WIP Wednesday: " Good news, everyone! My m/m erotic short story Hungry Things" has been accepted for the A Lover's Feast: Sensual Food Tales series of anthologies, to be published by Renaissance EBooks. The main characters are Dr. John William Polidori and George Gordon, Lord Byron, not in the 18th century but now. A small sample:
"His Lordship looked suddenly serious. He flicked off the telly, set down the remote and reached over. His long, thin fingers intertwined with mine. 'Give me your arm, Poli.'
"I couldn’t imagine what he wanted with my arm. To sink his teeth into my flesh? To inject me with an experimental diet drug? Still, I obeyed him, unbuttoning my cuff, rolling up the sleeve of my favorite robin’s-egg-blue shirt and presenting the underside of my bare forearm to him.
"He took my arm in one hand and brought it to his lips. The kiss was soft, faint, but distinct. In his other hand he brandished a fountain pen, the kind he used in the old days. Without saying a word, he took the pen to my arm and wrote I love you."
Winter Solstice Wednesday: Last week I promised more on the goddesses of Winter Solstice, and in particular, Amaterasu and Sarasvati.
Amaterasu is the Japanese sun goddess, says GoddessGift.com. She was "born" at the Winter Solstice.
According to Encyclopedia Mythica, Amaterasu was so bright, her divine family placed her in the sky. She retreated to a cave when her storm-god brother made too much racket. She was offended by his violence, says GoddessMyths.com. Much the way Demeter's search for Persephone threatened the earth, Amaterasu's retreat was a disaster in the making. She was finally lured out when the goddess Uzume did a comical burlesque dance, and the laughter of the other gods piqued her curiosity. Amaterasu sustains the world, being in charge of the cultivation of rice and wheat.
This incident was captured in Eternally Bad by Trina Robbins, the ultimate guide to goddesses gone bad.
In ancient times, the celebration of Amaterasu's reemergence from the cave at Winter Solstice was observed with a night-long requiem for the dead, which ended when the sun rose. Japan's celebration of Amaterasu at the Winter Solstice seems to be a metaphorical reference to the fact that it gets lighter (longer days) after this astronomical event, as if the sun were coming out of a cave of darkness.
According to GoddessGift.com, Sarasvati is India's goddess of knowledge, and her birth is celebrated around the Winter Solstice.
Also the goddess of the arts, Sarasvati holds a book, prayer beads, and the musical instrument known as the vina. She is the shakti (power) and consort of Brahma, the Creator, and thus is considered Mother of the Universe, according to Stephen Knapp.
With a little further research, however, it seems that the major holiday dedicated to Sarasvati, Sarasvati Puja or Vasant Panchami, takes place in February. It was held on February 8th this year and is set for Feb. 4th in 2012. This places its significance closer to Imbolc than Winter Solstice. Interestingly, yellow and white are the colors associated with Sarasvati Puja, and people wear yellow garments on that day - also an Imbolc custom.
Sarasvati image: Raja Ravi Varma, public domain image