Totems_to_Sky-AC4x6Happy September, everyone! I can’t believe that we have begun the last quarter of 2013. It seems like just last month I was finishing off my New Year’s resolution list. Interestingly enough, one of those resolutions was to have weekly blog updates instead of monthly entries. Nine months later and I am proud to say that I continue to meet that particular goal. Yeah!

I am also happy to report that my husband’s and my vacation in Alaska was absolutely spectacular! We had a wonderful time cruising from Seattle, Washington, up to Ketchikan, Alaska, through Tracy Arm Fjord to Juneau, Alaska, and on to the small town of Skagway, Alaska. In each of these towns, we had the opportunity to see a small bit of the magnificent wilderness that often makes Alaska so awe-inspiring to its visitors. We saw more snow-capped mountains and clear waterfalls than I can count along with sightings of salmon, black bears, humpback whales, stellar sea lions, and other wildlife. To top off the trip, our cruise ship docked in lovely Victoria Island in British Columbia, Canada before sailing back to Seattle. I promise to give a full report of the trip and show you a few of the beautiful photos I shot later in the month, but for now I’ll give you a teaser photo from the trip.

I shot this particular photo while in Ketchikan, Alaska. The totem pole in the photo was commissioned by the City of Ketchikan to honor the Tongass Tlingit people and depict their story of “Raven Stealing the Sun”. I call the photo “Totems to the Sky”. I think it fits well with today’s excerpt, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Today’s particular excerpt comes from the flash fiction story “Raven’s Fall” which I wrote in late 2012 and saw published by my friends over at in January 2013 as a part of author and illustrator Robert Stikmanz’s 3000 Weeks celebration in Austin, Texas. “Raven’s Fall” is a tale loosely inspired by some of the oral traditions of Native American peoples indigenous to the Northwestern United States and Canada. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I had writing it!

Raven sat stone still watching light ripple and flow along the banks of darkness. She clutched the cattail reed tightly in one gray talon and pondered the light’s myriad weavings through shadow into the world beyond the Falls. Could a world of dawn be so much better than this domain of dusk? The red cattail could give her the answer, but did she dare use it?

“Well, what have you decided?” cried a voice behind her.

Raven’s black feathers ruffed up in irritation. “That this is some of your usual subversion, Wolf.”

The gray canine spirit’s tongue lolled out with his yipping laughter. “I cannot hope to trick one so wise as you, Raven.”

The great bird spirit said nothing, but continued to stare at the light winding its way out of their world into the world of light.

“I know you tire of this shadow realm as do I, High Spirit. Would it not be a great adventure to see beyond the darkness?”

“Dawn light has no place for us, Wolf. We rule the night as is proper. Only the foolish would wish otherwise.”

Wolf nodded. “Oh, indeed. I merely suggested you visit the world of light to better understand the contrasts between black and light. The red cattail will allow you to come back whenever you like.”

Raven’s eyes narrowed. “How do I know your words are true?”

“Because you know that I would never wish you harm,” Wolf’s eyes were soft as he replied. She stared at him a long while until he lowered his gaze.

“I have made my decision then. I will go and see what is to be seen. Will you wait for my return?”

Wolf nodded and stepped back to give Raven proper room for her dive into the river of light. Raven stretched out her lustrous black wings and pumped them hard to hover over the sparkling eddies. She then swooped to grab a surprised Wolf before banking toward the river. Into the rolling light they both plunged. The waves washed away their darkness as they tumbled over the falls together…

I hope you enjoyed today’s writing. Until our next meeting, may we each rewrite our world for the better.

🙂 Alycia

P.S. – I will be reorganizing website and my photography website through the end of September. Expect to some of the first Alaska photos on the photography website by Friday, September 6, 2013. Thanks!

The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia Christine Sears and/or Alycia C. Cooke with love and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular topic and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!