The Best Indie Authors You’ve Never Heard Of – Part One

I’m thrilled to be one of the authors featured on Lucy Bracier’s blog today alongside three other fantasy writers:

Lucy Brazier

Welcome to the first in my series of some of the best independent authors and writers you probably haven’t read yet, but really should. With so many new books being independently published every day, it is simply impossible to keep up with them all. But over the next few days, we can explore writers (some established, some brand spanking new) who might otherwise be under the reading radar. To get us started, here are some fabulous fables for the fantasy connoisseur…

Annabelle Franklin – Gateway To Magic & The Slapstyx

I’m a writer, musician and rescuer of ex-racing dogs. I live in a quirky little shed on the South Gower coast in South Wales UK. The landscape is stunning and magical, providing plenty of inspiration for fairy tales and fantasy.

When a family member had a phase of video game addiction, I wondered how he would manage in a dimension…

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Living with Elephants… #cancer

From Sue Vincent:

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

My neighbour stood six feet back from the doorstep to collect the heavy box that I had been babysitting since its delivery. His eyes were fixed on the headscarf I use to cover my baldness.
“We’ve heard you have cancer?”
“Yep.”
“Curable?”
“Nope.”
“I can see you are on chemo,” he nods at the hairless head. “Will it help at all?”
“It might buy me some time…”
“Cool. Thanks for clearing that up. We’ve been watching you since the ambulance came a couple of months ago, but of course, we couldn’t just ask…”

That is how the conversation could have gone. Instead, all I got were thanks for minding the parcel and some curiously furtive looks, as if one of us should be ashamed of themselves for some reason, whether that would be him for what was going through his mind, or me for having cancer in the first…

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What I saw this morning #poetry

Photo Cedit: Pixabay

I saw you in the moors today

your hair wild like milkweed

blown free

with she who waits

standing in the valley between

The wind, beckoning a caress

upon two faced turned upward in joy

Water, cleaving the breasts of the goddess

at your feet streaming the memory of stars

The renewal of spring lapping the hillside

like a newborn lamb, and you standing

beside her remembering it all

Two hands clasped in reunion

opening the womb. The body

becoming formless, ripe, orange

walls pulsing the mother-beat

winged emergence breaking

through stone. Guardians

fortifying the chamber vibrating

your song as you become the light

of rainbows, again. Isis

enfolding and opening

lifts the veil to the path of stars

spiraling to welcome the dragon

descending, running the water

gold

The Imperfect Cult of Spirituality

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Perhaps it’s because my early years found me inside the cult of the Hare Krishnas, and later in the cult of family dysfunction where truth was suppressed with fear; and perhaps it’s because I am, once again, finding myself immersed in the cult-like group-think of the spiritual world, but I’m beginning to seriously worry about how pervasive the cult-mentality is and how damaging to truth it can be.

Unless you are living blissfully unaware inside your own little bubble, you’ve no doubt heard about Qanon and all the damage it has created through its false rhetoric and dangerous accusations that are founded upon fear and lies. Or, perhaps you are a believer in its unproven claims.

I know many people who are, to some degree or another. The ones I know are mostly self-proclaimed “lightworkers” who believe they have been chosen to help save the world. For awhile, I wanted to be one of them. These days, though, I often find myself shaking my head in dismay as I watch people I care about falling headfirst, and willfully, down the rabbit hole of yet another cult that only serves to harm through an abuse of power.

And, I wonder, where are we continuing to go wrong?

In my own experiences with cult-think, there is always at least one figure positioned into a place where power can be abused, hungry for attention and adoration. In the Hare Krishna cults that were popular in the 70s, children and women were often drugged and/or abused by male figures in positions of power in the name of religion. Sound familiar? It should. We’ve seen similar behavior played out with priests unearthed in the more recent past.

The repression of women and children, in particular, has long been a habit of religions and spiritual groups. For many of us this is obviously wrong. For some, it’s disturbing. For others it’s accepted. We crave security. We crave belonging. We crave feeling special.

The last one is where I find myself lingering and where I have had to, once again, reassess and redefine my own belonging. As a result I have removed myself from cult-like groups who profess to be “lightworkers” but are ultimately more interested in spreading their own “specialness” than they are the truth. I have found my circles of friends growing smaller, but also expanding, as I turn my attentions more toward the spirituality of truth than the undefined.

But it saddens me, again. More people I love feel like they are slipping away and there is nothing I can do about it. We must all walk our own paths, but my own compass keeps steering me in the direction of truth and unity. I don’t mind wearing a mask if it will save lives. I don’t mind reducing my carbon footprint if it will save lives. I don’t mind taking a vaccine if it will save lives. And, I don’t mind admitting that I am imperfect and don’t have some secret access to a higher knowing that is not accessible to everyone else.

