Being fearless – looking back and looking forward: A Wandering Author Note

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Once upon a time, I was quite the fearless child. I climbed trees. Oh, I loved climbing trees. We’d gone to East Tawas, MI, when I was a child . . . it had something to do with a family member or a friend for a friend of the family. I found the tallest tree I could and climbed as high as I could, which was pretty high up. I could see out.

This wasn’t entirely cool with the other kids. They ran back and told my mom what I had done.

My mother did nothing about this particular adventure of mine. Her response, upon the tattling, was: She got herself up there, she can get herself down.

Now mind you, I was like 5 or 6 at the time, and my mom has been quite overprotective of her children. She, however, understood we would get into trouble at times, that we could be trouble, and knew when disciplinary action was truly required. We weren’t always wrong, but we weren’t always right. Some situations were of our own making, and we needed to either dig ourselves out again or deal with the consequences. Sometimes both.

That’s where I’m finding myself now, on this eve of the new year. I’ve asked for help a couple of times to get me to places. And I do realize that everything seems so topsy turvy. One moment, I couldn’t wait to get to Seattle. Three months later, I’m ready to leave. Some of it is coming to I didn’t leave Michigan to land in Michigan. I can’t explain how things actually feel to me, other than this part of Washington, despite no snow, reminds me of the place I left behind. I also knew it wasn’t going to be a permanent move, and there are some who will say “You should have gone to Philadelphia instead”.

I do not regret the decision to come out here. On so many levels, it’s been a healing experience, one I will cherish until the day I die. It’s where I’ve learned how to not set my plans in stone, to stand up for myself, to have confidence in myself. It’s where I’ve regained some vital pieces of me I feared losing forever.

It’s also where I’m gaining the strength to do what I want and need to do, to have faith in myself, and losing quite a bit of fear. It is a situation of my own making. I know my options, most of which won’t look pretty to others not inside my head. There are also some who will hold the same position as my mother: You got yourself into this, you can get yourself out.

Well, there is always some risk involved with life. Have a happy new year’s celebration, everyone, and I hope you’ll join me when I hit the road for Arizona to meet my best friend for the first time ever.

Happy New Year!

The Wandering Author

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I will be setting up a facebook page for this because I really do love the idea of the title. The Wandering Author.

As I mentioned before on the December 27th entry, I will be heading south to leave Washington. My first stop is in Olympia. I know I’ve had the GoFundMe campaign going for a while, it’ll still be open for a while longer, but my time at the women’s shelter is nearly up. I will need to leave, whether or not I have enough money to take the bus to Philadelphia. I also feel like my time in Washington is drawing to a close so, in order to get to Philadelphia, I’m heading south by hitch-hiking. I know a lot of people will freak out over the idea. It makes me a little nervous, too, because I’ll be relying on complete strangers to give me a ride, but at the time I’m also very excited. It’s the next big adventure in my life. I’ll be a real life Frodo Baggins! Only without the hairy feet.

I have no idea what the future will hold. One thing I’ve learned is that plans are never set in stone, we should never try to set plans into stone, and that sometimes we need to lose something in order to gain something even greater. I’m looking forward to the future, to doing the things I’ve always wanted to do, but lamented for some stupid reason or another that it just couldn’t be done. Life is what we make it, be it good or bad.

And I’ve decided to make the best of this. I am dubbing myself the Wandering Author. I’ll be sharing my adventures when I can and upon arriving in designated landing cities.

Olympia, here I come!!

