Tag Archives: magic

A New Anthology Release!


by Lillian Csernica on May 5, 2017

51henbxxrcl

I am very happy to announce that my story “The Heart of a Diamond” is now available in Literal Illusion from Digital Fiction Publishing.

6e9146efb8487faff07a36dc41f68bfa

pinterest.com

The spirit trapped in the heart of a large, priceless diamond has watched Princess Tavia grow into a strong, beautiful young woman. Now, on the eve of Tavia’s wedding, the spirit must face losing her to the political and financial demands placed upon her.  Secret enemies conspiring against that wedding force the spirit to risk everything to save both Tavia and the future of her realm.

ca1c966db3be90e0dcf8ba991f5dd458

pinterest.com

If you enjoy magic, intrigue, and high adventure, find out the truth that lies at “The Heart of a Diamond”!

mhyfx4s

 

 

 

 

Save

6 Comments

Filed under creativity, dreams, Family, fantasy, Fiction, love, romance, sword and sorcery, Writing

Santa Claus Needs You!


by Lillian Csernica on December 5, 2016

santa-claus-with-stamps-and-postage-marks-csp16706423-search-clipart-boaxhc-clipart

The letters to Santa Claus have begun to arrive. Right after Thanksgiving, I let the local post offices know that once again I’d be ready, willing, and able to join the network of Volunteer Elves all over the U.S.  We answer the letters children write to Santa Claus. We help keep the magic of childhood bright and sparkling.

If you believed in Santa Claus when you were little, please consider lending a hand this holiday season. There are always more letters than there are volunteers available to answer them. Would you like to know how much joy a letter from Santa Claus can bring? Let me share with you some moments from the more than ten years I’ve been answering these letters.

letter-to-santa-stchristmas-com

One young lady asked for a gift certificate to a local bookstore. I called the bookstore, explained myself as a volunteer with my local post office, then told the clerk about this very specific request. Would the bookstore be interested in make a donation? The manager asked me to come on over and bring the letter with me. The result? The store donated a gift certificate for the full amount.

835729607ae5ea7c7f748010519d0ee6

Another young lady appealed to Santa Claus to help her convince the kids at school who kept telling her Santa didn’t really exist. Would Santa please send her some sleigh bells so she could prove to her classmates Santa Claus is real? I found two jingle bells, one large, one small, that looked a bit weathered and put them in a padded envelope along with Santa’s reply to the young lady’s letter. A few days later, my mail carrier brought me a note addressed to “The Post Office Santa Claus” from this young lady’s parents. It said, “Thank you so much for keeping our daughter’s dream and belief alive. WE LOVE YOU!”

can-stock-photo_csp17872015

One year a letter came from two kindergarten age children, a brother and sister who included their school photos. It was clear to me that an adult had helped write the letter. The kids wanted Santa Claus to know that their family had just received housing assistance, so they were going to be moving. They were worried that Santa wouldn’t know where to find them on Christmas Eve. The children each asked for a single toy. Would Santa please bring their mother something nice, maybe perfume?

Thanks to the help of some enthusiastic postal workers, a very generous toy store, and my long-suffering and very supportive husband, we delivered two large, brightly wrapped gifts to the children’s home while the kids and their mother were out looking at Christmas decorations. Grandma was there baking pies. I discovered she’d been the one to help the kids write their letter. They watched a TV show about the people who volunteer to answer letters written to Santa. The little boy had asked Grandma if she thought Santa Claus really would answer their letter. Grandma suggested they give it a try.

One of the happiest moments of my life will always be the way Grandma burst into tears when we brought in the gifts for her grandchildren. I apologized for not knowing what perfume might be best for their mother, since so many people have allergies. Grandma said that didn’t matter. The best gift we could have brought Mom was how happy the kids would be when Grandma told them Santa’s elves had not just answered their letter but made a special trip to bring them their presents.

stock-photo-top-view-of-christmas-letter-in-santa-claus-hand-close-up-of-hands-holding-empty-wishlist-on-494709769

Be a part of the magic. Stop by your local post office. I know more than a few mail carriers who have been the ones to answer the letters they pick up on their routes. The Post Office provides a starter kit, and there are lots of examples and suggestions online.

Happy Holidays!

