mermaiden: (Cozy)
2012-10-28 05:34 pm

'Twas the Sunday Before Samhain...

This Wednesday being Samhain (Halloween for all those crazy kids who don't wear pentacles and "Goddess Loves Me" shirts), I'm priestessing the FIRST EVER Samhain ritual at our Unitarian Universalist church. I orchestrated a Yule ritual there, and a very short and sweet Mabon ritual before our First! Annual! Mabon potluck, but they were both Pagan lite, in the sense that these were introductions to Pagan rituals for the congregation. This Wednesday will be the first ever COMPLETE Pagan ritual, which everyone seems to be super excited about. <3 This is what I wrote-up for our church newsletter:

Open Samhain Ritual -- The Beloved Dead
It was believed by ancient peoples--and still is by modern Pagans--that Samhain (Halloween) is the day of the year when the veil between worlds is thinned, and our loved ones who have passed on come to visit us again. Come and take part in a ritual that honors those loved ones who have gone before you, hallowing out a time and space in your life for magic. This will be a full Pagan ritual, including circle casting, Goddess invocation and a meditation. Please bring an image or trinket that reminds you of the loved one you miss most.

Samhain, I believe, is one of the most perfect Sabbats for non-Pagans to get super involved with. Everyone has a person or pet who has gone beyond, who they miss, and everyone understands the idea of honoring those who have gone before us. About a half hour before the ritual, I'm going to explain all of the building blocks of ritual--why we do it, and why we do each piece of the ritual itself. There are several people in the congregation who have been wanting to become Pagan, and several who are just open-minded awesome people, who want to be involved in meaningful rituals, so it's a very varied group. I'm so excited that people are so enthusiastic about this, and have a couple of surprises and magical ideas so that everyone carries something away from this, hopefully.

Jenn and I are both so blessed in the fact that our pastor, Lee, is so impassioned on how he backs up everything we want to do in the church. He *wanted* more Pagan involvement, and has asked me to do these things, when I showed interest in priestessing there. Everyone is so interested and supportive of our ideas, and backs us 110%. Sometimes, it makes me a little misty-eyed when I talk about our church family, and how deeply entrenched they are in our lives and hearts. We're more blessed than I could articulate. <3

So yes! Samhain! Open ritual! Lots of candles and cider and drums and magic! I can't wait. <3


I don't cook very much during the summer months because of how SATANICALLY HOT our house gets when it's hot outside. :D But cooking is one of my favorite things in the world, when I actually have five minutes in which to do it. And cooking in CROCK POTS is my FAVORITE. <3 I just whipped up a vegan pot pie in our slow cooker. SORCERY. Crock pots were invented by All of the Gods at the annual God Consortium one day, because they were like: HUMANS. THEY NEED SOMETHING AWESOME IN THEIR LIVES. And lo, verily, the crock pot was BORN. I know lots of people think crock pots are for old ladies with blue hair, but it is ALSO for YOUNGER LADIES with PINK AND PURPLE HAIR and everyone else, too.

C'mon folks. LET'S BRING CROCK POTS BACK. Like SEXY. But with more CARBOHYDRATES, surely. I will even give you my secret, super-duper crock pot recipe for my SORCERY Pot Pie:

mermaiden: (Ritual)
2012-10-27 03:55 pm

Doing Something

I was listening to NPR (WHEN IS SARAH NOT LISTENING TO NPR? [Answer to this question: NEVER]) this afternoon, on the way back from a last minute run to the store for camera batteries for tonight's annual Halloween costume party at Maddie's mum's (the party is LEGENDARY. I am SO EXCITED. Just WAIT until you see our COSTUMES. *vibrating with joy* XD).

Marketplace was interviewing Pierre Desrochers, author of The Loccavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet, which--basically and heavily summarized--is about why being a locavore is a bad idea. (A "Locavore" is someone who buys food from local producers, farmers, etc., not food that supermarkets have had to ship from roughly eleventy billion miles away. The argument for being a locavore is that this is a much more sustainable practice, better for the world, better for the local food growers/creators.)

Mr. Desrochers's argument was one that I found kind of ridiculous. He stated that if we all stopped buying food from the supermarkets and relied solely on local food, there would be famine, because local crops always eventually fail. He stated that if we don't buy food from supermarkets, the global economy would fail. He stated that if we don't buy food from supermarkets CIVILIZATION WOULD COLLAPSE AS WE KNOW IT.

