Weaving Gold

Mokosha, Anastasia Sophia, and Me, Natalia . . . while the books are written

Sister Wisdom Found


18077814Weaving together the stories of Diana Morgan, a low-rung Oxford scholar, and Myrina, founder of the Amazons, Lost Sisterhood is a tale of adventure, ancient secrets, love, and wisdom. I loved the book and marked several quotes. Today, I’m sharing a few favorites for Writers’ Quote Wednesday.

So now you know why I think all talk of borders and colors and nationalities is absurd. People try to pin you down on a map and paint you a certain color to make everything simple. But the world is far from simple, and intelligent human beings don’t like to be pinned down and painted by some hand in the sky, whether it belongs to a god, a priest, or a politician.

Anne Fortier
 grew up in Denmark, but immigrated to the United States in 2002. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas and co-produced the Emmy-winning documentary Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia (2005). Her first novel in English, JULIET (2010), was published in over 30 countries and became a New York Times bestseller.

Only kings are put in writing, you know. Kings and heroes. The rest of us are but fading echoes in the valley of eternity.

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Here, we chop wood to keep warm. If you think that’s amateurish, all I can say to you is this: You are more vulnerable than you think.


030816_1826_writersquot1.pngMy contribution for #WQW


Hoping against Hope


Lesia Ukrainka, Ukrainian poet

Lesia Ukrainka is one of Ukraine’s best loved poets and playwrights. She achieved a broad education by self-tuition. She knew all of the major Western European languages as well as Greek and Latin and the Slavic languages (Russian, Polish, Bulgarian, and others). She was equally familiar with world history and at 19 wrote a textbook for her sisters, published in 1918 as Ancient History of the Eastern Peoples. Lesia Ukrainka translated a great deal (eg, Nikolai Gogol, Adam Mickiewicz, Heinrich Heine, Victor Hugo, Homer). Suffering from tuberculosis, she traveled to Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Egypt, and, several times, the Caucasia in search of a cure. Travel exposed her to new enriching experiences and broadened her horizons. Lesia Ukrainka began writing poetry at a very early age.

In celebration of Lesia Ukrainka’s birthday on February 25, my contribution to Writer’s Quote Wednesday is one of her best-known poems poem, translated to English.

Contra spem spero (I hope against hope)

Abscond ruminations, you autumn clouds!
For  tis springtime, agleam with gold!
Shall in grief and wailing for ill-fortune
All the tale of my young years be told?

No, I want to smile through tears and weeping,
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Without hope, indeed keep on dreaming,
I want to live! Thoughts of grief, go away!

On poor sad fallow land unused to tilling
I’ll sow blossoms, brilliant in hue,
I’ll sow blossoms where the frost lies, chilling,
I’ll pour bitter tears on them as due.

And those hot tears shall loosen
All that mighty crust of ice away.
Maybe flowers shall sprout and herald
A happy springtime for me, some day.

Up the flinty steep and craggy mountain
A weighty ponderous boulder I shall raise,
And bearing this dread burden, a resounding
Song I’ll sing, a song of joyous praise.

In the long dark ever-viewless night-time
Not one instant shall I close my eyes,
I’ll seek ever for the star to guide me,
She that reigns bright mistress of dark skies.

Yes, I’ll smile, indeed, through tears and weeping
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I shall live! You thoughts of grief, away!

Historical Information: Encyclopedia of Ukraine

Translation inspired by Vera Rich, modified by me

In the original Ukrainian, written May 2, 1890

Contra spem spero!

Гетьте, думи, ви хмари осінні!
То ж тепера весна золота!
Чи то так у жалю, в голосінні
Проминуть молодії літа?

Ні, я хочу крізь сльози сміятись,
Серед лиха співати пісні,
Без надії таки сподіватись,
Жити хочу! Геть, думи сумні! 

Я на вбогім сумнім перелозі
Буду сіять барвисті квітки,
Буду сіять квітки на морозі,
Буду лить на них сльози гіркі.

І від сліз тих гарячих розтане
Та кора льодовая, міцна,
Може, квіти зійдуть – і настане
Ще й для мене весела весна.

Я на гору круту крем’яную
Буду камінь важкий підіймать
І, несучи вагу ту страшную,
Буду пісню веселу співать.

В довгу, темную нічку невидну
Не стулю ні на хвильку очей –
Все шукатиму зірку провідну,
Ясну владарку темних ночей.

Так! я буду крізь сльози сміятись,
Серед лиха співати пісні,
Без надії таки сподіватись,
Буду жити! Геть, думи сумні! 

contribution to Writer’s Quote Wednesday by Silver Threading 022916_2254_wqwwriters1.png



For all the Frimes

Gelett Burgess Quote with Night Rainbow.jpg

As a writer, I harbor a small hope that my words will live forever, touching future generations. With the superabundance of books, blogs, tweets, and quips in existence, my dream seems unlikely. While others will take charge (or not) of my legacy, I can keep alive the words of my favorite authors.

