How to Become the Hero of Your Own Story in 5 Steps

How To Be Your Own Hero in 5 Steps hero confidence self-esteem self esteem mountain travel

I used to spend every second of every day with my nose stuck in a book, jealous of all my favorite heroes. Spending all of my time wishing that I lived in these other places and that I could maybe one day have an adventure fall into my lap just like it happens at the beginning of every quest book.

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I love this series so much I bought a print boxed set of it. You can try your library or buy the exact same set I have here.

But you and I aren’t Princess Cimorene. A talking frog isn’t going to come up to us one day and offer to help us solve our problems. There are plenty of real humans in the world who are willing to help, of course- the suicide hotline (US number: 1-800-273-8255), friends, all the usual things about a trusted adult I’m sure a million people have said a million times at this point. Still, though there is truth that kindness may be hard to find in difficult times but it never dies, no one can help you if you don’t help yourself. No one can help you go on adventures if you refuse to talk to the frogs that offer them.

So one day I decided I was done waiting for the day when someone would pop up in my life and offer me adventure under the right circumstances- I had to prepare myself to be ready for adventure to happen at any time like with Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit, or to chase down my adventure for myself.

Somewhere between traveling the world and committing to be a full time writer as an actual career that I pay the bills with, I think I’ve found my adventures. I’ve turned a few opportunities down, of course, because being unable to say no is also problematic, but I think it’s a great skill to be able to helm your own life and know what your dreams are so you can chase them down. That brings me to my first point:

  1. No one has the power to make your life what you want, besides you

    • You can’t wait for your parents, or friends, or fate to make life happen for you. If you sit on your couch and just let life pass you by, you’ll be one of those people who wakes up one day in their fifties and realizes they haven’t chased a single dream or done a single thing they were compassionate about in their whole life.
  2. No one has the power to stop your adventure but you

    • Of course everyone has their own inner demons, and faces their own life problems- prejudice and hatred can bring you down in very real ways, and people who live in less than ideal places like a region bombarded with bombs won’t be able to just prance into a dream life. But you can still have something to live for, no matter what your life is like. You can still find some measure of at least satisfaction in even the most trying circumstances. And if your life is a more peaceful experience in the suburbs, you really are all that is holding you back.
  3. Don’t depend on others to make you happy

    • Positive Psychology, the study of what it looks like when the brain and psyche are actually working properly (as opposed to regular psychology, which you must admit learning too much about can make you paranoid and think everyone in the world has a mental illness whether they truly do or not) says that happiness is a fleeting and situational response, while joy is a constant and a mindset. So, in a way, it is sort of true that other people and things make you happy, but they don’t make you content with your life overall, and that’s the thing that leaves a searing ache in your heart when it’s missing. Cultivate joy, and if you don’t know how, check out this page which does a pretty good job of summarizing at least the basics I learned in my one semester of this stuff.
  4. Looking for everything to fail in your life means it will

    • Look, I’m not saying you should be bubbly peppy joy-joy all the time. Optimism isn’t really everyone’s thing. But if you give up before you even get started doing something, you will probably sabotage yourself without even realizing it. This goes double if your goal is to make friendships and all you talk about to potential friends is whining about not having friends, because being whiny is really annoying to most humans. It’s not that other people don’t whine, make excuses, and play the blame game- it’s just that it’s best not to fixate on it and be stuck in that mindset all the time. If you can limit verbally sharing your whining with the world to the minimal amount you need to feel better about things, even better then.
  5. You deserve to be the kind of person who sticks up for yourself

    • Why do you need a hero? Is your life boring? Do you hate hate hate school? Try to be your own greatest hero and find some way or thing that can make your current life satisfying, or even fun. Make a game of doing boring tasks. Try to figure out how to give to your relationships in such a way that you get the love and friendship you need. Tell someone what isn’t working, and problem solve ways to fix it together. And if that still doesn’t help and you can’t change things up so it gets better? Figure out how to rescue yourself from the situation- drop from the advanced math class to the easier one, break up with a friend who just cannot stop being toxic, get to work building the career you actually want to have. (And yes, even if you are younger, creative jobs like the indie book biz or IT jobs can be started when you are a teen as long as you can put in some work and do the research.)

