A Samwise Kind of Love

Boromir was tempted. Galadriel was tempted. Even Frodo was tempted in the end. It was an ordinary gold band that immortalized the worst kinds of evil Middle Earth had ever known. Gandalf knew the ring would have power over him and so he declined it when Frodo asked him to take the burden of the ring from him.

The Lord of the Rings is not known as a love story. But truly it is. The person with the biggest heart and the most steadfast love is Samwise Gamgee. Just an ordinary hobbit living an ordinary life. There is nothing much to note about Sam. We first get a glimpse into the love Sam has for his friend Frodo when Frodo tries to leave him behind. Frodo sets off in a boat determined to carry the burden of the ring alone. Although Sam cannot swim, he follows after Frodo into the water. Frodo is forced to save his hobbit friend or let him drown.

Samwise quote 2Later in the story when it is apparent to everyone but Frodo that Smeagol aka Gollum was manipulating Frodo, Sam suffers abuse for trying to reveal the creature’s less than honorable antics. Later Smeagol makes Frodo believe Sam has stolen the last of the food, and he is left behind. Sam comes to the rescue, though, when Frodo is led into a trap and captured. Sam saves him and continues to encourage Frodo in his trek to Mt. Doom until the ring is finally destroyed (no thanks to Frodo’s desire to keep the ring.)

Love doesn’t let others carry their burdens alone. Love does not give up, even when you can’t go on any further. Love believes when all hope is gone. Love, when paired with bravery and determination, can defeat any evil that challenges it.

I want the kind of love Sam showed Frodo. I want a Samwise kind of love.

Vanilla—More Than A Flavor

Do you know the national flower of Brazil? Where does vanilla come from? Can certain smells really affect moods thus creating unexpected reactions from people? Is there a difference between white and black magick?

These questions were just a small part of the research I did for my current WIP. How in the world do they fit together? Very carefully. I have spent hours researching details regarding the setting for Brazil, which is the setting for my MS. Why wouldn’t I set my story in the U.S? Many reasons. I began writing this story first for my son Austin and niece Heather. Austin had been to Brazil on a mission trip for college and I loved his stories about it. Heather is a fan of the current YA books that includes paranormal and supernatural. Put them together and you have my initial motivation.

But motivation does not a story make. You have to have details. Lots and lots of them. I started with the idea for the story being a struggle of good and evil. My evil began as a vampire and has ended up being a demon. (I have several books on the history of vampires, if anyone should happen to need them…) Next I wanted to add a rich ingredient from Brazil’s own culture—Spiritism. This Spiritism as I see it is close to Witchcraft. So, I Smoresbought a used book, Essential Wicca, a guide book on the ‘craft’ and magick (not to be confused with the Houdini type of magic, with only a ‘c’.). You’d be amazed how many of their ideas come from the bible, seriously! I plan on burning the book once I’m done writing this story, if you care to join in the bon-fire. I’m bringing the marshmallows.

Next I needed to research how moods can be altered since my demon is trying to seduce the protagonist for a dark and mysterious reason. Come to find out the national flower of Brazil happens to be the orchid. Did you know vanilla is derived from an orchid plant? Vanilla is used in the aromatherapy and perfume industry. Did you also know that vanilla is an aphrodisiac? My demon uses the beauty and scent of the orchid to tempt my protagonist. And that’s only one piece to the allurment puzzle.

BTW, I have a wonderful inkster interpretor for my demon’s French language needs as well! (What seductive demon wouldn’t speak the language of love?) Shout out to Marlene!!

I’ve already started to research my next project. After travelling to the Vacation 2010 Virginia 454Luray Caverns in Virginia an idea hatched in my mind. The Luray Caverns have two very interesting features to them. First, the owners of the caverns ran air vents into a house above the caves. The vents send clean air into the home and is said to have a healing effect on its residents. Second, the stalacpipes have rubber mallets hooked to them which, when tapped, “plays” notes on an attached organ. It’s pretty amazing. See their website here: http://www.luraycaverns.com/

So far it’s only an idea floating around in my head, along with a few lists I’ve created so far. It has to do with a bomb shelter and a girl escaping a cataclysmic event to said shelter, which by chance is close to a cave in a nearby mountain. For this story I need to know the depth and measurements of shelters, what equipment is needed to survive, and which supplies can last for an extended length of time underground. Also, what type of event would be realistic to have someone hide for their life? Sounds like I have lots of research ahead of me.