The Birthday That Changed My Life

You may have noticed random letters under the heading 'The birthday that changed my life' appearing randomly on this blog.
I have a story that is written in letters and will randomly post the letters. If you go to my 'labels' cloud entitled 'what do you need?' and click on 'on going stories' you can see the letters I have posted, you have to read form the bottom up as the newest letters are on top.  photo theauthor_zps8356b86b.png


The Birthday That Changed My Life

Darling Marianne,                                       MARCH 15th 1868

Today was my first day at BTSD, I had a wonderful time. First of all I went to my flying lessons, they were wonderful and I got to fly one of those little scout jets, at first I couldn’t see why they were in advanced, then I got into one; and wow! Those things are fast, I almost crashed twice, but Mr. Blands (thats my teacher) said that it was fine and that if I hadn’t had any trouble then he wouldn't need to be teaching me. After that I went in to get my license signed so that I could officially accept the job I had been offered. I will get my first assignment (for my job that is) the day after tomorrow, I am so excited. I saw the man who brought me the news twice today, once when I was getting my license signed and again when I landed the jet, he looked so relieved when I got out of that jet in one piece that it made me laugh. I am still not exactly sure what he does around there, but he seems rather unimportant. I still don’t know his name and I think I will ask him tomorrow if I see him. I noticed that there is another man who hangs around and talks with the first man, he seems to know him  pretty well and I feel like I have seen him somewhere before. If I don’t see the gentlemen then my teacher might know who he is, although he doesn’t seem very important. There is one girl at the BTSD who is very nice, she teaches the less advanced people to fly airplanes and things, even though she flies spacecraft.
Oh! I forgot to mention, I saw your picture in the paper today. Whoever was interviewing you at the rehearsal had a wonderful picture of one of the dance moves in full costume. It made me so proud to see you looking so famous. Someday when you are a great celebrity I can tell people: “thats my friend.” Then I can sell your autograph for lots of money because you still sign all your letters.
I have to get up early tomorrow so I should go to bed now, write to me soon! Goodnight!
Kisses and Huggs,
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King Arthur

A friend of mine is writing a version of the Arthurian Legend. While reading her story I came to the part where one of the characters recites the prophesy regarding the sword and the stone. Reading that snippet from her lovely and poetic mind inspired me to delve back in my own poetry; something I had not approached for years.
Of course I started in on my own ancient poem about King Arthur. I had started it a few years ago and had random pieces of verse and forms lying around.  So I decided to redo the poem with the verse form I liked best. At present I only have ten stanzas equipped for viewing, so I am going to post them to see what kind of reactions I get.

King Arthur
And the Knights of the Round Table

Herein lies the story of King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table, his tale I put down in full truth and with clear conscience and mind. Within these bound pages may you find retelling of that worthy fable; the truth within, his noble story you shall find.

Sir Kay prepared his noble steed
and rode away full haste to make.
That day he did enact good deeds
until his sword should break.

His brother Arthur home he sent
his other sword in haste to find.
The buy did mount, away he went
and looked not once behind.

As Arthur sped his tired steed
bethought him of a certain sword.
He chose to take in time of need
to bring it to his lord.

The sword that rested in the stone
the tales of which he had not heard.
he did not see that which was shown
The ancient stone carved words.

When good Sir Kay the sword did see
he knelt before the younger boy.
The king he knew Arthur must be
and he was filled with joy.

In front of all the men he stood
proclaiming Arthur king-to-be.
Though many tried, no other could
fulfill the prophecy.

He who from the enchanted stone
Excalibur doth bring to hand
shall sit upon the royal throne
of Camelot and England.

The rightful heir to be the king
the one who pulls the sword shall be.
Let none complaint or challenge bring
to hinder this decree.

Then he who is true king by rights
shall gather to his royal hall
tenfold of noble blooded knights
to answer to his call.

And in these royal palace halls
the gentle knights ere long to dwell,
until for aid the old land calls
their enemies to fell."
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The Birthday That Changed My Life

The Birthday That Changed My Life

A series of letters found in an old chest at the home of Marianne Beachley after her death. They have been placed in order and published so that all the world may find the intriguing story within. The tale of a young girl beginning with the birthday that changed her life.

