Spring is coming early with sugar ants and eager daffodils. It’s pushing my winter creative thoughts into preparing the property for the work that needs to be done. Will I be adding bees again this year? More chickens and ducks, or fish? I don’t know. To be honest, this feels like the first time in four years since settling in, that there’s a change needing to happen. My inner season has shifted.
My garden starts popped up in a hurry, so my window sills are overrun with plants hungry for more light than the season has to offer. I feel it, too; the thirst for light, the hunger to be in a larger pot. I don’t know if it’s cabin fever from a year of all years, or if it’s a legitimate need to move my roots. Good questions to consider.
In the meantime here’s a little update: The Creativity Workbooks are nearly mapped.
After four years of research and rabbit hole diving, I’ve finally finished the premise, process, and arc of the workbooks; and rather than one as I imagined it at the start, there are now four, and likely more to come.
So, before I finish prototyping, I’ve decided to implement them in my life to see how much they impact a creative in motion. While I understand the biasness of the experiment, I’m still somewhat blown away by the ferocity of the creative surge. It has, to put it mildly, fucking overrun my life.
Here’s the interesting part though, it hasn’t overrun my creative works or projects, it has, quite literally rearranged my actual life. Implementing “holistic creative choices” in facets of my daily life which support my creative works and focus, has essentially hijacked my day-to-day brain and has re-structured my commitments, relationships, desires, and even my financial situation.
My creativity has never been in question. I’ve been a high-functioning creative for decades in one medium or another. What HAS been in question is the quality and consistency of my other life toggles, levers, habits, and energies that have been spotty and gummed up. When that flow gets sticky up it certainly impacts my creative productivity.
I had a breakthrough in September 2020 when the application of “active creative and holistic choices” in the workbook suddenly applied to literally every part of my day, not just the four hour window I have blocked out for my craft. When that clicked into place—the workbooks split into brackets, and the process evolved into something much more useful, much deeper and essentially much more spiritual and revolutionary.
So, the life reboot may have something to do with that sense of an internal seasonal shift. It’s been refreshing and much needed. My creative works barrel on, and my energy reserves are easier to refill and keep topped off with the changes made from the exercises in the workbooks. Huzzah!
That said, I’ll be working on the drafting the workbooks into print and getting them up for the public in the near future.
I hope this updated finds you all healthy, safe, and keeping on keeping on.
Beta Chapter One for Plague of Gargoyles is now live in the storefront! Thank you again for all your patience as I work thought publication issues. #savethemuses #Pillarsofdawn #chooseyourstory
Here's a Valentine's Day pick-me-up for all you Twin Flame lovers out there. <3
I’ve always known you. I’ve always known you would never hurt me. I’ve always known I am utterly safe in your hands; that you see me as I am, and as I wish to be. Still, you take all of me deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
Last night when we met in the ether, I felt you like never before. You’re so close. The shape and weight and warmth of your touch radiated on my flesh hours after waking. My figure glowed in all the right places as I made coffee and sat near the window to journal. You were still very much inside my body, my breath, my mind. How do you do that? How is that possible when we’ve never met?
If I were a good Catholic girl, I might think I’ve been possessed. I’d worry it was the work of evil spirits; the way you draw my voice from my lips when you cup my spine and pull me toward you, the way I melt and bend around your frame as though I am cast in molten copper just to fit you, every part of you deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
My enjoyment of you goes beyond having a hunger satisfied. The electricity of your touch, your smile, scent, and even the rough tenor of your voice—it is synthesis, fusion. It is the harmony of Universal precision, and I cannot seem to pull away.
As entanglements go, it is delightful. When I fall asleep at night, you’re there waiting with a cheeky grin and outstretched hand. We adventure through the dreamscape and gallivant across galaxies. It’s often with a reluctance that I return to the 3d world at dawn.
I wake up pulsating and mystified, glimmering with an afterglow of your soulful caress. Being intertwined with you is the most intimate and liberating part of my unconscious world. I’d dearly love to know what you feel like in real life. Are you flesh and mortal—enchantingly imperfect? Wondrously flawed and yet emblazoned with passionate curiosity and hopeful creativity?
