Revisiting My Favorite Urban Fantasy Series Proved Rewarding

Some mornings she awakes with a contagious smile on her face and meaningful laughter in her voice. Other mornings her eyes are as red as a cluster of roses blossoming to perfection. One thing is clear and evident, Sabriel’s dreams are bursting and bustling with the stuff, the delights, and the perils of her daily novels. She is loss in worlds beyond her own. Somedays, there is no return to real world and she teeters on the edge of reality and fictions fully aware of the risk to her mundane life. But truly, at this moment, fiction is more alluring than everything else that exist.

I have spent nine weeks re-reading some of my favorite books – and reading new books. Specifically, I re-visited The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare. I also read the first book in The Last Hours Series, Chain of Gold. The clutches of the pandemic situated me in a position where I am home more. But I am also in the company of my favorite room, in my home. My favorite space has four bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling. Hence, there is no place I would rather be.  Well, I would love to be inside the stories of my favorite books. But that conversation is for another blog post or place in time. Urban Fantasy is an acquired taste and irresistible. Besides, the more I intake, the more I want to devour and feast on the stories.

Also, Urban Fantasy offers the reality of actual places / locations that once existed or currently exist. It makes for thrilling foot tours, if you visit the locales that are in some of your favorite works.

 Lastly, because I am a true Urban Fantasy fan that means down the rabbit hole I go!

Discovery of Stories Revisited

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“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

There is value in engaging in good literature. And, there is value in reading a great book or book series twice. Before this year, there is no book series, book, or author’s work that I have ever read twice, except for Dr. Maya Angelou. This year I am adding another author’s series to my list of books I enjoy reading repeatedly – and that is Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters Series. There are many lessons throughout the different Shadowhunters Series.

The friendships, love affairs, and battle against evil feels so much like real life. The sentiment that exist between characters are relatable. The confusion of feelings and losses are heartfelt. I simply appreciate that despite each character’s similar blood inheritance, Nephilim, that they could not be more different.

A Great Read Lures Us Toward What We Need

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A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.

― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

I am convinced that the universe offers us a push toward storytelling and if we do not acknowledge the push then we miss sharing in great stories. I believe life lures us toward the stories we need to hear or read the most at certain times in life. As a result, I was able to focus more intently while reading the Shadowhunters series the second time. I was able to sympathize and be the proper amount of disappointed in certain characters. Moreover, I understood the choices that many of them made.

The true essence of fiction stories is that even though they may not be true, the story’s lesson is invaluable to the human capacity. It provides the opportunity to often see oneself in that character. The stories are portal into oneself.

It is okay to cry with a character or cry over a character’s pain, especially when it is familiar. I am learning we share some of the similar experiences we see in characters and understand the secrets they keep, the fears they experience, loss of self-control they may exhibit, and steely determination they put forth. Urban Fantasy books has a way of mirroring reality.

I appreciate the window into myself, by sharing in the characters’ experiences.

On to The Dark Artifices, another Shadowhunters Series

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Irreproachable Pleasures of Romance And Intimacy

Romance and intimacy are beautiful emotional practices. A certain familiarity and closeness resides between two people who share that close attachment. There is nothing sweeter than the prospect of a romantic connection. Not fast or quick, but a connection that’s worth the time. Because a connection that is worth the effort is priceless. Moreover, the beauty existing between two people that delight in each other’s character and company shares a rare energy. Affection, romance, and intimacy is sensually delightful.

The admittance of love will never grow old. We crave affection and romance. Even the best urban fantasies offer the best intimate connections and romantic gestures.

“There is no pretending,” Jace said with absolute clarity. “I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

Importantly, when we least expect, the most unlikely romantic connection or bond forms. It catches us by surprise and interrupts our normal rhythm of our existence. Intimacy and romance are as old as religion. Above all, despite the heave focus on sex, we haven’t lost the craving for either. It’s a little more difficult to recognize in 2020. But when it’s genuine you will recognize it when you see it and feel with a person.

Tales Of Romantic Connections

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Are there still intimate and passionate connections? Do people have the capacity to recognize and care for such charms? This kind of connection changes you in little ways that are unexplained at the beginning. Indeed the adventure of romantic pursuits devours each of us. If we talk about the early tales of romantic connections, they should never resemble that of a sex tale. Early poets and writers wrote about love as often as we consume air. Often, it is the first language we speak, once we are sure about the bond with the other person. Couples share and enjoy a bewitched type experience. In fact, we rejoice in the pleasures that excite our hearts.

