In Search of Search Terms

Remember back in the day when you could actually see what search terms brought people to your website? (If you don’t remember, read this glorious post from Hyperbole and a Half. Go on, I’ll wait for you.

Ok, so like I was saying- remember that? We don’t have that anymore, thanks to encrypted search terms, and it saddens me. I would really love to know what search terms are bringing people to my blog.

I’m going to leave this post a sticky for a while, in the hopes that you, the readers, will help me out.

What search terms, if any, brought you to my site?

Feel free to leave a comment here, or message me directly using the contact from on my About page if you’d rather.

Thanks guys! I’m looking forward to the results. 😀

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What’s new with Raevenly Writes

The better question, what isn’t new with me? 😛 The past few months have seen both a physical move and a digital one, the former taking up most of my energy, but latter being what I want to share with you all today! 😀

Tumblr is still my favorite home away from home, with a new sideblog just for writing excerpts, Raevenlywrote:

https://raevenlywrote.tumblr.com/

I’ve also fallen down the rabbit hole that is Discord, starting my own server to pair with the launch of my Patreon!

Join my Discord! https://discord.gg/eMjSBtj

And come follow me on Patreon! Tiers are still under construction, but you can keep up to date with my latest projects there without a pledge.

https://www.patreon.com/raevenlywrites

Raevenly Writes: Fanfic

I’ve dipped my toe into the vast ocean that is fanfic, thanks to an odd dream I had the other night. I don’t often dream myself as other characters, but it happens sometimes. I think this was my first Harry Potter dream though. Either way, I hope you all enjoy it!


I climb the stairs to his private suit at the top of the tower. I wonder what made him change his mind, what drew him up out of the dungeons. The tower is just as dark at this hour, an endless expanse of stars fill the double windows of the far wall.

Draco greets me with a smirk. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Potter.” I swear, he’s learned to spit intentionally when he exaggerates the percussive pop of my name. Flecks of it pepper my cheeks as I finish my ascent into the room. He rises with me, always looming, always above me. “And where shall we start today? Feet or mouth?”

I’ve never quite understood exactly what he gets out of our longstanding arrangement. Neither one of us particularly cares about the galleons exchanged when either of us wins or loses the bet. That part is merely a formality, a way to keep score. No, when I told Hermione I was going visit my “sugar daddy”, she and I both knew the real commodity I was after. I need information, and perhaps a favor. What he needs from me, I cannot begin to guess.

He is on me almost before I have completely exited the stairwell. He stuffs a red silk handkerchief in my mouth, hardly bothering to contain his glee. I’ll have to tread carefully tonight, then. He’s in a mood.

“Actually,” I say sloppily through the gag, silk adhering instantly to my lips and tongue, “feet, if you please. I feel like doing the talking tonight.”

And that is the nature of our bargain. If I say mouth, he will begin to slowly bind me from there down. He will do what he pleases with my body along the way, and if I am lucky, his ridiculous villain’s monologueing will reveal to me something interesting, or needed.

It is easy to detach in those sessions. To let him do whatever he thinks is needed to satisfy the exchange between us. It is what I choose when I have less information than I do now, when I am looking for a lead. Or, when I’m just looking to let go. To stop being the famous Mr. Potter for just a few hours.

Tonight, I know what I need. It’s just a matter of convincing Malfoy to give it to me.

He is in a mercurial mood, and that will make this a challenge. His eyes shift from blue to an almost icy white as they flash in the candlelight as he turns to me. Is he pleased by this unusual turn? I do not often choose this route. Then again, I do not often have much to stay to him. But tonight I am feeling playful, and more than a little cocky from the edge Hermione discovered in the library. Tonight, I really think we can beat this thing. We can get out ahead of the monster, instead of arriving at the scene of an all too stoppable crime. It will be a welcome change.

Hermione urged me not to go. She said we didn’t need Draco’s help. That we had enough to win this one on our own. But traces of the Felix Felicitus still move through me now and again, a wizard’s intuition, sharpened by the kiss of liquid luck. When my gut tells me something, I listen. And I have a feeling that whatever is going to happen to night, we need him. We need the Dragon.

