Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bwca, Bwca, Bwca!!!!

Welcome to the last week of Hairy Beastie Month!  I know I am two and a half days late.  I blame it on pumpkin pie and sausage stuffing.  (Speaking of sausage, I do realize that the Bwca in the picture above is exposing his boy-parts.  I thought I’d get this out of the way.  Laugh and point at the Naked Bwca. I did.)

The Bwca is a Welsh House Faerie, kind of like the English Brownie with a Boggart twist.  The Brownie is a faerie that helps out around the house.  Not to be confused with young roving-cookie-peddling division of the Girl Scouts.  A Boggart is a poorly behaved house spirit who makes a general nuisance of himself (herself?) 

The Bwca is short, about two to three feet high, with a long nose and long fingers.  He’s described as being shaggy and resides in rural Wales.  He doesn’t like teetotalers or clergy men. (I don’t either to tell you the truth.)  He apparently doesn’t like people with long noses, either.  (I bare no such grudge.)

Bwca’s are mainly known for churning butter.  If anyone has tried to make butter, you know it’s a major time suck and not that much fun.  Bwcas also do other chores around the house like weaving, laundry, and general household drudgery.  He just asks that the hearth be clean and that you leave out a bowl of milk or cream out for him as a reward for a good day’s work. 

Should be simple enough, right?   A simple you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-your-back arrangement.  If the Bwca is offended or slighted in anyway, he can turn horribly vicious pinching, throwing things, ripping clothes, sharing family secrets, banging loudly on the walls.  There is a popular story about a woman who left a bowl of urine out for the Bwca who did all the dirty work in her house.  The Bwca grabbed the tart by her throat and dragged her around the house, beating the stuffing out of her.     As far as I am concerned, if you leave a stale bowl of urine out for someone as payment, you deserve anything you get!  She had it coming.

Once a Bwca is offended, you get no more work from him.  He sets about to make your life as unpleasant as possible. The only way to get rid of one is the hire a Cunning Man to use iron or holy water to chase the little shit away.

I’d like a Bwca.  I’d ask him to put some clothes on first, but he’d be infinitely useful.  The laundry is piling up after a month of general laziness and NaNoWriMo.  I wonder if he could wrap Christmas presents and clean closets and run the vacuum. 

Speaking of Christmas, next month’s Faerie Friday theme will be creatures associated with Christmas and if I run out of ideas for that, I’ll write about something else.  Did you know in Holland, they used to believe in a mean little “Moorish” boy called the Zwart Piet (or Black Peter) that used to keep track of naughty Dutch children so that they could get punished or carried off to Spain?  I didn’t until recently.  You can’t make this shit up.

Also, next month, I'll be doing my usual Saturday posts again.  Hope to see you then!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

If you like milk and sitting by the fire…

Phote removed by author

SSHL (Single Scottish Hairy Lass) seeks the company and possible smooches from SMMC (Single Scottish Mythological Creature).  Will gladly share dairy products and farm chores.  Good at cattle herding and animal husbandry.  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Won’t you come out of the woods and sit by the fire with me?

-- Ad that appeared in the May addition of Faerie Folly Magazine’s, in the “Beltaine is for Lovers” supplement.*

So this is the third week of Hairy Beastie month and the last two beasties have been male.  I thought it was high time for a female.  And do you remember Mr. Urisk from last week?  He still needs a girlfriend.  I think I found just the lady – the Grugach.

I think of the Grugach as the bearded lady of the faerie world.  The Grugach is also called Grogans, Herders, Firesitters and Hairy Ones.  There are both male and female Grugachs, but today, I am going to concentrate on the fairer sex. 

Just because the Grugach is covered in hair doesn’t mean she’s warm. In fact, this heavy-set vixen is always cold.  She will knock upon a crofter’s door and if they let her to warm by the fire, she’ll take care of their cattle and protect them for other creatures that wish to do them harm.  If they are scared by her less than attractive appearance, she might just wreck the place or steal their livestock.  Serves ‘em right!

The Scottish Highlands are the Grugach’s favorite stomping grounds though she can be found in Ireland and the Isle of Man.  I can picture her in my mind walking through pastures cold and alone coming upon a crofters cottage and wondering if they will let her in. 

I think she just might work for the Urisk.  If they had babies, what would we call the baby?  A Grisk or a Urgach?  I like funny looking little bastard myself.

