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. 😀

Raevenly Writes: Fanfiction

I finally dove in this year, with what I thought would be a quick, fun one-off. But The Ties That Bind, my Hawksong fanfic, is officially over 30k long and is showing no signs of stopping! For those of you who have been with me since Asylum, you’ll know how important Hawksong and its companion volumes are. So it’s really not surprisingly that I would want to play in that world–only surprisingly that it took me so long!

Here’s a little snippet from the first chapter, and I’ll be mirroring the whole fic over on Asylum’s page (or, if you’re impatient, look me up on ao3 under raevenly)

They say the first of my kind was a woman named Alasdair, a human raised by hawks. She learned the language of the birds, and was gifted with their form.
It is a pretty myth, I admit, but few actually believe it. No record remains of her life.
No record except for the feathers in every avian’s hair, even when otherwise we appear human, and the wings I can grow when I choose–and of course the beautiful golden hawk’s form that is as natural to me as the legs and arms I wear normally.
This myth is one of the stories we hear as children, but it says nothing of reality or the hard lessons we are taught later.
Almost before a child learns to fly, she learns to hate. She learns of war. She learns of the race that calls itself the serpiente. She learns that they are untrustworthy, that they are liars and loyal to no one. She learns to fear the garnet eyes of their royal family even though she will probably never see them.
Of course, I have.
I have seen them look to me in fear and pain, a young prince’s final moments. I have seen them look at me in consideration, a new ruler sizing up the woman who would be his enemy.
And I have seen them beneath me, cushioned on a pillow of down, soft as my own hair.
They taught me how to hate those eyes.
No one taught me how to read them.

Danica Shardae, Tuuli Thea

NaNo 2020 Won

Finally made it. Hit an absolute WALL around 40k when I realized I had no plot. I have faffed my way to 50k, and my take away this year is pretty much the same as it is every year:

*I like goals, benchmarks, stickers, and other tangible rewards

*I just can’t write during the work week, at least not more than about 300 words (tops)

*50k is an absolutely arbitrary goal (this novel is no where near finished but the first draft was wrapped up around 40k)

*I don’t like focusing on one project for more than about two weeks

NaNo 2020 Day 21

Going to have to do some backtracking, so most of today’s words are going to be cut. This scene amused me though, so enjoy! (CW: slight kink/rope play)

“Don’t think about it too hard, pretty boy. Just tie your knots so we can untangle and your demon can blast me into oblivion.”

Daniel had started to pick up the ropes again, but their words stopped him short.

”…what?”

Issa snorted. “It’s no less than I was going to do to you. I can hardly blame her. Except blasting my memories will send me scattering back to the Lady’s realm in failure and disgrace. But don’t worry about me. I’m sure the pieces of my essence will be put to better use, once they’ve been stripped of any trace of me.”

Daniel frown, but Liselle wailed. “You can’t kill them! I love them!” She threw herself over Issa’s bared and bound form, face fierce and despairing.

Tiff sighed. “You don’t love them, Lissie, you just met them. You’re just aura drunk.”

But Daniel didn’t back down either. “Do you really have to destroy them? They were just doing their job. I know this isn’t ideal, but can’t we just untangle and send them on their way?”

Daniel held all of Tiff’s attention. “You’re really fine just letting them go, knowing that they’ll send someone in their place to finish their job? And you might never know who is manipulating your every move from here on out?”

He frowned at Tiff, and then at Issa.

“Is that true? Is it really a devil you know/devil you don’t kind of deal?”

“Can’t you just read my mind and find out?”

Daniel opened his mouth to retort, but Issa pushed their thoughts at him, much as she’d done with her breasts earlier.

Stop that.

Stop What?

Misgenderinging me when you think of me before. I was always them, I’ve always been them. Just because you didn’t bother to ask if your assumptions were right–

Well you didn’t bother to correct me. About your pronouns or your … race?

He didn’t know if “race” was the right word for difference between planars and witches. His textbooks had used a blend of race, species, breed, types–none of the literature really knew how to handle this. He wondered if any of their authors had ever been in this kind of situation.

