Tag Archives: winter

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 ~

 

Advertisements

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

christmas-928328_1280

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

.
Ron’s poem: FESTIVE FUN FROLICS

letter-1347393_1920

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

owl-1829586_640

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

angel-564351_1920

Recommended Read: The Winter Ghosts

The Winter GhostsThe Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Details from Goodreads

In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution to the horrors of World War I, Freddie is traveling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees.

During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard. There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation.

Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories. By the time dawn breaks, Freddie will have unearthed a tragic, centuries-old mystery, and discovered his own role in the life of this remote town.

What I thought of it

Right from the start of The Winter Ghosts, Mosse delivers mystery and unanswered questions. Who is Freddie? Why has he returned to Toulouse, and what caused him to leave in the first place? The document found in the mountains – what is it, and why is it significant?

From the first chapter, the descriptions are imaginative, at times exquisite. The medieval past sleeping beneath the streets; the stonework blushing in spring sunlight; the detail of Freddie’s shadow being dragged behind him as he walks, almost as though the spirit of his lost brother clings to him.

As the story evolves, Freddie finds himself in a village deep in the mountains, and inexorably drawn into the past. Likewise, the reader is drawn into a world of secrets and shadows, mists and hidden places. Who is Fabrissa? How does her story fit with that told by the villagers of Nulle? Are Freddie’s visions simply the result of his fractured heart and his unremitting grief?

There is a quiet inevitability as the story tightens its hold and takes its winter-softened steps toward the final chapters.

Classic Kate Mosse – a tale of mystery, history, loss and remembrance – The Winter Ghosts will weave a spell around you and remain in your mind long after you’ve read the last page.

So, have you read The Winter Ghosts? If so, what did you think?

If you haven’t read it, does it appeal to you? Talk to us! 🙂

~ Joanna

View all my reviews

Tweet us @LazuliPortals