One definition of responsibility is the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something. So weird for this to come to mind tonight as a blog post for my fantasy novel, but it did. Let me explain. I hate to do the financial part of my writing business (which "business" is truly a part of it all). My creative side wants to retreat into just one more read through and revision of book three before sending it to an editor, or it wants to do the research for my fourth book and polish that first chapter I managed to write. But, no, the checking account has to be updated and reconciled, my PayPal account needs attention, and I gotta figure out how to cancel that accidental sale I did on my Square. Responsibilities loom. The thing is that once I set myself down fer a spell, as Odina Ridge would say in book two, and accomplish the task of settling the finances I feel so much relief. The sense of accomplishment (truly over such silly things) is a phenomenal reward. And, I am then ready to move on to the next thing without the burden baring down on me for awhile. Why do I delay it?

Of course many thoughts from real life filter over to the fantasy dialogue in my head. A truly schizophrenic existence at times. It makes me think of the tremendous guilt and self-blame that Liam holds inside himself for the nearly 300 years of demon servitude his friends in the Circle of Souls have had to endure. He feels responsible for their plight, and he worries that Hallie is going to be drawn into it as well. So much weight from this burden bares down on him. No wonder he is built those emotional walls so high and strong. I hope that I portrayed his character in a way that you could feel his pain. Book two gives hims some relief to know that his cousin, Daniel, did not die a death of death. His friend, Elias Elliott, too is alive but maybe not well. There is hope for him though, and Liam is learning how important hope is. Book three is going to take this entire legacy of responsibility and guilt and flip it on its head so to speak. Will you be ready? Can you even think what the Threads of Time, when unraveled, can reveal? Soon you will know. I am very excited to be so close to being able to share this last book in the trilogy with people. Soon you will know...

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I have had a little extra time recently. Not much. But enough. And, with this extra bit, I did some reorganization. It was in the midst of this endeavor that I came across some of my writing resources and inspiration. The book cover I have posted above gave Wings of Time: Breaking Darkness its setting. I always say that everything happens for a reason--this thought is even expressed in the story in book three (Threads of Time: Untying Fate--yes, it is nearly done and will go to editing when I can afford to do so). Running across this book is an illustration of that philosophy. My story had been bumping around inside my head for years--more than 10 now--but it never had a home. Not really. Not until my husband and I took a side road off the Blue Ridge Parkway and ran across this tiny, old, almost gone country store. An old man sitting in a chair next to a wood stove was there. The shelves were nearly bare, and there was a few tables with stuff scattered across them. I wanted to buy something from him, so I began looking through items on the table. My eyes were drawn to this book even though I had never heard of Fayerdale before. Elmer Haynes self-published the book after finding a collection of newspaper articles and stories his father had compiled. It's just a collection. Some narrative. It's mostly about moonshining and bootlegging. Yes, they are different--one is making it and the other is transporting it--something I learned in my research that was kinda cool. There were some accounts of gruesome events. Murders. Sitting up with dead bodies. Events I tweaked for my book.

As I read it in the car that very day I bought it, my thoughts raced with ideas, and my characters rejoiced because they now had a home. The words began to flow. I found other great resources including Tracey Esplin's 10,000 Years of History Buried Under a Lake: The Story of How Fairy Stone State Park Came to Be. I did online searches. We went hiking. Although we had done this before, I wanted to do it with the eyes of my characters. We peered into the iron mines and shuffled through the leaves on the trails. We drove down the graveled Fayerdale Drive and around the park's cabin area. Seedling ideas flourished. It has been quite an experience, and it all started with that tiny store, that sweet man, and this book. Everything does happen for a reason. I hope that everyone is staying safe right now because it is all very real and its reason can only be defined by each of us individually while looking out for each other. Stay safe all and read a book.

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Tree carving in our front yard.

So, book 2 is finally out. I have had long gaps in creative energy during the time of trying to get the 2nd book out, and it feels so good to have it completed to share. I hope that I have done the story well for all of you. There is one more on the way, and I am working hard to get it out to you in 2020. Please be sure to let me know what you think!

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