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,

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lania's Tree

Lania's Tree

Here's an extract from Narentan Tumults 2.0, "Earthbow
plus its "Lania's Tree" picture-puzzle named after the Young One character, Lania*

This small Earthbow extract introduces the picture-puzzle. Or the other way around.

"Lania, what does Harone mean by the ways of the Wildfolk?"
"Better to ask what do the Young Ones mean by the ways of the Wildfolk...
"So tell me what've I got to learn. And... How long's it going to take? I guess time's kind'a short, with Cenoc and the Stones and all.
The Young One shook her head. "Impatience will just slow you!"
The Outworlder groaned. "You sound like Harone.
Lania studied the expression on his face, She smiled."He's a wise man for an Elder. Perceptive anyway."
Struggling to sit back up, she asked, "Would you like your first lesson now?"
Sandy gasped, "Hey, wait! You don't need to... All right, let me help you then."
Lania shook her head. "Nothing too strenuous. Don't worry. Here..."
She grasped Sandy's hand and placed its palm to the teintree trunk against which she was leaning.
"You must learn to feel as the plants and trees do. To sense them growing, their delight in rain and good earth and the sun upon their leaves. The pleasure and challenge of unfurling a tightly curled leaf. The gentle touch of the footfall of bee or ant or butterfly upon stem or flower. The opening of your branches like arms to gather in your foster children: bird and squirrel, ragos and stoah."

I recommend you enlarge the "Lania's Tree" thumbnail below as much as you're able.

"Lania's Tree" is a picture-puzzle which will eventually appear in "Earthbow", 2nd edition. The tree's shape was inspired by a 30+ year old newspaper clipping celebrating the oldest tree ... somewhere.
How many 'creatures' can you find? Don't look to me for an answer! I have no idea how many there are. Someone new to us may not be new to Lania's Tree. You or I may once have known them from some other tale but have forgotten even the tale itself years ago. They come back to remind us of our memories. Once in a while a bored walkabout slips away from its tale and settles on Lania's Tree for a nap. Those are the most challenging to find and the easiest to forget between visits. I'm sure that I've forgotten many residents that I've forgotten.  Lania's Tree has a bit of a sense of humor that way.

Lania paused to smile down at the stoah. Khiva wrapped her tail about the Young One's wrist and pulled her hand back down for more patting.
"Then, too, you must learn how the bokhorn and stag delight in their gracefulness and speed, and how..."
Khiva yawned and added,  " stoahs don't like people who are slippery-slidy and who call stoahs 'what's' instead of 'who's'. 
                                          ---an extract from "Earthbow" (part 2 of 5 parts)

What I Wrote When

Before the 'really almost completed, really' Marooned (Narenta Tumults #1.5) and 

before my (published) Tree House Tales collection of short works, I wrote a 120,000+ word fantasy saga titled, Earthbow (Narenta Tumults #2.0) which is currently out-of-print.

* Fania from "Marooned" is not the same person as Lania from Earthbow. This is just a coincidence--the novels were written decades apart.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Smatterings, plus a "The Gryphon & the Basilisk" extract

          Smatterings, plus an extract from Narenta 3: 
                 The Gryphon & the Basilisk, volume 2


The Mica Keyhole
This story fragment was inspired by the artistry of Amy Brener (Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; Art and Science Journal (circa Dec 15 2013)
Amy uses “cast resin, concrete and pieces of trash...” plus “ and fresnel lens to create light sensitive sculptures”. I found a photo of one of her pieces in A&SJ which inspired the following story snippet. 

"We straggle to a stop within the last sheltering trees & study the cliffside blocking our way.
The slanted crease we thought a passageway is lichen & plants none of us recognize. What now? 
Slivers of winter sun peek down through high branches & wander over our barrier. 
First one and then another of us cries out, 
"Did you see?" 

We rush toward the fugitive sparkle. 

"A keyhole?" 
"Why here?" 
"Does it matter? We have no key." 
"Wait! Look through it!"

(If you have any idea about what happens next, go for it!)

