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[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Breakfast for Dinner
By Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 1 of 2, complete
Word count (story only): 1467

:: This story begins after “Breathing Room,” (link to part one) when Bennett very abruptly decides that the talk of “getting away from it all” isn’t just idle chatter, but a very useful stratagem. Told from Jules’ perspective, this is the sea of uncertainty that he’s sailing in at the moment. ::

On to part two

Bocce teleported Jules and his father from the Finns’ living room to an enormous outdoor courtyard. They landed on a compass rose made of tiny pebbles, more than twelve feet from the tip of the red North arrow to the tip of the blue South arrow, and just as large from east to west, though both of those were made of small black stones flecked with white. “Welcome to my family home,” the teleporter declared, just as someone opened a sliding glass door and rushed out, chattering to Bocce in fierce, impossibly swift Italian.

“Oh, you’re making a great impression on our guests,” the teleporter announced dryly, waving toward Bennett first. “Taide, this is Bennett, and his son Jules. This, unfortunately, is my annoying younger sister, Taide.”

She stuck out her tongue at her brother, then whirled to sweep Bennett into a hug, despite the box of produce he carried. “It’s so good to finally meet someone Bocce wanted to bring home to the family!”

“Wait, uh! It’s not--” Bennett stammered, then caught the absolutely devilish grin on the young woman’s face. He snorted.

“Thanks for playing along,” she offered, in tones of apology, and hugged him again.

“And this is Jules. Jules, don’t let her behavior fool you, Taide is turning twenty-four next month and has been married nearly four years.” Bocce sighed, shaking his head. “I despair of her ever growing up, however.”

The teenager took a step back, holding up the box of produce in his arms in explanation. After a beat, Jules and the young Italian shared a merry grin. “Who wants to grow up?” they chorused. He offered a hand, but Taide pulled him into a fierce, swift hug as well.

“Glyn talks about you, quite well,” she whispered, then kissed Jules on both cheeks.

Blushing, the teen took a step back. “Woah, she like Edison, only taller!”

“Hmm?” Taide asked.

“A family friend, who is wonderfully tactile and high-touch,” Bennett explained. “Give Jules a second to adjust, please.”

Taide took a step back immediately, nodding. “We’ve got your rooms ready, and about half the household is asleep, but the other half is up and playing board games in the main room downstairs. It’s still evening where you were, right?”

Bennett nodded, draping an arm around Jules’s shoulders. “Come on, kid, let’s drop our bags and see if there’s something we can play without speaking any Italian. I wonder what their version of Candyland is?”

Bocce winced. “That game is miserable, and no one should have it inflicted upon them,” he insisted. “We’ve got all kinds of other games, though, and don’t worry about Italian; the household knows English and a few other languages. Dad has been hosting English-speaking college students every other semester since we were small, and my uncle’s business relies on a lot of foreign clients, making English a good option there, too.”

“What does your uncle do?” Bennett kept an arm around Jules until the teen nodded and took a half step away.

“I’ve got my balance,” Jules murmured to his dad.

“He does refits on small boats, sometimes on yachts.” Bocce shrugged. “If you ask him about it, bring a lunch, because he’ll talk your ear off,” he warned. He led the way through the same sliding doors that Taide had used, revealing a small sunroom furnished with more plants than furniture, and led the way to the right, past an indoor pool whose walls were largely made up of pairs of white French doors on the inner side, but whose outer windows were covered with white rolling shutters at the moment. Past them, as the hall branched, was a kitchen area, and a table large enough to seat six.

In the spacious, well-designed home, it seemed absurdly cozy.

Taide pointed down the hallway to one side. “On the left is the sauna, and the massage room. There’s a theater room down here, and then guest rooms on the other hallway.” She turned them toward the right again and stopped at the first door. She lifted a piece of chalk from the wooden tray mounted below a panel on the five-pane door, and grinned at Jules. “This one’s your room while you’re here. Put your name on it and any special instructions. Our sister’s says “Wake with coffee!” and has since she was a teenager.”

