Twilight ~ Future of Forestry

Once upon a time, we were young
We thought we’d escape from it all but we were wrong
Then unexpectedly, we’re in a dream
So faintly, we didn’t notice or did we?

So enter the other side
It sounds like a lullaby

In this twilight, we are pale
And on this frail side, nothing else could be so real

And is it nostalgia, is it the sun?
‘Cause it won’t leave us alone and we’re still young
When we sat down to pray, if you saw my eyes

You’d know I just couldn’t close them, not all night


Future of Forestry band member Eric Owyoung reminds me of Liang Griffin from Days of the Guardian!thWMQ5CW82

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Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen Book Review

Told from rotating points of view, this YA Sci-fi journey story about troubled Earth teens who are pulled into another world to live carries the reader from one conflict to the next with riveting intrigue, unceasing action, and definite heart.

This first volume in the foreseeable series does quite a lot of foundation work, introducing the reader to the world of Enova, a place similar to Earth, but different in many important ways. The author switches between four viewpoints and only drops hints about their sordid pasts, leaving enough mystery to peek your interest, but holding back enough to keep you reading.

The four characters, two boys and two girls, are distinct, and begins with perhaps the most enigmatic, Linnea. Each of the Earthers are teenagers with a past they want to forget, and wake up one day in a new world where they find healing and happiness. But an assassination attempt on all four brings them together in a joint fight for their lives. Their Enovian guardians join them in the journey to find a safe place while the attack is investigated. The story focuses on this journey, with little rest for the weary, but gifted, characters. Even the ending gives them little respite before throwing another confounding twist into the mix, to be continued in the next installation of the Enova series.

Succinct writing, non-stop action, changing POVs, a colorfully created environment, and an undercurrent of mystery make Tenderfoot an enjoyable must-read for fans of YA Science Fiction.   

“No lights, no sound. But my skin knows this isn’t home. Why aren’t I afraid?”

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Heart of Gold in Large Metal Chains

Halfway through lunch, the insanity returns. Over the steady roar of voices, I hear metal clanging. It grows louder and louder until I see Rusty, the star football player with a heart of gold. He passes by slowly, wrapped in large metal chains, looking like Jacob Marley from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

-from On The Outward Appearance, a short story for YA fantasy readers by D. Marie Prokop

(If you’ve read On The Outward Appearance, remember to leave a review!)

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Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

        Claire sang off-key, but with unrestrained confidence, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart! I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay!”

Ainsling laughed and smiled bigger.

“I need it in my head,” she told the exuberant child. “Not just my heart.”

“That’s silly,” Claire said. “Joy is down in your heart.”

“Where?” Ainsling asked.

Claire sang again, “Down in my heart!”

From Chapter 12, The Mystery of Joy, The Red Cloak, Days of the Guardian, Vol. 2

Joy by Latifah Phillips of Page CXVI


“What is joy?” he questioned, suppressing a yawn.

“A strong feeling of happiness or contentment,” she quoted.

“You sound like a dictionary,” he said. “A writer named Frederick Beuchner once said, Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes.

“Joy with tears?” Ainsling asked. She sighed.

From Chapter 13, The Little Children, The Red Cloak, Days of the Guardian, Vol. 2

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A Beautiful Revelation

Two people occupied the small hospital room—Hani and Dr. Griffin. But as Hani stared at the backwards tapestry, it turned over, as if by an invisible hand.

The blues, greens, browns, and gold in the fabric formed a symbol—a Celtic knot. Her eyes traced the lines of the knot. She found no beginning and no end. It was a beautiful revelation.

From Chapter 5, The Bear, the Tapestry, and the Tree, The Red Knot (Available now on Amazon!)


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Throwing Dreams Into Space

One of my in-progress writing projects is a YA steampunk novella, and has the premise of a future, dying Earth being abandoned country by country to survive somewhere in space. Randomly, the country I picked to follow on their journey was France. They leave to co-colonize a terra-formed moon, joining hands with another dying planet’s people to survive. It’s a story that delves into the seeds of inequality and the need for civil rights and change. I researched French culture and history. I adopted the names of some of France’s Tunisian-born footballers to name one family. I included quotes from famous French authors and philosophers before each chapter.
I began this story before the horrendous tragedies occurred in France, Belgium, Baghdad, and Atlanta. Before the tears.
Writers don’t always know why they’re writing what they’re writing. I know the themes of inequality and civil rights aren’t new. It feels like they will never be new or un-relatable. This makes me sadder than I can say/write.
There are simply too many sad days. Social media can make us feel alone or united, depending on the moment. Hope must be sought out. I’ve been a little low on hope lately. But I read those old quotes and try to cling to the hope they harnessed.
Here are some-
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo
“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” – Anais Nin

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The Infinite Gap

“So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me.  In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner.  What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death?” 


Pastor Dave read aloud from the seventh chapter of Romans to the group assembled around his dining table.  He looked up to see if they were still listening.  Every head was bowed, their eyes focused on the words of the page before them.

“This is about me,” Ainsling said to Li.

“This is what we were,” Pastor Dave remarked.  “Miserable.  Prisoners to sin.  Heading for death.”

“This is depressing,” said a girl beside Li, frowning.

“It would be if we stopped there.  It’s true; no one is perfect.  But we long to be.  We compare ourselves to each other, hoping we’ll be better than someone else.  But we can never be what we should be.  In spiritual terms, this is called the infinite gap.”

“Didn’t you say there was good news?” Li asked.

“Yes!  God knows what we are.  He sees the gap.  And he desperately loves us, so he made a way to fill the gap and free us from sin.  We can be free from the guilt that weighs us down.  He rescued us.”

“Like the Guardian?”

The Red Cloak, Chapter 9, The Infinite Gap

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Find Your Liberty

“Don’t let an E.C.C.O. agent hear you say that! ‘Seek freedom and become captive to your desires’, remember? We finished that lesson yesterday. That’s why the people led all those riots and even murdered the President. Freedom is very dangerous,” she replied fearfully.

The Red String, Chpt. 5, The Good Boy, Days of the Guardian

“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.”
Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune   

What do you think? Freedom or discipline?


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