Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How To Celebrate the Autumn Equinox

Although it's still pretty hot outside in my neck of the woods, autumn is officially here! At 9:21am CT, the sun will be directly over the equator, marking the official transition from light to dark. If you're a fan of The December People Series, you also know that this is an important day to fall wizards. Families of fall wizards often share a meal on this day to give thanks for the harvest. And unless they are farmers, it's a symbolic harvest. It's a time to give thanks for the fruits of our labor and the relationships we've built. Yes, it is wizard Thanksgiving!

Whether you're a fall wizard or not, consider taking some time today to celebrate the autumnal equinox. Here are some ideas.
  • Focus on balance in your life - The autumnal equinox is when light and dark are in perfect balance. Channel this balance in your own life. Are you spending enough time doing things that make you happy? Are certain parts of your life sucking up more energy than they deserve?
  • Focus on balance in your body - Notable fall witch, Jess Oppenheimer, is a yoga instructor. In yoga, balance is key, and it's a great way to harness the balancing powers of the equinox. Consider some of these balance poses.
  • Celebrate the harvest - Many of us live in a perpetual time of plenty. We don't need to celebrate the harvest anymore because we can go to the supermarket any day of the year and pick from an overflowing feast. You may not feel rich, but if you have regular access to food and clean water, you should take time to reflect on your blessings.
  • Celebrate the season - Fall wizard, Patrick Vandergraff, has never ordered a pumpkin spice latte. He feels like it's a little too expected. But that doesn't mean that you can't take the time to relish fall treats today. Don't be ashamed, get something pumpkin spice flavored. Have an Oktoberfest beer. Enjoy all those things you've been looking forward to about fall.
  • Spend time in nature - Magic is always best channeled outdoors, especially in quiet reflection when you're quiet and peaceful enough to actually notice it. Go for a walk. Look at the green leaves one last time before they fall. And if you're in a warm climate, it's not to late to plant a fall garden!
  • Think about the future - Fall wizards are all about the future. Like squirrels who hoard nuts for winter, fall wizards are always looking ahead to what is next and getting prepared. Powerful fall wizards can even see the future, or at least glimpses of it. Even if you don't have that ability, the fall equinox is a good time to reflect on what's next.
  • Make a change - I love all the season changes, but in Texas, summer to fall is especially glorious because we're finally getting a change from the brutal temperatures. Seasons changing reminds us of the beauty and power in change. This is a great time to make that change you've been thinking about.
  • Let go of something toxic in your life - Look at a nice big deciduous tree outside. All those leaves are about to shed. Think about all the leaves you've collected on your own branches, and think about how much lighter you would feel if those leaves all cascaded to the ground. There is nothing wrong with acting like a tree and letting some things go.
  • Let go of your fear of aging and death - I know that's a tall order, but consider this famous quote from John Burroughs, “How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. When leaves die and fall, they do so in beauty and grace." Every season in life is beautiful in its own way. The seasons also remind us that life is an ongoing cycle. Fall and winter allow the earth to shed its old leaves to prepare for a re-birth. There is no reason not to believe that our bodies work the same way.
Have a happy fall equinox and lovely fall season!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

#CoverReveal for Cradle Rock by @taratylertalks #MG #Fantasy

I had a lot of fun with Broken Branch Falls and I'm excited for Cradle Rock! Review coming later! Check out the cover and trailer...

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: December 1, 2016

Welcome to the forest.

Gabe and his girlfriend Ona are headed in opposite directions for Spring Break. After finding out humans might be a real part of their history, Ona is determined to dig up evidence of them in the mysterious mountains at Camp Cradle Rock. Being a logical goblin, Gabe tries to talk her out of it, but there's just no reasoning with a stubborn ogress.

When Ona goes missing, Gabe and his friends fly to Cradle Rock to search for her and discover a village of trouble, igniting an age old war. His physical skills may be lacking, but Gabe won't give up. With the help of his diverse group of friends, he will find a way to save his girl and maybe all beastkind. Humans, bah!

And here's the book trailer! With sketches from my super fantastic inside illustrator, Laura Kramer.