Posted by: TA Sullivan | February 9, 2016

Interview with the Characters from Danaria

Starstone_Front_Cover_Only - 1A friend and I were speaking the other day about fictional characters and what it might be like to sit down with them and actually speak to them about their plans, desires, wants, and needs. I was so taken with the concept that I decided to use the library interview questions that I answered to find out more about the characters in my fantasy series. So, to find out what Joelnar, Darkwind, Neerah, Phessari, and Marek think, keep reading.

Q: What do you want most from life?

Joelnar: A quiet life of raising horses that I can share with a wife and family.
Darkwind: If not love, then at least acceptance. Everyone fears me and thinks that I’m this terrible, awful person, but they don’t know me…at least not the true me.
Neerah: I thought I wanted love and adventure, but now I’m not so sure about the adventure, anyway.
Phessari: I want to share my life with someone while using my healing talents to help people.
Marek: Honor. I want to regain, and then maintain my honor so that I and my partner can lead our people and keep our village strong.

Q: What do you notice first about people?

Joelnar: How open they are. If a person is trustworthy, they tend to be more open in the way they present themselves and speak to you, because they have nothing to hide.
Darkwind: I used to take everyone at face value. Now, however, I try to note their energy patterns to see how believable and trustworthy someone is. Despite my ‘age,’ I still have a lot to learn about people.
Neerah: I notice a person’s face and whether the person is smiling or frowning, or looks friendly or sour. If they’re sour, like old lady Enderas, then I would rather not have to spend time with them.
Phessari: Their aura. A person’s energy signature precedes them by at least four feet, so it’s the first thing I sense, and it gives me so much information about the person.
Marek: How they carry themselves. A proud and honorable person is comfortable with themselves, meets your gaze, and stands tall and strong.

Q: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

Joelnar: Dependability. I’m a very responsible person and I expect my friends to at least meet me half-way. If they tell me they’re going to do something, then I expect them to follow through.
Darkwind:
I can’t say that I have ever really had any friends. But if I did, I should like them to be understanding and kind.
Neerah: Fun. I love friends who enjoy life.
Phessari: Respect. It’s not easy for some people to respect someone with different values or beliefs. So, I really appreciate having friends who respect me.
Marek: Loyalty. When I go into battle, I expect my friends to be there with me. My fight should be their fight, and their fight is my fight.

Q: What is your main fault?

Joelnar: Dependability. I’m a very responsible person and I expect my friends to at least meet me half-way. If they tell me they’re going to do something, then I expect them to follow through.
Darkwind:
I’ve been told that I’m too controlling; but then, again, I’m rather reserved, so I get very uncomfortable in unstructured situations.
Neerah: Recklessness, I guess. Joelnar, Marmian, and my grandfather have all told me that I don’t think about the consequences of my actions; that I tend to just jump into things.
Phessari: My acceptance and my convictions in my faith. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is a believer.
Marek: Intolerance. I have been very intolerant of those who aren’t warriors or who do not follow warrior ways. I have little patience for spell-casters and the like.

Q: Do you have any regrets in your life, and if so, what?

Joelnar: Yes. I regret not going back to Darkwind’s when I first had the chance and rescuing my friend, Rafe, and my brother. But I’m determined to set them free, no matter what.
Darkwind:
I regret my interactions with Neerah. Of all those I have hurt, her pain cuts me the deepest.
Neerah: I regret not taking my opportunity with Joelnar when I had the chance back in the Forest of Reflections.
Phessari: I wish I knew more about the interactions of couples. I have spent so much time learning my skills as a healer that I have had little experience with emotional entanglements.
Marek: I regret my quick dismissal of those who do not follow the warrior’s path. I am just now beginning to understand that it takes more than being a great warrior to be a great person.

Q: What natural talent would you like to be gifted with?

Joelnar: I would like to have the touch with animals, especially horses, that my mother did. There wasn’t any animal anywhere that would shy away from her.
Darkwind:
Courage. I wish I had been braver when I first entered this world of physicality. Perhaps then, Ionee (now Neerah) would not have been so upset with me.
Neerah: Actually, I wish I could return the talent I was gifted with. I wish I couldn’t hear the gems singing, or use their power.
Phessari: I have already been blessed with so much, I would not ask the gods for more.
Marek: I have already been gifted with the skill and power of a mighty warrior. As a leader, this is the best talent to have.

Q: How do you wish to die?

