Happy Halloweensie

Pixabay images modified by author

Mike Allegra suggested that I give Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Writing Contest a try.  The goal was to write a 100-word Halloween story appropriate for children (12 and under) using the words candy cornmonster, and shadow. Here’s my entry:

Monster under the Bed

Darla scrunched her blanket under her chin. “You can turn off the light, mom.”

“You won’t be scared?”

“I’m okay. And you don’t need to check under my bed; there’s no monster.”

Her mother kissed her. “Honey, I’m so proud of you.”

Left alone, Darla clutched her trick or treat bag. A gnarled troll with pointy fangs crept from the shadows beneath her bed. Its orange eyes squinted and curved claws rustled in a paper sack. “I got chocolates,” it growled. “What did you get?”

“Taffy, licorice, and candy corn,” Darla whispered. “Want to trade?”

“Bah.” The monster giggled. “Let’s share.”

At the Mirror: Route 91, A Festival

pixabay image

I’m switching around the blog schedule for NaNoWriMo, which I’m unofficially participating in this month. My goal is 80,000 words. Uh huh. I’m a nut. My muses are out drinking ale at the fire pit while they scheme about how to make this happen.

Anyway, my  “Sunday Blog Share” of the past will still be my every third post, but it will be on random days. So I’m renaming it “At the Mirror.” The Mirror is a reflective lake in one of my books, and when someone looks into its waters, they see the true beauty of their souls. The blog posts that I share are beautiful to me. They evoke emotion… sometimes joy, sometimes tears, longing, memories, or plain old awe.

Today’s post is by Diana from A Holistic Journey. The format didn’t allow me to post the beginning here. So… all you get is the link… ❤

Source: Route 91, A Festival

October

My backyard

I wrote this poem during my first fall in Oregon. It was inspired by the 10-mile drive from town to my home along Highway 47, one of many roads here that takes my breath away.

October

If I drive off the road of life
know I was distracted by the wilderness
gazing for a moment at gilded leaves
arched against jagged boughs of evergreen.
 
Perhaps I beheld a quilted river
of fallen crimson and vermillion
winding along the roadside
vine maples blazing in random rays of sun.
 
Had I gazed into the weave and texture of leaves
layers interlaced, sharp and dense against the sky?
Or the rain glistening, black branches of the forest bending
silhouetted by canopies of countless green.
 
Did I glimpse dry fields of weeds,
browning blades and flyaway seeds
the river meandering, my roadside companion
a tapestry of quiet color before me?
 
If I soar off the road of life
and fail to rise
know that I drove distracted by the wilderness
and my eyes brimmed with beauty.

***

Just a note that Catling’s Bane is free today until the 29th.

Dark Fey Trilogy: Breaking Into the Light

Cynthia Morgan has a new book and offered to share an excerpt. Beautiful covers!

A Brief Excerpt from book three of the Dark Fey Trilogy….

“Ye’ shoul’ no enter th’ demesne of th’ Reviled unarmed, ‘ealer.”  Bryth and Mardan agreed emphatically, but Gairynzvl shook his head; gazing with comprehension and even greater respect at his friend.

“He cannot represent Peace armed.”  Smiling at his friends with candid esteem, Evondair raised his hand to cover his heart as he bowed to them with closed eyes and wings furled inward in a sign of profound respect; then he turned for the mountain. Stepping briskly through the snow as he spread his wings wide, he utilized several powerful wing beats to ascend into the increasingly furious snowfall as all gazes raised to watch him disappear into the tempest.

Rising into the roiling atmosphere, his friends and fellow Fey of the Light vanished almost instantly amid the turbulence of buffeting snow.  Although he realized it would obscure him from visible sight, Evondair straightaway questioned his decision to seek out the enemy while cloaked in the effects of the blinding storm where he could neither see nor hear anything other than the storm itself.  The only thing he could rely upon was his in-born precise sense of direction, which all Fey possessed, and the indistinct sense of Nunvaret’s presence he now Knew.  The Demonfey Captain was not yet on the Jyndari side of the portal, but the moment he crossed over the Healer would become aware of him.  Until he did, Evondair would wait, perched atop the mountain like a raptor poised to descend upon his prey.

Without forewarning, a gale of wind pummeled against him, ruffling his feathers erratically and sending the Healer tumbling downward steeply toward the rocky base of the mountain.  Reflexively, his wings beat furiously to correct his momentum, but his senses were muddled by the unexpected plummet and for several moments he had no idea how close he was to his destination. Laboring to keep his place, he searched the grayish-white tempest below hoping to reorient himself with some marker of landscape, but only obscurity met his viridian gaze.  The wind intensified, as if intent upon evicting him from the sky, and the effort required to remain aloft quickly became too great.