Of course. Issa again. Mortals get collected all the time. We’re just usually better about not getting caught. It my own fault, really.

Daniel frowned at his, both in his aura and on his face. Tiff touched him agian and it jerked him from his thoughts. He reeled, slightly disoriented. He’d never done anything like that before.

Not true!

This bright, happy thought was Liselle, and it came with the sense memory of swimming with her sisters. Daniel sagged back against Tiff.

“Guys…” He clutched his head. “Too much. Back up, please.”

Tiffany wrapped her arms around him, and with the motion, he felt her aura close around his, protecting him from the barrage of thoughts from Issa and Liselle.

But too much and it felt like suffocating and Tiff made a sound of annoyance as she let up enough that their auras could reach him again.

“Too damn complicated.” Tiff muttered in his ear.

“Let me finish the ropes,” he said with a shaky breath. “Better do Liselle, too.”

Rant

I FUCKING HATE this whole block editing thing. I turned it off once, but can’t figure out how to do it again, and just *FOAMING RAGE*

eta: no seriously, I just straight up deleted the post I wanted to make, made it all in a word processor, and just copy pasted it here. THIS IS A BLOGGING PLATFORM THE BLOGGING SHOULD BE EASY.

There’s a reason I always leave this place after NaNo (in favor of fucking TUMBLR of all things (which I realize they are now one and the same, and am not looking forward to the myraid of ways both will go downhill))

NaNo 2020 Day 17

Lots of good plot stuff today, pulling stuff together, figuring it all out. A short excerpt for yall today since spoilers ahoy

Issa fingered the charm, following the threads of magic woven within. Picking out patterns was as easy as breathing for a Weaver, the planars of Fate. They quickly isolated the tangles of oceanic influence that was gumming up the vibrations of Daniel’s power and plucked it, twisting it finer and smoothing its ressonaces to match the more subdued earthen strains. Something had happened these past few weeks, because the watery elemental no longer bubbled–it flowed. It ebbed and crashed like waves, growing and swelling like the moon, fat and full. Except the moon was waning now, nearly to new… Issa thought they should remember something about that, but suddenly Daniel was back, and the time for playing was over.

Daniel frowned, knowing something wasn’t right but not what. He punched in the code to disarm the aurameter that had never been turned back on, reactivating it instead. His fumbling with the door gave them time to break from the magic, but not elegantly. Issa stuffed it down within their own power, half-distracted as they tried to find a way that made it look like they’d been busy while he’d been gone. Half-panicked, Issa leaned over the desk, giving him an eyefull and going for full distraction mode. It was their go-to, a habit really, otherwise they wouldn’t have tried it on him when it hadn’t worked before. Except…

Except Daniel was crossing the room with quick, powerful strides, the power riding before him like a mighty wave.

NaNo 2020 Day 15

The moon was less demanding tonight, mostly full, but waning. Daniel didn’t remember what that meant for the tides. It didn’t seem to matter, because Liselle walked straight out into the ocean. And didn’t seem inclined to stop.

“Liselle?”

Daniel stood at the edge of the shore, within the wet sand line but not so close that the waves did more than kiss his toes. His shoes were tied together and hanging over one shoulder, Liselle’s strappy sandals laced with them.

The mer stood out in the water well up past her knees, but not quite hitting her dress. Short dress. He’d noticed that, in the back of his mind, when she’d been dancing with Steve. He tried not to think about how she’d looked pressed up against him, back molded to his front, all that yummy goodness of her on display, but under another’s hands–

Liselle touched his cheek, and he blinked. He’d lost time. He stared stupidly down at the mer he loved and thought “Oh. I love her. Well.” As if it was both news and not, important and not. She cupped his face with her other hand.

“You have to come stand in the water. You won’t hear if you’re not touching.”

He nodded and let her lead him out by the hand, realizing only after that he could have taken off his overclothes and just waded out in his shorts. He was a little surprised Liselle wasn’t full on naked. He hoped this wouldn’t ruin her dress.

She led him out until the water passed his waist, his ribs, almost midchest. He thought she must be floating now, by the odd swaying tug of her hand in his. He glanced down, and a long, shimmering tail had replaced her legs.

