Twilight of Yggdrasil – The Dark Realm, Book 1

FeaturedTwilight of Yggdrasil – The Dark Realm, Book 1

Dagmar, a young elven princess, accompanies her father on a voyage to a dark and dangerous world in the hopes of preventing war from breaking out between her people and the dark elves of Svartálfheimr, but the peace is broken when the elven chief is murdered. Dagmar, the only survivor of the massacre, is now stranded in a world full of enemies. Vowing vengeance for her father’s killer, she flees to the neighbouring kingdom and places her life in the hands of the most fearsome dark elf ever known. Bound by an oath to the dark side and seduced by the dark elven king, bloodthirsty Svartálfar will turn an innocent girl into a cold blooded killer who will stop at nothing to have her revenge, but will she lose herself to the darkness as each step she takes carries her ever further from home and the girl she once was, or will she become the light amidst the shadows?

So, what do you think of my series and book title and pitch? Does it leave you wanting more? Are you desperate to read my book? If not, tell me why.

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Wool Sock Challenge

Credit to Hyperion for this one. You can check out his post here: https://wp.me/p7FFs0-MI
So, here ya go, my sock loving friend! One of my favourite pairs of socks: Ski socks from Smartwool. They are a blend, I believe, but all of the Smartwool socks I’ve ever ownded have been wonderful! I need more, lots more!

The Lazy Blogger

There should be an award for lazy bloggers. I would definitely qualify! Clearly, I have procrastination issues. However, contrary to the title of this post, that is not what I want to write about today. The real reason for this post is to check in with my fellow bloggers and provide you all with a brief update.

So, I am struggling through my tendency to procrastinate, and am actually getting some work done on my manuscript. My final proofread before beginning the inquiry process is more that half way complete. I just finished going over chapter 7 yesterday, and will tackle chapter 8 tomorrow, if all things go according to plan. As it currently stands, there are only four chapters left to review, plus a little last minute tweaking, and then it will be ready to go.

Thanks for reading!

Why We Change

Why We Change

My inspiration to write this post comes from a personal matter I’m dealing with, regarding someone I care about who is a smoker. All of my efforts to persuade this person to give up smoking have failed. Something this person said a while back about how it has to come from him got me thinking.

Why do we change? Do we do it for ourselves, or does the will to change come from our love and consideration of the people in our lives?

I have a theory, based on my observations, not only of myself, but others I have known in my life. When we live our lives solely for our own gratification and desire, do we not then fall into reckless, even self-destructive behaviour? Do we not succumb to unhealthy habits, such as drinking, smoking, drug use, or even promiscuity in our sexual activities? Perhaps the self-indulgent behaviours are less obviously destructive or unhealthy, such as overeating, inadequate physical activity, etc.

But what happens when we have something or someone to live for? How does that impact the choices we make in our lives? Do we not then stop to think about how our choices and actions may affect those we love? I know this has been true for me. It was true for my grandfather, who only gave up drinking after my older sister and I were born. And I have seen it in others, how their priorities change, often drastically when they find a sense of purpose, be it becoming a parent or close loved ones.

This notion that making positive changes in our lives has to be something we want for ourselves, while all good and well, can’t be all there is. Often it seems to me that it is a cop-out, a cheap excuse to avoid difficult challenges, such as breaking addictions or bad habits. When taken in this context, as being only about ourselves, it seems to me narcissistic.

Human beings are social creatures. Nature did not create us to be loners. We thrive in healthy groups, where our efforts empower and strengthen those around us. When we devote ourselves to our families, friends, and our communities, we find renewed energy and motivation to be the best we can be, to live in a more positive and conscientious way. My belief is we can strengthen our own will power in this way, by cultivating a certain amount of selflessness. Not in the sense that we do not make any effort for self care, because that, too, is self-destructive. No, I mean that we find that perfect, harmonious balance of self-care and devotion to others, and in our modern, self-indulgent times, we need these renewed, strengthened bonds with the people who should matter in our lives.

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“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi

UPDATE: Naming Our New Pet

The little lovebird my daughter found has been living with us since Sunday, and so far, no one has claimed her/him. So, it was high time we name our little birdie, but the question remained. What to name her/him? It doesnt help that we don’t even know the gender, so a gender neutral name would be preferable. However, I just wasn’t comingup with anything. We’ve been dubbing her Peeper, just to substitute until a name could be settled on.

Well, this evening I ran a few ideas past my daughter. My favourites were Nessie and Pippin. Frida says we can’t call the bird Nessie because the water dragon who lives in Loch Ness is already named Nessie. She prefered to call the bird Pip, after I explained that Peep sounds too much like peepee! 😂 My second choice was Pippin, and so we came to a compromise. Pippin as the full name, and Pip for short.

There you have it. Problem solved. Our bird has been given a name fit for such an adorable little rascal as s/he is! 😊

UPDATE: I found the owner of the lost bird, and Pippin is now back home with his human companion and his female mate. His actual name is Frtizti, and his owner was so relieved and happy to know he was safe and to have hime returned to her. We will miss our little buddy. We were all hoping that we wouldn’t be able to find his owner and get to keep him. But seeking his owner was the right thing to do, even if it does make us sad to see him go. Funny, he didnt want to leave, but I’m sure now that he is reunited with his mate, he is much happier. The last couple days he seemed pretty down. Then this morning I discovered that playing recordings of lovebirds cheers him up, so I kept the bird songs playing for him all day, and he was full of energy and charisma. He spent the whole day playing with all of us, even the children, so at least we had a happy last day with our Pippin (because to us, he will always be our little Pip)! 😊

An Unexpected Visitor

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Life has kept me very busy lately, and needless to say, progress on proofreading my manuscript is slow going. One amusing little thing Life sent my way recently, is a lost bird.

