Vivaine's Vagaries

My mind is a very strange place to live sometimes

The Frenchman - a must read for MM fans
For those on my flist who love M/M romance as much I do you really must (must, must, must) go read 'The Frenchman' by Anel Viz on Wilde Oats. The tale raises the question: If someone saves your life, and you feel you owe him everything, just how much does 'everything' include? It is extraordinary and chilling tale telling. For a story based around a homosexual relationship the erotic content is minimal and mostly off screen, although there is one fairly frank discussion.

Story Warnings: Dubious consent, borderline underage, historically correct racism against Native Americans, character death. Extra warning: This is not an HEA story. This one broke my heart.

From the website:
“The Frenchman” by Anel Viz appeared in [Wilde Oats] 9th issue (December 2011). Canada in the 1830s: A clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company takes an interest in a gruff fur trapper and the half-breed boy who lives with him.

Wilde Oats is the successor to Forbidden Fruit, an online literary journal for gay and bisexual men.

Literary Nymphs Chat with Andrea Speed!
Excerpt from a Yahoo groups post:

Literary Nymphs will be having a M/M chat on Easter weekend [April 7 & 8]. Here is a brief list of authors attending, with more to follow

Ariel Tachna, Jaime Samms, Andrea Speed, Christiane France, Kathryn Scannell, Berengaria Brown, Sloan Parker, Jessica Freely

So if you're a fan come join the chat. If you're not a Literary Nymphs Yahoo Group member join!


Victory Road - Original, Steampunk, Alternate History
Genre: Original, Steampunk, Alternate History (Greco-Roman), M/M
Word Count: 1115 words
Rating: PG for mild cursing
Notes: Via Vittoria = Victory Road
For the history mavens: The Via della Vittoria was built during WWII by Italian troops. My version is a Roman period road that follows the same path.
Originally posted for cinnatart's birthday on her ~ X♥X OPEN FANDOM & OPEN PAIRING KISS MEME X♥X ~
Summary: A soldier returns home from abroad.

Victory Road

Davi paused on the road at the crest of the hill and wiped a runnel of sweat from his neck. A cooling breeze kissed his face in the shade of the thick trees and his horse blew a heavy breath, as glad for the rest as he. Down in the valley golden wheat swayed in the same breeze. The mechanical harvesters chuffed steam and smoke as they sliced through the stalks, leaving neatly cut swathes of grain behind them for the sheavers and gleaners to gather. The harvest looked like a good one this year; the merchants on the road behind him would be pleased.

Home. Two years, four months and eighteen days he’d spent riding with the legions, but he was finally home. Their campaign had been a successful one - a few skirmishes with the desert tribes but mostly just showing the flag along the coastal road. The southern coast of the Middle Sea had been part of the massive Macedonian Empire since the age of Alexander Magnus; the Via Vittoria from the Suez to the western ocean was as peaceful as the waters of the Aegean. And the imperial legions kept it that way.

“Almost there old boy.” he sighed and kneed his horse forward.

A shout went up as he neared the workers in the fields. Several of the men came running, pikes in hand, but their leader stumbled to a stop on the road ahead of Davi.

“It’s Lord Davrin!” he cried “Lord Davrin’s come home!”

The news was shouted across the fields and several of the steam harvesters shrilled a welcome with their whistles. The people stopped their work to cheer and wave him on toward the keep, some falling in beside him on the way. Davi found himself waving back, clasping their upraised hands and calling to familiar faces in the crowd. His chest ached at their warm welcome. These were his people. His and Alaric’s.

Entering the forecourt of the villa at the head of the laughing procession he saw his tall husband standing on the steps patting a gasping boy on the back. As if the tumult behind him had not been enough fanfare, word of his return had evidently run before him on swift, young feet. He caught Alaric’s grey gaze and felt his throat close. Why had he ever left this place?

Davi dismounted and held the stirrup strap for a moment, letting his legs adjust to carrying his weight again. He watched as Alaric came down the stairs toward him and he saw that welcoming smile melt into concern.

“Davi? You‘re early, love. We didn‘t expect you for weeks yet.”

“I’m home.” Davi smiled, proud that his voice only wavered slightly.

“Yes!” Alaric shouted, grabbing Davi into a bear hug and swinging him around in a circle, “By the gods, I can see that.” He set Davi back on his feet and stared into his eyes in wonder. “You’re home.” he whispered.

“Kiss him!” someone shouted and the giddy crowd took up the chant. “Kiss him! Kiss him!”

Alaric cupped his cheek in one large hand. “May I?” he asked.

“I’ll step on your foot if you don’t.” Davi grinned.

The kiss was warm, and soft, and tender, and everything Davi had missed about his beloved. He snuck his tongue out to lick at those dear lips and Alaric growled softly. The kiss firmed, deepened and became something more. It was no longer just a kiss, it was raw emotion given flesh. It was a claiming, each of the other, a reaffirmation of the vows of loyalty and love they had sworn before the gods. Davi ached with long suppressed desire as the kiss lingered into tenderness again. The crowd shouted and cheered, their roar of approval ringing from the encircling walls.

