I Go Crazy-Haired…

Bloggers! Friends! Family! Readers!

Hello!

How are you surviving this crazy year? ❤

It’s been way too long since I posted on this blog, but never fear – I’m not saying goodbye or anything. I promise to continue to post, even if this year has been overwhelming. I’ve written a ton more poetry – which I really need to upload here for you – and am thinking of publishing a short story and poetry compilation sometime in the future! I also wrote my first fantasy (think magic and fairy tale retellings) this year, and it’s in the editing stage. So I’ve been busy writing, just not sharing as much. I plan on continuing to use this blog for book announcements, poetry, serious spiritual thoughts, and the random average musing. ❤

One hobby I picked up in quarantine, though, has brought me no end of joy. I bought a pink wig – and then I bought more wigs – and I pulled all of my cosplay and costume accessories out of my closet. I sat down with Youtubers and tutorials and I learned elaborate makeup, and I went to town. 😀 I started an instagram page with all of my looks, most of which feature The Pink Wig – although other wigs are sneaking in to get their share of the limelight. On the page, I put together costumes as well as create or mimic makeover looks. I’ve even become an affiliate for a makeup brand called Mellow! 😀 Crazy things happen in 2020, eh?

So if you’re a fan of funny artsy things, hope on over to instagram.com/thepinkwiglife to see these looks and more. I even cosplay as representations of a few of my novels, and you can see those looks in the top bubbles on the page.

Praying for all of you right now. That God will meet you and make Himself known to you and hold you in His arms this year. Reach out if you ever need prayer or a listening ear!

The Plea for Shining Armor

Have you seen that poignant meme that’s going around?  It says something about girls not wanting a knight in shining armor, but one in damaged armor because it shows he knows how to fight – and win.  My dear friend, Brianna Tibbetts even wrote a fantastic children’s book with a similar premise: The Knight in Battered Armor.

However, as much as I get and like that meme, some of us just come shiny.

Our armor is polished to a shine that’s mirror-worthy.  We reflect the sun so bright it blinds you.  We haven’t seen a single real battle in our lives.

And you like us that way.  You with holes and divots and bleeding wounds.  You’re looking for blindingly shining armor.  Someone who rides at you on that white horse with a smile so enormous you know they’ve never experienced real suffering.

We with our glistening, shining armor – we had great childhoods.  No one beat us.  No one starved us.  No one abused us.  Oh, our parents weren’t perfect – no one’s is. But you get to chuckle and swallow the lump in your throat listening to us complain about that one time a parent yelled because we swept all our mountain of toys under the bed instead of thoroughly cleaning up.

You laugh with relief because you were actually looking for shining armor.  You with your sword scars, your missing limbs, your armor in pieces.  You wanted rainbows and sunlight and summer grass and fireflies and hot chocolate.  You wanted to be reminded that life was worth living.  That in some pockets of the universe, there was endless joy.  Endless love.  Endless acceptance.

So you picked the purest, the sweetest, the brightest, the most innocent.

And you made us yours.

And we loved you.

But then when the old wounds ache late at night, when the thunder roars and rains fall, and when your old demons rear their heads and occupy long days in your soul, that’s when you find our shining armor an offense.

We don’t know how to take care of you.  We only know how to shine.  We don’t understand what you’re going through.  But we try.  We cry with you.  We hold you.  Our armor dulls under the stain of both of our mingled tears.

But you wanted shining armor because your own armor was frayed, broken, and warped.  And at least we showed up with armor.  Brand new is better than nothing.

However, we’re green, our noses fresh and unfreckled, our complexion peaches and cream.  We’ve never met a demon.  It takes all our energy and empathy and strength and understanding to get it.  Yet we try.  We take off our helmets and try to cram them on your head, ill-fitting and stabbing.  You screech at us.  It doesn’t work.  Don’t we get it?  You need something worn, something smooth from use, oiled from weeping, slick and easy to slide on because of the blood.

We don’t have that kind of armor.  We never did.  All we have is the crisp newness of a glistening mirrored face.  Staring back at you.  Showing you how damaged your breastplate has become.  It’s falling off your body.

