Decorating with color

warm-cool

Introduction

This is a continuation of my book on color. This chapter talks about the environments in which we work and live.

Although I recommend using color in your home, it is very difficult to find any color in furniture and appliances being sold today. When I look at flyers from furniture stores, all I see is grey and dark brown, a recipe for depression. Even so, with a bit of searching, you should be able to find some accessories, curtains, and linens, to liven up a room. And there are always wall hangings, pictures and flowers, not to mention wall and floor coverings.

My own walls are an orangey pink, and I have loads of pictures and ornamental porcelain. I live in the Pacific Northwest where we have long winters with short days, frequent cloudiness, and long summer days.

Contents

Factors to Consider • Environmental Influences
Dealing with Problems • Suggestions

Why we need color

You can express yourself more freely when decorating your home because you are doing it for yourself and your family rather than for other people. Whether it is a single room or a large house, your home is a highly personal place; this is where you reveal the real you, the self that the public rarely sees. The colors you use are an important element in your personal statement.

Color is almost as necessary to a feeling of well-being as air and light. We know that gloomy, colorless surroundings make us feel dull and lifeless. Along with color, we also need variety. If we only have one color to look at, our eyes soon become tired. This is because there are different receptors in the eye for each primary color so that when you spend a lot of time on single color, those receptors are being overworked. Your eyes need to rest by focusing on something else from time to time. If you work in colorless surroundings, even a calendar or the view from a window can give you occasional relief.

Factors to consider

When choosing colors for the home, keep in mind that the more expensive the item, the longer it may have to last. Therefore it is advisable to consider neutral colors for larger items such as carpets and sofas and save brighter colors for less costly accessories and portable furniture. This way it is not so expensive to change your color scheme when you feel the urge.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a color scheme for any room in your home. By doing some planning before making purchases, you may save yourself costly and time-consuming errors.

Environmental Influences

  • Assess the amount of natural light the room receives. Is the light blocked by a wall or a tree? Which direction do the windows face? Does the room receive much direct sunlight, partial sunlight, or none at all?
  • How large is the room in relation to its function? Is it cramped or spacious?
  • What is the room’s primary function? Do you spend a lot of time in it? Do you go there to relax, or is it an activity room?
  • Is there something that cannot be changed such as carpeting or appliances?
  • What kind of climate do you live in? Is it semi-tropical? Are there long winters, or perhaps frequent dull, cloudy weather?
  • What can you see from the room through interior doorways and openings?

How colors influence you and your environment

SR1 Red is a warm, exciting, energizing, hue. It can raise blood pressure and heart-rate,and stimulates activity and restlessness. Red can also stimulate the appetite. It is not suitable for bedrooms, especially childrens’ rooms and, unless you want to gain weight, keep it out of the dining room. Being a hot color, red should be used sparingly in tropical and semitropical climates.

SR5  Pink is warm, soothing, and relaxes mental tension.

SO1 Orange is warm and cheerful. It stimulates the appetite and activity. It is suitable for cooler climates and rooms that receive little sunlight.

SY1 Yellow is warm, sunny, and highly visible. It stimulates intellectual and mental activity. Good for study and learning rooms.

SG1 Green is temperate, neither hot nor cold.  It has a soothing, sedative effect and is good for bedrooms. It is also a good color for eating areas as it suppresses the appetite.

SB1 Blue is a cooling color, suitable for warmer climates. It also has a sedative effect, although too much blue can be depressing. Not recommended for colder climates and rooms that receive little sunlight.

SV1 Violet is also a temperate color. It is restful and promotes meditation. A nice bedroom color.

When using any color, take into consideration that the full hue is better used in small touches, while lighter tints and darker shades are more suitable for larger areas. Sometimes, the secondary and tertiary variations give more rewarding results, bearing in mind that their effects and influence on people and the environment are the similar to the hues to which they are related.

Four tertiary colors. Two others are indigo and vermilion.

ts1s turquoise, cs1s chartreuse, as1s amber,  mt3-s magenta.

Brown

Woods range in color through creamy beiges, light golden tan to medium brown. These colors belong in the orange and yellow families. There are, however, some exotic woods such as rosewood and certain mahoganies that have a purplish undertone, and some woods are grey or black, ebony for example.
Darker wood furnishings give an illusion of taking up more space than lighter materials and tend to make small rooms look overcrowded. They also absorb light and will make a room seem darker. If your rooms are small with light walls, consider white or lighter materials for furniture. Light colors will seem to recede into the walls, giving the illusion of spaciousness.

Natural wicker and rattan have lovely warm colors and a light airy quality suitable for a casual, relaxed lifestyle.

White

White has enjoyed great popularity recently, and justifiably so for a number of reasons. For one, it is the ultimate neutral. With modern builders constructing homes with smaller rooms, white gives houses an illusion of having more space. New materials used in furniture manufacture are almost damage-proof and so easy to care for that white furniture poses few problems. Most materials can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and a little detergent. (And here’s a secret—dust is less noticeable on white.)

What many people call white is often off-white with tints of various hues. There’s nothing wrong with this; pure white can be cold and stark. The important thing is to select the appropriate tint—warm for cold rooms and cool for warm rooms.

Dealing with Problems

The immovable object

Occasionally, you may have to contend with certain items in a home that are less than attractive, but cannot be changed, be it fitted carpeting, a major appliance, or colored bathroom fixtures. This is especially true with rental accommodation. It may take a bit of ingenuity to create a design you can live with around such a problem.

Suggestions

  • Don’t try to overpower it with other colors; use white and neutrals if possible
  • Plan a color scheme around it so that it blends in. Maybe it’s an avocado refrigerator or pink bathroom fixtures. Try using neutral or a complement of the offending color. E.G. White walls and accessories with  pink fixtures, and light magenta walls with the the avocado fridge.
  • If the offending object is a carpet, scatter it with rugs in neutral or harmonious colors.
  • You could hide an offensively colored bathtub with a white or plain neutral colored shower curtain.
  • With colored wall tiles, use a complementary color for walls and accessories. E.G. if the tiles are beige, complement them with blue or turquoise.
  • Keep the door closed or have the room screened off when it is not in use.

My rented apartment, has the most hideous dark brown doors which completely ruin my color scheme. I haven’t found a solution yet, but I’m thinking of removing them and leaving the rooms and closets open, or sticking wallpaper on them; maybe both.

These suggestions offer some possible solutions for each of the above factors.

kittens

The colors and recommendations are only intended to spark your own ideas and should not be taken as a hard and fast rules. My aim is to stimulate harmony and comfort.

Closing Reminder

Aisling's Revelation by [Wootton, Vicki]

Don’t forget, Aisling’s Revelation eBook is alive
on Amazon and waiting for readers!

The print version will be out within the next two weeks.