Joelnar: Quietly, with my family around me.
Darkwind:
Free. If I die, I want to be free of d’Oessler’s control, and with Ionee’s forgiveness.
Neerah: I don’t wish to die at all. That’s morbid, ask me something else.
Phessari: I will accept whatever fate the gods may bless me with.
Marek: In battle, of course. That is how a warrior should die.

Q: What is your favorite motto?

Joelnar: With love and family, all things are possible.
Darkwind:
All are one.
Neerah: Life is a playground; let’s have fun.
Phessari: Life is a circular path leading to enlightenment.
Marek: Elai-gri nahk tie. Onward to battle!

 

Posted by: TA Sullivan | January 18, 2016

An Interview with This Author

meI was asked to participate in an interview for a local library publication, and thought I’d share it with my readers:

Q: What do you want most from life?

Acceptance. I want to feel as if I belong with a group, in the world, in this place, in this life. The biggest roadblock to that, though, is myself. I’m independent and prone to follow my own drummer, which makes me a puzzle to most people.

Q: What do you notice first about people?

Their face. I tend to look at a person’s eyes to see who they are inside. I truly do believe that the eyes hold the secret to a person’s soul, and you can usually tell by looking at their eyes what their true mood is. People can smile, but the eyes will tell you if it’s genuine.

Q: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

Understanding. I’m very introverted and so really appreciate my own space. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about someone; it simply means that sometimes I need to step away from the drama of everyday life, and I need friends who can understand that.

Q: What is your main fault?

I need to know ‘why’ about everything. I never outgrew the terrible two’s when you go around asking everyone why. I still do that. You tell me about an event, and if it isn’t clear to me why something happened, or why someone reacted the way they did, I’m going to ask…and sometimes I keep asking until I’m satisfied with the answer.

Q: What is your favorite occupation.

My favorite occupation is writing. I have always adored the written word. I taught myself to write when I was 3 because I wanted to understand what the magic was about words, and many decades later, I’m still exploring that magical realm of words.

Q: What is your idea of happiness? 

Happiness to me is many things. Some of those things are simple, like a soft breeze on a summer’s day or a bouncing, bundle of playful puppy or kitten. Sometimes I find happiness in watching my spouse come into a room and knowing that he’s safe and well. Other times happiness is knowing that I wrote a powerful passage that will move my readers or the knowledge that something I wrote has changed a reader’s life for the better.

Q: What is your idea of misery?

My idea of misery would be me being unable to communicate in any way—trapped in your body with an intact mind but no way to express your thoughts or ideas. That would be misery.

Q: If not yourself, who would you be?

I can’t imagine me being anyone other than who I am. While there are others I admire, I wouldn’t want to be them.

Q: Where would you like to live? 

I would love to live in the country, away from crowds and traffic. I adore nature and the tranquility it offers.

Q: What is your favorite color?

I adore rainbows because they have a blending of so many colors; however, if I have to pick a favorite, it would be purple.

Q: What is your favorite flower?

My favorite flowers are daisies and asters; primarily because of their ability to endure. I’ve seen them bloom despite drought or freeze, and I admire that.

Q: What is your favorite bird?

I’m not sure that I have a favorite. I find them all fascinating and interesting—even the noisy grackles and the rather ugly turkey vultures.

Q: Who are your favorite authors or most inspiring authors?

There are so many. I love to read, so I would say that my favorite author is the creator of whatever book I’m reading at the time.

When it comes to inspiration, though, Rod Serling and O. Henry were the authors that most inspired me. I adored the way they led you along a specific path with their stories so that you never saw the cliff looming ahead. I’ve always wanted to be able to able to write short stories the way they did…and someday maybe I will.  

Q: Who are your favorite poets?

Dr. Seuss and Ogden Nash. I love their playfulness and childlike innocence.

Q: Who are your favorite painters?

I want to be able to recognize what I’m looking at, so I like art that looks like what it’s supposed to be. That leaves out most impressionists, cubists, and modern artists (such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Dali).

Q: Who are your favorite composers?

I’m fairly flexible in my musical tastes, but I would say that my favorites range from Beethoven and Mozart, to the Beatles and Billy Joel.

Q: What are your favorite foods and drinks?

Anything chocolate.

Q: What are your favorite names?

That would be like trying to name my favorite star or planet. Every name is beautiful. We only think badly of a name when someone wearing that name acts in a negative way toward us.

Q: What do you dislike about yourself the most?

I dislike my impatience. It keeps me from being able to enjoy every moment of every day. But I’m working at improving myself so that I can be more in the moment, instead of racing ahead to the next one.

