Saturday, June 30, 2012


Hi, this is Summer again. :-)

My twin is named Marigold.

I was eager to read her letter, but the first thing I did was look at the signature. I wanted to know her name. I felt like once I knew it, I would feel more of a connection to her. Her name is Marigold, and her handwriting is a lot like mine.

Evidence also suggests that our biological parents were hippies. I mean, Summer and Marigold? They must have liked nature names. So comparing what they named the two of us, I feel like I know them a little better, too.

The letter was pretty basic. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it seemed like maybe she was cautious because she wasn't sure how I'd react.

She wrote:

Dear Summer,

This is your twin sister, Marigold. I bet it's pretty surprising to you to hear that you had a twin all of a sudden. I hope you aren't too upset about it, because I'd like to get to know you.

I guess I should tell you a little bit about myself. We're fraternal twins, so I don't look exactly like you. I still live in Toronto. I like school, and my favourite subjects are English and Science, especially Botany. I also like gardening as a hobby, and I love to raise flowers. I also like to write and read, and I take dance classes.

I hope that someday we can meet. I'd like to get to know my twin sister. Hope to talk to you soon!


She also gave me her address and her e-mail. I'm so excited to talk to her! She said twice that she has "hope" that we can get to know each other, and I definitely hope for that too. I sent her an e-mail right away, telling her about myself.

There's one thing I'm not sure of, though. How do I tell her I'm a shapeshifter? She probably is too, right? I mean, she's my twin, even if we're fraternal. But... what if she isn't? What if she thinks I'm either crazy or lying? I don't want to wreck this reunion before it even starts...


Friday, June 29, 2012

Two letters, and life changes

Hi, this is Summer. (I guess you could tell that from the picture anyway, huh?) Well, I got huge news today. I'm still really shocked, and I'm not sure how to process it.

Last year, on my birthday, I decided that I wanted to find out about my biological family. Maia wrote to the Toronto Children's Aid Society, which is the group that placed me for foster care and adoption, to see if we could get any information about them. I did get some, which is better than knowing nothing at all, but I was a little bit bummed that I have to wait till I turn eighteen to get my full identifying details.

I had pretty much just accepted that I won't be able to make much progress on my search until I'm an adult. So I was really surprised when another letter came from the Children's Aid Society in the mail today. I didn't think I'd be hearing from them again for a few years. I wondered if there had been some mistake, or if they'd found something else non-identifying that they could give me right away.

In my haste to open the envelope, I ripped it too hard and all the contents ended up on the floor. The first sheet I picked up was written by hand, and the writing looked like someone about my age rather than an adult. That seemed even weirder. Why would I be getting a letter from another kid through the agency that had placed me for adoption?

Once my initial moment of confusion had passed, I realized there was a printed covering letter in the envelope too, so I decided to read that first because it seemed like it was probably supposed to explain the handwritten letter. I flipped it over... and got the shock of my life.

The covering letter started with an apology. It turns out that I hadn't been placed for adoption by the Children's Aid Society itself - which I had just assumed - but by another group doing contract work for them at the time. That group had made a pretty serious mistake. I had to read the next line a few times before I could comprehend it.

I was not an only child in my biological family.

I have a twin.

This was totally shocking to me. I had no idea.

I figured that I might have biological brothers or sisters out there, because my first parents weren't all that old and they likely had more children after they lost custody of me, whether they stayed together or ended up with other partners. I was prepared to find out someday that I had siblings or half-siblings.

I wasn't prepared to find out that I already had a sister that I shared the womb with. In movies, it seems like twins have this magical connection to each other, but I never felt that. I never felt anyone who was that close was out there and missing from my life. I was totally blindsided by the news.

Twins aren't supposed to be separated for adoption. Even at the time, that was very much against policy. We should have been placed together. The letter went on to say that they're still investigating how it happened, whether it was a clerical error or whether my twin was already living somewhere else when I was removed from the home... and I'm sure that with time, I'll start to care about that. For right now, I can't even begin to deal with how it happened. I'm just trying to process that this is going on at all.

