The Daily Scroll was created for visitors who want to learn more about all three. It’s bursting with imaginative micro-articles, cartoons & passages from the writings of authors & artists.

Fantasizing,Fotos,Fridays offer pictures chosen to stimulate our imaginations, awaken inspiration & allow creativity free rein to invent theories or micro-stories based on what we see. Imagination-Exercising entries--which appear on whatever day they feel like--provide a few words as inspiration for our creativity. Both are fun!

Please comment below when inspired by ideas, suggestions or reactions!

Or email me at,

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Tis The Season To Be Typing

I posted "Tis The Season To Be Typing" just over six years ago at  "YA Authors You've Never Heard Of"
While I no longer contribute to that blog, I concede the blog's name still fits--at least for this former contributor. Speaking of which, any links below no longer work since both Seabird and Earthbow are currently out of print.

Tis the Season To Be Typing, December 20, 2010

Reader beware! I’m throwing this together out of nothing. I’ve been otherwise occupied by a broken ankle, when I should have been prepping this blog entry.

I’m definitely a Christmassy kind of person. Years ago, I would make Christmas tree ornaments each year for friends and people I worked with. Since I had so many to make, I always began the process in mid-summer. And to get in the mood, I would play Christmas carols while I worked. I used headphones to listen, so that people didn’t think I was entirely out of my gourd.

Long after I stopped making holiday decorations—up until right now—I’ve never given up the whole mood that goes with the holidays. I love watching “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and learning—once again—how Santa got both the name Kris Kringle and Santa Claus, what made the reindeer fly, why Santa has a beard, why the toys were put into the stockings, and so on. And I love what I consider the best song in the special, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other”. Any child that is starting to not believe in Santa Claus should be good for one more year after watching that special.

I also love watching “A Christmas Carol” (the one starring Alistair Sim!), my absolute favorite Christmas film. To say nothing of “White Christmas”, “A Christmas Story”, Miracle on 34th Street” and most recently “Elf”. Oh, I can’t forget “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman”. 

I never get tired of Christmas carols and rarely get peeved or impatient by long lines in stores—except maybe the food store, but that one is a year-round vexation.

This year, Christmas activities are being outweighed by work (writing) activities since I’m housebound over the holidays. Not that people aren’t visiting or sending me cards—and I appreciate them! But normally, I would be out at church functions including Advent services and the yearly Christmas Cantata. And of course I would be standing in line, silently singing along to carols while I waited—if I could get to the stores.

Instead, I’m writing—and writing more than the average teddy bear. My “Earthbow” ( ) was published this year. Immediately afterward, Dave at Gryphonwood asked me what was up next.* Well, it’s like this, I told him: the next up is a three volume story currently with the umbrella title of “The Gryphon and the Basilisk”. I wrote the first draft of it back in the early 80’s and the first draft was written in longhand. Over the years, I’ve hired typists to type up sections of the manuscript, and later also keyed in other sections to WORD files. Now I’m on the third volume and face eight very long chapters that I have only in the original longhand—approximately one hundred seventy (500-600 word) pages of story that need to be converted to WORD.

This Christmas really is Tis the Season To Be Typing.

When I started working on this phase of the project, I was less than enamored with it. I still am. And then I got thinking about a Christmas many years ago—just over 50 so far as I can remember. One Christmas, I asked for a typewriter for my gift. We didn’t have much money but my parents were able to find a refurbished manual typewriter to give me. (There were no electric typewriters back then.)

Very, very late Christmas Eve—or maybe closer to Christmas morning—I slipped out of my bedroom and into the living room, to see if there was a typewriter waiting for me. There was! I was so excited! I ran my fingers over the keys and finally took a shot at hitting one of them. The typewriter—as typewriters did in those days—made a loud click. Freaking for fear I’d awakened someone, I rushed back to my bedroom. And acted all surprised a few hours later.

I learned the basics of typing and soon was turning in all my school assignments typed—even some of my math homework. (Try typing multiplication and division problems and see what ‘fun’ that was.)

A short time after this, I began typing my first written story. It involved time travel and I was the heroine, working for the government on a project to go back in time and fill in bits of historical detail missing from records. That may sound dull but it was an adventure story, since my partner (a very cute boy) and I were always getting into trouble. I showed the first part to my parents. I don’t actually remember their reaction but I do remember that they were generally supportive of any project that I did.

I also worked on a pastiche--essentially fanfic---of many different horse stories I had read. My teacher found out about the latter and asked me to read snippets from it during home room. I can’t imagine what the rest of the kids thought! I still feel sorry for them because this story really wasn’t very good.  ("No Plot, No Problem"? Really, ChrisB?)

