My Book Review of The Heart Stone Chronicles: Part 1, The Swamp Fairy

I am ecstatic at this glowing review from Terri, at SecondWindLeisure.com. This is the highest praise an author can receive. Thank you with all my heart. ❤

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy book review

It is with great pleasure I share this review of The Heart Stone Chronicles: Part 1, The Swamp Fairy,by Author Colleen M. Chesebro.

Colleen ChesebroBut first, let us go back over two years ago, when I first met Colleen in Fall 2014. Her blog was then called “Silver Threading.” She introduced readers to The Swamp Fairy. Here is an excerpt:

“It was a warm morning in November the first time I saw the swamp fairy. The fog curled around the tops of the trees and the autumn breeze smelled of fragrant flowers, even though the early frost had killed all the wild flowers. I inhaled the intoxicating fragrance and peered into the dense foliage near the road. It was a lovely peaceful morning.

I was out for my regular morning walk. I had taken the narrow back road behind Blackberry Ridge where I lived. This morning I could hear…

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Ringing in the New Year – A Tanka

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Welcome to my contribution to my weekly Tanka challenge. This week, I kept the prompt words of ‘last and few.’ Both words have many connotations and can change the meaning of your Tanka poetry in many ways. By the way, please link your Tanka to my post found here.

Ron and I have so much to be thankful for this year. My heart swells at the outpouring of love and friendship from my blogging community. Thank you all for making this a memorable year for me.

Don’s forget, great excitement lies just around the corner… On January 3, 2017, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy will finally be published. I can hardly contain my excitement! 😀

I would like to take this time to wish you peace and happiness.

The last hours tarry –

between the Yule and New Year,

time is suspended.

When Auld Lang Syne sweetly sings

hope recharges our spirits.

© 2016 Colleen M. Chesebro

Happy New Year everyone! ❤

NaNoWritMo Here I Come!

I can’t believe I’m doing it… but here I go. Even though my novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy, doesn’t publish until January 2017, I am using the month of November to draft out the second novel in the series, The Meadow Fairy. I am scared to death and exhilarated all at the same time!

Here is a preliminary synopsis so you can get a feel for the story:

The Meadow Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigail Forester journeys from Blackberry Ridge, Florida to Bent Grass, Colorado when her Aunt Magnolia accepts a job as a researcher working for an author who specializes in writing about myths and paranormal activity.

Abby, along with her deceased mother’s most sacred possession, a calcite pendant, continues her legacy as a Fairy Whisperer to the primordial fairy nymphs who inhabit unique places scattered about the world.

In Colorado, Abby meets two young friends, Crosby and Landon Miller, who along with their family are beekeepers on a small farm under the shadow of Pike’s Peak. Abby is summoned by a primeval nymph who asks her to resolve the secret of why the bee population is dying from the prairie meadows.

With the help of Nate Bannock, a Native American Ute rancher, Abby learns the astonishing truths behind the decimation of the bee population.

Does Abby have what it takes to save the bees and the Meliae Meadow Nymphs before it is too late?

I am excited about this new story, and yes, the dreams have already started!

I have been privileged to receive help from some pretty amazing authors: Melissa Barker-Simpson, Effrosyni Moschoudi, Sarah Mallery, Lyz Russo, Annette Rochelle Aben, and Eloise De Sousa. They gave me the gift of their time and taught me how to write, edit, and tell these stories. Each one of them took the time to read The Swamp Fairy. Each one suggested pros and cons and made me spread my wings as a writer. I only hope I can write as well as they all do someday! Thank you for your support, it means the world to me.

As I always say, I am a student of writing. I’ll see all of you in December unless you take part in my #Tanka Tuesday Poetry Prompt Challenge. Then, I’ll see you each Tuesday throughout November.

I heart you guys! ❤

The Third Dimension – The Realm of the Swamp Fairies

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Welcome to Fairy Swamp.

What could be better than a visit to the “Third Dimension,” with my swamp fairies? Come along for the ride!

I entered the horizontal plane of oblivion drifting into the third dimension as if I were being born again. Inside, the dark void pushed me forward like a vacuum in reverse. I found myself spewed out, thrust into the past and the future all at the same time. I drifted into a cosmic soup of stars and blackness, floating in a 3-dimensional gloom. An overwhelming longing overtook me. I felt homesick. I longed to feel the warmth of home.

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The primordial swamp was before me. I could hear chanting in the background as the swamp fairy gazed deeply into my eyes gazing into my very soul. She raised her arms as if it were a signal of some sort. Instantly I was covered in butterflies of every color and size imaginable. I felt them all around me.  Multicolored wings touched my skin beating in a rhythmic motion.

The fairy nymphs were everywhere I looked.  I felt no fear.  I stood enthralled with my eyes closed as I soaked in the glory of their beings. Iridescent wings gleamed in the light from the sun which burned holes in the fog which swirled around me. The fairies held me close in a tight embrace of love and light. Their warmth made me feel humble.

I felt their unity, their strength in numbers.  I knew I was part of them and my heart began to beat in time to the steady drumming of their wings.  I continued to stand, silently reveling in the unity of the fairies surrounding me.  I knew in my heart I had come home.  Taking a deep breath, I exhaled, living in that exact perfect moment. I was one with the fairies.

As quickly as it all began, the swamp fairy released the butterflies, and they immediately flew off into the sky. However, they did not look like butterflies anymore. Instead, they had taken on their true appearance, their camouflage discarded. They were tiny swamp fairies wearing the colors of the spring swamp, clothed in brown, and a brilliant green, the color of new leaves. Wild flowers of every color were twisted in their flowing hair. Golden flecks of light bounced around them like glittering stars in the night.

I yearned to stay with them but felt the tug of time as it sucked me back into the obscurity of my human life.

Coming Soon:

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My book cover was designed by Bookxeedo Book Covers, the creation of Wendy Anne Darling, a graphic artist. She has a 50% off book cover special going on right now if you mention my book cover to her. Click here to visit Bookxeedo Book Covers to learn more.

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READ MORE ON SILVER’S MONTHLY FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find exciting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my sign up page and enter your email. ❤

 

 

PROOF! The 1917 Fairy Photos

In my journey reading through fairy and nymph research for my book, The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy, I discovered a fascinating story about a couple of young cousins, Elsie Wright (1900-88) and Frances Griffiths (1907-86) who lived in Cottingley, Yorkshire, England. All five photos are from an article on Wikipedia.

In 1917, these two young women shocked the world with photos of fairies they took using their father’s camera. The media were in an uproar over the photos and at the time, spiritualist and writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even used them to illustrate an article he wrote about fairies. It had to be true if the author of Sherlock Holmes believed it, right?

Public reaction to the photos was always mixed. Some people believed the photos were real while others thought they were faked. At the beginning of the 1980’s both Elsie and Frances admitted they had faked the photos. However, Frances said that the fifth and final photograph was the real deal.

