The Heirloom… part 5…

Pouring My Art Out

Okay, I know my writing partner on this project just posted his part like a few hours ago… But I had to write this that fast. Because I am getting so excited by this whole thing. I decided to have Jesus make an appearance in our story. I know, this is a strange choice for someone who constantly makes fun of organized religion, but I do think Jesus was real. Maybe I should have let you discover him without the spoiler… ***(AFTER-THE-FACT SPOILER ALERT)***

Anyway, here is my next addition to our tag-team story about a ring…


The Heirloom… part 5

by Arthur Browne

Saa spent two years under the tutelage of an elderly Greek scholar whom he always referred to as Master. Gone were the times when young Egyptian boys were trained in the ancient hieroglyphs of their ancestors. He and his fellow students were taught Greek and…

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“The Heirloom” – part 4


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Here is part 4 of the story written by myself and Art at Pouring My Art Out  Part 4 was written by me. To read the story in its entirety, you can go to the page I created which has all the parts pieced together for you to make it simpler. THE HEIRLOOM


Siria wandered. She had no destination or path to follow. She wore her blue faience beaded dress and, through the netting, her nude body revealed the tattoo marks of a dancer, an enshrined prostitute. As the blessing of motherhood had not yet endowed her, she had come to feel as though she were a disappointment to Isis.

Siria wandered until she arrived at the square, because sometimes it was best to be alone where people gathered. Yet as a vessel for pleasure, it was difficult to avoid the attentions of men. Men were her trouble, but not all men. By the time she found a space of solitude amongst the cluster of vendors, she had come to the conclusion that the foreigners were her problem.

Seated at the end on the edge of a stair, Siria began to manipulate a palm leaf that she collected on her way, tearing it into thin strips. She observed the people carrying about the practice of their daily existences. Each person was a strand of the palm, she thought, weaved together each in his or her place to create the design through which emerges the functionality of life. There was nothing without purpose. No one without purpose. It was her purpose to bring a new fabric into the world.

The foreign men treated her like a tool to manipulate, food to devour, an object for use at their discretion. They made her feel dirty. Her own men, the Egyptian men, revered her beauty, her divinity, and they enjoyed to listen to her sing. They knew that she and the other women in her group of entertainers were of value to the gods, as sensuality and music were aspects of nature, and sex was a sacred rite that brought forth life. This was why, she was now convinced, she had not yet conceived. Though the money and trinkets were rather nice, she never asked for these gifts, the foreigners just offered them. The Egyptian men knew better.

Siria weaved the palm strands together as she reflected. The sun beat down though she was partially shaded, and she glanced at the gold of Ra cast upon regions of her skin. Then she saw the child. She watched him engraving images in the sand with a stick. As she watched, she fashioned her weaving into a thin, small rope. He went to her when she beckoned him over.

“What is your name?”


“What are you doing over there?”

“I’m going to be a scribe. I’ll be going to school soon.”

“That’s wonderful.” Siria smiled. “I have a gift for you.” And from her finger she removed the ring given to her by Atuatuca, her most recent foreigner whom she now determined to be her last. Tying the palm rope to it, she then wrapped and secured it around Saa’s wrist. As she did so, she told him, “This is to remind you that you have a purpose in life, and that no matter where you are, you are adored.” She kissed her two thumbs then laid them on his eyelids, “so you will never be blind,” and after kissing her next two fingers on one hand, she laid them on his mouth, “so you will be true of voice,” then upon his heart, “so you will be knowledgeable.”

She kissed the top of his head, stood and walked away, knowing one day, soon perhaps, she would be able to proudly return to her family, as she would be pregnant, but not with the child of a foreigner.


Regarding “The Journal of Wall Grimm” Blog

"The Journal of Wall Grimm"

I haven’t been keeping up very well with regular posts/journal entries for Grimm and so, for the time being, I’m going to direct my attention to my other blog SAGE DOYLE Fiction and Poetry

That’s not to say that Grimm has come to an end, he will just be on temporary hiatus. 

