Friday, November 18, 2016

Big news!

My latest book, "The Merlinian Legend"

a tale about the life and love of Merlin the Magician, Mage to Kings....

It's in the news!  YAY!

I mean....

Click here to read about it from aaduna Publishing! The Merlinian Legend in the news!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Anyone can write a book".....

Did I get your attention with the title? I hope so. I have just finished writing my second book, and when I published my first one I was walking on air, as I know I will be when this next one comes out!

Oh there is so much to do when you take on a gigantic project like writing a book. First there is the kernel of an idea, which has to germinate until it grows into a full blown seedling and able to grow somewhat on its own.

Then there is the actual formalized structure, your story line, research, research, research....the time spent daydreaming about characters while you go about your daily routine, thinking of scenarios while you drive to work, do your laundry, go to sleep at night...

then comes fighting with the outline until you have a perfect bare bones guideline that will still let you create as you go, the hours of writing, the kabillion hours of editing. Once you get this far, its time to enlist other help in the form of copy editing, computer whizzes, artists, graphic artists...

You stretch yourself to do more than you think you can, and then come the inevitable rejections of files, the reworking, the nail biting, more editing, adjusting colors, fonts, margins, gutters, bios, pics....

Finally, finally, you get a book in your hands.


You are exhilarated and you walk on air! You mention it to an acquaintance that you finally got your book published and they dismiss you with an "Oh...anyone can write a book."

At first it takes the wind out of your sails. Sails that you have fought the wind so hard for....
then you realize that they may just be jealous and trying to dismiss your accomplishment.

So you think to yourself...."Well, maybe anyone can write a book....but do they? Did YOU?"
(You know you are dying to say it to the person who bitch slapped you, but you don't...because.... are nice and they are not to say such things.)

But later on, you get to thinking.....

Maybe everyone can write a book, but they don't.
Maybe they want to, though, and maybe they really should.
Maybe you can help them.

Yes, in retrospect, you realize that writing has now completely consumed your life while in the process.....
You've probably pissed off someone along the way, for not paying enough attention while you were typing or focusing on your project or because you actually have been all about your project and not all about them or something...who knows. If so, I am sorry. But it's really like being pregnant. When you are pregnant, that's all you can freaking think about. 

You try not to tell your friends too much when you talk about book, and know that you aren't doing a very good job of it. It's really hard to be proud of something without coming off being "prideful."

So, you distance yourself on talking about it,  but only enough to get them curious enough to read your stuff.

And you very much hope they will.

You also very much hope that they enjoy it.

Like....a LOT.

Mostly because you've had your nose up in your own writing for so long, and it's such a solitary journey and you wonder how other people will like being along on the ride of the trip once they crack open the itinerary and start traveling along the pages.

So if I have driven any of you crazy with my postings, about my latest book coming out soon,
or if you think I'm being cryptic by not releasing too much info,
or if you are sick to death of hearing about how its coming along,
or if you can't wait to get your hands on it and it seems forever till its out and you can get it...

PLEASE know that I am doing it only because this baby book is brand new like an infant. I want it to be perfect as it can be. Ready for you. Ready for company.

I have been nurturing it and protecting it until it "grows up enough" to sit on a shelf with it's other sibling, my first book.

And please also know that I want to have a big family of books.

So now, back to the person who said to me the first day I published, in a most snotty voice,
"Anyone can write a book." I felt like I'd been slapped.

I then spoke to several other authors, and then got the other angle. When I told them I self published, they gave me the disapproving looks over their noses and said, "(ahem) it's not really published unless it's with a major publishing company..."

But as I now look at the finish line of my next book coming within a year of starting the process....
it occurs to me that maybe anyone can write their own book!

And Self Publishing Houses and Print On Demand (POD) are huge now! They are loosing that stigma of being the red headed step child in the publishing world. MANY big things are coming from Self Published Authors! You could be one too!
I encourage you all to write, and to try the process. To create a thing from scratch, to build it the way you want, to decorate it, design it, just to your own specifications....Not what an editor wants...but what YOU want it to look like, feel like, be like.
What an awesome experience to hold in your hand, consider it a gift to the world with this...
 a whole completely new thing that has never been in existence until you made it!'s a freaking RUSH!!

