Junior Is WHERE? #Minecraft

I’ve managed to accommodate my big fat fingers to the new Minecraft version’s tiny little icons.

I was a little sad when I made the world I’m playing in now, because there weren’t any horses, but horses have come. I fished and fished and caught a couple of saddles, and I found some golden horse armor down a mine. Then I picked the prettiest two horses (to my momentary taste — all Minecraft horses are pretty, and they don’t poop!) and tamed them.

Here’s the first one. I call her Spindrift. Isn’t that a Princessy name? SO unlike me! Letting my girly-girl shadow self out to play can be most refreshing.

spindriftplainSpindrift got the golden armor, because it looks so bee-YOU-tee-full on her!

spindriftThis handsome fellow is Patch. He and Spindrift are in love.

patchHe doesn’t have any armor, because it hides his patches. They don’t need armor, since I play on Peaceful level.

I fed each of them a golden apple, and they had a foal. So far, we just call him Junior. I went looking for him the other day and guess where I found him.

juniorDo NOT ask me how he got up a tree or why. He’s just there. If he doesn’t get down on his own, I’ll have to build a stairway for him.

~sigh~ Kids today!

I’m posting today at Fatal Foodies about a healthy snack that’s just a wee bit too healthy to suit my taste.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about a character who turns up in an unexpected place. I mean really unexpected.



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On Being An Apple Tree #amwriting

When I was teaching creative writing, I began every weekly class with “words of wisdom” written on the board. Here’s one of my favorites.


I was making up stories — not to get out of trouble, but for my own entertainment — as early as I can remember. I was writing down my stories and trying to get helpful feedback before I ever thought of submitting them. Making them up, writing them down, sending them out many times before I ever placed or sold one.

I’ve been lucky in getting a good number of stories over the right desk at the right time. I’ve been lucky to partner with extremely talented people to form Per Bastet Publications, where my work can get honest and usable critiques and can then be published.

But what if I hadn’t been lucky? What if I’d never sold a thing?

I can pretty well guarantee that I’d still be writing stories or, if I had nothing with which to write, making stories up. If I had nobody to tell my stories to, I’d still be telling them to myself. That’s just the kind of apple tree I am.

Are you an apple tree?

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about someone who has no encouragement to do what they love to do most.




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Midwinter #SampleSunday

It’s almost the beginning of winter. But the Solstice is actually the beginning of spring, because it’s the shortest day of the year. After the Solstice, the days begin to get longer. But it’s actually right smack dab in the middle of the cold weather. But….

Kind of confusing.

ANYWAY, my new short story collection has not one but two stories set in winter, “At the Turning of the Year” and “The Warmth of Midwinter.” That’s because I was writing a story to submit to GIFT OF THE MAGI, an anthology of winter stories; I was almost done with “At the Turning of the Year” when I read the guidelines again and saw they wanted something upbeat and featuring an established character. So I wrote “The Warmth of Midwinter” and sent that, instead, and they accepted it.

Here’s a bit from each:

excerpt from “At the Turning of the Year”
by Marian Allen

Frayce awakened next to the cold body of Sharina, after days of the maiden’s coughing and wheezing. Frayce crept from the bed, afraid she would be accused of hastening the death

She curled herself into the triangular space between the bed closet and the clothes closet, her arms wrapped around her knees, wishing she could will herself back to the home she barely remembered, back to the days when she was person among people, not a pet in the strange place called Nishi. She remembered an open land of green, then a trip on a boat of red and white over a turquoise sea to this world of high white stone buildings, white stone pavements, white stone everything. She remembered being in a cage with other boys and girls, most of
them red-haired and blue-eyed, as she was. She remembered being picked out by a man who gave her as a pet — as if she were a cat or a dog or a rabbit — to his own little girl, Sharina.

Sharina, who lay dead.


Yeah, upbeat, not so much.

excerpt from “The Warmth of Midwinter”
by Marian Allen

On the bank of the Fiddlewood River, not far from a bridge, in a little stone cottage, lived a very old man and his grandmother. Don’t laugh, my children, for even very old men have grandmothers, you know. She didn’t quite live with him, for she had a place of her own nearby, but she popped in to visit often enough to be both welcome and familiar.

We will call this old man Andrin, my children, and his grandmother will be Verrina. He has a chicken, as well — didn’t I tell you? A hen, in fact. We’ll call her Chandler.

The day had been glum and chill, with miserly flourings of tiny snowflakes to add to the crust on the ground. The night had been calm, with only the grunting cough of some benighted animal breaking the silence.

Morning came, signaled by the increasingly irritated pecking of Chandler at the wooden floor.

Andrin woke, stretched, and said, “Now, how do you know? With no windows in the cottage, how do you know it’s
morning? It could be the middle of the night.”

Chandler answered with a saucy cluck, and Andrin got up and let her out, leaving the door open to the fresh, damp, icy air.

An agitated squawk and clucking told him Chandler had found something to displease her. When the noise continued, he dressed in trews, boots, and tunic, wrapped a blanket around himself, and went out to see what small outrage had upset her.


Better. If you want to read the rest of the stories, they’re available from Amazon at the low, low price of $11.99 in paper and $2.99 for Kindle and Kindle apps.

shiftycover150Whether you’ve read Marian Allen’s SAGE trilogy (The Fall of Onagros, Bargain With Fate, Silver and Iron) or not, you can dive right into these stories set in the same world. Some feature settings and characters from the trilogy, some explore lands and people only hinted at in the novels, but all are filled with strong characters and fantasy.

Per Bastet Publications invites you to savor this baker’s dozen of stories from the world of SAGE.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about the middle of winter, using any definition of “middle of winter” you like.


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