My current work involves “The Heirloom” which is an ongoing story that I am writing with Arthur Browne at Pouring My Art Out. The story is being posted as written on both of our blogs, so be sure to go check him out.

I will reblog some posts here from my Sage Doyle blog, but if you’re not already following that one, you may want to.  Bear in mind that if I’m following you from one blog, I’m automatically following you from both, so if you don’t get a follow back from me, then I’m already following you.  Confusing?

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The heirloom… part 3…

Here’s part 3 of the story by myself and Art, please definitely click the link to get to his blog to read the entire post, you won’t regret it….

Pouring My Art Out

The continuing saga of a ring, crafted 2,000 years ago in Rome, as it is washed along by the tides of time and history. Once again, this is a creative venture between my friend, Sage Doyle, and I, where we take turns moving the ring forward in its adventure, creating characters for the other author to bring to life… (good luck with the Egyptian hooker, Sage)…

To see the first two parts, please scroll down my blog. I would put links up, but I am going to put this whole story on one page here… as soon as I ask for help to do it… because I am a computer moron… and then it will all be in one place anyway.


The Heirloom… part 3…

Atuatuca decided to keep Atuatuca as his name because he couldn’t remember his actual name. Also it amused him that his former partner-in-crime had…

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The Heirloom – Part 2


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“The Heirloom” is an ongoing story written by myself and Art at Pouring My Art Out.  I wrote part 2.  To read part 1, written by Art, click here.  

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Junius Julius was the son of a merchant trader. His mother died in childbirth, which caused his father to be more lenient with him than he probably should have been, as he was compensating for Junius’ motherlessness. Junius became an apprentice to his father from a young age and, once he was 13, he took sole responsibility in the task of journeying to meet with the traders in order to procure his father’s inventory. Junius was something of a pain in the ass, so his father was grateful for the times he was away.

The route Junius traveled was long, and though he frequently encountered rogues and buggers, he enjoyed the freedom, independence, and solitude. Being alone was along the lines of anonymity, enabling him to cause trouble with little recognition. This attitude changed following an incident that incited him to procure the protection of a companion. Junius didn’t tell his father what happened because he would never admit to being a victim, and neither did he want to lose his opportunity for continued travel. Thus, after escaping from a group of men who attempted to abduct him and sell him into slavery, he decided upon a different approach to his labors.

The vagrant he enlisted had skin like a dried up apple and his face resembled a goat, including the facial hair. He was aged by sun and weather, not by years, for in fact he was not much older than Junius himself. Junius passed him many times along his trade path, sharing bread and wine with him on occasion, when time was of no importance. Junius never bothered to learn the man’s name, but called him Atuatuca, which was the region from where he originated, having been of the Eburone tribe.

“I need a partner,” Junius told the vagrant. “I have a plan that will make us rich.”

“Sure,” said Atuatuca. “Why not?” He added rhetorically.

Together, they established the noble practice of thievery. It takes a lot of skill to be a thief, or a lot of stupidity. Junius was both skilled and stupid.

Alas, even they themselves were sometimes victims of thieves. This was not convenient. Junius and Atuatuca stopped traveling with their stolen goods, and instead carried only the wares from the tradesmen. They stashed most of the purloined merchandise in a cavern in the hills. The rest they would take as a means to trade for food or just to satisfy the other thieves, in order to protect the merchant inventory from pilferage.

Their exploits entailed robbery and sometimes murder, if murder happened to be the more practical method to steal, or if they happened to be bored. Junius was a disturbed individual. Truly, he was a psychopath. He found pleasure in the slashing of throats after pleas for mercy. One result of their criminality was Junius’ father’s prosperity, so that made it ok.

A long, long time passed. Word of Junius and his strange Germani friend had spread, and upon one of their ventures, Junius was apprehended by the proper authorities. Fortunately for Atuatuca, he had been relieving himself, in one way or another, behind the shrubbery and wasn’t caught. He didn’t come out during the ambush. Perhaps he thought he could be of assistance in helping Junius get freed. He may have avoided capture in order to notify Junius’ father. Either way he wasn’t finished with what he was doing in the shrubs. Hence, he hadn’t come.

