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Showing posts from January, 2014


Let me tell you the truth about Catholic school slumber parties, in celebration of the "word of the year" trend that has risen as an alternative to New Year's resolutions.

But before we get into those revelations, let me explain why I've chosen SHAMELESS as my Word of 2014. Normally I would shy away from a negative word. "Less shame" is a negative, reactive concept as opposed to a positive, forward-facing inspiration. But I realized in a weird flash of neural fire between reading a Matt Bors comic strip and listening to a committee meeting report at work (I won't bore you with the details) that before I can freely move forward in my life, I need to set down and unpack my lifelong burden of shame.

This is the kind of baggage that I had thought, for the past decade or so, that I had mostly put behind me already. I went to Catholic school. I'm a girl who grew up right near the cliff edge of Generation X in all its grungy, cynical glory. Of course, my y…

The Snow Child and the 12 Days of Darkness

We just had power restored this morning after 12 1/2 days--nearly two weeks--of a power outage from the Christmas 2013 Ice Stormpocalypse, followed by record cold temperatures. Luckily, our daughter Nux Gallica is a snow child.

Once upon a time, a young couple wished for a child. Thanks to their lucky stars, they found themselves to be fertile and conceived their child earlier than expected. Because she was ahead of schedule, the poor baby arrived way before her target birth in the spring, on a frigid January day.

Our wrinkly, slightly jaundiced little newborn came into the world with a strong resemblance to her Siberian great-grandmother, so we suspected she'd be tough. When she grew old enough to talk, she often said, "I like to be cold!" She spent her days as naked as possible in all seasons, adored the snow and ice, and rarely allowed blankets to lie upon her in sleep.

I have no idea if the above video depicts Siberian children who are strong and resilient because th…

No Kiss Blogfest Entry: Gunnar vs. Rosemary

Happy New Year from the Nutshell! Below is a scene from my WIP, Briars and Black Hellebore, in which Princess Rosemary and Prince Gunnar of two small 10th century fantasy Germanic-ish kingdoms share their first no-kiss. Enjoy...

What is Briars and Black Hellebore about?

Briars and Black Hellebore throws together two of our culture's best-loved fairy tales: Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, recast as two royal dynasties of the same unlucky kingdom. The household of the Sleeping Beauty, Princess Rosemary, is cursed for a hundred years, and later, the household of Prince Gustav is cursed for twenty... and both curses are prophesied to be lifted at the same time.

Who are the heroes and villains now? This is a tale of a cursed prince and a cursed princess, each rescued by an amorous foreigner with ambitions to the throne.

Princess Rosemary is a child tormented by the repressed and unsatisfied drives forged in captivity. The more her mother struggles to contain her, the more dangerous Rosemary becomes to herself and those around her.

Nearly a century after Rosemary's legendary birth, Prince Gustav is said to be the only child ever born who may have exceeded Rosemary in physical beauty. But an evil spell cast upon the orphaned prince in his …