Fantasy and world building, the balance of imagination

Shot of a futuristic young woman.
Fantasy can stretch your mind and enhance your future.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” 

                                                                                 —Albert Einstein

When is the last time someone accused you of having your head in the clouds? Did you thank them? Chances are they weren’t meaning to  be complimentary and that is unfortunate. It says more about them than you. Chances are they weren’t big fans of the imagination, daydreams, fantasy or invisible friends. Go figure.

Albert Einstein was also a daydreamer and he did all right by us. Other great imaginers include: Carl Sagan, Dr. Seuss, Julius Ceasar, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marc Chagall, Immanuel Kant, Michelangelo, Muhammad Ali. No surprise that you find artists and writers valuing imagination but military leaders, philosophers and athletes? Not at first blush.

Imagination is the mother of fantasy as necessity is the mother of invention. Fantasy is how we escape when reality is too tedious, demanding or overwhelming.  Perhaps escape is too final a solution, say we hold reality at bay with judicious infusions of fantasy. When we step into a fantasy, the stranger the better, we observe situations that are outside the realm of our possibilities (for the moment) and are able to try on how we would behave in new situations. We can visualize and plan, we can step outside ourselves and act through the behavior of heroes and heroines because who knows when we will be asked to step up and assume a heroic undertaking. And if we never are, how else will we know how it feels?

Aladdin magic lamp east design for wish fulfillment
Aladdin’s magic lamp imagining the path to  wish fulfillment

“Everything you can imagine is real.”

—Pablo Picasso

When you escape into fantasy you allow your mind to take a break and regroup, imagine an alternative or grow in understanding. I know when I’m not feeding my imagination. My energy is just one casualty, but the first thing to go is my empathy. When I am stressed, with too much to do I become a shriveled version of myself.

There is a difference between stressing out by stretching yourself too thin and engaging in too many creative projects. Yes, even a good thing can be overwhelming. But I notice that the stress creeps in when I quit trying to discover or play with my project and get caught up in the end result. If someone likes it before it is done it is the kiss of death. I become paralyzed with trying to figure out how to keep their admiration instead of going where the project leads. I need to create alone or at least I need to create without input. Until I reach a final stage. That comes when I’ve pushed as far as I can and am ready to see it from a new perspective. I guess it is all a matter of timing.

“People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.”

—William Butler Yeats

I don’t know of anyone who can pull from an unending pool of creativity without feeding that space with day dreams and “useless” speculation. Inspiration is the reward of feeding your creative place. It is the spontaneous vista at the peak of the endless and rocky mountain path. It shines, it glows, it lets you see things that are hidden by your daily routine. One of the most enjoyable ways of investing in my creative capital is by reading a good fantasy. And it is exactly when I don’t have  time that I need fantasy the most. Because fantasy is really about perspective. It is a balance to the way we see the world  breaking our preconceived ideas and offering a new way to perceive.

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

 

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Fantasy is the root system that feeds the tree of  knowledge.

 

Read more great quotations about imagination at: brainy quotes

Sounds like…

Pulse Wave Background Original Vector Illustration
Pulse Wave Background
Original Vector Illustration

What do you hear?

Sonar (stands for SOund Navigation And Ranging) is a technique that uses sound propagation usually underwater. Submarines for navigation, to communicate with, or to locate other vessels. The force of some sonar systems, depending on the decibels produced, and the distance they  travel, can impact marine life. Low frequency sonar can travel hundreds of miles through water, at significant intensities.

Consider other effects of sound:

  • Sound causes damage to rocket engines; the reason for the flood of water under the space shuttle is to absorb the sound vibration from liftoff.
  • Sound has been considered as a source of cold fusion in heavy water.
  • Sound is used to atomize fuel in burners.
  • Sound is used to break up gallstones.
  • Sound is used for geological surveys and sonar.
  • Sound recordings have been used as a weapon to confuse the enemy soldiers in battle,  and as a means of torture.

There are Sonic and ultrasonic weapons. The acronym for these weapons is USW. These devices use sound to injure, paralyze, or kill an enemy.

Electromagnetic waves, like those used in radio waves, microwaves, infra-red light, and all  visible light, and including invisible ultra-violet light, as well as x-rays, and gamma rays, appear to be very different. In fact, they’re all made of vibrations, but move at different frequencies.

