A-Tune-M

autumnlane

Autumn is my favorite time of year

Of history and mystery and a certain smell in the air;

I love the colors so bold and red;

We leaves won’t die quietly, they said;

No, they surge with passion as they fade and fall;

As if a new adventure was sending it’s call;

And they were answering.

 

Always I want to adventure as well when that spice travels the wind;

I feel bold and winsome and joy trembles in;

Even in death I know that one day;

My bright spirit will soar when it drifts away;

A new road of aching beauty will open before me;

Sweet smells of spices hinting at what I will see;

When I answer His call to go home.

 

Randy Stonehill and the Lord of the Rings

barefootoutside

I’m an atmospheric person- so I’ve always said to myself. I was in my early twenties when I first really read- I mean absorbed- The Lord of the Rings. I’d loved reading fantasies since I was ten and began Narnia. When I was a child; the youngest of four; my mommy was a working mom and I had large tracts of time by myself. The backyard tree became my jungle. Pictures in art books that my mommy had on dusty shelves in the old shaker bookshelf made me disappear into faded landscapes. I think, in my lifelong drive to wander in those imaginary fields of wonder, I won’t be satisfied until I dance in the endless acres of Heaven.

And so the language of the Lord of the Rings was expansive to me. Elvish homes and golden tree flets and hobbit holes.

Around the same time I was falling in love with Middle Earth, I was also listening to the  Christian classics. Keith Green (of course), Amy Grant and Randy Stonehill. At the time I considered Keith Green’s recording of ‘Your Love Broke Through’ to sort of be my signature song. It was about a ‘dreamer’ trying to build a ‘highway to the sky’. Phil Keagy recorded the song too. ‘Cool’, I thought, since it was just a little past the seventies.

So there I was, immersed in The Lord of the Rings and buying Randy Stonehill albums. One day I discovered that he’d recorded a version of ‘Your Love Broke Through’ as well! His version was kind of upbeat, bouncy and came off as joyful. It had the same lyrics as Keith’s. Except for one thing, in his version there was an added verse.

‘There is nothing in the whole wide world that means this much to me; In Your love, I have found the truth, and truth has set me free; Yeah, now I’m feeling like a barefoot child dancin’ in the sun; Unafraid, I can face each day, because of all You’ve done; Now my life has just begun!’

My mind synced forever that bit of song with this section of the Fellowship of the Ring. In the book the hobbits have set off from Hobbiton and have encountered danger already. They haven’t even left the Shire- and yet they’ve also had a campout with a group of elves the night before. Oh, the wonderful writing of Tolkien. I was hooked.

‘From Frodo’s mind the bright morning — treacherously bright, he thought — had not banished the fear of pursuit; and he pondered the words of Gildor (the elf). The merry voice of Pippin came to him. He was running on the green turf and singing.

‘No! I could not!’ he said to himself. ‘It is one thing to take my young friends walking over the Shire with me, until we are hungry and weary, and food and bed are sweet. To take them into exile, where hunger and weariness may have no cure, is quite another — even if they are willing to come. The inheritance is mine alone. I don’t think I ought even to take Sam.’ He looked at Sam Gamgee, and discovered that Sam was watching him.

‘Well, Sam!’ he said. ‘What about it? I am leaving the Shire as soon as ever I can — in fact I have made up my mind now not even to wait a day at Crickhollow, if it can be helped.’

‘Very good, sir!’

‘You still mean to come with me?’

‘I do.’

‘It is going to be very dangerous, Sam. It is already dangerous. Most likely neither of us will come back.’

‘If you don’t come back, sir, then I shan’t, that’s certain,’ said Sam. ‘Don’t you leave him! they said to me. Leave him! I said. I never mean to. I am going with him, if he climbs to the Moon, and if any of those Black Riders try to stop him, they’ll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with, I said. They laughed.’

‘Who are they, and what are you talking about?’

‘The Elves, sir. We had some talk last night; and they seemed to know you were going away, so I didn’t see the use of denying it. Wonderful folk, Elves, sir! Wonderful!’

