Tag Archives: overcome

Turning Point 2017 New Year Breakthrough

I decided to be transparent, bite the bullet, and bare my soul. 

These are the kinds of books I love: the ones that pull you deep into a a story world you wish didn’t have to end. The poetic painting of a place where you sense loyalty, love, and goodness rising to do battle against deception, despair,  and hate. From the little things like the ups and downs between companions on a great journey, to the soul-tearing decisions of romance, or the life-threatening choices before you, as the hero or heroine.

A world where conflicts are fought within and without. In the intricate vales of the human spirit; in the broad ‘scapes of the land, terrible, beautiful, or engagingly homey; and most of all, in the battle between soul and soul, where the conflicting desires of a villain or villaness (if I can coin the word) and the hero or heroine, drive everything from large armies to their companions, sycophants, or honest followers. What they see and how they react decides their impact on their world, whether they spread darkness or light.   

Besides the tried and true we all know, like Tolkien and Lewis, Anna Thayer’s The Knight of Eldaran trilogy, CJ Cherryth’s Fortress in the Eye of Time, Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword, Sherwood Smith’s Crown Duel, Dennis McKiernan’s The Iron Tower trilogy and The Silver Call duology, Patrick Carr’s The Shock of Night: these types of stories all draw me like a lodestone. In the good conflict contained within them, I glimpse the Morning Star. 

This is the very reason I began to write, for those glimpses of joy, beauty, and adventure. And I have feared letting other people know how very much I like poetic, deep themed, character and conflict driven fantasy: historical fantasy, and every other kind of fantasy. Even to other genres. Except for horror and dark. 

Because there is darkness enough in our world, enough emptiness, enough despair. What some call realism–the idea that we exist by chance, (which means we have no purpose, no part to play) is actually despair, not the true state of affairs in our world.

Part of Webster’s dictionary definition of despair is “without hope.” And a definition of hope is “to…hope with the expectation of attainment.” If you have no hope of attainment, (which holds solid meaning in its very definition) why do anything? What’s the point? Or why not do whatever you feel like? Tomorrow we die, with less impact than a grain of sand.

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When I was a teen, despair almost ate me alive. Partially it was because I was sick, which tends to make everything look black or grey, and partially it was the horrible things I began to see in myself, in life, and in the books I was reading. Where I looked for joy and beauty I began to see betrayal, which brought unhappiness and ugliness. (Fantasy has a strange way of highlighting whatever it portrays, whether darkness or light.)

Suffice it to say, I was learning. But also absorbing what was around me without perspective. I saw a picture in my mind of dominant, rampant evil smothering good, and of despair, a kind of creeping death drawing its shadow over the world. The younger, happy me I used to be was gone, without return.

Then I began to realize, without knowing it at first, that there was more. All who follow good must fight evil, or we will be overcome. And goodness often exists, apparently overcome, but triumphant in the end.

Yes, there is darkness, and fear, and despair, and hate in us and in our world. There is also beauty and joy and hope. Because we were sent here, particular in every area of our being, of time and place, and our every step resounds through the fabric of time, and beyond.

Does this sound like a sci-fi or fantasy story? 

It is. And this story is true. Because it’s true, it’s quite natural we find it reflected in many books, the great conflict between dark and light. Not always portrayed clearly or truthfully, but still glaringly there.

With God, all is hope, however we feel about it, for he works all things (even the things that hurt) to our good when we walk with the great dance of his universe, not following the destructive road of the great rebellion. The difference between books of despairing realism and those of hopeful adventure are created when we who write them see the real world, the true story, reality, as we name it, through what we believe. Here it gets tricky. You have to pay attention.

What is true, is true, whoever sees it. But the person who sees the clearest will see the most truth. God is absolute truth, and in his light, we see light. I don’t mean here that we ever see the complete truth, for we see dimly, but we can point to him, who promises to teach us.

So, what fits the world we see, and our experience, best? 

That intricate and full of life as we are and our world is, all is for nothing? And consequently there is no good, and no evil? No purpose? Not even for a grain of sand?

Or that someone made all this, and us, and we can find joy and beauty and adventure in him? That we can fight evil, and it will mean something in the end, we can really save something or someone? We can really be a hero or heroine?

These opposing beliefs determine whether you see a grey world, or a world alight with its true splendor, a glory of golds and blues and greens, silver and brown and white as snow–and blackness, dark as the pit. That is not gone, just because we see the good. In fact, it becomes all the darker, revealed by the light.

