Friday, February 7, 2020

Fairytale Blog Tag... from Fairytale Central!

So, Fairytale Central had a cute blog tag which tempted me out of internet obscurity... and here's my answers to them! 
– What’s an obscure fairy tale you love?
E. ~ Hmmm...  hard to say!! There are so many obscure tales, and often I like elements from this one and that one... which is one of the reasons why I write! To make a "better story" and iron out the wrinkles which bother me in the originals!!! ;-) 
– If you got to choose Disney’s next animated princess movie, what fairy tale would you choose to be adapted?
E. ~ I might get yelled at by some, but after recently seeing Frozen 2, and loving it even more, perhaps, than Frozen 1... right now, I'd vote for Frozen 3. I love the sister dynamic, and exploring more about how to grow up and yet stay close... a theme that's often ignored in entertainment.
   (And personally
.. as someone who gets super tired of that beaten-into-the-ground trope; I love that "Twu Wuv!" is NOT the focus.)
  Also, my soul adores the Nordic aesthetic for that world... it's beautiful in ways I can't even articulate here!
Such details! Such inspiration!
– What is the first fairy tale you remember hearing when you were a child?
E. ~ I can't recall... perhaps Red Riding Hood? I've always hated that one... the "oh, they're still alive!" twist at the end can't make up for all the deaths that batter you right off the bat in that tale!
– If you were to embark on a fairy tale quest, what necessities would you pack in your bag?
E. ~ Oh, definitely a water canteen, a dagger, and fire starter, and pens and paper to make maps and notations so I'd be less likely to get lost!! ;-)
  Then I'd wrangler up a couple horses, because I'm all about the ability to get away fast, and having multiple horses to switch through boosts the chances of success on that!! 
– What’s your favorite fairy tale trope?
E. ~ I love the "misfortune-befallen royalty"... the idea that true worthiness will show through even under the worst circumstances, and that you can still tell someone's mettle no matter how disguised their state may be. I definitely "heart that", big time! 
– If you could be any fairy tale character archetype (the princess, the soldier, fairy godmother, talking animal, mischievous imp, wise old woman, evil stepmother/sister, etc.), who would you want to be and why?
E. ~ I've always had a deep affinity for the Cinderella archetype... I suppose it ties in with my answer above. So the Princess and the Pea is a great one (though I've always had mixed feelings about the Pea part of that tale... I prefer "actions speak louder than words" type of solutions! :-) )
– What animal/mythical creature would be your sidekick for fairy tale adventures? 
E. ~ Well, a horse would be invaluable for traveling, but dogs are fantastic, so I'd not want to be on an adventure without one.
 Also, goats are terrific, and so devoted and generous... so I guess I'd be the classic "Dairy maid with goat herd in tow, accompanied by dog/s and with a stout, sturdy horse to complete my animal friends."
   (Is that allowed? ;-) )
– What is your favorite historical era, and what fairy tale would you love to see in that setting?
E. ~ I like certain elements from many eras, and yet dislike other parts of each, so for my "perfect world" I pull from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Victorian eras... and enjoy the mashup!
– If you could change a fairy tale’s villain into a hero, who would you choose and why?
E. ~ I'm generally okay with the villains being bad... I mean, that's the point of fairytales. To show Bad Things, in extreme focus, so hopefully they're easier to recognize in the real world?
  But... as much as I enjoy the Frozen movies.... I get very irritated when tales represent the polite, well mannered, and dignified (usually a prince!) as a the "Horrible Person" TM... It really makes me angry.
   As someone raised to by a mother who instilled manners and expectations of  gracious behavior... and who schooled us to value those things in others, it makes me see red when those merits are treated as signs of despicability.
  (And the vice versa trope, where ill-mannered boors are naturally the Hero (TM) Ugh. Hate that!) 
– Do you prefer fairy tales with happy endings or sad/tragic endings? why or why not?
E. ~ Oh, they must be happy. Of course... nothing else would be worth while!!!

Welcome to an Iconic Year...?

Sci-Fi Movies Set In 2020 (& What They Got Right
Wow! 2019 flew by, and I can hardly believe it's 2020 already!!!
  The year that in so much past fiction has been treated as "science fiction Is Here!" and yet... it seems a lot like the past couple of decades, in real life.
 I guess there's a strange, anti-climatic feel to this year, because it's been so talked about in the past... So that it kind of feels like "Oh, nothing like that is likely!"
 ...and yet on the other hand, almost a hint of "well, what if something Big did happen...?"

   One can never rule that out, and it gives the year an almost eerie quality... perhaps having too much to live up to does that!