Yes, and a pain in the ass to do. And a lot of people don't do it because they are scared, or too busy, or don't think it will sell or maybe they are afraid of failure....or maybe they are afraid it will succeed...

But you'll never know until you try.
And I promise, that I will help you in any way that I can.
For I would never slap you down on your path of creativity, but I encourage others to also do what I have done...and will do again.
Consider me addicted to writing and the process. I am hooked. :)

Stay tuned for more info on the looming release of "The Merlinian Legend!"

Friday, August 21, 2015

Messages from the Other Side

It was bright and early when several friends and I started off yesterday on a day trip to Lily Dale, NY to go to the community there for the Lily Dale Assembly. 

If you ever get some time...and are interested in things Spiritual and of Life after Death...and miss any of your loved ones...

You should GO.

First a little background information if you have never heard of it:

Lily Dale is the “World’s Largest Center for the Science Philosophy and Religion of Spiritualism” and it is right here in New York State.  Lily Dale was incorporated in 1879 as Cassadaga Lake Free Association, a camp and meeting place for Spiritualists and Freethinkers.The name was changed to The City of Light in 1903 and finally to Lily Dale Assembly in 1906. The purpose of Lily Dale is to further the science, philosophy, & religion of Spiritualism. 

Spiritualism was very popular back in the late 1800's. Mrs. Lincoln was very interested in Spiritualism after the death of Abraham and also the death of her son. As a matter of fact, it sort of started right here in Central New York in the Moravia area with the Fox Sisters way back when....

But surely I digress.

Lily Dale is a hamlet located in the Town of Pomfret on the east side of Cassadaga Lake, next to the Village of Cassadaga, Located in southwestern New York State, it is one hour southwest of Buffalo, halfway to the Pennsylvania border. Lily Dale's year-round population is estimated to be 275. Each year approximately 22,000 visitors come for classes, workshops, public church services and mediumship demonstrations, lectures, and private appointments with mediums.

The Definition of A Spiritualist

“One who believes, as the basis of his or her religion, in the continuity of life and in individual responsibility. Some, but not all, Spiritualists are Mediums and/or Healers. Spiritualists endeavor to find the truth in all things and to live their lives in accordance therewith.”

Here are their Beliefs:

 (the last one says: "Prophecy and Healing are expressions of God.")

I can get behind these tenets. I have no problem with these beliefs.

This was a first time visit for myself, and friends Terri & Gwen. We were accompanied by friends Sean & Liz who love this place and were our tour guides. 

First off the place is CALM, cute, quaint and warm.

 You can just go up and sit on a lot of the porches there.
Here we all are relaxing on the porch of the Angel House B & B

Many of the registered Mediums have appointments in their homes and you are welcome to sign up for readings if you like. There are shops for Alternative reading, crystals, incense and the like. There are places for food and drink and the whole place has the feeling of FAMILY. 

When we arrived there was the threat of a storm coming in, and the place took on an Otherworldly sort of feel. We walked in the woods and saw the Pet Cemetery which was beautiful, sensitive, and filled with poignant longing and love for the departed animals celebrated there. 
From there we wandered to “Inspiration Stump” a very historical and magickal place! Set in the woods, 

Mediums have been gathering here since 1898 to give spontaneous readings to the audience that may gather there. On this day, we got to the stump early, before it rained and reveled in the quiet. 

As we were walking quietly in the woods, someone said, “Is that a bird?? It’s HUGE.” 
We all turned to squint, and sure enough, close by us was a large turkey in the woods along with two babies. Turkeys are symbols for “Gifts” and Spiritual Enlightenment, in particular, FORETELLING. I found it quite a wondrous SIGN. 