Draco whips the damp silk from my mouth, changing it effortlessly into an equally crimson cord with a careless flick of his wand. It twines about my feet, and with one almost indifferent shove, Draco sends me sprawling backwards. A chair is there instantly to catch me, and the living red rope coils itself about the wicker, both moving sinuously beneath me to take the shape Draco desires. Tonight, I am bound reclined, a relaxed and easy position. Draco, too then, is in the mood to play. Maybe this will go better than I thought.

He crosses the room to me, liquid grace in his careless stride. It seems both impossibly slow and lightning fast, the strange physics of the spell he is building between us. I am unfamiliar with it. As I said, I don’t often take this route. By now, I am usually gagged and blindfolded, trying to relax into the unknown. But he seems pleased that I’ve elected to do some talking this evening, if his smug smirk is more than just familiar habit. Maybe, even, pleased enough to actually be helpful.

“Well,” he says, suddenly right before me. He straddles my legs and leans in over crossed arms, resting on the arms the living chair now provides him. Tendrils of the wicker lace around to keep mine in place, while the rope continues its steady progression up my legs. “Talk.”

It doesn’t take long to catch him up to speed. What he knows I cannot guess. What I know, he doesn’t rightly care. He’s never had any interest in helping us stop his father’s evil work. I know that much. What I don’t know is how to get him to play along just this once. How to make annoying his father more appealing than annoying me. Or whatever capriciousness motivates him. It’s anyone’s guess really.

But he is feeling playful, and that alone feels like it is to my advantage. And that I am also feeling playful can surely only help matters. I go with my gut, teasing here, hinting there. Pressing my luck always seems to amuse him, so I play into it, stroking his ego in whatever way I can. If I can keep him happy and playful, we could win this. Tonight, it could all be over.

“I need a favor…”

“Do you now?”

His voice is a low purr, a kiss of breath against the shell of my ear. By now, the ropes have climbed well up the length of my torso, slipping in between the places where his body is pressed against mine. I have only until they reach my neck to win him over to my cause. After that, the game is over. Unless one of yields and calls it off first. I don’t intend to yield.

I can feel the heat between us like a living thing. Chemistry has never been a thing we lack. I lean into it now, trying to forget the scenes of so many nightmares, the faces of so many needless victims that could have been spared. If only he would help us…

“I can’t do this on my own. You know that. I need you.”

My hips rise to meet him, the ropes a biting tease between us. I can feel him shift to match me, his body molding against mine. His lips part, eyes going soft for a moment as his face presses closer, closer to mine…

“What do you think you’re doing?”

I freeze under him, but it’s too late. I’ve taken the game too far.

The wicker snaps taunt beneath me, forcing into a long, stiff plank. Draco’s arm is against my neck, pressing, pressing, and the chair starts to tip.

Panic seizes me, but I cannot struggle. The ropes are too tight. They squeeze against my chest but it is nothing compared the the pressure of my terror, the paralyzing grip of fear. I am bound up to my shoulders, and his arm against my throat tips my head back, back…

I can see the stars of the Draconis constellations, twinned in the black mirror of the lake below. Its icy depths are nothing compared the fathomless dark of Lucius’s eyes.

No! That is not his name. I must not call him by his father’s name, not in this tenuous moment. But in the grips of my terror, it is the only name that will come to my lips. Not Lucius, not Lucius my brain repeats frantically. I must call him by his own name, Malfoy will not do…

“Draco.”

The silver flashes again in his eyes, and I wonder how I could have thought of him as anything but the mighty dragon that he is. His body presses long and hot against mine, but all I can feel is the horrible gut dropping agony of fear, and the hooks of cruel gravity, pulling us backward, backward…

“Draco don’t. We’ll both drown.”

