Welcome

Welcome to my wordpress blog. I’m a part-time clerk and a freelance writer and I enjoy writing fiction and blog posts. I enjoy reading widely, television and movies, walking, wine, digital photography, and pets. I love stories!

I have an interest in fantasy, history, mythology and fairy tales, spirituality, along with science and science fiction. I’m more inclined to historical fantasy than “true history” and favourite eras include the Renaissance and Regency (Regency romances in particular).

I’m a childfree asexual and as such blog about these topics from time to time. I also write about spirituality and nature, including eclectic paganism, and about wildlife.

I sometimes post photographs I’ve taken, as well as product reviews, book reviews, and blog posts about film and television.

I post poetry and occasional fiction or links to my fiction here, and my fiction only blog is here.

I’m based in the UK and I write from a British perspective in British English.

You can visit my website or alternatively my fiction site and other social media sites are listed below:

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Poem: Winter’s Kiss

winterksiss

Title: Winter’s Kiss
Prompt: Winter
Type: Terza Rima
Warnings: a mild threat of sexual assault but in a non-explicit way often found in folk songs – and ultimately it is only a threat, for this is no ordinary woman; character death

-*-

Snow was falling on the ground
Soft and white and cold
Winter’s chill was all around
Through the woods he strolled
He came upon a pale dame
Quite a beauty to behold
“Tell me love, what is thy name?”
“I’m Nieve,” she did reply
“Nieve, you are in my domain,
With you I will lie.”
Her eyes flashed an ice blue;
“Well, you can but try.”

His corpse was found and this is true
Frozen solid, through and through

Fiction: Bliss

bliss

The water looked deep and inviting

She stripped off down to her bikini and edged forward. She dipped one toe into the lake and gave an involuntary shriek when the water was much colder than she had expected.

It would be all right once she was fully immersed, she told herself sternly. Gathering up her nerve, she stepped out into the lake, ignoring the chill that ran through her, biting her lip. When the water was just above her waist, she ducked down so her shoulders sank beneath the water. Her teeth were chattering but, finally, she began to acclimatise.

She took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the location and then began to swim with long, elegant strokes. She was utterly alone, and blissfully content.

Micro Fic: one sentence fics

microfic

For various prompts, eight fics of one sentence each.

Prompt: snow

One should be careful for what they wish, for not only did the child have skin white as snow but her demeanour was icy, as bereft of compassion as the cold winter winds.

Prompt: countdown

With a villainous laugh, he pressed the button, and began the countdown.

Prompt: firefly

Alone, staring up at the night sky, with the stars shining like a million fireflies, she finally felt at peace with the world.

Prompt: daybreak

That ghosts might indeed be real was a shock, and they stayed cuddled up under the bedcovers until the safety of daybreak.

Prompt: compass

It probably hadn’t been the best action to take, but he’d lost his moral compass a long time ago, and moving in any direction was better than standing still.

Prompt: friendship

The email reminded him he wasn’t alone, that he had people who cared, and sent a sliver of light into the darkness.

Prompt: underworld

The cave entrance was dark and ominous and he could easily imagine that the tunnel beyond led directly the underworld.

Prompt: pirates

“Everyone playing this game lies,” he mused, “plotting behind your back and seducing you with fine words – why, pirates and highway men are more honest, being direct with their demands and consequences.”

Litha: Summer Solstice


Litha: The Summer Solstice

Banner by Magickal Graphics 

Litha is also known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Midsummer Night, Midsummer Night’s Eve, Gathering Day, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheathain, St. John’s Day. In England, The Day of Cerridwen and Her Cauldron, in Ireland, dedicated to the faery goddess Aine of Knockaine; Day of the Green Man in Northern Europe.
Usually celebrated around June 21, the Summer Solstice marks the time when the sun is at the highest point before beginning its slide into darkness.

In the Southern Hemisphere today  is Yule, the Winter Solstice.

The word Litha has some interesting etymology behind it: “Litha is a modern name for this holiday, possibly based on a Saxon word; Aerra Litha being Saxon for “before Litha”, or June and Aeftera Litha being Saxon for “after Litha”, Litha being the month of July. Its modern use was started by Wiccans but has been adopted by some other Pagan groups as well.” (1)

For me I find it is a bittersweet sabbat, since it marks a ‘going away’ of the light. On the other hand, this is considered by many to be the start of summer and some of the best weather of the year can be expected now – English weather peculiarities aside though we’re currently having a heatwave where we had flash flooding last year.

Like Yule and the equinoxes, Litha is considered a ‘lesser’ sabbat, being primarily of astronomical significance.
In Wiccan and some other neo-pagan traditions the solstices are seen as the Holly and Oak king battling for supremacy (2), with the Holly King being victorious at the summer solstice and the Oak king winning at Yule.

Traditionally, Mother Goddesses, the pregnant Goddess – symbol of the forthcoming harvests – and goddesses of love and beauty are honoured. Sun gods and sun goddesses are celebrated at this time, as well as Father Gods.

This is a time of great power, prime for fertility rites, inspiration and other growth rituals, as well as healing and purification, divination and re-dedicating yourself to your chosen path. It is a good time for handfastings and weddings or for clearing away burdens and establishing a stable base.

Litha celebrations might involve Morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting, and a bonfire which could provide luck to those brave enough to jump over the flames. Other rituals/celebratory activities include visiting a holy well, burning a cleansing bonfire, recharging your magical tools, leaving out milk/honey for the Fair Folk, and going early berry picking.

Correspondences
Foods and drinks especially suitable for celebrations include lemons, oranges, peppers, strawberries, summer squashes, tomatoes, corn, honey, honey cakes, melted cheese dishes, fresh vegetables, summer fruits, summer squash, pumpernickel bread, ale, mead, fruit juice, carrot juice, red wine, lemon tea.

Trees, Flowers and Herbs: birch, white lilies, roses, St John’s Wort and mugwort, mistletoe, apple, cedar, elder, fir, hawthorn, holly, ivy, lemon, oak, pine, peach, rowan, daisy, iris, honeysuckle, lavender, marigolds, saffron, sunflowers.
Gather vervain and basil to to be used during the winter months.

Traditional colours of Litha: gold, yellow, red, blue, green, orange, white, tan.

Other correspondences: The sun; sun wheel, sun dials, seashells; blades; daisy chains; stone circles, feathers, fire, candles, wands, yellow and green gemstones, especially emerald and jade amber, tiger’s eye, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, chamomile, bee, butterfly, caterpillars, sea creatures, wren, robin, horses and cattle, faeries, dragons, blades, percussion instruments.

Sources and further reading:
1 Litha Information Sheet (http://walkingthehedge.net/hedge/litha-info-sheet/)

2 The Legend of the Holly King and the Oak King (http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/p/Holly_KIng_Yule.htm)

The Summer Solstice
All about Litha
The Summer Yule