A Secret Garden

There was green everywhere. Bright, vibrant, alive. So much of my favorite color in one place calmed me instantly, like a balm on my heart and spirit. Enclosed by high crumbling coquina walls tangled with lacy ivy, and sun-bleached wooden fencing speckled with moss, the garden welcomed me, enclosing me in loving arms. Welcome Dear One. Welcome. Come in. Breathe. Heal.

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I took a deep breath, lost in wonderment and unexpected joy. How long had this place been here, hidden in plain sight just off the beaten track? How often had I passed by it and never seen it, never known it existed? Yet the timing was sheet magic. I needed this. I needed this place. The beauty. The peace. The healing. A secret garden of my very own. It was like the one in my dream from so many years ago — not a perfect match, but something in it spoke to me and I grinned at the unexpected connection to my characters revealed to me in that dream, their beautiful story, and the butterfly garden they shared.

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Everywhere I turned something unexpected caught my eye: mermaids, fairies, butterflies, orbs spread haphazard, wild and free, spinning, twirling, dancing in the gentle breeze, sheltered in the shade of ancient trees and warmed by the strong Florida sun. Colors in rich profusion sprouted up amidst the greenery, adorning the Earth most beautifully: blues, reds, bronzes, greens, purples, violets, and clear crystalline white.

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Thank you. My whisper repeated itself in my mind over and over again as I walked the uneven cobblestone pathway, finding more beauty and hidden treasures behind each twist and turn. I felt giddy, light-hearted — it was just like a scene from The Secret Garden or Harriet The Spy!  (I’ve always loved the gardens from these movies.) Benches awaited me, knowing well I’d have to return one day with a notebook and pen sometime soon, and a table lay tucked away, for the future lunch I’d bring to eat amongst the fairies.

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I called silently to the trees and flowers, to the fairies tending them, and the wonderful life-force encapsulating this tiny place: Thank you for this. You’re beautiful. Hello! I thanked them for inviting me into their domain to appreciate their lush, wild beauty. The wind tugged at me, playful and free, pulling me this way and that. Look here! Notice this! I happily obeyed — there is no resisting the lure of happy fairies, especially those dwelling in a secret garden. There was so much to see!

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Butterflies danced, fairies sang, and my heart soared.

Thank you. Thank you.

I’ll come back soon.

I promise.

 

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The Importance Of Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have always been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember my lovelies, and I still content myself with revisiting childhood characters and wonderfully impossible stories whenever I get the chance. From the traditional Disney films, to old classic shows I watched as a child (Grimm’s Classic Fairy Tales!) to reinterpretations both in movie and book format, I just love the magic and simplistic beauty of a well-told fairy tale. The stories seem so cozy, like a blanket I can cuddle with whenever life gets to be too much.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

They tend to be intimate, in the sense that there aren’t a cavalcade of characters bustling in and out, but a select few that the audience is asked to bond with. And so the story is made that much stronger, when the characters ache, we ache, when they rejoice, we do. This links characters and readers together so strongly that their stories become a part of who we are and how we define ourselves.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Their setting can vary from a beautiful palace, to a secluded forest, or the ocean depths, but always there is a separateness, a sense of loneliness that beckons you in and makes you feel like you are an integral part of the tale itself, as though if you didn’t hear the ending, the characters would remain lost and broken forever. You make the story happen.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

The plots are magical, in ways that force you to put the dreariness of everyday life aside and believe – even if for only a moment — that magic and hope really do exist. But too often these stories are overlooked and considered childish because of their perceived unrealistic qualities. We’re told they hold impossible nonsense and that there are some dreams too big to come true, some stories too much to hope for.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

In the end we’re told these characters aren’t real, they aren’t as frail and human as others, and therefore their lessons are less important. But I don’t think there are stories more apt to show the beauty, truth, and depth of humanity than the tale of a mermaid who dreams about having an immortal soul, or a beauty that can see past disfigurement to acknowledge true love. These are truly the stories to admire. These are the stories that live forever.

*Originally posted on 9/30/2014

Of Dreams And Nightmares

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Inspiration can come in many forms my lovelies and it varies for each writer and each story they set out to tell. It can be a snippet of a poem, a lyric from a song, or the way a color brightens in the morning light that sets our minds buzzing with insatiable curiosity. For me it’s usually music that strikes a chord, but quite a few of my plotlines have come to me in dreams and nightmares.

Some are beautiful and sad, with brilliant colors and emotions so strong I can still taste them after I wake. But others are so dark and frightening they leave me paralyzed for days after, too afraid to fully comprehend what I’ve seen, but unwilling to forget the story I’ve been told. One dream stands out vividly, and I think always will, with its pain, horror, and unimaginable sadness and unthinkable monsters — the likes of which, I’d never come across before. It pulled me in and refused to let me go, even when I woke up multiple times gasping for breath, I only had seconds before I fell back asleep and the story picked right back up where I left it.

