Tag Archives: christmas

Third Novel ‘Update’ + Seasonal Micro-Fiction! :-)

Can you believe it’s already December?! Where has the time gone? Well, a good deal of that time (along with lovelight!) has found its way into the final novel of our Lazuli Portals Trilogy … the book currently known (to you, at least!) as LP3.

We do have a title for the book … and, for the first time, for each of its chapters, too! For now (when Jo’s health and Ron’s ‘free time’ permit) we are still working with our beta readers, and on editing and polishing. Then will come formatting, proofreading, and preparing the book for its Kindle and paperback homes.

The artist who designed the beautiful covers for The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light (the fabulous Stuart Cooper) is keen to work with us again, but is not available until after the New Year. Designing and creating a cover from scratch – one which clearly represents the essence of the story – takes a lot of time and dedication! So please, stay hopeful that he will be able to create another fabulous cover for us!

What we can tell you now is that the book’s title is three words long. Just like The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light. Three books, each with a three-word title. 3 3 3. Hmm, strange coincidence … or is it synchronicity?! Those repetitive triple numbers rear their head again, something Keira finally learns more about in LP3!




So with the newsy bit out of the way, we have some micro fiction to offer you, little stories of fewer than 250 words each which we’ve crafted in response to the snowy image below. (Believe it or not, despite their similarities, Ron and I wrote these stories independently of one another!) We hope you enjoy them!

Winter Theme photo for Xmas News and Blog 2017.jpg

[Image © www.Copyright-free-photos.org.uk]

The Evening Before
As the last of the sun’s offerings tinkle the settled snowy branches, the air stills and silence falls over the ancient walkway. Looking up, the new moon sits there trying to make its own mark on a perfect winter’s scene created by the earlier snowfall. The wonder of this quiet solo walk is lifting the dread of tomorrow, which had pervaded my mind all day.

A wave of extreme cold suddenly shoots through me, hitting my back and exiting my chest, prickling the hairs. Wide-eyed I look around. Nothing has moved. Snow sits securely on the firs around me.
Along the pristine snow path in front of me a series of footprints rapidly appear. Nothing visible to make them. They shoot on around the bend.
I stand in shock. No movement.  No sound.
The light is fading. Nervously I look over my shoulder from the direction I had walked. Nothing.
Wait… Where are my footprints? The path is covered with unmarked snow.

My shoes hold traces of the snow kicked up by my steps and are sitting with snow all around them. As I look down, snow replaces my feet and a warmth spreads up my legs as they disappear. I can not move but do not feel ill at ease as my lower body is lost from view.
The footprints in front of me are disappearing as they retrace themselves.

Tomorrow has come early. I am off to my past again.

[242 words © Ron C. Dickerson]

Cold and Crystalline
The only sound is that of my boots squeaking along the snow-covered forest path, and the soft whoosh of my breath where it puffs into a cloud just in front of me. The freezing air is ice on my tongue, tasting of purity and newness.

I stop walking and hold my breath, listening to the cold, crystalline silence. Right here, right now, it’s just me and this white world.

Behind me, my footprints track my past. Ahead lies a path of unbroken snow: pure possibility. I wait, poised, at the fulcrum of time, glad of this stillness, this pause. I gather it in with all my senses, exploring the shape and texture of it, wishing I could commit it to memory.

But memory is the past, and this precise moment will not be experienced again, for even memory is not a perfect replication. In any case, if I spend time back there, then I miss what is happening now. And look, the moment is already changing, a twig cracking somewhere ahead, followed by a russet blur scampering up the shadowed spine of a tree.

Even here, nothing remains the same. Even here, each moment is impermanent.

Releasing my breath, I resume my walk. My Boxing Day afternoon awaits: young nieces and nephews will arrive soon, faces flushed and eyes bright with excitement, their high voices a tumult. Now, my spirit rested and serene, I am ready to return home and immerse myself in the happy hubbub.

[246 words © Joanna Gawn]


If you would like to share this blog post, then you are very welcome to do so! The words on this page have been infused with lovelight. Any action you take to share The Lazuli Portals with the wider world is helpful, and a way to offer more love and light!

Also, please feel free to comment below! We love to hear from people who’ve enjoyed what we write. 🙂

With lovelight blessings for a beautiful December, and a New Year full of hope, possibility, and love,

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

~ fiction for the awakening ~



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!













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!


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!


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…










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


Cake and Gingerbread: Two Little Christmassy Tales

Hello! To celebrate the Christmas season – and more specifically its food and the imaginary worlds of children – we have penned some little tales, which we hope you’ll enjoy! Please let us know if you do!

