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Viewing Blog: Ghost Horses Gallop for the Earth!, Most Recent at Top
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Anne Severn Williamson's enchanting new book series The Fairy Lore of Ghost Horse Hollow gallops into the hearts of worldwide readers. Follow us on our international journey as we share and promote the fantasy world of Ghost Horse Hollow across continents and oceans. Listen to the hoof beats of the legendary blue-eyed equines as they raise awareness for conservation, literacy, and peace!
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1. Ghost Horse Gift Gallery is On the Web!

Convenient Holiday shopping is just a click away! Ghost Horse Gift Gallery announces the opening of our new online store www.ghosthorsegiftgallery.com  We offer fast USPS Priority mail service to the Continental USA and Canada. The web store accepts Visa / MC / Discover / & PayPal.  We offer a variety of fine jewelry with unique characteristics and quality crystal specimens for decoration and contemplation.

Visit our new online store for a selection of magical crystals and jewelry!

Most of the e-store items directly relate to the wondrous fantasy world of Ghost Horse Hollow. The Wizard's Workshop, for example in TURN OF THE BLADE, Part I of the Fairy Lore of Ghost Horse Hollow, is full of crystals and geodes. Jack Williamson's one-of-a-kind intaglio and jewelry creations bring the Wizard's Workshop to life!

"Winter Tree of Life" by Intaglio Artist Jack Williamson

Ghost Horse Gift Gallery - WEB also welcomes a very talented young jewelry designer and wire wrapper Elijah Busse to our family of gallery artists! Elijah uses fine Sterling Silver wire with intricate swirls and overlapping twists to bring out the beauty of delicate gemstones, such as aquamarine, pink tourmaline, and forest green emeralds. The Busse family, of PROSPECTORS TV on the Weather Channel, mine beautiful aquamarines on Mount Antero in Colorado, USA. Mount Antero is only a two hour drive north of Ghost Horse Gift Gallery in the San Luis Valley. The Fairy Queen's jewelry in Ghost Horse Hollow is mainly composed of fresh water pearls, aquamarines, emeralds, and star rubies! 

Exquisite Aquamarine Ring by Elijah Busse of Colorado

Another splendid art form featured on the new Web store is three dimensional gemstone sculpture. Gemstone sculpture requires great accuracy and patience, as each piece must be carefully polished upon completion of the initial carving. The polishing often involves several days, if not weeks, of delicate work with diamond compounds of varying grit. The three dimensional pendants by Jack Williamson are stunning to behold! Jack is one of the few gemstone sculptors in the United States. Some of his signature designs include portraits in quartz, smoky citrine, gold-sheen obsidian, rainbow obsidian, rose quartz, and smoky quartz. The Moonlight Fairies in Ghost Horse Hollow are fond of wearing Black Opals and Moonstones, of course!

Black Honduran Opal Goddess with Moonstone Necklace by Sculptor Jack Williamson

For that special one-of-a-kind gift in celebration of the winter holidays, be sure to visit our new online store! Each of Jack Williamson's creations come with a signed Certificate of Authenticity. Jack and Elijah Busse's designs are shipped in a padded gift box. We invite you to visit the Gallery on Saturday, December 21st, from 3 - 5 PM for our annual Yule Log OPEN HOUSE! It has been a pleasure to serve the southwest Colorado community and visiting tourists from around the world. Now, we are are happy to open our doors to the Internet community with Ghost Horse Gift Gallery - WEB. We invite you to join us on FACEBOOK: facebook.com/GhostHorseHollowGifts for special offerings and updates!

Father Christmas in the Snow Outside Ghost Horse Gift Gallery in Moffat, Colorado

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2. Saving the Earth, One Forest At a Time

Plant Trees with your family and friends in the New Year!

The year 2013, is a critical time for the restoration of forests worldwide. Trees provide necessary oxygen and cooling temperatures for our entire globe. I urge everyone to connect with the Arbor Day Foundation and other non-profit organizations that support trees in order to plant as many groves, shrubs, and seedlings as possible in the coming months. The Earth needs healthy, massive woodlands in order to remain in balance.

Adventures begin by entering the woodlands.
The human psyche evolves due to the experiences in the forests.

Forests were the original gateways into the mysteries of human existence. Think of how many stories, myths, and tall tales involve entering the Wildwood. One of my favorite examples in children's literature is The Wind in the Willows. Also, where would Winnie-the-Pooh be without the Hundred Acre Wood? Consider the Ents in The Lord of the Rings. Their stately majesty and power saved the day when all seemed lost.

Trees Will Assist Us in Restoring the Earth!

In my own writing for Middle Grade readers, forests provide the settings for many grand adventures. For example, The Fairy Lore of Ghost Horse Hollow is based on the beauty of the Appalachian woodlands. The hardwood forests of North America are truly breathtaking. In eastern Kentucky, I was fortunate enough to see the stump of an old American chestnut tree. The girth of this extinct species was enormous! Several people could fit comfortably inside the remains of the trunk. I marveled at the size of the deciduous elders that once towered across the United States. It was once said that a squirrel could travel from Maine to Louisiana, and never touch the ground. Hind sight has shown us that we have cut down the original forests to our detriment. So many children in today's society cannot comprehend what our world once looked liked when forests stretched unblemished for miles and miles in all directions. Sadly, human technology and greed have destroyed the quality of life on Earth. Sustaining wilderness requires us to be protective and non-invasive. The challenge before the world community is to restore vast tracks of woodlands in spite of economic pressures and political strife.

The Beauty of Trees Inspires the Human Heart to Love More!
I urge all my readers, fans, and friends to remember the importance of forests throughout the world!
How can one person make a difference?
1) Try planting trees in your own backyard or local park.
2) Contribute to sustaining organizations that are focused on preventing the devastation of forests, especially in central Europe, central Africa, North America, and South America.
3) Visit state and national parks and let your political leaders know how much you appreciate their efforts to keep parks safe for families and tourists.
4) Recycle paper products.
5) Conserve fresh water.
6) Hug a tree! It should never be shameful to show respect and appreciation for the world of Nature.
7) Most importantly, let the next generations know that trees and forests are vital to their survival. We are the grandparents and great-grandparents of humans yet to walk upon our planet. In 2013, we have the opportunity to leave these future generations a legacy of beauty, strength, majesty, and true wealth. We have the opportunity to leave them healthy woodlands.
8) Share this blog with your family and friends!

