Did you know you can pop your ribs out of place? Because I didn't. Maybe I did, but until November 18th, I never really understood what that meant, but now I do... it means a shitload of pain and a complete inability to do anything until someone finally tells you to go to a chiropractor.
My first mistake that morning -- stretching in bed. I stretched my arms back and felt/heard a POP in the middle of my back and then blinding pain shot out in five directions through my body.
It took me 20 minutes to get out of bed.
I made it into the shower, thinking the warm water would help, but the pain was a 10 and my right arm was useless. It felt like I had a huge butcher knife buried in my back and a lightning bolt shooting through my arm, (and that feeling never left. For two weeks!).
I called my husband, our oldest needed to get to campus and he went that way and I went to Urgent Care. FIRST MISTAKE
Never go to Urgent Care. Go to the Emergency Room.
GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM
GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM
GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM
The Urgent Care Doctor didn't even examine me. He had me lift my arms and lean forward against a wall, "looking" to see if something was "out of whack," yes, he was magically seeing this through my flannel shirt.
EYE FUCKING ROLL
He said it was a pulled muscle and told me to take ibuprofen and Tylenol, alternating them every three hours. He gave me a sling to stick my effed-up arm in, which was ridiculous and told me their physical therapists would call in 1-2 days.
They called SIX DAYS later. In that time, I'd already been into my physical therapists TWICE, and they said I needed to go to a chiropractor because they were convinced I had ribs out.
But now we were at Thanksgiving. That was a longggggg weekend.... But finally, two weeks after popping my ribs out, two weeks of having to hold my arm up and out of the way in order to relieve the pressure on that nerve that was being rubbed and trashed every minute of the day, two weeks of taking handfuls of pain pills of all kinds that I swear weren't doing anything, two weeks of living life at Level 10 of pain 24 hours a day, two weeks of getting maybe two hours of sleep in a row -- most of that in the recliner in the living room while lying on the heating pad with a cat on my chest and another on my legs, I finally got into the chiro and he literally fixed my back in ten minutes. TEN FREAKING MINUTES.
That was almost a week ago on Friday. The butcher knife was GONE. But the lightning remained because of all of the damage and fatigue my shoulder/arm was dealing with. Another massage, another chiro appointment, I'm now sitting three weeks out and my pain was 6 first thing this morning, but in about two hours of heat and my TENS unit, I had it down to a 2. Maybe a 1.
(Until I get all of these medical bills, and then I'm sure my pain will shoot right back to a 10.)
I cannot even express my gratitude to the universe that this is going away. I cannot imagine having chronic pain. That is all I thought about as I sat here, on the couch or recliner, for 2+ weeks, literally unable to do anything, because I know so many people who have chronic pain that NEVER goes away. I just can't.
But today I met with my counselor and you are supposed to fill out this sheet circling how your various anxieties and feelings were over the last two weeks... my sheet was bad. LOL Too many ribs popping out of my spine, too many pills (I'm done with those.... I'm not convinced any of them did anything anyway, the pain never went down), too many doctor appointments, too many nights spent in the recliner, too many Christmas movies (and one Thanksgiving), and too many days of sitting here thinking about what I SHOULD be doing for Christmas.
DISLOCATING YOUR RIBS A MONTH+ BEFORE CHRISTMAS
DO NOT RECOMMEND
But now we're doing it. We can put the rest of Christmas up (Mary got us started) and I will attempt to get our cards out early next week, and mail all the things.
2021 was such a PITA in many ways, but a lot of wonderful things came our way too. My plan is to reinstate the Year in Review for 2021 (I skipped 2020 because everything fell apart last December and continued through to ... you know, now....) and I have one present that I really to make this weekend.
Wish me luck I don't throw any more ribs out while making a piece of jewelry! haha
Sending love from Rosemary Hill
This year has kicked our asses in many ways, so I'm taking control and moving forward despite the insanity. I lost my brother, one cat (Jack) a month after losing Doug, a chicken to a terrifying 115-degree day, another cat (Diego) only a few weeks ago, and one week after suffering that loss, our kitten Mia was also at the vet fighting for her life.
The excessive heat this summer in the western half of the U.S. absolutely killed anything we had growing outside. It's always hot here, but that was just too much. The Delta variant of COVID swept the nation, and landed here in Douglas County full-force, so the vaccines couldn't come fast enough for us. We were all fully immunized by April, and now Charley and I are triple-shot up... but our numbers are still 50+ cases a day, and I simply don't trust most of the people here with this. They do not choose in favor of protecting others, they only think of themselves.
