Showing posts from 2017

Happy Holidays!

In the cold darkness of winter, I hope you find your light.  See you in the New Year!

Christmas Cookie Tour Book Event

This Saturday, Nov 25th 11 am – 2 pm Mount Pleasant Public Library, Mount Pleasant, PA I’ll be joining other area authors at this Cookie Tour stop. Going to be in the PA Laurel Highlands this weekend?  Come say hi and get a book or three. There’ll be cookies! The Borough of Mount Pleasant’s 4th annual Cookie Tour supports local businesses.  Tour starts at 10:30 am.  Get tour information, map, and a chance to win a $100 Visa card at the Gazebo in Veterans Park (corner of Diamond [PA 819] and Washington Streets). See you there!

Halloween Flash

Letter to Nowhere By: IE Castellano Agostus Hoverall Hillside Village Cemetery Hillside Village, USA 1 November 2017 Haunt Council Congress of Ghosts and Ghouls Nowhere Re: Mountain Top Inn To whom it may concern: The Mountain Top Inn accommodations have been quite unsatisfactory.  I have had the worst Halloween in three centuries during my visit.  This so called hotel needs to be stricken from the logs immediately. In the rooms, the beds have too soft a mattress, allowing one to fall asleep easily and stay slumbering throughout the night.  Precise controls keep water at a constant warm or cool temperature regardless of fiddling.  The wide corridors lack tables, mirrors, vases, or other items, which could fall in front of, on top of, or behind guests as they traverse to and from their rooms. Common areas have plenty of coffee cups, snacks, and scalding beverages.  Chairs and tables abound.  However, guests only look at their phones at a

Best Laid Plans

A view of the lake I attempted a writing weekend earlier last month (September).  It went… Since it was a beautiful fall-ish day, my hubby-to-be and I packed our writing and a picnic lunch and traveled to a county park.  We found an empty pavilion and spread our stuff across the tables.  After eating, we strolled while collecting our muses. We sat on a bench near the lake.  Puffy, white clouds dotted the clear, azure sky.  A breeze rustled the partially turning leaves.  My mind tried to turn over the story for picking apart.  My tummy sabotaged it all. Writing didn’t happen.  At least not at the park.  Later that evening, I did break out my pen and paper.  What I discovered was that the story idea I mulled would not work as a short story.  It wanted to be longer, much, much longer. “Oh, but, IE,” you say, “had you’d planned your story in an outline first, then you’d know it would take more words than what you wanted it to be.” Well, yes and no. I do plan o

Ode to the Blank Page

*THE* Blank Page Blank Page Oh, blank page why, oh, why do you taunt me so?  Do you not know I have things things in my mind ideas words words that must pour out out from my fingers? If they stay my mind may explode explode all the words. Then the words would leave me and may never return not in the same manner anyhow. Allow me if you please blank page I implore you let me splatter splatter the black across your white. These words in this order across and down down the page and perhaps to the next. Blank page, we may never never be friends however if deep down you have a desire to not be blank forever let my words fill this space and be blank blank never more. —IEC

Flash Fiction for Freedom

This year, my writers’ group wrote flash fiction or poetry or whatever for July 4 th about freedom and liberty.  The writings get framed and displayed in the local library.  Since, although it’d be a fun trip to the country, visiting my small town library isn’t in your summer plans, I’ve posted my flash here. They Came By: IE Castellano I was a small child when I witnessed their ship land—war torn and ragged.  These people emerged from malfunctioning airlocks not all that different than us, only where it mattered.  They knelt in the soft dirt, crying.  When they rose, they asked for sanctuary—a place to start over—a place to live their lives in peace.  Their elders had seen peace.  Their young knew it not.  They relayed stories of war and ravaging, of death and destruction.  They wanted better—to provide a future for the next generation. We sympathized.  We offered them the chance to make new lives on our planet.  However, we also gave them a counter offer—help

Hope, Now in Paperback

What exactly is a Wood Listener? Beyond being able to communicate with the trees, no one seems to be able to tell Hope what a Wood Listener does, nor can anyone tell her why someone wants to steal her Listener magic and leave her for dead. The fifth book in the epic fantasy series shifts the focus from Berty to his niece, seventeen year old Hope, as she comes into her own, magically speaking. Since she first crossed the portal ten years ago, Hope learned to straddle two worlds—the mundane modern world and the magical world in-between the portals.  As the only Wood Listener in centuries, she struggles to find her place in life.  Unbeknownst to her uncle, her parents, and her innocent friend trailing her, Hope stoles into the magical side only to find her place fraught with danger. Hope (The World In-between, 5) now has a paperback edition available (in addition to the hardcover and ebook editions) where they sell paperbacks ( Amazon and Barnes & Noble ). A

