Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Giveaway Time!


Don't you love the mystery a never-before-opened book offers? Those crisp pages have the potential to take you anywhere with anyone and all you have to do is read them, no travel reservations required.

I have five signed copies of Shadows of Absolution to give five lucky readers on Goodreads! This is my favorite book so far in the series, but it has been read the least so I'm trying to find good homes and a little love for it. Shadows falls fifth in the Malora series, but it works well as a stand-alone book so it isn't necessary to read the first four (Mayfly Requiem and the Echoes of Oblivion trilogy) to appreciate it.



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Shadows of Absolution by Courtney M. Privett
   

   

     


          Shadows of Absolution
     
     


          by Courtney M. Privett
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends August 21, 2013.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter to win



Friday, June 21, 2013

The Cliff


Sometimes my mind gets lost. I step to the edge of the cliff and look down. I have no intention of stepping off, I just want to see what is there. Swirling mist and hanging rain? Endless fields of moss roses? Oceans, endless oceans of churning waves and writhing kelp? Nothing, everything, the universe, despair joy? My thoughts wander and I need to remind myself to breathe. I do not lack inspiration, but every effort is rewarded by my body screaming "No!" I retreat and try to force myself to wake.


I spin upon my aching heels and watch the twisted trees sway in a salt breeze. There are words on the wind, clear as glass, sharp and grating. I can dance with them and hold them in my hands, but they refuse to become tangible. The fatigue carries them into a silver box that I am forced to carry with me but not open. The only key is remission, but relief is rare and fleeting, and bracketed by an inability to accomplish anything beyond caring for basic needs. My body refuses to let me heed the call of the twisted trees and the screaming words. I can walk toward the trees but they never get closer, and the words spit scathing insults which burrow under my skin and leave me dazed and breathless.


I turn back toward the cliff to escape the words and nearly fall off the ledge. I can see what is beyond now. Water churns against barnacled rocks. My foot slips. I catch myself but an avalanche of pebbles drop into the water. They plink upon the rocks and are immediately thrashed into oblivion by the waves. If I fell, the violent water would do the same to me. I know I am caught in dreamtime, but this dream is too vivid to be harmless. It is my mind on the precipice of giving up and drifting into a nonchalant cycle varying between asleep and not-quite-awake.


I step back and look down the other side of the cliff. My inspiration sits on a lower ledge -- ragged, filthy, hooded, and surrounded by hungry birds. He is forgotten by society, invisible, a shadow of the brilliant light he once was. I know his story, but he is afraid of me because I know. He is afraid I will reveal his brokenness to the world and drive him from outcast to reviled. I have told the first two-thirds of his story, but he knows it is the last third which will break him. He doesn't realize it will also redeem him. All he sees is the churning water below the cliff, while I see a bigger picture. I see his frailty, his kindness, his longing to be something other than a waif trying to decide if he is ready to lean a little forward and plunge off the bluff. "Wait here," I tell him as he tosses his last piece of bread to the birds. "I will return for you as soon as I wake. I will reveal your life as worthwhile."


I walk away from the cliff. The trees stay distant and the words still wail. I turn around to see where I came from. I no longer see the churning water and the ragged cliff. Instead, I see the light glistening off the tranquil water. I see a piece of my own whole. There is as much beauty in the distant water as there was in the moss roses, in the violent waves, in my fragile muse contemplating his past and future. The fatigue remains, but its sting is lessened. The pain in my hands flares, but it is tolerable for now. I'm afraid to push it toward intolerable, but I must. I promised my inspiration I would return for him, and he will haunt me forever if I don't. He is too beautiful to be forgotten, even as he refuses to reveal his face to anyone but me.


The sun sets, but now I know it will rise again on the other side of the darkness. The fatigue is temporary, part of an endless cycle of day and night. My days and nights are different from most and not restricted by a clock. As the sun falls below the waves, I notice my inspiration upon the shore. He is no longer on the cliff, but instead standing in the sand, his feet licked by the rising tide. I stand with him and reach for his hand. The water is icy. He squeezes my aching fingers and says, "I am no longer afraid of you."

"Neither am I," I reply.


Note: I took these photographs while on a family vacation last week. While looking through them, I realized they had a story to tell just as much as I do.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To My Children


To my charismatic son, who brings a burst of energy with him wherever he goes and who has recently discovered swordfighting...

...and to my inquisitive daughter, who thinks underwear make splendid hats and is madly in love with Dora the Explorer,

You are growing up so quickly in a world struggling through change. There are still people out there who think it is best for other people to lie about who they are, who want those who are different to shut their mouths and hide from public sight. I am not one of those people, so don't be afraid to be yourself around me. I don't care who you love, as long as that person treats you with the respect and kindness everyone deserves.

