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Siren Song Finds Sympathetic Ear.....

Just a note for any reader's here to check out Sandra Tyler's lovely little brainchild---Woven Tale Press --- a newly emerging tribute to those drifting through the blogosphere. It's intended as a gathering place of little blog posts from authors across the spectrum, an "eclectic culling of the blogging web" to use their own description.

I'll admit, I had never heard of Woven Tale Press until Ms Tyler came knocking at my comment box, soliciting for a submission to her A-Z special edition. I was intrigued, and more than a little flattered--- I did the A-Z writing challenge for myself, not really expecting anyone to read it (even though I brazenly posted and cross-posted, every letter... everyday).

Sometimes, nay, most times, writing feels like a solitary trek through an uncharted jungle...blogging, more like a tumble off a jungle cliff, as we haphazardly toss our hearts out into the ether, not knowing who or what might be watching.

It can be unsettling, unnerving... but, ultimately, thrilling, when someone connects with what you've written. And, even if you don't believe it was your best work, the fact that it touched/inspired/incensed someone else, means it was worth putting out there.

Having my S is for Siren post nestled in among the other letters in the A-Z Special Edition of Woven Tale Press was an unexpected treat that made finishing the challenge, that I almost bowed out of half-way through, very much worth it!

Anyway, check out the goings-on at Woven Tale Press--- there's quite a collection of blogs there!!!


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Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.

The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

Scottish Festival and a bit of poetry...

The 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival was held at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas on April 7th - April 9th. This was the first time I'd ever attended. I'm sad to say I didn't even know the festival existed until last year. On Saturday, April 8th, a group of friends and I made the several-hour trek, determined to enjoy everything we could.
The weather was glorious, all bright, bonnie sunlight and mild temperatures. Seemed mother nature approved of the festivities. The campus was appropriately kitted out, and nearly everyone in attendance was properly *ahem* kilted out. 
Bagpipes playing, we ate meat pies--- well, mine was a 5-cheese mac & cheese pie--- watched clans parade their colors, got sunburned (darn our fair, Celtic skin), and wanted the day to last forever.
There were a host of competitions, everything from Scottish/Irish dance-offs, sheep dog trials, Tartan races, a Celtic poetry competition, piping and drum trials, even a bonniest knees competition (…