BUT.... we had so very many good things happen this year too -- Forest Night and Charlotte Moon joined our family in March after Jack's passing. Rescued from a cat hoarding situation along with 16 adult cats, they were just tiny fluffy dots. Now they are ginormous Maine coon kittens with huge paws they have not grown into yet by any means. Joining them is Mia, a sleek orange tabby girl who came home in May — Emily wanted a calico, we went to the shelter for the calicos, come home with Mia, a ginger. Gingers rule, man, what can I say.
We stayed employed all year, because of the tremendous generosity of our friends with their time and backhoe, we smashed the old garden flat and have built a new one on top of the ruins. The bed structures will be complete by spring, but I could start planting winter veggies anytime. One good thing about this area — we can garden all year.
Before Delta, we'd planned a trip to St. Louis and southern Illinois to take the girls to meet their family on my side they've never met. We had such a whirlwind blast seeing everything from the Arch to the zoo to running all over Belleville looking at my old stomping grounds. It was very weird to be there without my mother and brother there, though, but I'm glad we went.
Of course, while we were gone our house sitter noticed water gushing from the side of our upper shop driveway. We assumed it was the well line, so had her turn all that off. Nope. it was our community water system. So, 15,500 gallons and 2,000 miles later, we found ourselves home with no water. Luckily, we have a well. Unluckily, we really didn't know how "safe" it was for drinking. Then I felt horrible because I've been giving it to the animals and plants outside for years. But it tested fine.
We were on well water in the house for a month while we figured out what to do. We thought about digging an entirely new line, but the trench would have been 460 feet long and cut across the entire front of our property and would have crossed the asphalt driveway in two places. We decided to just find and fix the leak. Of course the people who installed the original water system used the absolute cheapest PVC pipe they could find, so it won't be the last break. An elbow joint had just slipped out of its fitting. That's it. It wasn't even cracked. Lord.
Water fixed, our attention turned to the sky. We thought about our $266 a month we pay for power and decided to have our home evaluated for solar. Fast forward to now -- we will be getting a whole-house solar panel array system that will totally replace our need for Pacific Power's power. So there. And we'll be saving around $40K while we're at it. Boom. Next!!!
We need to repave the driveway. Our soil is this horrible thick clay that moves in sheets, like plate tectonics and it's like living on a slow-moving ocean. It rocks the house and upends concrete post footers from the ground — and is causing the driveway to fall down the hill, cracking apart in giant cavernous cracks that will end up swallowing the UPS man if we aren't careful.
And we still want to terrace the front acre and plant lavender.
The list is long, but what else do we have to do, am I right??
Oh, and I'm writing again. Finally. I want Treetangle Publishing and Rosemary Hill Gardens to really sing in 2022, so I'm laying the groundwork now.
I've seen this on Facebook a couple times now, and it's true -- so many things women weren't allowed to do in the not-so-distant past, and writing and publishing whatever the hell they wanted is included in that.
And this dovetails with what I've been working on... not just pushing my way through NaNoWriMo ("National Novel Writing Month" -- you can find out more about this HERE), but thinking about how much writing I want to do, and what exactly that will be... so here is the sneak peek:
I'm getting a much-needed break from politics, but because the 16yo is recuperating from getting her wisdom teeth out yesterday and is camped out on the couch, I'm instead getting caught up on ALL THE DISNEY SHOWS.
No "Dog with a Blog," though. :-(
But last night, Emily called up "While You Were Sleeping" (one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE MOVIES), and then that ended and Disney+ was like, "Do you want to watch 'Never Been Kissed' next??"
WHY YES I DO
WHY WOULD YOU THINK OTHERWISE
And then that ended.... at 11:30 p.m. (I'd lost Emily to bed already) Then Disney+ was like, "Do you want to watch '10 Things I Hate About You' next?"
DISNEY+ YOU KNOW ME
YOU REALLY KNOW ME
I THINK I HAVE A NEW BEST FRIEND
(Look at me, blogging on my blog... I know, it's shocking!!! I'm still trying to figure out where to put my thoughts, between this blog, my author website and then my Rosemary Hill website, BUT -- I will get it figured out and make it easy for visitors to zoom between them all. Peace.)
Wednesday? Yesterday??? Total chaos. LOL
I'm sitting outside with Wilson on my lap -- we haven't seen him since SUNDAY -- and then I see Kelly go in the chicken run and THEN inside the chicken coop! I'm surrounded by chickens who are confused by the cat on my lap and why wasn't I feeding them? and then Kelly makes herself at home in the door of the chicken coop because it's sunny there.