Next week is the last week of Hairy Beastie month.  I’ll be sad to see these guys go, but never fear!  December is just around the corner and I’ll have a new theme for you by then.  I’ll let you know when I figure it out!

*Get it?  Beltaine is May Eve.  You know, former Druidic festival in honor Baal, fire, ritual eating of cake, day when faeries most actively abduct good looking people?  Oh, never mind!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Library of The Buff

My friend Nina suggested that I add a list of research books onto my blog, a quasi bibliography for Pixies Don’t Have Wings.   I had already thought about doing that, but it would require more work than I am willing to do at this time. She suggested that I take a few pictures of my library and post them up.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ve read everyone one of these books cover to cover.  I’ve read quite a few of them cover to cover, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day to 1) write 2) blog 3) read for fun 4) Eat, Sleep and Breath 5) go to work (gotta have cash to feed my booking buying addiction) AND to read all of the research materials that I want.  Quite a few of the larger books are dictionaries and I refuse to read those from start to finish.  Some of the books I bought for current projects and some are for future projects.   I like to have what I need when I need it.  I don’t rely on the Internet for my research because frankly, some of it is just plain suspect.

Yes, if you were wondering, this is me procrastinating.  NaNoWriMo is harder than I thought it would be.  I’m not looking for sympathy, but stating a fact.  I’m still under 10,000 words for my project, Working Title: Enlightened.  I hope to catch up in the next week.  I was able to write 3000 words last night with the help of some nice women and #1kin1hr on Twitter.  I love Twitter.

So here we go, a glimpse of the Library of The Buff.  I'm probably the only one that is excited about this.

I work in the third bedroom of my house.  Right now I am sitting cross legged on the futon (a relic from my husband’s old apartment), laptop propped up on a pillow and my back hunched over typing.  Yes, my back is killing me.  I’ll never learn. 

The Seven Days of Halloween prompted me to pull out a few dozen books off my shelves and I didn’t put any of them back.  Not only am I a book hoarder, I’m also a slob as well.  I picked them all off from the floor, under the bed, on my desk and put them on the bed.  This is what it looked like:

Shameful, I know.

Here are so more shots of the books after I put them away.  Pardon the dust.  There’s a lot of it.

Yes, there is an entire book on Gnomes.  I love gnomes.  We have a lovely gnome statue in our front garden I named Jago.  He was a gift from my husband for my birthday.

Close up shot.

Another close up

Some of the other stacks of books

Faeries, Mythology and Italian Witchcraft

Celtic Wisdom, Russian Mythology, Faeries and Norse Myths

Djinns, Faeries and Wicca (I'm not a Wiccan)

Miscellaneous.  Some Norse Mythology, Irish Mythology, Turkish Fairy Tales

Nice Collection of Fairy Tales and Mythology from around the world.

More Miscellaneous books on Celtic Mythology Dictionaries and Faerie Lore

More Witchy Stuff (I stress, I am not a Wiccan or Witch. This is for research purposes only.)

Fiction titles I'd like to review on this blog. Again, not enough hours in the day.

So what are some of your favorite books on Faeries, Witchcraft, Mythology, etc?


Friday, November 11, 2011

All by Myself

Cue the Bridget Jones Soundtrack  (Just for the record, I own it and love it!)

Lonely SMMC (Scottish Male Mythical Creature) seeks SANTP (Somebody, Anybody, Not Too Picky) to share dairy products and hours of quiet contemplation besides various bodies of water.  Don’t mind my goat legs and horns.  Good at farm work. 

 -- Ad that appeared in April’s addition of the Faerie Folly Magazine, right after the article Faerie Queens: Necessary or Archaic and before the Centerfold photograph, a rather raunchy picture of the Easter Bunny in nothing but his cotton tail.* 

Well, first let me thank you for joining me for the second week of Hairy Beastie month on Pixies Don’t Have Wings. 

Again, YAY for Hairy Beasties!!

This week I am featuring the Urisk.  If you haven’t already figured it out, he’s pictured above. 

The Urisk is a brownie (faerie creature, not dessert) that hales from the Scottish Highlands and can be found by isolated ponds, lakes and streams or strolling through woodland areas.  He is considered a solitary fae, i.e. he lives alone.  He appears as a slight human figure with hairy goat legs (not unlike that of a satyr or a faun) and sports a nice set of horns.   It’s funny how the ugly/misshapen ones often live alone while the pretty ones get to troop, dance and be merry with other pretty ones that troop, dance and are merry.  I somehow don’t see how this is fair.