 

 

Author Profile – R.E. Winkle

Announcement!

Before we continue with Ruth’s profile, I feel compelled to announce the launch of my latest novel, Aisling’s Revelation. Like Ruth’s books, it is a young adult story, although I know several older people who have read it and love it.

Description

Cover3rgb

When her grandmother dies suddenly, Aisling’s life is turned upside down. The fifteen-year-old girl doesn’t know how she is going to keep their smallholding going without any family she can turn to for help. She is now alone in the world.

For the past two days, she has sensed someone loitering around the cottage, but never actually saw anyone until the day of the old woman’s passing, when a stranger appears at the door.

He and his female companion reveal they are elves. They convince her that she is also an elf and that her real parents want them to bring her home. They embark on a journey to the Realm of Light, the home of the elves, but disaster strikes …

“The first thing Aisling became aware of was the awful smell. It was like a combination of rotting meat and the horrible weed that grew in the woods near the cottage, stinkweed they called it. The air was musty and the ground damp under her back. When she tried to move her foot, an excruciating pain shot up her leg.” …

R.E. Winkle

Ruth Ellen Smith's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Reggie McKlaine And The Rise Of The Pegasus

The latest release by R.E. Winkels!

Nineteen-year-old Reggie McKlaine, a daughter of a pirate, is supposed to find a suitor

after she finishes etiquette school, but instead finds a curse, a contract, and a swine. Set in the kingdom of Pascal, a coastal city in the country of Bearbethellie, controlled by a suspicious king, Reggie McKlaine and her family seek revenge for their family’s slaying, and take back justice for the people of Pascal.

Aided by the disappointed princess and queen of Pascal, they seek help from the dragon lord. Reggie must travel to the pit at the bottom of the ocean, where old wounds become fresh again. In her travels, she discovers she is not as equipped for the free world as she thought, but she is determined to stop the king.

Daydreamer

Young Adult, Fantasy/Romance.

Recommended for 16 years of age and up. Sybil Thomas knows one thing for certain. Her dream is to be a writer. All that she knows to be true changes after her nemesis, Alex Dean, carries her across a mysterious desert and into a familiar place she’s only seen in her dreams. She is the chosen champion of Reverie; a force that can drive away the Phantasms. A fugitive on the run, she must fight between life and death, good and evil, the light and the darkness to reach her destiny. She must save the dreams of humanity, but will she be able to save her Town?

Opening Paragraph:

Her heart skipped beats as she observed the slaughtered mess of her classmates, not that she knew them before, but they were mangled beyond recognition. There were pieces of flesh and sticky blood all over the tiled floor, the marker board, the cheap institutional desks and the wooden door. It was as if someone had taken a bleeding heart and smeared it across the room like an old worn paint brush. Goosebumps spread from her neck to her short spine as she stood trembling, pondering what could have happened. She ran out of the room trying to find help, but only found the same gruesome scene in the other classrooms. She noticed she was leaving behind crimson footprints.  At the same time, she heard a loud snarl from down the pale white painted hall. She could hear whispers but saw nobody around.

Ruth’s Facebook page

I realize this post is a bit late, but I have been busy wrestling with
Amazon’s KDP facility, trying to get my book published. In the end,
I discovered I was the one who was causing the problem.

Cheers! Vicki

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Profile – Steve Moretti

Before starting this profile, I want to apologize for not having the color blog ready that I announced last week. I decided to do something different this week and announce an exciting new author. Vicki

About Steve Moretti

I have always been drawn to passion and creativity in all its forms. I am equally fascinated by the mechanics of the universe and the characters of history. I have a special affection for the power of music which I believe is the universal language of human emotion.

My writing journey started in journalism, public relations and advertising then continued into software development (yes that involves writing)! Recently I finished a screenplay and my first novel, and am now embarking on this a full-time career.

I grew up in London, Ontario and also lived in Pompano Beach, Florida as a teenager. I moved to Ottawa and attended Carleton University many years ago and now live just south of the city with my wife, daughter and four dogs with attitude.

I look forward to your feedback. Sign up for my mailing list and I’ll send you a FREE copy of the Prequel to the Song for a Lost Kingdom series.

Song for a Lost Kingdom – Book 1

It would take two women separated by time to complete music with the power to change history. But will it be enough to save the man they care about most?

Adeena Stuart and Katharine Carnegie were born nearly three centuries apart. Yet their music and an ancient cello connect them to each other and to a man doomed by the Battle of Culloden.

In Book I of the Song for A Lost Kingdom series, Adeena receives an untitled musical score from her dying grandmother in Scotland. The music was hidden away for over two hundred and seventy years, as part of a violent family battle between siblings on different sides of the Jacobite rising of 1745.

Song for a Lost Kingdom, Book IWhen the score is played on the oldest surviving cello ever made in the UK, the music connects Adeena directly to the past as Katharine, struggling to find words to complete her symphonic tour-de-force in the midst of 18th Century political rebellion that is threatening to tear apart Scotland and England.

But Adeena is not a scientist or historian. What she wants more than anything is to compose music and to join the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Just as she is about to realize her wish, she’s lifted away, out of her control, and immersed in her ancient family history. As she is buffeted back and forth between the worlds, she grows to want more of the past, even though the promise of her most yearned-for musician dreams is coming true.

Not even her passionate boyfriend can keep her rooted in the present, especially when another man from the past falls for her and her music. Although unsure whether her time travel is a hallucination, she’s willing to steal a five million dollar cello to get back to the 1700’s.

With a clear voice that sets us in modern day Ottawa and old world Scotland, Song for a Lost Kingdom, Book I, begins a journey of discovery between two women who share the same musical soul and love for the same doomed man.

WIP

Steve  is currently working on Book 2 of  Song for a Lost Kingdom

Vicki’s Comments:

Song For a Lost Kingdom sounds very intriguing, just the sort of book I like to read. I’ll have to buy a copy. I love the cover design, too.
I think you would also enjoy  Steve’s Blog .

What’s Vicki doing?

I’ve just finished the fairytale novel call Aisling’s Revelation and had it edited by four readers and Word ‘Read Aloud’—a great way of finding typos. The next step is book design (typesetting) of an eBook and a print copy. That should keep me busy for a couple of weeks. I also have to get a cover for it, but it should be on sale by the middle of September.

Description

Fifteen year-old Eisling lives on a small-holding with her grandmother where she helps take care of the poultry and garden. When her Grandmother dies suddenly, she is visited by an elf who says he has come to take her back to her real family, the Elven King and Queen of Lycea in the Realm of Light. But all does not go as planned. Before they reach the Realm of Light, she is kidnapped by the dreaded Korrigen, mortal enemies of the elves.