A Children's Story in cognito
I've been trying to find the title of a YA book I read decades ago. Not remembering it is still driving me crazy! (Now you know how I got this way.)
Here's what I remember:
Gargoyles(?) take over a town. The adults, including the mayor, don't notice so it's up to the children to save everyone. 

The gargoyles are either pretending to be the mayor and the other adults or they're controlling them.
One of the children gets counsel from a sage-like person or animal, who tells the child to "Call a spade a spade."
Which may mean if you use the real name of the gargoyle --or its captive adult(?)--the humans become their normal selves. The gargoyles's lose their power and their true appearances are revealed, making it easy for everyone to chase them out of the village.

Lipstick Shoes

Once upon a time, I dreamed that I was going somewhere fancy in a lacy dress. Someone suggested some shoes but I said I had a kit for making them. 

Evidently, a company sent me a free trial offer where you drew the shape of the shoes that you wanted to wear on your feet. When satisfied with the design, you did something or other and the drawn pattern became actual shoes. 

The drawing material was very much like a tube of lipstick --in an obnoxious pink like fake strawberry whip. I wanted to create elegant sandles but produced worn loafers. I wanted to "erase" part of the stuff but had no idea how to do it.

Which seems a good segue into the Gryphon and the Basilisk extract.

Narenta 3: 
                 The Gryphon & the Basilisk, volume 2

Have you read fantasies where a woman resists wearing a dress? I read comments to a blog entry once where that was being discussed at length.

Strange. I’ve commited a millions words to p/a/p/e/r/ back-up disk, but I don't remember  writing a scene where a strong female character rejected wearing an elaborate dress as long as it was in keeping with the situation. Earthen visitors are champions of the Narentan people against the Shadow during their brief visits to the other planet. Since a few of my characters come from Earth, they usually arrive in jeans. Some of the "Outworlders" wear chain or hardened leather "on the job".

There are exceptions.

Here are two connected scenes drawn from "The Gryphon and the Basilisk 2", chapter 40, which together shows such an exception. The character names have been changed from those I used in G&B. Hey, you never know! The Gryphon & the Basilisk may be published some day. All three/four volumes of it. By which time maybe the covers should feature flying pigs?

These extracts take place on Narenta. (duh)

The two Earth women mentioned here were captives of the "bad guys" for several weeks and were freed by some Narentans just a bit over a week ago.
They and their rescuers are now in a "safe house"--or so they believe--and an evening of celebration has been planned by their host.

“Good! You’ll go if it will help Boris.” Waros grinned. “And Angela will go if I borrow a gown for her from the archon’s daughter.”

Angela nodded. “I hope he has one. I’ll go anyway, Waros. You two are up to something and I want to be in on it this time.”

Laurie laughed. “Nothing mysterious.”

“Ooh! That means it is mysterious!”

Laurie followed Waros to the door of their room. Before the fighter could open the door, she stopped him. 

With a glance behind her at Angela, she whispered, “Do you really think this will force his hand? Won’t he just stay up here?”


Her arms uplifted, Angela spun around in a circle.
“How’s this? Is this in style? I thought the skirt would be all puffed up and full like Cinderella’s.”

Her gown was nearly form-fitting to the waist and only slightly flared below that, the dark blue satin gored in flaming red.

Laurie mused, “You don’t think Cregic will find that a little overwhelming?”

Anglea asked in perplexity. “Cregic? Oh, that kid.” 
She smiled. “Yeah, I suppose he will.” The smile became a rather silly grin.

Laurie whispered, 
“Whoa! Angela the vamp? Remember, we have a job to do! Don't get distracted!
"Someone’s at the door. Can you get it? I can't find my shoes.”

Angela opened the door.

“Wow! Lord Boris, so glad you decided to go down after all! Is that what the best-dressed enchanters are wearing this year? You look great in navy. That’s a neat lion around your neck, too.”

She winked over her shoulder, then turned back to him. 

“Why Boris, we match! Navy and navy! It must be a sign.”
She stretched her arms toward him, and sighed in a seductive accent, “Darling, come with me to the Casbah and we’ll make beautiful music together.”

