Taking Some Time to Rest

Quick post today. I’ve decided to take a break from blogging to recharge my batteries. 2020 was a rough year—for all of us. I’ve decided to catch up on some other activities, in addition to starting a beta read with Tomas Grizzly.

My meditations are going well, and I am doing several bodily and spiritual cleanses to prepare myself for this new year. It had me thinking: what will 2021 bring? Will wee see peace and truth return to society? What new challenges will arise? I have no doubt that all of us will be able to face them. Head on.

Change is what inspires us. It encourages growth. Development. We cannot force change, only surrender to it and learn to adapt. As Bruce Lee said:

Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

I’ve started on a new science-fiction book called Hyperion. It has great world building, and the concepts therein are fascinating. I have several more books on my 2021 reading list to go over. Exciting.

Book 2 of Ethereal Seals: Heart of Dragons has begun. The alpha manuscript is underway, with some exciting plot and character developments that old beta readers of book 1 will enjoy. Once I get the manuscript polished, I’ll be looking for betas for that.

My goal is to do three to five beta manuscripts before I publish the first book, Blade of Dragons. This way, I can interconnect the books better than if I did them one by one. This is a strategy that Brandon Sanderson recommends in his lectures on writing epic fantasy.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the wintry weather, and may peace and prosperity find you.


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—Ed R. White

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Huge Christmas Book Giveaway!

A short post, but worth sharing. A fellow blogger is hosting a massive Christmas giveaway! You can find all kinds of books, mostly in the fantasy and sci-fi genres, with a few historical fiction, romance, action and thrillers in the below list. All free! Select the images below to be taken to the giveaway pages. There are over 400 stories waiting to be read!

Merry Christmas!


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Nutrients for Writers: My Crazy Health Protocol

An avid reader requested this post a while ago, so I’m finally doing it. The farther I’ve gone along my writing journey, the more I’ve realized how connected writing and creative ability is to one’s health. Throughout the years, several health protocols have come my way. In this post, I’m sharing what I do currently.

There are several vitamins that I take, though I prefer to get them through high-vitamin super foods. Sadly, many mainstream foods like apples, blueberries, lettuce, and bananas don’t cut it anymore with our deficient soils. These foods/vitamins aren’t listed in any particular order.

  1. Magnesium: Many of us are deficient in this macro-nutrient, as our bodies require large doses of it daily. Since taking it, I’ve noticed improved energy and the ability to think better while writing. I’m more optimistic and grounded. The magnesium I take is a glycinate chelate, known for its high bioavailability. I also use a transdermal magnesium chloride spray. I get about 500+ mg daily.
  2. Vitamin D: Another important nutrient, known as the “sunshine” vitamin. Our bodies naturally produce this vitamin, but not in sufficient amounts. While I take a high quality cod liver oil for my D, my body feels even better when I supplement with an additional 2,000 IUs of D3 with fat.
  3. Vitamin K2: A lesser known vitamin found in raw butter, offal meats, raw dairy, natto, and egg yolks. This nutrient helps with brain function, calcium absorption, among with many, many other things. I take high vitamin butter oil along with a diet of the above foods. A 100 mcg supplement also helps. This usually clocks me at 150-300 mcg daily.
  4. Zinc: Another nutrient that is lacking in modern soils, zinc is great for immune function, cognition, mood, and hormone balance. I take a 15 mg supplement in my green juice 5 times a week. With foods like nutritional yeast—I use non-fortified for no synthetics—eggs, raw dairy, offal meats, and other foods, I usually get around 20 mg daily.
  5. Iodine: After reading testimonials and through self-experimentation, I’ve concluded that the daily dose of 150 mcg isn’t close to what the human brain needs. I’ve only just started iodine, but since ramping up, my mind has grown sharper, and I have more energy and inspiration to write. I am unsure what dose my body will prefer after it replenishes itself. According to Dr. Brownstein, a guru on iodine, iodine sufficiency can take up to a year at lower dosages.
  6. Boron: A co-factor with iodine for body detox. Many of the chemicals in our society (fluoride, bromide, and other heavy metals) dull our creative ability—and are therefore anathema to writers. Due to commercial fertilizers, soils are stripped of boron, leaving little to none in crops. Boron also balances hormones and regulates magnesium/calcium. Walter Last has an excellent protocol that I follow. I ingest 10-20 mg daily.
  7. Silica: Silica, like boron and iodine, is in short supply. It is one of the few nutrients that cleanses aluminum from the brain. Another powerhouse mineral for clear thinking and overall skin health. Some foods contain silica, but only a fraction of it is bioavailable. You want the living, organic variety, like in diatameous earth.
  8. B Vitamins (especially Thiamine and B12): I was shocked to read that thiamine and b12 help regulate the nervous system making them crucial for creative potential. The B vitamins also work with iodine to improve IQ and heal the body. As I mentioned, I use a non-fortified form of nutritional yeast. I also eat lots of avocados, leafy greens like kale, and fruits like mangoes.
  9. Fulvic Minerals: To round myself out, I take plant-based fulvic and humic minerals. They do wonders for my body and shore up any deficiencies in the diet.

