MLM No “Z” Repost – “Peril-Led Princess, Part 5”

Published May 22, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

“Peril-led Princess”
Part 5

It seemed like a very long time before Trang’s soldiers of fortune were ready to set off to rescue Cloxlan from the sub-elves, and Princess Spiderweb felt sure that Mr. Tiktox was just as agitated by the delay as she was.  He kept fidgeting with his jeweled egg, turning it over in his hands restlessly, and passing it pointlessly between one set of hands and another.  (She sometimes envied him for having six arms!)

As soon as the mercenary army was finally ready, Trang came to speak to Mr. Tiktox, though he kept casting uncomfortable glances up at Princess Spiderweb’s horse as he did so, as if he thought it was going to breathe fire on him and burn him up to a crisp, just because it could.

“Look, metal man,” Trang said, scowling at Mr. Tiktox, “when we show up in Cloxlan, are your people going to rise up and help us fight the sub-elves?  We don’t have enough men here to fight them all by ourselves.”

“The tiktox will do nothing without the executive function,” Mr. Tiktox told him, shaking his head.  “I am only capable of independent function in this manner because that is part of my function.  I am a servant of the court; I must be capable of acting when there is no executive function.”

‘”Like talking to a bloody wall,” Trang sighed.  “What do we gotta do to make your people rise up and defend themselves?”

“Once the executive function is restored, then the tiktox will rise against their oppressors,” Mr. Tiktox assured him.

Princess Spiderweb didn’t think Trang was entirely convinced, but at least he didn’t keep arguing.  Instead, he returned to the mercenary army, and told them to prepare to march.

An army on the march was a very boring thing, and Princess Spiderweb didn’t like being part of one.  She suggested to Mr. Tiktox that maybe they could fly ahead and work on ‘restoring the executive function’ (whatever that meant) of the tiktox, but he insisted that their arrival would attract too much attention, without the army to distract the enemy.  The princess knew he was probably right, but she didn’t much like the fact.

She thought it would be a great relief when they finally arrived in Cloxlan.

She was wrong.

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MLM No “Y” Repost – “Lunch with I, I and Me”

Published May 15, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Lunch with I, I, and Me

Mmm, this grilled cheese is fantastic, isn’t it?
Oh, have some of the chips!
No, no, the chicken is just divine!
What kind of spice is it?  Oregano?  Sage?
The spaghetti is delightful, too.
So much to eat, so little time!

Some dessert might be nice.
Just a little slice of pie,
Or some cake,
Or those macarons look scrumptious!
Ice cream is forever good, too.

I talk too much?


MLM icon init MLM Y

Original post:  11/15/2015

MLM No “X” Repost – “Charybdis”

Published May 8, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros


Trapped in a spiral,
Spinning downwards,
Rushing, gushing,

Boats floating,

Sailors frenzying,

Scylla’s laughter,
Scylla’s feast,
Blood everywhere,
Turning the waters red.

It’s very salty,
But salt festooned with copper.
I don’t like it.
Blood doesn’t taste good.

That lying old man,
Like his great-grandfather.
He convinced a lot of people.
Made them think they could get away.

There’s no getting away.
There’s no escape from this doom.
There’s no tree branch above my pool.

Odysseus passed this way but once,
Before his crew marooned him
On that island they thought was deserted.
(If they’d known about Calypso,
They would have stayed,
And forced him to sail on!)

I don’t like that he blames their deaths on me.
If he ever comes this way again,
I’ll eat him.

I don’t like the taste of old man flesh,
But if it’s his,
I’ll enjoy it.

Athene won’t like it,
But I don’t care.

Hermes probably won’t like it, either,
But I still don’t care.

Poseidon will love it.
I’m fine with that.
Maybe he’ll start hanging out here more often.
(Goodness knows, he’s not picky
When it comes to mistresses…
I might not mind
A little light adultery
And giving birth
To the child of a god…)

Scylla thinks she’s all that.
But she’s not as good as me.
She can only kill seven men at a time.
I can kill thousands,
If they sail close enough.

Though I’d rather they didn’t.
I’d rather they just stayed out of our strait.
Wood doesn’t taste too good,
And blood tastes worse.

Drinking half the sea
Is bad enough by itself.
Why do men have to get in the way?

Chomped by Scylla,
Amid screams and laughter.

Life should be better than this.

MLM icon init MLM X

IWSG – I forgot! (Again!)

