But this isn't a post of how you should support indie, or how I support indie (except as an aside) or that you should support me (although I'd be thrilled if you did).
Instead, it is a story about Celtic mythology, my imagination, homemade tropes, and how I use those in a small way to promote indie artists I do not know, and how they're work has enriched my life, although they will never know it, either.
In concise terms, this means that, ever since I have figured out Twitter basics, few years ago (I've had the BryonySeries account over a decade; I just didn't know how to use it), I post a combination of my own content and curated content, all underscoring BryonySeries themes.
One of those posts is always for product on Etsy.
It's a fun, creative exercise of searching the platform by a BryonySeries theme (or item or trope) and then sharing a description and photo of the item on Twitter, along with a link, so anyone who is interested can buy it.
Has it led to sales? I have no idea because, with the except of Holly Coop's greeting cards, I don't know any of the vendors; I find them and their products through searching by topic.
But I stick with Etsy almost exclusively because most of the vendors are indie artists from all over the world.
Now recently, this has led to some gifts from my children to me.
The latest is this golden apple, which I am wearing for the first time. The reason why it's important is slightly because of Ed Calkins, whom I was supposed to meet for lunch today to discuss his progress on Ruthless (hoping "lunch" still happens via phone call).
Without going into too much backstory, I've legally fictionalized the "real" Ed Calkins, which led to the subtle incorporation of Celtic mythology into parts of the BryonySeries, especially in Staked!.
In this third book of the young adult "drop of blood" vampire trilogy are frequent allusions to a magic apple. These allusions refer back to a story Ed Calkins supposedly tell the protagonist, John-Peter, which John-Peter tells his young nieces one Thanksgiving Day as they prepare apples for a pie.
“How come you like apples so much, John-Peter?”
He reached for another. “Hoping for a magic one.”
Deanna lifted her chin in disdain and shook her head. “There’s no such thing as magic, and you know it.”
Fawn ran back into the room, waving her dripping hands. John-Peter handed her a napkin, tossed the cores into the garbage, and began working on another apple.
“Surely you’ve heard what happened to Connla the Fair. Ellie, watch your nose.”
Ellie moved her face away from the apple. “What 'fair?'”
“'Fair' means he had a light complexion and was very handsome. He was the son of Conn, the Hundred-Fighter.”
“He’s making it up,” Deanna said.
Ellie stuck her tongue out at Deanna. “Well, I want to hear John-Peter’s story.”
John-Peter handed Deanna the peeled apple.
“One day, when Connla the Fair was sitting with his father on the Hill of Uisneach.”
“A pretend place,” Deanna scooped the slices into her hands and set them before Ellie.
“Tell that to the ancient Druids. They considered it to be the very center of Ireland, the ancient seat of the Kings of Meath.”
“What’s a doo-rid?” Ellie said.
“A very wise man.”
“I still think you’re making it up,” Deanna said.
“There is a huge limestone there that resembles a cat watching a mouse. Someday, I’ll show you the picture.”
Fawn looked at John-Peter with large, round eyes. “Tell the story, John-Peter.”
John-Peter watched as Fawn laid the slices onto the pie crust. She began to pop her fingers into her mouth, looked at Deanna, and grabbed a napkin instead.
“While Connla the Fair was sitting with his father and his father’s druid, a beautiful woman appeared and said, "I belong to a race of people called the Sidhe…'"
“Oh.” She stuck her face close to the paring knife.
“Sorry.” She edged away.
“The woman said to Connla, ‘We dwell in a land of peace where death does not exist. Connla, if you follow me, you will always remain young and fair.’”
Ellie scooted closer to John-Peter as he cored another apple, and he nudged her away with his elbow.
“Now Conn could not hear the woman’s voice, but the druid did. He noticed how she bewitched Connla so he uttered magical words--yes, Deanna, real magical words-- against the power of her voice. She vanished, but not before tossing an apple to Connla.”
“Where'd she get the apple?” Fawn asked.
“Be quiet, Fawn,” Deanna said, curiosity overtaking her superiority, as she sliced her apple.
John-Peter set down his knife, smiled, and continued.
“For the next month, Connla refused all nourishment except the woman’s apple, yet the apple never diminished in size or in its ability to satisfy him. At the end of the month, the woman returned in a crystal boat and once again extended her invitation for him. Although Connla loved his people, he loved the enchanting woman more.
“Did he go with her?” An apple slice slipped from Ellie’s hand and splashed lemon juice onto the table.
“He did,” John-Peter said and bit into the last apple. “No one ever saw him again.”
Buy this golden apple HERE.
And then check out these stunning vintage earrings very "Bryony," which I will share on Twitter on Monday. These earrings are from the same vendor. They make me wish I wore earrings.
Timothy also bought me this wonderful piece of changeling art, which is almost exactly the way I picture the changeling in that trilogy. The post has a link where you can buy that one, too.
Of course, this all started because Timothy is helping with the BryonySeries website, and he had no idea all this was happening on Twitter. And he decided to gift me with some of these items.
Yet Rebekah really gets to claim "firstie" with this one. She bought me a great Nosferatu coffee mug a couple years ago, after I shared it on the BryonySeries Twitter account.
However, if this item is still available on Etsy (or anythere), I can't find it, not even with a deep search.
Nevertheless, I've gotten some great comments when I've shared it on Twitter.