 When we got to the actual stump, a place where spiritual energy had been flowing for over a 115 years….
The stump had a slab of rock placed on top years ago, because it was starting to decay. Nowadays, it is gated off to protect it from the public, as it is no longer stood upon, due to its age. There was a feeling of tremendous age and history there for me. I heard and felt a “buzz” coming from the stump, like conversations buzzing....I walked round the stump in a clockwise circle to bless it. We all chatted here for quite some time before moving on. 

We ducked into a store when it began to pour. The rain that followed made the daily religious services thusly, all go indoors at the Auditorium and we found that space to also to be quite comfortable.
When we sat down, I just knew that the experience would be amazing and I felt that I would indeed receive a message. I have wanted to hear from my parents for a long time. I have dreams about them and have had a lot of intuitive feelings about them while writing my book, and nearly daily I feel their presence. But I wanted to get a definitive message from them and hoped that they were OK with everything, with me,  and that they were alright. 

In my heart of hearts, I knew they were….but ….
I really wanted to get a direct message from them, ya know?

Yes, we all doubt our psychic abilities. Even us psychics, sometimes :)

There I sat before the service, with my friends,

and felt energy sort of buzzing in my feet and hands. It reminded me of feeling of the bubbles of seltzer, sort of. I planted both of my feet squarely on the floor and grounded myself. I opened my hands to receive in my lap.

Previously, when I first arrived here at Lily Dale, I got out of the car, and I purposely shielded myself with my imagined “energy condom of white opaque light.” This shield of mine was porous enough for love to come in and out of, and yet would protect me from anything harmful, in my mind, body and spirit. I didn’t want to pick up any “extraneous” energies, but only messages of love from those who cared about me. I did not want anyone or anything “attaching” to me whilst there, but for me to remain safe and open otherwise. I felt I was there to LISTEN, to learn and to feel.

The facilitator of the service came up to open the meeting with words of social behavior for the gathering assembled (shut off cell phones, no smoking or food or beverage allowed, and please no applause for the Mediums, but to please smile and remain open if you would like to receive a message. Also, the gathered were informed to “not walk between the Medium and the person being given a message, so as to not break the energy communication.”)

After all this was a religious church service and to give it the respect it is due seemed more than fair to inform the general population. The meeting opened with a prayer to Universal God energy and we were all at peace and ready.

The format was for several readers to come out to address the group, one at a time. They were given a wireless mic because the crowd was large, even for a rainy day. Each Medium had their own style and would usually be called to one of three individuals which would be singled out for a message for their portion of the service. There were about 5 or 6 Mediums per service. We went to two service yesterday, and I was singled out TWICE, once at each program! My friends, Gwen and Terri were also given messages at each service as well! Out of all those people we felt truly BLESSED!

It was an amazing experience.

The second reader of the service came towards my side of the auditorium and said, “to the blond lady with fluffy hair” and singled me out. She told me that there was a man who wanted to give me a message and would I like to receive it?”

“Yes” was my heartfelt reply. It was my DAD. He was here! Yes, Earl Brown, quiet man that he was, was first in line to talk to me. Dad wanted me to know that he watches over me and is with me a lot.” The reader continued, Also with him, another man, smaller in statue…an “in law.” (I believed this to be my first father in-law, Jim Underwood.) He too, had my back and supported  me. Also….(she went on and asked me…) 

“Do you ever feel that someone sits on the bed with you? Do you feel ‘hot spots” on the floor sometime?

I did. I DO. “Yes, very much so.” I replied.

It was my dear cat, Sha-Sha, who she said “Cuddles” with me still. This cat likes to play with your hair.” I was amazed at the synchronicity of it all. But wait…there is MORE.

“There is a woman here too. She had trouble breathing. ….she too, had “fluffy” hair. I see curlers in her hair…but she never slept with them. Do you know who this is?”

“Yes. It is my mother.” (I started to feel very emotional through all this…)

“Yes. She said that she had many hardships in her life. She too, wants you to know that you are on the right path, and doing what you need to do. She supports you. Something that you are doing now is good and you will be doing very well in 6 months time and you will be very happy then. To keep doing what you are doing. She is doing better now. She wants you to know that her hardships are over and you can move forward now.”

