Monthly Archives: February 2010

Fun Friday: Yuck

Flickr Photo by barca-q8

Ok, maybe this post should be called Not So Fun Friday.

It seems, our dear bloggers, that both of your hostesses have come down with a case of the ICKs. At the same time. What are the chances of that?

And so I sit, curled up with my books (though I gotta say, reading is tough when my brain feels like cotton candy), my cozy comforter, the snow outside, and tea. Lots and lots of tea.

Wish us well. And do me a favor, have an awesome weekend on our behalf. See you Monday!

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Thursday Myths & Legends 101: The Gytrash

The Gytrash is a spectral creature of North England myth, appearing to lost or way-laid travelers on lonely roads  as either a large lion-like dog, donkey, or horse.

The creature occasionally manifests itself to lead a lost traveler to the right path, but most encounters are of a more sinister nature, leading the travelers astray, never to be found again.  When the creature appeared as entirely dark, with eyes burning like coals, it’s believed to be at its most malevolent.  It is one of many forms of spectral dogs, in particular, and fairly rare.

The most common reference for a Gytrash is the scene in Jane Eyre, where Jane wonders momentarily if Pilot, Mr. Rochester’s dog who has found her on her way to Thornfield, might possibly be this mythic beast.  She’s reassured when she sees Rochester riding his horse, as “Nothing ever rode the Gytrash: it was always alone.”

For such a small moment in the book, and such a rarely-heard-of creature, this scene has always stuck with me, as has the image of the Gytrash, appearing on dusky roads and luring wandering travelers astray.  There’s something particularly sinister in the idea of what most people would expect to be a subservient creature  leading tired and lonely travelers astray, in the guise of companionship.  This is one myth that I wouldn’t be surprised to feel the tugs of if I were ever to find myself on an abandoned country road in Europe somewhere.  Maybe even here in America, if the conditions were just right.  If I go for a long walk and don’t end up coming home… well, it may well have been a Gytrash that I’ve let lead me astray.  I think I’d keep away from that one with the burning-coal eyes, though… at least I’d hope I’d have enough sense as that.


Book Geek Wednesday: I’m Reading…

Welcome to my first edition of ‘I’m reading’ where I divulge my insanity and the surreal number of books I tend to read at once. Sometimes, one will jump ahead of the pack and will become the new IT book which forces me to devour it at unheard of speeds. But mostly, especially lately, I’ve been flooded with life- my son’s newfound walking skills which leave my pots, pans and tupperware all over my kitchen floor, my writing deadlines, my house which is often a disaster area for toys and baby socks . It’s hard to really sit and enjoy a book when I’m always peeking to make sure the little one isnt bodyslamming the cat.

So here’s the rundown:

Classics: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Print: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Ebook: Uglies by Scott Westerfield

So how about you? What are you reading?


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Sick Sucks, Reading Rocks.

Photo by Ally Tippett

I’ve been sick for about the past week. A couple of those days I was sick to the point that all I could stand to do was listen to music, or read.  Thankfully, those are two of my favorite things to do.  Instead of being locked inside my boring, everyday bedroom, looking at wallpaper decor that is far, far older than myself, I spent hours locked inside the living prison of Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron, and watching Percy Jackson eviscerate math teachers and minotaurs in Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief.

While I’m reading, I forget about my current inability to breathe without coughing, my complete lack of control over my voice (what little is left of it) and the fact that I can’t sleep for congestion.   I’m going to keep today’s post nice and short, because to be honest I’m still not feeling anywhere near 100%, but at least I can read, and that’s more than I need to keep me entertained.

*Photo credits to Ally Tippett on Flickr.


Movie Magic Monday: What’s Your Favorite Fantasy Movie?

Since I am trapped deep in the writing cave this week, I thought I’d give you, the readers, a chance to respond. There are many, many great movies out there, and I certainly haven’t even seen half of them. So give us a glimpse at some of your favorite movies and tell us what made them all so special! I’ll start a TBW list (to be watched) and I’ll Netflix the ones that really sound awesome so that maybe I can feature them here on the blog! Sound good?

🙂 So chime in!


Fun Friday: Dance Break

A clip from one of my favorite sci-fi movies to set the mood for a fun filled weekend! 🙂

Happy Friday All!


Thursday Myths & Legends 101: Oberon, King of the Faeries

Oberon is best known from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, the king of the faeries who interferes with the love lives of mortals, and plays tug-of-war with Titania over trinkets and toys (read: people) they both want.  Oberon was most likely taken from a legend of a Merovingian sorcerer named Alberich, or “elf-ruler,” who was believed to be the other-worldly brother of Merowich, whom the people got their name from.

The name Oberon first showed up in a French heroic song, about a fairy who was cursed  to a dwarfish height by an offended fairy at his birth (hello, Sleeping Beauty?) but was given great beauty in consolation.  In the poem, Oberon aids the hero in winning a pardon for killing the emperor’s son in self-defense, after performing various feats.  This poem was based on bits and pieces of fact of a true hero who lived in the ninth century, but was understandably embellished.  In it, Oberon had a magical cup, which has been compared to the Holy Grail, which was always full for the virtuous.

In Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon wants to a human child that Titania’s taken into her care—it’s the child of a mortal friend of hers who’d died, and she wants to raise it for her friend, but Oberon wants to have the child for his own purposes, to raise as a henchman, basically.   To distract her, he uses a magical ointment that he has put into her eyes, so that she falls in love with a man who’s been given a donkey’s head—meanwhile he has his servant Puck meddle with two pairs of lovers that are wandering in the woods, with a mistake or two made along the way.  Eventually he feels badly for what he’s done to his Titania, though, and the two are reunited.

Given the title of King of the Faeries, Oberon is understandably mentioned here and there in other works of fiction, of a more contemporary nature.  As a few examples, he’s mentioned briefly both in Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and also in Frewin Jones’ Faerie Path novels.


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