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Here’s the starter for a round robin story. Just jump right in and add a bit, or more than a bit, and we’ll see what sort of fun story we come up with! – She Wolf

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “And pigs might fly”, which people say when they mean, “Well, that’s impossible!” Well, this pig did fly, so it clearly wasn’t as impossible as those pessimists thought…

Once upon a time, there was a flying pig. He lived on a small farm with a farmer, his wife and their young and growing family. The pig liked being able to fly; it meant that he could get the juicy apples still growing on the trees instead of the old rotten ones on the ground underneath the tree, and the sweet corn growing on the other side of the fence, which was no barrier for him. As a result, he was a fine, fat pig instead of rather scrawny like the other pigs from his litter.

The farmer liked the fact that he was a fine, fat pig, but was rather disgruntled by the fact that the pig was always getting into the best apples and corn and so forth when his young and growing family wanted to eat the same apples and corn. And he had no idea what a novelty the flying pig was, or he might not have decided, one fine autumn day well into butchering season, that it was time to have the pig feed his family instead of his family feeding the pig.

The farmer looked at the pig, who was currently circling a tree in the orchard, hunting for an overlooked apple, and had a vision of bacon, and ham, and spare ribs. Keeping an eye on the pig, he went to the shed for something to catch him with and then he slowly walked towards the pig, hiding a rope behind his back.

But the pig, with the sixth sense that hunted creatures sometimes have, saw the farmer coming toward him with the visions of sausage and pigs’ trotters in his eyes and the pig was uneasy, although the pig really didn’t know what the man intended to do.

The man got close enough to the pig to try and throw the rope around his neck, but the rope tangled in the branches of the tree and he missed. The startled pig squealed and flew wildly into the tree, knocking down the last few apples on the farmer’s head, and then flapped away, landing on the far side of the orchard fence.

The farmer grumbled a few things he wouldn’t want his children to hear, and came after the pig again. The pig could clearly see that the farmer was angry, and decided to stay away from him.

After an hour of playing chase around the farmyard, the farmer was furious. He grabbed a board and started swinging wildly at the pig. One swing connected with the pig’s well-padded posterior, and the pig, offended, decided he had had enough.

He squealed and flew away, across the farmyard, over the orchard, beyond the cornfield and into the forest…


1. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – poetry

2. Zen in the Art of Writing – essays on writing

3. Aunt Dimity, Vampire Hunter – a cozy mystery

4. The Fire Rose – a fantasy, retelling the story Beauty and the Beast, set in early 20th century San Francisco

5. The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns – the title says it all!

– She Wolf

I usually write on a computer. I find that odd sometimes, because I have always found a clean sheet of paper and a smooth-writing pen pure inspiration. My hand, however, is rarely able to keep up with my mind, and my handwriting degenerates into unreadable, thoughts get lost, and the whole thing turns writing into an exercise in pure frustration. (Poetry is the exception. I still need paper and pen for poetry.) The days of typewriters were no better. My fingers often hit the wrong keys, and I have no patience with myself over that. A computer, though, with a word processing program – now that is my best work-place.

Ideally, I would have a quiet room with peaceful blues and greens decorating it, a few favorite pieces of fantasy art and knickknacks, and a comfy chair and a desk the right height for my keyboard. I would have either no music, or something like world music or new age or gentle classical -anything without words – on the stereo, very softly. Alas, reality is far different.

If I have my keyboard, I can, and often do, write anywhere. I lose myself in what I am writing, and the world around me disappears.

I write at the dining room table with the family squabbling and dogs barking and birds squawking and the stereo booming whatever the last person who got to it set it on, all normal and noisy around me.

I write at my desk in the bedroom with a sport-of-the-season game blaring in the background, my desk cluttered and frequently topsy-turvy. (Although it is topped with some of my favorite bits and pieces – a baby griffin, a Chinese dragon purchased on a trip to Los Angeles almost thirty years ago, a scene of a wizard’s cottage, a sand dollar that my oldest son brought me from a trip to Seattle, a few small stuffed critters, and some tiny eggs from my birds. There is also, regrettably, a collection of tea cups and mugs up there that needs to go back to the kitchen.) But when I’m writing, I really don’t notice the state of the desk. (And yes, I know I actually can do something about the messy desk, but when I do, it never lasts very long. Entropy is strong in my house.)

I would write in the car (this is serious downtime and boredom sends my imagination into overdrive) but I get car sick. I do have a car charger for the computer, though.

I used to think I needed things just right to write. Now I know that if I want things right, then I just need to write.

– She Wolf © 2008

The question of blogging and whether or not it is a good thing for writing inspired me to write this series of vignettes about changes in publishing and writing over the centuries.