More than ever, the forests of our world need our attention and respect.

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3. Ghost Horse Gift Gallery Opens for the Holidays!

Ghost Horse Gift Gallery is now open in Moffat, Colorado, on Highway 17 and County Road T. The new store features the fine intaglio jewelry of American gemstone sculptor Jack Williamson. The little hexagon gallery also carries excellent crystal specimens, gorgeous T-shirts, incense, candles, journals, books, cards, and coffee mugs, all with a metaphysical touch. The crystal carvings resemble the fantasy concepts found in The Fairy Lore of Ghost Horse Hollow. Jack Williamson inspired the character of Jake MacKennon in the Fairy Lore book series. Jack's artwork has been featured on Jewelry Television and throughout the United States. The new gallery is located in the heart of the San Luis Valley, one of the highest alpine desert valleys in the United States. The valley features many special stops for tourists, like the popular hot springs.

Quartz Crystal Goddess

Winter Tree

White Buffalo

Mushroom Fairy

We invite all our fans to stop by the new store in Moffat, Colorado, and shop for the holidays! Visit our sister website online at www.ghosthorsegiftgallery.com for directions and more information. The gallery is open Mon., Wed.-Sat. from 10AM - 5PM. Sundays, 11AM - 4PM. Closed on Tuesdays. Enjoy our 12% OFF SALE on Yule, Friday December 21st. The gallery is open all year long. 

Also, celebrate the joy of the season at the gallery with our Children's Christmas Corner on Sunday, December 23, at 1:00PM & 3:00PM. We will have cookies and hot chocolate. Gallery manager Vince Larson and Marilyn will be reading holiday tales aloud in front of the gallery hearth. Harp music will add to the enchanting readings. Many stocking stuffers are available for under $10, like tumbled stones, lip-gloss, annointing oil, sage, cards, hemp jewelry, and decorative tote bags.

GHOST HORSE GIFT GALLERY welcomes you in 2012!

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4. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #12

Our holiday sample from THE HOLLY KING continues with the conclusion of
Chapter V: The Cloak of Wheels.
The scene unfolds in the MacKennon homestead of Ghost Horse Hollow...

Magical cloaks are found throughout fairytales and fantasies.
The Cloak of Wheels in our selection is very special indeed!
Panther vaguely remembered Hannah taking charge from that point on. The girl watched, as if in slow motion, as Purry Paw was sent to awaken Sir Finnias Glowgold, where he lay sleeping in a knitting basket beside Addie’s downy pillow. The Household Light Fairy had forgotten the urgent meeting on the stairs. He had fallen asleep after a busy day of lighting fires, tending candles, and cleaning lanterns. Panther felt her mother grab her by the hand and rush up the two flights of stairs to the attic, where a dusty cedar chest awaited them.

Glowgold finally appeared, a bit grumpy and nervous, for the irritating Siamese cat delighted in chasing fairies. Purry Paw loved to bat at their delicate wings. Glowgold’s escort pounced on top of the cedar chest and intentionally draped his wide, gray tail over the keyhole.

“Move aside! Move aside, you four-pawed fluffy-snoozer!” Glowgold fussed at the feline. Hannah removed the infuriating tail and instructed Glowgold to work as quickly as possible. The Household Light Fairy produced a mysterious wand of finely wrought jade from a hidden pocket inside his waistcoat.

“This should do!” he announced merrily. “I have not employed this wand in nearly a thousand years. Stand back! Oh, do get off, Purry Paw, or my spell will burn your tummy—not that anyone cares.”

The Cloak of Wheels is covered with tiny stars in the shape of wheels!
The eight spokes correspond to the seasonal changes of the year.

Glowgold reverently blew upon the jade wand, which began to shimmer with silver and purple sparks. With great precision, he pointed the wand toward the rusty keyhole on the cedar chest. Purry Paw leapt onto Hannah’s shoulder in protest. The trunk began to sputter with a thin, violet light that spread rapidly in all directions.

Glowing sparks dazzled the onlookers, as the lid popped open, revealing an inner lining of plush, burgundy velvet and faceted gemstones. Inside the chest, a cloak of equal magnificence lay neatly folded. Its midnight blue folds were pulsing and rippling like waves in a velvet puddle. Hannah reached for the fine garment with great tenderness.

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5. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #11

THE HOLLY KING continues for the holidays with episode #11.
We are starting Chapter V: The Cloak of Wheels ...

To review... The Coyote King has summoned
Farmer Jake MacKennon to the Dead Oak Tree ...

Chapter V: The Cloak of Wheels

“I cannot allow you to take our fourteen-year-old daughter! Jake, you know it is far too dangerous. Tormac is bound to invite her to dine at his table. The Fairy Laws of Etiquette demand that she reply favorably. Who knows what that ruthless prince will serve?” Hannah’s voice was strained with apprehension.

Panther MacKennon, tucked behind the carved railing at the top of the stairs, could easily hear her parents arguing in the kitchen. She wondered what her father had in mind to protect her from the Autumn Fairy Prince. Purry Paw, Hannah’s pampered blue-point Siamese, wandered down the hall, weaving precise, little steps beneath his plump belly. The cat combed his whiskers against the girl’s extended fingertips and fixed his slightly cross-eyed stare upon her for a brief second. Purry Paw then turned his attention to the frenzied dialogue below.