Boris gaped at her in astonishment.

Angela shrugged and pointed. “Oh, don’t worry about Laurie! We’ll just tell her it was bigger than the both of us.”

She reached up and gave the perplexed enchanter a peck on the cheek. Lifting her weapon, she slipped past him into the hallway and out of sight.

Boris stared after her a moment and then turned to Laurie. He whispered, “Do you think it wise to let her go downstairs like that?”

“Oh, she’s not drunk! It’s stuff from old movies. She’s just horsing around.”



Melwood Forest in The Provence of The Two Rivers, Tethra, Narenta

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Steal Only From the Best

I Steal Only From the Best


A Salute to All Who NaNo


My Live Journal "Scribblings" entry, Nov 1 2012

stolen in turn from

My November 2008 "Scribblings" entry

Waste not, want not.

(NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which just happens to run Nov 1 to 30 each year. To "NaNo” is also a verb which can be defined as "to write and/or perform writing-related activities by participants in NaNoWriMo between Nov 1 & 30 of any given year followed by a 30 days group nap.”

I haven't participated in a NaNoWriMo for about three years now, since I already have several files filled with manuscripts waiting to be completed. "The Gryphon & the Basilisk" made a huge jump forward, thanks to a NaNoWriMo. Four other manuscripts began as NaNo projects which are currently just a whisker away from completion--namely, "Marooned"***, "Da Boid, da Tree-Rat, 'n' da Loser", and my family memoir. The fourth not-quite-finished NaNo manuscript, "The Peace Bride", made it past the traditional 50,000 word goal but it still lacks something like 2/5 of its story. (I really -love- PB's beginning & would so love to finish it some day!)

Even though I am no longer an official NaNoWriMo participant these days, I continue to support NaNoWriMo's objectives & philanthropy each year. More on this later, including links to entries describing what The Office of Letters and Light people do behind the scenes, and how you can help . As you'll see, you can help out even if you don't write or else can't devote all of a November to writing,   **additional NaNo links
(Hmm... Still not November 1, 2017)

For now, the extract below was snatched from my 

November 1 2012 blog entry

Keep in mind that to officially "win" NaNoWriMo, you need to write 50,000 words by November 30, or approximately 1,667 words a day. Keep something firmly in mind from the instant you begin: Editing is for afterwards! 

One of NaNoWriMo's chief purposes is to help authors ignore their Inner Editor, open themselves to inspiration, -and- -just- WRITE- !  December through however months afterwards is reserved for going back to the beginning and editing.*

Yes, you'll have a lot still to do but in many ways editing can be easier than trying to decide how best to get from Point A to Point B in the plot (or maybe geographically), or how to have Millicent meet Daulphrey, which one of them is attracted to the other one first, what they choose do about it, how they distracted the servants and --oh yeah, the biggie--when does the countess suspect and what/who tipped her off? Aren't you glad your inspiration was at fever pitch (courtesy of no Inner Editor) so you were able to blow through those snarls in a day and a half?

                On an average NaNo day, I could write those 1667 words without needing to be in 
"Author Anguish" by virtue of thinking of little else but pushing full steam ahead. If gripped totally by my "muse" I could write as much as 5000 in one day. (Well, okay, not often. ;-P  )  

If one scene wasn't working, I would type in a brief synopsis of what that scene needed to accomplish, and then shift to a more welcoming scene. It may sound totally random & anxiety-producing--And some days, it is.--but it can also be totally fun! The strangest bits of inspiration can pop into your head when that tiresome Inner Editor is locked away in the highest turret in the old manse. Of course on those very rare occasions when I cranked out 4-5000 words in one day, virtually nothing else got done. Okay. Yeah. I did some breathing, etc.

The one thing to keep in mind: No matter if you write 500, 5000, or 50,000 words by the end of the month, that's 500, 5000, or 50,000 words you didn't have 30 days earlier! As soon as you write anything with your "Inner Editor" locked away, you're already "won NaNo". And more importantly, you've just strengthened your creativity. Trust me--there's no downside.

