do you know any welsh myths? i feel like it would be fitting to have one of those!
I haven’t done anything Welsh yet, which I feel is basically just taunting my ancestors at this point, so I will grant your request. However, I’ve done it in a really arse about face kind of way, and instead of choosing one of Wales’ myriad beautiful and bizarre myths, I’ve given you a culturally appropriated folklore turned piece of false history. I hope this satisfies your Welsh craving.
There are lots of Welsh names as well as historical information and comparative lore under the Read More, if that helps at all. If you don’t want to read the poorly retold tale of a trusty hound, a legally useless baby and an improbable wolf, then press J on your keyboard to skip it as this is a long post!
Dogs are Shit at Babysitting
A long long time ago, in a time when Wales is an actual place which isn’t just ruled by the apathetic heir to the English throne, there dwells a guy named Llywelyn. Actually, there are about 6,000 guys named Llywelyn because it is a confusingly popular name, but this Llywelyn is the main Llywelyn, because his name is Llywelyn Fawr, which means Llywelyn the Great, and there is no Llywelyn the Best, or even a Llywelyn the Slightly Better. He is also basically the ruler of all of Wales, which sounds really impressive until you remember that Wales is about the size of a thimble and is mostly just fields. Anyway, at the time of this story, Llywelyn has recently become the father to an absolutely incredible baby boy, whose mother was really inconsiderate and died in childbirth. Now, this kid must be literally the best baby ever, because even though he’s illegitimate and therefore can’t be Llywelyn’s heir, making him about as useful as a Human Rights charter at a UKIP convention, Llywelyn doesn’t just fuck off. Instead, he decides to be a thoroughly modern man and take care of the baby himself. He really goes all out with it, too. Like, he moves himself into this shitty castle in the arse end of nowhere, presumably telling his wife that he’s, you know, communing with nature or working on his aura or something, and he becomes the great dad that he has no interest in being to any of his other litters of illegitimate offspring.
He’s not alone, however, because living in a huge castle with just an infant would get kind of boring, once the novelty of cleaning up sick and washing nappies wore off. No, Llywelyn takes his best bro with him: the one friend who’s stuck with him through thick and thin; the pal who’d never judge him for leaving his wife and heir to shack up with a technically useless illegitimate baby. The name of this astonishingly faithful friend is Gelert, and also he has four legs. Not because he’s some sort of mystical sprite, but because he is a dog, and dogs quite often have four legs. As far as dogs go, Gelert is definitely in the uppermost percentile. He’s probably in the top ten. He’s just an all-round A+ canine companion. He was given to Llywelyn as a wedding gift by his father-in-law, King John ‘if I kick my illegitimate daughter Joan out to marry Llywelyn and live in Wales, is that a good enough excuse to ransack the place and raze it to the goddamn ground, leaving it as nothing but a heap of charred remains next to the glorious rolling hills’ of England, which means that of all the things that Llywelyn’s father-in-law gave him on his special day, Llywelyn valued the dog over his wife. Which is fine actually, because they got married when Llywelyn was 31 and Joan was 12, so they probably didn’t have that much in common anyway.
Anyway, Llywelyn and Gelert are totally inseparable. There’s probably entire montages of the two of them just being adorable best friends, with them running down hills in slow motion and sniffing flowers, and Llywelyn sitting in front of a roaring fire and nursing his baby with a plastic teat while Gelert rests faithfully at his slipper-clad feet, and Gelert baring his teeth and snarling as he loyally rips the throat out of the bunny that Llywelyn is hunting, and it’s all lovely and very Lassie-esque. The two of them live with Llywelyn’s pointless illegitimate offspring in their empty castle surrounded by woodland and emptiness, and it’s all just excellent.
