About Me

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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Monday, January 01, 2018

Monday Musings: New Year's tradition around the world

Here are some New Year's traditions from around the world:

Making a lot of noise seems to be popular everywhere. In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons, and China, firecrackers kept away the forces of darkness.

Food is another popular tradition. In the southern U.S., black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune. In India and Pakistan, rice promises good fortune. The Swiss drop dollops of whipped cream on the floors, which symbolizes the richness of the coming year.

Drinking alcohol is probably the most popular tradition. Wassail (Good Health) is a favorite punch-like drink in England. In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.

Swapping gifts is done in some parts of the world. In Rome, gifts of gilded nuts or coins marks the start of the New Year. Persians exchange eggs, a symbol of fertility. Early Egyptians traded earthenware pots. In Scotland, coal, shortbread, and silverware were given for good luck.

Scotland celebrates Hogmanay. People visit friends and family. The first foot forward to cross the threshold will predict the next year's fortune.

The practice of making New Year's resolutions began with the Babylonians as early as 2600 B.C.

New Year's folklore:
At midnight, kiss the person you want to keep kissing.
If the old year goes out like a lion, the new one will come in like a lamb.

Happy New Year!

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader into the pages and enchants them with her words.”
CTR





Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Weird Word Wednesday

entasis
NOUN

Architecture
A slight convex curve in the shaft of a column, introduced to correct the visual illusion of concavity produced by a straight shaft.
Example sentences
‘Not only does this polysemy make it an enigmatic signifier, but the computer-perfected entasis makes it a good example of propositional beauty - the central planned skyscraper with elegant double curves shooting to the sky.’
‘The entasis of this skyscraper, like that of a Doric column, leads to a new kind of propositional beauty, one worked out digitally.’
Origin
Mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek, from enteinein ‘to stretch or strain’.
Pronunciation
entasis/ˈɛntəsɪs/



Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday Musings: Yule

Yule was and is still celebrated by pagans around the world as the birth of the Sun God. The Holly King "dies" and the Oak King starts his reign at this time when the days grow longer and are filled with light and warmth.

Both gods are honored during this time by bringing an evergreen indoors and decorating it with light and colorful ornaments that represent the abundance of the coming spring like birds, fruit, and flowers, along with those that symbolize rain like icicles. Gift-giving is also an ancient tradition, although in past times these were mostly handmade gifts from the heart.


I think we lose sight of the true meaning of this time because we sit in our heated homes lit with electricity during these shorter, colder days. We also grab our food from the grocery store shelves instead of having to rely on weather conditions to grow our own. It must have been frightening for people who had a lack of scientific knowledge to grasp on to the idea that spring and summer would return, especially when their food stores and fire fuel started to run low. This truly is a magical time when the shorter days start to lengthen and warmth and sunshine returns.

Merry Christmas and Happy Yule.

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader into the pages and enchants them with her words.”
CTR




Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Weird Word Wednesday

entamoeba
(US entameba)
NOUN

An amoeba that typically lives harmlessly in the gut, though one kind can cause amoebic dysentery.
Example sentences
Origin
Modern Latin, from Greek entos ‘within’ + amoeba.
Pronunciation

entamoeba/ˌɛntəˈmiːbə/


Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Musings: Christmas fun facts

To help put you in the holiday spirit, I've collected these Christmas fun facts.

Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25th the official celebration date or the birth of Jesus Christ in AD 350 even though, due to information in the Bible, this probably wasn't really his date of birth.

An English custom called "wassailing" started the tradition of Christmas caroling. The house-visiting "wassail" is when individuals go door-to-door singing carols and offering a drink from the wassail bowl in exchange for gifts.

The Bible never specifically mentions that three wise men visited baby Jesus or that they visited him when he was an infant. They may have visited an older Jesus.

Imagery from Clement Clarke Moore's Visit from St. Nicholas may have inspired the modern look for Santa Claus. This poem was initially published anonymously because the author felt the poem was beneath his talents.

Tradition of hanging stockings--the legend goes like this: There was a poor family that wouldn't accept charity so Santa left cold coins in the girls' stocking hanging to dry by the fireplace.


Origin of Christmas trees came from pre-Christian traditions. At the solstice, the ancient Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes, which symbolized the triumph of life over death in honor of the sun god Ra. Ancient Romans marked the solstice with a celebration called Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. They decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. The mysterious druids, priests of the ancient Celts, decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The Viking believed evergreen boughs were the special plant of the sun god, Balder. Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century.

Merry Christmas and Happy Yule!

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader into the pages and enchants them with her words.”
CTR



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Weird Word Wednesday

ensheath
VERB

[WITH OBJECT]
Biology
Enclose (an organism, tissue, structure, etc.) in a sheath.
‘the axons are ensheathed by Schwann cells’
More example sentences
Pronunciation

ensheath/ɪnˈʃiːθ/


Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Musings: Aerre Geola (Early Yule)

Since it's Christmas, I thought I'd share this bit of history on the holiday. Early Yule, Aerre Geola, is the month before the Winter Solstice. The Anglo-Saxons considered the lunar months preceding and following the solstice as Yule. The shorter days made it difficult to do any kind of work, so they used this time to gather and celebrate with family and friends.



The solstice was called Mother's Night and celebrated one's female ancestors. Burning rosemary and calling out female ancestors by name is one way to honor them.

The oldest Yuletide tradition is the burning of the Yule log, usually the largest piece of wood. Many people today don't have a fireplace, so a Yule candle can be substituted. The candle tradition started way back in England in the early nineteenth century. Light the candle at sunset on the night of the solstice. It's customary to keep a small piece of the candle for luck in the coming year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule!

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic & romance.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader into the pages and enchants them with her words.”
CTR