The ropes squeeze around my chest, making it hard to talk, hard to breathe…

“Draco… Please…”

Instantly he is off me. All four feet of the chair touch the ground, the ropes and wicker alike returned to lifelessness. The press of his spell is gone, leaving the air cool and empty around me. Still, my chest rises only in shallow pants, unable to gasp in the much needed breaths. All I can do is stare, eyes wide, searching from some hint, some clue, as to what he is thinking now. Because the danger is far from over. Not when he’s like this.

He stares back, eyes cold and emotionless, face a porcelain mask. It’s no wonder my panic mistook him for his father. He’s grown up, in ways I hadn’t understood until now. I know so too have I, but this…

This was not the shape I would have hoped for him.

I realize suddenly that I wish I could have saved him from this. That I wish I had seen it sooner, so I could have stopped it. Did I push him to this, always casting him as the villain in my own private dramas? Could he have been something different, if anyone had let him? Something more?

The sneer returns to his face, making it boyish and playful. But the lie is over now, shattered by our brush with death. I cannot keep playing this most dangerous game with him. Because some day soon, one of us is going to have to lose.

“All you had to do, Potter,”

My name in his mouth is empty and hollow. There is no venom in it, no emotion in anything he says or does. I can see it all now for the play acting it had always been. And he knows I see it, so he doesn’t waste the effort.

The rope slithers across the room, dancing gracefully through the air as it snaps back up into his wand. He turns his back to me and the window, putting distance between us, retreating into the more private half of his already private suite. The part where I know I am not welcome.

He is almost completely covered by the shadows of that other half when he stops, turns, smiles. His teeth are like pearly daggers in the dark, and I know something wicked and cruel is about to come out of that lovely mouth.

“All you had to do… was say please.”

What I’ve been up to lately

The short version: Not much 😛 It’s been a wild season on the personal side of things, and that always takes it toll on the creative side. We’ve been playing with some world building stories, I’ve been playing the Portal games( because those are totally relaxing), and we’ve been kicking around some ideas for some more short stories, to be released in an entirely new format. I won’t say too much at this point, but I’m pretty excited. 😀

The thing I’m starting to come to terms with is that I have NO desire to actually publish anything. Not trad, not self, not anything. I do want my stories to be enjoyed, but I’m just not that into the idea of putting together full, complete works, processed and processed and processed again and again, to the point that I hate the original idea. I like to explore a place and move on, only returning if someone else shows interest in it.

So I’m allowing myself to move away from traditional writers’ goals. I do want my stories read, I do want to interact with readers, but I don’t want to have “a book”. I just want to play in my world and invite other people to explore it with me. That’s the part that’s fulfilling for me. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

Raevenly Writes: Custard Sitting

Roanan stared at the little ball of fluff Charity was holding out to him.

“You want me to what now?”

“You have to babysit Custard!” She thrust the dog out further—impressive, considering he was already at arm’s length. Roanan raised an eyebrow, then looked to Val.

“You want me,” he pointed to his chest, “to babysit that,” he pointed at the dog, who tried to lick his finger, but Roanan pulled it out of reach, “so that you two can go to New York for a girls’ weekend?”

Val sighed. “Roanan, I told you you don’t have to. We just thought we’d ask you first since you two already know and like each other.”

“I do not–” Custard yipped, cutting off all of Roanan’s attempts to declare his lack of like for the little pom. Charity cradled him close, smoothing her hand over his fur so furiously that Roanan wondered how the puff ball had any fur left.

“Don’t listen to him, Custard. You know he’s just playing hard to get, yes. You know how he loves you, don’t you? Mommy luvs you, yes she does, yes she does, she wuvs her widdle cuddle puddle yes she does.”

Roanan rolled his eyes and looked back to Val. He wouldn’t read the expression she gave back in return. Damn.

“Like I said.” Her tone was icy flat. No, not even icy. Just flat. It only seemed icy because he was so used to heat coming from her, especially in regards to himself. “You don’t have to. We just thought this would be less a pain in the ass than asking someone else.” She didn’t have to say “guess I was wrong”. It was perfectly clear how unimpressed she was with his grandstanding.