Jules eyed the cool blue surface framed by the same white trim as on the windows and French doors, then touched the chalk to it. Halfway through the long stroke of the capital ‘J,’ the chalk broke. He sighed, shaking his head, and quickly scrawled his name, before bending to retrieve the other half of the broken stick. He wobbled, and only his dad’s hand planting on the door stopped Jules from bumping his head on the way down to fetch the chalk.

He opened the door on a half-bitten off sigh.

His room held a double bed, with a thick ottoman running the width of it at the foot, and an armchair in the corner. Both of the windows were behind the metal blinds, and seemed to run from floor to ceiling. Bocce waved toward the wall switch below the shoulder-height one with a light in the toggle. “The plain switch is the control for the blinds, and you can open them after four in the morning if you want to watch the sun rise.”

Taide pointed to the right. “You and your dad share a bathroom, with a shower and toilet in separate stalls. The garden tub is in the main part of the bath. Everything locks, but the house has a medical override rule in case of emergency.”

She cocked an eyebrow at Jules. “Your housemates on this floor are in the other two downstairs bedrooms. Shall I warn you that sometimes people don’t remember to grab towels or robes when coming out of one private space on the way to another?”

Jules blushed as he shook his head. “No. I get it.”

“There was some talk about your friend Glyn needing therapy to, as you say ‘get it.’ That kid was truly too upset about it.” Taide ran a hand through her smooth, caramel-brown hair as a silent commentary.

Instead of agreeing, Jules flinched, dragging his fingers through eggplant purple hair. “Cut her some slack. Her parents wanted her to be some kind of perfect little…” Jules shivered. “Therapy would be a good idea, but nobody should be hassling her just because she doesn’t want to see naked people. I don’t either.”

“Enh,” Taide offered, shrugging. “Your loss.” She waved off the whole topic, and took a deep breath. “The outdoor pools require suits, but the indoor one doesn’t.” She added a warmer smile. “Don’t worry, the people most likely to be using it are our grandparents. The rule is that if you don’t have swimming certs, water safety and the like, come get someone. Nonna and Nonnino, our grandmother and grandfather, are excellent swimmers, and will usually be happy to have company at the pool.”

“Got it,” Jules nodded. “I have my certs for water safety. Dad insisted.”

“Do you blame me?” Bennett asked dryly.

Bocce opened the door to the last room in the corridor, revealing a larger room with a cluster of fat, rusty-red leather armchairs near the shuttered windows, and a flat screen television mounted on the side wall above a long dresser. “The remotes for everything in here are in the nearer night stand,” he told Bennett. “The bed act like a hospital bed, with the different controls marked with icons. Any questions, find somebody and ask.”

Bennett opened the closet door, then blinked in shock. “I had a smaller apartment than that when you were a baby, Jules.” The dark-haired man jerked a thumb toward the space. “Your travel crib fit where that short wall is.”

“Dad,” Jules offered, rolling his eyes, “that space is too small to put a twin bed in, and there’s no room for a kitchen!”

“Didn’t have either one,” Bennett admitted, shrugging. He set his bag gently on the floor, and pulled the closet door closed. “So, color me flabbergasted, which is several steps past speechless, Bocce.” He paused. “Names? Should I count the name you gave us first as the only one I should ‘hear’?”

“I like him,” Taide laughed, then shook her head. “Bocce’s the only one connected to… odd stuff. The rest of our family is pretty typical.”

Jules cast a long glance at the daylight programmable fixtures in the ceiling, then nodded. “Okay, Can deal.” He cleared his throat. “Would you mind stopping me before I make an enormous mistake, though? This isn’t… what we’re used to.”