Q: What historical figure do you dislike the most?

While I may not care for some parts of our world’s history, and I hope we never repeat those parts, disliking the people involved is like disliking an actor in a play. The past is in the past, and we can’t change it, nor should we. Because if we were to change the people and the incidents, then we wouldn’t be living in our here and now and we wouldn’t be the people we are in this time and place.

Q: What natural talent would you like to be gifted with?

I already was. I have the gift of wordsmithing.

Q: How do you wish to die?

Quickly, quietly, and without fuss.

Q: What is your favorite motto?

Life is a series of choices; make the best of each one.

frontcover

 

 

Posted by: TA Sullivan | December 21, 2015

Before the Clock Strikes by EG Michaels

Before The Clock StrikesIf it weren’t for the unnecessary, and poorly done, prologue, I would give this book four stars. However, the prologue detracts from the excellently written and plotted story.

To me, it feels as if the prologue were thrown together in an effort to start the story with a bang (pun intended), but nearly caused me to abandon the book before giving it a chance. In the prologue we are introduced to a poorly developed character, Brianna. This is supposed to be a 13-year old girl, but comes across as a 20-something young man. We are also introduced to the killer, but, again, I find this unnecessary. The sympathy the author attempts to illicit by introducing us to, and then showing us her murder, doesn’t come across. I feel more sympathy and sorrow for the victim when I view the scene through Detective Simmons’ eyes.

Once the story moved to Detective Simmons, it took off. In fact, I think Detective Simmons could soon give Sara Paretsky’s character, VI Warshawski, a run for her money. Detective Kyle Simmons was well-developed all the way from his non-conformist attitude to his ability to see beyond the obvious. The story was good, if a bit sanitized (I expected a bit more grit considering it dealt with city gangs), but overall the pacing and writing were very good…good enough, that I would consider purchasing the second book.

Posted by: TA Sullivan | November 11, 2015

Distractions

TechnologiesHow distracted are you, or do you even recognize it when you’re distracted?

I’m not speaking of the little interruptions that occur when you lose focus on a task. I’m speaking of the mindless tasks you complete every day without even recognizing for a moment what it is you’re doing. You scurry down the street toward your job focused on your phone, your email, or on all the things you’re going to say or do during the day. You don’t see the other people sharing the sidewalk with you; you fail to notice whether the sun is out or not; and you definitely have no idea of where you are or where you’re going. It’s all instinct and habit.

But what if you let go of all the distractions and simply focused on the moment. What if you looked at your surroundings and actually took notice of the day? How much more interesting your day might be if you actually participated in it rather than drifted along, going from distraction to distraction?

While going for a walk the other day, I actually took that advice. I actually put myself into the moment and was amazed at all the things I had been missing up to then. There was a hint of pink just lining the edge of the horizon. A deer raised its head and gazed stoically at me before resuming its grazing of the neighbor’s garden. A squirrel chittered overhead, unseen and hidden in the canopy of one of the nearby trees, and one of the neighbor’s cats slunk under the car, its green eyes following me as I strolled past. I wondered how often these creatures had been out there watching me as I marched through the numerous mornings ignoring everything around me while caught up in my own tumultuous thoughts or while busy texting, tweeting, or checking my email.

When at work, I often find myself disengaged because I’m too busy doing everything while on automatic instead of actually thinking about the tasks I need to accomplish and what they entail. So many evenings I would get home and think, I need a new job, this one is just so boring. It seemed that my days were mechanical—go in do the tasks, go home. Never anything different; never a change.

But you know what? Sometimes, you don’t need a new job, you just need a new attitude, a new perspective. You may do your job out of habit right now, but that doesn’t mean you need a new job. If you actually look at each task and treat it as something new and unique, instead of just the same as yesterday’s tasks, you’ll find yourself not only engaged, but perhaps even enjoying the days and the job a lot more.

In today’s world, it is so easy to become distracted. We have cell phones that do everything from letting you watch television shows and movies, read books, text, tweet, and…oh yeah, even make and receive phone calls. We have cars that let us send and receive phone calls, texts, and watch movies; we have watches that link us to social media; and we have computers that keep us linked in, hooked up, and completely distracted wherever and whenever we want. And if all that technology fails to keep us distracted, we can do an excellent job of distracting ourselves by worrying about the past or the future instead of focusing on the here and now.

So, unplug, disconnect, and stop worrying about what was and what might be, and simply focus on the what and when now. Notice the people around you, listen to the sounds around you, and involve yourself with the events happening right now. It’s amazing how energized you’ll feel when you do.