I used to be the kind of person who read because I was bored of my own life. Now I enjoy reading about adventures AND I go on my own. It’s a win-win when you decide to look for your own adventures instead of waiting for them to come to you.

 

Meet the Cast of the Shadeworld! Character Profiles: Alyss

I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit different today! I’ve been working on the Shadeworld series for a long time, and publishing them for a few months now, so I wanted to touch base with all of you and add some fun bonus content on here. Let me know if you like this sort of post!

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This is my character reference for Alyss!

Alyss

This girl isn’t so great at being social, but she really wants to be. Her serious approach to life makes some keep their distance from her, but she can still let loose and have fun when there’s the opportunity. Alice uses big words, but she’s not stuffy. She is, however, a little headstrong and willing to jump into a situation she knows nothing about if she feels something unjust is going down!

Alice has brown hair, is a little short, and a nondescript size. With her personality and attributes combined, she probably would be completely ignored by her fellow students if she hadn’t spent her life in primarily white neighborhoods where her darker skin tone stood out so much.

One of the first characters we really meet in this book, Alyss is a girl with her eyes on the prize. After growing up in poor health and with distant parents, she’s desperate to form new relationships and close connections now that she’s moved to a new school and neighborhood. Problems crop up in her social life right away though when I she meets the control freak Aaron who’s weirdly obsessed with her. Besides how weird the people in town and school are, though, there just seems to be something fishy about them – something almost magical!

 

I Hit Publish Today!

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I think hitting publish is one thing I’ll never grow tired of. This second book in the series had its ups and downs, I’ll admit- fiddling with trying to figure out how to format a paperback edition of the first book in the series ended up consuming all of December so I had to push this book back a few weeks to January instead- but we got here. The edit was once again done by Carol Rushing (a professional editor, unlike typo prone me) and the cover was done once again by Beetiful Book Designs, so I have a gorgeous professional quality book.

Even better, this time the story spends almost no time on Earth, so we get to spend more action with dragons, nymphs, wizards, vampires, and the Shadeworld! I know you liked the first book in the series, but I’m sure you’ll love this one as much as I do.

 

Deck the Halls! A Fantasy Christmas Book Roundup

Let me tell you, for years I have labored under the misunderstanding that Christmas books were only written for small children or adults. Well my friends, I have now stumbled onto the world of YA Christmas books, and I’m happy to share that discovery with you!

Not just any YA books though. Today in #SeasonReading I am exploring holiday books that focus on ~Fantasy~. I know, I didn’t think a Christmas/YA/Fantasy genre crossover was possible before either, but I’m so glad to learn it is.

I’ve rounded up a variety pack of different interesting sounding holiday themed books. Full disclosure though, I have not actually read any of these books. They just sound interesting to me and have good reviews online. Just thought I should warn you.

Sweet Christmas Books

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A YA Fantasy based on the story of Santa’s popular daughter falling in love with the new outcast in town. The reviews of this are a little mixed because it is apparently a very punny and cute book, and it seems some people were annoyed by the cuteness. I feel like that doesn’t necessarily have to be the book’s fault though- it may be a great book, but it’s well known that Americans tend to feel something almost like revulsion when something cute is aimed at anyone over the age of five. If you actually enjoy cute sometimes though this sounds like the reviewers did actually enjoy the story itself a lot so it sounds like a win if you are interested in an easy read.

Gritty Christmas Books

The Coal Elf

A bit of Dystopia has come to the North Pole. This is sort of like “The Giver” meets the story of Santa’s elves, and I have to say I’ve never seen a genre that needed a gritty oppressive society as much as Christmas Fantasy. Is that even a genre? I feel like it must be, I’ve read so many books about Santa’s workshop when I was a kid. Anyway, this book sounds exciting, and if the cuteness of the first option isn’t cutting it for you then this is the complete opposite and should be right up your alley.

Christmas Fairy Tales

The Metal Horse Learns Spanglish: And Other Quirky Holiday Stories

If the other two options sounded too much- too cute, too harsh- then this should be the Goldilocks book that is just right. A collection of stories you definitely have never read or heard of before, involving heroes that have never stared in other books before, this is kind of like a much less famous fairy tale collection in the same vein as Hans Christian Anderson, except of course it’s written from an American perspective.

