Bear and Butterfly

I’d like to introduce myself, starting with the bear and butterfly for whom this blog is named. Together, they comprise my muse, my subconscious, the right (intuitive) side of my brain. To me they represent power and beauty, ferocity and gentleness, courage and rebirth, the natural world, spirituality, dreams, new beginnings, the yin and yang of life, and so much more!

I used to dream of a grizzly bear, long before I discovered that it’s my animal totem. It was a huge, powerful thing, and it was searching for me. I knew it the way people know about things in dreams. While appearing not to search at all, it turned over huge rocks as it approached (but never entered) the cabin where I sheltered, watching fearfully through the windows. Sometimes other people were in the cabin with me. Why was I afraid, when I knew it didn’t mean to hurt me?

Fascinated, I researched grizzlies and discovered how amazing they are.

At the suggestion of my friend Carol http://www.clroth.com), I began to honor the bear in me. I began to see bears everywhere, in pictures and statues and even a giant mounted bear in a gas station in the middle of Iowa once. And then I began to bring them into my home – stuffed toys, a bear doll that Carol made in her doll-making phase, a wall hanging I had for years before I recognized the bear in me. I began writing again, something I had neglected for a long time, though I still thought of myself as a writer.

One night I had a very strange dream about the grizzly. She had a cub with her! I hadn’t even known she was female. That was my last bear dream. It seemed to represent a new birth for me, a new birth of my writing life.

My writing took off in earnest, as if I had discovered myself at last.

The avatar I use here and on other sites is from “The Awakening,” the first in Carol’s Flights of Fancy series of paintings. A print of it resides in my bedroom, where I see it every day. Recently I saw the bear and butterfly in my mind yet again – but it wasn’t her portrait. This time it was a side view of the bear and she was walking, head lowered as if following a scent. The butterfly was perched on her shoulder, her fragility and beauty emphasized by the bear’s strength. The same colors surrounded them. Gradually I realized that they were moving forward, and that I’m now moving with them.

The bear and butterfly are more than dreams and pictures. They’re a part of me – a part I want to share with my readers. I don’t share myself easily, preferring my den, my cocoon.

Sharing my stories is easier, but will you like what I write? I hope so.

You’ll probably like my stories if you:

  • Enjoy Fantasy novels written for adults
  • Have a well-developed sense of wonder – or long for one
  • Like magic that’s part of the world but not always the point of the story
  • Believe in love and family as the natural order of the world
  • Value creation more than destruction
  • Believe that one person can make a difference and admire a character who fights on, against all odds
  • Love the natural world: prairies and mountains and deserts, trees and streams and rocks, caverns and canyons and animals – even made-up ones
  • Prefer not to read explicit sex but enjoy a good fight scene and lots of action
  • Have a strong sense of right and wrong and prefer your heroes choose to do right
  • Like words and imagery, sometimes longer or more obscure words, sometimes made-up words or common words used in different ways
  • Enjoy stories about ordinary people who must become more than ordinary to achieve something important to them
  • What can you expect from my Bear and Butterfly blog? Pretty much whatever my muse gives me.
  • I may talk about the research I do for my stories, especially fascinating tidbits I come across.
  • I may expound upon some quotation on life, or on writing, or on almost any other topic, because I find so many
  • things interesting.
  • I may share some new adventure or special experience that moves me to write.
  • I might even share self-defense tips or observations from my martial arts background.

Eventually you’ll probably read something here that appeals to you. If so, I hope you’ll leave a comment or question for me, and I promise to read every one and respond as I can.

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