Dear Marianne                                          MARCH 14th 1868

I hope you are doing well, yesterday was my fifteenth birthday as you know, but I have to tell you all about it because the most extraordinary thing happened…

I woke up with a sense of great expectancy, today is my birthday I thought. Kate sat up yawning in the bed beside me. “Well Sue, are you excited?” I laughed, was I excited? I was popping!

“Remember to dress well, just in case Mother has something up her sleeve” said Kate. I stared at her, then I remembered. On Kate’s 15th birthday Mother had planned a surprise party, Kate of course did not know about it and came downstairs in her dressing gown; fortunately it was an all girls party that time. I dressed up for a party and the Kate and I did each other’s hair.
I ran down the stairs with my eyes closed (that was stupid of me by the way) and waited to hear the customary “surprise!!” Nothing happened. I opened my eyes and found that it was just me and Mother and Kate, no one else was there, there was no party. Trying to hide my disappointment, I kissed Mother good morning and we went to eat breakfast.
“Well dear” Mother said after we had all finished eating, “it is time to see your presents.” I opened all my present pretty quick as you might imagine. I will tell you what I got in another letter, but this one must be finished so that I can mail it by the noon post. Anyway…

After I was done Mother said: “now dear, it is time for the big and the best surprise.” They led me to the parlor, and made me close my eyes before they would open the door.
“Open up!”
Sitting in one of the chairs was a young man, just a little older than myself. He looked very excited about something, but I was too disappointed to notice.
And oh Marianne! Do you know what I said, I didn’t think I could be that rude. I actually said: Mother, if this is your idea of a joke, I don’t like it. This is not even classified as a present and I will not speak to him, now if you will excuse me, I must be going now. Then I actually stuck my tongue out at the poor man. It still makes me blush to think about it.
“Susan! Wait until you hear what the man has to say.”
“Well…” I looked at the man.
“I…uh…well, I am from the BTSD (Barley Town Space Depot) and I was sent to bring you your license, and offer you a scholarship in the advanced training program,and offer you a job. All the details are written down here.”

Oh Marianne! You can only imagine how thrilled I was. And it is true, tomorrow is Monday and I will be going in to my first training session. I am so excited and I will try to write you everyday, but I am going to be so gloriously busy. I can’t wait to see you this summer and wish you the best of luck with your play. I am so sorry that I can’t come, there is absolutely no hope now that I have this job. Kate is over the top happy as well because she is going to River Town next week after all.

Much Love

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Thunder Mugwump

Photo by
Nathan Ostermann
On the 15th of March at 8:30 pm. My youngest goat Rosie, had her baby. It was very exciting to watch the whole process of a kid coming into the world.
Rosie was very nonchalont, she didn't even seem to notice she was kidding until we pulled the kid the rest of the way out and forced her to look at him. Then she licked him off with help from surrounding human friends (myself included). He was standing withing ten minutes and nursing soon after his first wobbly steps.
As you know, there was a storm on the fifteenth. So I named the baby 'Thunder' but another of the bystanders decided that he was a 'Mugwump'. So, even though I do have the last say in names, We compromised and named him 'Thunder Mugwump'. It sounds like some kind of superhero spoof.
So I call him 'Thunder Mugwump' or just plain Thunder. And the other person calls him Mugwump. I don't care which of the two you called him, he is cute both ways.
Of course my brother got out his camera and took several pictures the next day.
So here are some photos of 'Thunder Mugwump' courtesy of Nathan Ostermann.


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The Lady Awdur's Romantic Snippet Thricenight

The Pen of Awdur is hosting a 'Romantic Snippet Thricenight'. Three weeks of different bloggers writing romantic snippets as a response. Here is my first. 

