Samuel (Again)

And finally, the patriarch of our local clan, Samuel. Samuel visits us fairly often and usually remains offscreen, as noted in Feasting Raccoons and an Offscreen Samuel and More Feasting Raccoons and Samuel Still Offscreen.

Samuel’s been with us for several years now. In the ways of Coyote, he’s a grand old man.

Which saddens me. Us. More me than us.

Canis has been my friend since childhood. I see our current OverLord, Boo, aging and know he, like all things good and bad, will be no more. In this reality, anyway.

We use to keep things alive through stories around a campfire, drawings on cave walls, StoryTellers and StoryKeepers, Traveling Minstrels, Town Criers, through print and now to what can be held in the palm of one’s hand.

But not quite.

I shake my head when I see people with their mobiles practically glued to their palms.

What can be so important?

And many people, especially more now than ever before, have little to no inner lives.

I remember listening to a writer offer she wasn’t introspective at all when asked a question regarding her thoughts on something.

My first thought was “No wonder your characters are so shallow.”

I will mourn when Samuel passes. When Boo passes.

And I wonder, who will mourn my passing? Susan’s?

Will the Universe slow for a moment? Will the stars dim?


Except for those in true friends’ hearts.


Terry “Tales from the Greenhills” Melia and I talk about Writing, Authoring, and Publishing

The amazing and incredible author Terry Melia talked with me this past Saturday. It was a fun chat and we covered lots of ground, hopefully some of it will be useful to others.

Here are two excerpts starting with using your own emotional experiences to add realism write fiction events

and one with some advice to writers.

You find the full video on Terry’s YouTube channel (and we both hope you do and comment).

Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 18

Continuing with Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 18.

Previous chapters here

Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 18

Dire rolled over onto her knees in silent darkness. She’d been asleep? In her workshop? For so long the candles and lamps burned out?

Something whimpered close by her side as a hand nudged her shoulder.

“Nory? It’s okay. Grandmother’s here.”

A hand stroked her hair. The whimpering turned into joyful crying.

“Help grandmother up, lad. There’s a good boy.”

Gentle hands guided her to her feet and steadied her. Once standing, she was embraced. Her hands searched for and found Nory’s familiar features. “Can you help grandmother outside, lad? Is it day or night outside?”

Nory put his fist into her palm and made the sign she taught him for “day late.”

She felt herself tugged in one direction. “Afternoon? How long did I sleep?”

Nory’s hand made a circling motion. “A full day? Oh, you must have worried so much. I’m sorry, my boy. Have you eaten, Nory? Are you hungry?”

He took her hand and patted his stomach, then ran it over the remainder of the food tucked in his clothes.

“Where did you get so much food, Nory?” She hugged him. “Doesn’t matter. Let’s get outside then. Help grandmother, there’s a good lad.”

Nory’s hand shaped “Show you.”

“Show me? Show me what?”

Nory stepped to Dire’s workbench. He sprinkled powder from her tinderbox into a shallow pot then dribbled a few drops from one of her phials. A moment later the mixture sparked and a flame grew. He brought over several candles and lit them.

Before he finished, Dire gasped.

Julia lay on some hides, unconscious. One of Dire’s heavy woven blankets covered her neck to foot.

“Nory, what have you done?”

Nory shook his head and wrung his hands togehter. He moaned and his eyes went from Julia to Dire and back, then focused on Dire’s shawl. He tapped it and Dire saw dust-like particles bounce and sparkle in the candle light.

She gathered some in her palm as they floated to the ground. Carefully, she brought the grains to her nose. “Wormwood?” She touched the tip of her tongue to the grains. “Lettuce oil and lime tree root. That one meant me to sleep, soundly and quickly, but not to harm or hurt.” She took Nory’s hand so he looked straight at her. “Think now, boy. Have you seen any strangers, any newcomers, in our village?”

Nory nodded vigorously and held up three fingers first, then one.

He puffed up his chest and flexed his arms then motioned as if setting a grinding wheel in motion followed by working a blade on it, testing the blade, and working it again.

“A tradesman? A tinker? A metal-worker? Come through the village looking for work?”

Nory nodded and held up a second finger. He motioned throwing a cloak over himself and pulled his already tiny frame in. He lifted an imaginary cup to his mouth and looked back and forth as he did so.

“Someone small? At the Red Fox? Smaller than you?”

No. Same size.

“Man or woman?”

Nory shrugged and drew the imaginary cloak tighter around his face.

“Who’s the third one?”

Nory imitated Father Baillot shaking holy water on everything around him followed by the sign for “other.”

“Another priest? From another village?”

Nory nodded.

“The first too big to be my caller. The second too small. And no priest I know knows how to mix sleeping dusts.”

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Mani He (part 4) now on Bewildering Stories Issue 950

Continuing the success of Mani He (part 1), Mani He (part 2), and Mani He part 3 in Bewildering Stories Issue 947 and Bewildering Stories issue 948, and Bewildering Stories Issue 949 respectively, Mani He (part 4) appears today in Bewildering Stories issue 950.

And if that’s not enough links for you in one paragraph, wait, there’s more!

Mani He originally appeared in Magic 1995, Crumb Elbow Publishing’s Read ‘N Run Anthology 1996, and my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires in 2016.

It’s wonderful to know a work is so appreciated it’s anthologized again and again, and again and again.

Many writers contributed to Bewildering Stories Issue 949 and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading them all.

Please be sure to comment.

It means a lot to us.

It was a dark and stormy night

Welcome to Chez Carrabis, the only wildlife 24×7 in our neighborhood.

This night, this scene, reminds me of my days long-haul trucking. No matter the weather or time of day, rack up the miles, deliver the goods, pickup the next load for backhauling.

I (and most others I knew back in the day) preferred traveling at night. Less traffic. Staties pretty much knew who we were (we had regular routes) and would let us pass by way over the posted limit.

I remember meeting one fellow who told me he clocked 120mph+ on the Queen Victoria from Montreal to Toronto and down onto Detroit.

Wow (on so many levels).

My personal best was Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Washington, DC in 17 hours. This was before the Trans-Canada went to Sydney and, if you remember the roads back then, you’ll appreciate I was low altitude flying.

When we did stop (rarely), it was in midnight diners that catered to long-haulers.

Made some good friends. Excellent teachers, they. A few years later the CB craze started and the air got polluted so we found other ways to talk to each other.

And a bit after that, I was completely out of the game.

Sad, but I still remember those good times, good friends, and good diners.

Eat hearty, all.