The tail twinkled like the night sky, glittering with tiny points of light. It was iridescent darkness against blacker darkness, tail and water almost indistinguishable. It undulated with the waves, frilly edges seemed to dissolve into the sea, like the point where Liselle stopped and sea began didn’t matter. She squeezed his hand, giving him a sad smile.

“It hurts,” he whispered, knowing it somehow to be true. She nodded.

“It always hurts now, one way or the other. But like a good hurt, like watching you go to work.”

The look in her eyes told him that she loved him too, but didn’t have the words for it. Maybe this was one of those mer things, or rather, one of those un-mer things that mers came to the surface to understand.

“But if you never leave, I don’t get the happy bubble of you coming back. I like that feeling, So it’s worth it to be apart for a little while.”

She sighed and settled lower into the water, her hair trailing out behind her on the surface. Bit by bit, the curls wetted and sank, coiling and swirling through the water like they had when she’d shifted him. Icy fear sliced through his gut, as Daniel suddenly thought to worry about following a mer down into the water.

“Am I going to shift?”

Liselle shook her head, motion rippling down through her curls.

“Just me. I can’t call to them with this voice, so I need my Song.”

The hair flexed at “Song”, and Daniel realized it was melting into the waves, like colored sugar melting on his tongue. It spread out, flowed, somehow always still connected to her, but spreading impossibly far, farther than it ever could have on land.

Her aura, too, seemed to be spreading out, lapping at him like the waves, thicker and more solid here in the water. He remembered what she’d said about feelings going to fast, and wondered if their discovering they loved each other had only happened because they’d waded out into the sea. Would he have missed this, if they’d stayed forever on land? Was his aura going bubbling like hers?

Was that why his magic wasn’t working?

But the time for such thoughts was gone, because the sea was filling up with shapes and colors. And auras, waving and bubbling like Liselle’s.

Her sisters had come.

NaNo 2020 Day 13

It’s my birthday AND I just cracked 25k!!! It’s a good day 😀

Liselle peered over Daniel’s shoulder, the tips of her bare breasts brushing against his back as she did. He noticed, but so much of him was narrowed down into the fine point of the applewood stylus that he hardly reacted. Core muscles tended to keep his posture, his elbow adjusted slightly to keep her pressure from affecting his lines, breath eased out to keep his focus–automatic reactions, the stuff of habit, forged through long habit. Liselle pressed harder with a little huff, annoyed at being ignored. A slip of her pawed at his awareness like an artsy cat, begging for the door to be opened. Daniel sighed again, easing his magical connection with the stylus and coming up for air.


“Yes, twitchy fish?”


His eyes stayed soft focus, his hands still smoothing over the candle he had been carving. He’d stopped pouring energy into it, but the spell still had to be locked.


“Whatcha doing?”


“Spelling.”


“What for?”


He blew the wax curls from the taper, not wanting to disrupt the lines by wiping them away.


“Its a love spell.”


“A love spell?!”


Liselle finally sounded interested, and confused. “What do you need a love spell for?”


Daniel turned the rich indigo taper in his hands, studying without really seeing it.


“I’m modifying it, to keep the various relationships in this house in balance. I’m making a candle for each of us, and as the dynamics shift and settle, I’ll have a focusing point to anchor helpful energies onto.”


“Like what?”

He gestured vaguely towards the boxes strewn across his roll top desk. “Like pennyroyal for patience, or blue lace agate for communication.” He set the taper down, laying it aside the three others: pink, grey, and gold. “And even just the act of moving them apart or closer together might be useful when some of magics go awry.”


Liselle’s hand hovered over the pink one, but she looked to Daniel before picking it up at his nod. It was carved with intricate scales, sealed under a protective layer of thin, clear wax. Various chips of gemstones were pressed into it, and a few carefully applied pink rose petals, formed into the shape of hearts.


“This one’s mine.”


Her voice and smile were soft, and Daniel nodded again.


“I love it.”


He matched her smile, shifting his arm around her waist so he could her against him in a half hug.


“Yours was easy; your energies are so transparent. Tiff and Issa…”


He gestured to the still unadorned grey and gold candles.


