other bits of blog

Saturday, October 9, 2010


What is this blog? Something that just sits there halfheartedly, lonely and post-free? Well, no more. I'm back, and I'm back to stay...I hope. :)
On to and earlier subject, what is this blog? A blog for my writing and photography. There's been lots of poetry and pictures lately, yes, but we need a story. And we need it fast. But first, read this. Then this. Then this.


When he woke, the sun was in Jade’s eyes. The skin over the door of the hut was flipped up, letting in all the light of the morning. His parents were outside, and so were the rest of the travelers. Apparently Jade had slept in until nine or so. When he realized that, and where he was, Jade leaped out of bed as fast as he could. He checked all over his body for bugs and bites, and, happily, found none. Jade rubbed his eyes groggily and walked out of the dwelling and into the daylight. The village was so tiny. Jade barely even remembered it from last night, so it was like he was experiencing it again, for the first time. There were about nine of the little huts, all clustered together around the center of the village, where Jade’s parents and the others were. It reminded Jade of the little villages in movies about jungles. It’s like I went into a book, he thought. Jade ambled over to the center and his parents. Along the way all the villagers turned their heads and stared at him. It made Jade feel like he was in some sort of spotlight. In other words, he thought, I’m embarrassed. “Jade, there you are!” Jade’s mother smiled and waved him over. “We’ve just been talking to Janou, our guide. He’ll take us to the river after you eat some breakfast. Then we can set up our new home!” She said this so enthusiastically that Jade was almost nauseated. He didn’t want to go live in the middle of the jungle. He just wanted to be back in his kitchen in California, reading the comics and eating pancakes. But he was here, in the little village and was going to be there, in the jungle. At that moment, Jade wished that something, anything would happen to take him away from the little hut-filled, dirty village. And that he would never have to even think about jungles again. His parents owed him. After they had eaten a bowl of little tart, dark purple berries that Janou called, ‘acai’, Jade and his parents gathered their things and followed their guide. As Jade turned to look back at the villagers, he saw that they were waving, even the little naked children had gathered around to say goodbye. Tentatively, Jade turned back and waved a little himself. Then he picked up his bags, and walked quickly away, following Janou and his parents to a little canoe, feeling worse and worse with every step.

Twigs snapped and bent as the dark girl and her sister ran. The older one, who was named an indigo-colored flower that she could not name with words, but could picture in her mind, ran faster than her younger sister. The younger girl looked almost exactly like her sister, like a miniature version of her: dark skin and eyes, long, black hair, skinny, and tall.
As they ran, the older girl thought of the picture her sister had just sent her. It had consisted of what she knew to be their village—even though she could not call it that. The focus in the message had been on one hut, especially on the dwellers, both of who were lying in their bed, coughing up mucus and shivering. The girl knew just what was wrong, and how to treat it. That was why her sister had been sent for her, because she was a healer. Finally, after almost ten minutes of hard running, the two girls reached the edge of their village, breathless and sweating.

I still think we need more story. So here is more story. More new story.

The Phoenix Feather
A Companion to Silk and Sins

The Letter on the Doorstep

The envelope was crisp, white, and firm. There was obviously a long letter inside it, and that was strange. People didn’t usually send long letters. It wasn’t an ordinary envelope, either, but was held together with a red wax seal, on which was printed what seemed to be a company or school. On the back of the envelope, in a loopy script, was written a name and address. The envelope did look quite odd, but the strangest thing about it was the fact that it was carried in the beak of an owl. The large, white bird flapped her wings, and soared toward the large houses on Victoria Crescent, finally landing on the roof of 112. She hooted, dropped the letter in front of the door, and took off into the dawn. The house and the street stayed still, dark, and quiet for another hour, but the sun slowly rose higher and higher, until the residents of Victoria Crescent had to wake up and start their day.
This particular late August weekend was quiet. There wasn’t anything happening in the city, and many people were off work on a weekend or summer holiday. Therefore, many people were vacationing and had left their houses. So when two girls burst out of the door of 112, the only ones disturbed were the birds in their garden.

“El! You said you’d let me get the mail today!” screamed a young but insistent voice at the door.

“It doesn’t matter. You can get it tomorrow. I’m already out here, Tess, so why waste time?” This voice was older and more mature. It belonged to a tall, skinny girl of eleven with bright green eyes and light coppery brown hair. She had sharp features and a sprinkling of freckles across her nose. The girl was arguing with her younger sister as she fetched the Saturday post and mail in her pajamas.

