Dusting Out the Cobwebs
It was a busy freakin’ weekend! But everything is so much cleaner now🙂
Saturday, hubby decided he was going to help our friend Rob move into his NEW RESTAURANT! Yeah! Congrats, Rob! I know you’ll be a huge hit! So while he was doing that I was doing Ye Olde Laundry and suddenly couldn’t take the condition of the living room curtains any longer. They’d been driving me a wee bit batty for a while so I yanked them down, the curtains in my office, the curtain in the kitchen and the curtains in the bathroom. I gave them all a nice washing and hung them back up in their respective places which is no easy solo feat when it comes to my living room curtains. Oh yes, they’re nice and light; three sheers and two lace panels BUT it’s hard for little ol’ me at 5’3 1/4 to stretch that far…LOL. I managed it.🙂
I also managed to dust all of the bunnies off the kitchen walls. Like I said, I’m short, I don’t necessarily even see said dust bunnies and it’s difficult for this old lady to clean them off when I do since I have to climb on tables and chairs like a monkey with arthritis. Funny, isn’t it? How all of that cleaning you were so persnickety about when your kids were little flies right out the window the second they move out. Hell, I even put household cleaners and pesticides right under the kitchen sink again and nothing in the house is purposefully three feet or higher from the ground anymore. Nope, not even an electrical outlet cover is left. I figure if they stick their finger in a light socket now then I did a really shitty job parenting my girls.
He came home and we went out for a ride in the new Nissan. We hit a few yard sales and I picked up two really nice Dutch Ovens (gave one to Becca), a big crock pot (wherein we made a totally rockin’ pot roast on Sunday!), a few single serving sized pieces of Corning Ware and some new (old) serving bowls. We ended up a back road to Westerly–I love getting ‘lost’ he hates it. We argue all the time over it. I figure this is New England and one can’t really get all that ‘lost’ around here, eventually you’ll come out to a main road or you’ll hit the water. Simple. We hit the water. Went to McQuade’s in Westerly where we picked up said yummy pot roast and a few sundries. Other than Salem Prime Cuts, McQuade’s has thee best cuts of meat. Not cheap but…oh my! Then we went across the street to Dick’s World of Wines for my favorite label which I can only buy in Rhode Island. I hate CT Liquor Laws. Anyway, if you ever get the chance to pick up a bottle of Newport (label name) Bellevue Blush, I highly suggest you do so. I got two of those and one bottle of Newport Great White. The latter was ok but I’ll stick to Barefoot Crisp or Sweet White on that score. Yeah, that bottle and one bottle or Bellevue Blush are gone. Yummy.
Sunday we found a delicious crock pot recipe for pot roast (it was pretty much what I had in mind to begin with but hubby MUST have a recipe to go by. I tell him all the time; Cooking is Intuition, Baking is Science) after putting that together we decided that, since we’re getting our new reclining couches this Saturday! Woot! We would wash the living room rug.
Can you say ‘disgusting’? I knew you could. That water was black and thick as chocolate milk. ICK! But now the living room…hell the whole house…smells wonderful and the rug is once again soft underfoot. That’s saying something considering the rug is nearly as old as I am. Yep, it’s true, it is. We really should get a new one but I’d rather rip it up and have the hardwood floors. They’re nice. Ok they’re not perfect seeing as how they are 73 years old but I like them. Warm worn wood. I think it would be great. Hubby sees a ‘project’ wherein we strip the floor and totally redo it. That’s nice but it has no character and it isn’t what I want. So we washed the rug.🙂
We got the little tiny love seat upstairs to the spare room (we have two of those now that kids are gone) in anticipation of not moving a single muscle from this coming Saturday afternoon until Monday morning. Since it’s going to be chilly all weekend I am anticipating a long lazy session by the fire watching movies, drinking wine, and eating unhealthy food. I might even stop in at fye and pick up those copies of “The Godfather” trilogy (well the first two anyway) I’ve been threatening to buy for several years. It’s the only…I do mean the ONLY…mobster movie that I like–in fact, I LOVE it. All the rest just pale in comparison to Puzo’s epic.
