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breeden
ursulav

House With Bird Feet 3

Okay, one more short snippet, just because I really had fun with this bit, and because it illustrates a couple of points about writing.

First off, you may note that Sarah’s name has changed. I was not entirely happy with “Sarah.” It wasn’t quite right, and I stumbled over it a little whenever I typed it. It’s still early enough in the story that I can change it if I want, but we were getting to the point where her name would be set in mental stone. (Some characters you can’t rename after five minutes, if they have the right name, but if the name is a generic placeholder, you get some wiggle room. First person narrators can change names like shirts, for me, because their real name is “I.” The most agonizing is if you have to change after the book is nearly written, because it turns out somebody else wrote a book that came out ten minutes ago that has a character with the same damn name.)

“Summer” is better in my head. It may yet shift around, but I think I might have this one nailed down at last.

“The Purple Stained Glass Saint”

She looked down at the weasel. It looked back up at her and shrugged, a tiny shrug that rippled through its entire body.

“What do I do?” she whispered.

“I’ve no idea,” the weasel whispered back, “but you might start by watching where you were going.”

Summer was so startled to hear the weasel talking—although after the skull, she didn’t know why she’d be surprised—that she nearly dropped it. It whipped between her fingers, as quick as a skink, and threw its front paws around her thumb.

“Sorry,” whispered Summer. “You surprised me!”


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Actually, there's a brief story about antelope-women related in Pretty-shield (an autobiography of a Crow medicine woman in the late 19th/early 20th century) - antelope are beautiful and deceptive, and sometimes young men (and possibly young women) follow them off and never return, or return not being right in the head.

Anyway, trivia aside, this is fascinating - I like Baba Yaga, dangerous even in a good mood, the flip-book stained glass and the sneaky saint.

Religious chickens?

They must be fryers.

I do hereby love the snarkweasel.

I'm glad you inserted that last bit. It reassures the reader that Summer has made the right decision -- that if she'd freaked out and not read the book, it would have been a worse choice.

Like someone else, I'm not so sure about someone like the mother in question choosing an interesting name like Summer rather than a "normal" name like Sarah. But then again, we've only seen her mother through Sarah/Summer's perspective and she may have been somewhat different when her baby was born.

I rather like the saint in purple sneakers.

I've known neurotic moms of many stripes, including the full-blown tofu-making, 'Juana-cookie-baking, Birkenstock-wearing Earth Mother variety. Summer's mum would fit right in.

Do those three sisters have a law firm?

I wanna know if they have a younger brother who's a seer and tends to spout a lot of "fore"shadowing ...

Summer got taller when her name changed.

With a name like that ... is she headed for a Fall?

Lost it at “Perhaps they’re very religious chickens.” I'm really enjoying this, can could see it as a book with awesome pictures like Nurk (the saint was definitely a combo of these two:
http://www.antiquity.tv/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/chagall-stained-glass2.jpg
http://ursulav.deviantart.com/gallery/?q=saint#/d1gdzot

Methinks the name change might have something to do with that door at the end. And yes, indeed, gods and angels are busy but watch out for the saints; they may be well-inclined and lovely, helpful people but they're not exactly pictures of mental health. More trustworthy than antelope women, tho'.

Then again, who isn't?

And writing of doors, this bit o' fic reminded me of a line I read in euclase's Tumblr "The limes came through the doors he built to nowhere'. Can't say why. Can't say why I love that line either. But I do.

Stained-glass flipbook, with crashing/screaming/broken glass = the best impractical concept examined for its lack of practicality! :D :D :D

“Perhaps they’re very religious chickens.”

Is Koschei the Deathless or any of the other Russian staples going to come into this at all? Stories can always use another Ivan Ivanovich.

I'd liked Sarah but I'm a bit biased because I am one. :)

This just keeps getting better and better. Thank you for continuing to share!

That stained glass hallway is one of the best things I've ever read, online or print.

I think that I'm going to need your agent's phone number, because if I never get to see the end of this story, s/he and I are going to have words.


You said you like when people quote favorite lines at you?

I really liked:
“Do you think angels really have claws?” she asked the weasel, slowing down a bit.

“Wouldn’t surprise me,” said the weasel. “I have claws, and I eat eggs and mice and rabbits. Sins are probably a lot tougher than eggs or mice.”

That just really struck me, the line about sins. And it's certainly excellent logic!

Also, the weasel is totally right about not messing with rabbits. My family raised meat rabbits at one point, and yeah. Tougher than you'd think (unless you too have experienced their kicks and bites).

the meat variety are also, mostly, not very smart, but no fools.

the ones that aren't worth cooking.... not so much. britannia petites are two pounds of stupid on expresso. nethies aren't very smart but they don't care about silly things like that.

belgian hares would have conquered the world by now if they could overcome the urge to dance around like a ninnies any time they're in an area bigger than six square feet.