As a consequence of his arrest, Junius was forced to fight as a mercenary in the Gallic Wars, ironically against Atuatuca’s people. He was one tough and sadistic son-of-a-bitch, which was a plus, until his battle skills got the attention of a gladiator trainer, who drafted him. The wars were a waste anyway, as they all tended to be.

Junius endured the gladiator matches, fought to the death, but he knew it was a matter of time before the death would be his own. Desperate for freedom, he persistently attempted to bribe anyone who had the power to help. However, despite his articulate entreaty, no one would believe the tale of wealth tucked in a cave.

He’d beseech them, “Listen, man, I seriously got tons of stuff worth a shitload, hidden out in the hills, it’s all yours if you set me free.”

They’d respond, “Yeah, right.”

His attempts were a lesson in futility until his final battle. With a brutal slash that debilitated him, the crowd wavered about his fate,

“Kill him!”

“Don’t kill him!”

“What to do, what to do!”

“I’m not sure, really!”

Junius had been a favorite of the people, voted “Most Likely To Behead”, and the majority was hesitant to see him die. Taking advantage of the crowd’s indecision, one guardsman withdrew him from the coliseum. Having considered the fact that Junius was sought for thievery, yet no valuables were recovered, the enterprising guardsman resolved to accept his offer.

However, when Junius brought him to the place where the treasures were supposed to be hidden, the cavern was empty.

“What the f—” Expressed Junius.

In response to the guard’s threat against his life, Junius promised him he would get more. They would meet back at the cavern in one month. The guardsman was assured he would defecate in his tunic at the sight of what Junius would bring him.

Junius then ventured onward to find Atuatuca, who had returned to the site where Junius had encountered him time and again on the trade path. Atuatuca explained that the cave was robbed, and Junius was grateful to know his friend had not betrayed him. Otherwise, he would have had to kill him and he needed him to acquire more. For his purposes, he chose to trust rather than to believe Atuatuca would be deviant in any way.

As the day drew near, and their collection was unsatisfactory, Junius decided to locate artisans and craftsmen who were known to work with precious stones and metals. This is how he found Titius Veranus, a man of great talent, but known of only within small circles, and too humble a man to increase his status. Junius attacked after nightfall within the isolation of a dark alley. The one item he was able to take, as he heard someone approaching, was a pouch from around Titius’ neck. In the pouch was a course green stone set in a vine of silver in the form of an intricate but modest ring.

When the time arrived to meet with the guardsman, Atuatuca hid in the bushes. He and Junius got a little greedy when they eyed their new collection and opted to murder the man. Screw him, they thought. They hadn’t expected the guardsman to return with two other men. There was a scuffle and Junius was stabbed to death. The guardsman and his men left with the stash.

It happened too fast for Atuatuca to intervene, or he may have once again been too busy relieving himself in a bush. Perhaps he has a thing for bushes.

Free of ties and aspirations, Atuatuca decided to leave Rome. He wasn’t certain where he would go, maybe back to his people, maybe wander on a solitary pilgrimage. He traipsed off into the night, reflecting on wealth and poverty, since even in wealth, he lived an impoverished life, as all the valuables were of no use while in obscurity. Then he recalled the pouched ring around his neck, which Junius had passed off to him.

Chapter 1 — “The Morning Before the Departure”; Simon:

This is a must read. This is chapter 1 of 3 so far as this story is being posted as written. This is a very young writer who stopped blogging over a year ago and just started a new blog. Please go on over and show this incredibly talented young man your support. You won’t be disappointed!

The Heirloom – Part 1


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The following is part 1 of an ongoing story that Art at Pouring My Art Out and I have just begun to collaborate on. We will alternate authorship, and the first part below was written by Art.  You should go on over to his site and let him know what you think of it.  He posted it a couple days ago, so click here to comment directly to him.  He’s an interactive blogger and extremely personable so he’d appreciate that.