Researchers have found that low frequency sonar exposure could result in hypothermia, and tissue shearing. Damage increases rapidly as intensity is increased.

Noise can be used to cause neurologic breakdown in humans when they are exposed to continuous low frequency tones for periods longer than fifteen minutes. They have resulted in immediate and long-term problems. The symptoms resemble those of individuals who have suffered minor head injuries. One theory is that the prolonged sound exposure results in enough strain to brain tissue to induce an swelling of the brain tissue.

Some sonic weapons are currently in limited use by the military and selected police forces.

Weapons such as sonic bullets, sonic grenades, sonic mines, or sonic cannons have been tested as focused beams of sound or ultrasound; some create a field of sound. Many real sonic and ultrasonic weapons are described as non-fatal,though they can still kill under certain conditions.

Some researchers have observed Dolphins emitting boom and clicks that stun or kill their prey.

Two types of technology are referred to as “sonar”: passive sonar listens for the sounds made by ships; active sonar is used for signals of  pulses of sounds and listens for echoes.

The use of sound to echo locate underwater is the same system that bats use for aerial navigation.

An English meteorologist named Lewis Richardson filed the world’s first patent for an underwater echo ranging device. The mechanism was filed at the British Patent Office  a month after the sinking of the Titanic.

THE SOUND HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

Strombolian eruption at volcano Stromboli in Italy
Strombolian eruption at volcano Stromboli in Italy. A small eruption compared to the sonic destruction released by Krakatoa.

When the volcanic island of Krakatoa near Indonesia erupted in 1883, it was one of the worst geologic disasters of modern times.

It was the loudest sound ever made since mankind started noting such things.

It is reported that the police chief on Rodriguez Island heard it clearly, ‘like a cannonade of naval gunfire’. At the time he was 4,776 km away.

It was like people in London hearing, with perfect clarity, an explosion in Baltimore, or Khartoum.

Bell used during buddhist prayers
Bell used during buddhist prayers. Certain sounds, even at low decibels are able to influence our well being.

I make extensive use of the powers of sound in The Fae Wars – Grace Notes.

When Lunabel is entangled with Pirouette and ‘gifted’ with absolute pitch and perfect echoic recall she was also given a form of protection from the effects of sonic impact to her physiology.

You say soul, I say F’ma…

A beautiful old traditional wooden printing press used to mass produce books in ancient times
A beautiful old traditional wooden printing press used to mass produce books in ancient times

Writing about concepts in a fictional way can be tough. You are  trying to fit abstract themes into a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. And that story needs to be interesting. And you can’t talk too much about the idea. You can’t hold forth about death or courage or striving to do the right thing directly. Your concept must be in the context of characters being themselves.

When you are dealing with humanoid species who are rather obscure (ahem) you have the secondary problem of making them real, different from human, but real so that any humans reading the book can identify with the characters. Sometimes you have to resort to making up words to refer to the culture. Not that there isn’t a precedent for that. Chortling and galumphing, two favorite words, are from the “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll.

So, in that fine tradition of making up words that represent something unique to my vision, I wanted to express the idea of the wholeness of a cognoscente, conscious being: body, mind, soul and the capacity to love, all in one word. But there was no word that came to mind. So I made one up.

The word came to me and afterwards I realized I had based it on a real word that didn’t quite cover my concept but instead described my striving to find that word. The word I came up with was F’ma and the word that suggested it was Ephemeral. Yeah, that’s what you get when you have a twisted mind.

So then I started collecting words that we substitute for ideas that don’t have an apt descriptor. Slang comes to mind. Defined as an informal word or phrase and synonymous to patois, argot, cant or jargon. I appreciate slang. One century’s slang is will often become the next century’s King’s English.

I found some sweet sites that cover quite a range of slang. If you are a writer you may be looking for one of these, if you aren’t you might be using some of these words, cause everyone’s a creative soul at heart (at heart meaning that F’meral place inside all of us).

grunge mist pirate ship in ocean

The Online Slang Dictionary is up to date and easy to navigate with over 17,000 slang words defined in 24,000 definitions. Even slang can have more than one meaning. Like bye, Felicia…Who knew?

And if you speak the King’s English or should that be the Queen’s English you might want to check out The Dictionary of Slang from the UK, I know there are many words I had no connection with before finding this site. Very cool, mahusive.

Going back a bit, here is a site for Elizabethan slang, Bene.

How about pirate phrases? Or cowboy talk?

