I was recently interviewed by David from the TOO FULL TO WRITE blog. Check it out!
quote-awakening June 13, 2016
Every closure is an awakening,
and every awakening settles something.
~John Dewey (Art as Experience)
15K FOLLOWERS! LET’S CELEBRATE with a gift for you! October 29, 2015
In honour of the 15,000th follower on my blog,
From now until October 30th, 2015- you’re invited to download a copy of
Grace Awakening Dreams and Power at 80% off!
For $1 you can own 155,000 words of adventure, romance, and myth!
WHAT A DEAL!
enter coupon code QA28X
and it’s yours with my compliments.
FIFTEEN THOUSAND FOLLOWERS!
I didn’t imagine that when I started this blog 5 years ago!
Thanks Cat, for turning over all the zeroes!
poem- magique April 12, 2015
Today’s prompt from napowrimo.net:
Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.
Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.
Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!
I wrote about a magical place. Here’s the version edited as per instructions:
what were windows,
Rivière de Sorgue bubbles
Musée de Petrarque stands stately
tiny secluded valley
the pool where
river is birthed
A hole I could hold in my hands.
the poet still walks.
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Here is this beautiful place, a site of a novel (theoretically in progress, though actually resting, like dough) from our visit in 2011. I dream of returning there to stay and work on this project when the trees are all leafed. The arch is behind the Musee, a modern-ish town is directly behind the limestone wall/cliff. I’m standing on the path to the fontaine (the river source). There is another photo from this walk on the cover of my poetry chapbook 2011.
Here is the first version (I couldn’t do it in a paragraph form, despite myself!) I think it could make a fine poem itself:
Through the arch and back through time
the long-abandoned château des Evêques de Cavaillon, XIV
rocks crumbling from what were windows, vacant eyes looking down to where
The Sorgue bubbles by, twisting this way, then that.
Musée de Petrarque stands stately amid garden and tall stretched poplars.
We walk along the ancient path beneath the limestone cliffs,
This tiny secluded valley, until we reach the pool where the river is birthed
from a hole I could hold in my hands.
You can feel the magic here; the poet still walks at
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Which version do you prefer? The ‘brevity is an art’ version or the ‘extended version’?
I expect WordPress to link to a complete blog post about our visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse below (entitled Magic Fontaine); you may be interested in reading that post, as well.
Teacher moment: Do you know who Francesco Petrarch/Petrarque/Petrarca is? He was the father of humanism. He coined the term “The Dark Ages.” He traveled around Europe rescuing ancient Greek and Roman texts; at his death, he had the largest library in Christendom. He is called ‘the first tourist.’ He was a philosopher and scholar. Most of those things are forgotten. He is best remembered because he invented the sonnet form (specifically The Petrarchan aka Italian sonnet). For 50 years he wrote these 14 lined poems to/about Laure/Laura (deNoves) de Sade, a married woman who died, likely of bubonic plague, in 1348. He met her the first time April 6, 1327 in Avignon at Ste Claire Convent and his adoring sonnets in praise of her remain with us today. They are called Canzoniere. (Somewhere on this blog you’ll find one-#61- that I’ve translated from the Italian, likely also linked below). He was a man who knew he was making contributions to history. He expected to be remembered. I have a little crush on him, as in my Grace Awakening series, the musical young man, Ben, was Petrarch in a past life…)
So, whatcha writin’ in that NaNoWriMo thing, anyway? July 11, 2013
In November, when I was actually on track with my NaNo writing, I had a few gems that still make me happy. This book is now with the editor (who has gone to Europe for 2 weeks, and abandoned me!) Thought I’d share this with you, in the hopes that it will inspire today’s Camp NaNo efforts to get more than 500 words a day, which is all I’ve been managing so far! (Arg). Enjoy.
Thought you might like to see what’s coming along. Ben is now at University of Calgary with his friends Paul and Ryan. (Craigie Hall is the music building). Grace is living in the Shuswap with her Auntie Bright. If you’re new to the story, you should know that Grace and Ben are connected telepathically. Ben is the earthly realm form of the demi-god Orpheus. He’s narrating.
I was walking down a corridor in Craigie Hall when a stab of pain crashed into my head. I staggered into the wall, and grabbed for support.
A girl rushed over to me, “Are you okay?”
