25: Peer Pressure

Chapter One here.


A crowd of artisans and soldiers are cleaning up — stacking sawhorses, stabling work horses, hanging up tools.  Soldiers chat.  Martin leans over another list. 

Loren enters the doorway, a brace of bottles in one hand.  SERVANTS (ND) linger behind him as he pushes into the crowd. Continue reading


Names: Diana

This character is late coming in the game, but she’s part of a major revision.  I’ve already added her into previous posts and the upcoming Wednesday post this week.  More details soon.



“heavenly, divine”

When westerners think of Russian names, they probably don’t think of “Diana.” Among Russian names, it’s pronounced “DEE-ana.”  This Latin name shares a root with zeus:  dyeus, which can also be tied to the Russian word dyen, for “day.”  Diana is almost always pictured or sculpted with a quiver and arrows, and she’s often accompanied by a deer.

In Roman Mythology, Diana is associated with the moon in the heavens, hunting among human beings, and forests in nature.   Her similarity to Artemis may also link her to wisdom and chastity.  She was seen as the caretaker of pregnant women.  According to one scholar’s theory, this may be be why she was also thought to guarantee the succession of kings.

On a personal note, when I hear Diana pronounced this way, I think of how the “D” stands taller than the rest of the word like a half-moon.  The second half, “Anna,” is associated with grace or favor.  To play with the words a bit, the name “Dyena” could be taken to mean day of grace, and have some subtle association with names like Ivan, which mean given by G-d.   The Western pronunciation of “DI-ana,” in turn, might imply a double blessing.

The name Diana brings to mind a person who might be:

  • a clever maiden
  • a wise matron
  • a doctor or service worker
  • a guardian or caretaker

8 A Tuesday

So, last year around this time I finished publishing Westfall, and this was a chapter in it. My vibes aren’t much better now as they were then.

RJ Eddystone

June 3rd, Year of our Fair Lord 10, Southern Border, Glitterford

Fair Lord and Intelligence Advisor Regus Baton stood at the border in the dry, dusted haze of the southern barrens.  Grasses and cacti dotted the landscape around him. The watery shimmer of a mirage veiled the horizon at the far end of the pale summer sky.  Night would be falling soon. Baton frowned to think that they weren’t waiting until then. The trouble in Westfall’s neighboring country of Teno had been escalating at an alarming rate, but one would think they’d be all the more careful because of it.

He lowered his binoculars.

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Borrowed Time

Three borrowed books sit on a shelf in the living room.

They collect dust, so now and then I wipe them off carefully.

I have twice put them in a paper bag, to carry them back to their owner.

I have twice pulled them out again to find a new place to set them.

It has been three years since they were handed to me.  I’ve half-heartedly tried to read them.

I don’t keep them to read them though.  I know I should return them.

But the day I return them will be the day when I’ve nowhere to put them.

That will be the day it’s time to leave Japan.