Here are the five photos. I found it interesting that if the girls did fake the images they were excellent artists. One article I read said the girls used hat pins to balance the cutouts in their photos so they would not topple over.

The first of the five photographs, taken by Elsie Wright in 1917, shows Frances Griffiths with the alleged fairies.

The second of the five photographs, showing Elsie with a winged gnome.

Frances and the Leaping Fairy, the third photograph.

The fourth photograph, Fairy Offering Posy of Harebells to Elsie.


Fairies and Their Sun-Bath, the fifth and last photograph of the Cottingley Fairies

The key to discovering that the first four images are not real can be found in the first photograph. In the left-hand corner is a waterfall. The photos were taken with a camera that did not have high speeds like they do today. It took about 10 seconds to snap that photograph. That is why the waterfall is blurred. If you apply the same logic to the fairies then, we should not be able to see their wings as they would be beating rapidly. Their wings should be blurred.

The fifth photograph is the one that seems authentic to me. The fairy figures have a mystical almost transparent look to them. The tiny flowers in the image seem to be in scale in relation to the fairy figures. The irony of the whole situation is that the girls faked the first four photos and then possibly stumbled upon the real thing by accident. Who would believe them?

You must remember that in the 1920’s photographs were still a relatively new advancement in culture. People believed what they saw in photos. By the 1980’s people became much more questioning and cynical. Here is a video where Frances’ daughter appeared on the BBC’s Antiques Road Show. This is a keen look into the dynamics of the photos.

I think that is why fairy lore beckons to us. We all want so badly to believe in the magic and wonder as seen through the eyes of a child again. The fairy tale takes us on a journey to “happily ever after,” a place that does not exist for many people in real life. The battle of good vs. evil, with good triumphing, in the end, makes us feel hope that our circumstances are only temporary. Hope is a powerful mechanism in believing in positive outcomes in our lives. Hope allows us to keep moving forward in life.

Always remember. Magic appears when you least expect it!

I believe in fairies, do you?

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READ MORE ON SILVER’S MONTHLY FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find exciting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my sign up page and enter your email. ❤

The Heart Stone Chronicles – Book Cover Reveal

While on a walk during a warm foggy morning in November 2014, I had a close encounter of the fairy kind. We were living in Pensacola, Florida. I still remember the day, as if it had been carved into my memory, something I will never forget.

The road I took on my morning walk

I heard a sound that instantly caught my attention. At first, I thought it might be an injured bird rustling in the thick underbrush. I peered into the foliage and drew back in surprise. At first, I thought I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird with brilliant green feathers. However, that was not so.

Instead, I saw a tiny green swamp fairy fluttering on delicate wings that looked like transparent leaves. She had hair the color of corn silk. Bottle green leaves adorned her miniature body. The heady fragrance of lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood wafted on the air. I stood there transfixed by the vision. I realized then, I was witnessing a miracle. I had been given the gift of fairy vision.

The spot where I saw the swamp fairy

The petite winged-being stared at me with eyes as green as the leaves she was hiding in. I felt something akin to a spiritual encounter. An overwhelming feeling of peace and love surrounded me and held me within its grasp. In an instant, she was gone. She vanished into the fog that swirled around me.

I shook my head and continued my walk. My feet felt lighter that day. I knew something had changed. The swamp fairy had ignited my imagination. I knew what this fairy encounter meant. I had been granted the ability to become a fairy whisperer.

I started to write stories about the swamp fairies. The stories (and blog posts) came in quick succession. Next, the dreams started. I began to channel the stories of the fairy nymphs that had inspired me that day long ago. I watched as the actual swamp that I walked past each day was being crowded out by the building of new homes. Slowly, a story began to form in my mind.

Fairy Swamp is located behind the development site in Pensacola, Florida

By fall of 2015, we moved to Colorado. The dreams continued and grew stronger. The stories changed. The fairy nymphs wanted me to tell their stories. And, that is exactly what I have done.

As I continue to work on the edits of my first YA series, The Heart Stone Chronicles, Book One – The Swamp Fairy, I wanted to share the book cover with you. By the way, if it were not for the editing expertise of Melissa Barker-Simpson, this story would not be as eloquently presented. Mel has my gratitude for life.

The book cover is an exceptional piece of art. My dear friend, Wendy Anne Darling, an author, and graphic artist has drawn and designed the cover art. She was able to incorporate one of my actual photos of the swamp into the cover.

Here is a synopsis of the story:

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative.

Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that has belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes a greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Fairy Swamp

As an added bonus to my book cover reveal, Wendy Anne Darling would like to offer a NEW business special. My book cover has helped to launch her new book cover business called, Bookxeedo.

Please click HERE to visit Bookxeedo’s pricing and terms

Wendy would like to offer a 50% discount on the first five book covers that mention my book cover reveal. That is a substantial savings on book cover art. One that is hard to beat!

Hurry, to take advantage of this special offer!

Thank you for being part of my book cover reveal. So many of you have guided me, taught me, and supported me throughout this process. Thank you, all. I can’t wait to share my published book with you all. It’s coming soon!

“Ancient Songs” – A Haiku

The RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #106 words for this week are “Sing & Flower.” To make the words a bit more colorful I used the word, “chant” for sing, and “bud,” for flower.

Nymphs chant ancient songs –

as buds raise their heads in glee,

a storm lurks above.

Colleen M. Chesebro

~*~

I am busy editing The Heart Stone Chronicles. I have decided on that title so that each book of the series can be titled by the nymph the book is about. Book One is “The Swamp Fairy.” I must say the book is shaping up to be fabulous, thanks to my fabulous editor, Melissa Barker-Simpson!

In a few weeks, I will have a cover reveal created with love by my dear friend, Wendy Anne Darling, from The Dragon’s Lair. She studied to become a graphic artist and is quite gifted, as you shall all see.

Many thanks to Ronovan for hosting my favorite challenge each week. I’ll see you next week! ❤

The Heart Stone – A Haiku

The RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #104 words for this week are “dazzle & sky.”

I am still editing The Swamp Fairy, Book 1 of the Heart Stone Chronicles. My fairy nymphs are never far, and they continue to share the wonders of their nymph kingdom with me…

Here’s a sneak peek from The Swamp Fairy:

“The heart stone is a massive chunk of green calcite located deep within the swamp which Abby Forester inherited from her mother. The mystical stone is surrounded by a fairy rath, an earthen ridge of land built up to resemble a bank or wall. Within this swamp fairy rath, grows the elusive pink sundew plants known for their medicinal properties. Revered by early Native Americans, the plants could prove to be the key to saving humanity.

Abby wears a green calcite pendant which her mother once wore. The pendant, a piece of the heart stone from the swamp, enhances emotional balance and the knowledge of divine love. When worn near the heart, green calcite ignites an emotional connection between the Naiad Nymphs and Abby, revealing her true destiny.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?”

