|Story length:||19,060 words/60 pages double spaced|
|Voice:||First person, present tense|
|Main character:||Kamber Valerian|
|Character description:||Young girl in her early teens, member of a nature-based Goddess-worshipping culture called the Kinfolk. In this story, searches for her place among her people.|
|Supporting characters:||Kamber's grandmother: Confidante and elder, gives her advice and discipline and spiritual guidance|
Joanne, Kamber's friend: Interested in Kamber because of her lineage, the two become friends even though they are not from the same culture. Joanne learns about the ways of the Kinfolk from Kamber and provides social support.
Seaira and JeLin: Kamber's "competitors," often make her feel inferior. She refers to them as "the Bratkins."
Various other incidental characters such as Kamber's parents, teachers, relatives, and friends.
|Setting:||Something of an "alternate" version of our world; very modern. Somewhat rural setting.|
|Kamber is concerned about her inability to make her doll dance, which is a sign of becoming mature in the Kinfolk culture. She does not know what to do to make this doll dance, and the only two girls who are Kin from her school make fun of her because she hasn't done it yet. Because of this abuse and the fact that another girl, Joanne, shows interest in learning about her, she stops eating lunch with them. Through the story she learns to harness her natural energy, a Goddess-given gift, to demonstrate magical abilities such as calling butterflies and controlling fire and wind. Unfortunately she seems to be demonstrating competence in the so-called "male" elements rather than the "female" elements of earth and water. This and the fact that her doll hasn't danced are distressing to her, and she attempts to find enlightenment through talking to her grandmother, talking to Joanne, and soul-searching while talking to her Goddess. She feels like a failure until her grandmother picks up on signs that she has not noticed that show Kamber is growing up. She is given a very important role in a festival for Bloom Day and finds she has much more potential than she thought--and that it has nothing to do with whether she can make a doll dance.|
|Information, inspiration, and other notes|
|This story is not based on any real culture but some of the practices and symbolism are borrowed from modern-day Paganism and Wicca, though most were invented by me (i.e., the "wishing beans," the "motion, potion, or devotion" laws, the rituals and festivals). Most of the last names of the characters are actually obscure herbs, while their first names were mostly made up by me.|
|Related Art:||[Short story concept art]|
SHORT STORIES PAGE