Lantern Leaf Press

Voyages Into The Fantastic

To The Void and Back Again

It would make sense to begin this post with some sort of acknowledgement of how much time has passed. Perhaps with an added apology for the lack of posts and updates, and a quip or two about how life rushes past – haha – and sometimes things just get away from us.

But the truth, in this case, is that I burned out on blogging. Big time. I baptized my beginning authorhood in the waters of “How To Be a Good Author” with the now very dated rules of “get a blog, blog all the time, join all the social media platforms whether you like them or not, keep blogging, make people sign up for a newsletter, blog more, then write newsletters summarizing what you were blogging” and honestly the grind of coming up with new things to blog about just killed it. Too much. It had to go.

So now, with a lovely little rental house painted blue on the inside, a tiny garden holding one tomato plant, and two grey cats who think treats should be much more than 10% of their diet, I find myself wanting to come back and I’m not terribly sure how to resume. So I will say those words that come hard. – Shall we try this again?

I had to set writing aside for two years because the words wouldn’t come. And now they are coming but they’ve forgotten their manners and sort of stream out in a wild chaos with a mad sprinkling of broken punctuation rules. I am trying this again, because, in the words of old Tootles in Spielberg’s Hook, I’ve forgotten how to fly. And I know that I can’t learn how to do this again if I don’t start and face the discoveries and the mistakes and raw infuriating newness of what used to be familiar.

Have you ever had to start something over that you used to know so well? If so, I wish you’d tell me about it so we can commiserate. Life is hard enough without pretending you aren’t struggling. I want to remember how to fly. It just might involve a few hundred falls to get there. And I’m going to believe it’s worth the effort, because I still dream about flying. About the words pouring out onto the page and the worlds created and the characters coming to life. It’s a voyage of discovery. And I’m willing to struggle at least once more.

A Merry Christmas, Whatever Your Season

Merry Christmas, you marvels of humanity! Congratulations on making it through another year, and hopefully gathering a store of happy memories along the way.

If you’re like me, though, this may have been an especially rough year for any number of reasons. Perhaps you noticed the sudden lapse in blog posts and updates from me. Well, in a nutshell, I lost my writing for the greater part of this year. February to December was a desert without words. I would not wish that on my worst enemy.

But after months of struggle and anger and wanting to smash coffee mugs and bouts of crying and a final rest, I think I’m starting to get the words back. It’s different now. I’m hoping that it’s an entry point into a new era and phase of writing, and I’m choosing to hope that my craft will be better for it.

But dang. That was rough.

So here’s wishing you a merry Christmas, whatever season of life you may be in. Keep growing, keep living, keep doing you. And here’s looking forward to the surprises the future will bring.

~Rebekah Shafer

Photo from Pexels.com.

A Sneak Peek at Surfaeillance 3

pexels-photo-25112

As you may have noticed by now, Surfaeillance 3 has not been the most cooperative of its fellows. It’s been through alteration after alteration, some big, some small. . . at this point I think I’m working on something like version #4. But I’m happy to announce that the story is finally sticking.

One of the biggest challenges in this particular installment has been getting Burgundy to navigate the weirdness that is “beginning a friendship” with her coworker Myron. It doesn’t help that Burgundy has almost no social skills, and Myron tends to withdraw rather than express. Somedays I find myself in the corner with the pixie making sarcastic comments and trying to figure out how to make them talk to each other.

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Night and Day

houses-village-coast-italy

Before you ask, no, this is not my current location. (I wish.) But I’m in an Italian mood, thanks to starting in on a new novel project that has a definite Italy-meets-Spain sort of vibe. It’s not developed enough for me to share a synopsis, but I’m very excited over the direction it’s taking and the simple fact that I’m writing again.

I’m writing again, world! Let that sink in. Then pass the sparkling pear juice and launch the fireworks. It’s been a long month and a half in the writer’s block abyss.

I’ve also been working on Surfaeillance 3 (and maybe planning 4, 5, and 6. . . ) and implementing some Luck Child edits. My “must write” drive isn’t running out, no matter how much I try to do these days. Maybe the time off really did some good.

The new story is loosely inspired by an old fairy tale I read (once upon a time, a very long while ago. . . ) that focused on the stories of a young girl and young boy stolen by a witch. She raised the girl in the dark and taught her to fear the light, and raised the boy to live in the day and fear the night. Then many years later the now-grown boy’s horse falls and injures itself, and leaves him trapped in the dark. . . until he meets the girl.  Continue reading

Excerpt from The Mirror Knife

Hello, all! Here is one of my favorite scenes from The Mirror Knife. This particular scene involves Burgundy taking her pixie and current client (a tiny, hunted fairy named Fly) to a faery black market to try to uncover some information.

—–

   I opened my eyes to see the familiar rows of booths, tents, and haggling fairies. A tall female fairy on guard duty glided forward and looked me straight in the eye. “Can I help you?” she asked. She stood as tall as me, and her voice was husky and clearly suspicious. Her gaze travelled to my shoulder. “Two visitors?”

   “Three. Surfaeillance business,” I replied. Silence rippled out from where I was standing. Then the talk began again, but in hushed tones.

   The fairy arched a perfect eyebrow. “Really?” The slender vine in her dark curls wound tighter, obviously disappointed that it didn’t get to attack an intruder. She turned away in a rustle of gypsy skirts and vanished into a shrub.

   “Hang on,” I said, poking at the bush. “Where’s Saunders hanging out these days?”

   The branches rustled and the fairy peered out at me, her brown eyes turning green. “Why?” she asked.

   “Because.”

   She sniffed. “Third tent from the end. Red curtains.” The leaves swished shut in my face.

   Fairies. I plunged into the sea of tents, hoping to keep my sense of direction. The interiors of the booths glittered with glass jars, amber-colored lamps, and all sorts of human-made junk. One fellow was even trying to sell broken washing machines.

   “I am thinking this was a bad idea,” Fly said in my ear. I felt a little hand tug on my hair. “Maybe you should wait here, and I will go find the. . . it.”

   Well, that was new. “You want to risk getting caught again?” I said, turning a corner. I could see the red tent now, at the end of the row. Fly seemed to be getting more and more agitated. I slowed down. “You’ll be fine,” I said. Few fairy criminals would be stupid enough to try anything in the Market, but it paid to be on the safe side. “If you see anything suspicious, let me know. Got it?”

   Fly whimpered a response as we reached the tent. I slid one hand into my coat pocket and stepped up to the counter.

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