In the end, you hate us for being shiny.  You resent us for being bright.  For being fresh.  For being naive.  For the joy you so once so eagerly sought.

But you’ve forgotten that’s what you wanted.

And, you know what?  In the end, you get your wish.

Because, living a lifetime with you –

We’ve become battered too.

Charcoal

My head is full of charcoal
Sticky, chalky, stained
Discoloring and endless
It writhes and it pours
Out of the mouth in my skull
So scrub on your knees
My white rug is spotted
Blackness it bleeds
Yet if I’d scrub with water
The living water of Him
I find it actually lifts
And disappears onto
The chafing rag of His mercy
That doesn’t strike me where I stand
The interesting thing about charcoal
Is things come away whiter
Teeth, skin, carpet
Are fresher, snowy
Who would have thought that endless blackness
Those terrible stains
Would actually clean me
Until I shine

Dust Blog Tour Stop #13!

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Stop #13 – ME.  You are here!
Have you ever wished the story of Peter Pan went on?  That the cute, precocious, and crazy little spitfire who never wanted to grow up – actually DID grow up a little?  My best friend, Kara, has written a sequel to Peter Pan – and (no lie) it was one of my VERY favorite books of all of last year.  I adored it.  You need to get yourself a copy right here.
*Dust is on sale on Amazon right now! (For $17.98 hardback instead of $22! And the ebook is only 5.99!) 
EXCLUSIVE ZANY INTERVIEW WITH KARA SWANSON BELOW!

 

DUST BT TREASURE HUNT - CLUE-13
Want to play in the blog tour hunt?  Visit all the stops and collect the keywords!

Anyone who completes the blog tour hunt wins a small physical swag pack that includes:

  • Bookmarks
  • Print of Dust art
  • Peter + Claire Character Cards
  • Signed Bookplate

The first winner to solve the clues and finish the hunt wins:

  • All the above swag plus
  • An autographed Advanced Reader Copy of Dust with exclusive notes from Kara in the margins

DUST TREASURE HUNT PRIZES-2

NOW TO INTERVIEW KARA:

Me: If you could be Peter Pan, where would you fly to first?

Kara: Go find Tom Holland in London? 😉 Juuuuust kidding. I’d probably go visit some of my closest friends (like you!) and then whisk us all away to somewhere 57277731_3133754463305035_7940320590911504384_obeautiful like New Zealand or Greece or Mexico or something 🙂

Me: Awwww.  I wish you could fly to me too! If you could slap Peter Pan over any point in the story, when would that be?  (Careful about spoilers!)

Kara: Hehehe I love this! Probably the midpoint, after he’s first met Claire and Tiger Lily shows up and they have a conversation that could have gone…very differently if he’d been honest.

Me: Yep, yep. I know exactly what you’re talking about.  *wink* When did you feel the most Peter-Pan-ish as a child in Papua New Guinea?

Kara: Probably flying in a tiny Cessna 206 through the clouds and blue sky and seeing birds flying by the window! Or climbing trees or swimming in our clear river.

Me: Makes sense! Do you think Peter would’ve bemoaned your fate or laughed in your face when he found out you ate a cockroach in your sleep as a child in the jungle?

Kara: He would have just laughed, hehehe

Me: Bad Peter.  😛 What is Peter’s least favorite human food that he tries in London?

Kara: Brussel sprouts? Or maybe salad, hehe

Me: They’re totally both rather gross. If Claire could pick any spot for a first kiss, where would it be?  And do you agree with her?

Kara: Well, her Big Ben/flying kiss in Dust is quite a thing to behold. She’d probably find some quaint little private nook in Kensington Gardens though. Either sounds good to me 🙂

Me: Thank you, Kara!  Can’t wait for friends to read this book!

 

RJ Conte, “BlondeRJ,” has kissed only one boy in her entire life – and she married him – inspiring her to write about sweet or powerful love stories ever since. She writes issue-driven fiction that explores human nature and the depths of the soul while pointing readers to their Creator.  Check her books out here on Amazon!

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Links: 

Add Dust to your Goodreads list!

