Hinting at Shadows ~ October Sale

 

Universal Link

 

It’s October, my bloggy friends! 🎃 👻

Colorful leaves, crisp air, cotton sweaters, kick-ass boots, apple cider, pumpkin spice, Halloween… You get the idea.

I love October. It’s a beautiful time of year and I’m celebrating with a sale. For all you Halloween fiends, this is a perfect time to enjoy some bite-sized morsels of delicious darkness.

 

Hinting at Shadows, my first collection of flash, will be just $0.99 / £0.99 for the entire month of October.

 

Here’s what some people are saying about Hinting at Shadows (I’m deliriously happy & grateful):

 

I just finished Hinting at Shadows and had to rave a little about this book of short fiction. Every story is a pearl. The writing is exquisite and full of pathos with a focus on the poignancy of the human condition.”

 

“beautifully and richly crafted. Brentyn has a skill with the written word that just leaves you breathless…
I was entranced right from the very first story”

 

The author’s haunting prose very cleverly invokes strong images with the minimum of words. Sarah Brentyn delivers something quite different, written beautifully with intuitive understanding and the ability to generate an emotional reaction.”

 

 

If you’d like to download a copy, here’s the link: Hinting at Shadows 🖤

 

Happy reading, all!

 

Advertisements

My Cup Runneth Over

 

autumnsun-sig

 

I find myself in the place where life is offering me both olive branches and snakes.

Be careful what you reach for.

There is joy and sorrow. Peace and distress.

I find myself in the place where I am most grateful for the fact that I have too much to be grateful for.

When I look at the big things, the small things, the basic things, the superfluous things…I am amazed.

My cup is so full, it overflows. Regardless of everything else, I am thankful for that.

And I am thankful for you, my friends.

I absolutely must give a special shout-out to all those who showed up to support me last week for the release of my new book. I’m truly touched. Thank you.

 

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow US bloggers.

 

How I Found Joy in Negativity

 

globe-sig

 

In the midst of some recent turmoil, there was one blessed day of balance.

The Autumnal Equinox.

I thought there was no way I would be able to share in the wonder of this day.

During an equinox, when the sun passes directly over the equator, day and night are of equal length—we have the same amount of light and dark. It is a time of balance.

That elusive balance.

I don’t actively seek it because, as I’ve said before, I believe it’s unattainable—a recipe for frustration and resentment. But I do look for it in small quantities, for certain situations.

And every autumn, I have welcomed balance when it arrives on my doorstep, asking politely, with the light of the harvest moon, to be let inside.

September 22nd was smack in the middle of a mess, and I knew that day would go just as badly as the rest of the week had gone. I knew. No matter what I planned or how hard I tried, it was going to be bad. Horrible.

I also knew I was being extremely negative but I couldn’t muster any optimism.

At the time, my attitude seemed reasonable and the terrible outcome more than a little likely.

But the world keeps spinning, seasons change, time moves on. No matter what’s happening in your life, there is always something larger than you.

Taking a simple walk or standing under a tree often gives me this much-needed shift in my thinking.

The equinox provides me perspective. The Earth turns, continuing its cycle whether I’m prepared for it or not.

I tend to get highly disappointed when my grand plans go awry but am delightfully surprised when I anticipate trouble and don’t find it. Negativity in general? Not something I’d recommend. But, once in a while, it’s helpful.

There are two things I need to keep in mind.

The first is that forcing a good day rarely, if ever, works. Often, it backfires. The second is that acknowledging my day will not be as wonderful as I want it to be allows me to let go of all expectations.

And that, gentle readers, is how I stumbled over the roots of a genuinely good day, finding balance and joy in the midst of chaos.

 

Happy Autumn!

Yes, you’re now officially allowed to break out the pumpkin spiced beer, muffins, coffee, scones, etc. (And, as always, Happy Spring to my friends in the southern hemisphere.)

 

Can you force yourself to have a good day with positive thinking? Do your positive thoughts keep you going even if things aren’t perfect? Or do you find that your expectations are impossible to meet? If you expect the worst, are you pleasantly surprised or do you dwell in that negativity?

 

* Apologies for all the post questions. I’m having a yin/yang, light/dark, positivity/negativity bit of a time here and wondering how others deal.

 

One Leaf

 

There’s a tree outside my bedroom window with one leaf on it.

 

One Leaf - sig

 

This one leaf will not let go.

I mentioned I was on a journey to find my true colors. No longer hidden by green chlorophyll, this leaf found its color. It’s red.

But it’s not letting go.

Every morning, I see this stubborn autumn leaf. It hangs on, clinging to a thin branch.

I check on it after rain, after heavy winds—and there it is. Still on its tree in mid-December.

I said I was a leaf. I think I’m this one. The one that won’t let go.

Why am I holding on to who I was?

People change. Priorities change. Experiences shape and reshape us. Why do we resist?

Is it difficult to accept? Do we become complacent? Are we uncomfortable admitting we are not who we thought we were?

I’m thinking all of these are rooted in fear.

So, while I’ve found some of my true colors, I’m finding it difficult to let go.

A friend asked me why I continue thinking of myself as a woman I clearly no longer am. I didn’t have an answer.

But now I know that I am afraid.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you have difficulty letting go of who you were? Why? What is stopping you from moving on?  

 

 

 

Finding Yourself in Fading Chlorophyll

 

When I was little, I thought leaves were green.

Of course, they’re not.

Fading Chlorophyll -sig

The chlorophyll, which has been covering their color, is fading. Soon, the maple leaves will be candy-apple red. Oaks will darken into deep purple, bright orange, or brown. Elms and birches will turn mustard yellow.