Updated: About the Novels/Social Media Links

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About:
Portal to Gaming

Portal to Gaming is the first story in my six book series, Arch of Fantasy. Arch of Fantasy is a science-fiction/fantasy blend involving space travel, multiple worlds, and the fate of the universe hanging in the balance. The series itself features several different heroes, each with specific goals and tasks.
Portal to Gaming introduces three of those heroes, nineteen-year-olds Fen Willows and his best friends, twin brothers Daniel and Wolfgang Evans. Fen is the only child of Farold and Victorie Amie Willows, two universally renowned alien archaeologists and pioneers in the field. Set in a shining distant universe, mankind has achieved all kinds of wonderful, beautiful things, such as space travel and equality for all. Life on Earth itself is idyllic, peaceful . . . and not for Fen. He longs for travel and excitement, anything to distance and distract himself from the painful break-up with his boyfriend. However, war with an alien race known as the Salmorians keeps Fen stranded on Earth while his parents, thanks to military funding, continue to travel to dig sites, hoping to uncover anything to end the war. To gain what his heart desires the most, Fen takes to the gaming simulators of entertainment juggernaut, Portal to Gaming. Daniel and Wolfgang join him.
It is in the simulators that Fen’s life takes a dramatic turn towards the interesting and bizarre. A stranger approaches him from behind and utters three words.
“Draw your sword.”
He does so, but the fight never happens. Fen is whisked away to the safety of the real world where he’s told no one approached him. Fen, who is suspended for two days, and his friends leave the facility.
Life is about to become more complicated for Fen. Strange events take place around him when he least expects it, and he’s at a loss for how to explain them. He’s convinced he’s not going crazy, but Fen keeps the incidents to himself, a secret of his own to bear.
Fen isn’t the only one with a secret. His parents and his best friends have a few of their own as well. The ones his parents keep are at the heart of the conflict with the Salmorians, and they are ones that will alter the universe. Forever.
Portal to Gaming is available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99
http://www.amazon.com/Portal-Gaming-Arch-Fantasy-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQ68JNQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418677871&sr=1-2
Portal to Gaming is now available on NOOK for $3.99
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/portal-to-gaming-elise-k-rasha/1120942910?ean=2940150257382
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About:
The King and Queen of Wands
The King and Queen of Wands is a fantasy short story, blending the Greek and Norse pantheons.
Rumors are circulating around Asgard – Loki and his son, the dire wolf Fenris, have broken free of their bonds. The time for Ragnarök, their doom, is at hand, thus putting the Gods of Asgard on edge.
Loki and Fenris never show.
For weeks, the Gods wait and prepare, wait and prepare, only for the impossible to happen.
After three long, harsh winters, spring, colorful spring blooms. The change of events disturb Odin, Allfather and King of Asgard, and he decides to investigate the truth behind the rumors. With his son Thor, he heads to the cavern where Loki and his son were bound away.
**
Zeus has it made. He is the King of Olympus and all the Gods. Even his elder brothers bow to his might. He has a beautiful wife in Hera, the worship of the mortals, and kingdom filled with plenty of food. The lives are the mortals are his to play with as he deems fit. Life is grand for there are no others like him.
Or so he assumes.
Everything changes the moment Hermes approaches him and says words he never expects to hear. There are trespassers in Olympus. Worse, they are stealing from the sacred groves, and they are not mortals. Curious and a bit angered, he sets out with Artemis and Athena to capture the thieves and to bring them to justice.
**
Loki is hungry. For centuries, he and his family have had little to nothing to eat. For centuries, he’s sworn vengeance upon the Gods of Asgard for their slights and insults and for the deaths of his sons, Narvi and Vali. However, things have changed. His wife, Sigyn, needs food more than she does vengeance for the loss of their children, and Loki intends to care for her. Fortunately for him, he’s stumbled into a land where food is plentiful and the weather warm. No one will mind if he takes a few things here and there.
Worlds are about to collide with interesting and devastating consequences.http://www.amazon.com/King-Queen-Wands-Elise-Rasha-ebook/dp/B00PM9R6SS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418677871&sr=1-1
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-king-and-queen-of-wands-elise-k-rasha/1120960202?ean=2940149969357
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This is the current listings for both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Stay tuned for the release dates for Arch of Fantasy, Book 2: The Sons of Thor and Snow in Olympus, one of the “missing” scenes from The King and Queen of Wands
Also, I do want to thank my sister, Kyla, for her hard work on the covers. I’m quite proud of her and her abilities. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And I want to thank my best friend, Kami Simon, for constantly encouraging me to not quit. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Follow and friend me on facebook, goodreads, and twitter!
https://www.facebook.com/archoffantasy?ref=hl (Arch of Fantasy page)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elise-K-Rasha-Author/144995235564573?ref=hl
https://www.facebook.com/elise.rasha
https://twitter.com/EliseRasha

