The Voyage to Magical North (Accidental Pirates #1)

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The adorable cover captures the story inside perfectly. Who wouldn’t want to sail aboard a pirate ship and battle sea monsters to find endless magic and treasure? Especially on a charmed ship called The Onion? (Some pirates don’t spell so well).

12-year-old Brine Seaborne was found floating in a boat at sea when she was just a young girl. She has no memory of how she got there, or where she comes from. Claimed by a mediocre magician as his servant, she has grown up in a house of magic, serving the magician and his apprentice, Peter. Which is a bit of an issue, as she is allergic to magic.

One day, Brine and Peter overhear the magician making plans that will change their lives for the worse, so they steal the magician’s source of magic and flee in the middle of the night. Through one misstep after another, they get lost…

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Age of Innocence

He walks a limb, unconcerned, undeterred, master of his own destiny.

Alone at the top of the world, competent, exuberant.

Dangling meters above the earth, unafraid, unhampered.

Innocence in motion, carefree; nonchalance as an art form.

My heart climbs with this fearless child, for my body no longer can.

May he know this joy for the entirety of his life.

  
   

My Husband is no Poet

Married young
my high school love
nearly forty years ago

Romantic novels
formed expectations
of how our lives should go:

Every day a poem
written in honor of
my beauty and my style,

Long conversations
about my attributes
all to make me smile.

Instead I got
this grounded man
no poetry in his soul

Who works so hard
to care for me, my
well-being is his goal

And if that isn’t
poetry of a sort, I reckon
it should be

The poetry of keeping
one’s hands on the wheel for
his woman’s sake

The verse of tending
to her every physical need in
sickness and in health

Maybe this man is the
poet I longed for in days
long past

Or perhaps he’s the muse
who fills my pages with tales
enough to last.

Happy anniversary Studly!

  

Manipulation

turn the key
speak the words
play the patriot card
make America great? again?
terrorize our collective psyche
make us fear
make us dread
make us suspect
anyone who looks
anyone who worships
anyone who loves
differently.
fish do not ken
that they are wet.
easily led
easily fooled
easily angered.
let me tell you
you are drenched.

Hillary for President

  
A couple of days ago I posted the following essay on my Facebook page. As essays go, I’ve written better, but several friends asked me to share my thoughts with a wider audience. So, here you go. 

I’m a Liberal. I haven’t always been. In fact, I once was a staunch Republican. I voted for both Bushes, Poppa and W. 

I did not support Bill Clinton, but, I was always impressed by Hillary. Her fight for health care reform sparked something in me. You see, I’d always been fortunate to have access to good insurance through my husband’s job–until his job was “excessed” during the deregulation of the natural gas industry and we found ourselves at the mercy of a health care system that doesn’t value those on the fringes. 

Now, I wasn’t ready to leave the GOP then, but I was beginning to notice the blatant inequities between the “haves” and the “have nots.” While my family had never been wealthy, until those bleak days when we didn’t have access to good insurance, I’d never had to worry about falling ill and losing everything we’d worked for. Still, I believed I could work within the party to fight for women’s rights, for equal pay, for health care reform.

Sadly, it took Sarah Palin for me to see what a backwards institution the GOP had become. Not all Republicans believed the stupid things she spouted, but enough that I became certain that I could find a better party in which to place my trust. 

I voted for President Obama in 2008 and I’ll never regret that decision, even though I suffered heart palpitations while doing so. I voted for him proudly in 2012, convinced that he was the best man for the job, and he has never let me down.

Now, on the verge of the Democratic Party nominating the first female candidate for the highest office in the land, I’m so very proud to say I’m a Hillary supporter. I cannot believe that the party I once supported has devolved into one that embraces racism and hate, but the GOP’s nomination of Donald Trump has proven that to be true. Trump will not make America great. He only knows how to make Americans hate.

This is me, and I approve this message.

Peace, people.

Clan O’Laughlin

We completed work on our faerie home and placed it on a stump in our backyard. We checked on it first thing this morning, and sure enough, a family of wee folk had already moved in. 

It seems they’d already had a home there, we just couldn’t see it until we built one! Fae magic is a strange and wonderful thing, indeed. Their story, that of Clan O’Laughlin, is recorded below. I had a little help with the telling of it.

Clan O’Laughlin

According to legend, over two hundred years ago, young Seamus O’Laughlin accidentally poached a lamb from his faerie king, the fearsome Grady O’Grady. Seamus wasn’t a thief, but his family was starving and when he came across the lamb wandering along a country lane he didn’t think twice, but took it home to be made into stew.

His wife, Brigid, knew immediately that the lamb belonged to Grady O’Grady and that if the king discovered the crime Seamus would be hanged in the public square for all the wee folk to witness. After cooking the stew Brigid gathered her loved ones together for one last meal in the family home.

“We must flee this place, and be quick about it,” Brigid told Seamus and their little ones, Ian and Aileen, as they partook of the hearty lamb stew.

That very night Brigid and Seamus placed their few valuable possessions into their small wagon. The door to their humble domicile, constructed many thousands of years ago by Seamus’s great-great-great grandfather was laid atop an heirloom bench and Brigid’s wash tub for their journey to parts unknown.

After many days of rough journey across the Irish countryside, the O’Laughlin family arrived in a port town and stowed away on a huge ship. Safely belowdeck, Seamus scavenged for leftover food from the human passengers while Brigid tended the little ones and made tasty meals from scraps. 

Weeks passed before the boat docked in a place the sailors called “Florida.” Anxious to be off of the shop, Brigid climbed to the crow’s nest undetected by human eyes and scoped out the prospects for her family.

“Seamus,” she said, returning to their hideout after breathing the fresh air and looking out over the green land, “I believe we can make our new home here.”

And Seamus, eager to make Brigid happy, agreed. The family once again loaded the wagon and set off for the interior of Florida. 

Many strange creatures accosted the family on its journey. They quickly learned to avoid lizards, snakes, and alligators. Seamus lost a finger fighting off an aggressive gecko, but Brigid nursed him back to health with herbs from Ireland that she’d packed for the trek.

Finally Seamus led the small band to a forest beside a lake. Here he and Brigid built a home and established Clan O’Laughlin on American soil. And to this day, Seamus’s family resides near Havana, Florida, in the shadow of a home occupied by kind, peace-loving humans. 

  

Faerie Dwelling Construction Continues

After a rigorous and righteous game of golf (he shot four over par), Studly Doright led the grandchildren and me in completing the building of a faerie home. 

Dominique and I placed pebbles strategically.

   
We added a door and a mossy door mat.

  

Then we headed out back to place the house on the stump of a tree that Jackson had chopped down earlier this week.
    
  
 After much trimming, the house was secured to its stump. 
 Tomorrow, we’ll add decorative items to welcome our wee friends.

Peace, people!