While the rug dried and the pot roast got happy, we went to The Shack in Waterford cuz we were starving. Must have been, we actually waited about 20-30 minutes for a table with one thought dancing in our heads; Waffle Mountains. YUM-EEE.
And, of course, you know, Welcome to Connecticut😉
That’s a SCH-WEET boat, man, picture doesn’t do it justice. It was totally wicked. Not as good as Rupert Murdoch’s yacht, which I got to see up close (WOW!), but still a very nice little dinghy. LOL
However, we were mostly we were looking for some place to buy a good homemade apple pie to go with our pot roast but were out of luck. Marie Callender to the rescue! We came home. The pot roast was done to perfection, it was falling apart. Added in a few potatoes. Hubby made rice then it was time to feast. So good! I could never be a vegetarian and certainly not a vegan. Nothing against either, we often to go to great lengths to appease our vegetarian and vegan friends, but man, you can’t slip a single dollar bill between me and a good steak. Nope. And I love leather and butter and eggs and bacon. Sorry guys and gals, the Fates gave me canine teeth for a reason.😛
Monday came and, since it was Columbus Day and I still have a few vacation days coming to me this year I took the day off and stayed home with hubby for whom the day is a paid holiday. Lucky him! I “upgraded” to Windows 10 not because I wanted to but because the little pop-up was getting more and more insistent until I thought; eventually it’s going to say Look Bitch! It’s Freakin’ FREE…UPGRADE YOUR DAMN OS ALREADY! I loved Windows 7, it was perfect, I never wanted to “upgrade” but, after turning off the Please Let MicroSoft Spy On Your Every Move option everything went very smoothly. The interface even looks like Win7…for the most part. I did have to hunt around for some of my favorite programs and put their .exe on the desktop but, other than that little hiccup, all went well.
I was messing around online for a while playing with Win10 when some strange inspiration struck me and I purchased lisabethdarling.com Yeah! I did! My renewal for moonsmusings.com is coming due and I’ll keep that domain for a while, long enough so Stalkers and Trouble Makers lose interest in scamming it and making it look like it’s me anyway. I figured it was time for a ‘big girl’ domain though I have such deep affection for the domain name moonsmusings.com I’m loathe to give it up…ever. Right now lisabethdarling.com is just a whacked mirror of moonsmusings.com (very few images are showing up!). I’m trying to get things straightened out with my web host so I can have the two work independently of each other. I want to start fresh with lisabethdarling.com and then have moonsmusings.com simply redirect the visitor to the new site. Problem is…PhotoShop now “upgraded” doesn’t like my monitor. The colors are all FUBAR and making new graphics, ie not black, is not going to be easy or fun. Bummer. I’ll work on it. When the new site is ready I’ll make an announcement but probably not until around Valentine’s Day.
Then, after ALL of that, a nagging thought kept running through my mind along with…snapshots…of a conversation I’d had with The Big Guy a few nights before we we muddled through getting OF WAR Complete into the Smashwords Premium Catalog. “Child of War-A God is Born” begins with:
Child of War-A God is Born
by Lisa Beth Darling
The soft sound of a baby crying in her crib broke the stillness of the late night. Raven never slept very much and was already awake when the tiny cries came to his ears and Lenora began stirring in his arms. “Go back to sleep, I’ll get her.” Planting a kiss on her forehead, he slid out of their bed to draw a robe around his large athletic frame. The young man, a stranger to this land and this place, walked into his newborn daughter’s room to see her fussing in her crib, her little hands balled into fists and little legs kicking beneath the warm blanket. Two months old and she already had a thick mass of strawberry hair. With broad gentle arms, he reached in to pick her up and comfort her. “Shhhh, hush, Maggie, everything’s all right, daddy’s here.” Putting his hand under her bottom it was easy to see that she was wet, so he put her down on the changing table and gave the little girl a fresh diaper while she stared up at him in the dark. Quiet now and smiling her toothless grin for him, her gray eyes shined with mischief. “What are you thinking about, huh? You’ve got that gleam in your eye, little lady.” He wondered if his mother ever said that to him when he was a newborn and she was changing him. That brought a fresh tinge of sorrow to his already heavy heart.