….I can do this. I’ve been preparing for eighteen years. I’m going to be fine. What if he is here? Chelsea, calm down. He won’t come; he’s been gone for two years and he isn’t going to come all the way back just to be at your coming out party. You can do this, trust me.
“Chelsea! What in the world is taking you so long; the guests will start arriving in less than twenty minutes. Oh! Good heavens, you’re not even dressed!”
It was true, I should’ve been dressed by now, and all I had on was my chemise.
“Sorry,” I mumbled. Ellen didn’t seem to hear me; she was already on her way to the door.
“Anna! Marie! Kate! Come in here at once and help your mistress get dressed. Chelsea, come over here so I can unbutton that. We haven’t got any time to lose.”
I sighed, but allowed her to undress me. Almost before she had got the chemise over my head, my three maids were pulling on my under-dress and lacing my corset. I watched in amazement as they piled on more and more petticoats; I hadn’t known I even had this many.
Finally it was time for the dress itself. My mother had bought the dress in Paris for this exact moment; my debut. It a beautiful dress of blue silk, with a tight fitting bodice and the fullest skirt I had ever seen. I had seen it in a shop window and touched the fabric, but now the thought of actually wearing something so beautiful stunned me.
My maids really were amazing; with the help of my governess (Ellen) they got me dressed in less than ten minutes. My hair took longer, but my hairdresser worked fast and by the time the clock chimed six, I was ready.
I could hear sounds of laughter as the guests were received by my mother and father. I forgot all my doubts; I could do this, it would be easy. Ellen confirmed my thoughts.
“Oh! You look so beautiful,” she breathed. I blushed happily, the dress made me feel like a queen.
“You are going to do just fine. You won’t have any trouble down there,” Ellen said gently.
“Why should you have any trouble? Why, it’s as easy as walking down a staircase,” Anna added. We all laughed, at least, the others did. My corset was so tight I could barely breathe, but I laughed inside.
Ellen came up to me and put her hands on my hips.
“Heaven on earth! Why, Chelsea, I can almost span your waist with my hands. Will you even be able to speak down there?”
I smiled, the corset was rather tight, but without it I wouldn’t fit into the dress, so I didn’t care.
“You shouldn’t mind, you are always telling me to keep my voice down. Well, now I have no choice, I couldn’t yell even if I did want to.” Ellen chuckled quietly, then her face grew serious.
“Chelsea, I may have been a bit hard on you all these years, but you know I only did it because I love you, right?”
I nodded, Ellen had seemed unkind at times, but she was just trying to make sure I never embarrassed myself. I hoped that I would prove worthy of all her hard work.

Marie slipped the dainty shoes on my feet, and I was ready. Father, Mother, Moira came up to me to make sure I was ready.
“Oh, Chelsea, your beautiful,” Moira breathed. I blushed, glancing at my father, he nodded ever so slightly.
Mother came up to looked at me closely.
“Why, I do declare! Chelsea, you are simply perfect. I am sure you will have the attention of everyman in the ballroom. Now remember, don’t favor anyone…make sure you dance with all the young gentlemen. Let’s see, hair…shoes…dress…makeup, oh a little more lipstick I think, Kate. Oh! Chelsea, where are your gloves?”
“Right here, miss,” Anna said, bringing my long white evening gloves; the first pair I had ever owned.
Mother nodded with satisfaction, then began giving my father and myself instructions.
“I must go back to the guests now, I don’t know how long Maryanne can hold up. Remember, don’t come in too early or it will look like you haven’t been busy. Don’t come in right on time, or it will seem as if you were waiting outside the door. Best be a little late, but not too late or you will seem rushed. Jacob, walk slowly but not too slowly. Chelsea, keep pace with your father, don’t trip on your dress. Ellen, make sure she doesn’t mess up her gloves before time to go down. Oh, and Jacob, make sure you take your gloves off to dance with the ladies, but wear them when you go in. And, Chelsea, this is your first ball, so you must make a good impression. And for heaven’s sake,  don’t ever take you gloves off, unless you are partaking of a bit of food during the dance; and then only one. But take both of them off for dinner and put them in your lap, and don’t drop anything or step on anyone’s feet.”
After this rush of commands, Mother flitted out the door with the maids trailing after her, leaving me alone with Father and Ellen.
The latter came up to me and kissed my forehead before leaving. Father stepped forward and took my hands.
“Chelsea, you will be perfect no matter what you do. I don’t think you will do anything wrong, your mother is just rather hurried at the moment; no doubt she was telling herself the same things before she went down a few minutes ago.”
I nodded, then put my arms around my father’s neck. He tenderly stroked my head, then gently pushed me away.
“Time to go down; you ready?”
I took a deep breath, I could do this.
“Yes,” I said.
Father offered me his arm and I took it. When we reached the top of the main staircase, we stopped. I looked down at all the guests in the ballroom. I could see Mother and Maryanne flitting about in the midst of it all. I remembered Maryanne’s coming out party. I had been allowed to sit at the top of this staircase with Colin, watching the party. Now it was my turn, and Moira would sit up here with Anna, Marie, and Kate; watching.
“How are you doing?” Father asked.
“Fine,” I said.
We got down the first flight unnoticed, then my mother saw me and rang the bell. It was time.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” my father said, projecting his voice throughout the room. “May I present my daughter, Chelsea Elizabeth Amory. The crowd applauded, I blushed and we began to walk down the stairs. Everything was going fine, I didn’t feel daunted; I knew I could do this.
Then I saw him. He was standing near the back of the ballroom, aloof and alone. My foot slipped on the stairs, but Father steadied me without even looking my way. No one noticed, except William. I could feel his eyes on me, I gripped my father’s arm tighter, and walked on; I could not fail. I knew Mother and Maryanne were depending on my self-control. Moira and Ellen were watching, I could not fail Ellen. Father was very proud of me, I could not disappoint him.

