The Fantastic Blog Hop

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Fantastic Blog Hop – The Birth of a Legend

The Fantastic Blog Hop was born out of desperation in March of 2013. A few broke authors got together and decided to try their hands at organizing a blog tour for themselves. And so the Fantastic Blog Hop came to be. We began our maiden voyage in April of 2013.

Never let it be said that we didn’t know what we were doing. (We didn’t, but never let it be said!) We jumped in with both feet, only to sink into the muck up to our necks. We’re still digging our way out.

The hop was fun and moderately successful, so we thought we’d try it again, only this time with a bigger group. In addition to our first Fantastic Blog Hoppers: Rachel Rueben, Karen Vaughan, Ruth Davis Hays, Crimson Kildare, Kat Marlow & Dellani Oakes, we’ve added Juli Morgan, Stephanie Hussey, Kristen Duvall & Karina Gioertz.

We’re having fun getting to know one another and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know us too.   The big, yellow bus is gassed up and ready to roam.  It’s carrying all the WRITE STARS.

The tour starts on August 15th….tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow

Are you ready?

The WRITE STARS and their blogs:

Dellani Oakes: http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/

Kristen Duvall: http://www.kristenduvall.com/blog.html

Ruth Davis Hays:  http://jorthusbooks.wordpress.com/

Juli Page Morgan:  www.julipagemorgan.com/blog

Karen Vaughan: www.karenwritesmurder.wordpress.com

S. A. Hussey:  www.sahussey1.wordpress.com

Karina Gioertz: www.friedgatortail.wordpress.com

Rachel Rueben: http://www.rachelrueben.com

 

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The Fantastic Blog Hop: Conversations

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TODAY from 4:00pm til 6:00pm catch WRITE STARS:   Rachel Rueben, Karen Vaughan, Ruth Davis Hays, Crimson Kildare, Kat Marlow  Dellani Oakes, Juli Page Morgan, Stephanie Hussey, Kristen Duvall & Karina Gioertz LIVE on:

DELLANI’s TEA TIME

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2013/08/12/rfk-dellanis-tea-time

Join the WRITE STARS as they discuss themselves, their books and whatever else comes through the tea and/or coffee press OR CALL IN and ask a question.

Don’t forget the tour starts & the bus let’s out the first WRITE STAR on:  

August 15th

Visit each BLOG and FOLLOW the authors as they travel around:

Rachel Rueben: http://www.rachelrueben.com

Dellani Oakes: http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/

Kristen Duvall: http://www.kristenduvall.com/blog.html

Juli Morgan:  www.julipagemorgan.com/blog

Karen Vaughan: www.karenwritesmurder.wordpress.com

Stephanie Hussey: https://sahussey1.wordpress.com/

Country Bumpkin Land: All that and more…

Why hello.   I’m so glad you stopped by.  Y’all know what’s coming right?  My dreaded uplifting, “she’s-through-with-her-vacation, -uploaded-all-the-pictures,-and-now-she’s-going-to-bore excite-us-with-her-vacation-blow-by-blow-then-post-it-on-her- blog”  read.   Woo hoo – contain your excitement.   I shall recount the intinerary and blather on about stories that make no sense (unless you were actually there).  Yeppers it’s that blog.

Hell so much drunken shit fun and excitement happened, I may have two or three days worth of writing material to churn out for your reading pleasure.  (You might want to lean your head back a bit as your happiness tears might short out your lap top.)   And for those who need visuals, I’m adding pictures.  I know how much y’all yearn want to see my eldest and me, cool guitars, the grand ole opry, food and drink as well as nature pics…so get your cup of coffee and settle in.

I’m going to start with the day before we left (oh yes I am), only because I like what happened.  Sara and I went to the grocery store to get snacks for the flight, because yanno doesn’t everyone need in-flight snacks, when a sun shower started and a few moments later a beautiful double rainbow appeared.   It was so pretty and such a great omen!

