Since I mentioned working on this, I’ll explain. Snowblades is a soundtrack for a movie in my head. It tells a story in music. Here’s a possible blurb:

Avian, a hunter in the Snowblade tribe, lost his wife in an Icesaber raid a year ago. He and his young daughter believe she’s dead; slaves don’t last long in the ruthless tribe from across the frozen mountain lake.

When the Snowblade leader announces a truce with the Icesabers, giving up their primary hunting ground on the Northcrest, Avian challenges. He loses the blade battle, and exile is the punishment. Avian leaves his daughter with friends, vowing to return.

The impossible promise twists his guts as he leaves.

He crashes his snowblade, a sled with sails and wings for hunting on the mountain faces, at the bottom of the glacier that is their home. On foot, Avian makes it to the trader’s cabin at the reservoir between the glacier and the seaside city he has only seen from high in the mountains.

A trade caravan stops at the trader’s cabin, bearing pelts from the Icesaber tribe that met them in the mountain pass. The traders talk of one slave that carried burdens for the Icesabers. A tall woman with platinum hair and magenta eyes, stunning, memorable.

Avian’s wife lives.

Now, somehow, he must make the vow to his daughter come true.

So yeah. I finally uploaded one of the tracks to SoundCloud. “Rise.” In this scene, Avian has finished building a new snowblade with the help of the trader’s daughter visiting from the university. She brought her knowledge of lightweight metal alloys and canvas for dirigible construction. He brought his knowledge of snowblade glider sleds. Together, they’ve made something that might fly like nothing anyone has seen.

In the music, Avian rides a massive passenger and cargo dirigible up from the reservoir and over the mountains. He sees his glacier home from the air. Their mountain hunting grounds. The frozen lake separating his tribe from the cliffs of the Icesaber’s lair.

At the end of the music, Avian launches his new snowblade from the dirigible, and it flies. He heads for the cliffs, bent on returning to his daughter, with her mother at his side.

Click play below to hear it:

Update: All 15 tracks of the album are on Soundcloud.

let’s talk taiga

What’s the matter? Never seen a black-and-white before? I channel Mushu whenever I see Taiga. Sometimes it gets a laugh if I call her “the black-and-white.” On a slow day.

We got this Siberian Husky from a breeder in Oklahoma. That makes her an Okie, like my mom. Just saying we like Okies, even if driving up there feels like going behind the Iron Curtain because the first Welcome to Oklahoma is a tollbooth. Papers, or you can pay us off.

The breeders were out of town, so they left our puppy with a friend. A friend, and her flea friends. We’re sure Taiga brought all the fleas with her. We actually bought what looked like a tiny Shop Vac that plugged into a lighter outlet, to suck up the fleas bounding off Taiga on the ride back. Our next stop before checking into a dog-friendly motel was Pet Smart. They recommended Dawn dishwashing soap for a puppy. It works.

In the store, Taiga yipped at anyone who ignored her, straining at her leash to go after the insolent shoppers. If they didn’t ignore her, she soaked up their attention with attitude. Queen Taiga.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s sweet. She just knows our place. I like what my niece passed along one day…

Dogs think: “They feed me. They must be gods.”

Cat’s think: “They feed me. I must be a god.”

Taiga sits at the cat-end of that spectrum.

Here’s Taiga looking wolf-like playing with Tilly (the wolf-Shepherd hybrid) one day.

taiga stalker

And here’s Taiga looking goofy when the tables turned. Don’t worry—Tilly didn’t hurt her. It just looks scary.


Problem with Taiga is she’s an escape artist. She’d find a weak slat on the fence and dig under it. Just a bit. Then she’d break the slat and somehow squeeze that Husky frame through a 4-inch wide opening with a little hole under it. Once, we got her back a week later after putting an ad in the paper. For that week, she happily resided with one of the local pharmacists four miles away from home.

One night she broke two slats. Enough for Tilly to squeeze out with her. Taiga returned hot and thirsty the next day. Tilly didn’t survive the highway. Sad day.

Can’t be mad at Taiga for it, even though I know she plotted becoming the only dog, never happier since. But I made her pay for it, with this…

von Tressa