Weavin' the Dream Home

A blue Victorian similar to the one at 727 Oak Street While Hope (The World In-between, 5) gets ready for its paperback debut, Dreamweaver (Book 6) plows forward.  The beginning of the sixth book in the epic fantasy series takes place in a dream world modeled on Berty’s world—the day Silvia introduced him to the world in-between the portals—however, he has no memory of the past ten years.  Like in Book 1 ( The World In-between ), Berty goes to 727 Oak Street to interview the mysterious Silvia.  Unlike Book 1, Berty’s brother, Jon, magically appears to aid his journey.  Or does he? An excerpt from Dreamweaver (The World In-between, 6) Chapter One Dream Home Something moved in Berty’s peripheral vision.  When he looked towards the opened door, the old woman had gone.  “Where’d she go?”  He stepped closer to the door.  “Hello?” he called.  Crossing the threshold, he stepped under a brass chandelier.  He stopped himself in the foyer to let his eyes search for the woman.

All the Creatures in All the Land

True or no, makes for good stories Every now and then, I need to introduce a new “creature” to my fantasy series, The World In-between.  Where do I find them? In the past, I have used European established myths like Griffins ( Hope ) and Frost Giants ( Bow of the Moon ) or I created my own like the Faematask, Night Golems (both in Bow of the Moon ), Fire Walker, and Vindalf (both in Secrets of the Sages ). For this book ( Dreamweaver ), I am tapping into Native American mythologies.  “Native American” and “American Indian” are umbrella terms that encompass the many different cultures of North America.  Unfortunately, much of the histories, mythos, and lore of the peoples of the Americas were destroyed and American archeology is nowhere as extensive as other parts of the world.  With that said, a lot is being preserved and retold within tribal communities and by tribesmen (and tribeswomen) on the internet. Personally, I am interested in learning about the pre-Iroquois

Dos and Don’ts of Naming Characters

If I only had a name Writing has been coming along well.  The only impediment: mandatory research.  Most research, for me, starts with the big G.  I research names, images of places that I have in my head, and, this time, history. Without giving too much away, Dreamweaver (The World In-between 6) is about Berty being stuck in a dream world.  Once he escapes his own dream, he goes from dream to dream, rescuing dreamers.  Dreamers mean new characters.  New characters mean names, which, in turn, means research. I love learning about name meanings, history, famous namesakes, and name origins.  Yes, sometimes, I take all this into account when naming characters.  Other times, I just like the name.  Or this character feels like a so-and-so. Soon, I’m coming up to naming a new Dragon character.  Most of my Dragon names in The World In-between series mean some form of fire something-or-other or ancient or serpent/dragon/etc.  Because many cultures around the world believed

The Vicious Journey

I buried my mother last week.  Somehow, it doesn’t seem real.  I can’t believe she’s gone… so soon.  Cancer took her. Rewind six months or so.  She started having mobility issues.  She needed assistance going up and down the steps and with getting her socks and shoes on and off.  Sciatica shot pain from her big toe to her hip and back again.  Tylenol helped ease the pain. Then, it did nothing for the pain.  If you suggested she go see a doctor, she balked.  The pain made her irritable and affected some of her thinking.  Eventually, she sequestered herself to her two room bedroom suite where she had her bed, a couch and chair, a tv, and the bathroom.  Her bathroom going became more frequent.  She would get up every hour to go and then spend about a half hour there. In November, she no longer slept in the bed as it was too far from the bathroom.  She slept in the chair closest to the door.  We exchanged the bed and sitting rooms so she did not have to walk as far. My bro

Review of Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar

Title: Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry Author: Diamante Lavendar Genre: Poetry Description: In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection. How I came to review this book: I posted one of Ms. Lavendar’s poems for Poetry Wednesday .  She emailed me to review her chapbook. 

Happy 2017

Beginnings On the docket this year is Dreamweaver , Book 6 of the World In-between fantasy series.  Already the beginnings of the book have used a good portion of a ream of paper and a new pen.  Dreamweaver brings the series back to Berty’s point of view.  Unlike the previous books, it continues exactly where Hope ended.  The sixth installment should be the last novel in this series.  I say should because although planned, sometimes my characters decide otherwise. Once Dreamweaver is finished, different options wait in the wings.  Which book to continue next?  I may just write them all and see which one the pen flows over best.  Or one may beg to be brought to the forefront.  I have some time to contemplate what comes next. In the meantime, I read.  And, I am starting to post book reviews on my blog.  Look for the first one this month.  If an author wishes to have a book reviewed, email me with a review request at IECastellano (at) zoho (dot) com.  Include genre, a bo