From the Archives: Mataios, Aniaros, and Oraios Part 3

From the Archives: Greek Mythology continues today, with the riveting conclusion to the scandalous story of Aphrodite and Mataios/Aniaros/Oraios/whatever the hell his name is now.

When Aphrodite returned to Cytherea and found Hera and the newly handsome Oraios, her love returned and she tried to take Oraios with her. The two goddesses argued fiercely with one another, screaming with fury and quarreling with one another over who Oraios loved more. Continue reading

From the Archives: Mataios, Aniaros, and Oraios Part 2

From the Archives: Greek Mythology edition continues. When last seen, Aphrodite was happily committing adultery with handsome hunter Mataios…

Hephaestus was working in his forge, making a golden crown for Aphrodite, his wife. Hera entered the forge and gave him a note: Continue reading

From the Archives: Mataios, Aniaros, and Oraios Part 1

In case you wanted to marvel at my terrible childhood short stories, I hereby present the next installment of “From the Archives”, Greek Mythology edition. As always, hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve included some comments at the end.

It was not long after the tragedy of Adonis’ death, but Aphrodite already loved another. While riding in her swan-drawn car, she happened to see a handsome young man hunting. At once she fell in love with him. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Eighth and Last Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor, part 2

Continued from Part One

The next day I thought up a plan, and set to work. 

First, I took a sharp stone and cut down a tree. Then I split it into quarters, and bound the split logs together with some vine, leaving a hole in the middle. In this I put the mast, securing it with some tree sap. Hiding this in the cave, I set out to see if I could find something to use as a sail. While walking down to the beach I cut some palm fronds and other leaves to weave together as a sail. On the beach, I procured a great heap of seashells and pearls, and in a cave I found some precious stones. Walking back to the cavern I gathered some other precious items, so that I had a great store of valuable things.

Loading my new possessions on to my raft, I heard a terrible rumbling sound coming from near the river. Hurriedly I hauled the raft to the beach but on the way I lost my turban. When I ran back to get it, the spider grabbed me! Not having enough time to think I wrapped my turban around its head and pulled! In fact I pulled so hard that the spider suffocated. 

Unwrapping my turban, I unfurled the sail with great haste for I was sure that there were more of these evil creatures. The wind carried me to the same location that I was rescued from the valley of the snakes, and luckily there were some merchants enjoying a repast they had brought with them. 

They brought me back to Bagdad with them were I returned to my house and having given generously to the poor, I vowed not to travel again, for I was too old.

So saying Sindbad gave one hundred sequins to Hindbad, and invited the entire company to come again, though the stories of his adventures were finished. 


The ending has a couple references to previous voyages (the valley of the snakes, the frame tale with Hindbad) so they’re not just random things I threw in there.

Going back for the turban makes me think of Indiana Jones and his hat, which is probably where I got the idea.

I really wish that more of these old stories survived; I know I wrote my own “Just So” story about how the dolphin got its blowhole but I think that one was lost to the ravages of time/the great hard drive crash. Hard copies of all these stories existed at one point but who knows where they are now…

From the Archives: The Eighth and Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, part 1