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time. Hugs! ❤

READ MORE ON SILVER’S MONTHLY FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find exciting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my sign up page and enter your email. ❤

 

Silver’s Tea Party – Let’s Celebrate National Fairy Day!

Hello, and good day! Welcome to my June Tea Party! Much like the weekend coffee sharing event from Part-Time Monster, my monthly tea party is where I like to catch up with friends, old and new! This is also a way for me to introduce you to some great new blogs and people that I have virtually met along the way! In addition, I want to share my great love of tea, and all things TEA!

I have a special celebration this month! Today, June 24, 2016, is National
Fairy Day
!

Days of the Year.com shares:

“Whether you see them as small winged tenders of the deep natural places of the earth, or as tall stately figures with fair skin and hair, there’s one thing for certain. The world has been absolutely captured by the Fairy Craze. These creatures appear on everything from mugs to t-shirts and have been the subject of children’s fairy tales and even supernatural romances. Fairy Day celebrates these incredible mythological creatures that have captured the imagination of people everywhere and their diverse history.”

The History of Fairy Day

Did you know that fairies of one kind or another exist in just about every culture in the world? The only difference is that their names have changed with their geographical locations. The name, faerie actually originates from the Old French.

The word that best describes these tiny supernatural beings is the Greek word – daimon, which means spirit.

Fairyname.net gives a list of “human” names that originated from some of the names fairies have been called: gnome, brownie, gremlin, puck, goblin, elf, hob, siren, imp, enchanter, mermaid, spirit, leprechaun, fay, nymph, sprite, bogie, genie, pixie, sylph and nissie. Check it out and see if your name is on the list!

If you don’t believe in fairies… then check out this list of names from the United Kingdom for the word “fairy”courtesy of timelessmyths.com: (IF they aren’t real… why are there so many names for them?)

Name
Faerie, Færie, Faery, Fairy.
Faeries (plural).Irish: sidheog (unreformed); síóg (reformed); sheogue (anglicised).
daoine maithe (“good people”), daoine sidhe;
áes sidhe (“people of the mound”);
daoine uaisle (“the noble people”);
bunadh na cro, bunadh na gcnoc (“host of the hills”);
bunadh beag na farraige (“wee folk of the sea”).Scottish Gaelic: boctogaí, s’thiche.
daoine s’th (“people of the mound”).

Manx: ferrish.
ny guillyn beggey (“the little boys”);
ny mooinjer veggey (“the little kindred”);
ny sleih veggey (“the little people”).

Welsh: y tylwyth teg (the fair folk).
bendith y mamau (“mother’s blessing”).

Cornish: spyrys.
an bobel vyghan (“the little people”).

Breton: korriganez, boudig.

By now, you should have a great visual in your mind of a fairy with the delicate wings of a butterfly flying around the countryside like the image above. In fact, the fairies of long ago were once thought to be angelic in nature. Not all fairies had wings, even though their magic allowed them to fly. Many fairies were known to fly on the backs of birds, great transportation if you get it. Fairies and birds are connected in many of the old and new myths. **Wait until you read my novel, The Swamp Fairy! 😉

Much of the lore that surrounds fairies is shrouded in darkness. Fairies were thought to be demons or spirits of those who were trapped in the earthly realm. It was thought they could not pass into the next life or into heaven as if trapped by their earthly deeds. This thought process led to the belief that humans needed to be protected from the fairies. It was believed that metals, like iron, were deadly to fairies.

Everyone knows about fairies… but did you know that Dwarves and Gnomes are part of the fairy lineage on their tree of life? Dwarves and Gnomes were known to live amongst the Germanic folk for centuries and still do. Some of these gnomes resided deep inside caves where the human workers mined. There were even fairies called, “knockers,” who lived within the mines and knocked on the walls to alert the miners of danger.

The fat jolly looking gnomes who wear red hats are gentle folk. These unassuming beings come from the forests in lands far to the north and love living in our gardens. They are not afraid of human contact and will gladly help if they can…

Many more stories exist of the goodness that fairies bring to those who believe.

How to Celebrate Fairy Day
There are many ways to celebrate Fairy Day! You could even participate in one of the festivals held around the world. You can always have your own festival and celebrate the magic in your own backyard! Just remember to honor the fairies by leaving out a plate of cookies and some milk. Your blessings will multiply tenfold!

Fairy Day in the UK is celebrated on July 9th. Check out this link to the festival in Cumbria!

The irishfairydoorcompany.com
will let you register and name your house fairy. Once registered, you will immediately receive an email with your Official Fairy Lease Agreement and household rules for your fairy and little human friend to follow!

Remember… in all of the ancient stories and legends, fairies and mythological creatures are portrayed as smart, mischievous and magical! They can cast spells and have the ability to fly and even shapeshift into other creatures.

You can see fairies early in the morning when the dew is still fresh and at twilight just before the sun sets. Not to be forgotten, the summer Solstice, Halloween, and the winter Solstice have all been celebrations when fairy magic is found to be afoot.

Punchbowl.com shares:

“In his 1904 play Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie wrote that when the first baby laughed, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and that was the beginning of fairies. International Fairy Day is the perfect opportunity to relive your childhood fantasies and celebrate the joy and magic of the fairy world. Read a classic fairy tale, build a fairy house, or take a stroll through the woods. You never know when you might stumble across something magical!”

Since I have been granted the title of “Fairy Whisperer,” my writing has undergone a miraculous change. Words flow easier as the messages of the nymphs are whispered into my ears. My fingers fly over the keys and happiness fills my heart. I hope to delight young and old with the tales of the fairy nymphs through my books, The Heart Stone Chronicles. Book One is called “The Swamp Fairy.” Stay tuned… there will be other stories to follow.

Guess what? My dear friend Wendy Anne Darling from The Dragon’s Lair has written a special poem for us today! The best part is… it’s about my book, The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy!

A graphic artist, Wendy has also been working hard designing an image of the swamp fairy for my book cover. I am telling you, Wendy’s fairy magic is strong!

WAITING…

From our tiny shelters, we hear them come,

Their feet stamp earthquakes on the marshy ground

And every bird and creature hides away.

Fleeing cacophony…

Long years on years I search

To no avail

It is not time

Yet time is growing short.

Is there yet one?

Just one, alone

In whom I can confide?

Perhaps there’s one who tiptoes, softly,

Who listens, silently?

Who feels the magic of this place inside her soul?

Then suddenly, one breathless morning,

There’s a presence;

A sweet voice whispering songs of hope.

Feet that softly touch the soil

And hope ignites within our hearts.

I fly towards her

And she blinks… Seeing a bird yet sensing a friend

And the long years dissipate into magic.

She has come home!

Wendy Anne Darling

~*~

BOOKS

I try to subscribe to Amazon alerts on all the authors I have reviewed. If you would like to be included in my monthly tea party, please contact me and I will be glad to add you!


I have had several more friends publish books this month or the last couple of months. How exciting! Many congratulations to all of you!

