The Approach of the Witches’ New Year…

With only three days until The Witches’ New Year—All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, El dia de los muertos, Samhain—I’ve been working on my lists.

List-making relaxes me; not only because it conjures a good old sense of organization, control and accomplishment (when I get to cross something out), but also because the act of transferring thought from mind through hand to paper is a marvelous psychological release (at least for me).

I was surprised to find that not as many items from 2015 are being carried over into 2016, only three important ones… and one of those might be fulfilled before the end of the calendar year *fingers crossed*.

So what’s going to fill my witchy life with excitement, you might be asking? Um… you weren’t really asking that? Oh well, I’m telling you anyway… I’m bad to the bone, remember? The biggest items have to do with my health and my writing. But I have to wait a few more months before working on a likely list. Still, I foresee the publication of a poem collection, a compilation of my published work (did anyone say print edition?), and a bit of agent hunting…

Worry not, my Wicked Luvs; not all of my schedule will be listed in this delicious planner, which I got from my even more delicious Piano Man…
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For instance, I will be adding wee tales and poems to Discordia: a Collection of Drawings, by Jeremy A. Bastian. I love Bastian’s dark and intricate ink-work, so when I met him at New York Comic Con, I was very pleased when he said that he would not be offended—“but honored”—if I scribbled my dark fiction and poetry all over his book. Yes, I will share the results with you. 😉
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I was gifted two lovely lined journals and a bunch of red and black markers. The package included no name, but the note said, “I hope you never stop sharing blackout poetry and poem bits. I read them every morning. Some have made it to my refrigerator door. If you sell them I will buy them. Until you do sell them here is a toking of my appreciation and thanks.” As you might imagine, my Luvs, I’m over the Moon and way beyond Pluto with delight. Thank you!
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What else? Oh yes, I will do a mock NaNoWriMo bit. It will be mostly editing… I might share my weekly progress… not sure yet. And, of course, I will certainly host Poems for the Cruelest Month, in April… but only 13 days/entries; I just don’t think I can (or want) to manage 30 days).

No, don’t leave yet! There is more. I was the recipient of Winter Moon’s All Hallow’s Read yumminess. I was more than excited (and misty-eyed) when I touched my copy of My Brother’s Ghost. And because Yvonne is such a darling, she surprised me with the cutest of red journals, one of her flower filled glass vial pendants, and a few other goodies that scream Magaly. I’m seriously thinking about mailing the frog skeleton postcard to myself *cough*. Thank you!!
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Then, my Piano Man came home with a box from Judy. Meet Bones the Purple, a cutie that brought all sorts of grins to my face. Look at those ears, skull, mouth, ribs… Thank you!!!
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On the chronic pain (in my ass) side… Yesterday, I went for my first long walk in about a week. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, since my previous (very short) exercise hiatus left my flesh and bones in a rage. But I soothed myself by ending my walk with a visit to the thrift shop.

I found a stunning, tiny copper dish to use as an offering plate for my little brother. I also got a color-changing, moonstone-like wee bowl, for liquid offerings (but forgot to take a picture).
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I unburied The Crow: Shattered Lives & Broken Dreams, a collection of poems and short fictions, which I had no idea existed… but is perfect for the season.
The Approach of the Witches’ New Year… 7I almost offered The Crow as an All Hallows’ Eve giveaway… but my reader’s greed refuses to allow it *sigh*. Can you blame me, though? Look at some of the artwork and description:
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So… my Wicked Luvs, what adventures have you been listing lately?

13 Kisses in the Dark

She thought it impossible to love anyone more than she loved her magic. Then he said, I’m yours—and meant it—and impossible was nevermore.

“I let them take you. I knew, and I still let them.” The dirt that had sucked her lover’s screams felt cold against her wet cheek. “I wish I could change it. I would give everything I am for a chance—” The idea hit her so abruptly that it was as if it had been born in someone else’s head.

Fueled by desperate hope, she took the shape of a white hare and ran to the Crafter’s cottage.

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“It’s not wise to walk these woods in your fur,” the Crafter said, without looking away from the parchment he was working on. “They’ve been felling trees and turning stones looking for you.”

Crossing the Crafter’s threshold and resuming her human shape, she said, “Can you write my husband out of wherever they’re imprisoning him?”

“I can write anyone anywhere, my girl. But—”

“I’m with child. I know they’re keeping my husband alive to use his magic to rip our babe out of my wound as soon as she’s big enough to breathe on her own… That’s in three nights.”

“They will track you, my girl.”

“Not if you write us into a story your masters will never read.”

The Crafter put down his quill. “Crafting a story world takes weeks.”

“What about that one?” She pointed at the scribbling-covered parchment in front of the Crafter.

He shook his head. “This is a place for punishment, a place where… they hurt people like us.”

“My husband and I will shield our child. We’ll do anything for her. That’s what parents are supposed to do. But I was wrong to expect—”

“They will burn you alive, in this story world,” the Crafter yelled, hurling his quill against a wall.

“We can hide,” she said. “You became slave to people you despise, so those you love could live. My husband and I would give up our magic to protect our child.” She put a hand on his shaking shoulder. “No story world can be too terrible, if we get to be together and alive, Father.”

“They will force me to tell them where I wrote you,” he said.

“I’ll drink your memory of me,” she said, placing a dusty tin cup on the table.

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By the sounds of quill and kettle, the Witch brewed a forget-me tea, and the Crafter wrote his daughter and her family into a story world where the wrongs of magic were made right by fire.

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She poured the tea in the cup. He handed her the parchment with the words she would need to escape their world. His face was warm and wet with tears, when she put her hands on his cheeks and began to chant:

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll taste of moon full
and of sun-bright;
thirteen touches of my lips,
they’ll make me yours
and keep you mine.

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll bring oblivion
and memory seep;
thirteen touches of my lips,
in your mind I’ll be nothing
after this sleep.

He slumped forward the thirteenth time she kissed his temple, sipping his last memory of her. Gently, she laid his head down on the table and watched him through blurry eyes until each line of his face was branded in her heart.

They had agreed to leave the empty cup on the table and some forget-me tea in the kettle. His masters would find him spelled, and realize he didn’t remember her. And they would never hurt him; not when he was the only living Crafter, and the other one was unborn and lost to them.

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Inspired by “13 Kisses”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 3; and linked to Vanessa Valencia’s Witches Tea Party. Fly over to A Fanciful Twist and see what everyone else is brewing. Oh, and beware of tin tea cups… you know, just in case.

Tin Tea Cup, from Analogue Lifevia