Pardon Me

I waited on the corner of my beloved’s favorite street, hoping he would soon pass by. The stream of cars rushed by me, some slowing to look at me, my clothes drenched from the splattering rain. I wished I’d brought my umbrella.  I would’ve looked them in the eyes boldly, but instead, I kept my head low.  I must have looked awful, even though only 15 minutes had passed.  The street lights changed from red to green. I was relieved when they turned green.  People walked by me and saw nothing unusual, from what I could tell.  A couple stopped nearby to argue over whether they should hail a cab or take the subway.  She was stunning with her long black hair tucked loosely under her cashmere hat. Her serious brown eyes were only a few feet away from me, but she barely saw me there. She was so involved in her cause.  He was tall, but I couldn’t see his face.  His long trenchcoat waved in the rain-whipped wind. It made him look mysterious and intriguing.  He held a large black umbrella over her head.  A yellow cab pulled up to the curb and she dove in it like a mad dog.  She was quick and quite clever. He closed the umbrella with some reluctance and slowly joined her in the cab.  The cabbie pulled into traffic and they blended in to the rest of the city.  

The cold air began to bite at my fingers and I drew them tightly into little fists and tucked them into my coat pockets, trying to act nonchalant.  I felt more exposed now.

There he is! My heart began to pick up speed! I stood straighter and felt my confidence grow with each second.  He exited the building and walked to the corner.  His walk was purposeful, each step a deliberation of knowledge. He pulled his collar up around his neck and dug his face into his coat.  He didn’t have an umbrella either.

He crossed over to my side of the street.  I was fully aware of my staring, but I didn’t care. He came towards me.  I deliberately stepped in front of him.

“Pardon me,” he said, as he stepped around me.

I had his voice! It was all I needed. I could go home now.

Inspired by a book I found in the Bargain section of Barnes & Noble.

The book is titled, “Creative Writer’s Notebook: 20 Great Authors & 70 Writing Exercises.” The author of the book is John Gillard. I bought this book for only $8.98.

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The story you just read is based on an exercise from the book.  I wrote Pardon Me as part of an interior monologue, an exercise in the book. If you need a little jolt to get those creative juices flowing, I highly recommend this book.

I’ll be back. Stay tuned.

Merry Christmas

Interview with Ian Probert

Happy New Year everyone!!!!  Join me this week as I post my very first guest interview. Ian Probert, a very talented author and journalist will be my guest.  He is the author of Johnny Nothing, a funny children’s book, among other stories.  He promises a few free giveaways, so don’t miss it!!! Details of how to obtain Ian’s books will be revealed during the interview!!JohnnyNothing_IanProbert

The Joshua Stone by James Barney – A Book Review

James Barney is a new author to my book collection. However, he is not a new author.  He has also written The Genesis Key and I plan to read this book, as well. Because Joshua is one of my favorite Biblical characters, the title immediately caught my attention.  I needed to know if the title had any connection to the Joshua of the Bible.  I picked up the book, scanned the blurb on the back cover, and saw the words “biblical mystery.”  I had found my answer. I read the blurb again, from the beginning, and discovered that two detectives had to “work together to solve a biblical mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries.”  Hmm, I thought.  This might be a good read.  Since I love Biblical mysteries and enjoy a good thriller, I decided to purchase the book.

 

The Joshua Stone1

I discovered that Barney is an excellent writer.  I say this because he never drops the plot.  The book is action-packed from beginning to end.  I couldn’t put it down!  Although the story plot is a work of fiction, it so believable, I found myself asking the question “What if..?” over and over again.  He created a very intriguing plot with equally believable characters.  He built the characters quickly, yet poignantly, and threw me right into the action.

This is the kind of book that deserves a second read, not because you miss something or don’t understand something the first time, but because once you understand the big picture, you will want to read it again.

Without giving the story away, I’ll say James Barney created a scenario that could actually happen, if there was any truth to the mysterious power he has placed upon the Joshua stone. This stone, when united with other stones of its kind, will cause an unstoppable chain reaction that could affect the entire world!  I believed it! So without further adieu, I gave this book 5 Stars for its incredible imagination, its well-written content, its riveting plot line, and its tasteful development.

This Is How I Do It!

Hello everyone!