I shook my head, gasping, and she guided me to a bench. I dropped my head between my knees. “I’ll be okay. It’s fine.” The pain wasn’t mine, it was reverberating from Grace. She didn’t know yet how to completely control her side of our connection. Her…
View original post 991 more words
saxy poem April 18, 2013
is very sexy.
to your soul
and grind around
in your groin.
This is culled from a bio piece about the Grace Awakening Myth character Ryan, who plays sax. You may have noticed that Ryan is a little obsessed with sex, as well.
Bio: Crystal Visions of Rainbows April 17, 2013
At the Vernon Writers’ Conference this past weekend, author Patricia Donahue encouraged participants to create biographies for our characters. She uses cards for this purpose and makes point form notes. I decided to explore ‘background info’ on the character of Christie by letting her speak for herself. This won’t be in a book, but it tells us interesting things about her, and how she got her job watching Grace. Enjoy!
My name is Crystal Visions of Rainbows.
It’s stupid. I know.
On the first day of kindergarten everyone laughed at me when they heard it. Everyone except Grace. She came and sat beside me on the circle time carpet and whispered, “That’s the prettiest name I ever heard.” I adored her from that moment, of course.
As I’m sure you can imagine, anyone who names her kid Crystal Visions of Rainbows is a hippy. Free love. Peace not war. Tie dye and joints. Yup. My mother. Her real name was Martha Grimes but she changed it to Earth Helper. Sometimes it is an absolute mortification to have parents.
She did one good thing, though.
One day, in her communing with the goddess through some psychedelic haze, she got me a job. I was assigned to watch Grace.
Watching, in this case means knowing who Grace’s friends are, how she’s feeling about things, and helping her out in simple ways. In other words, I was hired to be her best friend. I would have been her best friend, anyway. Theoretically I’m paid for this, but I don’t know if it’s in drachmas, gold, or good karma. Mother looks after the finances and any of those would be good enough currency for her. Myself, I don’t ask.
My brother Shane is lucky. Somehow he was excused from the expectation that he be a flower child. Shane (birth name, Sky Rider) is now aiming to be a corporate lawyer. Mother rolls her eyes, and is relieved when he assures her that he votes Green. It’s a small consolation.
With his abdication of the family burden to save the world, all the weight of expectation falls on me. Hence the bargain with a goddess.
When I was about twelve, I decided that my mom had been hallucinating the whole thing, and I put my foot down. No more spying on my best friend and leaving written reports in the silver bowl on the dining room table. There’d be no more of this crap about goddesses and duty and obligation.
But then the goddess showed up and introduced herself, and what could I do?
It was Friday after school. I was going to be meeting Grace in a couple of hours, so we could go see a movie. I walked in the door and there was this woman sitting in my living room.
My mother was nowhere to be seen. Shane was at some debating practice at school. I froze.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my house?”
She smiled and extended a beautifully manicured hand, “Hello. You must be Crystal Vision of Rainbows.”
I scowled. “My name is Christie.” I didn’t take her hand.
“Have a seat.” She indicated the chair opposite the one she’d been in. “We need to talk.”
I crossed my hands and stared at her. “I don’t think we do,” I’d said, and turned to leave. I was going to the neighbours to call the police. I took a step forward and froze, my right foot stuck in the air. I couldn’t move.
“Actually,” she drawled, “we will. Have a seat, child.”
Completely against my will, my body pivoted and carried me to the chair. “Hey!” I tried to fight it, but I had absolutely no control. “Who are you! What are you doing!” My hands folded themselves demurely on my lap. Inside I was thrashing, but outside I was quiet and calm. It was like being wrapped in an invisible strait jacket.
“Crystal Visions of Rainbows, I am pleased to meet you at last. I am Aphrodite.”
I gaped at her. “The Aphrodite?”
She inclined her perfectly coiffed head in assent. “The Aphrodite. Your mother told you about me, of course?”
“I read,” I grunted. Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love (beautiful, vain, used to getting what she wanted) was sitting in my living room in a perfectly tailored, spotless white suit. Her hair was twisted into a chignon. Scarlet toe nails peeped from shoes made of satin brocade. No blouse was visible; the suit jacket displayed her cleavage in suggestive, if not provocative, style.
She nodded, “Very good. You know that you have been in my employ for several years.”
I started to speak but she raised her hand, and my mouth wouldn’t open.