Posted by: TA Sullivan | October 21, 2015

What Do You See?

An-EyeWhat do you see when you look in someone’s eyes?

When I look in someone’s eyes, the first thing I see is their soul age. The second thing I note is their role. (Every soul has a role or predominant trait that they bring with them from life to life. There are those who love to create, those who are born leaders, others who crave and thrive on attention, others who are reclusive and prefer studying and acquiring knowledge, some who live to serve others, and those who seek to serve a spiritual cause.) After that, I can usually grasp some of their predominant personality traits. (Sometimes, I can see traits that they never even realized they had, but once pointed out to them they usually nod and realize I’m right.)

These “personality traits and roles” I’m seeing are the filters that the person chose to view the world with. Each person chooses a set of filters before they’re born, and like a set of eye glasses, they slip these filters on and forget they’re even wearing them. The filters are primarily fear-based, and they color a person’s perspective regarding everything around them.

For instance, if one of your filters is stubbornness, you’re going to see every chance for change as something to be afraid of. That’s because stubbornness says that it’s better to stay where you are—you know it and it’s safe. Or if your glasses contain the impatience filter, then you’re going to see everything through the fear of missing out. You’ll be thinking of the next place you need to go or the next thing you need to do, instead of enjoying where you are and what you’re doing now. Eyewear

Because most of us don’t even recognize that we’re wearing these filters, we don’t realize that we’re letting fear color what we see and how we react. The glasses become such a part of us that we never think to take them off, either. So, we blithely continue to view life with these lenses that skew our vision all the while thinking that what we see is the “real world,” the “true world.” That is, until something devastating happens—such as a near death experience. Then the filtering glasses get smashed, or the lenses cracked, and suddenly you start seeing the world in a whole new way…with a lot less fear. But you don’t have to wait for some soul-shattering event; you can practice viewing the world without your glasses on your own.

Just take a few moments to set those glasses aside. At first, what you see may seem overwhelming. The world may appear blurry, with lights too bright and colors to sharp. So, you may only manage to keep the glasses off for a minute or two. But every time you try this, you’ll find that your vision adjusts more easily and rapidly; and you’ll find yourself wanting to leave the glasses off for longer and longer periods of time. Eventually, you may even find that you like things so much better without the filter of fear that you never want to wear those glasses again.  

Posted by: TA Sullivan | September 29, 2015

What makes a great non-fiction author?

escortingcoverTo me, the number one answer to that question is: storytelling ability. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, if you can’t relate the information in an interesting and compelling manner, then no one will read it.

Many people can tell a story or an anecdote, but only true storytellers can make them come alive. This is so very important when creating a non-fiction book. You have to find ways to help your readers relate to the characters, but without sacrificing the facts. After all, in non-fiction your characters aren’t made up and your readers can check the details. Yet, you don’t want to bore your readers with nothing but a compilation of facts, either.

Writing truth as if it were fiction is a fine line to walk. Some authors do it quite well, and others fall flat. As a reader, I noticed the difference and I began taking notes on what made some books great non-fiction and others just so-so. When I decided to share my own near death experience story (Escorting the Dead) with the world, I went back to my notes detailing the differences between good and not-so-good non-fiction to make sure I did it right.

As I analyzed these difference, I found that the major difference between good non-fiction and so-so non-fiction was the author’s ability to relate a story. As an author of both fiction (The Starstone) and non-fiction (Escorting the Dead), I have learned that no matter what type of book you are creating, you still have to tell a good story.frontcover

But how do you tell a story when relating facts, history, and biographical or autobiographical data? I found that there were two methods that seemed to work the best: use anecdotes to bring your people and time period to life; or relate one major incident from the person’s life in a friendly, story-like way. Both methods let you add flavor and depth to the people you are writing about. This then gives your readers a chance to connect with the people in your book. If you can’t build that bridge between your reader and the key character of your book, then no amount of facts, figures, charts, and graphs will win them over. Your readers want to see the humanity in the people populating your non-fiction book; they want to be able to relate to and understand the reasons motivating the people in your book. They want a really good story, even if it is non-fiction.

So, a great non-fiction author is one who can bring reality to life and fool his or her readers into believing that what they are reading is just a great story even if it is a moment plucked from real life.

Posted by: TA Sullivan | September 11, 2015

Helenism, Aristotle, and Multiverses

soapbubblesHellenism is the Aristotelian ideas of matter and form.