And that was exactly what it was. He didn’t like Custard, that was going too far, but the little dude was low maintenance. He was always chill when Roanan and Val watched him. What was really bothering Roanan was that Val was leaving for the weekend, and he didn’t know how to feel about that.

It was hardly the longest they’d ever gone without seeing each other. Really, they only hooked up every other week or so. And it wasn’t like her weekends were his. Val did lots of things on the weekend that weren’t Roanan. It was just… Well, it was just that he had some feelings about it all, and he didn’t know what they were, and he disliked that that meant he had to look. If there was one thing Roanan truly hated in this world, it was examining his feelings.

So he scooped up the little dog, staring into his beady little brown eyes, hoping their depths held better mysteries than his own.

“Will he be okay at Asylum?” he asked, without taking his eyes off the dog’s.

Charity’s answering high pitched squeal was unintelligible. Valerie translated.

“I’m pretty sure that was a request to flood his Insta with Asylum selfies. That should at least give you two something to do while we’re gone, since you clearly have nothing else in common.”

“Hey, we both like you, right?”

Roanan leaned in for a kiss, which of course brought Custard into face-licking range. Val rolled her eyes and gave them both kisses, though admitted a much more chaste one for Custard.

“Thank you, Roanan. Don’t hesitate to call if you need anything.”

“Yeah! All our numbers are in Custard’s phone! I’m speed dial one, Mom is 2, his hair dresser is–”

Roanan held up a hand to stop her, and not to take the little green cell phone she was holding out to him.

“I’m sorry, Custard’s what now?”

Charity thrust the phone out again. “His phone. For his Insta, and for FaceTime before bed.”

“Face time?”

But Charity was already handing over Custard’s purse and luggage, and Val only gave him a sly smile when he looked to her to help. Soon, the girls were gone, and it was just Roanan and Custard standing alone in Valerie’s driveway.

Rain between days

The in-between days were always the worst.

When she was fully in one world or the other, it was easy to forget her other life existed. Finals and BFF crises were of universe shattering importance, when they were allowed to be. When wind and wilds and earthsong filled her heart, the cares of a teenaged girl were but the blink of an eye. But when she was in-between, moving from one life to the next, nothing mattered. Everything was muddled and muddied and wrong. The whole point of keeping life balanced with death was so that life mattered. But the little things that made up a human life were so trivial, so tiny…

It was hard to feel like life was worth protecting when people cut in front of you at the Starbucks line.

But she wanted this. She had to keep reminding herself that she wanted this. Star and Fox and everyone in the valley seemed so cold sometimes, so distant from mortal cares… She didn’t want to become that. More than anything, she did not want to become that. She did this for her mom, for her best friends, for Jordan and Brenna and Katie. She did this for Zig and his stupid cute baby. She did this for Chris and Nat and Marie. She had to care about people, about the things that mattered to them, or she couldn’t trust herself. She didn’t like the person who would be making such important decisions if not tempered by her petty teenaged self.

And it was petty, she knew that. She knew she had to balance tiny mortal cares against large, world altering matters. But it was because those large matters would affect the small ones that made them matter. In and of themselves, the world would adjust to almost any apocalypse. Plants would keep on growing, birds would keep on singing—or they wouldn’t. The world would keep spinning—or it wouldn’t. The sun would keep burning, until it didn’t. In that long, long view, nothing she did meant anything.

So she had to keep it small, keep it tight focused. And that meant coming home at the end of every summer, coming back to a world where no one knew she could melt their faces off if they didn’t stop stepping on the back of her shoe. She shifted her weight, sliding her foot back into her sandal, trying to remember why she’d come to this soulless corporate place instead of going down to the Early Bird. If it came down to saving Starbucks, she might let the world burn.

Ice Flowers

And just like that, it was just another day.

