An Ordinary Day

I journeyed in a dream to Elannen this morning, as I tend to do when I haven’t had the time to visit in my waking life. Things are happening there: slow, but no less significant, changes for the better–or at least I desperately hope they’re for the better, since my presence seems to be the catalyst for them.

I walked alongside a river that had been paved over at one point in an attempt to tame its power and magic, make them inaccessible to the people living near it. It was an artful piece of engineering, well-maintained and designed to last for centuries, but cracks had begun to appear, large gaps and sinkholes in the otherwise smooth expanse of mortar and stone. The autumn rains were swelling the river as they had not done for a very long time, making it overflow its banks and shake off the petty chains placed upon it.

Pausing next to one particularly large gap, I dipped a hand into the water. There were roots trailing in it from the trees growing on the opposite bank, and I caressed one with a finger. A sense of amusement and welcome came to me from the tree I was greeting, along with an echo in my mind of the name I’d borne in my earlier life there. I’m still not used to people, arboreal or otherwise, already knowing me–or knowing the person I was when I first lived there, rather. It makes me doubt I can ever live up to their expectations, fill the shoes I’m stepping into–never mind that I was the last one to wear those shoes, apparently.

…And then the moment was ruined when a water-dwelling insect the size of my fist, with pincers and a stinger to scale, decided to crawl up onto my hand and defend its territory, and I panicked and woke up. I was still doing the frantic “Get the fuck offa me!” hand-shaking thing with my physical body as I regained consciousness, before I realized that it hadn’t in fact followed me across the worlds.

Living rivers, talking trees, and bugs the size of a Buick that’ll kill you as soon as look at you: Just another ordinary day in Faestralia. :P

Three Signs for the New Week (November 23, 2015)

The cards: 5 of Ancients, Knight of Ancients (reversed), Ace of Shapeshifters

What Gwydion has to say:

You’ve been biting your tongue for far too long. You know something’s wrong–say so. The longer you keep silent on this matter, the more resentful and enraged you become; if this continues, then soon enough anything you say will spill poison on those undeserving of your bitterness. So speak to those who need to hear your concerns. It will not be as difficult as you fear, and–no matter the immediate fallout–it will lead to the opportunity for further growth for all concerned. And, if all else fails, an entirely fresh start elsewhere is always an option. But then, if you keep sitting on this, that fresh start becomes all but inevitable, eh?

Have a great week, everyone. :)

Other People’s Words: For strong women

This poem’s been on my mind a lot lately for a variety of reasons, and it just occurred to me that it might be helpful for someone else as well. So I hope it finds its way to whoever needs to hear it right now. <3


For strong women

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn’t mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears
in her nose.

A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren’t you feminine, why aren’t
you soft, why aren’t you quiet, why
aren’t you dead?

A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you’re so strong.

A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.

A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

–Marge Piercy, from The Moon Is Always Female

Three Signs for the New Week (November 16, 2015)

The cards: 4 of Ancients, Judgment (reversed), 6 of Shapeshifters

What Gwydion has to say:

This week is a good one for spending time with family and loved ones, whether corporeal or no: particularly whomever you’ve been neglecting recently through busyness or just simple absentmindedness. Don’t feel guilty for putting your other projects on the back burner for a while if you need to; everything will still be there when you get back, and you’ll find yourself refreshed and full of new ideas and energy upon your return. Never forget, either, that the most important people in your life are not there through mere obligation–they will always see you as far more than the sum of your faults, and love you just the same.

Have a great week, everyone. <3

It’s Weasel Stomping Day Again!

Yes folks, that’s right–once again, it’s that most magical time of year, when we all put on our boots and Viking helmets and stomp the shit out of some weasels!

So come on down! Bring the kids! Take in the parade, sample the delicious mayonnaise-based cuisine, and remember to bring your stomped weasels to the collection box in the town hall for a chance to win some truly excellent prizes! :D


(No, you do not get context for any of this. Just go with it.)

Concerns of a Fae Nature

You ever have one of those moments when you realize you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing? Like, at all? And to make things worse, there are also all sorts of people watching you, eagerly waiting for you to do whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing, and you’re just standing there frozen like you just realized it’s five minutes till that big exam that counts for half your grade–you know, the one you haven’t studied for, and now that you think about it, you aren’t even sure if you’ve been to a single class this semester.

Yeah. Hyperbole aside, I’ve been feeling kind of like that lately, as regards the Realm I’m supposed to be looking after. Not so much the actual Doing Things Over There part, oddly enough–I’ve found I’m astonishingly competent in a variety of areas that would make me catatonic with anxiety in my everyday life. It’s figuring out how to write about things that’s tripping me up.

Not exactly in a “I can’t possibly share any of this or people will think I’m several sandwiches, a paper plate, and a bowl of potato salad short of a picnic” way, mind you; it’s more like extreme reluctance to say anything at all until and unless I know absolutely everything there is to know, if that makes sense. (Even if I’m sharing stuff with people privately, I might add; I’ve got a couple of emails sitting in my drafts folder that I keep NOPE-ing away from, even though I really should have sent them off at least *mumblemutter* weeks ago. :P )

There are a lot of things about life in Elannen that are so intrinsic to people’s worldview that they forget that not everybody can see it, since it’s so obvious to them. Gods know I’ve banged my head on this very issue a number of times–fortunately without dire consequences so far. I’m enough of an insider to know that there are things I’m missing, and too much of an outsider to understand what they are, which is an awkward space to occupy. It’s kind of like coming home after a very long and tiring day when all you want to do is veg out in your most comfortable pajamas and watch Star Trek reruns, only to find that someone’s come in and rearranged all the furniture while you were gone, and possibly brought in a whole lot more of it besides, but you can’t tell for sure because none of the lights are working and you keep banging your shins on unexpected corners of things, and the only way to figure out where everything is now and if that’s even your coffee table is to grope around very slowly and keep a mental inventory of all the mysterious obstacles you encounter on your adventure through the china cabinet jungle.