I see you as a man in collaborative league with himself, in the most humble and discerning way. I see you as you are, and as you wish to be, and I gratefully welcome all of you within me deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
What am I to you? Am I earth to your roots? Oxygen to your fire? Are you gravitationally locked to me in the same way I am tidal gripped by you?
I pass the time thinking of you with whimsical interest and lustful memory. Then I return to my daily habits, smiling. The world with its clutter and noise is a simple distraction. The hours stray and the grind is met. At last I close my eyes at dusk and sink into you, filling you as you fill me—deeply, repeatedly, powerfully.
And there is peace.
See you on the other side, Lover.
This creativity coaching service is designed to Be-Muse you. If you’re in the entertainment industry, technology innovations, or business management fields, this (w)holistic creativity process is for you.
Those of us who work in entertainment/innovation can often feel depleted, dehydrated, or even run down by our outputs and creative works. While there is no limit to the toolbox of life and all the wonders of our creative professions, it can sometimes feel like we get rutted into the same types of projects or circular patterns. We begin to feel locked in, trapped, and empty. Ideas and motivation become slippery…out of reach.
The Quantum Creativity Process is about integrating all areas of your life into your creativity, THEN learning to allow those areas to continually nurture and empower your creative projects, works and outputs. This prevents the exhaustion, and ensures new tools, risks, and personal developments continuously provide new leverage into stuck areas and help you gather momentum to rapidly evolve your craft. Go quantum!
Using creativity in your personal relationships, parenting, brand management, business management, public outreach, community development, and personal exploration (yes, even parenting) will result in a new influx of energy in those sectors, and flush much needed circulation back into your creative sphere. By learning to keep all the centers active, engaged, and pulsing with ideas and vitality—your creative well and professional innovative platforms will never run dry. Indeed, the boost in multiple areas will elevate your own energy to a new altitude where fresh ideas, concepts, and collaborations wait for you to engage.
Please grab the free consultation from the market. This will allow me to schedule a phone or email chat to discover your needs and customize your approach.
New creative outputs and collaborative options will be rolling out on the site this year.
How to know if your story is a larger-than-life Universal memoir?
As humans we’re attracted to the stories that inspire, educate, motivate, and innovate. We are drawn to the torches in the darkness; those rare Promethean feats of stealing fire from the gods, or traversing the underworld to return with treasures of the deep soul evolution.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a good story. Every story is worth telling.
The larger-than-life story is that leap through circumstances the average person wouldn’t find themselves in; a set of events, opportunities, or challenges that 90% of the world would never find themselves confronted with, much less figure out how to navigate. Still, it’s a relatable story on a human level.
Memoir is not an axe to grind, a he-said-she-said voice to take to court. It’s not a recounting of divorce, illness, death, or loss. It’s not a banner to call out bad childhoods, or abusive relationships. While all those things can and do happen in memoir—the medicine of story is really about the transformation of the ordinary human trial into the extraordinary human accomplishment.
Memoir inspires us because it calls out achievement—even if that achievement is simply surviving against all odds. It frames the human condition in a way that gives something back to the reader.
The larger-than-life-story takes that foundation of memoir and elevates it to a new level of atmospheric potential. It provides an axial shift to a social structure, an economic paradigm, a global environmental matrix when this big story is told.
Everyone has a memoir; not everyone has a larger-than-life memoir.
The best way to know for sure is to ask yourself these questions:
If you want to write your memoir, no matter the scale and scope—do it. You have a story. New forms and videos will be available soon. Please help yourself to the process flow materials and get your story out there.
I made a wish this year. A wish that was shortly answered with an unexpected call from the Universe in the form of a premonition to prepare myself.
On the whole, I dig my enchanted little life. I adore my cottage and wilderness living, but I also recognize my season is changing. Any good witch knows…you can’t fight the seasonal shift. You can’t push it back, or run away from it. Seasons are a part of our nature.
