As I mentioned in the last post of Turn the Page, reading really hit a lull for a few weeks.
I am a true believer in everything that happens is trying to teach me something. February not only came/went too quickly, it had more than it’s fair share of challenges (lessons).
My take away was (as obvious as this may be to most) that no matter how enthusiastic the goal, I have to WANT to read what I am attempting to read.
Choosing an Austen after a memoir probably wasn’t the best choice. Don’t get me wrong, I adore her, but let’s face it, my head & heart have to be in the same place to fully enjoy it.
So, instead of throwing in the towel, I spent two weeks trying to get myself into it…
…it turned out like the photo below…less than stellar…
Needing to save February from a big old goose egg, I turned to one author I knew would get me back in the swing of things…Gail Z. Martin
Gail is one of my favorite authors and with countless (ok, I could count if I wanted to but I don’t 😉 ) books in a half dozen worlds, there is always something from her I can add to my TBR pile!
To save my February reads, I chose…
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic and Sorren, a 600-year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
When zombies rise in Charleston cemeteries, dead men fall from the sky, and the whole city succumbs to the “grouch flu,” Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren suspect a vengeful dark witch who is gunning for Teag and planning to unleash an ancient horror. Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren—and all their supernatural allies—will need magic, cunning, and the help of a Viking demi-goddess to survive the battle with a malicious Weaver-witch and an ancient Norse warlock to keep Charleston—and the whole East Coast—from becoming the prey of the Master of the Hunt.
Tangled Web is the third book in the Deadly Curiosities series and though I can’t pick a favorite just yet, this one is very close to the top. Teag is a character I have grown very fond of. The idea of weaver magic intrigues me and I have been anxious for more of it in a story…Boy did I get it.
The familiarity of setting with this series helps me to really immerse myself in the story and Tangled Web is no different. As the cover suggests, the team has to deal with horses, both living and undead, and the case briefly takes them to Aiken, SC. This was a welcome and pleasant surprise as I have a cousin that lives in Aiken and I have seen how big the area is on all things horses!
One of the things I appreciate most about Gail is her attention to detail when it comes to coming up with both friend and foe in this series. It would take me a while to name every ally/villain but suffice it to say that I have wanted to learn more about the ‘old ways’ of multiple people groups because of her work in Deadly Curiosities.
Tangled Web was indeed the perfect choice to spur me into my March reads and I am so happy I chose it!
About the Author
Gail Z. Martin is the author of Scourge: A Darkhurst Novel, from Solaris Books. Gail is also the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel and Trifles and Folly 1: A Deadly Curiosities Collection, the latest in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC; Shadow and Flame is the fourth book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga; The Shadowed Path (The first Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures collection), as well as Iron and Blood a Steampunk series, and Spells, Salt, & Steel, both co-authored with Larry N. Martin.
She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash, and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities and Tangled Web. Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, steampunk stories set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.
Gail’s work has appeared in over 35 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Heroes, Space, Contact Light, With Great Power, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Cinched: Imagination Unbound, Realms of Imagination, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, Gaslight and Grimm, Baker Street Irregulars, Journeys, Hath no Fury and A Haven Harbor Halloween.
I don’t know about you but January and February have really gotten away from me.
When I did the math a few months ago, I realized that 8(ish) miles per month would help me reach the #nc100mileschallenge goal with, almost, no issues.
Well, here I am, a few days away from March…looking at only one trail so far…
I am still hopeful I’ll meet the goal and so I want you to see where I started this year.
Lake Norman State Park found me a couple of years ago, when I was first introduced to the challenge and at only about 45min away, it’s quickly become my go to for a morning outdoors.
The Lake Shore Trail provides several miles of hilly terrain, great for a cardio boosts and a multiple views of Lake Norman itself. If you catch it early enough, it’s nice and quiet out there.