Matter is the potentiality, and form is the actuality. God is pure form (no physical matter) and we humans are combinations of matter and form, or potential and actual.

Both Judaism and Christianity adopted Aristotle’s teaching that we are matter and form, but renamed it body and soul. However, the concept of the form existing beyond the demise of the matter continued beyond Aristotle’s teachings and populated most major religions.

But there’s another point here that piques my interest. The fact that Aristotle believed in two states of being: potential and actual. When looked at in conjunction with the multiverse theories of today, you can see that Aristotle named these states of being very well. Every time we make a choice, we end up creating one or more potential realities. That means, we are always in a state of potentiality. The only time we can be in a state of actuality is when we forego the physical world for one of pure spiritualism. That’s because only outside of the physical world does time cease to be a factor, and without time, there is no potentiality. Without time, everything just is. All realities exist, all potentials are realized, and we (every aspect of us) is now an actuality.

It boggles my mind, yet I understand it so well. I’m sure that in another reality, a potential reality, there’s a me that doesn’t understand it all, or doesn’t even care about it; but in this reality, this me thinks this is utterly awesome.

Science lists five possible types of multiverses:

The flat repeating multiverse. This is described as a patchwork quilt view of reality. Each square of space-time extends only as far as light has traveled since the big bang (or 13.7 billion light-years). The next square beyond that is another, separate universe of multiverses. So, within our square would be an infinite number of each of us, some living lives very similar to our own, while others would have taken completely different paths.

The bubble universes. The main bubble is where we all started. However, as choices are made, smaller bubbles break out along the surface of this main bubble. Major breaks in the space-time line result in large separate bubbles being created, while less influential choices result in smaller collections of surface bubbles.

Parallel universes or braneworlds. This theory comes from the string theory world. Each brane is a layer that floats just out of reach of the next brane. Each brane is a self-contained universe which may or may not be similar to our own.

Daughter universes. This theory is part of the quantum mechanics world. It says that every possibility is created and becomes a reality. For example, if you reach a crossroads where you can go right or left, the present universe gives rise to two daughter universes: one in which you go right, and one in which you go left. quilt

Mathematical universes. Scientists have debated whether mathematics is simply a useful tool for describing the universe, or whether math itself is the fundamental reality, and our observations of the universe are just imperfect perceptions of its true mathematical nature. If the latter is the case, then perhaps the particular mathematical structure that makes up our universe isn’t the only option, and in fact all possible mathematical structures exist as their own separate universes.

So, our universe is probably just one of an infinite number of universes making up our reality. And whether it’s a bubble, a brane, a patchwork square, a daughter, or an equation, in this reality, Aristotle expressed it first.

Posted by: TA Sullivan | September 8, 2015

Relationships…they’re harder than they look

EbookCover“More from the Masters,” the companion book to “Escorting the Dead” is finally here. This book can help you understand why you do some of the things you do, why you seek out the types of people you do, and how to make more love-filled choices. The book is filled with wisdom from the ascended masters regarding the different types and levels of relationships that we create during our lifetimes, and how each of these relationships affect the experiences we have. It is a compilation of discussions and explanations that (hopefully) will help you gain a new perspective to and understanding for the complexities of human relationships and how to cope with them.

They explain how life is an intricate pattern of relationships, which we weave into and out of our lives with every choice we make. They also speak about how our choices are based in love or fear (love’s opposite), and how we can help ourselves overcome the fear to make more love-based choices.

To find out more about this book, or any of my other books,check out my page at Goodreads or Amazon.com.

Posted by: TA Sullivan | August 17, 2015

They Get Paid for That?

1598R-10019499I just watched a show on the Science channel that explored the idea that our world and all of us in it are nothing more than a computer simulation created by some other beings “out there” somewhere.

While I’m all for exploring who we are, why are we here, and where did we come from, I found this whole concept ludicrous in the extreme (and I’m not speaking of the rap artist). These so-called scientists had spent years melding together theories from the Matrix movies and the movie the 13th Floor which they then submitted for grants and funding so they could produce little more than bogus formulas that proved only that they loved playing computer games.

Don’t get me wrong…I love a good theory as much as the next person. However, you had one Danish “expert” who was doing nothing more than videoing his world in an effort to capture THE GLITCH which would prove once and for all that we are nothing more than a computer simulation. His selling point is that no computer is massive enough, sturdy enough, or fast enough to constantly update the images we see as life without periodically glitching. So, he is determined to capture that moment when the programming stalls for that micro or a nanosecond, which means that he needs to capture his entire life digitally. (Of course, he ignores the fact that if some civilization is capable of creating such a realistic virtual reality as ours that they just might have figured out how to create a powerful enough computer to avoid those glitches.)