Aisling-sep
This is the photo I’ve chosen for Aisling

I’m also halfway through another novel called The Light Bringer. This story is set two thousand years in the future when the whole planet is enveloped in clouds and the sun never shines through. A boy is chosen to go on a quest to restore the sun’s light to the world.

 

All About Color – Part 2

seasons-model
Autumn – Spring – Summer – Winter (c) V. Wootton

A little history: The Seasons

The seed of color analysis was planted when German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) realized the connections between different colors and created “color psychology”. But that was just a beginning, there was no mention yet of the connection and reaction between the color of clothes and skin tone.

Between 1919 and 1933, Johannes Itten (Swiss Impressionist painter and professor at the Bauhaus University in Germany) took things a step further when he concluded that portraits look better when certain colors were used in conjunction with specific hair and skin tones. He then created four different color palettes corresponding to the four seasons, each of which included four different complexions. These made it much easier for students to paint more attractive portraits.

California-based color theorist Suzanne Caygill (1911-1994) took the next step by combining Itten’s “season theory” with Goethe’s “color psychology”. Her own theory asserted that humans carry information about their personality and style in their natural coloration, and that through personal traits such as skin, hair, and eyes we can relate personal colors to those found in nature. This theory proved to be extremely popular and became the foundation for many color professionals.

Finally, psychologist Carole Jackson wrote the book “Color Me Beautiful”, which became wildly popular in the 1980’s. In it, she simplified Caygill’s seasonal system (which used sixteen different personalities per season), and reduced it to a single personality per color season. This made it vastly more straightforward for everyday women to shop for appropriate clothes, accessories, and makeup.

How to tell which season is yours

Complexion is probably the best way to tell your season type. Hair color and eye colors can be used for confirmation.

The colors are divided into cool and warm, Spring and Autumn colors are warm, while Summer and Winter colors are cool. The easiest way to determine whether you have a warm or cool complexion is to look at the veins on your wrists. If they have a greenish tinge, you have warm coloring, and cool if they look blue.

Pastel colors are best for Spring and Summer with their delicate coloring, but Autumn and Winter do well in richer, bolder hues.

If you are confused about what colors to wear, think of your favorite colors. What colors draw your attention? When I’m shopping for clothes, I only have to glance in the window of the store, and if I don’t see any orange, turquoise or other warm colors,  I know they have nothing for me. My coloring is Spring.

Disregarding current fashion trends, what colors do you feel you look good in, or receive compliments for?

The bottom line is that you feel comfortable, at your best.

Finding your season

Spring 

Complexion: soft and warm pinks and rose tints, light beige
Hair: A range of light browns, reddish brown, warm blonde, warm grey
Eyes: Blue-green, blues, hazel, green, amber.

These are some of the best colors for Spring

Season.Spring

Summer

Complexion: Cooler pinks
Hair: Platinum blonde, light brown, black, light grey
Eyes: Blue-grey, blue, blue green, violet,

These are some of the best colors for Summer

Season.Spring

Autumn

Complexion: Olive, warm Beige, Cafe au lait, warm Brown
Hair: Dark Brown, auburn, chestnut, warm brown, black, warm grey
Eyes: Hazel, brown, blue-green, green, amber,

These are some of the best colors for Autumn

Season.autumn

Note: Autumn coloring also looks great with teal and turquoise.

Winter

Complexion: Pink, cool beige, mahogany brown, dark brown,
Hair: Ash brown, black, mahogany brown, iron grey
Eyes: Brown, grey, blue

These are some of the best colors for Winter

Season.winter



Next Week: Part 3-1  Decorating with Color

 

All About Color Part 1-2

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How Color Affects Us

These are some of the questions answered in this section:

What can Color do for you?
What does preference for a certain color mean?
What do the colors you choose say about you?

Make a note of your favorite and least favorite colors before going further.

Violet Blue Turquoise Green Chartreuse Yellow Orange Brown Red Pink

Violet  SB1  ST1  SG1  SYG1  SY1  SO1  Brown SR1  SR5

Violet or Purple

Favorite color: You may have a tendency to try to enchant and charm people with manners and winning ways. This color is frequently chosen by artists, those who are sensitive, idealistic, and fond of the arts and philosophy.

Dislike Violet: You may tend to disparage anything considered cultured, and dislike pretense and conceit. You may be feeling loss of independence, or be blocked creatively.

Psychological effects: Violet stimulates sensitivity to beauty, creativity, and idealism.  Violet promotes feelings of spirituality and compassion, although those drawn to violet should guard against living in a fantasy world.

Physiological effects: Violet encourages meditation and suppresses hunger.
It has a cooling effect on heat rashes and sunburn.

The image you project: Unconventionality and/or creativity.

Blue

Favorite color: You are likely to be conservative, devoted, and loyal. You probably know how to make money, and the right connections, are cautious, steady, and sure of your virtues. Men seem to prefer blue above all other colors.

A preference for blue indicates a need for a calm environment, a desire for peace and harmony, and a life lived ethically and with integrity.
Blue also may be chosen by impulsive people out of a desire for stability.

Dislike Blue: You could resent the success of others, be tired of overworking without getting ahead, or feel you have failed in some way.

Psychological effects: Blue has a calm, soothing effect, however, it is not a good color for people who are depressed.
It promotes a feeling of quietness and relaxation, mental control and clarity.
Indigo (Blue-violet) stimulates intuition and imagination, and has a sedative effect.

Physiological effects: Blue lowers the heart-rate and blood-pressure, and decreases hormonal activity.  Dark blue helps regulate sleep patterns and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Blue tends to blur adjacent objects and strains the eyes. It is not the most suitable color to use for text, either as a background or for type.
Indigo lighting has narcotic qualities.

The image what you project when wearing Blue
Tranquility, competence and versatility.

Turquoise (Blue-green)

Favorite color: You are often discriminating, sophisticated, and well-dressed. You are sensitive, mature, and refined, but sometimes conceited and vain.
You may not be very successful in intimate relationships.

Dislike Turquoise: You probably dislike conceit and pretentiousness in others. You may be denying feelings, or afraid of change.

Psychological effects: Turquoise alleviates feelings of loneliness and encreases sensitivity and creativeness. It is both invigorating and calming.

Physiological effects: Turquoise strengthens the immune system and calms the nerves.

Green

Favorite color: Green represents traditional values, efficiency and practicality—the middle-class suburbanite. If you prefer green, you are usually socially well-adjusted and conventional, a solid citizen. You may resist change, and have a need to be recognized and in control.

Dislike Green: You may be adventurous, originate new ideas, be a non-conformist.
Or you could be socially maladjusted, unconventional, or lack balance in your life. Dislike of Green is also and indication of  loneliness, grief, or rejection.

Psychological effects: Green reduces stress and promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation. (Try a walk in the woods if you are feeling stressed).