Gingerbread (1)

Ron’s story: “Early One Morning…”

“Hey you with the red outfit, get yer mitts off my chimney.  The kids’ll be down soon and we do not want it spoiled.”

Eyes flicker under the white eyebrows. “Sorry mate, I did not realise it was for them. They usually leave out something for me but I cannot see much else around.”

“Tough times here. They have already eaten all my mates!  Heard one say ‘save the rest for later’  – that’s later, NOT Santa!”

Part eaten choc-nut is returned to the stack and beard twitches. Is that a smile? “You mean these miserables didn’t leave anything? Yet I suppose they still expect me to perform – even without a fuel top-up.

“Looking at you I am not sure you need one. Anyway you must get a winter fuel allowance, which is more than anyone here does.”

“Ho, ho bleedin’ ho! I suppose you think you’re  funny.  Though you do not look to be smiling much!”

“Would you smile if you were the last one – and stuck in this stupid hat. Oh, sorry you have one of them yourself!”

A white-gloved hand reaches out towards the gingerbread man. “Careful Ginge! Dessicated you might be, but the family have left out the port to wash you down with!”

“Um, err, well perhaps a few of the marshmallow  snowballs would not be missed. Just a few, mind. Will they go with a slug of port?”

“Ho ho ho, at this time of night anything goes with port!”

“Get on with it then, man…. I can hear laughing upstairs and you have got to clear up the soot yet.”

A herd of wildebeest is heard on the stairs, the door opens, and screams of joy escape from young faces.

“He did come, see! And left the gingerbread man!”


Joanna’s tale: “Cake Heaven”

“I’m tired of the walls smelling of gingerbread,” Bobble whined. “I want a change.”

“How can it change, you muppet?” Hazel answered. “It is what it is. No point resisting it.”

“Well I want it to be different!”

“We’re made of cake, Bobble. We don’t have instant manifestation powers, you know.”

“Why not? Why can’t we make a different outcome because we wish it?” he replied. “If Life is about experience and choices, then why can’t I have icing sugar walls, instead?”

Hazel tutted. “Because.”

“That’s no answer! Come on, why?”

Hazel pondered. “Maybe …. we could ask the Creator-in-the-Apron for icing sugar walls? See what happens?”

Bobble bounced up and down. “YAY!” Suddenly the light in his eyes dimmed. “I don’t know how to do that!”

“Oh. Um, perhaps we just make the intention, then have faith that it’ll happen, if and when the timing’s perfect for it?” Hazel wasn’t quite sure where that thought had come from, but it felt right when she said it.

Bobble’s expression told her he wasn’t convinced. “But I want it now! Why do we have to wait?”

Hazel stepped forward and gave him a hug. “We may have to be patient. These things can take time. And we have to remember that it may not happen at all. Wouldn’t it be easier if we chose to be okay about the walls, whether they change or not?” She held her breath. Sometimes Bobble became really frustrated when things didn’t go how he expected.

Bobble sighed. “Yeah, I guess. Icing would be nice, but if we have to keep the gingerbread, I guess that’s okay too.”                                           

………….  The next day ……………

“Oooh, wake up, Hazel! The walls are white, not brown! Much as I like gingerbread, I love that we have icing! I was getting really bored with the decor – and the taste!”

“The Creator must’ve somehow got the message,” Hazel grinned. “They rebuilt the house while we were sleeping! Totally cool!”

“So now we know,” Bobble beamed. “Wishes can come true if they’re made in the right way …  and if we don’t worry too much about them coming true.”

“Exactly. It’s like magic, isn’t it? Happy Christmas, Bobble. Shall we try some of the icing?”

“Mmm, break off a bit for me, please. What shall we wish for next?”

That’s all from us this year! We’ll be back in the New Year with more stories, poems, Recommended Reads, and Cordello Quest A-Z. We hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Before we head into 2016 we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who have supported and shared our work in any way, whether that’s commenting on our blog posts, sharing our tweets, recommending us, buying our books, and/or leaving reviews on Amazon. We really do value your support!

Wishing you ALL a wonderful festive season and a very happy, healthy, and harmonious New Year.

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals


Dancing In The Snow: A Christmas Poem


Dancing In The Snow

Soft as breath, flakes drift and swirl
cold to touch but feather-light.
We dance and spin, eyes closed
our snow-kissed lashes white
cheeks flushed winter-bright.

Echoes trail, sweet harmony
voices raised in carols clear.
We dance and spin, eyes closed
their music all that we can hear
our private symphony, drawn near.