Published May 4, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Somehow, I ended up forgetting my post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group again.  Ugh.  (But at least it wasn’t twice in a row!)

What’s bugging me right now as a writer (and yes, I realize it’s pointless to go into it when I’m a day late, but…I’m doing so anyway) is that it seems like I’m more interested  in dreaming up scenarios than I am in writing out the stories.  I’m still working on the same project I was this time last month, and have gotten very little accomplished on it in the past month.  (Though in my own defense, I did have to spend half the month working on class projects, to the exclusion of all else.)  Meanwhile, I’ve come up with a bunch of other plots I’d like to explore.  (One of them just hit me today, in fact.)

I don’t know if it’s just the way my brain’s wired or what, but it’s starting to get frustrating.  The feeling that I can’t ever finish anything because I get tired of it and want to work on something else.  (Even though I do actually finish a lot of first drafts.  But only first drafts.)  Which is one thing when I get snatched away by different characters (it’s always the characters that compel me into whatever I’m writing, not the story), but when it’s just the idea of putting the characters in a different situation…it starts to feel very counter-productive.

Though I guess my writing is always counter-productive, since it’s taking away time I could spend on actually productive activities like cleaning my horrific house.

Book Report: Curses, Inc.

Published May 3, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

This one didn’t take long, did it?  It’s for Challenge #22, “Read a collection of stories by a woman.”

The theme of the collection is witches, though sometimes the connection is more tenuous than other times.  It also includes a bit at the end where she actually answers every author’s least favorite favorite question:  “where do you get your ideas?”

The stories range from humorous to actually rather frightening, with settings that are equally varied, from unspecified ‘medieval-like’ to very modern indeed.  (And yes, there’s a good reason for the cover image of a witch using a computer, btw.)  Some of them really play with your expectations, too.

As is to be expected from a collection of stories, some of them were more to my taste than others, but there weren’t any of them that I actually disliked.  Overall an entertaining (and fast) read.

…and I seem to suck at reviews today.  (Maybe because I logged on and found out that my post on Monday decided not to post itself even though I had hit publish?  So now my brain’s all scrambled by confused expectations?)

Well, no use forcing it.  I can’t figure out what else I should say, so I’m just gonna leave it here.

MLM No “W” – May Day

Published May 3, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

ARGH!  I hit “publish” on this on Monday morning, and it said it went through!!!  AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHH!  DON’T LIE TO ME LIKE THAT, WORDPRESS!

*pant* *pant* *pant*

All right, I’m done freaking out now.

Below the line, you’ll find the actual post.

“May Day”

Help me.
Help me, please!
It’s all too much,
My head’s going under,
I’ll never be seen again.

I can’t cope.
It’s all too much.
Someone — anyone — help!

Do other people do it?
Do they really make a go of it?
Can they take themselves along,
Achieving their goals?

Or do they sink,
As I do?
Do they fail and fall and disappear,
As I’m about to?

Can time be reversed?
Can I go back and get it right?


Book Report: Girl Mans Up

Published April 30, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Now that I’ve finished my class work for the semester (even though class won’t actually end until the 8th), I finally have time to read again.  So I’ve finished the next book for the challenge, though again I’m not sure which challenge to list it for.  It could work for challenge #2, “Read a debut novel,” or challenge #15, “Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.”  (For people living in other places, it might work for the within 100 miles or the over 5000 miles, but neither of those applies for me.)

This novel is the story of Pen(elope) Oliveira, a girl in high school in the (fictional?) town of Castlehill, Ontario.  She’s dealing with the usual teenage problems:  love, friendship, family, and making important decisions about how to become her own person (or if she even will).  What makes her story stand out from others is that she’s a lesbian, her family are Portuguese immigrants, and she’s always put out such a masculine vibe that people often mistook her for a boy.

From looking at the small blurbs on Goodreads and Amazon, I thought this was about her becoming (or just deciding to become) a transgender man, but that isn’t actually the case.  It’s more about how society’s gender definitions are antiquated and needlessly limiting.  In fact, I think many of the other characters in the story would be more comfortable around Pen if she was trans, because then she’d be conforming to social expectations (sort of), instead of being herself regardless of what everyone else thinks she ought to be.

I marked a couple of passages that really sum up Pen’s gender situation, but I think just the first one will get it across well enough:

Everyone wants something different from me.  It’s like one second, I should be a better dude.  I should stop being such a girly douche, and I should just man up.  Then, it’s the opposite:  I’m too much of a guy, and it’s not right.  I should be a girl, because that’s what I’m supposed to be.