My new season is loitering the garden gate. It’s time to put down my gathering basket, find some shoes (I think I have some shoes around here somewhere) and venture forth. To where, I don’t know. How long? I’m not sure. I only know the feeling of being asked to surface into the harsh light, and release a song, or word, or some kind of…flare? I don’t know yet. It’s unclear.
For now, there is enough time to prepare. There’s a transition window that is allowing me to pack and ready myself for this new sojourn into unknown realms.
The packing should be light. As I set about pondering what to take, I realized my life has become so simple, so uncluttered of old baggage that there’s not actually much to take with me—save a few relationships, and those could use some fine tuning and work before the journey. Mind, I’m still not sure where I’m going, but better relationship awareness is never amiss.
I sat on the deck hypnotized by the forest and closed my eyes. The creek burbled. The mossy maple limbs swayed and groaned. A crow cawed on the ridge above my glade.
I sat with it for a while. I have been truly happy here in the Elder Glade. I hope it will remain my haven for many years come; even as I venture out and touch the world again. I hope the glade will be mine to return to, snuggle in and recover as needed. There is a sadness in the shift, in the call to a diamond world I don’t understand yet. When I send my senses out to query the journey, it feels cold, hard, brittle and sharp. Each time I reach out to try and touch the path forward, I yank my hand back with concern. The diamond world is everything I am not. Why would I be called to that? I don’t know, but the pull is insistent. The calling is clear. It’s where I’m supposed to venture next.
The healing and whole-ing I’ve been able to accomplish during my enthrallment with this space has brought the most fulfillment to date, the most creative inspiration and output; the longest surrender and most delightful lullaby of soul. I hope this seasonal shift will allow me to remain connected to this sanctuary. It’s the first home I’ve felt havened by since leaving the wild Northern lights.
But the diamond world is calling. There’s a mission to be accomplished. The diamond world is not my world. I don’t know exactly how to get there, or what exactly I’m supposed to do when I arrive—but I’ll pack and be ready anyhow. When the wind blows open the garden gate and the full moon shines upon the wintered herbs—it’s wisdom to put your tools away and pull out a travel bag, else the shift will catch you unawares and leave you scrambling to catch up.
All I’ll be able to take with me are my inner and outer relationships. At first, I assumed I’d need a very small bag, but as I began thinking about it…perhaps a bag of holding with a bottomless space to fit all my loves—and there are many.
I love so many things, people, places, ideas, and dynamics that I cannot fit them all in a material space—only in my emotional carryon. I cannot fit my fairyland acreage, the mystical trees, my muddy boots, and my meandering mushroom trails in the sack, but I can fit my love for them and my treasury of memories within the pockets of my jacket, tucked in my bra, and stitched into the lining of my purse.
I will need them in the diamond world. More importantly—I feel like the diamond world needs that love and connection to these marvels of the wildwood. If I am to be venturing onto the cold sharp lines of diamond paths, I will gladly be leaving mossy trails and fern patches in my wake. My disruption will likely be noticed, and looked upon with mixed expressions as I lay lichen and snail trails, and scatter seeds to grow flowers and call in the bees.
My relationships to my people, my body, my spirit and creativity, my animals and the habits I sustain…all part of the light packing. Those relationships will continue to be nurtured, tended, and grown as all wonderful relationships should be. The perpetual caretaking of community will still be a priority.
However, my relationships to unhealthy habits need to be purged, released, and left behind. They should be dropped in the forest like so much mulch to be churned into the nutrient of the next cycle. Such is the way of the wooded life.
So, I expect in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be waiting calmly by the garden gate with my carryon full of relationship treasures, and my animal familiars. I don’t know what the ship will look like that’s coming to fetch us, but I’ll recognize it when I see it, no doubt.
I’ll try to clean up a bit, so as not to startle the diamond worlders with my unkept appearance, and shaggy shape. I’ve let myself become a bit overgrown, and ragged. I’m sure I have shoes around here somewhere? Do not let my adaptation fool you. Even if I manage to blend in, my eyes are full of wildwood promises, and my heart beats with the evergreen pulse of untamed trials. My song is ever the song of this little pocket of hinterlands. My words will ever be laced by the joys of this lingering dream.