I have been blessed to have my Dad along with me for the past three times I’ve come here. We usually start early, with a big breakfast and hope to complete at least half the trail within an hour and some change.
Hiking with my Dad is great because he helps me hike at a good pace which helps me with conditioning for more intense hikes in the future.
I’ve done the entire (almost 7 miles) of Lake Shore in the beginning of June the first time I’d set foot on the trail and totally exhausted myself (I mean calling on angels exhausted) so I am a little scared to go for it all BUT I am working toward it.
Mornings are my favorite time to hike this trail because I can catch it before it gets too warm AND there are these amazing spots where the trail goes, almost, right to the water.
This creates the perfect spot to catch your breath and/or a selfie 😉
Lake Norman State Park is where I decided I’d start adding park pins to my collection and so it holds a near and dear place in my heart and on my trail hat (courtesy of The Trek).
Until the next mileage update, Happy Trails!
By the title of this post you might think I am about to talk about a recent trip to my local Hallmark store.
While I don’t have a moving greeting card purchase to share, I have found a place with just as much warmth, heart, dedication and genuine care at
Percent Tap House is brand new to the neighborhood of Harrisburg, NC and the first of it’s kind in that area (which happens to be close enough to me to make it local 😉 )
I was introduced to PTH via my brother and sister-in-law (regulars since day 1) about 6 weeks ago and the first thing to hit me, after the amazing decor, was the phrase on the back of staff’s shirts (What is done in love, is done well). I hadn’t even tasted a beer yet but I had a good feeling about the place.
I was fortunate to meet the place at a slow moment and 3 out of the 4 owners were there and ready to share the vision with me. By the time I left on my day 1, I knew that this space was going to be more than just a place to grab a tasty beer…it was going to support and grow a community.
The message is a really easy one to get behind. When you love and care about what you do, it shows. These guys were/are looking for a way to support a growing community with a quality product and a business that can serve the area for years to come.
They want to create space where people can gather small and large to discuss everything from the current day to the next phase of life. The only screens are the ones that tell you what is on tap and that is to encourage engagement with the people around you. It’s a fantastic concept that I can appreciate.
On more than one occasion, I have ventured there solo, just to see how one might fair in a setting like the one Percent creates.
From the moment I walk in, I am seen and greeted. Most of the time it’s by Carl, Zach or Neil (though I have met Alec a time or two) and they are ready to share their favorite brews of the week and if not super busy, a conversation or two about life.
Now, I’ve been on slow nights (which are already rare) and busy nights alike and while no two visits are the same, I can tell you that what the motto the company puts on the merchandise is in the air.
Most of my solo visits find me at the bar. I figure that I can at the very least chat with one of the guys while I have a drink.
Two weeks ago, I went in with much the same mindset. I was a few sips into a Brown Ale when I picked up on the conversation going on beside me. The Gilbert’s were tabbing out but I happened to catch that they were going to be hiking for Make-A-Wish over the summer so I decided to find out more of the story. They shared it with me and I found a new Facebook friend.
As they left, I turned back to my seat to find several other customers had come to sit at the bar also and were ready to chat. I began to ping pong, delightfully, between multiple conversations as customers ordered a beverage, chatted for a min and returned to their company. There were many couples sharing a beverage before dinner, many having a beverage after a long shift and others just connecting with friends…just connecting…
One of my favorite connections of the night was with my new pals Stefan and Andy. They moved to the bar beside me well into the night and didn’t hesitate to engage in conversation. I’ll not share their stories (I gotta keep some secrets) BUT I will say that Stefan has one of the coolest tattoo sleeves I have ever seen and my gushing about it led to talking about Ireland, so that was EPIC!!
That night was SO much fun and pretty much the embodiment of what I think the owners are trying to cultivate within Percent Tap House. Community exists where people feel welcome, are encouraged to communicate and feel cared about…a tasty brew (or several) is just a great accompaniment.
What is done in love, IS done well and it is done 7 days a week at Percent.
