Category Archives: marriage

#atozchallenge: L is for Loyalty


by Lillian Csernica on April 13, 2018

be-loyal-and-trustworthy-do-not-befriend-anyone-who-is-lower-than-yourself-in-this-regard-quote-1

Living as a member of the British expatriate community within the city of Kyoto, Dr. Harrington faces many challenges. I deliberately put him into situations that force him to make difficult choices. Again and again, he has to decide where his loyalty lies.

victoria_2

Queen Victoria — Dr. Harrington must fulfill his duties and keep the Abbot in good health. Any lapse on his part will reflect badly on queen and country.

The Abbot — The image above shows Seihan Mori, the current Abbot of Kiyomizudera, using a calligraphy brush to make the kanji for the New Year. This kanji means “north.”

Dr. Harrington has been given the honor of ensuring the Abbot’s health. The Abbot is eighty-five. In A Demon in the Noonday Sun ( Twelve Hours Later), Dr. Harrington supervises the Abbot’s first use of his new steampunk wheelchair. While the Abbot is in fine health for a man of his age, he’s still fragile. In The Wheel of Misfortune (Some Time Later), the Abbot himself sends Dr. Harrington on a mission that results in the Undersecretary forbidding the doctor to do anything of the kind.

 

sir_george_william_buchanan

Sir George William Buchanan

His immediate superior, Alexander Thompson, Undersecretary for Technological Exchange — The image above is my model for Dr. Harrington’s boss. Thompson is utterly correct in everything he does, an ideal civil servant. That means there’s no way Dr. Harrington can explain the supernatural creatures that drag him away from the straight and narrow path Thompson expects him to walk.

fam2-mothe-daughter-child-affection

Constance and Madelaine — The safety and well-being of his wife and daughter are constantly at the forefront of Dr. Harrington’s thoughts. He accepted the posting to Kyoto in order to improve Madelaine’s prospects for a husband once the family returns to England.

kaum_eta

uniqueexplorer.blogspot.com

The burakumin — In The Wheel of Misfortune (Some Time Later), the Abbot sends Dr. Harrington on a mission that opens his eyes to the existence of the lowest Japanese social class, one that still experiences discrimination even today. Dr. Harrington’s efforts to act on the Abbot’s instructions jeopardize everything he’s come to Japan to achieve.

31b67765ffd0159f8eecdf80030eb28d

pinterest.com

Being true to himself — William Harrington is a physician, a husband, a father, and a loyal subject of Queen Victoria. He has taken the Hippocratic Oath. He’s an honorable man of great integrity. Even so, he does have his weaknesses. Finding the right adversaries to test Dr. Harrington’s mettle among the gods and monsters of Japan is one of my greatest pleasures in writing the Kyoto Steampunk stories.

 

 

 

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, doctors, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, history, Japan, Kyoto, legend, Lillian Csernica, marriage, parenting, research, steampunk, travel, Writing

#atozchallenge G is for Garden Party


by Lillian Csernica on April 7, 2018

g

One of the key elements of the Kyoto Steampunk series is writing each story from a different character’s point of view. Blown Sky High (Thirty Days Later) features a garden party presided over by Constance. This was an excellent opportunity to let the reader into her mind and see just how Constance is coping with the challenge of navigating through Kyoto’s expatriate society along with all the Japanese diplomats Dr. Harrington encounters.

A Victorian garden party is a lavish affair, held outdoors in a fine English garden full of stately oaks, manicured hedges, and an abundance of flowers. In 1880, did Kyoto provide the necessary landscape? Traditional trees in a Japanese garden included pine, bamboo, and plum. Because they do so well in winter, they symbolize steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience.

69a9ec0b5a0449e0b3bb11f38831b417

cn.hujiang.com

Springtime flowers in Kyoto include irises, azalea, hydrangea, plum blossoms, and waterlilies. Best of all are the roses. If you’re planning a visit to Kyoto, be sure to see the Kyoto Botanical Garden.

e152c1911b0a1af9197f0d4967ac296b-black-n-white-daughters

pinterest.com

Blown Sky High is an important story in the series. It’s more lighthearted, and it takes a look at the expectations placed upon “the fairer sex.” When events at the party take a sudden unexpected turn, Constance must look to Madelaine and her bluestocking habits to save the day. To learn more about Victorian women who redefined their roles in society, please read this excellent article.

 

flower2bdivider

labibliotecadeseshat.blogspot.com

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, history, Humor, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, marriage, mother, nature, parenting, research, steampunk, travel, Writing

#AtoZChallenge: D is for Danger


by Lillian Csernica on April 4, 2018

5ue3-fwnpcns6289087

http://collection.sina.com.cn

Many dangers lie in wait for Dr. Harrington, his wife Constance, and their daughter Madelaine when they move their entire household to Kyoto, Japan. While it is a great honor for Dr. Harrington to be chosen by Queen Victoria and the Emperor Meiji, it is a challenge that will demand all the strength, skills and social graces possessed by each family member.