Ha ha. Pippin/Vicky running about on the grass- oblivious to what lies ahead. (Note how much thinner I am in above picture!) Dreaming and singing of Heaven. His love has broken through my fears like sunshine on the lawn.

Here’s the Randy Stonehill version. Note the yellow electric ’80’s coat.

 

 

Bubble Tromped Under Trendy Boots

reddressbeauty

Sometimes God gives you a daughter,

Who looks desperately beautiful in a necklace of chain mail;

Only it doesn’t cover her heart.

She looks tough, like a trendy waif;

Ignoring your plea to never part.

‘Don’t leave home away from Him;’ you advise.

It’s dark out there.’

How terrifying it is, when this glittering world seems to turn her head.

When she forges her own road instead, of the safety you provide.

~                                   ~                                 ~

You think, ‘she’s strong, she’s good and she’s wise’.

But small comfort at night when you can’t close your eyes.

And indeed she does encounter all that you said,

Her black-metal outfit looks scratched and frayed,

As you remind God of how often you’ve prayed.

And even though she does eventually find her way,

Your hair that used to be brown is now gray.

You’ve earned patience gleaned from fearing trouble,

And you miss with fondness your old happy bubble.

~                                 ~                              ~

I wonder if God doesn’t think, as you kiss her lovely cheek,

That you have beauty bursting from underneath.

The Best Friends’ Duel is Ending- Today’s Snippet

duelpeterpan

Mars turned to Kannikey and nodded. He’d watch over her while she stole the sample of Surebelow that the villain Serrin held up to show the crowd. Serrin had worked in secret when he and his thug had questioned Jeremy. That meant the man must have other secrets too. If his secrets involved threatening Tonturin with horrifying poison Mars had to do something to stop him.

Mars decided this independently from Jeremy. Nevertheless, despite all his usual good sense he intended to accompany Kannikey back home as she delivered her contraband into Jeremy’s hands.

“Blast it,” he muttered under his breath, tagging along after the girl’s shapely form like a puppy. He hated it when Jeremy was proved right.

My Release date will be…

blackpoodlecover

This will be released on OCTOBER 18th, and don’t forget my other books!

If you’re looking for another romance:

dearmiklos

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Miklos-Victoria-Bastedo-ebook/dp/B008RCKZIA/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

If you like a good mystery:

green-eyedpursuitcoverforindtale

https://www.amazon.com/Green-Eyed-Pursuit-Victoria-Bastedo-ebook/dp/B00X6DCRRW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

An all-around just good read of a story:

sunrisemeetsstar

https://www.amazon.com/Sunrise-Meets-Star-Victoria-Bastedo-ebook/dp/B00JQFJU7O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

And last, my YA Fantasy:

roots2

https://www.amazon.com/Roots-Entwine-Victoria-Bastedo/dp/1612359426/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I’m thrilled to have five on the table!

Snippet for Today-Being Followed

pathwayfollow

‘They were being followed. Jeremy held up a hand and brought the two of them up short. No sounds arose behind him, not from Mars or from the other person he’d perceived. Yet he still knew someone was back there, somewhere. He tilted his head to the right. The person following them had stopped behind a building wall at the corner. There was no point in turning around to try to see.

“What’s the matter now?” Mars complained.

He smiled to himself as he started walking again. Whoever it was didn’t plan to attack, apparently. Of course Mars represented a solid picture of the need to think twice before launching into a fight, as well as he looked, Jeremy thought, in his new coat.’

Bit of bright

laughingboys

I’ve been a bit down lately. Dear friends have been sick or have loved ones who are. I’ve been worried about my own children. My 55th birthday is around the corner, and I feel like I’m an adolescent again- inadequacy has been knocking. When I whine in prayer, I tell myself I’ve got no right to, before God has the chance to say anything to me in reply.

He’s given me so very much.

He’s help me through every trial.

Other people in the world are having a harder time.