And if you are interest in words that are made up that have become mainstream try this.

One of the criteria used as a standard for separating animals from mankind is the ability to make and use tools. Words are tools after all, we create them as we need them. By the way there are quite a few animals who create and use tools too. We’d be able to understand them  if we could just remember how to speak Commonsong…

Common song: the first language understood by all creatures. 

Javelin: a sharp, lethal weapon

javelinRGB

Javelin, Jelly’s story.

Javelin, book three in the Sanctuary series, is like all of the series, pure fantasy. The best part of writing fantasy is that you get to make things up. You get to play god in creating situations that could be, better yet, the way they should be and then you get to put characters you care about into those worlds and see what they do.

A writer’s attachment to their work should come from the investment they have in the ideas that work represents and from the affection/disgust they feel towards the characters living in that work.

The characters  live. If they don’t why read the book? There should be a point in a good book where the reader steps into the world and lives inside the head of at least one character. I know there are  books written without a single sympathetic entity included. I won’t invest  more than reading 25% of a book if I can’t find someone to” love”. The character may be flawed (all the better) beaten up like an old stuffed frog, but if there is a shred of something I can identify with, I’ll keep reading.

Writing a book is a series of choices. Every word is a choice, set in place like stones in the walls of places like Machu Pichu. No cement, no masonry, just precision and tension. Sound like a good book? It does to me. The plot should undulate like the earthquakes that shake and wiggle the high places and the words should be able to withstand the pressure. Ok, enough metaphor.

Machu picchu temple of the sun inside

Machu Picchu is over 560 years old. The walls were built without mortar, like a good book, built to stand the changes of time.

Words often get in the way. For me, there are times when I want to shape the story with my hands not my words. I want to paint the faces, show a movie of the actions and create a scent that would expose the motivations of the characters. I want to make it real.

I’m blessed and cursed. I can draw and paint but not with the skill I need communicate at the level I desire. I can write but I struggle with the same limitations. When one reader tells me that they get the character or the story, it means that the magic moment of connection has been achieved. Writing, like most things creative, is lonely, often a singular journey. The difference is the reader.

In Javelin the third book in the Sanctuary series the main characters are surrounded by walls of their own making. In self defense they keep others at a distance. The theme is that love conquers all, even broken hearts. Sound a little different from what you expect from high fantasy, well all fiction is fantasy. This series tells the old stories through the minds and actions of species nonhuman and human, characters ultimately not afraid to open their minds or hearts.

If you like to wonder what if, wander in Sanctuary for a while.

Overview: Javelin—Jelly Jones’ story. Follow the coming of age of Lunabel’s best friend. Jelly has the warrior spirit of of an Amazon princess and a heart that knows no gear for retreat.

 

I’m Having Fun, Yet…

Fantasy, folklore, magic, FAE, epic battle, sweet romance
New title ready for first readers

I have been having fun. I’m in an especially productive place in the past month. Perhaps it is more accurate to say I’ve been very, very busy, you might even compare me to an insomniac on speed. Except I’m not on speed. I have an official diagnosis about the sleep issues, though it’s taken forty years for the official word to come down, but then apnea is much more au courant, so maybe insomnia is out of style.

But the side effect of missing hours of sleep is a bounding energy to create, to make, to play and to find sanctuary. There are times of mind numbing fatigue and as soon as I can’t keep my eyes open I stagger to whatever horizontal surface I can find, if I can, in the meantime I make stuff. Creating distracts me from the dizzying bounce of ideas.

So, at least I’ve fed my inner child if I haven’t racked up any z-time. I’m slogging away on the last first draft in the first four titles in the Sanctuary series. Sadly, I haven’t spent all of that extra time slogging at the keyboard but one of the reasons it takes me so long to finish a novel is that, like my brain, the books tend to spread across many platforms, interests and genres—takes a lot of cat herding to get the ideas to line up. Herding cats or holding a goat rodeo, it’s all the same when I try to tell the story. In the end the long way seems to work. I hope. And yes, I do work with an outline, character bibles, series bible, and then lots and lots of spontaneous serendipity.

So, I’ve got four paintings that I’m working on and several more ready to go; I’m finishing the insulated shades for Jessi’s work station so she can keep writing in the afternoon when the sun cracks off the bay tending to blind one and heating the room to the roasting point. We do most of our work together at that time, as I work otherwhere in the mornings, and she tends to try and sleep at night. Sometimes I meet her haunting the house at the wee hours and we sit and have a little tea and coffee, off duty but usually discussing books, what we’re reading or what we’re writing.

