Welcome

L M Dee is a part-time clerk and full-time dreamer and lover of stories.

She enjoys reading, television and movies, walking, wine, digital photography, and pets.

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

L M Dee is a childfree asexual and enjoys reading and writing stories with childfree protagonists and asexual characters.

She is based in the UK and writes from a British perspective in British English.

Links
Works in Progress (WiP) Page
Wordpress WiP Tags:  wip: wre (modern day supernatural drama); wip: sa  (fantasy romance)
WordPress general fiction tag
Website

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Contact Me

You can email me but it’s preferable if you leave a comment here at WordPress or contact me at tumblr.

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All the Arts

title page: All the Arts

She loved him the moment she laid eyes on him. He was sat on the stage, strumming a guitar, his golden hair lying around his shoulders, his eyes half-shut as he focused on the music.

Her friends were at least as interested if not as truly enraptured.

“I heard he’s an Olympian,” April said. “Javelin.”

Kendra gave a sigh. “I heard he writes poetry.”

“He won that chess championship last year,” Gary put in.

“You would know that,” April said, giving Gary a playful shove with her shoulder.

She sushed them, wanting to hear more of the music. As if he’d heard, he looked up and met her gaze. She felt her cheeks flush as she took in his ocean coloured eyes and the quirk of his full lips.

“A ballad,” he said and began to sing as he played. The melody was haunting, the words in a tongue she didn’t understand, his voice soulful. Tears pricked at her eyes before the last notes faded away.

The audience had swelled as he sang, the club filling up as night approached. The applause was deafening. He bowed in head briefly in acceptance.

“Something a little happier?” he asked and received an enthusiastic response. The tune this time made her heart sing and to the astonishment of her friends she moved to the dance floor. Usually too shy to dance in public, she found herself shaking her hips, tossing her hair, swaying to his voice.

When that song was done he disappeared backstage and the usual DJ returned to play a mix of late nineties tunes. She returned to her friends, sipped at her wine.

“I heard he’s got a degree in history,” April said, staring at the stool where the guitar player had sat.

“His Instagram has pictures of his woodwork,” Gary said, sighing as April giggled. “He’s a carpenter.”

“I bet he is good with wood,” April persisted.

“Uh-uh. Connie showed me a bracelet he made for her. He mostly works with metal,” Kendra said. “Connie said she commissioned him to make a decorative sword for Alex’s birthday.”

She shook her head. No one man could be capable of all those things.

April, in the midst of checking her phone and chattering as she did so fell silent and everyone looked at her before they realised she was looking behind them.

He approached them, tall, broad shouldered and limber, head held high with confidence, a man at ease with himself. She felt she loved him, told herself that was ridiculous.

“Good evening,” he said. “I hope you’re enjoying yourselves.”

April nodded and began gushing, Kendra trying to get a few words in edgeways. Shoved out of the conversation, Gary had given up entirely, looking around to see if John had arrived yet.

“I’m glad to hear it,” he said when April paused for breath and then turned his body to her, all his attention on her in a way that was unmistakable. “And you?”

He’d noticed her silence or her staring? She was flustered once more.

“Your singing is lovely.” Pathetic, trite! She sought to find better words but he gave her a genuine smile.

“Thank you.” He pushed back a strand of golden hair and she longed to reach out to caress the silky lock. “What’s your name?”

“Nas,” she said.

“Nas,” he repeated. He reached out to shake her hand but as she reached out he lifted her hand and pressed his lips to her knuckles. Her stomach clenched, warmth spreading through her. “It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Lugh.”

— — —
Previously I’ve written about a modern day Dionysus and Ariadne. I wanted to test the waters with something a bit different, a modern day Lugh, and maybe write more of this later.

Writing Prompts

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For this final #writingwednesday of the month I’m going to go with some prompts. I hope they inspire you!

From fear to friendship
An unlikely partnership
Two’s a couple, three’s a triad
Their trusted advisor
“You’re the only thing I believe in”
The world at your feet
No stranger to weird or supernatural things
Work of art
“You know I didn’t mean it literally!”
Winter sun
Summer rain
Autumn mist
Spring night
Magic is real
Sentient household appliance

Drabble: Negotiation

A dialogue only exact drabble (100 words)

“So, what’s the game plan?”

“The what?”

“The game plan. You know. The strategy for the meeting.”

“For one thing it’s to stop using Americanisms like that, or ‘touching base’ – we’re neither American nor athletes.”

“What about ‘grounded’?”

