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Dragon’s Harp a Winner for Visionary Fiction 2013 COVR Award!!

 

THANKS TO ALL OF DRAGON’S HARP’S GRACIOUS FANS–

 THE MAGIC OF GWENHWYFAR AND MERLIN  CONTINUES!!!

Our latest exciting news is  that DRAGON’S HARP has been awarded FINALIST status in the VISIONARY FICTION category of COVR’s annual awards (http://www.covr.org).  COVR stands for the Coalition of Visionary Resources and is a network of New Age retailers & booksellers.   My heartfelt gratitude to the judges and thanks for the encouragement of several COVR members who have become fans and friends of  DRAGON’S HARP!!!  JO JAYSON, “Harp’s” multi-talented cover artist  (http://www.jojayson.com), will be in Denver this weekend (June 22) to accept the Award on our behalf.  Thanks, Jo!

HAPPY UPDATE: DRAGON’S HARP has now been declared the WINNER for VISIONARY FICTION 2013 at the COVR Awards banquet June 22!!!! Since Jo Jayson was not able to attend the actual award ceremony, the gracious Mr. Bauman–whose talented wife, Micki Bauman of Deva Designs has been a wonderful inspiration to this grateful author –accepted the award on our behalf. SPECIAL THANKS to Mr. & Mrs. Bauman for everything and to Justin Swanstrom of COVR for offering this “newbie” self-published author much needed encouragement and marketing advice.  Also thanks to Marilyn Hager Adelman & Andrew Adelman of http://www.purplefishmedia.com for HARP’s beautiful cover design & this website 🙂

I also want to thank all of you, readers, fans, & friends for helping me both to balance & to believe in this magic dragon ride I have been gifted with 🙂  I could not–nor could Gwenhywfar, Merlin, & those wondrous Spirits who watch over us all–have come this far without you…….

Stay tuned for a new post next week…Shall we look at the relevance of dragons in our world today?  Of how Camelot can be found in the mist of your neighborhood park? Of how Merlin can be discovered walking in the aisles of a mall?   Magic is all around us, dear friends…Let’s drink it up & pause to appreciate the grace of a hummingbird at dusk, of a dragonfly at sunrise.  Of how it feels to ride our own dragons past the very stars…

I wish you joy, I wish you love, I wish you lives filled with creativity, passion, & contentment (and, yes, they can all happen at once!).  When I return next week it will be with the update I have promised so many of you–where I am in my second novel (which continues Gwenhwyfar and Merlin’s story in THE DRAGON’S BREATH) & when you may anticipate seeing it appear.)

Until then, enjoy your summer (or winter for my friends in the Southern hemisphere)…May the wind ever and always be at your back–and may your personal dragons help you fly with the essence of magic and dreams…                                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

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Indian Flutes and Owls

This world is filled with miracles.  No doubt about it.  My favorites are often the tiny, unexpected ones:  the moment when a beloved child takes her first bite of strawberry ice cream and you watch her face light up the world…an elderly couple holding hands, looking at each other with the same alert passion they must have shared 50 years before…an unexpected check that comes in the mail just when you need it most…Tonight my first miracle was turning on my car & watching its headlights illuminate the new apple blossoms of a nearby tree, then looking above this beautiful “fae” tree at a deep country-sky filled with stars.  The delicacy of white apple blossoms, the mysterious immensity of the night sky and its stars–a miraculous contrast of absolute beauty, connected in spring grandeur. It was–perhaps–a simple linking of two everyday sights.  Yet, tonight, their beauty took my breath away.  It was a moment–and a gift– I will always treasure.

