Twenty Super Years Ago

20years

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Superman fan. I have been since I was a little girl. And today is a very special day in my Super-history. Today is the day 20 short years ago that I met Superman himself.

Now I’ve met celebrities before. I have tons of stories… some funny, some creepy, but none as extraordinary as the day I met Dean Cain on the wintery streets of New York City, November 22, 1996. Everything we did that day ended in disaster, and yet for some reason we were still guided through the day like a game of Sims to meet Superman.

Dean was scheduled to be on the Rosie O’Donnell show in New York City at 9am. NYC was a 2-hour plus drive for us, and the NBC studios suggested getting there early. So at 3:30 in the morning we were woken up by my mom blaring – and I mean blaring- the John Williams’ Superman theme song. I’ve never woken up at that time that excited before. By 4:30 we – my four sisters, Kelli, Kristin, Aimee, and MaCai- and my good friend Cindy, were piled into the family van and headed toward New York from Connecticut. We didn’t get far though, because our van broke down.

My father was persistent and we were all determined to get there though, so he brought the broken van home and we switched to his Ford Taurus, a 5 seater car for 8 people. Hey, we were rebels. It was tight, but we made it…a little late, but we were there.

Now came the awful part. We were in line, where it was first come first serve, for seating in the studio. All of eight of us rotated in and out of the spot, fairly close to the front for the next two hours. I didn’t switch too much, because I was too geared up to see the show. I probably only left to go to the bathroom, whereas the others would come and go for food or the gift shops in 30 Rockefeller Center. So when the studio people came by to pass out tickets this b***h behind us started making a stink about how we didn’t deserve tickets because we were always rotating, and she couldn’t leave even once to pee. We were like big deal. You could have left and someone would’ve nicely saved your spot. The people weren’t that mean, but this chick just made such a ruckus that I started yelling and shouting at her (emotions were really high) and eventually it was too much that I said, “That’s it. I don’t want to see Dean like this. I’ll constantly have a bad taste in mouth about the day.” And we left.

Outside Rockefeller Center I collapsed on the stairs, mind you right across the street from where the whole Kennedy family (Teddy and John Jr. included) were walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a service over John Kennedy’s death anniversary, crying my eyes out. I was so incredibly upset, because seeing Dean was something I was so close to and it was ripped from me by a nasty woman.  My mom hugged me and gave me the quintessential mom speech of how things happen for a reason and only God knows the reason.

As silly as it seemed, she still prayed with me on the steps that if it was in His will that God would see the desires of my heart and open the doors that needed to be opened.  I remember doubting her words and maybe even scoffing at the thought that God doesn’t care if I meet a celebrity or not. But the hour wasn’t up yet…

We walked the New York streets for a little while until it started to flurry and get rather windy and cold, and we decided it was best to go home. So we smooshed ourselves into the Taurus and maneuvered through NYC traffic, even switching off Fifth Avenue to Madison because Fifth was gridlocked. We were almost to the end of the street, when at a red light my sister Kristin said, “Eryn look, it’s Dean!”

Kristin, God love her, was a tease and I think I told her to quit it. But she turned my head to the window and said, “NO, LOOK… it’s Dean!” And sure enough, IT WAS!

Everyone started yelling, “GO!!” and my sisters pushed me out of the car, right in the middle of the road.

I ran out and stood across the street from Dean taking luggage out of his limousine and signing autographs to the few fans that were outside. I called out his name and he looked up and waved. I squealed to myself and without thinking ran across the street, nearly getting hit by a car. I remember seeing Dean’s face just drop as he said, “Careful!”

I was an idiot, I hadn’t even looked before running. But hey, I made it and in just a few more feet I was right in front of the man I’d been infatuated with for the last three years on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanNow, I know people always say when they meet people outside of film, ‘oh they are so much better looking up close,’ but wow – it was the truth. If any of you thought Dean was gorgeous on television, it’s a different story up close… he’s exquisite!!! Black hair, tan skin, tall, muscular!! oh my gosh, and his eyes… gorgeous almond shaped with sienna brown irises, accented with flecks of gold. I’m not kidding, he is beautiful!