Physiological effects: Green suppresses the appetite and lowers blood-pressure and heart rate. It also relaxes the chest muscles to facilitate easier breathing.

The image you project when wearing Green: Stability, efficiency, practicality, and respect for tradition.

Chartreuse (Yellow-green)

Favorite color: You are probably perceptive and lead a rich inner life. You want to be admired for your mental qualities and poise, but may be timid and shy.

A strong dislike of Chartreuse could indicate religious and racial prejudice. See green for other characteristics.

Psychological effects: Chartreuse is associated with feelings of envy, resentment, and possessiveness.

Yellow 

Favorite color:  You are intelligent and emphasize mental activities. You have original ideas, yet are impatient with the ideas of others.
You may be introspective, discriminating, and serious about the world.
You probably have an inquiring mind and love novelty and challenges.

Dislike Yellow: You are likely to be practical and down-to-earth, skeptical of new ideas. You may have suffered disappointment and loss of personal power.

Psychological effects: Yellow helps in the assimilation of new knowledge and ideas, and aids the powers of discernment, discrimination, and memory. It encourages optimism and self-confidence.

Physiological effects:  Yellow stimulates mental activity and seems to enhance the ability to learn. You are probably receptive to classical music.

The image you project when wearing Yellow: Intelligence, charm, optimism and the joy of living.

Orange

Favorite color: You are adventurous, enthusiastic, and expansive with sunny dispositions, unique ideas, and strong determination. You get along with everybody, are friendly, quick-witted, and fluent in speech. (One writer talks of enviable good cheer—the Irish personality) in relation to orange.
On the other hand, you may yearn for the warmth of home, a safe comfortable haven.

Dislike Orange: It may indicate mental and physical exhaustion, or you could be a very serious person who is uncomfortable around gregarious types and probably prefer a quiet life, but you would make a loyal friend.

Psychological effects: Orange alleviates feelings of self-pity and lack of self-esteem. Acts as an antidepressant and renews interest in life.

Physiological effects: Orange is stimulating, invigorating, flatters the complexion, and livens up the gloomiest day. Like red, Orange is an appetite stimulant.

The image you project when wearing Orange: Conscientious and considerate, with a friendly interest in others.

Brown

Favorite color: You are probably down-to-earth and shrewd, with home-spun qualities. You are sturdy, reliable, conservative, and sometimes miserly. You probably lack spontaneity, are self-controlled, and can be suspicious to the point of paranoia. You have a strong attachment to home and roots.
Some people choose brown because they long for a sanctuary—the comfort and security of safe haven or home.

Dislike Brown: You are likely to be witty, generous, love variety and novelty, and are impatient with anything boring or plodding. You could be striving to become independent.

Red

Favorite color: You are active, competitive, daring, exciting, and impulsive. You tend to be a winner. Preference for red shows a hunger for intense activity and experience.
Sometimes timid people choose red, seeking the courage and other qualities they feel they lack.
Red symbolizes festivity and good fortune in many Asian countries.

Dislike Red: You could be a loner, frustrated and angry due to unfulfilled yearnings. You may be exhausted by too many problems or ill. You may have suffered rejection or defeat. On the other hand, you may just want a quiet, unexciting life.

Psychological effects: Red can cause feelings of impatience and irritability. It may also help overcome negative thoughts.

Physiological effects: Red raises the blood-pressure and increases the heart-rate. It makes you feel restless and tense. It stimulates the appetite and is not a good color to have around food if you want to lose weight.

The image you project when wearing Red: Passionate, energetic, extroverted.

Pink

Favorite color: You are charming, romantic, warm-hearted and caring.
Pink may also be chosen by someone who has had a hard life and yearns for tenderness.

Dislike Pink: You may have outstanding issues with a parent that needs to be reconciled.

Psychological effects: It is soothing and reduces aggression feelings. It also alleviates loneliness and despondency, and imparts a feeling of being loved and protected.

Physiological effects: It relaxes mental and muscular tension. Pink also does wonders for fading complexions.

The image you project when wearing Pink: Warm-hearted, gentle, and nurturing, however, too much pink can be saccharine, as if the person is trying too hard to appear “nice”.

Black

Characteristics: Black and white are not really colors. Black is the complete absence light. Black pigment absorbs all light and it also absorbs heat; it is not a suitable color for summer clothes.

The symbolism of Black: Death, Nihilism, Doom, Despair, Depression, Evil magic,  Mystery, the Occult, Obscurity,

Black is considered sophisticated in the fashion field.
It is traditionally worn by widows and the women of certain religious cults, favored by totalitarian and militaristic organizations, and is often worn by antisocial gangs.

Favorite color: You may have feelings of negation, protest, and rejection. You might be emotionally troubled or desire to hide your true nature. Or you may feel hopelessness and despair. Black is also favored by people who are unsure of their identity.
On the other hand it might be a desire to appear alluring and sophisticated, or to look mysterious.

If you dislike black: You probably enjoy life, are self-assured and optimistic

White

Characteristics: White is cool as it reflects light and heat.

Symbolism: White symbolizes purity and innocence. It is color of mourning in some Asian countries. It is also associated with hospital staff.

It is like a blank canvas inviting the artist to bring it to life, or a blank page waiting to be written upon. Few people either prefer of dislike white.

Comment

Color likes and dislikes change as life changes. For example, as a child I liked pink and blue, but as I grew older, orange became my favorite color; currently, my two favorites are violet and turquoise.

Many factors influence color preferences: state of mind, age, health, geographical location, and climate, to name a few. You can moderate the way you feel, act, or are perceived by changing the colors of your clothing and surroundings.

Next Week: All About Color – Part 2 – Your Color Palette

All About Color

Introduction

Color is the light of my existence.  My home is filled with harmonious colors, and ditto my wardrobe. No drab greys, black, and browns for me.

I’ve been researching and studying the uses and effects of color—from a scientific, aesthetic,  and psychological perspective—for as long as I can remember. Finally,  about 14 years ago, I decided to write a book on the subject, however it is too expensive to publish a book with color charts and illustrations, so I have decided to use the material in my blog.

Can you imagine life without color? Many of us hardly give it a thought—we take it for granted—yet it is so important in our lives that the absence of color, in northern winters for instance, causes some people to experience episodes of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder—SAD.

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Color is significant to everyone and knowing how to use it effectively can be very rewarding. I hope you will gain some insight into color and what it can do for you from the following articles. I want to encourage you to bring more color into your life—the best colors for your individual coloring, climate, and life-style.

The definition and discussion of color in this article is limited to pigment color—that is color that can be applied to surfaces, objects, and materials. Pigment color absorbs and reflects light. It is known as CYMK color in the world of printing.

Part One – A

What is color?

