Monday, January 20, 2014

Thank You

Thank you to every reader who has read and reviewed and fallen in love with The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series. Your encouragement and support has meant the world to me. In the almost eighteen months since the first book was released,  I've learned so much, and as I've prepared to release the next installment of the series, I've reviewed some of the original publishing decisions we made. As a result, all the books have been currently unpublished. I know that's a little crazy, but I really believe the changes we're currently making to the series will make it better!

Sometime around April 1, we're hoping to release Half Faerie, Daughter of Light Book  One. Although the story will essentially be the same, there will be some new scenes, especially at the beginning of the book, and the entire book will be re-edited. We'll also have new covers.

We'd like to offer anyone who's purchased Nandana's Mark and/or The Flower of Isbelline gift copies of the new single edition. However, we'll only be able to offer the free books for a limited time, tentatively the week of March 23-29th. So if you've purchased Nandana's Mark and/or The Flower of Isbelline and would like to take advantage of this offer, please email either a receipt of one of the books or a picture of one of the books on your reading device to heidi _ g @ comcast . net with your preferred digital format, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or other android device.

Soon after Half Faerie is published, we'll be publishing Half Mortal, Daughter of Light, Book 2. If you've purchased The Dragon Carnivale, we'd like to offer you a deep discount on this book when it is published, as Half Mortal will include the story originally told in The Dragon Carnivale along with the next installment in the series. If you'd like to be notified of the time period when you can purchase Half-Mortal at the discounted price, please sign up for my newsletter or send an email directly to heidi _ g _ @ comcast . net.

This entire project has truly been a labor of love. Daughter of Light is inspired by my beloved grandma, and if it weren’t for my desire to create something that would leave readers feeling the way I felt whenever I left her home—eyes brighter, heart open wider—I suspect I would have been content to leave the original published version alone. But she, and everyone who invests their time in reading the series, deserves the best, and for that reason, I'm very excited about these upcoming releases.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Fairy Tales and Finding Your Place in the World

Is The Weatherman a contemporary fairy tale? I'm going with yes. I've written about how fairy tales are tales of transformation that make use of symbols and archetypes. They're also stories about finding your place in the world. Most of the times, union with the perfect partner initiates the transition to becoming the ruler of your kingdom. However, that's not the case in The Weatherman, but I still think it can be considered a fairy tale.

The movie's main character, David Spritiz, is a middle-aged husband and father of two.

Nicolas Cage plays David. The movie is his fairy tale, because he's the overgrown kid/immature adult, and the story is about his transformation/growing up/finding his kingdom. His father, Robert Spritzel, is played by Michael Caine.

David is disconnected from his life: he phones it in. As the weatherman at a local TV station, David makes tons of money and doesn't work very hard for it. He's unfaithful to his wife and he's not an especially good father to his children. Whenever anyone recognizes him from his TV gig, he's not very gracious. He's kind of an asshole.

An asshole who really wants to move up in the world, i.e. get that weatherman gig on Hello America,  a national TV show in New York City, because then, everything will be good. His father will respect him, his wife will love him, and his children will be blessed with perfection.

In the real world, his wife wants a divorce, his daughter is overweight—David's father is the only one who will acknowledge she's unhappy, and his fresh-out-of-rehab son is getting seduced by a pedophile. Then Robert is diagnosed with lymphoma. With a National Book Award, a Pulitzer, and President Carter calling him "a national treasure," he's a hard act to follow.  The other bit, people throw things at David. Drive-bys. A Frosty, a Big Gulp, a fried apple pie, a soft taco, some falafel… the list goes on. It really pisses David off. It troubles his father—played with the gravitas that Michael Caine brings to the role—as well.

David is out of touch with reality. He doesn't really get how bad things have become, like he's under some lackluster spell. He tries to be playful with his wife, throws a snowball at her, and breaks her glasses. He takes his daughter to a winter picnic, and she tears her ACL in a potato-sack race. When his wife gets upset and her boyfriend intervenes, David has a public f&*k meltdown in the front yard. When he goes to a relationship workshop with his wife, he cheats on the trust exercise. It's pretty bad.

