Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As your very own proud Irish lass, I’m wishing you all a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day my lovelies!!!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To The Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To The Artist.

And just for fun, here’s some of my favorite Ireland themed posts from the Moonstonemaiden vault:

Daydreaming of Ireland…And Warmer Weather!

Brighid: The White Maiden

Sea Salt

The Adventures of Ratha James: Part Four

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The Adventures of Ratha James Part Four

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

The Adventures of Ratha James Part Four

The crew of the Raven’s Wing was completely comprised of women; no man was allowed to set foot aboard her, not even to keep her from sinking. Most of the women were runaways, orphans, poor, but some were ladies of English society who had given up their fine titles and jewels because of abuse or mistreatment at the hands of their fathers, husbands, brothers or others. All those who boarded the Raven’s Wing, boarded as equals; there was no discrimination of rank allowed other than that of Ratha’s officers. Traveling home was a cause of joy but it was also dangerous, should the women fall foul of their old tormentors or the crown. “Be safe, all of you. Should you need me or become separated and cannot return, give the signal and I will come.” The women nodded solemnly at her, they knew she would find them, return any one of them that was stolen from her. It had happened before, they all prayed it never happened again. “The rest of you, let’s move. St. Clare, if you would be so kind to lead the way.”

 

Amalee had only been in this chamber once but still, everything was as she remembered it: the massive, white bed, the cream colored desk and chair, the scarlet drapes, framing the view of the sea, of the ship that was now hers. It had not been hers the last time she was in this chamber, not yet anyway. It had been night then, pitch black outside, with no moon to shine down on the two runaways as they raced to their friend to beg her to join them, to leave this awful place. They had run to her for help, they had run for their lives and now six years later Ratha was back inside the chamber that St. Clare had led her to that night. She wondered if Maddie was feeling the same in her chambers next door, did she feel this confliction of joy and sadness, of hope and hopelessness, of love and fear.

They were eighteen when their fathers sent them to England to be wed. It was a heady journey across the channel, filled with anxious joy and nervous excitement. When finally, they arrived the three dressed in their finest and fixed one another’s hair as best as they could before stepping onto the dock where their future husbands waited. They had known Eric St. Clare their whole lives and had known since early childhood that he was intended for Joona. In their youth they had had even nick-named her St. Clare, a name Eric found amusing and when he met them on the dock, he embraced all three of them like sisters. But though he loved them, he had eyes only for Joona, who sparkled in a fine, pale lavender that accented her fiery red hair and softened her watchful green eyes.

Madeline’s intended was a southern gentleman who made his fortune in tea leaves, which he imported from India and China. Lord Robert Gamsley was a fair-haired grey-eyed man with an unsettling smile and a slick countenance. Maddie had dressed in her nicest blue silk and a halo had shown around her golden head as she stepped forward to greet the man who would give her his name but would take much more from her. He kissed her hand and drew her away with sweet promises of the years to come.

But it was Amalee’s husband who drew every female eye; he was breath-taking in a way that left women shaking. With his dark chestnut hair slicked back framing his strong, marble chiseled face, dark arrogant eyes and a cruel, perfect lip, Lord Derek Richards was a lion amid lambs. And what’s more, he knew it. Derek had shown like a godling in his austere blacks when Amalee approached, a hesitant smile twitching on her nervous lips. Instantly she knew he approved of her golden dress that highlighted the gold flecks in her eyes and hair and curved dangerously low over her high, full breasts. The cut of the dress had not been to Amalee’s taste but her new husband had commissioned the gown and so she tried to wear it proudly.

 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Sea Salt

Hello my lovelies, since I wrote about the importance of fairy tales earlier this week, I figured I’d post what I have so far of a Selkie fairy tale that I’m writing. It’s rough and no where near completion, but I love the images in it anyway. I hope you like it!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google.
All Rights Belong To Artist.