“That’s a military term, I believe. And hardly relevant in either its original term or the current context of stopping a teenager from leaving the house as a form of punishment.”

“Fine. So, what’s the strategy?”

“Same as always. Let them speak first, laugh at their initial offer, reduce it by half as a counter-offer, and then see where we’re at.”

Poem: Irrelevant as a Blockbuster Store

Black and white sign says Sorry We're Closed, title text reads poem: Irrelevant as a Blockbuster store

Have your ever felt as irrelevant as a Blockbuster store

Or maybe Woolworths or BHS

One of those chain stores that folded

And people who once shopped there

Say things like “Oh, that’s so sad”

And “I’ll miss it”

Not because they still shopped there

But because they did, in times past

They liked the familiarity of a store

The idea of it

The notion that it would always be there

Without them having to actually visit

Or make purchases

Buying stationery elsewhere

Choosing other clothes shops

Prioritising other retailers

Have you ever wondered how long it would be

For anyone to truly notice if you disappeared

Or if they’d care

How long they’d miss you for – how long you’d miss someone else

It’s no use shedding tears over a store you don’t shop in closing down

Or a show you’ve never watched getting cancelled

Or a musician you never listen to quitting show business

Or someone you don’t seem to care about dying.

Notes: in the UK Blockbuster placed its UK subsidiaries in administration 2013. Today the Blockbuster brand has mostly been retired, with one remaining US store open, and a few in Australia.Blockbuster continues as a video on demand service in some Nordic countries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockbuster_LLC).

Woolworths Group was a listed British company that owned the high-street retail chain Woolworths. It entered administration in 2009,and was officially dissolved in October 2015. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_Group)
Woolworths Limited, the largest retail company in Australia and New Zealand; named after the American F.W. Woolworth brand, is unrelated (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworth)

British Home Stores, commonly abbreviated to BHS and latterly legally styled BHS Ltd, was a British department store chain. It entered administration during and was dissolved by the end of 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Home_Stores)

While Blockbuster fell victim to new technology and streaming services, other stores have fallen out of popularity for other reasons. There’s often a nostalgic outpouring when something familiar disappears, sometimes by those who did nothing to support the business. If you like a business, a television show, a musician (or any other artist) or care about a person, you should probably show your appreciation in some way.

Musings

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Theres a kid inside my mind.  He wants me to make sense of all the horror and wonder contained in the world, and lace it into a compelling narrative—a narrative that lifts his heart, opens his thoughts, and inspires him to write a story of his own.

I think when we craft a story for that hidden version of ourselves, it seems to connect with everyone else’s.  And for an undeniable moment in that spot-on story, it seems we can be that kid again; the one who turns the pages with wide-eyed wonder, and has to restrain themselves from jumping up from their seat and whooping in delight.

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Flash Fiction: First Steps

first-steps illustration of a dragon reflected in water and the title text shown

A hatchling takes his first steps.  119 words.

He yawned, stretching his neck as far as it would go. He put out one foot, then another, trying to get his balance. He slowly lifted himself to a standing position.

Walking was tricky but he was determined. With each movement, his confidence swelled all the more.

In a few paces he reached the edge of the water and looked down at his shimmering reflection. He was a handsome little hatchling and he spread his wings. They weren’t big enough to lift him off the ground yet but they glistened in the sunshine.

He took his first ever drink of water and, when he was sated, sat on his hind legs and puffed out a small cloud of steam.

Thanks for reading! Likes/shares and comments are always gratefully received.

Samhain/Halloween


Samhain Comments & Graphics

~Magickal Graphics~Happy Halloween and a blessed Samhain, or All Soul’s Night, to those celebrating.

All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, is the modern name in English for the great north European festival which signalled the end of the light and warm half of the year, and ushered in the cold and dark one, and so divided the season of autumn from that of winter in these northern lands. It was known in Irish as Samhain, summer’s end; in Welsh as Nos Galan Gaeaf, “winter’s eve”; in Anglo-Saxon as Blodmonath, “blood month”; and in Norse as the “winter nights”. As such it was one of the greatest religious festivals of the ancient northern pagan year – x

Samhain also known as Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve, Lá Samhna and Allhelgona amongst others. It takes place on the last day of October. It is the end of summer, where only summer and winter are recognised as seasons. In certain traditions this is the start of the new year. Samhain is celebrated as the Dia de los Muertos in Mexico (Day of the Dead–usually held on November 1) and All Saints Day (also on November 1) by the Catholic church.
It is the last of the harvest festivals in the Wheel of the Year. Across the world, in the Southern Hemisphere, it is Beltane, a fire festival full of fertility symbolism – the time of Brighid rather than the Cailleach.