 On the other hand, 2020 has provided plenty of fodder for the meme-makers, and I've been laughing at the "2020 vision" memes, well as the "--20's, has historically had plague outbreaks"... somehow, that punchline just cracks me up every time!)
And then I hear there are even memes about WW3... all things that have been talked about so many times, the concepts sound almost worn to death... and yet.....

   One can never rule it out, either!!

  Anyway, could be an interesting year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Have you heard...about Fairy Tale Central?

Once Upon a Time two girls had
a dream. A dream of a fairy tale site, an internet library, if you will, for all the fairy tale lovers of the land to gather and converse. To learn, to read, to fangirl/boy, to bask in the goodness that is fairy tales.

As this dream blossomed, the two girls recruited a third. Because, after all, all good fairy tales come in themes of three.

With the third member in place, the girls got to work. The dream began to take shape, until it was no longer just a dream. But something real.


There is a blog attached, which you should check out... I love this topic of "Rumpelstiltskin"

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Illustration release; Road to Bremen by Kelsey Bryant!

In the midst of preparing the release events for Kind's Ward and the Five Gems relaunch, there happens to be even more news!
  This past year I was honored to be asked by long time editor, friend, and fellow author, Kelsey Byrant, to help with The Road To Bremen; her middle grade fairy-tale retelling of the Brementown Musicians.
   She did such a delightful job with that tale, and the animals' personalities all really shine through, and definitely made me laugh as well as touched some poignant nerves while reading through their adventures.

    Working with her was especially fun, since she'd already done a lot of the visual research for her setting and era, and we were able to showcase some local breeds and plants as our illustration models.

Their lives are saved by a dream. 

But only friendship can make that dream a reality.

Once upon a time..

Etzel the donkey is getting old, but he works hard on his farm—until the day Herr Hoffman decides he is no longer worth keeping. With no choice but to escape, Etzel sets off on the road to Bremen to seek his fortune as a musician. On the way, he rescues three other animals—a dog, a cat, and a rooster—who are also old and destined for death.

Will these four new friends find their success and worth as musicians in Bremen? Or does the road hold something better?

Based on “The Bremen Town Musicians” from the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Ideal for kids from 7 to 11 years old, but great for all those young at heart.

Author Bio:

Kelsey Bryant lives in Central Texas, but being one-quarter German, she’s always wanted to visit
Germany. Bogged down during the crafting of a much longer book, Kelsey started writing a retelling of one of her favorite fairy tales, “The Bremen Town Musicians,” to resuscitate her creativity. She rather liked the result.

Kelsey is the author of the Six Cousins series and Suit and Suitability, part of the Vintage Jane Austen series. The Road to Bremen is her first book for children. Besides writing fiction, Kelsey is a copyeditor, a martial arts instructor, and an avid student of the Bible. Visit her at or on her blog, Kelsey’s Notebook.
Paperback available now, e-book available for pre-order, releasing on February 22.
Announcement Post on my blog

Monday, February 11, 2019

King's Ward release and Blog Tour!

The re-launch & release is here! It kicked off on Homeschool Authors, with a Author Interview,  then Rebekah Stargazer's take-over guest post "Eight Reasons Why I Loved Traitor's Knife". And  then as a wrap up for the Big Release, advance readers Rebekah and Kelsey Bryant chatted about King's Ward.
  Their conversation was my absolute favorite of all!! (You gotta check that one out!)

  Then a blog tour hosted by Silver Dagger Tours kicked off on their blog: with a Rafflecopter giveaway featured. There are 4 swag packs up for grabs, so make sure you enter and let us know which prize you'd choose!!!

 And both Jeweler's Apprentice and Traitor's Knife are currently on sale at 99 cents, so everyone can get caught up on what's happened so far!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 24, 2019

King's Ward upcoming release!

All right, now hear this!
  King's Ward is nearly finished being polished, and we're working hard to get everything in order for it's release February 9th!

 I know a lot of wonderful readers have asked and asked when it was coming, and the Big Move and everything really postponed it's arrival for a while... but the wait is almost over!!!

    So... how about a cover reveal?

Anyone want to be part of a blog hop, cover reveal post, general release announcement?
   Or review sometime in Feb?

                   Let me know!!!

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Sewing place...

 Here's a quick look at the place where the creating happened this summer. We're still working on the interior, so things steadily change, but it's fun to see the progress!!
The South windows let in a lot of light, a lot of heat, but we got the porch on this summer! (After pic)

Short Cape, fur-collar out, hangs on my 'self made manikin".
  At this point we are still "en media res" with the construction, even though that has really slowed down to a crawl.
(As in, outdoors work has taken precidence over indoors finishing!)

     We've got most of our stuff moved over, but it's far from organized at the new place. My lovely spinning wheels are sitting largely unused, and our closet (in the background) still holds so much electrical and lighting supply that it's not functioning for the wardrobe very well!

