Reading and Tea: Lord of the Rings and Green Seaside Tea
Once upon an island…
I rescued a hummingbird a few months ago…
Come up with a plan
Hollywood movie portrayal of violence
Fall, Mabon, the autumnal equinox…
Water, Air, Earth, and Fire
Horrific fascination in killing off characters…
A Library with a hidden door AND a secret passage
Cloaks are badass!


Childhood treasures and grown-up pleasures! So much of what I love about epic fantasy came from reading the wonderful works of J.R.R. Tolkien in junior high. I devoured The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy! And later when I realized my dream of writing an epic fantasy with a female lead—The Chronicles of Hawthorn was born. If you’d like to begin the journey with Flynn Hawthorn, CLICK HERE! Week 12 (Oh, and yes—I did read the Silmarillion!)

Santorini caldera author story research

My writing and research retreat to Santorini gave me some wonderful inspiration and some priceless material for characters. One of my deepest joys is meeting odd people. Not because I like people. I’m happily introverted and could blissfully exist in solitude for the rest of my days. However, I am passionate about writing and no matter how creative my little brain thinks that it is—I must have fodder for the cannon or is it grist for the mill? Anyway, I need to put stuff in to give my brain a catalyst for my work. If you’d like to take a peek into my grey matter, CLICK HERE! Week 11

I rescued a hummingbird a few months ago. I fed him several times and found an animal rescue that would take him. His wing was broken and I have to believe he probably did not make it. I’ve done a ton of research on hummingbirds as background for my faery characters. The bones in their wings [hummingbirds] are so minuscule, I doubt an animal rescue running off donations and volunteers has the facilities to set those bones and feed the tiny thing round the clock while he heals. I’ve always thought that the most terrifying thing for a faery would be the loss of a wing or wings. To have that immense freedom one minute and to be relegated to a life on the ground the next would be soul crushing. As Nicek would say, “Death would be a kindness.” Week 10

Today I am knee deep in COSTUME business and I don’t really have time to post. However, I know if Hazel were MY best friend, she would encourage me to come up with a plan to complete my costume and post this lovely image of her on my blog. I love Hazel to death and I know she’s right. There’s always time to do what needs to be done—you just need to stick to the plan. I call it being functionally creative That oughta start a revolt! Week 9

I’ve always had trouble with the Hollywood movie portrayal of violence. Calm down, I’m not trying to start a debate. I’m just saying that it strikes me as odd how characters in films can witness, enact, and assist in extremely violent acts of war, murder, or even self-defense—and simply walk it off. Occasionally we get a moment or two of doubt followed by a rousing speech that instantly fixes everything and off we go again. But that’s the trope, isn’t it? The fact is that if the hero, heroine, or band of brothers gives up—end of movie. They have to falter and get back up, and they have to do it quickly or we’ll click over to one of the million other things streaming. Books get a little more wiggle room, but even there authors have a limited reader attention span to consider. There’s a reason books that achieve literary acclaim are not pulling down the “numbers” of books that cater to the masses. Week 8

My favorite time of year is fast approaching! Fall, Mabon, the autumnal equinox… Cool nights, crisp leaves, apple-picking – no, that’s not why at all. I like fall because the blistering heat of summer is finally over. I am no fan of the sun, sunbathing, suntanning, whatever you want to call it. I have no ability to convert UV into anything externally useful, so I prefer to stay out of the burning rays of the sun and wait for the glory of October! Of course this August holds a special place in my heart, but I’m not far enough into this honesty experiment to share that nugget. The lovely besom in this picture was the inspiration for a humorous dig in the Secrets of Kabara (Book 6). Beyond that, I am a true fan of buttercup squash and have fond memories of scooping seeds with my late grandmother and laughing about everything in her tiny – mostly red – kitchen. Week 7

Water, Air, Earth, and Fire. In the Chronicles of Hawthorn I chose to create a nature-based magickal society that relies on ritual, magick, and honoring the turning of the seasons. I get tired of seeing/reading witches portrayed as ugly old hags with warts and possibly green skin. I wanted magick to be the “norm.” Of course, there is a villainess in the story but there are no snakes, toads, or eye of newt anywhere in my world. I wanted witches to be the heroes. I remember reading fantasy books as a child and rooting for characters like the White Witch in Narnia! Why should four bratty little kids get a whole world? Oh, and I spell magick with a “k” because I think there’s a difference between David Blaine and someone like Jadis! Week 6

There is a strange, horrific fascination in killing off characters that you have painstakingly crafted out of the ether. As a reader it makes me furious, but as a writer it is a glorious walk in Un-reality. All the dark swirly bits get to go somewhere—do something. Holding the darkness inside is mind-numbing and sucks the joy out of everything. When I release the darkness into a creative flow that weaves itself into the stories I create, I find relief. I find moments of freedom so complete that it is indescribable. I wish I could stay in those spaces and thrive, but they are like soap bubbles. Glorious. Full. Shimmering. Fleeting. Gone. A sadness always descends after I finish a manuscript. I feel empty, spent, exhausted—but clear. If I try to contain the stories and characters, I feel terrible. I get depressed and hopeless. Everything feels clogged. I can’t breathe. I love to write, but I don’t write for the LOLs. I write because I have to… Week 5

THIS! One day I will have a massive library with a hidden door AND a secret passage. The shelves will be lined with ancient tomes bound in fine leather with hand-stitched spines. Oh, the smells that will wrap themselves around you when you enter that room! I want to collect rare books on the occult, alchemy, astrology, and dead languages. I used to subscribe to a catalog of rare books, but I had to cancel my subscription because of the severe depression that would hit me each time I leafed through the pages of gorgeous volumes and realized how far my dream was out of reach. Maybe I’ll renew my subscription. Maybe I’ve matured and I’ve finally gotten a handle on this “delayed gratification” shit I hear grown ups talking about. Not likely! I was born “patience-impaired” and I never received proper treatment. I think fast, act fast, regret fast—and repeat. Week 4

Cloaks are badass! I’m not sure why we ever stopped wearing cloaks in everyday life. There’s no denying how awesome it feels to let the wind billow a cloak out behind you as you cross a forest path or walk into a room full of unsuspecting humans! It’s time we bring back the majestic cloak and give it its rightful place in the halls of fashion. DnD-ers and LARP-ers unite! This photo actually inspired the character of Aoeni Aura in The Chronicles of Hawthorn, but mostly I’m posting it because cloaks ROCK! Week 3

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