The thing is, I’m not a boy, but I don’t want to be that girl either.  I just want everyone to screw off and let me do my own thing for once.

I should back up a bit on my previous statement.  The book isn’t about how society’s gender definitions are antiquated and needlessly limiting; that’s more the setting, the background against which the action takes place.  The actual subject of the book is…um…hard to describe in a few sentences without just giving a summary of the story.  I guess the best way to sum it up is to say that it’s about relationships — not just romantic ones, mind you, but about all the major types of interpersonal relationships:  family, friendship, and romance.

So, as a teen drama about interpersonal relationships, this is exactly the kind of book I don’t normally read.  Usually, I like to read books where the world needs to be saved, adventures need to be had, tyrants must be stopped, heists have to be perpetrated, et cetera.  (Well, that’s if you’re talking about fiction.  Non-fiction is another matter entirely.)  Therefore, I don’t have much frame of reference here.  But reading outside of your usual zone is one of the points of the Read Harder Challenge, so that’s cool.  And, more importantly, I did enjoy the book.  (In fact, I was sucked in so well it took me half the book or more to consciously notice that it was in the present tense.)

Pen  is very well developed as a character; she feels like a real person, both sure of herself and who she is and also still questing after her own personal identity at the same time.  (She is, after all, a teenager.)  The supporting cast are also well developed, though necessarily not quite as transparent to the reader as Pen, since we only have access to the inside of Pen’s head, and not everyone else’s.  The progression of events feels very natural, and like real life, there are decisions where you wonder what someone was thinking, and others where you feel like characters made a good choice.  Nothing world-shattering happens (not much even life-altering, in fact), just the passage of time and the events that accompany it.  (Though some of the events are naturally more important than others.)

…hmm.  I feel like maybe I should be saying more than that, but I can’t really think what else to say.  (My brain has yet to recover from that last stretch of class work, apparently…)

I guess really all I need to say is that here’s a book about a really kick-ass girl who faces social adversity on a daily basis, and if that sounds like something you’d like to read about, then you should look into this book.

MLM No “U”

Published April 17, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros


I mean, y’know?  Ack.  Ack all over the place.

I have three 4-page essays (wait, or was it three three-page essays? yeah, it was three-page essays, whew!) and a sixty slide PowerPoint presentation that have to be finished by next Monday.  Oh, and 4 annotated bibliographies for things that obscenely insignificant and have received no scholarly attention.  Yet I have to find 4 books and ten articles for each one.

Yeah, so I have one week to do all that.

So I spent all day today in the library, trying to find finkin’ books and articles that were gonna fit the bill.  ARGH!

The only good news is that I’ve already done the PowerPoint.  All that’s left is the bibliography and one image that I forgot to get at the library today.  And the footnotes for two slides.


Nine pages of essays.

On insanely pointless local topics for which no one other than the professor gives a rat’s ass.

Oh, and I’m expected to work 4 days in the coming week.

I am not a happy camper.


And yes, I mean every word of that, btw.  In case anyone was wondering.  My life for the next seven days is not going to be pretty.

MLM No “T” Repost – “Romans”

Published April 10, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros


Romulus and Remus,
Sons of Mars…or somebody…
Mama wolf should have devoured ‘em.
(For everyone else’s sake.)
Lucrecia should have killed her aggressor,
In place of herself.
(Maybe I’m excessively modern?)
Scipio Africanus…
Hannibal rued coming across him.
(Hannibal was basically Phoenician, you know.)
Gracchi received a bum deal,
As well as vicious murders
From a “noble” mob.
(Plebeians’ heroes deserved finer!)
Julius Caesar…
Surprisingly likeable, all considered.
(His nephew much less so.)
Dislike is all I have.
(A whole class of boring speeches. “Dislike” is mild.)
Lucius Licinius Lucullus
A name of all “L”s! How fun!
(He enjoyed having his own fun…)
Marcus Aurelius,
Revered as a wise emperor, even now.
(His son? Ack. Simply “ack.”)
Hadrian made a fine wall.
(You know, in England.)
Julian, unfashionably pagan.
Horrible pogroms.
(Less horrible scrolls of philosophy.)

Who could miss Romans?
(Seemingly many.)

MLM icon init MLM T


Originally from 10/12/15

Rose B. Fischer

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