Cupped in my hands are three things: my grandmother’s soul, my family’s cats cradle, and my memories.

When I open my hands, the cats cradle falls to the ground in a tangle. The memories jewel and streak my cheeks. And grandmother’s soul flies away on the December wind, indistinguishable from the dust of a county road.

Blessings to all of you in the New Year.


Those New Year’s Writing Goals

…are actually the same old. I write as much as I can, I submit as much as I can, and I hope an agent picks me up.

I’ll be spending January applying to those writing workshops I mentioned waaayyy back, and then the rest will be trying to work on the new novel to get it out.

I can’t set goals beyond my control, but my measure of time is both yours and mine. In 1998, twelve years after I started as a TA at ISU and discovered teaching was a great passion, I had my dream teaching job. Most of your experience suggests that it takes you about 10 years to get to where you felt comfortable in your author skins.

Only 8 years and 5 months to go! Woohoo!


ps Yvonne, thank you for the feedback. That’s exactly what I needed.


There it is. My usual emotional disturbance pattern works something like this: I spend a day or two manic, trying to ignore the emotion, and then, tired, the manic grinds to a halt. Lethargy kicks in. It goes without saying that I won’t be writing until I kick lethargy out. Luckily at this point, I have no deadlines, even at work. So, time to let grief take me, naturally.

Reflection, regardless of the cause, is a golden opportunity. I have been thinking about the interpolation between my grandparents, my parents, and me, and what that means about the universe as I know it. I know that my love of fantasy comes from an early desire to escape a difficult place, and now, I’d like more from fantasy. I want to find a way as a writer to use fantasy in a mature way, to comment on the world. I don’t imagine that makes me unique at all.

It does have implications for my current piece. I never intended it to be soap opera solely, but now, I’m interested in the functions of family, friendship, and intercultural interactions more than I was.

Over in my other journal, I’ve asked for someone to read Gossamer and Veridian as I’m working on it. Many of my friends there have some enthusiasm for the work, as I started it years ago, and they know the characters. Right now I just need an audience that might just enjoy what I’m writing. Ideas are welcome, but I need to be inspired by someone looking forward to the next installment of it.

I also would like to extend that offer here to writers I know. If this doesn’t sound like a contract violation to you, something you have time for, and might be something you’re interested in, let me know by emailing me at awelkin AT gmail DOT com. I’d be happy to perform a similar service for you. Of course, if you’re interested in faerie stories, that’s a real bonus.

I should sign off. Coherence is not our strong point this evening.


Desert Tales: Akhim and Rohren

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16,534 / 90,000

Mostly editing of the old material, which is finally finished. I thought you might enjoy a scene from the Desert Tales part of the story. Now, we earnestly start preparing new material and continuing these stories.

Desert Tales #4: Akhim and Rohren

Nasma squinted at the orange sun in the middle of the purple and blue sky. She could see the dancing scarf of her mother painting the sky. The sun disappeared below a dune, the air chilling. Nasma cocooned herself in her shawl. Soon the sky would color from lavender to purple to twilight gray, and soon Leila and Myrrh would join her, and they would ride the storm, covering the leavings of the day.

In the silence of the desert, she heard her name, a whisper at first, and then tumbling closer over the hills of sand. Myrrh raced toward her, the sand spraying behind her in a plumed fan.

“You must hide him!” she gasped breathlessly. “Father! He has come home!”

Nasma scurried toward her sister. “Where is he?”

“Father? At home! I told you!”

Nasma shook her head. “Rohren! Where is he?”

“He’s with Kassim! Father will kill him!”

Nasma glanced back at Jameelah and the painted sky. Mother will calm him!”

“There is no time for that!” Myrrh insisted. “Father will have beheaded him by the time you return! You must come now! When Father attacks, you must throw yourself on top of Rohren, and beg for his mercy, to protect the man you love!”

Continue reading “Desert Tales: Akhim and Rohren”


Noting here that my grandmother passed away yesterday shortly after I wrote my Christmas post. We are fine. It wasn’t entirely unexpected. There’s a lot to think about, to chew on, and to reflect about. I’m sure it’ll surface in writing somewhere, eventually.

The funeral will be next Wednesday.



Happy holidays!

My creative endeavors these last two days have been cooking, traveling and entertaining. We are now full and content with a good dinner in. We’ve locked the bad weather outside, and we are done with our Christmas travels. The presents have been unwrapped and the cats are content with tuna and new catnip mice.

I hope all of you are having a fine holiday, full of relaxation and love.