Hannah’s Garden the project I started last year, the one that rapidly pulled in the rest of the family (some more enthusiastically than others) is coming along, though I need to work my pick ax a bit more. I’m installing a DIY watering system using plastic liter bottles rather than sprinklers. I found it on Pinterest and before you laugh I can tell you that it is recommended by the Iowa University Department of Agriculture.  I finished the first course in my Professional Editing Sequence and I’m eagerly (kind of) waiting to see my final grade. I’ve agreed to manage a book project from beginning to end for an outside writer (outside Mess Of Geckos) and I’m pushing my Pinterest followers toward the 1000 mark, for purposes of promotions only. Ah-hem.

I’ll take pictures of the painting, they’ll be done in the next few nights, unless morpheus decides to drop by. Until tomorrow, I’m Sleepless in San Francisco… If you’re sleepless let me know I have a few manuscripts that need a first read. I shouldn’t be the only  one having fun.

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The secret interview

This blog will be an imaginary conversation with the main character in my Sanctuary series. It is a way for me to learn about these characters and hopefully for you too.

LUnabel for pub

I’m here with Lunabel O’Hara, who has agreed to give us a short interview. Lunabel, you are a girl with a secret and a mission. Can be say your mission is secret too, Lunabel?

“What makes you think that? What you see is what you get. I’m an open book.”

I happen to know that you excel in keeping one secret. Tell us what event first took you in that direction. What made you decide to go undercover. (She is looking at me, deciding whether to respond or not).

“Your not real, right? So anything I tell you will be just between us? Am I crazy talking to a figment of my imagination?”

Well, I can’t promise that. But I can guarantee that your secret is safe with me and if someone reveals it in your world it won’t be me.

“I’m going to trust you, I have to trust someone. And since you don’t really exist I can talk to you. The first time I decided it wasn’t safe to be myself was at a very early age. I was three, as a matter of fact. I was in the living room of my parents house with my older sister Myra.”

Myra, your mother’s ‘little me’? She grins and a wicked twinkle in her eye changes her whole demeanor. She chuckles. It is a tripping sound like  a fox hopping  over snow, or petals falling in the breeze of autumn.

“Yeah, Myra used to be a pain. Well what happened is … I was humming and the floor started buzzing. My grandma’s brass plates started to rattle a bit. Myra freaked. She yelled for Mom. Mom ran into the room. I was transfixed by the motes in the air and how I could make them dance when I sang. So I hummed, laughed and hummed some more. Then I must have been particularly impressed by a shaft of light and all the motes to make merry with because I shrieked and blew out every window in the living room.

Long story short, Mom called me freak, Dad rescued me again and I learned that if I were going to make more love me, or at least be in the same room with me I better practice sound on my own time.

I have echoic hearing, which means I remember everything I hear forever and my voice has a range that goes higher and lower than the record holder in the Guinness book of records.

So, yeah, I have a secret. Secret is the only way I can get by and I don’t intend to give it up unless I have no choice. Mom is happier not knowing that I never outgrew my little peculiarity, and I’m in no hurry to relay the information to her.

Things would have gone along as usual if it hadn’t been for the storm and the disappearance of the faery . . .

Well we’ve run out of time, Lunabel thank you for stopping by. I promise I won’t share a word with your mother or anyone in your hometown. Thornhill is almost impossible to find and I know that makes the other secrets your keeping even more secure.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Even the people in my head won’t leave me alone . . .

 

 

Branding Sanctuary, how to find your favorite series

What is branding, you ask. . .

Branding requires that your potential readers will be able to identify the genre of the series and will look for the other books in the series. In essence the series has developed a brand.

Writing a series is a whole level of magnitude beyond writing a book.  Not only do you have a story to tell, with characters that change during the story, you hope, but you also have to grow a series arc that must change over the course of several books. One book allows growth for characters within a snapshot of time. A series gives you the potential to create a comprehensive world where the characters and their context should also grow, over an era of time. Hopefully the end result is a unique place where the reader can escape.

One of the most important part in creating the mood for a series is the Cover. I design my own covers. I’m happy that I can and probably spend way too much time and energy on it. I think about it, I agonize over how to depict the characters, the stylistic approach I would take, whether to use specific images or abstract suggestions of the story. It takes me forever.

