Perception is Reality




I can vividly remember stumbling out of a darkened cinema near London’s Piccadilly Circus some thirty-plus years ago, the two of us coming to a sudden stop as the bright lights, the city sounds, and the suffocatingly clammy warmth of an English summer evening assaulted our senses. We had spent what felt like a lifetime glued to a movie screen; alone, though surrounded by a hundred other moviegoers, living the tale of Doctor Zhivago. We knew the Doctor like a member of our own family and we were silently screaming our grief as Lara and our friend were finally parted forever.

We were Russians in a state of shock, and exiting those doors onto the streets of London, England felt like we had been suddenly and rudely deposited onto the streets of an unknown planet. Our own world no longer felt real.

Perception is reality.

Some years later, the two of us had an extended argument about a visit we had had from a friend. I was adamant that Tony had come to see us on the day that I had cooked a full roast beef Sunday lunch. Dammit all! I remembered every minute of that lunch in my head – I could see it all, but my other half insisted that was not what happened. He, being his usual self, could not let it drop. Most people would eventually agree to disagree… wouldn’t they? Well, not my other half. He kept talking… and talking; he wouldn’t let it rest until he was certain I’d seen it all from the perspective of HIS memory.

And you know what? He was right. When enough of his words had finally sunk into my brain I realized that I had totally mixed two different days in my memory. He was exultant. And I was… WRONG. I felt that cold shock again of suddenly being dumped onto the streets of London when I was really a Russian in mourning.

Had Mike, who had an almost pathological fear of being proven wrong – or of losing at anything, for that matter – not felt the need to keep worrying away at it, my perception that Tony had come to dinner and I had served him roast beef would have remained a reality in my mind until the day I died. In which case, of course, Mike would probably have been waiting for me at the pearly gates with Tony, who would have said “We had fish and chips!”

This last week I was in serious need of a vacation. But where does one go when they are too financially strapped to go anywhere? For me, the answer has always been simple. I have a strange secret… there is one wall in this house where multiple doors to different dimensions are available when I need them. I know that those dimensions are real because my daughter has opened some of those doors and had her own adventures there – I recognize the signs when she returns: the far-away looks, feet almost imperceptibly not quite touching the floor, and that slight frown of confusion which persists for anything from several minutes to several days.

I went to Hogwarts.

I didn’t want to come back, but there’s only so long that you can hide inside the back door of a portal to another world before your supposed ‘real-life’ memories come back and you have to walk through and close the door. On this trip, I heard something that I don’t remember from previous visits; Albus Dumbledore made a comment to Harry, near the end of the story: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” And then the twinkly-blue eyed Professor winked at me and, in my mind, added softly; “This is the golden key to writing, Wendy, use it wisely!”

And that, dear friends, is my perception, and therefore, my reality. 🙂


How I sold 1,000 books over the holidays #marketing #bestseller

A wonderful article from Deborah Jay, comparing Bookbub and other marketing company’s results. So useful I simply HAD to reblog!


Here is my promised share of how I sold 1000 books and became a bestseller (in Canada and Australia, at any rate) over the 10 days of the Christmas/New Year holiday. Settle in, folks, this is going to be a long post.

First up, what I did was nothing ground breaking, just plain old advertising and spreading the word.

For a bit of background, the book I promoted was THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in my Epic Fantasy series (only 2 books out so far, 3rd one is underway).

I know it can sell in quantity – when it came out, it was an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release, selling 1500 copies in the first 6 weeks. That was back in 2013. I’ve written and released several other books since then, including its sequel, THE PRINCE’S SON.

I haven’t promoted TPM in over 12 months, and sales had…

View original post 1,883 more words

‘Footsteps’ – @CarrotRanch #flashfiction

January 18th, 2018 Carrot Ranch Flash fiction. 99 words.CARROT RANCH


Here comes Mum in her latest pair of high heels. How I miss the cadence of her steps!

Boxes lay strewn on the floor all around me; sexy boots standing in an ordered row of ‘most desired’ to ‘not on your life.’ On my feet, soft, TARDIS blue leather with a row of sweet, golden buttons and a heel that makes me look 5’7”, instead of my normal 5’3”.

In the mirror, I see, not my own face, but hers, and, remembering the clicking of my mother’s heels, I realize, with sadness, that I must be a grownup now.

Wendy Anne Darling, A Mythical Menagerie, 2018


Getting back to writing. I’ve been writing various pieces to get back in the saddle and take back my life. Here’s something I completed recently that’s a little out-of-the-ordinary for me! It might freak you out. Sorry!



Chapter 13:


Be honest… the truth of the matter is that you wouldn’t have bought this book if it you didn’t believe it was about YOU.

Am I right? Or am I right?

“Come on!” you say, “I knew you had this kind of treachery in you! I knew you didn’t have what it takes. I knew you’d break down when the going got tough. I profiled you.”

It has always amazed me how your mind and body work as one to get what you need to survive. There’s a deep psychology behind that.

Did you know?

Yes – you. Did you know that?