There are plenty of other things I do know, of course. But in this case, I’m not sure how much of my past-life bias is leaking through. Things can get a bit… clannish there, and even though I strive to be as fair to everyone as I possibly can, I’m now suspicious about whether what I want to share about certain groups is objectively true, or whether most of it is just a bunch of assumptions (both positive and negative) I’d grown up hearing from people I loved and so automatically accepted as fact.

And speaking of family, I’m not sure how much I actually have in that Realm. Plenty of people were killed in one or another of the intermittent wars that went on while I was gone; others disappeared less dramatically but far more horribly, to be used as slaves and, later, once their usefulness had waned, sacrifices.

I know my brother’s still alive, although I haven’t seen much of him due to various factors. Our mother is most likely dead. I’ve dreamed of our older sisters a couple of times, but there wasn’t enough information to know if these were memories or contemporary events, and I haven’t had the heart to investigate further. And our uncle…

He died when I was young. Not so young that I didn’t understand what had happened, but definitely too young to lose my anni in such a way. Among the Llan Faae, where there can easily be centuries separating a birth from the event of conception, and paternity is just as likely to be multiple choice as not, the male parental figure in a child’s life is often the mother’s brother. And mine was the most wonderful man I knew. I have only fragments of memories of him, mostly of the way his voice sounded when he’d tell stories by the fire after dark–the low, soothing purr of it, unabashedly broadening his vowels now that he was home and didn’t have to deal with anyone’s casual scorn of the deep-woods dialect he’d grown up with.

It’s a strange feeling, to miss someone I never met in this life. But there’s an empty space in my heart where he should be, all the same.

And I still don’t know what I’m doing, or if I’m ever going to figure it out. I don’t know how much of my hesitation is due to fear of censure, worry about inadvertently getting things really wrong, or just plain tiredness and overwhelm. But I’m also stubborn, and I have a head full of things I want to share–and sometimes, that’s all you really need to begin.

…Maybe I’ll start off with something easy, though–like a review of the various native alcohols of Faestralia. Because apparently I’m something of an expert and didn’t realize it. It’s probably telling that the most recent significant dream-visit to the Realm I can remember involved sampling the wares at an outdoor tavern. Yep, my Fae self has interesting priorities all right. :P

Three Signs for the New Week (November 9, 2015)

The cards: 5 of Winged Ones, Judgment (reversed), 7 of Ancients

What Gwydion has to say:

It is hard to be the first person to try something new, to speak aloud those experiences that others merely murmur about in dark corners. And the stones, when they begin to be thrown in your direction, come both from in front of you and from behind.

So. Who are you doing this for? For the Gods you love, to honor Them and Their wishes for you? For those unknown others who will come after you and need your words to lend them strength (strength they will learn, in time, that they already possess)? Or do you do this for yourself?–to keep the words from building up within you; burning you alive from the inside out; sitting at the bottom of your soul with their leaden weight, dragging you down day by day, step by step, breath by breath, until you are little more than a walking husk that once was alive and yet even now bears your name.

There is no wrong answer, understand. But to know your motives is to touch that place within yourself that cannot be moved by any power, to drink from the well of your Self and be strengthened in your convictions. So ask yourself that–every day, if need be. And do not fear the answer when it comes.

WELP. There’s relevant, and then there’s Gentleman-level relevant. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m gonna need to mull this one over for a while.

Hope everyone has a great week! :)

Actual GPOY

…Of the Faestralia version of me, anyway. I was derping around on the LotR Scene Maker, and decided to see how close I could get to how I look Over There, and this is the result:


Click to embiggen!

Even given the limitations of the program, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. :D …Well, apart from wishing there were moar braid, that is; even IRL, my hair’s way longer than that.

(And now I’m sorely tempted to commission someone to make that outfit for me, because damn. Serious clothing lust, y’all.)

*opera intensifies*

Note to self: “I’m exhausted because I made the mistake of introducing my Fae lover to Maria Callas last night, and he refused to let me turn YouTube off until fuckballs o’thirty in the morning” is not an excuse most people would find convincing. Even if it’s true.

(Next cultural literacy night, I really ought to dig up some Klingon opera. Not sure if New Coke will take this as me enacting excruciating revenge or introducing him to an intriguing new diversion, but it’s bound to be entertaining either way.)

Three Signs for the New Week (November 2, 2015)

The cards: Knight of Four-Leggeds, 3 of Ancients (reversed), 3 of Winged Ones (reversed)

What Gwydion has to say:

This is a painful time, yes. I know you feel confused and adrift, unsure of the right actions to take. I know you doubt your own abilities and knowledge to the point of paralysis, certain that you’ll crash and burn if you step out too boldly–certain that failure waits always half a breath away, waiting to pounce on you in a moment of weakness. But do not judge yourself too harshly; you have more resources at your disposal than you realize, and a great store of courage besides. You still have much to learn, but you are better prepared than you think. So have faith for just a little while longer–for I have great faith in you.

Have a great week, everyone. <3

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