Love Prevails over Fear

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Compiled from Justice Kennedy’s Majority Decision:

The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.

The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.

As all parties agree, many same-sex couples provide loving and nurturing homes to their children, whether biological or adopted. And hundreds of thousands of children are presently being raised by such couples. This provides powerful confirmation that gays and lesbians can create loving, supportive families. Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. The marriage laws at issue here thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.

It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.

Same-sex couples, too, may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning. The Constitution grants them that right.

Yeah, baby!

Love Prevails over Fear.

The Dragon Soul Trilogy – All 3 at once because I hate to wait.

Three years in the making!

I haven’t blabbed about my books for a while, but this summer is a busy one for me with four, yep FOUR, books hitting the press in the next 8 weeks. I can hear the promotion groans coming through the airwaves, but I promise brevity while containing my glee. And I will attempt to entertain as well!

How did that happen? Weird timing, which I won’t belabor or fret over. My life unfolds willy-nilly, and I tend to amble along in near oblivion. I learn almost entirely by making mistakes, picking up the scattered shards, and fitting them back together into something more agreeable.

Here’s part of the answer:

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There’s little I delight in more than reading a completed fantasy series. I take mini-vacations from reality to immerse myself in a story – the more pages the better. I ruminate over characters like a god and lover. Without a modicum of dignity, I luxuriate in the sensory richness of strange lands and the details that bring them to life. I am the story embodied.

After this testimonial, you might guess that I have a tantrum when I finish a book, discover it’s a serial, hop onto Amazon, and learn that the rest of the story isn’t written! What? Are you kidding me? Rats! It’s probably my deteriorating brain cells, but by the time the next installment is released, I’ll have lost all the luscious details that make these mega-tales so intense and real for me. I’ll have forgotten the secondary characters’ names completely.

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Talk about literary torture. George RR Martin stands guilty of this heinous crime, as does Patrick Rothfuss, and a few others who have sucked me in and left me like a jilted lover. After the last time, I swore NEVER AGAIN, and have denied myself the pleasure of several well-acclaimed series until the day the authors roll out the last of their tomes. Yes, Mark Lawrence and Brandon Sanderson, I mean you!

Well, golly, I’m no hypocrite. When writing the sequel to Myths of the Mirror, I told the publisher I wanted all four books of the Dragon Soul Saga to make their debut on the same day. That meant holding up the first three for the last. It took a long time, and I’m happy to say…they’re on their way…together.

Do you read incomplete serials? How the heck do you remember what happened a year ago?

Creative Blogger Award


Jack Ronald Cotner nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award – the name alone makes me smile. Many thanks, Jack, for the honor.

Jack’s blog, Jack Ronald Cotner, is worth a peek. Born and bred in Arkansas, he’s a talented artist, and penner of historical fiction, short stories, and poetry. What I enjoy most is his humorous bent on all things writing. Here’s a favorite of mine that guarantees a chuckle: A Bad Analogy is like a Good Analogy, Only Somehow Different

Now, I’ll share five facts about myself:

1. I was raised in the woods by wolves (almost). My parents would routinely drop young me and my younger brothers off in the Green Mountains and pick us up 4 days later 25 miles down the trail. A similar scenario also occasionally took place with a canoe on a river. Someone recently suggested that the Peach kids were Gretel, Hansel, and Hansel and the folks were trying to lose us! Hmmm…

2. After watching the movie Jaws in 1975, I didn’t dip a toe into the ocean for 15 years. In an effort to overcome my paranoia regarding sharks, I took up scuba diving and went on a shark dive in the Cayman Islands. Our dive crew chummed the water with buckets of fish guts. I was surrounded by close to a 100 sharks (or maybe 20), and I still have all my fingers!

3. I dislike chocolate and cake (especially chocolate cake), but I can eat a gallon of blueberries or a whole watermelon in one sitting.

4. The only thing I’m deathly afraid of is dentists, and I have no desire to face that fear. My husband makes me go, and I always end up having to apologize to the hygienist for suggesting that dentistry hasn’t advanced much beyond medieval torture (seriously, it hasn’t).

5. Finally, I believe its possible to speed up and slow down time, but I’m not very skilled at it yet. It takes concentration, and I forget to do it every day. I’d like to be able to prolong the slow-down of time without having to expend a lot of mental energy to initiate or sustain it. It’s the only solution I’ve come up with for my lack of writing time :-).

Now For My Nominees:

I’m going to break the rules and offer up only 6 of the many incredibly entertaining blogs that I follow in hopes that you’ll browse all of them!


To my nominees: If you wish to participate in this exercise (it is optional) here are the guidelines:

  1. Acknowledge and thank the blogger who nominated you with name and URL (that’s moi)
  2. Disclose 5 facts about yourself
  3. Further nominate 15 bloggers (or break the rules)

If I’ve nominated anyone whose blog is award-free, please accept my apologies and ignore this post.