Now, that 20 years have gone by I don’t remember everything he said or I said, but I remember little flashes. I know I asked for a picture and he said sure, but no one else was around at that point. The fans had left, he’d sent his assistant inside the hotel to check in, and my family hadn’t showed up yet. This was before selfies, too, so I had no idea how this was going to work, and I was so nervous and shaky. Luckily, I felt a had on my shoulder and my sister was there saying she’d take my picture.

I ran right to Dean and latched arms around his freakin’ tiny waist. I remember hearing his laughter and seeing his big smile so genuinely happy he was making me happy. It was funny too, because as I was hugging him, I remembered his muscles and leaned my cheek against his chest feeling those oh-so-firm pectorals, then thinking, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve died and gone to Heaven.’ In fact, my picture with him is the face I was making when I leaned in.

eryn-and-dean

My sister Kristin went next, then Kelli, with each of them taking the pictures for each other.

By that point, my mother and my littler sisters  (Aimee was 5, MaCai was 6) came running up behind us. Aimee was yelling out, “Superman! Superman!” and Dean turned around and I heard him aww out loud at her cuteness.

Mom, on the other hand, was embarrassing – as mothers often are- she was saying, “I can’t believe we found you!” and picked up sister Aimee and literally threw her – yes threw her – into his arms. He caught her with a thud, her back to his chest. Thank God he was a football player!

He then knelt and lopped his other arm around MaCai. I don’t know how it happened but I had the camera. I was shaking like a leaf! I was also holding my gloves in one hand. Dean did notice that the gloves were covering the lens and said, “Hon? Hey honey, the gloves are in front of the lens.”

 

I was more enthralled that he’d called me honey, then sighed and realized what he was saying, and tossed to them ground. He laughed at me and I took the picture.

am-and-dean

 

The cool thing about this day was that it wasn’t an end, but a beginning. Like my mom had said on the steps of Rockefeller Center, God knows the desires in my heart. My desire wasn’t just to meet Dean, but to have a writing career, to meet the man of my dreams who would become my husband, and yeah to always have a Superman in my life.

Because of Dean and this day, I took my love of writing and apply to my love of history to become a historical fiction writer and researcher for other my books. When I wasn’t sure of where to go after college, I chose California because I loved it so much after visiting Warner Brothers Studio (where Lois and Clark was filmed). Because I moved to California, I met my husband, got married, and had a beautiful baby boy. And after meeting Dean again a few years ago, it has opened up far more writing doors than I could’ve ever hoped for. And lastly, the friends I’ve met, because of this man, have been life-long, deep connections I hope never to lose.

So Dean, if you are reading this, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for opening so many doors. THANK YOU for the last twenty years. And THANK YOU for always being MY Superman.

dc-supes

 

 

My 50 Favorite Words (and 10 least favorite)

schwartzberg_nature-beauty-gratitude

As a writer, I am a lover of words. Not just words strung together to make a sentence and eventually a story, but the actual word. There are SO many beautiful, fun, and interesting words in the English language and I’d like to share my favorites with you, broken into 5 categories. I’d love it, too, if you shared some of your favorite words with me as well.

 

Beautiful Words

These are words that sound beautiful rolling off the tongue and have exquisite meaning to go along with them.

Dalliance – A brief love affair

Dulcet – Sweet, sugary.  * One of my favorite lines in a old romance entitled The Princess by Jude Deveraux has this word it in it. “If it isn’t the dulcet tones of my royal wife.” The story was about a US solider forced to marry a Eastern European princess he hated.

Eloquence – Beauty and persuasion in speech

Gossamer – The finest piece of thread; a spider’s silk

Idyllic – Perfect, extremely pleasant.  * I learned this one from the 90s tv show, Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman. Dean Cain, always had the best million dollar vocabulary.