Think about it. Come on – humour me! I’m not here for you to scream at any more – I am only words upon a page. You may feel free to curse this book until it quivers in its cover. You may throw it at a wall so many times the pages fall out.

But I am not there. I cannot hear you cursing.

And so… congratulations!

I can see you in my mind’s eye. As you have read these final lines, your fingertips caressing each personally printed line to help you keep your place and absorb my words – you have done just that – absorbed them.

I am grinning as I write this. I am imagining your eyes widening and your jaw dropping. Told you I was clever!

No – no point in stopping now. You don’t have time to wash the poison from your fingers.

Don’t you wish now that you’d been content with the Kindle version?

Farewell, my love.


Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge: Magic’s Bonds

This week’s challenge; with synonyms for THANKS and FAMILY.

strong as magics bonds

It’s a WIN!

via The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy – 1st Place in the Authors DB 2017 Book Cover Contest  

Gold Finalist!

gold swamp fairy

I’m so thrilled about this accolade! Maybe my book career really CAN be multifaceted! Many thanks to Colleen Chesebro for trusting me with the cover art for her book, ‘The Heartstone Chronicles, book 1, The Swamp Fairy.’

Thanks, too, to Marje Mallon, who entrusted the cover for her book, ‘The Curse of Time, book 1, Bloodstone.’ This cover was also a finalist in the AuthorsDb competition.

I’m beyond thrilled!

Wendy Anne Darling


dragon eye

A dear friend once asked me this question: “What do you KNOW?” Not: What do you think?, What do you believe?, or What do you hope?




Epiphanies tend to happen in the strangest of places, but they do usually happen when you have time to really concentrate. Mine occurred on an uneventful 8 hour drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico, several years ago.


It began with me rehashing in my mind, things that had occurred in my past, followed by the sudden horror of realizing the significance of my own fault in some of the worst incidents in my life. So much of what I had previously believed had happened TO me actually held elements of my own personal fault. (I’m not talking of the awful and unavoidable events that can befall a person, though no fault of their own. There ARE such things as accidents and human cruelty.)


Looking back, I should probably have pulled off the freeway at this point; the sudden evaporation of my life-long blame game caused a devastating thunderstorm of grief and guilt. The armor of blaming anything or anybody, other than myself, was ripped away from me and I felt as if I was bleeding to death.


The ME that went though this agonizing process was NOT the same ME that emerged from on the other side of it.  If you have ever read C S Lewis’s ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader,’ you might remember the part where Eustace turns back from being a dragon to being a human. This transformation was achieved with a lot of pain. Poor Eustace had to tear the dragon skin off of himself, in order to accomplish the change he needed. (In the book, the author has Aslan help Eustace finish the job, but, as I am the author of MY OWN story, I did it myself.)


The shock of this process was enormous; the fake world I had built around myself vanished and the truth was so brilliant that I couldn’t bear to look at it… so deep was my shame. I felt alone and abandoned on an ocean of tears.


If you’ve read the story, you’ll remember that Eustace was a very different boy after his experience. So was I. I was crushed and destroyed.


But a brand new sunrise was dawning after the darkness of that dreadful truth.


As I had been knocked down, so I was lifted up.


The air was clear and sweet like a morning after a storm, and the clouds in my mind shone with liquid silver edges, parting to reveal a sky more deeply blue than any I had ever seen before.


So soon after KNOWING my fault, I found my salvation; I finally KNEW that I was personally responsible for every good and noble thing I’d ever achieved. It wasn’t some far off god who’d done those things… It was ME.


All the joy and patience I had ever shown, all the good and selfless deeds I had ever done; they were my JEWELS. I had forged them myself, using the ancient magic of love. Pure, simple love.


Finally allowing myself to feel the joy of my own accomplishments allowed me to use the shame of my failures by fashioning them into a foundation on which I would build the new, authentic ME.


The light in me had been buried deep; under layers of people I thought I was. Even in the darkness, I could feel it burning, warming me from the core. Maybe it was God, I thought, or a higher purpose;  the answer to Life, the universe and everything – but when I finally dug my way down to it – it was ME – my own bright spirit burning within me.


And I am more than enough for me.


Wendy Anne Darling, August 6th, 2017.

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 27 – “Light & Dark” #Haiku #Haibun #Tanka

colleen poetry challenge

Join us for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge! This week, Light and Dark.




Touching the stone arch,
Fingertips tracing eons;
Shadows and sun play.

The presence of ancient magic is palpable here; Nature’s slow painting of a myriad sand colors, leading back to a time unremembered by any but the fossilized souls of animals; long extinct.

Windwalker laughs as he watches sun and shade dance across time. Softly outlining the arch with reverent fingertips, he smiles, and whispers, “It is a hole of light with a side of darkness.”.


My writing this week is a tribute to Randy Roll. A true artist and poet, Randy’s soul now walks eternally in the canyons he loved.

Colleen’s weekly Tanka Challenge- Clouds and Spring

Join us for Colleen’s weekly Tanka Challenge. This week’s prompt words… Clouds and Spring

TANKA 3-14-17

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Challenge: Help and Smile

Join us for Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Challenge: Help and Smile