(I knew this would not end well.)
I haven't posted on this blog in a zillion, because I have spent the last eight months or so relocating our family to a small farmette in Southern Oregon and painting and planting and fixing... and that was after the selling and the buying and the packing and the moving and there was even a blizzard.
WINTER WAS HERE, Y'ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But I had to write this and I had to park it somewhere, so here it is.
Please note -- I have loved Jaime and Brienne since season 2. Season 3 made me really happy, and then every scene after that paired the two of them together was like icing on the cake. So. That's a thing you know now. But I loved Game of Thrones.... LOVED IT. And I'm working past the sour taste in my mouth from episode 5, but I wanted to post this before tonight's final episode.
Oh, and I also did not spend a lot of real estate here talking about why sending Jaime back to his sister just so he can die with her in the dungeon of the Red Keep was completely out of character for the Jaime of Season 8, so step off with that noise. Head to Twitter to find my thoughts on that, because I've had a rough week over there.
These are my thoughts on the final season of the Game of Thrones and how I think it should have ended. Fight me. (I'm kidding... everyone can think what they want. It's just a TV show. Anywhooooo...)
At the end of season 7, I watched in horror as Cersei very nearly gave the Mountain the order to kill Jaime. It was *right there* – she was pissed, super pissed, that he had once again taken Tyrion’s side and he wasn’t falling in line behind her. She hated it when Jaime thought for himself, but that’s no surprise – she’d spent their lives belittling him, telling him he was the stupidest Lannister, using him, lying to him, manipulating him, even using sex when they were old enough. Her nature was evil, and the only thing in her world she could control was Jaime. She was the abuser and he was her victim. Yes, men can be victims too. Deal with it.
The Lannister family had an evil streak in it – I mean, just in the show it was in Tywin, then Cersei, and then Joffrey. All evil to their core. Jaime, Mycella, Tommen, various cousins we met – they didn’t have that streak, but it’s important to note that their personalities were seen as weak by the other half of the family – people who despised anything that appeared less than. That’s why Cersei was able to walk all over Jaime for years, because she was the dominant one. It wasn’t because they were twins – that’s just what she told him to keep him in line. Which leads me to her ultimate lie – that she was pregnant.
I believe she just thought she was pregnant. Or maybe she was and lost the baby after he left. Maybe she was sliding into perimenopause… that can happen in a woman’s 40s, and when that starts, your periods stop being regular. But in order for her to even think she was pregnant, she would have had to have missed at least one period, maybe two to be sure – and that put her at 3 months pregnant at the end of season 7.
(NOTE: End of Season 7, Cersei is around 3 months pregnant)
(ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Everyone forgets that time passing has never been shown well on the show – it takes a FULL MONTH to travel from King’s Landing to Winterfell ON A GOOD JOURNEY.)
Jaime left King’s Landing at the end of season 7 (THANK THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW), and it took him at least a month to get to Winterfell, and I would argue it took him even longer, because – he was alone. He had no squire, probably no money – he was nearly beheaded in the map room of the Red Keep, so at the end of season 7, he fucking ran. (And that was the MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENE EVER – the sight of Jaime Lannister on a horse, above King’s Landing as the snow flurries fell, riding off guided by one thing – his need to get back to Brienne. I cheered, I cried. Run, Jaime, run!!!)
Anyway, Jaime only had his horse and sword. He had no wagon of supplies, no food, no water. So, even if it took him a full month to make the journey, what was he eating? He would have been needing to hunt EVERY DAY just to eat. Not just hunt, but build a fire, cook, figure out where to sleep, take care of his daily needs. There were various pubs to eat at and rooms to rent to sleep in along the way (Hi, Hot Pie!) – but would he have been able to do that? The Kingslayer? Traveling the King’s Road as war was imminent? He would have been noticed. That was not an easy journey and it still took FOREVER when you have squires and soldiers and wagons of food and supplies, none of which Jaime had.
801 -- Jaime rides into Winterfell’s courtyard at the end of episode 801. Bran’s waiting for him. Online, people made jokes about how someone forget to bring Bran inside, but he was obviously waiting for someone, “an old friend.” (Of course, someone pointed out to me that if Bran knew Jaime was coming, he would have known WHEN he was coming, so why did Bran sit in the courtyard for a week or however long he was out there? But, whatever… marking time is not one of D&D’s strengths. They really need to use a big white board or something.)
(SIDE NOTE -- My heart melted at the sight of Jaime Lannister riding into Winterfell’s courtyard. My thought was, “He made it! He’s free!! Finally!”)