220px-Gelett_BurgessFrank Gelett Burgess (January 30, 1866 – September 18, 1951) was an artist, art critic, poet, author, and humorist. He is best known as a writer of nonsense verse and the author of the still in-print Goops stories, books about manners, for kids.

The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives,
They spill their broth on the tablecloth –
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

He coined the term blurb and wrote his own dictionary.

Some excellent and useful words:

alibosh – glaringly obvious falsehood or exaggeration

drillig – a tiresome lingerer, one who talks too long

flooijab – an apparent compliment with a concealed sting

huzzlecoo – an intimate talk; a confidential colloquy

kipe – to inspect critically; to appraise pragmatically

cow’cat – a person whose main function is to occupy space

frime – an educated heart; one who deserves the right thing

I discovered Gelett Burgess through A Little Sister of Destiny, a book published in 1906 that I found in an antique store a century later. (Just discovered that it’s been republished this year. Highly recommended!) I loved it so much that I started a modern-day retelling of Miss Million’s tale. I hope to complete it one day.



#Writer’sQuoteWednesday & #BeWow 


Discovering Magic through Fiction

Why do you read? I read for entertainment and education, to validate my views — with the option to shift or change or invalidate them, to discover new worlds and viewpoints, and for delight and pleasure. In a nutshell:

I read to expand my awareness. I write for the same reason.

Books and stories open worlds. I love discovering new ideas through biographies, factual and scientific reading, and through fiction. Recently, I’ve been particularly enjoying books categorized as magical realism — serious magic, presented as real. I love contemplating, What if . . . 

In celebration a favorite author‘s book release this week (The Witches of Cambridge), I am sharing quotes from Menna van Praag’s previous book, Dress Shop of Dreams, the story of a woman whose gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Walt loves Etta’s granddaughter, and owns the bookshop next to Etta’s dress shop. He also, secretly, reads stories on the radio. He doesn’t realize the impact his voice has on his listeners.

Etta said, “Most people think the world we live in is mundane, but you remind us that it’s magical. You wrap reality in the wonder and joy of fiction, until it infuses us and becomes true.”

“Well, I . . .” Walt falters.

Etta smiles. “You’re one of life’s magicians. You simply haven’t realized it yet.”

Dress Shop Quote, Etta to Walt.jpg

Though Walt respects Etta, he can’t quite believe her, so Etta continues:

Unfortunately most magicians are immune to their own magic. We see behind the veil, we live inside the nuts and bolts, the element of surprise is lost on us. But we can help each other.

Do you read magical books or blogs? Encounter magical people? I’d love to hear about them. We can help each other.


010516_2129_writersquot1This post is inspired by

Silver Threading #WQW Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Ronowan Writes #BeWoW Be Wonderful on Wednesday; Be Writing on Wednesday



Fantasy, or Magical Reality

Bridge Quote, Paulo Coelho.jpg

Past lives. Parallel universes. Psychic phenomenon. To some, these are beliefs of the deluded and misguided. To others, they are inadequate descriptors of unseen forces at play in the universe.

Paranormal Phenomena in Fiction

How do we address metaphysical, mysterious occurrences in fiction? As a reader interested in awareness-expanding fiction, I enjoy the genres of Fantasy, Magical Realism, and Visionary Fiction — thought none of these fully encompasses of what I want to read, and what I’m writing.


The wish not to believe can influence as strongly as
the wish to believe.
~ Ian Stevenson, M.D.

Fantasy is described as being not scientifically feasible, and therein is my objection to calling Spinning Stardust (my WIP) fantasy. Science is a work in progress. There are many phenomena I’m not prepared to discard as unfeasible.

Reading is one of my favorite ways of crossing the bridge between the visible and invisible. I’d love to expand my reading list. What have you read that opened your mind to ideas that seem impossible?

I am compliling a list of scientific sources that validate metaphysical phenomenon, including past lives, parallel universes, and psychic abilities. If these topics interest you, please stop by and contribute.

It is not more surprising to be born twice than once;
everything in nature is resurrection.
~ Voltaire


010516_2129_writersquot1Inspired by:

Silver Threading #WQW Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Ronowan Writes #BeWoW Be Wonderful on Wednesday; Be Writing on Wednesday


There Is a Paranormal Activity Lab at the University of Virginia: Respected scientists are lending credibility to parapsychological research (FEB 10, 2014; The Atlantic)

Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics? (NOV 2, 2013; Scientific American Blogs)
by Jesse Bering