Bridging the seasons Moving summer to autumn Nature's calendar

Ronovan’s haiku prompt

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Morning misanthropy…

“Oooh, you look well!” She beams you a chirpy smile across the yard, halting you in your progress with the heavy load of rubbish for the bin. You force the pained grimace into more acceptable lines, unwilling to scare the nice old lady.

Why is it that you only ever hear those words when your hair is wild, you wear no make-up, you’ve had no more than three hours sleep and have just fallen down the stairs? When you have cursed the alarm clock that makes you crawl back upstairs to turn off its insistent clamour two hours after you reluctantly rose to start a day you could wish you had missed. When the bathroom scales say there are several alien pounds of flesh you were not, until this moment, acquainted with…and which have no call to have invoked squatting rights on your hips when the budgie eats more than you do. When, in fact, you feel that roadkill is probably more attractive and certainly has more life in it than you…

“It’s probably the extra weight…” says your boss, who is also your son and can, therefore, afford to level such insults offer such consolation with impunity.

The little, white haired old lady who wouldn’t harm a fly is innocently putting you through a meat grinder as she squints short-sightedly at your face with all the intensity of a mosquito zeroing in on its supper.

“Have you been on holiday?” Visions of warm, white sand and the tang of Mediterranean salt are dredged from memory… No, that’s not a sun tan… that’s weathering from walking an all-too-energetic hound at stupid o’clock in all weathers. You listen with polite envy… even if a package holiday to a crowded resort-with-organised-activities-and-line-dancing is your idea of hell.

“Never mind,” says the evil and filial genius, “you’ll get a day off next week…” he omits the required 4am start the day before that means you’ll be a zombie through the day off….

“Have you hurt yourself?” she asks solicitously, looking at the splinted appendages. You mumble something incoherent while she recounts the horror story of her brother’s hip replacements and a friend’s amputation…

“Cheer up,” grins the boss. “It could be worse….”

When we’re out of coffee? I don’t think so….


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Guest Author, D. Wallace Peach – Big Hearts and Artists

I am very happy to welcome D. Wallace Peach, author of Myths of the MirrorThe Bone Wall and many other books,  as my guest today. Diana is a creator and shaper of worlds… a writer of fantasy. Her latest book, The Sorcerors’ Garden, explores the links and shifting boundaries between the levels of reality and how the stories unfolding in less tangible realms intertwine. Today, however, she writes from of  a more personal perspective…

Big Hearts and Artists

book photoI’ve heard through the rumor-mill that somewhere in the wide world there are writers who attempt to sabotage the work of others with snarky reviews, solely for the purpose of laying low the “competition.” If they exist, I imagine them sitting in dark caves, ruminating over their coveted creations like Gollum over his precious gold ring, too myopic to envision a world with thousands of well-told stories brimming with unique voices, colorful characters, vivid worlds, and artistic originality.

I’m happy to report this hasn’t been my experience. In fact, I’ve found within a big-hearted writing community little beyond open encouragement and a helping hand. This doesn’t translate to blind enchantment with everything I produce (I have my mother for that), but it does mean that I’ve encountered thoughtful honesty, generous support, and cheery enthusiasm for my passion and my desire to do something I love.

Writing is rarely a solitary effort. Of course, when I tap out a tale, I’m feet-up in my recliner, immersed in my own little fantasy bubble, but there’s a point when that bubble must pop, when a story needs fresh eyes and a little honest feedback. Every writer I’ve encountered in this process has willingly carved out scraps of time to help me better my craft, through reflection on what works and the constructive, pointed criticism that challenges me to look at my creation from a new perspective.

To me, art isn’t a race, a scramble for the top job or a sprint to the finish line. There’s no glittering tiara, no limit to the standing room on the podium. I can drool over the works of other authors and not feel diminished. I can rave over another’s talent and still have my own story to tell. Something kinda wonderful comes from sharing what you love to do with others, the wildly accomplished and the just starting out. Such is one of the pleasures of life.

