadn’t showed up for work, so Lassati was serving the food as well as cooking. She really didn’t have time for gossip today.

Marli gave her a significant look. “I’m sure you’ll want to read about it. Come on, buy today’s issue?”

Behind him, her nose poked into a book, Ressa rolled her eyes. Lassati reflected that Marli must not have noticed her—the man avoided licensing officials almost as assiduously as a purist.

“Haven’t you noticed?” Lassati reached into her apron, pulling out a red cloth napkin folded around a set of silverware.

“Noticed what?” Marli looked around sharply, but didn’t see anything new. “Have you added a new menu item?”

Lassati shook her head. “Osatha isn’t here.”

He grinned. “Well, of course I noticed that. Half the reason I come here is to tease your pretty server.” He grinned broadly. “But I knew that before I came in. Word is—oh, but you’re not interested in gossip.”

“Are her whereabouts in there?” Lassati rolled the sleeves of her man’s shirt up, looking at him with a raised eyebrow. Osatha was no celebrity; if she was in the news, even the grey rags’ idea of news, something extraordinary had happened.

“So, you’ll buy one?”

The man at the next table held out a token. “I’ll buy one.”

Marli quickly traded the paper in his hand for it. “Thank you, Orluu.”

By the time Lassati returned with a clean plate and mug, Marli was waving another copy of the rag under her nose. “You want to buy it. You know you do. Find out who’s getting married!”

Lassati was certain, if Osatha was getting married, even to someone famous, she’d tell Lassati herself. Her momentary temptation to read the rag vanished. “I’m running a business, here, Marli, and I’m rather busy. Do you want to order some food or not?”

Orluu held up his glass, and Lassati nodded, waving her order pad pointedly under Marli’s nose as she headed back to the kitchen. “I’ll be right back for your order.”

She returned with the pitcher of honeyed tea and poured a second helping for Orluu. “Do you want dessert?”

“There’s nothing about Osatha in here.” Orluu waved the rag.

“I didn’t say there was!” Marli looked offended.

“This is all about some actor who plays women in romantic plays who is marrying some mystery man—well, by the time they get married, I guess the man will be legally a woman.” Orluu shook his head. “What is this world coming to?”

Behind him, Ressa looked up.

Lassati sighed. “I see you’re still here, Marli. I’m glad you decided to buy something after all. What are you ordering?”

Marli looked at the token in his palm. “Um, could I have some tea?”

“You’re taking up a table right before the lunch rush, and you’re only ordering tea?”

He looked up at her hopefully. “I could order soup, if you bought a copy.”

Lassati took the token from him, shaking her head.

Ressa stood up. “I’ll buy a copy.”

Marli paled. “Licensing official?” He put one hand protectively over his license pouch.

She held out a token. “I said I’ll buy a copy.” When he made no move to take the token, she frowned. “Are you going to sell me a copy, or am I going to ask to see your licenses?”

Lassati picked up the rag from where he’d dropped it and handed it to Ressa, collecting the token from her. “It’s your lucky day, Marli. Soup it is.”

His eyes darted toward the door, but Ressa was already halfway there. “Enjoy your soup, citizen.”

Marli stared at her back as she walked off purposefully. “What was that all about?” Ressa never bought Marli’s rag.

Lassati laughed as she headed into the kitchen. “I guess you don’t know everything after all!”
_______________
If you stop by the Muse Fusion and leave some questions or prompts, I'll see if I can use at least one of them!  If I use your prompt or answer your question, you get a private peek at what I create even it's not sponsored.

 
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Here's my Muse Fusion Freebie, just barely in time for #fridayflash.

Torn world has newspapers, both official ones and "grey rags". Today, at the Muse Fusion, [livejournal.com profile] hawkwolf asked about how news and rumor travel in the Empire. That led to this little piece:

Marli Knows

A Torn World story by Deirdre M. Murphy


“Did you hear?” The rag seller waved his paper, cleverly folded to show just the name, “Marli Knows” blazoned in ornate letters at the top.

“Did I hear what?” Lassati replied, automatically polite, as she wiped the table. Osatha hadn’t showed up for work, so Lassati was serving the food as well as cooking. She really didn’t have time for gossip today.

Marli gave her a significant look. “I’m sure you’ll want to read about it. Come on, buy today’s issue?”

Behind him, her nose poked into a book, Ressa rolled her eyes. Lassati reflected that Marli must not have noticed her—the man avoided licensing officials almost as assiduously as a purist.

“Haven’t you noticed?” Lassati reached into her apron, pulling out a red cloth napkin folded around a set of silverware.

