Friday, May 31, 2019

Stories on Stone

Image from my Facebook Author Page

While I love this quote by one of my favorite authors, I treasure more the image I pasted it onto. These hand-prints were found in the Lascaux cave, in France. Each hand is a story in itself.

Some months ago, I happened to see the Antonio Banderas film Altamira, which portrays the discovery of similar cave paintings in Spain by Marcelino de Sautuola in the 1870s. Near the end of the film, Sautuola's wife places her petite hand in a print just like these. The fit is perfect. "You didn't tell me they were women," she says. This rocked me. Could it be true? We, from our patriarchal societies, have assumed the painters were men. But what if caves, like wombs, were the province of women?

And so when I look at the image depicted here, from Lascaux, I imagine generations of women trekking into the dark, a bowl of pigment in one hand, and some kind of light source in the other. Why did they venture into the darkness to leave their mark? Was it new motherhood and gratitude that drove them into the womb of the earth? Was it, perhaps, a prayer for fertility? Or coming into a position of leadership like a priesthood or lore-keeping?

Nearly every hand seen here is a left hand. Was it the bowl of pigment each woman held in the right? Red, black, white pigments. Now see the woman earlier in the day, crouching on the ground and grinding the colored minerals to powder and mixing it with water. Did each color have a different taste? Is the color dependent on the generation?

With what awe did each woman stand and gaze upon the hands of the women who came before her? "This one is my mother's. This one belonged to my grandmother..." They would have remembered the women and the names and stories attached to each print. The only lasting chronicle of their people.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Choicest Possession

Image from my Facebook Author Page

Should a room be stripped of furniture, as long as the books remain, the room will still feel furnished, warm, inviting, and full. They provide the furniture of the mind, food for the imagination, and a necessary occupation.

I'm afraid my coffee tables are a little cluttered with books. Can't get enough of them around me. I hunger for their contents and their companionship. One feels a little less alone when surrounded by books. Their voices are there for the asking.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

New Wheels

My Townie

We had a realization. Once we have our new Tepui tent set up, we are unable to drive anywhere until we're ready to pull up stakes and move to the next campsite--the tent being actually attached to the top of the car. So we decided I needed a bike. My husband tried to convince me that a mountain bike was the way to go, but I assured him that my mountain biking days are over. Seriously. Forever. No thank you.

So I decided on this cushy Electra Townie. It's in my colors, moss green and saddle brown. My helmet arrives today. Oh, such a helmet it will be. Just wait and see.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Nature Fever

from my Facebook Author page

The camping and hiking season is fast approaching. Nature fever is upon me. The mountain trails are covered with late snows this year, and my husband's workload has been ridiculous, so our plans have been slightly delayed. June it is. June cannot come fast enough.

When it does, move over Muir. I need some room for "the winds to blow their freshness into me."

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

As Sharp As Swords

From my Facebook Author page

Despite my departure into historical fiction, I find myself drawn back again into the realm of fantasy. I am close to having enough content for a collection of stories that all take place in the world of Tanerra. That world where "Fire Eater" and "Mists of Blackfen Bog" (my first two stories accepted for publication) are set.

This particular world has been undergoing development off and on for, guessing, 18 years now. It's rich, complex, huge, involves really two worlds in one, and many planar realms besides. So the possibilities for stories are endless.

And this project is something I've envisioned for years. To think it might actually come to fruition is energizing.

To that end, I need the title story. The foundation story. The story that introduces the pantheon, the myths and legends upon which all the other stories hinge, even if indirectly.

So last week, I began work on "Winter Star." Another couple of weeks ought to see Draft 1 completed. Fingers crossed.

~ ~ ~

Side note: my website has received an overhaul and is now live! It is now worlds away from the antiquated ickiness that it was before. Loving it. See the changes HERE.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Touch of a Book

from my Facebook Author page
I went to lunch with my mom this week, and after we ate, we 'just happened' to stroll through an aisle of books at a nearby department store. The books drew us like honey, like magnets, like gravity, like love. Mom picked up a book and said, "I miss the feel of a book." She's been reading quick and easy downloads on her reading device. She sighed and rifled the pages and commented on how lovely the jagged edges were. Watching her admire the bound treasure in her hands was a precious experience.

Of course, she bought the book.

Several, in fact.

We all did.