Victoria Powers (the redhead on the right) is the only child of Brenda Powers, a single mother who lives in a trailer park on the edge of Belford (the town where Hometown is set). In 1994, at the time Hometown begins, Vicki is just shy of eighteen years old. Brenda is thirty-five.
In stark contrast to Angelina, Vicki is one of Belford’s Bad Girls. Not that she’s ever hurt anybody (okay, there have been a few brawls, but they totally started it, and she only ever fights people who can fight back) or stolen anything, or done anything unduly destructive (at least by the standards of a bored small-town teenager). She does like to drink and smoke (smoke what? What’ve you got?) and screw (more on that later), but those things are incidental, really. She’s the daughter of a drunken trailer park slut and an unknown or run-off father. She was always going to be one of the Bad Girls. People (mostly her classmates, but they’re certainly not alone) have been calling her a whore since she was in seventh grade. Authority figures from teachers to police officers consider her a troublemaker who needs to be put in her place.
Angelina Santos-De La Cruz (seen on the left above, with the leg injury) was born in late February of 1977, nine months to the day after her parents’ June wedding. At the time the Hometown begins, in the fall of 1994, she is seventeen.
Angelina is just a Good Kid in pretty much every dimension: she’s a shoo-in for valedictorian, she’s an athlete (captain of the field hockey team), she’s in the school choir, and she’s in all the school plays. The eldest of seven children, she got used to taking on responsibility early on, and she helps out a lot at home – once all those school activities are done, of course. She’s also an active participant at her family’s church, though she’s maybe not quite as devout a Catholic as they are (more on that later).
What’s more, she doesn’t fall into the trap of many a Good Kid and become self-righteous. She has friends among all strata of Belford High School society, and she doesn’t judge people for having a different life than she does. Many of the school’s bad girls – including Vicki – have waited for quite some time for the slut-shaming to begin before they realized it wasn’t going to.
And for those who do become her friend, there are certain benefits. She is fiercely loyal and fiercely protective, and while she’s not unusually large, her physical strength as an athlete and the self-defense techniques she was taught by her father – Belford’s chief of police – make her an effective protector indeed. Yes, this becomes an issue during the course of Hometown.
It’s been too long since I’ve reblogged a story by Jason Abbot.
This bit of heartwarming fantasy/romance deals with a very current topic. It makes me wish that this kind of magic existed in our world, to help the people in this situation, and it reminds us that adventurers, as the ultimate outsiders, would probably be very open-minded.
The stars had begun to take their places above the riders, and they approached the weathered sign of the Joyous Mare as it swayed in the twilight. The raucous noise from the tavern within drifted into the growing blanket of night, greeting the pair as they slowed their horses to a walk.
Atop a grey spotted gelding, a thin man regarded the sign and muffled revelry beyond it with a weary smile. “Well, this is it. Are you ready for the introductions, Izraeya?”
The stronger strut of his companion’s bay-colored stallion brought her alongside him, and Izraeya gave an eager nod. “I’m nervous and ready, Dirgten.”
Dirgten returned her nod before they stopped at the hitching posts. Dismounting, he looked to the warm light within the building of wattle and daub. His eyes surveyed its two stories of timbered framework before scrutinizing the old man sitting by the door, confirming…
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Even more true now than it was one year ago. These people are my neighbors, and this Nazi talk about a Muslim Registry – to say nothing about the fact that an open Anti-Muslim bigot has been made National Security Advisor – enrages me.
Dreams of the Shining Horizon
A month or two ago, I gave up commenting on political blogs, and cut back severely on even reading them. I was developing a bad case of Internet Rage Addiction. I was wasting precious, irreplaceable hours out of my life writing long, angry comments in the hopes of scoring points against people who were wrong on the internet instead of writing material I could actually publish. I was stressed and angry. I was even missing sleep. I had to quit for my own health. A few nasty fights and some irreconcilable differences with people who’d been on my side to that point, along with the closing of Pandagon, made it easy.
Then yesterday morning, some stupid bigot on my Facebook friends list posted that cute R. Lee Ermey meme that’s going around about “loosing” America to “goat humpers”. I’m not going to link to it, still less repost…
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End of the prologue. A nice little twist.
Sartorially Smart Heroines
So here’s the ending of the prologue to First Empress. Originally the prologue ended with Viarra confronting her uncle at the end of scene 5, but later I had an idea that I hope puts an unexpected twist on Viarra’s character. It’s a short scene that doesn’t even include Viarra, but hopefully it opens up some interesting implications about the novel’s world. As always, any feedback is welcome!
“Come to gloat, General Derron?” Duke Elladan accused as the general dismissed the guard outside his cell.
Derron waited for what Elladan suspected was long enough for the guards to be out of earshot before replying. “No, in fact I came to thank you,” the general replied, tossing a wineskin into the cell. “Believe it or not,” he continued, “you saved me a great deal of time and effort. You did what you saw as necessary for our people, and, despite…
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We see just how tough Queen Viarra really is.
Sartorially Smart Heroines
Scene Five of the prologue is where I first get to show readers how tough Queen Viarra is. I imply it in scene 2 when Lady Synnis tells Ronnius about how her majesty slew five armed hoplites by herself, but it’s the following scene where I show readers just how freaking tough she is. Critically wounded, Viarra still makes a showy public appearance when her soldiers apprehend her uncle who sent soldiers to murder her brothers. She does this to show her people what she’s suffered while fighting for them. She seeks to inspire them to keep on fighting for their homes and families, despite her uncle’s treachery and the death of their king.
Too, I’m establishing here that while her uncle’s betrayal was the catalyst for her ascension to the throne, he is not one of the primary antagonists in the story. She confronts her uncle, the soldiers side…
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First Empress Prologue Part 4! Queen Viarra and her supporters discuss some of the brutal realities of the world they live in.
Sartorially Smart Heroines
Shoot. So I figured out yesterday that I completely forgot to post the remaining scenes from the First Empress prologue to SSH. Sorry about that. I’ll post the rest today and tomorrow.
So I lied in my intro to scene 1, there’s actually six scenes in the prologue, I just divided them up into five posts. This scene features Queen Viarra talking shop/politics with Ronnius after the physician, Esset, finishes bandaging her. Ronnius was originally one of the characters I’d considered as a significant other to Viarra, before she and Elissa came out to me as lesbians. Instead of Ronnius’s rescue of the title heroine in the prologue leading to an eventual relationship, Queen Viarra rewards Ronnius by making him her kingdom’s steward when she’s away. As always, any feedback is most welcome. (Scenes 1, 2&3)
Ronnius wasn’t sure how long he’d been asleep when Esset quietly…
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