I also practice daily meditation, rebounding, and yoga to center myself, to keep my lymph and neurons flowing. A little stretching goes a long while in stimulating your creative juices. The meditation helps overcome mental blocks, solves writing issues, and offers ideas on your story from your subconscious. I practice about one hour daily.

It’s no secret that our soils are deficient, that many of us are lacking in nutrients. To rise to our creative potential, health is paramount. I continue to discover more information everyday in my research, and my writing ability has improved. Sadly, many bloggers and writers never touch this subject with depth. There are entities in our society that don’t want us to be creative or with higher IQs.

It’s up to us if we wish to claim the creative power inherent in all human beings. Mother Nature has given us the tools, through super foods and supplements. The road is hard being a health conscious individual, as much as it is being a writer. The two paths are intimately woven, and one cannot achieve maximum writing potential without the other.


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—Ed R. White

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What is Anger in Fiction?

As one of the primordial emotions, anger has formed a significant role in humanity’s history. From righteous fury to barbaric rage, anger is a force to be reckoned with. Likened to an inferno. The flames of one’s rage can pave one’s destiny, destroying whole armies, or consuming the person in the process. How do we illustrate anger in fiction? What role does this emotion serve for the protagonist?

Many of us have experienced anger in our lives. It’s a violent episode that may pass as quickly as it comes. In writing, emotions are difficult to master. Anger, in particular, can be daunting to tackle, but it is a driving mechanism that influences characters, plot events, and more. Anger is used as hubris for characters too. Everyone enjoys their young hero with a short-temper, goading him to take unnecessary risks and adventures.

In short, anger is a compelling means to reveal a story and produce tension.

The Definition of Anger

From Psychology Today:

Anger is one of the basic human emotions, as elemental as happiness, sadness, anxiety, or disgust. These emotions are tied to basic survival and were honed over the course of human history. Anger is related to the ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response of the sympathetic nervous system; it prepares humans to fight. But fighting doesn’t necessarily mean throwing punches; it might motivate communities to combat injustice by changing laws or enforcing new behavioral norms.

Synonyms for Anger

Below are synonyms and expressions of anger. Neither of these lists are exhaustive; there are myriad ways to express anger in fiction. Selecting the right ones for a scene is important. Consider the Emotion Thesaurus if you need a reference. I use this book all the time and highly recommend it.


acrimony
animosity
annoyance
antagonism
displeasure
enmity
exasperation
fury
hatred

impatience
indignation
ire
irritation
outrage
passion
rage
resentment
temper
violence

Character Expression of Anger

difficulty listening or speaking
flaring nostrils
face flushing
jerky movements
protruding eyes
laughter with an edge
screaming
aggressive behavior
noisy breathing
cracking knuckles
fists clenching
shaking fist
grinding teeth
muscles tensing
swearing
flourishing weapons or tools

Anger often leads to impetuous behavior and decisions. This can result in comical or dangerous situations for the protagonist, depending on the consequences. Anger can either come out altogether, or it can fester. The latter is an excellent choice for building tension internally for a character. Be careful how a scene builds up to a protagonist’s anger episode. If the trigger seems contrived, the emotional release will be too.

