Tuesday Tales: Writing Fierce Snow

dec2016-possible6Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our prompt is a lovely picture. Since we are 80 degrees here in Florida, this wintry scene is especially appealing to me. I mean, give me a break! Even Hawaii is in the news for snow. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

She had never felt such bone chilling cold. The wind whipped around and through her and threatened to knock her off her feet. As the frigid temperature cut through her cloak, the world blurred.

She stumbled and called out, but he did not turn around. She called again, her voice cracking.

He swung around and gripped her elbows, concern pinching his features. “What’s the matter?”

“F-freezing,” she stammered, rubbing her gloved hands together in a frantic attempt to feel them. What good were her powers now? No doubt Kjell would have been better off with a witch from the north who could withstand the arctic’s embrace. Maybe she needed to channel one of the fearsome frost giants.

He leaned down close to her ear. “A hut lies just ahead. Can you make it a short distance further?”

A hut? With a warm fire and hot coffee? The vision swam in her head, and she nodded eagerly. The movement made her reel, and she squeezed her eyes shut to stop the spinning.

Without words, Kjell swept her up into his arms.

She bit back a protest and rested her head against his chest. The thumping of his heart gentled her. Without any belabored breathing that she could detect, he carried her up the remainder of what she now realized was a steep incline.

The snow was deeper now and falling faster. Try as she might, Ursa distinguished no sign of a building ahead. A stand of evergreens was the only thing visible, boughs sagging from their icy burden.

As the hill crested, she made out an area that looked darker than the white surroundings. When they grew closer, a tremulous sigh escaped straight from her bones. A tiny hut nestled smack in the midst of the evergreens. In relief she melted against the warrior.

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!Tuesday Tales
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Sophia Lady of Wisdom

S. Sofia (Novodevichiy)

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sophia is a loving, generous, contradictory goddess whose name in Greek means wisdom. She is affiliated with Shekinah as the holy spirit imbuing matter and with Gaia as the living embodiment of earth. Sophia is Lady Wisdom. Her beauty is not blatant and superficial. She remains hidden, and yet is accessible to those with sincere and earnest purpose. Throughout history when she seemingly disappears, she is merely shadowed and disguised, only to later reappear in her resplendent glory. She is the dreaming goddess who longed for her creation, eventually giving over her solitary existence for love of the creation. She teaches us to look beneath the surface in all things, including ourselves. As Saint Sophia, she is seen as holy Wisdom, with three daughters, Faith, Love, and Hope.

This is the feast day of Sophia. I trust her wisdom, grace, and creativity can inspire and sustain us as we move closer to the winter season.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris Public Domain via Wikimedia

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris Public Domain via Wikimedia

“They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being well recovered in health & strength, and had all things in good plenty; for some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion.”
Governor William Bradford. Bradford’s History Of Plimoth Plantation

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Band

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is band. The  excerpt is from a paranormal romance featuring a fading rocker. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Nick tossed down a shot, savoring the quick burn.

“Do ‘er again?” The bartender’s bored expression said he already knew the answer.

luciensilverdreamstime_xl_14886721croppedNick gave a quick nod. He could see his own reflection in the furrows running down the big man’s face. Good looks fading. One more outcast from yesteryear’s glory days. A high school football hero maybe. Hometown boy made good. Probably played a little college, then got injured or flunked out. Now relegated to serving losers in this third rate hotel. Not unlike himself. The second shot burned less than the first. Who was he kidding? There was only one dud at this bar. Not so long ago he had it all. Money. Fame. Women by the truckload. He breathed in deeply. And the music. Best band to ever poke a toe out of northeast Florida. Now none of the guys would even speak to him. He’d screwed it up royally. He slid the glass over for a refill.

Voices caught his attention, and he turned around to see. A man and woman made their way toward a table and were apparently arguing. The man had a good grip on her arm. Nick frowned. An odd looking couple. The woman, blonde and kind of floaty looking from what he could see. The man half obscured her. He, slick and thin lipped, wearing a suit that must have set him back 3 G. But he didn’t wear it well. Nick couldn’t put his finger on what was off. An expensive suit usually meant impeccable fit. Then he caught sight of the woman’s face full on, and what sense he had left seemed to fly right out of the room. She looked wan and stricken, as if she’d had bad news. She retained enough spirit to shake off the man’s hand though and slip into the chair of her own accord, biting her bottom lip.

Her eyes lifted to Nick’s and widened. If possible, she paled even more. Slick had grabbed her arm again, and Nick rose off the stool. Sheer panic covered her features and she gave the tiniest shake of her head. Nick stopped in his tracks. She was warning him to stay put. What the hell?

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day – Mannaz

mannaz

MANNAZ

Divination is a way to focus on what matters. It allows us to gain insight into the ripe possibilities of the moment and is best used as a type of meditative effort. With their symbolism and kinship with long ago Scandinavian and Germanic cultures, runes are a fascinating method.

From the bag of runes, we close our eyes and draw a single stone as we ask a question: What do I need to know about [such and such situation]? If drawing on behalf of another, visualize that person. Listen with open mind and heart.

Today we examine Mannaz, a rune resembling a capital M but with the inner lines forming two small triangles. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the auspices of the warrior god Tyr.

