Best Laid Plans: A Personal Update, and a Micro-Fic Story

The title of this micro-fic piece is apt, because my best-laid plans have not turned out as I’d thought they would! December was a challenging month for me in terms of pacing (something which is essential for people with #spoonie health conditions) but I’d expected that after some rest, I’d be ‘back to work’ in early January, as usual. I was looking forward to getting back into things!

The Universe has had other plans. 🙂 My health has forced me to make rest and recovery my primary ‘task’ for the time being. Although this means that working on new scenes for our third novel is pretty much ‘on hold’ for the moment, I have been able to write small unrelated pieces now and then. (Phew!)

While I’m really missing working on the magic of Lazuli Portals 3 (and finding out what happens to Keira and Jason and co. in chapter 27 and beyond!) I have made my peace with it. For those of you who are impatiently waiting for LP3 to be finished, I will return to it as soon as I am able, I promise!

Meanwhile, I’m also having a go at being more laid back about blogging and social media, trying to find a manageable balance. 🙂 ‘Balance’ is a theme which recurs over and over in my life, so I clearly need more practice at it lol.

The tiny story which follows is a piece I wrote many months ago in response to the image, specifically to be shared on the blog. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but we hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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BEST-LAID PLANS

The warning is there, plain to see; I made sure the cleaner left the bollard in open view. According to the steady red light, the security camera is on, so everything will be documented.

All I need to do is to make it look natural: let my feet slide from under my weight, land awkwardly, making sure I break a bone or two.

That should keep me out of the surgical unit for a few months. I need the break (pardon the pun). Maybe the time off will stop the shaking, the trembling in my fingers when I lift the scalpel. The responsibility over life … the damage I might do … I just can’t …

Deep breath. It’s all down to me, now.

But something curdles in my belly. I know this is wrong. It’s fraud, isn’t it? My mother would turn in her grave if she knew what I was up to. I’m sure she’s keeping an eye on me.

And what about me? I’m a good person; that’s why I became a surgeon. My vocation is to help others to heal; to cure, wherever possible. And here I am about to injure myself, deliberately, and to cause hassle and difficulty for others, to apportion blame to the blameless.

I can feel Mum at my shoulder, her flinty eyes ashamed of me, her disappointment like a shadow veiling my eyes.

I swallow, and turn away from the pool and its slick tile surround.

It’s time to own what’s happening to me. To deal with it in the right way. To talk to my boss and seek her help; Shelley will know what to do.

The dark weight which has been plaguing me lightens, the threads of it unwinding and weakening.

My mind is consumed with how to broach this with Shelley, how to tell her that I don’t have the courage anymore.

It’ll be hard to share this with her. Of all the people at the hospital, Shelley is the one with whom I feel the strongest connection. Maybe it’s because she’s so full of life and fun? Because she’s so different from my mother? And now I have to tell her of this weakness, this flaw.

My nape turns ice-cold, prickly, as though there is a mass of energy there. It seems to push at me, nudging me forward. Against my will, I step onto the damp tile, moving closer to the pool.

“No,” I state to the empty room. There is a rough shove at my back and I stumble awkwardly, slipping on the tile. I fall onto the bollard, and my leg twists horribly beneath me. I cry out, my darkening vision pinpricked by silver stars.

Silent words flow into my ear. “Be careful what you wish for, son.”

[463 words – copyright Joanna Gawn;

image by artur84, via FreeDigitalPhotos.Net]

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How To Get The Most Out Of The Lazuli Portals!

Hint: We’re about more than simply writing and publishing our stories!

So we thought we’d compile a post to weave together all the colourful strands of our design so that you can get a better idea of the broader picture! (Maybe there’s something here that you’ll discover for the first time!)

While ‘The Lazuli Portals’ is our partnership and business name, the words also represent the trilogy of novels that we’ve been writing: books about spiritual awakening, featuring stone circles, crystals, parallel worlds, synchronicities, and life-force energy. When it comes to writing, this is our first ‘calling’, and where our writing journey began.

You can find out more about our books here.

You can find out more about us, and how we teamed up, here.

If you are particulary interested in soul connections, then we have our interview with Soulmate Experience here.