“I’ll respond to the prince. Panther need say nothin‘ to him directly,” Jake reassured his wife. The chair hounds growled as the farmer explained his plans. “That way our girl won’t be in danger of breakin‘ any fairy codes. She’ll never directly refuse Tormac’s offer of hospitality. I’m takin‘ Aaron Ray, White Hand, the two hounds Bugle and Belle. The other six dogs I’ll leave with you for protection.” Jake felt that Snowy, Cave, Sage, Mountain, Moonwolf, and Guardian could handle any intruders. The homesteaders kept a pair of watch dogs for each side of their wraparound porch. If Bugle and Belle attended the adventurers, only the eastern doorway would be left unguarded. Hannah MacKennon’s fears, nonetheless, were increasing with each passing second.
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6. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #10

Our journey this holdiay continues with the 10th episode of THE HOLLY KING.  We  are in the middle of Chapter IV: The Battle of the Ponies and the Hounds

White Hand has just received a very important letter ...

The second delivery intrigued the entire family, for Jonas had never received a letter before. White Hand hesitantly passed his envelope to Panther. The expert bowman was illiterate, for his schooling had been limited to the woodlands. Panther had agreed to teach White Hand to read in exchange for learning to speak his Native language. For now, he needed her help. Graciously, she opened the small packet and unfolded a yellow slip of paper, which had been hastily torn from a larger sheet and covered with green, plant juice ink. Panther was careful not to smudge the faint, child-like lettering. She cleared her throat, sat up straight, and read aloud:

This beautiful, young girl looks a lot like Salina Little Dove

           Grandfather … I come to you. My mother says I belong with you. I wish to learn the Old Ways. I will wait for you in the Valley of the Drums, near the hidden cave of our Ancestors. I will come before the Moon When Deer Sheds His Antlers. Please do not be angry with me. I would walk all the way to you, but I do not know the way. By the time this letter reaches you, I will have begun my journey. My stepfather will not keep me. I am afraid of him. He says I see too much.

 … Forever Yours …

Salina Little Dove

In the polite, but awkward, silence that followed, Panther noticed that the hounds on the back of her father’s chair had pricked up their ears and leaned forward. Other than this unintentional display of concern, MacKennon’s reaction to the letter was casual. The farmer scratched his chin. Jake’s wooden dogs always reflected his hidden emotions; as the carved ponies displayed Hannah’s passionate moods. The tops of Lady MacKennon’s chair pointed their sleek, pretty noses toward one another, their necks arched in graceful question marks.

Panther’s mother passed the blackberry jelly over to Addie and helped her youngest daughter with the sticky serving spoon. Everyone else continued eating quie

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7. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #9

Our adventure continues with Chapter IV of THE HOLLY KING inside the MacKennon homestead in Ghost Horse Hollow. Thanks so much for joining us today with our ongoing holiday tale ...

The little guest cabin where Jonas White Hand and Lyla Morning Sky reside.
Ghost Horse Hollow looks like this photo taken in the late fall in the Cherokee Mountains.

Chapter IV : The Battle of the Ponies and the Hounds

The evening star tipped the horizon just as the waxing moon appeared above the First Hill of Dendoran. Aaron Ray carefully latched the garden gate behind him. It was a necessary routine on any farm. The metalworker beckoned to White Hand to hurry on, and Jonas responded by waving a rope halter in the air, while turning to his last chore of filling the water troughs. Aaron looked around for Bugle and Belle, but the Blue Tick hounds had already nudged their way past the gate and reached the front porch. With a fluttering of his jet-colored wings, Pelbert the Crow escaped out the kitchen window and spoke briefly with the dogs. The bird then flew in the direction of the clothesline in the side yard and headed toward the chicken coop to gossip with Black Bottom the Rooster. By the time the hounds had flopped down beneath the front porch swing, Pelbert had returned triumphantly and slipped back inside.

“Panther! Addie! The bell’s been rung twice now, girls!” Hannah called as she followed the lilting notes coming from the antique pipe organ in the parlor. Lady MacKennon smiled tenderly. The melodies that tumbled down the wide front hall were hauntingly beautiful. They were reminiscent of old fairy tunes, which Glowgold had been teaching the girls all afternoon. He flitted from one daughter to the next, humming in their ears and waving his wand in time to the music.

This pump organ looks similar to the one in the MacKennon's parlour.
Notice the old foot pedals that have to be pressed back and forth to make the sound!

Hannah fondly remembered when Glowgold had begun teaching her the same melodies when she was but six years of age. How she had loved the fancy organ, with its beveled glass panels and creaky, embroidered bench seat! Panther and Addie were presently taking turns at pumping the stiff pedals, while giving each other a chance to play the instrument’s worn, ivory

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8. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #8

Our hoiday tale continues with the conclusion to
The scene unfolds in the MacKennon homestead one hundred years in the future ...

Wildlife is an important part of the overall design for the Ghost Horse Hollow fantasy.
 The homesteaders interact each day with the creatures of the forest and fields.

The farmer knew that this was his cue to join his wife for a private talk beyond the listening ears of the kitchen crew. Yet something made him hesitate to turn around. It was the bobcat, Chotah Ru, whose striped, stub tale and dark ear tufts distinguished him from any ordinary house cat. He was actually a cross between a bright orange tabby and a wandering wildcat. The result was a pumpkin-colored mouse terror weighing nearly thirty pounds, with powerful back legs and large, round, fuzzy paws. The bobcat wanted attention. With a stretch of his spotted belly, he reach up to pat at a dangling fringe on Jake’s jacket, and then playfully climbed the Plow Man’s back as if it were a convenient post. He draped himself over one shoulder and licked the farmer’s rough cheek.

“Cat, get off a’ me!” Jake complained as he caught a whiff of the bobcat’s fur. The feline leapt onto the dinner table. The smell of pine bark and fresh dirt indicated that Chotah Ru had been roaming the woods and that he only come home for a bowl of warm goat’s milk. Chotah Ru half-heartedly snarled at Pelbert, sending the crow into a fluttering fit. The two enemies exchanged a few choice comments before Morning Sky swiped the orange troublemaker off the table. The Medicine Woman gave her bird a morsel of stale bread from her lap and continued sorting her beans.

“Trouble follows the wind this night,” Lyla murmured softly, as if to no one in particular. Jake checked his response, since Morning Sky was known for her accurate gift of prophecy. He felt rooted to the kitchen floor, unable to move his feet in any direction, and a chill came over his heart.