Save

2 Comments

Filed under charity, Christmas, classics, creativity, dreams, Family, family tradition, fantasy, home town, legend, Lillian Csernica, love, mother, parenting, Writing

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

See Me Live and In Person!


by Lillian Csernica on May 27, 2016

Come one, come all!  See me make a public spectacle of myself in the best sense as I talk about writing and history.  I’ll be demonstrating the making of Victorian yarn dolls!  Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

cihectmugaes6qm

BayCon 2016: It’s All About Space!

Magic Vs. Religion

Friday 13:00 – 14:30, Collaborate 2 (San Mateo Marriott)

Does it matter to the characters? Does it matter to the readers?

Jay Hartlove (M), Lillian Csernica, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Maria Nieto, Teresa Edgerton

Monks in Space

Saturday 10:00 – 11:30, Synergy 5 (San Mateo Marriott)

Many monastic traditions stress the importance of silence and solitude. Leaving behind all the material comforts of Earth for the “final frontier” of dwelling in a monastic community or as a hermit in space would take on additional significance and spiritual impact. Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism all have monastic traditions. The First Nation Peoples the traditions of solitude, fasting, and appealing to the spirits to grant a vision of that person’s purpose in life. The mission into space could be a vision quest, or the result of it!

Lillian Csernica (M), Mrs. Laurel Anne Hill, Jennifer Nestojko, G. David Nordley

Autograph Session: Csernica, MacEwen and Wade

Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, Convene Lobby (San Mateo Marriott)

Juliette Wade, Lillian Csernica, Patricia H. MacEwen

The Space To Move Forward

Sunday 16:00 – 17:30, Connect 1 (San Mateo Marriott)

Using creativity to counter depression, PTSD and survivors guilt

Steven Mix (M), Lillian Csernica, Margaret McGaffey Fisk, Fr John Blaker

So You’re Ready to Publish

Monday 13:00 – 14:30, Connect 1 (San Mateo Marriott)

Do you Self-Publish or Traditiional Publish? Get an agent or try to go it alone?

J. L. Doty (M), Lillian Csernica, Teresa Edgerton, Kyle Aisteach

 

ca_logo_2016

Clockwork Alchemy: The Arts of Steampunk
The Undiscovered Countries

Saturday 7pm – 8:50pm Location: The Academy (San Martin Room)

————————

DIY Victorian Yarn Dolls

Sunday 10am – 11:50am Location: The Workshop (San Juan Room)

————————

The 3 Rules of Writing Historic Fiction

Monday 11am – 11:50am Location: Author’s Salon (Monterey Room)

 

1 Comment

Filed under art show, artists, Conventions, cosplay, dreams, editing, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, history, Humor, Lillian Csernica, neurodiversity, pirates, publication, research, romance, science fiction, special education, steampunk, Writing

L for Legend


by Lillian Csernica on April 14, 2015

Legend (1985) is one of those tragedies of film-making that leave you sitting there thinking, “This could have been so good!”

The Lord of Darkness is lonely.  Instead of settling for finding a consort, he decides to destroy the power of Light completely by killing the last two remaining unicorns and seizing their horns.  He sends his goblins out to do the deed in the magical forest.

Tom Cruise plays Jack, a young fellow who frolics about in this same forest with an elf, a fairy, and two dwarves.  Mia Sara plays Princess Lili, who meets up with Jack in the forest.  (There is no castle or royal family or Unpleasant Betrothed in this movie.  Princess Lili exists in something of a medieval vacuum.)  Jack offers to show her the unicorns.

drafthouse.com

Hands up, everybody who thinks this is probably a really bad idea.

Sure enough, the Lord of Darkness’ goblins follow Jack and Lili and succeed in shooting the unicorn stallion with a poisoned dart.  Jack gets all upset, knowing how dangerous this could be.  Lili, who is apparently a heartless airhead, laughs off his worries and throws her golden ring into the pond, saying she’ll marry whoever finds it.  She’s standing in a magical forest where goblins have just assassinated one of the only two remaining unicorns and she’s willing to marry whoever (or whatever) is the first to find her ring and return it?  When I was sitting in the theater watching this movie, this was the point where I decided Lili deserved whatever happened to her.  Here’s a hint:

From here on the plot takes some strange turns.  For a while it felt like I was watching two different movies that had been spliced together in alternating scenes.  My thinking is Ridley Scott has enough material for two or three movies here.  Putting all of it into one movie doesn’t work because some fairy tales are meant to stand alone and cannot be mixed together into one big glittery enchanted stew.

findingfaeries.wordpress.com

This is an elf playing a violin while standing in the snow surrounded by a cloud of soap bubbles.

