Lollygagging into 2023…

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Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

Recently, I wrote an article over on LinkedIn about how 2023 could be the year of the slowdown (in a proactive way). I’m not slowing down much myself, but I am taking some time out here and there for some fun things that don’t really accomplish anything useful. *gasp*

The pressure is on, though, to get the income needed to help me escape what I’m now calling the Nightmare Hell Zone* (and not in a fun way), so I’ve been applying for jobs in brick-and-mortar locations as well as online remote-work locations. One thought I’ve recently had was that I could maybe get a job with a chain and then use that to transfer to another location in the United States, or, perhaps even more wishful-thinking, transfer to a Canadian locale!

Anyway, until I go figure things out (or win the lottery–the HGTV dream home–Travel Channel Sweepstakes), I’m sharing some links for you to stroll through as you, yourselves, meander into 2023.

(Unless, of course, you just want to stop reading here, and go write a snail mail letter or take a day off next week to hang out with your houseplant BFFs. That’s fine too!)

Here’s January’s “Tarot Card Readings for Inspiration”: https://horrortree.com/january-2023-tarot-cards-for-creative-inspiration/ and their snarky horoscope sidekick: https://horrortree.com/january-2023-horoscopes-tempting-fate-in-the-new-year/.

And if another bomb cyclone is bearing down on you again, check out my “Cultivating Winter Magic” post as well: https://horrortree.com/cultivating-winter-magic-for-writers/. Who says you can’t go out in style, right?

*Want to exercise your creative muscles? Feel free to share (in the comments) your own wild and wacky names for a terrifying town in rural U.S.A.!

Pretend You’re a Time Traveller Day: Winter Post Redux!

Today is “Pretend You’re a Time Traveller Day”!

(Read more about this fun day, and ways to celebrate, here: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/pretend-to-be-a-time-traveler-day-december-8/)

So, what does this have to do with the redux of my post? I realized I’d meant to wait for my other winter-themed post to show up at Horror Tree, but I simply forgot what with all my busy job-hunting-and-geographical-escape madness.

I did add the link to the other post, but just to give it some extra winter sparkle, I’ve included the links below. Just click on the images to travel to another dimension! (Or a festive winter destination to get you into the “spirit”–yes, pun intended!)

(Also, I’ll just insert another shameless plug here–if you’re looking for editorial or other coaching services, or even a tarot reading of your very own, check out my cozy new website! https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/)

Winter Magic 2022

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Enjoy the Winter Solstice!

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author Bibiana Krall

For this week’s interview, we’re journeying through the evocative flavours of Bibiana Krall’s “mysterious world”. Enjoy the voyage!

Willow Croft: I read on your website that Tangled Webs (Book Two of your Haunted Series), has autumn-themed recipes and cocktails at the back of the book. So, without giving away any spoilers, what’s your favorite autumn flavor/foodstuffs to include in recipes?

Bibiana Krall: I grew up on a farm in Michigan and the flavor that most represents harvest for me will always be the apple. We had our own fruit trees and pressed apples into cider at the local mill to drink with breakfast and sip on chilly evenings with mulling spices. There is nothing more comforting than a warm slice of homemade, apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In the bonus pages of Tangled Webs, I included a recipe with a savory twist on a classic. Enjoy!

Willow Croft: I see that you’re a collector of objects. For a twist on the topic, what’s your favorite memory, or story of place, or even a memory of a particular scent, that you’ve collected?

Bibiana Krall: It’s true. I have an oddball collection of art, coins and even a few first-editions. Scent carries my strongest memories. The green-resin of a pine forest snoozing under the snow, the mellow earth after a gentle rain (petrichor) and oh… how I love gardenias. I planted some bushes in my yard, as they remind me of my grandmother. Creamy-white petals with notes of vanilla and exotic spice, what’s not to like?

Willow Croft: How does your writing transform not only your world, and the world of the reader, but the world at large, perhaps in terms of cultural, social, environmental change, and the like?

Bibiana Krall: I’ve been a storyteller ever since I can remember. The world is a mysterious and mystical place that holds a tradition of verbal and written stories that helps humans understand our past, present and future.

My hope is to change the reader’s perception that someone in another culture or a person who looks or lives differently than we do, may understand us more than we’d previously imagined. Heroines are an important part of what I do, as without strong and resilient women in our lives where would any of us be?

I gravitate towards themes of: ‘good versus evil’ ‘haunted houses’ and ‘a stranger comes to town’ to talk about fear of the unknown, overcoming and also to show that often there’s more to something than what you initially notice or believe. The greatest gift in fiction and hopefully in my work as well, is to discover that you aren’t alone in your struggle.

Willow Croft: If you could travel anywhere in the Cosmos you sky-watched as a child (as quoted from your blog), where would travel, and why?

Bibiana Krall: When I was a child, I yearned for a quick trip to Venus or to skateboard across the rings of Saturn. Now my wish is to travel to the Pillars of Creation and watch the EGGs zing across the darkness as they are born. The Eagle Nebula in the Serpens constellation is seven thousand light years away from us. To witness stars being created in real-time would blow the mind, so I included my wonder for the ‘Pillars’ in the mysticism of the Irish Phantom Series.

Willow Croft: If you were reincarnated as one of your literary heroines (or from another author’s works), who would you decide to be?

Bibiana Krall: That’s a tough one! What woman wouldn’t want to be Rebecca before she clashes with the horrible Mrs. Danvers or Jane Eyre living life on her own terms? In my own stories, I admire Ayanna in Prospect Hill for her intelligence, magic and herbal skills and Mary in the Irish Phantom Series for her courage to face terrifying situations and her ability to find happiness, friendship and true love after a breakdown.

Thank you for making space for my creative world. Your insightful questions made me think, smile and dream. Hopefully y’all know me a little bit better now. This was an honor and great fun! – Bibiana

Website: www.bibianakrall.com

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/bibianak

 

Winter Solstice and Ice Dreams…

I hope you all are enjoying this winter solstice and have hot chocolate and blankets ready for the conjunction viewing tonight. Alas, there is so much light pollution here, and my new locale is lit up so brightly I’m surprised you can’t see it from outer space.

There’s a little teeny part of me that’s expecting something momentous to happen, even though I fall more on the skeptic’s side of things. But I’ll settle for the veil between worlds to thin so that I can spend some time with my ghost cats of season’s past. I miss them.

I don’t even know about the veil-thinning thing, but I have been thinking a lot about the past. Many of my poems have elements taken from experiences I’ve had in the past, and turned into what-might-have-been second chances, or alternate dimensions.

The spec fic story (“The Ice Dream of the Crow”) I wrote for Excalibur’s Books’ Phantom Games: Dimensions Unknown 2020 was inspired by my grandmother’s boyfriend Ernie (he died some time ago). As the story goes, he was an excellent skater, and worked at the Lake Placid Olympics. From the family’s written record of the story, he laid the flag under the ice, and escorted Sonja Henie onto the ice. He was gifted an ice skater ornament for his work on the Olympics, which is still in the family.

So, if you’re looking to escape into an alternate reality and want to experience a fictional journey to the Games, and can’t wait for them to start next year, check out the anthology by clicking on the link here: Phantom Games: Dimensions Unknown 2020 or here https://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Games-Dimensions-2020/dp/B08KQP53X2/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Thanks, and enjoy the rare conjunction tonight! Merry solstice!