The Ghost Horses love to gallop home in the evening from the fields.
 Eli MacKennon is an incredible horse trainer and trick rider.
Imagine a movie actor bringing him to life!

The sound of hooves pounding up Gravel Cart Road pulled the farmer out of his motionless stance. He reached the front door in two seconds and looked out to see Eli MacKennon, Jake’s striking nephew, slide down a dark colt’s back before the animal had skidded to a

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9. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #7

Chapter III of THE HOLLY KING continues at the homestead of Jake & Hannah MacKennon in the Appalachian Wilderness one hundred years in the future. We welcome you to our holiday blog ...

Ghost Horse Hollow is an imaginary world
based on real places in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee

By the time the farmer had crossed the Third Troll Bridge and had reached the bottom of the steps leading to the MacKennon’s inviting front porch, Hannah had opened the screen door for her husband. She already knew that something was amiss. Perhaps he had given his secret away by subtle changes in his confident stride. She sure looked pretty in her homemade, calico patchwork dress and white cotton apron. Her expressive hands were dusty with flour from kneading her famous buttermilk biscuits.

“How’s the best cook and baker in the whole territory?” Jake asked casually.

“Don’t carry on so,” Hannah MacKennon replied with a touch of modesty in her voice.

“Now, woman, everybody says so.”

“That’s just because my success in the kitchen is due to the fairies helping me around the stove by day and sleeping in the pantry at night. The winged folk guard all our herbs, eggs, spices, cakes, pickles and pies, jams and jellies, cookies and candies from the night critters that want to steal them. You know as well as I do that one hungry raccoon can do a world of damage in a well-stocked pantry.”

“Well, I reckon we better let the dogs in at night to help guard the larder,” MacKennon prodded his lovely wife.

“Not gonna happen, Mr. Plow Man. Dogs are not permitted anywhere near my fairy pantry.”

One of the dogs that you will meet in Ghost Horse Hollow is named "Mountain"
He is loyal, smart, and brave. Eight dogs guard the Mackennon homestead,
two for each side of the wrap-around porch.

Jake smiled with the smile of man that had lost this particular argument long ago. He topped the front porch steps with a lighthearted leap. It was good to be home. Hannah followed her husband into the spacious, warm kitchen with its pine-board floor and massive, creek-rock hearth. A long, wooden table with matching benches anchored the center of the room’s mouth-watering activities. Three other ladies assisted Jake’s wife with food preparation on the farm. Every meal was a magic meal.

At the head of the dinner table sat Jonas White Hand’s older sister, Lyla Morning S

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10. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #6

Our adventure continues in the Appalachian Wilderness
 one hundred years in the future
with the sixth installment of THE HOLLY KING ...

These two Ghost Horse mares were sleeping in the morning light.
Readers will meet Titrimia's Starshield on the left in this installment!

Chapter III : Meet the MacKennons

Black Bottom watched the three men climb the gentle slope to the front porch of the MacKennon home. The rooster was royally perched atop the weather vane above the largest barn. There were three structures in the Hollow devoted to horses, creatures that Black Bottom found tiresome at best. One barn sheltered the mares and their newborn foals. It stood relatively close to the two-story farmhouse. A second facility held the farm’s three stallions, Ellevar’s Ivory Steed, Achelon’s Bay Moon, and a high-stepping three-year-old named Ravenwood.

The MacKennons had constructed a larger building, suitable for hay storage, between the mare barn and the stallion barn. The hay barn also contained a tack room for saddles, halters, bridles, blankets, and grooming supplies. The ladies of the farm used fairy creams and shampoos on the horses, which accounted for the animals’ extremely lengthy tails and healthy manes. Several jars on the grooming shelves were marked Sparkle Spritz. This mysterious supply had been a gift from the Frost Fairy, who had intended the spritz to be used for decorating hooves. The MacKennons, rather unexpectedly, discovered that the fairy product had a tendency to float a horse a few inches off the ground, which made riding a bit difficult.

The dairy goat barn and the old tobacco barn were located slightly downhill from the farmhouse. The goats had pleaded for privacy. They weren’t overly fond of the horses, either. They preferred to huddle in one large group, rub their horns against their sides, and chew their cuds. The horses, for the most part, found the goats intolerable, although once in a great while, a billy goat and a lonely stallion could be seen grazing together.

Goats are an important part of the MacKennon homestead.
This little billy goat is only three months old.

Black Bottom loved his high vantage point, even if the wind did occasionally twirl the weather vane around and around. The metal decoration was in the shape of a galloping horse. Black Bottom was most displeased when Lady MacKennon had selected a horse

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11. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale #5

Our story continues for the holidays with the second half of
Chapter II from THE HOLLY KING ...

Wood carving is a special feature in the magic realm of Ghost Horse Hollow.
 Farmer Jake MacKennon is the son of a Dryad Prince named Lord Ellevar.
 In this selection you will meet two more wonderful characters.

The farmer walked around the corner of the barn to witness two sizeable fellows in mid-swing, standing ten feet apart. They were steadily reducing a large pile of oak logs to handy sticks of firewood, which were destined to feed several cast-iron stoves and stone hearths in the nearby farm buildings. More logs lay ready for use along the barn’s outer walls, protected by the overhanging tin roof. The homesteaders consumed many loads of firewood in the winter, so Jake had decided to recycle the dead trees in the woodlands. There were plenty of fallen logs to choose from, due to the occasional raging thunderstorm. The Earth’s weather was improving but had yet to return to normal. By harvesting the trunks on the ground, the dryad’s son avoided offending any of his living relatives.

“Evenin‘, boys,” the farmer called to his men. “Fine batch of wood you’ve got stacked there.”

As the primary caretaker of Ghost Horse Hollow, Jake praised every individual for his or her contribution to the upkeep of the place. His friends, Aaron Ray and Jonas White Hand, paused to wipe their brows. They scooped water into their cupped hands from a metal spigot before continuing their unofficial contest. Water droplets mixed with salty sweat dripped down their chins. These muscled farmhands would be hard-pressed to finish a second load of wood before Lady MacKennon rang the dinner bell.