Aligned with following that calling, we also offer some ‘bonuses’ on our website, little extras that Joanna created when she was running her Winter Jasmine Reiki business. Now that she’s focusing solely on writing, all those freebies have been incorporated into The Lazuli Portals website.

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There are

:: free Reiki self-attunements (Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Clear Quartz)

:: images infused with life-force energy (to give you a boost)

:: beautiful images featuring quotes from the books

:: information about orbs of life (similar to the lovelight orbs we mention in the novels) and

:: information about hand mudras and a free little ‘taster’ of the Gyan mudra energy

(and more!)

Also linking with the Lazuli Portals trilogy of novels are our Cordello Quest A-Z blog posts relating to concepts, ideas, and characters within the trilogy. So if you’re a fan of the novels, and like to explore ‘around’ the books that you read, you might enjoy those! So far we’ve written for the letters A-K, beginning with A is for Ascended Reikan, and ending with K is for Kaleidoscope. L is for Lovelight will be coming soon!

Much as we enjoy writing about life-force energy, spiritual growth, and crystals, we are sometimes tempted in other directions, such as paranormal suspense; we also write flash fiction, poetry and haiku. If that’s up your street then you’ll find lots of micro-fiction and poetry on our blog.

In addition, our little ebook  Crystal, Fire and Water is free for Amazon Kindle and also available through Smashwords for other ereader software.

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If you enjoy short stories, then our collections The House of the Stormwind and other short stories and Dark Perfume: Tales of Light and Shadow are also available.

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For those of you who are fans of YouTube, then we do have our own channel, which usually gets updated when we launch a new book. Our clips include readings from our stories, and also an interview.

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If you enjoy book reviews, then take a look at our Recommended Read blog posts, some of which relate to fiction, others non-fiction. We may be expanding this series in the future to include guided meditation tracks and healing resources – and possibly colouring books for grown-ups! We don’t receive any financial recompense for any of the books or products we review: they’re simply shared because we want to.

Reiki for Life: A Complete Guide to Reiki Practice        The Winter Ghosts    Marchwood Vampire Series, Book 2    Earth Angel Series Boxset: The Earth Angel Training Academy, The Earth Angel Awakening & The Other Side

What about if you want to get in touch with us? Well, obviously you can leave a comment on any of our blog posts – but we’re also on Facebook and Twitter, sharing items we think will uplift, interest, or amuse. Or you can contact us privately through the contact forms on our website or blog, or reply to us when we send you a Newsletter (you can sign up for that here).

If you’re local to Devon/Cornwall, maybe you’ll see us with a stall at a mind-body-spirit fair! We’re happy to sign our books for readers buying from us in-person. 🙂

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Ron at Harewood House, waiting for opening time!

Joanna on Day One

Joanna on Day One at Crocadon Sawmill MBS Fair

Phew – putting all that together makes us realise what a lot we’ve achieved over the last few years! Are there any in the list that you didn’t know about – and are now glad that you did?!

We hope at least some of what we’ve shared with you above will be useful to you. If you have friends or family who’d enjoy our ‘offerings’, please do let them know about us! We’re independent authors, so every positive share or recommendation is valuable to us!

Many thanks for reading!

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

The Rudolph Promise + Festive Fun Frolics: Two poems for December!

As is traditional for us at this time of year, we are sharing with you a couple of short pieces – both poems, this time – of a ‘seasonal nature’. We hope you like them! They’re just a bit of fun, not meant to be taken too seriously!

Joanna’s poem: THE RUDOLPH PROMISE

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My Rudolph jumper (made by Mum) is splitting at the seams!

I’ve been trying to ignore it – but I do know what this means:

Too many mince pies eaten (and some custard creams)

I’m even seeing Christmas cake dancing in my dreams!

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So once this week is over, I shall have to make amends.

A diet will be needed, or this gift from Mum will rend!

It’s just so very difficult when all my lovely friends

agree that on those sweeter foods our happiness depends!

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But this cannot go on – there’s no way I can deny

that my clothes are getting tighter, and more I’ll need to buy.

So to save my pennies and my health, I will resist that pie,

even though I’m leaving now to have a little cry…

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Ron’s poem: FESTIVE FUN FROLICS

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Festive fun frequents

Frightfully funny fellows.