Yes, if everyone relied on local food only, crops fail. But not everyone relies on local food. Actually, very few people rely on local food. Compared to the number of people in the world, locavores make up a teeny, tiny portion, and that might evolve--over time--to be a larger portion, but it's never going to be everyone. Not everyone has the same values or priorities. And that's never going to change.

People are essentially different, and what they choose to do is never going to be the same across the board. I can't believe I even typed that sentence.

I think the reason the interview frustrated me is that there's a naysayer for everything. EVERYTHING. Oh, you want to pick trash up on the side of the road? You're putting people out of work. Want to go help at that animal shelter? You should be volunteering at a soup kitchen. Want to go vegan? You know that creating fake meat costs more in fuels for the environment than if you just slaughtered a cow, right? Handing a homeless guy a dollar bill? You know he's just going to use that to get booze, right?

I can't believe that someone would waste their precious time on this earth, and their resources, to hold a gigantic megaphone to someone who's actually trying to do something to make the world the tiniest bit better and yell, loudly and clearly, UR DOIN' IT WRONG. But people do. Every day. (By the way, there's a huge difference between sharing actual facts and helping educate people about situations and being a scare tactic monger. HUGE. DIFFERENCE. The former is appropriate and needed in this world. The latter is what happens much more often than the former, sadly.)

There are, essentially, two types of people in this world. The people who point at others and say "they're doing shit, they're not doing enough, they're doing it wrong," and the people who are actually doing something, in the best way they know possible, to try and make things better. There's very little cross over between the two, though there's definitely some.

No one is perfect. The people who see the system as broken, who are trying to do the best they can, in the ways that make them feel impassioned, are trying. Sometimes, they do it wrong, or they're not fully informed, but most of the time, a good deed, done with a hell of a lot of intention and research, is actually a good deed. If someone wants to go vegan because they feel that they must, that's their prerogative, and no amount of negative "you shouldn't do this" is going to sway them. If someone wants to work at an animal shelter because they really love animals, yelling at them all day long, everyday, about how they're communist bastards who should care more about their fellow human beings than "dumb animals" is not going to sway them. If someone decides that they want to become a locavore because they see how much their local farmers struggle, and they want to give back to their community, crying about some hypothetical famine is not going to stop them.

So just...stop.

But people aren't going to stop naysaying. They're not. It's in human nature.

But the other really awesome thing about human nature? When you're really impassioned about something, when you care about it with your whole heart, some guy with a megaphone and negative opinions isn't going to sway you in the slightest.

I'm not a locavore, though I try to buy local as often as I can. But I'm an activist in several different places, and I've seen it enough times, that if I had a nickel for each, I'd have a really swollen piggy bank. I'm surrounded by activists and impassioned people who chuckle and shake their heads when someone tells them "you know that's not going to make a bit of difference, and is--in fact--stupid, right?" I'm humbled and awed by the way that my friends and family and Unitarian family and queer family and every family responds to that, and I do my best in my life to reflect the same:

"Thanks for your concern. But we're not going to stop coming out/being vegan/writing gay stories/helping gay kids/protecting animals/singing/volunteering/doing anyway."

And the people go back to their megaphones. And the people go back to their doing something.

(photo by galactichero
mermaiden: (Goddess)
2012-10-14 12:02 pm

The Goddess of Writing

One of my very first tattoos was the word "Storyteller" on my wrist.  It was a deeply empowering thing for me to print upon my skin, in ink, exactly who and what I was, and a reminder for those dark nights of the soul (EVERY WRITER HAS THEM), that we never lose who we really are.  Out of all of my tattoos, this is still one of my favorites, even though it's one of my smallest, and one of my first.

Since the very beginning, though, it was the start of a much larger piece.  Every inch of my body has metaphors and meanings going on in my tattoos and my tattoo plans.  My right arm is, simply, my Storyteller arm (makes sense, right?  My right hand holds the pen).  This is the arm that has the half fairy tale tattoo sleeve on it.  I wanted the lower half sleeve to also reflect stories, but to go back to the root of them.  Not necessarily specific stories, but why and how they're written.  It's, arguably, one of the parts of my body I see the most--a perfect place for constant reminders of some of the most important parts of my life.