Anyway, this is a great thing we’ve got going, so hopefully you’ll follow the story, since I know you’ll enjoy it.  We plan to post weekly, just a rough plan, but it’s been a pleasure brainstorming with Art.  He’s a great guy, very talented, and if you’ve got any kind of sense of humor then you should follow his blog.

Now without further ado, here it is, part 1:



Titius Veranus took a moment to straighten his back as he sat upon the stool. It felt so good that he continued the motion, curving his spine past its normal, upright position. He threw his arms wide and stretched them back as far as they would go. He had been bent over his work table for far too long, and the strain in his muscles and joints had been building. He tried to maintain a more correct posture but he couldn’t resist and was soon slumped back over the small ring he had just finished crafting.

It wasn’t an overly expensive piece. The emerald, brought to Rome from the Upper Nile by his nephew, a fine young man who was growing ever more talented at tracking down gems and other precious materials, was not a large one, and contained several small flaws. Nor was the gem cut or sculpted in anyway, but remained rather in its natural state. It was now, thanks to the steady hands and eyes of the man who held it, set into a thin silver ring wrought to look like a twined grape vine. And this ring was destined to grace the hand of its maker’s wife.

No, it was not the gift he would give her could he afford something more lavish, but still and all, it would have brought a fair price could he bring himself to sell it. And truth to tell, he could only afford not to sell it because of a set of earrings bought just days before by a wealthy Senator for his mistress. Titius knew his wife would adore it, and knowing this brought a smile to his face.

He blew out the four lamps that surrounded his work table and shut and secured the shutters over the window. The light was fading from the sky over the city of Rome, and his eyes were not quite as sharp as they had once been. He was fully aware that soon enough he would have to recruit another cousin or nephew to begin the training as master craftsman and jeweler to sustain the business that his great grandfather had begun so many years before. He had other craftsmen as apprentices, but so far none had lived up to his expectations, and family was always preferable.

He bid goodnight to another nephew, a huge bull of a youth, and not one who had the nimble fingers of an artisan, but was more than adequate when it came to keeping the shop unmolested during the hours of darkness. The fact that this nephew was a former legionary who had been invalided out of the service of Rome for a bad leg wound that was now mostly healed, and that the ex soldier still wore his short sword at his belt, made Titus feel that the few materials he left in the shop were safe enough.

He wrapped his cloak about himself and began his short walk to the apartment building in which he and his wife and two daughters lived. The ring was safely hung around his neck in a small drawstring bag of soft leather. As he drew abreast of a darkened alley he had time only to note the scuffling sound of a sandal on the cobblestones before the knife entered his back, sliding effortlessly between two of his ribs and into his right lung. He lay on the cold stones fighting for breath as rough hands caressed him, searching for any valuables. He felt the tug at the back of his neck as the leather thong that held the bag around his neck was rudely ripped from him by force. He tried to yell for help but the warm blood flooded his mouth and he gave up, slipping into the waiting darkness.

Junius Julius, former mercenary and survivor of twenty gladiatorial combats before having his Achilles tendon severed and barely being allowed to live by the fickle Roman crowd, clutched the small leather bag tightly as he hobbled off into the night.

I am very pleased to announce an upcoming writing project…

Please go check out this post at Art’s blog, Pouring My Art Out. He and I are beginning a collaborative story together, which is going to be really cool. So go read this post, which describes it, and while you’re at it, follow his blog, if you’re not already. Thanks!

Pouring My Art Out

I am collaborating on an ongoing series of posts that tell a story. I am doing these posts with my friend, Sage Doyle from over at; 

The story… which might well grow into a novel… is called; The Heirloom. It is about a ring made by a craftsman in ancient Rome. The story follows this ring through history. I wanted to call the story; The Ring, but that name is already taken by those stupid horror movies.