Color, defined in terms of the observer, is the visible portion of the light spectrum—all the wavelengths between ultra-violet and infra-red. “The appearance of objects or light sources described in terms of the individual’s perception of them.” Tormont Webster Dictionary.

Pure white light contains all the colors of the visible spectrum. When an object is described as being a certain color, blue, for example, it is actually absorbing all the light waves except the blue, which is being reflected. The reflected light waves are the colors we see. Special color receptors in the retina of the eye, called cones, perceive the reflected light and transmit the information to the brain where it is interpreted as that specific color.

The color wheel is a method of organizing color in a logical system, even though the actual spectrum is a continuum ranging from violet at the high end to red at the low. In the color wheel, or circle, the two ends are joined where red and violet meet.

color wheel The color wheel used in this discussion uses twelve colors, or hues. Each is shown in four values, from the outer edge to the center, they are the pure hue, a tint, a tone, and a shade. (See below for definitions of these terms.)

The hues are also divided into primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

The Primary colors are Red, Blue, and Yellow

Primary

Secondary colors are: Violet, Orange, and Green.

They are made by mixing equal parts of two primary colors.

Violet = Red + Blue | Orange = Yellow + Red  | Green = Blue + Yellow

Secondary

Tertiary colors

Tertiary colors are combinations of one primary and an adjacent secondary color, or one part of one primary and two parts of another. For example, Chartreuse is a mixture or yellow and green, or two parts yellow and one part blue.

Red-orange (Vermilion) Vml

Orange-yellow (Amber) Amber

Yellow-green (Chartreuse) Chartreuse

Green-blue (Turquoise) Turquoise

Blue-violet (Indigo) Indigo

Violet-red (Magenta). Magenta

Definitions

Hue: Another word for color. It is the name of the color—red and blue are hues, forest green or lemon yellow are color descriptions.

Value:  Measures the reflectivity of color. The higher the value, the more light it reflects and the brighter, or lighter, it appears.

Purity: The amount of anything added to, or subtracted from the pure hue.

Tint: a lighter value of a hue as when it is diluted or has white added.

Tone: a greyed or neutralized color, ‘toned down’. Tones are produced by adding grey, or by adding a small amount of the complementary hue, e.g. if you add a little red to green, it will produce a muddy tone.

Shade:   A darker value of a color, the hue mixed with black.

Neutral:   Tones with only a small amount of the hue, such as beige (a very light orange tone), and a whole range of greys. Black, which is produced when the object absorbs the entire spectrum, or White, which is produced when an object reflects the entire spectrum,* are not really colors, but they can be classed as neutral.

*It is wise to keep in mind the meaning of these facts when choosing clothing. If all the light is absorbed by the material, it is absorbing the heat of the sun as well, so dark colors are not a good choice for hot summer weather. Light colors are much more appropriate, because the heat is reflected away.

Interesting Facts about Color

  • The human eye is able to distinguish more variations of green than any other hue, probably because it had survival value for early man.
  • Some variations of blue are stressful to the eye, especially cobalt and other mid-range values. This makes it tiring to work with blue backgrounds on the computer screen, and with blue text.
  • Warmer reds are restful to the eye.
  • Yellow is the only color that loses its characteristic hue (purity) when it is mixed with other colors. When darkened (added to), it takes on a greenish hue.
  • Tertiary colors provide the most appealing variations: Vermilion, Amber, Chartreuse, Turquoise, Indigo and Magenta.

Next week in Part One – B : The meaning of personal likes and dislikes of colors

In part one is a brief definition of color, descriptions of individual colors and some of their characteristics and effects. Along with these descriptions, there is some information about the meaning of personal likes and dislikes.

Part two is devoted to discovering your best colors and presents individual palettes for four basic types of coloring.

Part three covers combining colors, a discussion of color harmony, and different systems of color coordination.

Part four deals with the image you project in your choice of colors and the hidden meanings conveyed by colors.

Part five  is about home decorating with color. This part includes the various factors involved in planning a color scheme complete with descriptions of the physical and psychological effects of color in the environment, and how to solve environmental problems using color.



My Latest Novel, Aisling’s Revelation

It’s almost finished, just a couple more edits and a cover and it will be ready for publication. This month, I hope.

Here is the first chapter.

1 – Aisling

“Haven’t ye finished those ‘taties yet?” her grandmother said, her voice rising fretfully. “It’s time to feed the birds and clean out the nests. And don’t break any eggs today.”

Aisling took a breath to answer, but gran hadn’t finished her rant yet. She probably didn’t expect her granddaughter to respond anyway. Aisling lifted the pot of peeled potatoes and put it on the hob of the stove, then she picked up a wooden bucket by the door and scraped the peelings off the table, adding them to the other scraps: stale bread crusts, vegetable waste, eggshells, tea leaves, nodding occasionally to her gran as she continued complaining.

“I swear, you get more absent in the head every day. I suppose it’s your age. I don’t know what you young-uns are coming to these days. I hope you’re not mooning over some boy.”

“All finished, Gran. I’m on my way.” She bent to kiss her grandmother’s cheek. “See you later.”

She knew gran was in the doorway watching her as she walked around the side of cottage to the fenced area where the hens lived. She sighed and closed the gate behind her, then threw the contents of the bucket across the ground, spreading them well so that all the poultry would have a chance to grab a morsel. Although most of the hens were already outside, pecking around the ground, this was the signal for the rest to leave their nests and join the feeding frenzy, leaving them free for her to collect the eggs.

After taking the eggs in the house, she returned and picked up a rake to clean up the dirty straw from the floor and nesting boxes. She didn’t mind the work. It gave her an opportunity to think, something she did frequently when she was alone. Her grandmother called it lolly-gagging.

Today, Aisling was thinking about her grandmother. When she kissed her this morning, she’d realized that she had grown taller than gran. She’s getting old, Aisling thought, recalling how gran walked with a limp and was always massaging her lower back. Gran complained about rheumatics and the corns on her feet, but she didn’t let it interfere with her work. She just kept on slogging away. Today, she was weeding the vegetable garden. Tears came to Aisling’s eyes when she realized she hadn’t been as helpful or sympathetic as she should have.

I’ll have to try harder, do things for her, carry heavy stuff so she doesn’t strain her back. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to her.

Aisling’s father had been killed in a skirmish with some brigands who’d attacked the village when she was a baby. A few years later, her mother had wrapped up her little girl and left her with the parents of her father, and then she had left the village without telling anyone where she was going. Nothing had been heard of her since, although there was talk in the village of her going off with a traveller. Travellers were people who went around the countryside doing odd jobs, repairing equipment, buying and selling odds and ends. Most people thought of them as little better than thieves, maybe envying their independence.