So, in my original plans for my forearm, I knew that I wanted a quill--the tip of it connecting, or almost connecting to the curlicue on the "Storyteller" tattoo, as if it just "wrote" that word upon my skin.  I wanted a very specific quill.  I'm Pagan, and I believe that, somehow and some way, all of my stories come from the Goddess.  I've built my entire life on loving Her and listening to all of the stories in my heart.  I'm also a lesbian, and that "colors" (HAH, A PUN) everything I do.  Maddie and I have been talking about both getting quill tattoos this past Yule, she presented me with my favorite tattoo parlor's gift certificate (ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS YOU CAN EVER GET MISS SARAH), and, yesterday, it HAPPENED.  <3

So I give you my Goddess of Writing quill tattoo.  The picture was taken a few minutes after the tattoo was finished, so IT'S STILL A LITTLE MESSY, and it's hard to see the rainbow She makes, because my arm is all GAH WHY DO YOU DO THESE THINGS TO US PRECIOUS (ie, enflamed).  She covers my entire forearm--the beginning of my bottom sleeve.

THERE IS A LOT OF SYMBOLISM GOING ON.  LET ME 'SPLAIN.  NO, IS TOO MUCH.  LET ME SUM UP:  the rainbow for lesbian stories, the peacock feather as a symbol of the Goddess, the repeating hearts as adoration of Her and love in general.  The dancing and playful posture of the Goddess as joy in the craft of writing.

mermaiden: (Autumn colors)
2012-10-12 03:04 pm

Update Live! <3

The Fable Tribe update is live now!

ALSO, with this update, we'll hopefully crest past 500 sales, guys! That's crazy wonderful! <3 <3 <3
mermaiden: (SPARKLE)
2012-10-12 12:07 pm

Update Day!

Today's Fable Tribe update will be posted live at three PM in its entirety! See the update preview at our Flickr, and stay tuned for magic! <3


Update days always have a hint of festival energy about them. Usually, Jenn's been taking the pictures since crazy o'clock in the morning, and when I get up, there's just excitement in the air. All of the pretties that we made, all of the magic that we spun, everything we've worked so hard for--we're about to show it to everyone. I make approximately eighteen thousand cups of tea, set up the laptop, then go over the pictures that Jenn's taken. You can ALWAYS tell the difference between my pictures and her pictures, BECAUSE SHE'S ACTUALLY A VERY GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER, and I'm always like YE GODS I AM GLAD YOU TOOK THEM. :P

I actually prefer the doing all of the update bits behind a curtain, then flinging back the flaps of the "tent" at a specific time, so that everyone can come in at once. There's a certain magic to that.

I've been doing these updates for quite a long time, now, and the day always has the same energy. Excitement. Happiness. Satisfaction. Magic.

Looooooooooooooooooots of tea.

Orca's perched on my shoulder right now. He reminds me that a DIFFERENT kind of magic happened EARLIER THIS MORNING:

I GIVE YOU: Link and Sporkin, love birds.

See you at three! And happy Friday!! <3
mermaiden: (Salem: Hocus Pocus -- Binx)
2012-10-11 11:56 am

A Million Sacred Things

My Pentacle, on the Mother Tree in Salem, MA. <3

This past week, we celebrated our first year (and fifth!) wedding anniversary by journeying to New England. That handful of days, the moments of pure, intense magic and the riot of blazing colors nature gave us, in abundance, was a gift I'll cherish my entire life. It was the first time visiting New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont (that I remember--I went to these places when I was a year old, and less, but obviously that's not been kept in my brain ;D), and after a lifelong OBSESSION with them, getting to actually go was a dream come true.

Old Bennington Cemetery in Vermont.

We returned to peak leaves in New York state, everything, for the past eight days, has been a treasure in my eyes. When I blink, I see rich colors, when I dream, I dream of palaces built of trees crowned with gold. My favorite season has unfolded itself in a savoring, beautiful explosion of sacred moments, and I've simply been soaking them up as each new one presents itself to me.

