Tag Archives: inspiration

The YA Fantasy Reader’s Oath

YA fantasy, adventure, reader's oath

Adventure into new worlds . . .
Steal this graphic I made with a free photo from Unsplash–just link back–thanks!

Or a Manifesto of Ten Things YA Fantasy Readers Do Know

  1. We will never give up our loyalty to a good story well told
  2. We will not agree Fantasy is evil. A good fantasy is a breath of life. (In it I see things I see nowhere else. Not that facet of truth, that piercing beauty that tells me there is more beyond)

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2016 March YA Fantasy Blog Letter

Well, I’m getting on to adventure.

Journey beginning . . .

Journey beginning . . .

First, a bit of news:

I’m excited and just wanted to encourage you all that our fans really appreciate us taking time to talk to them.

Yesterday I emailed Rachel Neumeier of the Griffin Mage trilogy, The Floating Islands, etc., asking to order a signed copy of her new book Keeper of the Mist that is coming out for my book giveaway that Derek is helping me set up. *Giveaway coming soon.*

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Azalea’s Scop Talk

294

Mythic fantasy often displays the moral war, an adventure we are all embarked on.

Path of the Warrior: First Entry, is my opening story about how Tae Chisun, respected warrior from Korea, Land of the Morning Calm, seeks to save his people from annihilation by making peace with an attacking enemy in secret.

His Kuksun (general) exiles Tae from his love and his life, setting him on the path of a wanderer, where he will save enslaved stronghold daughter Kyrin Cieri of medieval Britain, impacting the lives of many in their stories to come.

Path of the Warrior explores how compassion, anger, and love can motivate a man to sacrifice everything. When Tae sees his Kuksun foolishly determined to die with all under his command, dooming their people to death, he seeks terms of peace with the enemy. He must kill a master above him who taught him what he knows of war, yet betrayed them all.

In spite of his Kuksun’s wrath, and about to be executed, Tae thinks of his wife, Huen, the Kuksun’s daughter, and begs him to give her his sword and his mother’s land. His general decides to let the gods decide Tae’s fate and has him thrown over the wall to the enemy. Thus the Chronicle begins …

How compassion and mercy can coexist with killing, and drive a person to kill to protect others, is important. Warriors are not necessarily evil. In fact, killing is sometimes necessary. It depends on the warrior’s motive. If it is worthy, a warrior is truly a hero or heroine, as the case may be.

Our motives of love, mercy, kindness, fear, revenge, and anger can become quite tangled. Our desires tend to be mixed at the best of times, but that does not let us off doing the best we can. And if we are God’s forgiven child, he is growing more love and compassion in us all the time.

Genuine care for some people’s lives may require the loss of other’s lives. Many people who do evil will not be stopped by niceness—they are set on their path to destroy others, to achieve what they want at any cost—deadly force is the only thing that will stop them. We are given responsibility in the way of the warrior to save life in just defense. 

The moral war yields good story fodder. And always growth. Downwards or upwards. The choice is ours.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

P. S. Lance and Quill is still in my editor’s capable hands, and events there have pushed my publishing date a few weeks forward. Thank you for your patience, and enjoy summer!

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Intriguing…a book review.

Midnight_Captive_Front (2)

Midnight Captive was an intriguing read for me, and this review is a few of my thoughts on it.

At first I was a little put off by the confused similes and metaphors and the less-than-stellar grammar. But I was drawn into the story and came to care about the characters deeply.

True, they could use fleshing out, but they hold crystal truths up to a reader’s eyes all the same. Prince Sheridan’s discovering his own identity apart from his brother, Princess Hermione daring to believe in sacrificial love, the minstrel, Alyn’s, bravery in so many ways, and Phaedra’s perseverance and hope of freedom from her and her sister’s curse. Even the evil Seanan was a person with more than one facet.

I would love to see Midnight Captive rewritten in a fuller version.

Some of the logical transitions between various characters’ actions are missing. As in the king’s sudden change of heart toward his daughter after four years of trying to free Phaedra from the curse. His change of mind needs to be shown—how it came about. I hope this makes sense. And if you don’t mind my two cents, a different book cover might serve you better. Midnight Captive’s current cover says Victorian/love story era to me, not fantasy. (I’m a fan of Cameron Dokey’s fairy tales. You might like them too.)