Delights Of Intimate Bonds

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It’s the intricate returns of romance that seduces us. The intimate delights for love forming make us crave a person more and more. When someone has feelings for you mutual and intimate bond forms. Those bonds produce passion, which we share through a body caress that is less than sex, but more than a brush or close touch against the body. We gain joy from watching mental and physical movements and habits of the other person. Delights mean loving each others’ differences, that complement our differences. In the end, passion exudes from each of us. Being the same room with the person makes us vulnerable and the intimate feeling rises.

“Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone – and finding that that’s ok with them.”
― Alain de Botton

The Poets Are On To Something Intimate

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Charles Dickens once wrote, “Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart“. We find a sense of compassion, safety, and warmth in passionate and intimate relationships. The true connections, those bursting out of real emotional and not driven by sex, grips each of us. Thus, the poets wrote about love as if is as essential as water or food. Finally poets, wordsmith romance and intimacy, in ways that show us the pure and irreproachable view of each.

Quotes On Intimacy And Romance

“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone.”
― Jane Austen, Love and Friendship

Happy Juneteenth – What Is Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans were informed of their freedom by Union troops in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth is set aside to celebrate the end of slavery or to be more exact, chattel slavery.

Juneteenth is about sharing in traditions that are often disregarded. The African American community celebrates this event and has been for some time, however it is largely unknown to the public.

This year people are sharing in the legacy of Juneteenth. This is happening because of those who understand the importance of removing marginalized history over the event and promote the spirit and legacy of Juneteenth.

We are here to celebrate a country’s story. Notably, we are here to promote a narrative about a people’s voyage to freedom and independence. It is the legacy of faith and unifying in a period of undefined times.  

I am happy to be able to celebrate another Juneteenth with my family.

Readiness Is The Gold Standard From This Day Until Your Last

Over the course of my life, there is no one I can think of that has readiness down to a science, except for my mother and the military. I wrapped up another week of working from home, following the trusted advice of professions. I know this is for the greater good. It’s also for my good. I’m ready for the conditions which have presented themselves to our Nation. In some essence, readiness is the preamble to not allowing yourself to be totally out of control. Toby Beta once said, “When you are out of control, someone is ready to take over.” Looks familiar.

The current COVID-19 pandemic will remake every household and business in America. Honestly, it will change our readiness and contingency operations. The sheer buying panic I’ve witness has been astonishing. Truth be told, I thought most folk were preparing for a siege. For the castle to be stormed by the King of the North. In addition, toilet tissue is the weapon of choice.

I know its not a joking matter. But, when history is written about the point in time, it will say that no one is ready, or so it seems. And that behavior, converging with panic, did not make a good response.

Honestly, in my experience, there are some goods you should always have in abundance. It falls in the art of readiness. Let’s be clear, the antidote to minimize panic or fear is go with a plan.

A Plan Executed Is Readiness

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I’m not saying be all dooms day. However, if you can afford it, you should have enough essential items to carry you out three weeks. I’m speaking in the normal course of living, when life is not Topsy-Turvy. Then, the surprise of a pandemic, from a household goods perspective will not make one panic. It allows you focus on what’s next. Bottom line, it’s all about planning.

In my opinion, even the smallest plan aide in emergency situations. Moreover, it provide elements of readiness. This is small scale readiness, not combat readiness which can make a true difference when you need it most. Readiness is a condition and there are multiply variations of it.

Significantly, a plan or agenda is the core ingredient in emergency situations and must be comprise of small activities.

Don’t Panic And Hoard Items Just Prepare

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Panic is the death of quality decisions. Panic leads to making selfish decisions and often costly decisions. Nothing is more outrageous than buying up ridiculous amounts of foods and then hoarding the items. In any situation, you should be reasonable. The practice of it will support you and those around you. Allies are a necessity.

Truth be told, I’ll say about 70% of households are not ready for an emergency. That means you have no emergency preparedness plan in some basic form. The winners during this pandemic is the dooms day groups. Laugh if you like, but they are properly the only folk not scrambling for goods and wears.

You should at least have some repeat idea of the top three activities that are pertinent to your household in case of an anomaly event. Everyone should know their role and what they need to do withing 8-24 hours of said event.

The best grand statement I can offer on preparation is, it all falls back to readiness. It”s devising plan that contains smart activities that are arrange to create success. Keep surprise at a minimum.

When Aging Parents Were Merely Thoughts

When I was young, I would often think about my future and what would come of it.  I envisioned the usual life events of a prominent career, marriage, nieces, nephews, trips abroad, and domestic. But nothing is utopia all the time, not even my thoughts. Especially any that would suffocate my mind about my parents one day being fragile and aging. Knowing their youthful appearance and energy would give way to walkers and canes.

I wasn’t the only one who carried the melancholy of such vivid imagery. My siblings were too. As we would move through life, we would occasionally discuss how we should care for our aging parents. And, what it means to be ready when those future days happen.

