A Light Bit of Housekeeping

Hello! As the title might make you suspect, I have a few things to go over with you today. The first and foremost thing for us to discuss is that the blog will be changing. I’ve spent the past couple of days setting up an “Author’s Blog” here on WordPress and any strictly writing posts, including glimpses at and excerpts from my writing, will be posted there. I will share the odd post on Here There Be Dragons but if you don’t want to miss out on those posts, it might be better to subscribe to Soul Stained Ink (estyreesoulstainedink.wordpress.com). This blog will continue to be used for book reviews and posts about everyday life.

Speaking of reading! I’ve been given a personal challenge, both by some friends and by my own pride, to read George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. As I have a Mass Market Paperback edition, this book is slightly over 800 pages. So I thought, WHY NOT MAKE IT A READ_A_LONG/BUDDY READ? SO…If you would like to read-a-long with me or just follow my journey, please feel free to join my new Buddy Reads with Beth Goodreads Group! If you don’t have a Goodreads or prefer not to join the group, that’s fine! I’ll be attempting to remember to post weekly Game Reads updates on this blog and I’ll have updates and chats on my BookTube channel if you’d rather go watch my face talk about my thoughts on the book.

You can also keep up to date on Twitter (twitter.com/writerbaby13), where I’m sure I will be lamenting my choice to do this!

I am also getting ready to do a series of book recommendation videos, which I will link on Here There Be Dragons AND I will recommend a few books in the same genre/age level to just you guys, something special for you 😉

Finally, I am contemplating starting a newsletter that would include writing and life updates, perhaps images, and snippets from current works in progress. If that is something you might be interested in receiving via e-mail please leave me a comment letting me know! If several of you might enjoy that, I will get it set up and linked for subscriptions soon.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed week. Don’t forget to check out Soul Stained Ink, the blog and/or the BookTube channel, and get your copy of A Game of Thrones ready!

 

 

 

What Are You Reading Wednesday May 14th

This week I am working on reading the next Cassandra Clare book (I’m a little behind so I’m on City of Fallen Angels) in between crocheting toys for end of school year prizes and working on the new short story book’s illustrations.

I will also be reading Ministerial Musings (free  e-book download through Saturday!!) and waiting on Monsoon McKreel (which will be free Monday thru Friday of next week), both written by Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree (his blog can be found here).

What are you reading this week? Are there any books that you’re looking forward to delving in to soon? (Are they by any chance the Stone Dragon Saga by one Elizabeth S. Tyree?? I hear they’re pretty gripping 😀 ) Let me know, I love to hear from you!

A Watched Blog Doesn’t Boil

I have had several blogs over the past few months that I just KNEW would garner untold amounts of attention and boost my statistics through the roof. I hit the button to post my self-proclaimed brilliance and anxiously wait for the dozens of ‘likes’ and comments that I am so sure will come pouring in to the site.

I wait, and I wait, and I wait some more…each time I check the page it tells me the same story: no new views, no new likes, no new followers, and no new comments. Much like my tea kettle, a watched blog just doesn’t seem to boil.

So here is a question for you. IS there something that I can do to entice my readers to become more interactive? Is there a topic you would like to see covered? A story prompt, title, or character name you would like for me to use? Please let me know!

While you think on that I will go work on this week’s short story, the title of which was given to me as a prompt by a loyal reader…”The Watch in the Window.” Remember to swing by Sunday to discover how and why that watch shows up! Until tomorrow (or in five minutes when I obsessively check my stats page and realize that you haven’t read this yet) May you have a Blessed and worthwhile day!

A Dragon Legend

“Grandmother,” Alexianne’s young voice floated across the large room on a yawn, “Will you tell us a story?”

Grandma Dragon, her head resting just inside the large “Family Den” that Sir Brandon Livingstone has built them, smiled softly at the her youngest grandchild, “Does everyone wish to have a story?”

Three dragon heads and seven human ones all lazily nodded their assent, each one in a daze of happily exhausted laziness.