Labyrinth – Twisting and turning. *Doesn’t it even sound mysterious?

Lilt – To move or speak musically. *I always think of the Scottish or Irish accents as being Liltish.

Petulant – Moody. *Another favorite from Lois and Clark.

Quintessential – Classic model.

Serendipity – Finding someone while looking for someone else.

 

 

Fun to Say Words

Give them a try. These are some of my all-time favorites to say aloud.

Bon Mot – A clever, witty remark or comment. *I learned this one last winter from my current favorite tv show Once Upon a Time, when the Evil Queen finally called Captain Hook by his actual first name instead of one of her constant bon mots (:30 mark – ps. ignore Hook’s aggression, he was cursed.)

Cacophony – A collection of various sounds all at once. *This one is often listed as an ugly word, but I think it’s gorgeous, and it’s so fun to say.

Coddiwomple – To travel with purpose toward a vague destination. *”Go West, young man.”

Discombobulate – To confuse or discontent, upset, frustrate.

Hemophiliac – A person with genetic disorders that don’t allow blood to clot.  *This always reminds me Grand Russian family, the Romanovs. The youngest son, Nicolas II was a hemophiliac

Maneuver – A planned and regulated movement.

Onomatopoeia – A words that sounds like it means, ex. Clink, Bang, Whoa.

Paradoxical – Having a nature of paradox, self-contradictory.

6078313993_956b666008

Sepulveda Boulevard – A street name in Los Angeles, CA. * Okay, so this is just a personal favorite. It’s so fun to say out loud. It just rolls flawlessly off the tongue.

Vilipend – to regard or treat as little value.

 

 

Words You Didn’t Know There Were Words For

Who knows what that dangly thing is in the back of our throats? Or what the dot on top of the letter I is? (which subsequently are Uvula and Tittle.) There are plenty more words out there that I didn’t even know there were words for, and here’s a list of some of the better ones.

Agelast – Someone who never laughs. *And in turn, someone I would either not want to meet or would do my best to try and make them laugh.

Algedonic – Something both painful and pleasurable. *Ooh!

Mauerbauertraurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who like you. * I’m pretty sure you’ll meet a person like this in my upcoming novel Falling for Hope. Keep an eye out, her name is Lucy.

Odium – Widespread hatred or digest for someone

Petrichor – The way it smells after the rain. *Or right now, if you live in Illinois.

Philtrum – The vertical groove between the upper lip and nose.

Pogonotrophy – The growing and grooming of facial hair.

128649929192f55cff68f5cf9ae75eca

Sockdolager – A decisive retort, ex. A mic drop.

Torpefy – Make someone numb or paralyzed.

Vellichor Strange wistfulness of being inside a used bookshop.

 

 

The Best British Wordsengland-clip-art-free-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-rb6xuz-clipart

Our mother nation, The United Kingdom, has some of the best words, that both mean and sound amazing…especially when they say them in their seemingly proper sounding dialect. And being that my series Falling for Heroes is based around a British family, I have become quite familiar with many of these.

Arse-over-tits – To fall over; to be clumsy. * Gosh, how I love the Brits!

Bangers & Mash – A popular dish of sausages and mashed potatoes.

Bloody – Adds vehement to curses and phrases. ex. Oh bloody hell!

Bollocks – In short, balls. But it’s usually said as in the way Americans say, Damnit!

Bugger – A jerk. Or to go away, if you add off to it. ex. Bugger off, will ya?

Cheeky – Impudent in an amusing way

Fancy – To like someone, or would like something. ex. Fancy a pint? *A personal favorite.

Knackered – Tired

Peckish – Hungry

Rubbish – Garbage, or something untrue. ex. There’s nothing but rubbish in that tabloid.

 

 

Ugly Words

As an added bonus, these words both sound gross, as well as usually mean something unsavory to go along with it. How many of these do you agree with it?

Capitulate – To give in

Coitus – Sexual intercourse between a man and woman

coitus

Fluid – A substance capable of flowing. ex. a liquid.