Liselle slipped into his lap, pushing his back from the desk through sheer necessity. He chuckled and let her, leaning over her shoulder as she had his, though he was much less naked. His hands played along her thighs, an absent habit, as he watched her move from tool to tool, wavering. At last she looked up, leaning back against Daniel’s chest so she could look into his face. A slight frown knit her brow, bowed her lips.


“You’re right, this is hard.”


He laughed and hugged her to him, wrapping her energies around him like a warm patch of sunlight.


“I was thinking of asking each of them to help me, separately, with their own candles.”


Liselle nodded, looking far too serious.


“That’s a good idea. I dont think they like each other much.”


Daniel gave a sideways grin, knowing exactly what Tiff’s supposed annoyance with Issa meant. The planars flirted like grade schoolers, pulling each others hair and stepping on toes.


“They like each other well enough. But you’re right; I don’t think I could handle them both together, not magically.”


Liselle giggled and wiggled, a clear sign her mind had turned back to sex. It never took her long.


“But there’s other ways you can handle them both, huh?”


She wiggled more in his lap, rubbing herself against him. Even through the jeans, their magical connection made touch seem velvety soft. He shivered, hands flexing along her bare stomach.


“Come on, Trouble. No sex in the magic room, you know that.”

NaNo 2020 Day 12

“I meant to have more time to talk about this before we got naked. But here we are. Tiff, do you mind managing the magic again? Liselle, are you able to control your magic at all, do you have any training?”

Liselle bit her lip, and slowly shook her head. “No. No one who Returns knows about being Above. We’re… kinda thrown to the waves and left to find a new way to swim.”

Tiff kissed Liselle’s temple.

“I can handle the magic, I don’t mind. The question is how entangled you two want me to let your magics get.” She looked back to Daniel for the last bit.

He blew out another breath. “I… I’m not an expert on this. For witches, they’re supposed to mingle, so you get a sense of compatibility. But, if we were both witches, this kind of reaction would be reason enough to call stop, and consult our mentors, or friends.” His lips curled over his teeth as embarrassment rolled in his belly. “Or a watchman. Like what you’re doing for us, Tiff. Someone to keep an eye on things, who isn’t rolled by the power.”

The practice was really rare, at least formally. A holdover from when marriages were more mandated by parents and making family alliances, strengthening bloodlines. Yes, those things still happened, informally. But there were enough witches now that if two folks didn’t get on, they just stopped. No need to push the boundaries, to be absolutely certain a pairing wouldn’t work before giving up.

At least from the adult, logical perspective.

From the kids experimenting end of things…

Well, Daniel had learned he didn’t mind watching, or performing for an audience, in a very hands on way.

“Hmm…” Tiff thought on that for a moment while she toyed with Liselle’s curls. “I’m just not sure how much mingling can happen before it risks permanency. I’m not exceptionally experienced with untangling auras.”

“Mingling and uncoupling is normal for mers,” Liselle volunteered. “It helps us find each other, while we’re hunting together, but fades if we go away.”

Daniel nodded. “Witches are similar. We meld to work magics together, but its an effort to stay connected. If we don’t work at it every day, the meld will fade. That’s why things like mudokus have a permanent, physical anchor. Without an anchor, merged magics will separate. Even those with similar affinities.”

He let out a shaky breath and gave Tiff a watery smile. “I guess I am the expert here, as much as anyone. The eyes were…unexpected, but they went away. I think…” He broke off with a laugh. “Oh gods, am I really doing this? Am I really walking the knife’s edge just for some good sex?”

NaNo 2020 Day 10

They walked to the pier, Liselle wanting to see the ocean, and Daniel not caring as long as they got some air. He’d felt Tiffany pull on his aura, like making a wrinkly bed. Once it was right again, he’d realized it had been wrong. So he kept his hand in Liselle’s, but he also stretched out his awareness to the earth beneath their feet, letting it ground him.


Connected to the earth as a rock worker was less a matter of doing and more a relaxing, a ceasing of his near constant pushing away. He always felt the earth, every hour of every day. Grounding for most witches meant collecting themselves and opening up to that connection all mortal things had with the earth. For Daniel, it was pulling himself in, making “Daniel” louder than the sense of the earth beneath him.

