Custom of the Week: Star Light Wishes

Happy Monday, Aledan Merfolk! I don’t know if it’s been super cold where you are lately, but I spent all weekend keeping the fire going in the fireplace and stabbing the chicken water with a knife because it kept freezing over (we have backyard chickens). So I’m bringing you this bright, summery pony today to help warm up!

Star Light Wishes, by Fire Helix

Isn’t she stunning? I love the colors and all that curly hair <3

If you have a pony that you would like featured as a Custom of the Week, please email me:

Reading and Writing and Butchering Chickens (Oh My!)

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! How is it already Friday? I swear it was just Tuesday…of last week. I’ve been busy busy lately, first with work, then CPing, and now work again. Lots and lots of work. *breathes in the chemicals* The lab smelled like tomatoes this week and I wonder what kind of poison that is? Whatever it is, it made my face break out like crazy. Tomato chemical = acne.

As I said, I finished my CP project (and OMG I can’t wait for you guys to read it someday. It was so wonderful and tear-filled and just *le sigh*). I also finished listening to THE ROOK, listened to the entirety of THE IRON KING (ugh, Ash, go away), and started EMPIRE ASCENDANT. And I finally finished reading THE NAME OF THE WIND – it took me a little while to get into it, but once I did I loved it. It was bizarre and wonderful, and I can’t wait to read the second one (but I still have seven books to finish first). I started reading A STRANGER IN OLANDRIA, which has almost the same feel as NAME, but is completely different. It’s also extremely literary, which isn’t really my jam so it’s taking a while to read. I’m enjoying it though – the setting is beautifully described.

Fox notebook to finish Enfields someday…

As for Enfields? I still don’t know which of the three paths to choose, so I’m still letting it simmer. I’m going to play WoW this weekend, and if no path asserts itself, I’ll start working on Fie Eoin, because I figured out what I’ve been doing wrong with Kaye. I mean, I’ve known for a while what I’ve been doing wrong with Kaye, but I finally figured out how to fix it.


In sad but delicious news: we finally butchered the Littles. Well, Hubs butchered the Littles because there was no way I could even look at them without crying. We ate the first one last weekend, and it was delicious. It tasted like no other chicken I’ve ever had, not even the super-organic, pasture-raised ones we buy at Whole Foods. And we’re using every little bit of them, from the meat to the intestines (tripe tacos, yum!).


Hops the dog was so distraught over the Littles that she was depressed for the entire weekend 🙁 We kept having to show her the Bigs and tell her that we aren’t going to eat them because they’re her pets (she absolutely thinks that the Ladies are her pets – she helps feed them and everything).

Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans!

Little Eggs and Worldbuilding Issues

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! Every time I jump back onto the blogging bandwagon life decides to smack me with the busy stick, so it’s been a few weeks. I’ve decided to change Science Tuesday to a monthly post, so most of June’s science news will be posted next Tuesday (the 28th). But I’ll still be posting custom ponies every Sunday when I can find them. I have one for you this weekend and it’s so beautiful!

Last we talked, I was in my reading cycle (I’m now in my video games/HGTV/recover cycle, which is kind of backwards from normal…but I’m not complaining because I’ve been playing WoW for the first time since the Panda expansion came out!). I finished TAMING OF THE QUEEN and HALF A WAR. I really enjoyed both of them, but TAMING was really really really good. It gave me nightmares about King Henry VIII, and even though I already knew the history and what would happen, I was seriously on the edge of my seat in places. That’s how well done that book was. I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re a female author (Katherine Parr was the first woman to publish under her own name in English). I’m now reading THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss and listening to ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie.

I’m about to roll into the writing cycle, and as I was trying to fall asleep two nights ago I realized the issue I was having with Enfields. I’ve got two MCs who’re trying to fight the big bad guy, but the big bad guy isn’t fighting back. The MCs are too small to really be much more than an annoyance to him – he’s focused on something else until the end of the book. So it’s time to restructure this sucker, rip apart the worldbuilding and stitch it back together, and get the big bad guy to see the MCs as a threat and actively work against them.

And I still need to find a place for that sex scene I already wrote…

I’ve joined Camp NaNo next month in hopes that my cabin-mates will help kickstart my brain and make the pieces fall together so I can finally make some headway on this book. I also picked up STORY FIX by Larry Brooks (you may have heard me praising STORY ENGINEERING in the past, which I’ll also be re-reading with an eye towards Enfields).


Last but not least: the Littles have become Ladies! They started laying eggs this weekend! Little eggs, because they’re still half the size of Mona 😛

<–Look how teeny the eggs are!

Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans! I’ll see you on Sunday for Custom of the Week 🙂

Thank Aleda April's Over (almost)

Happy Friday Aledan Merfolk! April is always a rough month for me because it’s audit season at work, and this year I took over two additional tests right before audits started AND got my edits on StO back from my agent, so it’s been a whirlwind of activity on this end (which is why I haven’t posted since April 1st).

