Friday, May 9, 2014

7 Quick Takes

1.   We got to Friday and somehow, I'm surprised.   I also didn't link up to Small Success Thursday --because yesterday was so very busy.   So here's the link to go count your blessings over at! 

Sorry it's a day after the fact. 

2.  Helen news!   I got a review over at Catholic!  I submitted her back in September.  You can go read it here.  

3.  Next week is the Gaithersburg Book Festival.  I wish I were presenting, but I'll be volunteering for my kids' school at a booth, which will probably (but not assuredly) prevent me from spending too much money on books!

4.  This weekend, my daughter is receiving her first communion.  I've been through now six of these with my children, and they are always special, but this one, she already has such a love of Jesus, it is breath taking and heart squeezing.   So offer a prayer for her as she prepares. 

5.  My son is confirmed next week.  Confirmation is my very favorite sacrament.  Keep him in your prayers as well. 

6.  Next week, we also gear into high exams for my two teens, followed by graduation the following week for one, and exams for my younger adolescents.  We will exhale in June.  

7.  Penelope is doing well, I've been writing on her every day this week, or reading about her, or researching.  I'm taking an online course on Scrivener and it's really helping me to understand this writer's software, it's also making me look at my WIP --work in progress, more often, so it has the double effect of generating more words.  

Here's a sniff: 

“Are you going to chose one of them my queen?” Erika noted the pearl pendant and emerald and gold earrings on her night stand.

“Eurydamas and Peisander at least make a pretense of courting me and not the throne.” Penelope answered. Her face reddened. Erika, seeing her mistress’s embarrassment left the room.

Looking at the jewelry, Penelope sighed. For three years, she’d kept all 108 men dancing, and not one of her servants understood her reasons. She reminded herself they had to be equally unsure of her intent, in order to maintain the facade. Was she perpetually faithful, or perpetually fickle? The men had to believe both, in order to pursue her, and think they had the slightest chance. Her life, like the jewels in the earrings, held many facets, not all of which could be seen at once, only the ones she let catch light.

She put on the pendant for a moment to consider it, and then took it off, wearing such a thing would be too much of a signal of favoritism. She placed both gifts back in her box of trinkets, polished her favorite blue stone silver ring, and placing it on her ring finger, steadied herself for another day of holding all of the court, all of Ithaca, all the world she knew, together, all while hoping somehow, the next day, things would be better.

She walked into the dining room, Men were asleep in their chairs, some drunk on the floor, others missing from the room were probably stealing a few hours with servants willing to serve more than wine and bread. She took the moment to work tiny mischief, and threw open the curtains from the walls, revealing the cutaways her husband created to allow for more light. She rang a bell to signal to the morning staff to assemble and begin clean up, part of which included sweeping out those left over from the evenings repast.

She saw these men for who they were. She scrolled through each of their faces. Agelaus, weak in mind and heart but not body, Amphimedon, ambitious with no prospects and no loyalty either, Amphinomus, decent but dull, Antinous, malicious in every way, rather like keeping a poisonous serpent as a pet. You couldn’t release it, it might return out of habit, and it might bite you just the same if you didn’t. Ctesippus, crude and cruel. Demoptolemus covetous and envious, Elatus, too young and stupid, clinging to where all the men were, not realizing so few of them acted as actual men, Euryades, lazy but desiring a life of luxury. Euryachus, like oil, she didn’t trust him. Eurynomus, the ignoble brother of Antiphus, he lacked his brother’s courage to go serve Ithaca in the fight. She went through them all, she knew them all, it was a tedious business all of these men, none of them moved her mind, body and heart, none of them touched all. Odysseus had. Odysseus still did.

But it had been a long 20 years.

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