Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Confession ...

Here’s the thing. There are two Rebeccas. One is quite serious, not much fun at all, but we send her off to the office where she gleefully gathers galaxies of data, squishing it together before flattening and folding it into origami unicorns and paper tigers. Her boss is very fond of Rebecca’s unicorns and tigers, but this exhausted the other Rebecca. Mischievous Rebecca crawls from this orderly structure and seeks fun in very different ways. Exercising her creative muscles, Mischievous Rebecca has dabbled in drawing and flirted with music, but a dreadful lack of talent nearly caused her to become an accountant. Then she discovered photography. Mischievous Rebecca sees magical things through the microcosm of a macro lens, and with cameras being little more than compact computers these days, the two Rebeccas hugged it out and blissfully pressed the shutter. Yet, this wasn’t enough for Mischievous Rebecca. There had to be something out there that could be uniquely Rebecca, both of them. And there always had been. From her earliest memories, Mischievous Rebecca has created entire worlds in her head. Everything was fair game. Stones became knights and apples became fairies, but she never revealed her stories to the outside world. Not until one slipped out. Assigned to write a paper on something uninteresting and utterly unimaginative, Mischievous Rebecca decided to mess with the teacher. In a single paragraph, she built a world living within the stream of ink flowing from her pen. The creatures railed against the humans and their mediocre ideas. Countless died for doodles. They deemed the teacher guilty of wasting ink and demanded she be punished for her crime. Mischievous Rebecca was pleased and thoroughly expected a failing grade, but it didn’t turn out that way. The note in the margin read: "Beautiful! You should write for a living". Serious Rebecca immediately dismissed the idea, and once again took control until one day not so very long ago. While watching a kingfisher hovering over a marsh, his eye locked on a school of minnows pooling at her feet, it happened again. An entire community of trolls appeared in Mischievous Rebecca's mind. They were clever and childish, timid and sweet—they were nothing like we had been told. Sitting there on that bench, a story formed, a full story that she thought might be worth writing down. That’s how it happened. Mischievous Rebecca has reclaimed her uniqueness. Forty-two months later, the legend is complete, and ready to share with you. Mischievous Rebecca and Serious Rebecca cohabit peacefully now. They need each other, yet neither is dominant over the other. Serious Rebecca has her paper unicorns while Mischievous Rebecca has an entire universe in which to play.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Story Behind the Photo(s), edition six

Today, at my patch of the planet, 

it's cold and wet,

 and getting worse every heartbeat.
Spring is so fickle.
'Nuff said.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Story Behind the Photo, edition five

I have many interests (don't we all?) but one thing they all have in common is nature. I'm a creature of the woods, a skulker of the forest, but the world around me offers other paradises. 

The photo above was taken at Pope Farms in Middleton, Wisconsin. Pope Farms was once a sheep farm on the edge of Madison. It's now a fabulous restored ecosystem with several types of native prairie and even a some wood. It's a great place to get lost during the warmer months. 

I miss green. Spring 2016 can't arrive soon enough.

BOUNS photo:
Notice that wooden tower in the distance? It can be seen from the top of the hill in the photo above. It's a ski jump, one once used by Olympians (and I'm told Teddy Kennedy once rocketed down that jump on a dare).  

It all takes me back to Henry hurtling down the ski jump in Blue on the Horizon. Imagine you are a troll witnessing the human madness. Certain death awaits young Henry yet he gleefully shoves off and soars into a triumphant descent down a wicked slope.  Now imagine you are a rabbit sized troll sliding down that jump on nothing more than a tortoise shell. Insanity! But Twig does it, and helps to save the village. Confused? Read Blue on the Horizon. It's free on Amazon, Nook Barnes and Noble, itunes,  kobo ...most places digital books are sold. 

Wisconsin was once littered with ski jumps. One even existed outside my hometown. Settled by the Norwegians I celebrate in Blue, they brought the traditions of their homeland to Wisconsin. You just won't catch me flinging myself down one of those things.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Story Behind the Photo, edition four

From the Field Museum of Chicago. 

I hadn't been the this museum since the first time King Tut's artifacts toured the United States. (That's a really long time ago. Disco was in style and I was years from a drivers license) I love history, always have, and my parents knew what it meant to me so on a blustery February morning, my mother, her friend, and I perched on the steps of the Field Museum of Chicago. With the cold seeping from the granite steps to my young butt, we waited with a hundred other history buffs. There was no internet, no advance tickets. If you wanted to see King Tut, you got in line and waited for the museum to open. Even that was no guarantee of access to Tut's treasures. The hall was severely limited to a small number of visitors per day. I seem to remember something about humidity being the cause. It was fantastic, but to be honest, the details are fuzzy.  

Fast forward decades to December 2015. The hubs and I decide it's time to hit the mega-city again, and this time, I want to do the museum. We spent two days wandering around that massive building. We even worked out way through Egypt which still models Tut's tomb. I could share dozens of photos, but this one caught my eye just now. It's a water buffalo. I chose it because one of the live events was a naturalist handing antlers or horns to people. He handed us an antelope skull and began to explain the difference between antlers and horns. Horns are sheaths that have a bone core. They are permanent features while antlers are shed. (the water buffalo has horns). All this while dozens of school kids screamed as they raced between halls.

On this visit, my I was enthralled by the dinosaurs and mastodons, minerals and China. Even with two days, we barely brushed the dust from the surface of the Field Museum of Chicago. If I lived closer, I would be there frequently and it would still take me a year to really see it all. By that time, they would have rotated out the displays. I hope Chicago continues to appreciate this jewel along the shores of Lake Michigan. I will return, and this time, it won't take so long.

Photos are precious time capsules. Thanks for allowing me to share this historic weekend.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Garden of Betrayal, Available Now!