Lubricant – A substance, like oil or grease, used to lessen friction.

Manipulate – To manage or influence in a skillful, unfair manner.

Moist – Moderately damp. *Does anyone like this word?? I don’t think so.

Ointment – A soft, oily preparation often medicinal for application to the skin.

Regurgitate – To rush back from where it came.

Unctuous – The characteristic of oily, fatty, or greasy. *Funny, how most of these have to do with being oily and greasy. Like it’s a perquisite for a those types of words to be gross.

 

I’d love to hear some of you favorite, or least favorite words in the comments! I could always add some more awesome words to my mental list!

 

scroll-clip-art-at-vector-clip-art-online-royalty

 

 

lc

Watch Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman NOW

Click over to the Yellow Book Road

Follow the Yellow Book Road
Follow the Yellow Book Road

Have you been over to the Yellow Book Road yet? You haven’t! Oh my goodness, you need go click over there right now for the latest Author Spotlights, reviews, and up coming books!

Today we have Jo A. Hiestand and her British crime mystery, No Known Address. Please stop on by and even enter to win a $40 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

mediakit_bookcover_noknownaddress_use-this

PRE-ORDER THIS AMAZING BOOK TODAY!

NO KNOWN ADDRESS

 

 

CLICK NOW! YELLOW BOOK ROAD

Good Riddance

bad-date-cartoon

Yesterday, I was talking to a sweetheart of a girl at my gym about dating. She was twenty-nine and had yet to find that man of her dreams. Like I had been in my dating days, she was picky and no one had met her standards. Ooh that brought back some memories. How many dates had I been on that ended with me shaking my head for how horrible they went? Too many to count.

Let’s see, my first worst date was early in college when I went on a swim date with this kid. He “played” more with his male buddy in the pool than me. In fact, the other guy’s date or girlfriend that was there and I even started chatting and asking each other if they were gay and we were there for cover up.

Who knows, but can you say awkward….bro

In another blog article about kissing, a few years back, I wrote about feeling so sick after one date, that I had to call it quits before we got to the movie we were going to attend. I’m allergic to dairy, so whatever I ate must’ve had some kind of hidden cheese or milk, and I was doubled over with stomach pains. They gave me chills and I couldn’t handle moving on to the second half of the date, so since I drove (he lived on campus, and didn’t have a car. I did.) I brought him back to the dorms and said good night, apologizing for cutting our time short.  tumblr_lzx1vxsyf31qg39ewo1_500The jerk then still felt the need to get a good night kiss in, and slobberingly kissed me, including full tongue action. Gah! I wanted to gag, and shoved him away. He didn’t even have a chance to shut the door before I pulled out of the parking lot. Really, the nerve of him. Needless to say, he did not get a second date, and I yelled at him so badly the next day that he even dropped the class we had together. Good riddance!

In between those days and the next one I’m going to mention, were some good ones, and I had met some really nice guys, but still none of them had the forever quality. Connecticut, where I was raised, was just too small for my liking and I chose to move to San Diego, California for law school. And boy how those guys were different than the conservative Connecticuters I’d met before. First of all, there are the surfer dudes. They’re nice, relaxed, laid back, but weed is a constant vice. No thanks. Secondly, the law school guys–they were cunning and manipulative. I had one date me for my notes. Yep, he had a completely faked interest in me, but he sure liked how I could summarize case histories. Loser. And way too many of them, just wanted what every twenty-something year old guy wants, and I was not that kind of a girl. (Not yet at least. haha!)

sog_s37-k_2Thirdly, there were the Navy guys. Mmmm men in uniform. I met this one guy, I don’t even remember his name now, but he was hot. Dark cropped hair, big brown eyes, muscular, tall…and he was training to be a Navy SEAL. We had decided to go out on a weeknight, which meant that we had both had classes the next day, so we ate in. I made lasagna and spread our homework out on the dining room table. (Oh I should mention, I lived in a house with five other roommates, and I wasn’t alone, so I felt comfortable inviting him over with other people around.) I had my law school work, and he had a Navy textbook. Everything was going well, there was laughing and flirting, and then the ball had to drop… or to be more specific the seven inch SOG SEAL diving knife, which he so casually started sharpening at the table. Talk about uncomfortable. I realize it was normal for him, but the more I thought about it, the more I was like, no way…this is a first date and he’s digging out blades that could kill me with one flick of the wrist. Yeah, a second date never happened, and I was pretty glad. I could only imagine what he would have brought next… a Colt .45?