Go by and check it out if you get the chance and tell them Candice sent you (at least I think I’ve earned regular status by now 😉 )
The above photo was taken almost a week ago. It was the end of a great work day, a rare day when I got to mix my day job world with my geek girl world. I was tired but blissed out. The state of my face is the result of trying to mimic the “I don’t know” emoji and respond to the question “It’s Saturday, what are you getting into?”
I didn’t know it at the time but that blissed out state would begin to go down in flames starting the next morning.
Sunday greeted me with what I thought was over tired, over clenching related jaw pain that escalated in intensity until it ended with my dentist numbing my mouth while saying “that tooth is toast”. I’ve never known such pain and though I’m no stranger to emotion, I’ve never ran the entire gamut in the span of an evening.
BUT it taught me a lot, as discomfort often does…and that is what I want to share.
Stubborn~ dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something
On a trip over the summer, one of my oldest friends called me stubborn. It bothered me, a lot, because it made me think of the other people in my life that I had heard associated with that word and I knew I wasn’t acting the way that they did when labeled in the same way. This was about my unwillingness to let anyone help me with my bags…how could not wanting my things to burden someone else be a bad thing.
I was reminded of this moment when my jaw pain was at it’s worst and I saw very clearly the picture of me being a dozen feet behind the rest of the traveling party hustling to make a train, dropping my bag almost every other step…STUBBORN!
I shed a lot of tears in a very short amount of time as I realized all the ways my stubbornness was showing up in my life…the constant dirty state of my car, the pile of clean clothes on my bed that never makes it to the closet, the pile of books in the floor instead of the shelf and the searing pain shooting through my jaw.
What normally plays out like the shoulder shrug pictured above started to annoy me and I wanted to tidy up everything…my car, my room, my books…my LIFE!!!
It couldn’t be fixed that night but I knew I could start the next morning. So, I got what sleep I could and called my dentist.
There was a treatment plan in place for my dental care and I had an appointment for a repair two weeks later but my tooth had other ideas and abscessed. OUCH!!!!
I could blame the tooth all day long but it’s really all on me…my stubbornness had to take physical form for me to notice it. I wanted to keep the tooth so I wouldn’t be down a tooth not for the sake of my health and wellness. So, for the sake of my health and wellness it had to be removed.
It’s been a hell of a few days but if you think I can’t look at it all and still be grateful, you’d be wrong.
The pain broke me…I was scared, lonely and pissed…at myself. I couldn’t rest so I took a metaphorical light saber and began to hack away at my life….
If you don’t want this pain ~ make a phone call and deal with it
Tired of looking at clothes you’ll never wear ~ donate them and be done with it
Embarrassed for anyone to ride in your car ~ clean it!!
Miss someone ~ reach out!
Tired of watching Netflix on your iPad when you have a perfectly good TV ~ order what you need fix the problem
Tired? ~ Get some sleep
If you want to be debt free ~ pay attention to what you spend you $$ on
Want to be the author answering questions about your book instead of the one asking an author questions? ~ FINISH YOUR BOOK
Countless other thoughts and actions met the chopping block. I’m more guilty than I can convey of falling prey to the bright and shiny, the new, the old, the anything other than what I am doing right now and before I know it, I am doing a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING…
So, as the pain from the past few days eases (or is at least hiding behind ibuprofen) I have begun trying to erase stubbornness from my life. It’s a slow start, as I am still healing from the procedure but I am working toward letting go, creating space and executing a plan.
While I don’t want a repeat of the pain, I am grateful for the clarity it brought to my corner of the world this week. I will not be the same from now on 🙂
We deserve and owe it to ourselves to take as good care of ourselves as we can. This lesson (and others) I have had to learn the hard way and while I don’t mind sharing them with you here, I really hope we all do a little better at it so that we can keep loving, living and dreaming, in health and happiness 🙂
Take GOOD care,
Before I say anything else, I want to say that if you don’t think there is a place in the world where the title of this post is true, please keep reading, because there is a place/space, I promise.