802 – Jaime came to Winterfell because that’s where Brienne was. End of story. Had Brienne traveled to Tarth or Dorne or wherever, he would have gone there. But he knew Brienne was at Winterfell, and he knew she was planning on fighting the army of the dead, and he had to go to her and fight with her to defend of the innocent – BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT A KNIGHT DOES. And the only thing that Jaime ever wanted to be was a knight. He never wanted to be king, he wanted to be a knight in the king’s guard. He’d once told his father that he never had any intention of marrying, which was why he joined the king’s guard, but all of that had changed after he met Brienne in season 2 and fell in love with her in season 3.
Yes, I will die on this hill, so suck it.
Episode 2 was lovely – I should have rewatched it again before writing this, but I’ll just go off my warm fuzzies and tell their tale anyway as I remember it.
Jaime was brought before Dany, Sansa and Jon, because they had to figure out what to do with the Kingslayer who had fallen into their lap for some reason. He gives them the bad news – Cersei is not sending any soldiers to fight the Night King’s army. Dany is pissed at Tyrion, because he had assured her his sister was. Sansa was still angry with Jaime because he fought with Ned in season 1, and everything that season culminated in Joffrey killing Ned for treason – big picture: the Lannisters killed Sansa’s father. But Dany also has a big problem with Jaime, because he actually did kill her father, the Mad King.
(And that leads me to a side beef with D&D – nowhere in any episode, and it should have happened in that episode, did Dany ask Jaime why. Why did he kill her father? Because we knew why – because the Mad King had been planning on using wildfire and blowing up King’s Landing. Jaime didn’t want half a million innocent people to die, so he killed the king. Done. It seems that Dany might have, I don’t know, ASKED HIM why the reason was…. Because he would have told her. In fact, telling her WHY he killed her insane, murderous father, might have saved lives in King’s Landing. Maybe Dany would have thought, “Oh, shit…. I don’t want to be just like my father.” But maybe not. Whatever. Moving on.)
But Brienne is at this trial of sorts. She’s listening to all of this and soon can’t stay silent. She stands and addresses Sansa and Dany, telling them that she supports Jaime, she trusts him with her life, and that she would fight by his side any day. The look on Jaime’s face is relief mixed with admiration and love. He knew she was going out on a limb to save his bacon, which is good, because we all love Jaime’s bacon too. But even if they’d decided to execute him right then and there, he would’ve died happy because he knew at that moment that there was at least one person in the entire world who believed in him, loved him, thought of him as a good and honorable man – the only thing he ever wanted to be, had he not grown up in the toxic hot mess that was his childhood home.
After Brienne says her piece, Sansa is convinced. She trusts Brienne more than anyone in the world, and so Brienne’s words are enough for her and she wants to let Jaime stay. Dany asks Jon what he thinks, and he says they need every man they can get. So, thankfully, Dany lets Jaime stay, even though she’s not happy about it.
Brienne and Jaime in episode 2 are a thing of beauty. The scene where he and Tyrion are talking up on one of the walkways, Tyrion is joking about coming back to life and going to King’s Landing to kill Cersei himself – but all Jaime can hear is Brienne in the distance coaching the sword practice below. He is drawn to the other side of the walkway, sees her below – taller than any man in the yard. She’s amazing, magnificent. We all love Brienne so much because she is just that outstanding. (Thank you, Gwendoline Christie, for bringing her to life for us!!! You are loved!)
He can’t stay on the wall. He appears in the yard at her side, talking to her about the upcoming fight, the soldiers, whatever – while she’s getting agitated because she’s waiting for him to insult her, since that has always been their thing. But he’s done with that. He’s done with teasing her, insulting her, making little jabs at her for whatever reason… he wants her. He wants to be with her, wherever that ends up.
Because this kind of honesty is new to them, he places their relationship in terms of the upcoming battle. He says, “I came to Winterfell because…” and then pauses. He can’t quite say, “Because you were here,” so he says he came to fight under her leadership… and she accepts that. He even admitted that his skills were not up to speed anymore since he lost his right hand – he’d told others that, too. His left arm just never gained the same accuracy, his instincts were off. (I was worried about him at this point and didn’t really want him fighting in the battle at all, but…)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s amazing long glances and the love just pouring out of his eyes every time Jaime looked at Brienne was my undoing during this episode. Toward the end we had the amazing scene of them sitting around the fire, on what they were all sure was their last night on Earth. First Jaime and Tyrion were there (I’m SO GLAD Tyrion and Jaime were together at Winterfell, more on that later), and then Brienne and Podrick walked in. Jaime practically falls getting up so fast, “My lady…” Tyrion’s looking at him like, “Who are you?”