While life prepares to whip me around another corner on this great adventure,  I have a special treat for you today. I have prepared an excerpt from my first baby, I mean novel, (he he) “Silver, The Dream Dragon.”296-ancient-grey-dragon

First, I’d like to share some thoughts about the day.  I woke up this morning to the smell of crisp country air, birds chattering about their morning activities, and a full dose of clear skies, blended in with brilliant golden sunshine.  I grabbed my first cup of coffee for the day and quickly took myself outside to take it all in.  The sunlight came through the trees in perfect rays that ended their journey on the soft clay soil known as North Carolina.  The smell of fresh grass and new foliage was in the air.  I knew this would be a perfect day for writing.

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I don’t know about the rest of the planet, but this writer loves nothing more than a fresh blue ink pen that fits perfectly in her hand and a blank piece of paper. I usually hand-write my stories and transfer them to the laptop later.  It’s more inspirational to me to write the old-fashioned way.

In the midst of God’s beautiful creation, I knew I’d be sipping coffee and writing in no time. This is my kind of day!  Perhaps the only thing that could be missing was the soft gurgling rush of water over the rocks in a brook or stream.  I love to write by the water – any kind of lake or stream.  I’ve even written short stories next to a lighthouse at the beach.  It is so exhilarating and peaceful to me that I can stay there for hours at a time.  Unfortunately, there were no bodies of water nearby, but I didn’t let that stop me.  It was just as perfect here in the natural quiet of the woods.  Life is beautiful in its natural state.  There’s a sense of spirituality that invades my DNA and causes all kinds of creative scenes to pop into my head.

I was raised in New York City, so I appreciate this kind of country.  There’s virtually no traffic here, even on a busy day.  I can hear every sound and every chestnut falling off a tree. Every creature tends to his business, except the bluejays, who are the drama queens of the bird world. I could hear them stirring up trouble already for the cardinals. Baaaaaaddd birdies!  

cardinal bird

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Coffee in hand, pen in the other, I was overcome with an uncanny sense of nostalgia.  It was so strong and so familiar, I almost burst into tears!  In fact, I felt the spirit of depression attempting to take over my nostalgic mood.  You see, there is someone who joins me every morning for coffee.  Although it’s been four years since I’ve seen him, the sun, the moon, the stars, the birds, the crisp morning air, and yes, even a great cup of coffee, all remind me of this guy.  We spent many mornings together, enjoying a fresh cup of brewed coffee on a day just like this.  I have a heart full of wonderful memories.  Sometimes, I can’t breathe when these memories visualize as vividly as they did this morning.

burning heart

One of my main characters – who is named Seth – is a character that reflects the absolute best this guy had to offer.  I kept all the good memories, all of my favorite parts of this unnamed guy’s personality, and put every one of them into Seth.  Therefore, Seth is sometimes a very painful character to write, because I become nostalgic and drift away into my real-life memories of that guy.

Some would say, “Let it go, man.”  Some would say, “It’s been almost four years.  Move on!”  But I say,  “No!”  I love my memories of that guy.  Were it not for him, I would never have known what the word “soulmate” means.  That guy was my inhale, my other half, the greatest love I’ve ever known.  Therefore, he deserves a warm place in my stories.  He deserves a place in my heart and he is worthy of being a main character in any book I choose to write.  That’s my prerogative as a writer.  Besides, Seth had been created long before we broke up.

In this case, Seth is one of two main characters in “Silver, The Dream Dragon.”   Seth was born in 2006. I created him and the idea for this novel after I had a wild dream, while napping in my sister’s sun room.  In the dream, I heard a dog barking.  I heard a voice in the distance saying, “I have to save the dog.”   That voice turned out to be my own.  Then, I saw a tree in the yard.  The tree took the shape of a smoky human being with a tall hat on his head and fire in his eyes.  He looked directly into my eyes and said firmly, “This is your story.  Now WRITE it!

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When I woke up from the dream, I looked into my sister’s backyard for any signs of a talking tree, but I didn’t find one.  I wasn’t surprised because talking trees are very hard to find when you’re awake.  Usually, you have to digest, inhale, or inject some type of hallucinogen to find them.  I don’t do any of those things, so I have to wait for dreams.  Needless to say, I began writing this novel shortly thereafter.

As life will have it, things got in the way of me finishing this novel.  I won’t go into all the details here, (I may reserve them for a memoir someday), but I couldn’t continue to write this novel until recently.   I DID find the tree that was in my dream, though.

 I have provided a picture of the talking spellcaster for all to see.  It turns out thatIMG_5339 my other sister in North Carolina, where I am currently staying, has such a tree!  I was flabbergasted when I saw it!  Seth is the spellcaster-talking-tree that appeared first in my dream and then was developed into a character in my story.