Christmas Books for Teens

I know these books have been added to the top of my tbr pile. What about you? What do you think? Do these books sound like a win for you?

Let’s Blog About it: #BlogOfTheWeek Episode 3

I’ve already featured one book blogger I loved on this site. And another. Now I’m back with another because who doesn’t need more bookish people in their lives? I know I do. And if you need some ideas on which pages you should get lost in while sipping hot cocoa by the fire (or iced tea by the lake if you live in Australia) Laura at LFBooks has got your back.

She writes mainly about Fantasy, but has also covered other genres like LGBT fiction as well.

Also Laura is a dog person, so what’s not to love?

 

Books, Tea, and Blogs to Read

Did I just use my main page’s header image as the featured image for a blog post? Yes, yes I did. Isn’t that basically a crime against everything blogging? Maybe. I did it anyways though, so there you have it.

Today we are not here to talk about photography however. We are here to talk about the magic that is Maxxesbooktopia. I did a little bit of post stalking- that’s a normal thing other people do when they see a new face pop up as having liked one of their posts, right? It’s not just creepy me?- and I have copied like half of his December To Be Read list because there are a lot of great recent YA and speculative fiction (Fantasy, Horror, Sci Fi) books on there that I haven’t read yet, and many of them I hadn’t even heard of yet.

Maxxesbooktopia

I love the books Max puts up. Of course I love reading any book blogs because I am all about books, but I’m really into his posts specifically because they are just a good place to go when you’re in a re-reading rut you crave escape from. I’m so glad I found has blog and I think you’ll be happy if you follow him!

Defying Expectations with Catherine Egan

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I have started highlighting book blogs that I love, but I think now it’s time to go to the next milestone. That’s right, I’ve started a series on featured authors and their books.

After all, as a YA author, I do read a lot of YA. Honestly I read a ton before becoming an author, but now it’s kind of my job to get lost in a good book. Tough life, huh?

I’ll admit this is the first book in the Witch’s Child series that I’ve read. I have approximately 1 hour a week to read in, and I’m not about to put off a good book to the bottom of my tbr pile just because most people would hunt down the first book to read first. I thought this was an easy book to jump into even without reading the first book directly, though I’m sure it would be most satisfying to read the books in order if the thought of doing such a thing causes pain in your soul.

My experience reading this book was that it was faced paced, had a lot of interesting characters with pretty well developed characters, and an interesting approach to magic. Catherine’s Kahge is a very different alternative reality than my Shadeworld, but it’s mysterious and definitely sparking all my curiosity about where this series and the magical people who live in it will go.

This book is particularly sanctifying to me because I have had a bit of a reading drought lately. I have not read a new YA novel I enjoyed for more than a year at this point. I’ve been subsisting, barely, on murder mysteries (which are not typically my favorite genre), Non-Fiction, and rereading novels I already know and love over and over again. So this book has sprung me out of that torture, which is pretty special in itself.

In fact, I’m so enthralled by this book, I keep opening up chapters of it and rereading them even though I’m supposed to be writing a blog post right now. So I will get back to reading and just end this here with a firm recommendation for the series and the author. If this sounds like the right book for you as well the Amazon link is here. If you want to keep up to date with her I’ve included her website’s link here as well.

Second Edition PS The Dragon Bites

I know you all remember when the first book in the Shadeworld series gained a new cover?

Now it’s gained some new content.

Thanks to the magic of Amazon publishing, this book now has some extended chapters. I also worked with a new editor to do a complete overhaul of the all of the content in the book so now there should be even less little niggling issues with punctuation or spelling. What can I say, that stuff is hard to take care of.

But no worries about any of that now as it’s all been revamped.

The editing process took a few weeks of back and forth with my editor and a few gentle suggestions from her about reworking some entire scenes, but I think the end result is even better than ever and I hope you’ll agree.

Please note that if you have already bought a copy of the ebook it has automatically been upgraded to the new edition. If you haven’t, now is the ideal time to read through it before the second book in this series comes out with tech mages, battles, and new alliances that threaten to make this rebellion more dangerous than ever before suspected.

Sneak Peek into Magic Moves!