But onward to my whimsical entry from NaNoWriMo 2008.

November 21 2008 blog entry

Are you desperate to extend your NaNoWriMo word count?

May I suggest:

A long and heartfelt dedication to everyone you have ever known, with the reasons why they are included on the multi-page list. Think acceptance speeches at the Oscars;

A Table of Contents (Make up names for your chapters like the descriptive ones they used for book titles in the 19th century. examples: "Chapter the Third, in which Alice sees a White Rabbit Running by and Follows Him Down a Rabbit Hole;
Chapter the Fourth in Which Darth Vader Cuts off Luke's Hand, Announces That He is the Youth's Father and Actually Expects Luke to join Forces --if you'll excuse the expression-- With Him on the Spot...)

An Author Biography, some of which may be accurate;

Unnecessary Footnotes that can be written without much thought.
* The song Ruthie was humming to her baby was of course "American Pie", in the arrangement used by Don McLean on the such-and-such date album, the words of which refer to the plane crash in which....yada yada.
**NaNo-related footnotes

Maps don't count toward NaNo, unless you care to make a list of the names of cities, rivers and interstate routes which would be printed on them, or else make a list of the furniture in the locked room in which the body was found. However, you can write up a  thorough description of the map that will be included in your book in the hardback edition. Don't forget to describe the background colors and any decorations or borders.

Transcribe dialogue of whatever TV show you are watching when you are supposed to be writing. (A-hem!) If your story takes place on 21st century Earth, one or more of your characters can be watching the show. If two of your characters are watching the show, you can interpolate lines of their dialogue with lines of dialogue from the show. Since this will be confusing to the reader, be sure to use attributions for all of the dialogue.

Hint: the proper attribution for the overheard dialogue from a TV show should always include the name of the show, the date, the screenwriter and the name of the actor who delivered the lines, for maximum word-padding and so that it is clear that you are not plagiarizing. This additional information can be placed in a footnote if you like. (See Footnotes, above).

If you are writing an historic novel or a fantasy novel, you can have the character dream all of the events in the TV episode. Don't forget to have them wonder for hours after awakening about the meaning of their dream and how it applies to fighting for Napoleon and/or releasing the captured unicorn.

If you fall asleep at your keyboard and type gibberish, do not delete it. Wrap a scene around it in which the protagonist discovers a mysterious message written in code and tries to translate it.

What is not allowed: Scanning in a page of your favorite novel using OCR software, then using Replace All to change all of the character names and locations to people and places in your own story. Cutting and pasting the result into your NaNo manuscript.

(Seriously, someone created a writing exercise in which you are instructed to do something like this with the first couple of paragraphs of a favorite book. You also need to change the verbs, if I remember correctly. Then you use that as the nucleus for a completely different story. I've always wanted to try this but I've never had the time. Or the minimum quorum of brain cells.


P.S. Goodreads Quote of the Day
Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time. 
Howard Nemerov

* ...which explains why "Marooned" still isn't out

About NaNo
NaNoWriMo Donation Station
Impact (Your Story Matters!)
NaNo on FB

Visit Lazette Gifford's Website for secret information on 

"NaNo For the New and Insane"

*** "Marooned" still isn't published but here's its table of contents

Marooned Chapter Titles

01)          Marooned
02)          Rude Awakening
03)          Name-Calling
04)          Breakfast and a Bath
05)          Checking the Inventory and Being Checked
06)          Two paths to the labyrinth
07)          The labyrinth Transformed
08)          Monsters and Memories
09)          Sleeping with One Eye Open
10)          The Inner Eye
11)          Care-taker
12)          Ressi’s Tale
13)          Silence, Scrabbling and Gabbling
14)          Fania’s Tale
15)          Time to Leave
16)          Discoveries
17)          The Falls and the Village
18)          Deft Work
19)          Who is the Real Akasta?
20)          The Bait
21)          Show-down and a Parting

22)          The Stream in the Midst of the Sea

"81 percent of Americans feel they have a book in them."