Those two attempts at writing were my last efforts until 1979 when I was in my early thirties and tackled “Seabird” ( ) and “Earthbow” ( ) two years later. Oddly enough, I wrote these and their sequel “The Gryphon and the Basilisk” in longhand, even though I had an electric typewriter by then. One reason I did this was that I could write anywhere I thought of an idea or a new passage, even at work. 

(Laptops were still a fig newton of the amalgamation.) 

Over fifty years after first typing in the living room at Christmas, I’m keying in parts of the G&B manuscript** in the living room over the holidays. The circle is complete.
A Blessed Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!
Sherry Thompson

* National Novel Writing Month was approaching, so I actually settled on what would become "Marooned". 

Re the debut of "Marooned" my computer is working again! I lost several weeks of revisions but nothing of importance. Well, except my train of thought. Darn thing! It's been going walkabout a lot recently.

** I've yet to finish "The Gryphon and the Basilisk" but I'm getting closer. Speaking of G&B, I used two scenes from the trilogy/quadrilogy in lieu of a Christmas card this year, "Yule on Narenta". Please contact me via email if you would like to read it. Restrictions and spoilers may apply.  (

This is the final scene of a greeting card snitched from the  site--which you have absolutely got to go visit! Now would be good!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Free Smashed Pumpkins! Get Them While They're Splat!

OCTOBER 30 2016!

Three Tales. 

A woman plays reluctant hostess to 
The Pumpkin-Smasher
and other seasonal houseguests;

Shadow Harper
An ancient legend rooted in the land of eternal autumn haunts another time, another place ; 

                 Nightmare, nightmare, go away.
                 Come again no other day. 

Cover: Smashed Pumpkins. 
Four illustrations: 
'Gingerbread House', 'The Tree That Watches', 'Horror Behind The Door', 'Autumn Leaves'

The Pumpkin-Smasher's purchase price switched from $.99 (US) to free about 12:00AM (Pacific) this morning.  It will remain free until the last strokes of Mischief Night freeze your very bones. 

Download Pumpkin Smasher free before Halloween, and its companions will follow you at no additional cost. 

All three tales revert to their exorbitant price of 33 cents each on Halloween Day. 

------------------------- Amazon Kindle only--------------------------------

Thursday, October 6, 2016

"Hurricane Hazel"

Hurricane Hazel is based on my memories from 62 years ago. I think they're pretty accurate--you don't tend to forget this kind of experience.

"Hurricane Hazel"
from my "Tree House Tales" collection pubbed in 2014

“Hazel” is not a typo. Yesterday, I said I would write down my reminiscences of Hurricane Hazel from my childhood, once Hanna had passed through. At the end of this, you’ll find an extract from Wikipedia’s entry for Hazel.

I’m writing this as I remember it from my perspective as an eight year old--with parenthetical insertions added to explain what was probably going on at the time.

We had been visiting my paternal grandparents at "Long Acres" for the previous week before the hurricane struck and I think we were originally intending to stay longer.
Long Acres was a piece of property belonging to my grandparents—right on the shore of the sound between the barrier islands and the mainland—just outside of Shallotte, NC. That's actually Shallotte, not a mis-spelling of Charlotte NC.

My grandparents had begun improving the wooded property--first sleeping in a tent while they added a one-room cabin on their own. They stayed at Long Acres during the summers when my grandfather wasn't teaching at the University of Maryland.

Next step up was a two-floor "house" where neither floor was ever divided into rooms so far as I can remember. Several beds and at least one bookcase filled the upper floor.

I have a photograph of the outside of the house but not the interior. (The original cabin is just out of frame on the left, and we're facing away from the sound)

Years later--when I was maybe 14--my grandparents had an actual brick house built next to the original house and connected to it via a breezeway. But, that was way in the future at the time of Hazel.

My cousin Stephy, short for Stephanie, was also visiting. She was approximately my age. I don't know where her older brother Lance was at the time. Stephanie was related to my step-grandmother, not to my grandfather. My parents had agreed to take Stephy to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on our way home.

I have snatches of memory from the early part of the trip. I remember Stephy and I playing games--possibly pinball in those days-- in some kind of open-walled amusement building. Which I assume was in Myrtle Beach.. I remember having dinner in a restaurant and ordering swordfish and being disappointed. Maybe I expected a sword on the side?

The next thing I remember is staying overnight in a hotel when we didn't want to because my mother had a bad headache. My mom was prone to severe migraines. My dad hadn't driven since a bad accident when I was a toddler. If my mom were out of commission as driver, that was that.

We started north late the next morning. It was raining hard and my parents were very anxious about Hazel. We got as far as the ferry--somewhere in the general vicinity of Newport News--and sat forever in the car waiting for the queue to start moving.