Now, without further adieu, here is a very small excerpt from “Silver, The Dream Dragon.”  I hope you enjoy it!  All comments are welcome, as always.  May the world always see you in the light!

 

From “Silver The Dream Dragon” by Tricia McHugh, under digital copyright protection.

Unlike Osiris, Uluru resembled an old medieval village.  There were no towering buildings here; no flying escalators, and from the looks of everything, no buildings that were ready to sink into the ground, in case of invasion.

There were small clay homes everywhere.  The town had an old medieval feel to it.  The buildings had been constructed so long ago that some of the clay homes were weather-worn, chipped in various places, and faded in color.  They were all made of earth tones – brown, beige, rustic orange, and splashes of maroon.

The entrance to the town was made from some type of metal and shaped like an arched gate.  There were delicate angels welded into the design, as if they had been put there to protect the town.  Some of the homes closer to the gate were lined up and down the street.  Others were scattered across the hills on a variety of farmlands.

Destiny thought she had walked into a Nintendo town, much like an old Final Fantasy game she used to play. There were homes and small shops on every street.  Women dressed in long flowing gowns and men wearing strange hats strolled up and down the streets, accompanied by friends or family.

As the party came through the gate, no one took notice of Kira or Shannah.  Apparently, it was normal to see dragons walking up and down the streets.  It also helped that they had shifted their actual sizes down to people size, so that they could walk without destroying anything with their enormous wings and tails.

It was mid-morning, so all the shops were open and bustling with business.  Produce stands were scattered here and there; clothing shops and other boutiques had samples of their products placed outside for all to see and touch. The fresh smell of bread wafted through the old streets causing Destiny’s senses to come alive and alert.  Brick ovens were ripe with fresh dough and pastries.  The smell invaded Destiny’s nostrils with longing.

“All this smell of bread is making me quite hungry,” she said aloud to no one in particular.

“I know a nice cafe where we can taste the finest bread and drink the best coffee in the world,” Seth said.

“Yes, please!” Destiny replied enthusiastically.  She longed for a good cup of coffee.  She remembered brewing a pot for herself right before she found herself cantering through a foreign desert on top of the largest bird on the planet.  She couldn’t remember when she’d eaten last either.  Suddenly, she felt famished!

The cool morning air carried all kinds of fresh aromas to tease her senses.  There was the smell of sweet rolls, eggs, bacon, and peppers.  There were pies of all kinds placed on shop windowsills, as she passed various food stores.  She inhaled deeply as she passed a peach cobbler pie.  She closed her eyes for a second to savor the smell.  Suddenly, her stomach groaned loudly.

“I heard that,” Seth said with a smile, “and I agree!  Let’s get some food!”  Apparently, the fresh smell of newly baked food had gotten to his senses, as well.

Seth led the way up a short hill to an outdoor cafe called “The Shepherd’s Pie.” Destiny and the dragons found a corner table with a beautiful view. It seemed they were further up the hill then she previously thought.  It was breathtaking! Kira pointed to the western horizon.  The town was sprawled across rolling green hills that faded into the distance.  Just beyond the farmhouses to the west, she pointed to the Twisted Forest.  On the east side were two rivers – the Sedina and the Yam.  They were joined by the Rainbow Crossing – one of the two bridges that crossed both rivers.  To the south and southeast were Osiris and the desert.  On the north side, there were towering mountains named after the land she was in – the Ikula Nappa mountains.  For the first time since she had arrived, she was able to relax and concentrate on her three new friends.

After everyone was seated, Seth disappeared into the cafe to order for everyone.  While he was in there, Destiny realized how considerate he was to let the ladies rest while he handled the task of ordering food for everyone.  There was a hint of chivalry in that man that she had not witnessed before and Destiny like that bout him.   He had pulled out a chair for each of them and bowed before he left them.  She shook her head, as if to get him out of there, and turned her attentions towards Shannah.

“How are you feeling today?” Destiny asked.  She leaned over in her chair to examine Shannah’s leg.  There seemed to be no trace of the gaping wound that had been there just one day before.

“Good as new, thanks to you!” Shannah replied happily.  Her mouth spread into an enormous grin, revealing teeth that could tear a large lion in half.  Except for two top fangs that were slightly rounded, each of her teeth shot up and down from the gums about two finger lengths and ended in a very sharp point at the end.  Mind you, This was the down-sized version of Shannah! Destiny cringed and immediately attempted to hide her reaction.  She could only hope that she would never end up inside the mouth of a dragon.  She’d never have a chance against those razor-sharp teeth!

