Summer in Orcus: Chapter One

“Once upon a time there was a girl named Summer, whose mother loved her very very very much…”

Read it here!

Still trying to work out how to RSS feed it gracefully, but I at least got the website to auto-post it, which was trickier than I expected, given that it’s in a portfolio, not a post. (Now I get to duplicate that…uh…thirty-four times! Woo?)

(Incidentally, I think there will be 34 chapters.)

Each chapter  is supposed to run around 2500 words, but there’s a fair amount of fluctuation, just because I didn’t want to break some things off in mid-sentence. So there’s a few short ones and a few reeeeeally long ones. But I suppose we’ll make do.

Once we get rolling and into Orcus proper, if there’s something you’d like to hear more about, the comments at Livejournal or here are an excellent place to suggest them! (Tumblr isn’t always the easiest for discussion!) I’m gonna try to do little supplements on Sundays with background and worldbuilding, (since a lot of people wanted something to read on the weekends!) but it always helps to hear what people want to know more about! That sort of supplements are another thing I can do much more easily with a web-serial, so yay patrons for helping it happen!

I’m excited!

Summer in Orcus launches tomorrow!

So, uh…looks like we’re actually doing this thing! Tomorrow! If the CSS is kind, it will auto-populate and if not, I’ll do it manually, but it is going live, come hell or high water!

You can read the introduction (and bookmark the page where more things will appear) right here!

I will be posting links here as they go live, never fear! It will be up Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we’re going to try bonus content on Sundays–little snippets about the world of Orcus and so forth–once we’ve had a few weeks to settle in, and I’ll do my best to get an RSS feed working as well for people who don’t check back here frequently.

Long-time readers will recognize the start of the story–“Hey! It’s the one with Baba Yaga!”–as having been posted here. Yup, that’s the one, and I finally finished it…

I’m all nervous and stuff. This is such a weird little book and I’m still not sure if anyone will like it or if they will throw tomatoes, but by god, I wrote it anyway, and thanks to the awesome people on Patreon, I can offer it free to the world.

Journal 9-9-12-16


The emus are very tame. They are also incredibly dumb and think they are being sneaky. They found Kevin very interesting.

The pigs in question are Ossabaw Island Hogs, which are a very rare farm breed. My friends are breeding them as part of the ongoing effort to preserve them on farms. They are incredibly funky and weird and awesome pigs.

Domestic boars have what’s called “shield fat” which is a hefty layer of fat over the shoulders that becomes rock hard. It’s literally armor against the tusks of other males. Fox’s boar is named Giles (her two sows are Buffy & Willow–apparently they had a Spike, but the ladies picked Giles) and this was one of his offspring who was just getting old enough to become troublesome. He was starting to develop the shield fat layer, and you could feel the difference. It is very weird to encounter something that looks like it should be squooshy fat and have it be like tough leather. In an adult boar, that layer would be inches thick!

Also, I now know more about how pig rectums fit into a pig than I knew previously. I shall cherish this knowledge.

I shall, at another time, post the tale of the star-crossed lovers, Napoleon the silky rooster and the Turkey Girl. It is an epic and stupid love for the ages.

I have about a thousand photos of chickens to sort through, and I regret nothing.

Journal 8-30-16


Truly, Hound is a noble beast.

Kevin’s friend Ana is a Thai chef, and she grows her own peppers in pots for the sauce she makes. When she found out that Kevin’s new wife was a gardener, she brought me one dried pepper. I split it open and started the seeds, since you’re supposed to start peppers and tomatoes indoors and planted them out, and they did terribly and I was convinced I’d killed them all.

I don’t mind killing plants for the most part–gardeners slaughter plants right and left, it’s part of the process–but these were special. She’d brought them from Thailand decades ago, and you can’t exactly go out to the nursery and buy a beloved variety given as a gift to an old friend’s wife. So I was sad. I also hadn’t started any other peppers this year, because I didn’t want them to cross-pollinate.

And then Kevin looked in exactly the right spot and there it was. One of the ones I’d planted out and which had turned to a tiny, dying nubbin, and I had given up. But I hadn’t planted anything else in that planter, in case the planter was the problem, and apparently it pulled through and has been quietly growing all this time.

Kevin ate one and turned colors and assured me that yes, it was one of the Thai peppers. If I dry all these, I might get enough seeds to grow them with slightly less panic next year.

In Questionable Taste

People ask if gardening is hard
but that’s not the problem
the problem is it’s easy
and it really ought to be impossible.

What is this
putting stuff in dirt and expecting to get food back
what are you, a communist?
You bought a bag of cowpeas
not even a proper seed packet with a glossy picture on it
and shoved a couple in the ground.
You know it can’t work.

Even fairy tales know better
everybody laughs when Jack trades a cow for beans
a cow is worth something, after all.
The whips that twined up into the hydrangeas have three green leaves
so they must be poison ivy
that’s probably it
the things that look like bean pods are a coincidence
it’s a new kind of poison ivy
you’ll probably be even more allergic to this one.

And the funny thing is that I know this
when they come for me and say “You have to stop now–
you know people aren’t allowed to do this sort of thing,”
I’ll bow my head and say “I know.”
It was much too easy
it had to be illegal
or at least in very questionable taste,
thinking you could put almost nothing into dirt
and get everything back
almost for free.