In storytelling, anger can be used to:

  • expose a character’s strengths and weaknesses
  • drive the plot
  • create comic relief
  • induce tension
  • reveal information

Calibrating Anger

According to David R. Hawkins’ book, anger calibrates fairly low on the scale of consciousness (calibrates at 150 out of 1000). Anger derives itself from fear, shame, and guilt. In essence, anger is a form of attachment. A character is afraid of so-and-so, be it from wounded pride or the massacre of millions.

Revealing Anger

That rage motivates the protagonist to act. To change the status quo. During these scenes, get inside your character’s head. Strip them naked of all preconceived values, and allow their primal identity to emerge. Consumed by anger, they can be an unstoppable avalanche—or a bumbling fool.

In these moments, the reader may see the true colors of the protagonist, his values, fears, doubts, and so much more.

In Blade of Dragons the protagonist, Pepper Slyhart, is a short-tempered heroine. Throughout the story, that rage often exposes her to tight and dangerous situations. Pepper’s anger is also associated with the Dragonsoul, a draconic curse that haunts her bloodline. Through use of meditation and mindfulness, Pepper tries to defeat her built-up rage; most of it stored from her childhood, bullied as a half-dragon. Subconsciously, she feels guilty for the rest of her species.

Pepper’s Calibration

Guilt, which calibrates at only 30, is among the lowest levels one can go on while living as a person. Below that is shame and annihilation.

Despite this, Pepper is a virtuous protagonist with tremendous courage. She doesn’t sit back watching injustice, is self-sacrificing, and helps drive the plot from start to end. She sometimes sees life as feasible and even hopeful. From a consciousness standpoint, Pepper calibrates at only 165 at the start of the story. Her low points resonate at guilt (30) and her high points at willingness (350).

By the end of book one, her calibration rises to 285, especially after her encounter with the divine Faber. Now she lingers more at the levels of courage (200), willingness (310), and even reason (400). Throughout book two, her consciousness remains at 300 until she encounters her next teacher. Although there are scenes and even chapters where she falls back into the lower levels of rage and despair, curtsy of the Dragonsoul.

For more info on Pepper, see my post on her.

Anger in fiction is a common tool in storytelling. Pepper Slyhart is a prime example of the ill-tempered youth trope who stumbles upon adventure, just as our own ego bumbles into trouble. Pepper uses her rage to drive tension and plot progression, while furthering her character arc and those of others.

We all share the same quest, the Hero’s Journey towards the higher levels of consciousness, and anger is one of the steps we must climb.


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Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White

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December 2020: News and Personal Reflections

We live in tough times, between geopolitical events and the Coronavirus. It can be hard pushing through life. I’ve been there. The only things that pulled me from the brink of depression these past several months have been my creative world-building, meditation, and health-seeking journey.

We Were Designed to Progress.

Every human being has the potential to thrive and survive in this world. We fall to the depths of despair, so we can rise to heights of unconditional love. Remember what it is that brings you joy, to seek the lightless light of Truth.

For me, it was my fictional daughter, Pepper Slyhart. Pepper suffers through the Hero’s Journey, allowing her to rise above the vicissitudes of life. It is this adventure of the hero that is inside every one of us.

The Creative Journey

Creative writing is a ritual that many of us take for granted. We get stuck or we procrastinate. But there are methods to combat this mental block.

Writing is a journey of humanity itself. See this book review I did on David Hawkins book to see what I mean. Transcending the Levels of Consciousness certainly opened my eyes to the truth about reality. About life. Needless to say, it’s improved my writing ambition.

Languages and Music

Writing a high fantasy novel gets trickier when you delve into fantasy languages. Here’s a post on developing a fantasy language, with a portion on the one I invented: the Primeal.