SEA SALT

Salt was everywhere; it swirled up from the deep, grey water beneath the boat and clung heavy to the mist that swayed to the hypnotic rhythm of the choppy sea. Coarse and pungent, it ate away at the aging metal that barely kept the craft afloat and roughened the skin and the hearts of the men who busied themselves around the deck. Abril Ansley had never seen so much salt and endless grey in her entire life. The ocean that stretched between the Orkney Islands and the long-awaited Ireland was a vast canvas of swirling grey and white, matching her melancholy perfectly. She sat quiet and ignored on the back deck of the small fishing vessel whose captain had reluctantly allowed her to travel with them, provided she stay out of the crew’s way and not cause any trouble amongst the men. Little to fear there.

The men aboard the Fey Daughter were good natured enough, friendly even after seeing that she would cause no trouble, but Abril was not in the mood to be surrounded by a group of gossipy, superstitious old men. She kept to herself, preferring to sit alone in her little spot, staring at the horizon and occasionally drifting a hand in the frozen water. The crew thought her odd, touched by the faeries, or so she had overheard once or twice, but she never corrected them. It hurt too much to think of explaining the truth; besides, they would laugh at her if they thought she was moping after some boy back in Orkney. He was just a boy, she reminded herself, a boy who lied. The truth, however sugar-coated, was still a bitter draft to swallow.

Icy wind whipped long strands of salt-encrusted hair into Abril’s damp face, smudging the tears she didn’t know had fallen down her stinging cheeks. Wiping a pale hand over her dark eyes, she cleared her throat and sat up straighter; there was no use looking back, not when Ireland loomed so close in her future. Beautiful, sacred Ireland, the home of her mother’s people; she was coming home to a place she had only ever dreamt of.

“Beggin’ your pardon Miss Abril, but we’ll be putting into port today; sometime round five I’d say, yeh might want to be gettin’ your things together.”

“Thank you Captain.”

Abril smiled up at the weather-beaten face of a rather handsome, albeit graying, man in his late forties. Gruff and tired, Captain Liam O’Conner loomed over her, tall, dark and solid; a man forged from the rigors of living a life on the sea. He had little time to waste worrying over a small thing of a lass, but something in her weary frame touched his heart. Perhaps it was her eyes, so open and brave, with the smoke of pain shifting beneath the surface. Someone had used her ill, he’d bet his cap on it but he would never ask; she didn’t seem like the talkative type and he wasn’t one to pry into business not his own.

He stood silent for a moment, expecting her to up and go below to pack what little she had brought but when she didn’t he sighed and bent down to cup her tender face with one large callused hand. “Buck-up chick, there’s no better place for healin’ that the soil of Erin, she’ll put yeh back to rights before yeh know it.”

Abril smiled wide and beautiful, easing into the mask of happiness that comforted those who were unnerved by her somber reserve. “I’m sure it will, thank you. I’ll go and pack now if you please.”

Liam stepped back to let the girl pass, not fooled by her beguiling smile for a moment but content to let her alone, “There’s a lass. Another two hours and we’ll be home.”