The day before -- Double Rainbow - Good Omen

(Ooooooooh Ahhhhhhhhh)

Move the hours forward until you reach 4am (be glad I didn’t give you the blow-by-blow of the Masshole who tried to steal our parking spot at Stop-n-Shop—it was an ugly battle-but we won…Yay!) and you have a 21-year-old on hyper speed, and a forty-something-year-old pleading for more sleep and begging for a ginormous pot of coffee to be at her disposal.

Our flight out of Logan was uneventful and our brief stay in Chicago was loaded with insults and cheap taunts good.  People didn’t seem to like our Boston shirts – not sure why?  Perhaps it was that play-off thingie with the Bruins?  Hmmmmmmm??   We eventually landed in Nashville and the vacation officially started.

Nashville TN -- Airport tarmac condo shot

Nashville tarmac                                  Condo (middle)

To be honest I didn’t think I was going to like Nashville, especially since I had dreams running amuk in my head of vacationing in the United Kingdom and stalking Jimmy Page listening to accents that would send cheap thrills coursing throughout me, but nope it wasn’t meant to be…I remained on US soil.  My eldest daughter had just turned 21, and for her birthday (and last BIG trip from mom) got to pick where we went.  That my friends is why I travelled south to Tennessee, or as lil-chick (my youngest) dubbed it:  country-bumpkin land.  Not as exciting as a trip across the giant pond but I did get to hear accents or rather, southern drawls.   It’s all good – any place that has lightning bugs flickering every night has to be awesome.

As I was saying I didn’t think I was going to like Nashville because yanno I’m a rocker chick at heart and let’s face it, Nashville is the country music capital of the world.  I felt a little a lot like a Donny and Marie Osmond tv special when walking up and down Broadway, especially when I had my Led Zeppelin shirt on and could hear the fiddle playing from some honky tonk, strange but I liked it…liked it…yes I do. (sorry I digressed)

Ummm  yeah   I can find Zeppelin anywhere   DSCI1873

Inside Hard Rock Café                                                 Orpheum Theatre – Memphis, TN

My musical taste is very eclectic.  I enjoy many musical genres including country but I never considered myself a “country” fan.  When you arrive in Nashville it heralds country music – it’s everywhere – and I do mean everywhere.  You stand on a corner waiting for the light to change and music is blasting out of the large utility boxes.  (yep-they sure do)  Let me say this, the city was nothing like I expected.  It was all that and more.   An amazing city filled with a rich and great history and incredible people who care.  It’s all about love and family.  I heard that numerous times while I was down there and it was quite heartfelt.

The locals were eager to please, pleasant and quite talkative, especially Mr. Tommy from Tommy’s Tours.  He filled us in on the local gossip, brought us all around the towns to where the country stars homes were, and filled us in on native speak – bless your heart.   Honestly had no idea we were staying two streets over from were Taylor Swift and Hayden Pantierre lived.  (Yes, we lurked stalked casually strolled by the place on our way to get gourmet cupcakes at GiGi’s – yeah cupcakes that’s it…cupcakes.)  And he told us about the guitar shaped pool that was, of course fenced in, down on Music Row.  Now Sara and I walked by that fence and I said I thought there was something behind it but my eldest said, “Maaaaaaaa private property ohhhh geeee”.   I didn’t see the problem with looking but child was looking a tad mortified so I didn’t, but after what Tommy said well I wanted a picture of that and yanno we never got back over there to get it.  I think eldest child purposely kept me away from there.  Next trip…I’m breaking the law

We did see many interesting sights on one of many walks up, down,DSCI1660 and through Music Row one being the pink flamingoes.   When we first arrived at the condo we saw one lying on the ground in front of the condo, the metal prong had broken off so the poor thing couldn’t stand.   We didn’t give it much thought until we saw a couple more on another record company lawn then while we were on Tommy’s tour bus we saw more – a whole lot more.  There had to be 30 to 40 pink flamingoes smaDSCI1798shed onto the lawn of another record company with a sign:  “You’ve been Flocked”.   According to Tommy, a group of college kids carouse the streets at night and move the flamingoes to yet another home, leaving a flamingo behind as a memory.    I thought this was hysterical.   (LOL Yeah I’m easy to amuse.)

