In the Spotlight

Tuesday, January 18th, was a big day.  I’d been asked to be a guest on The Author’s Forum, hosted by Dr. Veronica Esaqui, author, publisher, and chiropractic doctor.  You can view her numerous accomplishments in depth by visiting her website. You will not be disappointed!

When I arrived at the studio, Veronica greeted me warmly, helping to dissipate my uncertainties. Lisa Nowak, my personal support person, snapped pictures as Veronica and I sat in our wing chairs while sound and lights were tried and adjusted. I was instructed how to recognize which camera was “on,” but cautioned to not look for the red light unless I wanted to speak directly to the audience! As if! Finally we got the signal from Karen Sorbel, the show’s producer.  We were on!

Getting instructions for the cameraman

I stumbled on the first question but under Veronica’s gentle guidance forgot about the cameras and began chatting. She gave me leeway to remark on my first ideas for Wrenn, my Egyptian experience, and why I had chosen the Edwardian period as a setting.  Some of the things I’d wanted to say weren’t said, while other things were.

After the virtual curtain came down, I had time to wonder if I’d been too relaxed. Had I prevented Veronica from introducing topics that would have kept me firmly on track? “No, you did fine,” was her lovely assurance.  “You were good,” Lisa and Karen said.  But once I was home, doubt set in.  I went from a cautious euphoria to “interviewee’s remorse.”  What a night of second-guessing!!

The following evening, PBS aired a BBC sitcom showing an unsocial doctor being interviewed on a radio talk show. If I’m the poster girl for the runaway mouth, he gets the prize for monosyllabic replies.  I think that makes me feel better.

The Author's Forum crew

Until I view the show, I take comfort from knowing that Veronica was the impeccable host, poised, gracious, and organized.  I just hope I didn’t let her down.  Thank you, Veronica.  Thank you, Karen. Thank you, Lisa.

Published in: on January 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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Book Review: Silver Thaw by Amy Rose Davis

Silver Thaw, a novella, by Amy Rose Davis, is one of those wonderful pieces of fiction that comes at you out of the blue.  I didn’t have a clue as to plot or setting, only that it was fantasy.  Well, change fantasy to a fantastic read and you have it.  I was hooked in the first paragraph.  The world Ms. Davis creates incorporates echoes of myth and history into an absorbing and exciting narrative. Metaphor, syntax, language, and style are woven together so skillfully that an entire world arises within your imagination.  The hint of familiarity is the familiarity that seizes one when a master storyteller begins, “Once upon a time.”  But her characters are not mere clichés.  They make you privy to their conflicts, desires, and dilemmas.  The story is told through four major characters, and uses a seasonal device to move the plot forward. It begins in Winter and ends in Autumn.  The mystery of a strange singing maiden and the reason she wears a silver collar and wrist chains keep the pages turning.  This is a must read for anyone who enjoys legend, myth, or fantasy.  Now I simply must read her next book, Ravenmarked.

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Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Need For Fantasy

I believe we all have the need for fantasy. Seeing the latest Narnia movie in 3-D yesterday did much to fulfill that particular need.  A grandpa, buying tickets for himself and grandson, gulped audibly when he was told the “special event” surcharge.  But he paid up and with the rest of us boarded The Dawn Treader (a beautifully fantastic sailing ship) for a voyage into splendid possibility.

So many writers have brought imaginary worlds to life, giving readers (and moviegoers) entrance into lands where (as in Oz) troubles melt like lemon drops.  Blessings on all of them, who like pied pipers, usher us into the mysterious realm of the imagination.

In acknowledgment of their genius, I list some of the authors who have brought joy and adventure into my life.  They are prominent in the Who’s Who of fantasy writers:  H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, (I read the Trilogy of the Rings every year), Frank Baum, Ray Bradbury, JK Rowling.  There are many others whose names I sadly cannot recall, though their works loom large in libraries and bookstores.

Fantasy writers take us through dark and dangerous places that culminate in the righting of wrongs (no pun intended) and the triumph of good over evil. They offer a glimpse into great principles that can seem murky and elusive in the real world.  In the search for fantastical truth, we enter the unknown forest, (as Joseph Campbell told us) to be challenged by obstacles, temptations, and personal fears; but only there will we discover our strength and courage. Through fantasy, we make the hero’s journey.

For brief hours in that darkened theater, worries and cares were banished. I became part of an adventure larger than life.  Emotions careened from wonder to fear, from transformation to tears. When it was over, I saw a bearded young man drying his eyes.  You see, he had been transported to that place where love and magic are one.

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm  Comments (2)  

Old Memories and New Beginnings

Of the many New Years that have passed, two remain fixed in my memory.  The New Year’s Eve when I looked up into the midnight sky and saw the first snowflakes that would herald the great snow of 1950.  My father scoffed when I ran to say, “It’s snowing!  It’s snowing!”  But I was right.  It was.

The second memory occurred when I was eighteen.  Bridling my beloved horse, Stormy, I rode him to the end of a nearby road ending at a neighbor’s pasture.  As the distant sound of gunfire and celebratory shrieks echoed through the night, we welcomed 1956.  What great things lay ahead, I wondered?  Romance?  Travel?  Art school? Writing a book?

The years have passed, some good and some not so good.  But this is a time to look forward.  The new year recognizes the fulfillment of at least one old ambition. Wrenn, Egypt House, published in 2008, is now available on Kindle through  Volunteer for Glory is looking for an agent in this 140th year anniversary of the shots fired on Fort Sumter that formally triggered the War Between the States.  And Scattered Pieces, a book set later than either Wrenn or Volunteer, is ready for what I hope is a final edit.

The most immediate “new beginning” brings a January TV interview with Veronica Esagui, writer and publisher of the show, Author’s Forum. We will discuss the writing process, and in particular, Wrenn, Egypt House. The show will air on Comcast cable, either channel 11 or 28.

Other events are already in progress; continued participation in Chrysalis, a writing group for women.  Association in that group has brought new and amazing people into my life; women who are not only talented writers, but who are gifted in diverse fields. I will continue my work in the field of editing.

Gazing into the crystal ball of the future, I see the shadows of things planned but, as usual, the future lies hidden to all but prophets and seers.  May this new decade be one of peace and economic stability.


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Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 11:46 am  Comments (2)  
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