Awesome Friend, Cindy Brown and Her “Sunshine Award.” A WooHoo Week!

It’s been one of those weeks when everything that could go wrong with technology in our house is going wrong.  Well not everything, just the computers. I am not mobile anymore as now my laptop has to be plugged into the router in order to get online.  How in the heck did we manage before this?  I actually had to go to the bank in person, to check my balance yesterday because we couldn’t access the internet.  It was frustrating.  I can no longer lay in bed and tweet on my Iphone.  Okay, okay, I know…I have become smitten with the easy access of WiFi.   Last week was a great week compared to this one.  Lots of little problems cropping up, like the dream I had about ants running amuck in my house. Even discovered that my GRE score is not acceptable for the Education department here at YHC in order to substitute it for the GACE testing for teachers.  It was 1 point shy.  😦  Oh the joys of standardized testing.  I really do not believe that I am a stupid person, but these tests are whittling away at my ego.
ON a much brighter note,  I was pleasantly surprised last Wednesday when Kev and I got back home after being out on our little island in the middle of Lake Chatuge camping with critters and the stars, to come back to the cyber world and find a nice note from Cindy Brown (Everyday Underwear)  telling me she was giving me an award on her WooHoo Wednesday blog.  It touched my soul to be noticed by such gifted and wonderful writers last week.
As a recipient for the Sunshine Award, I have to answer the following questions:
Favorite number: “Three. Don’t know why, but it just is.”  This is Cindy’s words, and I left it as is, because for some reason it’s mine too.  Any combination of 3 like 33 or 333 I just find fascinating.
Favorite Non-alcoholic drink: Cold Southern Ice Tea.  I make a fresh pot everyday.
Facebook or Twitter: I started out Facebook, but have to say Twitter is growing on me.
My Passion: I am always a little leery about saying “I have a passion” for anything.  It’s almost like saying I love ice cream (which I do), I love sports, I love camping, I have a passion for the 80s type music, I have a passion for cooking, I have a passion for tattoos.   There is conflict in emotion with the word.  So I’d rather say I delve into writing with lost abandonment,  garden like there is no tomorrow, draw with feeling and quilt with a reserve of energy.
Favorite pattern: The old fashion quilt ones that nobody does anymore.
Favorite Day of the Week: Wednesday.  It’s half-way.
Favorite Flower: I love Impatiens, especially the hot pink ones.
Now I must nominate 10 fellow bloggers to be the next Sunshine recipients:
Some great fellow Triberr members and bloggers.  Give them a visit and a shout “Hello.”  Hope all have a great week!  Me…I shall be tied to the router.

Baobhan Sith – Babda and her Ravens

Finding bad guys for my storyline proved to be daunting.  Babda and her Raven clan are an important part of Legends of Green Isle, and was based in part on the Baobhan Sith.  In the Scottish/Irish lore the Baobhan Sith were evil spirits which took the form of hooded crows, or sometimes would appear to their victims as young girls with long green dresses which hid their deer hooves, luring young men in order to suck their blood.  These fairy vampires are dangerous, and should be avoided at all cost.

In the series, the Raven Queen and her clan hunt the main characters, and even confront them in a small battle.  There is hint that Keltrain, the ageless wizard and Babda are arch enemies, and have confronted each other before.  More on this will be developed in a later book.

At the beginning of Book One “The Forgotten Spell”, Matt sees the ravens silently sitting on the rooftop of Stewart Manor, watching him and his little brother.  Instinctively, they bother him, and rightly so, for in Green Isle legends, Babda and her Raven clan, visited the battlefield of the Formorians and Uthal’s (See Character’s Page) army, and feasted on the bodies of the dead Formorian people.

In Book Two “The Mirror Sliver”, the reader will glimpse more of their vampire attributes, as one of the main character has an unlucky encounter with Babda, their queen.

History as a Writing Tool.

My son Chase and his girlfriend, Elizabeth, helping with the tree last Christmas.

Going back to school in my mid forties was a challenge.  Maintaining a business and working a 40 hour plus week, plus full time classes seemed like an up hill battle, but I was determined to do it.  As a history major, there is a load of reading and paper writing the accompanies your classes.  Along with research and outlines, you must learn to write with an eye towards the analytical and argumentative, especially as a student aimed at obtaining a PhD.  In accordance with the required dressing of a CV Resume, you also strive to submit articles to history periodicals and journals, as well as presenting papers at history conferences.  Writing and research become your second life, next to the life as a student.

It was during the first semester that I was also finishing up Book One of my series.

I can honestly say that going back and re-reading the manuscript before I came back to school made me ill.  My writing pretty much sucked.  I used to be very eloquent and artful with my words back in youthful days when I wrote alot.  But when you do not use your talent, it grows tarnished.  History became my writing tool as I delved back into school work and writing papers.

I was blessed to find myself amidst three wonder History professors who helped me shine off the dullness.  Dr. Thomas Stearns, Dr. Natalia Starostina and Dr. Matthew Byron here at Young Harris College are very kind to their pupils, but they push for excellance, in a polite, but demanding way and make you believe its for your own good.  It is the push that has helped me pick up the pace in polishing my skill.   I can certainly tell a difference in my writing.

It took me a semester to go back over Book One to re-create the chapters.  I had my boyfriend review it, as well as my son who was in boot camp down in Ft. Benning, Georgia. (I sent him a couple of Chapters at a time with his letters.)  He is a much better writer than I, and if it passed his examination, then I know I succeeded in getting to where it needed to be for publication.

While teaching History is my career objective, writing is my passion.  With preparing History papers and articles, it is the tool I need to help bring out the skill I once possessed.