Americana

Another piece de resistance we saw on our numerous walks was the statue, Musica.  A large bronze statue created by Alan LeQuire as part of a 2003 urban renewal project.  It sits at the center of a roundabout at the end of Music Row, and was quite controversial when it was unveiled to a large crowd of diplomats and locals.  Mr. Tommy said no one knew what the artist was making as it was kept covered.  On the day of the unveiling it created quite a stir amongst the bible thumpers as it depicted nine nude dancers.   It was the gasp heard round the world.

Speaking of gasps, I did just that when Sara and I walked over to the Gulch (an up n coming area of Nashville) and found a store that sold vintage items.   The name:  Two Old Hippies, it had a peace symbol as the door handle; I was in 7th heaven.  Sara rolled her eyes.   I saw so many items from my youth – made me wish I kept them all.  On weekends they have bands that come in play right in the shop.   The store sells and repairs guitars and many a star has visited as witnessed by the autographed photos on the walls.  It’s a cool and very hip place to go.

Printer’s Alley is another place to visit.   It’s an alley up off Broadway; at one time (long ago) it was a thriving publishing district that had two large newspapers, ten print shops, and thirteen publishers but it ended up becoming an entertainment area.  Back in the days it was illegal to sell liquor in Tennessee. Restaurants and clubs in the alley served liquor anyway, often claiming it had been “brown bagged” (brought in by customers).  I always wondered (and know you did too) how that term came about now we all know.

printers alleyMusically interesting, there once was a famous Printer’s Alley club called Jimmy Hyde’s Carousel Club.   It was a jazz venue  (yes…Jazz…in country bumpkin land….wahoo).  It was frequented by many Nashville studio musicians who loved jazz even though they backed up country singers. These players would jam in the club after their sessions were done and the music played was jazz. Among the musicians were Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph, Bob Moore, Brenton Banks, Buddy Harman and Hank Garland.

Nashville has its share of ghosts too one being right there in Printer’s Alley at the Bourbon Street Blues club.  Owner David “Skull” Schulman was murdered by a robber shortly before the club was due to open – they say his ghost still haunts the club and Printers Alley today.  I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Had no idea I would see a replica of the Parthenon here in Nashville but we did.  Nashville - ParthenonPart of the movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  Lightning Thief was done there.   It was a quick walk through and we enjoyed the gardens and park as well.  If you have a couple of hours definitely go visit.

We stopped into many stores and ate at many great places, tried out some new drinks -still loving the lemon moonshine from Bootleggers Inn.  We did a pub crawl tour that was loads of fun – our tour guide was hysterical and gave us a lot of info about Nashville and all the pubs and/or honkey tonks.

Sara and I took the tour of RCA Victor Studio.  Highly recommend.  And, if you go to Memphis (we did) take the Sun Studio tour (learn more by reading Juli’s blog http://julipagemorgan.com/sun-studio-memphis/).  I will probably do a blog just on these two studios alone.  I saw numerous differences between them but what these studios put out for music in the early days was insane.  Personally, Sun Studios impressed me the most, but then ROCK-n-ROLL was born there.  Listen to Jackie Brenston’s, Rocket 88.

Sun Studio -- The Amp that started Rock n Roll -- distortion                           Sun Studio -- Picture of Rocket 88

The amp that started Rock-n-Roll and the record that proves it.