Now he relaxed it, letting “Daniel” be his hand in Liselle’s, his feet hitting the sidewalk, the sand that always clung to everything down by the shore. “Daniel” stretched deep into the earth, the vastness of it making the largeness of his aura seem small. It had seemed counter intuative when he was younger, but the vastness of the earth made the smallness of “Daniel” seem right, like he should be small, and so smaller he was. Letting that enormity give him some sense of perspective always seemed to help when he lost himself in something bigger. Nothing was bigger than the earth, and Daniel as of the earth. So nothing was bigger than what he was already lost in. If he could find “Daniel” in all that rock, he could find “Daniel” anywhere.

So he found hismelf in the warm touch of a girl’s hand, and the gritty annoyance of tiny earth in the form of sand between his toes. Earth was big, earth was small.Daniel was big, Daniel was small. Daniel was happy with his life, and wanted to be present. So he was.

The downside to this was that it always seemed to make his senses hyperaware, like being Daniel filled his body a little more than it normally did. Liselle’s whole body was a warm, vibrating presence beside him, and the ocean beyond, so vast, but not as vast as the earth, crashing and roaring far past the horizon.

The moon hung low and heavy over the water, kissing the ripples of the waves. Twinkling lights of a dozen boats cut the horizon, but the moon dwarfed them all, demanding all eyes pay homage to her lustriousness. To Daniel, it just seemed the perfect compliment to Liselle’s creamy skin. She pulled on him the way the moon pulled on the waves, and just as inexorably, he wanted to move in her.

Later. Both the earth and the sea knew how to wait.

He squeezed his fingers around hers as they walked, slow and leisurely, out the length of wood–more earth–and out over the water, where finally the pull of the earth eased, just a little. The water that lapped over the earth here was so small, so small. But Daniel was small, and so it was just enough to help him strike a balance.

He liked that, the idea of shore and sea and sand being the right place for him. He liked it a lot.

“It’s so pretty tonight,” Liselle breathed, her voice joining the shush shush shush of the waves. “I love the way the light looks up here, clear and unwavering.”

Daniel followed her gaze out into the night, wondering what the moon looked like from under the water. He could see it, almost, like a heat mirage, but thicker.

“Do you miss it?” he asked, even though he knew. Liselle’s homesickness had colored every inch of her magic, every moment that passed between them when they’d been connected.

“I think I’ll always miss it,” she said, tugging him down so they could sit with their feet kicking over the edge. “Even if I go back. I’ll never see it the way I did before I came Above. I think… I think that’s okay. But I think I’m going to miss forever. Just a little bit.”

NaNo 2020 Day 9

Dont have a place for this scene yet, but part of my goals for this year’s nano was to get better with descriptions. Not…nsfw, but not not adult. Read at your own discretion

Liselle was wearing the same little cropped leather jacket and matching boots from the night before, but the pink had been replaced with sea foam green, a bouncy little party dress with lots of layers that poofed and bounced when she walked. The heels of the boots put a lot of bounce in that walk, making the skirts fly and thr sweetheart neckline bob invitingly. Daniel thought he might have seen a flash of cheek when she hopped up onto the boardwalk, but it might have just been wishful thinking.


Very wishful thinking.


He wanted to run his hands up under that skirt, to find out if that pert ass was really bare, or if the tiniest slip of fabric stood between him and what he wanted.


He shook himself like a dog coming up from water. He was prepared tonight, with every kind of contraceptive he could get his hands on. But that didnt mean he didnt still have to wait. No, fucking Liselle with Tiff to run interference was a bad, bad idea. So they’d gone to the pier, Liselle wanting to see the ocean, and Daniel wanting to be out in public.


The moon hung low and heavy over the water, kissing the ripples of the waves. Twinkling lights of a dozen boats cut the horizon, but the moon dwarfed them all, demanding all eyes pay homage to her lustriousness. To Daniel, it just seemed the perfect compliment to Liselle’s creamy skin.


He shoved his hands in his pockets.