 Brother Thaddeus put down his pen and carefully capped the inks on the desk in front of him. The scriptorium was silent; all the other brothers had already left for dinner. Brother Thaddeus had wanted to finish the page he was working on. Father Jonas, the head of the order, would be pleased. The page was perfect and beautiful, each letter carefully and lovingly formed, the uncials uniquely decorated – it was a work of art, fit for the holy words written there.

Just as Brother Thaddeus thought of him, Father Jonas entered the scriptorium. He looked perturbed. “Brother Thaddeus – here you are. I need to talk to you somewhat urgently.” Father Jonas led the way into the herb garden outside the scriptorium door. “Something new has come up. I have hesitated to bring it to your attention – the attention of all of you who do the beautiful work in the scriptorium – but the time has come to talk of this.” Brother Thaddeus was puzzled. What on earth could the problem be?

“There has been a new invention. You know the printing press has been around for a bit, but it has been mostly used for images, as carving a page of words is difficult, to say the least. Now someone has come up with moveable type. Men arrange individual letters to make the page they want and print them, then move the letters around to make a new page. It is nearly effortless. It will enable thousand of books to be printed at one time. What it could do to us, well, is inconceivable. The holy words of God and the saints, reduced to mass printings, without the care and love we put into each page! And what could be printed! Men could print blasphemy with no effort at all! Any one who can tell a story can have it printed! This will ruin us, ruin the world with a flood of thoughtlessly printed garbage!”

Brother Thaddeus shook his head in shock and horror. “Father Jonas, I don’t know what to say! This is a tragedy indeed!”


The Duke of Sandcastle paced through the little village near his home. “Matthew!” he called to his secretary, “Make a note!”

The secretary scurried up behind his master and tried to juggle the pen and ink and the little writing board he carried with him. “Yes, sir. What did you want to say, sir?”

“I wish to dismantle this ‘school’ the people have begun here in the village. Teaching the common people to read and write like their betters! What is this world coming to? Teach them to read and write and they will be discontent with their lot, and think they can be as good as those of us born to a better life! And they are even teaching their female children to read and write! Just imagine what could happen if one of them should decide they can write as well as a man! This could be disastrous!”

Matthew the secretary, uncomfortable aware of his own bourgeois background, duly noted all of his master’s concerns and then shook his head. “Just terrible, sir, just terrible!”


“What on earth is this thing?” the publisher yelled as he slapped the cheaply printed digest down on his desk. “Pulp? They’re calling it pulp? I’m calling it garbage!”

“Yes, sir, I totally agree, sir!” answered his secretary. “This stuff is cheap to print, and now everyone is going to think he can be an author! We’ll be swamped with all kinds of people thinking they can write, just because they get published in this ‘pulp’ stuff.”

“Everyone can get printed in this junk!” raged her boss. “Who the hell is this Isaac Asimov fellow in this issue anyway? Next thing you know he’ll be knocking on our door, wanting us to publish some book he’s written! This is a disaster!”


Every few generations we have new advances that allow more and more people access to writing and publishing. Rather than being the disaster that has been predicted each time, the new advance has sorted itself out and instead we find that our world is all the richer for a new group of writers gaining the attention of still more people. Blogging is simply the latest advance in the system.

– She Wolf (c)2007

It’s Friday and I didn’t have anything new ready, but the little gargoyle is always ready to entertain you….


And a very happy Blog Day to you!

I have thought long and hard about the subject of gifts. I have been given many, many precious gifts over the years, both material and spiritual or emotional, and it has not been easy to single out one to write about. However, one early gift set me on a road I am still going down.

The summer after second grade, my mother ordered a surprise for me. It came in a large box, which I found was full of large books- seven of them to be exact. They were seven of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, hardbound. The selection was a bit random- the first, second, and fourth, but not the third, etc. I was certainly intrigued, and paged through them, but they were a little bit daunting for a little girl who had only just finished second grade.

My mother proceeded to cuddle with me on the couch and read the first chapter or two of the book. That was all. Then she left me with the book. Naturally, I wanted more. She wouldn’t read any more. So I picked up the book and started to read it for myself. I worked my way through all seven of those books over the next few months (I was still reading them when school started.) When I finished one, I would beg her to get me started on the next. I learned to read chapter books and was completely captivated by reading- and still am. We even went to the library to try to find some of the books we had not been sent. (I have collected the rest of them since.) I read those Oz books over and over again through the years, along with almost anything else I could get my hands on. Interestingly, I didn’t read much fantasy, except for my beloved fairy tales, until I was in college although then it became my favorite genre.