The Urisk is a friendly creature and seeks out human companionship.  His appearance, however, ensures that most people that cross its path are sufficiently freaked out.  This is especially the case when he appears on a lonely road after dark. It doesn’t help that he gets all excited and chases after women he fancies.  Boy’s gotta learn how to play it cool.

Sometimes the Urisk gets a gig working as a field hand for a farmer.  In return, he received cream and a few scraps of clothing. 

So if we matchmakers, who would we fix the poor Urisk with?  I think I have an idea.  Check back next week for Faerie Friday and I’ll fill you in!

*Yes, my sad attempt at humor.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Rat Man of Ireland (and Sometimes Scotland)

Today is the first Faerie Friday of Hairy Beastie month.  Yay for Hairy Beasties!  I’ve tried to narrow down the list of a dozen or so Hairy Beasties that I came up with a few weeks ago.  As usual, I fear that I have chosen the wrong ones.  We shall see.

I’m taking a workshop at titled Faeries and Dragons of the Silk Road and Beyond.  As in the case with most of the online workshops I’ve taken, the participants post a little about themselves and why they are taking the class.  In my intro, I stated:

When I try to develop the character, I look at the creature and ask myself this: “If this guy could/would talk to me, what would he/she say?  What would he/she be like at a cocktail party?”

I decided to try that approach with this week’s featured creature: The Fir Darrig

The Fir Darrig (or Fir Dhearga, Fear Dearch, Far Darrig, and I am sure there are other spellings) wouldn’t be the first person you’d notice at the party since he stands somewhere between a foot to two and a half feet in height.  He’s either portrayed as an ugly hairy gnome-like creature or a dirty filthy rat with a bright red hat.*  In this exercise, I’m going with dirty filthy rat because, well, it speaks to me.  He’s an ugly little beast with beady eyes, a rodent snout and a long rat tail.  He’ll lament he’s so ugly from all his years in faerie land.

You’d probably smell the Fir Darrig first before you notice him.  He hangs at the dump and in the sewers. 

You can bet he’s not on the guest list.  He’ll breeze through the front door and go right for the good stuff – the expensive Irish whiskey.  Like many unwanted guests, he’ll laugh harder at his own jokes.  He’ll talk to anyone who will listen and attempt to regale your guests with his adventures of smuggling humans from faerie land.  He’d shake his shillelagh to emphasize his heroicness.

Don’t be fooled the Fir Darrig.  You can’t believe a word he says, but he’s really quite harmless unless you are downwind of him.

What is your favorite Hairy Beastie?  How would you portray them in a book?

*On an aside, I’m not sure what the deal is with faerie creatures with red hats and clothing.  Are they gang colors?  I don’t know.  I must research!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

General Announcements & the Shirking of Duties

First of all, I’d like to thank those who followed me through the 7 Days of Halloween.  I wrote over 4000 words last week for the blog and some of you read all of those words.  I will always be grateful for the support and encouragement.

You learned a few things about me last week like I’m afraid of pigs, I sometimes drink too much,  I dress for Halloween as characters from folklore and mythology, I’m from Big Foot Nation, I got haunted in Savannah and I talk away too much about my husband. That last one I’m going to have to stop because he’s going to start thinking he’s The Shit and no good can come of that. 

If you are a writer, you know that November is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  I’m going to participate in my first ever this year.  I’m excited and scared.  My hope is that I’ll have something that I can use as a serial novel for this blog.

Now that I’ve given you the excuse, I have to come clean and confess that I am going to suspend my Saturday posts for the month of November.  I may post some Saturdays but I don’t know how busy I will be with NaNo and I’d like to have one less thing to worry about.

I’ll still be doing Faerie Friday.  November is Hairy Beastie Month in honor of my husband.  November is his birthday month and he wants to grow a beard.  I won’t let him.  He’ll have to be content with the goatee and Hairy Beastie Month.

I have a couple questions for you.

Did you enjoy the 7 Days of Halloween?

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this month?  If so, are you willing to share what your story is about?

Would you be interested in reading a serial novel if I publish it here on this blog?