Descending cautiously, Evondair listened with dread as the sounds of tramping boots and creaking armaments became audible over the howl of the storm.  A strident horn call from the direction of Lyyshara indicated the Fey of the Light were aware of the Reviled crossing into their realm and an echo of discordant bugles returned.  Beating his wings powerfully in search of a landing place, Evondair’s gaze pierced the blustering whiteout until he suddenly saw granite only inches below him and mere seconds before he would have crashed into the rocky outcropping.  His boots slid upon the frozen, snow-covered ledge, sending a shower of rocks tumbling downward as he sought purchase; then he folded his wings and crouched down, grasping the rock beneath his feet with his hands to steady himself against the wind. Then he stared downward into the squall and waited.

Echoes of voices whipped round him like autumn leaves spiraling upon the wind, though they were disjointed and unintelligible. A terrifying growl of united Dlalth voices bolstering for battle ascended from the swirling vagueness below and, from the distance, the scattered sounds of a lyrical intonation broken by the ferocity of the storm drifted on the air. Evondair recognized the Celebrae petition recited by all Fey of the Light before entering into dangerous situations and, without hesitation, he repeated it inwardly.

Vrynnoth chae Luxonyth guildynn, braechanyth Luxonythchaera vornae tywylucht.

May the Light that guides vary not and cast its brightness over this darkness. 

Out of the swirling shadows of snow and nighttide, a voice unexpectedly filled his mind so piercing it caused him to flinch backward and shake his head.

May it guide indeed, Healer.”

*******

Breaking into the Light relates the inspiration of Hope and the power of forgiveness through a tale that is brutally beautiful.

The Reviled are the enemy; merciless, untrustworthy.  They embody brutality and devastation.  The Fey of the Light have lived with these truths for millennia.  Daring to think otherwise invites tragedy.

Gairynzvl was a Reviled Fey and lived the riotous life of all Dark Ones; yet now he is rescuing younglings from the darkness.  The actions taken by him and his band of Liberators are fulfilling Ancient Prophecies and proving long-accepted beliefs to be inaccurate. Those who have lived in the Light all their lives, who enjoyed the luxuries of abundance, are suddenly faced with unavoidable questions.

How is Peace achieved?  Can Light unite with Darkness?

Will the Fey of the Light sacrifice everything to achieve that which seems impossible or will they turn their heads and ignore the shadows weeping all around them?

You can find the Dark Fey Trilogy on Amazon/Kindle here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075SDP8VL

Discover more about Dark Fey at its official website: https://allthingsdarkfey.wixsite.com/feyandmusings

*******

Meet the Author: Cynthia Morgan

Cynthia A. Morgan is an award-winning author; columnist for the national magazine Fresh LifeStyle, and a member of the Poetry Society of America and Artists for Peace. Creator of the mythical realm of Jyndari and author of the epic fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, Morgan’s powerful story relates how the power of Hope, Acceptance and Forgiveness can change the world, when Positive Action is taken to create change. The only way to achieve Peace is to become Peace.

Morgan is also the author of the popular blog Booknvolume where her over 17K followers are regularly treated to Morgan’s own brand of poetry, English Sonnets, musings about life, personal recipes, photography, book reviews and more.

Some of her other interests includes a deep love for animals and the environment. She is passionate about music and theatre; is frequently heard laughing; and finds the mysteries of ancient times, spirituality, and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the cosmos intriguing. Morgan Believes in the power of Love, Hope and Forgiveness, all of which is reflected in her lyrically elegant writing style.

You can find Morgan through social media in the following places:

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review (1) 

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review (2)  

Blog / website: booknvolume.com
All Things Dark Fey Website 
Amazon Author Page
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
GoodReads
Creativia Author Page 

Sunday Blog Share: The Fire Inside

Mike Allegra did it again. He had me laughing until my sides hurt. Happy Sunday.

The Fire Inside

by Mike Allegra

Transitioning back to my house husband role was easier than expected.

The new high-tech washing machine that Ellen bought turned out to be cooperative and friendly. It even sings a little song at the end of each load, which is far more pleasant than the roaring, meaty farts offered up by the dryer.

I cleaned out the refrigerator — throwing away the squishy things that were supposed to be crisp and the crispy things that were supposed to be squishy.

And I reworked Ellen’s filing system; that is to say I “filed” and created a “system.”

After removing the old and unneeded documents from these files, I found myself with a stack of paper about four inches high.