Firefly465, Adele Ulnais mentioned in the comments of my May Tea Party that the Fantasy Writers Anthology called “Betrayals of Another Kind,” is now out. Click the link to find the book on Amazon.

No one pays attention to the sidekicks, the apprentices, the stable boys, the second class characters, and they’re tired of it. Now the ones considered the heroes will become the victims of betrayal; whether deliberate or accidental, it makes no difference. 

See the products of these betrayals in stories by
Joann M. Shevock, R. Judas Brown, Angel Blackwood, Melissa Robitille, Daniel Eastman, Layne Calry, Gary Lee Webb, Sydnie Beaupre, Adele Marie Park, Kyle Della-Rocco, Michael R. Baker, and Victoria Harrison.


My dear friend, Eloise De Susa, will be releasing her new thriller, “The Iron Pendulum.” You can still view her books on at http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com or http://amazon.com/author/eloisedesousa. I will update you when the book is available to the public! I was a BETA reader and I can tell you, it is a juicy mystery! COMING SOON!

Julia Webster and Hugo del Fuego are missing from their third-floor apartment in Bagley. The grisly display discovered in their home leaves Detectives Perkins and Jones with little evidence to follow and, as more remains turn up, the pressure mounts to find the killer.  Time is the key element in solving a case riddled with dead ends and a strange family hiding its true evil behind the façade of money and power.
Can they unravel the secrets hidden behind the closed doors and will it be enough to solve the case and rescue the couple in time?

Author, Eloise De Susa

Eloise has written over ten books in the past few years, most of them personalized stories for younger children. She loves creating magical worlds where a child can be the hero, using their natural talents and abilities to overcome obstacles.

Eloise has also published an adult crime romance called Deception and is currently working on her new book, The Iron Pendulum.

Her children’s books, Spoilt Miranda, and Scat the Black Cat, have been enjoyed by children everywhere and is a current favorite at her local school. More projects are being finalized, including a collection of fun poems and short stories called Children’s Shorts! Look out for her next book in the Spoilt Miranda series called Cecil the Bully.

For more information on her work and weekly updates, follow her blog at http://www.eloisedesousa.wordpress.com and at www.facebook.com/eloisebookcorner. A full list of Eloise De Sousa’s books and ebooks can be found at www.lulu.com/spotlight/eloisedesousa.

Another dear friend, Ritu Bhathal from But I Smile Anyway… has released her new book, Poetic RITUals. Click the link to connect to Amazon.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist. A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

Author, Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham, UK, in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origins. This colorful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry.
Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which recently was awarded second place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.
She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

Two other friends are offering their books for free right now. Hurry up and claim your copy!

First, is Amber Wake, by P. S. Bartlett and Ronovan Hester. HURRY! Today is the last day to claim your free copy!

Click here to get your copy NOW!

promo-day-2

Second is Eccentric Odds and Ends, by Regina Puckett. Her free book promotion starts today. Don’t delay!

Regina Puckett – My collection of short stories is free to download on 6/24-28. In it, you’ll find a little horror, romance, Sci-Fi and a few true tales. What’s not to love? There’s something for everyone.
Free 6/24-28 – Eccentric Odds and Ends

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Eccentric-Odds…

Universal link – smarturl.it/eccentricoddsandends

Click here to grab your copy!

That’s it for this month! HAPPY NATIONAL FAIRY DAY! Make sure to let me know how you celebrated the day. I can’t wait to hear!

Fairy Tea Parties are the Best!!


Herb Fairy Tea – Courtsey of MountainRoseBlog.com

PLEASE NOTE…

This will be my last Tea Party post.  Instead, sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find exciting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my sign up page and enter your email. ❤

I loved spending time with each and every one of you!

 

 

The Naiad Nymphs – Elemental Water Fairies

The Naiad Clan of fairies features prominently in my first novel, The Swamp Fairy. A quick look at Greek mythology shares that the Naiads, who are female spirits, are the nymphs that lived near water.

Nymphs are considered elemental beings or mythic creatures. They correspond to the elements found in antiquity: earth, water, air, and fire.

The Naiad nymphs are the fairies that controlled the waters of fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of fresh water.

Theoi.com explains:

“The nymphs were immortal, minor divinities who were invited to attend the assemblies of the gods on Mount Olympus.

The Naiad Nymphs were often classified by their domain:
PEGAIAI were the Naiad nymphs of the springs;
KRENAIAI, the Naiads of fountains;
POTAMEIDES, the Naiads of rivers & streams;
LIMNADES and LIMNATIDES, Naiads of the lakes;
HELEIONOMAI, the Naiad Nymphs of marshes and wetlands.”


A Naiad by John William Waterhouse, 1893; a water nymph approaches the sleeping Hylas. (Source: File:Naiad1.jpg – https://en.wikipedia.org)

Technically, the Naiad nymph clan in my book would be from the classification of “HELEIONOMAI nymphs.” I took some creative liberty to keep things simple by having the Naiad nymphs in charge of the swamp in my novel. Normally, it is the River Gods who lived and ruled the marshes. Since my swamp or slough contained fresh water, I let the Naiad nymphs lead me to their story.


Undine, by John William Waterhouse (Source: File:John William Waterhouse – Undine.JPG – https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Naiades,” from Paleothea.com
shares:

“The Naiades were the nymphs of fresh water streams rivers and lakes but were not limited to these water courses. Many Naiades could be found prancing around with Artemis, who chose 20 Naiades from Amnisus for companions. They were the daughters of river gods. They had extremely long lifetimes, but they were not considered immortal and were believed to have sat in on the Gods discussions on Olympus. There were 5 types of Naiades:

Pegaiai, the Nymphs of Springs

Krinaia, the Nymphs of Fountains

Potameides, the Nymphs of Rivers and Streams

Limnades or Limnatides, the Nymphs of Lakes

Eleionomai, the Nymphs of Marshes

Above is a detail from John W. Waterhouse’s painting of Hylas and the Nymphs. That particular story is important to the Greeks as Hylas, the beautiful beloved (yes, in the sexual way) of Heracles, was sent to go get water on the island of Mysia, and the naiads there, totally taken in by his beauty, carried him off. Every year, the priests marched to a neighboring mountain and called Hylas’s name three times.”

Naiad Nymph: Mythmaniacs.com

The history which surrounds the Naiad nymphs is filled with amazing stories. The Naiads were highly worshiped and many cults sprang up to honor them. Young people, male and female, cut off some of their hair to pay a tribute to the Naiad nymphs each spring in coming of age ceremonies. It was not unusual to find gifts of honey left in areas where the Naiad’s were thought to dwell.

However, the Naiad nymphs did have a dark side. They could be quite jealous and stories were written how they would capture young men who exhibited exceptional beauty. It was not unusual for a Naiad nymph to merge her soul with her human captive. The Naiads often played the part of seducer or simply became the seduced.