She swallowed hard at the site of those teeth.  She returned her own feeble smile and said lamely, “Well good.  I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

Shannah had gorgeous eyes that matched her enormous smile.  They were a gleaming amethyst color that sparkled in the sunlight.  Against her aqua body scales and her teal wings, her eyes were even more stunning.  There was something incredibly beautiful about a dragon’s eyes when they were smiling at you.

“Shannah, might I say that you have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”

Shannah shifted in her seat and brought her body in very close to Destiny’s.  She said very slowly, ” The – better – to – see –  you –  with – my – dear.”  Then, she grinned broadly.

Destiny jumped out of her seat and stumbled back a few steps, almost falling backwards over the table behind her.  Both dragons burst into uncontrollable laughter.  The sound seemed to reverberate throughout the whole cafe.

“That’s not funny,” Destiny said angrily, as she balanced herself from falling over.  “Do you even know what you just said?  That sounds like a statement from Little Red Riding Hood.  You wouldn’t know THAT story, now would you?  Yea, well, the wolf says that very same thing when he is getting ready to eat the grandmother.  Ugh! Never mind!”  Her hands were still shaking from the vision of Shannah swallowing her whole.  She folded her arms against her chest so they wouldn’t notice that she was shaking in terror.

The dragons burst into more bouts of laughter, so loud now, that it seemed to be carried all through the hills. Their booming cackles bounced off the cafe walls, as Seth reappeared with two trays in his hands.   He and everyone else in the cafe could hear the laughter coming from somewhere outside.   All the customers had their heads turned towards the door.  Most of them were smiling.

Seth placed the trays on the table and looked from Destiny to Shannah to Kira.  His eyes continued to drift back and forth between the three of them.  The laughter was so hearty, it was contagious.  A smile gradually formed on his face, as he held out Destiny’s chair and motioned for her to sit down.

She gave him a mean look when she saw the smile, but she didn’t let on that she wasn’t serious.

“What’s so funny?” he asked as he sat in his own chair. He removed the coffee from the trays and placed each cup down in front of his lady friends.

In between bouts of simmering laughter, Kira filled him in on the joke.  He began to laugh, too.  Destiny listened to Kira’s interpretation of what had just happened between them.

“Real funny, guys! So you know the Little Red Riding Hood story,” she said half-heartedly.  The smell of the freshly baked bread was right in front of her now.  The smell of the coffee was at the tip of her nostrils, as she raised the clay cup to her nose.  She closed her eyes and inhaled its aromatic flavor.  The hunger pains exploded in her belly and she knew she needed to satisfy her bitter hunger immediately.  She took her first sip of coffee hastily.

“Oh – my – goodness!” she said loudly.  “This is simply delicious!”  She turned to Seth and smiled contentedly.

“Thought you’d like it,” he said as he sipped his own cup of coffee.  “It’s made from the finest beans in the land.”

“Where’s the trust?” Shannah interrupted while staring at Destiny.

“What?” Destiny asked, completely surprised by the off-handed question.

“You were thinking something about my teeth, Destiny! That’s why I said, “The better to see you with, my dear.”

Both dragons broke into hearty laughter all over again.

Destiny looked at both of them and shook her head in confusion.  Then, suddenly, she understood.

“Oh crap, I forgot you guys can read my mind,” she said as she rolled her eyes. Then Destiny joined her friends and burst into a hearty laughter all her own. Seth joined her.  Soon, everyone was laughing and enjoying the beautiful morning sunshine on their faces, the crisp country air, and the taste of fresh bread.

It would be the last time they all laughed together for a very long time.”

 

Four Blood Moons by John Hagee

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Rating: 4 Stars

I read this book because of my interest in books on bible prophecy.  I have never read anything by John Hagee, but I did do a little research on him before I read this book.  After learning that his book, Jerusalem Countdown, was a New York Times Bestseller and he is the pastor of a nondenominational church in Texas, I decided Four Blood Moons might be worth reading.

So that this book review is fair, you will need to know that I am a Christian.  However, I have a healthy skepticism for well-meaning people who interpret Bible prophecy.  After all, it is a topic that has caused great debate in the scientific and theological community.