Jake leaned his walking stick against the side of the barn, removed his outer jacket, and grabbed a third axe. As he turned his shoulders to a rough log, the farmer realized that he would have to apply himself, if he wanted to keep up with his two stout companions.

To MacKennon’s right stood Aaron Ray, whose chest was as round as the water barrel itself. At six-foot-six, Aaron was a formidable opponent in a fistfight or country brawl. Jake had found him, barely alive, washed up on the bleak, southern shores of the Muddy Jaygon. With his short, clipped hair, MacKennon had rightly guessed that Aaron Ray had been a leader in some sort of military gang in the ruined city on the far side of the river. He certainly had the scars to prove it.

Aaron’s ancestors had once been slaves on rich plantations in the Caribbean Islands long, long ago. The strong man walked tall, never forgetting his costly heritage; consequently, he could not abide prejudice or cruelty of any sort. The MacKennons had taken Aaron in as a member of their close family and had encouraged the fugitive to learn a highly respectable trade. Over time, Aaron had become invaluable to the homesteaders, because an inventive metalworker was nearly impossible to replace after the Time of Great Change.

“It’s about time you showed up for work,” Aaron chuckled.

“I heard your awf

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12. THE HOLLY KING, a Family Holiday Tale, #4

The Appalachian Wilderness is full of mountain streams and autumn colors.
Our story continues with the second chapter of THE HOLLY KING ...

Chapter II : A Terrible Decision

The farmer sheathed his knife carefully and hurried up the tumbling stream bed. It was almost dark, and he found himself wishing that he were not alone. With lengthy strides, Jake moved like a buck deer traveling at top speed. He hardly tipped a creek rock, so accurate was his balance on the balls of his feet.

MacKennon headed for an enormous, crisply scented evergreen tree whose dripping branches and textured bark reminded Jake of his forest ancestry. His father, Prince Ellevar, had been a royal hemlock dryad with a passion for taking human form. The prince had fallen deeply in love with a beautiful horsewoman, Gabriella MacKennon, who bore three sons to the delighted dryad father. Gabriella proudly gave each boy her own last name to keep her connection to Prince Ellevar a secret. Jake was the second son of their magically forbidden marriage. Desperate to hide her children from the Judge Lore, Gatekeeper of the Dark Laws of Time, Gabriella had scattered her sons to three distinct territories: the Northern Lakes, the Eastern Woodlands, and the Southern Seas.

Jake had grown up with the loggers and mountain farmers of the untamed woods. He had also inherited his mother’s passion for riding and training horses. Winton MacKennon, the eldest brother, had become a master carpenter alongside the boat builders of the northern shores, and young Gabriel was rumored to be the navigator aboard a merchant vessel that sailed the southern waters. The three boys’ only communication since childhood had consisted of brief, infrequent letters. They longed to see one another again, but travel across the remote territories was risky, due to thieves and wandering rogues.

Trees are an important element in the magical realm of Ghost Horse Hollow

Jake MacKennon always hesitated beside this giant hemlock to listen to the wisdom of the forest and to mourn the loss of his father. The Judge Lore had sentenced Prince Ellevar to death for mingling so intimately with a human. The dryad’s tree had been burned, and the remaining stump uprooted from the ashen ground. Since that tragic day, so many fairy folk had fallen in love with wingless, human creatures—simply known as the Two-leggeds—that the Judge Lore had reluctantly altered his pronouncement

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13. THE HOLLY KING, A Family Holiday Tale #3

Our story continues in the Appalachian Wilderness in the magical realm of Ghost Horse Hollow...

Farmer Jake MacKennon is an expert bowman, tracker, and knife fighter.
You will meet him in this installment of THE HOLLY KING.

Black Bottom pecked at a crumb and tilted his beak to the sky. The rooster had been eagerly awaiting the mare’s late afternoon neigh, for the dangers of dusk were at hand. Already the sun was slanting through the wire fence that surrounded his scratching yard, spattering the ground with purple, hexagonal shadows. Black Bottom paused in mid-strut to admire his home.

The chicken coop was nicely decorated with wooden nest boxes and a tin feeding trough. Fresh water trickled into a clay basin from an overflowing rain barrel. There were three windows facing east, north, and south. All were neatly trimmed with rosy, buttermilk paint from an old-fashioned recipe. Black Bottom did not wish to look westward, where the Moonlight Fairies played inside a murky graveyard. It was altogether too frightening! Besides, a window to the west would have disturbed his laying hens, and they were very particular about their nesting.

The rooster dunked his red comb into the sparkling basin and turned his head sideways to better view himself in the surface of the water. With his jade and ebony tail feathers fluttering softly behind him and his bright yellow toes extended with pride, Black Bottom was indeed a magnificent bird. The hens admired him greatly. After all, not every barnyard fowl had been accidently dusted with Sprinkle-Up Spray, while still in the lowly egg stage. The magic powder had lead to the hatching of an exceptionally large rooster with an enormous ego. To everyone’s dismay, Sprinkle-Up Spray had also blessed Black Bottom with the gift of gab. As the rooster matured, he discovered that he loved to crow and chatter; unfortunately, Black Bottom never knew when to stop talking.

All the hens were finally accounted for, even Speckled Fluffy, who was always the last of the rooster’s feathered beauties to retire for the evening. Mrs. Clack Klutz, a rather nearsighted chicken, had already stumbled in. Black Bottom heard her bonk into the nest boxes, followed by several loud squawks. With a disapproving shake of his comb, the rooster flung water droplets across the pebble-strewn yard. There were wild dogs running loose in the misty hills and lonely meadows! It was best for his hen harem to huddle safely together before sundown. Black Bottom crowed mightily and looked around for his farmer.

“Where is the Plow Man?” the rooster clucked to a nearby barn swallow.

“I just spotted him two pine ridges away down near the Blue Hole,” the swallow replied with a tuck and flutter of her wing. “He was looking for something in the creek. Intent, he was.”

“Humph! Fairy nonsense, no doubt,” Black Bottom grumbled aloud. He strode back into the chicken coup, knowing full well that the master of Ghost Horse Hollow would not be able to tend to the rooster’s needs for some time.

