Happy Winter and The Ice Maiden

It's here. My favourite time of the year. Winter. I'll pause while the majority of you grunt.

All done now? Good. Because while it may have snowed for about 25 minutes here in Toronto on Saturday, there is still no real sign of winter here. I'm in the minority of unhappy people, but I expect to gain some supporters once the 24th hits and people start to cry in their egg nogs that there will be no snow for Christmas.

The coming of Winter, the Winter Solstice, Midwinter... whatever you may choose to call it, tends to be overlooked a) because most people are cry babies about the cold and b) everyone is focused on Christmas. Not here at thunderpeep headquarters. This is our second favourite day of the year (the first of coarse being the celebration of my birth) And it's done up in style. Or at least I try. I have to admit I don't have as many supporters in my Midwinter celebration, but every year I try.

The Midwinter celebration is similar to it's sister Midsummer in the sense that it is a welcoming of the light. You might find that strange as it's the longest and darkest day of the year. But because it's the longest, that means after the solstice, the days actually start to get longer. And while modern society actually recognizes the 4 seasons, these celebrations date back to Viking times, and the Vikings only celebrated the 2 Summer and Winter seasons. So to them, this was the middle of winter, it was the start of the trek back to light and summer. The Vikings Midwinter feast was actually a 12 day celebration (sound familiar?) with sacrifices to the Gods, lot's of eating and drinking, the burning of a Sunwheel, and the Yule log. Now while we are all familiar with the Yule log cake (which I'm making for the first time this year) in Viking times it was a large oak log decorated with sprigs of fir, holly or yew, that they carved Runes on to while seeking protection from any misfortunes. The Viking Yule is still celebrated in some areas of the world and who knows, maybe in the future I'll make it to one. But for this year I hosted some friends for a giant smorgasbord feast. In front of my new fake fireplace. 2 days before the actual solstice. You do what you can. There is ZERO chance of snow for the changing of the season. Don't even get me started.

Now, I did promise you some Good vs. Evil fun to help ring in the season. And, that isn't necessarily going to happen. I was too busy having fun and the piece still isn't finished. BUT don't be sad, I can give you sneak peek. Or an introduction. While I was originally going to work all the pieces in the collection in a similar format, this one has taken a bit of a different direction. And, being as this is one of my all time favourite stories, we'll let it.

The next instalment is inspired by Hans Christian Andersens' the Ice Maiden. It was actually the first piece I started working on, but it's also been the most difficult to finish. There are just so many themes in the story, choosing one direction that does the story justice is a struggle. So I just decided to go with what stuck out the most to me in the story. The theme of hope and believing. While The Ice Maiden differs to the Snow White story in that it does not end with a clean and happy win for the Good side, well let's just say Evil has to patiently work for her victory. There's also a bit of a tainted love vibe. And that's all your getting for now. Except for a sneak peek at The Ice Maiden herself.

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