Musical Soundtrack For Your Reading Pleasure! Enjoy The Lioness’s Preface and First Chapter!

Booktrack large

Booktrack allows an author to create a soundtrack for their book.  I created one for The Lioness of Brumley and Her Most Unusual Grandchildren.  Now you can enjoy the preface and first chapter by reading along with a musical soundtrack and audio effects.  Click on the link below and enjoy!

https://www.booktrack.com/embed/04e0973922c14819a38243765fc74b4b

Join in on the fun at Brumley Hall.

“A colorful cast of characters illuminates every page…fantasy in the C.S. Lewis tradition…”  Beloit Magazine

Loness CubEnjoy my new family oriented action fantasy adventure about a magically gifted family pushing the limits of their powers to battle against dark magical forces with surprising results – all in the service of protecting the Faerie Queen and her daughter of the faerie realm of Urwelt. My first book in this middle grade (8 to 12 years) visionary fiction book series, The Lioness of Brumley Hall and Her Most Unusual Grandchildrenintroduces you to the world of Brumley Hall and the Lioness (grandmother matriarch) who oversees the magic, mystery and mayhem.  Grandparents will also find the book an entertaining read, especially to share with a favorite grandchild (yes, I know, every grandchild is your favorite). Gran’s eldest ten year-old granddaughter, Azalea, will keep you “in the know” as she knows everything there is to know about Brumley Hall, except what will happen next!  Join in on the rollicking misadventures at Brumley Hall. Order your print or Kindle book here.

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Visionary Fiction Guest Post on Magical Realism

Magical Realism Art by Tomek Setowski
Magical Realism Art by Tomek Setowski

Revealing the Magical

Today’s post, Revealing the Magical,concludes last week’s post, The Visionary Perspectivein which I attempt to distinguish between the genres of visionary fiction and magical realism—how they differ and where they may overlap.

Magical Realism

The genre of magical realism blends the supernatural or what is typically unseen by human consciousness with the natural and familiar world by using the existence of fantasy elements in the real world. This is not done by inventing new worlds as fantasy books do, but in revealing the magical in this world.

The magical is a common and ordinary occurrence in my book, The Lioness of Brumley Hall, and harnessing these magical elements is one of its key themes. Political critique is often a main focus or subtext used to challenge the reality of established viewpoints. Cultural clashes are part of this critique. The Lioness does this by briefly highlighting the political/cultural clashes between China and Tibet and accessing the Celtic mythology of the Faerie. Continue reading “Visionary Fiction Guest Post on Magical Realism”

My Visionary Fiction Guest Post on Visionary Alliance Website

The Visionary Perspective

The Visionary Perspective

I suspect many of you, like me, struggle to define visionary fiction, not to mention how it differs from magical realism.

In today’s post, The Visionary Perspective, and next week’s post, Revealing the Magical, I will make an attempt to distinguish between the two genres—how they differ and where they may overlap.

An Accurate Place to Land

For me, an integration of visionary metaphysical and magical realism seems to be the most accurate place to land—a combination of the embrace of esoteric wisdom emphasizing the human transformative capacity and the hidden mystery of the magical elements breaking through into ordinary “real” life.

This type of fiction, according to Italian writer, Massimo Bontempelli, attempts to change the collective consciousness by “opening new mythical and magical perspectives on reality”.

The Unseen Within the Visible

Visionary FictionI knew exactly what I wanted to write about for my book, The Lioness of Brumley Hall, but struggled with how to explain it and where to place it on Amazon, Goodreads and even in bricks and mortar bookstores.

I knew the book was not pure children’s literature or fantasy.  My story takes place in a real world setting but with some unusual occurrences.

My main character, Gran, possesses a spiritual consciousness and attitude towards the daily world and tries her best to maintain this perspective in response to the unseen within the visible.

However, I thought it would be more interesting for children, particularly if they lived in the everyday world where magic was a part of their existence and used to achieve a deeper understanding of the transcendent.