The running joke of Heart Camp is that it is this incredible thing that no one can really explain…but after my Mom asked me about it today, I didn’t find it that hard at all…and I think she understood. So, I am going to attempt to share it with you as I did her.
The following photos are from the recent Heart Camp Reunion but I will be sharing about the collective experience.
It could be really easy to look at the words of the post title, sigh a little, and maybe even roll eyes at the concept of “your” or “any” heart being collectively and truly welcome. It seems pretty impossible to create a space where all of the uniqueness a heart can bring is greeted warmly and offered a seat at the table. Even more impossible for that space to be full of almost a dozen tables ready to be sat at.
This is Heart Camp.
Still in disbelief, you may find yourself grabbing your things and making your way to your chair only to be stopped on the way there by at least 2-3 bright, smiling faces, mindful enough of your space to greet you according to the way you prefer (be it a hug, handshake or continued smile). You are seen.
This is Heart Camp
Chair after chair begins to fill and though the social interactions very with each new face, the vibration of the room begins to change…it intensifies. You begin to feel a lot of things…the urge to cry, your skin begin to prickle, to laugh and possibly vomit BUT something inside you tells you to hold on for the ride.
This is Heart Camp
I stepped into this Heart Camp thing a year ago (and then again a few weeks ago) and it is one of the best things I could have ever done for myself.
Authentic ~ genuine, real, veritable share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation
Vulnerability ~ the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally
I don’t think authenticity and vulnerability are things you can know are missing in your life until you are met with 40+ examples of it. In life, it is so easy to go through the motions and get lost in them…so easy to try and be someone/something you don’t recognize. And let’s face it, vulnerability, by it’s very definition, is scary. I believe there can be so much beauty it it though, because I found it.
Imagine sitting at a table, in a room full of no preconception, no motive…just people wanting to open themselves up to a deeper understanding of collective community and perhaps be inspired by what they find. Meeting people as they as they are, as you are is like a breath of the freshest air you can breathe.
I want people to know ME, really know me AND I want to really know myself.
This is Heart Camp
In addition to Jamie Tworkowski ~ (founder of TWLOHA and creator of Heart Camp, author, public speaker, and all together incredible human (also my hero and friend)) Heart Camp gives you access to some pretty incredible people (Sierra DeMulder, Tonya Ingram, Denny Kolsch, Matt Wertz, Matt Willingham, Stephan Monteserin to name a few, all of them on a mission to live life, heart first.
I has been incredible to see what has happened in the lives of Heart Camp attendees this past year. This kind of connection and community can and will change the world.
It all starts and continues with the decision to attend.
Come join the framily and let’s keep lighting those beacons and making the world a little brighter.
For more information…
It’s the 10th day of the second month of the year and all I can say is that I am grateful I was enthusiastic enough to do 11 posts last month as that will, hopefully, give me some wiggle room for my 2019 posting goal 🙂
There has been SO much going on, plenty to talk about actually, I have just not been “feeling” my writing the past few weeks. One thing I won’t let myself do is force myself into writing (the only exception should probably the book I am working on). I have sat down to write two posts and they have been sitting in the draft pile for a week. One I feel is way too wordy and one isn’t wordy enough. I am overly self critical and it’s hindered me more than a few times.
All that being said, there is SO much on the way to Wanderwood Lane…
-A BIG tea post on how David’s Tea monopolized my Dec/Jan cuppas’
-How an audiobook saved me from completing only one of Jan TBRs
-Heart Camp and it’s ever present ripple affect
-My Ireland post
-How I am doing on my #nc100mileschallenge
-Meeting another hero
-What’s going to be happening in the other tabs On Wanderwood Lane
AND SO MUCH MORE!!!
Thank you for continuing to stop by and I’ll see you again SOON!
