Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

#MythpunkMonday: Guest Posts, writing hooks and ferrets!

 

WARNING – CUTE SMALL MAMMAL ALERT!!!!!

Happy #MythpunkMonday!

Wow, we’re three months into this regular post now and I’m feeling really positive about that, thankyou for all the enthusiasm and support you’ve all shown 🙂

Heading into the insanity of the festive season I thought I’d use our December #MythpunkMonday posts to bring you little lesser known snips of winter-themed myths and legends as mythpunk writing hooks to feed the imagination through this manic time of tinsel and terrible music 😉

And moving into January, I’d like to offer some Mythpunk Mondays as guest post slots so if you have an idea for a post with a mythpunk theme, or if you are a writer or artist who would like to promote your own mythpunk works, drop me an email at ladywiththewyvern@gmail.com subject #MythpunkMonday Guest Posts and I will slot you in.

But before all that, here’s my last #MythpunkMonday for November and I thought I’d give you an extract from the mythpunk / steampunk short story which I was lucky enough to have included in the Dreamtime Damsels And Fatal Femmes Anthology here…

 

It’s called Mulo, which is the Rromani word for the spirits of our own dead but it actually translates as ‘the wind people’. Here are a few brief facts about the story before I share the snippet…

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic era where workable land and water are scarce and focuses on an exclusively Roma community which has the same class/ caste system as other settled communities. I thought it would be interesting to explore the interplay of power and prejudice without bringing the issue of race into it.

All the names in the story have a certain significance for example, Ndrita means to shine like a small, bright glittering light, to twinkle like a far off star. Ndrita embodies this – a small light that brings hope and then is gone again.

Sihana means like the moon. The moon reflects light, it isn’t a true light itself, it reflects the power of the sun but it doesn’t have it’s own source of power. It can also seem like a cold light, illuminating without aiding life or growth. All this seemed to embody the character of Sihana.

The marsh lights are a real phenomenon here in Britain – and perhaps elsewhere. They are really caused by marsh gas igniting or sometimes by the glowing fungus known as fox fire. Marsh lights have also been called Death Lights, Jack of the Lantern and Peggy of the Lantern and were thought to be malevolent spirits who had drowned trying to lead travellers astray off the path and into the marshes. I first encountered marsh lights in Bleaklow, Derbyshire and have been obsessed with their lore ever since.

I wanted the story to be gritty and realistic but also carry a thread of hope – to explore power imbalances that are inherent in all social constructs regardless of race or culture but also to highlight the notion of choice as a facilitating vehicle for change. Nothing actually changes in the story on a societal level, but the two main characters, Ndrita and Anika, both changed a little for a moment – they put aside their prejudices to save the life of someone they would normally abhor, and who would normally detest them. They took back the power of choice.

Writing is never a clean process and I had some initial problems with keeping the tense and perspective consistent between the characters’ different scenes – something I wouldn’t have picked up on if not for the fantastic editing team so I owe a lot to them for helping me get that straight!

My own favourite character in the story is Anika’s Ma. She is so like a lot of our own older relatives – stuck in their ways and clinging to superstitions so ancient they barely understand their meaning themselves, wise in so very many ways but powerless against the problems of modern times for which all their handed down wisdom couldn’t possibly have prepared them.

I don’t tend to write stories with a message or a moral, instead I hope my writing opens doors and then leaves them open in case others want to come in and explore what I’m exploring.

Extract:

In the city, where the fog curls just above the cobble stones, there are many lights; the flickering gas lamps breathing milky pools against the evening’s cool, dark breast; the tinder sparks from flaring pipes; the window-stars like cold diamonds or bright catalysts of life.

Move out beyond the streets, out into the woods, follow that lonely ribbon of road away through the marsh, and the lights out there do not cast the same impression on our minds.

Lights, we understand, mean there is someone and who, we ask ourselves, who could be out there in the dark and the mist? Who on a night like this?

The word for the carriers of the marsh lanterns is Mulo and Baba always told me that this word means demon. After Mammy and Daddy and little Dragan were gone, and all that was left was Baba and me, she taught me to light the tallows in their little glass bottles and set them all around the farm each night, to keep the demons away.

She knew a lot of things my Baba, how to keep us safe through the long dark nights in Indigo. But she didn’t know how to make the water safe, and in the end it was only me, and I didn’t know either. 

Thankyou for joining me for another #MythpunkMonday, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and if you’d like to jump in and share your own / others marvellous mythpunkish-ness then feel free to do so using the hashtag or in the comments below!

And before I scoot, I promised ferrets, and here they are… All the proceeds from the above mentioned anthology go to Abington Ferret Refuge, you can check them out here…

http://abingtonferretrefuge.com/?fbclid=IwAR0zzH5eDy4EY5V9PVPf0jQWmyL-P7ElyKrWcZRC4bDFtDw6CQdDp47Udu8

5 responses

  1. I’m sorry, I entirely missed this post! 😳I found it on twitter rather than my feed here, and I’m so glad I did. 🥰
    ‘They took back the power of choice’ is such a powerful statement in itself. So strong, pure, the perfect summation of an act that takes true courage. Thank you for sharing the background of Mulo and your hopes in writing it. I love the symbolism of the names you chose, particularly Sihana. The moon is my favourite celestial body, I adore the legend & lore it has e’er inspired. The snippet of Mulo is wonderful, so beautifully written.

    …the flickering gas lamps breathing milky pools against the evening’s cool, dark breast… the window-stars like cold diamonds or bright catalysts of life…. Move out beyond the streets, out into the woods, follow that lonely ribbon of road…

    💛Gorgeous💛
    Last but not least…aww…thank you! The ferret is utterly scrumptious 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2019 at 12:53 am

    • smithandskarry1

      Oh I’m so sorry hun I don’t know why it wasn’t in your feed- maybe I pressed something I shouldn’t!?! lol (wouldn’t be the first time I’ve got me settings mixed up! XD) Aw, no worries at all though – thankyou so much for taking the time to read it anyway! xx And thankyou as always for your kind and thoughtful words – I’m really glad you liked the extract, and that you thought the name meanings were interesting too – yes I love the moon as well, and all the lore surrounding it. I love the sun too but I find the stories and symbolism around sun and light a bit more problematic sometimes, lol. Aw I’m glad you loved the lil ferret pic too! Super-cuuuuute!!! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      • 😆 Aw, there’s no need to say sorry, I’m strangely sure twas my mishap…it tends to save time to suspect as much😳 I’m just sorry i missed it! If ever I don’t click like or comment, its purely because I’ve somehow managed to be oblivious😲 Aw, you’re very welcome Oh, it was wonderful and I loved the symbolism…all of it. ❤️ Yay…I’m glad you love the moon too.🥰 lol…the sun leaves me a mite cold, I must admit🙃 Oh I adored it! Soso cute!😻 x

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      • smithandskarry1

        Lol, eep! it sounds like between us we could press the wrong button and explode the universe!😅 And bless you no worries if you miss a post or two… or however many, lol, you’re so very generous with your time and your supportive comments and I hugely appreciate them but I understand ‘life happens’ as well 😊 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

        November 29, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      • 😂😂Oops!😆 Tralala…😇 aw…thank you, but I never would on purpose.😳 I love coming here🥰

        Liked by 1 person

        November 29, 2019 at 4:53 pm

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