“Noticed what?” Marli looked around sharply, but didn’t see anything new. “Have you added a new menu item?”

Lassati shook her head. “Osatha isn’t here.”

He grinned. “Well, of course I noticed that. Half the reason I come here is to tease your pretty server.” He grinned broadly. “But I knew that before I came in. Word is—oh, but you’re not interested in gossip.”

“Are her whereabouts in there?” Lassati rolled the sleeves of her man’s shirt up, looking at him with a raised eyebrow. Osatha was no celebrity; if she was in the news, even the grey rags’ idea of news, something extraordinary had happened.

“So, you’ll buy one?”

The man at the next table held out a token. “I’ll buy one.”

Marli quickly traded the paper in his hand for it. “Thank you, Orluu.”

By the time Lassati returned with a clean plate and mug, Marli was waving another copy of the rag under her nose. “You want to buy it. You know you do. Find out who’s getting married!”

Lassati was certain, if Osatha was getting married, even to someone famous, she’d tell Lassati herself. Her momentary temptation to read the rag vanished. “I’m running a business, here, Marli, and I’m rather busy. Do you want to order some food or not?”

Orluu held up his glass, and Lassati nodded, waving her order pad pointedly under Marli’s nose as she headed back to the kitchen. “I’ll be right back for your order.”

She returned with the pitcher of honeyed tea and poured a second helping for Orluu. “Do you want dessert?”

“There’s nothing about Osatha in here.” Orluu waved the rag.

“I didn’t say there was!” Marli looked offended.

“This is all about some actor who plays women in romantic plays who is marrying some mystery man—well, by the time they get married, I guess the man will be legally a woman.” Orluu shook his head. “What is this world coming to?”

Behind him, Ressa looked up.

Lassati sighed. “I see you’re still here, Marli. I’m glad you decided to buy something after all. What are you ordering?”

Marli looked at the token in his palm. “Um, could I have some tea?”

“You’re taking up a table right before the lunch rush, and you’re only ordering tea?”

He looked up at her hopefully. “I could order soup, if you bought a copy.”

Lassati took the token from him, shaking her head.

Ressa stood up. “I’ll buy a copy.”

Marli paled. “Licensing official?” He put one hand protectively over his license pouch.

She held out a token. “I said I’ll buy a copy.” When he made no move to take the token, she frowned. “Are you going to sell me a copy, or am I going to ask to see your licenses?”

Lassati picked up the rag from where he’d dropped it and handed it to Ressa, collecting the token from her. “It’s your lucky day, Marli. Soup it is.”

His eyes darted toward the door, but Ressa was already halfway there. “Enjoy your soup, citizen.”

Marli stared at her back as she walked off purposefully. “What was that all about?” Ressa never bought Marli’s rag.

Lassati laughed as she headed into the kitchen. “I guess you don’t know everything after all!”
_______________
If you stop by the Muse Fusion and leave some questions or prompts, I'll see if I can use at least one of them!  If I use your prompt or answer your question, you get a private peek at what I create even it's not sponsored.

 
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
Is everyone too busy for LJ these days? I know I am, some days. I've been peeking at LJ on and off since the Muse Fusion started, but mostly off, since there's been real world stuff to deal with and writing to do.

But I'm not here to complain, I'm here to share a bit of my Muse Fusion work with you.

So far, I've completed a poem, Surprises at Sea, which can be sponsored for $10, and a short story called A Promise of Leather, which is definitely in the "spicy" category, which can be sponsored for $24. I'm also willing to write the (definitely adult) sequel for an additional $20, though I suspect it will run longer than 2000 words.  You can sponsor stories using my paypal button (below) or Torn World credits.

And now, I hope to brighten your day by sharing one of my Muse Fusion stories with you:


Blinkbirds are Fast

Mradi was chopping vegetables for dinner, when Filor ran past, an iridescent black wig on his head and a blue piece of paper cut into frills in one upraised hand. “Chirp Chirp!” He narrowly missed her elbow.

“Filor! Calm down!”

“It’s a blinkbird, Mom. Blinkbirds are fast. And I’m not Filor—I’m Filirii, a Mayaloi boy. Can’t you see my hair?”

“Well, blinkbirds can’t be fast in here while I’m making dinner.”

Filor’s hand darted to the vegetables, grabbing a slice.

“Filor, this knife is sharp! You could get hurt!”

Munching, he smiled up at her. "Blinkbirds are too fast to be cut with a kitchen knife"... )

Please let me know what you think!
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
Is everyone too busy for LJ these days? I know I am, some days. I've been peeking at LJ on and off since the Muse Fusion started, but mostly off, since there's been real world stuff to deal with and writing to do.