When I was creating a loose reading guideline for myself, I added the genre of non-fiction, largely, because of the one that was in front of me at the time. I thought to myself “I really enjoy getting swept away into the great beyond…wouldn’t it be cool if I gave non-fiction a chance to do the same!?”
Now, I may have cheated a little bit, being I was a fan of the subject matter but my non-fiction read for January was The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze.
Just in case you need a reminder of where you may have seen Patrick, here you go…
My first memory of Patrick Swayze was actually from a shirt my mom use to wear when I was a little girl. One of her jobs while my brothers and I were growing up was at the local video store and I guess she use to get free merchandise with the movie shipments and this one was a favorite of hers, and mine too.
The combination of her working at the video store and growing up in the 80’s meant I got to watch a lot of cool movies. I can’t recall exactly when I watched them but I have seen, almost, all of the above movies and have ALWAYS been huge Patrick Swayze fan (and not just because of Johnny Castle).
As it was probably destined, my sweet Momma read this book first and had so much fun telling me about it, until she decided I should read it myself. I am glad that happened because it added to the enjoyment of the book to know she read it too 🙂
In The Time of My life Patrick takes the reader from his formative years, until the year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the book was published before he passed away).
Within the pages you are taken behind the scenes of his career and personal life, as he navigates his passion for dancing, singing, acting, nature and Lisa. Over 30 years are covered in the book and it’s a wild, wild ride for sure.
I wasn’t expecting the book to fit so perfectly with where I am in life. As I get older, my desire to be authentic, vulnerable and totally transparent was met in kind by Patrick as he laid everything out in words written, much as he did in all of his auditions.
Patrick Swayze wanted to bring his best into whatever he endeavored, often suffering physically and personally to achieve it but he didn’t sugar coat it in the re-telling. With every punch thrown, every part not gotten, every breakthrough, every accolade, and every heartbreak, he lets you in to what it meant to be him.
I appreciate every page of this book for the part of his self he left on the pages and I think that it finding me almost a decade after his passing makes the resilience found within in it speak even louder.
Over the years, friends/family have often gotten a chuckle out of how deeply connected I feel to people I have never met. I had no idea why I felt Patrick was one of those people until I read it in his words. He was a strong man but also, felt too much, like me and some of the hardships he faced, he barely made it through. His life story resonates with me.
There was a really beautiful reflection on the passing of a beloved animal, Cody (who also passed away from cancer).
Although I knew his spirit was free, I felt an incredibly deep sadness that he wouldn’t be here with us anymore…
When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person (or animal) was trying to teach you and make it true in your own life.
It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.
If I believe anything in life, it’s that last line. Somewhere out there Patrick’s spirit knows that he made an impact in the life of little ole me and that brings huge smile to my face and small stream of tears to my eyes.
His story still matters and I am grateful I have the opportunity to share what I can from it with you all ❤
One of my favorite artist, Matthew Lineham, has something fantastic coming up next in a few weeks…check out his Instagram.
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6/9 Classic 80’s Movie Valentine ———————————- Classic 80’s Movie inspired valentines coming 1/15 at 8PM EST! These will include 9 different perforated designs so that you can share them with your loved ones, friends and coworkers. Each order will include 3 sheets of the 9 VHS inspired designs so you get 27 valentines total. Keep checking back to see the other designs! #valentines #valentine #mlinehamart #dirtydancing #patrickswayze
Welcome to the spot On Wanderwood Lane where I will share the photographic journey of my travels.
While I’ll be starting with the BIG ones, like Ireland and Italy, I want Tookish Travels to become a place that eventually houses all my adventures great and small, as I continue to cultivate my artistic expression through my words and photography.
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” – from The Hobbit
Until the next adventure 🙂
If you have been reading On Wanderwood Daily for the past, almost, week, then you may remember that the first post here had the goals I had written down to achieve this year.