“Home.”

~~~~~

“Is your stuff ready for port? We’ll be docking within the next twenty minutes or so, depending on the tide.”

Abril nodded, shivering despite the added warmth of the extra sweater she’d thrown on before leaving her cabin for the last time. “Packed and ready.”

They stood in silence for a minute or two, each breathing in the tangy ocean air before Abril continued, “I think a week at sea is exactly what I needed. I wanted to thank you again Captain…for taking me along. I appreciate it more than you know…”

Liam shuffled, uncomfortable with the polite thanks, “Aye, that’s enough of that talk lass. For all that you’re a quiet thing, you’ve been good company for a group of salty old men. We’ll not be forgettin’ yeh. Now if this damnable fog would just life you’d be able to see the shore, but as that’s unlikely now I’d advise yeh goin’ and sitting in your spot and keepin’ a close eye on the water. The seals should be about here somewhere.”

A real smile lighted across Abril face like the sun glimmering upon the morning water, “Seals? Really?!”

“Aye, seals are protected in Ireland, sacred some calls ‘em but the little lechers are always tearing up my nets! But they’re always here and about this time of the year so you’re sure to see one sooner or later. Steady there Ronald! What are you two doing…?”

With the Captain’s attention occupied elsewhere Abril drifted down to the lower deck and peered over the edge of the boat expectantly. The water was close enough that she could easily dunk her arm under the surface up to her elbow, but there was no sign of any of the Captain’s seals. She sighed; I wish I could see one, just one. An idea suddenly gripped her as her mother’s favorite phrase echoed in the recesses of her mind: `you cannot receive without first giving’! Abril ripped the thin silver chain that lay warm around her neck and held it up to inspect. The single pink pearl that Jack had given her months before dangled precariously in the middle of the silver ropes. What could it hurt to try, she was Irish after all, maybe they would hear her? Spirits of the water please, I wish to see a seal. Take this gift as my payment to you, pressing the pearl to her lips one last time Abril flung the necklace as far away from the boat as she could manage. A small splashy plop was her only satisfaction, it landed somewhere out in the swirling mist; the bitter part of her mind wanted to watch it sink down into the inky blackness.

With a renewed fervor, Abril leaned again over the ledge; the wet wood bit into her soft hands, leaving behind tiny flecks of green wood buried into her palms. Minutes passed but still there was nothing but the continuous rippling of waves lapping against the hull; “Damn it.” Defeated, Abril plunked her head down on the warped wood and wrapped her arms out in front of her with her fingers splaying atop the water. Planting her legs firmly on the deck she moved to lie on her stomach across the ledge.

Day Number…

Hello my lovelies! Sorry I’ve been away for so long, things have been a bit up in the air this past week or so and I just haven’t had the will to sit down and make myself post anything (although really it’s all I’ve thought about doing, lol).  I’m moving at the end of February and there’s just a lot going on, but I won’t bore you with the details, I just didn’t want y’all to think I had abandoned you! My posts should be normalizing time-wise in the next week but if it takes me a while to get anything new out please just stick with me, I’m doing my best 😀

But all that aside, let’s get into today’s topic shall we…

Image From Facebook

Image From Facebook

LOVE…sigh. I for one have always believed that true love is out there just waiting to be found — or you know, waiting to find me because let’s be honest here, my tracking and locating skills are like nil. I have problems following Mapquest instructions… yes really. And forget giving me directions involving street names (just tell me what it’s by for crying out loud) because all you’re going to do is confuse and annoy me. So in all actuality unless I just stumble across my True Love haphazardly (I am a kluz so it could happen I guess) I imagine it’s up to him to find me. Sorry Future-Man-Of-My-Dreams, I know it’s a lot of pressure but I have faith in you. And really, one of us needs to have these skills or heaven help us when the Robot apocalypse occurs and we can’t find our way out of a major city…but that’s neither here nor there.

Now I’m not one to sit and bemoan not having found my True Love yet (outside of my head at least, I can whine all I want too in my thoughts and you’ll never know…muwahahaha) but I rediscovered a song the other day that I hadn’t heard in years and not only did it make me literally laugh out loud, but it also made me think about my perspective on love (the song mentions prenups)… And over the course of this pondering, I realized that while I’m still a nutter about love and romance and all that good stuff, I have become a bit more cynical when it comes to the idea of love and/or True Love over the years. But that’s a product of life and growing up I think. It’s hard to keep a completely rosy outlook on love and marriage (which I equate with love — you know, you fall in love and get married) when you’ve watched your parents get divorced after years of unhappiness and you see the bitterness and the anger and all the things that could go wrong when you tie yourself to somebody.

