Tag Archives: Fantasy

Where I Consider Home

The past couple weeks, I’ve been looking through old photos. And you know what old photos do. They bring up memories, both good and bad. Thankfully, my past photos have  reminded me of a lot of good. Reminded me of the place I still call home. I’ve also been messaging (off and on) a lifelong friend, and that’s also had me thinking.

I’ve moved around a bit. It was kind of a byproduct of my dad’s job. Every eight years, it seemed like. Until I got married three years ago, and I moved in with my husband. We’ve moved three times in those few years. Hopefully, we’ll be set for awhile. Moving is tedious and stressful.

The first eight years of my life, I lived in a little bitty town. In fact, if you Google it, it’s registered as a village. Yep. I was raised, until I was eight years old, in a village. It tickles the fantasy side of me. According to the 2016 census, the town had a population of 285 residents. Just to put it in perspective. Sometimes, I wonder if they’re numbering people or if they’re also adding farm animals with their head count.

So you could say I’m a Midwestern, corn fed kid. But that’s not the whole story. After I was eight, we moved to the suburbs. Unfortunately, I’ve been a suburbanite ever since. But to a country kid, the suburbs were city. I’ve since learned that city is much more massive than I so naively imagined. Still, I went from a place that had roughly 300 people, let’s say, to a place that had almost 22,000 residents. Quite a big jump.

Yes. I hated it. With every single fiber in my being. I grew accustomed eventually. Made a few fleeting friends. After I was sixteen, we moved again. To a city with nearly 70,000 people. Which wasn’t too big of a shock to my system. Yet, there was something that has always nagged the back of my mind.

Where did I call home? Did it matter if I had a home or not? What do I say when people ask me where I’m from? Do people even need to know where I’m from? (I’m a paranoid person.) Where was home?

After some soul-searching, I kept coming back to the little town. The “village.” That was where I wanted to call home. Then I came to the second part of my inquiry. Why was it the place I wanted to call home? Well, my favorite memories are from there. That was my childhood. What I consider the happiest part of my life. (Outside of my marriage, of course. I’m sure the husband will read this. Love you, hun.) I still have dreams about being there. I still cry when I remember how painful it was to leave. The other places? Not so much.

There’s something else. The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. My family has vacationed there for years. I remember going there for the first time. It absolutely took my breath away. It was so green, so much of a fantasy setting. All I required was a wizard to lead me on an epic journey. I felt different there. Felt…free, so-to-speak. I could hike trails, climb along stream beds, see waterfalls. It was everything I needed to fuel my fictional mind. Everything I needed to clear my mind from stress and the mundane of everyday life.

While I do love the beach and ocean, I like to say my heart belongs to those mountains. I try to go there every year. Or, at least, every other year. It fills me with so much vigor, so much life. Reminds me of the times when I was a kid in the little town and allowed my imagination to soar. I’ve been to many places. I don’t know what it is about the Smokies, but that’s where I want to return. I feel like a piece of me has been left there since the first time I went. There’s a piece of my heart in my hometown, and you can bet your behind, there’s a piece of my heart running through the trees on the Smokey Mountains.

I plan to settle down there sometime. Maybe it’ll be when my husband retires. Maybe it’ll be if I can make money off my books. I don’t know. But I do know I will get there. One way or another, I will have my house in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery. I will find the piece of my heart and run in the forests with it. I will find my wizard and finally go on that epic journey through the woodlands. Along with the characters I’ve created, the creatures I’ve designed, the dragons I’ve made to ride on the backs of. It’s where I can let my mind be unleashed.

It’s the same sensation I had playing in the woods around my lifelong friend’s house. We could be anything we wanted, whether it be cowboys and space rangers, secret agents, horses, or anything else our limitless, child minds could conjure. It was our sense of freedom. Our sense of belonging. The mountains feel the same way to me. They always have and always will. I can be that little kid again. I can be anything I imagine myself to be. I can be free.

Where do I call home? Well, it’s a two-fold answer. My hometown, I consider to be my past home. The Smokey Mountains, I consider to be my future home. They’re almost the same to me in importance. Both places hold pieces to my heart. And that’s okay. Because I know where I came from, and I know where I will end up.

And it’s always home.


The Butterfly Dragons


“I just wish they weren’t so afraid of the camera. It’s the only way I ever get to see them,” Aesilver lamented. She sighed and propped her chin in a hand, rose gold hair settling around her long, pointed ears. Her elbows rested on the wooden railing also supporting her camera, but she jutted her hips enough that her decorative bells jingled.

“What are you even talking about?” Calena tossed her lavender bangs from her face, trying to get a better view of the simulated lush environment. Her dangling earrings clinked in response. “This is a botanical gardens. There are no creatures here. You’ll need to go to the zoo.”

