Friday, May 27, 2016


Have you ever and noticed the magical world around you? I don't mean the hocus pocus kind of magic. I mean the kind of magic that is a feeling only - a feeling of beauty and awe and inspiration.
Take a minute. Listen to the breeze. Listen to the leaves on the trees. Look at the grass. Listen to the falling rain. Feel the drops on your skin as they trickle down your body. Feel your hair cling to your face. Smell the dampness of the earth. Look up at the massive skies stretching on forever. That's the kind of magic I mean. It's the moment when you realize just how small you really are. It's the moment when you think you start to realize just how big God really is.

On April 6th, my mother bought a Lovebird. We named him Captain Flint (like the parrot from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson). I wanted to call him Pip, but that's not important. My dog, Weenie, isn't really sure what to think about him. She and Flint will both fall asleep on my lap and it's the cutest thing!! She does very well with him, so long as she's supervised. My sister has a chihuahua, Roxie, who basically just wants to kill him. =/  I was telling my best friend that if Roxie could talk, she'd be running around like a mad woman (which she already is) and yelling, "Die! die! die!" Oh well. I keep having to remind both of the dogs, "Girls, don't eat your brother!" Haha, I know, I'm crazy.

When I think of a bird, I don't think about this adorably cute animal that walks on your hand and perches on your shoulder or wants to cuddle in a blanket or hang out in my hoodie like he is in this photo (yes, he did poop in there for anyone wondering). I think of a wild animal that you'll scare if you come within 6 feet of it. Having a bird isn't what I thought it would be. It's much more fun and it's really cool because I never thought a bird would do the cute little things he does. In my mind, it's really sort of a magical thing. I think of that scene in Disney's Beauty And The Beast where Belle and the Beast are outside feeding the birds and then the birds are eating seed right out of their hands! I mean, that sort of thing doesn't really happen, does it? I've certainly never had it happen nor have I ever known anyone that it's happened to. Like I said, it's magical to have that happen, like something from a fairy tale.

Something I find pretty cool is that, as an artist, whether you're a writer, a musician, a painter, etc. you can find inspiration in anything. The world is filled with wonders and mystery and magic. Ideas don't come from nowhere. For me, those ideas come from reflecting on a part of my own being, or finding myself in aw at the night sky, or looking at how moss grows on rocks, or having a conversation with a friend, or even getting a pet bird. I know I should do this every time, but sometimes before I write, I pray to God. I just ask Him to help me and to inspire me. Sometimes I just ask Him to help motivate me. And believe me, He is ALWAYS listening to me, and I usually find my hand flowing with words faster than my mind can comprehend and I write with ease. I love those moments. Those are the moments when I begin to think about the Muses and wonder if that's how the poets of old felt.

Anyhow, if you've read about the Pillywiggins here: Cyclopedic Of Fairies, you may remember that Pillywiggins show themselves to humans with pure or good hearts. I just recently started thinking that what if wild birds only came to people with pure hearts? Animals are very good at reading people, surely a bird can tell which humans truly have good hearts. I thought maybe that would be something pretty cool and magical to add to my book, Beyond The Veil. Thank you Captain Flint! ;)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Favorite Books.

Ok, so I've had several people asking me over comments and the contact form what my favorite book is, or what kind of books I like to read. So, for those of you who asked, and for anyone else who is curious to know, you finally get your answer! It's impossible for me to choose just one book though, I mean really? So, this post is going to be different. To keep this as short as possible, I'm just going to list my favorite books rather than explaining why I like each one because this is supposed to be a blog post, not a 10 page essay assignment. Please keep in mind that these books are in no particular order, because that's asking too much of me. XD

1. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (first published in 1911)

2. Pinocchio: The Tale Of A Puppet by Carlo Collodi (first published in 1883)

3. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (first published in 1865 and 1871)

4. Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Brother's Grimm (first published in 1812)

5. Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (first published in 1485)

6. The Odyssey by Homer (first composed at the end of the 8th century B.C.)

7. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (first published in 1946)

8. Kissed By An Angel series by Elizabeth Chandler

9. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (published 1999)

10. The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen (published 2013)

While I'm not sure if I enjoyed the books listed below as well as the books on the previous list, here are a few more that I have greatly and thoroughly enjoyed as well, and I consider them a close second:

1. Little Women (volume 1 & 2), Little Men, and Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott (first published in 1868, 1869, 1871, and 1886)

2. The Merry Adventures Of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (first published in 1883)

3. A String In The Harp by Nancy Bond (published 1976)

4. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tomi DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (published 2003-2009)

5. The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (published 1950-1956)

6. The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (published 1954-1955)

7. The Shakespeare Stealer series by Gary Blackwood (published 1998-2003)

8. Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan (published 2005-2009)

9. The Heroes Of Olympus by Rick Riordan (published 2010-2014)

Now you can go ahead and tell me what great taste I have. :P  Keep in mind, I always find myself reading new books, so this list will be modified constantly. I'm always open to suggestions too, so I'd love to know you're favorite books if you want to go ahead and tell me in the comment section below or hit me up by email through the contact form located in the Contact Me tab near the top of the page. ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My First Book (starting point pt. 3).