The origin of the Naiads changes with literary sources. Steeped in myths and ancients secrets, it is believed the Naiads are the daughters of Zeus, the daughters of the river gods, or part of the Titan world of Oceanus.

~*~

The blithe Naiad nymphs –

fairy protectors of swamps,

stay on their good side.

Colleen M. Chesebro

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed seeing you all!

Silver Threading, Fairy Whisperer

#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Fantasy”

It’s time to join in the “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge,” co-sponsored with Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes, right here on silverthreading.com and myself, Silver Threading!

writers quote wednesday writing challenge

Please use #WQWWC on Twitter so we can retweet you.

Welcome!  This is an open invitation to join in on our blogging event called the “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge!

Ronovan and I have decided to change it up! Spring is in the air and it is time for something different! BUT WAIT!

If you like the OLD Writers Quote Wednesday where you selected a quote and talked about the author of the quote you CAN still do that. The quotes are a pathway to find inspiration in your writing. You can write whatever you would like as long as you include your quote with your piece. You can write poetry, music, share songs, write flash fiction…

SHOW US YOUR CREATIVITY!

NOW it’s your chance to highlight your favorite author’s quotes that give inspiration to you as a writer. Do you feel like your writing is getting stale? Are you looking for inspiration to keep writing? Then you have come to right spot!

Each week we will include a theme  for anyone who needs additional inspiration. You don’t have to follow our theme if you don’t want to. It is optional.

You have from this Wednesday until the following Tuesday to participate! Woo HOO!

In fact, Ronovan and I will alternate each week with a themed prompt post written on Silver Threading. This will give you a different perspective weekly to keep your inspiration flowing. Make sure and join us. You never know what we will come up with!

To see all the Entries from last week click HERE for the links in the comments of last weeks Challenge Post.

This is my week, and Ronovan will be back next week to share his theme with you. We thought it would be fun to split the brain power needed each week. All of you get hosts that are reasonably fresh and fun to play with each week, so join in!

WQWWC fantasy theme

This week’s theme is “fantasy,” or any variation of the word: FANTASY!

So what do you do?

You select a quote that inspires you. Then, write a short piece of flash fiction or poetry to share with us all using the quote either in your story or as the title of your masterpiece. You can include photos, photo quotes, or anything else that helps to highlight your quote.

Either create your own sayings (because after all, we are all writer’s here) or use a quote from a famous author that you find gives you inspiration.  Just make sure that credit is given for other’s work.  You can use FotoflexerPicmonkeyCanva, or any other program that you wish to make your own images. Click the links to go to the programs.

Each Wednesday, we will post the prompt and all you have to do is take part! You have from that Wednesday until the following Tuesday night to share your creativity inspired by a quote. We will share your posts on social media for added exposure.

Each week, we will include a link to the previous week’s post so that you can go to the links and comments to see all the inspiration that was generated.

BOTTOM LINE: Have fun and be creative!

~*~

InspirationalQuotes.Club-fantasy-escape-reality-way-Lloyd-Alexander

My contribution to the genre of “fantasy,” is a poem I wrote for my novel, The Swamp Fairy. I hope you will enjoy it!

picgifs-elves-543840

“The Fairy Guardian”

Pink fairy bells tremble

in the early morning breeze,

a tinkling sound that is sure to please –

the Gods high above looking down

foretelling the tales of the swamp fairies;

their cocoons all nestled in Live Oak trees

that swirl and dangle high up in the leaves.

Spider web lace dances in the sun, as

myriad tree reflections sparkle as one –

shimmering in the watery depths redone.

Watch as the noble nymphs of the Naiad Clan

gather to honor the exalted

fairy guardian of their fraternity.

All hail to Abby!

The prophecies ring true!

The sacred heart stone

will guide her through.

Stories will be written of the amber

haired beauty, whose

uncommon courage led her to become

the young fairy guardian

who saved the slough from the evil one.

picgifs-elves-543840

2016 © Copyright-All rights reserved Colleen M. Chesebro, of www.silverthreading.com

fantasy quote about growth

Writing “fantasy” will set you free!

Go ahead! Try on some fantasy and see what it does for your writing! Show me what fantasy means to you! ❤

Hump DayHUGS

#WQWWC Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – MAGIC

It’s time to join in for the third “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge,” co-sponsored with Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes, right here on SilverThreading.com and myself, Silver Threading!

Please use #WQWWC on Twitter so we can retweet you.

Welcome!  This is an open invitation to join in on our blogging event called the “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge,” co-sponsored with Ronovan, of Ronovan Writes, and myself.

Ronovan and I have decided to change it up! Spring is in the air and it is time for something different! We have retired BeWow (Be Writing on Wednesday) and will no longer use that meme.

So GUESS what?

This is your chance to highlight your favorite author’s quotes that give inspiration to you as a writer. Do you feel like your writing is getting stale? Are you looking for inspiration to keep writing? Then you have come to right spot!

Each week we will include a theme  for anyone who needs additional inspiration. You don’t have to follow our theme if you don’t want to. It is optional.

In fact, Ronovan and I will alternate each week with a themed prompt post written on Silver Threading. This will give you a different perspective weekly to keep your inspiration flowing. Make sure and join us. You never know what we will come up with!

To see all the Entries from last week click HERE
for the links in the comments of last weeks Challenge Post.

This is my week, and Ronovan will be back next week to share his theme with you. We thought it would be fun to split the brain power needed each week. All of you get hosts that are reasonably fresh and fun to play with each week, so join in!

So what do you do?

You select a quote that inspires you. Then, write a short piece of flash fiction or poetry to share with us all using the quote either in your story or as the title of your masterpiece. You can include photos, photo quotes, or anything else that helps to highlight your quote.

Are you ready to join in?

Either create your own sayings (because after all, we are all writer’s here) or use a quote from a famous author that you find gives you inspiration.  Just make sure that credit is given for other’s work.  You can use Fotoflexer, Picmonkey, Canva, or any other program that you wish to make your own images. Click the links to go to the programs.

Each Wednesday, we will post the prompt and all you have to do is take part! You have from that Wednesday until the following Tuesday night to share your creativity inspired by a quote. We will share your posts on social media for added exposure.

Each week, we will include a link to the previous week’s post so that you can go to the links and comments to see all the inspiration that was generated.

Please copy the badge above and include it on your own post. Tag your post on your own blog as “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge,” so we can find the posts in the reader. On your own blog post do a ping-back to THIS post and make sure to “like” or “comment” on everyone else’s post.  (A pingback is when you embed (or copy) the HTTP:// address of my weekly prompt into your own blog post).

BOTTOM LINE: Have fun and be creative!

~*~

~*~

The swamp was alive and bursting with bright green leaves and wildflowers in brilliant shades of red, pink, and creamy white.  Abby stood in the middle of the road watching the beauty of a Florida spring unfold around her.  Large fat bumble bees hovered above the new blooms, as the sweet nectar beckoned to them to eat from this smorgasbord of delight.