I have a project slated to go live in January, but the best I can figure out the audiobook creation process I have to have it live for presale at least for now so my awesome narrator Peter Kendall can work on it right away.

The publishing process is complicated, I tell ya.

Anyways, that means that it’s almost ready to go. And I want to share it with all of you guys here before I put it out there anywhere else.

That’s why I’m posting a little sneak peek here and including the entire first chapter for your reading pleasure. You’re welcome!

Chapter One: Visitors

Mrs. Marsh stumped around her house with the broom and swept it from side to side. The dust bunnies she was collecting puffed around to become dust motes clogging the air and spiraled around her before rolling into ever bigger piles of fluff on the floor. Her eyes weren’t what they once were and she couldn’t see them. Age had done its work to her and bent her spine, but she wasn’t the sort of person to let a few aches and pains get in the way of work.
A crack sounded outside and the house shuddered on its foundations. The curtains were spread wide open, as they were every day, but it didn’t serve to let in any light at all. The old lady had to squint to see her cleaning but still didn’t turn on her lights. Electricity had been expensive at some point in her life, and she’d never gotten over the habit of saving the expense by using the lighting as little as possible. Her bulbs sat in their sockets, still just like brand new after hardly being used for years.
Behind her eyes blinked in the darkness, the reflected light illuminating its owner’s frown. Then the thing rolled across the floor and stretched its body to hit the light switch. The room flooded with light, showing all the spots Mrs. Marsh had missed. She humphed at the sight and redid her dusting, oblivious to her helper still resting under the switch. It was itself a curious thing, two feet tall and shiny and wet like toy slime when stretched up but solid and foam like resting on the floor.
“Blast that cat, always annoying the motion sensors,” she grumbled. “I hope this time he didn’t decide to play with the switch itself.”
She flipped her broom and jabbed at the light switch on her side of the room with the blunt end of it. The goopy creature rolled its eyes and flicked the switch again. On. Off. On. Off.
“What in the blazes is going on here?” She frowned at it and looked out the windows, finally noticing the storm outside. “If the flickering is all because a line went down from the storm they should have fixed it by now after that mess has been going on for hours.” She took her broom out the front door and shook it off, grumbling at the storm. “And to think we sent them a petition last year demanding they move our neighborhood to ground lines. We wouldn’t have these problems if they’d just listened. When I call the power company they’ll be sorry,” she said. Mrs. Marsh picked up her cordless and tapped in numbers. A click was heard and then the light in the entire house slowly died down with whining power lines until with a final snap all the lights went fully dark. She moved to flick the switch on, just because she had wanted them off before but now that they went off on their own she was feeling contrary about it. However, the light refused to be turned on. She went around the room to her little table lamps and even tried the porch light and the hall light, but all of them refused to activate. “What’s that now,” she growled.
“I tried to tell you but you’ve been ignoring my attempts to get your attention,” the goop said.
Quick like a whip she swept her broom in a slice through the air and knocked the goop off its, well, base, for lack of feet to speak of. In the darkness of the house the inky goop was nothing more than a shadow in her eyes but she was sharp enough to realize that a voice in an empty house was something valid to slice at.
“What is a creature like you doing here in my house,” she hissed. “I do not appreciate home invaders of any species you know!”
The goop sprouted an arm and used it to take off the top portion of his head that quickly took on the shape of a top hat and bowed to her with a flourish. The image, sadly, was rather lost on her in the darkness. “I am here, madam, because I need your assistance.” He paused. “I think it will interest you that, even more importantly, you need my assistance. Which of course,” he added graciously, “I am more than willing to give.”
She scoffed. “That’s not very likely unless you’re offering to recaulk my bathroom. It’s a hassle to do myself and I think since you look like a talking blob of caulk you might be able to do a very good neat job of it. ”
“No madam I am not here to deal with you bathroom and decorating woes.”