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14. THE HOLLY KING, A Family Holiday Tale #2

Crescent Moon Lake in Ghost Horse Hollow

Our story begins in the Appalachian Wilderness one hundred years in the future ...

Chapter I : Coyote Crossing

Enchantment is a tricky thing, even annoying at times, especially when a fairy wand is jabbing you in the forehead.


“Ouch! You’re hurting me!” Genevieve MacKennon bristled, while keeping her eyes obediently shut.

Plink! Ploink! Thwink!

“Concentrate, Miss Genevieve. Use your mind to see, not your eyes. No peeking as I circle around your head.”

“Sir Finnias Glowgold, you are the best magical tutor a girl could ask for, not to mention a superior Household Light Fairy, but must you keep poking me with your dogwood twig?”

“I am trying to teach you a very important skill. Wind-sight is hardly a beginner’s subject. Now, tell me what you see, what you feel, while traveling outside your body. Don’t look down right away! One fairy apprentice threw up the first time I taught her this lesson, but that was long, long ago and far away from these blue mountains,” Glowgold trailed off regretfully.

“Oh, ALL RIGHT! But please stop calling me ‘Miss Genevieve.’ Everyone in Ghost Horse Hollow calls me Panther—except for you and Black Bottom the Rooster, who hates cats.”

The girl stood blindly before the window, with her muddy, calf-hugging riding boots planted on the floor. With the stance of an athlete, she focused on the only sound in the room: the steady thrum, thrum, thrumming of a four-inch pair of wings alongside her head. Having aced her latest exams with her usual attention to detail, this fourteen-year-old now faced a very different kind of test, should she possessed the courage to continue. Sir Finnias was stretching her boundaries beyond the family homestead, but Panther was ready for the future.

“I have no idea why the Starlight Fairy Queen assigned you such a ridiculously ferocious totem in her ceremony under the sycamore trees,” Glowgold rattled on. “I certainly would have chosen a more ladylike guardian.”

“I like the nickname Panther, and everyone else does too!” The girl with the dark honey hair opened her hazel eyes and glared at her mentor.

“Don’t look at me like that. You grow more and more like your mother every day, full of independent notions and rebellion. I shall always refer to you as Miss Genevieve.” Glowgold dismissed the girl’s protest by dusting off his gilded waistcoat and adjusting his wavy powdered wig. “As I was saying,” he continued briskly, “Wind-sight requires utmost mental control. Once more, if you please, from the beginning. Close your eyes and tell me what you see!”

Dink! Dink! Zwink!

Sir Finnias Glowg

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15. THE HOLLY KING, A Family Holiday Tale #1


The Opening Gallop

Through Fairy Halls an’ Woodland Dells

There reigned a Herald King,

Who played upon a silver flute

In a giant’s magic ring.

He called to life the leaf an’ blade

Of grass an’ twig an’ flower.

O’ how he loved his pretty queen

Of royal mermaid power!

Come hear the tale upon the hearth

An’ stir the pot ‘til ‘morrow,

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16. 160 Acre Homestead Ranch | Real Estate | Billings MT | recycler.com

160 Acre Homestead Ranch Real Estate Billings MT recycler.com

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17. Garbage to Gardens: Turn Throw Away Items into Useful Garden Tools!

Gardening Brings the Whole Family Together!
So many people are busy this season in the Northern Hemisphere tending their gardens. Fresh produce is in demand. If you have never attempted to grow or raise your own food, you may be pleased to learn that many items that we throw away are very useful for starting seeds. We can process some of our garbage throughout the year and save money on garden supplies while preparing for the summer harvest. At Ghost Horse Prairie Ranch in central Montana, we have a short growing season. Sometimes snow is still falling in late May! Our best bet is to start plant seeds very early indoors, so suitable containers are in big demand. Here is small list of containers for growing seeds that many folks normally toss out:
  • Milk Jugs cut in half with a small henge left near the handle make great miniature greenhouses
  • Large Plastic Juice Jugs cut in half let in even more light for make-shift greenhouses
  • Newspaper torn into four inch strips, rolled and taped, make tiny inexpensive planters
  • Metal cans, cleaned and stripped of their labels, make super seed cups. Use a simple bottle opener to punch a few drain holes near the bottom
  • Old tires can be turned inside out and trimmed around one rim to create useful planters for non-edible products, like cut flowers and roses

Prepare Your Beds in the Fall with Organic Material and Plowing

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18. For the Love of the Sea: Making Waves of Change

Join the Ocean Conservancy & Make a "Sea Change" Today!
February is the month when roses, hearts, and love come to mind as many people celebrate Valentine's Day. One of the things I love to do is to visit a beautiful, clean beach with rolling waves and circling gulls. Recently, I was blessed with an opportunity to stop by a small salt water conservation center near Manhattan Beach, California. I was so inspired by the beautiful creatures of the deep and by their intricately connected and diverse environment, that I decided this month's blog should be about what we can do to help restore and protect marine life. Saving the world's oceans is arguably the most important issue before humankind, because the health of the oceans determines the success of the global food chain. The Ocean Conservancy recently made this observation:

"Providing food, fresh water, and oxygen to the world, the ocean is essential to all life on Earth, but it is in serious trouble from overuse and pollution. Ocean Conservancy believes it's time to change our national policies to protect entire ecosystems as the surest way to solve the most critical conservation challenges we face. The ocean belongs to everyone and everyone is needed to protect it. To get there, we must collaborate across political lines and with new partners from all walks of life."

A few months back I visited the local library and notice a special new release: The World is BLUE by oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle. I had never heard of Sylvia Earle before, and when I read of her credentials and contributions to the history of sea explorations and conservation, I was a bit chagrined. She is one of the foremost authors and leaders in sea ecology, and one of the most prominent and highly respected female scientists alive today. She urges all of us to take care of the Earth's oceans with a fresh sense of what is at stake if we do not. Interestingly, National Geographic's recent article on the Louisiana Gulf included a message from Sylvia Earl, whose early diving career featured studies of these same waters. I was amazed by her description of the abundance of life beneath the waves just a few decades ago. It was painfully clear that much of the diversity and delicacy of the ecosystem of the Gulf had been eradicated in her lifetime. So what can we do to make a "SEA CHANGE" according to the Ocean Conservancy? Here are five simple steps:

We Can Restore the Oceans with Careful Conservation!