That said, the creative process is daunting. Remaining in a relaxed state during our lives is essential to our well being. This is demonstrated in Blade of Dragons through a process called terraum. I’ve listened to Biotropic music lately to ease me into that meditative state. Give it a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

Books Read

I finished a handful of delightful books this past month. Of mention, one was an urban fantasy called The Wild Hunt by Ron Nieto. It’s a curious book about fay in modern society and the magical adventures of a young teen rescuing her grandmother. Another book was nonfiction on the practical uses of Real Alchemy by Robert Bartlett, which will likely receive a book review soon.

Final Notes

Life as an artist, spiritual seeker, and naturopath isn’t easy. It is with help from readers like you that make it possible. Thank you for your time and attention. I hope these stories inspire you to new heights, helping you to progress, to seek the Truth within us.


Interested in joining my mailing list? Members will receive free poetry, special deals, messages to inspire and empower your life, and short stories. You’ll also get the latest news on projects.
Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White

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Building a Fantasy Language—the Primeal

Language forms the crux of cultural values. From language, memes, traditions, and values emerge. The pillars of humanity. When I began Blade of Dragons, building a fantasy language that would aid me in developing the world of Atlas was vital. Enter the Primeal.

I’ll describe my experience with building a fantasy language, followed by tips from other world builders.

As a language used by the ancient Highborn on Atlas, the Primeal contains powerful phonetics and mantras. To use magic on Atlas, the practitioner must evoke words and hand gestures. Most of these I borrowed from ancient traditions here on Earth.

Objections Behind the Primeal

The Primeal has provided depth to Atlasian culture. It strengthened the world building, while heightening the immersion and character interaction. The mysteries woven into the Primeal reflect on the plot and character arcs too.

I got the idea of building a fantasy language from novels such as Mistborn, The Faded Sun Trilogy, Lord of the Rings, and others. Using this method, I borrowed from Latin and Hindu. The process was easier than I thought, as I wasn’t developing a language from scratch. The downside to this was that there was less of a unique feel, compared to other fantasy languages.

Vocabulary of the Primeal

Albeit, I took a relatively simple approach to my fantasy language than most. The Primeal is, roughly, a form of butchered Latin. Many of the words have similarities to Latin vocabulary, with some Hindu and English bits thrown in.

Examples of the Primeal Language

  • Aspectä rey’lief (Aspect-TAH-Rey-LI-eff): May the Aspects’ grace follow you (used as a friendly farewell).
  • Aum (AH-ooh-oom): Creation.
  • Egüs (Ei-gu-ah-sh): You, it.
  • D’wyrm (Di-were-um): Tongue of dragons.
  • Lumasil (Lu-MAS-sil): Light of hope.
  • Me’puläm (Me-Pul-LA-um): My love, my shining star (a title used among lovers).
  • Tal’draco (Tall-der-AH-co): Dragonite.
  • Tal’snak (Tall-sh-NAH-kek): An offensive slang for a half-Dragonite.
  • Sal’av (Sal-LA-of): Hello.

Magic Applications of the Primeal

Many of the words used in modern Atlas are crude dialects of the original language; yet they still carry powerful vibrations that can influence reality. The simple word, sal’av, can evoke good will and ease in another’s heart. Another word, tal’snak, summons fear and perhaps anger in others.

Weaving together strings of power words, an individual can produce complex spells and influence reality. This act of magical weaving, or Shifting, is widespread on Atlas. The reader gets a strong example of this starting from the first scene to the final chapter.

Things Left to Consider

The Primeal, to Earth human ears, may sound musical and otherworldly, but I haven’t nailed down the specifics. I’ll research fantasy languages more to add depth to the Primeal, the feel, the vibrations of the words.

That said, I discovered some resources useful for building a fantasy language.

1. The Zompist Language Kit

This fantasy language construction kit is perfect for conlangers and is ideal for fantasy and sci-fi writers. The page guides you through the basics, such as sound, grammar, syntax, usage, and any world building bits. It’s straight forward and free online. There’s also a word generator that produces a list of words, but you’ll need some Javascript experience to use it.