These things are so true, you see, it proves how inadequate I am!

Ha ha, here’s God when he’s being funny.

The other day my dear friend who sends me a verse a day sent me this one.

Philippians 4:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Huh, nice, I thought.

I went on fretting and then telling myself what a loser I was to sit around fretting when God has given me so much.

And so today when going about my business I was directed to this verse by another source. Again.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!     (Philippians 4:4)

Yes, God. Sometimes You do have to say. it. TWICE.

I’m a bit slow on the uptake.

But I notice some laughter bouncing in the back of my mind. And did you see that sunshine outside! I love the Autumn!


Wings of the Morning

lighthouse

Psalms 139 is my favorite. When praying this morning this section came to my mind.

Psalms 139: 7-12

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

It was my daughter’s 1st anniversary yesterday so she and her husband went to see this lighthouse movie- in which the theme of extreme solitude is explored. The previous lighthouse keeper began sending signals to the distant ships, looking for his dead wife. After this the man jumped off a cliff and so they needed a new lighthouse keeper. She said the movie goes downhill from there. (What a movie to go see on your anniversary: fortunately we were able to laugh about it!)

But now I’m thinking how thankful I am that when we are standing about in nature, alone on a windswept cliff- we can see the evidence of the Creator, and feel the kiss of His touch in the mist.

I love doing that. All by myself I love finding a cliff that overlooks the ocean and flirting with the Spirit as He is felt like the wind. I allow perspective to stretch long- as far as my eye can see. I don’t learn much, most of the time, or more than what I already knew.

He is there, with me. This aching beauty and the very eyes I have to see it were made by Him; the finest artist. His hand is strong and steady, the lean grip of the carpenter. He says, ‘steady now, go with the grain, sweep up the dust, and polish.’

Mystery, thy Technicality

BekahLampost

This is Bekah standing on a dock, with the water behind her and a lamppost above her. I cried out, ‘Bekah, look mysterious!’ and then took the picture.

It’s a bit of how I feel about the scene I had to write today. In the whole chapter there’s not one word of conversation. I’m trying to explain something technical, fantasy-true yet mysterious. I’m unsure if the words I wrote will carry off what I intended of them. Like the black of water behind Bekah, there’s no way to describe if what I’m trying to show even is water.

My only question, will what I wrote seem murky to any future readers of this story I might have? Bigger still, can I leave the technical wordsy language behind for a while and get back to the interesting relationship stuff?

And, does Bekah look like she’s wondering, when will Bogart come in his fedora and his detective overcoat?

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade 1941

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade 1941

Green Trail

GreenTrail

Apparently I love taking photos of trails that lead off into the woods. This was taken yesterday, at a trail I found on Snoqualmie Ridge. The front part of the photo is all dusty and mundane. But the back part- isn’t that cool? I love the brightness of the green- and the hint of sun on the path.

There’s an adventure down that trail; a mystery leading to a fantasy designed just for the imagination.

Today I took this picture of myself. I like it because it seems like I’m just about to tell you a story that I’m captivated with.

Vicky-Let me tell you

The fun of formulating a fantasy out of my imagination is worth every one of the more than million words I’ve garbled out and tried to push at people who weren’t interested.

Whether or not I ever sell another story I’m grateful. I’ve had all kinds of fun trying to share my stories. And God- how can we doubt His existence? The wonderful imagination alone- that reaching for color and light unseen, the daydreams of wonder expressed into drawing or music or writing, or cooking or gardening or crafting, or…. So much beauty to be seen and it’s such a loss when human beings can’t create the passion inside them into an expression of awe.  God gave us the majesty and aching richness of nature and the eyes to see it, and the ears to hear it. He gave us something else- the ability to marvel at the light in another person’s eyes. None of these things are strictly necessary for survival. They’re for entwining our souls with Him. Imagination is something that can’t be put into a formula. The walls of art have no boundaries. The abstract is meant to point upward.

Thanks for listening to my many rambles!