I burst into tears.

The Medium continued, “You are crying now, because she is sitting on your lap. I leave you with this and with love and light.”

It was as if a light had gone on inside me. Gwen and Terri also got readings and it was so fascinating to watch the readers work. One of the Mediums channeled people. In the next session, which we decided it would be interesting to go to another service at 5:30pm, this different Medium, a Channel-er, sought me out once again! Out of all the people there, I was feeling very fortunate.

“Some dead people are pretty chatty” she said. We all laughed.

The Medium said that there was a woman here to talk to me. It was my mother again! Mom was chatty in life too. :)

The Medium channeled her and said, “A woman who couldn’t breathe very well. She had phlegm ….coughing….”(the Medium, sometimes would cough or say that she tasted cigarettes....)

“Yes. That is my mother. She died of Emphysema.”

The Medium went on…

 ““She says that you are strong…and stubborn… and to start taking time for yourself. This woman is around you and supports you all the time looking after you. In life, she took care of everyone and everything… She says that you have been thinking about moving away from something or someone….part time….It is negative energy and you need to disconnect from the negative influences, and to go ahead and make the changes that you need to…..I leave you with this and love and light.”

Both of these Mediums gave me a tremendous GIFT. Just as the turkey had foretold it would be. 

The rest of the day was spent with my friends, in the woods, walking the fairy trail which was so magickal…

We talked about great things, personal things, mundane things, things of spiritual importance. We wandered the village and admired the adorable "yard-ens" full of flowers and that did not need mowing. 
We meandered to a bistro and had soups and desserts (creme brulee' for me...mmmmm)...

 The ride back was long but connective with each other and chatted away the miles....

This day away was indeed one of the most interesting, spiritually, that I've had in a long time.

By the way…. 
as I write this…
and know what the date is this morning when I awoke....

I now realize yet another reason that my mom was so chatty yesterday and why she cut through the line twice to talk to me: 

Today is my mother’s birthday. Bernice Brown would’ve been 83. 

Happy Birthday Mom~ So VERY nice to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Night of the Green Man

A deluge. Thunder, lightening...and our StoryBook Club met on this most perfect May evening to discuss the legend of The Green Man.

He is a legendary pagan deity who personifies Life and Death. Growth and Decay. He is honored most especially at spring time, during Beltane (May Day) along with the May Queen (who personifies Mother Earth)...after all....Mother Earth needed someone to bring forth spring with!

You may have just recently come into knowledge of him, or you may have known about him for many years, for the The Green Man is believed to have begun as a pre-Christian entity, the spirit of nature personified as a man.

Most often associated with the Celts, his visage of a man peering out between leaves, entangled with vines, has often become a fertility symbol associated with pagan rites of growth and the cycle of life.

I, personally, had always associated him with life, nature, growth, earth, trees, sex, but there is his other powerful attribute, that he is also the symbol of death and of endings. After all, does not nature reclaim it's own in the end? Are we not worn down by time, worms, fire, and rain like all of creation?

This is why many "Wicker Men" are built...for us to remember that we are transient beings...
here today....

gone tomorrow.

Good stuff to remember.

Of course, it seems that the Church tried to make The Green Man, a personification of evil...meaning...that nature itself is evil. It is not evil, how'ere, in our technological world, we are becoming less and less comfortable in the out of doors, preferring a life of indoor pursuits, and becoming afraid or scared of "the woods" and all the "wolves and evil creatures in it."

Carl Jung wrote in his theory of compensation- that an archetype will reappear in a new form to draw attention to imbalances in society at a particular time, when it is needed. The Green Man is rising in our culture now, to balance our awareness, and to show our lack of care towards nature.
OF COURSE, The Green Man is returning now, because there is so much danger in his realm.

The earth needs our help.