2. Lingvo

Lingvo is an excellent resource on real world cultures and languages. Everything from Germanic and Babylonian dialects are available. This resource is more beginner friendly.

3. Interactive IPA Chart

Here’s a page that is an invaluable reference for new and experienced conlangers. The page explains the sounds of human language and how they are pronounced. This allows world builders and writers to go a step further with their languages.

4. IPA Keyboard Bind

This module goes with the previous as it helps bind certain IPA symbols to a single stroke. I found it useful, but not essential.

5. Google Translate

Don’t hate me for this one, but Google has a decent language engine that can provide ideas or vocabulary for new writers. The quality of translation leaves room to be desired, though.

When designing the Primeal, I had to consider the following:

  • The sounds of the language
  • A glossary, or lexicon, of words
  • The grammar, syntax, and feel of speaking the words
  • The magical and cultural implications
  • How the alphabet is modified for cursive handwriting

Like other world builders, I borrowed from preexisting languages to make my job easier. This isn’t necessary, but it’s a proven method that does work. Even English language contains words borrowed, butchered, or stolen from other languages.

Final Thoughts

Building a fantasy language is a fun process, and it doesn’t have to frustrating or complex. It’s important to keep things simple enough for your readers, or else you risk losing them at the expense of your world building. Balance, as with all things in life, is what we artists strive for.


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Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White

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Book Review and Spiritual Reflections: David Hawkins, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness

When it comes to writing, few authors consider the spiritual implications involved. Writing is, in truth, more than an art. It is a path to the soul.

A type of meditation.

In my journey to understand my own spiritual journey, I sought a book that resonated with me. You see, each book carries with it markings of its author. Leftover vibes, if you will. Books are like a preview in the author’s soul—but that’s a topic for another time.

Enter David R Hawkins.

He does a superb job describing the matter of the soul. The Hero’s Journey, which I stress again and again, is the crux of not only storytelling, but of humanity itself.

Premise

David Hawking’s book is filled with information on the psyche among other spiritual essays. Hawkins explains his scale of consciousness.

The chapters are well organized and filled with tips on improving one’s personal life. I always get a thrill progressing from page to page, like the vibes from the author are filling me with wisdom and insight.

Most of the information he shares is heavy-duty, so don’t expect a light read from this author. Hawkins doesn’t pull punches when describing the issues with humanity. Some readers may be discouraged by this attitude.

Length

The book is quite long at over 400 pages. The beginning and end of the book include generalized essays on human consciousness. Chapters on the individual states fill in the rest.

Information

The chapters spell out the states of the human condition, starting with shame and guilt. Hawkins’ information begins more concrete, but becomes abstract as he discusses the upper states of peace and enlightenment.

He also mentions a form of divination called muscle testing. The practitioner says a statement, and if it is false, the muscles in the body go weak. For the experienced, this can be (theoretically) a useful method to discern truth.

I’ve read the book three times over the past couple years; each read, I discover new insights. Depending on the reader’s own state of mind, s/he may pick up different impressions.

The Good

David Hawkins’ book is a pleasure to read for any spiritual seeker or the curious. It also provides excellent information on human emotion and how to better understand it from a creative writers’ perspective.

The Bad

Much of the book reads on a college+ level, and many of the ideas are abstract. The average reader may feel overwhelmed upon a first read.

The Ugly

Not so much ugly as deep and hard-hitting, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness digs deep into the human condition. It spares no mercy spelling out human issues and the implications behind them.

Despite its high reading level and abstract concepts, I found this book magnificent. It speaks to me like few books ever could. I plan to read more of Hawkins’ works in the future—and I encourage you, dear reader, to check it out too.

Writers and artists often focus too much on the craft itself, instead of the spiritual beauty behind it. Each piece is a measure of the author; a window into the soul. Perhaps by understanding these simple concepts suggested by Hawkins, we may unravel new depths to our writing and creative abilities.


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With much love and gratitude, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White

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October Surprises!