She frowned. “I can’t imagine that you’d be a city electrician. They don’t usually come into people’s houses, and even if they did, I’d much rather you sorted out the electric lines outside as it will hardly do me good to have my wires fixed in here if they are still connecting to a power grid that’s gone dark. Honestly, you young people tend to do things out of order, and I know you dears can’t help it, but I’d expect a little more sense at least from whoever is in charge of coordinating you people to fix the lines to send you to actually do something useful instead of wasting our time in here.” He started to speak but she cut in over him. “Yes, yes, that’s all very well and good to protest your age’s ability, but that does not fix my power.” He tried to talk again, and was again ignored. “No, I am completely certain that my power was working beautifully yesterday and my kitchen mixer was fully powered and operational, so I must insist it is the city lines outside that are having problems and not my own house. Goodness gracious me alive, can you not see that there’s a storm going on outside?”
He finally broke in to her one sided conversation. “Ma’am, I am aware of the storm. I don’t care about the storm at all, though, because it doesn’t matter.” This time he cut over her next protest. “No, I do not care about the storm at all, because it doesn’t matter in the least. Frankly, nothing about your electric needs matter to anyone here right now, you certainly wouldn’t notice if it were off as you clearly don’t use it often, but even if you did your electricity is perfectly functional.” She squawked and protested that her house was dark and that was an obvious sign something wasn’t working. “It is working perfectly, my dear lady. The only problem you have with it, at the moment, is me. I was forced to turn off your electricity in order to get your attention, as you were rather wrapped up in your, well, whatever it is you’ve been doing all day. I am here on much more urgent business then you can even begin to imagine,” he added. He had no chest but the way the upper part of his form suggested a swelled chest, and his tone backed up the theory. “I am here today, madam,” he continued, “Because of the It that is currently residing in your neighborhood. If I remove the It for you, I think you will be willing to agree to help me with my little problem in return.”
She frowned at him and started to give him a piece of her mind when the kitchen exploded.
Flames licked at the tiles and the cheap cabinet fronts softened and drooped from their hinges as a ragged creature that slithered like a snake but looked like a rat ran out with the blast giggling. The bright light from the excess of embers lit the room well enough that it was now easy to see the appearance of both unexpected visitors but the lady seemed more annoyed by them than terrified at their monstrous forms. The goop shook his head and murmured, “I was afraid this sort of thing would happen. They always like to explode things at some point. They just can’t help it. No good trying to get one to be sneaky for you when things always end like this.”
She ignored his talking and scanned her eyes around the room instead. She lit upon a laundry basket and quickly dashed over to scoop it up and threw it to trap the still giggling creature without moving her weapon from the goop still impaled by her broom.
She frowned at both of her captives. “If this little creature is the problem you were going to fix for me I’d rather you just go now so I can remove both of you and have some peace again!” She slid the basket across the room with her foot firmly holding it down by the lip of the basket and flipped up the goop so it spun around on her makeshift weapon. With a yank the front door was opened to the rainy dusk outside so she slapped the goop out the door with her broom handle, and kicked the laundry basket and its prisoner after him. With a shove the door slammed in their faces before they could force their way back in.
Once they’d left she tested all the lights in the house, and the oven just to be sure, and was relieved to see everything seemed to be working perfectly well again. She left all of it on, and turned on the back door security light in an attempt to deter more unexpected visitors.
Once she’d come back in, she shut her curtains and went around the house to check each of the windows and doors as a precaution to make doubly sure there was little chance of any repeat intruders- or new ones for that matter- before she went back to work and finished sweeping the rest of the floor. As she worked the storm outside slowly grew quiet and dispersed, leaving behind the fresh scent of rain that beguiled her neighbors outside to meet with each other and enjoy star gazing in the first clear night of the month.