Later, came a second.  Driving tonight, I was fighting sorrow.  One of my favorite clients–a young man of great ability & promise–had allowed his hair-trigger temper to get the better of him & had left for points unknown.  No matter how used one gets to this type of loss, it does not get easier.  Nor is my own life free of challenges right now.  So, I found myself driving on familiar night roads, lost in thought, trying not to sink into despair.  My car rounded a corner & a magnificent spotted owl flew right up in front of me, almost colliding with my windshield.  I have never seen an owl’s face so close–nor seen the power of its wings, arching, pure white against a late night sky.  To be gifted with this sight, to experience the beauty and mystery of this myth-drenched creature, so close to my wounded spirit on this lonely dark moon night…well, it is yet another miracle…another treasure to remind me that the Divine is always with us…that the Universe is ever magnificent and kind…

So, tonight, I sit, writing of Merlin & Gwenhwyfar & Arthur. ..Sipping hot black tea, I am grateful for its sweetness..its comfort in the middle of a somewhat creative night…and I find myself not merely grateful for apple trees…for owls…for the ancientness of stars…I am also recognizing, yearning–and finally knowing that each moment we live we bring new miracles into being…..How glorious, if we were always able to treasure these small & precious moments.  How wondrous life truly is.

A friend has brought some Native American flute music to share—this too, weaves a gentle spell, the flute’s notes reminding me of a time without sidewalks, when forests grew wild, and the wind captured dreams…

May your own dreams be sweet…and may the world gift you well…Enjoy the sweetness of the everyday…

 

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The Lure of the Bear Cave in Winter

This winter, dear friends, I have been hibernating as deeply as any bear.  Like Arthur himself who was born, tradition tells us, beneath the sign of the bear, I have found myself drawn to the warmth of the primal cave that contains my soul and my deepest, most precious dreams.

Have you also found time to hibernate this season?

I don’t know about you, but taking time to reflect does not come naturally to me.  I resist it like crazy! To me it has always been difficult to balance “being” & “doing”.  But this season, I’ve found myself literally forced to, largely because this year has been such a whirlwind: I have succeeded as a new author, moved back to the “home of my heart”, and taken risks that test everything I am and ever dream of being.

My whole body & spirit has needed to rest.  But, just like the Jersey Girl I am (in, at least, part of my heart !), I have denied this soul-deep need of mine to go within, to allow myself to be nurtured, to take as well as give, to find within the silence of a beautiful natural hermitage the replenishment I have needed in order to grow and to create.  This winter, I finally came to realize, I needed to dream as well as to write–for, as writers should remember, dreaming always does come first….

No, no, a part of me snarls–and has fought me all the way. Every time I attempted to relax, this rough-and-tumble “achiever chick” voice inside me has been urging me to get off my butt and produce, more & more & more….AAARGH!  Jersey Girls are supposed to be tough, right?!  We chew nails for breakfast, thrive on adversity, dare the world to “bring it on”!  We’ll take whatever we get slammed with and toss it back with gum-cracking attitude–a single finger salute on steroids to anyone and anything that threatens us or those we love.

So, for this Jersey Girl to finally admit she needs to rest, to drop her defenses long enough to explore the vulnerable inner terrain  of what happens when you succeed in birthing at least part of your creative dream–and to undertake the responsibilty of follow-up that this entails–well, folks, it’s a big step. Especially when I realized the cost of my creative success turned out to be  higher than I expected in ways I could not have anticipated.  Was it worth it? Absolutely–but I have had to first allow myself to rest, to “take it all in” before I could fully process what has happened, where I am, & where I plan to go.  And honoring the silence & calm of  reflective time has been one of the most important and most healing lessons of this truly tumultous year.

So, my friends, I reach out to you again, as winter ice melts, as birds return, as kittens roll in the dirt of a Northwestern forest–clearly as overjoyed as I am that spring has again decided to grace us with its return.  As I curl up now, with a gentle cup of tea, I treasure this new growth in my own heart, and recognize how humbly grateful I am to have learned this elusive “winter bear” lesson.  No longer will I allow myself to feel guilty for taking time to hibernate, to reflect, to explore the sweet waters of that very ancient well that lives within us all.   For I have learned, it is only within these soft & quiet hours, when I allow nature and my own soul to heal me, that I am, at last, able to recognize the poignant jewels of the many journeys I have taken this year.  Thanks to the slumbering power of my private bear cave, I am now able to fully claim my new and evolving life–as an artist, a woman, a mother, an author, a teacher, a dreamer–and, yes, how could I forget?–as a gum-cracking Jersey Girl!

