Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Website

I'm really excited to announce my new website. is up and running.

New content will be added in the coming days, but here is where you come in. Don't worry, I'll still be blogging right here, every few days. Notice the link that will take you over to the website with one click. After poking around over there, you can click right back over here, when you're ready. 

Setting up an website is intense. It's a lot easier than it used to be, but certainly not something most people do. I have decided to open Gnarled Roots to your creativity. With some moderation, but an open heart, I'll consider all submissions. So do you have a really cool photo, drawing, or a gut jiggling joke. Maybe, like me,  you would like to try your hand at writing.

Come on, stick your toe in this big, warm pond. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A few heartbeats remain ...

I'm hearing really nice things, people love this story, and my characters practically walk off the page and into your heart.
The fun part for me? When I ask a reader, who is your favorite character? The answers are really revealing. There truly is something for everyone in this book, but why do I think that? Let me put it simply.
At some point in everyone's life, maybe even right now, we all experienced a hurtful word, an ugly snubbing, or an irrational bully. Everyone: from the coolest jock to the nerdiest young scientist; Blue on the Horizon speaks to that hurt, and in the end proves that to be weird, can be a wonderful thing.

Did you sleep through the weekend?
You can still be one of the growing village of troll fans.
It really is a worldwide phenomenon


I was invited ...

True to my bargain, I alternate the route
The evenings trail, partially hidden by brush,
Grapevine, and wild rose strangle off my passage,
But what are a few thorns ripping at my flesh; I was invited …

Under the willows, the dying sun gives way to the shade,
Gnats encircle my hot body, shrouding me in screaming roars
Turn back, there is nothing here for you, human
But what are the tiny shouts of angry bits of bug; I was invited …

Out into the dusk, the trail melts away           
Lost along the river, a shiver of panic attacks
Over here, Rebecca, we're just getting started
Never in danger, the trolls lead me to safety; I was invited …

Seated quietly on the muddy bank, the light, golden and fresh
First, a swoop then a buzz, the extraordinary show has begun
Blurry wings dart along the banks, scooping up mosquito and gnat
A nymph stands no chance against the dragonfly ballet; I was invited.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Green, it's everywhere

Several years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Ireland in May. Anyone interested in the emerald isle has heard the boast about the 40 shades of green. I remember thinking that twaddle, but I also remember clearly seeing all 40 shades for myself. It was stunning, and I'll never forget it.
This is not my photo, but it is very much like I remember Ireland.

South Central Wisconsin had a horrible winter. It was long, bitterly cold, and refused to let us go. Even today, on the second of June, I was wearing a sweatshirt as I walked along the river. That is NOT normal, but I didn't care, I had my camera.
Having been so cold, many wildflowers are waiting to pop, but some have magically appeared from the cold wet soil.
But flowers are fleeting. The explode on the scene and steal all the attention, but the leaves endure.
So stop to smell the roses, but spare a heartbeat for the trees, bushes, and grasses. They will remain all season long.
Get the point?



It has been raining in southern Wisconsin—a lot. Two days ago, Oton appeared in my backyard, and invited me to the first toadstool festival of the season. It sounded harmless enough so I grabbed a light jacket, tied the laces on my hiking boots, and followed him to Elvsmyr. Toadstool, mushroom, and fungus of all shapes and colors were indeed blooming from every surface.

Elvsmyr was vibrating with excitement as I strolled to the cooking fire where everyone was gathered. There was much laughing and singing of silly songs while the cooks put the final touches on the feast. I was doing fine until Venn started telling me about his favorite dish, mashed maggots.
“You see, it’s the first maggots of the season that whip up into the best lump free mash,” he explained.

I nearly lost the contents of my stomach at that point. Just then, Smekk walked past with a sloshing pitcher of grog. I have avoided the grog up to this point. Now, I’m not afraid to try any human drink, but one can never really tell what might be involved in troll liquor. “Smekk, I’d like to try some tonight.”
“Sure,” she said, stumbling over a stone, the grog vacating the pitcher in waves while she regained her balance. She handed me a metal mug and poured a generous portion of brown liquid.

I sniffed the cup, and to my surprise, it wasn’t bad at all. Venn had moved on to a description of the main course. Something about possum … I stopped listening and took a big slug of grog. To my surprise, it was good, really good. “Is this honey based?”
“You could say that,” Smekk said. “But that’s not the secret ingredient.”

Uh-oh. “What the secret ingredient?”
“Well, if I tell you, it won’t be a secret.” With that, she flicked her skirts around and strutted away. Other cups eagerly awaited her arrival.

It gets fuzzy after that. I remember trying the sizzled worms, and likely the possum, but it was the grog that sticks to my memory cells. I swear it was a bottomless cup. I never say Smekk refill it, but thinking back, I didn’t see much of Oton either. I’m pretty sure he was cloaked in invisibility and topping it off. When I woke up, I was lying in a puddle, the trollkin were staring down at me, and it was still dark. “Will the sun be rising soon?”
“Not really, Mor just won the battle for the sky a little while ago.”

This didn’t make any sense. I didn’t even arrive until well after sunset. “How long was I asleep?”
“Two moon passes.”

“What is in that grog?” I asked holding my spinning head.
“It was a toadstool festival. What do you think was in it?”

Feeling glad to be alive, I shoved myself to my feet, and staggered out of Elvsmyr.
“We don’t always add the toadstool, but I did warn you it was a toadstool festival,” Oton yelled as I retreated to my own bed.