There were people I knew in this dream and some places I recognized (markers for characters and settings for the novel, i.e. my best friend was the characters best friend, my love hers etc.) and it was so real. Every moment felt as though it could be my last. There were brief moments of hope followed by crushing pain and always the need to stay alive…to just stay alive no matter what. It was me, but in so many ways it wasn’t, and when I finally woke I knew exactly whose story it was. The character and her story frightened me, intrigued me…and inspired me. I have many WIP’s and planned future stories that happily take up my time and thoughts, but this one is never far from my mind. I hear it’s pain in music and see it in colors that captivate me, and occasionally when, I’m lucky I dream of it again, though it’s never the same dream.

As much as it scared me, I understand now how incredibly helpful that first dream was, it made me understand…it forced me to see things I didn’t want to see. And now I find myself longing to dream it again, to see it as vividly as I did years ago, as it’s faded a bit with time, and there are certain things I don’t remember as clearly. But that is the way of dreams and of inspiration, it strikes white-hot for only a moment before slowly turning into a slightly blurry, haunting notion that tickles your mind and leaves you scrabbling to catch a wisp of it before it disappears forever.

What inspires you my lovelies? Has it ever been a dream or a nightmare?

*Originally posted on 2/26/2014 in response to a Daily Prompt.

Wishful Dreams

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What dream does your heart wish for tonight my lovelies? What fantastical tale will you live as you rest secure beneath starry skies and bright moonlight? Will there be romance? Or danger? Daring battles or deep friendship? Will a lesson be learned or a truth be known?

You decide. You choose.

Make your wish my lovelies, hold it tight, and dream it into reality.

<3.

Distant Travels

Tonight I fancy a meditative stroll under the endless starlit sky in the company of the wise and elegant Elves of Middle Earth — by way of the rolling green Shire of course. With a stop for a proper pint at the Prancing Pony before heading home to be sure. 😀

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Where would you visit if you could my lovelies?

A Rose Bound

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

A Rose Bound

In the labyrinth there’s a castle,

where a bed of roses lie,

thick and bright and color-strewn,

arching turrets to the sky.

***

I see you there, in my sleeping mind,

a shadow in the brightest light,

cloaked in crimson, rich as blood,

beckoning me in from coming night.

***

Come to me, come to me,

your voice echoes low on the wind,

come to me, come to  me,

to our story now, we must tend.

***

Come to me, run to me,

gasping, my heart begins to pound,

come to me, find love with me,

become the rose to which I’m bound.

The Importance Of Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have always been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember my lovelies, and I still content myself with revisiting childhood characters and wonderfully impossible stories whenever I get the chance. From the traditional Disney films, to old classic shows I watched as a child (Grimm’s Classic Fairy Tales!) to reinterpretations both in movie and book format, I just love the magic and simplistic beauty of a well-told fairy tale. The stories seem so cozy, like a blanket I can cuddle with whenever life gets to be too much.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

They tend to be intimate, in the sense that there aren’t a cavalcade of characters bustling in and out, but a select few that the audience is asked to bond with. And so the story is made that much stronger, when the characters ache, we ache, when they rejoice, we do. This links characters and readers together so strongly that their stories become a part of who we are and how we define ourselves.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Their setting can vary from a beautiful palace, to a secluded forest, or the ocean depths, but always there is a separateness, a sense of loneliness that beckons you in and makes you feel like you are an integral part of the tale itself, as though if you didn’t hear the ending, the characters would remain lost and broken forever. You make the story happen.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

The plots are magical, in ways that force you to put the dreariness of everyday life aside and believe – even if for only a moment — that magic and hope really do exist. But too often these stories are overlooked and considered childish because of their perceived unrealistic qualities. We’re told they hold impossible nonsense and that there are some dreams too big to come true, some stories too much to hope for.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

In the end we’re told these characters aren’t real, they aren’t as frail and human as others, and therefore their lessons are less important. But I don’t think there are stories more apt to show the beauty, truth, and depth of humanity than the tale of a mermaid who dreams about having an immortal soul, or a beauty that can see past disfigurement to acknowledge true love. These are truly the stories to admire. These are the stories that live forever.

Rubies and Gold

Mask Image From Google

Mask Image From Google

Silken dresses twirled in circles, gleaming black and gold. Glittering suits of ancient armor stood guard and tables laden with untouched food enclosed the hall while laughter and music filled the ballroom — decorated just for this occasion. The guests were dressed in their finest, from wispy silken wraps and downy velvets to ornate gold and silver masks. Peacocks and lions, wolves and butterflies spun in circles; their faces there but in a moment nowhere to be seen.

No words were spoken; partners conversed through the flashing of eyes, suggestive smiles, and tender touches. All were joyous, the time had come and soon she would arrive. They had waited for her so long, too long said most. But all was to be well now, their future secure.