The other letter, the one that was handwritten, is from my twin sister. You don't have to be eighteen to know your biological siblings like you do to find out about your biological parents. I  haven't read my twin's letter yet. I want to, and I will soon.

I'm just trying to deal with the fact this is even happening. It's totally unbelievable! I wonder if she's very much like me...


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ulterior Motives

Hi everybody. This is Clare, and my post is... I guess it's news, but it's old news. We didn't tell you at the time all the reasons we had for going to Europe. It's not that we wanted to hold out on you. It's just that - well, the blog is a public space. By now, people who want to mess with us have probably figured out that we have it. Announcing our intentions would be like beckoning someone to sabotage them.

So here's the scoop. We didn't just go to Hungary, Croatia, and Italy to play tourist. (Although we did play tourist, and it was awesome.) We also went there to meet with some vampires, to talk to them about joining the council we're trying to form. Getting into vampires politics wasn't really our plan, but after we fought The Elders, we didn't have much choice, because the power vacuum we created had to be filled. Our idea was that, instead of trying to have one leader or group of leaders, we form a vampire parliament instead. Thus, the council, which will be made up of representatives from all the vampire groups who choose to participate.

We got some takers on our Europe trip. (Our biggest surprise? The three remaining Elders were in. I didn't see that coming.) Obviously, not every vampire in the world is going to agree. So far, we have only a handful. But the people we did find seem pretty committed, which is even better than huge numbers.

The vampires who wanted to join the council signed an agreement. They had to promise:

1.) Not to attack humans to feed on their blood.

2.) Not to kill people... including other vampires... except in self-defence.

3.) Not to harass werewolves or other supernatural creatures.

4.) To respect other vampires' territorial boundaries, except when they violate the first three rules.

5.) To resolve differences by the vote of the council, rather than by force, to the extent it is in your own power to do so.

Some of the vampires we talked to found this pretty difficult to accept, although it seemed pretty basic to us. Eventually, they all agreed, though, and I think they understood the reasons for it - even if they only said yes in the end out of self-interest.

We currently have nineteen signatures, including the vampires in our family, meaning Cécile, Marie-Grace, Tabitha, and me. We're going to need a lot more if we're going to change anything about how the vampire world operates. It's a start, though.

Eventually, we're going to have to figure out an enforcement mechanism besides the honour system. At the moment, I think we all have sufficient agreement, but that may not hold forever. Again, this is a start.

So that was the "ulterior motive" of our trip. We just thought you should know. :-)


P.S. If you are a vampire and want to join the council, just let us know!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On Midsummer's Night

"You have no chance.
No chance at all.
Why throw your lives away?"
"The Final Battle," Les Mis musical

Hi, this is Bree. Good news - we're not dead! We all made it through our fight against the evil superpowered werewolf named John Carrow. Senara is still with us, and wasn't sacrificed to feed the beast's appetite as the fair folk had intended for her.

I just wanted to get that out of the way, for those of you who have been concerned about us. We're still alive, so no worries about us. Now, I'll tell you how it all happened.


By the day of the Summer Solstice - the day the fair folk were going to feed Senara to Carrow to keep him from attacking their people for the next seven years, until his next scheduled feeding of an innocent kid - we had the vague outlines of a plan. We knew we had till nightfall, so during the day, we went to the site where the "sacrifice" was supposed to take place, hoping to work out the details of what we were going to do.

What we found was not encouraging. It was basically just a wide open field.

"This is not the ideal place to face an indestructible monster," I said aloud, an understatement. We'd try to hold our line, but all he'd have to do is get behind us once, and... things would become unpleasant. We knew that Carrow wasn't all that bright, at least not in his hungry state. It was pretty much going to be a feeding frenzy. But I didn't think even a crazed hungry werewolf wouldn't consider the advantages that open terrain would give him. We also had no real ideas for how to trap him there.

We didn't give up, though. Giving up is not our strong point. Instead, we walked around the area. About a quarter of a mile away, we found a cave.

"This would be perfect," I said rather wistfully.

Molly made a face. "Yeah," she said. "Assuming your diplomatic skills are good enough to talk Carrow into fighting us over here instead..."