Then I worry about whether my ‘target market’, those readers who want to read high fantasy with young protagonists, will relate to the image.

Just as the first book in the Sanctuary series has taken  forever to complete, the cover has also gone through a long history of gestation. But a funny thing happened. As the story matured, the cover changed and when I got both of them to the place that felt right the next three books in the series have rushed to get out. I’m grabbing asphalt trying to keep up. And falling short.

The world I’m trying to create is taking over and I better hold on tight or get left behind. But it takes time.

Early cover of Grace Notes
First cover for Grace Notes

The cover, above, was developed from a 3D model. I thought I wanted to do this because I hoped, still do, to create an interactive version of the story, with animations. Something that is doable if you are working with wire frames and animation. This cover was created by putting a “skin” over a wire frame base. The advantage to this is that the frame remains essentially the same even when you turn it , displace parts of it, your final result is recognizable as the same character. This is a realistic looking character but I finally I discarded the cover because I wanted something more “real”. I wanted a heroine that felt vulnerable, fey, wary and tough, like the character and I don’t have the skill to show that with CG. Finally, I didn’t think my reader would relate as strongly to a CG model as they would to a photo-model.

slipper cover
Interim cover

This cover was created to refer to an element in the book rather than a character. This cover appeals to me but it doesn’t suggest the genre/target I’m trying to reach as well as the close up of the main character. A cover image influences how the reader sees the character sometimes that isn’t a good thing. In this version I’d inserted images that suggested setting.

represents the setting of the series
third version of cover

“Grace Notes” is the story of a girl with a secret. She has immense power but she is afraid to let anyone know. She is also hiding from the judgment of people who are uncomfortable with her strength.

In order to realize her potential the heroine will have to face her worst fear and question her most comfortable assumptions. The fact that these themes are revealed through a love story between characters of wildly different cultures that have been in historic opposition, existing amid prejudice and misunderstanding adds nice layers of richness, I think. And of course the motivation, besides heroine’s need for authenticity, peace of mind, and joy, is the driving force of first love.

Examples of my branded series:

Covers in progress for the next three titles in the Sanctuary series:

Book one in Sanctuary series
Current cover for Grace Notes

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Book two, release Sept 15, 2015 

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Book three, Javelin, release date November 2015.

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Book four, Cohort, release date December 2015.

Another factor of branding a series is by title, That’s why the final covers carry the title: The Fae Wars-Grace Notes, The Fae Wars- Cantata and so forth. The original titles, Grace Notes and Cantata meant nothing to the average reader, though hopefully the meaning became clear in the reading of the books.

Covers that are strongly branded for fantasy series:

the representational simplicity of the

twilight

Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers

twilightdresden

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

So, why fiction? Especially, why fantasy?

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We can learn empathy, new ways to sort our perceptions or escape in fantasy.

 

We  search for meaning in our lives. Most of us  strive to live in ways that are rich, empowered, and authentic. At least that’s what Carol S. Pearson wrote in The Hero Within. I subscribe to that theory. I don’t hear people recommending fiction as a way to do this, nearly often enough.

An article published in Brain Connectivity says that reading novels allows us to be more empathic to others. Most novel readers already know this. But the article says that not only do novels allow us to escape, try on new ways of looking at things, and experience feelings  outside of our lives, but the study asserts that reading novels actually changes the chemistry of our brains—causing chemical effects that can linger for days.

When I read, and I read everything, including box labels, highway signs, non-fiction, which I love, and most especially fiction. I expect to fulfill one or all of the aspirations above.

  • I want to enrich my understanding
  • I want to know about my options (do I really want that 34% fat content for a snack? Probably yes, sigh, I don’t guarantee that understanding my options will mean making the best choices)
  • I want to feel some thing that will add authenticity, joy, or excitement to my life.
  • Or, I want to forget for just a moment, lay down my awareness and slip into a safe and soothing place.

It surprises me how many times I’ve heard people ‘admit’ they read fiction but only—insert a current critics’ darling, or the most recent break out best seller from the most prestigious bestseller list. These poor souls’  behavior suggests that they only read as a way to improve themselves or stay abreast of cultural core knowledge. They imply that reading fiction is a duty, and reading the ‘right’ things seems to make them feel righteous.

