Saturday, August 31, 2013

Natural Bridge in WISCONSIN

Few locals know about this, but Wisconsin has it own naturally formed bridge. I've known about it for years, but never made the trip to see it for myself. After a short hike up the rocky hills of Baraboo, the trail bends sharply to the right. I was disappointed thinking the broken expanse was all that remained of the ancient feature.

I don't know why I was worried.

Following the path around a 270 degree curve revealed the bridge in all it's splendor.
Even more impressive was the gaping mouth of a cave that archeologists have thoroughly studied. Carbon dating has determined that the cave was continuously occupied as long as 12,000 years ago. It was deep and black; I could almost see the Paleo-Indians as they went about their daily routine, and maybe a dragon scuttling back into the shadows.
 A close look at the brittle rock gives a good idea of how the bridge formed. As each layer wore away, stronger, less prone to natural erosion layers stayed I place.
It was incredible. I am already planning a return trip in the autumn. I can't wait to see this hidden pocket of ancient history, a mere 90 minutes from my house, draped in glamorous party leaves.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Summer Languishes

I’ve been a bit quiet lately. I even missed the last Packer game, but it’s so easy to prank Oton, but I needed a break. Why you ask?

I’m neck deep in paper, outlining the next Legends of the Aurora book. Want to know what it’s about?????
Not yet, my pretties. Let’s just say that as I re-read Blue on the Horizon last week to make sure that I had cataloged every breadcrumb strewn about the text, I once again fell head over heels in love with Gaven. That trolless can still make me cry. Argh. But back to the clues. Did you catch them? I’m quite certain you will have missed a few, but did you notice the odd statement here and there, sprinkled throughout, that never quite bore fruit? Well, I couldn’t tell you everything. Where is the fun in that?

So as the long days of summer slowly shorten into autumn, my favorite time of year, my thoughts turn the aurora and the promise it brings.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pre-Game Spectacle

The sun is setting earlier and earlier here in Wisconsin, and if you have been following along—that means troll time. I don’t even bother to bring the TV inside anymore. I leave it plugged in and sitting on the workbench in preparation for the game. Halfway through the pre-game show, I heard a knock on the door. In they tumbled, Oton, Uredd, Pod, and Venn with Sila, Leaf and Smekk close behind. As I started to ask if Gaven would be coming, Smekk screamed like a teenage girl at a pretty boy concert.  

“The Clay-y-y-y-y-y-y!”

I spun around and saw her favorite player right there on the big screen, dumping water on his blonde tresses. Suddenly a sound like potatoes hitting concrete brought my attention back to the smitten trolless.

“Ah, Smekk, get up,” Leaf said, kicking her friend in the ribcage.

It’s going to be a long night, Packer Fans.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Today, I begin a series of blogs that will outline the characters of Blue on the Horizon. Those of you who have read this whimsical adventure story will easily recognize them as old freinds. Those of you who are still waiting ... ARE YOU CRAZY! This is an story you'll never forget. I can't tell you how many fans have told me that they have read the story more than once as they try to piece together the clues in preparation of the next book.  
You better get started, right now!

Gaven is a young trolless with an undeniable connection to the magic that courses through the ground beneath her feet. She has long kinky hair that she ties into knots that drape off her shoulder. Her tail is stubby and fluffy, not used for much at all. Her skin is drab, and a prominent wart adorns her nose She is quite lovely—by troll standards, but something is not quite right. Through some horrible act of fate, she is disfigured. Stricken with with eyes the color of the midday sky, Gaven becomes an outcast.  
Gaven is the main character, or protagonist, of Blue on the Horizon. Her life is lonely and difficult. Born at Torv, a poor village of peat miners, Gaven is the daughter of Lalman. Without friends, she finds ways to entertain herself alone in the dangerous marsh, but she can’t always avoid trouble. She routinely suffers the taunts of the Torvites who bully and sneer, but smell like fear.  Gaven dreams of leaving, living a life alone in the forest, but she refuses leave her father who suffers his own bullies. With nowhere else to go, Gaven spends her time roaming the bogs where she encounters Azool, the blue fairy of Torv.

Uredd has a luxurious tail that he intuitively uses as counterbalance as he moves athletically along the rocky banks of the thundering glacial river. He is a bit portly, but that is an admirable quality in a troll. Uredd was born at Breen, the wealthy village of gemstones. From birth, his mother, Hundstein, decrees him “the one”, but she fails to tell him what that means. He is over-confident and that causes him to ignore his studies. He wants only to be a seeker, one who searches for gems. Well, one other thing captures his attention: the promise festival where he hopes to attract the attention of a pretty trolless.
Uredd will survive a disaster, but left on his own, he will struggle to survive. Unprepared for life in the wild he quickly gives up, but he will be saved by his open heart.