Chords fall quiet as twilight comes;
we hum last lingering refrain.
We dance and spin, eyes closed
while day gives way to night again
and darkness shrouds our sleepy lane.

Snow retreats, and stars reveal
their distant sparkle reaching deep.
We dance and spin, eyes round
as team pulls sleigh in sky-crossing leap.
Our magical secret: one to keep!


Poem © Joanna Gawn 2014 | Image © Stuart Miles

We’ll be sending a bonus short story ~ A Little Christmas Sparkle ~ to our Newsletter subscribers tomorrow.

Please sign up to our free Newsletter ~ Lazuli Portals News ~ if you’d like to receive it.

Whatever festival(s) you celebrate at this time of year, we wish you peace, happiness, joy, and wellbeing.

We’ll be back in the New Year! Have a good one!

Joanna & Ron | The Lazuli Portals

Bitesize Tale for Christmas: Lost Cause

Christmas Tree with Snowflakes

Image copyright Feelart / freedigitalphotos.net

“Is this seat taken?”

My daydreams skid to a sudden halt. A tramp hovers next to me, broadcasting an odour of grime and unwashed clothes. Forcing myself not to shrink back, and suddenly aware of how crowded the cafe has become, I reluctantly shake my head and mutter, “No, it’s fine.”

With a gap-toothed smile, the man pulls out the chair opposite and sits down.

“I don’t suppose you’ve any change? I’d love a hot cuppa,” he says, tilting his head to one side, appraising me with pale blue eyes.

His stare makes me uncomfortable, as though he finds me wanting in some way.

Blushing, I delve into my bag and fumble for my purse. Apart from my credit card – already maxed out – I have precisely £2.22 in change. Wordlessly, I offer him the money.

His face lights up, as though this is the first kindness he’s received in a while. He leans forward to scoop the coins from my palm, his fingers surprisingly gentle, then heads for the counter.

I start to think about what his life might have been like, about the challenges and conflicts which led to his homelessness, to society’s indifference. To his becoming invisible. Given that I’ve just spent over fifty pounds on Christmas gifts, these new questions leave me uncomfortable. I fidget in my seat and fiddle with my coffee cup.

Outside, a string of twinkling fairy lights quivers in the chilly wind. I wonder which dress to wear to the Christmas party tomorrow. The safe black one, with the long sleeves? Or the showy turquoise sheath with the teasing neckline? Then I wonder if he will even have a meal on Christmas Day. He’d probably just be grateful to make it through tonight. Does he have somewhere to sleep? Is there anyone to love him?

The man returns to his seat with a mug of black coffee. He warms his hands on it, and I notice the elegance of his fingers, like a pianist’s. He is clearly a man of contradictions. When I see clean white cuffs peeking from beneath his smart navy suit, I nearly drop my cup in shock. Quickly, I raise my eyes, taking in the silk tie at his throat, the clean-shaven face, his strong, aquiline nose and the brilliance of those aquamarine eyes. His hair is clean, shiny, jet black.

It is the same man – and yet . . . I shake my head, sure that I’m hallucinating. What on earth’s in this coffee I’ve been drinking?

His mouth widens into a smile and, as he leans across the table towards me, I catch a scent of sandalwood and lime.

“Thank you,” he whispers, his words so soft they are little more than a breath. There is a strange and sudden intimacy between us; colour flushes my face.

His smile is gentle, reassuring. “Amazing what you see when your thoughts are of kindness and generosity, isn’t it, Gemma?” Those pale eyes twinkle in the same rhythm as the fairy lights dancing beyond the window.

I don’t know how to answer. Have I gone back in time, to a Christmas past? Is this a visit from his future self? Or has there been some inexplicable transformation in his present? How could I have judged him as being without value, without purpose . . . a lost cause? I don’t understand any of it . . . and I badly want to. Just as I open my mouth to ask how he knows my name, he pulls back his chair.

“No, Gemma,” he says with a wink. “You don’t need to comprehend what’s happened here. Just enjoy your life. Value it . . . and see the best in everyone. Who knows what miracles that will bring? Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas,” I echo as he strides away from the table. Inexplicably, I lose sight of him. Minutes tick by as I watch for the door to the cafe to open, but I never see him leave.

Copyright Joanna Gawn 2013


If you enjoyed this story please do let us know! If you have friends who like reading, please forward this to them! Thank you for your ongoing support.  🙂

merry xmas snowman
Wishing all our readers
Merry Christmas
and a
Very Happy New Year
Joanna & Ron