One scientist said he could prove that our world wasn’t really three-dimensional, that it was, in fact, only a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world. That when the astronauts went into space, they were only moving beyond the defined structure of the computer simulation that defined our world and that’s why it was dark and empty. Ooooookay. (Perhaps, he needs more hugs…or a nightlight?)

Then there’s the expert who is convinced that if we use our peripheral vision to look at the edges of our world we will eventually see the grid that surrounds our world and holds us in place. (Does this sound as if he’s watched Hunger Games 2 a little too much to anyone?) As to where exactly we find these edges, I’m not sure. I mean, didn’t Columbus already show everyone that the world is round (or at least oval). Wouldn’t our space explorers have run into the grid when they blasted into space (or are we doing that the-moonwalk-was-a-fraud-thing again)?

Then there was the guy who spends his time surfing, but scribbles his formulas into the sand between waves (at least his theories don’t stay around long). For him, we’re all just avatars for those outside our virtual reality. Okay…but who are these beings using us as avatars? He doesn’t know, and does it really matter? (I suppose not, since there’s another wave coming which will wipe his theory off the beach anyway.)5387-Beach--8x10

One expert from Germany was using a type of heat sensor to find the energy grid that was the framework of our world.  While some theorist in the UK said he could point to the polygons found in everyday items (such as mountains and buildings) that he was sure were actually the foundation of the wireframes that comprised our computerized world.

As for me, I can disprove all of their theories with one question: Why would anyone create a virtual world in which the most exciting thing their characters/avatars do is watch TV, read books, and stare at computer screens?

Posted by: TA Sullivan | July 15, 2015

The Magic of Creating

paint_brushAll creative pursuits are part talent, part skill, and large part magic. What do I mean by “magic”? That’s simple, it’s the piece of you, your energy, your spark, that you imbue your creation with. Without that little bit of your own energy embedded in your creative work, it won’t have a voice, or at least not a very loud voice.

For instance, I attended a photography display at a local college recently. One of the assignments was to take an image of a sun rise. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, evidently two of the people found a similar location in a local park and decided to photograph it.

Both captured the image perfectly, framing the rising sun through the rose-covered arched trellis; however, only one of the images had a voice. Only one of the images made you feel as if you were there, standing on the dew-damp grass with the ground-hugging mist encircling your feet and shins. You could smell the rose-scented air, feel the warmth of the struggling sun beams as they climbed over the horizon, and hear the twitter of the morning birds greeting the new day. The other photo was a nice image, but it was silent.

The difference was felt, not just by me, but by most everyone who looked at the two photos side-by-side. Most tried, but couldn’t understand how two such similar images failed to invoke the same type of feelings. My hypothesis, one photographer pushed the energy of their feelings for the scene into the image they created, while the other photographer merely completed the assignment—they took a photo of the sun rising.

So, while one photographer captured an image using talent, skill and magic; the other photographer, forewent the magic and the project fell flat.

Books, paintings, sculptures, stitchery, knitting, any and all creative endeavors need that spark of magic, that little piece of energy from their creator in order to be more than just another object. When you write a story, you have to make those characters live. You have to put enough of yourself, your energy, into the characters and the world you have created for them so that other people can see what you wrote. That world has to form around the readers the moment they open the book, and those characters have to leap from the page and perform their actions with the reader in their midst.

To the readers and viewers (of visual art) it may seem like nothing short of magic. But if they can become involved in the worlds and characters that you have created, they can then add their own spark to it and make it that much more alive. The more energy that gets added to a creative endeavor, the more alive and ‘real’ it becomes. The Harry Potter series is an excellent example of magic feeding on magic. JK Rowling imbued her creations with so much energy, everyone could ‘see’ and experience her world. The readers then added their own spark by becoming so involved in the story that the characters became even more ‘real’, the possibility of that world actually existing became ‘real’. The whole idea grew into something magical, because she used all three ingredients.Starstone_Front_Cover_Only - 1

When I wrote my book, “The Starstone,” I left a large part of me in the story. Danaria was a real world (to me), the characters were real (to me), and I was always concerned about their welfare. I saw the world, I conversed with the characters, and I struggled with their dilemmas right alongside them.

Hopefully, I left behind enough of my energy, my magic, to speak to others; to call them, to entice them to visit Danaria and see what adventures my characters could show them.

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