Reaper’s Moon

reaper's moon

In my fantasy world, the Reaper’s Moon signals the arrival of autumn. The heat of summer blows west with curling seawinds, and morning fog rolls on the inland sea like living smoke. On shore, milkweed bursts with silken wings and thistles shed their white beards. The land is softened by fields of grain in hues of copper and carnelian, apples bow the branches, and winter’s wood is stacked.

The Reaper’s Moon is a time of harvest, ripening roots, and gardens of green bolting with seeds. It’s the promise of neighbors and picnics, percussion and strings, the close of summer visible in calloused hands and sun-browned shoulders, wool evenings and fresh baked pie.

The full Reaper’s Moon glides across the night sky on September 16.

reaper's moon 3

Excerpt from Eye of Fire, the Dragon Soul Quartet

The noise of revelers faded as the sounds of the sea sang in the night. His head thick with drink, Morgen excused himself for a stroll back to the cove in the dark. “I’ll ride the longboat out to the Eadwynn and find a comfortable berth in the captain’s cabin.”

Neve winked at him, sharing the man’s preference for a ship’s gentle rock over the stillness of her floor where Captain Cradog snored. “I told you he’s a fool,” she’d said, observing the sleeping man. “But he’s a fine seaman with a good heart.”

After Morgen left, she lay a blanket over Cradog. Sitting on the edge of her bed, she watched him sleep, his mouth hanging open, face serene. She reached down and held his nose, only enough to silence his snoring. At times, she felt like his mother, not his lover, as if he were a lad in a man’s body, still growing into himself, unaware of his potential, the possibilities she saw and loved. She didn’t try to guide him or change him. His choices were his own and his life his to haul.

In truth, Neve simply remained true to herself and didn’t tolerate any foul from him or anyone else for that matter. She didn’t give a piss about what others thought or did with their lives and didn’t care if they liked her choices either. Cradog could take it or leave it, and he tried awfully hard to take it.

Oh, but, she was fond of watching him grow. The man was like her garden, full of gifts, things coming up she never expected, little seeds sprouting that she’d planted long ago and forgotten. He grew fresh and wild and weedy and delicious and abundant when she tended him and made sure he got plenty of sunlight.

Slipping from her clothes, Neve slid under her blankets. She peered over the edge of the bed and almost woke him up.

The Verdant Moon

Claude Monet

Claude Monet

In my fantasy worlds, the Verdant Moon heralds the high heat of summer. On the sea, winter’s iron clouds have long blown west and the island’s white bluffs are alive with nesting fishers and heckling gulls. The village shores idle, embraced by calmer waters, and small single-masted fishing boats rest on the beach, keels cutting long grooves in the sand.

No one lingers inside their narrow harbor homes when the markets brim with crabs’ legs and smoked redfish, squid with coiling tentacles, and the slimy innards of crusty shells. Summer brings more familiar fare from the dark-loamed farms: honeyed cakes and salty bread, ripe fruits, and bouquets of greens. Few go hungry during the Verdant Moon.

The Verdant Moon shines on the world tomorrow night, July 19th.

Vernal Moon

Excerpt from the Vernal Moon, Eye of Sun
The Dragon Soul Quartet

Treasach made the decision to sail the Seabourne onto the rocky shore of Anghard, and Morgen didn’t question the choice. The Rogue would impale her or drive her into the Narrows. The beautiful Seabourne would be lost regardless, so Treasach saved her crew.

He roared his orders with such force even Percy shut his gaping mouth and listened. In mere seconds, the men lashed themselves to the ship. Morgen swung a line around himself and the captain, tying them loosely to the helm. Arful stood at the bow, barking inanely at the gulls, and Morgen was helpless to save him.

Treasach spun the wheel and Morgen held on. The Seabourne plunged through the waves, her sails taut with wind when she slammed into the rocks that littered the shallows. The deafening impact ripped Morgen from the wheel and flung him under the line against the gunwales. Wood splintered and shrieked as the ship broke free and spun, the maw of the Narrows yawning open.

“Make for shore!” Treasach bellowed over the crush of fracturing wood, wind, and waves. The crew scrambled out of their bindings, and Morgen attempted to stand. The Seabourne smashed into the underwater shelf that would mark its grave, and the ship lurched, sending him sliding across the deck toward the sea. He caught a standing line and held on. Arful yelped and slipped over the edge as the ship groaned, cracked, and began to list.