Sorcerer's Garden 2

The Sorcerer’s Garden

A new release by D. Wallace Peach

Recently fired and residing with her sweetly overbearing mother, Madlyn needs a job—bad. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a part-time position reading at the bedside of adventurer and amateur writer Cody Lofton. A near-drowning accident left the young man in a vegetative state, and his chances of recovery wane with each passing day. Cody’s older brother, Dustin, and eccentric grandmother aren’t prepared to give up on the youngest son of Portland, Oregon’s royalty. Dustin’s a personable guy, bordering on naïve, and overwhelmed by familial corporate duties and cutthroat partners. Grandmother Lillian’s a meddler with an eye for the esoteric, dabbling in Dustin’s life and dealing out wisdom like a card shark. One innocent conversation at a time, she sucks Madlyn into the Lofton story, dubbing her the princess and bestowing on her the responsibility of both grandsons’ destinies. And all Madlyn wanted was a simple reading job. Uninspired by her self-imposed stack of literary selections, Madlyn opts for Cody’s work-in-progress. Fantasy isn’t her favorite, but with only four chapters completed, reading The Sorcerer’s Garden should be no sweat, right? Little does she realize, the story will begin writing itself and, by the hand of destiny, become her own. D. Wallace Peach’s eighth novel is a collision of medieval and urban fantasy centered in the Northwest Hills of Portland, Oregon. Madlyn is quirky, blessed with a sarcastic sense of humor, and a tendency to say exactly what’s on her mind. At 28, she’s also abandoned her dreams of a fairytale life. A satisfying career and happily-ever-after romance simply aren’t turning up in her cards, and in fact, her junky car is careening downhill fast. A strong female protagonist with a reluctant streak, she finds herself trapped in a heroic adventure through overlapping worlds, unsure whether one or both are real. Don’t look for a run-of-the-mill fantasy here. This is one tangled tale crafted especially for readers who enjoy plot twists that keep everyone, including the characters, guessing.

About Diana:


“Tolkien … literally changed my life. I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Magic happened.


I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, playing with tense, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem unfocused in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.”


Diana’s books are available via Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And here’s the other stuff:
Book Website & Blog:
Twitter: @dwallacepeach


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Dear Don XLIV

uffington and rollright 085Dear Don,

The weekend was excellent… the meeting went very well, we got a lot of good work done (for which I shall have to type up our notes at some point) and we found the stone circle! Which bodes well for eventually tracking down your errant standing stone.

I wonder if that is what is meant when they call those odd stones ‘erratic’? Are they just wandering the countryside, attempting to evade detection by avid hunters of standing stones such as ourselves? The legends of wandering stones seem as numerous as the stones themselves and also give credence to your theory… perhaps we should look for the stream to which the Lost Stone may have wandered to drink?

Certainly the Lost Stone is managing to maintain its invisibility… though it was well worth the further attempt to locate it, if only to revisit the edge of the valley of dancing trees and see the deer in the bracken.

heather 2015 derbyshire, higger tor, beeley circle, edensor, bak 064

Odd, isn’t it, that after walking so closely between the two little herds of deer it should be the solitary one that really spoke to us both. There is something completely different about that kind of eye to eye contact… something special and intimate.

He really did speak to us too, didn’t he… and after discussing your idea for But ‘n’ Ben, that bark seemed quite prophetic and wholly appropriate.

And as I wrote that sentence, the intro came through… perfectly on cue…. And the bark is now and forever scrofulous… I haven’t laughed so much in ages… well, not since whatever it was that set us both off at the weekend…

Which, when I think about it, may have been the same thing…. Though with a less literary vocabulary.

Speaking of words, the Beast may be up to something. There appears to be a sudden interest in our correspondence from that quarter…ani hardy feather 014

I dread to think….


Wen and conspiratorial Beast x

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Hidden in plain sight Wound with spiral mystery Gateway to the stars

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