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Woodsman

The Magic Wand

The Magic Wand

He wielded the ax like a side-show magician waving his wand. Pieces of the dried oak log flew apart almost before the razor-sharp blade made contact. A single log, a foot in diameter, would be turned into thumb-sized kindling under the spell of the woodsman.

Gnarled hands gripped the hickory handle like a mother holding a baby. Whipcord arms worked effortlessly as they repeated the motion: left hand set the log, right hand dropped the ax, left hand set a piece, right hand dropped the ax. As the pieces became smaller, the left hand never left the wood. It would simply relax long enough for the ax to strike and then quickly catch both pieces before they fell to the ground.

How could anyone who looked so frail make cutting wood look so easy? Born before natural gas or fuel oil furnaces, he cut wood to heat his mother’s home and provide fuel the wood stove where she made biscuits and gravy. Thousands of strokes with that ax, made over a lifetime, honed timing and strength into the perfect harmony of tool and man.

Try as I might, duplication of his effortless precision is beyond my grasp. Perhaps, it was magic after all…

 
 

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View of the Garden

Some of My Daylillies starting to bloom!

Some of my daylillies in bloom!

I have not blogged about one of my other passions, gardening. I can’t say why. It just didn’t seem to be right for this blog. Well, I’ve changed my mind.

Do you believe in magic? If you answered no, I want you to go outside and take a walk in nature. If you still don’t see it, find a gardener and ask them to show you. You see, magic is everywhere in nature. As a fantasy writer, if I need inspiration, I look outside and watch the daylillies change from bare ground, to little green spikes, to fountains of green leaves, to rockets of stalks that explode into glorious colorful displays. The idea of fireworks had to come from man’s trying to copy the splendor of daylillies growing to full bloom.

These were "throw aways" from the hybridizer.

These were “Throw aways” from the hybridizer.

Here are a couple of my favorites that were actually throw away plants from a local hybridizer. The colors and petal structure are normal for these plants. Throw aways, Really? Yes.

Still another "Throw away"!

Still another “Throw away”!

Do you want to be a better artist? Paint detailed gardens. The variety of textures created by the foliage will force you to perfect every type of brush stroke there is. When I designed my gardens, I spent more time thinking about texture than I did about colors. The reason is that most plants only produce blooms for a short time. The foliage however, is there all season. Even the textures of a hosta glade vary as each cultivar has unique shape and growth habit.

Textures of the foliage are overseen by the Watcher!

Textures of the foliage are overseen by the Watcher!

Then there is the magic of water. Moving water is best but any water holds magic. The sound of water splashing over boulders that are older than time creates a vibration within one’s body that is both soothing and invigorating. Cool water flowing over sun-warmed rock. Softly sliding over hard surfaces, the clear fluid continues to move toward the center, wherever that might be.

Mystic Waterfall (My Backyard)

Mystic Waterfall
(My Backyard)

And lastly, a sure-fire cure for writer’s block. Find a well-textured garden and get down on your hands and knees. Better still, on your belly. Get your eyes down as low as possible. Crawl forward until you are right at the edge of the foliage. Look into it and imagine you are a rabbit or chipmunk. What adventures await you as you enter into the jungle before you? What dangers lurk beyond the first few leaves. Get closer. Try to move through the leaves to the next layer. How does the view change? How does this affect you? Now you see how this change of perspective can stimulate the imagination and open up a blocked mind to allow the muse a chance to work again.

My gardens are a source of peace, therapy, and inspiration for me. What do you use?

 

 
18 Comments

Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Garden Walks

 

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The Next Big Thing X 2

It’s the little things that we pass along to others that can mean the most. Back in October, I was tagged for the Next Big Thing. It was a pat on the back from another blogger who thinks my work is of note and wanted to hear more about. The person tagged then asked to offer up details about their current WIP. In October, I answered the questions based on my WIP novel. Amazingly, Corey M.P. tagged me again a week or so ago. As I am also working on a shorter unrelated story, I will provide some additional information on that.

Rules of The Next Big Thing:

*Use this format for your post
*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
*Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Here goes.

What is the working title of your book?
Actress and the Warlock

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s genesis was a flash writing exercise during a writer’s group meeting. The character seemed interesting and I thought that combining fantasy and western genre’s was different. Since it started as a flash, I decided to try to write the rest of it the same way. So, I set the timer and write the next section as fast as I can without editing. After the time is up I go back and clean it up a bit, though I don’t do a full edit. That will come when it is done.

What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m not up on the younger actors names so I don think I can answer this one.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Derek Nantan, a North American Marshall for the Wizard King, tries to rid a famous actress of a stalker and finds himself in the fight of his life against an old Warlock who wants to add the actress to his Oscar-winning collection.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Haven’t given this much thought as yet. I will probably pursue an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
Currently unfinished. The target date for first draft completion is March 2013. The draft sections are available In the Short Story section of my blog.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
“Tricked” by Kevin Hearne

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My brother-in law gave me a few westerns to read and always liked the western United States. For some unknown reason, when I started the original Flash, I knew it would be in New Mexico. I write fantasy and enjoyed the mechanics of the western genre. So I thought, why not try to combine the two.

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I try to mix Native American spirituality with other magic systems. It should make for some interesting story lines.

Here are some of the next big things I tagged previously:

Scott Weber because I really like your writing and I appreciate your constructive critique.

4amwriter because I thought Treasures was terrific and I want to read more of your work.

Shannon M Howell because a short first draft piece she posted and said would not make her final MS was better than my third revision. 🙂

Robin Coyle Because if you have not found her yet, you should!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Other Strangeness

 

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Me watching you watching me

Dear Friends and Acquaintances,

Yesterday, it struck me again how much information is available on the internet. What started out as a two-minute search for the properties of Bloodstone, turned into a three-hour session that covered topics ranging from geology to modern magic to Wicca to various other organized religions to the US Bill of Rights to personal information on a friend of mine. I found the Bloodstone information I was looking for in the first two minutes, but I just could not help myself. One question led to others. It is so easy to get lost in the internet and the nearly limitless amount of information house there. So, needless to say I fell farther behind on my FAD challenge word count.

Then, I jumped on the blogosphere, read a few posts, and made some comments. As I was commenting on a post, it occurred to me, again, how much personal information we share with others without giving it much thought. We talk about ourselves, our families, and our lifestyles. What we like to eat, to drink, where we like to go and things we like to do. Now, I am no longer as paranoid as I used to be in my younger days. I don’t post information about others without their expressed permission. However, there is still a little voice that tells me to pay attention to what goes on around me. People are watching what I say and do. 😐  Dun, dun, duuun!

Since I am giving out so much information on myself, I thought it would be a good idea to keep track of who it is I’m giving this information to. WordPress, to my knowledge, has not seen fit to provide who stops by to view my posts so, I must take matters into my own hands. I decided to create a clone. The clone would need a disguise to ensure no one would know it is me. It cannot sleep and should be easy to care for.

For reasons which I will not get into in this public medium, I have a close relationship to the Rabbit/Hare. Yes, I know they are very different. I am a biologist for crying out loud. However, many people think they are the same thing and I am not inclined to take the time to explain it every time the question comes up. That’s what the internet is for.  🙂 But I digress. I looked through 80,000 images and found a self-portrait which now resides at the top of my blog site.

So, beginning now, I will always be here, watching you watching me!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Musings and Odd Thoughts

 

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