Happy May Day

Out of winter comes spring, and out of darkness comes light.

Happy May Day, everyone! I definitely feel like I need to come out of the darkness. I’ve decided to share a lovely spring poem by Wordsworth, which is both sweet and melancholy and seems fitting right now. Of course, don’t forget my alma mater’s May Day tradition, so eloquently expressed by our beloved Professor Bennett Lamond, who sadly passed away last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjjBgtvrQNY

Lines Written in Early Spring
by William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

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Why I marched

I know the blog has been quiet for a while. I haven’t done much writing over the past month and I’ve been processing the state of affairs in our country. I don’t say much about politics here, but if you know me, you know I’m pretty left of center. That may be evident in some of my posts. I wanted to give the new administration the benefit of the doubt, but the past few weeks have shown that our country is going down a dark path. I fear we are no longer a shining beacon of hope and democracy, a welcoming place for all people, regardless of their religion or country of origin. That’s not right, and I hope that those who feel it’s not right will stand up and speak their minds, because that’s what democracy looks like.

Last month I took part in the Women’s March on Washington, along with hundreds of thousands. I joined women from all over the country, and a good number of men and even some children. Some of them traveled all night to get to DC and were leaving right after the march. The Metro was packed with people all going to the march, wearing pink hats, carrying signs, and the mood was so uplifting and inspiring. We came together for many reasons, but ultimately we were there to lift one another up and demonstrate to those in power that our voices matter. People marched all over the world. We are stronger together and we will not be silenced.

You may not agree with me. That’s okay. We have the freedom to disagree, and we need to find a way to have a respectful dialogue about these issues so we can move forward. But to those who would disparage minorities, immigrants, LGBT, Muslims, women–know that we are watching and we will stand up for what makes our country great. Our diversity and our tolerance make us great. We cannot turn our back on our values. We cannot be ruled by fear and distrust.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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Happy New Year’s Eve and farewell 2016

MP900441004I think I’m just one of many who will be very happy to send the end of 2016. It’s been a rough year. So many celebrity losses, and the recent loss of Carrie Fisher (not to mention her mother Debbie Reynolds) has affected me the most. Along with David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Were there really more celebrity deaths this year or were there just more that had an impact? I can’t say for sure.

While I’m celebrating the end of 2016, the new year also brings a lot of uncertainty. We face a new presidency and no one has any idea what will happen. Many parts of the world are still in turmoil. More than ever, we need to come together as a global community. We need to stand up for what’s right and support each other. We cannot be complacent about this, not when there is so much at stake. As much as I loved Rogue One, one of the most important messages of the movie is that people have to be willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in. I have hope that we can do this.

So here’s to 2017. May it bring you peace, love, and happiness. And lots of writing!

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Rebellions are built on hope

It feels as if millions of voices have suddenly cried out in grief.

I finally saw Rogue One today and planned to write a post praising the movie, but that praise is tempered by my sadness at the death of Carrie Fisher. I got the news while we were having lunch after the movie and it was all I could do not to burst into tears in the restaurant. Carrie Fisher was an icon from my childhood. When I think of princesses, I don’t think of Disney. I think of Princess Leia. There weren’t many strong female role models in the SF and fantasy that I saw in the 70s, but Princess Leia was huge for me. I  loved Leia’s strength and feisty attitude. And Carrie Fisher was much more than Leia. I haven’t read her books, but now they are going on the list. She was brave and honest and funny. She was open with her struggles with mental illness. She will be greatly missed. I hope that wherever she is, she is one with the Force.

As for Rogue One, it was amazing. I definitely liked it as much as Episode VII. Jyn is another amazing, strong female character. I love her flaws and her courage. I love the backstory of this important piece of the rebellion.  Plus it shows us a different and darker side of the Alliance. But we are still rooting for Jyn and the rebels all the way. They never lose hope and never forget what they are fighting for.

Thank you, Carrie, for reminding us that hope is still out there.

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Thief of Hope holiday sale and book 2 teaser

It’s hard to believe the holidays are almost upon us! Like many, I’m ready to be done with 2016 and move on to 2017. It has been a year.

Are you looking for a last-minute gift idea? Books make great gifts! All this week Thief of Hope is on sale for Kindle on Amazon. The prequel, Journey to Hope, will be free 12/20-12/24. If you don’t have your copy yet, now is the time! Here are the links:

Thief of Hope for Kindle

Journey to Hope for Kindle

And just an update that I’m still hard at work on book 2 in the series. I’m looking forward to getting in some writing time during my upcoming days off over the holidays. Here’s a brief excerpt and stay tuned for more updates on progress!

Excerpt from Thief of Destiny:

“Now I’m going to play an ancient tune,” Tam announced to the crowd. He turned in Sydney’s direction and gave her a wink, seeming to ignore Llyr. “I doubt you’ll hear the like of it again in this world.”

This time he sang in words Sydney couldn’t understand. Even though she didn’t know their meaning, she felt the longing and the sadness evoked by the lyrical words. In an instant, her mind was transported to the field of red and purple flowers in the realm of the Tuatha, and she could almost see the blue sky above and feel the sun on her face.

“How dare he,” Llyr hissed. He grabbed her hand so tightly it hurt, breaking the spell Tam had cast with his song. “He has no right to such knowledge!”

The song ended. For a moment the audience was silent, and then a thunderous applause filled the tavern. Tam gave a little bow, directed toward Llyr.

“Don’t,” Sydney whispered, pulling on Llyr’s arm to keep him in his seat. It was clear that the song was from the Tuatha and she wondered if a song could have magic. “We’ll talk to him afterward, all right?”

Llyr took a deep breath and gave her a nod.

After that Tam shifted the tone and played a few raucous, bawdy songs, apparently favorites of the crowd. His last set shifted again to a series of tunes that, to Sydney, sounded like veiled threats against an unnamed king and the nobility.

Surely these tunes weren’t about Willem, but when she heard the words “Bastard King” she had a sinking feeling that they were.

© Cindy Young-Turner

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