But I'm not here to complain, I'm here to share a bit of my Muse Fusion work with you.

So far, I've completed a poem, Surprises at Sea, which can be sponsored for $10, and a short story called A Promise of Leather, which is definitely in the "spicy" category, which can be sponsored for $24. I'm also willing to write the (definitely adult) sequel for an additional $20, though I suspect it will run longer than 2000 words.  You can sponsor stories using my paypal button (below) or Torn World credits.

And now, I hope to brighten your day by sharing one of my Muse Fusion stories with you:


Blinkbirds are Fast

Mradi was chopping vegetables for dinner, when Filor ran past, an iridescent black wig on his head and a blue piece of paper cut into frills in one upraised hand. “Chirp Chirp!” He narrowly missed her elbow.

“Filor! Calm down!”

“It’s a blinkbird, Mom. Blinkbirds are fast. And I’m not Filor—I’m Filirii, a Mayaloi boy. Can’t you see my hair?”

“Well, blinkbirds can’t be fast in here while I’m making dinner.”

Filor’s hand darted to the vegetables, grabbing a slice.

“Filor, this knife is sharp! You could get hurt!”

Munching, he smiled up at her. "Blinkbirds are too fast to be cut with a kitchen knife"... )

Please let me know what you think!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I'm excited--it's finally starting to get warmer, and I finally managed to finish a piece for #FridayFlash before Saturday.  I've also gotten my focus together to be sending stories out to general markets again, which had mostly stalled since the new year.  Maybe it's the increased sunlight, or maybe it's because I found my bottle of Vitamin D pills, or maybe some planet finally left retrograde; whatever it is, I'm glad.  I have things to do!

But first, here's this week's story:


Fog and Illusions

There was always a hint of fog at the edges of her prison; it marked the fuzzy borders where the worlds met, a hint of cold or steam and half-realized shadows. But today it was almost as thick as the day she’d arrived, battered and exhausted, unwillingly shifted into the form of a human child. Her magic had been exhausted in the fight with her half-sister, then bound by the simple iron necklace she still wore, though now it was wrapped carefully in cloth to keep it from her skin.

Will Lilyana finally escape her pretty prison? )
_________________________________________

I really enjoy your comments, so I hope you'll take a moment to let me know you were here.

You can also support my creative work with a donation:

wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I'm excited--it's finally starting to get warmer, and I finally managed to finish a piece for #FridayFlash before Saturday.  I've also gotten my focus together to be sending stories out to general markets again, which had mostly stalled since the new year.  Maybe it's the increased sunlight, or maybe it's because I found my bottle of Vitamin D pills, or maybe some planet finally left retrograde; whatever it is, I'm glad.  I have things to do!

But first, here's this week's story:


Fog and Illusions

There was always a hint of fog at the edges of her prison; it marked the fuzzy borders where the worlds met, a hint of cold or steam and half-realized shadows. But today it was almost as thick as the day she’d arrived, battered and exhausted, unwillingly shifted into the form of a human child. Her magic had been exhausted in the fight with her half-sister, then bound by the simple iron necklace she still wore, though now it was wrapped carefully in cloth to keep it from her skin.

Will Lilyana finally escape her pretty prison? )
_________________________________________

I really enjoy your comments, so I hope you'll take a moment to let me know you were here.

You can also support my creative work with a donation:

wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
A friend of mine on Facebook asked, "I've been meaning to ask you for a while--is there anywhere to actually begin at the beginning of your stories?"

That's an interesting question, and not a simple one. It's not as if all my stories and poetry are set in the same world, after all. I started this web-busking with Fireborn, and there's certainly a beginning spot for that: With Wings on his Fingers. And there's a Table of Contents.

And then I started doing #FridayFlash--and those stories are set all over, from deep space to potentially right next door, and range from speculative fiction to stuff that is (or at least could be) set in the world we all live in. There is a Landing Page for this project as well, which lists many of the stories, with a little teaser text to help people decide which ones to read.  Some of my favorites are the Feather-Blessed Dragons, Deep Dreams, and Fog and Lembas.

And even in Torn World--well, the world is wide (as worlds should be), and I have stories set all over the map. As such, there's more than one starting place even there. Some of those stories are deeply entwined with things other writers are doing (the stories about snow-unicorn riders, for instance), while others are intersect more tangentially (the stories of Dini and Lalya). Still others, like my stories of Neteilyu and her friends/family, and my stories of Rai Kunabei, are in parts of the world that, so far, remain explored by only me.