A year ago, he took his daughter to archery lessons, but she lost interest after the first lesson. He bought her a pack of them. As David's life falls apart, he returns to the archery club to take the unused lessons. After a few lessons, he brings his daughter back. The difference: This time he's the teacher. Although archery still doesn't interest her, he makes a greater attempt to find out what does. Things get tense when he learns that she wants to go bow hunting and kill animals. He doesn't want to kill animals. He invites her to go with him to his interview for the Hello America show in New York.

David's father joins them on the trip. He needs to see a specialist. The news isn't good. He has months to live. Confronted with his father's imminent death, David unleashes his frustration on his wife's boyfriend. Again. When it's over, David muses as he drives his father home.

"Here's something that, if you want your father to think you're not a silly f&*k, don't slap a guy across the face with a glove. Because if you do that, that's what he will think, unless your a nobleman or something in the nineteenth century, which I'm not."

The turning point comes when he's offered the Hello America job. He goes to his father's living funeral and tells his wife about the job offer, hoping she'll want to reconcile. She tells hims she's marrying her boyfriend. David goes outside to shoot his bow and arrow. When the boyfriend comes out for a smoke, David considers shooting him. When David returns inside to deliver his speech, he delivers his first line: "When I think of my dad, I think of  Bob Seger's Like a Rock," and the power goes out. He never gets to finish the speech.

One of the most poignant moments in the film follows. David  and Robert are sitting in the car. Robert plays Like a Rock on the car stereo, and says, "I don't really get it."

David says, it's this, "And I held firmly to what I felt was right, like a rock." He and his father finally connect. Robert passes on his last nugget of wisdom before he passes:

"In this shit life, we must chuck some things."

Before the movie ends, David gets that job with Hello America. It doesn't save his marriage, but he's finally able to let it go and accept his himself as the person he's truly become, The Weatherman.

His Happily Ever After? He walks around New York City with a bow and bag of arrows slung over his shoulder, and no one throws fast food at him ever again. He's inner transformation has radiated to the external world.

The symbols in the story?

I'd go with: The bow and arrow symbolizing the straight and true path/character; the fast food, (this one's directly addressed in the movie) society's contempt; and that job at Hello America is David inheriting his kingdom— finding his place in the world.

It's a beautiful, low-key, human story. I'm always puzzled by how much I love it, but I do love Nicolas Cage, and as I've been trying to say, for me, it's a fairy tale... and you know, I love fairy tales.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Personal Challenge by Bookish Treasures

After being invited to join the 2014 Personal Challenge by Bookish Treasures, I decided to join up because I thought it would be a great way to stay committed to the reading/writing/blogging goals I have this year.

In 2014, I plan to spend a lot more time writing.

My writing goals:

1. Complete the final two installments in Daughter of Light: Half-Mortal and War & Grace.

2. Complete the first installment of my new writing project with co-writer Billie Jean Limpin. I'm very excited about this. Billie and I met through our mutual friend Rachmi on Goodreads. Billie is an AWESOME blogger, creative, fun, and playful. We had a chance to do some writing exchange when she "interviewed" me on a couple of those blog tours. It was so much fun and we really played off one another. When I was discussing with her ANOTHER writing project that I'm hoping to start in 2015 she jumped in with recommended reading. I couldn't help but think: How fun and cool would it be to write a romance about a sexy, sassy, young witch with her! Of course, I was over the moon when she accepted to co-write said series with me. It's officially called our PINK COLLABORATION and we're hoping to release the first installment by the end of the year. Stay Tuned. You're going to love this!

3. If I have any more writing time, it's going to go towards more novellas in the Once Upon a Time Today collection. The next one up: A retelling of The Little Mermaid.

My reading goals:

More fairy tale retellings and spin offs!

My blogging goals:

More Eating Magic posts. Those are my first person stream-of-consciousness posts about books that I'm enjoying reading. I really miss doing them.

Thank you, Laura for creating this challenge!