I have always been the girl waiting for love, so full of faith that love was out there, and I still am. I just see things a bit differently now. I surprised the heck out of my mom and my best friend a few weeks ago when we were discussing women’s rights in Ireland and I mentioned that they have only recently within the last twenty or thirty years legalized divorce and how I could not imagine living in a place (in this day and age) where I could not get a divorce if I needed one. And that I would never live somewhere where I could not divorce someone, no matter how badly I wanted to live there. And since I am seriously one of the biggest romantics ever, this kind of threw them. For a moment they just stared at me with their mouths agape before finally my mom said (with a look of crestfallen, heartbroken-ness that I knew meant she blamed herself for my apparent loss of faith in love, which has been a major portion of my personality since I can remember) that she didn’t know divorce was so important to me.

(And I know what y’all are thinking, if she’s so romantically minded and believes in True Love, what the heck is she doing blogging about the importance of being able to undo a marriage?! But just stay with me, I have a point, I promise!)

It’s not divorce itself that’s so important to me, it’s the right to have one that I couldn’t do without. We’re human and sometimes we make mistakes, marriages are formed for all the wrong reasons, some people are not always who they appear to be, yadayadayada and so there must be an out. Imagine being trapped with someone, who for whatever reason, wasn’t right for you and who made your life miserable. *Shudder* I’ve always had a fear of being trapped, of being unable to escape something, but when I was younger I never thought of that fear applying to love. Now that I’m older I understand that love is a tricky B*tch and we all have to keep on our toes…that’s all I’m saying.

And having grown up completely enthralled by Disney Princess movies (I still adore them), I thought finding my True Love would be easy enough. I figured I’d fall madly in love when I was sixteen (you know…like the Princesses), get married, and Disney would eventually make a beautifully animated movie out of my epic romance. Yet sadly, it’s not so simple. I’ve passed my sixteenth year and still haven’t met my Prince Charming and honestly sometimes that just irks the bejesus out of me. Twenty-three isn’t old, and I’m far from being considered a spinster or anything, but when you’ve had a schedule in mind since you were five and you’re 6-7 years off that schedule it feels like a freaking eternity! There’s a line in the song I mentioned, where Fiona (yes, this is from Shrek the Musical…don’t judge) sings: “Ever after better get here, I want love in seconds flat,” and boy do I understand what she means. Sometimes it feels as if I’ve been waiting forever (The WAITING!!!!! …you’ll get it when you listen to the song) lol.

But divorce and the unscheduled waiting aside, in many ways, I’m still a fool about love. I can’t wait to experience it for myself and part of me still imagines it will be all Disney-like and coated in glitter or something. And maybe it will be, if I want it and dream about it and ask for it long enough (it’s called manifestation people!). But whether or not it’s dripping in glitter, I still know Love is out there. I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser over the years but really, I’m still just a big kid reading my fairy tales and dreaming about my Knight in Shining Armor.

And yes… I know it’s today.

I’ve Been Smiling Nonstop For A Few Days Now!

Hello my lovely readers! In case you couldn’t tell from the title of this post, I’m in a bit of a good mood 😀 I’ve been nominated for a few blogging awards over the last  few days and I’m just so happy and thankful that I’ve been dancing in my chair as I’ve prepared to write this post. It means a lot to me that people enjoy this blog and I want to say thank you to all my awesome new blogging buddies, all the commenters, the people who press “like”, and those who just scroll through my blog to see what in the world I’m writing about! You guys keep me blogging even when I feel like I have nothing to give. 😀

Ok, first up is the:

leibster-blog-awardI was nominated for the Liebster Blog award by the incredibly talented Sarah Monagle, from sarah monagle, pondering it all. If you haven’t read this woman’s poetry or seen her beautiful photography, do yourself a favor and go look at her blog…yes, I do mean right this minute…I’ll wait. Isn’t she fantastic?!

The Rules:

1) Paste the award picture into your blog.

2) Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards your nominees.

3) When you receive the award, you must post 11 random facts about yourself.

4) Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and let them know

Here are my questions from Sarah:

1)      If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Probably a wolf because I love the structure of family and the comfort and familiarity that comes from being surrounded by those you love.

2)     What place do you find most captivating?

Ireland. It’s just so mystical and I can’t wait to see it for myself!