Layla stood shivering at the corner, waiting for Benny to come rattling down the old churt drive in his even older truck, just as angry to be up and moving as she was. She liked the beat up maroon monster. “Betsy” was cranky and vocal about it and somehow that made the indignity of getting up before the sun just to work at the local SavABunch more bearable. She could do without Ben—but then, no, that was the point, wasn’t it? She couldn’t do without Ben, or at least without someone to give her a lift the five miles into town. Benny had been giving her rides every morning since they were high school together. And before that, Benny’s dad had driven them both. Ben. It was Ben now, Layla. She had to remember that. Couldn’t risk offending him. At least, not over something so small. She had to save her battles for the bigger things, more important no’s.

The road crunched under her feet as she stomped back and forth, trying to stay warm. Ice shards stuck up in little clusters, moisture forced up out of the ground like little clumps of frozen grass, or tiny delicate flowers. Some twisted and curled, some shot straight up in proud obstinance. All of them told her it was too damned cold to be out this early, before the sun had even started to kiss the tops of the tallest trees on the tallest ridges of the holler. The sun didn’t care that it was the day after Christmas. The managers at SavABunch didn’t either.

The familiar rattle and rumble announced his arrival long before the feeble sweep of tired headlights. Layla hoisted up the garbage bag at her side, filled with cardboard and little twist-ties and scraps of plastic and gift wrap and tags that all read “To:” but none of them “From:”. There was no point in filling out that part. They all knew exactly where their meager little Christmas came from.

No matter. Another dollar, another day. She swung the bag up into the back of Benny’s truck before he could even properly put Betsy in park, let alone do something stupid like get out and try to insist he do it for her. That didn’t stop him from opening the door, but at least he did it from inside the cab. And besides, Betsy’s passenger door liked to stick lately anyways. Made sense to just let him do it.

“Morning, Layla.”

“Hiya Benn–”

She gave him her brightest smile, trying to push it all the way up to her eyes.

“How’s Moma?”

“Moma’s fine. How’s your Dad and Gran?”

“Fine. How’d Christmas treat y’all?”

“Just fine, Ben. And yours?” She busied herself with her seat belt, the crusty thing fighting with her in the cold. Her shaky fingers just couldn’t seem to make it work.

“Mighty fine, gal. Jim ran into a patch of grouse, brought a few home on his way in. We’ll bring y’all some around if he managed to scare up anymore.”

The belt finally slide home with a sticky click, and Layla settled back into her seat, burrowing down into her coat. She stared out at the tiny tunnel of light the headlights carved out of the darkness.
“That’s awful sweet of him. You tell Jimmy thanks for me if I’m not around when he stops by.”

Silence filled the empty space between them, settling into the middle seat like a third wheel. Layla was grateful for the buffer. Ben couldn’t seem to abide it.

“You get your Moma those red shoes she was yammering about?”

“No, Ben. Not this year.”

Of course she hadn’t bought her Moma any shoes, or that fancy dress, or any of the other foolish things she’d asked for. She bought her a sensible new book of puzzles, and knit her a new pair of socks over the course of many lunch breaks, and came together with the folks at church to bring her in a consignment shop recliner to replace that one that had become too much soaked with urine. The old one was still sitting out back, waiting to be burned.

“Well, maybe there’ll still be some, maybe on sale for after Christmas. I can check for you, if you like.”

“No, damn it!” She bit her lip at the terse words, then swore again as Betsy hit a pothole that bounced the corner of her elbow into the door handle. Ben murmured a word of apology, and Layla sighed in a big frosty puff.

“Ben, you know Moma doesn’t need any stupid red shoes. What’s she gonna do, stare at them from under the blanket? Click her heels together three times and wonder why nothing’s changed?”

Ben’s fingers curled and flexed against the wheel, smoothing over it as if he could smooth the snarl from the conversation. Layla’s own fingers bit into her palms deep in her coat pockets.

“You sure are grumpy this morning, Layla.”

Something relaxed in her, while something else tensed. He was willing to let the Moma thing go. But that meant his attention was back on her. Time to play nice.

“Yeah, Ben. I am. Sorry to take it out on you.”

“S’okay.” His fingers tapped a meaningless beat against the wheel. It was painful watching him try to think, waiting to see what would come out. “It’s easy to get lazy after a few days off. Betsy didn’t wanna go back to work this morning either, did ya gal?”