Father and I led the first dance, then I was left to my own devices. I was introduced to numerous people, fortunately no one actually acted as if I could remember their name. The band gave me some time to get used to the feel of it all. I had specifically asked not to have a dance book, so I had carefully steered away from people I knew to be bad dancers. The one thing I was really good at was dancing, I am not being vain when I say that I am a very good dancer, it is true.
However, despite my efforts to avoid him, my cousin Peter got to me first and sequestered the dance.
It was not as bad as I had expected, Peter had gotten a lot better since last I saw him.
The second dance was with a tall young man. He was very handsome, and I’m sure I could have enjoyed that dance, had he not been so aware of the fact.
I don’t really remember who I danced with for the next five dances, but I waited out the eighth dance (a rather boring thing, the name of which I cannot recall).
Everyone was dancing except for a few older ladies and gentlemen; and William.
I knew that the next dance was a very complicated and fast paced one, and I was particularly desirous of a very good partner.
As much as I didn’t want to be confused by William, I was rather glad when he asked me for the dance.  William had always been a good dancer. When Ellen had been teaching me, he had sometimes come in to help by being my partner while she watched.
He swept me out onto the floor, and led me through the weaving (and often stumbling) couples with catlike grace and perfection. I am happy to say that I never stumbled once, nor did I even find it particularly difficult to keep perfect time.
“It’s been awhile,” said William, leading my through an arch made by another couple.
“Two years,” I stepped towards him.
“Have you seen anything of Colin lately?” I winced at the mention of the name, William and Colin had been very good friends, but Colin had taken to gambling and had left home a year ago.
“No, he hasn’t even attempted to make contact with us.”
“I am sorry,” William took my hand and turned me about.
“So am I, for you too, William. I know you and he were very close. I loved him very much, he was a good brother until—,” I stopped, unable to continue.
The dance had placed us right by the open French windows. William took advantage of the next move, whirling me onto the veranda. I was a little surprised, but I didn’t mind. I had begun to want to talk to William alone.
“Where have you been these past two years?” I asked.
“Wandering around Europe. I just needed to spend some time away from—,”he stopped.
“Away from what?” I asked. Instead of answering, William turned to look at me.
“Chelsea, do you remember the last time we were sitting together like this?”
“Yes,” I whispered softly, not even daring to hope.
“We don’t have to let…to let that come between us. You know I did it for his good. I couldn’t lend him more money, it would have ruined him; surely you can see that?”
I closed my eyes; I didn’t want to think about it. But I had to.
“It did ruin him! If you had given him what he needed he would have come home and everything would have been fine.”
“Chelsea, do you really think that is what would have happened?”
“No,” I whispered softly, “I don’t think that would have happened. I’m sorry, William, I shouldn’t have gotten so angry.”
“I didn’t think you could be foolish enough to believe that. You are a sensible girl, Chels, you can’t really believe something so wrong.”
I didn’t say anything, the sounds of dancing could be heard from inside. Everyone sounded so carefree and happy. I suppose I seemed that way when I was in there, but William could always see through the best mask I could conjure.
“Think back, Chels. Remember, I was sitting right here, and you were there; no, you were a little closer.”
I edged closer to him, remembering that night, two years ago.
“I held your hand like this,” William picked up my hand and held over his heart.
“And then—,”
“And then someone called me from inside,” I interrupted him.
William smiled softly. “Yes,” he said, “someone called you. Lets go back to where we were, no one will call you away tonight.”
“They might, they will want me to come and dance. The guest of honor can hardly disappear for so long without notice.”
“Of course not,” he said, “now, where was I? Ahh, yes, I had your hand like this; then I bring something out of my pocket and tell you to close your eyes. Close your eyes, Chelsea.”
I closed my eyes and heard a little ‘click’. My heart skipped a beat as I felt something cool and hard slip onto my left hand.
“There,” William said, “open up.”
I opened my eyes and looked at my hand, on my ring finger there was a sliver ring, with sapphires and diamonds wound in it’s intricate patterns.
“Oh, Will; it’s beautiful,” I breathed.
“Will you keep it?” He asked.
I smiled happily.
“Of course,” I said, “I will always wear it.”
“At least you have an excuse not to dance with everyone tonight.”
“I suppose we must go back in now, or people will start calling me, and Mother will put up an awful row.”
William stood up.
“Would the future Mrs. Mount do me the honor of this dance?”
I giggled, reaching out my hand to him.
“She will dance with you for the rest of her life if you wish.” I said, standing up and taking his proffered arm.
We walked back into the ballroom together. I was happily aware of the unaccustomed weight of the ring on my finger.