ETA on 12/29/2014: The Wandering Author Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/The-Wandering-Author-749251111826860/manager/

2014 – Year in Review/2015 Preview

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I have to say that, despite the rocky start to the year, things are doing a lot better. I took a huge leap of faith earlier in the year with the decision to publish a story originally intended for Writers of the Future (Portal to Gaming, formerly A Feast of Fantasy: The Ultimate Fantasy Adventure). That took a lot of refining, rewriting, and revising, but well worth the efforts in the end.

Here are the noteworthy dates for me this year.

August 14, 2014: Portal to Gaming went live on Amazon Kindle.
August 24, 2014: Said goodbye to my cat and moved in with my dad
September 3, 2014: Moved in with my grandmother.
October 1, 2014: Celebrated my last birthday in Michigan
October 10, 2014: Left Michigan for Seattle
October 12, 2014: Arrived in Seattle/Bainbridge Island
October 13, 2014: Landed in a women’s shelter in Bremerton, Washington, thus becoming effectively homeless.
Between October 25 and November 1, 2014: Read the Magical Path by Marc Allen and started to feel a positive change occurring from within.
November 14, 2014: The King and Queen of Wands went live on Amazon Kindle
Thanksgiving and Christmas 2014: Celebrated the holidays in the women’s shelter.
December 16, 2014: Portal to Gaming went live on NOOK
December 21, 2014: The King and Queen of Wands went live on NOOK.

It isn’t much for a yearly review, but the last few months have been more profound for me than the last couple of years combined. I’ve regained a lot of who I used to be, who I’ve wanted to be for the longest time, and it’s all forward moving. I’ve come to the realization that my life is what I make it. It can either be a wonderful, positive force used to bring about painful but necessary change, or it can be a life-draining, negative force that will ulimately only destroy me. I’ve chosen the former. Life is still a bit difficult in some senses, but I’m gaining the strength to overcome these difficultiies. Plans are never set in stone and should never be set in stone. Otherwise, it takes all of the fun out of this crazy thing called life.

2015 will still see me as homeless but not hopeless. I’ll be hitting the road, heading south to Olympia then to Portland and Flaggstaff as I make my way to Philadelphia. I love the adventure, but I do long for home. Home is Philadelphia. It’s crazy, I know, but I have faith everything will work out the way it needs to in the end.

May everyone have a wonderful start to the year 2015 and see the year as one filled with blessings.

Happy holidays

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I know I’ve wished this to everyone once before, but I hope everyone who reads this has a wonderful and joyous time with family and friends tomorrow. May you know their warmth and love and treasure everything about them. As for me, I’ll still be in the women’s shelter to celebrate, my first holiday away from family. It’s bittersweet in its own way, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world. Here, I’ve known a great deal of joy and happiness. Thanksgiving in the shelter was one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve experienced in a long time. I expect tomorrow to be no different.

Being here has truly been a rewarding experience for me as well as a reminder and lesson that our lives are what we make of them. While the job aspect has been a failure, spiritual enlightenment and regaining pieces of me have more than outweighed the lack of work. I’m truly grateful for my time here. I wouldn’t change anything about this journey for anything. Everyone I’ve met has been amazing and kind in light of their own struggles. It is my dream and my goal in life to pay this generosity forward and hope that it will be enough.

Happy holidays!!