Updates and Stuff

Feb. 21st, 2019 12:14 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Cancer Stuff

We got back about a week ago from my wife’s latest round of chemo. She had an infusion reaction and a painful (but not life-threatening) side effect from one of the meds, but otherwise things went pretty well. The oncologist says the lymphoma is responding well to treatment.

In better news, it sounds like they’re going to transfer her care from the hospital in Detroit to a more local cancer center, which means no more 90-minute drives back and forth, and no more needing to stay in the hospital apartments for 1-2 weeks at a time. (At least until we get to the bone marrow transplant part of the process.)

People have asked what they could do, which is very kind and much appreciated. I don’t think there’s much we need at the moment, so my suggestion would be to look into donating blood. Amy needed a lot of blood products at the beginning, and will probably need additional transfusions, and it all drove home how important it is to have a well-supplied local blood bank.

Writing Stuff

On the writing front, I actually got a little work done on Terminal Peace earlier this week. Not much, but it was something. I’m hoping as the cancer stuff calms down a bit, I’ll be able to keep making progress there. But helping my wife to get well again and taking care of the kids is still the priority.

Thanks to everyone who boosted about Terminal Uprising coming out last week, and to those of you who’ve commented how much you enjoyed it and/or posted reviews. I haven’t been able to do as much promo this time, for obvious reasons, so I’m even more appreciative.

I’m still hit-or-miss on emails and such, but I’m trying to catch up and stay on top of things.

Depression Stuff

I’ve talked about my depression off and on. I’d expect, given everything that’s happened these past two months, that I’d be drowning in a nasty brain-weasel flare-up. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen too much sign of that yet.

Yet being the key word there. My response to crisis has always been to focus on helping the person in crisis and doing whatever I can do. I’ve been in that mode for two+ months now.

I suspect sooner or later it’s going to catch up and knock me on my ass. So I’m trying to watch my own symptoms, and to do what I can to take care of myself. Things like letting other people around town help out, or even asking for help when I need it. I also scheduled an appointment with my former therapist for next week, just to come in and talk and vent and see what happens. Then there’s stuff like sitting around and watching the second season of Dragon Prince with my son to relax and unwind a little.

I know I’m keeping some things stuffed down for now to help me function. But I don’t feel like I’m hiding from it. So far, this seems to be working.

Random Cancer-Related Observation

I’ve lost about ten pounds since this all started. This diet plan sucks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
albino heart survival heartwarming turtle - 7780357

According to Caters New Agency, the albino pinkbelly sideneck turtle was born with her heart exposed. In humans, this condition is called ectopia cordis, but in veterinary medicine there is no name for the life-threatening genetic defect. Even with her heart beating outside of her shell, the baby turtle, named Hope, has defied the odds and survived. Hope lives with her owner Michael Aquilina in New Jersey. Aquilina, known as AquaMike on Instagram, was given the turtle by a friend who felt Aquilina had the passion and experience to give Hope the longest, happiest life possible. The little turtle arrived at Aquilina's home in November 2018 and continues to grow stronger with each passing day. 

Submitted by:

A New! Improved! Website Coming Soon!

Feb. 21st, 2019 01:41 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech

Gneech.com and its sister site, BringingTheAwesome, are both getting a major overhaul! I’m working with Braid Creative to create a new “brand identity” to finally integrate my writing, coaching, editorial, and creative efforts under one unified whole (and a whole new website).

This is something that’s been a long time coming. I’ve been on the web since before it was “the web,” and so I have 25+ years of identities in silos all over the place. It’s time to just be the one “Me!” Writer, life coach, creative artist, giant nerd. They’re all in there. 😉

Stay tuned for progress reports as warranted!

Charity bundle

Feb. 21st, 2019 11:02 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
So far the charity bundle has sold more than 700 copies, with an average price around $4. Not bad for a collection of free material!

Liavan:Spring - Part 3

Feb. 21st, 2019 08:16 pm
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu

This follows on from Part 2 and runs to 3,251 words.

