Thursday, April 10, 2014

Field of Daffodils - Discovering a Story

Where do our stories come from? Sometimes they come from a glimpse into the past -- not our own, but someone else's. Someone we never really knew. One story that has been waiting to be told for a while, is the one of Mr. and Mrs. Bone. Mr. Bone poured the foundation for a tiny house in October of 1917.

Inscription on the foundation
It is only a one-room house, but we like to think the couple who lived there had a good life. There is a well near the house and a crumbled barn close enough to make it easy to get to in the winter, but far enough away to keep the odor from permeating the house in the heat of summer.

The most amazing thing about this house is the flower garden. I imagine Mrs. Bone kneeling down and placing her precious bulbs in the ground. Did she imagine that they would take hold of the soil and spread into this amazing field, inspiring a couple of writers nearly 100 years later to wonder about the lives that went on in that little house?
field of daffodils

In the center of the field, two trees rise up, twisted together. I'm not sure what kind of trees they are. Their leaves have not budded out yet. I like to think that they are Mr. and Mrs. Bone, together still after nearly a century, arms around each other, enjoying their daffodils.
Entwined trees
Today I'm thankful for the people who planted those first daffodils almost a century ago and the love story they inspired.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Against the Storm - Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday again, and wouldn't you know it, we are expecting violent thunderstorms today. The thunder actually started around 6 this morning. When you have thunder-paranoid dogs, that is never a good thing. The storms have not been bad so far...mostly a few rumbles, lots of rain, and one loud crack. This afternoon is supposed to be worse -- with the possibility of large hail and tornadoes.

I guess it's no wonder storms play such a large part in our stories. In Dime Store Novel, we even had a god of storms, Khrou-ach, and he is not a good guy. He makes his first appearance in Rips in the Weave.
Sassafras and Jesse sat under the table and listened to the screaming wind. Every so often a loud crack split the air as a tree branch crashed to the ground. One tree moaned as it was bent low.
“I hope that’s not a peach tree,” she said. “Ohhh, my peaches. I bet they’ll be scattered on the ground and they’re not quite ripe.”
The room lit up in a flash of white light. “I just hope those peach trees haven’t grown too tall,” he yelled above the roaring thunder.
“Oh Agatha,” she cried out. “Protect us.”
The thunder roar became a deep, low laugh. The boards above them groaned. Sassafras felt Jesse tense as first one board and then another ripped away. The wind’s laugh became hysterical and a deep voice boomed above them. “Agatha is impotent.” The table flipped over on its side.

Sassafras stared up at the jagged hole in the roof and saw a green-black dragon made of light. His eyes flashed with tiny yellow bolts of lightning. “Khrou-ach,” she whispered.
Illustration from The Desert Rose
by Rodger C. Francis, II
Khrou-ach is the primary villain in The Desert Rose.  The drawing on the right illustrates the war between Khrou-ach and Chii-dii, the guardian of the desert.

In an instant, Chiindii had become a vulture. He perched briefly on her shoulder and pecked her cheek. As he took to the air, Sassafras Cats picked up the flute and blew. She visualized Khrou-ach hovering over her house and millions of birds flying at him, dispersing his dark body to puffs of harmless clouds. But most of all, she envisioned a beautiful vulture, flying in the lead, but guarded by the ones who flew behind him. Stay safe, my love. Sassafras felt the tiniest stirring in her womb. 

So even though storms are difficult to weather when you have thunder-paranoid dogs, I am thankful for the inspiration they have given me. Khrou-ach is one mean villain. Let's hope he doesn't actually materialize this afternoon.