Friday, October 13, 2017

My Six Favorite Fall Reads

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Cantering with the crisp scent of rain against my face, cozy striped afghans, bushels of sweet scented apples, and dreaming of all things pumpkin, nothing sets my imagination afire like the spicy loveliness of Autumn. Thus being so, and what not, I've been longing to share a list of my favorite Autumn tales, and it is with great enjoyment I give it to you now...

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Mist on the Mountain 
Jane Flory
Featuring trips to the cider mill, crackling oak leaves + one of the coziest family groups one is likely to find, this story simply brims over with all the vibes of Autumn on an old-time New England hill farm.

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Henner's Lydia
Marguerite De Angeli
A simple children's story placed during Fall in Amish country, and it has all the gentle charm you'd expect to go with it.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles
Arthur Conan Doyle
Blowing winds about lofty mansions set on the edges of eerie moors; this story is one of the most spine-tingling stories I have EVER READ.

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Zane Grey
Technically most of the action of this story takes place in the transition between Winter and Spring, yet strangely enough the mood of this story is dreamily Autumnal, and hence has a place of honor here.

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The Lord of the Rings 
J.R.R Tolkien
When is it not the season for Tolkien? But... THE STORY TAKES PLACE IN AUTUMN, besides which it is perfectly shivering with THE MOST  vivid feels, and isn't that what this most glorious of seasons is about? So, it should basically be required reading. 

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Song of the Voyageur
Beverly Butler

From a limb above her, a scarlet leaf fluttered free to touch her hair, her cheek, her shoulder, and to flame a second against the deep blue of her skirt before she caught it and said softly...

2,000 miles away from the copy I have always read of this story, and one year since my last reading of it, the cadence of the story and words still twine into my dreaming. This was one of the first romances I ever read, and the first rapture I felt in the beauty of the story sparkles on.

What stories sing of Fall to you?



Friday, September 15, 2017

Things of Beauty: July - August


More than 50% of this post could be aptly titled On the road again... but that title is the property of another post, and so we'll just keep with the classic title, because oh how beautiful these months were...


Very Favorite Things
Going to three rodeos in two months (yes, we may just have fallen in love), twenty- six days on the road (it felt REALLY good!), seeing a mama moose + her two calves so close we could have touched them (that was magic right there), the thunder of horses blowing into their feed troughs (horses just make the world feel right), the creak of saddle leather (is there any sound as thrilling?), Windfola's neck within my arms, the sweet scent of her mane filling my lungs after not seeing her for nearly four weeks (I don't think I knew how HARD I'd missed her until that moment), re-connecting with far-off family + friends (one of the best feelings in the world; I love you folks!).


Reading
Not an exhaustive list of books, but a list of the loveliest: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (the perfect western road-trip book if ever there was one), and... *goes to look at my Goodreads list* The Blue Castle (how can one book be so amazing?), The Elements of Style, and North to the Rails by Louis L'Amour.

Writing
I journalled every day of our Western Adventure, and I began a greatly needed re-writing of Midnight Thunder; so though I may not have done a stupendous amount, the results are pretty terrific. :)


Out-of-Doors
The sweet scent of sage mingling with the smoke of campfires, rippling mountain lakes glittering with sunshine, damp earth hidden beneath the bows of soaring cedars,  mountain vistas, and groves of aspen trees, their leaves whispering with every breeze.

In the Kitchen
Detoxinsta's Vegan Mac N' Cheese recipe - Cheesy cashew sauce with perfectly cooked gluten-free pasta and a swirl of sweet green peas; this stuff may very well be THE MOST delectable dish in the history of ever.


Discoveries

The Tetons + extreme southwestern Montana.
 I've always loved those places, but do they ever have my heart now.

Where Cowboys Ride // Sarah Darling
I'm always inclined to view a song that claims to encapsulate a place - especially if that place is my heart-country - with a doubtful eye, but with the wind of those places still on my face so to speak, listening to this song + watching the music video nearly made me cry with happiness; yes, I'd say she did a good job.

Adventure IS out there...
but it's something you carry in your heart, too, and so, with the grace of God, it's something that can color all your paths.

What were your favorite delights of July and August?

Are you excited for Fall?



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cover Reveal: Cloaked by Rachel Kovaciny

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Today I’m pleased to be part of the cover reveal team of Cloaked by Rachel Kovaciny, aka the terrific Hamlette of Hamlette’s Soliloquy.

To say I’m excited would not be an overstatement…


Just look at it. Isn’t the atmosphere STUNNING? The mood is incredibly intense. 

And it gets more exciting - not only is the story a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, but it’s a western re-telling!

I have the feeling this is going to be a thrilling tale.

(This will be available as an e-book and paperback from Amazon in a few weeks!)


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Four Years

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Four

I love that word. 

Spell it differently, and it's a word of giving and caring; "it's for you", someone says, and excitement tingles up your spine, or you say it to someone and you feel the anticipation of giving pleasure.