If you've never been to Torn World, we have a page for new readers, under the words Start Here.  That's a good place to get oriented.  There are links to stories there, though not all of them are mine. 

Once you've picked a place to start, each story also includes links to related stories, characters, artwork, and articles.

The next step is to choose one of the many ways to navigate the site.  Each page (story, poem, art, article, character description) has links to related pages.  You could start with any of the pages listed on the Start Here page.  Or you could click on Characters, and start on stories of a character you think you'll like.  All of the character pages have links, but the first page you'll see is a Lead Characters page.  Most of the lead characters have a number of stories.

If you're adventuresome, you can even click on the "previous" or "next" story in the timeline, but that story could beset anywhere in the world!

If you want to check out my stories in particular, you still have options. 

If you're interested in gender and families, Building a Home is the first Dini and Lalya story.  This is one of the first stories I wrote about how the Empire's licensing laws affect families.

Another of my favorites is We Shape Our Lives Like Clay, which shows a different family intersecting with the Empire's licensing laws.

If you want to read about sea monsters and the people who make food or tourist knick-knacks from their remains, you could start with either An Irresistible Attraction or Monster Teeth and Art Glass

If you want to read about snow-unicorn riders, try Beads and Memories or Wild Snowy Chase.

I also have stories and poetry that are for subscribers only, including a story arc set in a wild and beautiful area of Torn World (starting with Under The Waterfalls) and Stillborn Dreams, which I think is the best poem I've written in years.

Or you can go to my "Creator" page and pick a story or poem, but that page is up for a serious redesign--the initial design is just not adequate for a writer with multiple storylines.  You have to read the fine print to see which stories I wrote, and which ones I sponsored or edited, and you have to guess which ones are related to each other from the story description.  Right now it's a great place to go to see how much work I did during the last year or so, or for someone to see which of my stories they've missed, but it's too chaotic to serve as a recommended reading list for a new reader!

(And I forgot to mention Harp of Feathers, which won the Torn World Short Music-Theme Story Contest, though it doesn't have a sequel (yet))

Um, yeah, I've been busy!  If anyone has particular interests I didn't cover, above, feel free to ask!

Oh--and the drawing above is my rough pencil sketch to accompany my poem, Got to Have a License; I'm in the process of staring at it a while before inking it, since I can still fix stuff at this page.  But only if I can figure out "What's wrong with this picture" before it's inked.  (Someday I'll have photoshop...)
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
A friend of mine on Facebook asked, "I've been meaning to ask you for a while--is there anywhere to actually begin at the beginning of your stories?"

That's an interesting question, and not a simple one. It's not as if all my stories and poetry are set in the same world, after all. I started this web-busking with Fireborn, and there's certainly a beginning spot for that: With Wings on his Fingers. And there's a Table of Contents.

And then I started doing #FridayFlash--and those stories are set all over, from deep space to potentially right next door, and range from speculative fiction to stuff that is (or at least could be) set in the world we all live in. There is a Landing Page for this project as well, which lists many of the stories, with a little teaser text to help people decide which ones to read.  Some of my favorites are the Feather-Blessed Dragons, Deep Dreams, and Fog and Lembas.

And even in Torn World--well, the world is wide (as worlds should be), and I have stories set all over the map. As such, there's more than one starting place even there. Some of those stories are deeply entwined with things other writers are doing (the stories about snow-unicorn riders, for instance), while others are intersect more tangentially (the stories of Dini and Lalya). Still others, like my stories of Neteilyu and her friends/family, and my stories of Rai Kunabei, are in parts of the world that, so far, remain explored by only me.

If you've never been to Torn World, we have a page for new readers, under the words Start Here.  That's a good place to get oriented.  There are links to stories there, though not all of them are mine. 

Once you've picked a place to start, each story also includes links to related stories, characters, artwork, and articles.

The next step is to choose one of the many ways to navigate the site.  Each page (story, poem, art, article, character description) has links to related pages.  You could start with any of the pages listed on the Start Here page.  Or you could click on Characters, and start on stories of a character you think you'll like.  All of the character pages have links, but the first page you'll see is a Lead Characters page.  Most of the lead characters have a number of stories.

If you're adventuresome, you can even click on the "previous" or "next" story in the timeline, but that story could beset anywhere in the world!

If you want to check out my stories in particular, you still have options. 

If you're interested in gender and families, Building a Home is the first Dini and Lalya story.  This is one of the first stories I wrote about how the Empire's licensing laws affect families.