One morning—begrudgingly given because it wasn’t worth the cost of being open with no one in town—hardly counted as enough time to get lazy, but she would take it. If he was willing to excuse her ill behavior, she wouldn’t point out his logic was flawed.

“It was a nice change of pace, anyway,” she said lamely, knowing she had to say something.

“Don’t you worry, Layla.” His tone was bright and chipper again, pleased she was playing along, or something. She didn’t know and she didn’t care. “You’ll get another vacation here come New Year’s.”

And just like that, it was another day.

Julie returns to the attic

Tonight’s prompted writing took me back to a short story I did called Two Ghosts, in which Ruth’s middlest daughter starts to discover her magic. I discovered some very …interesting things in tonight’s writing, and I’m looking forward to chasing all these hidden goodies down. 🙂

Note: This is raw and unfiltered/edited, but I really liked it’s energy so thought I’d go ahead and share anyways.


She slammed the spellbook closed with a thud. Clearly she wasn’t getting anywhere. Huffing out a long sigh—that blew up a cloud of dust from the surrounding forgotten attic treasures—Julie leaned back and stretched, trying to pop her back.

She’d been up here for hours, trying to find anything, anything, that might still have a lingering presence. She’d tried crystals, wands, random junk found in draws—she’d even tried reviving one of the old sigils. Maybe that one had worked, but she couldn’t tell. She couldn’t read anything of spells or power—not like her sister anyway. Their dad, the real witch of the family, had tried his best to help her come to terms with supposed powers. But after that one and only time in the attic, this attic, nothing. Whatever had happened up here had been a freak accident. Clearly.

She sighed again, this time more of an annoyed huff, then unfolded her long legs. She frowned at the large swath of ankle no longer covered by her too short jeans. Growing pains. Yay.

Pushing to her feet—heedless now of wherever she put her hands, this old lines had no real power in them anymore—she got up to wander, to work some life back into her feet. The spell book had been interesting, but lifeless. Nothing up here but old ghosts.

She let her attention slide as she wandered the room, hands trailing idly over dusty shelves and forgotten papers. Even if she couldn’t make another memory echo manifest, she still loves looking at all the old, curious treasures tucked away up here. Her grandmother had worked up here. Her father and uncle had, too. She still remembered the day he and Ruth had snuck up here, trying to be closer to the ley line*, reaching for that last little bit…

“I wouldn’t, little niece of mine.”

Julie spun, coming face to face with a boy who looked uncannily like her father, but not quite.

And, of course, he was semi-transparent.

Julie fell to her butt with a gasp, choking on the dust cloud it knocked up. The spectre of her uncle rushed to her side, but of course, his hands passed right through. He frowned, looking at his hands as if he might will more substance into them, and Julie groaned as she felt her ears pressurize and then pop. A feeling like the first few drops of icy autumn rain hit her gut.

“Oh, sorry. That shouldn’t have drawn from you.”

Younger Uncle Simon knelt by her now, hands semi-solid against her arm. Warmth flooded through her, the queasy feeling leaving her stomach. Her head spun, and her ears rang with the distant memory of spectral thunder.

“Uncle… Uncle Simon?”

He beamed at her, eyes full of a paternal pride that looked ridiculously out of place on an eleven-year-old.

“That’s right, Julie. You’re a very clever girl.”

Julie frowned at him, knowing that she’d revived a ghost but knowing how—or even, exactly what any of that meant. Simon’s smile softened.

“I don’t understand it either, little niece, but I’m sure together, we can figure it out.”

He held out his hand again, offering her help up. She frowned harder at it, then pushed herself up to her feet without his help.

“Just because you’re wearing my Uncle’s face doesn’t mean I automatically trust you.”

His answering laugh felt like a thousand tiny moths dancing along her skin. It was thrilling, and utterly unsettling.

“Good girl. Good instincts.”

A final action beat, but I’m officially distracted. :/

“I think you’ll find ghost talker yet.”

*is that the example I want to use?