It may be a journey of miles, or just of thought—but a journey it will be. It’s strange, I had a dream once, perhaps 15-16 years ago. I only just now remembered it. I was leaving the busy hubbub of city living and stumbled onto a dark and overgrown path into a forest. Everyone warned me not to go, that I would die and be eaten by feral creatures and digested by thickets overgrowing my flesh. “I have to go,” I told them all. “I have to. My future is in that dark unknown place.”
I ended the dream walking into a dangerous timberland Mirkwood. I knew I had to go it alone. I knew it was part of my becoming, even if it meant death—of ego or all that I claimed as myself. It was the path I couldn’t ignore.
Ten years later I did just that, wandered into the forest alone. Against all better advice and the fears others had for my safety. I dropped my stilettos and gowns, and handbags off at the secondhand store, and purchased seeds, and gardening tools, chocolate, and wine.
It’s funny now, looking back. I didn’t know I would be hiding out here for so many years, or that I would find so much bliss in the becoming. There was a lot of myself dying—but not of anything that I lamented becoming rid of—and there was far more birthing and anchoring, and blooming. I remember the girl who walked into the woods—but she’s like a fantasy, a memory of another world.
I don’t feel like I’m “leaving” my glade forever—but the land is no longer a Mirkwood. It’s no longer dark and scary and ready to devour me. This forest is an extension of my connection to etheric worlds, the conduit to peace and tranquility. It’s my source of happiness.
But last year, as I was wrapped in overgrowth, buried in moss, and trailing my fingers in the creek as I daydreamt and magicked my way through the ethers—I cast a wish up to the new moon, smiling at the idea of its seeding. What a wonderful adventure that would be, right? No sooner had I yearned, my eyes fluttered back to dreaming and the alders bent, the firs stepped aside and light broke through the canopy revealing a trail out of the bracken.
I sighed, and lamented…but not yet, right? Just a little longer, please? I’m so happy here.
The path resealed, and my dream continued, until the night of the storm when the garden gate blew open, and the full moon shone on the winter herbs. “It’s time, Athena.”
It’s my fault. I cast the wish. I knew it would come eventually. Once is an invitation, twice is a premonition—thrice is a shove. Wisdom lies in moving before being shoved.
I wondered if it was too late to retract the wish and go back to sleep in the bramble. I knew it was too late. More truthfully…I didn’t really want to go back to sleep. There’s an invitation, a calling beyond my boundary lines, just over the borders to the sea. An adventure stirring across the horizon that whispers to me promises of yet more magic to come. That magic is hidden though, in the diamond world, trapped like a bee in an amber prison. It may take a bit of woodland charm to set the poor creature free; nothing a little fairyland enchantment can’t fix, I imagine.
And so…I’m packing. Singing the songs of relationships to keep, and magics to take with me, and wondering what this new adventure will bring.
It was impossible to predict, plan or even project through 2020. Hot damn if I didn’t try, though. I even hosted a 2020 planning workshop last January. Go figure. That said, I was in good company with much of the world scrambling to re-structure, re-think, and manage the almighty pivot. During the quarantine I wrote, sculpted, and plotted new creative community collaborations. Those should be rolling out in the near future. Until then, Happy New Year!!
May this year bring love, light, and all sorts of new and wonderful adventures for us all.
Warmest holiday wishes, from my little cottage to yours!
May your longest night be full of peace and light.
Oregon is set to enter a temporary lockdown on November 18th. I suspect it will be a longer one, as winter moves in bringing cold and flus and all manner of lower immune system issues during the colder months. I’m preparing as though the two-weeks will last much longer.
In meantime, I’m catching up on my Nanowrimo wordcount and tinkering away in the studio.
For Fans of The Pillars of Dawn
My favorite part of the Nanowrimo magic is that for one month of the year my writing doesn’t have a plot-point purpose. This means I get to wander off on side adventures with minor characters, or traipse around in the corners of my fictional worlds that I would otherwise not be able to show or work with in my novels.