Crushed in those strong arms Davi felt his tears finally fall. His husband, his philoi, his beloved. This was where he belonged. This was his home.

A trumpet shrilled in the distance and Davi muttered in denial. He didn’t need to heed trumpet calls here.

Again the trumpet sounded, louder and nearer. The crowd murmured and shifted restlessly.

A third trumpet call and Alaric shook him by the shoulders. “Gods and godlings, Davrin, wake up.” he growled in a voice that was not his own.

Davi sat straight up on his cot, still clutching the wadded bedding in his arms. Hrothgern, his second-in-command stood next to the cot shaking his head in resignation.

“Some day, Tribune, I’m not going to be here to wake you up and they’ll strike the tent down around your head.” His duty to his young officer completed, the aging cavalryman turned and stumped from the tent.

A dream. Just another damned dream. Davi flopped back on his cot and scrubbed his damp, scratchy face with his hands. Curse this gods-forgotten, heat-blighted, sun-blasted, dust-befouled land and every flea-ridden dog of a soldier in it, he hated dreaming.

The creak of wagon wheels announced the arrival of the quartermaster’s team, ready to break camp and load their wagons. Their noisy argument with Hrothgern over which tents to load first promised to give him at least enough time to pull himself together and dress.

He knuckled the sleep from his eyes and contemplated the sweaty state of his tunic. No help for it - he’d have to face the laundress again soon. He used the basin of warm water (always warm, there was no such thing as cool, refreshing water on this campaign) to wash his face of the crusted salt and grit then quickly dressed. When the ‘emperor’ called the legions marched, and where the legions marched the cavalry - and its officers - must ride. One of these days he was going to stuff that blasted horn down someone’s throat.

As he stepped out into the already blistering Egyptian sun, he measured the distance he had left to go. Eighty-four miles along the Via Vittoria to Alexandria and the ships that would take them north to Byzantium. Eastward again across the length of the Black Sea, then some 200 miles on horseback into the mountains. He made a vow to himself - he would count every mile as a personal victory.

He was going home to Alaric.


Your assignment should you choose to accept it...
OK, now I'm going to do something I swore I'd never do: I'm asking for advice. I have started (and only started mind you) and original fiction story that may or may not become more than one tale. I have three 'chunks' written - 1500 to 3000 wprds each - with spelling and grammar checked, but I'm starting to fall into the write/revise/rewrite/replot loop that is slowing my completion rate.

I would like to have another set of eyes look it over to see where I need to include more description in what is, so far, a fairly dialog-driven set of scenes. Pointing out where I might unpack more backstory would be helpful as well.

Points to consider before volunteering:
In the scenes I've written the dialog carries the action - there will be plenty of action later, I just haven't gotten there yet.
The genre is steampunk - a new one for me - so tech level is early industrial with lots of odd gadgets.
The society is modeled on late Victorian European lines but this is an alternate universe where Greco-Roman history was quite different.
The primary romantic relationships are M/M with some mild M/F on the sidelines. Let me clarify that the love stories are between adults over the age of 18, a few of whom are 'college' students. These will probably be steamy enough to rate a warning.
The main setting is a residential school (preschool thru college levels) for orphaned boys. (Not like Hogwarts at all other than the castle)
The first story tells why and how the school was founded, and includes a pandemic with a high mortality rate in adults.
The second story uses the same setting but occurs later, after the school is well established. This one focuses on a young man with a physically and sexually abusive past. This was my main story until I started asking "How did this school get started?"

So if you or someone you know would be willing to provide a bit of constructive input on some very raw talespinning, or if you can point me toward an online resource or group that could help, drop me a comment and I'll post the files here.

Crossing my fingers that someone can help,

Medical Update
Forgot I hadn't updated the medical sitch in a while.

No MS - definitely. Just a bad MRI.

Definitely stroke but the correct term is Transient Ischemic Attack. I had one VERY VERY minor stroke that left me with 20% vision loss - very minor and almost totally ignorable. But now I have repeated infrequent "mini-strokes" where I lose feeling or get pins and needles in my right shoulder for 2-5 minutes. No permanent damage just annoying as hell.

Cause seems to have been severe anemia caused by a severe B12 deficiency of unknown origin. Taking B12 shots weekly seems to have almost completely eliminated the TIAs. I'm down from 4 or 5 a day to 1 every two weeks or so.

Still working on the diet\exercise\diabetes\smoking thing. It's all connected.

Peter Pan - The Rest of the Story
Peter Pan – the rest of the story

Gather round all you good little subbies, and grab a seat on the floor. You’ve heard the story, and you’ve seen the movies, I'm sure. But J. M. Barrie and Uncle Walt only told part of the tale -- they had to worry about those G ratings you understand. But Vivaine has the whole story, and she’s going to share it with you.

