Thursday, August 18, 2022

Lucky Charms - not the cereal

 “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” ~ Tennessee Williams, (1911 - 1983)

I can’t show you my charm bracelet right now. To see it and find out why I can’t show it to you right now, sign up for my email newsletter, Nessa’s News.

I was born and raised Roman Catholic and with an extremely superstitious genetic background. Not Irish, but the original Celts going back to the Hallstatt era. Elves, talking birds, bees buzzy secrets in my ears, the ghosts living in a stone farmhouse over a thousand years old, salt and swords, roaring rivers swollen with melted glazers, and steers painted to fool an invading army filled my imagination long before I took my first breath. So, yeah, I believe in magic.

Even though I am no longer a Catholic or Christian, I can’t give up the rituals, my favorite part of going to church. The little container meant for holy water is older than the clovers and hangs by my front door (after living in my parents' houses for decades.) It holds Bavarian Alpine salt sanctified by the rising sun on the Winter Solstice while facing East on a New Jersey beach. Before I can leave the house, I touch the salt with the index and middle fingers of my left hand and touch my forehead, heart, and lips while whispering:

“Mind, body, and soul.”

A reminder to make the mundane world more sacred.

This picture has been in every bedroom I’ve occupied since I was a baby, even during college. 

While going through things, I found these four-leaf clovers I’ve had since 1972 (that’s a long time ago for those of you who are mathematically challenged.) They must be working because as I look back and review my life as a whole, I’ve been pretty damn well blessed.

Revena’s emblem and good luck charm is the honey bee which symbolizes wealth and prosperity. She wears a signet ring with the motif and uses it to seal important documents in wax.

        Mine, of course, is the Vampire Butterfly which speaks of eternal change and constant growth despite the pain such perpetual metamorphosis entails (stagnation means death, as the last few years have reminded me.)  

Revena’s Revenge: not a pretty love story opens with Revena whispering the following spell over a mug of ale:

“Blessed fruit and honey ale

  Bring him health without fail;

  Bring him strength, improve his vigor;

  Banish all that’s weak and frail.”

Are you superstitious? Do you have any old lucky charms? Do you wear an amulet or a signet ring? Do you have any special rituals?

Monday, August 08, 2022

Remember Me

I couldn't decide how to punctuate those words: was I writing a question, a command, just making a statement?

I've been going through old papers and photographs, sorting and creating digital copies. Lightening the load to move more easily into my future. Continuing my foray in Death Cleaning.

Some of the items are left over from my parents. Yes, eight and five years after the deaths of my mother and father, respectively, I'm still going through their things. I didn't want to leave such a chore for my daughter someday.

There is a variety of cards I made that my mother kept. Many of them are eligible for regifting so I may auction them off in the future. Little gifts for people who buy my books. You can see a bunch of cards I made over at my Creationist Thinking page. None of those cards are in the pile I have, so you'll need to stay tuned to see the giveaways.


This simple little Valentine's Day card is one of my favorites. It's called "Spiraling Hearts." It's a popup with the following poem I wrote on February 12, 2012.

"Hearts spiral in and out of love turning with time, but we are always at our best when we move back to our center." ~ vvk

Monday, August 01, 2022

More Than the Minimum

click to make biggerer

 "Just because you don't require a lot in order to be happy 
doesn't mean you deserve only the bare minimum."

Update on last month’s Adventure Agenda 

Write 250 new words a day. - I wrote over 5,500 new words in July. That’s 22 days worth. I wrote 5 out of the 31 days.

Walk 30 minutes every morning. - This was a bust. Slept late. Hot outside. Other things. I think I’ll be switching this to swimming when I get to Florida. There will be detours, side quests, and redrawn maps.

The Tree of Life embroidery project. - Once. I packed up my bag. Being ready for anything requires downsizing. I fit my personal items into a 4’ x 4’ x 6’ space. Less, really.

Blog Post #1 - Rabbit, Rabbit each 1st. - Yay. I deserve a ribbon.

Blog Post #2 - Authors I Know. - A work-in-progress.

Blog Post #3 - Writing update. - I say this counts.

Blog Post #4 - Book World Information. - Check out Leonardo Da Vinci’s ToDo List from the1490s.

The Bastards’ Battle. Outline, scene list, synopsis. - I have pictures of how I think the main characters look, along with personal histories. I’ve also outlined the main conflict (this one is more of a love story,) along with three subplots.

Read. - Lots of articles. My grandson has summer reading, and he’s chosen Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I did read it over eleven years ago. I remember it as being good. I will reread it in solidarity. Then we’ll watch the ANIME VERSION and compare.

Artist’s Date. - I did sort and gather my drawing implements.  

* BONUS ITEM: One short story a month. - Yeah, no.

Most of July was spent dismantling my old life and preparing for new adventures, like all exciting Hero's Journey's.

Friday, July 01, 2022



"SHATTERED" Rabbit, Rabbit 20220701 ~ from my cubist period (this morning.)

I didn't do a June newsletter. It was July before I even realized it.

To be fair to me, June was quite busy. I still haven't figured out how retirement works. Twenty hours a week kind of messes with my head. I'll update the more personal stuff in July's newsletter. Sign up for Nessa's News HERE if enquiring minds want to know.

Let's try a TO DO LIST for July and laugh when I don't get any of it done.

Write 250 new words a day. Any words, as long as it’s not the same one 250 times.

Walk 30 minutes every morning. I’m going to aim for 7:30 since it’s so fucking hot later. Hell ain’t got nothing on NJ summers.

The Tree of Life embroidery project. It’s been a while. I’d like to do something on it each day.

Blog Post #1 - Rabbit, Rabbit each 1st. I had to add this so I can claim at least one accomplishment this month.

Blog Post #2 - Authors I Know. On or about the 15th. Introductions and reviews of actual writers I know.

Blog Post #3 - Writing update. 

Blog Post #4 - Book World Information, like science, history, and everyday life.

The Bastards’ Battle. Outline, scene list, synopsis. Something for gosh sakes.

Read. Something. I have so many books sitting on my kindle that are lonely.

Artist’s Date. Once a week. This weekend, I will gather my pencils and colored pencils in one place. Yes, I’m starting very small. Baby steps, baby.

* BONUS ITEM: One short story a month.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Warm Hugs


Rabbit Rabbit 20220601

"A hug a day keeps the demons at bay." ~ German Proverb

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Mother May I ?

Rabbit, Rabbit 20220501

"Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is
what dies inside us while we live."
~ Norman Cousins

Monday, March 28, 2022

Snownadoes and Nonesuch

It was 31 degrees today, and blustery. It snowed all afternoon, but not much here. There are lots of weird words made up for snow events, like snownado, which has no entry in the dictionary.

Nonesuch is in the dictionary but it has nothing to do with snow or weather really. It means a person or thing without equal. Ir's pretty archaic.

You can get some more words by signing up for Nessa's News.

A once-a-month newsletter of 500 words or less sent to your email. Content that won't be posted anywhere else. Next one drops on March 31, 2022.

Click this link to subscribe:


Monday, February 28, 2022

February & Speed Dating

Nicky's spring grass.

so something beautiful will grow when they die on your land.

February went by so fast and with about as much substance as a speed dating event.

This month's Nessa's News will go out tonight. To see what I looked like at sixteen, subscribe to my newsletter.

A few other tidbits:

What did medieval Bavarians call February?

What is the oldest documented German pagan spell?

What to do to celebrate March? (No green beer. Sorry.)

so something beautiful will grow when they die on your land.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Author Attention - Michael R. Stern


Michael R. Stern is funny and smart and tells a good story. Well, actually, he's got nine stories he's told so far.

Reflections on a Generous Generation, published in 2012, is the story of Michael's father, Murray Stern, and is both memoir and history.

The Quantum Touch series is six books, all with Storm in the title. You can read my review of StormPortal over at Nessa's Book Shelf. Personal drama, world history, and time travel come together in a perfect storm (see what I did there?)

And just to prove his versatility, Sarah and the Dragons, is a fantasy fairy tale about being different.

You can find all of Michael's books on his Amazon Author Page.

Winter Games & Nessa's News


The next Nessa's News comes out on Friday, 20220128.

To find out the name and rules for one of the most popular board games across all levels of society for centuries and a February holiday that doesn't include machine guns and hearts, sign up for Nessa’s News by putting your email address in the SUBSCRIBE FORM.

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You will never get more than one email a month from me.

Nessa’s News will contain content you won’t get from any other of my online postings.

Short and sweet in less than 500 words.

Spells, crafts, recipes, designs, updates, and tips for living in the past, all related to my books and stories. 

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Heart of Winter


In the Northern Hemisphere, January was synonymous with the fallow field before the coming of spring. A time of rest and rejuvenation before all living things expended considerable energy in growth and rebirth.

While we think of winters in Medieval Europe as frozen and unbearable, in 900 AD, they were often mild compared to the Little Ice Age that began in the 1300s when the Baltic Sea froze twice, and many cities held fairs on frozen rivers. By comparison, during Revena’s lifetime, Iceland was colonized because the weather allowed easier access.

There was always work to do, whether serf or sovereign. 

Daily life involved plenty of physical labor, such as gathering wood for the constant fires needed to stay warm and caring for the animals that kept everyone alive—homes needed repair, as did clothing. The continuous need for agricultural labor decreased for this brief time before fields required turning.

For a moon’s span, there was time to relax, tell stories by the hearth, and even play games.

Revena and the people in her world were fond of dice and anything involving gambling. The church and government would begin instituting laws to curb rampant betting in the next century.

They enjoyed snowball fights, skating using blades of bone, and just enjoying the purity of the scenery, as captured by the art of the time.

Indoors, they played board games. To find out the name and rules for one of the most popular across all levels of society, sign up for Nessa’s News by putting your email address in the subscribe form on the tab/page above called Subscribe.

I promise never to sell or give away your contact info.

You will never get more than one email a month from me.

Nessa’s News will contain content you won’t get from any other of my online postings in less than 500 words.

Spells, crafts, designs, updates, and tips for living in the past, all related to my books and stories. 

If you are on your phone and don’t see the subscribe form, you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.