Thank you for the privilege of reading your work, Emilie. Keep writing. I see a lot of promise in how you wove Cinderella, the Pied Piper, and other tales into a new story. Just be true to the vision you see in your mind, see the vision as clearly as you can, and find words that fit that vision. Be picky about the words. They make or break your tale.

Alyn’s climb into the tower to see Princess Hermione and the humor there was good. J In the end, this line of the book stood out to me. It rings with Midnight Captive’s theme of freedom:

“Do it for yourself, Minnie. You are just as cursed as I am. You might see the day physically, but you are not seeing the real beauty of it. You are too much a prisoner of the night.”

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Guest: Land of My Dreams, Norma Gail Thurston Holtman

Change in Plans

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

The tiny bundle placed in my arms was warm and sweet, the answer to years of prayers, heartache and uncertainty. My husband and I stood in the chapel at the adoption agency with tears of joy in our eyes as we looked at our son. The day of delayed flights and rushing through airports was a microcosm of the turmoil of tests, surgeries, and years of waiting.

Four long years of hoping for a child were over, culminating in the joy of a three-week-old baby boy, wide awake and somehow aware that his world was changing forever. He looked around, taking everything in. A sensitive, reflective child, he has always had a tender heart and gentle spirit.

Twenty-one months later, a phone call during the Super Bowl brought us a baby girl who has never ceased to bring excitement into our lives. Arriving two years earlier than we thought possible, becoming an amazing athlete and never slowing down once, she never fails to surprise us.

My husband and I had often talked about adoption when we were dating. We were products of the “zero-population” generation. We talked about having two children and then adopting two more. God’s plans didn’t include the biological children. He had something so much more special, a plan to show us His loving control over our circumstances, while accomplishing His perfect purposes.

As friends had two or even three children in the time it took us to have one, we learned that God’s plan is unique for each of us, but always meant to make us fall on our knees and acknowledge His loving sovereignty.

Perhaps you have seen your dreams all turn to dust and your hopes fall to the ground, nothing growing to fruition, nothing turning out the way you planned. You may carry the scars from battling disappointment and confusion about where God is leading you. It may seem He doesn’t care and has turned a deaf ear to your prayers.

When doubt and disappointment seem to follow you everywhere, turn to Jesus and lay your hopes and dreams at His feet. Commit to serve Him no matter where He is leading and He will establish a way for you that is far higher and better than anything you ever imagined.

Copyright April 16, 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman. All rights reserved.

Land of My Dreams Norma blog

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico, released in April 2014. She is a former Bible Study Fellowship discussion leader who established the first weekly women’s Bible studies in her church in 2003 and continues to lead a weekly small group. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who loves family research, history, and Scotland. Norma lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.

Norma Gail - Author

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Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail/dp/1941103170/ or

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-my-dreams-norma-gail/1119606864 ?ean=9781941103173

 

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Scop Talk: On Reading Fantasy

The bit below, from Gladys Hunt’s Honey for a Child’s Heart, is just good. I have to share.

It brought back so many wonderful memories of adventures in my early reading days. She encapsulates much of what I’ve felt about reading fantasy and what it does for me in my heart, soul, and mind. Because of that, what she says extends to you and every human in our world.

She writes a frank, uplifting and inspiring conversation about the importance of books, fantasy, and reading for children and parents. You’ve got to read her book if you have any interest at all in the world of hopeful books. She includes a good list of books at the end. They brought back to me the adventure and wonder. Dive in!

“Lewis Mumford once said, ‘The words are for children, and the meanings are for men.’ But I don’t believe it. Children suspect more is present than the actual story, and because there is little space between the real and the unreal world in a child’s mind, they reach across with amazing ease and begin to ferret it out. They may read the story again years later and find that their experiences in life help them see more. Adults will read the same book and begin to better understand why they loved it as children. But at any age, the story is an experience of quality and substance.