My parents are the center of my universe. They gave me life and never held me back. Though overprotective, what else would you expect from southern small town parents. Their support has always been noticeable. I’ve always been concerned about their life, especially after my siblings and I were grown and on to our own life.

My brothers and sister would often conversate about life, its essence, and what each of us would like to experience as we move through the decades. Time passes quickly when you’re creating the life you want. Meanwhile, we grew up and left our parents nest, as they were continuing to create their life without us. Grand kids born, birthdays celebrated, holidays, deaths mourned, and then one day we looked up from our lives and realized our visions about our parents getting old, were reality.

Time Passes And Lays Its Hands On Each Of Us In Different Ways

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James Gleick once wrote, “We go back and forth between being time’s master and its victim.”

 In my twenties, I was a consumed by my mental conversations with myself. In my forties, I’m a tool to my reality. And, so is everyone else. Thoughts, time, and reality presses on me and I on it, but it has also done the same to my family. No amount of time could have prepared me for my emotional journey of caring for aging parents. Not directly caring for them but having to check in and ensure that I don’t need to take a flight home or drive and stay a week because they are sickly. Being far from home doesn’t ease anything.

Everything becomes a battle with time.  It only seems like yesterday that my parents were taking care of me and checking up on me, if I miss curfew. I say this with great experience and shrewdness, that I don’t care how financially ready you are, nothing is like watching a parent’s health diminish. Nothing is like watching time do her God given duty.

Aging Parents Are A Gift

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I’m learning that to be old and wise is a gift. And to be aging, well, that means you’re still alive. My parents are no exception and they do it with grace and little complaint. My mom has a bold attitude when something happens to her. I smile when she says, “it is what it is”. She lives by her faith, and that gives me hope and comfort. Though, sometimes I worry that she maybe in so much pain, that her statement, is more from the angle that life is hard and I’m ready when GOD is ready.

My parents have been victorious over their illnesses, and they’ve witness some of those same illnesses take the lives of family and friend.

Honestly, I am grateful for my parents physical and mental maturation. It’s scary when they experience sickness due to getting older or DNA kicking in, its been educational. I offer hope to those going through this to those they are experiencing the maturation or deterioration of their parent help. You must plan early for caring for your parent or parents. It may seem that the day will never come. I promise you it will.

Family And Planning

What ever it takes to ensure my parents, family are above the fray is what drives me. I’m overjoyed that I’m not alone with feeling this way. I’m grateful for my five siblings. It makes it easy for each of us to participate and have a role in caring for mom and dad. Honestly, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t consider my parents growing older when I choice my career path.

Flexibility in my career, education, and even my financial structure was all by design, to move freely and easily for my family. What I offer to families on planning for the care of parent, later in life or earlier, create flexibility in your life. Create financial stability and erect a career without borders or minimal borders. More importantly, if you are a only child, make sure you have stable and reliable family and friends you can depend on.

Living A Simple Adult Life At Any Adult Age

It’s essential to streamline or simplify your life at any age. Hans Hofmann once wrote, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak”. I believe there should be a measure for determining when and how much to do so.

The approach should be one based on where you can get real measures that will lead to valuable results. For instance, a good approach is measuring your life and activities from the beginning to the end of a decade. See where you are and make necessary adjustments before you take on your next 10 years.

In my view, this stems from the fact that you are 10 years older at the end of a decade. This is important because if you set goals, then your life choices probably evolve to ensure you meet said goals. You only get one life and because of that quality of life should always be built in everything you do.

For one thing you might choose to make daily events easier, minimize unimportant odds and ends. Also, eliminate unnecessary tasks that you carry forward from year to year that offer zero value, but only act as time fillers.

Notably, simplistic activities doesn’t mean that you sacrifice on quality or fun. Moreover, it doesn’t suggest that you’re giving up on life. It means that you are clearing your path to get to the things that matter most. It helps you get to the stuff that’s valuable and key in your life.

Make Life Easy Without Eliminating Quality And Embrace Local Offerings

In your 20s and 30s, there is no doubt that you can tolerate more extras than you can in your 40s and 50s. For example, in your 20s you probably spend/spent the weekend travelling 50 miles just to shop, bar hop, attend concerts, or just ride out. If you live within an inner city, don’t discount local grocery stores or butcher shops. Likewise, local bars can be rewarding. Establish yourself as a local and get special treatment. In addition, in my view, specialty shops or stores are unique in their offering. They can offer quality items as well. Shopping local in your neighborhood offers support.

Additionally, there are some other ways to make life easy. If you are a person that have a ton of commitments just to stay involve or networking, you might try narrowing commitments down to the top three. Reduce the overload and unrecognizable stress by scoping in key important activities. Scope out conditions that are just fillers.