Since I mentioned Memphis and Juli Page Morgan, Sara and I took a 3 hour drive over – well Sara did the driving – so I could:  1. Meet Juli in person, 2. Go to Graceland, 3. Visit Sun Studios, 4. Beale Street, 5. Dip my toe into the Mississippi River (much to Juli’s horror), and 6. The Peabody Hotel Duck Walk (something I didn’t know I wanted to do but glad I did), 7. The stars at the Orpheum Theatre.

On our final weekend we took a beautiful drive down the Natchez Trail Parkway.  What a beautiful, scenic road.  It starts in Nashville, TN and ends in Tupelo, MS (cutting through Alabama).  We went as far as the state line of Tennessee and Alabama.   The beautiful falls and winding rivers were so serene – could’ve sat by them all day.  The history of Louis & Clark, Gordon House, the mines…all amazingly kept up for visitors.  I told Sara I want to go back and drive the whole length stopping at all the historic markers, then drive back.  If you are in Nashville for any length of time – go out to the Parkway and stop at the falls, take a walk down to the pools below = nirvana.

Places visited (in no particular order as my brain can’t remember two hours ago let alone 2-3 weeks ago).

Ryman Auditorium                                     Grand Ole Opry

Country Music Hall of Fame                      Music City Walk of Fame

Hatch Show Print                                        Two Old Hippies

The Parthenon                                             Visitor Center

Vanderbilt Medical Center                        Vanderbilt University

RCA Victor Studios                                     Music Row

Printers Alley                                               Natchez Trace Parkway

Dunkin Donuts (had to add)                    Multiple boot stores & shoppes

We did tours as well:  Pub Crawl Tour, RCA Victor Studio Tour, Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour, and Tommy’s Bus Tour.

And that was just Nashville (and I didn’t mention the food places -sigh & yum.  We also went to Memphis and saw:  SUN Studios, Graceland and the Lisa Marie (Elvis’ airplane), Beale St.shops. & outside vendors, The Peabody Hotel and their infamous ducks, The Orpheum Theatre and its star walk, the Mississippi River, the I LOVE MEMPHIS sign, statue of Elvis, and Mid Town Central BBQ (to die for food)

Something I highly recommend purchasing if you go to Nashville is the  “Music City Total Access” pass.  You can get them on-line (cheaper) and pick them up at the Visitor Center (you can buy them there as well) which is right on Broadway-downtown.  They cost $50.00 but are well worth it.  You can pick 4 things from a list of about 20 things to do you then present a pass to the place you go to and voila that’s it – Entry.  You also get a free pass into the Parthenon and 25% off the trolley ride (which we didn’t bother with).   We used it for the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, RCA Victor Tour and the Pub Crawl Tour, then visited the Parthenon.   Many options to work with and you will save money.

If you plan to stay more than a few days I also recommend renting a condo.  We stayed at the Gaskins home on Music Row and it was amazing.   I used Flipkey.com and have never had a problem.  Recommend this for long stays.  We were there for 10 days and having the luxury of coming back to a home and spreading out, having a kitchen to make a late night snack or drinks was nice and it was actually cheaper than a hotel.   We only rented a car for the first day and the last weekend but the rest of the time it was a quick cab ride to downtown for $8.00, you could bike it (use one of the many rental stands) or walk.   Cabs charge a flat rate from the airport, Grand Ol Opry to downtown Nashville.  $30.

So that’s it (for now) – we did quite a bit.  My memory is trying to churn out everything and I know I’ve forgotten things.  Oh yeah, like the riverfront at the end of Broadway.  During the summer they have concerts down there on the weekends for free.  Union Street Station is architecturally amazing.  Every place you visit has interesting info:  the Music Hall of Fame’s design and shape.  The musician plaques inside the round room are not placed around the room haphazardly they were done that way purposely.   The blue lights at RCA records were bought and used by Elvis Presley for one particular reason.

Overall, Nashville’s a great place to visit:  clean, neat, hospitable and fun fun fun.  Really hoping Sara goes to school at Vanderbilt (huge hospital and beautiful university) just so I can go back and stay longer and visit more frequently.  I really enjoyed it – can’t wait to go back and take the youngest.  I think she’ll love country bumpkin land.