As the clock struck midnight the Lord of the castle made his way through the crowd and up onto the raised dais, holding out his hand to help the young women who stood beside him. Her gleaming chestnut hair shone in the candlelight as it cascaded down her back, interlaced here and there with golden clasps and ruby pins. She was a vision. Soft alabaster skin glowed luminously against the blood-red of her gown and the deep shine of her dark hair.

The clock struck midnight for the last time and applause rung out through the hall. The thunder echoed off every wall, every crevice until it consumed the ears of the guests. But nothing echoed louder than that of the screams.

Dreaming Of Ashes

Here’s a little snippet from one of my WIP’s called Ashes, (I call this scene Mother). I hope you enjoy! 😀

It’s been over twenty years and I still dream about her nearly every night. Her copper eyes – my eyes –twinkle back at me from an unearthly lovely face framed by dark, flowing black hair as she laughs –a throaty, feminine sound – at something I cannot see or do not remember. The crown of blue ink stands out vividly against her pale brow, and I long to trace those entwined lines with my fingertips again, feeling the slight ridge where marked skin meets flawless porcelain. Her face is as familiar to me now as it was then; other details of that life long ago have faded, but not this. Often I find her near our home, standing amid the stark beauty of the reddish-brown desert with the heat of the sun bearing down upon us both as we search each other’s faces for traces of the passage of time. There are other faces in these dreams as well – dark, blurry images – that leave me with a tingling sensation of home and something lost, but always I reach for her.

At times she evades me and hides in the darkness of the place I cannot enter, a place she won’t let me near. The darkness is off-limits, a place out-of-bounds and forbidden, even here in my own dreams. Don’t…don’t look back.

Some nights she weeps there in the darkness and for a brief moment I can see her stretched over-top a pile of stones where she slumps into herself, broken and sobbing, asking me where I’ve been, why I’ve not come to find her yet. Help me…help me Ryzan, she begs before she begins screaming, those awful, tearing screams that haunt me and leave me shaken and drained for days afterward. Her piercing voice shifts from agonizing howls of pain, to gorge-rising screams of fear, before finally becoming the guttural shrieks of rage, so filled with hatred that I’m suddenly thrust back, forced from her presence as though shoved by a full-blooded vampyre.

From these dreams, I always awake trembling and reaching for her, fearing that once again I am lost and knowing that for a moment, she had been near enough to grasp. Thankfully these dreams are few, and most nights I merely see her smiling face haloed by the buttery, yellow light of the desert sun – the face of my memory – and I know. She is out there still, waiting for me to find her.

One day I will.

Image From GoogleAll Rights Belong To The Artist

Image From Google
All Rights Belong To The Artist

The Stuff Of Dreams…And Nightmares

Welcome to Writing and Writing Advice Week!

Welcome to Writing and Writing Advice Week!

Inspiration can come in many forms and varies for each writer and each story they set out to tell. It can be a snippet of a poem, a lyric from a song, or the way a color brightens in the morning light that sets our minds buzzing with insatiable curiosity. For me it’s usually music that strikes a chord, but quite a few of my plotlines have come to me in dreams and nightmares.

Some are beautiful and sad, with brilliant colors and emotions so strong I can still taste them after I wake. But others are so dark and frightening they leave me paralyzed for days after, too afraid to fully comprehend what I’ve seen, but unwilling to forget the story I’ve been told. One dream stands out vividly, and I think always will, with its pain, horror, and unimaginable sadness and unthinkable monsters — the likes of which, I’d never come across before. It pulled me in and refused to let me go, even when I woke up multiple times gasping for breath, I only had seconds before I fell back asleep and the story picked right back up where I left it.

There were people I knew in this dream and some places I recognized (markers for characters and settings for the novel, ie my best friend was the characters best friend, my love hers etc) and it was so real. Every moment felt as though it could be my last. There were brief moments of hope followed by crushing pain and always the need to stay alive…to just stay alive no matter what. It was me, but in so many ways it wasn’t, and when I finally woke I knew exactly whose story it was. The character and her story frightened me, intrigued me…and inspired me. I have many WIP’s and planned future stories that happily take up my time and thoughts, but this one is never far from my mind. I hear it’s pain in music and see it in colors that captivate me, and occasionally when, I’m lucky I dream of it again, though it’s never the same dream.

As much as it scared me, I understand now how incredibly helpful that first dream was, it made me understand…it forced me to see things I didn’t want to see. And now I find myself longing to dream it again, to see it as vividly as I did years ago, as it’s faded a bit with time, and there are certain things I don’t remember as clearly. But that is the way of dreams and of inspiration, it strikes white-hot for only a moment before slowly turning into a slightly blurry, haunting notion that tickles your mind and leaves you scrabbling to catch a wisp of it before it disappears forever.

What inspires you my lovelies? Has it ever been a dream or a nightmare?http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/daily-prompt-sweet-dreams/