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On the whole, quality is important as the years pass by. Grade A living is something to strive for. It’s not just what you buy. A degree of excellence means different things to different people. The ability to get from point A to D is about effectiveness and efficiency.

In reality, it should be with minimal difficulty or effort; this includes work, recreation, home living, social aptitude and a host of other life areas. Life is really simple, however you immerse add ins that make it convoluted. You must non-complicate the avenues of your life.

You’re In The Great Holiday Season Now

Listen, the hardcore phase of the holiday season is here. To clarify, Thanksgiving is a wrap! Obviously, if you celebrated, you just participated in the last Thanksgiving of this decade. You made it through! Be grateful. It’s another Black Friday. Love it or hate it, if you managed your money right throughout the year, today can be rewarding. It must be said, there is so much more goods and services on sale than televisions.

Real quick, the holidays are sentimental, exciting, joyous, or depressing depending on the person or family member. There are events that only occur this time of the year that you can’t get any other time. The arts never disappoint and will regale you with plays that are only available, you guess it, now! You should appreciate a community theater or ballet that works diligently to pull off the Nutcracker, Grinch, or A Christmas Carol. These are the classics and they are in season.

Demystifying The Holiday Season

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Truth be told, the title of this section is pushing sarcasm. Unquestionably, a lot folk use this time of the year to relax. Indeed, if you are one of those people, then enjoy the fireside, quiet, and your favorite beverage. Clearly, it’s been a long year. Additionally, the new year is on the way. Don’t let the morose mood sneak up on you and swallow you whole, especially if you spend this time of year alone.

You have to do things on purpose this time of year to repel the sullen and gloomy disposition. Food pantries and kitchen welcome volunteer services. Buy toys and give them out at a children’s hospital in your area. Do your research. No excuses. You, a good friend or family member are responsible to pull yourself out of your funky disposition.

It should be noted, this is a visual, audible, and olfactory time of the year. What this means is Christmas time is in your face and ears. You can smell Christmas in the air and taste it in your mouth on your tongue. Attitude is everything and it can drive you where you want to go and don’t. Moreover, you want to stay clear of being deemed the proverbial Grinch.

In short, you have to find balance during this season. Don’t let it consume you and deplete any of your joy.

Happy Holidays Or Merry Christmas

The End Of Summer Means The Beginning Of Adventurous Fall Activities

We Are Wrapping Up Summer, This Means Fall Is Only Three Weeks Out

We have officially wrapped up what is know as the dog days of summer. The dog days of summer are the hottest days of the summer season. The most unbearable days following what is known as helical rising of the system Sirius according to Greek and Roman astrology. Generally, it’s synonymous with heat, drought, and storms.

We’ve happily arrive at September. We are heading into our last beach days. School is back in session on all levels. The opening day of college football is well, open. Also, Major League Baseball is more than half way over. Similarly, professional football is one week away from its start.

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In fact, city people who have spent their summer at their beach houses have arrived back to the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. Summer break is over for teachers. The Federal Government is about to conclude its Fiscal Year 2019. Clearly, most backyard barbecues will give way to tailgating.

Fall Is On The Horizon And There Is Much To Look Forward To

Let’s talk fall activities. Undoubtedly, fall is a busy time of year. First, we need to calibrate into fall mode. Summer brings different events, responsibilities, and activities. For this reason, shifting in to a fall state of mind is necessary to plan and prepare for what’s to come.

Honestly, I’m ready for pumpkin spice, fall festivals and carnivals, and boots. Brown and orange leaves, are a hallmark of fall. It’s the time of year when weekends in the city belong to the locals. Furthermore, it’s a great time for fall travel. Smaller lines at museums means less wait times. In my opinion, it is the perfect time of year!

There Is A Uniqueness That Comes With Fall, Like Any Other Season And I’m Smitten

I want to unpack what fall means to me. Clearly, some of it is outlined above. Fall means a dip in temperature. It means every month, for the next four months, there is at least one holiday. As it happens, my favorite holidays are on the horizon.

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Fall is a good time of year to get some charity work in, if you missed the opportunity during the spring and summer. It’s great time for traditional shows that put you into the fall feeling, like Harry Potter. My Harry Potter collection becomes the movies of choice during the autumn months. The days are cooling down and the nights are even cooler. My attire starts to change such that I move from flats to boots and cotton skirts to wool.

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September and October is my time to take inventory of items in cupboard. For example, I make sure I have the proper hot teas and hot chocolate. Also, I order by dry goods for soups and chili. Truly, there is joy in reevaluating my food stock for fall and winter. I ensure proper transition to fall and winter goods and putting away summer linens and bring out the quilts.

Welcome to fall eve!