Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
For the past couple of weeks Damm and I have been faithfully spending an hour each day working on our respective summer projects-he on his writing and me on Spanish and history. I had previously mentioned wanting to create some sort of series that I’d work on throughout the summer. I did a bit of brainstorming and decided that I should write essays on bits of fun and fascinating history. Then I started thinking up topic ideas and realized that I didn’t have enough time to randomly pick subjects, research them, and then write entertainingly. So I decided to pick one area of focus. It came down to either Modern Russia or the Civil War Era, since these are the two history courses I’ll be taking in the fall. I chose the Civil War. And even then I have not narrowed my focus enough. The essays one could write on the American Civil War … the possibilities are endless.
And so I’m in the process of redefining what I will write/research. I’m in the midst of gathering info for a short fact sheet on the Civil War: important dates, important people, etc. And I consulted with my dad and I have a couple of generals I’d like to write about. All that’s good-but I don’t think I can deviate from the facts just yet. I shall be simply presenting facts, albeit in my own unique manner. I would like to write about cause and effect, the import of issues, why certain things happened. I’m just not there. I haven’t been exposed to enough history. And of course my munchkins demand most of my time so I can’t read much history outside of my class readings.
Good news? I’m already thinking like a grad student. I’ve been researching colleges that offer Masters in history online, since my focus will shift towards homeschooling the Orclette and Miniorc after I get my BA and school for me has to be flexible. I’m giving myself up to 5 years to complete my Masters. Anyway, I was reading the course objectives one college gave for their Masters program, and everything I’ve been wanting to do this summer aligns with their stated goals. So, patience grasshopper. I’ll get thereJ
Thursday, May 20, 2010
“They just keep on coming. Nothing has stopped them. I watched my brothers struggle against them. I have foreseen my sister’s fall. I watched Fourth go mad. What he did… is unforgivable… madness cannot excuse all. They will come for me, even if I am last. I will not wait. I will not let them eat us one by one until we are no more. My children deserve better. I will meet them at their gates not mine. The maker, The God as my witness I will stand. His favor to me, I will prevail.” – said to the wind
The Picovian Empire is not a new thing. It isn’t something that hadn’t happened before. Empires come and empires go in the world that is. But for the ten cities… the empire has been devastation. A new and horrible threat. The Forest which had so threatened the rest of the world could not make it past the Mountains of God’s Palm. The River refused passage to its west bank; referencing an ancient promise. And until the Picovians no one ever saw value in marching armies down through the northern mountains into a land of sand and wind.
The ten cities are nothing and everything. They are nothing to the world outside their sandy rivers. They are everything to those inside it. Nothing can be built anywhere but the cities. Some deep ancient words had been spoken into this place. Foundations would not stick. People would not stay. But the cities were there. Refuges to any who traveled this land and a meeting point of incompatible worlds. They trade briskly with The River, The Forest and the northern peoples. Safe from The Forest they do not mind accepting its gifts and goods and in passing them on the cities cleanse them of the forest’s lure. The only path from the north to the river they are a portal for The River’s endlessly gathered goods.
The Picovian armies were the first to solve the mountain’s puzzle. They marched south laid siege to the First, a city that had never known open warfare. Surprisingly the city refused surrender, refused to kneel. Predictably they crushed the token resistance, pierced the city walls and laid claim. Even then the cities denizen’s refused to submit. Eventually they simply sacked the whole city. Every native to the city died. Only then with a deep and resounding silence did the city die and finally in death submit.
Undisturbed, reconciled to the violence of their trade the Armies of Pico never even noticed. They began importing their own merchants/populace into the dead city and moved their camp to the next city in their path.
Third. Having seen what happened to its northern brother third had a little more preparation. A little more planning. But two seasons is not enough time to turn a city of merchants into a city of battle hardened soldiers. The Picovians rolled right over the resistance. And again found themselves forced to kill everyone to the man.
They crossed the waters that lay as a boundary between Third city and Fourth and swarmed towards their third victim. Fourth city saw them coming and in despair and madness the citizens made a pact. They accepted defeat and preempted the invading army. The city killed itself in a single horrible night of blood and weeping. And the land refused them. A dark shroud ripped from sky covering the city… as if heaven itself refused to see the city any longer. No the Picovian’s would not have that city… but what it had done was so horrible that nature would not accept its presence anymore. Since that day a never ending shroud of fog covers the city and surrounding lands. The invading Empire stopped on the doorstep of the fog and paused. Scouts never came back. Patrols failed to return. Finally the Armies simply built a series of outposts to guard the edges of the fog and turned their eyes east towards Sixth.
Ah, Sixth, Gem of the land’s heart, beloved of the desert. This is her tale. This is her story, and with her… us all.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I am thinking that watching the kids while Wulfa is at work is very very rewarding. I get a lot of stuff done cleaning wise and in general I think the kids and I have a lot of fun.