So with her deep and soothing voice rounding out the words, in the way of grandmothers through the worlds and times, she began:

When the world of our ancestors was still very young, before the rift between the worlds of magic and mortal, the realms were filled with all types of fantastical creatures. You already know of the nymphs and naiads, fairies and, of course, the dragons (to name a few). But perhaps the sweetest and shyest of all mythological beasts were our own distant cousins, the Sea Dragons.

High on a misty mountain top, above a peaceful village, lived Harlan Sciathain (That is, Harlan of the Dark Wings). Now Harlan had lived on the mountain for as long as anyone could remember and was the village of Venscha’s friend and protector. He had never met another like him, not even his mother, for his egg had been a gift from Ayethni, this great dragon mother, whom the Creator had gifted with the care of such creatures.

One day, as Harlan sat keeping watch over the village below, a group of travelling peddlers came to town with their bright wagons and wares to sell. Among these travelers was a blind old storyteller and, as everyone likes a good story, each and every villager whether they were young old, rich, poor, or covered in scales gathered in the town meeting place to hear an adventure.

The bard did not disappoint, delivering a tale of great suspense and detailing the exploits of one family of dragons living to the east. As you can imagine, Harlan eagerly drank in every word. The following morning found him gone, having left his home to find a family.

To this day no one really knows what happened to Harlan of the Dark Wings during those travels. He never told a full accounting of any adventure he may have had along the way. What is known, however, is that after a voyage that lasted over a year in length, he returned to Venscha with a bride. Naphtala was a small and dainty dragon, the soft pink of her scales flushed like a sea shell, and the tinkle of her laughter like the lapping of gentle waves upon the shore, for she was a sea side dragon and had lived there with her family since birth.

 Soon after their return to Harlan’s village, Naphtala found herself expecting a child. The entire village began to prepare for a bouncing baby dragon, laying in extra supplies and making cute toys to be torn up upon the littlest protector’s arrival. In the course of the year, as is the way with our kind, the egg began to wiggle and wobble and squeak and so everyone gathered to await the newest member of the Sciathain family. What happened next, though, is so rare that no one could have predicted it. When the egg began to crack and pieces fell away to allow the new generation access to the world, three pairs of eyes were peering out at their parents.

Tumbling from the confines of their cramped egg first, Aithne rolled into view covered all over in scales the color of burning flames, earning her name immediately. Following soon after, though much more slowly than his sister, Glendower padded out into the world. Glen was covered in scales the color of softened sea glass, though that was not the first thing about him that people would notice. No, the first thing that people noticed about Glendower Sciathain was that he had a graceful neck, webbing between his claws, and he was growing what looked like leaves along his body.

Sometime within the chaos surrounding his brother’s arrival, Kenn quietly slid his way out the eggshell, his bright turquoise and deep green scales flashing in the sunlight. Kenn also sported webbed claws and a long, graceful neck, and he was growing what looked like seaweed along his scaling.

Though their parents and their village loved the triplets intensely, Naphtala fretted that something had gone wrong with her boys. While Aithne grew over the next few months, learning to duck, dodge, dive, and fly with ease, her brothers stayed smaller than average and found it more difficult to maneuver quickly. Finally, not understanding why two of her children looked so strange, and fearing for their health, Napthala convinced Harlan that they should once again desert their post as protectors in order to visit her family.

As they approached Naphtala’s family home, high on a cliff overlooking the vast ocean, the triplets caught their first view of the water. Following their mother’s joyous lead, the winglings swooped down the glide through the soft waters but only Naphtala and Aithne came back up to the air. Kenn and Glendower found that their webbed toes helped them maneuver in the water like they could never do in the air. Their odd ‘hair’ growths made perfect sense as they swam among the flora and fauna of the ocean floor, and though they could breathe quite well on land, the brothers had no problem under the waves.

Ecstatic in their newfound fun, the boys refused to leave the water, but followed their family to the shore below the Murdock family caverns. Seeing their grandchildren so easily swimming, Naphtala’s parents confessed to her that their family had come down from Seadans and Ocean Nymphs. Though it was a distant connection and no one had been called in generations, every so often a wingling would be born to live in the sea and protect its creatures.

