I hope everybody's been having a wonderful summer! Here's some of what I've been up to over the past few weeks--at least the parts that don't involve me being glued to my computer writing, writing, writing, sometimes gleefully, sometimes in :::headdesk::: misery, or, alternatively, engrossed in somebody else's novel. Since these activities do not make for the most thrilling blog post topics, I will spare you, dear reader. Instead, here some of the highlights of the OTHER stuff I've been doing! :)
My Summer Fun So Far
In Writing News
Some folks have been wondering when the next Moonlight Square is coming. Just to let you know, it's still on deck, just running a bit behind due to SECRETS OF THE DEEP coming out to be such an epic fantasy sized tome. That set the schedule back a bit, and then I had to finish my part on Harmony Falls, Book 1: DREAM OF ME. That, too, took me somewhat longer than expected because writing contemporary romance is still a brand-new skill set for this ol' historical gal. What a learning curve! But it's exciting to be expanding my abilities, so I appreciate your patience. Good books take time, and my readers deserve my best.
I can tell you one thing, though -- between Harmony Falls and Moonlight Square, it's going to be a busy autumn, book-release-wise! (Is that a word?) There are cover reveals coming soon, but all in due time. Just wanted to let you know, never fear, the mysterious Duke of Rivenwood is still waiting in the shadows for his rendezvous with you, my dear reader! (Sign up for my mailing list if you'd like to receive an email alert as soon as it's available. That will save you the trouble of having to check back, plus you get a free gift, my info-packed 52-page Regency Glossary.) That's all for now!
Enjoy the final month of summer, friends! I hope all you moms out there get a little well-earned me-time with the kiddos back in school, Teachers, of whom I know there are many in my audience, best of luck with your new classes! Thanks for visiting, everybody ~ more to come soon! xo, Gaelen
Sometimes you wake up on a Spring morning and there’s snow—lots of it!—as many of you have been experiencing. Me, too.
I woke up on this fair Sunday excited to get over to the plant nursery and pick out flowers for the pair of urns I have outside my front door. (I’m thinking a tall spiky plant for the center, surrounded by begonias or geraniums if they have them yet, alternating with soft feathery Mexican Heather to fill in the space and hang over the edge.) But lo and behold, my container gardening plans fizzled as I woke up to find a coating of snow all over the ground.
The expectant mother robins perched in my apple tree (which is covered in buds—I can hardly wait to see all those pink blooms) looked extremely annoyed. I swear their little beaks were frowning, and who can blame them? But hey, snow happens!
It’s ironic. Even as we’re Spring cleaning, decluttering, and organizing at this time of year, the whole theme of April seems to be surprises. I guess it’s appropriate that the month starts off with April Fools’ Day ~ to say nothing of tax day! When I was thinking about what to say on today’s blog, it occurred to me that maybe the overall lesson of April each year is simply this: Roll with it.
You never know what you’re gonna get in April. Dark dramatic thunderclouds or balmy skies. Massive wind gusts or playful breezes perfect for flying kites. It’s probably good to get this annual reminder that we can’t always plan everything.
Lord knows that describes how my writing went last week—which is probably why I noticed this! I don’t mind telling you it’s aggravating when you find yourself running behind. Aside from working on the next Moonlight Square book, and revising the first Harmony Falls novel, I am also finishing up the last couple of chapters in the fifth Gryphon Chronicles story, SECRETS OF THE DEEP. Our hero Jake is thirteen now, so maybe that is why this book is being so ornery. (I don’t know about you but I was a PITA at thirteen.)
Another massive tome of some 120,000 words, SECRETS OF THE DEEP is so close to being done. I really thought I could do at least two of the four final chapters last week. But, surprise, surprise, I ran into a big action climax scene that slowed my progress to a snail’s pace. This was mainly because I had to stop and invent a bunch of stuff setting up the final installment of the series. So, the chapters I’d hoped to finish didn’t get done, and I’d been grinding my teeth over it. But when I saw that snow this morning and the pissed-off looking robins, I had to chuckle at myself and got the message loud and clear: Roll with it, baby! Lol.
Life is full of surprises, big and small – heck, some of us were born as surprises to our parents! As the old saying goes:
Man plans ~ God laughs.
So now hopefully I will remind myself next time a "surprise" pops up to look for the beauty, pleasure, or at least the humor in these little unexpected twists and turns. Ah, well! If all of life really could be orderly and planned, how boring would that be?! Do you like surprises? Vote & share with your friends! :)
By the way, if you got pranked this April Fools’ Day or if you tricked somebody else, PLEASE share the gory details below! I would love to hear all about it. :)
Thanks for visiting! I hope your Spring is off to a great start.
PS—My April Giveaway for subscribers has been announced, and it’s a good one ~ a triple whammy! You can check it out here.
Hello, everyone! Well, I'm glad March is finally here, because February was a doozy. I was trucking along, working hard to finish up the final few chapters of the next Gryphon Chronicles book, when I came down with SUCH a bad cold that I was out of commission for a week.
I have not lost a full week of writing since the 90's. Thank goodness for Nyquil, Robitussin, Airborne, and Kleenexes, though, and especially thank goodness for my dear, darling husband, who took such good care of me the whole time. Now that's what I call a true Valentine! :) "In sickness and in health." Eric made me chicken soup, gave me chiropractic adjustments (he was a chiropractor for many years with a sideline in nutrition--getting adjusted boosts your immune system), and even bought walkie-talkies so I could call him whenever I needed anything.
