Happy Solstice!

Thank you Charles French! Yule, The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year yesterday. It is the festival of birth of the new solar year. In Wiccan terms, it is the renewal of the Sun god. Yule is also called the Day of Children, Mother’s Night, and Christmas. The Herbs cedar, cinnamon, ginger, sage, rosemary and the colors of gold, green, yellow, white and red are all colors associated with this solstice and will last until midwinter is passed, bringing the Spring Equinox in March! Visit http://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com

charles french words reading and writing

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I am almost late in posting this, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Blessed Solstice–this wish goes to everyone regardless of religious beliefs or otherwise!

Also, I am one of the unusual people who loves Winter–I always feel at my best physically and mentally at this time of year. I become more energetic, and I always feel like a child with delight when it snows.

Again–Have a Happy and Blessed Solstice!

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2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge!

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I found this fascinating challenge by accident  on melissaseclecticbookshelf.com  blog and I immediately signed up!   I am writing two speculative fiction novels with a theme of Witches & Witchcraft. It is a fascinating subject, especially White Witches, Green Witches, and Dark Witches.  They are really quite different in their philosophies, actions, words, and deeds.  I am enjoying writing these two novels. Reading and reviewing more books about this subject is a journey into something that millions of people once believed was as real as a dark moon, black cats, curses, spells, and all kinds of wicked doings. I think I will fetter out the truth of it, but if not it will be a scary adventure!  🙂

A dog’s tale of Christmas spirit

What a beautiful and heartwarming story about a Christmas dog from Sandy Says Web blog!

Sandysays' Weblog

As is my custom, I like to present my readers with a canine crafted Christmas story this time of year. This is a new one.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas" The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

I watched the dog from my apartment window. The first time I noticed him was when I was eating lunch one Saturday. It was a blustery December day, cold, dreary … the type day best served by fireplaces, sofas with blankets, hot chocolate, and football games on the TV … not being outdoors. My apartment building adjoins the park where I saw him; that park’s lively April through October, but is as still as a mortuary in the cold Midwestern winter.

The dog was by himself, his actions rather strange for he chose to sit by an isolated park bench away from the access sidewalks that criss-cross the facility. Immobile as a statue, he faced into…

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Under the Mistletoe!

cousin-reginald-under-the-mistletoe-norman-rockwell-400x508  Why do we kiss each other under bunches of the devious, toxic Mistletoe every Christmas?  Well, its a complicated story. Many mythical stories surround the Mistletoe. Its magical lore includes how the Norse god Baldur — second son of Odin, god of truth and light — who was so beloved by the other gods that they sought to protect him from all the dangers of the world, but forgot to include the mystical Mistletoe.  Loki, a jealous Druid citizen who sought to test the powers of Baldur, made a dart from the Mistletoe and murdered Baldur.  However, Baldur came back to life and Frigg, Baldur’s mother, kissed the Mistletoe for saving her son’s life and from that time forward a Mistletoe was hung at the threshold of each home to ward off evil spirits and for good luck. Overtime, people started kissing each other at the entrance to a room for good luck and to be gracious to the host.

The lore of the Mistletoe is thousands of years old. It was sacred to the Celts and Druids of Northern Europe and other countries around the world where Mistletoe thrives and is believed to be a magical everlasting healer. The Mistletoe has been called a symbol of virility, could cure all manner of diseases, warded off death in battle, induced omens of good or bad fortune, and used as a divining rod pointed the way to riches of gold and silver. It is said to have given life everlasting to the Druid Gods and souls within the White Oaks tree. Mistletoe, a thief among plants, chooses the Oak tree above all others as it’s natural parasitic home.

The Mistletoe’s magical lore began with the awe of nomadic tribal peoples that surrounded this parasitic plant that grew without roots, as though it had fallen from the sky as a divine gift from the Gods. The Mistletoe was likened to the soul, a disembodied spirit that had great power. It was considered the great healer and protected against witchcraft, nightmares; it evoked ghosts and caused them to answer your questions.

Then there’s the flower’s semi-parasitic nature. Mistletoe, a poisonous relative of sandalwood, attaches itself onto trees to steal its host’s water and nutrients. Unlike sandalwood, however, mistletoe seeds are dispersed by berry-eating birds, which allows the plant to grow on branches high above the shade, freeloading on other trees’ sunlight. Mistletoe should never be placed where children can reach it and accidentally be poisoned by eating the berries.