We’re Not So Different

Today’s post was inspired while reading Jenny Hansen‘s blog, R is for Relics I Want In My Office.  It got me thinking about museums and how both my girls love art. 

Drawn by: L. M. Hussey at 5 1/2 years old.

Drawn by: L. M. Hussey at 5 1/2 years old.

The oldest loves to paint while my youngest loves drawing and sculpting.  Their favorite place:  Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.  As artists they deeply appreciate all the amazing works that are housed there, and it’s through their eyes I see the little things that escaped my notice and make me value the beauty within the paintings, sketches, and sculptures.   Now that the eldest is in college and it’s just me and kidlet, I’ve begun to really observe little Ms. Thang while she holes up and works her magic. 

Drawing pads and sketch paper litter every room along with pencils, pastels, and chalk…some days the house is an artist’s playground.  I personally never knew there were so many different types and quality of paper to work with, nor did I realize the vast assortment of pencils –various sizes and colors – that would become strewn about the house.  A varied hodgepodge of paint brushes sit on my windowsill, some in water others held upright in painted containers or glass cups.  Everyday this sundry collection of supplies is picked up with nary a grumble (ok, a lot of grumbling) but then I look at the magic drawn on the acid free, medium weight quality paper and smile.  Like her older sister, Little Ms. Thang has artistic talent.  

Every day she’s drawing something or sculpting, and of course leaving it around the house.  When I rave on about said picture, kidlit laughs at me and says, “Mom, it’s a doodle.” (?huh, a doodle…really?).  I knew early on she had a thing for art.  While most kids nibbled, chewed, or ate their pink lemonade crayon little Ms. Thang sat with her big pad of paper and scrawled her magical squiggles and scribbles across extra large, heavy white, all-purpose paper.  I don’t remember the color of the fridge from all the paper on it from both children’s pièce de résistance  

Little Ms. Thang has taught me color, light, and shade and that a pencil is not just a pencil.  You need “special” pencils to draw and oh yes, by-the-way, she needed to restock with real supplies.  (What an eye-opener this was)

 We walked through the local art store, well I strode rather quickly and impatiently while little Ms. Thang floated down the aisles as her eyes took in all the bright and shiny paraphernalia.   Beads of drool dripped from the corner of her upturned lips then nestled on her chin while she fingered a deluxe kit of something or other over by the easels.  This was little Ms. Thang’s candy store and she didn’t want to leave. I incessantly barked about her making it quick and snappy, and watched as she overloaded the hand basket with papers and pencils – lots of pencils with numbers and weights.  I mean seriously can’t one draw with a Ticonderoga yellow #2 on cheap beige paper – worked for me (hey wait…maybe that was my problem). 

 My mini coronary came when I saw the prices on some of the pencil kits.  I mean these are pencils, right?  Filled with lead, not gold?  The full blown heart attack came at the register.  Holy sheep shit and cow paddies, these were art supplies I was purchasing, not the Mona Lisa.  With the “must have” supplies restocked my child was over-the-moon ecstatic. When we got home she momentarily disappeared to open all her bright and shiny items.  I put on a pot of coffee to drown my sorrows and ease my shakes.  Gripping the mug tightly I drank the dark brew as my excited child explained the use of an artist’s eraser (yes, they do exist…really).  At first all I could think of was, Really? An artist eraser. A regular pink eraser doesn’t cut it?  (insert heavy sigh here)  I feigned interest as I slurped my java.

Then something hit me.  I saw it.  I saw her goofy grin, the twinkle in her eye as she held the eraser out to me like it was gold.  The way her hand lovingly held the pencil as she focused and concentrated on the picture she began drawing.  Her head phones on, music playing, her head bopping.  It was right there in front of me.     