I’ve been writing a fake training manual for StO, which has been fun and challenging and should bring another dimension to the book that it was lacking before. Most of the other edits are pretty straight-forward, mostly making Finn less of a douchebag in the beginning (he’s so much fun to write as a douchebag, but not as much fun to read). It’s been an interesting balancing act, trying to keep him in character while also toning him down.

ThanksTroubleWhen my edits are done (should be next week!), I’ve got a couple CP projects lined up, and a couple books as well. One of my agent-siblings sent me a signed copy of THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE by Tommy Wallach, and I have a mermaid anthology to burn through. Last time I saw you I was still reading THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT, and OMG you guys, that book was PERFECT (for me). The ending was far from happy, but I tend to enjoy endings like that. If you haven’t read it yet, definitely grab a copy and start reading. It’s amazing from page one. I also read EMERGE by Tobie Easton, which was a nice twist on the classic mermaid tale. I really enjoyed it.

With my new tests at work I’ve had lots of time to listen to audiobooks, so I’ve blown through A GATHERING OF SHADOWS (wonderful, as are all of Victoria’s books), and THE MIRROR EMPIRE by Katherine Hurley (which I’ll finish this afternoon while working). It took me a little while to really get into Mirror Empire, but once I did I loved it. The narrator is good too.

And last but not least, we got two new Littles! But don’t get too attached, we plan to eat these ones (we may not be able to go through with it, so we got females just in case, but we’re going to try).

Nugget and Fricassee – don’t they look yummy? 😉

Have a wonderful weekend Aledans!

Reading and Worldbuilding

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! You may notice that once again Science Tuesday didn’t go up, but that’s because once again I was making a major purchase for the house. Since we got the new bed last month, and therefore a new comforter to fit the new bed, we broke the motor on our washing machine trying to wash the new (giant) comforter. Which means we needed a new washing machine, and since we were planning to buy a new stackable unit soon anyways, we also bought a new dryer. YAY! Once they’re delivered I can wash the comforter that’s starting to smell like the dogs! 😉

I spent this week reading and worldbuilding Enfields. I read STAKED by Kevin Hearne (an excellent addition to the Iron Druid Chronicles!), and now QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen, which I thought was YA until the evil Queen’s first scene. Oops. As far as worldbuilding goes, I’ve been reading Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions from Patricia C Wrede at SFWA to get my mind churning. I’ve already come up with a couple of backstory and plot things based on that, although I haven’t gotten through all the questions yet. I plan to start writing Enfields again next week, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to start from scratch or keep going from where I left off.

And in chicken news, Mona laid a duck-sized egg! The thing is freaking HUGE, and I have no idea how something so big came out of such a small chicken.

Mononoke’s giant egg, compared to the rest of them.

Have a wonderful weekend, Aledan Merfolk! I have another awesome custom pony for you on Sunday, and Science Tuesday will be a two-weeker!

Eggs, Eggs Everywhere! And The Fair Man is Done!

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! Ripley the hen started laying on Sunday! Her eggs are green easter eggs, so the carton in our fridge is now multi-colored! Wheee!

Ripley’s “green” egg and Mononoke’s brown egg.

I told the dogs and cats it’s time to step up their game 😉

In other exciting news: I finished the first (really rough) draft of The Fair Man, which needs a new name. And by “finished” I mean I got to the end, but realized I have to add a second POV to the first half of the book, so I’ll have to draft that next. Well, not next, since I’ve switched gears back to Enfields. I’m working on the worldbuilding right now, then plan to finish the first draft before I go back to FM. After the banter and dark violence of FM it’s a bit strange to be working on the more light-hearted (and silent, because Shandi is mute) Enfields, but I’m liking the change. I can only stay in Regina’s head for so long before I start to emulate her less-positive qualities (which are all of them. She has very few positive qualities).

The end of The Fair Man, with some added shiny.

On Tuesday, STAKED by Kevin Hearne came out, so I’ve been reading that this week. Of course I love it: it has two talking doggies! And a few awesome Druids, and several pantheons of gods. What’s not to like?

I’ll be back on Sunday with another awesome custom pony, and on Tuesday with all the science news from this week. Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans!

The aftermath of the eggs – they were soooooo good!

Princess Mononoke Laid Her First (and Fifth) Egg!


Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! Last week I talked about our Lovey Chicken who had started letting us pet her and was close to laying her first egg. Guess what? On Saturday, Princess Mononoke laid her first egg! And she’s laid one every day since! She ran around the yard for hours Saturday morning, being noisy as hell because she didn’t know what was happening. The other hen, Ripley, ran into the coop and got the nest all ready, and then Mona went in there and did her thing while Rip cried for her outside. When Mona came back out there was a half-sized egg waiting for us in the coop! Yay Mononoke!


RipleyRipley’s started squatting too, so I’m hoping she’ll start laying this weekend. She’s an “Easter Egg” chicken, so the eggs she lays should be green and blue! I can’t wait to see one in person 🙂

In other good news: I’m four scenes away from finishing The Fair Man! I’ve been sprinting every night with my CP Mike, which has given me the drive to write for basically three weeks straight. I’m starting to burn out, but I’m so close to the end, and in all the really good emotional parts, so I’m going to finish before I collapse in a tear-filled heap and then read a couple books. Last night I killed the bad guy, and I’ll be honest: it was brutal. I’m a little disturbed by my own writing. Who knew I had that in my head?