What makes this story interesting for you… and a challenge for us to write… is that we are doing it in a weird way. I created the first character, the jeweler who made the ring, then did a little story about him, and at the end, I created the next character who inherits the ring. Then Sage has to take over, using my character, fleshing him out and giving him depth, all…

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“The Journal of Wall Grimm” 226: SNOW! And Fecal Matters

"The Journal of Wall Grimm"

February 11, 2015

Why haven’t I been writing in you, my old friend, Journal?  Here’s why:

1. There’s been tons of snow, roughly about 75 inches in 18 days.  What that means is that I’ve been doing a lot of shoveling.  A lot.  I’ve shoveled our place; I’ve shoveled some neighbors’ homes; and I’ve gone to my parents to help them.  My dad had a heart attack the first storm while shoveling.  He’s out of the hospital now, but I was going there do it for him after that.  I also shoveled at the store to help Sharly so she wouldn’t have to hire anyone to do it.  Well, she’d never really hire anyone, she’d do it herself, but she was eager to accept my offer to help her out.

2. Though school has been cancelled some days, I invested time into reading ahead and beginning future assignments.

3.  I’ve…

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DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens – Book Launch Tour


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DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies….

Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga. Available now at “YOUR AMAZON”

From the Reviewers

“Dog Bone Soup is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of the Indietribe

“In Dog Bone Soup, Bette Stevens captures the feeling and images of growing up in hardscrabble times perfectly.” ~ John Clark, librarian and author


READ the opening Excerpt from Chapter One right here…

DOG BONE SOUP BW Border 2015The postcard arrived four days before my eighteenth birthday. All I had to do now was sign the final papers and light out for basic training. I could hardly wait to leave this place behind.

There were six of us ready to become soldiers. The other five guys were headed to Fort Dix. Soon as we were inducted, the sergeant who swore us in started calling us a bunch of lily-assed bastards and worse. When the jerk marched the other five guys off, I was happy as hell I wasn’t one of them.

Lieutenant Richards called me into his office. “You’ll be heading out tomorrow, Private Daniels. Here are your tickets.”

We sat in his office and talked about my future with the U.S. Army. Then he handed me a schedule for the next day’s journey and we went over every detail.

“Now let’s get you home so you can get a good night’s sleep before you fly off to serve Uncle Sam, soldier.”

“Good luck Private,” the lieutenant said when he dropped me off at the house. We saluted and I stood there watching until his car disappeared over the hill.

I’d always liked army people. They called me Mr. Daniels and even sir sometimes. Now I was officially a private in the U.S. Army and I was ready to start a new life. I pictured myself in an officer’s uniform one day—a lieutenant, a captain, maybe even a general.

Mum and I didn’t get much more than a few winks of sleep that night. I don’t know how many pots of coffee she perked while we sat at the kitchen table and talked the night away. Of course, it was Mum did most of the talking. Once she opened her picture books, I felt like I was drinking in the life I wanted to leave.

Mum took all of those pictures with her Brownie—that camera was her pride and joy. None of us kids was allowed to touch it unless she supervised a picture taking every now and then. If Dad wasn’t around, it was me peeking through the lens. Mum was fussy about taking pictures just so.

Five books were piled on the table and we went through them one page at a time. Mum had a story for every snap shot. Some made me laugh so hard that I doubled over.

It was two minutes shy of three when she closed the last album.

“Thanks for staying up. I’ve got the alarm set for six and I know that won’t give us much sleep.” Mum pulled out her hanky, sniffled and hugged me before we turned in. My leaving would to be hard on her.

Willie was snoring away, likely dreaming about cars. I slipped in next to him and pulled away some puffs and huddled under them.

The minute I closed my eyes I started dreaming about my new life. No more freezing to death up north. I was headed for southern sunshine and I saw myself soaking it all in.

Bzzzzzzz. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the kitchen. Mum already had breakfast on the stove, so I ran outside to do my business and came back in to grab a hot biscuit and down it with a cup of steaming coffee.

I was half frozen and snow was whipping around me in circles when I headed out on the three-mile walk into town to catch that bus.

I shook flakes big as quarters from my jacket when I climbed the steps of the Greyhound. Two hours and I’d be boarding a plane headed to Fort Jackson. South Carolina was sure the place to be, especially in February.

### end of excerpt

About the author

BAS Author logo stamp 2015Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Bette A. Stevens is the author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA; home/school resource, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP.

Find out more about the author and her books right here on “YOUR AMAZON”