She didn’t remember either of them. Her whole life experience so far was with her grandparents. They were kind to her and provided all her needs, taught her all she knew, which was mostly how to run a small-holding. Her grandfather used to take his little donkey cart to the village market once a week, loaded with produce, eggs, milk and cheese, and sometimes, an animal or a few hens. In the warm months, she often went with him. Those were the happiest times in her life. He’d died when she was eleven years old after suffering from painful tumours for almost a year.

Before her grandfather died, they’d had a few cows and some sheep, in addition to the poultry, but that would have been too much work for an aging woman and a young girl to manage, so the remaining stock was sold, and they now eked out a living from the poultry, a small apple orchard, and the vegetable garden. They also kept some bee hives for honey.

Aisling spread some fresh straw in the nests and on the hen-house floor and then shovelled the waste into the composting box outside the fence.

I wonder how gran’s doing. Maybe she needs some help. She put the tools away and went around the back of the cottage to the vegetable garden. A movement in the nearby trees caught her eye, but whatever it was had disappeared by the time she turned to look. She shrugged. When she reached the vegetable garden, her grandmother was sitting on a tree stump resting her head against the hoe she was holding between her knees.

“I’ve finished, Gran,” she called as she opened the gate.

Her grandmother started and looked up at her, then she tried to lever herself with the hoe for support. She looked a little confused at first, but quickly recovered, although she didn’t answer Aisling.

Maybe she’s embarrassed that I saw her resting. Poor gran. “Gran, would you like to go in the house and have some tea. I can do some hoeing if you like.” She reached out for the hoe, which the old woman was still clinging to. “Here, give me that. I’ll walk to the house with you. You must be tired, working in the hot sun all morning.”

Aisling put her arm out to support her gran and together they walked to the front of the cottage and went inside. “There, gran. It’s a lot cooler in here. Sit down and I’ll make some tea.”

“I’m all right; don’t fuss,” her grandmother said irritably. However, she went over to her favourite chair and sat down, expelling a long breath. “Did you get the eggs in?” she asked.

“Of course I did. They’re in the cold box with the others.”

“Did you wash them first?”

Aisling felt a touch of irritation. “Yes,” she replied. She dipped the iron kettle in the water drum to fill it and put it down hard on the stove top. I’ve got to understand she’s not feeling well and may be in pain. That would make anyone irritable. It’s not her fault.

“It looks as if the fire needs a few more logs,” she said and went outside to get some.

***

Aisling was exhausted when she finally went to bed. Her grandmother had fallen asleep after drinking her tea and eating a scone, so she had been left with the task of weeding the garden. After that she had done some baking and cooked a meal for them. Gran had seemed a bit dozy and kept dropping her food when she tried to put it in her mouth. She became more and more irritable as the evening wore on, so Aisling helped her with her night gown and tucked her into bed.

She had barely fallen asleep in her loft bedroom when she heard a thud from downstairs where her grandmother slept, followed by a long moaning groan. She virtually slid down the ladder from the loft in her haste to find out what had happened. Gran was lying on the floor beside her trundle bed. She looked as if she was trying to get up, but her body wasn’t responding.

Aisling knelt on the floor beside her and tried to roll her over, but this only made the old lady moan louder. She moved her head and mumbled in a garbled attempted to speak but couldn’t say anything that made sense to her granddaughter. “I don’t understand what you’re saying, gran. I want to help you; you can’t lie there all night. Let me get you back in bed where you’ll be more comfortable.”

Gran started to struggle as if she wanted to get up, but something wasn’t working properly. Aisling noted that only one side of her body was moving while the other side seemed to be scrunched up as if it was shrinking. This is not good, she thought. I’ll have to move her whether she likes it or not. She stood up and surveyed the situation, trying to plot the best way to move the old lady back onto her bed. I’ll have to turn her over, she decided. If I can get my arms under her, I might be able to lift her. The bed wasn’t high, barely knee-high from the floor. The hardest thing for her was changing her gran’s wet nightgown.

Once her grandmother was lying back in her bed with the covers pulled up to her chin, Aisling noticed one side of her face was drooping, the same side as the inactive limbs. “It’s all right, gran, I’ll take care of you, don’t worry.” She squeezed her gran’s right hand, the good hand, and felt some week pressure in response. “I’ll go to the village in the morning to fetch the healer.”

As she turned away to put the wet night gown in the wash tub, Aisling thought she sensed a movement outside the window, a quick shadow that disappeared into the darkness. The rippled glass panes were hard to see through, so she couldn’t be sure. It could have been a night bird. The windows were only designed to let in light, and there was nothing but candle light from inside at this time of night.

 

 

Author Profile – LL Thomsen

LL Thomsen in her own words

Linda Lund Thomsen (1972 – ) was born in Denmark where she lived until the age of 19. After finishing college in Sorø, she went straight to the UK, where she worked as a bartender in Sheffield, she took some time to practise her English and get acquainted with the British way of life, including strong black tea that definitely required a touch of milk, and the need to look the ‘wrong’ way when crossing the road.

After a year, she briefly returned to Denmark, but having met the man she was to marry in the UK, she chose to move back and settle, living for some time in a drafty rented house with a dirt floor in the cellar, a money-eating electricity meter that required frequent feeding, and a few friendly slugs that kept leaving trails on the kitchen floor.

L. L. ThomsenHaving tinkered with the idea of writing ‘something’, the time was never quite right. She was busy instead with undergraduate studies in Archaeology and Prehistory, retail management, NVQs, and teaching. After leaving work to look after her first child in 2007, the opportune moment arrived to pursue the old dream.

Armed with a love of fantasy, a slightly geeky mindset, and an unleashed wild muse, she began the journey into authorship and has rarely looked back.

“When you have an idea, it just has to be set free,” she says, adding, “My somewhat unorthodox approach to style and flow has been a way for me to test my personal, individual voice. It’s a fluid thing, however. In the future, it might alter to match the shape of new projects.”

Linda currently lives in the UK, Nottinghamshire, with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. As with her writing, she approaches life with a nod saying: ‘fear nothing, respect everything’. She enjoys horse riding, science fiction movies, traveling, reading fantasy (but not exclusively), and so much more. Her first published fantasy novel, ‘A Change of Rules’, kick-starts the 11 ‘episodes’ of The Missing Shield – a new adult high fantasy series, with a touch of mystery, intrigue, romance and darkness. ‘The Missing Shield’ is the forerunner to ‘The Veil Keepers Quest’ series.

A more in-depth interview here

A Change of Rules: The Missing Shield, Episode 1

Description

Sometimes life just sucks; sometimes – just sometimes – one bad thing starts an avalanche you never even knew you were destined to ride, and there’s no turning back.
How far would you go in the name of duty, love, and friendship? Two young women are about to find out…

A Change of Rules: The Missing Shield, Episode 1 by [Thomsen, L. L.]Quickening to face the results of a disaster that took place nearly 1000 years in the past, the all-powerful Guardians of Dallancea would soon learn that their once-infallible power and immortal authority as the Protectors of the Veils may no longer be enough to successfully combat the mad Gods and their magic-hungering creations.