Jaime gets her a chair, encourages her to stay by the fire. Tormund comes in and does his usual slobbering in Brienne’s direction, but she’s not having it, and Jaime actually looks pretty relaxed, like, “I win over that man.” ROFL I wasn’t even picking up any jealous vibes there – Jaime was feeling pretty secure at this point, which made sense because of everything he and Brienne had been through. He knew her. Like, really knew her. And he’d told her things he’d never told anyone else. He knew Tormund didn’t even know her at all, that they hadn’t shared anything in this life, and that Brienne was not stupid enough to be flattered by a slobbering drunk Wildling (no offense to Tormund – I love his character, but Brienne just doesn’t, and that’s okay.)
All of this is leading to what Jaime does – he knights Brienne. He takes out his sword, she kneels, and he knights her. It was magical.
“In the name of the warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Arise, Brienne of Tarth, knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”
After that, Brienne truly smiled for the first time and it was GORGEOUS!!!
803 – the Battle of Winterfell
This episode was so intense for me, because I had no idea who would still be alive on the other side. Because I subscribe to HBO through Amazon Prime, I can watch it at 6 p.m., because I’m on the West Coast. (WOO!) So, at 6:01, I grabbed my Kindle Fire and ran into the darkest room in my house and watched the entire thing with a clenched stomach. I really did have a stomachache when it was over, but the bottom line is, Jaime and Brienne survived the battle!
They started the battle side-by-side facing the enemy outside the walls of Winterfell. They fought side-by-side as they found themselves up on a battlement, fighting back-to-back, saving each other numerous times, and ended the battle inside the castle, backs against a wall, fighting the endless onslaught of the dead, right next to their lovely son Podrick, who also survived the battle. *whew*
They survived. THEY SURVIVED!!! I was so happy!!!!
Before this episode aired, people online predicted that Brienne would die because “her arc was finished, she was a knight, so dying in battle is the only thing she wanted…” Uh, no. That was not the only thing she wanted. I answered back, “Her arc is not done – has she slept with Jaime? No.” People told me that would never happen.
804 – The battle is over, everyone is in the main room eating and drinking and celebrating the fact that they lived. This scene is one of my favorites in the entire series --- Jamie and Tyrion are sitting at a table across from Brienne and Podrick, heads bent over food and wine, laughing, talking, telling stories, teasing each other. It was magical.
At first, Brienne refused the wine. Jamie put his hand on hers and told her that it was the perfect time to drink, because they fought death and won. She drinks. They get merry. It’s beautiful. They’re playing Tyrion’s “Truth? Then Drink” game, and it’s hilarious. At one point, we get a shot of them from Dany’s POV… a clear shot of Tyrion and Jaime laughing over something, and it was magical! I was SO GLAD that they got this time together at Winterfell!!
For probably the first time, Jaime and Tyrion were able to let their guards down and just enjoy hanging out as brothers – drinking, telling tales… no King’s Landing, no court, no Cersei, no whores, no governing, just them and their friends rejoicing that they were still alive. The brothers deserved that time together after so many years of defending each other, secretly meeting just to freaking TALK to each other, ugh…. Growing up with Tywin and Cersei and even Joffrey hovering over them had to have been exhausting. Jaime and Tyrion were never allowed to be friends at any time in their ENTIRE LIVES – they always had their roles to play, they always had Cersei busting up their relationship. See? EXHAUSTING.
Winterfell allowed them to just be brothers. (Oh, that reminds me of the funniest line from episode 2 when Tyrion and Jaime were standing up on the wall… they’re looking into the courtyard below and Tyrion says something like, “So… we’re going to die… at Winterfell.” As in, “See how far the Lannister brothers have fallen.” ROFL So hilarious.)
So Tyrion’s game was still going on, when Tyrion’s turn comes up. He’s staring at Brienne, squints his eyes, and says very soberly, “You’re a virgin.” Jaime immediately jumps to her defense, claiming that it’s in the past and that’s not how you play. Tyrion amends what he says, but is still saying that Brienne has never made love to a man… or a woman.
Podrick immediately takes a drink of wine because he knows something’s about to happen. Brienne’s done with the game, because she’s embarrassed, and stands to leave. Tormund is there, blocking her path, but she demands he moves, and she walks away. Before Tormund can even think about following her, Jaime is up, blocking him, and Jaime goes after Brienne. Finally.