Crimson cardinals and rosy-breasted blue birds flew high in the burgeoning leaves of the trees announcing that spring had finally arrived. The fragrance from all this new life was intoxicating. Abby took in the natural splendor of her surroundings as if she suffered from a thirst that could not be satisfied. The sights and sounds were magnificent.

The most beautiful aroma began to waft through the air. It was a mixture of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses. Abby knew she had only smelled this scent, so beautiful and pure when she was in the presence of the swamp fairies. Abby found herself enchanted by the moment. Excitement coursed through her veins.

Suddenly, a vaporous form appeared drifting within a swirling fog. A tiny being flitting above the waters of the slough. The swamp fairy had long blond hair and glittering wings. Abby watched transfixed as the fairy began to speak in the peculiar way she had where only Abby understood her words.

“Magic is seeing what others do not. Welcome home, Abby Forester.”

Butterflies and moths of every color rose out of a rotted stump buried beneath the murky waters of the swamp. The trees looked alive as the wings of the many creatures fanned in a gentle rhythm. Dragonflies of every color in the rainbow came next. They too filled the leaves of the trees and bushes. Abby closed her eyes. She felt their strength in numbers and felt their unity. A feeling of belonging and overwhelming love surrounded her in an aura of luminosity.

As quickly as it all began, the Swamp Fairy released the butterflies. They rose in a cloud and immediately flew off into the sky. However, Abby gasped when she realized they did not look like butterflies anymore. Instead, they had transformed into translucent beings of light. They were tiny swamp fairies wearing the colors of the spring swamp, clothed in brown, and a brilliant green, the color of new leaves. Wild flowers of every color were twisted in their flowing hair. Golden flecks of light bounced around them like glittering stars in the night.

Welcome to spring in Fairy Swamp.

~*~

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my swamp fairies. ❤

032116_2129_ToSelfPubli5.png

Silver’s Writing Fever – #am writing!

I just want to let everyone know that I #am writing! I have set a deadline for the completion of my manuscript The Swamp Fairy. I know I have not been the best blog friend right now as I have not been able to visit most of you. I hope you will forgive me and know that I think of you all daily.

I will see you all soon!

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #81 Trill & Final

Ronovan has chosen some interesting words this week to use in our haiku’s: trill, and final. I used “quaver,” for trill and “ultimate,” for final.

I have been working like crazy on my book, The Swamp Fairy. Many of the haiku I share have found their way into my book at the beginning of each chapter. Today, these words came to me. Hmmm, sounds like a premonition of things to come!

“The Ultimate Battle”

With quavering notes –

the ultimate fight is won,

the drum beats no more.

~*~

Thanks for popping in! It was great to see you all again!

012416_2300_MindfulMond21.png

The LUCKY 777 Writing Challenge

Silver wins big with the 777 Writing Challenge!

I have been tagged by Michelle Rene, of Book Cover Design and Illustration by Michelle Rene to participate in the 777 Writing Challenge. If you are looking for a book cover design or an illustrator for your book, you will want to check out her blog!

The rules of the 777 Writing Challenge are as follows:

‘The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

Without further ado… here is a portion of my WIP book – “The Swamp Fairy,” per the rules:

… Abby stood there, her mouth agape, with a silly grin plastered on her face. She was dumbfounded. There were fairies living in the swamp, wondered Abby? Pictures flashed rapidly into her mind, of the road she walked each morning to catch the school bus. She could see the swamp, split in two by Lillian Road, all wild and natural, filling both sides of the road with bushes and trees hanging with vines.

Savanna Brooks is my best friend, Abby reasoned quickly in her thoughts. Her father was a building contractor, and he was building a new housing area right where the swamp fairy had said. How could the swamp fairy know this, she mused?

I would like to nominate: Ronovan Writes, Lisa Morrow Books, Pearls Before Swine, Teagan’s Books, John W. Howell, Thoughts By Mello-Ello, and last, by not least, Melissa Barker-Simpson.

Thanks to all my nominees! I can’t wait to read what you are going to write!

Thanks for stopping by! I can’t wait until I see you all again!

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The Swamp Fairy – Emergence from the Chrysalis 2/14/15

Continued from The Swamp Fairy – Deciphering the Code

heart stone

(Image credit: Heart Stone)

…The heart stone was right where Miss Hilda had said it would be, encircled by the pink blooming fetterbush. I could hear words whispered to me, in a voice I knew to belong to the Swamp Fairy. She said,

“Pause and look due north –

as the heart stone reads your soul,

change is uncertain.”

A peaceful calm came over me. I felt like the Swamp Fairy was there reading my thoughts, and feeling my feelings as I stood there. I looked over at Miss Hilda and a look of pure rapture shone on her face. Tears slipped down her weathered cheeks. We grabbed each other’s hands, not for comfort, but as if we were sharing something strange and wonderful and needed each other’s touch to make it complete.

Huge Live Oak trees surrounded the area. Some of the trees were almost hollow and we could look up inside of them. Tiny cocoons hung from the interior tree branches.

clip_image003

(Image credit: Cocoons)

What we saw next, was astounding! The tiny brown leaf covered chrysalises were shaking and moving. A loud humming began and reverberated through the swamp. As the humming increased, it sounded like a chanting chorus of Buddhist Monks, deep in mindful contemplation. (You can hear the sound here – play it through the rest of the story):

The most beautiful aroma began to waft through the air. It was a mixture of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses. I have only smelled this scent, so beautiful and pure when I have been in the presence of the swamp fairies. Miss Hilda and I were enthralled. We stood there clasping our hands together, wrapped in the spectacle of the moment.

One of the leaf chrysalises appeared larger than the others, and Miss Hilda and I watched it burst open. Suddenly, right in front of us she stood, the Swamp Fairy. She appeared in a swirling fog drifting before my eyes. She had long blond hair and glittering wings. I could still hear the chanting in the background, as she gazed at Miss Hilda and me looking deep into our eyes.

swamp fairy 2

The rest of the chrysalis trembled and began to burst open. Butterflies of every color, size, and type clung to the trees, waiting for their wings to dry in the afternoon sun streaming into the slough.

butterflies dark

Everywhere I looked around the swamp, the trees were covered with these glorious butterflies, fluttering, as if they breathed the life-blood of the swamp itself.

Miss Hilda gasped, and tugged at my hand. Pointing she said, “Silver, look at the heart stone!”

The heart stone pulsed and began to glow a deep blue color in time with the chanting. The Swamp Fairy raised her arms and the three of us were covered in the butterflies. I could sense them and feel them all around me.  The swamp fairies were everywhere.  I felt no fear.  Their iridescent wings gleamed in the light from the afternoon sun.

Miss Hilda and I felt their unity, their strength in numbers.  We felt like we was part of them and our hearts began to beat in time to the steady drumming of their wings.  We stood there, silently reveling in the unity of the fairies surrounding us.  We felt like we were home.  Both of us closed our eyes and smiled, living in the exact moment together.