Obviously, my diplomatic skills are not actually up to that challenge. In fact, my diplomatic skills are fairly nonexistent. What Molly said gave me an idea, though. After a moment's thought, I had what I realized might be a fairly workable plan. This made me nervous, because I don't consider myself much of a strategist. A plan created by Bree may, by definition, be doomed to failure. But somehow, some part of me was feeling a little flicker of confidence.

"Felicity, do you think you could use your calming powers on a whole crowd of people at once?" I asked abruptly.

"Um... possibly...?" was Felicity's hesitant reply.

I grimaced. "I was hoping for something more along the lines of 'Absolutely, Bree!' But I guess that will have to do."

Kaya spoke up, and said, "I think I can help her. I can use my power to read the emotions of each of the people in the group in turn. If I notice she's losing anyone, I can point them out so she can focus on them."

"Great!" I replied. I could hear myself sounding a little cheerful. "Senara, have you ever met Carrow?"

She shook her head. Senara had been looking pale all that day, and she'd been pretty quiet.

I beamed at that, which was, in retrospect, probably rather inappropriate. "Excellent! Then he won't know your scent. He'll just be sniffing generically for one of the fair folk. I need to go make a phone call now."

Kirsten said in a rather superior voice, "I don't think this is the time to conform to teenage stereotypes, Bree."

I stuck my tongue out at her. "It's not a social call. I need to call my drama teacher."

The girls all looked confused, since school is out and drama club is over for the summer. "Why do you need to talk to her?" Josefina asked curiously.

"I need something from the costume storage," I said, my brain buzzing with plans. "I need to borrow a blonde wig."


When night had fallen, we trailed in a solemn line - almost a procession - to the field we'd surveyed earlier. A dejected blonde figure in a white robe walked between the Greens and Roses, and she stared down at the ground, her posture showing her despair like a beacon. The field was full of the fair folk, who were similarly robed, but in green, black, grey, and dark blue rather than white. There was another figure, too. Carrow. He wasn't easy to see in the low light, but he was hulking and furry. And huge. Very huge. It was hard to tell if he was a werewolf or a small hill, except for the glistening teeth.

Inna stopped, and spoke to them in a sad but confident voice. "We are here to surrender Senara to you. We cannot hope to fight you, John Carrow, and we are not prepared to throw our family's lives away in a futile losing battle to save one teenage girl. There is nothing more we can do. You can have the girl, if you spare the rest of us."

Hearing this, Senara took off at a run, not willing to be werewolf food even if we were willing to give her up. Except... it wasn't actually Senara. Because that was the plan. It was a trick all along. It was me. Senara was safe at home, with Blakeney, Gia, Maia, Summer, Kiwi, and Ev to protect her. I was the one wearing the white robe. And thanks to my drama teacher, I was wearing a blonde wig.

Remember what my super power is? I can run really, really, really fast. Because I'm a descendant of the fair folk too, I was banking on Carrow not being able to tell Senara and me apart. I was right. I took off in the direction of the cave, and Carrow followed me, thinking his sacrifice had gotten scared and had run away.

Felicity, Kaya, and Molly stayed back to deal with the fair folk. We weren't quite sure what the other fairies were going to do. It was unclear what side they would take. Molly hastily started putting up a barrier of ice to slow them down just in case, while Felicity pacified them with Kaya's help.

Kirsten and Josefina were waiting at the cave. Once I had Carrow in position at the mouth of it, I ducked out of the way. Kirsten started using her power to shatter the stones above the mouth of the cave, creating a rockslide and rapidly filling the opening with debris. Carrow hesitated a moment, unsure which direction to go. Josefina helped him decide by blocking his way out with a wall of fire, so his only option to avoid the falling rocks was to go deeper into the cave. Kirsten hastily finished walling him in.

Carrow won't be trapped forever. He doesn't need to be, though. He's weakening rapidly, and as long as he doesn't consume fae blood in the meantime, he'll turn into a normal werewolf. The fair folk are happy to be rid of him and not to have to sacrifice their own to him anymore, so they aren't going to help him. In fact, they offered their enchantments to help keep him in, which we dubiously had to accept.