Aesilver threw her head back. “Were you not listening to me at all? It took the hover tram two hours to get here. I was explaining the whole way.”

The other elf shrugged. “I guess I tuned it out. All I want to see is the diamond flower. It’s supposed to be the only living plant left in existence.”

“Mm. It is a pity the humans decimated the plant life. Everything is artificial now. Even the animals can only be found in zoos anymore. But that’s to be expected from a race who only values currency.”

Calena played with her holographic phone. “Don’t knock it. Currency is what keeps us living like the princesses we are. Now shut up and tell me what it is you’re trying to find, so we can go look at the diamond flower.”

“The butterfly dragons!” Aesilver lifted the slender camera to her silver eyes. “Be quiet so they’ll come out.” After a few moments of silence, she gasped. Repeatedly smacked her friend’s arm.

Two dragons, no bigger than a fairy butterfly, flitted about the richly colored flowers. Searching for synthesized nectar. Their dainty bodies were patterned exactly off the insects, and there was nothing fearsome about them. In fact, they were thought to be extinct. But they could occasionally be seen in the botanical gardens by a lucky visitor.

Leaning over the railing, Calena squinted. “I don’t see them.” She swatted away the other’s hand. “Stop hitting me.”

Aesilver held the camera display in front of her. Eager to see her pictures. As she scrolled through, she frowned.

“Oh, no…what?”

“I didn’t get any of them.” Her rose gold lips pouted. “We’ll have to wait until they find the courage to come out again. I don’t know why they didn’t show up in any of the pictures. I had it on rapid capture.”

Calena groaned. She allowed her head to fall onto the railing, lavender braids falling around her porcelain face. “We are going to be here forever!”

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

In celebration of seeing Wonder Woman, I decided to share this piece I drew back in 2012, during my first semester of college. It was the first project my drawing class had been assigned. The task was to draw something we felt represented ourselves, our style, and our inspiration. I chose to recreate a picture done by Jim Lee, one of my favorite DC Comics artists.

Wonder Woman has always been more than just a comic book character to me. Outside of my mom, she was the only real female figure I had. And she taught me many things. True strength comes from within, not from your muscles. No matter what size I am, I can still do anything I set my mind toward. All I need is love, compassion, and the courage to be myself. And lastly, I don’t have to be Wonder Woman to be a wonderful woman.

I won’t lie. I cried quite a bit when I saw the Wonder Woman movie. One of my childhood icons was now more than animated character or a drawing on a page. She was on a big screen in live action. She became real. That movie was everything I could have asked for and more. I was so happy to see my hero, that I couldn’t help but cry.

This is one of the things I love about books/comics/TV shows/video games/movies, etc. Usually, everyone finds their hero. That one character that stands out the most to them. The one that connects with them the most. People learn from these characters, are inspired to be their best by these characters. The list could go on.

I know there’s a difference between the real world and fantasy. I am not blind to my everyday responsibilities. But whether it’s reading a book or comic to forget myself for a little while, whether it’s playing a video game to release my frustration, whether it’s writing stories or poems to vent my feelings, fiction does help me get through this thing we call life. Just as music does. Just as chatting with family and friends does. And Wonder Woman? Well. She’s an aspect of fiction that’s helped me the most.

Night Along the Beach

I’ll never forget walking along the beach at night and looking out to sea. The waters were darker than a starless sky. I didn’t think such a thing was possible. But I could see the white caps plain as day. As if they were ethereal ghosts dancing along the waves. Ethereal ghosts riding the waves to where I stood. It was gracefully scary, horrifingly beautiful. Chills racked my body when the opaque water surrounded my legs. How much of the unknown would come lap my feet? Yet, I couldn’t move. I was immobilized by the sensation. Greeted with a perfect mixture of cold and warmth. As the salted wind blew my hair about my face, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Couldn’t cease staring at where two infinites met on the far horizon. Where two ancient powers shared space. Sky and water. The roar of the ocean defeaned the stars. Defeaned the voices in my head. I buried my toes in the sand as the withdrawing waves sucked it away. Felt the grains and broken seashells slide over my feet. I wasn’t worried about being cut, though there would be salt in the wound. I was watching, listening. For what, I’ll never know, but I was drawn, pulled by two invisible forces. I wanted to fly and swim at the same time. But I remained motionless. Motionless until I had to break myself away and walk back up the beach. I had to return the real world, unfortunately unable to stay in the fantasy forever. But that feeling–that sensation–will haunt my mind for the rest of my life. It was something I knew I’d never forget.


This is Kliiera, my favorite dragon that I've drawn so far.

This is Kliiera, my favorite dragon that I’ve drawn so far.

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