6febea9744d519ee5a1d4be5c0b89a6e

pinterest.com

Nurse Danforth rises to the challenge of saving Madelaine’s life by confronting Amatsu Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of chaos.

3d660bcc75565ec26028b0f793ece272

pinterest.com

Madelaine, just nine years old and already a mechanical genius, must survive a life-threatening fever. Then comes the challenge of convincing Dr. Harrington the gods and monsters of Japanese mythology and folklore are real and must be taken seriously. When Madelaine is targeted by one especially clever monster, she must draw on her skills both mechanical and folkloric to protect her family.

cab55884c3eacb5ba759e966bddc596f

pinterest.com

Constance exists in a state of endless bewilderment as she fights a daily battle to bring all the graces of Victorian England to the strange and incomprehensible world of Japan during the Meiji Restoration. This might not sound as dangerous as the threats faced by Dr. Harrington and Madelaine, but success as a hostess in support of her husband’s social position was a Victorian woman’s reason for living.

d52c4a4a617f06153153456d2902cec1-well-dressed-men-sharp-dressed-man

pinterest.com

Dr. Harrington takes on the lion’s share of danger. Amatsu Mikaboshi‘s determination to restore the balance of honor lost in his confrontation with Nurse Danforth puts Dr. Harrington in the perilous position of protecting the Abbot. Dr. Harrington also faces political and ethical pressures when he follows the Abbot of Kiyomizudera’s advice and does what must be done to escape the wrath of the wanyudo.

bd252064c5c28b90d116e4eca5f64711

5 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, cats, charity, doctors, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, history, Japan, Kyoto, legend, Lillian Csernica, marriage, mother, parenting, steampunk, travel, Writing

Talk Like a Pirate Day


by Lillian Csernica on September 19, 2017

This is a very special day for me, dear to my heart for three important reasons.

ChristopherFortune

First, I met my husband of thirty years at the Northern Renaissance Faire where he was playing a pirate aboard the good ship Cardiff Rose, aka the fencing booth. See that tall, dark, handsome fellow in the middle? Bosun’s Mate Christopher Fortune!

5102oqewu2bl

Second, my first published romance novel, Ship of Dreams, is a love story between an English Lady and a notorious French pirate. There are sea battles and sword fights and many people talking like pirates in English, French, and Spanish. I had such a good time writing this book!

82500aa41ec88574e56bbf7d1276148c-pirate-images-father-christmas

pinterest.com

Third, I once received a letter to Santa Claus that asked Santa what he thought about pirates. (I volunteer every holiday season at my local post office, replying to the letters the local kids write to Santa Claus.) This took some thinking on my part. Hollywood has done a lot to romanticize what pirates were and what they did. Speaking on behalf of Santa Claus, I had to strike a balance between truth and a child’s sense of adventure.

In the letter from Santa I said that the real pirates of history weren’t very nice people. They tended to get a lot of coal in their stockings. Santa Claus does believe that pretending to be a pirate can be a lot of fun. You find out amazing things about sailing ships, life at sea, and all the different kinds of treasure pirates captured.

The boy who wrote this letter to Santa Claus happened to live in my neighborhood. The next time I crossed paths with his mother, she told me all about how excited her son had been to get a reply from Santa himself. She thought the answers to the pirate questions were just right. I love it when I hear how much the kids enjoy their letters!

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, cosplay, dreams, Family, Fiction, historical fiction, history, Humor, legend, love, marriage, pirates, publication, tall ships

Reblog: Self Care Isn’t Selfish


This isn’t just an Instagram aesthetic. It’s actually really good advice for us. If you’re unfamiliar with self-care, it is the simple act of caring for ourselves. We deserve it, not because it makes us better for others or for our lecturers or for our flatmates, but because it makes us healthier for ourselves. […]

via Self-Care isn’t Selfish — the married millenials

Leave a comment

Filed under bad movies, cats, charity, chocolate, Depression, dogs, Family, Food, frustration, Goals, Humor, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, nature, parenting, Self-image, therapy, Writing

Reblog: How to Stop Making Problems for Yourself


One of the most helpful mental health techniques I’ve learned is the importance of knowing how to get out of my own way. This article explains that technique in excellent detail.