Before they built a combination span of bridges between the "mainland" of Virginia and the other bit of Virginia at the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, the chief route between the coastal Carolinas and Delaware was via the link with the ferries. These were huge and held tons of cars as well as their passengers.

But back to me in the car...I was bored and it was pouring rain and windy but I don't think I was scared. Eventually, "the powers that be" began to allow the people at the front of the queue of cars board the ferry.

I remember tense moments as we moved up in the line. My parents wondered if we were going to get on board in the first load. I liked the ferry ride, so I was definitely on their side when it came to getting on the ferry rather than having to wait for the next one. 

Well, we made it. Just one problem--they had no business letting that ferry launch. We had been driving north just one step ahead of the hurricane proper. During the stay at that hotel and then our wait in the queue, Hazel had gained ground on us.

I don't remember this from back then, but my parents used to talk about someone screwing up and letting the ferry load and then clearing it to launch when they had no business doing so.

We were literally just past the point of no return when Hazel's strongest winds struck us. The crew warned the passengers to grab on to something--which everyone did. I had my arms wrapped around a painted metal post. I think my mom was grabbing it up above me. My dad was nearby but not holding on to the same post.

The ferry kept tipping sideways and then up and down. I was terrified. I suspect everyone on board was terrified. We could hear big crashing sounds from below deck. As always, all the vehicles had been chained as much as was possible. But in the midst of a hurricane that didn't make every one of them secure.

Eventually, we made shore on the peninsula. I don't remember positively now but I think we might have been in the eye of Hazel at this point, because the slow slow offloading of the ferry comes back to me without the mental image of frantic tossing and turning. Or maybe we were just really secured to the dock.

Anyway we sat in the car in the dark and waited until the cars ahead of us cleared out and my mom could drive off of the boat and unto the road. Water was everywhere. Branches. All sorts of debris.

A bit after this the second half of Hazel swooped down on us. We were on the road, my mom's headache had returned and water began pouring into the car from tiny openings around the doors. It was virtually impossible to see out of the windows, but we could make out blurred shadows of cars that had stalled in the flood and had been abandoned. Some of these were right in the lanes of traffic of course. 

I wasn't much caring about stalled cars. I was standing on the back seat (no, seatbelt restrictions in those days) I was standing and looking down at the water covering the floor, and screaming. 

I may have kept shrieking from the southern tip of the peninsula the whole way north.

My mom didn't slow down much less stop the car—just kept dodging around stalled cars and debris—for that whole section of the drive. She used to say that that was what kept us from stalling out.

The next thing I remember is driving up to our house and my -maternal- grandparents racing out the door to greet us.

Later on we learned that my paternal grandparents were safe. The shops and so on, built on the closest barrier island (possibly Ocean Isle?) had been swept away as if they had never existed.

I may have added "point of no return" to my vocabulary earlier than just about any child my age—except for the other kids who rode the ferry that day.

"Hurricane Hazel was the worst hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season and one of the worst hurricanes of the 20th century. Hazel killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States just north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and south of Wilmington, North Carolina as a Category 4 hurricane. Nineteen people were killed in North Carolina, and 81 people were killed when it subsequently hit Toronto, Ontario. It is the strongest hurricane ever recorded to strike so far inland."

You may want to read the whole Wiki entry some time.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Marooned; a Narenta Tumults novel. Chapter 1

Marooned; a Narenta Tumults novel 

Sherry Thompson & Caprice Hokstad 

Early autumn!

Chapter One
(final draft)

She felt like she was awakening from a nightmare to find herself in a dream. Chaotic memories of fire, howling or screaming and fierce wind were replaced in a breath by cool dim blue and a gentle tug she couldn't identify.

She opened her lids, and shook her head, blinking rapidly as water tingled against her eyes. A brief chill gripped her. She braced herself against it, tugged now in the opposite direction. She found she could raise her face above water level. Taking a great breath, she tried to look around. Was it night? Billowing blue surrounded her. Her head was being pulled or pushed downward by something, until her chin dipped back into the water. The tug reversed again. Tide. Water lapped up her spine and flowed across the back of her head and down her face. Lifting her head, she struggled to keep her nose above the surface. 

She was kneeling. As she worked to stand up, new sensations merged with the flow of the water and the dim blue. Her left hand wouldn't move and there was something wrong with her right shin and the toes of her right foot. The world tilted upright, as she realized the shin of her right leg was level with the water-logged surface, while her left leg was drawn up under her, the knee only inches from her chin. What was wrong with her left hand? She concentrated on making it move, and succeeded in producing only a light stir of fingers. The toes and instep of her right foot were immobile as well.

Water rushed away from her face and she gulped a new breath of air. She couldn't keep doing this. She had to stand up.