All of that said, there is still something magical and exciting about standing underneath the Mistletoe waiting for a kiss to be bestowed.  🙂

References

Durant, Mary, A Roving Dictionary of North American Wild Flowers, Congdon & Weed, Inc. New York, New York, 1976

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale’s Press, Inc., Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1987

Moura, Ann, Grimoire for the Green Witch, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., Woodbury, Minnesota, 2016

Cunningham, Scott, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical herbs, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, Minnesota, 1984

 

 

 

A Book Reading/Signing of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French at the Muhlenberg College ‘Berg Bookshop

charles french words reading and writing

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I am very happy to announce that the next reading/signing of my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I will be Thursday 12/15/16 from Noon to 2 P.M. at the ‘Berg Bookshop at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.

If you are in or near the Lehigh Valley, PA, please consider attending.  The campus of Muhlenberg College is beautiful, and the Valley is lovely, especially in the winter season.

wp-1476386546701-maledicusMaledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is available for purchase on Amazon either as an ebook or a print book!

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

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A Glow In The Darkness Is The Best Gift Of All

I am so touched by this beautiful uplifting story posted by Bruce on his blog, sportsattitudes! I just had to share! Wonderful. Karen

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In May 2013 a columnist by the name of Craig Wilson took his final bow after a buyout from his employer, USA Today. He wrote a Wednesday column called “The Final Word” for more than sixteen years. His weekly writing – regardless of subject matter – provided readers a unique, thoughtful take on even the most take-for-granted aspects of daily life.

One of his columns dealt with December decorations…specifically, displays that display a depth of feeling that make passers-by smile and project the spirit of the Holidays upon them.

As those who celebrate Christmas start to strip their gears over all sorts of “issues” that are anything but…I dust off this little reminder of how magical the Season can be.

A Glow In The Darkness Is The Best Gift Of All

Every December, a neighbor of ours opens his dining room shutters and lets in the world.

A floor-to-ceiling…

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Raphael, The Runaway Winter Rabbit (A Short Story in Two Parts – Part Two)

standing-sniffing-aa2dce07ff93829a0d54d238921086a9Raphael, hidden at the entrance of the rabbit warren, with only his keen brown eyes and brown nose visible to the outside snowy world, realized that his dream was at hand. For so long he had been dreaming about this day. The day that he would prove to the world that he, Raphael, was the Marco Polo of the Rabbit World, a brave rabbit, a hero rabbit, for all the world to see and know.

Raphael was so anxious to set out into the unknown land before him that he threw caution to the wind and hopped out of the safety of the Warren. He was at once overwhelmed by the beauty in front of him. The lush landscape of snow covered hills, an array of wondrous vegetation that filled his senses, it was beyond his wildest dreams.

bunny-and-holly-7dfdbff7bc6fde3a8968ec6eab43fc5aRaphael hopped around in an enchanted daze, wondering which bush to nibble on first, all of them looked delicious. He hopped over to the Hawthorn bush, nibbled, and then off he was to the Willow tree, with its low hanging branches and nibbled. As he looked around he saw the flowering Witch Hazel tree in full bloom. It’s star-shaped yellow blooms held an enchanting scent that drew him, almost spell-bound, to the perfumed yellow star flowers. His full tummy made it difficult for him to even hop and he wished for a bigger tummy. Nonetheless, he began to nibble the succulent blooms until he was drowsy with the sweet yellow nectar.

scared-bunnythht324v53  Suddenly, he heard the flapping of wings and saw the shadow of them descending quickly over him. He froze. It was the hawk he had seen earlier. It grabbed him with its sharp talons around his very chubby tummy. Raphael screamed for dear life.

At that very moment, he heard his mother calling his name and he called out “Mother, help, help!”  His truly brave mother, hopped as quick as lightning to his side, without fear for her own life and bit down on the leg of the hawk still trying to carry Raphael away to its nest.  At the mouth of the warren, he heard the cries of his siblings as they hopped up and down and all were crying out his name.

hawk-winter-flying The gray hawk, seeing he was out numbered, let go of the very chubby rabbit and flew off for easier prey.  Raphael and his mother hopped quickly back to their Warren and all of them returned safely to their warm and cozy abode. Raphael, now ashamed of his dangerous behavior that put not only himself at risk, but his family too!

Raphael, his head bowed in shame and regret, said in a low and humble voice, “Mother, please forgive me and I promise never do such a foolish thing again!”a-shamed-bunny-37c67648d9d663045f7ed1f572f1619a

“Raphael”, his mother replied, “there is more to being courageous than throwing caution to the wind.  A great rabbit once said, “love, caring for others, and the spirit of self-sacrifice is the bravest and most courageous thing of all.”

Raphael now knew that true courage and bravery is found in the love you have for others, family, friends, and even strangers. A lesson, that he, Raphael, would never, ever forget!  The End.

Story by K. D. Dowdall, December 10, 2016