Friday, December 2, 2016

A Season for Celebrations

CANDY CANE SUCKERS



This year I decided to make something simple, yet special for my Christmas guests and grandchildren.


I just put two mini candy canes together with a lolly pop stick between the bottoms.  I poured melted white chocolate in the center and topped with Christmas sprinkles.

I bagged them and tied with curling ribbon and placed them into a basket.

This is just the beginning of a magical Christmas this year.

Can't wait to see the smiles on the faces who receive them.  ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Pause For Thanksgiving


Too many times while traveling down life's highway we forget to take a pause and not only see the things around us, but to also listen and feel them.

Some of the next generation may never hear the rustle of leaves falling or a bird singing unless they see it on a screen.

Living in the state of Virginia I'm blessed to see the contrast of colors the leaves display this time of year.

I hope there will always be some who will dare to venture outdoors and feel the crunch of the fallen leaves, the morning dew upon the grass.

I hope there will still be birds nesting in very tall trees singing their happy songs.

Fresh air and the feel of a passing breeze through the pines letting loose their fragrance.

Also the smell of wood smoke from someone warming by a fire.

The rows of orange pumpkins growing on hill upon hill.  The feeling of straw in your hair after a hayride.

I'm thankful for these things, but also for teachers who will teach others about them and their importance.

For now I take joy seeing my children and grandchildren also enjoying all that nature has to offer on these fine fall days.

I'm also looking forward to gathering together to celebrate a time of family and God's bounty of food.

An Autumn Sunset
When first I saw an Autumn sunset
I thought perhaps I was dreaming
How rich the red and amber colors
Through trees the sunlight streaming
I thought I saw a glimpse of Heaven
Shining through the crisp blue skies
I realized it was a gracious gift
Given to those who would open their eyes

~ Sheri L. Swift
11/15/16


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Magical Days


I was a single mom working as a secretary at a loan office when I met my future husband John.  This is the engagement photo we took for him. To say he dove in deep is an understatement, lol.

We made a choice after we were married I would become a stay-at-home mom (yes I was an intelligent woman with other dreams, but this was my first dream).  We also planned to have another child one day.


Only two years later and another little girl was added to the mix.

I loved being a stay-at-home mom though it wasn't always easy.  Finances seemed to always be tight. Whichever car broke down became my car. Eventually we would sell the irreparable one which left me most the time without a car.

There were moments rising up within my soul to write again and I did write a few poems, short stories, but I knew that could all wait until my girls didn't need me so much.

What amazes me is that these days flood back into my memories so clearly; they are so special.  I call them ripples in time, because we were jumping, lol, dancing, singing, laughing, storytelling, playing games and wrestling (yes girls really do wrestle).

I've always called the girls *my little women* because that's what they were to me; little women in training.

I knew I was investing the very best of me into them. Not only teaching them to crawl, walk, talk, run, swim, dance, play games indoors and outdoors, but also do chores, laundry, cooking, how to save money in their piggy banks; most importantly to have fun along the way.

Even then I was a fantasy writer in my mind who enjoyed telling them wondrous stories of which they liked to play dress up and imagine they were Princesses.

When life would get really rough and I needed a break we would lie down very still on my bed with facials or newly painted nails; soon they would fall asleep.

Other days when things got a little crazy I would begin to sing this song while cleaning the kitchen very loudly:

OH NO! I forgot the dishes
Laundry, forgot my bed
There's still so much work to do
Oh my aching head!
But I love you, I love you
I really, really do
And I pray that God will guide me
To do the best for you
Yes I love you, I love you
I really, really do
And I pray that God will guide me
To do the best for each of you

By now each girl would run into the kitchen with bright smiles and begin to dance around together while I sang.


My oldest daughter lives in California and is a Caterer, a Secretary, married to a Worship leader who is soon to become a Pastor. She has two children.


These are my other daughters, the second from the left is my so called *adopted* daughter.  God was good to me and didn't replace my oldest here in Virginia where I live, but made her absence a little easier with her addition.

As you can see there's still a lot of silliness in this family; a lot of singing, dancing, game nights and of course wrestling, but mostly with their children, lol.

They together have 9 children and one foster.  Two are Teachers, one is a Nurse and one is a Bank Manager.

I believe my investment was worth every minute and we all together are creating Magical Days of our own.  ;)


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Why I love being an Indie Author

MY BOOKS

Legend of the Mer series




The Hart of Telendaria
An Elven Love Story


The reason I became an Indie Author was because I had always been an Indie Writer although I must say it was mostly in my mind since childhood.

Though I tried to publish traditionally that path was closed for me.

I began to realize just as a painter has to paint, a writer has to write.

I saw myself as an artist in my own right and began to publish as an Indie Author.

Although a shy person, I began to realize how the world had changed to allow me to express myself from behind a keyboard, lol.

I love the freedom to write my fantasy stories the way I see them.  I've heard so many different views on the proper way to write.

Bottom line, I love being able to tell and show.  I love being able to give points of view not only from my main character, but also minors as well.

I love speeding up within my story where I might think it boring to my readers and I love slowing down when I have something I think they'll like.

I'm not the big *W* kind of writer where the plot has to be laid out a certain way.

I write what comes to me, some might say a *seat of a pants* sort of writer, but I love it being real and authentic.

I do research for my writing, but only as it pertains to what I'm writing about, however, most of my writing is fantasy of my mind and the research confirms what I'm writing about.

I love the freedom of not doing a lot of book signings, again public speaking is not easy for me and my husband will usually join me.

