Category Archives: A-Z Challenge

April A-Z

So I missed signing up to the A-Z this year, I missed the first couple of weeks of April entirely! No, I haven’t been sleeping – I’ve actually been writing. Ooh, I know, it’s been a while right? But… As ever, there are reasons!

Reason the first – I broke my phone. Smashed it up nice and good. My beautiful new, shiny and gold HTC phone. I dropped it out of my bag onto a road with gravel, screen down. I really don’t think I’ve ever been so upset at breaking a thing, (a material thing) in my whole life. (well, there was my grandmothers soup dish, but I got over that one quite quickly in comparison!). My phone though, oh my phone. It’s been in the repair shop now for a month. A MONTH! It’s safe to say, I am lost without it – I had transferred my life onto that phone, so no internet for me as I went onto a payg phone, and I’m not paying for extra credit for the interweb!

Reason the second – My laptop finally died. Bless. My wonderful son, however, stripped his old laptop down and gave it to me. Oh, it’s purty! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all fancy and new, it’s quite old now, in computer terms, but it doesn’t need to be propped up, or plugged in for several hours before I can use it – in fact, it doesn’t need to be plugged in at all – the battery actually works! This has created quite a world of wonder for me. I’ve been out in the garden with it, sitting in the sun, writing! I do still have to organise all of my documents, and the photo’s? I’ve just got too many, so I still have to sort through those before everything is organised to my liking, but hey, new computer. Happy Michelle 🙂

And finally, reason the third – My garden! Hubby and I have done a complete overhaul out there. We have been digging, and relaying the path, putting up new arches and an obelisk, transferring plants and sowing new seeds, all while plotting a vegetable patch. Phew! We’ve been very lucky with the weather recently, (you know I’ve been grinning with the sun shining, yay!) hence, the gardening.

All the above reasons are why I’ve been writing too. Time, because I don’t like spending money on a) insurance and b) pay as you go credit, which in turn means no more procrastinating on the net or gaming on my phone!

Organising documents on my computer has meant that I’ve forced myself to get rid of the rubbish, and edit! The sun has been shining, and I don’t need a plug = hello wonderful days of writing in nature!

Sincere apologies to those of you who I do usually get around to liking, and commenting on, I’m on my way I promise. Meanwhile, to all of you wonderful A-Z’ers well done, and keep it up, you’re doing great!

X

 

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Z is for Zonked out!

The alphabet was too much for Pops.

The alphabet was too much for Pops.

Well, the computer and I managed to limp through to the end of this challenge. The poor old thing has been holding on for so long I really didn’t think we’d get here. I’ve managed to back up some of my work, but am so worried that ‘Puter will die before I’ve got all my writing backed up. It’s tried to keep going  for me, so all I can do now is salute it’s valour and bravery for being with me for such a long time.

R.I.P Puter 😦

So this is the end. The end of the A-Z challenge! I want to cheer and say “Hazzar!” as I will be able to get more writing done now – well, when I have a new laptop that is.

Nevertheless, well done to all who took part in this challenge! Thank you to all of you who are following this blog, I will no longer be filling your inboxes everyday with letters of the day a la sesame Street.

Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me and left lovely comments about my writing and/or my ideas. I’ve met some awesome people in cyberspace and found some bloody brilliant blogs to follow.

Along with my computer, it’s time to totally zonk out!

Oh, the dog got there before me 😉

 

 

 


Y is for Yggdrasil

The World Tree.

Odin’s Tree.

Ash Gallows.

Terrible Steed.

All names that are given to the tree that stands at the centre of the universe in Norse mythology.

In stanza 19 of the poem of the Poetic Edda, the Volva describes the tree:

“I know that an Ash tree stands called Yggdrasil,

a high tree, soaked with shining loam;

from there come the dews that which fall in the valley,

ever green, it stands over the wyrd.”

If you’ve been keeping an eye on my posts, you’ll know that trees and tree lore are featuring quite heavily in my book, as well as Norse myth and legend. Therefore how could I resist the Yggdrasil.

It is said that the nine worlds, three wells, the two ravens of Odins and a dragon are connected by the tree.

I’m using this visual for connecting my characters and the four elements with each other. The world tree – which I am still yet to name, will be at the centre of Dagda Mead. I’m toying with the idea of having it in the square of the capital city, just to annoy the King, lol.

If any one has any suggestions as to what I can call the tree, let me know in the comments!

I did think maybe I should combine it with the tree that Gold Leaf is hanged from (the sleeping tree) but that’s over in the western quarter of Mariburgh and I would have to move that story line

It’s roots will connect to each of the four quarters, and it shall be used by magical people to communicate to the spirits of ancestry, and the creatures who I’ve discussed with you previously. It also will hold a few clues as to where the main character is going.

Yggdrasil

 

 

 


X is for Xoanon

So, X… Mmhh.

Pretty tricky to pick a word that begins with the letter X that has anything to do with my theme for this challenge as we draw to the end.

I found one though! And, I’m going to use in my book – somewhere. I am loving this word and it’s meaning.

