Fantasy and Science Fiction Author IE Castellano

The World In-between Series (Fantasy) The portal fantasy series chronicles the adventures of Berty Chase—a modern man who discovers he belongs in the magical world, then both his worlds collide as he fights for everyone and everything he loves. Book 1: The World In-between – Berty joins the battle for magic and changes his life forever Book 2: The Bow of the Moon – To stop a covert society from finding a long lost magical item, Berty must find it first and hold on to it Book 3: The Secrets of the Sages – As magical secrets threaten to unravel the Empire, Berty’s magical and mundane worlds collide Book 4: Whispers – Berty scrambles to find a way to save the Empire Book 5: Hope – Berty’s niece defends her place in the magical world Book 6: Coming Soon Companion Story: The Dragonlands – The history of the Dragons Companion Story: Yuletide Magic – Before Berty entered the portal, a young girl made a wish Where Pirates Go to Die (Space Opera)

Iceland in Winter: What to Pack: Everything Else

  Glacier Everything I brought with me to Iceland for a late December trip  fit in my carry-on backpack and its clip-on daypack .  I did a ton of research about what to bring.  Some tips worked surprisingly well.  Since, I wrote about clothing in this post , I’m going to discuss what else I brought. Yak Trax gives you traction on ice.  They are metal coils wrapped around silicone that stretch around the soles of your shoes.  I had no problem getting through airport security with them in my pack.  They nest in each other and fold in half to take up less space.  I placed them in a nylon drawstring bag to protect the other items in my pack.  These saved my bum from many bruises. When it’s cold outside, my nose runs.  On this trip, pretty much everyone’s nose ran.  I brought slim packs of facial tissue that fit in my pocket perfectly.  Each pack held ten tissues.  And I had six packs.  I should have brought more.  Hotel rooms also have tissues—rough, nose scratching ones.  I could not find

Iceland in Winter: What to Pack: Clothing

Cold and windy that day Iceland in late December gets cold and windy.  Expect to experience below freezing temperatures and even colder wind chills.  Be prepared for it to snow and for the wind to blow the snow into your face.  The sidewalks and streets and tourist areas, especially around water, can be slick.  And, you can wait for the bus for your tour or to the airport for quite some time in the cold. Unless you live in a city with a non-stop flight, expect at least a two hour delay in an airport and perhaps a good deal of walking between gates.  The airports are hot.  The planes themselves can be chilly unless the flight is packed.  And, no matter where in Iceland you go, the cold outside counters the hot inside. The key to regulating your temperature throughout it all is layers and your ability to zip or unzip or remove and store easily.  This is what I brought with me that kept me warm and it all fit in a carry-on backpack and personal item . Let’s start at the bottom.  Feet.  Y

Iceland in Winter

From the overlook at Thingvellir Dates of trip: 21 Dec – 28 Dec 2022 Number of travelers: Just me Type of travel: Six day tour around the country Akureyri The gods of old reside in Iceland.  Beyond the refined Nordic aesthetic, a wildness claims the land.  From the volcanic soil to the glaciers to the sharp peaks above the fjords, the wind carries a spirit that touches the soul.   Gullfoss The first thing I learned about Iceland was that the weather rules.  My arriving flight was delayed a day due to the weather and everything after followed suit.  The buffers I had built into my trip saved my tour around the country.  However, I did not get the time in Reykjavik that I had wanted. I traveled with only a carry-on and a personal item.  The backpack I used is described in this blog post .  Where the ocean and mountains meet While I was waiting in the airport for about 12 hours as my flight kept being pushed further and further back, I envied the rolling luggage.  Those moved with ease th

The Backpack

  Buckled together right out of the box For my upcoming trip to Iceland, I have chosen to only take a carryon and a personal item.  I researched my choices using the dimensions the airlines have on their websites.  I also thought about future trips and overall practicality.  Therefore, I chose to go with a backpack over a rolling carryon.   Separated The last backpack I had was the one I used from high school through college.   It was a standard LL Bean backpack that reliably carried all my books and other school stuff for years.   While that backpack was still in decent condition all these years later, I needed one geared towards travel.   Backs of both packs After extensive review reading, I ended up buying a Thule Landmark 60L women’s backpack.   This is a two in one backpack, consisting of a 40L backpack and a 20L daypack.   The larger is the perfect size for the carryon. The smaller will be my personal item.   They snap together with buckles for different ways of wearing.

Preparing for the Trip of a Lifetime

When I tell people that I’m going to Iceland, they tell me that it’s a trip of a lifetime.  And it is. I mentioned in the previous post that I needed a vacation.  I have been looking to go somewhere fantastic for a while.  These places that were making “the list” were great.  But, they missed that oomph. I am doing a mid winter trip to Iceland.  Best time to perhaps catch the Northern Lights. During my week long vacation, I’ll be a taking a tour around the country.  The tour includes the Golden Circle, ice caves, glaciers, whales, thermal pools, and horseback riding.  Of course, it’s all dependent on the weather. Although the flight from the US to Iceland is only five hours, I’ll be spending a day travelling.  Mainly sitting in airports.  This holds true both going and coming home. I have done extensive research into the weather, what to pack, what to expect.  My stomach is filling with butterflies as I type.  When I write, I tend to lean towards pantser, no clear outline and followin

Sometimes, You Need a Recharge

I have neglected my writing since my mom died in 2017.  Wrote a novel, but haven’t done much to get it out of its early drafts.  Then, my dad passed in 2020.  I stopped a good bit of everything, this blog included.  After my divorce last year, I finally picked up my pen to properly continue the sixth book of the World In-between series. I’ll be honest.  I’m exhausted.  And, I’m in desperate need of a recharge.  Hence, my upcoming trip to Iceland. I’m not trying to get back to the person I used to be.  She’s gone.  She’s grown.  I feel like I’m embarking on a new chapter of my life. On my quest of rediscovery, I’m going to use this blog to document my journey.  I’m starting with a blog series about Iceland.  I will talk about why Iceland, my plans, my preparation, and of course, the trip itself.  This will include my packing list, specific items, other insights, and, when the trip is over, how it all worked. Watch this space for more. I’ve come a long way, baby, but I’ve got miles to go

It’s Been a Year

  As the year comes to a close, I don’t want to reflect—only look forward.  However, how do we know where we’re going, if we don’t know where we’ve been? My personal journey this year has been difficult, and, at times, downright dark.  With all that has happened, I feel as though I have weathered this storm rather well.  I am in a better place as I head into the new year. I have been working through early drafts of my new detective novel.  Polishing makes every draft better than the last.  I even have the outline and beginnings of a second detective novel. The sixth book of the World In-between fantasy series stalled.  However, lately, Berty and Silvia have been rewriting parts and pulling me into a different direction than I originally planned.  And, I like where it’s going to go.  It might get a new title. My plans are to continue devoting time to my writing.  I will not be taking any new editing or beta reading projects for the time being.  Not until I feel that I have a decent foot