“But tomorrow’s Sunday, Ellie. There’s no mail!” yelled Tessa, the younger girl. She looked very different from her older sister, with very dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and no freckles.

“Well, then you can get the paper. I really don’t care,” Ellie said sarcastically. “Look, there’s a letter for me!” She pulled the letter out from under the newspaper and the other mail: two magazines, a bill, and a letter for her mother.

“What is it?” asked Tessa curiously.

“I don’t know,” answered Ellie.

Well, open it!”

“No.” Ellie walked into the house with Tessa pouting behind her, but she was excited; she didn’t get letters often. She slipped through the door, into the hall-way, and stepped into the kitchen with a grin on her face. Ellie’s mother was sitting at the table, drinking coffee from a painted mug. Her father was at the stove, cooking omelets for their breakfast. Ellie turned him and opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, Tessa shouted out her news.

“Ellie’s got a letter! Ellie’s got a letter!”

Ellie scowled. Sometimes seven-year-olds could be so annoying. But rather than dwell on the ruin of a surprise, Ellie turned to her parents, smiling.

“Well, let’s see,” said her father. Ellie handed him the letter. He looked it over, quizzical and smiling, then handed it back to Ellie. “Ellie, open it. I want to see what it says.”

“Okay,” she answered, then turned down to the letter. There was a red wax seal, with the words, ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ printed on it. On the back of the envelope was her name, Eleanor Olivia Harris, and her address, 112 Queen’s Hill Crescent, Newport, England. The handwriting was unfamiliar. And what was with Harry Potter’s school, Hogwarts?

“Dad, this is Harry Potter’s school. You know, the books by J.K. Rowling.” Frowning, Ellie flipped it over and broke the seal. She pulled out a letter as white and foreign looking as the envelope and read it aloud.

“’Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Headmaster: Minerva McGonagall. Dear Miss Harris, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins September 1st. Yours sincerely, Corren Daire, Deputy Headmaster.’ Hogwarts? Minerva McGonagall? This is all real?” Ellie asked. “It can’t be! That’s a fantasy book.”

“Most likely this is a prank of your friends’ work, honey,” Ellie’s mother answered.
“But that would be so cool!” Tessa mused. “I mean, imagine broomsticks and moving pictures and robes and wands! Real wands!”
Ellie was shocked. Her friends knew how much she loved magic and how much she wished she could be in Harry Potter’s world. They knew that she had to get her hands on any book to do with magic. None of them would be his rude. It made no sense. But Ellie had this growing sense that it was real. And maybe J.K. Rowling was a witch herself, who wanted to live in the Muggle world and tell the story of the boy who defeated Voldemort. Ellie wasn’t sure of anything, now.

“Mom, can we go to London?” she asked suddenly.

“I want to go.”

“El, Harry Potter doesn’t exist. You know that.”

“Mom, I just want to go to London. I want to look,” Ellie said pleadingly. “Please?” she added for effect.
But Ellie’s father cut her mother off. “Let her go to London, Grace. You can go with her, and I’ll take Tess for the day,” he said turning to Ellie. “What do you say, and girl’s day out? Tomorrow?”

Ellie nodded vigorously. She would get to find out for herself if it existed. As her father and sister talked about what they would do the next day, Ellie’s thoughts turned to magic. And to the wizarding world. She knew, knew deep down her bones, that it was real.

Sunlight crept slowly into the room of the sleeping girl. It shone on her red hair and made her green eyes sparkle. Her left hand was clutched around a crumpled envelope, and the letter that obviously used to be in it was lying, a creamy white sheet, on her bedside table.
Ellie stirred and slowly woke up into a bright Sunday morning. Remembering the events of yesterday’s morning, Ellie was sure it had been a dream. But then she saw the squashed envelope with its curly green script in her hand, and she smiled. “Harry, I just want to tell you…” she whispered faintly, “you’re my hero.”
Ever since she had opened the first book, Ellie was sure that somehow, somewhere, there was magic. And now, well, she was right.
Suddenly wide awake and bursting with joy, Ellie jumped out of bed and bounded into her parents’ room. “Mom! Mom! Get uuuup! We’re going to London today, remember?” Her father groaned and turned over, and her mother slightly opened her eyes, only to close them again and drift back to sleep. Ellie wanted to avoid anything bad, so she tiptoed out of the room, but not before reminding her mother one final time about their trip, by whispering it in her ear.

Ahh. That's better. Now we have had stories. All is well.