It is believed that the Veil between the worlds is at its thinnest at this time and so it is both a time to be wary of spirits – hence the jack’o’lanterns to scare away evil spirits. Pumpkins are carved into lanterns, though any squash can be used, and before the American influence of pumpkins took over, the more traditional turnips and beets prevailed. This article Original Irish Jack-o-Lanterns were truly terrifying and made of turnips discusses the original folklore behind the carving of gourds.

It’s also a time for remembering ancestors or those who have passed on. Some people hold a dumb supper at which their loved ones who have passed over are welcome at. Livejournal member introduced me to Allhelgona; the Swedish version of All Hallow’s Eve – full name Alla Helgons Dag which translated to English would be “All Saints Day”. For the protestants of the Swedish Church it’s the time to go put flowers and little white candles on the graves of their loved ones.

Samhain is an idea time for divination, be it through tarot cards, runes, scrying, or other means. Other themes and workings include reflecting on the past, release of bad habits/banishing, candle magic, protection spells, manifesting transformation, knowledge, death & rebirth/new beginning.

Apples are traditional for this festival, plain for apple bobbing, and covered in caramel as toffee apples/candy apples. Other foods and drink associated with the festival includes gourds, cranberries, baked potatoes, pork and other meats, soups, mulled cider/mead/red wine, nuts, sweets, pomegranates, dark breads, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds.

Colours include black, orange, grey, deep blue, deep purple, gold, silver, and burgundy. Stones like obsidian, haematite, jet, onyx, and amethyst are appropriate for October.

Deities: Cernunnus, Horned God, Osiris, Hades, Anubis, Loki, Dis, Arawn, Erebos, Pluto, Iku, Eshu, Gywnn Ap Nudd (Welsh), The Crone, Hecate(Greek), Cerridwen(Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod(Welsh), Demeter, Caillech (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat(persian), Santa Muerte (Mexican), Bast (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel(Norse), Kali(Hindu), All death and underworld/Otherworld Goddesses and gods.

A besom or broom is an appropriate decoration. Other correspondences include: skulls, bones, cauldrons, pumpkins, gourds, sickles, scythes, representations of your ancestors, cornucopia, root vegetables, dried leaves, acorns, elder flowers, mandrake, wolfsbane, sarsaparilla, allspice, mugwort, divination tools, bats, owls, crows and ravens, water, midnight. There’s a list here and a longer list here and some ideas on correspondences and ways to celebrate here and here.

Some pagans worry about the more fun aspects of Halloween, like eating sweet foods, dressing up, and watching scary movies. The Thought.co Paganism and Wicca (previously about.com) guide puts it like this: Think of Samhain and Halloween like this – one is spiritual, one is secular. There’s no reason they have to be mutually exclusive at all. You can still observe the fun and silliness of Halloween — and pig out on candy, if you like — while maintaining the more somber traditions of honoring the dead at Samhain. The reverse follows; there’s nothing pagan about putting on a costume for fun, and paganism has no exclusivity on honouring ancestors.

Soul Cakes –Discworld readers are familiar with the Soul Cake Duck, and this is the origin of that reference. Soul cakes were traditionally baked as a gift for the spirits of the dead. In many European countries, the idea of “Souling” became an acceptable alternative for Christians. The cakes took many different names and shapes — in some areas, they were simple shortbread, and in others they were baked as fruit-filled tarts. Still other regions made them of rice flour. Generally, a soul cake was made with whatever grain the community had available. That text comes this site which has four recipes if you want to try baking something for the festival.

Selected sources and further reading

Samhain by winter-elf-witch
Wheel of the Year: Samhain
Samhain names and correspondences
correspondences
Original Irish Jack-o-Lanterns were truly terrifying and made of turnips
This page gives ideas and links to ideas for decorations, recipes, and rituals.
Samhain History
Samhain Correspondences
Wheel of the Year: October
Halloween? It’s more than trick or treat
Soul Cake Duck

 

Fiction: Never Annoy a Witch

witch

Never Annoy a Witch

On Monday, Tina trips over her own feet and spills her herbal tea. She’s often clumsy so she doesn’t think much about it.

On Wednesday, Tina gets a flat tyre on her bicycle and has to push it the rest of the way, making her late for work – her boss is not understanding.