 

Mrs. Marsh stumped around her house with the broom and swept it from side to side. The dust bunnies she was collecting puffed around to become dust motes clogging the air and spiraled around her before rolling into ever bigger piles of fluff on the floor. Her eyes weren’t what they once were and she couldn’t see them. Age had done its work to her and bent her spine, but she wasn’t the sort of person to let a few aches and pains get in the way of work.
A crack sounded outside and the house shuddered on its foundations. The curtains were spread wide open, as they were every day, but it didn’t serve to let in any light at all. The old lady had to squint to see her cleaning but still didn’t turn on her lights. Electricity had been expensive at some point in her life, and she’d never gotten over the habit of saving the expense by using the lighting as little as possible. Her bulbs sat in their sockets, still just like brand new after hardly being used for years.
Behind her eyes blinked in the darkness, the reflected light illuminating its owner’s frown. Then the thing rolled across the floor and stretched its body to hit the light switch. The room flooded with light, showing all the spots Mrs. Marsh had missed. She humphed at the sight and redid her dusting, oblivious to her helper still resting under the switch. It was itself a curious thing, two feet tall and shiny and wet like toy slime when stretched up but solid and foam like resting on the floor.
“Blast that cat, always annoying the motion sensors,” she grumbled. “I hope this time he didn’t decide to play with the switch itself.”
She flipped her broom and jabbed at the light switch on her side of the room with the blunt end of it. The goopy creature rolled its eyes and flicked the switch again. On. Off. On. Off.
“What in the blazes is going on here?” She frowned at it and looked out the windows, finally noticing the storm outside. “If the flickering is all because a line went down from the storm they should have fixed it by now after that mess has been going on for hours.” She took her broom out the front door and shook it off, grumbling at the storm. “And to think we sent them a petition last year demanding they move our neighborhood to ground lines. We wouldn’t have these problems if they’d just listened. When I call the power company they’ll be sorry,” she said. Mrs. Marsh picked up her cordless and tapped in numbers. A click was heard and then the light in the entire house slowly died down with whining power lines until with a final snap all the lights went fully dark. She moved to flick the switch on, just because she had wanted them off before but now that they went off on their own she was feeling contrary about it. However, the light refused to be turned on. She went around the room to her little table lamps and even tried the porch light and the hall light, but all of them refused to activate. “What’s that now,” she growled.
“I tried to tell you but you’ve been ignoring my attempts to get your attention,” the goop said.
Quick like a whip she swept her broom in a slice through the air and knocked the goop off its, well, base, for lack of feet to speak of. In the darkness of the house the inky goop was nothing more than a shadow in her eyes but she was sharp enough to realize that a voice in an empty house was something valid to slice at.
“What is a creature like you doing here in my house,” she hissed. “I do not appreciate home invaders of any species you know!”
The goop sprouted an arm and used it to take off the top portion of his head that quickly took on the shape of a top hat and bowed to her with a flourish. The image, sadly, was rather lost on her in the darkness. “I am here, madam, because I need your assistance.” He paused. “I think it will interest you that, even more importantly, you need my assistance. Which of course,” he added graciously, “I am more than willing to give.”
She scoffed. “That’s not very likely unless you’re offering to recaulk my bathroom. It’s a hassle to do myself and I think since you look like a talking blob of caulk you might be able to do a very good neat job of it. ”
“No madam I am not here to deal with you bathroom and decorating woes.”
She frowned. “I can’t imagine that you’d be a city electrician. They don’t usually come into people’s houses, and even if they did, I’d much rather you sorted out the electric lines outside as it will hardly do me good to have my wires fixed in here if they are still connecting to a power grid that’s gone dark. Honestly, you young people tend to do things out of order, and I know you dears can’t help it, but I’d expect a little more sense at least from whoever is in charge of coordinating you people to fix the lines to send you to actually do something useful instead of wasting our time in here.” He started to speak but she cut in over him. “Yes, yes, that’s all very well and good to protest your age’s ability, but that does not fix my power.” He tried to talk again, and was again ignored. “No, I am completely certain that my power was working beautifully yesterday and my kitchen mixer was fully powered and operational, so I must insist it is the city lines outside that are having problems and not my own house. Goodness gracious me alive, can you not see that there’s a storm going on outside?”
He finally broke in to her one sided conversation. “Ma’am, I am aware of the storm. I don’t care about the storm at all, though, because it doesn’t matter.” This time he cut over her next protest. “No, I do not care about the storm at all, because it doesn’t matter in the least. Frankly, nothing about your electric needs matter to anyone here right now, you certainly wouldn’t notice if it were off as you clearly don’t use it often, but even if you did your electricity is perfectly functional.” She squawked and protested that her house was dark and that was an obvious sign something wasn’t working. “It is working perfectly, my dear lady. The only problem you have with it, at the moment, is me. I was forced to turn off your electricity in order to get your attention, as you were rather wrapped up in your, well, whatever it is you’ve been doing all day. I am here on much more urgent business then you can even begin to imagine,” he added. He had no chest but the way the upper part of his form suggested a swelled chest, and his tone backed up the theory. “I am here today, madam,” he continued, “Because of the It that is currently residing in your neighborhood. If I remove the It for you, I think you will be willing to agree to help me with my little problem in return.”
She frowned at him and started to give him a piece of her mind when the kitchen exploded.
Flames licked at the tiles and the cheap cabinet fronts softened and drooped from their hinges as a ragged creature that slithered like a snake but looked like a rat ran out with the blast giggling. The bright light from the excess of embers lit the room well enough that it was now easy to see the appearance of both unexpected visitors but the lady seemed more annoyed by them than terrified at their monstrous forms. The goop shook his head and murmured, “I was afraid this sort of thing would happen. They always like to explode things at some point. They just can’t help it. No good trying to get one to be sneaky for you when things always end like this.”
She ignored his talking and scanned her eyes around the room instead. She lit upon a laundry basket and quickly dashed over to scoop it up and threw it to trap the still giggling creature without moving her weapon from the goop still impaled by her broom.
She frowned at both of her captives. “If this little creature is the problem you were going to fix for me I’d rather you just go now so I can remove both of you and have some peace again!” She slid the basket across the room with her foot firmly holding it down by the lip of the basket and flipped up the goop so it spun around on her makeshift weapon. With a yank the front door was opened to the rainy dusk outside so she slapped the goop out the door with her broom handle, and kicked the laundry basket and its prisoner after him. With a shove the door slammed in their faces before they could force their way back in.
Once they’d left she tested all the lights in the house, and the oven just to be sure, and was relieved to see everything seemed to be working perfectly well again. She left all of it on, and turned on the back door security light in an attempt to deter more unexpected visitors.
Once she’d come back in, she shut her curtains and went around the house to check each of the windows and doors as a precaution to make doubly sure there was little chance of any repeat intruders- or new ones for that matter- before she went back to work and finished sweeping the rest of the floor. As she worked the storm outside slowly grew quiet and dispersed, leaving behind the fresh scent of rain that beguiled her neighbors outside to meet with each other and enjoy star gazing in the first clear night of the month.