 But! I've used a free standing drying rack to drape my project fabrics on, working against the "out of sight, out of mind" principle.

   They are really pretty, and I do find myself impatient to begin getting them worked up into their intended garments!

 The west facing window lets in a lot of good light, but gets a bit hot in the afternoon so the curtains are a must! But it's lovely to have an entire table to work on, and not have to share with meal times!

   Stacking the lightweight shelves on top of our old childhood dresser gives us so much vertical space, we haven't utilized it all!

  But you can see the really beautiful faux fur roll at the top, which trimmed the Short Cape, and the Old German gown.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Report: Realm Maker's '18

All right!
   Well, it's been a while, but here's my Realm Makers report.

 We survived!

 I was fortunate enough to travel up with long time online friend Mary, and her husband (both of them long time Realmies, so it was great to have 'veterans' as guides!) and one of Mary's long time real life friends; who had also been before.  So I was the only "Realmie newbie" in the car, and it felt like slow a transition into the conference started at the spot we met up and departed from!

  The Chalet hotel it was held at did a great job of looking classic and Old World-ish, so that was a lot of fun. I'm usually not a fan of hotels, but this one felt more authentic than the 'post modern' type of stop-overs.

  My roomies arrived a bit later than us, so I mingled with arriving attendees in the lobby; (which had such comfortable chairs! I loved that! ) While showing Space Kitties 2 to a brand new friend, I looked up from the author pic of H. L. Burke to see Heidi herself walking through the doors. That was kind of coincidental, and of course it was great to meet some Space Kitty authors in person.
Thursday: my Faux Burgundian, modified
     There was also a lot of pilots coming and going on the shuttle from the airport all through the event, and I couldn't help but wonder where all those people who'd spent a night in the same hotel would be spending their next night... all over the world!

   First nights in new places are usually hard for me to sleep through, and this was no exception. After discovering I'd left key items at home, panicking for a couple hours, and then being rescued by my roommate, (shout out to Deborah O'Carrol!) I finally did get some sleep.

    Thursday was a blur of  new connections, and trying to find one's feet among a busy throng of 400; which was challenging for the introvert in me! I tried the old "fake it till you make it!" adage, and met lots of new folks.
  It was a relief to see just how many of them I had already friended on-line, which helped ease the panic mode quite a bit. All that hanging out on FB paid off!

Friday was a "crash day" for me, I stayed up til after midnight prior, and slept till nearly noon. Sort of my reward for being brave all of Thursday and pushing myself! I nearly overslept and missed my slot to help out at the greeting tables, but when I got there (15 minutes late! Ack!) they put me with the T-shirts, which were in disarray. It was actually re-juvenating to sort the remaining stack and organize by what sizes were left, and I was able to help several people find their size when those sizes were thought to be out.
 So that was validating for me! I love to help people not be disappointed, and bringing order to outer chaos tends to calm my own inner kind.

 Chatting quietly with the other volunteers was great too, because it was such a low pressure situation and very one-on-one. I find I actually don't know how to "not have a job" well!
   As Tosca Lee was leaving, she actually asked for a pic with my Tardis dress, which I was thrilled to comply with. I was much too inhibited to ask for a pic with her, but I was sort of desperately wanting one, since I don't hob-nob with NYT bestselling authors a lot! So that was definitely a highlight.  (My Tardis dress was my most popular costume, and "broke a lot of ice" for me, so that was worth all the trouble it took!!!)
   Listened in on some of the big speakers during the afternoon, then got to bed and had a good rest before Saturday.

 Saturday was when I'd lined up all my pitch sessions and mentor appointments, so I knew it would be a stressful day. But by making big strides to meet everyone on Thurs, and then taking it easy on Friday, I was rested and familiar with my surroundings, and so didn't feel too nervous about things all Saturday. Met some new folks there as well, and felt it was a very successful day overall!

   I wore my "Little Bo Peep in blue" /or/ "18th century shepherdess". Had to explain it to a lot of people, so it was clearly not as iconic as  the Tardis dress. (But it's still one of my favorites!) Didn't get as many picture/selfie requests with it, either, had to ask someone to take a pic, so I had one! ;-)
Also got a pic with sci-fi author Kathy Tyres!
 (My own camera had promptly died upon arriving, even though I'd put fresh batteries in before leaving home... so I only had my gift-kindle as a photo device, and it was slightly hard to selfie well with.)

   Sunday was wrap up and I was disappointed to see so many people heading out. It felt like I'd just started getting to know a lot of them!  Got some time to chat with folks who hadn't left yet, and spent another lazy day with a lot of conversing, which was great to catch up on.