“To shore,” Treasach yelled. For a heartbeat, the Seabourne stuttered, wedged on the rocks, but their chance of escape narrowed as she started to spin back into the current. Men scuttled down the slanted deck and dropped into the sea.

“Watch for rocks,” Morgen shouted. The water between the ship and Anghard’s shore wasn’t deep but treacherous, and the Seabourne offered small protection from the tide’s pull. He caught sight of Arful sweeping toward the Narrows and paddling for shore.

As men scrambled to safety Morgen counted them, and when satisfied, he slid from the ship into waist deep water. “Now, Captain!” he yelled for Treasach. The captain climbed over the gunwale, and before Morgen could shout a warning, he let go, falling onto a slick black rock. Treasach nearly drowned before Morgen grabbed him and hauled him ashore.

(Coming in August)

**Images from pixabay.

Crofter’s Moon

original images - pixabay

original images – pixabay

In my fantasy world spring truly arrives with the Crofter’s Moon. The soil warms and the old jenny plods before a hand-held plow. Seeds drop in tidy rows, and sprouts peek from the rich loam, tender promises of harvests to come. Neighbors emerge from their dark hearths, shuttered eyes thrown wide in their hunger for light. Hearts venture in celebration, seeking communion, another lean winter survived. The sun blesses faces and beats on backs as the endless cycles of all life wax and wane. There are chores to be done, but the world feels hopeful and alive.

The Crofter’s Moon shines its full face tonight. Enjoy the coming Crofter’s Moon. May your garden grow a bounty and of your heart flourish with love.

pixabay

pixabay

Excerpt from the Crofter’s Moon, Dragon Soul Trilogy

Brend’s shoulders rose in a shrug, and he stretched his legs out in front of him, his ankles crossed. “Do you remember what Conall said when he spoke to the lair’s riders? He said, in essence, that the choice to do nothing in the face of cruelty is no different than choosing cruelty itself. I’ve mused over those words since. Every time we look away from ruthlessness, poverty, corruption, and suffering, we’re allowing those things to flourish and grow. Are we saying it doesn’t matter to us? We don’t care enough? We stood by as a people and did nothing when the governors murdered your father. We saw dragons captured and tortured, Morfael exiled, skyriders banned. Then cruelty crouches on our own doorsteps, and we are suddenly outraged. If a child is beaten and we neglect to interfere, who are we to rail when the child grows into a violent man? If we fail to feed the hungry are we choosing to starve them to death?”

Earlin rested her elbows on the table. “You have too much time on your hands.”

“Maybe so.” Brend chuckled. “But reflection is good for me.” He shook her gently by the back of her neck. “I’m trying to choose the Belonging over fear, Earlin, and discover what that means for me. Do the same and you’ll find your way.”

Hungry Moon

pixabay compilation

pixabay compilation

In my fantasy world, the Hungry Moon ushers in the thaw. Days lengthen, trees blossom and nature knits an emerald coverlet over the wilderness. The blues and grays of winter surrender to a tapestry of fresh color, and the sun rolls around like an old friend. Yet, this is a hungry time, winter’s stores dwindling, the cellars and cupboards bare. The fields lie sodden and fallow, new crops a distant dream. The warming sun promises fiddleheads and dandelion greens, nettle and chickweed, wild pickings filling aprons for empty bellies. For the poor, it’s a thin, lean time, a cruel tease of the spring to come.

The Hungry Moon rises on March 23rd. Hang in there, spring will come.

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Excerpt from the Hungry Moon, Eye of Blind

The hut warm, Starling listened to the timbre of Gallard’s voice, his feelings carried through the air. She heard the news as a faint echo, translating facts and events into an emotional unfolding, layered with nuance, thick, rich, and threaded with light. She barely saw bodies anymore, or faces, or remembered names. They comprised the trappings of essence. How else could she think of it? They glittered as if fashioned of stars.

She’d always called herself a Death Droom, and here she’d found there was no death. Merging with the dragons had fundamentally changed her. She no longer saw the faces of light descending so beautifully and peacefully to accompany the dying. Rather, she witnessed the infinity of soul, the stardust, color, and light that transformed but never altered. Spiraling circles of life, generation upon generation of birth and death, and yet the spirit remained unbound. The essence existed outside of form, vibrating in the void. She slowly became the World’s sublime song, losing a sense of her body and drifting more in otherness, oneness. At times, she believed she could walk through trees, dissolve into water, fragment and fly away on beams of light.