I saw me explaining my writing and stories and why I wanted Scrivener and why I bought a Dragon, and how old Word was better than the new Word and how my dream is to own a Mac (excuse me while I dab at the drool on my chin), how college ruled paper pads are better than standard lines.  I prefer to do long-hand writing in pencil (#2 yellow Ticonderoga).  I have USB fobs everywhere.  Piles of papers sit next to my computer, along with pens, sticky notes, motivational cut-outs, bottled water, coffee cups, and a bottle of Motrin.  I have notebooks regular and fancy leather bound ones.  I have a feathered quill and a Harry Potter leather journal my eldest brought home to me from Disney and I haven’t used yet because I want to put something special in it.  I love quills, nibs, ink and various fonts. 

I love that when we walk the beach little Ms. Thang takes in the beautiful palette of colors in the sky and itches for her paints, brushes, chalks, and pencils.  While I see a story laid out before me itching to be written.  I see the setting, hear each  of the characters tell me their story, and I want to know their story.  I want to breathe life into it.  From the elderly man sitting on the weathered bench reading the newspaper, to the little girl with pig tails who giggles at the black and white spotted puppy licking her face as he wriggles his body in her arms.  There’s always a story or a picture if you look for it and observe.

“Yanno,” I told little Ms. Thang.  “You and I…we’re not so different.”

Cleaning up da funk

Today boys and girls, ladies and gents, (readers peering out from the portal beyond), I have decided it’s time to get myself in order. No, I’m not dying. I’ve been in a funk.  Listing said details of why, is moot. Nobody understands (or cares) about the why anyways.

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of why I do this thing called writing. I enjoy it. I love spinning and weaving a story web (alluding to spiders WTG I hate spiders). I see or hear things and my mind just goes into another world of my making. The people are real. The things they say and do are real – if only in my mind. I guess to some that’s a crazy mind, but I do know the difference between reality and fantasy. I do. I’m truly sorry you missed seeing Pegasus land on the pier in Swampscott Harbor. It was tres’ cool the way he came out of the mist and landed on the rustic, wooden dock. A majestic sight to behold and not something you see everyday either. He came for the Hostess cupcakes, but now they’re all gone…just like him. (sad, huh?) I digress.

My meandering muse and I have decided that I’m going to keep writing, even if it’s ludicrous crap that makes no sense. I live for white backgrounds and black letters. I think even some of you do to. I can jazz it up too and make it sparkle like a vampire by changing the font and color.  Oooh pretty isn’t it.

Anywho…I’ve found myself making a mess of my story, Remembrance. I was trying to make it work, and was very hard on it. So much so, that my characters shut down on me. They went into a funk. (poor things) I’m so lost with the story that I’m stuck between worlds with it and I have no idea where to go. I can’t ask another soul about it because that would just add to the chaotic hell I’m already in. One says do this, another says do that, and yet another likes it as is. So what is one to do? Who’s right, who’s wrong? Am I fooling myself here? Do I have what it takes? Am I any good? Self-doubt is reality people and it’s hard to pull yourself out of it. I was making myself crazy. I even put limits on myself and refused to write anything else if I didn’t finish the story. All that did was depress myself further. The funk was in da house.

Now it’s time to move it on out. I’m starting over – completely. I’m going to separate my two blogs. I have this one and that musical one (Rock-it-Write). Not that music needs to be separated from writing but I really do want to keep that beautiful musical lane special. Bluebird Reviews showed me a path and gave me the opportunity to combine two passions of mine: writing and music. Like my stories my musical meanderings deserve their own place and I gave them two, a blog and a website (check it out here:  Rock-it-Write), and when I write for Bluebird Reviews they get posted there as well. So here is a shout out to Bluebird Reviews for all things magically musical – Keep up the FANTASTIC work!