I'm going to post more in detail about everything--I have to go finish wirewrapping the Glamourkins for tomorrow's update--but I just wanted to share my many mixed emotions. I feel loved and held and homesick and sad and happy and just...indescribable, really.

Maddie's Yule gift to me last year was a tattoo that we both had spoken of getting for years and years. A quill. It's taken this long for all of our schedules to come together, but we're finally getting them this Saturday. I've had the design idea in my head forever, and yesterday, after we got home in the wee hours of the morning, I sent everything to my tattoo artist. This morning, I received the sketch and stared at the laptop screen, breathless. My heart stopped beating.

All of my stories come from Her, so I needed the Goddess in the quill. And She's there in ways I never could have imagined. Just like in my life. Just like in my heart.

And, on Saturday in the magic season, She comes out--again--upon my skin forever.
mermaiden: (Autumn colors)
2012-10-11 11:38 am

The Fable Tribe Update! <3

The next Fable Tribe update will be tomorrow, October 12th, at 3 PM! <3

Stay tuned for magic! <3
mermaiden: (Autumn)
2012-10-01 08:01 pm

The Fable Tribe Halloween~ now live!

This Halloween update, we've included Samhain Blessing Bowls--bowls that can be used to honor your ancestors, and help invoke the magic of a blessed Samhain night. <3

mermaiden: (Salem: Hocus Pocus -- Dani)
2012-10-01 01:41 pm

The Fable Tribe Halloween -- Preview!

The Fable Tribe Halloween update is tonight! The witching hour of 8 PM (EST) draws ever closer, and the veils have parted--you can now see the update preview at our Flickr!

Haunting hair flowers, Victorian Halloween Glamourkins (and Crystal Glamourkins!), and Samhain Blessing Bowls for your magical workings this Hallow's Eve (or to decorate your home with sacred intention this October). ♥

The ENTIRE UPDATE will go live when the clock strikes eight! ♥

See the update preview at our Flickr!

mermaiden: (Salem: Hocus Pocus -- Dani)
2012-09-29 12:16 pm


Expect magic when the clock strikes eight...
mermaiden: (Circle)
2012-09-25 08:07 pm

The Fable Tribe -- Update Live!

The Fable Tribe update is now live! <3 <3 <3

mermaiden: (Harvest)
2012-09-25 03:28 pm

The Fable Tribe Update! <3

So, since finishing Moth, Jenn and I have been non-stop at work on the next Fable Tribe update...which is tonight at eight o'clock, EST! I'm uploading everything now (while munching on one of the cortland apples we picked in the orchard on Sunday, and drinking violet tea. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST DO WHEN YOU UPDATE THE FABLE TRIBE. ;D <3), and will set the shop live at eight tonight!

See the update preview at our Flickr! Seeker Stone sets, Blessing Bowls, hair flowers and spoon pendants. <3


We finished everything up for the update today, so I haven't been outside yet. To those of you who know me, this comes as no surprise, but I'm kind of a wild hooligan MOST months, but fall is my worst. XD I MUST BE OUTSIDE EVERY DAY FOR MULTIPLE HOURS, OR I TURN INTO A PUMPKIN (actual results may vary XD). I'm going to push through adding everything into the shop, and then I really hope there's enough time to go cavort at Swallow Hollow. This is the most beautiful day. <3 (To combat this while I was finishing up Moth, even if I'd worked fifteen hours straight on it during the day, I had to go for a walk. Even at one o'clock in the morning. In the rain. <--might have done so multiple times. Autumn fills me, sustains me, makes me feel alive, and I need to be part of every second of it.)

*has been vibrating in place at the table all day staring at the out-of-doors*

*updates faster*


Last but not least! I posted this in a Tumbl last night, but I'm putting it here, too. <3

You asked, we answered! Many of you wonderful, sparkly people have asked us how you can purchase signed paperback editions of our books…and now you can! I’ve created the Sappho’s Boutique Etsy shop. It has signed editions of all of our paperback books currently out, and some eReader editions, for those people who asked for a way to purchase the eReader copies directly from us. ♥

Thank you so much, guys, you’re wonderful! Let us know what you think of the shop. ♥

mermaiden: (Bandyloo too)
2012-09-24 05:24 pm

The Fable Tribe Update! <3

Because we chose to focus solely every day on my most recent manuscript, The Fable Tribe suffered in September with NO UPDATE. This is a tragedy that we are rectifying!