Wrapping the blanket around the baby and holding her close to his chest, Raven settled down in the rocking chair to hum an old tune he couldn’t remember the words to any longer, something about snow and roses that his mother used to sing to him when he couldn’t sleep. She sang to him in the sweetest of voices as she stroked her hand across his furrowed brow and she smiled. Alena had the most beautiful smile in the world, but Raven didn’t make her smile very often when he was growing up. No, he made her frown and cry. Sitting here in the dark, holding his new daughter and looking back on his life, he couldn’t stand the self-centered little brat he used to be. He wondered why it took so long for him to realize there was more to this life and this world than himself. How could he have been so blind to a woman that loved him with all her heart and so terribly, terribly, cruel to her?
There was that day, that one perfect day on the island when he was no more than two. That day he caught his first fish and she beamed at him from the shore so brightly it nearly overrode the sun high above them glistening down on the deep blue sea. That day and that smile burrowed themselves deep into his heart so deep that for a long time they were hard to recall and yet so deep that he could never forget. Late at night it made his heart ache to see it again. As the choking feeling at the back of his throat turned thick and rose upward to make his eyes sting, the baby girl in his arms looked up and smiled at her daddy. “I’m going to get your grandmother, Maggie, and I want you to be good for your mommy while I’m gone. When I come home, your grandmother is going to adore you, little one. She’s going to smile again when she sees you and she’ll never stop. I can’t wait for her to meet you.”
“So then you’re going?”
Raven turned toward the open door to see his wife, Lenora, standing there. “I have to; I can’t leave her there any longer. I never should have left her to begin with.” No, he never should have. Lenora made her way into the room to stand by his side and run her fingers through the wide gray streak in his dark hair. “You could stay here with us. You could ascend to the throne on your own and then after you, Maggie.” The young Fae drew her fingertips across her daughter’s chubby cheek as she knelt down at her husband’s side to rest her head on Raven’s strong forearm. She sighed. “We love you and we don’t want to lose you.”
Raven loved them too, but he would never feel worthy of this life and this great amount of unconditional love if he left his mother to suffer at the hands of his Uncle. “She never belonged on Olympus; it’s her throne, this is her kingdom and this is where she belongs.” He looked down at his wife looking back at him with fearful eyes. “I love you, Lenora. I don’t want to leave you, but everything she’s gone through is my fault and I can’t make up for all I’ve done to her, but I have to try to make this right.”
“You have tried, Raven,” Lenora whispered through misting blue eyes and quivering lips.
“And I failed.” Twice Raven used the Scanthan Caite—the Mirror of the Past—to reach out to his mother in desperate attempts to get her to leave Olympus before it fell apart on her. Raven had been unsuccessful in changing the past and so now he had to deal with the present. “I have to go, you know I do.”
If he left Magdalena on Olympus to wither and die then Raven wouldn’t be the man Lenora had fallen in love with and married. “I know, but Olympus is such a dangerous place.” She took hold of his strong hand. “Just promise me that you’ll come home to us.”
“I promise.” He held onto the hand in his with a gentle strength as he rocked his new daughter back to sleep. Lenora wrapped her arms around his neck and clung to him. “It’ll be all right.” The idea of facing his Father, Lord Ares God of War, King of Olympus, was not one Raven relished. He wasn’t sure he was strong enough to take on Ares and win, but he had to go and he had to try. Every day he waited was wasted time, another day his mother spent suffering and fading away. Even here in the Dark Kingdom so many thousands of miles away from Mount Olympus, Raven felt her slipping away. Wrapping his free arm around Lenora’s trembling willowy body he said, “I’ll come home with your Queen. I’ll make everything right again.”