“The most subtle and profound ideas are often found in books written for children. A kind of ‘suspended reality’ exists in which what is true becomes more obvious. Good fantasy helps us see ‘reality in unreality, credibility in incredibility.’ A child accepts and loves fantasy because of his own rich imagination and sense of wonder. For children, magical things are not nearly as complicated at they are for adults. They have room in their minds for all sorts of happenings. And those who write fantasy are not so much those who understand the heart of a child as those who have a child’s heart themselves. Out of the depth of their personal experience they combine a child’s heart with profound insights into life’s meaning. Some fantasies laugh; some are full of nonsense; other are breathless with adventure and brave deeds. …

“Not everyone takes to fantasies or fairy tales, although I believe most children do. These stories are certainly at their best when read aloud–especially fairy stories–because the lovely cadence of words and the economy of language make them a special experience. It is adults who worry over the make-believe, the magic, the strange creatures, the evil events, the wars, and sometimes the gore. Children have far less trouble. They readily know the difference between fantasy and reality. ‘No child confuses dragons or unicorns with cattle in a meadow,’ one writer said. It is the child who doesn’t know about dragons and unicorns who is to be pitied! …

“Children don’t squeeze life into boxes. They have room for a large variety of emotions and happenings and are quite aware of the possibilities in people. They know life is difficult; they are happy to believe it also turns out right in the end. I like Beauty and the Beast to this day because in that tale an act of love transforms what is ugly into something beautiful. I believe it still happens.”

Blogger’s Note: Gladys does not say all fantasies and depictions of ” the make-believe, the magic, the strange creatures, the evil events, the wars, and sometimes the gore” are good; her context deals with these subjects handled well in story. Read Honey for a Child’s Heart. You won’t regret it! Published by Zondervan, 1978.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

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A Glimpse of an Adventurous Life: Success, Joyce Meyer, and never give up!

Shall mount up as eagles ...

Shall mount up as eagles …

My definition of success is to have God say to me at the end of my life, “Well done, good and faithful servant …”

What this step looks like to me right now is: supporting myself in a worthwhile career with long-term possibilities of passive income–my own pension, so to speak. I don’t want to burden anyone when I am old, and I want to be able to help others with funds.

Included in that career goal is to learn to live at His speed, relying on Him. Not getting ahead of Him and frying my energy and health, and not getting behind Him and quitting or giving up, but walking with Him; living more consciously with Him.

When I say “worthwhile career”, I also mean helping people during my journey with my books and editing and other skills. Including my time, my heart, my understanding, etc.

I just lost my non-fiction client today, rather abruptly. And I feel misunderstood and misrepresented by him. This took a large dose of patience and understanding.

He was my main source of income at the moment, and I just felt I was getting started on my goal of saving money for ISBN numbers for my books, etc. So I’ve been praying a lot, and He’s given me grace to remember this is His plan, and His grace is sufficient.

So I am moving on. A question I answered today from iBloom in Business is: what are you incompetent, competent, excellent, and brilliant at?

I’m incompetent at InDesign (for the moment), competent at editing, an excellent reader, and brilliant? I’m not sure I dare call myself brilliant at anything–isn’t it quite a subjective thing? I will say I’m brilliant at making mistakes, but I’m learning to use them as stepping stones to success. Mistakes are not permanent failure. They’re temporary learning curves on the road to the right way to do something.

The idea of not giving up in Joyce Meyer’s Never Give Up is helping me immensely with my self-employment challenges.

She says, “Mount up with wings as eagles. … We can approach a situation in which we have grown weary with fresh energy and passion … and [are] less likely to want to give up when success eludes us. One reason eagles symbolize strength is that they know how to make their strength work for them. They don’t expend their energy needlessly. … [She and her husband] eat healthily; we exercise; we drink plenty of water; and we get enough sleep. We strive to keep excess stress out of our lives and we have learned to wait on the Lord. Jesus said that the weary, the worn out, and the exhausted should come to Him (see Matthew 11:28) and He would cause them to rest.” Page 119.

I won’t give up. I plan to take five work leads with me this next week or so while I’m visiting relatives, fill out applications, etc. I will fly as He bids me.

I hope you are encouraged not to give up, and to pursue your dreams and good things with renewed strength. It will be worth it in the end. Sometimes a change of plan is needed. As long as it is not done out of defeat or quitting or fear, it is another curve on the road to success. Never give up!

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