Hey, it’s Ed White, how’s it going? Staying safe I hope? I’ve been a busy-bee working on my manuscript, and I have some splendid news to share, plus free reads from a fellow blogger.

  • When it comes to writing fiction, a map is always handy. In this article, I present a tutorial on how to get started in GIMP and enhance your novel. Or, for those not artistically inclined, you can use a software called Inkarnate to make your maps too!
  • November is NaNoWriMO month! Here are some tips and tricks that should help you if you’re brave enough to take on the challenge.
  • I had the pleasure of working with a fellow blogger and writer on the use of Kindle Create. If you missed it, I highly recommend checking out this article right now! It has a simple rundown of what Kindle Create does and how to use it.
  • My notes on Brandon Sanderson’s 2020 Lecture notes are still raking in the views. Be sure to check it out!
  • I recently did a book review on a non-fiction piece about foraging. I also included a bit about foraging and herbs in Ethereal Seals. Here’s another article on geology and gemstone technology for my world.
  • There are Fall designs and sweaters on Flux’s Esoteric Store of Art right now! Use code FLUX2012 to get 10% off.
  • I finished my beta swap with a co-writer, and her feedback was amazing! I can only say Blade of Dragons is much better now. That said, I know what to change and where to polish, bringing the manuscript that much closer to publication.
  • You can check out my beta partner, Rebecca Alasdair, at her website: https://rebeccaalasdair.com/. Her upcoming fantasy novel is called Graceborn.
  • I’ve been doing some additional revision passes on my manuscript for Blade of Dragons. The story has changed over the past few months, but it’s reading better and better! I truly feel it is nearing completion. At around 130,000 words, this science fantasy is loaded with world building and intricate character arcs.
  • Watching Pepper Slyhart grow as a character has been very fulfilling as a writer and artist. I look forward to developing her further in the sequels. She has been like a daughter to me, a character I will always cherish and reflect on.

Lastly, blogger and writer Richie Billing is spreading the word on free reads for New Adult fantasy. Just click the images below to start reading. I know you’ll love these stories!

Thanks for stopping by!


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Book Review: Stalking the Wild Asparagus—and Herbology in Ethereal Seals

A week ago I finished a nonfiction book on foraging. It was a very enjoyable read, as it played into one of my biggest hobbies. It also had me thinking about the herbology in my fantasy novel, Blade of Dragons. I’ll provide a rundown of Stalking the Wild Asparagus, then tie in concepts to my own world building.

Premise

The book is organized like a reference manual. Each chapter describes a specific herb or plant, the lore behind it, how to harvest and process it, and so on. There were several foods, like cattails, which I never realized could be ground for flour.

The author also takes time to describe personal stories associated with each herb and how he went about acquiring it. I found it entertaining and educational.

Prose

The chapters are fairly short and straightforward. The author does a good job conveying information, but some of the terms are outdated. The book was published sixty years ago, so it’s not too surprising. A new reader might get initially confused at this.

Information

As mentioned above, there are useful bits of information in the book. Each chapter has its own lesson: “do’s” and “don’t’s” when handling wild plants. It still fascinates me that one can walk along a trail and gather a whole bag-full of edible greens and herbs.

The author covered everything from wild crab apples, to purslane, watercress, even fishing bluegill from local ponds. Free food, many of which are taken for granted.

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The Good

Stalking the Wild Asparagus is a handy field guide for foragers and the curious. Considering the times we are in, having access to one of these books may not be a bad idea.

The Bad

Some of the terms and methods explained in the book are outdated and may not apply to the modern reader.

The Ugly

The author is slightly condescending towards races of color and labels he gives. This may create uncomfortable moments for the reader.

Stalking the Wild Asparagus is an effective tool for foragers, preppers, and wild foodists. The outdated jargon aside, a reader will get a lot of use out of this book.

After finishing Stalking the Wild Asparagus, it had me thinking about my fantasy novel and the herbs that Atlas uses. Who says nonfiction can’t influence a creative writer? Exploring culinary and medicinal foods in one’s setting is a fun way to world build too!

