Serpent Holidays

So this post is just as much to organize my thoughts as it is to share my world building with you, so if it’s a little disjointed (even for me) just bear with me.

Wishing Night (around February) Wishes are written on little paper boats and lanterns, and sent out into the night. This holiday has sort of fallen off in the modern day/been absorbed into the Longest Night vigil. It’s meant to lure the sun back, when the winter seems to stretch on endlessly.

Festival of Flowers (late spring) A courting festival. Would-be wooers ask their wooee what sort of flower they would like. The wooee’s choice indicates their interest. Simple, easy-to-find flowers mean your intended reciprocates. The more challenging the flower, the less interested (or the more drama-oriented lol). Regardless, if the wooer can return with the requested flower, the wooee is obligated the spend the evening dancing with them. Sort of a “I did this impressive thing, at least hear me out” moment.

Fun side note: This leads to the popular phrase “Dandelion love”, indicating the swift and passing infatuations of youths and spring. Easily had, and just as easily blown away by the wind.

Midsummer…

I know they do SOMETHING, but for the life of me, I just haven’t been inspired yet.

Raise the Wheat (early autumn) Made up entirely on the spot for a scene when I was writing with Kortan and Co the first time. A harvest festival, where (among other things) children dress up as stalks of wheat and apparently ride on the backs of adults (…I swear it makes sense if you’d read it lol). Begins by building a bonfire with the first cuts of wheat, culminates by dancing around said fire and carrying its energy out into the fields. (As with most serpents holidays, this means outdoor orgies. So, soooo many people wake up in the fields the next day. So, ya know, a very early autumn holiday :P)

Longest Night (Midwinter) Probably my most fleshed out holiday so far, just because its the first one I tried to work with. Serpents gather in one house, sharing blankets and stories, keeping an all night vigil. The lore is that the warmth and parties and stories are meant to draw Li’Daea’s attention, to draw her back from her lover, Il’Dao. (Depending on the lore keeper you ask. Some insist that Il’Dao has kidnapped her. Whatever.)

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And they danced

So this post of @thebibliosphere‘s has been making a lot of noise on Tumblr, and it got me thinking. It made me realize I fall into a camp I’m sure is all too common: Those of us who don’t write disabled characters because we simply don’t think to. I know it was speaking to those who try to erase them or argue against their inclusion, but I feel like it’s just as important for those of who simply didn’t think about them to get thinking. I wrote this little blurb, just as a thought experiment as to how a disabled serpent might live. In a culture so entrenched in the importance of dance, where would she fit? How would she feel? What would her cousins do to help her feel included, a part of their dance?

She never felt broken. Bathed in the light of her cousins’ joy, she never felt left out, wistful, longing. All she felt was the glory of the dance, swept up in rush of heat and movement and praise. Her aura joined theirs, sending her adoration to the shining goddess that had granted them this gift. She never cursed Li’Daea for the extra fire in her veins, igniting her joints with blazing pain when she stood too long. She simply danced with her cousins, spirit in ecstasy though her body did not move.

“Again,” she said, when the dance had spiraled down to its graceful conclusion. “It was almost perfect, but that second to last half turn was muddied, the aura rippled funny. Zi, Tan, Rak, slow it down. Viti, Nalia, bring the arc in a little faster. That should do it.”

She didn’t move, but she danced.

Is it perfect? Not hardly. I’m sure starting out with “she never felt broken” shows my ableist privilege like there’s no tomorrow. But it’s a start. And she’s quickly become an integral part of the plot I’m planning out for my just for fun shipfic.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here, other than “People, just think about it, would ya?”

Quick Update

I’m moving! We FINALLY found and apartment and heard back from them today! I know I’m already pretty quiet on here as it is, but I thought I’d let you all know anyways. We should be all settled in after 4th of July weekend.

Raevenly Writes: on a thunder prompt

Been going through old prompt drafts and actually writing with them (wild, right?)

putthepromptsonpaper:

“She dreamed of the sound of thunder and hooves”

There was no way to quiet the panic in her brain, even when she reminded it they were dreaming. Just a dream. They were not actually astride a giant eagle, racing alongside the wind walkers. It was just a dream–albeit a truly frightening one.

She gripped the eagle tighter with her legs, earning her a mental spike of protest. She tried to project back an apology, but her brain was still flooded full of fear.

There’s just no help for it, she thought. Some things you can’t unlearn.

Like treating her animal half as a separate self when she dreamed. Or lifelong fear of flying above the storms, where the wind walkers galloped across the tops of the black clouds.

They banked, her eagle self turning them away from the storm at the nightmares that raced atop it. Her animal knew better, knew the walkers would not devour them in their dreams. It urged her to relax, to embrace the flight, and chase the dream into the dawn.

But all the while, she heard the thunder of hoof beats behind her, felt the cold, damp wind on the back of her neck, and knew there was no outrunning the beasts that ran the sky.

Raevenly Wrote: A short thing!

Lol, anticlimactic, I know. But hey, I’m alive! Surprise, surprise!

For those of you wondering if I’d fallen off the face of the earth …well, pretty much, yeah. 😛 I’ve been doing a lot more visual media than anything else, but also taking some time to recharge, and grapple with ye olde writer confidence issues. And I’ve been playing around with a potential podcast, but first I’ve got to condition myself to not start hyperventilating like a deranged chipmunk as soon as I hit record. :/

But I miss writing, I miss it a lot, and I want to find my way back into it. This morning, I tried a little exercise I’d read about, where you copy out your favorite stories as a voice defining exercise, or something like that. Before I could hunt down the book I wanted to do this with, I’d already started mentally composing, so I just ran with that instead. Hey, the point was to start writing again, right?

So, for funsies, here’s my rewrite of the opening scene of Midnight Predator, the novel that first made me fall in love with shapeshifters (thanks again, Amelia!)


The fight had been going on since well before dawn. As the sky started to lighten on the Eastern horizon, Ravyn and Turquoise completely failed to notice, attention focused down on the battle between them. No light from outside ever reached this far into the guild hall anyway.

Muscles tightened, some instinct of warning sending Turquoise spiralling away from a blow before she’d even known Ravyn has struck. She was beyond tired, acting on habits of conditioning. The only reason she hadn’t been hit was because the other hunter was in much the same condition. Five hours is an ungodly long time to fight.
On a real hunt, no confrontation would ever last this long. If Turquoise didnt elimante her prey on the first blow… Well, there were precious few things she hunted that would give her another shot at it.
An opening, and she lunged, finding nothing but empty air as the other hunter danced away. Damnit. They were never going to reach an endpoint to the Trials at this rate.

Opening drabble

When I go for long periods of time without writing, I go back to stories I love for inspiration. One of my favorite things are the little personal journal blurbs at the beginning of every Keisha’ra book. I come back to those a lot. A lot a lot. This bit was a fast and loose blend of some ace characters, mine and one borrowed from the Maeve’ra.


We are born into it. From before our first breaths, we are rocked by our mother’s dancing, soothed by the songs on her lips. We sway with our first steps, we sing before we can speak. And underneath it all, the knowledge, the promise, that all of this down for Her. That all things of the body are Li’Daea’s gift. That all our pleasure is done in offering to her.

But, when touch isn’t a pleasure, when song doesn’t move your heart… Because you know every drumbeat carries expectation. Because that thrill of nervousness in the pit of your stomach isn’t excitement. It’s dread.

We are born into it. This idea that love and beauty and song and flesh are one and the same. That to celebrate the Goddess that made us all, we are to worship with tongues and teeth and body, that every body is her temple and every prayer is whispered on lovers’ lips, pressed and sealed with a hungry kiss. She is craving, she is Life, and what speaks more of life than the act of creation itself? Even those pairings that don’t result in children…

It is still expected. We are born into it. We are serpents. We dance, and the Goddess smiles. We sing, and she sings back. We kiss, and the world is made anew.

And we hide…

Why would we hide?

I am thirteen and have never felt the stirrings of desire. It will come, they tell me. No rush to spoil my youth. But every smile is knowing. Every eye is casting about that that special glance, that certain someone. There is no one. And I do not feel it a lack. But soon…

I have watched my friends couple off one by one, swelling in the flowers of their adulthood. It will come, they say. No need to rush.

But no need at all?

We are born into it. We are serpents. We dance.

So why does the thought turn my stomach?