My Feathered Seer is Apparently Asleep in my Playroom #dreams

Photo Credit: Pixabay

It was dark in the room, as it often is during the daytime. My children, lapsed back into younger years, opened the seldom used front door to let the wild bird inside. It flew, or rather seemed to stumble, bumping along the floor for awhile until it settled under the couch into sleep. There it stayed for quite some time. I can’t tell you exactly how long, as dream time stretches and bends in funny ways. And soon enough the dream shifted, and my feathered seer disappeared.

I left the pileated woodpecker behind in the room we once referred to as our children’s playroom, but is now a library/game room, and found myself inside a museum. Well, that’s not entirely correct. If memory serves me, I was first outside. Once again, the light was muted as you often see in movies to build dramatic effect. Here the old blended with the new, again, and I found my eyes pulled to the stones. No surprise, really. That’s where the seer resides and reads the secrets held within.

I was excited. Sure that there had once been a circle in a place now built up by more modern hands. “See that one,” I pointed, “and that one!” The position, size, and alignment could not be accidental. And then it all began to fall apart. Suddenly I was inside the museum in need of a restroom. Here I found myself literally exposed. The bathroom was more an office than a cell, open to windowed rooms with people inside, and a wide open door where others walked by. And there I sat in the center with my pants down, exposed and worried about what others were seeing and perceiving. My sight pulled in angst to the world constructed around me while the inner spirit struggled to break free and wander back outside with the stones.

I am not surprised by the dream. When one ignores the first sign, another one will inevitably appear. About a week ago, I dreamt of another “play room.” This one was hidden inside my sister’s house. When I stepped inside this unexpected wonder, a child’s dream unfolded. Gradually I was draw to the vast windows where I stood in awe peering into the vast wilderness beyond. As in the dream last night, there were feathered beings. More than one. Young and downy, their colors muted into balls of fluff. Fledglings impossibly large, and birthed forth in autumn instead of spring. No, I thought, it could not be. They were so healthy and vibrant. Filled with the promise of life.

Before I woke completely into morning, I had another dream experience that has lingered with me. It is a brief recall. This time I found myself inside a vehicle with the radio turned on against my will, playing a recording of my voice. The first sounds were those of coughing, as though I was clearing my lungs of congestion. Then the coughing turned into a humming of sorts. “No,” I said embarrassed, “Don’t listen to that.” My voice on display, to my ears, echoed back to me dissonance as I resisted. Then strength grew into a sound that sung of freedom. It felt powerful and clear, now that all the gunk had cleared. “Take care,” the voice urged before it stopped. “Take care of you.”

I find myself now wondering, in the sometimes harsh light of day, how many of us are feeling the same way. This long year that has held fear and constriction for so many of us has, no doubt, left imprints on us. Perhaps, like me, you have used the pandemic and political turmoil as an excuse not to wander outside the confines of containment, and by containment I don’t mean those imposed to preserve health. Rather, I am referring to the free spirit that is a winged thing always yearning to fly. Always yearning to sing to the tune of inner truth. I must remind myself to play. To wander into magic, even if it involves outer restrictions. To let the feathered seer awaken once again and commune with the mysteries of life that return the wonder of the inner child.

Neglecting the soul is never a good thing, as I was reminded before I woke to this day. If we ignore its yearnings, a restlessness sets in. And sometimes, that restless turns to malaise.

Our Broken Moral Compass #usaelection

I am sitting here, again, trying to make sense of what feels like no sense. The idealist inside of me is struggling to comprehend how nearly 50% of the nation I call home can support a person who is by all moral codes so far from decent that we have redefined humanity. Or maybe we haven’t? Maybe we’ve always had 50% good and 50% bad inside of us and only now it seems we’ve given permission to let the bad overshadow the good.

But I am not okay with this and doubt I ever will be. I am not okay with a white man who cares only for himself ruling a nation in the grip of fear. I am not okay with racism, sexism, homophobia, repression, oppression, inequality, injustice, rape, and all the other aspects of that define what is morally reprehensible inside of us. I am not okay with the placement of one self above another. Yet here we are, again. And, here I sit in the midst of a currently undecided election wondering when and how it all went wrong. Again.

We have work to do. That is one thing that has become glaringly clear. Collective work. And, individual. I know I must ask myself am I doing enough? Am I doing what is right not only for myself, but for every being that shares this living planet with me. Right now all I want to do is weep, but weeping provides a temporarily relief to the pain of a collective wound that desperately needs tending.

