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Desert Rose

Star of the Desert

The Meanderings of Mazal HaMidbar

Annual Father's Day fic, posted a few weeks early this year . . .
Desert Rose
mazal_

I am today posting this short fanfic from some time back because it relates closely to an old episode that some online friends and I are re-watching . . . 

Leviticus 19:28 by Mazal HaMidbar

     This is about the Nineties television show “The Sentinel.” In Season One, the title character, Police Detective Jim Ellison, has just rescued Blair Sandburg his sometime work partner, housemate and best friend — from a serial killer. The anthropology doctoral candidate notes that in some societies this would make Jim his permanent “blessed protector” and then offers to have the police department logo tattooed on himself in gratitude. Jim responds, “You get a tattoo and your blessed protector is going to kick your ass down seven flights of stairs to the lobby.”
     This was written for a fan competition years ago whose goal was to explain Jim’s over-the-top objection to a buddy’s wish to get a tattoo. Jim’s inner monologue refers to his father, William Ellison, a wealthy, emotionally distant businessman who raised Jim and his younger brother alone after their mother left the family. Single fatherhood was highly unusual for the timeframe (1960s and 1970s). 

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Living well is the best revenge, it is said
Desert Rose
mazal_
My favorite character on my favorite television show recently was characterized thus by her admiring ex-husband: "Many people have under-estimated you over the years. Most of them are dead now."

Here in the real world, for me, that translates to my adopting yet another life goal: Outliving everyone who has ever screwed me over. It's a long damned list, and many of them are younger than me. So I need to start taking much better care of myself.

I think I will start with going to bed now.

short Xmas fanfic (Angel: The Series)
blue rose
mazal_

I wrote this some years ago. I would rate this one PG13 for a number of reasons.




short story for fellow Sentinel fen et al
Desert Rose
mazal_

Leviticus 19:28 by Mazal HaMidbar

     This is about the Nineties television show “The Sentinel.” In Season One, the title character, Police Detective Jim Ellison, has just rescued Blair Sandburg his sometime work partner, housemate and best friend — from a serial killer. The anthropology doctoral candidate notes that in some societies this would make Jim his permanent “blessed protector” and then offers to have the police department logo tattooed on himself in gratitude. Jim responds, “You get a tattoo and your blessed protector is going to kick your ass down seven flights of stairs to the lobby.”
     This was written for a fan competition years ago whose goal was to explain Jim’s over-the-top objection to a buddy’s wish to get a tattoo. Jim’s inner monologue refers to his father, William Ellison, a wealthy, emotionally distant businessman who raised Jim and his younger brother alone after their mother left the family. Single fatherhood was highly unusual for the timeframe (1960s and 1970s). 

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Spymistress: The Life of Vera Atkins, the Greatest Female Secret Agent of WW II
Desert Rose
mazal_

This is a long, dense but important non-fiction read. Atkins was recruited at the age of 23, in the 1930s in Britain, as a behind-the-scenes but absolutely crucial leader of the Special Operations Executive, a covert intelligence agency formed by and reporting to Winston Churchill. She trained dozens if not hundreds of agents — many of them young women like herself — who went behind enemy lines to aid local resistance fighters, destroy enemy targets,  help Allied pilots evade capture and radio information to London. 

The work, unlike what we in America later saw portrayed in 1960s television shows, was tedious, difficult, and often painful and deadly; many agents were tortured to death.

What was the most surprising and dismaying to me was learning how much other English agencies tried to actually hinder the SOE . . .  and how many Brits, in and out of high levels of government, were actually fans of Hitler if not actual neo-Nazis.




a book review for the upcoming season
Desert Rose
mazal_

I have recently finished "Hiddensee," the latest from Gregory Maguire, best known for "Wicked" and its sequels, and many other well-regarded novels as well.

I think it has enjoyed only modest success so far; personally, I think it might have done much better with a clearer, catchier title. 

It is Maguire's version of "The Nutcracker," and it (sort of) answers the question: What exactly is the story with Drosselmeier, the slightly spooky, mysteriously powered, one-eyed elderly toymaker?

The book is utterly gorgeous albeit subtle and slow-moving, so, if you are hoping for a traditional fantasy of a powerful sorcerer, you will be sorely disappointed.