Flood Moon

pixabay tpsdave

pixabay tpsdave

In my fantasy world, the month of the Flood Moon slides into fullness as winter wanes. The snow begins to melt, gorging streams and unleashing ice floes in swollen rivers.  The cold isn’t over and the snow still falls between sheeting rains, but as the days grow longer, bulbs thrust their green fingers from the loam in a sunny corner.

If the sky is clear, the full Flood Moon will shine tonight.

en.wikimedia.org

en.wikimedia.org

Excerpt from Flood Moon, Eye of Blind

Gallard and Percy joined brothers Hywel and Malven at the Crow’s Nest tavern. The flaxen-haired pair from Glanmor had sailed with the Seabourne for four years with nothing to show for it except callouses. Coin dripped through their fingers like seawater. The two crewmen sat half in the cask already and Percy downed his first ale, intent on catching up. Gallard ordered a slab of beef, buttered potato mash and a stinky mushroom soup. He’d swig a tankard on the backside to wash it down.

“Woulda been here afore,” Percy complained, scratching his cow-licked head. “But Gallard makin’ me tramp up and down the hill like a grounder.”

“Lookin’ for Meriel still?” the older brother, Hywel, asked.

“She’s disappeared,” Gallard replied, unsure of his next step.

“She’ll find the Seabourne if she can,” Malven said. The brothers were hard to tell apart, except where Hywel boasted the start of a thick beard, Malven’s chin refused to grow a single pale whisker. “We’re here every week. Don’t seem like she’d miss us.”

“That’s what worries me.” Gallard’s food arrived, and he swatted away Percy’s finger that scooped at his potatoes.

“Shame puttin’ her in the locks.” Percy slugged down his ale and ordered more for the table. “Too old fer me but pretty elsewise.”

The brothers guffawed, slopping their ale, and Gallard frowned as the brew doused his supper.

Tears in his eyes, Hywel patted Percy’s shoulder. “She wouldn’t give you a wink, Perce, even if she were an old sea hag with green teeth. You’re no looker.”

“My teeth isn’t green.” Percy scowled. “They’re barely near yellow.”

Hywel and Malven bent over laughing, and Gallard pushed his supper away. “You need another drink, Percy. The teasing won’t hurt so bad.” He filled Percy’s tankard and poured one for himself. Percy swallowed it down and Gallard poured him another.

The Crow’s Nest filled as the day lengthened, crewmen and yardsmen finding seats on sturdy benches. Voices rose, ale spilled across the tables and floor, and there remained enough good-natured tolerance for stumbling drunkards to keep the peace. Gallard figured Percy was already sloshed beyond the borders of hope, and Hywel and Malven made sloppy drunks, reminiscing about the old days in Glanmor when they stole crabs from  traps and steamed them on the rocky shore. Gallard remained mildly sober, enough to get them back to the ship without drowning.

**

Today I head home to the rainy Northwest, timely with the start of the Flood Moon – Hawaii’s forecast predicts high seas and, well, flooding of beaches and low-lying roads. I’ll be winging over the Pacific for much of the day, losing time as my planetary destination spins away from me. I’ve been remiss in keeping up my blogging duties, but I’ll catch up quickly tomorrow. Enjoy the full moon tonight!

Burrower’s Moon

pixabay free image, skeeze

pixabay free image, skeeze

In my fantasy world, the full face of the Burrower’s Moon heralds the coldest days of winter. Fronds of ice feather the windows, and the snow crunches and squeaks. Fire licks the sooty stones of the hearth while candles burn low. We sleep in our socks and drink tea to warm our bones.

Here in Oregon, the Burrower’s Moon lights the sky just after midnight, during the wee hours of January 24th. We haven’t any snow, but in my books, the white is deep and cold.

pixabay free image, stocksnap

pixabay free image, stocksnap

Excerpt from The Burrower’s Moon, Eye of Blind

Lying beside Gallard, Starling felt the tenderness she’d carried all day. She thought of the Endellion and the finality of terror they faced while she lay sheltered in a landscape beautiful in its rawness, her World full of possibility. She was struck by the contrast, starkly rendered for all to see if they would only look. A contrast pitting life against death, connection against separation, compassion against brutality, vision against blindness, caring against indifference. She could go on and on and on as if the differences were so absolute there remained not a scrap of common ground for them to reach across. Yet that was illusion; there existed no air at all between hunter and hunted and the wilderness they inhabited. That alone felt so terribly heartbreaking.

credit background: pixabay free image by carolinda