It leaves one slightly-jaded Guardian with no choice but to travel back into the Human Realm of Ostravah where the once-rich flow of magic now lie stunted and polluted. Without his usual weapon to hand, and with the Guardian Legacy long forgotten, can he circumvent ignorance and threats to pick up the much-needed link to the Twins: the only people of this age fated to recover and wield the ancient Astrolabe that brings peace?

As Agents of Chaos emerge from the shadows and beyond, there may be no choice for him but to secure a dangerous weapon of pure magic to level the scales back in his favour, but this act would mean breaking sacred laws: something that is sure to bring detrimental consequences.

Meanwhile, two noble ladies have little concept of the deadly circumstances that will soon pull them from the comfort of their station into a world of ancient turmoil. Solancei, handmaiden and life-shield, of the Ostravahn Heiress Iambre, has known the Princess since childhood: they are close as sisters, and yet…
Duties and hard differences have begun to mar their young adult lives; day by day, their affections crumble, leaving their former friendship in dire peril – however, Solancei unexpectedly finds herself in trouble when an illegal duel takes a fey turn, and Iambre is left petrified for her friend’s safety. Fearing the worst, the Heiress knows she must act to help her Shield, but stranded on foreign soil, it seems her hands are tied by diplomacy…

Review

From this promising debut fantasy author comes a unique epic adventure of grim intrigues and darkness, sleek romance and magic.
With a story that will draw the reader into a new original world of thrilling discovery and perilous possibilities, The Missing Shield consists of eleven episodes, which together form the first volume in The Veil Keepers Quest: a series wherein the hunt for the shards of an ancient astrolabe must be completed and the artifact assembled before the new millennium dawns to curse the future.
In this race, the very nature of life itself stands in jeopardy, yet across worlds where enemies old and new rise up and close in; across worlds where not all is what it seems; across worlds where a friendly face and the title of ‘ally’ may not necessarily equal trust or respect, is this perhaps already a doomed venture?
As the price of success grows steep, who will stand and who will falter?

The Missing Shield Episodes 2 and 3

Unexpected Bargain: The Missing Shield, Episode 2Unexpected Bargain: As the Ostravahn Crown Heiress Iambre seeks to come to terms with the alarming news brought to her by the King’s Chief of Security, her guilty feelings about Solancei and Captain Metavo continue to grow.
In uneasy spirits about Zanzier and local Lord, Simarovien Zulavi, additional revelations brought to her by the Security Chief, only serve to dislodge Iambre’s fragile personal peace even further.
Meanwhile, still cut off from her precious skills, Solancei also finds herself mired in uncomfortable circumstances where a reckless choice might be the only thing that can save her, and she is not the only one.
A Perspective of Death: The Missing Shield, Episode 3

A Perspective of Death: Facing an unpredictable foe whose obscure demands could potentially threaten everything she holds dear, life-shield Solancei Calverhana’s desperate circumstances seem to take yet another turn for the worse.
As she fights back, a bold escape attempt leads her only deeper into trouble as she loses her way in the bowels of an old dungeon where an unexpected, but harrowing discovery awaits. It leads her to the fearful conclusion that the nightmarish tales she and the rest of Ostravah believe to be little more than ‘horrors of the imagination’, may just be based on terrifying fact and truth, after all. However, what is the truth?


Vicki’s latest novel,  Aisling’s Revelation,
will be published at the end of Summer.


Hello! My name is Aisling. Until a few days ago, I lived with my grandmother on a small-holding where we raised poultry and grew vegetables to sell in the nearby village of Enisdale. But gran suddenly passed over to the Fields of the Ancestors a few days ago, and I was left all alone except for some aunties who live in the village. They weren’t my real aunts, but that’s what my gran told me to call them. They were her friends.

digital paintings
(c) Corrado Vanelli

The day she passed over, a strange man came to the cottage. He told me he was an elf and he’d come to take me home. We went for a walk in the woods the next day to pick mushrooms and meet a lady elf. This elf—his name is Irial— told me a lot of really amazing things, like my gran was not my real granny; she was just my human guardian. He told me I’m an elf who had been kidnapped as a baby and brought here by another lady elf. I didn’t believe I could be an elf, so he asked me to show him my ears, then he showed me his ears and they were pointed at the top like mine. I hadn’t thought much about my ears being different from other people’s.

They told me that my real parents are the King and Queen of a place called Lycea and that I’m a princess, but I can’t believe that. Irial said Lycea was on a different level called The Realm of Light. He said the Enisdale is in the Mid-Realm. I wonder what’s in the other realm, probably something nasty.

I find it hard to believe what they told me, but they seem like nice people. We are leaving tomorrow. Today we’re packing everything we need for the journey. It must be a long way, because we are packing a lot of food, especially boiled eggs.

 

Author Profile – Debi Ennis Binder

About Debi

Debi is an old soul, who recognized a long time ago that there were many far-flung worlds of magic to escape to, where fantastic characters and their tales were waiting to be discovered and articulated. She wanted nothing more than to capture the mythos of magical worlds and make them accessible in ways that would beguile and charm, frighten and enthrall, in short, enchant those of the mundane and non-magical world. Though she tried to work with the corporate world for a while, she soon became sadly aware there was simply no way to integrate her world of fey and magic into that of offices and timecards. At last, she was able to leave that world and return to the griffins and dragons, sorcerers and ælves, and many other genera of the fantasy universe (which is a far more corporeal world than most people realize). She took up where she left off, and after years of traveling many lands—both otherworldly and commonplace—she settled in the Land of Enchantment, where else, with her husband and her cats and began to pull together the mythos of all those many mystical domains.

Debi Ennis Binder

But telling a tale often takes more than memories and notes. Therefore, Debi frequently journeys out into those realms to renew old acquaintances and make new friends. Even as they change, things do remain unbothered—some beings are good, some bad, many don’t know what they are, and it can be hard to discern one from the other. Debi listens to them although sometimes she can hardly tell the dark from the light, the up from the down. But she records each tale faithfully, and with the varieties of their species and the worlds they live in, full of discord and harmony, love and hate, virtue and corruption, life can be breathtaking!

Debi can be reached at https://debiszoo.co

Summerbird Rises

Summerbird Rises (An Act of Entreaty Book 1) by [Binder, Debi Ennis]Summerbird Rises begins the tale of Summerbird, a young seer, whose ultimate talent is failing to see the future, an excellent aptitude, as the last thing she wants is to be jailed or worse, executed. Law forbids magic in her land, and heavily armed men enforce that law—strictly and cruelly.