This past Sunday afternoon, my daughter went to visit her father and grandparents for a couple hours, and I took my boyfriend’s eldest daughter with me to work with the Icelandic horses of a friend, two of which are still in training. She lucked out, and got to ride the one horse who is fully trained. After we were finished, we came home, and a short while later, my daughter got dropped off by her father. When I went outside to meet her, she was looking up at the top of my boyfriend’s car and was very excited. I looked to see what all the fuss was about, and there was a colourful little bird. I tried to catch it, but it got away only to land on my head. So, I quickly carried the little bird inside and left it with my boyfriend and the kids while I went back outside to get my daughter’s stuff in.

Since then, I’ve been keeping the bird upstairs in my rooms, where it is safe from the children and the cats. Luckily, I had a brand new bag of squirrel food here, which I’ve been saving to feed to the squirrels in the winter, so I opened it up and poured a little into my dog’s empty food bowl. The bird was on the bag before I even had it open. After she gobbled down her fill, she moved on to the dog’s water. Clearly the little bird was extremely hungry and thirsty, so I gather she’d been out for a while. Probably that whole day, if not longer.

Anyway, she (I’m calling the bird a ‘she’, even though, after looking up her breed and realizing there are no distinguishing features between the males and females, it is common for the females’ legs to be wider apart than the males, and this one seems to fit that description) immediately made herself at home, checked out my whole room, and got acquainted with me and the children.

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Her first night, she slept up at the top of my curtain, and has pretty much settled on that being her sleeping area. My boyfriend and the kids repaired an old bird feeder from the garden and brought it up to my room Sunday after the bird showed up, to give her a place to perch and put her food and water. Then yesterday, she really showed off how intelligent and curious she is. She got into everything, made her presence known by being very vocal. When I tried to take her picture while she was sitting on my daughter’s head, she repeatedly flew onto my phone before I could snap the picture. I finally got lucky and managed a halfway decent picture, as you can see at the top of this post. She even managed to send a what’s app message to my friend from my phone. (I couldn’t keep her off of it when I was trying to tell him about the bird!) Later, when I tried to work on my manuscript, she alternated between trying to play on the keyboard and steal my iced tea. I had to constantly shew her from my laptop, and resorted to putting a notepad on top of my glass to keep her out of my tea!

But despite her excitement yesterday, today she has been less than enthusiastic. She isn’t very vocal today, and she isn’t much interested in anything. My friend, Dan, did a google search and discovered that she is a Fischer’s Lovebird Agapornis Fischeri, and according to info found online, they are very social birds of the parrot family. They usually need to live in small groups of two or more, and don’t do well alone. So, I’m assuming she isn’t feeling so happy anymore now that she realizes there are no other birdie friends for her here.

We want to make an effort to find her owner. One of the kids made the rounds to the neighbours on our street Sunday to ask if anyone lost a bird, but no luck. The message I put out on a Telegram group turned up no results, so the next step is to make inquiries at the local animal shelter, and maybe there is some useful info on the ring around her leg. In the meantime, we are doing our best to keep her happy and healthy. This morning we stopped at the pet food store and bought a bag of food specially formulated for her breed. The store clerk happens to be a bird breeder and says he doesn’t use the common store bought food, but instead, buys super high quality bird food, but as there was nothing like that available at the store, we just took the normal stuff, since squirrel food isn’t exactly the right blend of nuts, seeds and fruits. If we can’t find the owner, we would like to keep her, but then we will need to get her a playmate. Can’t have her becoming a depressed lovebird. That wouldn’t be right. 😉

At the moment, she is back up in the curtains taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon. I hope she’ll start feeling better soon.

Manuscript Review

Manuscript Review

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And the process continues…

My apologies for my absence of late. I really should make more time for blogging and keeping up with the bloggers I follow, but finding the time has proved exceedingly difficult. It’s a wonder if I can even find time to read through my manuscript, which needs to be done before sending it out to editors, publishers, etc.

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So, Samhain is coming up, and we are planning a little celebration which is sure to be fun. This is really the perfect time of year for me to be active in creative pursuits, so I  really should channel some of that energy into my work. I’m currently nearly halfway through my review on chapter 5 of my manuscript. The work is going much faster on this chapter, as there aren’t as many errors and corruptions as in previous chapters, for some reason.

My original goal was to tackle two chapters a day, with the hope of being finished in under two weeks time, but I have long since passed my self-inflicted deadline.

TediousWriting

Why, oh why, must writing be such a tedious endeavor? I love dreaming up stories, and the satisfaction I get from actually writing down those stories is so very rewarding, but actually sitting down and getting started and sticking to the task…. Is there an award for procrastination, because I am surely the queen! Time management really isn’t my thing.

So, before I bore you all with further ramblings, I leave you with some would-be helpful advice, if only we writers would heed it…

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