“Your work the past few years,” she continued, “has been exemplary, and I have been pleased with your efforts. Recently, however, I have observed that you are growing dissatisfied with our agreement. This is not acceptable. You have an obligation. You must follow through with it.”
I tried to speak, but it doesn’t really work when your jaw is clamped tightly closed.
She flicked her index finger through the air and my body returned to me. “Speak,” she said imperiously.
“She is my friend. I don’t want to spy on her. What will she say when she knows that her best friends is spying on her! She’ll hate me!”
Aphrodite nodded, “Very likely. What would you feel like if she were to die because you were not spying on her. Would that be better?” Her brows were raised in calm inquiry.
“What?” I stared at her. “That’s ridiculous.”
“It is not. Why would we have someone watching her if she were not in danger? You are a key reason she is still alive, and make no mistake, the older Grace is, the more danger she is in.”
“Really?” I squeaked.
She inclined her head. “Your job is vital to Grace’s survival. Are you enough of a friend to keep her safe, even if it is a secret that you are doing so?”
“What’s so important about her?” Grace was just a regular kid. Uncoordinated, silly, crushes on boys, not great at PE, not great at music, not great at math, but good enough at everything, and pleasant enough that she got along with everyone, kids and adults alike.
“If I told you, I would have to kill you,” Aphrodite deadpanned.
Or maybe she was serious.
At my incredulous look she laughed daintily, in a contained, fake sort of titter. “She is important to me. I would like her alive. Your job is to continue to file reports through your mother… What?” She’d intercepted my rolled eyes and tilted her head. “You don’t trust your mother?”
“My mother is a nut job.” I love her, but she is. She’s into all the quackery of tarot cards, crystal gazing, tuning into her qi, and all that. She’s fervent, and loving, and fun, but she’s a nut.
“Your mother is attuned to me. It is not your place to question your mother’s role in this. Your place is to obey, and in so doing, to keep your friend alive. Can I trust you to return to your duty?”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said quietly, looking down at my feet.
“Excellent. I look forward to your next report, Crystal Views of Rainbows.”
“My name is…”
“Yes. I know. Do you understand the power of your name? You see clearly. You divide simple facts into a spectrum of understanding, like a crystal divides colours into a spectrum, or rain divides light into a rainbow. You see beauty and create beauty. Your name is a declaration of your true self. You should not deny it.”
I sighed. “Can’t you call me Christie?”
She laughed that contained titter again. “If I remember. We are in agreement, then? You will report?”
“Very good. Farewell then.” She rose in an elegant unfolding, stepped into the centre of my living room, and (I swear to god!) vanished in a slice of light, as if she’d stepped through a curtain from a dark room into a brilliant one.
I sat staring at the spot. I was twelve, but I suddenly felt as if I’d grown up. I was doing great and important things, even if no one else knew about them. I was a hero, keeping my best friend safe. I smiled to myself and inclined onto the couch, pondering what else my mother might be right about.
(As a bonus, I can count this in CampNaNoWriMo word count. I’m in desperate need of the 1200 words! I have been seriously distracted by poetry this month).
common denominator April 9, 2013
the common denominator
in my life.
If trouble comes
What each event
has in common
In Grace Awakening Power, Bright tells Grace that she is the common denominator to the problems. It’s not that it’s Grace’s fault that bad things happen to her, but they aren’t happening to other people, they’re happening to her, and it’s something in her that brings the trouble.
I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately and wondering how to change the factors that result in the common denominator of my experience. How about you? Can you see how changing one or two things could change your experiences in a profound way?
PS. If find it very interesting that when centred, this poem took the shape of a punching bag. You punch these bags, and they whip right back at you. It seems full of profound symbolism. How do you interpret it?
living dangerously- the latest NaNo snippet November 28, 2012
Things are heating up!
“I don’t care how nice her shoes are, she’s stupid.” Tanis said, clenching her teeth as she set her cafeteria tray down on the table.
“I’m sure she doesn’t mean anything by it,” Georgia said, sliding in beside her.
Tanis’s eyes flashed. “I think she definitely means something by it.” She glared at Georgia, “You should be worried. It is your boyfriend she was just making out with.”
“Ryan is no Ben, Georgia. He was kissing her back. You understand that, don’t you.”
Paul looked at me, but I just shrugged. I wasn’t wading into the middle of this debate.