Realizing that her sons were meant for a life in the water, Naphtala tearfully came to an understanding with her family. She and Harlan were needed in Venscha, and when the time was right Aithne would take over as the village protector, so the Murdocks would now be Kenn and Glen’s guardians. Promising to meet once a year at that exact shore, Naphtala and Harlan reluctantly kissed their sons goodbye and went on their way.

As the years passed on, Aithne, Glendower, and Kenn each found their own homes, their own mates, and had their own children, often spending all of their time in the deep waters far from shore. Such is the way of life. However, each year the ever growing family met on the shores of Murdoch cliff to celebrate the triumphs and mourn the losses of their time apart.

As happened to a lot of families, when the realms split apart some of the Sciathian and Murdock families were left wandering in the mortal oceans. Over the following years, Seadans and Sea Dragons thrived in Realta (the land of magics, whose name is translated Star) while finding it difficult to continue existing within the mortal realm. Eventually all but the smallest traces of the families were left here. Though you can still find a descendent or two, they are small and almost unrecognizable as proud members of the dragon family.

And that, children,” Grandmother Dragon paused to smile around the room, noting that only Alexianne and Joseph still had their eyes open, “Is how sea dragons came into existence. Now, close your eyes my little winglings, and dream of the ocean.”

Libraries

My daughter hit a big milestone first today, or at least a big milestone for my family. Today was her first official trip to the local library. Her joy at the abundance of books was slightly dampened for me at her inability to grasp the concept of NOT randomly pulling books off of shelves and scattering them on the floor.

As much as she loved running through the stacks and crawling into the toddler sized chairs, our visit was cut short by a horrible fact…our library no longer stays open past 1 p.m. on Saturdays. There are not enough people visiting the library for them to afford hiring extra help or keeping the doors open. Within the past year they have had to cut their hours back by almost half. And they are still not having the amount of traffic that years past brought them.

A flat screen television, with cable, has been added to the children’s section to try and ‘keep the little ones entertained’, the story teller hour no longer runs throughout the year, and there are currently no community classes scheduled. Are libraries falling by the wayside? Have they begun to outlive their usefulness with the readily available online resources and a more visually centered population?

I would like to think that this is not the case, but the fact of the matter seems to be that children no longer gather at the library. At one point in my middle school career I was a member of three different libraries and checked books out from each on a weekly basis. Now even small children have iPads and Kindles, constant stimulation without having to learn to carefully turn pages or read words without using the computerized aid.

How long will it be before the library becomes just another relic? A historical building with cases lined with holographic representations and little notes telling museum visitors about ‘the olden days’ when people used to flock together to borrow ‘books’ (they were in paper form back then kids!). While we fight in our school systems to keep music and art available for students, we should also be looking to the old gathering centers of town and pass that tradition of knowledge and fun alive. If we don’t, there may soon come a time when a generation has no idea what the word ‘library’ means, unless you’re talking about their music lists.

My weekend challenge for you is to go check out a local library. Make it a family trip or snag your best friend and see if there is a library near you that still has community programs going. While you’re at it, have fun! Check out a book, or two. Read to some kids, some cats, random passerby, and remember when you weren’t so busy that you couldn’t spend a lazy Saturday afternoon perusing the fiction section.

Have a Blessed day and go READ something!

Self Promotion Friday

Dr. Tyree has changed the name of his blog to http://drwjtyree.wordpress.com/ and insists that he’ll remember to write a post at least once a week this year!

Our Facebook page has been getting a little more traffic this week. Please feel free to stop by and check us out at https://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes 

If you would like to check out our available book selection, please see our author’s pages here:

http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-S.-Tyree/e/B00B7PGMYU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1389370206&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Wilson-Jay-Tyree/e/B00B1VF9OY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

If you have a page or two to promote, please feel free to leave a comment for us here! May you have a Blessed and beautiful weekend!

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Tyree Tomes Update

Tyree Tomes Update

For the past week or so I have been trying to decide the best ways to promote our ‘brand’ throughout the upcoming year. Should I be that annoying social networker who posts constantly so that our page is never out of sight? No, sadly I have a daughter and a life outside of promoting and writing, so I can’t be quite that pushy…although I’m sure I could come close.