Miss Hilda and I seemed to awaken from a long sleep as we opened our eyes. The butterflies were flying all around us. The sun caught their colors flashing in the stagnant pools of water not far from where we stood. The birds were silent now, witnessing the rebirth of the fairies.

butterlies in flight

(Image credit: Butterflies in Flight)

The Swamp Fairy released the butterflies, and they immediately flew off into the sky. However, they did not look like butterflies anymore. Instead, they had taken on their true appearance. They were tiny swamp fairies still wearing the colors of the winter swamp, clothed in brown, and grey, and tan leaves and twigs twisted around them for warmth. They blended into the scenery perfectly.

The heart stone slowly stopped glowing and pulsing. The Swamp Fairy turned and spoke to Miss Hilda and me saying,

“Silver Threading, and Hilda McFarland, you have just witnessed the beginning of a new breed of swamp fairies born here in Fairy Swamp. Help us to protect the swamp from the building that is taking place all around us, destroying our natural habitat and the plants we need to survive. There is a delicate balance between my fairy swamp kingdom and the reality of the humans that must be preserved, or we both shall cease to exist as you see us today.”

Miss Hilda and I both nodded our heads in agreement, accepting that something must be done to help these delicate creatures. I spoke first telling the Swamp Fairy that we would help her preserve the swamp, the best we could. Miss Hilda wholeheartedly agreed.

The Swamp Fairy replied, “There are stories that you both need to know first in order to understand the reason I have come forward asking for your help. Silver Threading the horse hole on your property where the fairy ring appears is a gateway portal to another dimension in time where I will guide you and Miss Hilda to understand the true reason we need to save fairy swamp. I will come to you on the full moon of each of your months to teach you and guide you to fulfill your true destinies with the swamp fairies.”

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In our hearts, Miss Hilda and I both knew that we were in this business with the Swamp Fairy and her fairy kingdom to the very end. The Swamp Fairy knew it too. She read our acceptance from what we held inside our hearts. In an instant, she was gone on the wind, like the butterflies before her.

Thanks for reading the continuing story of the swamp fairies. I’m glad you stopped by and I look forward to seeing you again,

iconstorykeeper

Silver Threading, The Fairy Story Keeper

The Swamp Fairy – Deciphering the Code

I sat at the kitchen table this morning drinking coffee and still puzzling over the crazy fairy code that the Swamp Fairy sent to Miss Hilda and me last month. You can read about that here. I tried everything I could think of to figure out that code. I just had no luck. I was stuck!

A few days ago, I decided to look up a friend from my old Air Force days to see if he could help me. Chuck worked with computers, and if anyone could figure out a code, he could. I sat, impatiently drinking coffee, waiting for his answer to my email.

clip_image002

It was cold this morning. I could see the horses in the field eating grass. Puffs of steam rose from their mouths with each pull at the grass. Sugar and Spice were anxious to go out back and bark at the horses. I was anxious too. This fairy code had really driven me crazy. I impatiently let the dogs out of the screened patio at the back of our house.

By the time I came back inside from letting the dogs out, Chuck had emailed me back. He said the code was something out of the ordinary. It had been a tough one to break.

1st fairy message

Apparently, Chuck had to load ancient fairy texts from Europe into the computer database in order for the words to make sense. It seemed the Swamp Fairy had an interesting lineage.

The fairies used words and symbols from Gaelic, and even some symbols from the Druids. Some of the letters looked Egyptian. We figured out that we could add a letter in English here and there, and suddenly it started to make sense. By manipulating the symbols and their meanings, the following words in English began to appear:

Fairy Message 1 translated

Chuck was a great person and, because of our friendship, he did not ask any questions of me that I could not answer truthfully. He knew I was working on research for my book and left it right there. Thank goodness. I had no idea how I would explain swamp fairies to rational, science loving Chuck.

Now, I still needed to figure out what the code meant. I threw on my coat and some gloves. I told Bronze that I would be back in awhile. I was off to see Miss Hilda.

The north wind practically blew me to Miss Hilda’s house behind Fairy Swamp it was so strong. This was strange weather for Pensacola, Florida in February. Usually it is not so cold. In no time at all, Miss Hilda greeted me at the door and had tea ready for us. We sat down and I immediately launched into my struggles of the past few weeks deciphering the fairy code.

After hearing of my success figuring out what the code words were, Miss Hilda had a giant smile on her face. Her eyes disappeared into the wrinkles around her eyes as she smiled.

“Silver, I have an idea about what these words mean. If you look from my house into Fairy Swamp due north, there is a heart shaped stone that sits in a dry part of the swamp. Growing in a thicket around the stone are some bushes called fetterbush. They are in bloom now since it is the beginning of spring. The flowers look like tiny pink fairy slippers.”

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Miss Hilda continued, “This is the only time of year you can see the heart stone because the bushes are so thick with leaves after the flowers bloom that it hides the stone. I found the stone years ago when I was a child. My mother and I were walking along the edges of the swamp looking for the fairies. It was spring. I remember seeing the heart stone surrounded by pink fetterbush. I almost tripped over it, as it was so well hidden. My mother used to say that I was her heart, and the heart stone was there for me to remember how much she loved me,” said Miss Hilda.

“I remember the stone was covered with lichen and moss because it sat beneath the bushes and received little to no light,” explained Miss Hilda. “The stone makes me think about my mother,” she reminisced.

heart stone

(Image credit: Heart Stone)

“What do you think the heart stone represents to the fairies, Miss Hilda?” I asked her. I was puzzled as to how this rock could be so important that the Swamp Fairy had to send us a message about it. I shook my head, trying to figure out what it could mean.

“I think it represents the heart of the swamp,” replied Miss Hilda. “That would make sense because it is almost in the middle of the swamp.”

“Miss Hilda, I know it is cold out, but could we go look at this rock and get a feel for the area?” I asked her.

“Sure Silver. I have an extra pair of boots in the shed you can use. It is muddy from the rains last week. We can make it safely this time of year. No snakes, or boggy spots to worry about,” answered Miss Hilda.

We bundled up in our coats and walked over to the shed to retrieve the extra pair of boots I needed to traverse the swamp. Miss Hilda’s garden was still as beautiful as it was the last time I had visited. It seemed even in hibernation the swamp fairies magic was strong enough to take care of her plants.

The wind swirled dead leaves at our feet as we walked along the edge of the marshy land. The ground was muddy and thick clumps stuck to our boots as we walked toward the center of the swamp. The naked trees reflected in the pools of water shimmering from the rays of the afternoon sun.

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Just ahead of us, I could see a thick clump of bushes with tiny pink blooms rustling in the wind. We had found the center of the swamp and the heart stone.