Stay tuned tomorrow for magic! <3 <3 <3
mermaiden: (Me in cartoon form~)
2012-09-22 12:55 am
Entry tags:


Moth is FINISHED. <3 <3 <3

Worked all day long. Exhausted. Sleep now. But so fucking happy. <3 On the INSIDE, I FEEL LIKE THIS:

mermaiden: (Butterflies)
2012-09-20 11:52 pm
Entry tags:


I am almost done with Moth. Almost done in every sense, in writing, in editing, in completion.

Very few of you know what Moth is about. I haven't kept it secret, per se, but I haven't been telling everyone, either. I've held it close to my heart, this little, fluttering thing, and it's ready now. It's time now.


Moth is my strangest baby, out of many strange babies. It has a very different life, already, than all of my others, and it has done strange things to and with me. I love it with all of my heart, but with a very different love than I have given any of my other stories. It is a patient love, and an unconditional love, because this book is very weighty and very strong and very strange. And it's going to make some people angry, and some people are going to love it, and some people are going to despise it, and I have done, as I always do, what I could by it.

I'm being cryptic, aren't I. Indulge me?

I have spent a great deal of time with this book, every day with this book, from sun up to sun down with this book. I have walked into its pages with a great deal of trust, and--oh baby--I trust all the time. But this time was different. There was a spark. There was a kiss of cool wind. There was a change in tides.

I never expected this book that came up to me, this brazen little thing, and demanded that I write it. "I don't want to write you," I told the story. But it tugged at my sleeve, insistent. "I can't write you," I told the story. But it clung to me, insistent. "But you're going to be hated," I whispered to it.

"But I need to be written anyway," it whispered back.

So I wrote it. I devoted time and love and sleepless nights to it. I nurtured it into creation, and molded it and made it, and when it was done (or, it is almost done), I took a breath. A single breath. And I thought many things, in the time it took to draw that breath, but in the end, the final thought was this:

You were meant to be. And: I am proud of you.

I am so very close to putting away the brushes, stepping back from the canvas, putting my hands to the small of my back and surveying it fully, this landscape, this storyland. I know each thumbprint of it, every line of it, and it is strange and painful and beautiful and weird, and I have put everything that I am or could be or ever was into it. I have given all that I have for it.

The last page is coming, and it requires even more of me, as any story must. When you have given all you are, it asks for one hairsbreadth more. And you give it, freely. With love.

That's how you know you were meant to write it.
mermaiden: (Rest)
2012-09-19 10:58 am

Purple Sabbath

Jenn and I have worked every single day, non-stop, inhuman hours, for months with no *definite* end in sight. No human being can do this. We were at a lodge in the mountains with Jenn's parents this past weekend--which was wonderful, but we had to spend the entire vacation working (though there were still wonderful moments, it would have been NICE and RELAXING if we'd treated the vacation LIKE A VACATION). I've been re-reading one of my favorite childhood series, "The Rocky Ridge Series," (it's also sometimes known as "The Rose Years"--a series of books written by Roger MacBride, Rose Wilder's adopted grandson. Rose Wilder was, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter.), and I brought the books down with me to read in tiny snatches of moments. I had a lot of epiphanies, strangely enough, re-reading one of my ultimate comfort books for the 1,243,567 time, but one of them was this:

The books chronicle some incredibly hard times, but no matter what, if there was imminent blizzard, or if you didn't gather enough food DEATH may be a possibility, or if there was a raging FIRE, they always, always, always had a day of rest. Even when they were in their covered wagon. A particular line struck me...that even the horses needed a day of rest, because even animals deserve a tiny amount of time to recoup during the week.

Okay. That above paragraph may sound like the most obvious thing in the known universe. But it was like a punch to the gut to me. It has been very, very, very hard these past few months. There have been amazing and wonderful moments, but it's been difficult. We've not given ourselves any amount of freedom or time, because we've felt we didn't have the "luxury" of spending one second away from our work. What this results in is when we take small vacations, we spend the entire time ill or sick, because we've worked ourselves into the ground more than pit ponies (WHY IS SARAH USING ALL OF THE EQUINE METAPHORS).