Yes, originally her name was LENORA and I called her Nora for short. I only changed it at the last second thinking maybe ‘Lenore’ was too trite. Then, when Rising Son went into high gear, I wanted to keep the Poe reference and, ya know, critics be damned. I loved the idea of Raven and Lenore. “The Raven” will always be one of my favorite poems.
I was ALWAYS meaning to get THERE within the storyline. In fact, I thought I’d do it at the opening of Rising Son but….no. Then we did Kingdoms and I was disappointed. It truly isn’t anything like we had envisioned.
I took that Prologue OUT of ALL future versions of “A God is Born” because I was disheartened and felt cheated.
Over the weekend I realized that in light of things like “Grey” and “Midnight Sun” the ‘reboot’ was OK. Hell if these lackluster writers can do it so can I, screw that. The Rules of Writing are long gone, my friend. Problem is, I don’t want to ‘reboot’ or even ‘reset’ the OF WAR Series, instead I’d like to explore an Alternate Universe for a while. So, with the last of the Great White and a very fresh bottle of Bellevue Blush, without expectation and just for fun…which is the best way to do it…I started to write again.
I realized that “War on Blue Mountain”, “Stay With Me” and now “In Times of War” are actually all part of the SAME story. I think, for the first time in a very very long time, we may be on to something juicy here. Shhh….don’t say that too loudly. I know. Here’s a tiny peek at “In Times of War” and I hope you like it.
In Times of War
by Lisa Beth Darling
“Raven, please don’t do this,” Lenore begged as she scurried through the darkened hallways of the new Fae Kingdom, “think of Maggie.”
Without looking back Raven growled, “I am thinking of Maggie.”
“Your Maggie! Not our daughter!” Lunging forward, Lenore grabbed Raven’s squared shoulder to spin him around, “She’s dead, Raven your Mother is dead. Do you hear me? She’s gone. We all grieve her loss but she’s DEAD and you can’t bring her back.” Trembling as she rose on her tiptoes to meet his stare she hissed at him again, “Alena is dead.”
Brushing her hand from his body he bent at the waist, “So are four billion other people, I can set it all right. All of it. Get out of my way.” Turning on his leather booted heels, Raven continued his short journey in long purposeful strides.
With every last strand of hoping slipping through her shaking fingers, Lenore called out to her husband, “You never loved us!” She froze for a moment when Raven stopped and glanced back over at his shoulder with an icy stare from those unearthly eyes. “If you do this, we will never meet, never fall in love, never have Maggie. Our life together will never exist. How can you throw it all away, how can you throw us away so easily? Unless, of course, you never loved us in the first place,” she wiped tears from her ashen cheeks not even realizing they were falling. “What about Rose? She adores you. What right do you have to erase us? What…because you’re an Olympian you can do as you choo—”
Before he knew it, Raven’s hands were on her slender shoulders, “Don’t you ever—I mean ever—throw that in my face like it’s some kind of curse, Leni. Don’t provoke me, you won’t like it.” Well aware of what his decision meant; he would lose his Wife, his Daughter, and his Sister, Raven was determined to go through with it at any cost. After all, it was his fault they’d laid his Mother on the pyre. “I’m going to fix all of this,” one hand released a shoulder only to wave itself in the air as though gesturing to the entire universe, “All of it. Who knows, if I do it right, maybe you and I will meet some day anyway and we’ll have Maggie. If that’s what the Fates decreed then it will happen again.”
“So will the rest of it,” Lenore snarled through gritted teeth. “You can’t play around with Time, it isn’t a toy, it’s Black Magik!”
Raven smirked and righted himself so that he loomed over her, “Then who better me, the God of the Damned, to command it? I’m doing this, you can’t stop me, don’t make me get ugly. I love you, Leni, but we’re talking about four billion souls. Do you hear me? Four billion lives that I caused to perish. Then I had to track them down and send them back to the Underworld.” Feeling the anger rise, Raven swallowed hard as he took a breath attempting to quell it, “It was hell and then they came for her anyway. Yeah, I want my Mom back, but I want this stain off my Immortal Soul too, if it costs me you, Maggie, and Rosie, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.”
