Seasons come and go, but I wanted to choose just one as it appears in Striking Balance so I chose Winter. Why winter? The Little Ice Age took place between the 16th and 19th centuries, and Striking Balance takes place during the late 18th century, so bitter cold winters were a real problem. Here’s the direct paragraph the quote in the aesthetic comes from. It’s King Dane speaking, and she’s speaking with a water elemental named Rayne who has no problem whatsoever being icy, especially to Dane.
“The river’s so froze up you can walk it!” Dane insists. “And the last few winters ain’t been as bad as this one. We’re hardly keepin’ ourselves and the livestock fed but now this…” She points to the spring. “The ground’s too frozen to dig out, and our applyin’ group magic ain’t solvin’ the central problem. Hunters might go a while on less, but the livestock will die.” Dane steps closer to Rayne, her voice low. “Please. I am askin’ nice. Make me beseech, and you’ll make an enemy of me again.”
Striking Balance is a side tale in the #AppalachianElementals series, the backstory of two characters you meet in Keeping House. This is their story, how they came to be together, and, yes, it’s most certainly a queer tale no matter how it looks on the surface. Striking Balance is set in the late 18th century in Northeast Tennessee along the Nolichucky River.
The entire Appalachian Elementals series, both the main series and side tales, focus on Appalachian traditions and culture, family of making, family of choice, fey, and contain a healthy dose of elemental folk magic, witchcraft, and magic realism. It’s an interweaving series that takes place over the course of 3000 years, though I’ve only seriously explored just over 400 years thus far.
I have a heap of story fodder to pick from, so you can expect new stories for the foreseeable future.