But there is a solid core of  people  contemptuous of fiction (which by definition means a work that is partially or all made up, something that is not true, which may even have issued from the fevered imaginings of people like Edgar Allan Poe or J.R. Tolkein). Just the facts, Ma’am and anything that isn’t  is an unsavory past time. Or,  you infer from some people’s reactions that reading is a waste of time

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Classic fantasy is often a metaphor for universal truths or archetypal passages in our lives

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Too bad for them. I won’t waste  time on people who worry about the value of fiction or the significance of what they read.  Worry cuts into my reading time.

I am a word slut, a  novel addict, and sometimes a self admitted escape artist. Don’t get between me and my drug of choice.

While I can admire the strength of a well crafted sentence, the power of a well hewn paragraph or the structural beauty of literary  fiction, sentences, paragraphs and beautiful form are only devices, tools to deliver the guts of the work, like the brushstrokes of a painting. For example, ‘Starry Night’ has several levels of impact. If you would deconstruct the image, each stroke becomes a personal statement. But the real impact is viewing the image as a whole. Like all of Van Gogh’s work, it vibrates, it is alive, and it can grab me by the throat across the room. I can feel it with my back turned.

If I notice careful crafting, or sense that the writer is a little too conscious of what they have wrought or if the structure begs to be admired for it’s brilliance, I’m pulled out of the story. I can admire but admiration is a cerebral response and I’m in it for the game-changing-gut-wrenching-soul-blowing whole enchilada.

I want it all, I want to respect the competence, even the artistry of the writer and I want to be lifted out of myself by the story.  If I can’t have it all,  I’d rather have the emotional lift and save my intellectual gratification for architecture. Sorry but that’s the way I’m wired.

For me, story is the point. Words are just abstract marks unless they translate into thoughts or feelings, most hopefully both. Words are just elegant symbols if they lack the means to evoke understanding.  I can appreciate beautiful writing but without the good bones of a story and engaging, authentic characters, beautiful writing doesn’t move me.

Fiction should push us beyond our present understanding, expand our experience beyond our current knowledge, escape mundane or even impossible situations and/or give us a push, either a feel good-rush, or a terror-buzz or a connection to something you’ve never quite felt in touch with before.

Good Romance fiction is a great means to accomplish that. Don’t roll your eyes. I’m talking about the original definition of Romance.

Unfortunately, Romance and romantic fiction, (though there is nothing wrong with romantic fiction) have become interchangeable in the general vocabulary. This misunderstanding has diminished the impact of one of the most powerful implements for achieving  meaning in our lives.

Traditionally, firstly, fundamentally, Romance was a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric lore and adventure, or the supernatural. Think of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, The Golden Arrow or Ivanhoe. Romance is also a prose narrative with imaginary characters involved in events, remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious

Merry-Adventures-of-Robin-Hoo
Story can inspire, challenge our standards of right and wrong or suggest a way to live that rises above and beyond our daily experiences.

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I write fantasy romance. While I write in  other genres, fantasy romance will always be the most appropriate genre to convey the best I have to offer. 

I once  heard Tamara Pierce say that she wrote fantasy because it was the one genre where you could talk about honor, integrity and impossible goals without embarrassment. We should expect fantasy to thrust us into a journey that requires the best and brightest to meet the worst and most destructive forces; to triumph and  come out on the other side of their quest as even better, brighter and stronger beings who leave the world a better place. 

We are flawed, we can rise above it—that is the bottom line for Romance. Life is big, we are small but Romance should suck the best stuff from deep, deep inside us and show us what we can achieve.

When you add the third definition of Romance,  a love story in the form of a novel, you have a pretty complete understanding of why I write what I do.

The Sanctuary series is high fantasy set in an Urban environment, based on themes like: love conquers all, be true to one’s self, good overcomes evil and life trumps death.

This blog will be about creativity, fiction, the world of Sanctuary and fun. Yeah, because in the end if this isn’t fun, or at least interesting I’m taking  myself too seriously.  I’m counting on someone pointing that out, immediately.

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Some of my favorite go to books of fantasy romance: The Stand, by Stephen King, The Thomas Covenant books by Stephen R. Donaldson, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Briar’s Book, Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce, all the Wild Magic series by Tamora Pierce, Tithe, Valiant and Ironside by Holly Black, to name a few.

Fiction, fantasy, high fantasy, romance, paranormal, books and ideas