Stump is an abandoned, infant dragon dying of exposure when Uredd finds him under a thorny bush. He is tiny, covered in silky, black scales with eyes that glint in bright light. At first, he is unable to communicate, but he is able to guide Uredd in subtle ways. When threatened he will transform into a tortoise to hide his true form. Once he takes tortoise form, Stump can easily communicate with Uredd. Dragons and trolls have a delicate treaty in place, and neither species trusts the other. Stump has the odd habit of closing his eyes and swaying. This perturbs Uredd who finds it rude.

Troika is a mysterious character who seems to be watching, but who is he? What does he want? He is terrified and haunted by visions of events still veiled in the mists. Friend or foe—only readers of Blue on Horizon know the truth about Troika.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Night for the Big Boys

It was Packer Saturday night. I had everything ready long before the trolls arrived. I’ve learned what works … and what doesn’t on the menu, and how to keep them entertained during a long night of football. The truth is the trolls don’t care who wins the game; they are in it for the thrills of the sport. There’s a lesson there, but not while the Packers are on the field. This writer is in it to win it.

So like I said, I was ready for the party. No surprises were going to happen. I had it down. Famous last words—
A few minutes before kickoff, there was a bang on the door. Trolls are never subtle. I quickly opened the door to let them in before the whole neighborhood got a look at my football party guests.

“Hi Rebecca,” Oton chimed; a sloshing cauldron of sticky stew hit the concrete driveway.
“Hey Oton, come on in.” I didn’t even look up. I’ve grown so accustomed to the trolls of Elvsmyr that I knew exactly what to expect. Famous last words—

Smekk, Pod, Eog … they all filed in and started battling for the best seats, but Oton held his position. “We have one more tonight,” he said.
“That’s fine, plenty of food and what’s one more at this point,” I said.

“Folger, she said it’s okay. Come on, you are going to love this.”
I looked around for the new troll, but I couldn’t see anyone. Suddenly, my field of vision was blotted out by huge feet. I raised my eyes up and up and up. This was no tiny troll. Before me stood a hunched troll, massive and stooped, he appeared to be slouching to hide his true dimensions. “Oton, who’s your friend?” I said with through a plastered on smile.

“Rebecca, meet Folger. Folger, meet Rebecca. Let’s eat.” Oton rushed between my legs into the garage. I stood there waiting for the ogre before to speak.
He lowered his gaze, and shuffled his feet. “Oton said it would be okay,” he mumbled.

I studied him from fluffy head to massive toe; he seems docile enough. “Sure, come on in. It should be fun.”
Folger was a perfectly lovely guest. He was both polite and kind. Who cared if he had to stoop to fit under the garage door tracks? Folger took a seat on the floor at the back, and Eog quickly took up position on his shoulder. They seemed content to be a team, and I wasn’t about to interfere with the gargantuan troll’s peace of mind.

I turned my attention to the game. All I can say about the first half, is that I’m glad it still pre-season. Halftime came and we all bellied up to the buffet for scrumptious football fare. Halftime over, I’m here to watch the game. Suddenly, a once-in-a-season play unfolded before my eyes. Johnny Jolly, a sometimes troubled Packer was having a super game. The Rams, in the red zone attempt a pass to put a few points on the game board, but the play is busted up by the mighty Pack. To everyone’s surprise, Jolly bats the ball around and them pulls it in. As fast as a big man can, he pounded up field, not only stealing the ball from the Rams, but shoving it down their throats with a respectable return.
After I caught my breath, I looked back over my shoulder at the hulking Folger. Yes, it was a night for the big boys.

What to learn more about Folger and why Eog sits on his shoulder?
Read my novel, Blue on the Horizon to learn all about the trolls of Elvsmyr.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Calling for Reviews

Just in case you haven't yet purchased Blue on the Horizon, and really? Why not? I thought you might be interested in hearing what others are saying about this twisted troll legend.


 5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read!, July 26, 2013

This review is from: Blue on the Horizon: Troll (Legends of the Aurora) (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Cleverly written, endearing characters, piques your interest throughout. Interesting how modern day problems of bullying and discrimination were problems Gaven had to deal with. Enjoyed the plot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful world of trolls and fairies, July 10, 2013
D. Miller (Whitestown, IN) - See all my reviews
This book is very well written, it holds your interest. It allows your mind to fly.
The characters are absolutely adorable. This will be a wonderful series, for kids of all ages, and adults as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5.0 out of 5 stars good read, June 26, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
for a first book it was enjoyable and i hope to here more from the author . several in the the family have read it and liked it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5.0 out of 5 stars New Friends, June 5, 2013
This review is from: Blue on the Horizon: Troll (Legends of the Aurora) (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Blue on the Horizon: Troll (Legends of the Aurora) (Volume 1)When I found Blue on the Horizon, I found a real gem. There is excitement galore in this unusual tale (tail). Every time I was interrupted I could hardly wait to get back to reading this book. Now that I have finished it (for the third time) I miss the characters because they became almost real. Gaven, Uredd, Leaf, Stump, even Belle are only a few of the friends I hope to meet again to share further adventures.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not writing this review because I wrote the forward to this book..., June 4, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Being a huge fan of legends and tales of the nether world, I have read more than a few novels, some from first time authors, and I can't encourage you enough to read Blue. The story is well crafted, the characters rich, and the entire book threads a mystery character which "pops" in and out in one page chapters to swing you back to the mystical puzzle. Rebecca took a simple concept and birthed this first book, full of intriguing characters, action, love, betrayal, battle and validation. WOW... great work Becs! Can't wait til next year and the next journey. hugs, lbs
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