Shortly after the Navy SEAL, I met the man of my dreams, my now husband…here is the actual excerpt from my journal a week after I met him:

My dream of finding that “cave man”* was never so strong and so far away at the same time. I remember one morning just crying (it was a Wednesday morning), that I wanted the perfect man and I thought, what makes me want the perfect man, and then I realized it and said it aloud, “My father would never say anything like derogatory to my mom,” or any woman for the matter. I cried harder and was so saddened throughout the rest of the day. That is until Kung Fu that night. I was tying my sash when I turned to see a new face coming through the door. I did a double take because I saw a guy that had such a cute face and great smile.

Throughout the night we talked during class, he was also a white sash. His name is Jon and that night he changed my idea that there aren’t any more nice guys around anymore. I saw him the next night and the following and the following night as well. 4 nights in a row now. Each night was the equivalent of months at a time. 

He’s polite, kind, doesn’t unnecessarily swear, doesn’t drink or smoke, and is understanding, independent, but wants a security as we’ll, it’s engrained in him to be a gentleman. He listens to normal, fun music, likes the same movies as I do, is caring and considerate to feelings. And from watching him at work, he’s great with kids–he played magic trick with them during dinner. Most of all he wants a relationship that is open and honest and is full of caring that is not based on sex. It’s not the first thing on his mind and it’s so refreshing. He really likes me a lot too. I just hope and pray that this is it–the end of searching. The end of being lonely. 
P.S. On Monday, 5.2.2000 Jon asked if we could be a couple. I have a boyfriend now!!

Alright so I was pretty cheesy, but still, it was the end of the those days of searching, and those days of crappy dates and crazy guys.

Now, I know there are some of you out there that have some great stories to go with these. Share in the comments your worst date experiences, and we can vent together!

 

 

*cave men is a theory I have that there is this island where only the very best men are cultivated. They are a man’s man, but love their wives, and children like the breath in their lungs and more. I have a vision that when they are ready they emerge from this cave and the one girl who gets them is most lucky of all the women. There are very few that come from this cave, and that’s why there are so very few men like this out there. It’s the things I told myself during my lonely days

scroll-clip-art-at-vector-clip-art-online-royalty

 

Falling for Phoenix Ebook Cover1

Read Eryn’s latest book in the

Falling for Heroes Series: Falling for Phoenix

falling-for-heroes-box-set

And catch up on the first two books Falling for Shock and Falling for Freedom in the Falling for Heroes Boxset at the low price of $3.99. Two books for the price of one!

LIES

3604c66

“Thou shalt not bear false witness…”

Yeah, we all know it, we shouldn’t lie. Courts make us swear in before witnessing; being truthful is part of the wedding vows, but we still do it, don’t we? From telling a new mom with an baby who’s nose is bigger than her face, that her kid is adorable to coughing over the phone to one’s boss just to get a day of peace away from work, we tell lies. Some are harmless, some are detrimental, and yeah, some are fun.

I’m a storyteller; a writer, and an Irish woman – I can tell some really good lies. I’m not bragging nor condoning lying, but I feel the need to confess and tell some of my better “stories” I have convinced others to believe. There are two that are very specific in my mind and if you went to school with me, I am so very, very sorry.

All right, here’s the first one. Father forgive me, I have sinned…I was in the 6th grade. I didn’t have that many friends. I was quiet and shy and probably wanted attention, so I concocted this story about how Tony Danza was my mother’s brother. Yes, my almost 100% Boston, Irish mother’s New York, Italian brother. (I must have been desperate).20080706-whos-the-bossWho’s the Boss was a popular television show at the time and I loved it. I used to emulate Alyssa Milano and sometimes even call myself Samantha. I don’t remember how it came up, but I decided to try out calling Tony Danza my uncle. Some kids believed me, some didn’t, some had reservations, but I became the girl who was saying that I had famous uncle. I even went so far as to bring in a picture of my own uncle, my father’s brother – since my mother has all sisters, where he wasn’t facing the camera and call him “Uncle Tony”.

I carried this “story” until summer break and then told just a few very close friends that it wasn’t true. The hype eventually simmered  and by 7th grade no one cared. Still, though, I do get the very random person asking if it was true that Tony Danza was my uncle and I have to laugh and say, No, I was stupid kid.

My other huge whopper of a tale was later in high school, when my younger sisters were in middle school. There was this one girl-let’s call her Hannah, since I’m pretty sure she’s on my sister’s Facebook page somewhere- Hannah was this showy, pretentious, spoiled brat that gave my sisters hard times all the time. She would brag about her uncle, who was an actual actor-let’s call him Jack- and was in many different movies and television shows (still is for that matter). Hannah would go on and on about how she met this celebrity or that celebrity, and Uncle Jack this and that. We wanted to take her down a peg.

a13043358-25At the time, Uncle Jack happened to have a small part in the movie Far and Away, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who both lived in Connecticut about forty minutes from our hometown of Brookfield. So one day Hannah had gone on and on about Far and Away and Uncle Jack, that we decided to play with her and I call her pretending to be Nicole Kidman. Mind you this was before caller ID, so Hannah had zero clue who was actually calling her.

I have a pretty good knack for accents and put on my best Australian saying, “Hello, Hannah, it’s Nicole, your uncle gave me your phone number. Tom and malice_1993_3121687kI would love to invite  you to see the premiere of Far and Away with us in New York later this week.”
The poor, oblivious girl was excited and squealing. I think I even spoke with her mom too, who bought it, and I promised a limousine would pick her up on Friday at 7.

The next day, Hannah was bragging her little heart out to the whole school, especially to my sisters, sticking her haughty nose in the air about her call from Nicole Kidman. My sisters could only snicker in silence knowing not one word was true.

Now, we couldn’t go on letting Hannah think she was going to a movie premiere, so on Friday “Nicole” had a cold and said they were going to have postpone the premiere, thus ending the charade. I’m pretty sure my sisters told Hannah that it was me later on, but it certainly was fun. It might have taught the girl a lesson too, about what trouble one can get into bragging so much.

pinnochioSo those were my two favorite tales that I’ve spun in my lifetime. Tell me some of yours in the comments.

I’d love to hear the best lies, white lies, or long cons you’ve created in your lifetime. 

scroll-clip-art-at-vector-clip-art-online-royalty

Falling for Phoenix Ebook Cover1

Read Eryn’s latest book in the

Falling for Heroes Series: Falling for Phoenix

falling-for-heroes-box-set

And catch up on the first two books Falling for Shock and Falling for Freedom in the Falling for Heroes Boxset at the low price of $3.99. Two books for the price of one!

To Free Dopey: A Short Fanfiction Story

once

Last season premiere of  Once Upon a Time the dear dwarf Dopey, a personal favorite of mine, was cursed by becoming a tree as soon as he crossed the town line. He was mentioned a few times, but never freed. Since that season ended, and there was no resolving of Dopey’s limbed and leafed fate, I thought I’d set him free myself. This was written on June 24, 2016. Enjoy my Oncer fans–Enjoy.

dopey-the-tree

TO FREE DOPEY

Knock knock knock…

What was that? Emma questioned, waking from a sound sleep. She turned toward her bedside reading 6:22 on the clock. Who the hell would be coming over this early, she thought and detangled herself from her slumbering pirate.

Knock knock knock…ding ding…

 Slipping on a robe, she shouted, “Coming!”

Killian stirred. “What’s wrong, love?”

“Someone’s at the door. I’ll be right back.”

He grumbled something incoherent, and rolled over, as Emma dashed down the stairs to the front door. The knocks came again, but this time she was there to greet whoever was on the other side. “What is so seri—“

She stopped herself, lowering her eyes to a small child at her feet. She was a tiny girl, maybe three-foot tall, but age-wise looked to be about six or seven years old with big brown eyes, and a thick, bouncy dark curls. She’d never seen her before at any of the town gatherings or even at Henry’s school. “Hello there. Who are you?” she asked.

“I’m Avia, and I need you to save my papa.”

Emma knelt to the little girl’s height. “Who’s your father? Is he hurt?”

Avia shook her head from side to side. “No. You cursed him.”

Taken aback, Emma gasped. “I did? When?” Sure she was the Dark One not but six weeks ago, and she thought she’d corrected most of the mistakes she created. She certainly didn’t remember cursing anyone.

The little girl sniffed. “You did. Mama, said you did. My papa was chosen to cross the town border and he was turned into a tree.”

Oh. That curse. A cold hand of guilt settled on Emma’s shoulders. She didn’t know someone actually tried to leave and got caught. No one told her. Awful didn’t begin to explain how she felt about what she’d done. Reaching out to Avia, she soothed her with a light caress to her upper arms. “It’s going to be okay. I’ll help him right now. Where’s your mother?”

Avia pointed toward the woods.

“Does she know you’re here?”

“No. She told me not to bother you. She said you might be evil.”

“Oh no, sweetie. I’m not evil. That part is all gone.” Emma stood and gathered Avia’s hand. “Come on in. I’ll get dressed and we’ll go to your mother first before freeing your father.”

Feeding Avia some toast and jam, Emma left her in the kitchen watching cartoons while she dressed. Killian had woken while she was with the child and was now fully clothed, snapping on his hook. “I heard. I’ll go with you,” he said, kissing her forehead.

“Thanks. I’ll be right down. Don’t scare her with that, okay?”

“Impossible. Children love me,” he said all too cocky for the early morning, and left Emma to dress.

Moments later, they were trekking through the woods until they came upon a small hovel hidden deep in the dense Maine foliage. “Is this your home?” Emma asked Avia.

Her head bobbed in place with a huge grin growing on her face. “Mama!” she called out and immediately a tiny woman, as round as can be with flushed, rosy cheeks and long auburn curls swept up in a ponytail, shuffled outside.

“Avia! Where have you been? I’ve been worr—“ she paused, seeing Emma and Killian behind her daughter. “Get inside, now, daughter.” Fright etched the lines of her face.

“We mean no harm. The darkness has left us both. Please, we want to help. Avia came to me telling me your husband was trapped,” Emma explained, holding up her hands, showing the frightened woman she was unarmed.

“She did?”

Emma nodded. “I didn’t know. And I’d like to help.”

Slowly, the woman’s face softened. Tears glistened her eyes. “Thank you.”

 

The woman, who introduced herself as Wren, led them to the town’s line where a small tree grew right in the middle of the road. The branches were drooping, and leaves hanging low and curling in the hot summer sun. There was no water source, no nourishment feeding into the trunk from its roots lodged in asphalt and not rich soil beneath. What had she done? The man was dying, neglected, and abandoned here to die, and it was all her fault.

Sniffing back the sorrow for the poor person, who neither his wife or daughter mentioned who he was, Emma stood back from the orange line painted on the ground and aimed her hands high, concentrating on her inner magic. She closed her eyes, letting the magic flow through her, gaining charge until it filled her from the tips of her toes to her shaking fingers. Then in one powerful shot, she let go, breaking the curse from the town line. Crystals dissolved mid-air, sending the invisible barrier fluttering to the ground. With a wave of her hands to the left, she blasted the left over bits of the curse far away, where it would dissipate into the sky.

The tree shimmered and lit up the area around them in a bright yellow light. Leaves fell to the ground, branches circled inward, and little by little the trunk peeled away, revealing the shape of a man. A small man. A dwarf? Emma’s jaw unhinged. “Dopey?”

Wren and Avia were at his side the moment Dopey was once again in human form. He stretched his limbs and cocked his neck from side to side before a smile split his face in two. His wife kissed him, and he kissed her with all the exuberance they could show one another.

Killian slipped his hand around Emma’s waist, leaning into her ear. “Dwarves have wives?”

“I guess so,” Emma said, just as surprised as he was.

Dopey scooped Avia up in his arms, squeezing her with all his might. “Papa, Emma freed you.”

He set the little girl down and skipped his way over to Emma, slipping his beanie off his head to kiss her cheek. His way of saying, thank you. Emma, in turn, felt her face flush and giggled.

Dopey stood up straight, once again picked up his daughter, and reached for Wren’s hand, but not before he held one finger against his lips.

Emma took this to mean, keep his family a secret, and she nodded, drawing an invisible zipper across her lips.

Dopey smiled, and with his family surrounding him, they walked into the woods as happy as can be.

502dopeyishappy

In dedication to actor Jeffrey Kaiser and his adorable, lovable, and excellent portrayal of Dopey.

 

 

Love of the Land

gwtw

Gerald O’Hara: Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.

Scarlett O’Hara: Oh Pa, you talk like an Irishman.

Gerald O’Hara: It’s proud I am that I’m Irish, and don’t you be forgetting, missy, that you’re half Irish, too. And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why the land they live on is their mother. It will come to you, this love of the land. There’s no gettin’ away from it if you’re Irish

The quote above is from the classic movie Gone with the Wind, one of my all time favorite movies since I was eight years old. And this quote has always been one that has stood out to me as the half-Irish lass I am. I hold many things dear in my life…my family, my friends, my books, but none speak to me as much as land.

More than several times I have walked historical fields and felt the history of the those who came before me. I know it sounds strange and I’m not normally a metaphysical person at all, but I do  believe that you can sense things from the certain places. My first instance of this happened when I was a little girl first visiting the Lexington battle grounds, in Massachusetts, where the first shot of the Revolutionary War was fired. It was probably my imagination, but I swore I could hear cannons and wails of those who perished. I remember feeling an eerie wave of sadness, and shivers connecting with the land beneath my feet.

The second time I felt this same eerie wave was in Washington, D.C. on the mall between the Washington Monument and Congress building. I was only ten or eleven, but the same kind of thing happened, I started wondering how many vastly historic figures stood right on the same spot where I was. In my mind’s eye, I saw men in bowler hats and fedoras, and women in long, bustled skirts, crossing the very paths I was on.

Since then, this same thing has happened over and over again, but none as emotional as visiting Salem, Massachusetts. Stepping into the small town, where once everyday people were condemned to death as witches and warlocks, I began to shake with fear and nervousness. There was an oppression there I had never felt before, tearing at my soul to the point where I couldn’t help but cry. I remember crying to a friend who was with me and saying, I didn’t know why I was so upset. My spirit was bothered, and I think it was because of so many who had panicked and were killed on that very land.

It wasn’t long after I had visited Salem, I started a strange collection. A collection of rocks, dirt, sand, and even water from all over. I have sand from Mykonos, Greece; rocks from the Grand Canyon, Arizona; water from the Jordan River; sand from Saudi Arabia; rocks from Brighton Beach, UK… and so many other places around the world. Today though, I received the land of my ancestors – dirt and rocks from the Cliff of Mohr, in Ireland! My people, my land! And all thanks to a dear friend of mine, Gabrielle Morgan. You don’t know how much this means to me. It inspired me to write this today and recall those beautiful words from Gone with the Wind. Thank you so much for bringing me closer to land in which my blood began to flow.

14348875_10208781037855598_109811461_n-2…And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why the land they live on is their mother.