Obviously, Senara going home after this is out of the question. She doesn't want to live with people who were going to let her die a brutal death at the hands of a werewolf to save their own skins. Senara is going to stay with us, and we're going to adopt her. So that's happy news for everyone.

I wish I could end this on that completely upbeat note. But... this isn't totally a win. Remember Senara's sister, Sakura? The fair folk still have her. Inna was supposed to get her away while the rest of us were busy with Carrow and the audience, but the fairy crowd didn't bring her with them. Sakura is still a prisoner, although they probably won't hurt her. She's more useful as a hostage than she would be as a corpse, even though the fae aren't thrilled with Senara for surviving.

We'll find her, though. We aren't giving up. Not on Senara... and not on Sakura, either.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Down to the Wire

Hi, this is Bree again. In all our news of our trip, we may have made our readers forget that Senara is in danger from an evil super-werewolf named John Carrow, and that we don't have much time to decide what to do. In fact, our deadline is tomorrow night. That's when the "sacrifice" of Senara to the werewolf is supposed to happen. As much as we still have that happy post-trip relaxed summer vacation feeling, and as excited as we are about Maia and Gia's news, we haven't forgotten that.

Unfortunately, we're still not quite sure what we're going to do. We have to find some way of preventing Carrow from killing Senara, and then trapping him until his power fades. There has to be some way of containing him. We just... haven't quite thought of one yet.

Everyone is pretty on edge about that.

Yesterday, Blakeney wanted to post on AGPT about how we wear the Real Me tunic top, so one of us needed to model it. Senara volunteered, so I took a picture of her wearing it. Then I snapped a closeup of her face, because we didn't really have any pictures of her yet.

When Kirsten saw the photos on the camera, she yelled at me. She said I was being morbid, and accused me of giving up and thinking Senara was going to die. Kirsten thought the photos were supposed to be like an obituary. Something to remember her by.

That's not it at all, though. I still truly believe, no matter what the odds, that we're going to save her. I wanted to post her pictures because I think she's going to be around for a long time, and our friends should have the chance to get to know her.

So this is what Senara looks like. Not because she's going to die, but because she's going to live.


Monday, June 18, 2012

An Agglomeration of News

Hi everyone, this is Summer! We're back from our trip. We had a wonderful time visiting Hungary, Croatia, and Italy. Our first stop was Budapest, then we took the train to Zagreb. From Zagreb we rode on a bus to Rijeka, then drove a rental car to Otok Krk (which means Krk Island.) We spent a few days at the beach on the Adriatic, then took another bus from Rijeka to Trieste, Italy, via Slovenia, then a train from Trieste to Venice. It was an amazing two weeks!

We plan to do a post that's just about our trip, including lots of photos, but Blakeney took loads and loads of pictures and we haven't had time to get them all uploaded, sorted by place, and captioned if necessary. When we do, we'll be happy to share it.

For now, though, we have some major news to share. I'm going to tell the small news first, though, to keep you in suspense about the big news for a minute or two more. ;-)

The small news is, I decided to enter the Little Miss Playthings contest! When it was first suggested to me, I thought it was some kind of beauty contest, and I didn't think that was my thing at all. It turns out, though, that it's actually a photo contest, with different challenges each week. It actually sounds pretty artistic and creative, and I think it'll be fun! I'm the contestant, but all my sisters are helping me.

Please go to Bean's site, here, to vote on the rounds. You don't have to vote for me, mind you. There are a lot of amazing photographers who have entered, and it's not a big deal to me if I win or not. I'm just looking forward to the challenge of it. A contest isn't any fun without voters, though, so please don't forget to choose your favourite photo each week for the next few weeks to come!

So yeah, that's the small news.

Here's the big piece...

While we were in Italy, Maia proposed to Gia, and Gia said yes. So we're going to have a wedding! We're all super excited and happy for them. They're a great couple, and I think they'll have many, many joyous years together. We're all eager to help them celebrate!

We missed you guys, but we had an amazing trip. Still, it's always nice to be home again.


P.S. I did my first photo shoot for LMPT today. I want my actual entry to be a surprise, but here are a couple of extra shots that aren't going to be entered into the contest. The other person in the photos is, of course, my sister Kiwi.