But first, let me take a #Shelfie

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I follow For Reading Addicts (You definitely should too) and I love the different #shelfies they post. I feel awkward using the hashtags because I’m pretty sure too many of them make you an outdated internet dinosaur instead of making you cool, but I’m so amused by photos of other people’s shelves I thought it would be worth the risk to hashtag it out on here.

As you can see I’ve got a few second hand books in here that are looking a little scruffy, like “Beyonders” by Mull that I picked up in a hostel in Panama City Panama and felt like I’d won the lottery to find a book that was free, hard back, written in English, and from an author I knew of and like to boot!

Then there’s “Entwined” by Dixon on the right that I bought with part of my first ever paycheck and devoured because it was magical. And above it is Cornelia Funke’s “Dragon Rider”, which I adore, with her book Inkheart right on top of it because I really do like her work (which you can probably tell because a third book of her’s is next to it- “The Thief Lord”- is definitely one of my hands down favorites!)

And then there’s the Tamora Pierce books on the top left of the stack because I am slowly buying her books whenever one pops up in my local library’s book sale or in a used book store.

And Bruce Coville’s “Into the Land of The Unicorns” is clearly well loved as the majority of its cover has come clear off, though thankfully the follow up below it is another part of the series which will hopefully stand up better to frequent reading due to the hardback cover.

And then we have “The China Garden” on the top right which I think few American readers have heard of but is definitely a yearly revisit for me.

This is just a section of my bookshelf that covers my self defined “magical books” genre. Does anyone else just go and make up their own categories for their private bookshelves?

And then there’s the world’s tiniest picture frame with a photo made from one of the mini Polaroids marketed to kids in the late nineties and early `aughts before anyone could afford the early digital cameras, and I trimmed off the waste plastic wrapping the film so I could fit it into the tiny frame. It’s a nice reminder of my brother when he was young, which is great to remember at this time of year as his birthday inched him a little closer to thirty now and the passage of time makes me nostalgic yet again thinking of childhood memories.

And there’s the harmonica next to it which I am still determined to learn to play so I can maybe perform for my grandpa some time as he’s always been a great bluesy player on his own oversized bass harmonica.