So I thought about this for a few days, and on the drive back up from the lodge, Jenn and I talked about it. And we were like: yes. We need a day of rest.

This week is one of the most hectic in my life. There's a novel deadline for REASONS on Friday, and I have worked non-stop on this for book for two months (plus more time, but NON-STOP, TWELVE HOURS A DAY for two months). We'd decided, on our drive up, that Wednesday would be what we jokingly referred to as the "Purple Sabbath" of our week.

But...this Wednesday? I was worried about it. Shouldn't I take the entire day and pour over things again? Won't I have to stay up super late on Thursday and Friday to get this done, when I've already been doing this?

And we both decided: you know what? There's ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMETHING. The Purple Sabbath needs to be as fucking non-negotiable as the tides and the moon phases. Because if it is NOT non-negotiable, we will always, always, always work, instead of rest.

And we need. To. Rest.

So. This is the first Purple Sabbath. I'm sitting in bed writing this post, next to Jenn, who's ALSO writing a post (THE MOST SHOCKING THING SINCE TIME BEGAN, TWO POSTS FROM US ;D). I'm a little happily overwhelmed, in the best of possible ways, with what we could do with this day. The only plan is FINALLY getting to go see this movie tonight at our local crazy-cheap-adorable theater. I also want to head to one of our favorite parks, but in all seriousness, I have ten books on my bedside table that have been giving me sultry eyes every moment of every day, and WHO KNOWS, MAYBE WE WILL STAY IN BED AND READ.

I don't know. But that not knowing is like...the most glorious thing ever.

I was telling Jenn last night: it is a LITTLE SAD when we are overjoyed to the point of TEARS for a SINGLE DAY in which we are allowed to READ AND GO FOR WALKS. But we don't really require all that much in life. A beautiful fall day, spent relaxing with my wife...paradise, in physicality. <3


<3 THE END. <3
mermaiden: (Home)
2012-08-24 03:07 pm

The Fable Tribe -- Update!

Oh my goodness. So, at crazy o'clock this morning, my mum calls me in a panic. Her car has a flat tire (WORST TIMING EVER), Dad is already at work (he goes very early), and one of her dogs, A, has an infection that Mum thinks has turned into pyometra (my Mum has been breeding dogs since before I was born, still is). You don't want to know what pyo is, trust me. Can I come and take her and said pup to the vet? (Pyo can kill VERY quickly if it's not operated on.) So, today is the Fable Tribe update, but I drop everything to rush to their house, and then proceed to wait eleventy billion hours in the vet's office with a very worried Mum and very sick dog who was very sad. :( :( :( (I spent all morning hugging her. Oh my goodness, that poor baby. ;-; She's related to my Newfoundland soulmate, Beethoven, so it was devastating to see her like that.)

Jenn, being amazing beyond reason, EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS NOT UPDATED AN ETSY SHOP IN ELEVENTY BILLION YEARS, got up super early, took all of the pictures, and began the update. ;-; <3 <3 <3

So! I'm finally home! A is in surgery (she *did* have the infection, but it was detected, and can be operated on, so she's going to be okay hopefully--good thoughts appreciated!), Mum is feeling relieved and happy, and ALL of the Glamourkins are already added to the shop because I have the best wife in the ENTIRE COSMOS. ;-; <--weepy with gratitude.

So, all I have left to do is the hair flowers and Seeker Stone sets! Want to follow along with the rest? See the last bit of what's coming at our Flickr, and follow along with the last part of the update our Etsy shop!

mermaiden: (BUCK ALL THE THINGS)
2012-08-21 03:48 pm

The Fable Tribe Update! <3

The next Fable Tribe update is this Friday at noon! We have a few Glamourkin lovelies to present, as well as more Seeker Stone sets (which you guys loved--hooray!), which sold out quickly, and more hair flowers, which also sold out! :) <3 More magic for everyone~

Stay tuned for sparkle! <3
mermaiden: (Luna)
2012-08-11 10:18 pm

"I mean, it's not like I haven't watched the shows."

"Curse Cabin Confession," by Sarah Diemer
When Robin invites her girlfriend, Malinda, up to her family cabin for the weekend, it's not just for a romantic time. Robin has a confession to make: she's not exactly human.

Read it here!

(photo by ANDR3W A)