You are very young and I admit I do not know you yet. I know your baby-selves, your toddler-selves, but I have no idea who you will grow to be. I don't know what your interests will be, how your personalities will grow, or what kind or people you will be attracted to. As long as you're not hurting yourselves or others, you have my support to be who your heart tells you to be.

I don't know where your life will take you. Will you want your hair short or long, wildly colored or natural? Will you set fashion trends or dress for comfort? Will you want to be an astronaut or a dancer, a chef or a doctor, a rock star or an engineer? Will you want to play soccer or chess or violin? I will nurture your interests even when they differ from my own because I want you to find what you are good at and what makes you happy and use that to create your own fulfilling life.

I don't know where your love will take you. Who will you plaster in poster form on your bedroom walls? Who will you scrawl secret love notes to in your diary? Who will you ask to your high school prom, and will you want to wear a skirt or pants? Will you choose to marry, will you have children, will you grow old with the same person you loved when you were young or wait until you are older to settle down? I'll help you tape your posters to the wall, giddily take pictures of you with your prom date, dance with you at your wedding, and will support you in any way you need as you make a life with the person you love more than you ever dreamed possible.

Respect yourself and others. Be fearless. Be bold. Be yourself. Never lie about who you are to appease others. Most importantly, love. Platonic or romantic love, male or female or outside or in-between, surround yourself by the people you love and who love you in return, and never let anyone drag you down. If someone tries to hurt you, that person isn't worth your love so leave him or her behind and find a person who is worthy of you.

I hope by the time you are grown up the world has grown up with you. Your parents and much of their generation are striving to make the world better for you. We've come a long way, but still have a bit farther to go, so I hope you forgive us if progress ends up being slower than we hoped. Minds are slow to change and there are still a lot of people who think it is their right to force their personal biases on the rest of society. It's difficult to change tradition, even if the tradition is unjust and cruel. It's time to create new traditions so our children will never again be tormented or denied rights because of who they love.

For now, I want you to grow, learn, play, dream, and laugh. Become the wonderful person I know you will be. A better world will be waiting for you when you grow up.

I love you always,
Mommy


Monday, March 4, 2013

Home

(This essential oil recipe was originally posted on my vegan recipe blog.)

While I was waiting for some rice to cook I had the urge to mix an essential oil blend that approximates the smell of the Michigan forest I spent most of my childhood in. Some of the scents I added aren't actually found in those woods, but they balanced the scents that were found there to create something invoking memories of of my little world of forts and wandering. It has inspired a little creativity for me, so I think I'll be using it in a diffuser while I work on Sand into Glass. It summons a bit of my childhood, but it also is how I imagine Bethel's Yolane Forest smelling. This is a sensory piece of both Arden's youth and Bethel's exile.

I often use physical props as inspiration while working on my books. I created a runestone set to help me through Shadows of Absolution. Sand into Glass got a set of divination cards that are used by Counselor Corundum and now I have a second sense to add to the visual. I'll have to create a blend that's a little more fiery for Arrow of Entropy.


"Home" Essential Oil Blend

40 drops lavender
25 drops cedarwood
15 drops clary sage
10 drops fir needle
10 drops frankincense
2 drops pine

Mix all essential oils in a 5ml glass vial. Use with a carrier oil in a diffuser when you want to be transported to a northern forest.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Giveaway Time!


In celebration of successfully reformatting all five of my books for wider distribution, I am giving away three paperback copies of Mayfly Requiem. The contest is open to readers in the US, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada. Click on the links below and enter to win!



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Mayfly Requiem by Courtney M. Privett
   

   

     


          Mayfly Requiem
     
     


          by Courtney M. Privett
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends March 13, 2013.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter to win



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Smashing!

It took me four days, but I finally have reformatted all five books and uploaded them onto Smashwords. I've been meaning to do this ever since my KDP Select expired, but ran into a string of illnesses and a lack of energy. The books are currently pending review for the premium catalog, so hopefully they'll pass all the formatting requirements and be available at other retailers soon. For now, you can buy the ebooks at either Amazon or Smashwords and the print copies at either Amazon or CreateSpace.


Ebooks on Amazon:
The Abyssal Night
Shards of Chaos
The Shattered Veil
Shadows of Absolution

So, what's next? Well, a couple of things. I ordered a couple paperback copies of one of the books to run another Goodreads giveaway. It starts on the 19th, so  watch out for that. I also made up some nice little business cards to hand to all the random people I speak to in random places about my books. Those should be in my hands soon. Mostly, though, I just need to get over this infernal cold so I can finish writing Sand into Glass. I hope it doesn't break my laptop again. I also have been working on my vegan cooking blog a bit.