Happy Allhelgensdag!

Jah, in the world of Akiniwazi, you don’t celebrate Halloween.  That is a day of darkest black infamy.  It is the date the Skaerslinger first made the dead rise from their graves and caused their own zombiapocalypse that was quickly overcome the following day, but not without it’s horrible price.

creepy dark fear grave

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So on November 1st, Allhelgensdag (All Saints Day as we know it) is celebrated as a victory over the forces of darkness in a very real way.  The day is one of solemn remembrance that begins a week of feasting, bonfires and culminates in a celebration of life and God’s grace over Forsamling society as they turn forward to face the soon to arrive Season of Ice, aka Winter.

Feasting begins on the Sunday before the holiday, and goes to the Sunday after.  If Nov 1st falls on a Sunday, it is the first day of the celebrations.  It lasts a week, for after the dead began to be raised, the Forsamling dug up every cemetery and burned the bodies in an updated and Christianized version of the traditions from the Gamlehaven (what they call their ancestral homes back in Europe).

orange pumpkin on brown hay near gray carriage

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This also marks the beginning of the tradition of cremating the dead instead of burying them.  Many “pyres” are created on that evening where effigies are burned to remember their dead loved ones.  Lamps are kept at the doors of houses to symbolize the Holy Spirit protecting them from the Draugr, as well as ward off the other minions of the Devil.

antique art beautiful blur

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The Forsamling mark themselves with ash from the effigy pyres mixed with oil and drawing crosses and other related symbols on their bodies. They also write the names of their loved ones.  Many visit the memorial stones as families. This is done with no particular schedule throughout the week.  On the seventh day of the feast week, a ceremonial washing on the last day of the feast days.

Hope you enjoyed this little piece of culture and society from the Akiniwazisaga.

PS: this is a general overview and a little bit a work in progress, but as it sits, this is the basis for the holiday in my world.

Victory is Mine, Part Deux!

It is finished!

giphy

Carlton nails the feeling.

I have completed my second draft and I am just so relieved!  Some statistics for you of book one of “Reimarsoga”  (that’s a working title so far).

290 pages (300-340 words per page)

104,333 total words

573,073 characters

Reads at about a 4th-6th grade reading level depending on what metric you use, (perfect for most big blockbusters.)

I sent out some of this to my alpha readers, and have gotten some response.  I hope they’ll forgive me, but this is so far what I’ve gotten back as a flash opinion of my final act.

I am loving it.  [My spouse] made me come down for supper but I am going to rush back.

I have received some other positive things about it so far, but will perhaps share those words later.

Now to let it rest for a few days, and then do one last clean up before I send it to my beta readers.  I’ll be contacting those interested in being a beta reader by email very soon, and post more details as that comes up.  I have to hurry, because I need to start getting ready for NaNoWriMo, which I am planning a novella/novelette set in Akiniwazi.

And then the bigger “to do” list for publication begins.