 Written in 4th grade as a school assignment while we were reading One Thousand and One Nights (also called the Arabian Nights).
Now my friends, as you can imagine, I once again grew restless and wished to traverse the sea. 
Wishing to see other lands, I traveled to a distant port in Persia, joined a merchant trading vessel, and set out for the West Indies. Three days after we set out, a strong wind blew us to a distant part of the sea. I advised the sailors to rejoice while they could, for I knew that we were probably going to meet with trouble. How right I was! Our captain soon came out from his cabin looking very sad indeed, and upon asking what it was that troubled him, he revealed that we were in the exact spot where the horrifying sea monster Eelailesny dwelled. 
When the crew heard this, they all began bemoaning the terrible fate that had befallen them. Only the captain and I did not lament, for he was brave and I, though I had heard tales of this horrible creature, had never actually learned the story. From what I picked up, Eelailesny appeared to be a giant serpent, but with two heads. 
At that exact moment, a great tremor shook the boat as the first head of the sea monster appeared. At once, all my comrades (including the captain) stared moaning and sobbing like newborns. I alone kept my head. I tied myself to the mast with my turban, and luckily the mast snapped off just at the moment the sea serpent swallowed the boat whole. 
I don’t know how long I drifted, but it must have been at least 10 days because when I came to, I felt weak and giddy from lack of food. Suddenly I began to spin. Spinning and spinning, I slowly started to sink. Looking about me, I saw that I was headed towards a gigantic whirlpool! Struggling got me nowhere, so weak and exhausted, I let myself sink. 
After waiting for some time while I recovered my strength, I looked around and saw that I was in an underground cavern. I examined it and found that it was as desolate as an abandoned island, and that the only way out was the whirlpool.
Looking around, something on the back wall caught my eye. At first I thought it was a jewel, but upon looking closer I saw that it was a small bird, about as big as half my fist, on the wall. It had appeared to be a jewel because of its amazingly colorful feathers that seemed to change color every minute! 
Suddenly the bird disappeared and looking around saw it halfway down a stone passage concealed by two rocks. Moving the rocks aside, I followed the bird down the passage and emerged out in the sunlight. The air around me was filled with a very curious sound, and looking up I saw that the air was filled with tiny birds, that looked just like the one I saw in the cavern, but all different colors. 
Feeling very tired, I lay down to rest, unknowingly falling asleep. When I awoke, only three or four birds were left. Realizing that they might be of great value, I procured some of them to sell and left to explore the island. After walking for some time, I found a river that was ten feet deep and as many wide. Looking across, I saw that the river was there to deter any passers by from going in there because, in a cave on the other side, was a giant sleeping spider who had come there obviously because of the birds, though I was puzzled as to how it managed to catch enough of those tiny things to feed it. 
Going back to the cavern to spend the night, I tried to devise a plan to escape this new peril. At first I thought that if I tempted it with some of the little birds, it would leave me alone, but it would probably want me more, because I was bigger. Thinking about this, I fell asleep. 

Continued in Part Two

Repeated use of participial phrases to start sentences: “Feeling very tired,…” “Thinking about this…” – This construction tends to cause lots of problems.
The original document had no paragraph breaks.
On the other hand, I obviously had a wild imagination.

From the Archives: Of Magic, part 1

Written during nerd camp- so summer of 2006. Despite being unfinished, this piece received a fair bit of critique from the instructor and several rewrites.

“We’re not going to make it.”

She could hear the soldiers’ whispers as they marched down the road. Lyssa scowled. It could hardly even be called a road – really more of a dirt track – but it was the most direct route across the Basin, so they had turned away from the Great Road North to march through this Gods-forsaken country.

The whispers continued. “The northern pass is still hundreds of miles away! By the time we get there, Ravenna will have fallen!”

Lyssa glanced back to see if Raoul had heard the whispers – and from the grim set of his mouth it was clear he had. Lyssa surveyed the troops surreptitiously, trying to locate the source of the whispers.

Movement in the ranks of the Third Company caught her eye. “The King’s Mastiffs” had absorbed the soldiers sent by the king of Brantau, a sworn ally to Oloris but known to be fickle in his loyalty. Their leader, a loathsome man Lyssa preferred to avoid, turned to his companions and sneered. “Ah, no! Under our most illustrious general, how could we possibly lose?” The men guffawed, clearly enjoying this joke at her expense.

Lyssa looked down at her saddle, cheeks burning, as these men made a mockery of her command and her own soldiers refused to speak in her defense.

Scowling, she kicked her horse into a gallop, distancing herself from the soldiers and all their mutterings.


  •   I really like this. It could totally be a story about a young girl thrust into command and learning how to earn respect instead of act like a surly teenager.
  •  On the other hand, I could very easily adapt this for the middle of Princess.
  • In other news, a protag whose name doesn’t start with A or K!

From the Archives: Story Description

Typed into a word document which was rescued from the Great Hard Drive Crash of  2010. Date of the original document is unknown, but most likely 6th grade (2004-5).

Arianna has always been good at finding things, especially things she’s “tagged”—marked with magic she didn’t know she had. When a stranger passing through the village discovers Arianna and her magic, he takes her back to the palace to train with the High Wizard—a powerful and ambitious man Arianna can’t bring herself to trust. When the prince himself goes missing Arianna thinks the High Wizard is to blame, so she sets off to find the prince and expose the High Wizard as the traitor he is. Thrown into a world of plots and revolutions she never knew existed, Arianna must race against time and the High Wizard to save the kingdom she loves.


