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Bio

 I was born in Memphis at the tail end of Generation X-- not that being born an X-er has anything to do with who I am, I just find it an interesting fact. I currently live just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. I am a wife, a writer, a bookstore manager and a blogger extraordinaire-- okay, well, maybe not "extraordinaire"...

    I have spent my entire life below, what is lovingly called, the Mason-Dixon line, apart from one summer spent in Missouri catching and tagging native songbirds.

   I come from the land where ghost stories are the preferred bedtime story, not because we love their horrific nature, but because they are true and very real... everyone's grandfather or great-grandmother has seen at least one apparition (and, more often than not, converses with it daily).
    I come from the land where generations stretch as far back as the eldest memory, where homes built more than a century ago, still play host to the lineage that built them.
    And, I come from the land of stubborn pride where sweet words can hide a seething insult, and, where a vicious family quarrel can immediately be forgotten if an outsider threatens.

    I don't mind saying I'm from the South. I like being from the land where Blues music is held sacred, where sweet, smoky barbecue is the gods' ambrosia...where time slows almost to a standstill because it's too hot to do anything else.

    Does that define me better than claiming my inclusion in Generation X? Perhaps.

    I was raised with a love of music, attending several performing arts schools before graduating high school to pursue a career in Veterinarian Medicine. Though, after college, I settled into a job at a local bookstore, where I've been ever since.  I am a pianist, turned biologist, turned bookstore manager, turned writer-- no, that isn't quite right... I never turned into a writer, I always was a writer. A bit like the cliched "I've been a writer as far back as I can remember..." There was always writing, I've only just now come to terms with the fact that perhaps I should have accepted who I was, instead of trying to reinvent what I was.

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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 (…