We met up at Squirrel Haven, and very much enjoyed the stimulating conversations that started with The Green Man, and drifted to many tales of earth, technology, the ozone layer, the cutting of the rain forests, to cell phone zombie attachments (which take us off The Green Man's path) to that of the earth's yes, even The Hulk (being the green man that he is as well.) We felt that The Hulk, while NOT The Green Man, does indeed, personify ANGRY NATURE, with earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes and acts of Mother Earth who is trying to rid herself of a terrible parasite (i.e. Man).

Intelligent conversations were indulged in as well as good green food: Spinach Artichoke dip and Rosemary Bread rounds, Veggie Casserole with Quinoa, Sauteed Kale, Lemon Cilantro Rice and Black Beans, Kiwis,
along with delicious adult beverages of: Cabernet, Riesling, Cheladas, Tequila Lemonade with Mint, and Buttered Rum. Green was also shared and the conversations were hearty and we laughed and chatted more.

There really aren't a lot of movies that feature The Green Man, so we watched a clip of the movie "Hell Boy" wherein they featured "A Forest God", an Elemental who also personified Nature.

It is a heady responsibility that we have this day to take care of our Mother Earth. The Green Man is our reminder to keep in touch with her and to do our best to make sure we honor her needs and that we do not become greedy bastards and use her up, but instead that we also replant, reseed, and re-cultivate good back INTO the earth,  instead of just being takers.

Favorite quote of Merlyn's of the evening, as noted by Stephanie:
"Well, AGAIN, that brings us back to The Hulk." :)

Angry Nature.

Let's not have an Angry Nature God.

Let us love and protect her and let the May Queen and The Green Man, live in love together peaceably.

 Let's have Green Man parties all our whole lives long!
(Here's a pic from several years ago when we were in Florida with friends! Loving the shirts and dresses!)

So, get outside!
Plant some flowers!

Celebrate The Green Man!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's Official. I'm now Reverend Merlyn :)

I have been hearing the call for quite sometime now....

As a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, I've been a Lay Leader for many years and have programmed and led so many, many services. My love of Theology and years of Seeking has drawn me to many diverse peoples and cultures.

Recently, at my last service at Hogmanay (Scottish New Year), several people asked me about becoming Ordained. I admit, I've been really thinking about it as the Spirit has been niggling my conscience. I also had a dear friend ask me if I could be like my old friend Cricket and officially do magickal ceremonies. I told her I could do the ceremonies, no problem...but wasn't ordained at the time.

Too many coincidences.
 You really have to listen to the Universe on these things.

So as of this new day, and in honor of the New Year, and fulfilling good promises to myself and others..
on this January 1, 2015, I filed the paperwork and am now a Minister in the Universal Life Church and can perform Weddings and officiate at Baptisms and Funerals, should there ever be a call.

I am totally thrilled!
My Ordination materials and credentials will be coming soon.

Also, while I was at it, I decided to go ahead and do another wondrous thing and fulfill a Long Time Wish...
and so I became a Minister of the Church of the Dude as well.

So I shall also "Abide" in the Church of Dudeism.

Remember, the Universe is a great and grand place. We are all here for a Great and Grand Purpose.

On this My Ordination Day I promise to be as cool as I can be and to help others be their own Spiritual cool selves as well.  We should love one another. But to not only be tolerant but to try to accept others with Love. To Be helpful. Be kind. Be Open Minded to others.

And most importantly always remember the Tenets of the Good Living:


Have a WONDROUS New Year of Great and Grand Things!

Be Who you Want to Be!!!

Love and Bright Blessings~

Reverend Merlyn :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

There's Magick when you go Into the Woods~

This month's installment of our StoryBook Club took a turn and we strayed off the path of our regular meetings

Instead, we met up at Destiny Mall to go see the new film "Into the Woods" starring Meryl Streep, Tracey Ullman and Johnny Depp among many more of a star studded cast.

It was a great turnout of 15 Fairy Tale Fanatic Friends meeting up! (Why NO, we haven't "grown up", thank you!)

