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There has been some personal issues these past couple weeks that have cut into my ability to focus on any singular activity like writing, studying, or even outdoor work. A new story will probably be posted sometime in the next week or two, but I can’t gather the spoons to write my informative posts.

Sorry for being boring. It’s only going to last a little while <3

— J.

Within and Without: Baby Adán

New story up in the Within and Without series!

You’ll notice that sometimes the format changes with a new story. The pages are new, and I’m slowly improving on my design. At some point, I will go back through and change them all to match each other.

Pretend I made this post on Friday

So, I’m gonna talk about haints and panthers real quick because they’re not familiar to most of my readers. Haints are ghosts and spirits of the Appalachian region (there are references to the term being used in other parts of the United States), though simply calling them “ghosts” is more common these days, the genre of haint tales is a bit broader than that. Nashville is not even remotely part of Appalachia, and I didn’t grow up on these stories, but they are an interesting part of American folk belief, and it’s not unfathomable that spirits that exist in other parts of the south can travel to the Nashville area.

The talking cat that appeared in Eve is inspired by one version of a haint tale, stories of malevolent cats or cat spirits which often speak to their victim and even threaten to eat them but seem to never really do more than that. This seems similar to me to King of Cats stories, so in Within and Without, the two are somewhat tied. Cats in this story are shown to be fairly sentient, as demonstrated by P.G.’s cat Neville in Cleveland Keith.

In Cleveland Keith, we get more than just that, however. The ghost at the log cabin is meant to resemble another sort of haint tale, familiar in other forms of ghost stories in a wide range of areas. This is the ghost that haunts an abandoned home and offers wealth in exchange for helping put his killer away. Some of the dialogue is purposefully similar to Jim Edmond’s story in Boogers, Witches, and Haints: Appalachian Ghost Stories. This is how so many people were able to be tricked by the ghost; it’s a very familiar story. Cleveland Keith also contains implications that the spirit’s identity and responses were shaped by the hundreds of people that visited the cabin, likely expecting that sort of ghost.

Combined with this story is a painter tale, which some consider within the genre of haint tales. Like mad dog stories, though, it’s based on something far more mundane. “Painters” are actually panthers; this regional pronunciation lead to misspelling and occasional misconstruction as an entirely different and more supernatural creature. The “panthers” of the Southeastern United States are almost assuredly bobcats. Contrary to popular belief, bobcats are still a fairly common occurrence. Sometimes you hear stories of wildcats larger than bobcats, and their witnesses are very adamant they are definitely not bobcats. However, these are usually seen at a distance and are never substantiated. That said, larger wildcats may possibly exist in Florida, and it not completely unfathomable that they could travel, though it is unlikely.

Anyway, there are many stories of painters and panthers stalking strangers, especially the weak, wounded, and inebriated, as well as hiding in the rooms and chimneys of abandoned houses, such as the cabin that appeared in Cleveland Keith, as wild animals are known to do.

I find it quite interesting to explore the suggestible identities of some spirits and inherent miscommunication, and this is probably not the last time you’ll see that theme.

-J. Teeple

[Bonus notes since this is late: Wendy & Vicky and Cleveland Keith both contain references to an upcoming character.]

Feel free to prompt me with a question for the Friday post.

bhcan:

bhcan:

Otherwise, I’m busy with Spanish and herbalism, and it’s probably going to be late :P

Aaaaand I forgot my write-up again. Oops?

I will probably post a thing sometime today.

Ugh. Sorry. Working hard on next chapter instead.

Feel free to prompt me with a question for the Friday post.

bhcan:

Otherwise, I’m busy with Spanish and herbalism, and it’s probably going to be late :P

Aaaaand I forgot my write-up again. Oops?

I will probably post a thing sometime today.

Feel free to prompt me with a question for the Friday post.

Otherwise, I’m busy with Spanish and herbalism, and it’s probably going to be late :P

Within and Without Cleveland Keith

New short story up in the Within and Without series! P.G. and Toby go into the woods to find the hand of Cleveland Keith.

Within and Without: Toby, P.G., and the Astral

So I wanted to write a sort of “behind the scenes” bit every week, so this blog has more interesting things in it than “Story posted!” It can be hard to figure out what to say though, so please excuse the fact that this is a bit rambly. This week I decided to explain Within and Without's depiction of the astral.

"The astral" is first mentioned, in this series, in Eve. It is then further elaborated on in Wendy & Vicky.

Toby’s ability, as far as I can tell, is entirely fictional, though I wouldn’t be remotely shocked to hear of real world examples. Magical visualization is a thing, as well as other types of visualization. For Toby, this simply happens on an instinctual and fairly uncontrollable level. There are hints that their ability is tied into power. It is not, in itself, an astral ability, but the two things are linked enough that I had to build them at the same time.

I did a lot of research on traveling at the astral itself, reading masses of personal accounts and descriptions of the variety of astral interactions and interactions outside of the astral. Any source teaching skepticism and discernment was considered at least reliable enough for fiction purposes. In addition to Toby’s explanation in Wendy & Vicky, I would add that while P.G. does not inherently have their ability, she is not completely “head blind.” With aids and a lot of concentration, she can glimpse what Toby does or even travel all the way. Toby, meanwhile, has never traveled.

There is definitely a lot of disagreement about the astral, astral projection, things that live there, etc., and this makes it a touchy subject. It is, however, very interesting to research. People have claims of a wide variety of experiences and warnings for both the astral and other realms. Toby’s explanation is a generalization of some of those experiences, created as part of fictional worldbuilding necessary for the framework of the story.

Within and Without is, of course, not remotely intended to function as any kind of manual. I did, however, want to try to write stories that aren’t only relatable to people on the outside. Some of the happiest reactions I’ve seen in fandom happen when creators do the research and get things right, and I think, more than anything, I want to see my stories make people happy.

-J. Teeple

Within and Without: Wendy & Vicky

New short story up in the Within and Without series! Part two of a two-parter!

Within and Without: Eve

New short story up in the Within and Without series! Part one of a two-parter!