Welcome to Hereabouts!

Welcome to Hereabouts!

Home to Westfall, Liliput and many other odds and ends of my writing and randomness.  Feel free to browse, or search by category with the links below.  I’ve added warnings and ratings on request.

Short Stories – Shorter works written in my downtime to keep my gears turning. (TV-PG)

Poems & Songs – Verse and rhyme, often included in longer works.  (TV-G, mostly)

The Real Life – Personal journals of moments too nice not to share. (TV-G)

A Queen’s Ransom (formerly known as Liliput) – A lesser-known Russian fairy tale about love, identity, and truth. (Warnings: fantasy violence, some adult themes, death.

Westfall – A teen’s desperate attempt to save a nation from The King of the Western Fairies. (Warnings: violence and violent deaths, some sexual references and language, politics)



My father is home.

It has been a year, but he was finally released.  He and my mother went out to celebrate with friends at their favorite haunt of Dunkin Donuts.  He still must watch his weight, but he’ll allow himself the coffee, the donut, for the celebration of freedom.  Diet and exercise are not enough to survive diabetes.  You need friendship and joy, and coffee.

He calls me at eleven at night, my time.  There are quiet hours and Continue reading

3: The Chase

Just arrived?  Here’s Chapter One.




Koschei’s horse runs on the air, gaining speed and height.

Ivan scrambles and falls and rises and sprints, down a long street towards a gate.

Martin pulls a horse from a stable.  SERVANTS help SOLDIERS around him. 

He sees Ivan cross the gate.



Ivan!  Get back here, you oaf!

Continue reading

2: All the Queen’s Sons

Looking for Chapter Two?


An idyllic kingdom of fields and rolling meadows, complete with A CASTLE.




A royal birthday party with GUESTS and feasting.  GUARDS (ND) lounge at their posts. 

ATTENDANTS (ND) move about.  One pours oil in a lamp from a flask.  Another feeds wood to a brazier.

Queen MORYA (60s) (pronounced “Mor-ya”) and King SYMON (70s) are a kindly, attractive couple who sit side-by-side on thrones.  They are warm to both guests and attendants.  They wear matching rings and shows signs of dark hair amid more gray.

THREE MEN stand in front of the thrones.  The last one shuffles his feet nervously. Continue reading

1: The Princess’s Dilemma

And here we go…




Past green meadows and blue mountains lies Khazarim, a kingdom riddled from end to end with smoldering villages and ashen fields.  And bones.  

A lone RIDER sits astride a monstrous horse.  He wears a black cloak with silver Glagolitic “runes,” and his face is hidden by a hood.   Continue reading

Names: Morya


“of the sea”

A character in the story “The Death of Koschei the Deathless” is Maria Morevna, a warrior princess who has imprisoned Koschei the Deathless.  Her new, curious husband, Ivan, is tricked into freeing the sorcerer.  As a result, Maria is kidnapped, and Ivan has to make right and save her.   There are definitely some “saving spring from winter” connotations to the mythos.  (More on that in this most excellent blog.)

So this begs the question:  If -evna means daughter of, then who is “More”?

The Slavic root, “More” is a neutral noun.  It is not associated with death or darkness, as with Arthur’s Morgana la Fay, or Tolkein’s Morgoth.  Rather, the root means “sea.”  Nouns in Russian are conjugated according to case (part of speech).  For example, Morya means, “of the sea.  The Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea are within the vicinity of not a few fairy tales.

A new mystery appears:  Which sea is she from?

Well, this is too fun a puzzle to put down.  I’ve decided to make “Morya” (pronounced “MOR-ya”) an official character in the coming story.  Why?  Because, if I play my cards right, Koschei will be there as well.