It’s amazing watching the leaves change. They show us their true colors then they drift down from their branches.

We go for a walk and see edges losing chlorophyll. On our next walk, the leaves have more of their natural pigment. “Look at me! I’m orange!” They let me take pictures, those patient leaves, before letting go. We find them in the grass the following week, pick them up, bring them home and give them a place of honor in our mini-pumpkin pile.

I’ve always loved autumn.

This year, though, for the first time, I realize I’m a leaf. I thought I was green but that was just hiding my true colors. What are they? I’m not sure. But I’m ready to find out.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Do you ever wonder who you are underneath? Have you ever thought that the roles you play in life might be your chlorophyll? If you showed your true colors to the world, what would happen?

 

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving?

 

I understand stuffing your face with, well, stuffing. It’s yummy. And you gotta have the turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes withThoughtBubble gobs of butter, pumpkin pie… But Thanksgiving goes something like this: jam food in your mouth, watch football games, and get together with family you can’t stand. (Or maybe you actually like them—lucky you.)

There’s not a hell of a lot of thanks going on. I am not feeling the love, you know? I get that we’re not out hunting and harvesting our crops so we don’t gather around the table in appreciation of a bountiful harvest but we can still be thankful for something.

If you think about it, I know you can come up with one or two things you are grateful for. I just know you can.

More and more stores are selling decor with “Give Thanks”, “Be Grateful”, and “Happy Harvest” for Thanksgiving. I like it. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Like a wicked soft sweater. Hey! That’s something right there. Soft, non-itchy sweaters. See? Easy.

Those simple statements say so much. Give thanks and be grateful, gentle readers.

P.S. If you’re feeling in the spirit of all that is good and covered in gravy, leave a comment with one thing you’re grateful for. Pick something, anything, and be thankful for it.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

Sometimes I Wish I Were a Goose

 

ThoughtBubbleI love seeing geese in autumn—their long necks bright white against the blue sky, wing tips flashing bits of black as they fly in V formation. I watch them until they are tiny dots.

I love the sound, too. Most people I know think geese are noisy and annoying.

And what do we teach our babies when we’re trying to get them to talk? “A cow says ‘moo’”, “A horse says ‘neigh’”, “A goose says ‘honk’”.

Honk? Well, that’s unpleasant. Honking reminds me of a loud bicycle horn or some driver who’s ticked off, slamming the steering wheel, and flipping me off.

Geese have a deep yet loud resonance with a touch of high-pitched squeak mixed in. It’s kind of indescribable. But I think it’s beautiful.

I also love that geese are taking a journey, migrating to a warmer place. I wonder… Do they know exactly where they’re going or only that, wherever they are flying to, it’s a better place for them?

Sometimes, when I’m watching their V formation, I wish I could instinctively migrate to some place that was better for me.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

Halloween is Cancelled – Have a Nice Day

 

I just found out that Halloween is cancelled this year.

I am floored. My kids are distraught slightly disappointed. My husband and I have dropped everything we were supposed to be doing today and are scrambling to find some way to save Halloween for our boys. We had signed them up for a party followed by trick-or-treating at specific, pre-approved homes where folks had granted permission for kids to knock on their doors. Kind of like one of those historical house tours but without the history and with more candy. It’s not going to happen.

My husband is tying his cape, putting on his helmet, and choosing his weapon. I am donning some kick-ass boots, a long black cloak, and cat mask. Don’t scoff. Whiskers aside, I am ruthless.

My kids will have Halloween.

There should be a holiday cartoon about us—The Year Halloween was Cancelled or Captain A-scare-ica and Cat Mama Save Halloween.

Thing is, we shouldn’t have to be saving this holiday in the first place. When I was little, we dressed up, left our house, and walked around the neighborhood. We knocked on doors, got candy, and went home. Simple. Costumed kids flooded the streets every October 31st. You can’t cancel a day.

Ah. But you can cancel an event. Nights of moonlight, magic, and Milky Way bars are becoming extinct. I recently wrote a column about how Halloween has turned into a pre-planned evening. There are costume contests and parades held on the 31st. Clearly these are meant to be an alternative to roaming the streets, in the dark, in your zombie costume, knocking on neighbors’ doors. Goodbye spontaneity, hello scheduling.

I don’t want to go to the town hall, local hotel, restaurant, or shopping mall. I don’t want pizza parties and goodie bags and bored employees handing my kids Skittles.

I want the kind of darkness only Halloween night can bring. I want pretty, dead leaves scraping driveways, chilly autumn air filling my lungs, shadows of bare tree limbs edging onto the road. I want to see the moon and stars.

Back in the 70s in my day, kids ran wild on October 31st. There was no plan, we just went out. If we were alone, we soon found a group of kids. If we were with a group of kids, we formed a larger group of kids. You get my point.

As parents, we should be performing last-minute costume fittings and checking to see if last year’s face paint has dried out but, instead, we are emailing, texting, and making phone calls, desperately trying to find a place for our kids to go on Halloween. It’s pathetic. And weird. You shouldn’t have to search for a place to trick-or-treat.

Although Halloween is here, there are no lawns covered with headstones. Where are the hanging bats, giant spiders, and jack-o-lanterns? (This was rhetorical but, if you must know, they’re in stores and restaurants.) Oh, won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!

I had (more or less) resigned myself to the fact that this is what Halloween has become. But I didn’t like it. And, as I’ve said, you can’t make a day disappear. Unless you’re a warlock or some sort of time-traveler which would be wicked cool. Anyway, what you can do, if you’re evil (or if you have the flu or the water heater in the building exploded or something), is cancel an event.

I miss the days when all I had to do was dress up as a witch and walk out my front door.