  • Don't pour harsh chemicals down the drain or into storm sewers
  • Volunteer to clean a beach, shorelin

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19. Peace : The Smart Global Choice

Peace: The Smart Choice for a Small Planet
As the world embraces another decade in the 21st Century, we must face the fact that there will soon be over 7 Billion Earth Citizens on our relatively small and fragile planet. Ecosystems, economies, oceans, and continents are decidedly in need of solutions involving restoration, preservation, and growth. Limited natural resources, particularly the availability of fresh water and rich top soil, are of global concern. National Geographic Magazine has done a very good job over the past few years in documenting the difficulties we face. The time for contention based on political or cultural differences is long past. Peace emerges as not only a conscientious choice, but also as a pathway of smart progression. All nations need to reconsider their foreign policies in order to include green energy economics and human rights for both men and women of every race, creed, and cultural background. Why? Why is peaceful co-existence so important at this precise interval in planetary history? The answer is simple: Peace implies cooperation. Cooperation equals survival, not only for our human species, but also for all the members of the bio diverse fabric of life.

 Ideas Change Ideas.

Many prominent figures from around the globe have spent their lives teaching humanity that ideas change ideas. When we think differently, we act differently. Some of my favorite heroes are Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Peace Pilgrim, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Nelson Mandela. Perhaps one of the most inspirational heroines during the American Civil War, was Harriet Tubman, with whom I share the same birthday. We were both born on March 10th. Her involvement with the Underground Railroad was extremely courageous. She struggled to free others, in spite of terrible dangers and conflicting social opinions. At present, not everyone is in agreement that the Earth is under tremendous strain to sustain life, nor does everyone see peace as a necessary component for planetary survival; however, the time for the evolution of human behavior is at hand. We must create peace by transforming how we solve international problems and handle cultural differences.

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20. Magical Meals from Ghost Horse Hollow!

Garlic is the King of the Kitchen!
During the Holiday Season in the magical world of Ghost Horse Hollow, Lady Hannah MacKennon is busy in the homestead kitchen creating magical meals. The fairies drift and flutter in and out the pantry helping the busy MacKennon family prepare for the Winter Solstice Celebration. Each cake & cookie, pastry & pie, fritter & festive treat is made with love and joy. Magical meals are connected to the intentions and reflections of the cooks. Just as in the movie Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, the Ghost Horse Hollow chefs add a touch of enchantment to their kitchen offerings. Cooking is a process through which healing and grace are transmitted to those who are sitting down to enjoy the feast.

Pumpkin Bread with Pecans and Baked Apples makes a wonderful Holiday Dessert!
Another amazing motion picture that links food and human emotions is Like Water for Chocolate, in which the lovely young cook pours her heart out in her delicious creations. A Walk in the Clouds is also an excellent romantic film intermingling the making of wine with a young couple's awakening passions. Keanu Reeves is the star. Interestingly, both of these richly entertaining stories were brought to life by director Alfonso Arau, who demonstrated his appreciation of the link between reality and both conscious and sub-conscious thought.

Fairies Love to Guard their Magical Brews!
 The Ghost Horse Hollow adventures are full of homestead delights such as butter biscuits, cornbread, bean soup, and dragon coffee. Visit the website www.ghosthorsehollow.com for some of the special recipes from Lady Hannah's Fairy Cookery, including Three Toe the Bear's hot cocoa topped with wild flowers. Magical meals are beautiful to behold! Next time the Holiday dinner seems a bit overwhelming, try dedicating each dish to a unique and uplifting quality like Hope, Gentleness, Kindness, and Courage. The meal will be magic indeed with surprising results for you and your guests! For a happy beginning try the recipes from the Enchanted

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21. A Tribute to Lewis & Clark

This past September, I had the good fortune to visit Lewis & Clark Middle School in Billings, Montana. Librarian Elizabeth Waddington hosted my presentation for a special group of 7th and 8th Grade students. What a wonderful time I had sharing the Ghost Horse Hollow adventure series at this terrific school! The library was beautiful and inviting with a bank of windows overlooking a peaceful courtyard. The Holly King made a grand splash as the opening event for the library's Lunch and Learn program. Visiting schools is one of my favorite things to do as a writer for Middle Grade fiction.

The students and I talked about some of our favorite books like Julie of the Wolves, Eragon, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and The Hobbit. We also discussed the changing world of reading due to the fast-paced Internet. I am finding that people today prefer shorter sentences, simpler phrases, and crisper dialogue. I believe this is due to the trend of reading small computer screens very quickly. Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson would surely have to edit their manuscripts these days. Classic children's literature is very wordy compared to contemporary children's literature. Still, I think young readers in the 21st Century appreciate thoughtful, powerful writing. Readers tend to quest for ideas and insights. Not every reflection can be conveyed in a few words. Computer screens compel the viewer to think is short bursts. Opinions and reactions crystalize almost spontaneously, in order to filter the wide field of bombarding Internet information. As technology changes, reading and thinking transform to match the pace of communication.