Faces fixed focus

Fone fingers flicking.

Fretting following failure

Form further features.

Formulating future facts,

Forever feeling fortunate.

Fabulous famous followers,

Feathers fluttering frantically,

Frolic furtively forlorn.

Falsely farming favour.

Fostering frugal fondles.

Fruitful foreplay fragments,

Flounders foundation fidgets,

Fighting fiddly fidelity.

Flags flakey fingers,

Freezing Friday fortunes.

Fateful fake familiarity

Finally feelings freefall.


We both very much hope that you have a wonderful Yuletide and hugely enjoy any celebrations you are part of. We both celebrate Christmas so will be taking some time off with our families – and to recharge our creative batteries. But we’ll be back in early January. Have a magical New Year!

With lovelight blessings,
Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

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One More!

Well, it seems a little story I wrote recently for an online competition was awarded an Honourable Mention! *happy dance*
You can read my story below.
Thanks to fellow author Anneli Purchase for running the contest. 🙂

Anneli's Place

The writing contest produced some very good entries. It was hard to choose only three. I ended up choosing four, and still I had to add a fifth – Joanna Gawn –  for an honourable mention. This does not mean hers was the fifth best. It’s just that I had to make the cut somewhere.

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I liked Joanna’s story very much. Here it is. Congratulations Joanna.

The buildings seem smaller than when I left thirteen years ago. Yet the land runs forever. I’d forgotten. The city does that to you, narrows your vision, restricts your focus to the height of things, not the breadth.

Hannah Mallory and I played on that ridge every time Dad and I visited. Hannah and I were innocents back then, drinking fresh lemonade in the shade of the trees while the sun baked the earth a pale gold.

I think of my town car back in…

View original post 230 more words

Recommended Reads: The Tassamara Trilogy by Sarah Wynde

The Tassamara series is one I’m very happy to recommend to readers of urban paranormal fantasy – particularly if you enjoyed the TV show ‘A Town Called Eureka‘!

I originally blogged my review of A Gift of Ghosts here but I am including that review in this post, too, for the sake of completeness. 🙂

When reading each of my reviews in this post, please bear in mind that they were written independently of one another, immediately after reading each book!

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A Gift of Ghosts (Tassamara, #1)A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Description

Akira Malone believes in the scientific method, evolution, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. And ghosts.

All the logic and reason in the world can’t protect her from the truth—she can see and communicate with spirits. But Akira is sure that her ability is just a genetic quirk and the ghosts she encounters simply leftover electromagnetic energy. Dangerous electromagnetic energy.

Zane Latimer believes in telepathy, precognition, auras, and that playing Halo with your employees is an excellent management technique. He also thinks that maybe, just maybe, Akira Malone can help his family get in touch with their lost loved ones.

But will Akira ever be able to face her fears and accept her gift? Or will Zane’s relatives be trapped between life and death forever?

My Review

A Gift of Ghosts is a book I enjoyed on many levels.

The lead characters are strong, with doubt and uncertainty as much a part of their relationship as the attraction.

I thought the conflict between Akira’s scientific, analytical approach to her gift, and the reality of her experiences, was realistically portrayed. As she learns more about her gift, and its apparent limits, we in turn discover more of her past, such as who broke the bones in her hand – and why.

There’s plenty of humour, too, not least from the cast of ghosts in attendance. Akira’s interaction with the ghosts brings an unusual and quirky feel to the story.

No dull moments, no wasted scenes, just a really enjoyable, intelligent read. So glad it’s the first in a series… the sequel, A Gift of Thought, awaits!

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A Gift of Thought (Tassamara, #2)A Gift of Thought by Sarah Wynde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description

At seventeen, Sylvie Blair ran away from the small town of Tassamara, Florida. She joined the Marines, traveled the world and made a life for herself, but she never forgot what she left behind. Now a close protection security consultant (aka bodyguard) for a spoiled teenager in Washington DC, her empathic gift helps her keep her charge safe, if not out of trouble. When her past catches up with her, though, in the form of her telepathic high school sweetheart, Lucas, she’s forced to face her regrets even as she tries to decide whether his ridiculous stories about ghosts and Mexican drug cartels are signs of insanity or somehow true.

