'Twas a shock to me when I finally realized.Â Perhaps Iâ€™d paid scant attention, too faint-hearted to consider hints at difference. Â Denial doubtless distorted my perception, and I saw but would not believe.Â But the truth will have out, and like the rock lizard, the tail grows back when true memory is recaptured.
I had spent a lifetime under an adoptive fatherâ€™s thumb, a lifetime in the enveloping skirts and leather masks customary to the women in our isolated mountain village.Â It took marriage to a man I barely remember now, seven sons long since buried, and two daughters who share my magic and live still.
Daylight was forbidden to me and my daughters, as were nights bright with moonlight.Â My secret was held close by the Midwife Girste, eyes ice-blue as my own. Â Cowed into obedience, she performed the ritual mutilation at my birth, as well as the births of my daughters, and served as physic to the screaming and fever that followed.Â I had given birth to four daughters; only two survived the ritual.
Girste had known my mother, told my daughters of her rich song that called seal and moose, brought bird and bat to her caveâ€™s threshold, of her hair pale and springy as the forest moss that consecrated my making. Â All so different than the blunt, proud men who ventured in from the crowded coastal settlement, unprepared for the White Wolf and Jotun horde! Neither had my mother been prepared for the strange customs the coastal men had brought, and her own powerlessness in the balance of what she had given up to stay with one.
But I crest the peak of my tale before Iâ€™ve forded the first mountain stream! Â Many stories, most of them lies, have been told of my sisters and me.Â I swear, by the tip of my hulderâ€™s tail, we are generous by nature, but have learned to be canny with those who would abuse our family and our land.Â So listen, if you will, and understand who we are. Our survival may depend upon it.
Liz Husebye Hartmann
Tripping the Light Fantastic! Gather Wednesday WritingÂ EssentialÂ : Today's post however deals with the imaginary fantastic creatures that fill books all over the world. Fantasy covers such a broad range of types that it is impossible to nail it down to just one genre. It simply doesn't fit into one â€œthingâ€ that easily. From â€œLord of the Ringsâ€ to â€œCinderellaâ€ to â€œThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbelieverâ€ by Stephen R Donaldson; the fantastic just keeps coming.Â SO...let's fit an elf into our lives, or if you prefer a Gnome or Faery. Maybe a Giant is in you just bursting at the seams to get out of your head and into a work. Just be sure and post it with GWWE in the title and Fantasy as a tag; post it by Wednesday May 18th.Â GWWE Brian Bennett
Monday Writing Essential - May 9, 2011: The Writer's Voice.Â Let us hear your voice.Write in a distinct voice. Â Write a poem, a prayer, an essay, a rant, a narrative or a conversation - but when you are done, you should know and we should know that the voice we hear is unique.Â