  • Surprisingly well-written synopsis for a twelve year old.
  • I would probably change “High Wizard”; it’s a bit…uncreative 🙂
  • I actually really want to write this now.

From the Archives: Small Monkeys

Judging by the handwriting, dated somewhere around 7th or 8th grade.

Kira scrambled up the anchor-tree, her rope trailing behind her. She leaped from branch to branch, as nimble as a monkey. 

“Kira!” Jo’sun called from below. “Tie that up quick and get down here! We’re due back soon – and don’t break your neck doing monkey acrobatics, you’re my lightest and smallest. I need you!”

Kira’s laugh rang out. “Don’t worry, jhan,” she teased, lovingly insulting Jo’sun in her native Sha’ta, a desert language, “I’ll come back unbroke!”

Jo’sun growled, cursing all small monkeys masquerading as humans with wicked humor. “Before I grow old, miss!”

Kira laughed again, tying the kite to a sturdy branch. “Done! And don’t tell me I wasn’t fast enough – I’ve seen Aktor try it.” Kira dropped, landing in a crouch by Jo’sun’s feet. “Besides, he can’t do devil’s tongue knots – he can’t even tie a monkey’s tail – and I can. So don’t threaten me!”

“Oh no, I know better than that. But you don’t pay for the food, so let’s not use that high-and-mighty tone with- ” He was interrupted by the clang of the great bell.

“Race you,” called Kira, off and running. Jo’sun leaped astride her horse, and set off after her.


  • Kites tied to anchor-trees are somehow significant, with children used as climbers. I’m not certain if anchor-trees are real trees or just something tree-shaped. Also not sure what the kites are supposed to do – maybe some kind of wind magic?
  • The lack of information here means that this would not be a great opening – random unexplained jargon drop – unless a little more description was added. Mystery is fine, but the reader needs some grounding.
  • There are a lot of exclamation points – partially forgivable because Kira is excitable and, at least for the first part of the conversation, twenty feet up a tree (speaking of which, she got down that tree awfully fast). Got to indicate shouting somehow, I suppose…
  • Gratuitous apostrophes. Could be justified for either Jo’sun’s name or the Sha’ta language, but probably not both because Jo’sun is implied to be a native of wherever they are now. My gut is telling me to leave it in Sha’ta.
  • Another Kira. Not sure why I repeat names so much.
  • I only skimmed this before typing it up. As I was transcribing, I was totally convinced Jo’sun was a guy until that last sentence. Not sure which version I like better. (Oh, and now I see I had “he” in the previous sentence…)
  • Conclusion: worth continuing when I get a chance. I’m curious about these kites. 

From the Archives

 Thanks to Tami, I may or may not have just spent two hours combing through all my old notebooks and computer files for stories or bits of stories I wrote, starting probably around fourth grade.

It was lots of fun 🙂

I was especially glad to find the computer files, because I had been afraid that I’d lost them in the Great Hard Drive Crash but it turns out there’s a super-secret backup hidden on my dad’s computer!

I will probably share some of my favorite bits eventually, with any information on when/why it was written, if I have it, my thoughts on it, and what I plan to do with it (save it for posterity, hide it in a drawer, continue it, feed it to the goat…just kidding, I don’t have a goat).

For now I’ll just mention some general impressions I got while reading through:

  • I like names that start with A. Also K, to some extent. Also a few repeats. Some of the female protagonists mentioned in these stories: April, Anne, Alicia, Arianna, Ariana, Aeni, Annila, Alena, Araiya, Alanna (Allie), Allie, Kira, Kiranna (Kira), Kestrel, and Kayla. I did this for YEARS without noticing.
  • I was anxious to prevent snooping. On the covers of these notebooks, we have “Private!”, “Private! DO NOT OPEN”, and “No one who opens this will live/Private! Do not open under any circumstances”. Apparently I was really concerned about that last one.
  • I have exactly ONE snipped with a male POV character. According to my notes, he was supposed to be one of three main characters in that novel. Two were boys, one a girl. Surprising, because every single one of my other stories features a girl. Funnily enough, this immediately endears him to me. Also because his name is Ness.Which is supposed to be short for something, but still, it’s adorable.