In which I talk about laptop sloths, writing and finding half a fairy ring in the garden
You’d think still being in lockdown and at home would make time pass slower. But looking at the speed at which the first quarter of the year sped by, I think that’s not the case. I won’t go into talk about the pandemic here because I think we all know what’s going on and, honestly, I don’t have anything extra to say.
I mean, I still feel like I’m getting used to being at home basically a year after lockdown began. Who would’ve thought that a trip to the gate to fetch groceries would start counting as “an outing”. (Although I do realise how blessed I am to live in a metropolitan area and having groceries delivered straight to me.)
The past few weeks have also been quite a struggle as my laptop decided to become a sloth and I had to replace the hard drive… and to do that with a SSD required some or other doohickey (thank goodness my brother in-law knows about these things!). However, since a few days ago I at last have a computer that’s working properly again — and is actually working better than it did when I first got it.
Hopefully I’ll now be able to do more of my own writing rather than spend all the time with the sloth on writing for work.
Fairy Rings in the Garden… Okay, Half a Fairy Ring
I also found half a fairy ring in the garden one morning while taking Sir Tristan the Wonder Cat for a walk! I was, however, the only one in the whole complex who found it cool, cementing myself as “the weird lady in the corner unit” and not just “the one with the cat”.
Here are some pictures…
Writing Update: Newsletters and More
I haven’t been completely idle, however, and have sent out a couple of newsletters in which I tell a lot about the history of the world of Airtha-Eyrassa and The Ruon Chronicles.
The outline for the series is also coming along splendidly at last. I talk all about this and share the prologue to the series over on the substack The Worlds of Carin Marais.
I’ve also been working on finishing Where the Stars Used to Sing in-between work and the lovely migraines and joint pain that is part and parcel of heatwaves for me. Thank goodness the weather is turning cooler at last!
One of my favourite stories of the collection is “And She Danced with the Moonlight” which also contains the “language” of the moon and stars:
And She Danced with the Moonlight
She made her way to the river while the silver swirls of stars danced across the night sky. Here, down in the valley, the stream glimmered grey as it wound its way past the old mill where a tall chimney of red brick sent lazy smoke curling into the cool night air.
There, at the edge of the water where an owl hooted and noiselessly took flight, she stopped to wait for him.
At first it seemed as if the rushing water and groaning wheel were the only sounds to be heard. Yet, as the moon rose higher and higher into the night sky, she could hear its singing become louder and louder. The song held strange words that mortals could not understand, but her it would beguile outside on the nights when the moon was waxing.
Tonight was full moon and the song stirred within her, caught her breath, let her heart beat to the strange tune that lingered on the wind.
The stars, their voices soft and far away, murmured along with the moon’s song.
“Dance! Dance!” the music urged her, but she knew it was not yet time and lingered in the rushes.
The moon’s silver-grey reflection appeared on the shallow water near the river bank. She stepped down towards it, bending the lithe reeds aside to step into the cold water with her bare feet. Yet she did not feel the cold, for, as she touched the reflection of the moon, the piper stood before her again.
With a grin and a wink he threw his patchwork silver-grey cloak over his shoulder and placed a plain tin whistle to his lips. The notes that he played spread out and calmed the ripples until the water was like a mirror on which he stood and played, bathed in silver moonlight.
The melody filled her veins as her feet started their own reel around the moonlit piper. The strange music caught her heartbeat and led her closer and closer upon the water until she reached the piper who now stopped the haunting notes and took her hand.
“Come with me this time,” he said in a voice that wrenched her heart.
She shook her head and looked towards the east.
“They are already waiting for sunrise,” she said and leaned in to kiss him. Her golden dress shone for a moment like the light of a falling star and the stars’ elegy for their coming parting filled the night sky.
The moonlight faded with the dawning of the day. There were tears in his eyes as he wrapped his grey cloak around him. She closed her eyes then, unwilling to see him leave.
She started singing in a strange tongue then and the sun cast its first rays over the horizon as her tears fell into the rippling river water.
The sounds of the mortal world flooded her senses as the darkness lifted. She wiped away her tears and stared at the horizon, now shivering with cold. The sun was waiting and she needed to welcome the new day.
She lifted her voice and the golden beams streamed into the valley. One last time she looked up at the fading moon and her voice wavered. The lingering notes still echoed in her heart even as she sang and kindled the sun to warm the earth once more.
She’d have to wait, she mused. Wait until the end of days has come and the sun falls into the sea and she is released from her appointed task.
“Nogshea a’laerta indara,” she sang and placed a hand on her aching heart.
“Nogshea haerta indara,” she heard the piper answer before the notes of his song faded.