Out of Character

Hey, all. Author here again! I'm Wystie, in case I haven't introduced myself. Suki and I are female, like drinking tea and enjoy a good debate, but that's where we part ways.

The point being, the website is still updating over here:

It has an RSS feed:

It also has a twitter, that updates whenever a new post goes up and with status updates and random junk:

There's a personal blog, where I announce things like the award Tapestry is up for. It's called a Rose and Bay, and votes are appreciated: (It's in the fiction category, if that's unclear.)

If anyone reading has a paid or permanent account, you can make Tapestry a proper LJ syndication feed by entering the RSS feed over here at the bottom of the page:

I'll repeat that last one. If anyone reading has a paid or permanent account, please do the RSS feed thing. I know my own patience, and I do not want to update the LJ feed by hand. I got a website so I wouldn't have to update a LJ feed by hand.

Moon day: Autumnal Equinox

I spent the morning with the twins, teaching. Lunch was fish stew thick with chili and rice noodles, a particularly pleasant red broth. It was a gift from Meyni, stolen away from her cooking for her paying guests in celebration of the autumnal equinox.

I always startle a bit when the inner door opens, for we use only the outer. The children, more casual, lounge on cushions like young jaguars. Pang does not reach for the knife at his belt.

The door swings open, and Heiye is already pouring a cup of tea.

Meyni sweeps in, her skirts a good wholesome brown today but the laces of her dress red and showing almost half her breasts. Those are, as ever, substantial, made more so by the baby coming, and she settles her clay pot, about the size of a man's haed, on the table by my stove.

"Meyni, good day," I say, waving her in though she is already there. "How fares the holy day for you?"

"Fine joyful," she replies. "I thought this might sooth some spirits up here."

I lifted the lid of the earthenware and got a faceful of eyewatering steam for my trouble. Closing it again, I looked at her.

"You think we need soothing?"

She raises her hands, gesturing at me, "Oh, no, no. Nothing like that. I'll just bein going, blessings of the sun on you all," Meyni said, and beat a retreat.

Sometimes I do wonder if that girl thinks I am going to eat her. Strange.

Sun day

Tomorrow is the day of light and darkness, when the day and night stand equal and night starts creeping in. Indoors as I keep myself, it seems unlikely to affect me, but it is strange to miss the remembrance of the day.

Sev tells me little of his plans lately, and I must fret and avoid worrying, both at once, for to not know is safer.

There is a certain kindness in silence. The silence of the secret-keeper, who does kindness by his own honor. The kindness of the rebel, who does not trouble others with his words. To ask uncomfortable questions, to demand action, they burden others with a weight better carried alone. You keep silent, not because you are afraid, but out of compassion. Should you ask others to report you, to watch you disappear before the sun dawns, as mist on the lake? Should you ask them to keep silent for you? No, neither is kind. Neither does anyone any good.

This is not a problem to be solved by talking, after all, for words are the domain of women and old men. Youngsters such as Sev and I must to the battlefield - I to watch, and him to fight.

I am thoughtful today.

Naught for it but to take my weary eyes to bed, and warmth.

Earth day

There is a feeling when it rains, that the world is closing in around you, like a silkworm's cocoon. The sky had a healthy glow to it, that bright and shining grey, when I peered outside this afternoon. I am a swan, peering cautiously around the reeds to see if there is someone there that I need to attack. Very deadly birds, swans.

It is occasionally necessary to take a day to exercise one's right to leisure, and make someone else take charge of one's children. My boys and my girl clatter about in the other room in some horribly unmannerly game of chase and violence. Sev enjoys such things, and feels that the children need to be able to defend themselves from all manners of adversaries if they are to be street urchins.

I did not think I kept my husband's bed warm in order to produce street urchins, but it is not my decision to make.

Gold day

What, then, is the news from the wider world? The rains are smothering the summer wars as they always do, letting people grow their crops and tend to their sick and their dying. Summer riots are quiet as well, and the light outside is dim and grey.

The highlands to the west are silent as ever. The jungles to the north keep their secrets. The Empire south and east has full rivers and full pockets.