Why? Because novels and publication reads are streamlined for story value and pacing. This means when I put a novel out, I would like my readers to be hooked enough to keep turning the page, read late into the night and wake up ready for more.
That kind of tension and pull is hard to design if I’m wandering off on side adventures and writing a meandering storyline. J. R. R. Tolkien was famous for meandering storylines. He made it work. Alas, I’m no Tolkien.
I think of meandering through the world and characters as a fulfilling the side quests in games. They aren’t central to the plot or purpose, but you gain experience and it fleshes out the world and characters more for entertainment.
Every Nanowrimo for the last 16 years I’ve been participating has been at least 50% meandering, and I love it. It’s writing for the sheer joy of writing. It’s creating for the unapologetic love of being creative. There are no limits to where the side-quests might lead. Some of the work ends up in the final novels. Some of it ends up in files for use later. Most of it crowds my brain with yet more detail to add to future Pillars of Dawn stories and so on. Every year I get to dive a little deeper into the fantasy realm and linger in my imagination. (2015/2016 were spent almost entirely in the tree-city of Barriette learning the layers of the city, the layout, and the characters who populate the scholarly zone.)
This year I finally get to soak up more time in Aria outside the Council States…the forbidden lands. Unfortunately, a lot of the details and energy that go into a rough-hewn V1 get trimmed back and cut out for speed and pacing for publication. However, the slapdash writing that comes with a V1 dip into a new region is exciting and lush. It is often over-detailed, which is my sort of jam.
As Plague of Gargoyles, Tangle of Mermaids, Chord of Leviathans, and Congress of Eagles will be introducing no less than six new territories and cultures on Aria and beyond, I’m having an utter blast with this year’s Nanowrimo. This will hopefully ensure that when I finalize these drafts, all the subtle details and nuances of my meanderings will cross-pollinate the books evenly and share the names of places, characters, threads, and sensory details of what I learn or create while in a meandering side-adventure.
For my readers—I’m currently meandering through the Demorphia Range, the Oracle territories. Beware: may contain spoilers. Also this is V1 draft writing; it’s full of typos (also my jam) and will be edited and corrected in later drafts.
This is for you, John Folsom, and Diane Elizabeth Malone <3<3<3
Liam stood on a hilltop overlooking the valley of twisting muddy rivers. The swampy jungle region was as much bayou as overgrown forest, and smelled of fetid gasses and vegetal decomposition. There was a current in the water, but it was slow. Swirls below the surface hinted at beasts prowling below the brackish sway.
The Demorphia Range was Oracle territory. It was one of the few regions on Aria that was not a country, state, or governed by a trade body, or a sovereign entity. In all there were a handful of hinterlands on Aria that were off limits to citizens of the Council States, and were of such little resource value even the tribal bodies, and lental lords didn’t bother to colonize, or claim the space.
Many believed the ancient pollution from the sundering legends left the lands unusable, toxic. Other’s believed the areas were damaged when the Inlicitus cracked—whatever the case, the Demorphia Range was settled by the Oracles. Whether the land was useful or not, no one would be brazen or foolish enough to cross the Handmaidens of the Fates to find out. If the Oracles wanted the Demorphia, it was granted a wide berth by all. Very few, if any, had ever ventured beyond the girdled mountain belt north of the Demorphic Wastes, and if they did—they didn’t return.
As it was, Liam was in direct violation of treaty just to be on the ground south of Fifthbar’s Peak. As a Guardian, he was breaking a lot of rules lately. Before he let himself get too deep into the worries of just how unqualified he was to be Fable’s Guardian…and husband, he launched skyward and flew toward the grove of Aborrack and Burnack trees clustered near the marshy mudflats. The sun was setting in a spectacular parade of plum and cherry hues. Small bursts of amber light were popping up in the settlement along the river near the largest bend.
He prayed the Oracles would hear him out, and not simply turn him into mattress stuffing before he could make his case.
The last of the light faded over the horizon as he circled the village of tree-homes along the river frontage. He spotted a long wooden pier that appeared to be mostly rotted through in some areas, and several habitats in Aborrack trees. The vegetation was so thick, there weren’t many other places to make a landing.