Happy Blogging!

Reflecting on Father’s Day

Dad and meMy relationship with my father hasn’t always proved a smooth ride. We’ve both lugged around our blind spots and buried pain. Yet as people tend to do, we’ve also grown up over the last fifty-some years, learned a thing or two about forgiveness, gratitude, and love.

When I reached the wise old age of twenty, my eyes opened to the idea that parents weren’t perfect. That new perspective loosened some of the emotional chains of expectation. I could view their opinions and reactions within the context of their generation and upbringings. This altered understanding gave me permission to travel my own journey without my inner critic’s disapproval hanging over my head.

dad and me 2In my thirties, I experienced another “duh” moment when I realized that parents continue to grow and learn throughout their lives. I am now their age, and the silly, narrow-mindedness of my previous level of understanding is downright embarrassing. Yet there you have it.

In my forties, I learned that there’s no going back to unsay old words and unhurt old wounds. What I most wanted was a trip back in time, a redo, a gift impossible for him to give me.  To wrestle our relationship from the muddy past required compassion, and forgiveness for mistakes neither of us can change, no matter how hard we may wish to.

As I worked in my garden this Father’s Day, I found myself reflecting on the many things I learned from my father that have enriched my life. Despite our struggles, there were hidden blossoms among the weeds that occasionally crowded our paths. I thought I’d share a few:

A love of the outdoors
Respect for diversity
Kindness toward all living things
A passion for reading
A lifelong fondness for power tools
To work with integrity
To grow vegetables
That money isn’t important
That I can do anything I put my mind to
That it’s possible to change
And never too late to say I love you.

Love you, dad.

#Read about Guest #Author D. Wallace Peach

Hi my friends! Some of you may have seen this post already, but I thought I’d share it at “home.” I had a blast pulling it together for The Story Reading Ape’s marvelous blog. Hope you enjoy.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Thanks, Chris, for the opportunity to monkey around on your famous blog! I’ve seen your invites for several months and have said to myself “someday.” It appears someday has arrived.

D. Wallace PeachI’m one of those writers who rarely struggles with writer’s block. I can write 16 hours a day and never run dry of words …until someone asks me to write about myself. My mind goes blank, every articulate thought sucked through a black hole into another dimension. The urge to regurgitate my 3rd grade demographics starts sounding like a decent backup plan. What does a fantasy writer who lives entirely in her head have to say about her “real” life?

I didn’t start writing until I turned fifty… ancient compared to most writers I know. Am I envious of those enjoying an early start, regretful that it took me so long to find my calling? You betcha. If I could…

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Only Dialogue Allowed!

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This one was hard! Yep, hard.

I continue to stick with my writing challenge – an attempt to complete the weekly writing lessons offered by Hubert O’Hearn’s Writer’s Pro Shop. This one is on writing dialog and here’s the link for more detail on the exercise: Writer’s Pro Shop, Exercise Three.

The gist of Lesson 3:

Write a 4-character scene using only dialogue. You may not identify the characters. Only the actual conversation can be written down. Each of your four characters must speak 4 to 6 lines or sides of dialogue. Your goal is that a reader knowing nothing of the scene should be able to determine what is happening as well as identify the individual speakers.

Here goes:

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“Does my lipstick look okay? I’m running late. Oh, honey, I have a meeting after work, so you’ll have to handle soccer pick-up.”

“I made you breakfast. You said you wanted breakfast.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry. No time. I gotta go.”

“Who’s gonna pick me up at soccer?”

“I can’t. Really, buddie. I’ve got a crazy schedule today. Someone else will have to chauffeur today. Oh, and I need my dry-cleaning dropped off. Can you coordinate the cleaners with picking him up?”

“I’ll have to check my busy laundry and vacuuming schedule.”

“Don’t get testy with me. It isn’t my fault you were laid off. And this role-reversal thing was your idea.”

“Can you two argue about the dork’s soccer ride somewhere else? I’m on the phone.”

“Don’t call people dorks. And we’re not arguing, just discussing the fact that someone doesn’t care that I’m busting my butt at the office all day.”

“And someone else doesn’t seem to have time for her family anymore.”

“So who’s picking me up? The coach gets mad when he has to drive me.”

“Hello, everyone. I’m still on the phone.”

“Go talk somewhere else, princess dork. You’re not the boss of everyone.”

“I can’t, Your Dorkness. I’m watching T.V. while I talk.”

“Alright, I’m leaving. I’m late and I’m done with this conversation. We’ll talk tonight.”

“Fine. Go to your meeting. And you, I’ll pick you up at five on the dot since I’m doing everything else around here.”

“Never mind. I’ll just ask the coach, and he’ll just yell at me.”