Talking to Sev today, with the children out and about. That still makes me feel very free.

"Do you know why Dri isn't married?" He asked me.

"I never asked. Somehow I assumed him widowed."

He was smiling, in that particularly thoughtful way of his.

"He isn't. Our glorious leader is gloriously single, and gloriously interested in your business."

"Or perhaps in yours. You are the one he pursues, hound to hare."

"You think me he is after my rump?"

"Perhaps your sword."

My husband looked at me strangely, his brows creased, and he touched my forehead with a finger.

"Never call it that again, my wife. No violence is intended."

"I hear and obey," I replied, prompting his smile. Sometimes he does do as he ought.

"In either case, I feel that you have more to offer the fellow. Should I bribe him with you, to get him to agree that all his plans are crazed and he should just let me run things?"

"Are they?" I asked.

"Oh, a little. He has a sound strategy, but his tactics are those of a desperate man. Desperate men are seldom thorough. For instance, I do not merit his choice of Emperor's very highly."

"There is the Blood," I pointed out.

He snorted. "Do you really think that matters?"


I must admit, I was offended.


A simple question, isn't it? Not so easy to answer off-handedly.

What I said was, "Everything I believe says so."

He laughed softly, pushed his hair out of his eyes, and looked up at the ceiling.

"I am still endlessly shocked you did not leave me and turn me over as a heretic, sweet lady. It would have been so easy. I'm sure my brother would have been happy to kill his wife and take you instead, and the children would have adjusted easily enough. You could be a good, patriotic sort of citizen." He glanced at my expression, and smiled. "And, don't say it. If you say anything about me being your husband and this being your duty, I shall scream at you."

"You know me so well?"

Sev ran his fingers through my hair.

"I do, actually."

Bad weather aside, today was a good day.

Tree day

I did expect one of the children to have a small fit about our exercise in language immersion, but I did not think it would be Heiye. He doesn't understand it very well, and the children will snap at him if he doesn't move quickly enough. He stormed out of the apartments this afternoon, returning after an hour to sulk in a corner.

He did not get dinner.

Apparently he and the twins have made a new friend, a girl his age. So the children inform me, anyway. She is tall, happy and a thief. Heiye is quite taken with her, apparently having abandoned his crush on my priestess friend.

I tend to see it as a statement of my own goodwill and good treatment that he's chosen to misbehave. I do not think he would have dreamed of misbehaving for any reason, when I bought him. I've only had to beat him once.

I am still not pleased with him running off like a mad thing, but I can accept, at the same time, that my twins are enough to drive any right-thinking person out of their mind. Sev thinks the whole thing is very funny.

Water day

Here is a story. There is a young man and his wife, recently having joined the army, with two young children barely walking. They are involved in politics peripherally, mostly among the other young officers of the army and their wives. There has been some trouble lately among his friends, political discussions that have grown too heated to feel safe. He has been avoiding them, and spending time teaching his young daughter how to sit on his shoulders and treat him like a pony.

A gentleman of high rank comes to him and tells him that he has attracted some attention for his loyalty, and they have heard of a subversive group meeting involving some of his associates. Has he heard anything? Yes, he says, but he's been avoiding associating with such well-meaning silliness. He is to start associating with them again, in order to better inform this gentleman of the thoughts being bandied about. For love of his nation, his people.

He does not do it for love of his people, but he does do it for love of his wife and children. Later, after he has gone off to war again, she successfully fends off the attempts by the family of the deceased to discredit and ruin her family by way of revenge. It is her first real political challenge.

Dri thinks we should track down those who participated in the Empire's long arm, but he lacks understanding of what city life is like. Being from a province, a conquered nation, he tends to see us as a united force. Half Sev's hopes are that by helping, he can turn Dri's little enterprise into something that hurts as few people as possible.

Fire day

Today I read poetry and Sev and I decided the household would speak Dri's native tongue for a week. It is easy to forget he has one, for he has no accent. Not at all my favorite language, but certainly one I am capable of teaching.