Sunday, April 24, 2011


"O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" - I Cor. 15:55

I've never understood the miracle of Easter. It moves me more than Christmas, this ultimate triumph against sin and darkness. It moves me like an earthquake shifts the ground; too great to comprehend, too powerful, too indescribably important to ignore or deny.

That my God, my Savior, should have died for me in such a horrifying, undignified way in order to meet the requirement of a righteous and holy God that the penalty for sin is death... that He suffered separation from the eternal deity and presence of the Father... that He cares for me at all... is incomprehensible.

The Angel Appearing to the Women at the Tomb (window at my church)


The light is there, warm and golden
Just beyond my reach
Shaded by the edge of consciousness
It filters through thoughts
And flesh
Tangled regrets
Fears, sorrows binding
Pulling me back into the reek
Of humanity

Oh, don’t slip behind a cloud now!
Hide not your face from me
Let me see it just once unveiled
Shine upon me like glass
Through which the sun’s rays
Show each imperfection
In gilded radiance

- Christine Hardy 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

I haven't been working on my novel much, since I'm not well enough to concentrate that hard and scrolling through the file on my laptop screen gives me a headache. But I did do a little editing yesterday. I thought I should share this scene between Marenya and Faldur (who is NOT dead, despite the fact that I killed him off in the story thread), later in the book.
Faldur sank down against a tree and fished out a small ration of pipecherry, filled his pipe and lit it. They had all been in what he called “trail trance” since the previous morning. No one talked; it was too exhausting. It had rained, which made everything first damp, then itchy. A hot bath was the principal thing on his mind at the moment. Only two days and one more night to go.

      Marenya sat a little apart from the hamen, hugging her knees to her chest, eyes closed. He had not asked her yet about all that had happened during her captivity.  He had been too busy, and she seemed unwilling to confide in anyone. He did not like to press her. But he needed to know what they were up against, and exactly how things stood with her. 

      He let her rest for a while, and when he saw her eyes open, went and sat beside her.  There were tears on her cheeks. “What is it?”

      “Nothing. I’m just tired.” She rubbed them away.

      “Please,  I want to know.”

      She studied him, as if gauging whether he was truly concerned or just collecting information from her.  She knew him too well.  “It’s Raynor.  No one knows anything about him, if he’s alive or dead. Nighfala’s gone, and I don’t know if she’s looking for him, or wandering somewhere in the darkness alone. And the erdmelesz are getting closer every moment. Every time I lie down I think I hear them marching through the ground.

     "Is this what it’s like for you all the time?  Because I don’t think I could stand it.  I’m ashamed of myself, but all I want is a warm bed and hot food and strong walls to protect me.”

      He tilted his head. “It’s like this sometimes. But it’s also very often boring. The best times are boring, when nothing is happening and you only have to patrol familiar paths and check on old friends. And drill.”  He smiled reminiscently.  “We’ve had some rowdy contests in the middle of nowhere. You see sunrises no one else sees, and fawns being dropped, and the whole length of the Silverbark River trailing down into the valley. And a certain hawin riding across a meadow, or hanging clothes in the yard with the sun on her bare arms.”

      She looked at him suspiciously. “Are you just saying these things to calm me down?”

      He reached out and drew her to him, and she rested her head against his chest. “I am saying them to calm you down, but they are all true. I have watched you for so long, I can’t imagine not watching you for the rest of my life.”  He smiled ruefully at himself. “I don’t know where all these words are coming from; you have opened up some sort of dam. But the truth is, it hurts so much I’m not sure I can bear it.”

      “Why does it hurt?”

      “I don’t know.”

      She was quiet for a minute, then said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me either. I feel like crying almost all the time.”

      He smoothed her hair. “You’ve been through an ordeal. Heaven gave hawen tears to overcome their demons; we must fight ours.”

      “In other words, we drown our demons, and you conquer them.”

      “Something like that.”

      “Is there no other way?”

      “I can think of one.”

      She tilted her face up, eyeing him quizzically, and he bent his head down and kissed her. He tasted salt, and brushed her tears away with his thumbs, comforting her at the same time he sought to conquer his own demons.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I swear, I didn't know it was "The Cave"!

When I posted last about the song that one of Betsy's characters sang to Marenya - the one that made me dissolve into weeping over my laptop - I didn't know it was "The Cave" by Mumford & Sons. I'd never heard of them until yesterday. Now, of course, I'm playing it over and over.

I think it so cool. Betsy's characters - twins Aidan and Kaelin - have such a raw, gut-ripping dynamic, that just knowing their situation and how it affects Aidan, then throwing in a few well-crafted song lyrics with no music whatsoever in my head, tore my heart out. And the way Betsy did it on the thread was just awesome. (Kaelin is undercover as a rogue demon in order to get close enough to the dominus Lorcan to kill him for torturing Aidan, but Kaelin is losing his soul in the process.)

Marenya is trying very hard to figure out what to do to help Aidan cope with the loss of his twin, and Marc, one of Aidans cousins and sworn guards, sings her a song about them. The really sweet thing is that Marenya doesn't get it that she's in danger. She's only thinking about Aidan because he's so obviously in over his head. She thinks Marc is just being sweet, not that he's her bodyguard. But I guess she'll have to figure it out pretty soon.

As Betsy says, "This is seriously nuts. My stomach's in knots." "These people aren't REAL." (to read the scene, go here and start with Aidan's commment @ 5:45 pm. He is about to speak to Faldur about taking Marenya away from him, and is given a vision of an alternate eternity than being in Hell, which is the destiny of all the demons in Sentinel unless they can defeat the demon Asmodai who made them. The contrast between the two eternities - Aidan and Marenya's - brings home even more poignantly Kaelin's tragic self-destruction for the sake of revenge.

Remember folks, this stuff is not planned! It just kinda happens as we write it. We might say, "Marenya needs to figure out she's in danger" but exactly how it plays out is all spontaneous. With some really funny bumps in the road, too.

(Yes, I know I have to get back to real life soon. As soon as these meds wear off, I'll be my usual business-like self, I promise.)