I missed Science Tuesday this week because I was waiting for the furniture store to deliver the correct bed to us (you may remember that they sold us the wrong bed at first), but that means we finally have a complete (and correct) bedroom set! It’s so comfy I almost couldn’t drag myself out of it this morning.


Next week’s Science Tuesday will have two weeks of science news, including the amazing probability of a new Ninth Planet (I vote we name her Artemis/Diana: she’s cold and distant). And this weekend I have another custom pony for you! Have a great weekend, Aledans!

A Long Week and a Lovey Chicken

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! This has been a long, emotion-filled week, so we’re going to keep this update short and sweet.

I finished reading FANTASY MEDLEY 3, and really enjoyed each of the short stories (the third one was confusing through most of it, but man that ending!). I definitely recommend buying a copy and checking the stories out yourself – you’re bound to like at least one of them. Now I’m reading QUEEN OF THE TEARLING, although I’ve been so tired this week that I haven’t even finished the first chapter. I’ve been going to bed early instead.

The writing was going great until I got to the current scene and stalled. Not because I know what happens, but because I do, and it’s so utterly horrible that I don’t want to write it. But I need to, because if I don’t, I can’t write the scene where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him. And whoaboy does he have it coming, especially after this scene.

On the chicken front: Mononoke has started letting us pet her! In fact, she tried to jump into Hub’s arms the other day when he was petting her. We think she’s close to laying her first egg, because she’s been acting different lately. If you go anywhere near her she hunkers down with her wings out and wants some love. She even let Hops the dog sniff her up the other day before turning around and looking at her like “Hey! Your nose is cold.”

Princess Mononoke (black and white) and Ripley (brown/grey) through the window.

I hope you have a restful weekend, Aledans. I’ll see you Sunday for Custom Pony of the Week, and Tuesday for Science News!

Enfields World Building is a Hot Mess

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I don’t even know how it’s already Thursday. Where did the week go? The month? It’s almost Halloween and I don’t even have a costume! Yikes.

It’s also almost NaNo time, and my Enfields world building is a mess. An utter mess. But I did switch the gender of the MC’s love interest from male to female, which makes much more sense for her actions. Bonus: all female cast! I also figured out a bit of the love interest’s backstory, so that’s helpful. And I had a dream about giraffe/camel hybrids, so guess what’s going into the book? That’s right: gimels…or caraffes? Camaffes? Girmels? I gotta look up some scientific names and see if they make more sense.

See, I told you the world building was a mess 😉

I’m still reading SHARPE’S TIGER and listening to HALF A KING. I finished one CP project and I’m deep into another. And Hubs and I are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation from start to finish, so that’s fun 🙂 Two episodes of ST:TNG and then a half a chapter of SHARPE a night (half a chapter because the chapters are so damn long! There are only 11 chapters in a 377 page book).

In super exciting news: PonyFest15 will be announced this weekend! If you haven’t heard of PonyFest, it’s a chance to design a my little pony based on your book and win a custom based on your design! Plus books, of course! Come back on Sunday to check it out – it’s a ton of fun 🙂

Have a good weekend, Aledans, and if you want to be NaNo buddies, add me here:

Because you can't have an update post without a chicken picture.
Because you can’t have an update post without a chicken picture. Princess Mononoke (black and white) and Ripley (brown and yellow).

Pleasantly Surprised

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I woke up an hour and a half early this morning, so I’m a zombie today. Good thing I like brains (no really, fried brains is one of the tastiest foods I’ve ever eaten). Too bad there’s no place that I know of in Charleston that sells them :/

I think my next character will have to like all the offal that I do, just so I can gross people out by writing about it.

In current-character news: I finally figured out how to age Erie up (I hope). I re-wrote her first chapter, and now I’m working on the second. Then I’ll go through and change all the bits that I need to in the rest of it, especially since I dropped a minor character, and a fight scene, and the description of the Mer scales. I definitely need to find a place to add that description back in.

I have to say, it felt damn good to have a pen in my hand again. I’ve been doing all my editing straight onto the computer and I missed handwriting new words. And the writing! Wow. I was pleasantly surprised with how much better it was. I learned a lot writing and editing StO. I’m terrified to go back and look at FE now.

But hey, it won’t be the first time I’ve completely rewritten FE.

Or even the fourth time.


The baby chickens are growing fast and adorably ridiculous as always. They’ve learned how to hop/fly onto the patio furniture and the giant (empty) pots in the backyard. They eat constantly and are always underfoot now, begging for food.

My dad had a couple really rough days because his white blood cell count was so low, but his new bone marrow has started kicking in and making new blood cells for him, so he’s felt much better the past couple days. Hopefully he’ll be out of the hospital early next week, so fingers crossed everyone!

Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans!