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?”

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.

Raevenly is Writing: Asylum gets a facelift

So, on the one hand, it seems my writing vacation has fallen through, because working retail during the holidays is pretty much the worst thing and there’s no such thing as time off. On the other hand, I’m still determined to work on something, damnit, for the sake of my soul and sanity if nothing else. So I opened up ye olde word document that I’d put aside to work on my NaNo. Asylum, my sweet baby, I have missed you.

Naj is still a hot mess, but he’s an action hero hot mess now, instead of just this sweet little lump that I didn’t know what to do with until about halfway through the novel. He’s still easily confused and just wants to help, but now he actually gets to do things. This scene is a great indicator of the pace and flavor that I was hoping for when I started the streamlining process. Enjoy!

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Raevenly is Writing: Creepy stuff

Sometimes, we find inspiration in the simplest places. Sometimes, that inspiration leads to some truly creepy things.

I took the dog out this morning and heard a steady knocking, someone clearly not having much luck being let inside. I thought at first, “Wow, 8 at night is really late to be beating on someone’s door–” then remembered day light savings and that it was only about 6:30. Still, after dark is after dark, and in times where we lived with the sun…

And then this happened.

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