As for my first love it’s time to feel the passion again and write. Remembrance is a great story filled with amazing characters, but I have to let them go. Someday I’ll go back to Aiden, Tiernan, Ari, Owen, and Vaz, but right now I can’t. (Insert dagger to the heart here) It’s depressing me because I don’t know how to make them shine the way they should. I have a lot of ideas but which is the write one? I’m thinking I have to let it stew to make it better. I don’t relish (well I do and I ketchup and mustard too) the idea of re-doing this story, but it may be something I’ll have to do. Again, it’s a fantabulous story if I do say so myself. 150,000+ words is nothing to sneeze at. I don’t suck (yay), well…I tell myself that (boo).

A lot of time went into the making of Remembrance but (doncha hate that word) it’s too many words for a publisher, too many POV shifts, too many dis and dats and everything in between. Something’s wrong. I think when I took that left in Albuquerque on my way to California…that was it, that’s where I went wrong. I don’t know. And, if I don’t know what it is I’ve done, how can I fix it? Insert beta readers…but are they right or wrong? And where do you find them? Are they willing to commit to my mess? So many questions? Perhaps, I’m better off not writing but I can’t imagine not writing so there you go (double bind).

I figure before I completely trash Remembrance or make mincemeat out of it I’ll leave it alone and go write something else. I have other story ideas I’ve wanted to work on but I put them to the side to commit to Remembrance. Bad idea Stephy (ain’t that the truth muse baby). I have to listen to my own voice. Follow my gut instinct. Yada yada yada, etc. (ad nauseum) Plain and simple…I have to write.

So, how many of you know there’s a portal to Avalon smack dab in Salem Harbor? And, how many of you know how to open it? Hmmmm…I’ll give you a hint how. Tree speak, yeah that’s right, tree speak. That ol Willow at the north end of the commons knows a lot. Only wish I knew that before I sent Shaelin out on that boat ride. I mean seriously, who knew, that if you went into the Astor vault in the Old Cemetery that a hidden door existed which would lead you to an underground city, and somewhere within that city was a journal and not just any journal, it holds within its pages the words (and secrets) of Avalon.   Cool huh?

Edits & New Avalon

Going to try and keep up with this blog and start posting more frequently; even it its a rehash of the days events. Today was uneventful. Like chewing bubblegum. Same ol, same ol. I did not edit on Remembrance yet, I say yet because I do intend on editing later on for at least an hour. I can do something with it in one hour.

In any event I slept in, did laundry, picked up lil chick from her dads, took the girls out for dinner, now having coffee and contemplating on which story to work on. Decisions, decisions. Anyways, decided to post the opener to New Avalon here. So when I mention it you’ll have something to go oh yeah that story. Uh huh.

I think I’m going to go get another cuppa of joe and have a nice chat with Aiden, and if he doesn’t want to talk, well I’ll leave a gap in his story part and move forward. I still have to fix the dialog between Ari and Owen, Vaz and Ari. Hmmmm so I guess I’ve answered my own question — I’m editing Remembrance tonight.

I think I have to set a goal. Let’s see 21 days to remove 20,000 words and clean up the story. That’s doable right? OK…Stop shaking your head no..it’s doable, really. Well I’m going to try it.

Perhaps with a time-table Aiden “might” talk. Yeah right. I can hear his chuckle now, and see him rolling his eyes. Not boding well. Anyways, enjoy the excerpt. I’m off to edit. Wish me luck – Aiden’s laughing and conspiring with Vaz – this is not good – really not good.

NEW AVALON
Excerpt
©2010 by S.A. Hussey
Not to be posted or reprinted without permission of the author.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Journal Entry:
February 1994 ~ After Midnight – The Sphere

My radio had been blasting out Zeppelin music as I made the drive over the Salem/Beverly Bridge. I sang and my hands tapped the steering wheel in rhythm to the beat. My jeep chugged along as I neared the bottom of the bridge. I maneuvered the car into the right lane and travelled down route 1A, or as us locals call it, Bridge Street. Nearing my turn onto Winter Street, I had noticed the streetlight up ahead was green then it turned yellow then red then back to green, all within seconds. It did this twice more then stopped.