When studied in sequence, the runes can be viewed as illustrating the life journey of a person’s development. Of course very few humans, other than perhaps avatars and saints, follow an ever rising line of self-knowledge or spiritual growth. I know, at least in my case, it is always a matter of two steps forward and one or more steps back. Life in all its glory both inspires us and, in some ways, constrains us, much as gravity maintains the orbits of planets. Many consider our development to resemble a spiral rather than a line, and observation backs that up. In a profound and real way, we are always at the beginning. It is a blessing and grace that we never run out of chances to start over or improve. Things can always be seen in a new way.

In the runic sequence Mannaz is the first rune. It stands for the self, because only by working on the self can we change and grow. We can’t manipulate others and achieve happiness, zen, bliss, perfection, or nirvana. We can’t manipulate external reality and achieve them. People and things interact with us, but our primary playground is the self. Casting Mannaz in a reading indicates a need to be in the flow of life but not deceived by the images before our eyes. My old metaphysical teacher Ruth used to put it this way: Be in the world but not of it. Stay in the moment. Be moderate in thought and action, rather than delving into excess. This is a time to seek freedom from the chains of unreliable past thought forms and habits. Look inside for your enemies. Look inside also for the miraculous shimmering colors of your true nature.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Mannaz, the Rune of the Day. What’s in your mind?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: Autumn Leaves 1886

Autumn Leaves by A. Purinton

autumninvermontbyljohn

Photo courtesy of Linda John 2016

 

 By happenstance I came across a female poet I was not familiar with, a New Englander named A. Purinton. Her compilation Autumn Leaves was published in 1886 in Massachusetts. Have you heard of her? She never sought to be published and wrote the lyrics for her own satisfaction. They are special. I have included a full text link below. It is so wonderful to have vintage and classic literature available online in full text! I know many novelists are like me and also write poems. Please enjoy this short excerpt by Purinton. I chose the section because it is a little sad and reminiscent of the autumn season we now experience.

And repeated the story old,
By my grandmother so often told,
As with garrulous and dulcet tones
She talked of the old ancestral homes.

It was in the good old times he went,
In Salem’s earlier settlement,
And, as I judge from her report,
Great uncle, or something of that sort.

And left one heart so true and tried
Who sought in vain her grief to hide;
And hope and faith alike grew dim,
As she never heard one word from him.

Her bounding heart its hopes renew,
Whene’er a ship’s sail caught her view;
But no tidings came of any sort.
From any ship that came in port.

So time went on; after some years
Strange rumors aggravate her fears;
Her hopes deferred and feverish grown.
She to an early grave went down.

Full text available 

autumnI hope you enjoyed this selection from Autumn Leaves by poet A. Purinton. How does it make you feel?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Hook

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is hook. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

“My mother taught me, and I’ll teach you.”

Emmie blinked up at her, eyes wide. “What do I do?”

Laura tied the soft yarn into a slip knot. “First, let me make you a chain.” She quickly ran up a starter chain. “Okay, honey, I made it big so you can see where the hook goes. I put it through these two loops, like that. Then I bring it underneath and hook the yarn. See? It’s called yarn over.”

A tiny frown notched her brow. “Cause the yarn goes over the hook?”

“Yes, and after I hook the yarn, I pull it back through the hole I made in the loops. See that?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then I yarn over again and pull it through the other two loops on the hook.” She finished off the stitch. “It’s called a single crochet stitch. There are different kinds, but this one comes first. See, I’ll do it again. Watch.” In slow motion she maneuvered the hook. “Through the two loops, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, and on through the loops on the hook. Want to try?”

“Okay. It looks hard though.”

bagpurplemultiloretta-splotch-trim“You liked the little blanket I made you. If you learn how to crochet, you can make Daddy a present for when he gets home.”

Emmie brightened and reached for the yarn her mother held out. “Where do I put my fingers?”

“Right hand holds the hook, like a pencil. I know, it’s a little big, but you’ll get used to it. Down close to the hook and keep it steady so you don’t lose the stitch.” She placed the little fingers just so. With their heads close together, she breathed in her daughter’s scent. Emmie smelled like warm sunlight. “Left hand holding the other end. Now push the hook through the holes.”

With her help Emmie made her first crochet stitch, and then several more. Giggles filled the air. “Pretty soon you’ll be a crochet princess.”

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: Wordsmithing Hallow

 HALLOW

Meister der Ikone des Erzengels Michael 001 adjusted

By Meister der Ikone des Erzengels Michael; Master of the Icon of the Archangel Michael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 We all have favorite words, magical sounds we love to hear uttered. One of mine is hallow or hallows, also its form hallowed, especially drawn out and pronounced in three syllables. Hallow comes from the Old English noun halga, meaning holy person or saint. The verb form meant to make holy, to sanctify. And get this, the Indo European root word, kailo, meant whole or uninjured.

Today, hallow’s word usage remains only in names surrounding the holiday we call Halloween, including Hallowmas, Hallowtide, All Hallows Day, and All Hallows Eve. It is, of course, related to All Saints Day. We celebrate Halloween this coming Monday. My family always looks forward to costume picking, pumpkin selection and visits to the rural pumpkin patch, hayrides, cookouts, special baking, taking the children trick or treating, and receiving the little ghosts and goblins that come to the front door when dusk begins to descend its veil.

Halloween also commemorates the birth of John Keats, one of my two favorite poets, along with William Butler Yeats. Born in 1795, Keats produced exquisitely memorable verses in his short 26 years.

An Amazon search for hallow retrieves 2,346 titles, which makes it a pretty popular word to include in a book title. Are you as pleased as I am that the word hallow has lasted?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance