The Ocean Dimension

Overlooking the Monterey Bay is a breathtaking thing. In fact, I think looking out on any ocean must be humbling. As I view this vast body of water, I cannot help but think about the life that lives below the surface. In that beautiful, blue sea lies a vast bounty of incredible creatures that the mind’s eye cannot even begin to imagine or comprehend. Within the very depths of its bowels are creatures that have yet to be discovered.

The life within the ocean only brushes upon the surface of the magic of its waters. My educated mind knows that across those waters lies a foreign land. I cannot see it, but I know it is there. The people in that land live in a different culture, a different climate, and even a different time zone. Not so long ago, it would have almost been viewed as a different world.

The ocean seems almost to be a gateway to another dimension and, while I gaze upon its beauty, I am humbled to be a creature of this world.


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The After Hours Saga: A Warrior’s Heart

In the shadows of the trees, he stands. Watching. Waiting. The arrow is taught against his string. He feels the muscles in his arm and shoulder tensed and ready. All he must do is release. The waiting is truly the hardest part. Through the bushes and overgrowth, he can hear the animal moving. It draws closer, yet he does not waiver. He cannot afford the luxury of fear, for it would only mean the end for him.

The animal closes in, and now he can hear it breathing. In this instant, most would have run. He does not. The warrior inside of him would never allow him to run. He stands his ground, waiting for the wicked beast to emerge.

It does not disappoint. The animal lumbers toward him at great speed. He does not allow himself to feel anything as he progresses through the movements, for he cannot afford to. He takes aim, steadying his hand, and releases. Muscles, instantly merciful for the loss of the strain, help guide his hand back to his quiver from memory. He draws another arrow.

It is not necessary. The beast falls to its belly on the carpet of the forest floor in front of him. He walks to it and taps it with his boot. No movement. The beast is dead. He turns, and walks deeper into the forest.

 

It is sometimes said that the heart of a true warrior lies in what he does in the first moments of battle. Does he stay and fight to the death? Does he flee? It is in these moments, when faced with true danger, that the warrior is made.

This warrior was not made to flee. He was made to fight. He may live many years, or he may be killed fighting off a beast. Either way, he will not become a victim to his fear. The archer lives another day, deep in the heart of the forest.


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Fantasy Bestseller Kevin Hearne Talks to After Hours

Bestselling Fantasy Author Kevin Hearne

Bestselling Fantasy Author Kevin Hearne

Those of you that have ever talked about books with me know that NY Times Bestseller Kevin Hearne is one of my all-time favorite authors. In fact, if you’ve broached the subject, you would have heard me gushing about The Iron Druid Chronicles (my personal favorite) as well as pointing out covers to the new Heir to the Jedi book that’s been gracing the shelves of bookstores everywhere. Mr. Hearne’s characters are full of depth, his writing is immaculate, and his stories are beyond intriguing. Add internal conversations with an Irish Wolfhound, and what more could a reader possibly want?

A few days ago, I contacted Mr. Hearne for an interview and he graciously accepted. Now I bring it to you for your reading pleasure. Enjoy:

Hello Kevin, as a fan of the Iron Druid chronicles and a lover of fantasy novels, I’m excited to learn a little bit about you!

Those of us that follow you on social media know that you’ve been traveling (we’ve seen the pictures). From where do you hail on this fine day?
Right now I’m in Rome! Not doing many touristy things though; I’m researching sites for book 8.

I think all of us that are attached to the Iron Druid wish that we could have an Oberon of our very own. Did an Irish Wolfhound that you know inspire his character?
Alas, no. I have a pug and a Boston terrier that provide the inspiration for Oberon. They’re very expressive dogs and you can see their emotions on their faces.

Of all the places that you’ve visited, do you have a favorite?
I love visiting Portland, Oregon. Farmer’s markets everywhere, crunchy happy people, and a giant bookstore in Powell’s. What’s not to love there?

Many of us know that you were an English teacher. Did you have a favorite story to teach your students?
I always enjoyed telling them the story of how Tiresias the blind prophet got that way, because he used to be a normal dude. The story is told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and it’s jacked up like so much other mythology.

You have so many dynamic and compelling characters. Do you have a favorite?
Right now the Archdruid, Owen Kennedy, is really fun for me to write; his voice and attitude are an entertaining headspace to inhabit for a while.

Are you working on anything new? Anything you can give us a glimpse into?
Yes! Besides working on STAKED, the next Iron Druid book, I’m also working on an epic fantasy trilogy called the The Seven Kennings. The first book is called A Plague of Giants and I hope that will be out next year.

Where will you be appearing next?
I’ll be in Prague and Brno May 5 and 6, and then at Phoenix Comicon May 28-31.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with After Hours and Other Ramblings!  We hope you have the opportunity to do some touristy things while you are out and about!

Want to know more about Kevin Hearne? Follow him on his page: https://kevinhearne.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter


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Death of a Rose

Thorn on mighty stem

broken from the bow,

blood red leaves fold within

and whither slowly unto now.

In the rose’s final hour

the last leaf falls upon the floor,

and as a tear falls down upon it

the rose blossoms nevermore.

 

Personal Note:

I wrote this a few years ago. Now that I look back at it, it reminds me a bit of Nothing Gold Can Stay, the famous poem by Robert Frost. I’m pretty sure that poem is my personal inspiration for writing this, although I didn’t realize it at the time. In telling you this, I find myself transported back to Pony Boy reading that poem to Johnny in The Outsiders. Reading S. E. Hinton was my first introduction to that specific piece of poetry, and I have been in love with it ever since.  “Stay gold, Pony Boy.”


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The After Hours Saga: Burning Embers

Dusk falls upon us as the last hours of the day fade into the night. Yet it is not long before the light comes again to greet us. The sun’s rays gently caress the horizon. In that moment of warmth, we are at peace. Waking from a gentle slumber, we feel the sunlight kiss our skin and we know we are alive.

It is much like darkness in all forms. Darkness resides in all of us. However, what we must remember is this: Where there is darkness, there is also light. Even in the very depths of our souls, a sparkling ember burns, waiting to be ignited.

 

A Personal Note:

I am one of those people that always approaches others with an attitude of happiness. In fact, so many people have commented on this attribute that I’ve begun to realize it may be rarer than I first realized. I have been asked countless times how I can always be so full of joy. The answer is truly simpler than you can imagine: It is a choice.

I choose my mood before I speak to another human. I choose happiness. I have no idea what’s going on in that person’s life. I don’t want to speak negativity into their heart. I smile. Some days I don’t feel like smiling (I am human, after all), but I do it anyway. I find my ember and I ignite it. This one simple choice has the power to change another’s attitude. With a smile, a kind word, and a gentle touch, there is a force more powerful than any other on this planet. It has the amazing capacity to heal a wounded soul, to bring hope to a despairing man, or simply to brighten another’s day. Happiness is a key to changing the world, and I bring it with me wherever I may go.

As you drink your morning cup of coffee, settle into your lunch, or prepare for your evening before you slumber, consider this: Have you smiled yet today?

 


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Welcome to my official blog

One of my favorite authors once said that the written word is a form of telepathy, of transference of ideas through thoughts and mental images. Right now, you and I are having a meeting of the minds. I hope you enjoy what is to follow.


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