Our first daunting task to acquire was to figure out how to get the magical tickets with a long line around the block to the box office window.... and THEN to make it into the theatre in time for the show!
We were undaunted. And unfortunately, unwatered with liquor and we all forgot our flasks.
How'ere, we had magic on our side! Someone got a beam of light from heaven and we all side stepped the traditional route of the box office and bellied up to the bar of the Fandango machine. A couple of the members had Regal Cinema cards and we did some finagling on the machine and out of pocket reimbursements while others who had tickets went in and saved seats.

FIFTEEN SEATS. All together and IN TIME FOR THE SHOW! Pretty spectacular magick, that!

The story is an amalgamation of several stories: Rapunzel, The baker's wife, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Bean Stalk, as well as some references to some other fairy tales.

Into the Woods is a Musical Stage Show, first and foremost. This was a very different experience to put it on the big screen, but like Les Mis, they did a very fine job of it and some of the tunes were quite catchy.

"Hello, Little Girl" sung by the Wolf (Johnny Depp) was appropriately creepy and lusty and I loved his wolf howl at the end. It reminded me of the zoot suited wolf in old cartoon "Red Hot Riding Hood"!
 Come to find out...Johnny Depp DID pattern himself after this same wolf! He's even got the pocket chain.
He was eerily on the money for it and the wolf howl on the end was PERFECT.
Meryl Streep was AMAZING as the witch! As always, the witch...evil at first...then as we come to know her, we find she is misunderstood (as are most folks who seem mean)...with the inevitable image and parental issues.
And man, that girl can SING! Who knew??
The makeup jobs were great on her.

Lots of humor did abound in many places and we roared with laughter for the way over the top song "Agony" sung by the Princes!

Best Quote of the movie in my own personal opinion was by Prince Charming himself as he proceeded to continue to love 'em and leave 'em with his wooing of the Baker's Wife:

                                              "I was raised to be charming....not sincere." 

(WORD.  :) Hey, at least he admitted it. We've always knew that about that Prince. He rode off into the wild world, ever seeking, never happy.

How'ere, the "Other Prince" in Rapunzel was much more sincere...he was blinded by enchanted briars blocking his path.. (figuratively as well as emotionally and literally....)

But wait! Through yonder window breaks HOPE! Once he seeks out his true desire...and found his love by feelings, instead of by comely delight....his sight is regained from Rapunzel's sincerely lovely tears, he was a very grand protector and lover man for her and they BOTH did have a happily ever after and made their own magic! <3 He was rewarded with the sunset ride with the girl on his white horse!
Mayhaps it's best to not be so "charming" and be "the Other Kind" is what this story is telling us?

.Little Red Riding Hood finds new meaning in her sexuality and starts wearing the wolf cape from vanquished foes for her strength. (You go, girlfriend!) She gives new meaning to wearing "wolves' clothing" :)

And Jack from Beanstalk Fame learns the hard way that it's not kewl to steal.

After a delightful romp with a Giant and some real Grimm moments of original fairy tale endings with the obligatory bird eye peckings and occasional, well, DEATH....the story took us on some twists and turns away from the set up "happy ever after" and left us with a hodge-podge family worthy of many multiple marriages.

But in the end...
All Giants slain, "everyone who deserves to live, does" and All in all a delightful movie outing!

With a BONUS reel of a happy ending of 15 wonderful souls having ales and drinks and nibbles at a pub on a winter's evening at a long banquet table talking and laughing into the dark night.

The ending of my personal tale was the magical snow that found us on the way home!
There was none in the forecast....there were bare roads with no snow falling but only a few flakes.
Then we turned a corner and "BAM! Smack!" (as the Wicked Witch would say) there was SNOW all over the roads...yet no snow falling!
A TOTALLY weird, wonderful and an appropriate magickal ending.

Friends, Fun and Fairy Tales. This IS StoryBook Club!

Next month? "Jack Frost!" Just in time for Winter! So put on an extra log on the fire, curl up with some old folk tales and stay warm till next time!
Sincerely submitted by your faithful Storyteller....