Should I then outsource so that we don’t do anything other than sign the paperwork? No, I’m afraid that my father and I are both too controlling for that to work well..besides, Tyree Tomes is ours.

What then should I do?? Well, I was about to decide that last year’s policy of procrastination and day dreaming would work wonders in 2014 but then I realized something…I could do one or two little things a week. Things like updating you, my wonderful readers, on our week’s work, or creating a logo, or this lovely “Keep Calm” picture. These things didn’t take a lot of time. They don’t fill me doubts about my abilities. They just allow me to connect our page with people who might actually enjoy knowing about it.. Imagine that.

I got so into the idea of a logo that there are currently TEN possible Tyree Tomes logos on our Facebook page, waiting for people to like and comment on their favorites. If you would like to be one of those people, the URL is on the bottom of this post’s picture. We would love to see you there, and hear what you think about our logos!

If you would like to read my Father’s blog, which is spiritually based though rarely updated, you can find him at http://tyreetomes.wordpress.com/

Thank you all for reading and for putting in your two-cents on our logos! 😉 Have a Blessed Day!

The Castle

My family has purchased an old Methodist church building for our new home. My daughter calls it the ‘tassle’ (castle) and now thinks that she is a princess (she’s 15 months old and KNOWS how this works!) Among a few small issues like not having a full bathroom when we moved in (there IS a shower now!) and living in a basement apartment that was originally meant to house classrooms (try fitting my parent’s king sized bed into a normal sized children’s Sunday school classroom, I dare you), is the most pressing matter of all…no internet connection as of yet.

I understand that this is not a life or death situation, having lived without many things more important to my welfare than internet in the past. However, for a writer with a blog and a lot of ideas, this is quite the blow to my schedule. Add in having only 1/3 of our vehicles in working condition and you have a dilemma! However, I am crafty and my computer lets me know when there are open wifi waves in the area so, to whoever I am leeching off of at the moment, I thank you! To everyone else, I am now off to paint another wall so, Happy December, Have a Blessed and WARM day!

 

When Inspiration Hits:

 

You sit down in your favorite spot, hot tea, pen, and pad at the ready, or with fingers poised over a waiting keyboard, AAAANNNNDDD…Nothing.  An hour passes, you’ve refilled your drink twice, had a snack, checked your three different email accounts, and written the same sentence fourteen and a half times.  Giving up, you decide that it isn’t going to happen today and wander off with disappointment. Later, as you change the baby’s dirty diaper or are elbow deep in soapy water, BA-BAM! Inspirations hits with vengeance and the entire novel/article/blog/etc. blossoms in your mind as well planned as an English garden; but wait, no pen and paper can be found.  NOW WHAT???!?!?!?  

 

Frustrated and frazzled you race to finish the task at hand in order to get back to writing before this amazing clarity fades. Alas! By the time you get there you are once again back to re-writing that same sentence.

So, are you supposed to just jump and run from the room, leaving a naked and confused tot or a sink full of soapy shards in your wake?  Probably not. My suggestion, then, is a simple one. Hire a stenographer to follow you around, waiting for inspiration to hit. Since you have to pay them whether or not that stroke of genius strikes, make sure to get detailed lists for groceries, birthday and Christmas presents, and anything else you might want to have listed out for convenience!

 

Or, you can do what I did; become addicted to colored pens and journals, make a habit of carrying paper and pen EVERYWHERE, keep a notepad and pen in each room, carry a recorder for those times when you can’t write it out (like when driving, apparently jotting down ideas while driving is frowned upon, who knew?), and then STILL get struck by your muse while in the only place and/or time where you don’t even have your cell phone available to sneak a quick shorthand text to yourself.

So, unless you have an eidetic memory, or the ability to ignore everyone and everything while repeating the story to yourself frantically as you hurriedly drop the world and scribble it out on napkins, you are now right back to that same exact sentence yet again.  The good news is that by now, that is one DOOZY of a sentence and maybe, just maybe, that sentence can help you to coax back out that splash of inspiration you stumbled into earlier.

 

Until next time, Have a Blessed Day and may your words, much like your inspiration, flow freely.