3)     What are your aspirations as a writer/photographer/artist/blogger?

Naturally, I want to be the best writer/blogger I can be and I work hard to perfect everything I do. I also want to publish my first novel (Believe) and the plethora of others that I am either working on already or have the idea for.

4)     What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

The scariest thing I’ve done is left home for college, it sounds so silly I know, but for me it was terrifying.

5)     What is your biggest regret?

I try not to regret things. With an anxiety disorder, I usually worry about everything all the time anyway but I’m trying to let go of things like regrets, fear, and worries.

6)     What would do if you weren’t afraid?

Swim in the ocean more I guess. I’ve lived right next to the ocean my entire life but going to the beach is not as much fun when you’re terrified of being eaten by sharks. I’m one of those nutty people who shriek like a banshee if I step on a shell the wrong way or seaweed touches my ankle.

7)      If you had to move to a country other than the one you are living in, which country would you choose?

Have I mentioned Ireland…? (And England, Scotland, and Wales…you know, that general area!)

8)     What is your all-time favorite book?

Way too hard of a question! There are so many books that I love… (I think I’m hyperventilating here)! For this question, I’ll pick one that I think isn’t too well-known, in the hope that y’all might want to check it out: The China Garden by Liz Berry. It is my idea of a perfect novel.  Find out more about it here. And Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, it’s just so breathtakingly epic and beautiful and set in Ireland! It too is another example of a perfect novel! Find out more about it here.

9)     What type of music do you prefer?

Again that’s a hard question. I love music, I couldn’t imagine life without it, but what I like really depends on what type of mood I’m in. I love big sweeping, dramatic musicals, pop, alternative, Irish, country…it really just depends on what I feel like singing that day. Right now I’m in love with Florence + the Machine, A Fine Frenzy, Heather Dale, the 25th Anniversary concert edition of Les Miserables, and a few Disney movie soundtracks, lol.

10)  What blog post (by another) stays most vivid in your mind?

I don’t know, I’ve read so many awesome and inspiring posts that I don’t think it’s possible to pick just one.  😀

11)   What is your one most favorite word?

I like words like: evanescent, shimmer, coalesce…pretty much pretty words that describe things, lol.

And my 11 questions for the nominees are:

1)       Are you a day or nighttime writer?

2)      Do you make a playlist for your writing projects or does music distract you?

3)      What new movie are you looking most forward to seeing in the near future?

4)      What was the last book that you read? Would you recommend it?

5)      What’s your idea of a perfect day?

6)      What is your favorite television show and /or movie? Why?

7)      Have you ever read a scene in a book that reminds you of a scene you’ve written before or had already planned to write?

8)      If you won the lottery, what would be your first purchase?

9)      If you could only eat one type of food (Italian, Chinese, Classic American etc.) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

10)   What is your favorite song at the moment?

11)    What is your favorite time period in history or who is your favorite historical figure? Why?

I’ll get to the random facts later, but here are my nominations for the Liebster award:

Fredrik Kayser

SCRIBEYOND

Lit and Scribbles with Jae

Mystic Cooking

Vampire Maman

Wildflower Women

Through Two Blue Eyes

youthful yogini worried writer

Justine Dee – Writer in Play

The Spidereen Frigate

Broken strings & Pretty things

The second up is:

versitle-blogger

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by Jen over at the cuter than cute Winter Owls blog. I always end up smiling whenever I read one of her posts or just look at the lovely artwork that she displays! If you love owls, this is the blog to read!

1. Display the award certificate on your website.
2. Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented your award.
3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers. Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
4. Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

Okay here’s where the 11 random facts from before is going to coincide with the 7 interesting facts from this award (because honestly, I don’t want to have to write any more lol)!

11 Random Facts:

1)       I love to sing. I have no actual talent for singing but I will belt out a song with all the emotion I’ve got in me.

2)      That being said, if I’m singing, I’m probably emotional about something and it’s a fifty-fifty on whether I’m singing because I’m really really angry or really really happy. My family and friends have learned to approach me with caution when they hear me singing in my room.

3)      I reread books. I’ve never understood people who only read books once; if I’m going to spend money on a book then I plan on enjoying it over and over again!

4)      Ancient history fascinates me but once you hit the 19th century my enthusiasm lessens considerably (with a few exceptions).