Being a four-year-old... the age when a horse comes into its own.

Also, four is an age in which children are keyed up with passionate energy and wit, which not knowing quite how to handle yet, leaves them, and all those around them, spinning like a top. I've been a babysitter so I know. :)

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Four years ago I pushed publish on my first blog post and what an adventure it has been.

Seriously it has been one of the best.

I've chronicled...





and realized that my tagging system, like my life, could always use simplification.

Oh, and I published my first story.

It's been pretty good, folks.

But you know the very best???

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YOU, MY READERS.

Seriously, I've met some amazing people through blogging... and I'm grateful for each and every one of you.

Here's to the wonder of the future, and exciting things yet to be known!

Thank you SO MUCH everyone for my first four TERRIFIC years!!!!


Friday, July 21, 2017

Things of Beauty: May - June


Hot sunshine in the blueberry patch to test taking (I really enjoyed it!), May and June were packed chock full of loveliness...


Very Favorite Things
A close friend's wedding (fireworks, strings of lights, and s'mores; it was one well planned party), a week long getaway to visit cousins (+ uncle and aunt :)) and grandparents (one of the best types of weeks), the lingering scent of toasted marshmallows from the previous night's bonfire while washing dishes in the morning, kayaking on the river with my brother (rapids + a very tight turn equaled having the most dramatic spill of my life), hauling hay with my father + sister on the back of my brother's flatbed Ford (just living the life folks).


Reading 
SO MUCH GOODNESS! From The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge (I can't think of  a more perfectly titled story), to Wanderlust Creek by Elisabeth Grace Foley (I seriously have an entire post in the works expounding on my love for that girl's stories!) to finishing my re-reading of the LOTR with The Return of the King; May and June were two months of favorites, both old and new.


Writing
Let's just say I'm becoming an expert at writing random snippets for multiple stories at once.


Out-Of-Doors
Tall, wind brushed prairie grasses under blue, blue skies.


In the Kitchen
Soaked Waffles - Caramelized exteriors with perfectly risen interiors, and topped with berries and real maple syrup and cinnamon; these things are a day dream for the taste buds.


Discoveries

The title says everything; it is seriously the dream show.

The Self-Publishing School Podcast
Filled with vast knowledge and inspiring information, this podcast is an absolute must for the ambitious writer.

Finally...
That life (nearly) always looks better from the seat of a pick-up truck, the bigger the better.

And I'll just leave you with that truth, folks!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Oh Happy Day!

So there is this girl who is having a birthday, her name? Natalie.

She has really good movie taste...


Like, impeccable.

She loves great stories in general...


and writes some seriously lovely ones herself.


And she believes in honest to goodness, COUNTRY.


But that list, my friends, is definitely not the end of it.

She has terrific humor, is just plain beautiful (both in spirit and person), is one of the most caring people I know, and one of the most faithful friends I've ever been blessed with.

Most of all she has a heart full of Grace, which is ever pursuing Christ, a fact which is apparent Every. Single. Time. you ever interact with her, and that is the most terrific thing of all.

Thanks so much for your friendship Natalie! Here is to many more years of shared thoughts and adventures yet unseen!

 THE HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS TO YOU!!!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Midsummer Magic

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The thicket of gold-blossomed chamomile growing by the old garden gate...

Enjoying our traditional watching of the 1930's A Midsummer Night's Dream...

Great big wild prairie roses tangled in the trees beside the creek...

Turrets upon turrets of billowing white cloud castles in the sky (I think yet they were the fortresses of fairy-land)...

Preparing a bonfire for tonight...

Wine-rich fragrance of elderflowers on the breeze of shadowed evening...

Nights alive with twinkle of fireflies (the sight never fails to snatch my breath away)...

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Watching the above mentioned A Midsummer Night's Dream on Midsummer's Eve has been the sole celebration of the day for the past couple of years.

But this year...

Perhaps it's the dazzling sight of my garden bursting with color and brimming with the scent of flowers. Maybe it's the fact that one of my best friends is getting married tomorrow(!). Or perhaps it's the goodness of our God to whom all times are soon, and yet who makes everything beautiful in its time so that we mortals can joy in the loveliness around us.

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Yet I'd say it's all of it, because all that's good and joyous is in Him.

And so we can see...

there is yet, magic in the world.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Man Called Robin Hood


I knew, of course, that Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell was hosting a Robin Hood Week, but with Many Things On My Mind I gave it but a vaguely regretful wave of the hand and carried on. But was I able to resist a party celebrating one of my favorite people? Ha, the evidence is below. Besides which Olivia is not only one of my favorite bloggers, but also an honest to goodness "real" friend, too, so I can attest that she is even more (if that's possible) sweet and hilarious face to face than she is on her blog. :)

The moment I try to assemble a favorites list of anything a dozen more of the same species always spring to mind, clamoring to have a place upon it, which rather defeats the purpose of the entire thing. All this to say, this isn't going to be a list of my favorite Robin Hoods.