Pulling with every muscle of her left arm, she felt her hand slide upward through something rough, then realized that it had been buried within the sands of the invisible shoreline. Once her hand and right foot were free, she took a great breath and fought with every muscle until her body lurched upward into something close to a standing position. Weight dragged at her, Metal clanged a gentle protest. She staggered and almost fell face forward, crumbling again to hands and knees.

The second effort was more successful. As she struggled for balance on trembling legs, she reached up to her face and tried to brush away the heavy something dragging at it. It lifted upward and brightness lanced into her eyes from below - the glance of strong sun on silky water.

She closed her eyes in anticipation of an even greater onslaught and tugged the cape back from her head, feeling its weight spill down her back as it plunged into its proper place.

The red warmth of her blood pulsed against her eyelids, warning of the brightness beyond. She opened them a trifle and saw the sparkle on the crest of a wavelet heading away from her. Following it with her eyes gave her the first glimpse of the true shoreline, only yards away and marred with dark green vegetation against its dusky soil. Green. She shuddered, then found herself smiling at the shudder. What was wrong with green? Who cared what color dry land was when one was half-waterlogged?

Sunlight sparkling on overhanging leaves prompted her to look toward the source of the light. The sun was on her left and behind her, low in the deep periwinkle blue cloud-ribboned sky. She had better get to shore and try to get oriented a bit before sunset. She started forward, accompanied by the same unmusical ding of metal that had sounded moments ago. Glancing down as she strode through the small breakers, she realized she was clad in finely-made chainmail. A tooled leather belt was about her waist, with two dagger sheathes dangling from it. The one on the left was empty. Something swayed and bobbed at her back, playfully smacking her butt from time to time. As she stepped between two shrubs unto dry land, she reached back over her shoulder and felt folds of her cape tangled about a solid object. Her mind conjured up the image of a sword sheath and noted, in passing, that she felt no hilt.

Not good. Where were her other weapons? She scowled and stopped dead in her tracks, struck to immobility by a sudden thought. Her thoughts judged her to be a warrior but she didn't know for sure! Why not? Groaning, she reached out with her right hand toward a small tree trunk, steadying herself with its slender strength. Who was she? What had happened, and why was she here? Where was here?

She turned and leaned against the tree, feeling the empty sheath bite into her sore shoulder blades. Adjusting her position, she stared back toward the water. No other land seemed to be visible, but the creeping dusk might be obscuring something. She swore, wishing she had looked behind her earlier when she might have seen more than she did now. There was something odd about the horizon - a touch of iridescence perhaps. Maybe this place was bounded by reefs, harboring some kind of sea life that gave off natural light. There was no way to be sure, short of swimming out toward the dim blue-green phosphorescence -- not an activity she was about to try right now. In any case -- she studied the curve of water with increasing disappointment -- she saw neither land nor ship, not even signs of the remains of a ship, not so much as the hint of a splintered raft. Again, she wondered, how had she gotten here?

And who was she? A castaway, obviously. A warrior who had almost certainly been fighting recently. Her sore arms and shoulders ached in a way -- she hazarded -- felt familiar thanks to long experience. And the missing weapons whispered, like ghosts of foreboding, that she might have lost her most recent struggle.

At least, she felt nothing like the pain of a wound, just a great weariness. If she had lost a battle, could the losing have something to do with her lack of identity and her current situation? It didn't make sense on first thought, but then a more insidious idea chilled her. Sorcery. Sorcerers. She knew something about them - words that made no sense echoed in her thoughts, and she knew them to be the fragments of an incantation. Horror, rage and disgust filled her, leaving no doubt about how her former self felt about sorcerers.

The sun was setting, its pale orange blending and echoing off of the blue-green of that distant reef. The merged colors were magnificent, coaxing her to stay where she was and admire them, but caution dictated otherwise. She turned and resumed her trek inland. It was probably too late to make a campfire. On the other hand, the air was warm - and it might be best not to attract attention to herself. Who knew what lived on this island or who, besides herself, might be visiting it?

She gathered huge brittle finger-shaped leaves into a pile, circling a small patch of shrubs until she was too tired to continue.  Carrying and kicking them into a hidden niche of bare land amidst several shrubs, she sat down with a weary sigh. Prudence dictated leaving on her mail. She worked loose the damp leather strap caught in the heavy buckle, and cast the sword belt from her, then settled on her back, knees slightly bent, with her shoulder blades cushioned by the crunchy leaves.

Yawning, she reflected with a grin that, if she ever suffered from insomnia, it wasn't likely to be a problem tonight. A whispered crunch from beyond the irregular hedge of shrubs faded into the crackle of pulverizing leaves beneath her back. Her eyes already closed, she drifted into a dream before another thought could form.