So, you ask, "What happened after the Pan and his crew defeated the evil Captain Hook and fed him to the crocodile?"

Well, the remaining pirates eventually overcame the posttraumatic stress and their anger management issues. Smee came out of the closet and wrote a steamy, tell-all best seller about shipboard life with an all male crew at sea for months at a time. He’s now captain of his own “pirate” ship running tourists out on two day cruises from St. Bart’s and Nassau.

The Lost Boys were taken into foster care, and eventually found loving adoptive homes, where they grew up to lead normal, productive lives after learning to suppress all those antisocial tendencies.

John and Michael Darling went home safe and happy, and eventually grew up to be just as straight-laced as their father.

Peter finally dealt with his intimacy and commitment issues, and found love and fulfillment in an adult relationship with Wendy. They too grew up to be much like Mr. and Mrs. Darling – with the possible exception of Peter’s tendency to crow at certain, um, delicate times. And the thing with the thimbles. We don't talk about the thing with the thimbles. Hey, “Your kink is not my kink”, OK?

Then there was Tinkerbell – resurrected through the power of belief it seems but with no job, no home, and, worst of all, no harem of needy little boys to look after. Poor Tink. But Tink’s a survivor, pets, and not the kind you see on the TV shows. Tink may have been a little lost at first, but she can deal.

First she took some personal time to catch up on her reading. Then she had several interesting chats with the mermaids and Tiger Lily, and found that they have a lot in common. She took their advice and gave herself a makeover; she got rid of that tatty little green dress and the pink puffy slippers. Then she took a vacation to do a little traveling, and she met some very interesting new friends.

In short, Tinkerbell got her groove back. Man, did she get her groove back.
Tink got freaky wit’ it.

So now it’s Mistress Bell to you.

She’s working on plans to open the Lost Boys’ Neverland camp as a full service, exotic, erotic tourist destination. She’s put in a fully stocked dungeon and new beach facilities at the pirate cove. She and Smee are discussing a contract for the pirates to provide cruise services to Skull Rock and Mermaid Cove. Tiger Lily has signed on to oversee the camping and horseback activities. The only real hurdle left is the copyright dispute with Michael Jackson.

And she’s definitely interviewing for a new harem.

~ and they all lived happily ever after.

Except for Captain Hook, of course.

And maybe the crocodile.

The End.

Good night all you good little subbies.
Sweet dreams, Vivaine

Revived from the cobwebby end of the archive. I used to have an adorable pic to go with this but that's been lost along the way *sigh*

Disclaimer: I’m sure Paul Harvey probably has some kind of copyright to the phrase “the rest of the story”. You know I don’t own any part of any of these characters and Disney has a permanent lock on the animated images. I’m not making any profit from them; I just suggest that they might do some interesting things.

Mourn the passing of Denial
My poor flimsy river craft has crashed and burned, all hands feared lost. The eye doc was right, I had a stroke. Had changing to present tense since I'm now in the hospital and they tell me that I am having a series of micro-strokes. My doc is also pissed at Eye Doc for not sending me to emergency right away instead of sending me home to stew. She says I could have avoided possible nerve damage if I had come in sooner.

They're coming to take me for more tests... thankfully very few needles have been in evidence :D

So I have this spot thing...
So I have this spot thing in my eye. Well in my vision actually not in my eye. It's like an afterimage from a flash, a hazy and annoying area just off the center of focus where things kind of disappear in a yellow haze. I got lots of advice from the coworkers - could be a migraine, could be dry eyes - but those usually last just a few hours and this has been hanging around for a few days, same spot, same place, getting slightly bigger and more annoying daily.

So I went to the ophthalmologist to get it checked. Bit of advice here - when they dilate your eyes looking into bright lights for an hour or so hurts. He found a tiny, pin-prick hemorrhage on my retina but nothing that would cause my spot. He's making me an appointment with a retinal specialist next week to check for more details but in the meantime he gave me a pair of possibilities to stew on: A.) I could have suffered a micro-stroke or B.) I could have "something pressing on the optic nerve."

I think I kind of like that euphemism. It sounds so much more comforting that "possible brain tumor". I can sit here in my nice little boat and admire the Egyptian river and say to myself, "Gee, all this cogitation is finally paying off. Its like going to the gym for your mind. My brain's getting so much bigger with all this exercise it's squeezing my eyeballs out. I wonder if I can get those cute cabana boys to make out for me before it gets too hazy to see well..." Yes my Denial river craft has a crew of cute cabana boys. It's my boat I can have them if I want.

Thoughts from the Peanut Gallery would be a welcome distraction today...

Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday maculategiraffe! Thank you for all the wonderful stories you write.

Happy New Year
Happy New Year everyone :D

So I'm playing My Cafe on Facebook and look who wandered in to sample my Gingerbread House:


He really liked it too ^_^


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