Me and my wonderful boyfriend, Kevin

Book Two is shaping up pretty well.  I was very excited as I did some additional research on the Formorian connection in the book to find some other interesting things as I studied the theory of Atlantis.  I ran across a book by Frank Joseph called “The Atlantis Encyclopedia.”  What was fascinating to me was some other connections I discovered.

During last fall’s semester, I took Dr. Stearn’s History of Middle East Studies.  My research paper for the class was centered on the Berber people of Morocco.  I do not know why they peaked my interest, but they just did.  In Joseph’s book, I found a section in the “As” that along with the theory of Atlantis being a continent or land just beyond Spain and North Africa, the Berber people hold a tradition that they are descentants of the people who were refuged from Atlantis.  It excited me because this interest in the Berber people seemed to come from nowhere, but now I believe it came from a higher power. It is worth researching further.
I am amazed at all the connections I am finding between my writings and history.  Things which at first seemed to have no connection in my mind are now coming together as I study deeper into the history of our world.  History has become not only a writing tool, but has opened me for a doorway into a much higher thinking of who I am and my place in this lifetime.  Going past the trends and lessons which we are taught from childhood, I find myself seeing a much bigger picture of my place and task here during my short span of time on this planet.
Happy writing to you, and may you find your connection also.

Is writing good for your soul?

If I could, I would write everyday. It is unfortunate that life does not want to allow me that gift. If I could, I would squeeze a couple of more hours into the day just to quiet the desire of my soul, but with school, full time job, three grown kids, a boyfriend, four dogs and (I’ve lost count) cats, I am not able to pinpoint when those hours will be available. Writing is my art. I find I write best when I have been upset, or if my heart is sad. The emotion swirling like a tornado up from the essence of my being, the impressions of the discord inking the paper with feeling. Writing is an outlet, my words parallelling the disjointed life which I live. It is good for my soul. As a form of expression, it is an outlet for the damage from which my soul has traveled through, bringing forth healing.

I once had a fellow writer tell me that he admired my stories.  He commented that I wrote with heart, and that was very rare to find.  I’ve kept those words tucked away.  If I feel that I am writing to just to please the audience, I take them out and review them again, reminding myself to find the words of my heart – and my soul.  I try to encouage my children to be the same way about their art.  All art is good for the soul.  I believe our children have strayed from creativity because of so much stimuli with TV, video games, computers, etc.  Our technological world is making our next generations distant from art.  Without art, we have no beauty, no solace, no repair of injury to our souls, no magic of imagination.

Technology can make us machines, without feelings, without creative awareness, if we do not connect to our souls and feed our essence by our art.  Tolkien wrote his famous books because he felt the same way after WWI.  He saw the new weaponry, new machines used by humans against humans, saw the evil it brought.  Writing my series “Legends of Green Isle” I use the metaphor of technology replacing the soul, thereby destorying art.  Uthal, the Black Warlock is the machine, advancing on human kind, seeking to elimate all magic and magic creatures.  His spell is all powerful because it steals the life force of all, magic creatures as well as humans.  While writing my books, I wonder if that is our destiny?  Will we allow technology to consume our world, feeding off our souls, and procuring us to become slowly inhuman? Or will we stand to write, paint, sculpt, play our instruments, create for the benefit of our souls and the healing of the people of this planet?  I chose to do the last. 

The Main Characters Book One

Matt and Toby face their new home with some reservations.  Creepy and dark, Stewart Manor does not look inviting.  Hearing strange voices in the overgrown hedge maze in back of the house their first day there, seeing the figure in the portrait over the fireplace move and hearing disembodied laughing from behind the locked gate of the garden, places an even bigger question in Matt’s mind about what was going on in their home.  Little does Matt know that soon he will be embarking on a brave adventure with his new friends, Miranda, Thomas and Ned to a parallel world called Be’thasileth.  A place where all magic creatures sought refuge from the Black Warlock thousands of years ago.

Throughout the six books in this series, these characters forge a bond which will last well over sixty years, as their children and then grandchildren continued the epic adventure on Green Isle.  This friendship mimicks the bonds we create in everyday life with our friends from youth, or even adulthood.  Tackling the adventure of life, we commit ourselves to lasting bonds which enable us to conquer the problems with the aid of our companions, who support us through good and bad.  Matt will realize this at the conclusion of Book Six –  Rise of the Sword Bearer.

Scottish Goddess Beira

Beira

Delving into Celtic beliefs, there are certain characters from “Green Isle” which parallel ancient oral traditions.  Bera, who is a witch in my story, is a creation from the goddess Beira.  Beira was actually considered something along the lines of Mother Nature.  She was the mother of all gods and goddesses in Scottish beliefs.  She is similar to Gaia in Greek mythology.  In ancient Scottish myths Beira had giant sons called Fooar, which later morphed into the Formorians, or “Sea People.”  In “Legends of Green Isle,” the Formorian people were cast as ancient Atlanteans who befriended the Black Warlock.  Unlike what the Irish believed, who thought the Formorians were evil, in “Legends of Green Isle” they are scholars and people of a great and knowledged magical society.

Name Change

Sometimes as you are developing a character, you put them away for awhile until you need them within the story.  It may be months before you visit them again, and when you place them in the story, you find that perhaps the name you originally chose does not fit them anymore.

This is the case for the elf from Kille Cael, who Queen Erulisse sent to Black Isle to scout for her.  While Kethron was first chosen (the prefix and suffix meaning wind walker) his name doesn’t fit the character he is to become.  Thus he will have a name change – Nimihel, which translates “deep sadness and tears.”

Nimihel will be in Book Two – “The Mirror Sliver”