That’s when IT happened.

Everything around me had gone black. Immediately I had thought, power outage. A transformer must’ve blown somewhere. Shit! Thank you National Grid, now get the power back on. I continued to drive on but noticed no other cars and no people milling about, which was odd for a Friday night in Salem, Massachusetts. Right then I realized something else, the music had stopped playing. Every preset button I pushed on the radio had nothing but static coming over the air waves. It was eerie – scary eerie. The only thing moving in the dark was my car. And, of course IT; the massive, swirling white matter that hurtled up from out of nowhere, blanketing me and was reaching upward for the stars.

When it happened, I stopped and had parked the jeep smack dab right in the middle of Bridge Street. That’s also when I felt the vibration. At first I thought, holy shit earthquake. Then I realized it wasn’t the road shaking – it was me! I couldn’t stop. The vibration was internal. An intense, continuous energy coursed through every part of my body making me feel as if I could shoot to the moon and beyond. There was a buzzing sound in my ear too. You know the kind, like when a bee passes to close to your ear, or the sound a hummingbird makes as it whizzes past. That’s what was needling into my brain. Neither would stop, in fact it was getting worse.

Between the mind-numbing buzz and the adrenaline pushing energy, I thought my body was going to explode. IT was intense. I got out of the car and in the darkness I saw my body glowing. My aura was a myriad of shades ending with a blue tinged white. The glowing concerned me but I was shocked by the fact that I was buzzing and charged with much energy. Right then I was the epitome of a human lightning bolt. If I had touched something right then, they’d be electrified or burnt for sure.

The sensations running through my body at that moment were like none I’d ever felt. First, there had been the fire within me. A consuming heat so intense it threatened to set me aflame. Then there was the warm coolness of a turbulent wind, like an angry vortex was spiraling out of control inside me. It shook my body in an uncontrolled fit then immediately stopped to be replaced by an intense dryness and heaviness. I felt like dirt and sand was filling my body, as though I was an over-filled hourglass with my time running out. When it reached into my lungs I began to cough and sputter; I was suffocating, but on what? That sensation was immediately replaced by a sense of liquid rushing through my veins. My blood seemed to thin to water. When I moved I could hear the sloshing within. The fluid was pulsating through me like a shower head on high. I fell to my knees on the ground and begged for whatever it was to stop.

Oh, please. Someone, anyone…make it stop.

IT did.

Ask and you will receive. It was odd, I thought. I still felt the energy and vibratory hum, but it was soft now, tolerable. I looked myself over and found I was still intact but filled with immense peace. A sense of love, unity and oneness with the world enveloped me. I smiled. My senses became sharp and crisp. Right then, it seemed as if the universe had kissed me on my third eye, opening it to see the world in front of me but in a whole new way.

The tree on the corner was no longer just a tree but an entity. A living, breathing species that would tell you its tales if you stopped to listen, and I did. I heard its whispers. The majestic oak was happy, as was the elm, and the willow. They conversed. And, I could hear them!

“Welcome home,” they said in unison.

I paused. I wasn’t home yet. Unconcerned by my pause or thoughts they moved their wondrous branches to and fro as they giggled and laughed happily. I sniffed as the acrid smell of smoke and incense wafted through the air. Familiar smells to my awakening senses, but where was it coming from? I looked up to see if I could see the smoke, but instead what greeted my eyes was some kind of spectral field. Almost unperceivable to the eye but yet, I could see it. A clear film of sorts, that arched high and as far into the darkness of the night sky as I could see. It reminded me of a liquid bubble. Iridescent yet, around its outer edge was a white-blue that shimmered. An energy field. I felt its vibration and hum. Boy had I felt it. I gazed up in wonderment – I was baffled.

What was IT?