Preorder Dust from Amazon or Barnes & Noble! You can also follow Kara on Amazon to stay tuned for all her new releases!

Connect with Kara on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for awesome bookish boards, photos, chats, and more!

Follow Kara on Facebook or join her Starchasers group where we have loads of fun getting to know one another and nerding out on all things bookish!

And, lastly, you can find all things Kara on her website and even sign up on her newsletter to receive a free short story!

 

Precedent

Not once but twice

Lost and pain, nerves on ice

Retching, groaning

Aching, moaning

Why wouldn’t I fear the precedent

Even if all assumes an accident

No joy in marching forward

Even though I’m lured

By the delight I forgot

Shrouded in the mass that failed a lot

Of us; yet try again – here we go!

The future I wish to know

Revelation 3:11

“Hold fast to what you have,

So that no one may seize your crown”

You have grabby hands

Kleptomaniac

You have your own crown

But you want to dash mine to sharp metal shards

Your words breathe fire

Which melts the gold

Your bitterness tarnishes the mirror face

Like slow-creeping rot

Your empty actions pluck the gems like a scalpel

And it’s all I can do to fight you off

Often it’s my own hands

That remove the glittering diadem

From my very own brow

And shut it away in a deep drawer

My depression hiding my gift from the light

I look in the glass

And see a hideous beast

A mockery of the beautiful adornment

I’m supposed to wear

Some days guarding my crown

Is all I have the energy to do

 

At That Level

I’m at that level

The second strongest pain

I’ve felt the agony

At the very top

And this is one step removed

I don’t long to die

I’m not at my limit

But I’m a single level away

And so close to the end

This is almost worse

At level two

Because experience says

“You can take one more”

And hope says

“You survived one more

So why are you quaking now?”

The thing no one knows

Is people die at level two

They drown at level two

They raise their loaded gun

And they end if in surprise

Because the lie is

“But you weren’t yet

At that level”

 

 

New Steampunk by Shauna Black!

I have not read this book yet, but it looks amazing!

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As the Phantom Nightingale’s first mate, Brayde’s life is full of harrowing adventure. He and the crew of the intrepid Carpathia are devoted to Captain Xanthe and his mission to save children from slavery. But when news of Xanthe’s lost sister comes to light, Brayde must decide whether to follow him on their most dangerous mission yet—into the heart of the empire that wants the Nightingale, dead or alive.

Avilene’s plans after graduating from the empire’s most prestigious academy include escaping the overbearing academy director that has dictated the course of her life since childhood. They do not include being kidnapped by a renegade airship captained by the notorious Phantom Nightingale.

When their purposes clash, can Brayde persuade Avilene to forego her duty to bring the Phantom Nightingale to justice, or will the crew lose their captain and their freedom in a desperate attempt to heal the scars of Xanthe’s past?

A swashbuckling adventure full of airships and magic in a future world ruled by a tyrannical Empire. If you enjoyed Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan or Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines, you’ll love The Phantom Nightingale!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ShaunaEBlackAward-winning author Shauna E. Black smiles a lot. But her appearance can be deceiving. Like the legendary sirens of old, she enjoys luring innocent readers into the stories she creates and trapping them there. Her home is sprinkled with spontaneous singing and the enticing smell of fresh baked bread, but her most cherished ploy lies in her passion for writing. Readers should beware of entering her fantastical worlds, lest they lose all touch with reality and find themselves waiting under lampposts for fauns and talking beavers to appear. If you decide to ignore this warning, you can find out more about her adventurous fiction on her website, ShaunaBlack.com.

LINKS: http://PhantomNightingale.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Nightingale-Andul-Guardians-Book-ebook/dp/B07Y5FLPSM

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-phantom-nightingale-shauna-e-black/1135744217?ean=9781912775149

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-phantom-nightingale/id1493922931

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-phantom-nightingale

 

You Miss Me

You miss me?

But I never left

You ran

When I was real

When my tears pooled

When I pushed back

When I said no

When who I really am inside

Was never what you wanted

Emotionally, you fled

You miss me?

But I never left