We've been having a lot of fun with the walkie-talkies, actually, lol. It's way more fun than texting. I'm still trying to get the lingo down, though. All I know is "ten-four" and "over," lol. I decided I need a good radio/CB handle! I mentioned this on Facebook and one of my readers thought it should be Book Babe. *grin*
Anyway, once I started feeling better, I realized there were some tweaks I could make to my morning routine that would be a little healthier for me in general, like cutting down my coffee and going to bed earlier, etc. I thought I'd share my two big finds.
First, Eric started giving me this Amazing Grass Superfood Green Drink that I am singing the praises of. Trust me, he knows his health food stuff. This is vegan, organic, and GMO free. All I know is it makes me feel GREAT. I thought it would be disgusting to drink (it's just a powder, you mix it with a glass of water) but it doesn't taste bad at all, and the changes it's already made for me have been huge. I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who's got GIRD or digestive type issues, because it balances out your body's Ph levels so you're not acidic. Much to my surprise, it had a nice effect on my skin and even lessened the dark circles I tend to get under my eyes.
Anyway, the other really nice find that I came across while trying to get healthy again was this little 12-minute "Good Morning Stretch" by a personal trainer/coach on Youtube, Tara Davidson. It's a great little stretch routine that's quick and easy. It worked so well to ease the overall body aches and pains I had from being sick that I just decided to add it into my normal routine.
Well, by Sunday (Feb 28), I was still coughing a little, but itching to finally get out of the house. It was beautiful, warm, and sunny out, and Eric and I suddenly realized it was the last day of the annual Orchid and Bonsai Show at Phipp's Conservatory. This is one of my favorite events in my home city all year, so I was determined not to miss it.
Happily, we managed to get into town to see it and had a wonderful time. We took lots of pictures that I wanted to share with you guys ~ so, enjoy! (And PS: Stay healthy!)
Her little--well, big!--dog character is based on her family's lovable German Shepherd, who is descended from police dogs, and always getting into scrapes--like the time he tried to play with a rattlesnake! He found out the hard way that that fun little shaking nose they make isn't actually a dog toy after all!
Of course, this story has nothing to do with rattlesnakes, but follows Rosco and his family along on their annual visit to a Autumn Farm Festival (which I just love going to at this time of year!). It's perfect for kids who are making progress with their independent reading, or for a read-along for younger kids. If you'd like to read my full interview with Shana, (writing under her married name as Shana Gorian) please visit E.G. Foley website here. Or visit her website at www.ShanaGorian.com. Thanks for dropping by!
From ancient times, the Western world has celebrated spring with a festival at the end of April and starting into May. The Romans called it the Floralia because Flora was the goddess of flowers and as you'll notice, things these days are starting to bloom!
In German regions, it's known as Walpurgis Night, but to the Celtic peoples of Ireland and the British Isles called their celebration Beltane. It ran from April 30 to May 1 or even extending to May 3rd or so, though they based it on astrological movements in the heavens, not on the calendar. (They waited for the sun to enter Taurus.)
Beltane is the spring fire festival and you can think of it is as the opposite in feeling from Halloween (which these ancient peoples also started in the form of Samhain). If Samhain was dark and scary and oriented toward death and the approaching winter, Beltane was colorful and flirty, all about joy and life and ensuring the fertility of crops, livestock, and human families, too.
Of course, in the most ancient of pagan times, there was also a little human sacrifice involved in Beltane celebrations--! Probably not so joyful for that guy, whoever got chosen to end up getting burned on the Beltane fires. Over time, thankfully, the human sacrifice died out (ha, ha, pun intended) and morphed into smaller-scale brushes with the "sacred fire."
For example, it was considered good luck to jump over the Beltane bonfire if it was small enough. Or they would build two fires and the daredevils wanting good luck would have to run between them. In other regions, they contented themselves with simply baking a bannock cake over the "lucky" fire and that way, they could consume the good luck. Not all places celebrated the same way.
However, if there is one enduring symbol of May Day, it is the charming sight of people dancing around the May pole. Below you'll find a video from an elementary school in England where the little girls from the school demonstrate dancing around the May pole. The video is a little long but if you scroll ahead you'll enjoy, I think, seeing the parents and the rest of the community join in this merry, ancient tradition. It's really pretty adorable.
Below that, if you're wondering what the boys were doing on May Day while the girls were dancing around the May pole, it's called Morris dancing! (Nowadays, Morris dancing is for both genders, but originally it was a war- or sword-themed dance for men.) I love seeing modern people committed to ancient traditions handed down to them from centuries worth of their ancestors! Happy Beltane ~ and Enjoy! ~ G.
To find out more details about old Beltane practices, check out this link on Bartleby to this excerpt from Sir George Frazer's 1922 book, The Golden Bough, Ch. 62.
And one more video for my romance readers, here's a group of Englishmen singing an old May Day song at a pub in Padstow, Cornwall in exchange for a round on the house. (Not included on the kidlit site because alcohol is shown.) Great voices, and doesn't that look fun! The Padstow May Day celebrations are internationally famous and very old. First written mention dates to 1803, when it would've already been traditional, so known to our Regency-era people.
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