Some writing news

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First up, Portal to Gaming is now available on NOOK. 🙂 Hoorah for that, and here be the link.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/portal-to-gaming-elise-k-rasha/1120942910?ean=2940150257382
The King and Queen of Wands will be available on NOOK soon.

Second, my time in Washington is almost up. I knew when I came out here it wasn’t going to be a long-term fix to anything. The moment I decided to come out here was beautiful, beautiful indeed, and I’m so very glad for each and every moment I’ve been out here, including the heartbreaking moments where I realized I was so much better and stronger than what I gave myself credit for.

My time is up for a couple of reasons.
1 – The women’s shelter I’m staying in only allows 90 bed nights. That means, come January 9th/10th, I need to find another place to stay. There is no room for argument or negotiation on this.
2 – I’ve applied to 58 locations (some were mutliple for the same company), interviewed for 3, but haven’t landed a job. Competition is tough out here, and it’s very hard to survive when you don’t have the means to pay rent or scrounge up bus fare. Sounds like I’m giving up the fight on this end, and I concede that it does.
3 – I’m not home. I feel like I’ve landed in a much larger, more diverse version of the small town I left behind.
4 – I knew I wasn’t going to be out here for long anyway. I figured 2-3 years at the most. Three months is now my max.
5 – I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to be in Philadelphia so I can continue the good fight there.

The decision to leave next month is not being done lightly. There were a lot of concerns I had about finding a place, about buying things like pots and pans and storage containers for food and transporting them to Philadelphia that are no longer there.

How I’m leaving Washington is a bit of a mystery right this moment. I do have a gofundme campaign going to raise bus fare money, but a one-way ticket from Seattle to Philadelphia costs over $100, and I’ve not raised near enough for that nor to transport what belongings I did bring with me to Philadelphia.

However, despite the lack of money at this moment, I do not leave this state empty-handed. I have gained a valuable perspective, spiritual enrichment, and something very, very important. Allow me to tell a little tale.

As most people know, I’ve lived with family for my entire life. I’ve always had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. The basics.

What most people don’t know is how stressful living with family had become. I had “rules” I had to follow that seemed to apply to only me. I’d grown lazy and complacent and . . . a robot. I didn’t dare argue over things because I was the one who was always wrong and it just wasn’t worth standing up for myself. The anger and dischord wasn’t worth it, and I admit I was afraid of being homeless, of not being able to stay safe.

I was losing a very vital piece of me in this process, and that was my empathy and compassion for others. I actually feared this earlier this year, expressed it to myself on a piece of paper, and, lo, I am here in Washington. I am homeless, and I’m not afraid of what’s to come next. I have met many wonderful people in the short time I’ve been here, people who have had no reason to show me kindness and compassion but have. I thank the Gods above for these lessons, for helping me to gain the strength I needed to start taking care of me the way that I’ve needed to take care of me, and for helping me to gain back the things that were important to me.

Now mind you, this hasn’t come without some kind of cost. I am on the outs with my family for my haste to get here and for my refusal to move to Tulsa for a short while before heading to Philadelphia. It’s coming at a horrible time – the holiday season – so it’s been a tad bit depressing and given me one or two anxiety fits, but I’m okay. I really am okay. My homelessness has been a positive and rewarding experience, one of the best experiences in my life. It may sound odd to say, but, in one of his parting shots at me about my situation, my uncle said something that’s very true. He said that we reap what we sow. Mind you, he hasn’t been one of the most charitable people about this, taking at least three opportunities to say how he lived in a tent for some time, never asked for help, never once complained, but the truth is there all the same. We do reap what we sow, and my life is one about love, charity, kindness, compassion, and empathy. I’m homeless, and I wish there was more that I could do for the homeless, be it buying a meal or some warmer clothes. All I can do right now is offer a smile, warm wishes for the holidays, and conversation. All I can hope is that it’s enough.

Happy holidays to all of my writerly friends and to my readers. May your days truly be merry and bright and filled with love and laughter.