The light of dawn revealed no lurking, massive animals, but something had been rooting in the earth on either side of the track in the gully. That sign was accompanied by perfectly normal, if massive, porcine hoof marks and more of the castings that Liavan had seen the previous afternoon. Liavan went soberly back to the cottage to water her beginnings of a garden and begin work on the enchantment that should allow her to travel easily to market days. If it didn't work, then every market day trip would take three days and involve two nights in an inn as well as a lot of walking.

Read more... )
Part 1.
Part 2.
This is Part 3.


Emotional Intimacy Question: Wishing

Feb. 21st, 2019 01:02 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list.

19. If a genie granted you three wishes right now, what would you wish for?

1. I wish you free.

Poem: "Decent, Safe, and Affordable"

Feb. 20th, 2019 05:58 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the free epic for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. Most of the poetry is currently tied up in the half-price sale, but I just wrote this one yesterday. I finally figured out why Terramagne-America has such a better housing situation compared to here. This poem fills the "complex" square in my 2-1-19 You Are card for the Valentines Bingo fest. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XV: Warning Sticker )

Comments please before I post to archives.

(no subject)

Feb. 20th, 2019 08:14 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen

Todo list update:

  • started reading Words Are My Matter since it was tied most of the day and it's due back soonest; about 1/3 of the way through
  • have not written (yet)
  • not cleaning bathroom due to emergency storm water supply being in the way
  • have finished animals! opened box of "old doll clothes" expecting to find ones I played with back in the day; instead found ones my grandmother played with.
  • have not done any sewing, except for repairs to animals. Did find cut-but-not-sewed antique doll clothes in box, though, so number of sewing WIPs has increased instead. sigh
  • just put laundry in! mostly animals and doll clothes, but it counts.
  • have not worked on knitting projects, that's up next
  • officially not dealing with desk today. :P
  • officially not working on books today. :P
  • listened to lots podcasts!
  • writing dreamwidth post as we speak. substance questionable :P

Here is a photo of all of my Daekor Potbelly bears and raccoons - Dropbear and his friends and relations. There are, apparently, 17 of them, which means I've acquired a new on on average every two years.

The koalas, going clockwise, are: Bonnie (by far the best condition, still has original fur texture); Bongo (not actually Daekor, but a very similar design, and as the largest, an honorary uncle); Big Boy (the one who is exactly the same size relative to me as KB was when I was a toddler, and is therefore on emergency hug duty at all times - he got a new nose today); Ol' One-Eye (with his brand-new eyepatch!); Nobody (named after the Emily Dickinson poem, distinguished by having no distinguishable features - the third one I ever owned); Scarface (lurking like the bear of mystery he is!); Joanie (so named because she came on a road trip with me to find America right after college); Drop-Bear (aka KB, the original who's been with me since I was born); and Little One.

The brown bears just go by The Three Bears. The raccoons mostly don't have names, but the pinkish-colored one in the middle is Posey, and one of the others has the name Kekko on her tag.

Names and genders subject to change without notice, I just go by what they tell me.

No I do not need 17 semi-identical stuffed animals (or the, uh, 100-ish others I repaired and re-displayed today) but they bring me joy. And those first three - KB, Scarface, and Nobody - taught me early on just how much three creatures theoretically made from the exact same pattern can all have very obviously different personalities.

I need more sleep

Feb. 20th, 2019 08:23 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Getting to bed at 6am and then having broken sleep is not good, and there are stressy things that SOMEONE needs to deal with, and spouse is not dealing with them, and I think I will scream if I have to.

So I'm not dealing with it. And wanting to scream.

In Not My Problem news:
#CopyPasteCris has all of Romancelandia Twitter baying for her head. Latest numbers by @CaffeinatedFae on twitter:
35 books
27 authors
2 recipes from magazines
2 magazine articles.
See also https://caffeinatedfae.com/2019/02/20/copypastecris/

INwatch+Bookwatch )


lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)

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