Both visionary fiction and magical realism speak to the notion that reality is more than what is seen by what I call consensus consciousness. Continue reading “My Visionary Fiction Guest Post on Visionary Alliance Website”

The Mistaken Notion of Spirituality

Sometimes I get bogged down in everyday concerns and feel disconnected from my spiritual peace.  The main character in my book, Gran, feels overwhelmed by all she must attend to in her daily life.  I wrote about this to show that even if we think we are spiritually conscious and advanced, we can easily get stuck in “our stuff” and forget who we really are and how connected we are to all of existence.  Here is a wonderful quote on the notion of separation from our spiritual selves.      Music

GardeningSometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of our existence.  But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realness of our being.  Someone will say, “I come alive when I listen to music,” or “I come to life when I garden,” or “I come alive when I play golf.”  Wherever we come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual.  And then we can say, “I know at least how one is spiritual in that area.”  To be vital, awake, aware, in all areas of our lives, is the task that is never accomplished, but it remains a goal.

                                                 Brother David Steindl-Rast in The Music of Silence

Golf

Visionary or Magical Realism Fiction?

Magical Realism Art by Tomek Setowski
Magical Realism Art by Tomek Setowski

I knew exactly what I wanted to write about for my book, The Lioness of Brumley Hall, but struggled with how to explain it and where to place it on amazon, Goodreads and even in bricks and mortar bookstores.  I knew the book was not pure children’s literature or fantasy.  My story takes place in a real world setting but with some unusual occurrences.  My characters, especially Gran, possesses a spiritual attitude towards the daily world and tried her best to maintain this perspective in response to the unseen within the visible.

Visionary metaphysical magical realism seems to be the most accurate place to land—a combination of the hidden mystery behind the magical realism fiction and the embrace of esoteric wisdom emphasizing the human transformational capacity of visionary fiction.  This type of fiction, according to Italian writer, Massimo Bontempelli, attempts to change the collective consciousness by “opening new mythical and magical perspectives on reality”.

In the genre of magical realism, this is accomplished by blending the supernatural with the natural and familiar world by using the existence of fantasy elements in the real world.  This is not done by inventing new worlds as fantasy books do, but in revealing the magical in this world.  The magical is a common and ordinary occurrence at Brumley Hall and harnessing these magical elements is one of the key themes of the book.  Political critique is often a main or subtext used by magical realists to challenge the reality of established viewpoints.  Cultural clashes are part of this critique.  The Lioness does this by briefly highlighting the political/cultural clashes between China and Tibet and accessing the Celtic mythology of the Faerie.

Visionary Art
Visionary Art

Visionary fiction is similar but focuses more on spiritual and esoteric wisdom relevant to modern realities.  This is accomplished by weaving a story in which the readers experience the wisdom from within themselves vis-aʹ-vis the narrative, characters, setting while keeping any proselytizing or preaching to the barest minimum as possible.  The growth of consciousness envisioning the transformation of humanity is the central theme.

The combination of visionary and magical realism allows me to overcome the “ la la” aspect of being too precious in expressing the spiritual wisdom of the former, but from also succumbing to the harsh political commentary of the latter.   Humor is a necessary leavening agent for keeping the narrative moving and focusing on a great story instead of an overtly spiritual or political agenda.  For more information, click the link on the top page bar.

Tyntesfield House

 

Tyntesfield House Photo by Andrew Butler
Tyntesfield House
Photo by Andrew Butler

 Tyntesfield House is a fine Victorian Gothic Revival country house created by one of England’s richest commoners, William Gibbs, who built his fortune on fertilizer.  Spiraling turrets and pinnacles adorn the roof, ornate stone carvings and thick mullion windows complete the whole Gothic look, giving the house the feel of a mysterious, faerie tale mansion.   Terraced lawns give way to spacious parkland filled with hundreds of trees collected by the family, and a glorious walled kitchen garden beyond. The rolling Somerset hills in the distance create an atmospheric backdrop at any time of the year.

Although Brumley Hall is a combination of many British stately homes and my own imagination, this “faerie tale” mansion perfectly captures the spacious elegant old-world feel of Brumley Hall.  Magic mingles with daily life and one can almost hear the grandchildren noisily going about their day, classes in literature, math and science, followed by music and art lessons along with breaks for elevenses and tea. Supper is served at the Spike and Crown where Mr. Armstrong reigns supreme behind the pub’s bar (serving the grans only non-alcoholic beverages, of course).  Mr. Harrington and Mrs. Ainsley, with occasional help from dust faeries, keep the Hall running smoothly, while Gran deals with all sorts of wacky and vexing interruptions.  Queen Victoria roams the upper hallways and big cats pace nervously about the great hall’s domed ceiling ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.  All one big happy magickal (and somewhat chaotic) family living in this country manor house hotel.

More information on Tyntesfield House: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield/.