She’s in her room, freaking out, he’s at the door with two cups and a bottle of Dornish drink. He tells her she never drank to the truth, and those are the rules. He complains the room is hot and starts taking his jacket off, then tries to untie his shirt. Brienne wants him, we know this, Jaime wants her, which we also know, but watching them fumble their way through the scene, through the wine and the heat of the room and the stupid shirts that don’t want to come undone – the relief of them finally kissing just sent my heart soaring! BOOM! THAT’S what I’m talking about!!!!
But this is where the story shown in the show is lost on me, after this, it was like the writers just freaking gave up on Jaime and Brienne and everything they’d been building since SEASON THREE.
So, that’s why I’m going to just write my own ending here, because since D&D had no source material to go off of, and GRRMartin had stepped back from the show, letting them do what they want (since they were doing that anyway), what they produced for HBO was nothing short of the own incest-obsessed fanfiction. That means any of us can write our own fanfiction and it’s all valid. When (if) George ever finishes the books, we’ll see what he has to say, but until then … this is Cynthia’s version of events.
(NOTE – this is just a narrative, not full-on fanfiction with setting and dialog…. I’m just wanting to get this down in order to outline what I think would have made sense, but I’m also trying to get this out before the final episode airs tonight… so this is all off the cuff, just a mishmash of the thoughts that have been running through my head during these last few episodes. I may forget characters you think are important, but that’s only because I have my own key characters that I care about and so they are my focus. Hi, Braime stan here.)
The best part about episode 4 is that Jaime and Brienne finally get together in a real, adult relationship. This was a first for BOTH of them… Brienne was a virgin who’d been teased her entire life, Jaime had only ever been with his awful sister who’d spent their lives talking down to him, lying to him, manipulating him – ugh, I can’t stand what Cersei did to Jaime.
Anyway, people online were making one-night stand jokes, but they were living together in Winterfell for weeks. The night after the battle when he walked into her room and they made love for the first time was just the first night of many. He essentially moved in with her at that point, it was in the open, everyone knew, Jaime and Tyrion had a whole conversation where Jaime even pointed out it was time for Tyrion to flip him some shit about it, but Tyrion was genuinely happy for his brother – finally, Jaime was HAPPY.
JAIME WAS HAPPY.
Where I would have gone with this –
Dany and company head to King’s Landing on ships (Dany rides her dragon, I guess, whatever), while the armies prepare to walk to King’s Landing.
REMEMBER – walking to King’s Landing takes at least one full month. Oh, let’s also check on how pregnant Cersei should be by now – 3 months pregnant at the end of season 7, Jaime rode to Winterfell (five weeks?), prepared to fight the army of the dead (two weeks?), fought the dead, recovered from fighting the dead (two weeks?), and everyone prepared to head to King’s Landing…. Conservatively, that adds another… (doing time math) over two months, especially since Jaime, Arya, and the Hound all head to King’s Landing at about the same time, and traveling back to King's landing adds ANOTHER four weeks....
That’s at nearly seven months since Jaime left King’s Landing, and Cersei would definitely be showing. But it the show, when Dany arrives – Cersei is not six or seven months pregnant. Lena Headey is a very slim woman and she would have definitely had a baby bump. My theory on this is that Cersei either lost the baby or mistook perimenopause for being pregnant, and so there you go. No baby. No Jaime baby, no Urine squid.
Back to my thoughts: Jaime does leave Brienne – for one reason – he wants her to stay in Winterfell so that she stays safe, because he knows what he’s about to do is a suicide mission. The thing about Jaime is, he loves the man he is with when he is with Brienne, but he DESPISES the man he was when he was with Cersei. And that makes sense, because he was Cersei’s pawn and punching bag in the show and in the books, and he’d finally broken out of that bullshit cycle. Good for Jaime!
His plan is to go to King’s Landing to get Cersei off the throne, because he knows she has to go. Maybe he wants her safely out of there, maybe he doesn’t care – all he knows is the only way to fully squash his past is by ending Cersei’s reign so he (and the Seven Kingdoms) can start a new life. He rides away. Arya and the Hound have left Winterfell also.
Sansa, who is already upset over losing Theon, finds out Jon is going south too, and she is terrified for him. Brienne is worried for Jaime, then they realize Arya is gone as well, and they assume she’s headed south to kill the queen. Sansa and Brienne head to King’s Landing together to at least try and save the people they love and somehow keep the peace, or at least pick up the pieces. Bran is the Stark left in Winterfell, even though he tries to tell people he’s not Bran anymore. Shut up, Bran, and just watch the place for a second, okay? The adults have things to do.