No. That can't be right. I hate fairies. I will never help you.

Then Terra wins, and magic is doomed. 

Garden of Betrayal, on sale now. 

As a bonus to my fans, get your digital copy of 
Blue on the Horizon AND 
Cairn: A Dragon Memoir 
FREE for the next five days! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Story Behind the Photo, edition three

Today's photos reflects one of those magical moments in the forest. This was taken on a hike in central Wisconsin. It was mid-morning, well past the time I normally find deer, and I even had the dog strapped to my waist (more on this exciting means of photographing the world in later posts). 

The hike circled a small lake and I was busy looking for mushrooms and such when I rounded a corner to this sight. Tasha, normally a huge barker was just as shocked as I was. She stamped her foot, the fawn stamped his foot, fawn's mom bounded off. I raised the camera. Fawn squeaked. Tasha growled. I snapped. 

Then it was over. A few crashing bounds, and the fawn and doe were gone. I could hear them moving along the shore for a long time, but only caught small flashes of brown. 

Adventures like this helped me create, Fern, the orphaned fawn in Cairn: A Dragon Memoir. Her mother lost to a dragon feast, Fern is too young to survive on her own, but then Leaf finds her and Fern's life changes. Drastically. For example, she learns to ride astride a dragon!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Story Behind the Photo, edition 2

I took this photo early on in my renewed interest in photography. When I look at it today, I see how it could be improved, but I still love the memories it invokes. Taken on the shore of Lake Superior, it reflects that cold, rocky beach in its wild state. This lonely stretch is called Bette Gris. It sits astride the eastern shore of that defiant finger jutting deep into the inland sea. This is my favorite part of upper Michigan. 

All along Superior lay huge chunks of driftwood and sea rounded stones, some as big as cars, but many, many more palm sized. Each stone is different, yet if you look hard enough, you can fit pair and trios that fit together perfectly. I love my stones, and I've given away nearly all my Superior stones. It must be time to go back. It's not so far away. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Story behind the Photo, edition 1

On Facebook (Rebecca Ferrell Porter) I've been challenged to the wildly popular 7 Day Nature Photography Challenge by a good friend. Although we've never met in person, we've been friends for several years, and in 2013 we undertook a 52 week photography challenge together. Georgia was already an accomplished photographer at that time while I had just rediscovered a passion for the craft, but I've learned a lot since then. (much of it from her)

I'm finding the challenge fun and now realize I could go on for several weeks as nature is my favorite subject. I'm also using it to tell the micro-story behind the photo. (I am a writer after all) So I begin a new series today on my blog. 

A few years back, I decided I needed a photo that would bring the trolls I write about to life for my readers. I really do envision them cavorting through the forest with me on my walks. Oton, Gaven, Uredd, Leaf, all of them ... they are real to me. They have to be, or they will read as flat. I couldn't have that! 

So with camera in hand, I crawled among the weeds along the river. Really, on my hands and knees. Suddenly, this amazing puff ball loomed above me. It was about 18 inches tall, and I was looking up at it when I found it. I couldn't have that. The trolls are the size of rabbits, and I'm--well, I'm a substantially larger. Shifting my position, I found a better angle and snapped this photo. 

I still chuckle when I see this photo. It looks very much like the back of a troll head. 
Don't you agree?

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Trolls Love their Agates.
The Dragons Love their Sapphire.
But the Fairies know True Magic Lives in the Bloodstone.

Get started on Legends of the Aurora, Now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Garden of Betrayal ... the day is finally here ... Cover Reveal

Coming March 8, 2016 in Paperback and Digital Form 

Garden of Betrayal

The Imaginative Conclusion to the Legends of the Aurora Trilogy 

The moment I saw the first draft of this cover, I was in love. Vanesa Garkova instantly understood what I was trying to achieve, and then she took the concept to places I never dreamed. I gave Leaf a voice, but Vanesa gave her flesh and blood. 

If you are a fellow author, especially a fantasy author, please do yourself a favor and contact Vanesa Garkova. Her rates are very reasonable, and she continues to tweak the details until everyone is happy. When you do, tell her how happy she has made me. She'll know who you mean. She loves this story as well. Ours is more than a designer writer connection. We collaborated to bring the Legends of the Aurora to dreamers everywhere. 

I love them all. I hope you do as well.

(Now accepting PreOrders of signed Paperbacks $15 --USA Only-- Contact me if interested) 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cover Tease, Title Reveal

Okay. I've had my fun. Today I reveal the title of Book Three. 
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the big reveal.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cover Tease, Day Five

How about a bit of the title today?

What if trolls were the size of rabbits and dragons grazed among the cows in the field? And what if ancient Elementals watched from fantastical realms as mere mortals danced in ignorant bliss? Imagine you live alongside these creatures. Would you seek them out, or blot out their existence? I’m not done. What if cackling fairies hid in the shadows of the forest raising fear as they worked their powerful magic? Would you venture far from home?

You would if you were the key to everything.

Cover Tease, Day Four

A little something pointed, and deadly.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cover Tease, Bonus

How about a bit of context to help visualize what lay hidden in the the cover? 
Don't you love that glow? 

Cover Tease, Day Three

By now, you all know how much I love tree roots. 
Vanesa made them come to life. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cover Tease ... Day One

Time to have some fun. I've been quiet for weeks, but I had good reason. The conclusion of the Legends of the Aurora trilogy is about to hit the shelves. But first, let's have a little fun.

Once again, I worked with the amazing, incredible, talented, and gifted digital artist, Vanesa Garkova. Truth be told, Vanesa took my crude idea and created a stunning book cover that I can't wait to reveal. In fact, It's so fabulous, I decided to reveal it a slice at a time. Call me a tease.