My son, Alex, stopped me on my way to the shredder. “Don’t shred them,” he scolded. “Burn ’em!” This idea seemed slightly psychotic, but…

(Keep Reading: The Fire Inside)

 

World-building: From Imagination to Reality – Guest Post by, Diana Peach…

For those fans and writers of speculative fiction – here’s another dive into worldbuilding! I had the great pleasure of guest posting on The Story Reading Ape’s blog earlier this month. If you missed the post and are all broken up about it (ha ha) here’s Part II. 😀

(Some of you are so lovely to leave comments at both sites. Please, no need, unless not doing so gives you hives; your time is way too precious. I do check both and reply at both. Hugs.)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

World-building is an important part of any writer’s preparation, and the speculative genres offer some wildly fun opportunities. There are no boundaries. The imagination is unleashed. The setting of the story can be as “fantastic” as the writer desires.

But fantastic also has to be relatable and plausible.

Relatability is a must when it comes to the main character(s). If a reader can’t relate on some emotional level to the protagonist, a book is going to struggle. Why do I mention this with world-building? Because in speculative fiction some or all of the characters may not be human.

There are no limits to alien design from physical features to intelligence to social and cultural norms, and writers can stretch those limits to create some unusual encounters and conflicts. Aliens that completely baffle us are fine, but rarely are they protagonist(s). The main character(s) needs to possess some “human” emotional content…

View original post 577 more words

A BOOK LOVER’S TAG

images from pixabay

I’ve returned after a 10-day, 30k-word break. So much catching up to do, but rested and ready.

Now… who doesn’t Love Books?

Annika Perry tagged all her followers with the Book Lover’s Tag, and well… I couldn’t resist. I tag you all too, but if you aren’t inclined to take me up on it, please leave your favorite best-ever book in the comments and a quick reason why you love, love, love it. I’ll put them all in a long list in a future post.

On to the questions:

1.Do you have a specific place for reading?

Nope. I’ll read anywhere, and I’m never without a book. Long plane rides or layovers, waiting for an oil change, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, sitting in a canoe and fishing, all are great places to read. Most of my reading, though, happens in bed before zonking out. I prop my eyes open with toothpicks to get to the end of the chapter and pay the price in the morning.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Um… neither. I’m a dog-earer. I love my books to pieces, literally. They’re like a favorite stuffed animal from childhood that’s dragged everywhere by an arm, dropped in lakes, and taken on camping trips. Now, if I’m borrowing a book, it’s a random piece of paper. I’m not organized enough to use bookmarks, though I think they’re pretty.

3. Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

Yes. There are hot sauce, grease, and coffee stains in my books. I know! Terrible! Disgraceful! I open the pages and crumbs fall out.

4. Music or TV whilst reading.

Usually neither, though I can tune both out if I need to. With a really good book, the house could be on fire and I wouldn’t notice.

5. One book at a time or several?

I’m definitely monogamous. One love at a time or I might get confused, and that always ends poorly. Plus, it’s way too much drama. 🙂

6. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Sort of the same as number 1, but I’ll answer “home” since I’m a hermit.

7. Read out loud or silently?

I often read poetry aloud because I like the taste and sound of the words. Recently, I read parts of a book in my Yankee version of an Irish accent. The “voice” of the narrator/character was so wonderful, I couldn’t resist. I’ll review that book soon. That said, 99% of my reading is silent.

8. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I read every single word. Skip pages? Goodness no. I might miss something important.

9. Break the spine or keep it like new.

If the spine breaks, it breaks. I wouldn’t do it on purpose. My book love isn’t intentionally abusive!

10. Do you write in books?

Of course! The better the book, the more I write in it. I underline and highlight phrases, sentences, and passages that I think are masterful. You know how they say that reading makes one a better writer? It’s true. Some books are like master-classes and I’m enthralled, wanting to capture the genius. It’s the one of the things I don’t like about ebooks, I can’t mark them all up.

11. What books are you reading now? 

I’m reading The Red Queen’s War series by Mark Lawrence, an amazing fantasy author who also penned The Broken Empire Series. His books definitely are pen and highlighter worthy. I like reading amazing authors while I’m writing. They inspire me.

 

 

12. What is your childhood favorite book?

As a little girl, it would have to be E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. It was the first book to make me cry, and that emotional release felt so good, I immediately read it again so I could cry again.  I think it contributed to my decision 35 years later to become a grief counselor.

My favorite book(s) as a young teenager was Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which kicked off a fanatical love of reading. I think it contributed to my decision 35 years later to become a fantasy writer. Aren’t books amazing?

13. What is your all-time favorite book?

Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. His writing speaks to my heart and soul. I’d be a stalker if he was still alive.

That’s it! You’re all tagged and remember to leave your answer to Question 13 in the comments with your reason why.