A sly griffin needing a favor lures her back to her magical birthplace, with the promise to teach her magic, and things will never be the same for Summerbird.

Follow her as she learns who—and what—she really is, and why her Grandfather left her in a non-magical world with an old, green-crystal ball, and the words, “This is your legacy. Forget whatever you see in it.”


Dragon Rings

Dragon Rings (The Ring-Witches of Nesht Book 1) by [Binder, Debi Ennis]

It has invaded your lands, burned and destroyed entire villages, slaughtered people. It brings scorching, mind-rending pain down upon you, all the while desperately apologizing. It will start a war you cannot win. And yet, you know it is enchanted. Would you risk everything to help it?

Something dark and terrible is attacking, unseen in the night, bringing death and ruin to the peaceable lands of Nesht, and then vanishing back into the cold mists of the surrounding mountains.

Two powerful Ring-Witches, Mayra and Wolfe, join uneasy forces to investigate the ongoing—and very puzzling—destruction. Why would something formidable enough to incinerate entire villages and tracts of forests, crushing people and animals, leave behind massive amounts of valuable gold and jewels? What do these savage invaders want?

As they conduct their investigation, the two young warriors start hearing and feeling a living presence, but it refuses to identify itself. All they know for sure is that it is large and powerful, capable of bringing scorching, mind-rending pain to the two, and then despairingly apologizing for it. When Mayra finds a huge, bloodstained talon, she finally knows what is trying to contact them…a Dragon.

Once upon a time, Dragons were treasured allies of the Witches. What has changed? The two Ring-Witches must learn the truth and stop a war the humans cannot possibly win. But freeing the dragons will be just the beginning, for Mayra and Wolfe and their small assemblage of fierce witch-warriors learn that there are some things worth more than one life. Worth more than their lives.

There are causes that even mighty dragons will die for.



A word from Vicki

Naming characters

I normally use my own name book [Names of the World] for character names, but I decided to try a different approach with the novel I just started because the world in which it takes place has nothing in common with our world. I would have to make up the names from scratch.

After making a list of male and female names with at least two syllables, I split them in two, then I put two of the pieces together to form new names. For example, take the first part of Alan – Al – and pair it with the the last part of Jennifer – ifer – and get Alifer. Of course, you could mix the fragments any way you want.

Here are some of the names I came up with: Andrael – Sarisla – Ardelie – Clatheo – Danlo – Densa – Daneska – Judel – Levon. And they are all pronounceable; I don’t like names that are impossible to say.

This is what I do when I can’t fall asleep at night!

 

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Revising

This week, I’ve been busy revising and republishing the Kindle editions of two of my  favorite speculative fiction novels. I felt they were worth the effort because I really like these novels.

At War with Terror

Terror frontAs the war on terrorism escalates, agencies of the USA take control of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. This causes much suffering in the countries they occupy and naturally opposition groups become active, leading to more and worse atrocities by these agencies.

The novel follows three of these underground groups, as they struggle to free their countries from the iron grip of the agencies of the USA. One in the United Kingdom, one in Canada, and one in Nicaragua.

Where Have all the Young Girls Gone?

Girls 133575_001

This is about a radical drop in the female birthrate and how society and individual women adjust to this situation.

The demographic changes cause by the shortage of women are both drastic and challenging. How do men adjust to life with no hope of marriage or children? What dangers lie in wait for women and girls? What are scientists doing to alleviate the situation?

The story follows the lives of two women, mother and daughter,  as they adjust to a life of not being able to go out without escorts to protect them, not being able to work at regular jobs or go shopping, being constantly vigilant, even in their own homes.

Coming Soon

digital paintings
(c) Corrado Vanelli

The novel I’ve just finished and submitted to beta readers is called Aisling’s Revelation. It is a fantasy—a sort of fairy story—about a young country girl who whose life is turned upside down when an elf appears at her door and tells her she is the lost daughter of the king and queen of the elves.

Because her grandmother/guardian has just died, she has no choice but to accompany him and his female partner to the Realm of Light where the elves reside. On the way, disaster strikes and she is abducted and enslaved by enemies of the elves.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Profile – Laverty Sparks

Laverty Sparks – The writer with the lovely auburn hair

Laverty Sparks

History

A graduate of Purdue University in Indiana, she’s been a writer since her fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Baldwin, encouraged her writing and reading skills. Since those young school days, Laverty has had a love affair with books which transformed into the desire to write them.

The writer

Laverty Sparks, a.k.a Laurel Sparks-Sellers, is a former advertising copywriter turned full-time novelist of contemporary romances.

She pens from “That’s All She Wrote Writing Studio” in the Midwest with a focus on female fiction: those women who know what love is all about, what works and what doesn’t. Ones who have been there, done it, learned from it (including herself!)

Leather Horizons by [Sparks, Laverty]First published novel

She’s not sure where she’s going… But it’s going to be a wild ride!

Misty Briscoe has a good job and an eighth-floor apartment in chrome-plated Chicago. But a complicated relationship with her married boss makes life in the Windy City anything but stress-free!

Back home in southwestern Michigan her beloved grandmother has recently passed, and now her grandfather has disappeared. Add to that, Misty’s best friend needs her support in the most unlikely of circumstances.

And when Misty meets wealthy tavern owner Austin Matthews, she may be in for a ride that will take her in a whole new direction!

Join Misty and Austin as they wind through avenues of indiscretion, loneliness, hope, courage, love, deceit, and integrity into LEATHER HORIZONS.

Other interests

Aside from composing words, her other passions include her patient and supportive husband, her extended family, traveling, photography, decorating, exercising, casino gambling, and of course reading.

Visit her website at laurelsparkswriting.com
Laverty loves to hear from her readers.

Works in progress

PRIVATE PURSUITS – a story of the empowerment of women, will be out in September through Black Rose Writing

THE MINK WRAP IN THE ATTIC – a tale of overcoming all odds, debuts before 2019.



My contribution for the week:
Where Have all the Young Girls Gone?

Girls 133575_001

By 2040, the year Julia is born, there is only one female birth for every five males. The situation continues to worsen in the second half of the twenty-first century, until by the time Julia is in her teens, the ratio has dropped to one in twenty-five. Scientists around the world scramble to discover what is causing this decline in female births, and to find a remedy. The world is turned upside down by the social changes brought about by the epidemic. This story tells how the surplus men try to adjust to the situation, and how women handle their newfound power, which comes with a high price: severe restrictions on their freedom and safety. After a failed marriage, Julia prospers as a courtesan, a high-status occupation in the new society. Catherine, Julia’s daughter, is abducted as a teenager by religious fundamentalists and her life follows radically different path from that of her mother.