(The problem with how it played out on TV was there was no actual showdown rich with that dialog that the show was famous and beloved for. There was only dragon fire and screams. I wanted these characters who haven’t seen each other in years to meet face to face and have it out once and for all. So… back to my thoughts…)
In King’s Landing, Cersei is in the Red Keep with Qyburn and the Mountain. Jon and his troops are outside somewhere. The bells have rung, and the Golden Company has surrendered. While Jon and Dany are outside, inside the throne room or the tower, Jaime and Brienne step into the room with Sansa behind. Twin swords drawn, Jaime asks Cersei to surrender while Brienne backs him up. Cersei doesn’t surrender, but it’s because she is only focused on one thing – Jaime and Brienne together, facing her, and Sansa’s regal stare coming from between their shoulders would have been an added bonus for me.
The reason I thought FOR SURE Jaime and Brienne would make it to King’s Landing together was this – the ONLY THING in the entire world that would absolutely KILL Cersei was for her to see Jaime in love with someone else. That’s it. Jaime was the only thing in her life she was ever able to fully control, and so her seeing them together, really together, that would be the event that would flip that switch in her brain and she would just wig the fuck out.
Maybe she says something sarcastic about them, about Brienne, something designed to hurt Jaime. Maybe she said something snide about how she would prefer Sansa on the throne to that “dragon rider whore” – but she’s backed against a corner and knows it. She would know it’s over for her – no children, no Jaime, no family, and there were armies in the streets of King’s Landing who were ready to take her off the throne.
Also, when Jaime sees her – he notices she’s not pregnant at all. Yet another lie, which he points out. In fact, this would be a good time for him to air some grievances with her in general – “you never loved me, you don’t even know what love is, because now I do, and I’m telling you what we had was not love…”
Cersei gets MEGA pissed and tells the Mountain to kill Brienne… “Let’s see how you like that, brother… the blood of your beloved whore washing across the floor of the Red Keep.” Blah blah blah. The Mountain squares off to go after Brienne, and of course Jaime’s having none of that and steps in to also fight against the Mountain. Cersei smiles, knowing that her undead bodyguard won’t die as easily as a normal man, and she’s willing to sacrifice Jaime as long as Brienne dies too.
What she doesn’t notice is that Tyrion is there. Maybe he steps out from behind Sansa. Maybe he was in the corridor listening to everything that was said. But he is there, with a knife, and satisfies the Little Brother prophecy when he stabs his sister to death.
The Mountain is visibly shook when he realizes what just happened, just in time for Arya and the Hound to bust in. The Hound, Brienne and Jaime take the Mountain down. Cersei’s reign is over.
Now… what to do about the throne?
Let’s see… those present in the Red Keep are Brienne and Jaime, Arya and the Hound, Sansa and Qyburn. Wait, someone would have killed Qyburn because he was such a weasley little prick. So, he’s dead too.
But, while all of this was going on, Jon and Dany and Davos and Grey Worm, etc. have had time to make it through the city and to the Red Keep (or the throne room, whatever). (Notice – I don’t have Dany and Drogon destroying the city and killing literally THOUSANDS of innocent lives, because that was FUCKING STUPID.)
So now there’s much talking and posturing and whatnot --- but essentially, it’s Jon’s throne. Dany does not have a claim to it. Sansa and Arya stand together, flanked with the Hound on one side and Jaime and Brienne on the other. They now all know that Dany doesn’t have a claim to the throne, and she is pissed about that. Jon and Tyrion are watching this all go down… then Tyrion stands with his brother. This enrages Dany and she orders Grey Worm and whoever else she brought with her to kill them all. Wicked sword fight breaks out, but the Starks have too many excellent fighters on their side and they easily slay Dany’s fighters, including Grey Worm.
At this point, I don’t really care what happens with Dany – I would be happy if she popped outside and flew off on her dragon, or Arya could kill her. Either way, she knows she lost. Check that, she’d probably have to die. I don’t think she’d ever understand that she isn’t winning this one.
Now Cersei is out of the way, Dany is out of the way, Jon is the king.
Jon, however, doesn’t want to be king. He tells an assembled mass of citizens that he thinks that because he is half Targaryan and half Stark, his child by any wife would be Starks as much as Targaryan – so let the ruling family from this day forward be the Stark family.
And he believes that the best Stark to lead the Seven Kingdoms is Sansa Stark.
Everybody cheers their new queen.