***if you didn’t see it, you can navigate to it now and then come back 😉
It’s only day 6 so you may be wondering why I am posting about it again, but hang in there.
First, I want to talk about the goal that said Budokon Woman Warrior. I caught wind of Budokon Mixed Movement Arts a few years ago when a Facebook friend shared a video of the founder, Kancho Cameron Shayne, in her feed.
I was immediately drawn to the fluidity of the movement in the video and thought to myself, I bet I would feel better if my body could move like that.
For the past few years I progressively began to follow the Shayne’s, Budokon University and various other warriors on Instagram. It didn’t take long AT ALL to realize that body movement was a small part of the practice itself…there was MUCH more too it.
I couldn’t get enough of the LIVEs that were shared and really began to wonder how I was going to be able to make down to Miami for a training. It was intimidating to think about my extra curvy body mixing in with all those lean, mean machines but MAN DID I WANT TO try it!!
As destiny would have, an Instagram announcement this past summer led me to a newly formed Academy within 30miles of me. It wasn’t HQ but for me, it was way easier to get to than Miami.
I quickly followed and reached out the the Sensei there to inquire about classes. They were offering a great introductory sampling to come unlimited for 2 weeks for $22. It was a no brainer and before I knew it I was meeting Andres at 9am on a Wednesday morning for an introduction.
I had NO idea that I would be the only one there but in a situation that would normally make me have a panic attack, I was at peace. The environment knew I wanted to be there and welcomed me into it, as did Andres. I was led into foundational moves and much to my surprise, my body (larger or not) could do what I required of it.
This was a different experience than anything I had attempted in my life. I cried, of course, as the tutorial was coming to a close, because I knew that I had indeed found something that could lead me to the next level of me…and I wanted it.
Fast forward to today, when I attended the first Woman Warrior workshop.
**I’ve made it back a few times over the fall but due to so much travel, I couldn’t do it with consistency.
One of the first feelings I got in this space was the sense of community and I had missed it, so though very nervous, I was thrilled to be back there today.
The lovely Irene led us through a morning of self awakening and discovery. I had done the physical work before but we started with peeling back the mental/emotional layers and I got to witness the entire concept of Budokon layed out…I got to feel it. It was followed by a nourishing meal and a discussion about applying this concept to every area of your life.
Upon leaving I knew it was time to make a commitment and I didn’t let myself fall into doubt, fear or anxiety about it because (as I’ve known for years) it HAS to happen.
2019 is the year I get in touch with the woman warrior in me!
Second and third won’t take long because they come down to basic math…
I don’t like numbers. I don’t know why, I just never have. So when I think about things like setting number goals, I am not very creative with it.
For example, I chose the number 50 for my book reading goal for the year. I had done this a few years ago, without much structure and ended up all but quitting half way through. All I wanted to do when I set 2019s goal was finish the old one.
Then I chose the challenge of reading 4 books, because they were sitting there looking at me, and said “I could probably do that every month and blow my goal out of the water”. I was about to comment on someone else’s “read 50” goal, when thankfully, I finally did the math and realized that I would be 2 SHORT of my goal. Now, I know that there are plenty of ways to fit two more books in, so I am not worried about it, I just thought you might enjoy a chuckle at my expense…because I certainly did 🙂
I’ve been wanting to complete the #nc100miles challenge for about 2 years now. Something always comes up…mostly excuses about how could I reach such a high number in a state park, in day trips (as that’s about all I have time for)…
Having been fresh in math brain, I decided to run the numbers to see how many miles I would need to get in each month to hit the goal…and once again, the palm of my hand hit my forehead…8(ish)…8(ish) miles PER MONTH…now that number is SO doable, without requiring a bike/kayak/horse (none of which I own).
I’m so silly, I know.
After the three of these revelations and the fact that I am about to hit send on what will be my 9th (I think ;)) (91 to go) blog post, I’d say it’s going to be a good year for crushing goals!
Who’s with me!!??