As we watched the book trailer for the Ghost Horse Hollow adventure series on the overhead projector, I thought about how important it was in today's book market to provide visual stimulation. Our modern world conveniently showers the average reader with pictures, video clips, and tantalizing commercials. The students at Lewis and Clark Middle School reminded me, however, that good readers will always enjoy creating their own pictures inside their minds. The infinite world of the imagination is yet alive and well. These curious, bright 7th and 8th Graders, and their marvelous librarian Elizabeth Waddington, are still devoted to good books and thoughtful writing. I am blessed to h

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22. Creating a Character

What makes characters come to life in a fantasy series? Is it their physical descriptions or their patterns of speech that spark the imaginations of curious readers? Perhaps we are enchanted by a character’s resourcefulness or bravery in the face of terrible odds. Our favorite personalities engage us in a single paragraph. The character of Miss Genevieve MacKennon caught my attention as a writer from the very first chapter. I fashioned many of her features and qualities after the actress Ellyon Elestial, who served as a young teen sounding board for the Ghost Horse Hollow series, as well as the model for our popular book trailer.
Panther MacKennon on Elestial's Opal Moon
Illustrated by Steven E. Lillegard

Many contemporary musicians also inspired me to create a character with grit, independence, graciousness, and intelligence. I listened to Avril Lavigne’s Let Go album, Green Day’s popular hit song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, the Jonas Brothers, and Jewel, while searching for a Middle Grade/YA romantic element to add to Miss Genevieve’s scenes. I always imagined the action in the book saga unfolding as if I were seeing a major motion picture, complete with a background score, unfolding before my eyes. Spending much of my life choreographing dances helped me with this process. The book trailer on Youtube features a terrific score by Nashville composer Jason Morant, whose work evokes the strength and courage of the twelve- year- old apprentice to Lady Titrimia, the Starlight Fairy Queen. One of my favorite movies that encompasses awesome musical themes, as well as startling characters, is The Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson.

Filming the book trailer for The Holly King on location at Ghost Horse Prairie Ranch
Enjoy the video on our Youtube Channel!

Genevieve’s original name was Pheonyx. Shortly after I had typed four or more chapters of The Holly King, a friend casually informed me that J.K. Rowling had written another book in the Harry Potter series that was entitled The Order of the Pheonix. I thought the name of my heroine would then be considered too common, yet I felt inspired to keep the first letter “P” for my character. After much contemplation, the name Panther was born. Panther is a fresh and distinct young leader, with hope and a wild strength that blesses all she embraces. It is a delight to write her dialogue and to witness the exciting scenes in which Panther’s character triumphs! I greatly appreciated the support of the Kentucky Foundation for Women for assiting me with a grant to devel

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23. Riches in the Grass

                   A Grasshopper & a Mosquito Share a Piece of Crested Wheat  Grass
                                                    by Monica Bedsole
There are so many tiny things of great value in the world of Nature that we tend to overlook! Their importance to our sustainment, nourishment, and healing is undervalued by civilization. From wild flowers to wild grasses, from herbs to seeds, from raindrops to top soil, the small pieces of the Web of Life gives us our food, our water, and our future. Each person on our planet should be taught to respect Nature and to cherish our planet. This wondrous globe is our home and the more we all know about Earth science and green economics the better. 
                   Landscape View of the Montana Prairie by Monica Bedsole
Some people respect only money. Some people respect only power. Some businesses and governments focus on their survival through destruction and consumption, rather than through conservation and preservation. These limited perspectives are crippling the planet. The little things in Nature remind us all that everyone is responsible for solving garbage, energy, and pollution issues. A shift is happening across each continent, in which human beings are becoming increasingly aware that they must embrace our dependence on the health and diversity of our ecosytems. It is necessary for all nations to look beyond money and power into a horizon of peace and cooperation in order to preserve life on Earth
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24. I Stand

"I Stand"  was written last night after watching Avatar once again and reflecting on the Gulf oil crisis. This poem is a tribute to those citizens in the region that are doing all they can to protect and clean the beaches and wildlife areas which are being contaminated by tar balls and drifting sludge. I admire these Americans for their courage and their love for the shores and magnificent marine life of their homeland. A green and blue Earth is a healthy world, with diverse, well-managed ecosystems and massive territories for wilderness. We must set aside more Nature conservatories for posterity, allowing for educational excursions, quiet tours, and non-disruptive recreation.

The oceans, in particular, should include additional pristine park lands and preserves. We also must work together for the benefit of all nations in the development of clean, green energy and the non-invasive management of natural resources. The term "non-invasive" suggests that human beings should not disturb the soil, air, and water of a region in order to extract minerals or fossil fuels.

Bristol Bay in Alaska, is in particular peril at this time, and I urge my blog followers to learn more about this important Native salmon watershed. The Natural Resources Defense Council offers many informative articles : www.nrdc.org/naturesvoice. The  Ghost Horse Hollow adventure series continues to stand for family entertainment, environmental awareness, and the resurgence of old traditions that fostered humankind's sense of honor with regard to our planet. Please feel free to share this poem with others. I am delighted to stand with you. 
Anne Severn Williamson.

The first photograph was taken by our Intern Monica Bedsole. The other photographs on this blog are from iStock. They are a part of our Book Trailer "The Song of the Earth."

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25. The Watercolor Art of the Fairy Folk!

This Bing Fairy Image brings to mind the powerful blend of reality and fantasy found in Ghost Horse Hollow

Some of the greatest moments from my childhood included pouring over magical illustrations in picture books in my hometown's local libraries. I fell in love with fairy watercolors and delicate drawings by artists such as Arthur Rackham, Tasha Tudor, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Beatrix Potter. Their renderings inspired me to take up pencil and brush during my elementary school days and begin a  life-long pursuit of illustrating children's books. Today's artists combine photographic realism with enchanting scenes of make-believe. Computer technology has certainly enhanced the book covers of contemporary fantasies. Still, I deeply appreciate the elegant and simple beauty of watercolors and the subtle tones of yesteryear.

This Bing Fairy Image reminds me of  the character of Luka-shen,
 Lady Titrimia's Eldest Green Maiden in The Fairy Lore of Ghost Horse Hollow

Painting with watercolor requires overlapping transparent layers of color, usually starting with pale, pastel tones and working toward darker hues. With oil painting, sometimes the opposite process is employed. Darker shades are applied to the canvas first, and lighter touches are dabbed on during the final stages of composition. Watercolors, especially those involving detailed facial expressions, demand the best possible brushes that pull downward to a tiny tip. Working with water frustrates many artists, because this slippery medium is unpredictable and difficult to control. My best advice is to develop a sense of the "beading" process in which the medium forms droplets that can be shifted along the surface of very absorbent paper.

This Bing Fairy Image calls to mind the Fairylands that surround Ghost Horse Hollow

Use quality paper with a nice "toothy" texture and the best paints available. The better the watercolors, the more b

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