Namaste, my friends…. May your own springtimes be every bit as wondrous as mine is shaping up to be!  I will see you soon–now that the sweet, slumbering bear within me is stretching her paws, yawning, and crawling out of her cave to greet the magic & inspiration of the rising sun….

And, yes, for those of you who have been asking, DRAGON’S HARP’S sequel. DRAGON’S BREATH, is rising also–on schedule– within the mist. 🙂

Special thanks to Terah Van Dusen for her help & inspiration with this post.

 

See you soon…

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Cross-Country Odessey: Writing, Decluttering, Driving, & Cats

Greetings Everyone–What a summer it’s been!  

The excitement of:   1) Winning my first book award (Yes, DRAGON’S HARP is now the WINNER of the 2012 GLOBAL EBOOK AWARD in the Ancient Historical Literature Catagory!!! Heartfelt Thanks to Don Poynter & his wonderful staff, the gracious judges, and my fellow authors for creating such a wonderful event!)

 2) The ongoing success of DRAGON’S HARP–and the kind, insistent wishes I am receiving from fans to hurry up with it’s sequel and–

3) Last, certainly not least—my decision to pack up my earthly belongings and move back out West made for quite an eventful August 🙂

So here’s the big cross-country moving question: Is it truly possible to organize one’s life so that what matters most to you can actually fit into the back seats of a PT Cruiser–underneath 2 cats and their resulting paraphenalia?  For a book-clutter hound like myself, the task seemed simply impossible.  But, I had determined to save the expense of a cross-country moving van–so my remaining option was to simply “redistribute” almost everything I owned–That & hope my two cats could manage to put aside their differences long enough to share the back seats of a PT Cruiser for slightly over a week?!!! Aaargh!!!

Now I admit to enjoying a certain level of book-art-memorabilia clutter.  Friends call it “colorful”–less sympathetic visitors have been heard to mutter about chaos.  So, for me, this experience was similiar to a pressurized boot camp.  Days and nights swam by in an ever-increasing haze of “Why did I ever buy a waffle iron? For frig’s sake, I can barely manage a pancake mix?” to  “Do I really, really need a third copy of Pablo Neruda’s collected poetry?” to the 3 am primal howl: “Ye gods, that’s  where  Great-Aunt Maude’s recipe for friggin cheese blintz’s went–why didn’t I think to look in the sock drawer before?”  

It was, looking back, an experience balanced somewhere on the spectrum between a midlife cleansing rite-of-passage and the fourth chapter of an early Stephen King novel, right after you figure out just how bad the monsters are–that they are multiplying, and there is no “out”.

But, it was all completed in under a week–with the kind assistance of my local UPS guy–who saw me coming with yet another box & who managed to heroically resist the natural tendency to roll his eyes and mutter “Jeez, Lady…”

Yes, readers, somehow, I managed to order all my worldly belongings into 6 boxes, & the bottom of a PT Cruiser..even if my packing job originally looked like the “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy & Ethel & Fred pack the car to California, (complete with guitars dangling from the back door, etc.), Ricky takes one look at it and explodes in one of his memorable Spanish tirades.  (Trust me, my long-suffering neighbors were treated to several of those too–even if they were in boring old English!)  

The next stop: Driving cross-country with 2 cats who don’t like each other…Now, I should preface this by adding that I have actually driven cross-country several times before, beginning with a Ken Kesey-like experience in the early 70s with several long-haired friends & lovers & assorted hitch-hikers riding in a VW van so ancient that the bottom was half-rusted out. Indeed, “Ol’ Green” was dependable, but slow, so slow, it was easily outrun by a Midwestern friend’s car-chasing dog.  The snarky collie then had the nerve to look back at our chugging chariot with a mixture of canine distain and confusion–clearly wondering if he needed to rescue us.