As many others have said, truth makes stories possible. Truth shows good and evil as they are, opposed; shows the mixture of good and evil motives we often are, and the two roads we are torn between. Truth reveals, moment to moment, which road we are on.

I write my fantasy adventures, historical and otherwise, for teens and up, for those disillusioned or discouraged with the rampant ugliness in our world, so often showcased in books. I write for people who yearn for hope, joy, and beauty, wrapped in the clarion call of adventure. 

I hope this post, my turning point in 2017, helps you. That my breakthrough, that I had a wall of my own to overcome, namely fear of you, gives you courage to cross over whatever life-changing wall looms over you this coming New Year.  

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

Yes, start this very moment.

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Define good and evil, and continue your journey with truth. Make a great impact on your world. 

I will feel it from here! Let me know in the comments about your wall, and how you will overcome it.

All the best,

 

Azalea Dabill

Editor and Author

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

 

 

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A Bit of Soul Baring – Hunting Adventures

You never know what you’re going to find out in the woods, or see. Hunting is no exception. Here’s my story in pictures. I didn’t get the elk or bear meat I was after, but I got something greater. A glimpse of the vast beauty of our created world.

You never know what you're going to come across in the woods.

You never know what you’re going to come across in the woods.

An unusual arrangement of fungi . . .

An unusual arrangement of fungi . . .

Last night's snow . . .

Last night’s snow . . .

Or a bear crossing your track within ten minutes of you.

Or a bear crossing your track within ten minutes of you.

Continue reading

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Ruthlessly slash What??

It’s summer, and the game is afoot!

If you’re an author or reader, you’re either furiously creating or relaxing in your favorite warm spot with a book. Or you may do both consecutively. That’s two blessings of the land we live in, the USA, and I hope you’re enjoying reading or some equivalent summer fun. This is the time to be out of doors!

And we never quit learning, it seems. I enjoyed these interesting editing tips, Kristen Lamb’s article on what to ruthlessly slash, passed to me by a bestselling writer, KM Weiland, who wrote Storming, a great steampunk historical. I loved (still do) this daring air pirate adventure.

There’s more. It’s time for The Clash of The Titles, and I’m voting for Jenn Roger’s new release Astray, book one of the Ariboslia series. If you want to vote for her or your favorite title, go here starting Wednesday, June 22, 2016.  Page is not live until Wednesday.

There are many great reads and blessings – what are some of yours, if you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comments. It may take me a little time to get back to you, but I will!

PS. If you would like inside news and special offers on my books and coloring book projects and you are not yet on my list, join my blog letter in the sidebar. I won’t give your info to anyone else, and you’ll get the inside scoop bi-monthly or less.  🙂

Have a great summer!

Azalea

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2016 CJ Redwine’s The Shadow Queen

A riveting retelling. Snow White has grown a backbone and a half to save her kingdom. And she doesn’t do it alone.

When Lorelai’s parents are murdered, she wants to save her family and her kingdom. Ravenspire is in the throes of death, the earth of the kingdom itself drained by Queen Irina’s lust for power. When Queen Irina comes for Lorelai and her brother Leo, the princess discovers strengths greater than she knew through her struggle to tame shape-shifting dragons, defy an evil queen, and do the right thing. Continue reading

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And we have a winner!

We have a winner for the Epic YA Fantasy 21 – book Giveaway! Sharon of the UK, with her entry 1498. Congratulations! We hope you enjoy your 21 summer reads. 🙂

The winner of my earlier YA Fantasy Books Giveaway with The Beauty of Darkness will be announced soon. Continue reading

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Falcon Flight is launching – only $0.99

Today’s our day!

It’s launch day for Falcon Flight (a medieval fantasy adventure),  $0.99 today 5/13, through Monday 5/16, click here. And be sure to grab your ebook copy of the first Chronicle, Falcon Heart, free the 13th – 16th. Click here.

Then my friends Mariella and Ashley’s books (I’ve read them, they’re very good) are a steal. Continue reading

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A Young Reader or Naked as Ducklings

In Klamath Falls library I met one of my first fans. I was looking at books in the young adult section (my current favorite) when I heard someone call “Azalea!” I turned. Continue reading

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10 epic fantasy quotes for young adults

Click on any of these books for their descriptions or sales page on Amazon.

 Queen's poisoner The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler

“Courage isn’t the absence of fear, Owen. Courage is moving forward even when you’re afraid.” (Check out Jeff’s article on Virtue. A great read! So encouraging.) Continue reading

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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)

Continue reading

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Azalea’s Scop Talk

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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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