He circled out of courtesy, waiting to be noticed by someone before rudely and dangerously, dropping into foreign, and potentially hostile territory. There were no calls of alarm. There were no words of welcome or a sense that anyone had noticed his approach. The gassy stink of the slow marsh wafted up. Something moved in the water below, breaking the surface briefly with a ridged back covered in spikes.
At last, unsure if he was even in the right area, he landed on the pier. It creaked and strained. His right talons broke through a rotten board and Liam flapped his wings, staggering to keep his balance. A rapid swish of water, and a massive maw of teeth burst out of the river and snapped at him before disappearing just as Liam decided the pier was too unstable and launched to the shore. It all happened in an instant, but when his talons touched down on the squishy muck, his heart was racing.
“He would have taken your whole leg and part of a wing if you’d been any slower,” an amused voice said from the shadows near the muddy path.
“What was that?” Liam asked, squinting into the gloom.
A moment passed, then another. He began to think for a moment he’d imagined it. Then, as if the heavens fell to the ground, and the stars lit the world on fire, the whole swamp burst to life and light.
Giant night-blooming flowers, bulbous mushrooms and snaking algae trails across the bracken erupted into a light show of magenta, phosphorus blue, and electric green. There was darkness for just moments at dusk, then the glowing night garden bloomed as if an explosion in space.
Florescent flowers opened in a starburst of pink light and curling petals. Lime-green vines pulsed with a lemon rhythm as if bright liquids sped through pulpy limbs wrapped around tree trunks and dangled through mossy limbs.
Liam covered his eyes as swarms of blinking fireflies and glowing moths left their day shelters in the trees and zipped around the marsh as the land shed its day garments and slipped into something more extraordinary.
“He’s a trephalia gunarey. Likely one of maybe four or five remaining,” she said.
Liam lowered his hands and blinked against the change in light and colors. The creature before him was Avian, yet more bird, more snowy egret than human. She wore a short robe, showing her legs to be avian all the way to her knees. Her eyes were huge, cheekbones high, and her mouth drew to an exaggerated point at the end of an elongated chin. Humanoid features were recognizable—but she was more animal than woman.
“Your first Oracle visit, I see.” She lifted one white eyebrow, smiling wryly.
“I…yes…” He ducked his head. “I’m sorry. You are the first. I’m Liam.”
“Kontrae aut alestra,” she replied. “I’m Aldora, sent to bring you in.”
“Oh, someone did see my approach. I wasn’t sure with the dark.” Even as he said it, the brilliant glowing marshlands in the bloom of a midnight fairy garden made the statement seem ridiculous.
“Oracles…” she muttered. “saw your approach decades ago.” She shrugged and her robes slit open to allow long, slender white wings to glide the full length of the pathway. “Please try to keep up.”
She didn’t jump. She didn’t lunge. Her launch was not a blast, or a gust of force like so many Avians, but a nearly motionless levitation. She did not leap, but rather drifted up above the muck and slid through the air as if hovering with only an occasional elegant stroke of her wings.
By comparison Liam launched, blowing the nearby glowing magenta flowers around on their willowy hanging vines. Aldora was fast, nibble, and barely moved the air with her passing. Whereas Liam struggled to keep up with hard heavy strokes, dodging limbs and hanging vegetation, leaving mossy curtains billowing in his wake—she didn’t so much as stir a blade of grass or a trailing fern in her passing.
The tree homes were Aborrack, a sibling of the Burnack trees of the Hedgeland Strait. They grew comfortably in water, sending out leggy roots upon which bridges, piers, and other structures were connected. Several of the trees were clumped together with lighted windows and doorways. As they drew near to the circle of tree-homes he realized the roots were elevated and interwoven. The great bubble-like windows were aglow with golden light that was not from within the tree, but from the sap pouch filled with marsh gas that sparked to life at nightfall. The gasses of the marshlands were piped directly into the giant sap resin casings, and the result was as if coming upon a well-lit fairy metropolis. Even Barriette had not been so well lit at night.
Thank you for reading. More to come. Thank you for supporting the dream.