Selkies, Witches, and Dryads—oh, my! by Janine Donoho

Mountain lion in snow youngBefore this last thaw, a flash of tawny muscle caught my eye as a cougar stretched to full run and flowed down a ravine. This is why natural events and wild critters play such a central role in my stories. Life in these rural areas carries different risks than those experienced by urban dwellers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARather than business schedules and public transportation timetables, organic and inorganic cycles govern. That flicker in my peripheral vision? Either a thing of beauty or a threat—or both.

My attention stays in the moment. Which means no walking while texting or talking on a Smartphone—and not because we have so little coverage in the outlands. Instead the focus settles upon spangled Fritillary butterflies, a colony of shaggy mane mushrooms, wild tiger lilies, a moose cow and calf. From there it’s not a Moose cow and calfgreat leap to slip into the ancestral viewpoint of those who created our rich mythologies, legends, and other origin stories. Our minds tend to build constructs in order to make sense of the greater world.

Since I don’t live as close to the edge as those ancestors, I dabble with the supernatural. That’s why my body of work grows to include selkies and sea life, coydogs and witches, at risk forests and dryads, cursed dragons and curio shops. And if there’s a basis of fact in those stories? Well, blame it an insatiable curiosity and my study of life.

Besides, nothing I create can possibly exceed the singular combinations found in nature.

How do your environs figure into your story? Or do they?

Baby coyote

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Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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