But my life path has evolved since those early “Electric Kool-Aid” days and I have traversed this great nation several ways at several times in vehicles with a little more pick-up to them–though, arguably, not as much personal class as Ol’ Green.  Nor am I a total stranger re “traveling with cats”.  Most recently, my initial journey to move East in 2001 involved transporting my beloved feline, Sebastian–whose charisma extended to making friends with everyone who interacted with him–from weary waitresses to chuckling truck-drivers to  bleary-eyed Jersey toll-collectors.  However, the two cats that I aimed to travel with this time around simply 1) did not care for each other 2) did not particularly like cars. 

Did I–and they– make it safely back to the Pacific Northwest in one piece?  Indeed we did–with the help of duck-tape, Motel 6s, the kindness of many friends, & strangers, & the more then occasional appeal to Divine Providence (including, but not limited to large statues of Ganesha, Kali, & my good luck Snoopy who accompanied me in the front seat.) However, the thought of telling that tale as well as the above tonight is enough to have me reaching for the big bottle of aspirin I bought somewhere near Hannibal, Missouri..Please stay tuned for the continuation of Rachael’s big move next week–Plus, I really need to get back to writing Gwenhwyfar & Merlin’s new book–they & all of you are waiting patiently…Love to you all…  

 

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Receiving Your First Book Award: Gratitude for Every Author’s Dream

Hi everyone!  First, my profound apologies for taking so long to share a new blog with you.  I have had to face a few facts recently–including this: however much I love communicating with you all, I’m just not an instinctive blogger!!  To make up for this lack, I will be including links to 5 guest blogs I have written before I sign off tonight.  That way, you can binge on “Rachael Pruitt blogs”  while waiting for me to come up with a new one 🙂 And, yes, I will try to get back here in early August with an update! (If it’s any consolation, I have been at work, writing Dragon Harp’s sequel, Dragon’s Breath. 🙂

GOOD NEWS: I received some spectacular news this Friday, that lead me to tonight’s blog topic: DRAGON’S HARP has just become a FINALIST in the 2012 GLOBAL EBOOK AWARDS.  My catagory is “Ancient Historical Fiction”!!!!  Before I move on, I would like to offer my deepest thanks to Global Ebook Awards and the hard-working expert judges in each catagory.  I would also like to extend my congratulations to my fellow Finalists and also to all of my fellow authors who entered not just this competition, but any other.  I know exactly what it takes to put your novel “out there” and hope for the best!  Kudos to everybody involved. 

I encourage everybody to visit the GLOBAL EBOOK website and explore Dan Poynter’s vision.  Even better, after reading the comments after the Finalist announcements, do please feel free to add your own–either tagging mine or independently.  In the process of advancing in this contest, I am discovering yet another writing community & I invite you to connect with them as well.

As a new author, I sometimes find myself literally reeling when I recognize that, yes, I REALLY AM A WRITER–I am being recognized as such, and doing all the things published successful authors do–I am teaching workshops, giving speeches, teaching classes to encourage other aspiring writers, meeting with critique partners, etc.  Honestly, folks, it’s heady stuff.  Thank you for being a part of it! 

With the joy of my new role, comes 2 other components–responsibility and a deep sense of gratitude.  As a teacher, I feel a responsibility to encourage and inspire others to the best of my ability. As a creative artist, a lover, a friend, and a  mother, my gratitude is to the Universal Source (whatever we may individually name the Divine) for granting me this precious opportunity. 

Yes, it has taken a great deal of hard work and patience to get my book in front of readers–and the price tag has often been costly: both emotionally & financially.  Yet, I have truly been granted the opportunity to see & to live my dream come true.  Even better, as I watch it unfold now, I know this is just the beginning..that I am being granted the life that I have always wanted–a creative life in which I can write award-winning novels that reach others & a life in which I can continue to teach children & teens how to develop their own creative magic. HOW CAN IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS? I can’t wait to find out!