The book's PR team did a great job with this part of the description: 

"How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? . . .  If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share."

The book is in three sections, with the middle section being by far the longest. I have just re-read the first and third sections several times. If you also do so, then perhaps you will realize that Drosselmeier's injuries began long before his lost his eye, and not in the way that he grew up being told, and that therefore in some ways his self-imposed solitude was actually for the best.

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re-posting a grim songfic from years ago
Desert Rose
mazal_

Maybe this story portrays the mindset that too many young men have nowadays in the past two decades of suicide bombers and mass killings . . . not to cut the perpetrators any slack, but too many years of too little love and hope can do things . . . 

http://home.earthlink.net/~jpl315/red.htm



Thrilled about upcoming biography
Desert Rose
mazal_


I am so psyched that a biography of Eleanor Cameron is due to be published Feb. 15. ("Eleanor Cameron: Dimensions of Amazement" by Paul V. Allen.

www.upress.state.ms.us/books/2095

Cameron did YA before it was cool and before it was called that and before it was normalized for women to write speculative fiction.

The following posted below is a review of my favorite book of hers -- not just my favorite YA novel but one of my favorite books ever. This particular one is not speculative fiction.

The review is good but does not mention several other points in the book's favor, including the "lion and the unicorn" tapestries, the positive influence of Scottish heritage in the household that hosts the heroine in what appears to be Monterey, Calif., and the fact that the tumultuous adult relationships are elucidated age-appropriately but clearly.

http://frisbeewind.blogspot.com/…/eleanor-camerons-spell-is…


An update to a lengthy Angel-esque Christmas fanfic
Desert Rose
mazal_


I am finally going live (pun intentional) with a long-planned update to this holiday story, in the form of a script and set circa Season Two of "Angel: The Series." 

The crime described is based (albeit in a disguised way) on a case I was actually involved with, many years ago.

Thanks to my dear friends Liz for the concept for the new adaptation at the end of scene nine, Steve for the technical acumen and Merrith for indirectly inspiring me to actually get this done.


MAGI

Summary: To protect the children who are, we must heal the children who were.


Spoilers: Angel the Series episodes through midway through Season Two. "Magi" is intended as a thematic sequel to Season One episodes "Prodigal" and "War Zone," and it takes place in an alternate universe wherein Angel never helped kill all the lawyers nor fired his employees.


Characters: Angel, Cordelia, Wesley, Kate, Gunn, David, Rondell, Alonna, Harlan and Lindsey from the show, plus original characters  (perpetrator and victim) 


Pairing: Only Angel/Kate friendship


Rating: R for significant discussion of child sexual abuse


Note: The pitch (treatment/synopsis) of "Magi" won honorable mention in an international contest sponsored by the website CityofAngel.com in Autumn 2000. 

Dedications: To WildBill for persuading me to write a script from the pitch, to SpykeRaven for inspiring me with her AtS stories "Metamorphosis" and "Fallen Angels," and to everyone in the world who catches angels before they fall.


Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended and no money made.


SCENE 1, December 21, 7 a.m. in the Mojave Desert.


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Magi
Desert Rose
mazal_

Summary: To protect the children who are, we must heal the children who were.


Spoilers: Angel the Series episodes through midway through Season Two. "Magi" is intended as a thematic sequel to Season One's episodes "Prodigal" and "War Zone," and it takes place in an alternate universe wherein Angel never helped kill all the lawyers nor fired his employees.


Characters: Angel, Cordelia, Wesley, Gunn, Kate, David, Rondell 


Pairing: Only Angel/Kate friendship


Rating: R for significant discussion of child sexual abuse


Note: The pitch (treatment/synopsis) of "Magi" won honorable mention in an international contest sponsored by the website CityofAngel.com in Autumn 2000. Also, this full version of the story is a slight revision of that which was posted online originally in June 2001 and as such contains two new scenes plus one revised scene to bring Gunn more into the story.


Dedications: To WildBill for persuading me to write a script from the pitch, to SpykeRaven for inspiring me with her AtS stories "Metamorphosis" and "Fallen Angels," and to everyone in the world who catches angels before they fall.


Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended and no money made.


SCENE 1, December 21, 7 a.m. in the Mojave Desert.


Read more...Collapse )