Fast forward ten plus years, add in a newborn, sprinkle in the spice of sudden job loss and a cross country move, and the stories that have been waiting since high school to be told are no longer patient.   Now, home with three kids, I’m called to produce stories instead of consuming them. 

 

I still feel the call of healing.  My husband says you can never take the doctor out of me and he’s right.  My science background infiltrates my stories as sci-fi creations, my healing passion for the spirit ensures works that stir your soul and remind you of love, preciousness, wonder and laughter.

 

In the Five Element Series, I draw on my Masters in Acupuncture.  Patients were always interested in the little tidbits of wisdom from Chinese Medicine, and I love planting these kernels into my stories too.

 

For example, energy always precedes the physical.  So, even though it is not technically winter, energetically, that is the season we are in. It is the time of Water, of cold and dark, of withdrawing and turning inwards. The color of Winter is blue, the emotion is fear, the gift is wisdom and prowess, and the taste is salty.

 

Neat, huh?  The things that resonate with this energy are also what can cause it the most injury.  Thus, excessive salt is worse in the winter than, say, summer.  Winter is also a time for knowledge and wisdom, where this energy is more accessible.  If you’ve been wanting to learn something, now is the time to pick up that book. It should be easier now than any other time of year.

 

I’m going to read some books on this novel (get it? ha!) craft. I’ve not mastered this new balance of stay-at-home mom and burgeoning writer yet, but the best part of the story is the journey, and I’m excited to share it with you.

 

I’m also excited to share an excerpt of Stardust.  


 

⛤〇⛤〇⛤〇⛤

“Uh-huh.” I make the noncommittal noise of encouragement into my mobile. My best mate Marlowe is relating how she quit her latest job as a platypus conservationist. She really doesn’t need to work—I’ve given her enough money—but it’s the “normal” thing to do. 

“I mean, just because he’s a stubby short of a six pack doesn’t mean I can’t tell him he’s as useful as a third armpit,” she gripes about her former boss. 

I apply another layer of SuperNova Metallic Gold to my toenails, extra careful because my fingernails are still drying. It’s my tradition to do my own nails when I’m finally home; something that helps me de-stress. 

“Like really, I need certification to operate a chainsaw? A 'Level One' requirement?  It’s not like I’m carving statues for the buggers!”  

I don’t even want to know what she was supposed to be doing with a chainsaw. I try to pull my ear away from her increasing volume while still keeping the phone nestled against my shoulders, which is no easy feat. 

There's always some hiccup going off tour and coming home. This time, it’s missing earbuds, but that’s a small price to pay to be back home, alone, in peace and quiet.

She screeches some more, and as much as the sound grates, inwardly I also love it. I’ve known Mar since we were kids, and she grounds me like no other. Right now she is letting me live vicariously through her, and I soak up everything: Mar’s attitude, the mannerisms in her speech, and all the everyday events. Between her and the trivial act of leisurely doing my nails, I am already starting to feel restored. 

The calming peach and beige color palette to my room also help. I’ve filled my bedroom with rich and dainty textures and elegant fixtures. Golden afternoon light spills through my wall of windows, catching the glitter on my newly adorned fingernails.  

There’s something just so inherently captivating about sparkle and shine. It’s like hope and dreams and magic made real, with maybe a pinch of innocence and fun, too. I notice one of the pendants from my crystal chandelier has captured a ray of sun and coaxed a rainbow out of it.  This is why it’s so good to be home: my best friend, sparkles, rainbows and a bit of quiet to enjoy it all.

The non-stop touring whirlwind just drains the soul out of me. Well, this business does that too. My agent says it’s good I’ve got a ‘no holds barred’ demeanor. I tend to call it like I see it and stick up for myself and I guess that keeps people from taking advantage. She also admires my easy-going Aussie attitude. I’ve learned to roll with the punches.  

I swipe the bangs out of my face with the back of my hand, concentrating on my second to last toe, almost done. My drying fingers are splayed as I work, which oddly makes me feel like some evil villain in a superhero movie.  As if villains don’t know how to use their hands properly.  Or they use them excessively.  You don’t see the good guys drumming their fingers or steepling their hands while plotting world domination.

Come to think of it, they probably wouldn’t have metallic gold nails, either.  Only superstars do that. Like me.  My last three records went triple platinum.  It’s been absolutely insane, not helped by the fact that I’m 21 and I’ve been completely on my own for the last five years.

“Why did you even take that job?” I ask.  Much as she speaks her mind, she is a people person, and I never saw the conservation shtick jiving with her.  

“I didn’t know weeding and the like was how one saved platypuses.” She pauses.  “Platypusi?”

“That sounds borderline offensive. How do you not know by now?”

She doesn’t respond and I figure she’s googling on her phone.  I contort around on my crushed velvet rose colored bedspread, trying to get to my pinky toe.

“Platypodes?” Mar says, but her voice sounds like it’s coming through water.  Probably since I’m drowning her out, her voice in slow-mo as I become hyper-acutely focused on the nail polish bottle.

Because my phone just slipped off my shoulder and knocked it over.

You see, I have this thing about stains.  I despise them.  Oil stains from food on paper, that’s a pet peeve.  Nail polish on bedspread—epic catastrophe.  

I grab for the bottle, reflexes on automatic, and then there’s a moment of relief.  Like when things just sync up, you get the luck of the draw, and it all turns out okay.

I’d say that lasted just about 67 hundredths of a second.

The good news:  I was wrong about the nail polish.  The phone didn’t knock it over and spill it.

The bad news:  There is a phone hovering mid-air.  It’s defying the laws of physics and hanging suspended, the phone just gracing the nail polish bottle which is now also frozen and off-kilter.

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