Yet there are two Robins who always come to mind, the ones I admire, the ones I completely trust; it is of them I am about to speak.

First and foremost (forever and a day) Richard Greene in the 1950's BBC The Adventures of Robin Hood.


The Apple Dumpling Gang and Robin Hood what similarity do they share? Both were among the first movies I ever saw and I can hardly remember a day when their magic wasn't twining into my consciousness. Though I've spoken of my love for Apple Dumpling Gang I've hardly spoken of the other. I think it's because of that very entwining, it means home, the magic of afternoons in disguise with my sisters visiting the Blue Boar Inn or running from the Sheriff, alive with all the sparkle of Imagination.

And not a little of this was because of Richard Greene.


Ever so slightly more mature than the average Robin, he's not about to lose his head in a passion, but the twinkle in his eyes shows he knows how to have a good laugh. And believe me he gets into awkward situations with the best of them. He owns Sherwood Forest like no other Robin I've seen, yet he has no need to flaunt his powers, but deals with scoundrels with the quick turning superiority of a true knight and gentleman.

I seriously love the above photo of him, as the straightford look and the mouth with ever so slightly quirked corners assures you of everything about his character.

Completely reliable and ever so enjoyable to be with, I will be ever grateful I was raised knowing him so well, and love him very dearly indeed.

Then there is this Robin...


In the upside-down-twist-you-around-and-leave-you-hanging rollercoaster of emotions that is Ivanhoe (1982), Robin Hood is the one sure shining star. 

Throughout most of the story he's scarce more than a side character, a lieutenant walking beside the Black Knight, yet in truth he's a quick leader in his own right without which the story would have a short and violent finish.


His bow is ever ready to help the right, but you can always feel his vague distaste for intrigue, his expression of which is particularly palatable at a Certain Tragic Event; knightly deeds do not blind him from the tangled truth, he's a man of the forest, keen eyed and true.

Would you name Robin Hood as one of your friends?

Have you seen either of these Robins?




Friday, May 19, 2017

Things of Beauty: March - April

Greetings old friends and true! Where has Éowyn been? Here and there and back again; literally, you see... 


I went to California. 


For two weeks and it was one of the deepest experiences I've been graced with so far.


Very Favorite Things
Deep creamy, sweet perfumed Irises, writing a scene for my Victorian short story (it takes place at a hotel in the Alps and the couple are so sweet), flying between the lightning and the stars (I could barely breath for the beauty of it), finding surprise birthday notes from my parents tucked around the house on my birthday, being sent random photos of our adorable pig courtesy of Arwen, fresh food discoveries (more revealed below!), snow banked mountain lakes cut from the sky...


Watching
Many good things, and some not so good as well. Most of the Poirot's starring David Suchet: definitely good, as in I'm-sobbing-so-hard-I think-I'll choke on certain episodes. And then there were the others such as Around the World in 80 Days (1989). I love the classic 50's one; I think it's brilliant in every way and one of the most splendid films ever made, even so I was willing to like another, I even wanted to. Did Heidi and I ever not know what we were getting into-! Let's just say it was both lacking in feel and indelicate in the extreme. :)


Reading
From The Two Towers to The Daughter Pays to the works of Louis Louis L'Amour and Elisabeth Grace Foley; March and April were months filled with favorites. 


Writing
Mainly glimpses of a western short story. Not a great deal altogether, but I wrote them all by hand (YES! To feeling more at ease writing with pen + paper) and the inspirations came to me in the most unexpected of places, which was thrilling


Out-Of-Doors
Cold days, record rains and shiny buttercups; you could say it's been lovely.


In the Kitchen
Being away from home opened up an entirely different array of ingredients for me and so naturally some exciting experiments followed. :) Favorites? Cereal mixed with protein powder and cinnamon and doused with almond milk; it was actually quite filling and, as cheerios have scarcely any sugar, not unhealthy in its way. Rotisserie roasted chicken - a breeze to cook, it is THE most delicious food EVAHHH!


Discoveries
Traveling by my lone self...
At first the mere idea of flying alone (in addition to being without my usual partners in crime for two weeks) unnerved me, but the deed was done and it finished with me finding the experience rather exhilarating. Tramping around in a place where the only one who knows your name is God is a thrilling experience, and a rather magical gift, the taste of which I found made me feel vividly alive.

Toasted (traditionally fermented) sourdough + refried beans w/salsa + (red) bell pepper
Be still my heart...  Crunchy, savory -sweet tastiness; eating this seriously changed my life.

The Sierra Nevadas
For years the Sierras have been mainly two things for me: places of high western romance and my mother's old stomping grounds, not so now. Even if they aren't my stomping grounds yet, I've met them, and you might say I've fallen just a little bit in love. :)


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