One day, Llywelyn is invited to go out on a lads’ hunting trip (basically the equivalent of a boys only trip to Magaluf in those days) with some visiting noblemen and, being a single dad, he naturally leaps at the chance to wear a fancy coat and maybe show off his abs a bit and just fucking kill some shit for fun. However, there’s one slight flaw in the plan, and that’s the fact that living in a castle on a hill in the middle of nowhere does rather limit his babysitting options. There’s no convenient teenage girl called Carly who just wants to make enough money to go to Coachella this year and also prove to her mother that she’s responsible. Not even one. So, Llywelyn improvises, and he decides that the best thing to do would be to just get his best friend to cover for him. But it’s fine, because he doesn’t do anything bizarre like ask Gelert to babysit or anything. That would be weird. He’s just like “look, I’m going on a hunt with the lads, and of course you’re invited because you’re an absolutely stellar hunting hound, but I need you to just check that the castle is safe from, like, random wolves. I have a very real fear of wolves in my castle. I would not like that at all. This castle has historically been a wolf-free zone, and I really plan on keeping it that way. I don’t want to tarnish my perfect track record of zero wolf-related incidents within these walls. Can you do that for me?” and Gelert probably does that thing that dogs do when they silently commune with your soul to convey a wordless message of complete obedience, and Llywelyn beams and says “great, I’ll just go and set some stuff up with the lads and I’ll call you once you’ve had a chance to completely safeguard the life of my defenceless newborn son against improbable wolves,” and Gelert barks and wags his tail and Llywelyn goes off to sharpen his sword in preparation for manly violent japes, then joins his group of hunt-ready friends in the woods.
After a little while, Llywelyn decides that it’s probably been long enough for Gelert to perform all his rigorous security checks, and besides, the lads are getting restless with slaughter cravings, so Llywelyn blows on his super rad hunting horn and waits for a few minutes for Gelert to appear, but much to Llywelyn’s chagrin, Gelert remains about as absent as Llywelyn’s paternal skills. All of Llywelyn’s manly hunting companions sigh, and they’re like “look, Llywelyn, he’s not coming, can we just go already? We came here to metaphorically shoot the shit and literally kill tiny animals, and we’ve all shot about as much shit as we can handle.” Llywelyn just sort of looks worriedly over his shoulder at the castle in the distance, and he says “can we just wait a few minutes, guys? Maybe his alarm didn’t go off or something, he’s probably just getting ready. Let me blow my phallic horn again,” and so he blows his hunting horn again and waits for his trusty hound, all expectant and wide-eyed, but Gelert still doesn’t appear. At this point, his slaughter-hungry menfolk are just groaning and tutting and making their horses trot around in bored circles and talking about how they could totally be piercing the flesh of some innocent animals right now, and eventually Llywelyn just gives up and says “OK, fine, we’ll have to go without him, but we’re not going to have a good time, and we’re all going to feel really guilty about it, so I hope you’re happy,” and his fellow hunters just nod briskly and they’re all “we’re 100% happier at the promise of dead rabbits, now let’s go and establish man as one of the dominant ruinous forces of nature!” and off they go to, like, slaughter badgers and shit. I don’t know what animals are native to Welsh woodland. Maybe a red squirrel or two. Possibly a heron.
When they’ve finished their testosterone-fueled bout of merciless animal slaughter, Llywelyn and the lads trail back to the castle to drink alcohol and talk about how rad the whole thing was. However, when they get to the castle, the first thing Llywelyn notices is that all the furniture has been thrown everywhere, and there’s blood all over the walls. It basically looks like there’s been a horrific incident at IKEA, with entrails splattered all up the ceiling and bits of things that should definitely be on the inside, but are now very much on the outside of who or whatever they once belonged to. Immediately, Llywelyn draws his sword and he’s like “something has gone very amiss here, I suspect wolves,” and one of his companions whispers “it would be a very good idea to try and find your son, because I have a sneaking suspicion that he probably couldn’t take a wolf in a fight, mano a mano” and Llywelyn nods sagely and is about to give some orders when another one of his companions pipes up “no, it’s cool, I’ve found your son, he’s not here” and Llywelyn is like “how have you found him if he’s not here?” and the man points at the corner of the room, where Llywelyn’s son’s crib is overturned in a pool of blood, and next to it lies the sleeping Gelert, whose jaws are covered in blood and guts, and Llywelyn’s heart just sinks.
He turns to his hunting lads and says “lads, you don’t want to see this,” and they’re like “ooh, are you going to mercilessly slaughter your dog, because we absolutely live for that shit and we totally want to see that,” and Llywelyn just fixes them with a stern glare and they all scarper, and he closes the door behind them and turns back to Gelert, who’s woken up at this point and is sitting up, wagging his tail. Llywelyn just lets rip at him, all “I trusted you! I appointed you royal babysitter, and this is how you repay me? By murdering my baby? This is not what I didn’t pay you for! All those times we frolicked in the woods around the bodies of our fresh kills – did all that mean nothing to you? I can’t believe this, you’re the worst friend ever, and one of my bros once boned my wife in our marital bed, so that’s really saying something,” and Gelert just sits there, because he is a dog and doesn’t really know what the fuck is going on. Then, Llywelyn fixes his old friend with a remorseful look and says “it’s really partly my own fault, I should have got a registered babysitter and also probably a human one, but you did eat my son, so I feel like you should also take some of the responsibility here,” and Gelert wags his tail a bit and Llywelyn is like “I thought I’d finished my ceaseless rampage of animal murder for the day, but clearly I was wrong,” and he just plunges his sword right into Gelert’s body, and Gelert makes a noise that can only be described as a death yelp, and dies.
Almost immediately this really high pitched wailing starts up, and Llywelyn looks around in fright, then makes the somewhat belated decision to pick up the upturned crib, and there, absolutely pristine despite the pool of blood around the crib, is his baby son, still alive and pink and healthy and other things that babies generally should be when they haven’t been eaten by dogs. Then Llywelyn notices that there’s also a massive dead wolf in the corner of the room, and it’s almost certainly been there the entire time because dead wolves tend to have difficulty with locomotion, and he realises that he clearly has the observational skills of a mushroom because the blood is clearly the wolf’s and not his son’s, and he drops his sword and it clatters to the floor, mixing Gelert’s blood with what he now knows to be the blood of the improbable wolf, and he falls to the floor in a heap of anguish and probably embarrassment and starts crying in a really manly fashion, because he’s just killed his absolute best bro for nothing.
When he’s finished weeping for the time being, he picks up the body of Gelert and starts whispering to it, like “I misjudged you so hard, you were the best babysitter ever, I’ve never had a babysitter rip a wolf’s throat apart with their teeth to protect my baby son before, I would have given you some Pedigree Chum instead of a cruel and untimely death if I’d realised,” and then has a brilliant idea as to how he can pay tribute to his late canine companion. He carries Gelert outside, burying him at the top of a high mound so that everyone who comes by – statistically, likely no-one ever – will know about the bravery of Gelert and the perils of freelance babysitting without a written contract.
My other retellings can be found here; my dedicated mythology blog is here; and my Mythology Mondays Facebook page is here. The latter two links also allow you to follow my progress in writing a whole actual book. Thrilling.
Hello everyone! In case you haven’t read my previous post, I will be sharing some of my favorites, so you all can get to know me a little bit better
Today we are going to talking about Yona of the Dawn!
Let me talk to you about this magical anime. This is one of the few anime that I have been so in love with.
Yona is the princess of the Kingdom of Kouka. However, she is anything but a damsel in distress. Witnessing her father, King II, being murdered from the love of her life as well as being kicked out of her home, she was struck with the reality of what her father has done to the kingdom. The sugar coated world she was told had faded away, finally seeing what has really become of her kingdom. With the sudden culture shock she soon realizes that she doesn’t want to be blind to the world around her. Wanting to save all of her people that has suffered during her fathers regime.
One of the strongest and determined character in the whole series she has also become my favorite as she doesn’t let her anything come in her way. Yona is always underestimated because of her gender and figure. However, that doesn’t ever stop her from her goals and actually uses those “disadvantages” to motivate herself to become stronger.
Having such a strong female protagonist who doesn’t constantly need savings or using her sex appeal constantly, is so rare to find in an anime recently, and its so refreshing to see.
the Super Happy Hungry Bunch
Accompany her on her journey, Yona created the Super happy hungry bunch. Which includes Hak, Kija, Shin-ah, Jae-ha, Zeno, and Yun. All of these men assist her with protection and support through out her adventure.
Within the group Hak has been with yona since they were young begin her childhood friend as well as her bodyguard. He plays a big role in Yona’s Development teaching her how to use a bow and arrow as well as a sword.
The Four Dragons
To help her in her quest to save her people Yona seeks out the help of the four dragons who are destined to follow their true master. Each dragon is gifted since birth a supernatural power of a dragon.
Kija: The white dragon, is gifted with the power in his hand, which allows him to have super human strength.
Shin-ah: The blue dragon, is gifted the power in his eyes allowing him to see at far distances. He can also disrupt the nerves of anyone whom he glares at until it kills them. He rarely uses this power since it leaves him paralyzed for a short amount of time.
Jae-ha: The Green dragon, gifted with the power in his leg giving him the power to jump very high as well as giving it more strength.
Zeno: The yellow Dragon whose powers are still a mystery ( well for me that is because I haven’t caught up completely)
There is so much more to say but this post will go on forever. If you are looking for an anime that has a great strong lead female, then this is a great show for you. This anime is absolutely so wonderful and I will always recommend it.
Also if you are still not convinced that this is anime is amazing,
maybe this will….
This is Ao, a little squirrel who is possibly the best and cutest character in the whole series.
Margay is a mammal that belongs to family of cats. They are shy and spend most of the time above trees and prefers life in evergreen forests.
Unlike other cats, Margay is able to move down the tree, with its head going before feet (like squirrels). This is possible because it has very flexible ankles that can rotate up to 180 degrees and a long tail that provides complete balance, making them one of the best 4-legged tree climbers in the world.
It is estimated that more than 14,000 margays are killed each year for its fur.
Commission of John and Eos (mobile unit version) heading off to a morning lecture for @littlemissgeek8! She’s helping carry those notes I promise, she’s so very helpful hehehe John’s gonna have to stick his lecture notes on a holopad like a sensible person next time, who even uses paper anymore John I mean honestly ;) these dorks are the cutest <333
Super important question for you! Will you be releasing another book? I got the book for Christmas and I need more!! Also my mom told me that the women who work in the bookstore were thinking of getting it for younger female family members or just for themselves. If you are making another book you should totally make the cover blue because blue is awesome!
That’s my intention. I don’t know if it’ll be through a publisher or do it myself.
The upside of doing it myself is that I get more money and I have enough content ready to go already. The downside is I’ll never have nearly the same distribution reach, and it’s an enormous amount of stuff for me to learn (printing, color proofing, etc). Plus, distribution is a nightmare. Like, 90% of my time could go just to shipping books. That would be less than great.
Main downside of going through a publisher again is that I’d have to make another 80% of a book from scratch. With volume 1, only 20 of the 100 entries had been seen before in any capacity. They’d want something similar for a volume 2. That would be difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. So I’m slowly squirreling away possible entries for volume two, trying to prepare for all eventualities. Hopefully I’ll have an answer within the month.
I’d like to. Pitching it to publishers, we’ll see what happens. Earliest I could know more is January.
It’s tricky to know what to spend my time on: continue building out/updating the website, explore partnerships with other orgs, start squirrelling away entries for a possible volume 2, research art grants, develop a pitch for video series… but that’s what being self-employed is all about - paralyzing fear you’re not doing the right thing with your time. :)
For now, just trying to catch up on long-languishing stuff so I can start the new year off cleanly.
6137) I think what saddens me most about the insistence that a penis is anything but a male organ is the way it completely erases why me and so many other trans women feel the need to transition. I'm living on the bare minimum, squirreling away every dime I possibly can in hopes I can someday afford bottom surgery. If I could just accept my penis as female, none of this misery would be necessary.