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Back from Black Castle
(Posted July 11, 2016)

To conclude book three in my trilogy Of the Wing, I returned to its setting: Black Castle, on the shores of Lough Gur, County Limerick, Ireland. In ruins since the 1600’s, Black Castle stood for centuries on the western approach to Knockadoon, a promontory over looking the “Enchanted Lake.” Here people have been living for more than six thousand years. An archeological treasure trove, the area is also rich in folklore wherein mythology, legend, and history converge to carry wisdom throughout the ages. And the common message of that wisdom is this: the natural world is magical.

Six years ago, I went to Ireland to find the perfect setting to conclude my trilogy about a young girl seeking an explanation for her power to attract birds of forest, field, and water. What better place to find the answer than the Emerald Isle? In Lough Gur, I found the perfect setting—an enchanted lake with tales of magic that span millennia. But I also needed a castle. Local author and historian Michael Quinlan (who wrote the Lough Gur Trilogy on the successive peoples living there) suggested that I “resurrect” Black Castle, that is, create it anew in fiction. His was the perfect solution!

Here you see me standing before what was once the entrance to Black Castle (built in the thirteenth century). I hope you will soon come to explore it with me in my upcoming third book, Defender of the Wing.

Return to Ireland
(Posted December 17, 2015)

A little over five years ago, I traveled to the southwest of Ireland to find a setting for my third book in the trilogy Of the Wing and found it in the heart of County Limerick. Soon, near the completion of Book Three, I will return to the shores of the Enchanted Lake (Lough Gur) to follow in the footsteps of my two main characters Claire and Victor who, with the help of a new Irish friend, discover a wondrous world of myth and magic.

Meet Bridget and Gwendolyn, a couple of aliens masquerading as pets.
(Posted February 1, 2014)

If you like comic books or graphic novels, you'll enjoy my spin on this genre. I created a "sci-fi" story based on images taken of my pets (a dog and three cats). Originally created for FaceBook, the story evolved day to day as I took images of my dog Bridget and cat Gwendolyn during our outside explorations. The story has four parts, each part containing 18 photos. In transferring these to a blog, I've organized the photos three per posting. View the entire 72 photo story in one sitting, or read it by part. Here's hoping you enjoy the story!

http://alien-animals.blogspot.com/

 

A Beginner's Tour of Gettysburg

In October 2011, I moved from my home of 17 years (in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania) to Gettysburg, site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Here, during the first three stifling days of July 1863, two armies (some 164,000* soldiers in all) fought what would become the defining battle of the war.

One hundred fifty years later, a tranquil landscape--the preserved battlefield--surrounds and graces the town of Gettysburg. To live here is to live in the present and the past.

In January 2013, I began a blog--Getting with Gettysburg--to share my discoveries of the Gettysburg Battlefield. I posted to it for a brief six months but promise to one day return . . . when I begin research on my next trilogy.

http://gettwgettysburg.blogspot.com/

*http://www.gettysburg.stonesentinels.com/Gettysburg_Facts/Gettysburg_Facts.php


Join me at BookFest--during Central Pennsylvania's Festival of the Arts--at Schlow Library in State College, Pennsylvania (July 14, 2012). Meet and greet many local authors under a big tent in the library parking lot. From 10 am to 5 pm, we'll be signing and selling our books, so hope to see you there!


Good News from BirdWatching Magazine

Cover for books 1 and 2 of trilogy

Recently received word from BirdWatching Magazine that the editors who "produce a book round-up on some of their favorite recently released birding books" will be including The Legend Awakes, book 1 in my trilogy Of the Wing. This happy news couldn't come at a better time, given the recent release of my second book in the trilogy--The Ivory-billed Obsession.

If you like adventure, mystery, and a bit of mysticism in your fiction, check out these two books! Meanwhile I'm busy writing book 3 (set is Ireland), which promises to be the best one in the trilogy, or so I hope.


It's here! The Ivory-billed Obsession, book 2 in the trilogy Of the Wing.

The Ivory-billed Obsession book cover Be one of the first to read chapter 1 in The Ivory-billed Obsession, book 2 in the trilogy Of the Wing. And for a brief summary of the book, read below:

Birds repeatedly call an urgent message to twelve-year-old Claire Belle: Hurry! But she isn’t listening. The avid birder is preoccupied with a famous ornithologist, back from another failed effort to find the fabled Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Claire meets Robert Crawley at his Pennsylvania retreat, revealing to him her mysterious appeal to birds. Promising to attract the Ivory-bill, she earns a canoe expedition for herself and friends to the muddy bayous of Arkansas. But the bottomland forest conceals something more than the reclusive woodpecker, something dangerous. And though Claire leaves Pennsylvania, the message of the birds follows her.


 

Another Observation Experiment: How do skunk cabbages grow?

young pair of skunk cabbages

Join us on FaceBook (search Of the Wing) for another Observation Experiment. In the next weeks and months, we'll watch the growing cycle of the skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) as it proliferates over the banks and ground adjacent to the creek running below my pond. I'll be posting lots of pictures, so join us for the fun!


Attention Pennsylvania Middle School Teachers!

I'm looking for four teachers throughout the state to conduct a reading program pilot using Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes. All materials, including a courtesy copy of the book for each student will be provided by Pinchey House Press.

The purpose of the pilot is to 1) see how well the Reading Unit promotes comprehension skills (measured by the Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies) and 2) to evaluate the practicality and usefulness of the Writing Unit. (These units are available for download as PDFs from the Events and Resources page of this site.)

Educators who submit an e-mail indicating interest will receive a review copy of the book. Thereafter, those finding it suitable to their educational purposes can request to participate in a pilot of either the Reading Comprehension or the Writing Unit materials.

One candidate will be selected from four different geographical regions (northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest) as drawn approximately from the center of the state (State College, PA). Candidates from these areas will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis only after having reviewed the book. In other words, initial requests for a review copy will not constitute a formal request to participate.

No more than forty (40) books will be mailed out to interested parties (ten to each region). However, after one (1) interested candidate from any of these four regions is selected, no additional review copies will be sent out to that region.

Teachers interested in this pilot offer may submit their requests for review copies and/or inclusion into the pilot program between November 15 and January 15. E-mails received before or after this date will not be considered. Those selected to participate can choose to pilot the book in their classrooms during spring 2011 or fall 2011.

For more information or to request a review copy, e-mail me, Georgia Anne Butler, at georgia@ofthewing.com Please use the following as your subject heading: Pilot Review Copy Requested

Finally, if my scheduling permits, I would be willing to visit pilot classrooms to introduce the book and its reading or writing units.


Back from Ireland!

Castle Ross, County Kerry, Ireland

Recently I've returned from my first research trip to Ireland, the setting for book 3 in my trilogy Of the Wing. For two weeks I visited the counties Clare, Kerry, and Limerick, looking for both my book's setting and storyline. And lucky me--I found them both!

During my stay, I visited five castles, including the one pictured here, Castle Ross (in Killarney, County Kerry). I toured the ruins of abbeys and saw the most incredibly beautiful lakes (called "loughs" in Ireland). Lough Gur in County Limerick is known even now as an "enchanted" lake and I found out why. I also visited the mysterious Grange Stone Circle, the largest in Ireland, where, on the Summer Solstice, the stones are aligned to admit through the entrance stones the rays of the rising sun. Scholars presume this ring was used for ritual or religious purposes.

I've much more to say on all these topics and will do so while I continue to research and begin to write book 3. But for now, I am completing book 2--The Ivory-billed Obsession--so first things first!

Looking for older posts? These have recently been archived but you can find them easily enough. Just follow this link: What's New: the Archive