I am describing this to you not simply because I’m bubbling over with happiness tonight–although that is certainly a part of it 🙂 — I am also sharing these feelings in the hopes that you, too, are either living the life of your dreams–or taking steps to begin to! Readers, what I have been blessed to accomplish in the 4 short months since Dragon’s Harp  first appeared in print is nothing short of miraculous.  To hear from fans how much Harp has meant to them, to read glowing reviews from strangers who have been moved by the struggles of Gwenhwyfar, Merlin, Ceridwen, Cadwallon, Rhiannon, Lleu, Tali and the rest of Dinas Emrys, and now to be receiving a Finalist Award for Ancient Historical Fiction, judged by experts in the genrewell, folks, it truly is like entering an enchanted and wonderful world.

I thank each & everyone of you who has already read & enjoyed Harp-and those readers who will share its pages in the future.  I hope I am communicating that what is happening to me, can happen to you as well.  Yes, you must take risks to go for your dream.  Yes, there are challenges–often challenges that seem insurmontable.  Yet, if you persevere, learn & hone your craft, stay strong & believe not just in yourself, but in a benevolent Universe–then perhaps, just perhaps, you will discover that angels really do have your back!

I’m just like you. I just decided one day that my dreams mattered enough to go for.  I have certain skills, yes, but so do you!  Each of us has a unique gift to offer the world.  So please, dear friends, don’t settle for anything less than what you really want to do in life. Go for what you really want–and trust that you will receive it. It ain’t always easy, but the rewards really are worth it.

And never forget to be grateful.  There is simply so much richness in our world–the slant of early morning sun on a child’s face . . . the smell of pizza roasting on the summer boardwalk at the Jersey shore . . .  the laughter of old men chuckling together over a chess game.  Life rocks– it truly rocks–remember to say “thank you” …

I also like to remember to “give back”.  Whether it’s putting a little extra in the plastic donation box by the 7 Eleven checkout or volunteering a few hours a week at a homeless shelter–give something back to make someone else’s live a little easier.

Smile at a stranger.  Blow bubbles for your cat.  And don’t ever forget to dance.

Two closing quotes (thanks to Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Daybook of Simple Abundance”):

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.”  –Anne De Lenclos

“How to be happy when you are miserable. Plant Japanese poppies with cornflowers and mignonette, and bed out the petunias among the sweet-peas so that they shall scent each other.  See the sweet peas coming up…Drink very good tea out of a thin Worcester cup of a color between apricot and pink..” –Rumer Godden

 So, here’s to new suns and Worcester cups between apricot & pink–for us all!

Until next time, dear readers!

 

 Check out the links below for more of my blogs:

This guest blog at my friend Lori’s writing blog is about fantasy writing & some of my favorite fantasy authors: 

http://alexagrave.blogspot.com/2011/05/mgoc-series-on-fantasy-rachael-pruitt.html

The following four guest blogs are posts I wrote during DRAGON’S HARP’S blog tour in March & April 2012: The topics are listed beside the links: Enjoy!

 1)March 14: Guest Post about Celtic Dragons at The Musings of a Book Junkie, hosted by Allison. http://themusingsofabookjunkie.blogspot.com/2012/03/to-those-of-us-who-dream-of-dragons-by.html

2) April 5 Guest Post: Rachael Pruitt, author of The Dragon’s Harp: “Dreaming the Dawn: Writing an Arthurian Novel: http://www.2readornot2read.com/2012/04/rachael-pruitt-guest-post.html

 3) March 29 Guest Post “Goddesses, Queens, & Mermaids: Women of the Arthurian Legend” at Amy Bruno’s “Passages to the Past” Blog

http://www.passagestothepast.com/2012/03/guest-post-by-author-rachael-pruitt-and.html

 4) March 7: First Stop: Guest Post about Arthurian Legend at The Book Owl Blogspot hosted by Siobian  http://siobianthebookowl.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-tour-author-guest-post-rachael.html

 

 

A Final Link: DRAGON’S HARP Cover Artist Jo Jayson and I were interviewed on Cecily MacArthur’s telesummit in March about “Gwenhwyfar as a Goddess and Queen: Her Message to Women Today”

TELESUMMIT REPLAY LINK:

 http://attendthisevent.com/?eventid=27607764

That’s all for now, folks! Have a magical summer….See you in August 🙂

 

 

 

 

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