Of course, I couldn’t find a version that only had one eye, but we can use our imaginations on that 😉

(Greek) A gift from the heavens in the form of a wooden carving.

(Greek) A gift from the heavens in the form of a wooden carving.


V is for Volva

Volva is the guardian of the south, Agnistead.

She is the mysterious creature who walks both worlds and is based on the Norse legends of Odin.
Volva can be translated to mean “wand carrier” or “carrier of the magic staff”.
Like the Woo, the Unknown soldiers, she has her staff which is imbued with magics. Unlike the Woo, she is a good guy.

The southern quarter of Dagda Mead is where the secrets of the world are kept. It’s a library of information, with a wealth of valuable knowledge.
In the wrong hands it could be dangerous, apocalyptic even. Therefore it has to be well hidden with a keeper to guard it, and it has to be difficult to find and enter. Only Volva knows the way in to the library.
Agnistead itself is a tough place to get to.
It is surrounded by desserts and rocky hills inland and strange waters at the coastal side.

Although it is part of the kingdom, it has a ruler of its own and therefore its own political structure.
The people of Agnistead are native to the land. A small community divided into villages and hamlets, they are ruled by a chief. His role in The Way of Wytch is not particularly detailed nor does he have a large plotline. But he is integral to the story. He is the one chosen to care for Emeline.

The natives understand the connection between the earth and the sky, between dark and light, Volva has taught them how the world came into being. While she knows how it will end, she hasn’t shared this with them, only directs them to their truths.

Within the legends and mythology of the Volva, or Vala (anglicised) this was a collection of women, seers and prophets. The Goddess Freya was a Vala. I have taken this legend and created a character that, hopefully, will do the mythology justice whilst creating a rich character in my book. Therefore she is a combination of seer and a fire elemental.

She wears her blonde hair twisted up and around horns, and wears sweeping dresses to cover her hooven feet. The rest of her appearance is human like, so she can walk in the human world if needed and will gladly come to all who seek her out. She carries a sadness in her eyes and usually has a pensive expression, deeply thoughtful. But also a genuine and caring individual. When she moves it seems that the earth moves with her, as if sharing the same heartbeat, the same soul.

When moving in between the worlds she leaves a heat haze signature behind. Later on in the story when she is called upon, and it isn’t safe for her to show herself, rather than ignoring the call, she makes herself known through a temperature change and ripples in the atmosphere.

Her magic is a fire which she can create to overwhelm any enemy, consuming them in the flames. She can use it to send any one into a trance, and enjoys showing people their futures in the fiery embers, she also uses it to purify souls; she is shaman and heals people through soul retrieval.

She creates a magically powered forge for the people of Agnistead out of her fires, which is used for charging any metal that is forged within it. Blades, talisman, armour, even horse shoes.
Her staff is made up of three types of wood, traditionally the oak, ash and thorn. Portals can be opened with this staff.

Volva befriends our heroin, the protagonist Emeline. They form a close bond of friendship and love, and will have to fight together side by side to secure the future and the fate of magics. But, it is not only the humans who want magic to be banished, there are those like the Woo, who are magical themselves who want the end to come swiftly.
If she is captured, it is only water that will imprison her. Air and earth could free her, but unlike Volva, the guardians of the other three elements do not like to walk both worlds and can understand the need for magic and the mundane worlds to be separate from each other.


U is for Unknown

Unknown

 

I’ve been so busy this week with my other project that, unfortunately, I haven’t had enough time to work on The Way of Wytch as much as I would have liked. So, for now, like the soldiers in my book, the ending is still unknown to me. Well, the climax actually just before the end. I’d better get on with that hadn’t I?


T is for Tools

Tools of the trade to be exact!

Those who are blessed (or cursed; whichever way you want to look at it!) with the Wyt, have no need for tools as they themselves can be a powerful weapon or force. However, some of the more human characters are able to use magical tools.

Witches themselves have a host of tools of the trade ranging from the besom (broom) to the oracle card or a crystal for example.

The tools that my characters use are based on the magical tools that were used in history by witches for their craft. Simple everyday items which were hidden in plain sight in every woman’s kitchen.

They are, in no particular order, the bell, the besom, the athame, the wand, the chalice/cauldron, the thurible, salt and blessed water.

The Book of Shadows was simply a recipe book. Inside would be day-to-day food recipes with hidden codes used for spell crafting, if the witch actually needed one at all! Most spells were in fact passed down from mother to daughter or shared throughout a coven through songs, rhymes and riddles. This way a witch would have no hard evidence used against them.

Of course, there were always the odd (official) Book of Shadows hidden in a hearth grate, at a step within the chimney or beneath floorboards. These types of books were the ones that contained not only spells, but also information regarding the coven members.

 

I do hope to use all of these tools within my book, also incorporating some of the traditional family stories that have been passed down to me from history. I love the idea of secret books, hiding in plain sight and hidey holes with magical odds and sods, so there will also be this theme throughout The Way of Wytch.

 

Finally, I will add that the humans in my book come across a wonderful forge that they can use to magically charge any of their tools within. It is mainly a silver and metal smiths forge which someone just happens to come across.

 

Happy writing 🙂


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