Mother will have a fit, I thought to myself as William proudly led me toward Father.  

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A Snippet from The Pendant

Drawing of the Pendant by Hannah LePage
...made of gold, and encrusted with pearls, and lapis lazuli, in the center was a little ruby

My head spun, a necklace could be a gift, or a token from Pharaoh, maybe it was a secret way of saying that the Pharaoh was back and wanted to see Tiye. No, Tiye would have told Tseskos right out that she had to see Pharaoh. It was silly, but I was sure it had to do with my Pendant...made of gold, and encrusted with pearls, and lapis lazuli, in the center was a little ruby
“Reniseb! Reniseb! Little Black Eyes!”
I opened my eyes, my mother stood before me. “Reniseb, I have been able to see you again after all, I had thought that it was impossible, but I was wrong.”
Tears came to my eyes and I did not try to hold them back, “Mother, please tell me what that Pendant is, why does everything seem connected to it?”
“Dear One, I cannot tell you that, you must find out for yourself. I know you are strong enough or I would not have put this weight on you. I have borne it for a very long time now, and when it happened I had to give the Pendant to someone whom I could trust.”
“You say ‘Pendant’ in a strange way, why?”
“Oh, Little One, you want to come to me and your body is trying to, but you must stay here. Awake, and be well.”
She lay her cool hand on my hot feverish head, “I will always be there for you.” She smiled and was gone.  My head began to throb, pain enveloped me and blackness came...peace...sleep...comfort.

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Let see, I think my all time favorite author is 
(of course) CS Lewis, author of 'The Space Trilogy' (My all time favorite books. 

Next is JRR Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; The Hobbit)
Eloise Jarvis McGraw (Mara, Daughter of the Nile)
Kate Seredy (The Good Master; The Singing Tree)
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice; Emma)
Howard Pyle (The four BEST King Arthur books EVER)
Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)
Gene Stratton Porter (Girl of the Limberlost; Freckles)

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...That IS the Question

To Write or not to Write?
You might ask yourself any number of questions which sound like the mean the same thing.
Do I have the 'gift'?....What gift? It is true that some people just find writing a lot easier than others; they enjoy it from first encounter. But I think that more people (much like myself before I started writing) just like to imagine stories and thoughts. These people have great imaginations, they have what it takes to make a book; they have a story. But, they don't know how to give that story to other people.
Ever since I was little, I have spent time with my brother in an imaginary world. That world was very real for me, I invented it. When I got older, I gave it a history and a language (1000 words to go!). I gave it a solar system, friends, flight schedules, cities, maps...everything I could think of that this world has. Then my time in this world became more structured, stories were started, and stories were (drum roll please) finished!

So then I tried to tell my friends about it, but I couldn't and that frustrated me.
So I decided to write! I got out all my notes, and they were practically non-existent. Every single little thing was I had made in that world, was in my head.
Terrified that I would forget, I wrote it all down and typed it all up and then began my story. I am announcing the first bunch of letters in "THE BIRTHDAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE"
And of course all that was just answering the question that you asked when you started to read this post: 'do I have the gift?'
Answer: I have no idea! But I know that God made you a person who can acquire any skill you REALLY put your mind to. I say that no matter what you think, YOU. CAN. WRITE!
Man was made to create beauty to glorify God, so lets start creating things.
I also know that, once you can write happily, you see everything else in a different (but very good) light. 

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