The truth is, Legend is worth seeing, especially for Tim Curry playing the Lord of Darkness.  All that makeup can’t possibly interfere with or obscure his talent.  Legend won a lot of awards centered on cinematography, costuming, and special effects.  The complete version ran 125 minutes long.  Screenings indicated that taxed the attention span of audiences, so a total of 30 minutes were cut from the film prior to its official theatrical release.  What made it to theaters was a rush job, butchered and stitched back together.  Once you know this, you know why continuity goes to hell in a handbasket when Our Heroes are about to attempt the daring rescue of Princess Lili. In 2002, Ridley Scott released his director’s cut, giving the world the movie he intended to make.

15 Comments

Filed under bad movies, Blog challenges, fairy tales, fantasy, Horror, legend

Clocking In, Clocking Out


Lillian Csernica on May 25th, 2014

 

Busy busy busy day!  For some insane reason I was awake by 8:30 a.m.  It might have had something to do with the somnolent sound effects from Pat’s side of the room, but maybe what I heard was just some maid being a little too enthusiastic with a vacuum.  That’s all right.  I took a shower, made myself presentable for the public, and got a good head start on a problem I discovered when I checked my panel notes for today.  I’d forgotten to print out the latest update of my notes for the “Steampunk in Japan” panel.  I knew the hotel had an Office Center, but I did not think it would be open on a Sunday.  I was right.

 

myvectory.blogspot.com

So off I went to Guest Services.  That’s such a plain phrase.  I much prefer the term “concierge,” don’t you?  Guest Services is a department, but the concierge is the Person Who Handles The Problem.  Sure enough, the nice fellow there directed me to a PC complete with printer in the lobby.  Once I figured out which USB port was the right one, I opened the file, printed my notes and all was right with my world.  The Hilton now owns the Doubletree, and I must say the new management has made some good improvements.  Anybody who makes my life easier is a winner in my eyes!

Now it was time to continue Map Quest!  Off I went to the Caravan Bazaar, determined to hunt down the last two stamps I needed.  I found the Handmade by Droids booth.  I had to pass their challenge in order to win their stamp.  They asked me to do my best impression of “a steam-powered penguin in a mad rage.”  Oh wow!  Good thing I’d taken that Improv training with the commedia dell’arte troupe back in the days when Northern Ren Faire made you take workshops.  Imagine me waddling side to side with my arms flapping stiffly while I alternated “Squawk squawk squawk!” with chuffing and hissing noises.  Did I get the stamp?  Oh yeah!

 

My final destination kept eluding me.  I learned later that I kept missing the booth because “The sign was hidden behind the shrunken heads.”  I went back to the Sacramento Steampunk Society table to throw myself on the mercy of the lady in charge.  I pled my case, mentioning that I had lived up to the challenge of the steampunk penguin impression.  You know what happened next, right?  That’s right.  I had to do the penguin impression again.  I won the badge ribbon of white satin with a metallic red trail leading to the X that marks the spot.  Two high quality chocolate coins came with it.  The dear lady brought out the “special prizes for the people we really like.”  In a variety of small ornamental tins were tiny sewing kits, just what attendees of this costume-oriented con would enjoy!  I chose the ginger tin because that enabled me to return the lady’s kindness by reaching  into my purse and pulling out a ginger candy.  She was delighted.  I now sport a Society pin on my badge lanyard.

www,jadefinejewelry.com

I came back to our hotel room around 1 p.m.  Pat was up.  I was torn between calling the maid to tidy the room and just falling over for a nap.  I did call the maid, and she turned out to be this really sweet older lady from the Canton area of China.  We got to talking, and she asked me if I spoke any Chinese.  I can say “Nihao,” “shay  shay nee,” and “doh jay sai.”  (They mean “Hello,” and “thank you” in both Mandarin and Cantonese.  Please forgive my transliteration.  It’s the best I can do.)  The maid gave me an approving laugh.  I pulled my cross chain out from under my blouse to show her the small piece of jade I wear, Taiwanese jade that my mother gave me.  The length of the chain allows the jade to rest next to my heart.  When the maid saw that, she threw her arms around me and hugged me.  I love meeting new people, I really do, especially people from other countries.