When we were little kids, I think we all had something we dreamed about. We knew what we wanted and nothing was impossible. We knew who we were going to become and what we wanted to do with our lives. I dreamed about being a singer and an artist. I easily learned all of the Disney Princess songs and I guess I thought I sounded pretty good, because one day I was going to sing professionally. I knew that I wanted to be an artist because of my love for drawing. I used crayon and sharpie and that was about it, and I remember Mom being not very happy with me sometimes because, uh - well, let's just say my art didn't always end up on paper...haha, oopsie!

Anyhow, as I said in my previous post, I did a lot of story telling at a very young age and wrote many short stories, but I didn't really realize that writing was something I wanted to do until I was about 12 or so. Every now and then I'd read a book, but it had to be REALLY good, or I wasn't interested. Real quick, let me just say that my Dad had Wednesday's off from work, so I remember this particular Wednesday we went to a used book store for whatever reason. My mom told me I was getting a book (which I didn't really want), but she let me choose: The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. I chose The Hardy Boys. I began reading it in the car and was immediately hooked. I had finished the book in 3 days and was aching to read the other 65 books in the series (over a course of about 2 years, I just want to say that I eventually read them all XD).

During that early time that I had this newfound hobby, I went through what I call my "Disney Phase" and read Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass, Pinocchio: The Tale Of A Puppet, The Swiss Family Robinson, The Grimm's Fairy Tales,  and Anderson's Fairy Tales, etc. I can't remember the order I read these in, but I know Pinocchio was one of the last ones I read because it took me so long to actually find the exact book that Disney based the movie from (and now I have a very old, dirty, stinky, stained, worn, beautiful copy published in the 1950's with a library stamp on the inside sleeve). Sorry, I know I ramble a lot. Point is, Peter Pan and the Grimm's Fairy Tales are some of the earliest books that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I remember reading Peter Pan and thinking, "I want to write something as good as this." It's such a beautiful story. No matter how cocky Peter could get, he was still such a lovable character. There were so many parts of the book that made me wonder, "What is the author trying to say? What was he thinking about?" In the third chapter of the book, Peter says, "Come away, come away." It's such a simple moment, but it's also an extremely beautiful and enchanting moment. It literally gave me goose-bumps. That's something I really admire about J.M. Barrie. He took so many simple moments and made them absolutely wonderful to read. I don't want to overuse the word "beautiful", but I can't think of another word to describe it.

Soon after finishing the book, I began to think of what I could write. One night I had a dream. I won't go into details, but that dream inspired me. It really laid the foundation for the book I was going to write. I'm not sure why, but, even though I had written lots of stories, I did and still do consider this one to be my first book. I titled it The Enchanting Island and it ended up being about 50 pages - maybe. It's hard to say what it would be typed out and getting an exact word count, but in 2 of my Lisa Frank notebooks, it takes up 97 pages with a dozen or so pictures I drew. I was so proud of my first book, but I didn't have my own laptop at the time, so it was never typed out and formatted correctly.

The entire book was a dream that my protagonist, Elina, is having which you don't find that out until the end of the book. Somehow she meets this winged horse named Star who takes her on an adventure to the enchanted island. Elina meets a mermaid who sets her on a quest to find a buried treasure or something like that. Anyhow, on the way, Elina finds her long-lost brother and they ride seahorses beneath the surface of the ocean. She ropes a cloud at one point. She meets a unicorn and a princess. I can't remember a lot of the story, but I remember that Elina is about to die near the end of the book, and it's at that moment that, I believe, the reader and the characters realize it's a dream.

At the time I was just writing a fantasy story with the inspiration of GREAT writers who are all dead now. XD Now I really think about why I enjoy the books that I enjoy. What makes a story so good? Is it the plot? Is it the setting? Is it the characters? Is it the style in which the story is written? Is the the symbolism in the story? Is it the tone of the story? I believe it's all of the above and more. I've really been thinking about that lately. Every aspect in the book makes the story great. But now I'm all about finding those simply beautiful moments in the story that make it just THAT much better. There are so many good books out there, but only a handful of them are, in my opinion, EVERYTHING that a book SHOULD be. My first book wasn't that. It was good. Kind of silly now that I look back at it again, but I have high hopes and high expectations that one day I'll have just that: a great book. But hey, everyone has a starting point. ;)