Schistosity and the Slaty Cleavage

Nope, not the name of a rock band. (Rock band. Ha ha ha.) It’s a scientific article in a scholarly journal:

Schistosity and Slaty Cleavage by George F. Becker http://www.jstor.org/stable/30054933

How did I find it? By not *writing* my novel, but “working” on it via research. Ha ha. What were the words I first typed into the google search engine to yield Schistocity and the Slaty Cleavage? Things that rhyme with scrupulosity–for my novel, Left on Stonehaven, in a section which most readers say should be dumped. “Keep that sex-trafficked teenage girl an anonymous entity,” they say, an “every man” (in fiction, that’s “a universal character”), not a specific girl with a name, a face, friends, dialogue, and a crazy spinster aunt who raises her after Romany’s parents hydroplane into a river. (“If I told her once, I told her a thousand times….”)

But I digress.

In my force-under-pressure blog (er, something like that!), I wondered if my teenager will turn into a gemstone if I allow teachers to pressure her, FORCE her, to do things she’s opposed to. Oh, hell, yes, I’m a mother–I know we’re supposed to be forged, honed, cut like diamonds–and being soft on our kids is the worst thing we can do for them. But, but, but, my own instincts have been to allow the child to choose his or her own path, and not FORCE him or her to do that which goes against *her* grain (not “the” grain).

Any readers I once attracted are long gone now, right? *phew* Then it must be safe to indulge in a little more rock talk. (Why didn’t my high school counselor ever tell me about careers in geology?)

FMI, for my information (okay, FYI, for yours, too),  mud can turn into shale with relatively low pressure and lots of time. With more pressure and some heat, shale can transform into slate and mica. Metamorphic rock found closer to Earth’s surface splits or flakes into layers of varying thickness. This is called foliation. (Slate makes great tiles for roofing and floors, by the way.) With lots of pressure and lots more heat, “schist” forms. Schist is a medium grained regional metamorphic rock which tends to split in layers. It often contains crystals, such as garnets. Now at last my question has been answered: mud, under pressure, can turn into gemstones.

Gneiss (pronounced “nice”) is formed by a higher pressure and temperature than schist. These rocks are coarse grained and do not split easily. Read more: Metamorphic Rock – Pressure, Rocks, Heat, and Earth – JRank Articles http://science.jrank.org/pages/4269/Metamorphic-Rock.html#ixzz2Gk2TZ3Sf

Hey! You’re still here? If you love rocks like I do, you might reassure me that the rocks in Left on Stonehaven should be left right where they are. Here is a sample from Romany’s chapter, set on the sidewalk to The House of Bricks in Des Moines, IA:

“You and your moral standards,” Emma scoffed at me. “So…”

“Scrupulous.” That would be the word Emma couldn’t think of.  “Me and my scrupulosity,” I thought aloud. “You and your velocity.”

Chelsea groaned. “Another poem in progress!”

She was smiling, so I smiled back. “What else rhymes with scrupulosity?”

“Nebulosity,” the curly-haired guy ahead of us turned to say. Six rings in one eyebrow, a lip ring, snake tattoos winding around his forearms, and Chelsea looked at him the way Lucky watched meat on the grill.

He poked around on his smart phone. “Not to mention schistosity.”

I had to ask: “Schistosity? What’s that, Yiddish for being a jerk?”

“No.” He looked right into my eyes, the corner of his mouth hiking up into a smile, and said, sorta suggestively, “Some kind of layering in rocks.”

“Might be a good name for a rock band.” I nudged Chelsea, who would be thinking about the zit on her forehead instead of acting natural and talking to this guy she thought was so hot. “Get it? Rock band.”

The guy smiled at me, typed some more, than laughed. “Check this out.” He leaned forward, showing me his phone, casually brushing up too close to me. He pointed at a link to some science article about rocks.

“Schistosity and the Slaty Cleavage!” I couldn’t help laughing out loud.

“Schistose versus slaty cleavage,” the guy said.

“Omigosh!” I laughed harder. “Slaty? It sounds obscene.”

Emma stopped filming to give me the classic worried look.

“Hey,” I said, “you started it by faulting my scrupulosity.”

Chelsea’s supposedly hot guy howled with laughter. “FAULT-ing. Man, you’re good.”

He kept smiling at me, like we were now best friends or something. Chelsea would accuse me of stealing him just because I could. But I hadn’t done a thing to encourage him. She’d been the one staring at him, not me. I was the one who laughed like an idiot while she played it cool.

The line started moving. “You like rhyme so much,” Elliot was saying, “and yet you don’t like rap music. I will never get it.”

A splinter of awareness of the Romany Fleet who was still on the sidewalk answered for me: “Rap isn’t music.”
Jamie was inside that building. The door was open, and a sea of strangers bound by their love of The Romanies started pouring into the House of Bricks.

“…Rap is the best music,” Elliot carried on. “Next weekend come with me to El Bait Shop. I know Craigula, the guitarist….”
Walk faster Elliot, walk faster.

Elliot wasted his breath telling me about Craig, or Craigula, of the You-Phonics or Uphonics or whatever, while I watched the door come closer. And closer. Jamie–any minute now!

“That’s him.” Some Goth girl with pink hair pointed out Jamie on a poster I was so going to steal after the concert.
I felt a song coming on.

The night is bright,
the flame in my heart
lights the sky
like a comet soaring by.

Scratch that. A million suns…no, that’s been done.

A billion stars are on fire this night.
Silence glows.
A beautiful stranger shows me
I am loved.
To him I surrender
my heart, my body, my soul.

Someday they’d be pointing at me on a poster, saying “We knew her. That girl, Romany. We knew her when she was nobody.”

–Eh. Enough blogging for one day. I have 15 pounds to lose and 2 novels to polish and publish. Happy 2013, my friends!

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About carolkean

novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for Liberty Island and Perihelion Science Fiction; native prairie/guerilla gardener; champion of liberty, indie authors & underdogs; one of the top two reviewers in Editors &Preditors Poll 2015; Amazon Vine, NetGalley Top Reviewer
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One Response to Schistosity and the Slaty Cleavage

  1. Pingback: Schistocity and the Slaty Cleavage « carolkean

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