I read this book with an open mind and enthusiasm for John Hagee’s interpretation of the floor blood moons that occur between April 2014 and September 2015.onebloodmoon

The book was well-written and easy to follow.  Hagee explains why he decided to write the book, the events that took place, and the amount of research that caused him to feel this book was necessary. I could almost feel his excitement as he stumbled upon information that caused him to believe God is sending a message to all of us.

For those of us who are familiar with the New Testament, but have not read the Old Testament, this book provides detailed information on how God used the sun, moon, stars, and time to get a message to the Israelites.  We are all familiar with the star that appeared in the sky at the time of Jesus’ birth.  Most Christians are aware that this star led the three wise men to Bethlehem.

However, there are many events in the Old Testament, where God shows that He is in complete control of the cosmos.  Hagee explains these events in Four Blood Moons and refers to thespecific biblical passages where these events occurred.. There is much to learn if you are not familiar with the Old Testament books. We know of Moses parting the Red Sea and we know of The Flood.  Does anyone know that Joshua stopped time?  Does anyone know that God reversed time for Hezekiah?  If you don’t know these stories, you will definitely want to read them after you’ve read Four Blood Moons. If you are already familiar with these events, they will provide the necessary background for Hagee’s conviction that something is about to change during the course of the four blood moons occurring between 2014 and 2015.

fourbloodmoondatesAlthough Hagee’s conviction relies on Biblical scripture, he also provides historical and astronomical proof that something is going to happen, based on the past three Tetrads. He has provided a substantial list of references for further reading on the subject.

John Hagee will give you an enormous amount of Biblical scripture and world history to support his conviction that the four blood moons occurring between 2014 and 2015 symbolize a major change is about to occur .  He accomplishes this by explaining events that occurred in Israel at the time of three other Tetrads. Theses Tetrads occurred from 1493-1494, 1949-1950, and 1967-1968.  A Tetrad is defined as four total full lunar eclipses. An interesting aspect of the Tetrad that occurs between 2014 and 2015 is that a solar eclipse occurs between the first two blood moons and the last two blood moons!

pasttretradsOverall, the book was very interesting and I learned a few things about Jewish history.  Unlike other prophecy books that I have read, Hagee didn’t say the world will end on a specific day.  He doesn’t even suggest that the world will end.  However, he firmly believes that something will change in this coming year.

I agree with John Hagee on one thing – something is about to change. Will this change revolve around the Jewish people?  Will this be a world event? Who knows?  Only time will tell.  Jesus says specifically in Matthew 13:32 – “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.…”

 

And now…A word from your blogger!

Are you curious yet?

Today, I would like to tell you something about my book.  It’s been in the creative stage since 2006.  I have mistakenly put many things before my passion and that is why I created this blog.  Call it a self-help method, if you will, but the purpose of this blog is to keep me on track and prevent me from going back on a promise I made to myself – get this book published and off my desk now!!

My genre is fiction/fantasy fiction because it is my favorite form of writing, but I also write poetry and there are a couple of mystery novels roaming around in my brain.  I even have several inspirational faith-based books that I would like to explore with a pen.

Today,  I am writing a fantasy fiction novel. The title of this novel is Silver, The Dream Dragon.  Yes, I said dragon.  No, we are not done with dragon novels yet!  This book will not be your average dragon novel, either.  I plan to incorporate actual mythology with my own imaginative mythology.

It was Mark Twain who once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”   It is my intention to mix truth with fiction so that I may also enjoy the possibilities.  Besides, it is so much more fun to create your own world and live in it as the ruler and creator of all characters!

Dragons are wonderful and mysterious creatures, especially since there is no real evidence of their existence.  Yet, cultures throughout the world have incorporated dragons into their mythologies.  Interesting, I say!  Where did they come from?  How did they end up in so many cultures?  The possibilities are endless!

My story revolves around two human characters and two very talented dragons, who feel and think just like humans do, perhaps with a little more wisdom and compassion than some real humans I know.  These four characters embark on a journey to find Silver, a dragon who has been kidnapped by the dark dragons of another realm.  As the story unfolds, there are times when even I didn’t know what is going to happen.  But, my friend, that is the beauty of writing.  The story evolves as the finger hits the keyboard, which is why I am a passionate writer.  I love a good story, especially one that is happening right before my very eyes!

Today, I wrote two more pages of that story and as usual, the unexpected happened.  I just discovered what is so special about Silver.  You will have to read the book, of course, to find out.

Thanks for being here with me.