About the published stories

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About:
Portal to Gaming

Portal to Gaming is the first story in my six book series, Arch of Fantasy. Arch of Fantasy is a science-fiction/fantasy blend involving space travel, multiple worlds, and the fate of the universe hanging in the balance. The series itself features several different heroes, each with specific goals and tasks.
Portal to Gaming introduces three of those heroes, nineteen-year-olds Fen Willows and his best friends, twin brothers Daniel and Wolfgang Evans. Fen is the only child of Farold and Victorie Amie Willows, two universally renowned alien archaeologists and pioneers in the field. Set in a shining distant universe, mankind has achieved all kinds of wonderful, beautiful things, such as space travel and equality for all. Life on Earth itself is idyllic, peaceful . . . and not for Fen. He longs for travel and excitement, anything to distance and distract himself from the painful break-up with his boyfriend. However, war with an alien race known as the Salmorians keeps Fen stranded on Earth while his parents, thanks to military funding, continue to travel to dig sites, hoping to uncover anything to end the war. To gain what his heart desires the most, Fen takes to the gaming simulators of entertainment juggernaut, Portal to Gaming. Daniel and Wolfgang join him.
It is in the simulators that Fen’s life takes a dramatic turn towards the interesting and bizarre. A stranger approaches him from behind and utters three words.
“Draw your sword.”
He does so, but the fight never happens. Fen is whisked away to the safety of the real world where he’s told no one approached him. Fen, who is suspended for two days, and his friends leave the facility.
Life is about to become more complicated for Fen. Strange events take place around him when he least expects it, and he’s at a loss for how to explain them. He’s convinced he’s not going crazy, but Fen keeps the incidents to himself, a secret of his own to bear.
Fen isn’t the only one with a secret. His parents and his best friends have a few of their own as well. The ones his parents keep are at the heart of the conflict with the Salmorians, and they are ones that will alter the universe. Forever.
Portal to Gaming is available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99
http://www.amazon.com/Portal-Gaming-Arch-Fantasy-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQ68JNQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418677871&sr=1-2
*********
About:
The King and Queen of Wands
The King and Queen of Wands is a fantasy short story, blending the Greek and Norse pantheons.
Rumors are circulating around Asgard – Loki and his son, the dire wolf Fenris, have broken free of their bonds. The time for Ragnarök, their doom, is at hand, thus putting the Gods of Asgard on edge.
Loki and Fenris never show.
For weeks, the Gods wait and prepare, wait and prepare, only for the impossible to happen.
After three long, harsh winters, spring, colorful spring blooms. The change of events disturb Odin, Allfather and King of Asgard, and he decides to investigate the truth behind the rumors. With his son Thor, he heads to the cavern where Loki and his son were bound away.
**
Zeus has it made. He is the King of Olympus and all the Gods. Even his elder brothers bow to his might. He has a beautiful wife in Hera, the worship of the mortals, and kingdom filled with plenty of food. The lives are the mortals are his to play with as he deems fit. Life is grand for there are no others like him.
Or so he assumes.
Everything changes the moment Hermes approaches him and says words he never expects to hear. There are trespassers in Olympus. Worse, they are stealing from the sacred groves, and they are not mortals. Curious and a bit angered, he sets out with Artemis and Athena to capture the thieves and to bring them to justice.
**
Loki is hungry. For centuries, he and his family have had little to nothing to eat. For centuries, he’s sworn vengeance upon the Gods of Asgard for their slights and insults and for the deaths of his sons, Narvi and Vali. However, things have changed. His wife, Sigyn, needs food more than she does vengeance for the loss of their children, and Loki intends to care for her. Fortunately for him, he’s stumbled into a land where food is plentiful and the weather warm. No one will mind if he takes a few things here and there.
Worlds are about to collide with interesting and devastating consequences.

http://www.amazon.com/King-Queen-Wands-Elise-Rasha-ebook/dp/B00PM9R6SS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418677871&sr=1-1