Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

Seasons and Stories (thoughts are percolating)

Hey there!

So it’s snowing again (at last). I’m hoping this batch will stay (although I’m not expecting much — it’s maybe one degree below freezing here, and the potential to rise (and then fall again and turn everything to ice) is pretty strong), as it’s December now and, dammit, I want snow!

(Honestly, what I want-want is to get a huge heap of fluffy, heavy snow over a weekend, which covers the city in two feet worth of drifts. I want the streets and side-walks to be plowed, and then I want the temperature to stay at a steady -12C for the next 3 months, with only one to two actual snowfalls per month (of 2-3cm) during that time. I know I won’t get it, and gods know that would be both waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too convenient for the humans and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too little precipitation for this bio-region. But y’know. I can dream. ;-))

Anyway. To drag myself vaguely towards my point, I will get on with things.

Around my birthday, I subscribed to a thing called the Omikuji Project (Why, yes, that is me on the cover of that book! :-D) and my first installment (a letter, sealed with red wax and everything) arrived today. YAY! 😀

Each story comes with an actual letter — just a quick note from the author — and this one talked about the idea of different types of stories belonging to different seasons.
I think this is cool.

So I ask myself: What are the seasons where I live and, further to that, what story characters (not deity archetypes, but storybook archetypes) fit into those seasons?

Where I live, there are… probably (ye gods) fifteen seasonal points I could dig up, if I think about it, though there’s a fair bit of overlap when it comes to the transition points and the bits on either side of them:

Frost and Breath Clouds Transition (Late November, early December)
Snow Winter (Mid-December, most of January)
Ice Winter (Late January into February)
Slush Winter (Late February, Early March)
Mud Transition (Second half of March, early April)
Rain and Floods Spring (Most of April)
Crocuses and Buds Spring (Early May)
Leaf Transition (Mid-May)
Lilac Summer (Late May, early June)
Heat and Sun Summer (Mid-June through July)
Fruit Summer (AUGUST and the first chunk of September)
Harvest Transition (just before the autumn equinox)
Apple Autumn (Late September to Mid October)
Late Harvest (pumpkins!) and Leaves Autumn (Mid-October to early November)
Wet and Grey Autumn (Most of November)

Author Seanan McGuire has a love for Lily Fair – the character between Snow White and Rose Red whose stories include elements of both fantasy and horror. Snow White is the fairy tale girl, and Rose Red is the bloody daughter of horror. But who else can we think of?

Snow White
Rose Red
Lily Fair
The Witch in the Woods
The Fairy Queen

Who else?

I look at my (distressingly short, I know) list, and I can see touches of both the fantastical and the horrific in all of them. The witch in the woods is Frau Holle, fairy godmother, but she’s also Baba Yaga. The Fairy Queen can tithe you away or gift you with secret skills, depending on her whim. Snow white can be the snow maiden, all innocence and good heartedness, martyring herself or running for her life. She can also be the snow queen – beautiful, sure, but dangerous as hunger and cold can ever be. Rose Red can be up to her elbows in harvest blood, the queen of hearts, or red riding hood weilding her axe. She can also be crowned with roses, settled in a bower humming with summer’s bees, all warmth and heartsong and life. Lily is a suicide, a sacrifice, or the May Queen in all her joyful home-coming.

Whose stories come when? And what stories can they be?

Talk to me. Tell me what you see.

Meliad the Birch Maiden