Another of my favorites is We Shape Our Lives Like Clay, which shows a different family intersecting with the Empire's licensing laws.

If you want to read about sea monsters and the people who make food or tourist knick-knacks from their remains, you could start with either An Irresistible Attraction or Monster Teeth and Art Glass

If you want to read about snow-unicorn riders, try Beads and Memories or Wild Snowy Chase.

I also have stories and poetry that are for subscribers only, including a story arc set in a wild and beautiful area of Torn World (starting with Under The Waterfalls) and Stillborn Dreams, which I think is the best poem I've written in years.

Or you can go to my "Creator" page and pick a story or poem, but that page is up for a serious redesign--the initial design is just not adequate for a writer with multiple storylines.  You have to read the fine print to see which stories I wrote, and which ones I sponsored or edited, and you have to guess which ones are related to each other from the story description.  Right now it's a great place to go to see how much work I did during the last year or so, or for someone to see which of my stories they've missed, but it's too chaotic to serve as a recommended reading list for a new reader!

(And I forgot to mention Harp of Feathers, which won the Torn World Short Music-Theme Story Contest, though it doesn't have a sequel (yet))

Um, yeah, I've been busy!  If anyone has particular interests I didn't cover, above, feel free to ask!

Oh--and the drawing above is my rough pencil sketch to accompany my poem, Got to Have a License; I'm in the process of staring at it a while before inking it, since I can still fix stuff at this page.  But only if I can figure out "What's wrong with this picture" before it's inked.  (Someday I'll have photoshop...)
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
This was written in response to a question about chosen family in this month's Torn World Muse Fusion. It is a sequel to The Butterfly Girl.

I hope you enjoy it!

A High, Strange Home

By Deirdre M. Murphy

Akaalekirth sat carefully at the edge of the high tree platform, swinging her feet out over the rainforest, pretending to be comfortable. Dozens of people had welcomed her in the tenday since her arrival in the Rainbow Rainforest, telling her to make herself at home in the treehouses of the Fuchsia Clan, but she still felt like a stranger. The trees whistle and sway, and... )
_________________________

If you enjoyed the story, please let me know! Comments, tips, and even smilies are welcome.
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
This was written in response to a question about chosen family in this month's Torn World Muse Fusion. It is a sequel to The Butterfly Girl.

I hope you enjoy it!

A High, Strange Home

By Deirdre M. Murphy

Akaalekirth sat carefully at the edge of the high tree platform, swinging her feet out over the rainforest, pretending to be comfortable. Dozens of people had welcomed her in the tenday since her arrival in the Rainbow Rainforest, telling her to make herself at home in the treehouses of the Fuchsia Clan, but she still felt like a stranger. The trees whistle and sway, and... )
_________________________

If you enjoyed the story, please let me know! Comments, tips, and even smilies are welcome.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Having finally finished the next Feather Dragon story (which insisted on being a full-fledged short story, not flash), my brain felt free to wander, and lo--before midnight--I have something ready for



Monster Meal


She shivers in the dark night, not because she’s cold; her fur is proof against even winter’s winds, and it is not winter. No, she shivers because she knows the moon will rise, full, and powerful, and there is nowhere she can go to hide from it.

She walks forward through the shoulder-high grasses, smelling the chicory, clover, and violets. A frog croaks, a poor, sickly sound; the stream nearby is choked with trash—rotting paper things and metal containers that the monsters put there.

In the distance there are roses, lilies, and squirrels. A dog barks at a cat. The monsters are quiet, for the moment.

A rabbit breaks cover right in front of her, bounding away, eyes wide with fear. She starts to chase it, hoping to fill her stomach before the moonlight hits her, so at least she won’t wake with that —taste— in her mouth. She bounds three times, and then feels the tingling start, as the first moonlight falls on her fur.

Her feet stop moving, and she falls in the grass, as the wholesome rabbit bounds away to safety. The change hurts, but pain is only pain. The worst is knowing she is becoming a monster, one of those who defile the world, salting it with poisons and trash.

She thrashes on the ground, hidden by the grasses, moaning weakly.

The moon rises, and the woman sits up, bare skin still tingling from the change. She is wearing a polyester dress and plastic high-heeled shoes. She reaches into her purse, pulls out a tiny bag of make-up and dresses her face. She takes out a breath mint, tossing the plastic wrapper on the ground. Then she walks to a road where she catches a bus.

“Good evening.” The bus driver smiles, obviously appreciating her curves.

“Hi!” She smiles back flirtatiously. “There is a Big Burger on this route, isn’t there?”

______________________

I'd love to hear from you!

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August 2017

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