Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Little Bit of Christmas and the Resident Hollow

So I've done a bit of Christmas decorating. I haven't started on 'the tree' yet, but it's on the list soon! I know exactly where I'm going to hang it now, and that alone makes me happy.
Even the bedroom got in on the act - including a little vinyl lettering addition to the wall - I highly recommend these things by the way. They add a bit more warmth when hanging a picture doesn't really work.
As soon as the dining room table is finished, I'll post a photo of that too. I've actually eaten at the dining room table the last 2 nights in a row for dinner, rather than in front of the TV at the coffee table. And yes, I actually COOKED too! Yesterday was baked salmon with a fresh salad and tonight was the rest of that salmon (chilled), and steamed zucchini, brown mushrooms, acorn and local squash. All followed with some delightful Spanish white that I've come to enjoy.
Today I also weight in. And I'm down another pound! That's 9 pounds down! 6 to go to meet my goal of 15 lost while My Sailor has been away. If I don't hit it exactly, I'll end up very, very close.

Maybe getting injured was actually just the health boast I needed in some ways? My foot is getting better, but only because I'm really paying attention to my body's cues. And replacing 1 meal with a whey protein shake instead of a Lean cuisine or something like that has REALLY helped to keep the healthy decisions going in the right direction.

So what's the Resident Hollow?
The first chapter of my fantasy novel! Of course, even as I write fantasy, I find myself drawing more and more from my own life experience. I was once told to "write what you know". That single simple piece of advice has stuck with me in all aspects: poetry, blogging, songwriting, etc.

The Resident Hollow, in the fantasy aspect, refers to Ashta's homeland. Ashta, a unique being known as a Balance Keeper, or Keeper for short, is one of the last of her race. Relentless hunted down to satisfy those that would experiment and discover in the name of immortality, she hides away in a stone cathedral, many centuries old. Nearly completely devoured by the forest, the stone bricks of the once hallowed grounds lay scattered between the ground and the branches of the evergreens that defy its structure. Listen for a moment and the sounds of a thriving forest will not touch this place. Rustling leaves and the whistling breeze through the trees simmer with the barely audible whispers of spirits - quiet enough to entice one to listen more closely, and indecipherable enough to drive one insane...

Sound like a new vacation spot?

Anyway, the feel and sense of the Hollow is part of an eternal loneliness that travels with our main character, Ashta Shadowcare. And it's a sense this author has been acutely aware of most of my life. There is a silence, I believe, in the souls of everyone, but artists are more in tune to it than most. While some may associate that kind of silence with depression, it isn't always so. Yes, there is a loneliness artists are (IMHO) more aware of than most, but it's a silence and a loneliness that begs to be filled. Not with money, or fame, or often even people (many artists are reclusive by choice). It's something that I was reminded of when My Sailor left. Not that I haven't been alone before - there are many times I've felt alone in a crowded room, especially during my youth. I've found many ways to embrace it and find strength and independence in it (which I believe Ashta embodies as well, but you'll have to wait and read the book to find out).

Knowing that all fiction is based in some area of the author's life, it makes ya wonder, when you read a book, just what the writer is thinking/feeling.... doesn't it?

(And if the 2nd half of this blog make NO sense, don't worry. Just read the book... if I ever finish it and manage to get it published. lol)


  1. Glad you've done some decorating - very festive.

    Congrats on the weight loss - that's awesome. I'm sure that cooking you're doing will help too.

    Love the story idea. You must finish and publish - I'll read it :)!

  2. You publish that book on Ashta, and I'll buy it right away.

    Hope your marriage goes well J.

    - Curtis aka Silent

    1. SERIOUSLY?! Shoot me an email Curtis. jdhumenay@gmail.com. Catch me up on what you've been up to!