On Friday, Tina cycles through what looked like a small puddle but proves to be hiding a pothole almost deep enough to unseat her as she’s thrown off-balance, and soaks her jeans.

On the following Tuesday, Tina almost has a panic attack when she looks up from her phone and sees a harmless, if large, house spider on her knee. The phone and the spider both go flying as Tina jumps to her feet. The spider scuttles off unharmed. The phone screen gets a small crack.

A week later Tina refuses to walk down the pet food aisle because they have reptile supplies, including a bag with a picture of a spider on it. Her boyfriend, who needs to buy cat food, says she’s over-reacting and to be honest he’s getting sick of it.

In fact a few days later they have a huge row and he tells Tina she should just “pull herself together” and to not call him again until she has.

When someone leaves a nasty comment on the watercolours she sells, saying it is “unrealistic and morbid” Tina is hurt.

Tina’s miserable and wondering why this is happening.

 

Morgan knows why Tina’s having such terrible luck.

Morgan and Tina were close once.

Until Tina criticised Morgan’s pencil sketches as not commercial enough and too angst-ridden for anyone to like.

Until Tina told Morgan to shut up about Morgan’s brother being sick, and stop moping about it. That Morgan should “get over it” and stop being so depressing and that Tina was done with them and their awful art.

Never mind that the sketches spoke to those wounded too. That they let Morgan express their pain. That while Morgan could not just “get over it” the sketches were a way to cope.

Morgan raged and wept and could not even pick up a pencil for weeks, cut deep by Tina’s betrayal. Morgan was shocked by the hypocrisy, for darkness exists in Tina’s paintings – the memorial of the drowning victim, the woman crouched in fear as a spider lurked nearby – and that Tina’s no shining example of mental health.

When Morgan did pick up a pencil it was to create something to express the sorrow.

And when that was done, and the moon was waxing, Morgan created a ritual to banish the pain and to raise a shield to bring protection and peace where there was anger and hurt.

Morgan summoned up every bit of pain and sent it out to be reflected back to Tina, where it belonged.

Art can be a mirror.

Magic can be too.

Morgan is a witch.

And you should never piss off a witch.

 


Thanks for reading this #writingwednesday! Likes, shares, comments are all welcome.
(And, by the way, I’m no Wiccan and don’t subscribe to the Rule of Three.)

Asexual Awareness Week 2018

It’s Asexual Awareness Week. I’m not creating anything this year but I have tags for my previous asexual awareness week posts at my other journal, and a tag for all posts including meta and fiction looking at asexuality, theme: asexuality spectrum. 
I have some of those also posted as at WordPress tagged sexuality: asexuality.

There’s been pushback against asexuality in some places. Some tumblr posts insist that asexuals aren’t “oppressed enough” to be consider part of the LGBT+ community (those posts insist “queer is a slur” too despite significant commentary to the contrary on how important the reclaiming and use of the term is for many.)
There are posts accusing people of “sexualising” children by saying that we should acknowledge more than just heterosexual romantic and sexual attraction. That telling someone you’re asexual is “unneccessary” and exposing them to “information about your sex life”.
Posts saying asexuals just need hormones or counselling or to be raped.
Posts saying that asexual posts confuse people and prevent them from being gay because of “internalised homophobia”.

Most of those things have been, and in some cases, still are used as fodder against other queer groups.
“Trans people aren’t allowed in gay spaces because a transman with a woman is heterosexual”
“Bihets aren’t allowed in gay spaces!” (ie a bi/pansexual person in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender. The term bihet erases bisexuality by making same sex relationships gay, opposite sex relationships straight, and ignores trans people and nonbinary identities)
“Don’t mention lebsians or women won’t get married as they should.”
“Stop mentioning you’re gay, you’re throwing your sexuality in my face!” (As they wear a wedding ring and have a photo of their wife on their desk, secure in displays of heterosexuality)
“You’re not a gay man or a transwomen, you just need more testosterone and to pray harder to be the straight man you should be.”
“She won’t be a lesbian after I’ve f*cked her”

There’s been some interesting discussion about the Russian bots that infiltrated Tumblr and the rise of dissent amongst queer groups; “gold star lesbian” rhetoric, posts that are anti-bisexual and anti-asexual, a rise in TERF posts centering womanhood on menstruation and reproduction. It’s awful and it’s unacceptable.

If you don’t know anything about asexuality there’s a primer here and a lot of other links in this Asexual Awareness Week 2017 post.

Thanks for reading.