“O. M. G. I’ll call you later. I’ll pick him up, okay. I can’t wait ’til the summer’s over.”

Writer as Witness


As storytellers, we create settings and characters with enough authenticity to entrap readers in our imaginations. The goal is to elicit feelings somewhere in the broad spectrum of human experience, to personally invest the reader in the outcome of our tales.

Frontyard1.dianapeach.jpgA sense of reality and plausibility in our stories aids us in that task. External intricacy adds texture as it paints pictures in a reader’s mind. Our own emotional landscape is fodder for our characters’ souls.

I love the idea of writers as witnesses. We are observers of details, the ones with personal knowledge of hidden imagery and feelings, which we attest to through our words.

In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron encourages artists to become witnesses, to take time out of each day to observe our outer and inner worlds with curiosity, as a way of enriching our store of experience and ultimately our art. She suggests occasional artist’s vacations, to gather experiences foreign to our daily routines.

Frontyard3.dianapeach.jpgI frequently wander about in zombie-like unconsciousness. My familiarity with my routine and surroundings allows my brain to dally elsewhere, usually embroiled in developing scenes, prodding characters, and plugging up plot holes.

Unless I make a mindful choice to engage, I don’t.

I wrote a post back in October called Emotional Writing about a necessary willingness to explore painful feelings. This is tough work: witnessing our own agony and blindness, picking through our hearts with an observer’s impartial eye. And how far are we willing to delve into someone else’s experience, to embrace it as our own?

Frontyard5.dianapeach.jpgToday I’m another kind of witness. If I sit still and pay attention, I see cloudy light reflected on rain-slick leaves, the diamond patterns of stained glass at the end of a dark hallway. Gossamer cobwebs thread the air around the old chandelier. The dog snores on the couch and rain drips from sagging gutters to patter on the metal roof. It’s chilly this morning, and Pinky the cat has commandeered my sweater. If my nose weren’t stuffy, I might smell coffee brewing.

Any one of these details may end up in my writing today.

I share a few photos of moss growing in my yard. I would have never witnesses the beauty if I hadn’t taken the time to look.

The Bone Wall by D Wallace Peach – Interview with Author @Dwallacepeach

When talented author Jo Robinson told me she enjoyed my latest book, I did a little happy dance in my kitchen. She sent me some questions for an interview, and I glowed for a week. If you’re interested in the “character” behind the characters, here’s the interview. Thank you, Jo!

Feed My Reads South Africa

I finished my latest read much faster than I usually finish a book, considering my tendency to be the slowest reader on the planet, only because I couldn’t put it down. I had to find out more about the author who wrote the book that now sits way up there in the lofty favourite TWO dystopian fantasy books I’ve ever read. Not only does it speak of humanity, what we’ve become, and where we might go, it’s a fabulously addictive tale, told in that magical way that only the literary masters have, of sucking you right in to their worlds. Many thanks to author D Wallace Peach, for graciously allowing us access into her life and for sharing some of her fascinating thoughts with us here today. I’ll share my review of The Bone Wall first, and my strongest suggestion for you all to head right over to Amazon and…

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Trouble Naming your Character? Try a Name Generator.

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Now and then, I get stuck for a name. I need a ship name (The Devil’s Trident), a tavern name (The Flagon and Flask), a villain’s name (Raven Stonerose), the name of a magical forest (Bitter Fleas Forest), or strange beast (Conewitch Snail).

Name generators are useful in getting the ideas flowing, and occasionally I find the right fit without a tweak. The above names were all straight from the Seventh Sanctum name generator, one I refer to when my brain is numb, which happens rather frequently. It’s a gold mine of thought-starters for fantasy writers.

Oh, you don’t write fantasy and haven’t any use for an elf name such as Ibenhar Lonedragon? You don’t need a hero named Tempest Honorhawk or a villain named Solitaire Ironcomet?

Never fear. This name generator also creates your more standard names: Claudine Briana McGuire, Spencer Vaughan, Haley Lambert, Warner Javier Gallagher, and Herminia Leon to rattle off a few.

Be sure to look through the broad variety of categories under the menu item “Generator Types” as there are more options than are listed on the opening page.




Okay, this is pure silliness.

I write fantasy and occasionally my characters get royally upset! Sometimes I don’t want to use Earthly curses, particularly if the story doesn’t take place on Earth. I also prefer to avoid foul language when it isn’t necessary for the story or characters.

I ran across the Foul-o-Matic curse word generator on a random search for name generators. It’s a swear-word generator that makes me laugh because most of the word combinations are just plain ridiculous (failed douchewaffle piper and spanking nugget lover). I revert to my ten-year-old self that used to giggle at farts. That said, I’ve actually used it a bit, primarily by toning down some of the outrageous combinations or combining words to make my own.

Does anyone out there use word generators? I’d love to add them to my list.