Jon returns to Winterfell to rule the North after asking Tormund to bring Ghost back to him. Arya and Davos and the Hound are now free to do whatever they want. Tyrion and Sansa marry (again) and rule together, reunifying House Stark and House Lannister forever. Jaime and Brienne marry, split their time between Casterly Rock and the Sapphire Isle, and raise ten amazing beautiful, blond children who all grow up to be the greatest swordsmen/women Westeros has ever seen.
So.... I've had a blast this summer, apparently! No time to blog, so that must mean it's about time for school to start again and kick some work out the door.
The first part of the year was dedicated to studying the craft, actually. I swallowed The Story Grid whole, I think, then went back and went over it all again, and have since reviewed it further still. It's AMAZING... and I have some charts and graphs I keep with me, just to remind me while I plot my next series.
Wait -- next series?? What happened to Elliot's fourth book? Combat in the Cold?? Wasn't there going to be a knock-down drag-out fight at the end? Elliot still needs to save to world or something, right? Will he ever get the chance to show Sky he can eat pizza with chopsticks??
Well.... I have made it a deadline now. I want to have Combat finished, in the can, and printed copies in my hand by October 6. Why? Because there's a book fair that weekend and I think I'm going to get myself a table and throw my books on it and have a fun day up on the Long beach Peninsula in Washington.
So what have I been doing while NOT finishing Elliot's last book? I've been planning a 12-book series, of course, called the Chronicles of Cordelia. Cordelia being a tiny town on the northwestern tip of Oregon that reminds me a lot of Astoria. Huh. Weird.
The series will start by focusing on my main character, but other books will allow other characters to have their time in the spotlight, with my main character always in there somewhere. There will be love and heartbreak, BFFs and friends lost forever. New friends, new loves, families and friends, and plenty of magic -- witches and ghosts, myths and legends. Maybe even some buried treasure.
I am so so so excited about this new series... I want to have plenty of fun extras ready when the first book rolls out, and all of that must be planned too. My hope is that with all of the plotting I've already done for each installment in the series, the writing will clip along, and that means the books will get to my readers even faster. There are FIVE MONTHS until 2019 --- so it's time to BUCKLE UP.
Have I mentioned my daughter takes amazing photos?
Mary is 13 and finally got a camera last Christmas. She does not mess around.
I'm working on my 2018 business plan this morning before diving back into plotting Combat in the Cold (Elliot's fourth book), and I found a magical quote tucked in there... I think I wrote this, it sounds like me, must have been a day where there was plenty of coffee to be had, because today I'd be unable to string all of these sentences together in a coherent paragraph.
True spirituality exists in this world. It's beautiful and it's personal and it's private. It's how we cope and where we find our strength as humans. It's the source of our empathy and our sympathy for those around us. All of those little interactions throughout the day, all the beautiful things our hands are able to create, the words we write when we are inspired.... that is where you will find me. If others can go to a building and find all of that by repeating the same words over and over again each week, then more power to them. I find the confines of a house of religion and its doctrines confining and choose to find that thing called "god" elsewhere. It's in the faces of my children, in sunsets, in fall leaves. We have the power to be good people within each of us without worrying about following dusty books around. Unless dusty books are what make you happy. (2012)
I am not religious. The last thing I would ever want to do is get dressed up and go sit in a church with hundreds of other people while someone in the front does the mumbo-jumbo droning. Can't deal. Don't care what the message is... that is not how I take in meaningful information. It's just not. That is not how you reach my core, and as soon as I realized that many years ago, the entire world opened up.
We walk on Sunday mornings. Either along the banks of the Columbia River with sea gulls overhead, cormorants balanced on posts sticking out of the water, and sea lions barking in the new day somewhere down on the docks... or we walk at the school's track which is tucked into the edge of a forest full of song birds. If we're lucky, the sun will peek through the trees and cast shadows as our feet follow the track's faded lines... four times around... eight... ten times around... more....
The scents of the ocean, the river, the blackberries and alders -- I prefer these to candles, to incense, and especially the cologne and perfume that gag me whenever I find myself in a large enclosed room full of people.
I want the wind and sprinkles of rain, the chilliness of the foggy morning.
As I walk, I feel my leg muscles doing their job, and I'm thankful that at 50 years old, I have no pain, no issues with walking until my stomach tells me four miles is enough... time to find some breakfast.
That is my church.
So on this very, very gray Tuesday morning, I will get back to updating this business plan, after I make some more coffee.
Just a little welcome post to get the party started... it's almost Thanksgiving here in the States, and there's plenty to give thanks for this year.
I started this blog just in case people don't immediately associate me with my company Treetangle Publishing, and so now this way, I've got the internet covered!
See ya, Goonies!
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