Both of us stood there looking at our surroundings. Overhead, birds called from the trees. In the watery recesses of the swamp, frogs croaked. The air was cold, but in the interior of the swamp, it seemed warmer, more protected. Miss Hilda and I stood shoulder to shoulder, enjoying the beauty, soaking it in.

The heart stone was right where Miss Hilda had said it would be, encircled by the pink blooming fetterbush. I could hear words whispered to me, in a voice I knew to belong to the Swamp Fairy. She said,

“Pause and look due north –

as the heart stone reads your soul,

change is uncertain.”

A peaceful calm came over me. I felt like the Swamp Fairy was there reading my thoughts, and feeling my feelings as I stood there. I looked over at Miss Hilda and a look of pure rapture shone on her face. Tears slipped down her weathered cheeks. We grabbed each other’s hands, not for comfort, but as if we were sharing something strange and wonderful and needed each other’s touch to make it complete.

Huge Live Oak trees surrounded the area. Some of the trees were almost hollow and we could look up inside of them. Tiny cocoons hung from the interior tree branches.

cocoons

(Image credit: Cocoons)

What we saw next, was astounding!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Come back tomorrow to see what happens in Fairy Swamp.

Silver Threading, the Fairy Story Keepericonstorykeeper

The Swamp Fairy– “New Moon Madness”

The weather had turned exceedingly cold since the beginning of the new year.  Cold, cold mornings made it difficult for me to walk the two miles to visit with Miss Hilda.  Today, dawned clear and much warmer than it had been in a long time.  I waited until the sun had yawned and stretched its way into the sky before starting out from Blackberry Ridge.  It was January 20th and the New moon would be heralded in with a visit from the Swamp Fairy.  I just felt it in my bones.

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Miss Hilda and I sat at her kitchen table, drinking hibiscus tea, while we discussed the dreams the Swamp Fairy had sent my way since the new year had dawned.  The descriptions of the swamp fairy homes delighted Miss Hilda.  She smiled and clapped her hands at my descriptions.  (Click here to go back and re-read the story, “Fairy Houses,” to backtrack in the story.)

“Silver,” said Miss Hilda.  “I have to show you something.  Come out into my backyard.”

Intrigued, I followed Miss Hilda through the back door of her house into a beautiful garden resplendent with herbs, cabbages, and various types of spring blooming flowers.  Daffodils, crocus, and tiny white snow-drops lined the path leading to a bird bath and bird feeder.  Cardinals and blue jays vied in the trees for a chance to be first in line at the feeder.  Tiny golden kingfishers splashed in the bird bath and seemed undisturbed by our visit.  I stood there, looking about at the magnificence of her backyard.

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“Miss Hilda, who takes care of this garden for you?” I asked her.  I was stunned by the beauty that enfolded all around me.  I truly felt like I was in a place of peace, and a sense of well-being flooded my senses.  It was January!  How could all of this beauty be present in the coldest month of the year, I wondered?

It took a few moments for Miss Hilda to answer me, and she did so slowly, carefully pronouncing each word.  “The Swamp Fairies take care of this garden,” she said, smiling with glee.

I was speechless!  “The fairies come into your garden and tend all the plants?” I asked her.  How could this be?

Miss Hilda laughed, as wrinkles swallowed her eyes into tiny slits of mirth.  “Isn’t it wonderful?” she said.  “It just started again recently, ever since the beginning of the year.  I have not seen you, so this is the first I could tell you about it Silver,” said Miss Hilda.

“It happened before?” I asked her.  “When was that?”

“Long ago, when I was a little girl,” said Miss Hilda, staring off into the distance of the swamp next to her house.  “The last time the fairies took care of my garden this early in the year was when I was a girl.  My mother told me about the swamp fairies then.  Everything I know of the fairies was told to me by my mother.  They used to visit her all the time.  I remember sitting here in this garden with my mother watching the birds and feeling such contentment,” she remembered.

“The fairies were not around much after my mother died,” said Miss Hilda filling in some blanks to questions I wanted to ask.  “Even though, my garden always looked lovely, just not as beautiful as when this house belonged to my mother and father.  Until now, that is,” said Miss Hilda.

“I have one more thing to show you Silver,” whispered Miss Hilda.

“Look, over there by the edge of the road,” said Miss Hilda, pointing to a strange puddle of water.

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The puddle looked to be about 3 feet wide and 4 feet long.  Mysterious curls of smoke, or maybe even steam played upon the surface of the water.  Shapes moved and intersected with each other, twisting and roiling within the haze of the puddle.  Miss Hilda and I watched, holding our breath, not knowing what to expect next.

“Watch closely now Silver,” said Miss Hilda.  “There, now look!”

Before my eyes, mystifying shapes began to float on the surface of the water.

1st fairy message

“What do you think it means Silver?” asked Miss Hilda.  “You can read and write.  I have no idea what it says.  Is it is a fairy language?” cried Miss Hilda, who was working herself up into a tizzy.

“When did this first appear?” I asked her.  “It is not written in English.  It looks more like symbols of some kind,” I told Miss Hilda.

Miss Hilda paused, thinking to herself.  “I first saw it this morning, after you called and said you were coming for tea.”  “I think it is a message from the Swamp Fairy,” cried Miss Hilda, excited by the prospect.  “See, the fairy knows you would be here today and she left you a message.”

“Miss Hilda, why didn’t she just cast another dream my way,” I questioned.  “Why send us a message in a strange language?”

“I think it is because they are hibernating through the coldest part of the year,” said Miss Hilda.  “You know, they curl up in those big, heavy Live Oak tree leaves, while the spiders weave a light web around them to wrap them tightly. Then, the spiders help to hang the fairies from the insides of the tree trunks until the middle of February.  Mother used to tell me that fairy magic was strong during hibernation because they were in a dream state themselves.  They had the ability to do many wonderful things for us, even when they were asleep.  Usually, on St. Valentines Day the fairies burst forth from their hibernating cocoons, insuring that spring would follow soon after them,” finished Miss Hilda.

“So, instead of sending me a dream, this time she sent us a message?” I asked Miss Hilda.

“I think so,” she said.  “How will we figure out what it means?” asked Miss Hilda.

I pondered this question for a few minutes.  I took out my cell phone and took a picture of the puddle with the message gently floating on the surface of the water.  That way I could go home and start working out the fairy language.

There had to be a key, or a way to decipher the strange markings.  I knew a few things about puzzles.  The letter “e,” was one of the most used letters in the English alphabet.  If I could find enough of the same symbols and substitute our alphabet, I should be able to figure out what the message said.

The question was, why would the Swamp Fairy send us a message written in some sort of fairy code or language?  It had to be New Moon Madness!

Miss Hilda and I shook our heads and went back into the house, so I could gather my things to head on back home to figure out this new piece of information.  Now, I needed to solve a fairy code.  How do I get myself into these things, I wondered?

Thank you for stopping by to hear about my exciting morning with Miss Hilda.  I look forward to seeing you all again,

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Silver Threading, The Fairy Story Keeper