For Dillon Latimer, meeting his mom comes too late—it’s been five years since the drug overdose that killed him. But a little thing like death isn’t going to get in Dillon’s way when he decides that his parents would be much better off together. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for ghosts to influence the world of matter, especially when every choice Sylvie makes takes her deeper and deeper into danger. Can Dillon keep his mom alive long enough for her to live happily ever after with his dad?

My Review

Another great read from Sarah Wynde! I really do enjoy her writing, and the world and characters she’s created within (and beyond) Tassamara.

I liked finding out more about Zane’s brother, Lucas, and his past; and also more about Dillon as he continues his existence as a ghost. This isn’t Akira’s story (her tale was told in A Gift of Ghosts, the first in the series) but I was pleased to see her character pop up again here!

The only trouble is, the more I read of this series, the closer I get to finishing it…

A very strong 4 stars.

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A Gift of Time (Tassamara #3)A Gift of Time by Sarah Wynde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Description

She thought she could see everything. Time is proving her wrong.

Ten years ago, Natalya’s ability to remember the future cost her the life she wanted when her vision of her fiancé’s death tore them apart. Ever since, she’s considered her precognition more of a curse than a gift. How can she live in the present when the future looms so large?

But when the night she’s long dreaded finally arrives, Natalya’s vision and reality diverge. She and her ex, Colin, are drawn into a web of the unexplained, led by a mysterious little girl. Who is Kenzi? And where did she come from? The little girl might be the reason Fate has spared Colin’s life, but could she also bring Natalya and Colin together again?

With Colin, Kenzi, her family, the townspeople of Tassamara, and a set of circumstances that nobody could foresee, Natalya must solve the puzzle of a lifetime. Her discovery that her gift is not the only one at work will change the lives of everyone around her as time becomes precious in a most unexpected way… and the clock is ticking.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book (the third in the series) – it was like meeting up with an old group of quirky friends! I was pleased that Akira and Rose had important supporting roles, and key character Nat is easy-to-like.

But for me, the show-stealers were one little girl, and a sheriff named Colin, which really did add that Sheriff Jack Carter/A-Town-Called-Eureka vibe (definitely a bonus as far as I’m concerned!)

I think this might be my favourite book in the series. If you’ve read and liked the earlier books then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one.

[I can’t find a Twitter account for Sarah Wynde, but she has a Facebook page here.]

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Have you read any of this series? Did you enjoy it? If you haven’t read it yet, does it appeal to you?

~ Joanna

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please do leave a comment, and/or share the post on your favourite social media site(s). We’re so grateful for any support like that! 🙂

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The Lazuli Portals will be at Saltash and Harewood House Mind-Body-Spirit Fairs

Hello everyone,

Just a quick post about two Mind Body Spirit fairs that Ron and I will have stalls at this month and next. 🙂

The first is at Saltash, Cornwall, this Saturday:

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And the second is back at Harewood House, Plympton on Saturday 3 December:

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If you’re in the area and are interested in crystals, spirituality, lifeforce energy/Reiki, and/or our novels (which combine all of these!) then why not pop in and come and say hello? 🙂

We personally sign all books that we sell at the fairs, and we may be able to parcel your books in one of our special wax-sealed bags, too. 🙂

Even if you’re not local, we’d really appreciate you sharing this post, if you’re happy to, just in case you have friends or family who are! Thank you!!

With lovelight blessings,

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

www.lazuli-portals.com

 

Farewell (micro-fiction)

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Farewell

I’m standing, but my legs are weak; my strength has bled into the concourse carpet.

I’m smiling, but my lips feel stiff, forced into this shape against their will.

I’m waving, but my hand feels lifeless, wooden, too heavy to move.

I’m waiting, but I don’t want to see the plane ascend, to disappear into that distant sky.

I’m watching, but my vision is hot and blurry, and my lips taste of salt.

I’m present, but the fragments of my heart are shards of loss, scattered and raw.

I’m alone, and I wonder how long each hour will linger, now that he is gone.

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Words © Joanna Gawn

Image courtesy of potowizard via freedigitalphotos.net