Feeling the battle was lost and knowing there were only two options left to her; go with her Husband to the bitter end or walk away from him she gave it once last shot, “You didn’t do it, Apollo did.”
Raven nodded slowly, “But if he didn’t have me he wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. Now he won’t have me, my Mother will leave my Father, she won’t suffer on Olympus or with me and the thing I said, the things I did, things I can never take back and could never make up for. Tell me you understand.”
Lenore sighed as her heart dropped to her feet, “I do, God help me, I understand.” She reached out for his hand even as the tears continued their flowing river down her pale cheeks.
Seeing the sadness in her luminescent eyes, Raven ran the palm of his hand over her silken tresses, “You’ll still be born, you’ll still exist,” he assured. “You’ll never even know this happened.”
Lenore grabbed his hand and held it to her cheek, “I don’t want to exist without you. I don’t want to go back to the Dark Kingdom, it’s so cold there. I’ll never know love or what it’s like not to fear a man, his touch, his passion, his desire.”
It was little recompense, “You won’t miss it either,” he leaned in and kissed the top of her head. “I love you, Leni, with all that I am but I’m willing to sacrifice that, the love, your love, that saved me, in order to put the world to right again. I’m trying to serve a Higher Purpose.”
Lenore let out a snicker, “I know,” she reached for the hand on her cheek, “I’ll stand with you to the end.”
He found that a bit odd, “Don’t you want to go sit with Maggie?”
“No,” Lenore croaked, “she’s in her bed sleeping, as you said, she’ll never even know.” If the legends surrounding the mirror Raven was about to use were true then she would know, she would remember, as would anyone else in the room when Raven opened the portal to the past and went through. Fifteen years together, it wasn’t a lifetime, certainly not for an Olympian like him, but desiring another 150 and knowing she might not be that lucky, Lenore decided it was better to live with the pain of his loss and Maggie then to never have known this time with her family. “And you? If you get Queen Magdalena to leave Lord Ares, which I doubt you will, before you’re born, what will you do? There can’t be two of you in the same timeline.”
That was true, when he got his Mother to leave his Father, Raven intended to take her some place safe, somewhere Ares would never find her. Once she settled in and just before he was born, Raven would try to make his way back to this timeline. As much as the Mortals loved to theorize about Alternate Realities and Alternate Universes, Raven knew that the chances of such things existing were small. Time was Linear and Fate Itself predetermined much of all that occurred, Free Will was an illusion, in the end, all Roads Led to Rome; the Fated Outcome. He wouldn’t make it back here to this Reality. He’d never see this Lenore or this Maggie again, not in any way that he recognized them. When the time came, when Alena was safely tucked away where no harm could ever befall her again, Raven knew he would have no other choice but to end his own existence so that his new self could grow strong and just under the guidance of his Mother far away from Apollo, Zeus, and even Ares. In his heart of hearts, Raven felt his love for Lenore was Fated. They would meet again but under other, maybe even better, circumstances. They would fall in love and Maggie, like himself, would be born anew. “You sure you want to do this?” He laced his fingers through hers holding on to the sweet touch of her skin for a few more lingering moments. “You don’t have to.”
“You can’t get rid of me that easily,” Lenore squeezed his hand as she planted a kiss on his clean-shave cheek, “I love you, today, tomorrow, always. I know, somehow, someway, you’ll come back to me.”
“Try not to shoot me when I do,” Raven cracked as the memory of their first meeting flitted through his mind.
“Promise,” she sighed and tilted her head upward for one last kiss. A kiss so deep and passionate it was nearly enough to last her lifetime. Wishing Time and Fate would be kind enough to give them a window long enough to make love again but knowing it was not to be she pulled away. “Let’s go before I lose my nerve.”
Are you intrigued? Do you want to know more? If so, then I implore you to show this pathetic needy writer some love. Writing has been almost impossible since hubby’s accident last August (2014) and I think we could be on to something wonderful here. If you think so too, please let me know. I’d like to keep cleaning out the cobwebs in my head as well as in my house.