   A big storm hit at home, and the following morning, Monday, the TV news showed the "duck boat drowning" near Branson, results of that unusually violent wind. Mary, who'd worked in Branson, was shocked by the news, and had met several of the local authorities who appeared and gave statements.
 Then we all loaded up and headed out, and it was a gray, cloud spotted day, which was nice for traveling. Mary got us to Springfield around noon, where my ride met me. We got a final pic of the 'troop', which Mary regretted not getting when we started out!

 But alls well that ends well, and I was really glad to get snuggled in my own bed again. (Although I had taken my pillow with me, to help ease sleeping in strange places, there's just nothing like my own bed!)

  At the end of the conference it was announced that Realm Makers will be in St. Louis again next year... so tell me, are you going to be there? :-) Let me know!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fare Thee Well, Wherever You Fare! :-)

Well, it has come. 
   Tomorrow is departure day, and I'm... not ready. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that life never waits for me to be ready! 
   So we jump anyway.

#6costumes2months was great distraction from the jitters, and I did have 6 costumes... but one was axed because it wasn't coming together properly, and Abi-sis & Mom were adamant about "quality, not quantity!!!" 

    Then Abi and I hashed out how many days, and what to wear when, and she strongly presented that packing more then 4 costumes would be unnecessary and un-mindful of my fellow travelers... so it's only the best 4 that will be coming.
   Hope to give those a full, expansive showing over this coming week!!! 

   So, in spite of a super busy summer, crazy hectic week, lots of mid-progress going on here at the farm... I've wrapped things up as well as I can wrap them, and will set forth to do battle with new adventures, in the company of friends! 

Until we meet again... think of me! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

So!!! Crunch time! With less than a full week to go til departure day, I've got a lot of sewing still to do! The costume line up is still a bit in flux, and as some of the staple outfits near completion the remaining time does affect decisions made on the less 'must have' ensembles.
   I think we've gone back and forth on several of these multiple times! That's a problem with having more fun ideas than you have days to wear them on at Realm Makers.

 However, one of the 'more simple' designs was definitely voted yes on, was a Belle outfit. I completed the bodice for it the other day
  I've worn it around a few times, to let it "wear in" to smoother shape... there may be a few tweaks needed still but it's good enough to be considered Done.

  Here's a shot of the side of the bodice.

So, all that remains is the skirt, since I whipped up the apron this afternoon. (No pic of that yet, sorry!), and got this pic. 
 In other news, Abi found her pieced quilt top, unearthed from some box where it had lain hidden for 2 years, since the move. She was pretty excited to see it again, so we hung it up in the window on top of the curtain, and the light shining through gives it a stained glass effect.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Faux Burgandian, now Old German, gown; update!

We've been hard at work on making progress... even though we've been blessed with some great visits from friends, which of course are always more than welcome! 😊

 That being said, I thought I'd just nab a short clip of what we've got so far.

 So there you have it!
    The addition of the faux-fur trim is really the thing that brings it to life.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Progress report: Silk is Slow Sewing. :-)

 We are hard at work on the Faux-Burgundian, though it begins to look like it'll be more of an "old German" gown... and it's slower going working with the slippier fabric.

  I have finished off the chemise for underneath it, which I used as a "muslin" and made the pattern-test first on that! It's turned out really nice, and lead the way so nicely... but the change in fabric has necessitated a few differences in getting this over-gown done.

  This is the basic shape laid out as we were sewing it together...
(Tip: paper under your pressure foot is a must! And a layer on top is even better, so keep the stuff from slipping into a wrinkly seam. We learn as we go! )

Many late nights have been involved, you can bet on that!!!

The "hand" is really gorgeous on this fabric, though. My very first foray into sewing with actual silk. (From Dharma Trading.)

   I've found that sometimes it's faster to just hand-stitch something rather than fight the slippery through the machine. So I'm developing a technique for when to sandwich with paper and when to iron in place and stitch by hand!

In all, I'm really loving the look of the over-gown, and I think this is really going to come together nicely. But it is taking longer than I'd hoped... but new things often do!!!

  On the up side, we've figured out ways to re-use the piece multiple times, and will be having the sleeves as an "add one" piece instead of firmly attached. This will allow us to go with a lot of different looks while using this one main gown, and should help in the long run with our completion schedule!!
  #6costumes2months And we're already into our second month now!!!

So, as a wrap up on the previous post, with the embroidery question, the horse definitely won out on the votes!
   So we will be going with a horse on the other sleeve, (though I may change the look of that horse) And Perhaps, to keep the pattern from looking imbalanced, we should add a little more detail in other areas, so there's not this open scroll-work, and then pop, tight detail only in the middle.
        I'll be thinking about that!

Many thanks for helping out by sharing your opinions, everyone! It really took a load off my already frazzled mind!