3.0 out of 5 stars A different take on trolls, May 31, 2013
If you have read any fantasy fiction, you have invariably come across trolls, and if the story followed a 'normal' good-vs-evil theme, these trolls were most likely going to be in the evil camp of characters. Not so much with this story.

Further, if you are intrigued with the possibility of trolls showing a wholly different side, this story may be for you. While there are certainly areas of improvement possible, this entertaining yarn will open up a vista of previously unexplored ideas about trolls and their world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

5.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Can't wait for book 2, May 24, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blue on the Horizon: Troll (Legends of the Aurora) (Volume 1) (Paperback)
I love stories about trolls. This told me so many things I didn't know that I am happy I know now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Packer Pre-Game #1

It was a warm August night. I decided to place the tv outside and fire up the grill. With a stack of wood ready to feed into the firepit, things were looking good. The hotdogs and kielbasa were ready, and I even sprung for 3 dozen chocolate covered donuts, but I should have thought things through.

First, the starters drove 86 yards to the cusp of the goal, but failed to capitalize. Okay, it is pre-season so I decided to focus on my guests.

Smekk was right there beside me, practically purring over her chosen warrior, Clay Matthews. I waved my hand in front of her face to break her gaze. She slapped it away and growled. "Do that again, and I'll bite it off." 

I stood, and wandered over to Oton and Pod. "How's it going guys?"
They both clamped their hands across their mouths and giggled. I was instantly on high-alert. "What are you two up to?" They shrugged and walked away.

A heartbeat later, their plan became clear. A whoosh, trailed by a streak a fire erupted from the firepit and quickly gained altitude. Damn, I had forgotten the left over bottle rockets and sparklers. "That's it! Game over, you're out of here." I gave Oton and Pod a kick in the rump as they slinked out the door.

Suddenly, I felt a tug on my shorts. "Same time next week?" Smekk's eyes were overflowing with tears.

My anger softened. I couldn't say no. "Let me think about it. I need to have a serious discussion with those scoundrels. If they agree to behave, we'll do it again."

Oh, don't worry. I have six moon cycles to make them pay. Don't worry about it one little bit," she said stomping across the yard.

Nobody gets between Smekk and her Clay.

Friday, August 9, 2013

August flowers

There are years when August in Wisconsin is blistering. Not this year. It's been cool, and quite wet which has provided for an explosion of plant life. I went to the river earlier today. Just to check on things. I like to make my way down trails not always taken ... just to check on things. It's always changing along the river.

Ah, the milkweed pod. A plant so important in the ecosystem for the monarch butterfly among other species.
 Queen Anne Lace comes on strong in late summer. Readers of Blue on the Horizon will understand the importance of this member of the carrot family.
Even the thistle is stunning-- from a distance.
Don't ask me what they are called, but tiny little beauties were everywhere.
Then there are the berries that popped out from flowers already displayed on the blog in earlier posts.
At first, I thought this to be a troll head, but no, just a seed head, all fuzzy and white.
Troll! Oh no, I'm late for the Packer Pre-game Party. I'll have to fill you in tomorrow. Tonight, I party with the trolls.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photography Contest

Every year my employer ... yes, I dwell under the authority of an employer just like you likely do. Anyway, my company puts out a calendar. Each year they choose a theme, not a good theme, but corporate, and well stuffy.
I think most of you would agree that I have a decent eye for photography, but that is when I'm choosing the subject. The theme of this year's calendar is: Trust.
Mull that over for a moment. How would you photograph trust? Have an idea. Okay, now add in a steely rule: no photos of pets or people. What did that do to your idea?

This is my submission.
As part of the entry, I must include a blurb:
Just like our customers, this mourning dove trusts me to provide nutritious food so it can stay in peak physical condition.
I won't win. I never have. My photos are not taken on my exotic vacation to a location the judges could never afford. I don't mean to sound snippy. In fact, I accept losing as a challenge. Just how good can I get without making it in?  

If you have followed the link to my website, you have likely seen the results of my 52-week photography challenge. I'm nearly two-thirds of the way through. I have learned a lot, and as I look through the list, I see growth in both my composition and technical skills. I'm not doing this alone. A friend in another state has joined me, week after week. Maybe she will let me share her link. Wouldn't you like to see what she took?

Contact me at, or leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.