Soon it was time to get some food into me before my panel at 5 p.m.  The menu in Sprigs was the same as the bar, which makes sense during a con.  That meant I had the linguine and meat balls again.  Hey, I know what I like.  Jeffrey went dashing by again in his attire as The Phantom of the Opera.  Since he was in character, I called out “Eric!” but that didn’t work, so I tried “Jeffrey!”  There’s something about his presence that demanded I rise to meet him.  We chatted for a few minutes and he was off again.  At some point in the day I had an opportunity to tell his wife Sharon how much I appreciated the talk Jeffrey and I had yesterday.  She was very pleased to hear it.  She knows what a gem she has in him.

Then it was Magic time!  I was worried about what size audience I might have because it was in the window of dinner time.  Fortunately, at least a dozen people turned up for “Making Magic Meaningful.”  (I am now OUT of bookmarks.  I knew I should have made the wine-colored set!)  Creating magic systems for fantasy fiction and gaming is one of my favorite subjects.  Programming gave me 90 minutes for the panel, and I needed it.  Each section of my panel notes corresponds to chapters in The Writer’s Spellbook.  I can go into as much or as little detail as people want on any of the many aspects of creating a strong, consistent magic system.  We had a good time.  I called on Pat to speak at points when her particular adventures in fantasy and forensics have led to either knowledge or experience by turns fascinating and freaky.

After the panel we went out into the hallway so Con Ops could pack up and secure the room.  A cluster of folks stayed with me, including Matthew and Mark.  Matthew is a delightful 15 year old boy who kept thanking me for helping him see what he needed to think about to fix his story.  I encouraged him to tell me about the plot.  As he went along I asked questions about cause and effect between events, character motivation, the real problem at the heart of the story, and who hired the bad guys.  As we went along, Matthew began to understand the importance of backstory and the details of how his world works.  Bright kid, very excited about what he’d learned from my talk.  I made sure he had my blog URL and told him I’d be happy to answer questions and talk writing with him.  I’m all for helping young writers who are just starting out.

Mark was closer to my age group.  He’s a member of RWA!  We got to talking about a very complex storyline involving shapeshifters and a secret temple in the wilds of Turkey.  Pat and I directed Mark to some books and movies that might provide more ideas and some different angles on the issues he wants to address.  He plans to get “The Writer’s Spellbook,” which is always good news to me.

In a surprisingly short time, 9 p.m. was upon us, time for Pat to present her talk on “Sky Warriors.”  It was just the two of us sitting there, wrestling with the Power Point projector as usual.  Around 9:15 p.m. we were joined by a couple that boggled my mind.  All in black, a cross between Elizabethan, steampunk, sky pirate, and a dash of Goth, they made an impressive pair.  I can now say I have seen a steampunk codpiece.  Pat gave her talk, and the gentleman of the pair asked some knowledgeable questions.  He’s a pilot, so he knew some of the more modern history of airships, dirigibles, blimps, etc.

My feet were ready to give it up for the day.  Pat made the night’s cookie raid on the front desk, and now here we are, snug in our hotel room, ready to watch some action movie or more episodes of “Forensics Files.”  Tomorrow we have “Steampunk in Japan” and “Steampunk CSI” back to back, and then I’m going to see the Japanese sisters do their naginata demo.  That should be great!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under charity, chocolate, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, Goals, history, Humor, Japan, romance, science fiction, Self-image, Special needs, Writing

For Your Reading Pleasure


by Lillian Csernica on May 20th, 2014

 

My story “Hell to Pay” is now available in Revelation: The First Seal (Conquest) from Sacred City Productions.

If you like demons and supermodels, smart ass dialogue and serious payback, then you’re in for a good time!

Leave a comment

Filed under charity, Depression, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, Horror, Humor, love, Self-image, Writing