I looked around for Grace, but there was no sign of her. I sat down beside Paul.
“I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation, Tanis. Ryan isn’t stupid.”
Georgia inhaled and looked over at me. “Tell them, Ben.”
“Why do you think I know something?”
“You always seem to have an inside track. People talk around you. So? What do you know?”
I shrugged. “I have no idea what is going on with Misty.”
“It’s like she’s turned into someone else,” muttered Paul. “Some crazy nymphomaniac or something.”
I lifted a brow at that. There were certainly draughts and spells that could do that. Who would be behind it, though?
“You’re thinking love potion, perhaps?” Tanis said, rolling her eyes.
Ryan slid onto the seat next to Paul and leaned across the table to Georgia, “Now before you condemn me, hear me out.”
Tanis gave him a ‘let me scrap you off the bottom of my shoe, first’ look.
He was focused on Georgia, as if the rest of us weren’t there.
“I don’t have a thing for Misty.”
“You’ll make out with anything with breasts, you pig,” said Tanis.
Georgia scowled at her.
“Maybe even without breasts,” Paul observed nonchalantly.
Ryan scowled at him, then turned back to Georgia. “I don’t know what happened. I was just minding my own business, and suddenly there was a tongue in my mouth!”
Tanis scoffed. “Right. Like that’s possible.”
I coughed, “Actually…”
Tanis shook her head. “You saw him. He was kissing her back.”
“I couldn’t help it!” Ryan exclaimed, wide-eyed. “I did it automatically. It’s not as if I like her or anything!”
“You are so dead,” muttered Paul with a whistle.
NaNoWriMo day 28: 3006 words (November total: 44,012)
NaNoWriMo day 29: 3002 words (November total: 47,014)
This is a ridiculous pace! Working all day and writing for 4 or 5 hours off and on all evening is exhausting! Only 2986 tomorrow to finish the challenge though! Yay! 🙂
Another Orpheus visit to the Other Realm November 27, 2012
Here’s a chunk from today’s NaNoWriMo scribblings. I confess that I have lost a bit of inspiration about what’s going on in Grace Awakening Destiny, (Book 4) I’ve decided that any novel writing counts, so long as it’s new writing. I have some holes I want to patch in Grace Awakening Myth, (Book 3) and here is a patch for your entertainment:
“ARES! I shouted. “Get out here, you coward!” I stomped in a circle around a foggy clearing, trying to force it into something less ethereal.
“Shouting is so immature, Orpheus,” declared a bored feminine voice, manifesting a throne behind her.. “Aren’t you a little old for such theatrics?” She looked down her elegant nose and then added, “But of course, you’re all about the theatre, aren’t you?”
“Hera. Isn’t Ares a little old to be sending his mommy out to fight his battles?”
She smiled, but it was a dangerous thing, like the tantalizing blossom of a poisonous plant. “My son is busy right now. Unlike you, he has important things to do.”
“Your definition of important and mine are rather different. What is he doing? Is he fueling some holy war or training up Middle Eastern terrorists? Doesn’t the Earthly Realm deserve a break from war?”
“The humans don’t want a break from war, silly boy. Giving up war would mean giving up their quest for wealth and power. Humans are all about power. They all want to be in control. They get it by buying favour. They get it by killing little men, so they can crawl on their backs, to attain what the little men don’t even dare to dream about. Their glory is being trodden upon by those climbing over their pathetic lives. They’re just ants, Orpheus. And if Ares wants to play with his magnifying glass, why should anyone stop him? It’s all humans are good for, after all, entertaining us.” She shrugged, dismissing the entire human race with the slightest of movements of her shoulder.
“My wife isn’t an ant. My friends aren’t ants.” I said.
“Wife?” she laughed. “Now you imagine that she’s your wife? I seem to recall that she is the prize of whoever wins this challenge, and victory is very unlikely to be yours. She is not ever going to be your wife again.” She stepped closer to me, and stared with eyes of ice. “My son is a god of war, Orpheus,” she spat. “He is not one of your pathetic little musician friends. He is not a dancing girl like those Graces.” She curled her lips and snarled. “He is powerful, and you will not defeat him. Now go! Return to those pathetic creatures and their pathetic lives. You are not worthy to be in this realm.”
NaNoWriMo Day 27 total: 4118 (November total 41,006)
Writing furiously this evening, after a raff of medical appointments today.