2014, Year of the Horse (or Unicorn. Whichever)

“The Year of the Dragon. She’d used that phrase at the house. That’s what made Mom so withdrawn, so insistent I come here with them tonight. May’s explanation of her culture’s beliefs- how she and some of the girls with us tonight were born in the year of the horse- didn’t even sway her. And Mom hates all things remotely similar to unicorns.”

New Year’s Eve is a major night in Red Moonglow on Snow. It is The Night, That Night, for Lira. It gives her story its title, Red Moonglow on Snow. It is The Night He came for her, The Night their daughter was made, The Night she thought they’d finally return Home. The Night that brought on The Year of The Dragon, year 2000.

I returned to Chicago for Christmas and New Year’s in 2000. At that time, RMOS was still in its early draft stage while I was away at school. However, 7 days after New Year’s, the moon was red. I couldn’t believe it. Like seeing the future in a vision and then it happens.

May, Lira’s childhood friend, tries to explain the Chinese Zodiac to Lira when they’re children. But Lira stayed far away from anything that didn’t relate to Home. And at that time, she, like her mother, hated anything resembling unicorns.

Counting, it dawned on me last week that 2014 brings back the Year of the Horse, the sign Lira was born under. She will be 36 this coming year, and things are changing fast for all of them, bringing them all some much needed resolution. But that’s far in the future past RMOS.

RMOS dissipates Lira’s intense fear of unicorns (and horses). And time in Home restores her confidence and repares her sense of self, to the point where she begins to understand what May had tried to do for her all those years ago. Our cultures and their varied systems of belief cease to be so threatening.

The Chinese Zodiac cycles every 12 years. Lira was born in The Year of the Horse, 1978. That Night occured in The Year of the Dragon, 2000. The Year of the Dragon returned in 2012, and next week brings back The Year of the Horse. Legend states that Buddha hosted a race for animals through land and water. The first twelve to make it to the finish would be featured in the new Zodiac. The Dragon finished fifth and the horse seventh. The whys and hows are pretty interesting, but I won’t detail them here.

The attributes of a Horse:

  • they are the nomads of the Chinese Zodiac.  (Ha! How very appropriate!)
  • stubborn (much to her Guardians’ chagrin) 
  • possession of strength (not specifically  physical)
  • impatient
  • energetic
  • have a tendency to fall in love hard and fast (so very true!!)
  • volatile (watch her aim if you piss her off- she will throw something.)
  • independent, while paradoxically craving closer relationships with those around them (very true!)
  • and, perfectly quoted from Astrology.com:“Once they find some peace within themselves, they can curb their wandering tendencies and learn to appreciate what’s in their own backyard.”

Elements factor in heavily as well: 1978 was the element of Earth, adding hardworking, large perspective (which is continually challenged in RMOS), and adaptability to Lira’s attributes.

To honor such an important holiday in Lira’s story, I’ll be marking down the ebook price to $3.99 on January 1st! Until then, you can download the first few chapters and start reading!

Wishing everyone a better 2014.

(Cover for the print edition is coming along slowly but surely. Bear with me, please!)

originally published on www.MidnightTomorrowBooks.com

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