5)      I love BBC Dramas! The romance, the beauty, the peacefulness of times gone by, I just love it!

6)      After I first read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I swore I would never watch reality television again. That lasted until I discovered My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding on TLC.

7)      I’m a sucker for anything romantic, the quickest way to get me to watch or read something is to tell me there’s a romantic element to it. (That’s how my dad convinced me to watch The Last of the Mohicans. He kept telling me how great it was, how there were fight scenes, people trekking through the wilderness, yada yada yada  until finally he stopped, remembered who he was talking to, looked at me, and said it also had an epic romance. No more needed to be said, and I fell in love with the movie and the music in it!)

8)      I lived on a boat for over a year with no heat or air conditioning, and here in the south, that means something. It was an experience I hated at the time but now I count it as one of my biggest learning adventures.

9)      I have played with actual tiger cubs! Tigers have been one of my favorite animals since before I can remember, so to actually play with one was thrilling. When I was little – like four or five – I had four imaginary tigers (and one plastic toy one) that followed me everywhere. My mom would have to open the door for them wherever we went and buy cat food for them and everything, lol.

10)   I like to watch Jeopardy and try to beat the contestant’s by yelling at the screen at the top of my lungs (because you know, if I say the answer loud enough, they’ll eventually hear me).

11)    I’m partially color blind; I have a hard time seeing differences in colors the closer they get to looking like one another, like blue, purple, and grey have the tendency to throw me sometimes. But I adore colors and whenever I write a character, I always give them a specific color palette so I can get a better feel for their personality.

And my nominations for the Versatile Blogger award are (I’m only doing 11 instead of 15):

The Blog of Otis

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

witches can be right

Sass & Balderdash

sarah monagle, pondering it all

Shannon A Thompson

Not Just Another “Dolce Vita”

Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden {wishful thinking}

Driving Towards Daylight

Another Wandering Soul

AdrianCharlesHoran

And finally:

sunshine-blogger-award-2

A big thanks goes out to the incredibly awesome Jae from Lit and Scribbles with Jae, who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award! Somehow between all the different goals she sets for herself, she finds the time to not only write a kick-butt blog, but she also has a habit of drawing her fellow bloggers!

I nominate Winter Owls for this sunshine award because visiting her site leaves you with the joy and happiness of a sunny day! 😀

Thank you again for everything my lovely readers, y’all are the best!

Daydreaming Of Ireland…And Warmer Weather

Happy Friday everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything this week, but I have been/still am under the weather for the last several days (which means I am pretty much worthless at the moment).  The weather has turned prematurely chilly here and between that and the unholy war Nature is leveling against my sinuses, I’ve been huddled under the blanket sniffling helplessly listening to music, daydreaming, and trying to catch up on my reading list when my foggy head will allow. I will have a proper post for you all hopefully early next week as I’m hoping to kick some serious allergy/sinus butt this weekend!

Photo of Ireland, found on Facebook

I don’t know about y’all but when I don’t feel well, I tend to daydream about happy things to get my mind off the fact that I can’t breathe through my left and/or right nostril, and that I generally feel like a big blob of ickiness. Ireland is my easy, go-to happy place; I can’t wait until my mom and I actually get to visit Ireland for ourselves! I’m partially Irish (and so is she) and just the thought of roving those rolling, mystical, green hills with my best friend fills me with undiluted joy!  There’s something so magical and intriguing about Ireland, with its haunting music and wonderful stories, that just draws me in and refuses to release me. And of course there’s always a mysterious, lighthearted, quick to smile, and just down-right handsome Irishman waiting to sweep me off my feet in my dreams! (I’ve got my fingers crossed for reality, lol.) I don’t know what it is, but Ireland just inspires me; it takes my breath away and leaves me content and happy just thinking about it.

Photo of tree, found on Facebook

Alas, my cocoon of blanket-y warmth is calling to my frozen fingers and toes! So for now, I’ll happily continue daydreaming of my adventures in Ireland with my mom and falling in love with the (Irish) man of my dreams! Perhaps we’ll all take a side-trip to Spain as well… I figure Ireland is pretty cold this time of year and I’m already partially frozen 😉 I take my leave of you all until next week, enjoy your weekend! But first…what places inspire you to daydream? Is there anywhere you find yourself longing to visit when you don’t feel well? Or do you escape into books or movies?