 My mother’s gift of those books and the restraint she showed in not just reading them to me, but enticing me into reading them for myself, gave me a lifetime passion for reading and later for writing. I consider that a truly fantastic gift.

Forgive me if I’m being flippant; I know it is a serious topic, but it’s Friday night and I just don’t have it in me to be serious tonight. So, for my contribution to the Bluestocking topic, here are the lyrics to Sister Suffragettes from the Disney movie, Mary Poppins:

We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats
And dauntless crusaders for woman’s votes
Though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they’re rather stupid!

Cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done, Sister Suffragette!”

From Kensington to Billingsgate
One hears the restless cries!
From ev’ry corner of the land:
“Womankind, arise!”
Political equality and equal rights with men!
Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!

No more the meek and mild subservients we!
We’re fighting for our rights, militantly!
Never you fear!

So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!”

Let’s all sing along and enjoy! Those women risked their lives and security so that we could enjoy the rights we have today!

I let my inner critic have free reign this morning, and then punished her thoroughly for having the audacity to be so demanding. I had a day off from work, and I awoke with plans, but one look at my basement craft area turned that into Plans, and the critic took over as I stood meekly back  in the corner and let her go. I did slyly suggest that she recruit some help, though.

We called upon the lone child home, the 16 year old off school for Good Friday, and grumpy because his track meet was cancelled, to be the helper. A verbal tussel later, he was fervently wishing for his coach to call and tell him his track meet was on again (no such luck for him) and was helping us- me and the inner critic, who was very grumpy with all comers.

Well, this is where the critic got her comeuppance.  She wore herself out playing not just inner critic, but outer critic as well. While the boy-child did indeed help, he did so like a 16 year old boy. The critic was fuming, but I reminded her that this was a big job and we needed help. So, while picking up other people’s belongings and putting these in the correct room, sorting out books to give away, cleaning out a closet, and sweeping, my inner critic dealt with the fact that getting a 16 year old boy to do something he doesn’t like, and do it your way, is very like herding cats. She told him so, while I stood in the background and snickered.  He beamed up at us innocently.

By the end of the morning, the job was done, and so was my inner critic. She was so exhausted from trying to get him to actually cooperate and stay on task for two minutes running that she packed it in for the day. She did not come up with 75 other tasks to do (which she normally does). She did not tell me that the job wasn’t perfect (which she always does). She simply left, and I washed up and headed for my writing. By the way, I should also be able to reach my papers and stamps and fabrics again, so she did accomplish something!

I will have to remember this technique the next time I feel that “get your work done, and all of it” version of the critic lurking around, waiting for a chance to pounce. Too many people to work on, and she folds up and goes away!

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Telling stories, singing songs.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Won’t you come along?

He’s tunes to play and songs to sing-

A lute, a flute, a fiddle wild-

Fingers fly and voice trills

Enchanting each and every child.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Over hills and through the pass.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Winking at each comely lass!

He’s news to tell and stories, too-

Tales to chill and tales to thrill.

His voice echoes through the night

People listening with a will.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Tattered, torn, limping some.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Still he beckons, Come!

He sits beside the fire at night,

His voice rising in a song.

His listeners sit up straight and then-

Old ones smile and sing along.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Folks will come from far and near.

Comes a minstrel a-wandering,

Come and listen, for he’s here.

Do you know Little Run-Along?

Little Run-Along slips around the corner

And leans against the door frame-

“Oh, there you are,” says Mama,

“Run along now and play.”

Little Run-Along brushes her brown curls

Out of her eyes

And sighs

“Yes, Mama,” and runs along.

Little Run-Along wanders up to the fence

And drapes her arms over it.

Papa looks over and says,

“Oh, there you are.

Run along now and play.”

Little Run-Along wipes her hands on her dress

And sighs,

“Yes, Papa,” and runs along.

Little Run-Along drifts into the kitchen

and slides into a chair.

Grandma looks up and says,

“Oh there you are.

 Run along now and play.”

Little Run-Along scratches her leg

 and sighs,

“Yes Grandma,” and runs along.

Little Run-Along climbs the stairs

 and sits on the top one.

Grandpa looks out a door and says,

“Oh, there you are.

 Run along now and play.”

Little Run-Along shakes her head

and sighs,

“Yes, Grandpa,” and runs along.

Little Run-Along plods over to the front steps

and sit on the bottom one.

Her puppy comes over and barks.

“Oh, there you are,” says Little Run-Along,

“Run along now and play.”

Her puppy whines and tucks his tail

And walks slowly away.

Little Run-Along watches him go

And then something catches in her heart

“Wait!” she says, “I’ll come too!”

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