Atlasian Herbs

  • Berryshroom: A sweet tasting fungus that enhances the immune system; it is a common side dish in Atläsian cuisine. Berryshroom is often found in dark places, like caverns and bogs.
  • Bitterwort: A vinegary herb used in many medicinal tinctures. When over boiled, it becomes hallucinogenic. Bitterwort is the staple for many medicines across Atlas, although it must be handled carefully with its caustic nature.
  • Frostleaf: A minty and soothing herb with a mildly sweet taste; it is often used for sweetening drinks. This herb grows in very cold regions and is a delightful sight for any adventurer braving the cold.
  • Grassfoot: An herb with a mildly sweet taste; used for garnishes and sweetening tinctures. Unlike its cousin, frostleaf, the grassfoot variety grows on lush meadows
  • Gospelberry: An herb with a potent and sweet aroma; it is unsuitable for eating, but excellent for perfumes. However, if overboiled, gospelberry can make a fine tea. Interestingly, gospelberry often grows near holy sights on Atlas. This earn the berry its name.
  • Ravenberry: A berry with a pungent and sour taste; when fermented, it turns sweet and sour, ideal for alcohol cocktails. Ravenberry’s black hue and indelible dye are its signature features.
  • Savormoss: An edible lichen prized for its nutrition and delicious, pungent flavor—if you can stand the sour aroma. Savormoss grows everywhere and its prized for its abundance.

Preparation in Ethereal Seals

I drew from alchemical methods in Earth’s history when devising herbal preparations. Many Atlasian herbalists use cooking or fermentation to process these herbs. Teas, tinctures, and broths are all common. Some herbs, like gospelberry and bitterwort, can take longer to process. Others, like savormoss, can be eaten raw.

That said, the above list of Atlasian herbs will likely expand into the second and third book. It has certainly added depth to the story, and it plays a little into the protagonist’s arc. I have books like Stalking the Wild Asparagus to thank for my inspiration.


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September in Review

It’s time for that monthly wrap up, and I have some interesting news to share!

  • Do you ever wonder about human emotion? How are things like fear or joy expressed in fiction? How do these emotions create dynamic stories? I’ve learned a lot about them in the past few weeks, and I wanted to share my research. Here’s two articles on fear and joy and how they’re portrayed in storytelling.
  • Another interesting topic is life and death in fantasy realms. Here, I spell out how I go about it in my upcoming novel.
  • I had the pleasure of working with a fellow blogger and writer on the use of Kindle Create. If you’re interested in e-publishing, I would check out this article right now! It has a simple rundown of what Kindle Create does and how to use it.
  • When it comes to writing and the creative process, the inner intelligence guides us. It is our intuition, our inner muse. Here’s an outstanding essay on the process and how YOU can access this inner intelligence. 
  • If you missed it, I posted notes on Brandon Sanderson’s 2020 Lecture notes. This post is quite popular, and I highly recommend it.
  • There are Fall designs and sweaters on Flux’s Esoteric Store of Art right now. Use code FALL50 to get 50% off everything for the first week of October.
  • I finished my beta swap with a co-writer, and her feedback was amazing! I can only say Blade of Dragons is much better now. That said, I know what to change and where to polish, bringing the manuscript that much closer to publication.
  • You can check out my beta partner, Rebecca Alasdair, at her website: https://rebeccaalasdair.com/. Her upcoming fantasy novel is called Graceborn. I’m looking forward to reading the final version.
  • I haven’t had the chance to read many books this year, having done two beta swaps in addition to issues with the Lockdown situation. Oral surgery, meditation work, research, and work on my two books has also kept me busy.
  • I have plans to take a break from non-fiction research and focus more on one of my favorite genres: fantasy romance. I decided on Grail’s Dawn for my next read.

As always, I’ll keep it short and sweet. I hope to see you next time when I’ll have more exciting news and gifts to share. Thanks for stopping by, it’s through people like you that make this dream possible.


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