An Exercise in Eccentricity

In my last post, I asked some questions and promised to give my own answers in my next post. This is that post.

The questions remain open to be answered, though. I really do need some outside input to help break me out of my usual creative patterns.

So, if you intend to answer these questions, please do so BEFORE READING THIS POST! I don’t want to influence your answers.

That said, here goes nothin:

1. Make up a constellation and a brief story for it.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… there was a great wolf spirit and a great serpent spirit roaming over a primordial world, and they were brother and sister. They were sent to shape the world for creatures who would come after them. 

Now, the wolf was an orderly creature who liked patterns and measures, while his sister serpent loved all things unpredictable and chaotic. For a time, they worked harmoniously, each one seeing the beauty in the other’s plans, but after a while their ideas came more and more into conflict. Unwilling to compromise, they parted ways, each one traveling over the surface of the world and shaping it according to their own desires.

When the siblings had covered the world, they began to run across and change eachother’s designs. As time went on, it seemed as if they would completely undo their own work and leave the world as formless as when they had begun. And so the Great Spirit reached down and scooped them up to release them in the sky where they would have more space to shape and form and would not interfere with the creatures that were to come.

The eye of the wolf is the fixed polar star, ever reliable. The serpent runs through the chaotic band of many stars, and her eye is red and inconstant.

2. What is your favorite holiday (excluding Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Easter) and  why?

 4th of July.  I absolutely love fireworks, and New Years is too insane. The 4th is, at least around here, a laid-back holiday filled with grilled food, family, and explosions. Sparklers, and elaborate fireworks displays never fail to fascinate and awe me. Thank you, Chinese inventors! I am also fond of my home nation and like to have a set time to celebrate its existence.

3. Name an object you would like to see featured in a story

 I want to read a story that involves a magical lint brush. Why? Because the non-magical kind don’t work nearly well enough to solve my cat-hair issues.

4. make up a name for a spell and tell me what it does

Brightsnap: brightsnap is an alchemical transmutation creating silvery beads that explode on sharp impact, exuding a blinding light for as long as a minute. Because honest uses of brightsnap are rare, it has been outlawed and knowledge of the ingredients and process have been suppressed. On the black market, the beads now fetch a high price. 

5. Choose a plant and make up a symbolic meaning for it

I’ve been doing this one for a while, so I will pick one I haven’t yet added to my list. 

Trillium: a meeting of ways/convergence

6. What is your favorite ghost/folk/scary story (can be humorous or not)

This is a tough one for me. You already have my favorite ghost poem, so I must think of something else. I am very fond of several E. A. Poe stories and of some of the folk-tales I have come across. Poe’s work is pretty well-known, though, so perhaps I should highlight the latter. I have little tangible reason as to which folktales and ghost stories speak to me, and which don’t. Here are two very different ghost-stories, both with roots reaching far back into human history.  The first one is a vengeful ghost tale, and the second is a sad one.


About jubilare

Just another tree in the proverbial forest. Look! I have leaves! View all posts by jubilare

10 responses to “An Exercise in Eccentricity

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  • David

    I love your constellation story! I’m often tempted to put magical wolf-creatures among the stars too, but I found my inspiration elsewhere this time. (it’s up now) I especially like what the siblings are now: the wolf’s eye the polar star, and the serpent (I presume) being the colorful and twisty nebulas of starstuff. Beautiful.

    Aye, the 4th does provide good food and family times, as well as a generally wholesome, sunny day atmosphere. We need more times like it.

    In a story? Sounds like the magical lint brush would be more interesting for you in real life! +)

    *hides bag of brightsnap beads* Oh yes, haha, excellent FICTIONAL idea there. Definitely not sold by suspicious-looking gnomes. To me. In the real world. Look, an albatross! *tosses bag away*

    Trillium itself is a pretty and interesting name. I like your chosen meaning, too.

    Oo, those ghost stories — I like them! They’re both sad, although at least Jeremiah Jones got closure. They’re the kind of ghost stories that do spark my imagination, though. Thanks for sharing them!

    • jubilare

      I got the idea of a star-cloud constellation when I learned that, in the Southern Hemisphere, there are “dark constellations,” dark spots in the Milky Way that are given names. Here, this is just wikipedia, but gives basic info on Australian Aboriginal constellations.


      This… is very true. I do need a magical lint-brush. But sometimes stories give us images of things we can’t have. Les sigh.

      Fire in the hole! *drops to the ground and curls up in a ball*

      *Some minutes later, opens one eye* so… do you have Trillium out where you live? We have a lot of them, here, and I love them. Deep-forest things, opening mid-spring and usually lasting the summer. There are many different varieties. 1, 2, 3, 4. I also made up some variations on the meaning given the variety, but I decided to keep it simple here.

      Aye, there are kinds that spark my imagination, and kinds that just freak me out. I like the former, not so much the latter. :P
      Thanks for reading, and for the encouragement!

      • David

        What a fascinating page! I love their cosmology for the Sun and the Moon.

        Not entirely sure if we have trillium here. I’m not familiar with it, neither is my mom, but they do look pretty. Will have to remember them for my stories.

        • jubilare

          Isn’t it, though? Sometimes wandering randomly through information turns up gems. :)

          The trillium family is pretty widespread in the states, though I think the east coast, especially southeast, has the greatest number. Check here and see if you have any locals:
          They have many names, like most flowers, but wake-robin and toadshade are the two most common (other than trillium) that I know of.

  • stephencwinter

    This took me out of my imaginative world into other places which feel less familiar. I am intrigued by that. I found myself thinking about ghosts and by the fact that I have never really worried about them. As a priest I have quite often been invited to pray in houses where the folk living there fear they are being haunted but have never felt anything. I hope my prayers did some good and I have always taken both their stories and their fear with absolute seriousness. It’s just that I have never been touched by the things they feared before. I have just spent an hour or so reading Sorina Higgins on Charles Williams’ witch play (now there’s a man who lived in a haunted world!) and also Brenton Dickieson on The Death of Balder before reading your posting. Somehow they all hang together and I have much to ponder on here. As always, thank you!

    • jubilare

      I’ve not encountered a ghost, of which I am glad, but I have felt things in certain places, and once I watched my dead cat sitting in a patch of sun washing herself before I realized she had been dead for months, and then she was gone. …I’m not sure if I can consider that a ghost-sighting because the mind does play tricks.

      The Southern U.S. seems to be a very ghosty place. Not in terms of ghost-stories, or ghost-presences (plenty of places have about as much of that as we do) but in terms of feel. But it’s not a scary or creepy feeling, merely a somewhat sad one. I wonder how much it is that we are haunted by our past.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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