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:

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

The House of Conrí

conri

Sometimes names are just names. Sometimes they are symbolic. Sometimes they’re more than that.

Thomas was thrown to the stone floor at the base of the steps. Despite his shackles he struggled to his knees, refusing to lie there complacent. He raised his bruised face defiantly and curled his lip, though that made the blood flow afresh.

“Your name?”

“Thomas Daniel,” he said proudly. He was named Thomas for his grandfather, a great hunter, and the family of Daniel had long served the rightful king. “Who are you?”

The woman sat on the throne atop the dais regarded him with brown eyes that were filled with distaste. “I am Queen Ameris, ruler of the House of Conrí.”
Continue reading The House of Conrí

Fic: A Kiss Divine

A modern Aridane/Dionysus meeting.

kiss

Ariadne leaned on the rough wooden railings, blinking back angry tears. The party continued all around her; people laughing, the clink of glasses, the ceaseless rush of the waves against the shore, a bonfire sending bright sparks into the night sky. As if nothing had happened.

How could she have been so wrong? Blinded by love? Lust? Was Tee really so charming that he’d warped her thoughts and feelings into some obsession she’d been powerless against?

Continue reading Fic: A Kiss Divine

Birdseed (exact drabble)

bsed

Birdseed

“If you’re so hard up then why do you buy birdseed?” he asks, puzzled.

“Because it’s relatively inexpensive for the benefits I get. I put a handful out every day,” she says. “And the birds come and eat it. Pigeons, blackbirds, robins, sparrows, and crows. They wait for me now, eager each morning. I get to watch them peck at the seed. I know some are nesting in the nearby bushes. It gives me a sense of communion with nature. I know it’s a small thing and hardly earth changing. But it makes me feel useful. As if I matter.”

Beltaine

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For many pagans the start of May is celebrated as Beltaine (Beltane), May Day, Calan Mei, and Walpurgis Night. It is a cross quarter day, falling between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The UK public holiday May Day occurs on the first Monday of May each year.

Correspondences included: fertility, renewal, maypoles, bonfires, dancing, creativity.
A list of deities and their correspondences can be found here