‘You make problem, you have problem.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn When it comes to problems, we all have them. Many problems, however, are self-imposed. Startling thought? It’s meant to be. If you want to narrow the list of problems you have, start with a firm decision to stop making problems in the first place. Already, the objections start, beginning with the problems that others create that have a direct effect on you. Surely, you didn’t create them. So, how can you stop those problems? Nice try, but that’s a weasel-out excuse that won’t work. While you don’t have control over the problems others create, you very much have control over your response, action or inaction. In other words, it’s what you do that counts, not what the problem is that you face. It’s the same with problems that you manufacture. Indeed, it’s all in how you regard the situation. If you think it’s a problem, it’s going to be a problem. If you view it in a more positive light, the problem is no longer a problem, but an

Source: How to Stop Making Problems for Yourself

1 Comment

Filed under creativity, Depression, Family, frustration, Goals, love, marriage, neurodiversity, parenting, perspective, Self-image, therapy

My Ship Has Come In!


by Lillian Csernica on May 21, 2017

eimyyra9t

Thanks to the excellent artistic and business skills of Michael Willis, head of Digital Fiction Publishing, a new edition of Ship of Dreams is now available!

51-7r4gioml

amazon.com

*** Introductory Sale Price: 99 cents US for Kindle!***

 

3dbd15351bae8c99be32260ee43425d0_hibiscus-clipart-hibiscus-free-clip-art_298-255

1 Comment

Filed under editing, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, history, love, marriage, nature, pirates, publication, romance, tall ships, travel, Writing

Christmas on Crutches


by Lillian Csernica on December 23rd, 2016

santa-claus-cartoon-stock-illustration-2845806

Some time around last Friday, I sprained my good knee, the right one.

Don’t know how I did it. I suspect it has to do with all the getting in and out of the car while Christmas shopping. I tend to push out with my weight on my right leg, and that’s the first leg in the car when I climb back into the driver’s seat.

I expect this kind of thing from my left knee, but it came as a nasty shock when my right knee exploded into a great big firework of pain. Spent the weekend hobbling around the few times I was on my feet. Ibuprofen and even Extra Strength Tylenol mean nothing to whatever is wrong with my treacherous joint. The Spousal Unit took pity on me and offered me one of his Vicodin.

stock-vector-medical-x-ray-scan-of-a-santa-claus-head-347837276

Matters hadn’t improved by Tuesday, so I went to the local Urgent Care clinic. Two hours and three x rays later, the diagnosis came in. A sprain, along with the possible onset of an arthritic condition. They wrapped my knee up in two Ace bandages, taught me how to use my crutches, and sent me home with my own Rx for Vicodin.

I know all about being sick for Christmas, but this is ridiculous.

So now I’m off my feet, icing my knee, wrapping it when I do have to move around, and hoarding the Vicodin for those times when the knee starts throbbing. Nobody has had the bad taste to make any Tiny Tim jokes yet, which is a good thing. Crutches might be padded in some places, but elsewhere they’re good stiff metal!

635855541198991152-1915460333_istock_000018203875small

Tomorrow I’m up with the sun to pull half the morning shift with Michael. Can’t take any Vicodin, because there are a few last Christmas errands to run. One does not take Vicodin and attempt to drive a car. Operating crutches while taking Vicodin is enough of a challenge.

God rest ye, merry gentlefolk. God bless us, everyone!

happy-holidays-clip-art-free-clipart-images

4 Comments

Filed under Christmas, doctors, Family, frustration, hospital, Lillian Csernica, marriage, therapy, worry

After the Happily Ever After


by Lillian Csernica on October 16, 2016

Today is a very exciting day for me!

aheacovermytitle

After the Happily Ever After: a collection of fractured fairy tales is a massive anthology that features more than seventy stories that transform the well-known and strange fables into sweeter, darker, and more fantastical tales. These certainly aren’t the stories we grew up with.

Please take a look at the gorgeous book trailer the wonderful folks at Transmundane Press have put together. On behalf of all my fellow contributors, let me say we appreciate your support!

scroll20border

Save

Save

Save

4 Comments

Filed under classics, creativity, dreams, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, Horror, legend, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, nature, publication, sword and sorcery, Writing

NaNoWriMo Round 2


by Lillian Csernica on October 12, 2016

nano_feature

Back in 2014, I won NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words of Garden of Lies, the second book in my Flower Maiden trilogy.

I have just signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016. I hope to get to the 50,000 word mark on the third book of the trilogy. 7 pages a day, every day.

I thumb my nose at the Forces of Chaos that beset me on a daily basis. Come what may, I shall write my daily quota. By December 1, I will have at least half of the first draft of my new novel.

(Then comes the Labor of Hercules known as Editing the Manuscript, but I’ll get to that when the time comes.)

I send my best wishes to everybody else crazy dedicated enough to embrace NaNoWriMo!

nanowrimo-eve-1-320x213

Save

8 Comments

Filed under Awards, creativity, Depression, dreams, editing, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, historical fiction, Humor, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, nature, romance, sword and sorcery, travel, Writing