So… June happened. I think.
I’ve been having a hard time keeping up posts these last few months. Ideas weren’t flowing and it became a chore to write. June was a busy month for me on a personal level so pretty much only Spell Saturdays happened. Towards the middle of the month I kind of just say “fuck it” and took the month off. I’m so much happier for it and I’m ready to really get back to posting, writing, and working on projects.
Burn out. It’s not fun.
On a personal front, it’s been a very “everything is happening/nothing is happening” kind of phase. My novel Spirit Walker was suppose to be out last month but stuff happened so it’s coming out later this month. A project I thought wasn’t going to take place until next year might happen this year. A few other projects have the same thing happening. It’s a lot of “hey, this stuff is happening but we can’t, you know SHOW you it”. Ugh.
Anyway, here’s five things I’m totally obsessing over right now.
01 Fairy tales with actual faeries
I recently finished my re-read of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series. I’m a sucker for stories. Anyway, that and a recent flux of faerie related posts has been reading lots of articles and stories about faeries. And listening to faerie stories told in songs. And playing video games with faeries.
(Sensing a theme yet?)
I son’t particularly have a favorite kind of faerie story. I like the stories of Wild Hunts because I’ve experience one before. (That’s a story for another day) but I like stories that have a good tale to tell and ends with a satisfying end. Not necessarily a happy ending, mind, but a satisfying one.
While the classics are always good to brush back up on (I’m currently reading Phillip Pullman’s Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm) but there’s some truly excellent faerie-based stories out there. Which one is your favorite?
02 Baking Bread
I like baking. Cooking, not so much but baking? Sure. I like making tasty foods and trying out recipes simply for the challenge of it. (Which is weird but I’m not one for competition or challenges as a whole). Baking, to me, is fun and I get to nom on a hopefully delicious end product.
Except bread. Breads, for some reason, escape me 90% of the time. I can make a decent scone and drop biscuits. I can do a dense banana bread fairly well. Other than that? Nope. Failure is a constant companion. I just can’t seem to get a bread that tastes good or isn’t rock hard. I’m pretty sure I’ve baked some bread that were actually stones in disguise. I like to think I’m a decent baker. I can do some desserts pretty well but bread and I aren’t friends.
So I recently borrowed some bread recipe books from my library and made it my mission to create a good bread. I haven’t really dug into the books yet (other stuff is going on) but here’s hoping I can create something edible!
I really like the folklore of selkies. I mean, I like mermaids but I really like selkies. If I had the option to become a mermaid, I’d probably ask to just be a selkie instead.
Their stories remind me of fox spirit stories (which I also adore). I especially like the stories where there’s a happy or at least bittersweet ending. The Maiden and the Selkie by Heather Dale is probably one of my favorites because there’s a lot of lore and ideas packed into that singular song.
Right now I’m currently writing two stories with selkies or water based faerie-like creatures so my interest may be ramped up from that that. But selkies are always an interest for me so who knows?
I’m a fan of honey. I like honey. I like the taste of it, the color of it, the smell of it. I keep several honey types from various sources around my house. I keep a huge jar on my counter because I just like looking at it.
Recently, I’ve started to swap sugar out for honey for some of my baking. And making honey based pastilles for herbal remedies. I’ve done this before but I don’t use a ton of herbal remedies for myself and there’s some recipes I use that don’t take substitutes well. (Like my chocolate chip cookies).
I don’t use honey much in magic as it’s a “wet” ingredient and I don’t typically work with wet ingredients unless I’m enchanting food or making a potion. While I like doing both of those things, I don’t tend to dive into that realm often. Or, maybe’s it’s better to say that I don’t tend to deviate often from regularly created food or potions that I don’t share. Not because I can’t come up with something better but more because why fix what isn’t broken?
Honey’s often loved faerie and spirit offering. I’ve given it myself during the summer when I can’t give milk-based offerings. Also, while writing this post a random thought occurred to me: mermaids and most selkies probably haven’t tasted honey before. That’s a shame and gives me a really cute idea for a scene.
I like boats. I’m not in love with them but I like them. I grew up looking at model replicas of tall ships, paintings of sea storms, and through elementary school I use to stare at my grandmother’s hand-carved wooden ship mast that hung on one of our walls.
Weird part is? None of my family owns a boat. We have family friends that do but save for our kayaks, there isn’t a single boat among any of us. I’ve worked on boats which I thoroughly enjoyed. My mother has plans to buy a small sailboat sometime in the next ten years so that’s something to look forward to.
Since much of my witchcraft is based in New England lore and water, especially, boats come up often with my research so I often practice my boat magic on our kayaks. Much of it is upkeep of boats, making sure the hulls don’t rot and so on. But there’s so much on a boat that can be enchanted. Sails, motors, ropes, and even the deck floor to make it less slippery. (Which is so important, depending on the type of boat you have.)
Do any of you have must-have spells for boats or working on the water?
It’s been kind of low-key for me right now when it comes to things I adore but right now there’s a lot in the works. What about you folks? What things have you been interested in? What kind of articles and books have you been reading? What kind of research or posts do you wish you had access to?
Oh, before you go! I promised a poll. I’m creating a rather extensive correspondence chart for the website, with information gathered from all over, with cited sources. How would you best like to see it? You have until the 14th to vote!
One thought on “5 Things I Love Right Now v.02 + Poll”
Faeries: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (and companion book of short stories: The Ladies of Grace Adieu), the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton (lots of sex but cool faerie magic and plot too), the Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip, A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, anything by Cathrynne M Valente although I’m quite fond of Deathless, and Angela Carter’s feminist rewrites of old faerie tales the Bloody Chamber.
I’m hoping to research traditional witchcraft when I get my energy back. The spirits–or some spirits?–have finally managed to convey to me that I do not worship as many deities as I think I do. And that actually elves were using masks to relate to me. Which is fine because these folk have been with me through thick and thin so I trust them. But I want to understand the history of this tradition! I have a few books stashed away just waiting for me to get started…
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