And so I think perhaps I must look at the term service too, and what it means in the definition of the self within the whole and the whole within the self. And I think perhaps I must look at the term fear before I search through love. The fear that exists inside the individual self and inside the self that is the whole. I must ask myself what pieces am I willing to untangle and how far can the reach be extended? We are all, in some way, complicit in this state we have created for ourselves. Right now it feels like a living nightmare, but, if truth be told, this living nightmare has been playing out for thousands of years.

It is, thus, not surprising that we would resist waking from it. And, in turn, realizing that we need not enchain another who does not look on the outside the same as us, that we need not rape into submission, or ravage land that simply asks to nurture us. We have taken up arms in the defense of fear, we have long held the righteous hand of anger and mistrust, and we have long looked into the myopic lens of the “advancement” of the self over the whole. It’s then perhaps little wonder at all that we find ourselves at this place in time still holding fast to the defensive grip of our fears.

We travel through the shadowlands yet we are still resisting the light. It sounds cliche, but it is, nevertheless, truth. We are interdependent, intricately connected, bound through invisible webs that can tie us, or unite us. And, we must work through the individual self, to recognize the whole.

Petals of the Rose ~ a new book

From Sue Vincent:

France & Vincent

Petals of the Rose

Guided Journeys

Sue Vincent

A collection of guided meditations, designed to open aspects of the personality in as gentle and natural way as the petals of the rose open at the touch of the sun. Each inner journey will carry you to a haven within your own psyche from which to explore layers of your own being, learning their meaning and purpose.

From mystical and silent castles, to the song of the unicorn… each journey takes you deeper into your inner being and carries you out beyond the stars.

Stories stir the imagination, casting images upon the screen of mind that allow us to explore, in safety, aspects of our lives and being that we might otherwise avoid or overlook. There is a rich vein of experience in memory that can be mined for its treasures. One of the simplest and best ways of exploring the…

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Healing Gifts

Photo Credit: Pixabay

For Sue

The opened body becomes the vessel

of healer and also receiver

And so I find her in the Seer’s circle

cloaked in owl’s feathers, anointing

those who come to give

Here, in her beloved place of heather and stone

time and space unfold into the opening

and I can feel the press of her lips between the brow

🐉

Seven days brings us back to her circle

to witness the winged soul ever giving

feathers of bird become the butterfly

“Look closely,” she tells me. “See.”

I watch membranes divide

into notes. Hear the music of cells

holding the song that is life

Enraptured until form turns slug-like

and I question the pull back to density

reluctant to notice what is soft is also strong

vulnerable, yeilding

the snail enters the body’s chariot

A tiny spiral opens

into infinity

and suddenly we are in the place of stars. Vast

Limitless

Suddenly, the serpent appears

pulling us into its arbor

above the farmer’s field to understand rebirth

Density becomes a head of stone

fixed as though immobile

“Each is a piece of Her. A brain’s repository.”

I nod, understanding distance to be a ruse and watch

Wisdom circle the mound in the body of the serpent

collapsing time’s hold while the clock splits open

rising sinuous into the darkness

the serpent swallows the sun, transforming

into dragon. Now winged

returning to seed the waiting womb below

Light

splits the body’s veins

finding the path once again

A child’s tale

From Sue Vincent:

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

bee 015
Road to Love – S.Vincent

I had one of those ‘moments’ today as I passed between the bookcases in the bedroom. It is odd the things that make it through the veneer of calm acceptance. In this case, it was the characters in books… characters I had first met as I snuggled within the circle of my mother’s arms. Characters like Aslan and Reepicheep, whose stories I had read, decades later, to my own sons while I held them too in my arms… creatures to whom I had hoped to introduce my granddaughters too. But, of course, it isn’t really about the characters… it is all about the memories and the love in which they shared.

There is a lot of wisdom in books, and children’s books in particular have always held a place in my heart for the gentle wisdom they hold. Moments of pure gold are scattered through…

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Self-Guided Energy Work Script: Release Untruths, Affirm Your Truths

Mommy Mystic

You are invited to a FREE Sacred Body Summit: Reclaim Your Feminine Power online this Sunday, October 25th. Love your body. Reclaim your power. Come spend the day in Sacred Sisterhood with other Wise Women. Register now, I hope to see you there.

The value of energy work is often that it is non-lingual, and can help us work with our emotions and emotional patterns as energy and vibration, dropping away from our chattering minds. Energy techniques employ our senses through sound, visualization, touch and more. But words are powerful too, and right now is a particularly good time to work with words to clear imprints and self-beliefs that do not serve us and replace them with those that do. 

The following script is simple, and uses the chakras as a structure for releasing and replacing false self-beliefs or imprints along the following threads:

  • I’m not…

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