I'm thankful to be allowed to write my stories and publish them for my grandchildren to read one day as a way to know me if I'm not around.

My beloved grandmother died when my children were little, thankfully we do have some home video for them to know and remember her.

After you've had cancer you pretty much keep your affairs in order and think of the future a little more.

All in all I love being an Indie Author for many reasons.  ;)


Monday, September 19, 2016

Repost ~ Autumn Reflections





AUTUMN REFLECTIONS
What is it that makes my heart stir
In the autumn of the year
The hues of gold, orange and scarlet
Or the blue skies so clear
Is it the sight of the leaves swirling
As the wind beckons them to dance
Or is it the rolling hills of color
That makes me take a second glance
Is it the sound of booming thunderstorms
From sheets to gentle rain that falls
Or is it the brisk autumn breezes
And the howling wind that calls
Is it the brilliant starry nights
With the October moon that glows
Or is it the little babbling brooks
To the raging river that flows
Is it the smell of fresh cut wood
Stacked neatly in a row
Or the sight of orange pumpkins
With happy faces all aglow
Is it candy corn, hay rides and bonfires
Apples that are red and green
Or the smiles of happy children
On the night of Halloween
Is it the smell of Cinnamon and spice
 And wood smoke drifting in the air
Or is it the blue jean overalls
And knitted sweaters that we wear
I guess it’s a time for family and friends
To come inside and join in on the fun
To sip a cup of hot cocoa or cider
And sit beside your special one
I love all that this season has to offer
From sounds, tastes, scents, and sights
To good food and fellowship
And a warm fire on chilly nights

~ Sheri L. Swift
October 26, 2010

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Repost ~ THE HEART OF A PATRIOT


Re-posting in memory of 9/11 for the brave souls who died and those who fought and why we bleed red, white and blue

THE HEART OF A PATRIOT
What is it about this Great Nation of America that stirs our hearts and evokes parents to give up their sons and daughters in service of her defense?  I think it is the whispers of our forefathers that compel us to be the Great Nation that they had intended; from George Washington, to Abraham Lincoln, and to Thomas Jefferson.

 We are a Nation blessed by the Almighty God and His mighty stretched out arm defends her still.  Whether we be rich or poor, no matter the color of our skin, or the length of ancestry that binds us to these shores; we are a free people.

Our land has been fought for by the blood and limb and life of those who answered the call to protect their homeland and those whom they loved.  Yes, she is stained and blessed, by the sacrifice of so many.  May God continue to bless those who fight for her still and the families of the fallen in her service.

We have seen peace and times of calamity; however, one moment we are strangers, and the next bonded brothers in a common cause to fight for justice; how well we have seen that played out in our Great Nation time and time again.

People from all corners of the world still believe in the dream and the hope that living in this great United States of America offers them; for they are coming still.  May we ever be the bright and shining light that the Statue of Liberty continues to represent.

From West Coast, to Gulf Coast, to East Coast, and the Mountains and Valleys between; we have a Nation of beauty and bounty.  May our children hold true to the values that make us who we are and who we have been.  May neighbor help neighbor and may our Government continue to listen to the people in which they represent. 

May our flag continue to wave proudly and the pledge that binds us hold true.  May we continue to sing of our Sweet Land of Liberty and may God’s grace continue to shine upon us from Sea to shining Sea!

                                                                                    Sheri L. Swift
                                                                                    09/11/10

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Song of the Mermaids


SONG OF THE MERMAIDS
Thank you mighty Arius for all of the gifts you give
Thank you for the air which gives life to all
For the sun that gives warmth and strength
For the beauty of the moon and stars
For the blue seas depth and length
Thank you for the ebbing tides
From gentle currents to raging waves
For the crystal blue lagoons
For the hidden glistening caves
Thank you for the gift of family
For all of creation on land and in sea
For your mighty protecting hand
For your unending love for me
Thank you for my beating heart
For laughter and for sorrow
For the joy in each day
For the new Promise of tomorrow
Thank you for your guidance
For leading where I cannot see
For helping me through the storms
For choosing my destiny
May I live a life that is pleasing to you my maker and High King
~ Sheri L. Swift
Excerpt from my book Legend of the Mer

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Fairy Berry Briar


THE FAIRY BERRY BRIAR
One evening while reading outdoors
I happened to look up
The Fairy Queen flew over the briar
She sat upon my Teacup
She had come to tell me
Elven Prince Iomhair was crowned 
In the Forest of Sidhean
Where the Fairies gathered round
After High Elven King Aidan proclaimed him King
Queen Alterra could not hold back her tears
For now her son had grown
How quickly had passed twenty years
His sister Princess Isobel
Reluctantly wished him well
King Iomhair smiled hearing her thoughts
For Elves can always tell
It was a sad parting for the High Elven King and Queen
As they and their daughter rode away
But they held Iomhair's love in their hearts
And knew they would return someday
Iomhair watched as they rode from his sight
He was determined to honor them
They had raised him for this moment
They had placed such trust in him
He would rule with his father's wisdom
And the heart of his mother's love
He would rule his Kingdom well
With the help of the Suthainn above
The Fairy Queen ending her tale flew up from my cup
She smiled flew over the briar and flitted away
I couldn't help but decide at that moment
I shall visit the Forest of Sidhean one day
***

- Sheri L. Swift
(Thoughts of Telendaria)




Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Unseen Scars


Those of you who have read my Legend of the Mer book series know my character Will Prentis has a pretty visible scar.

Some scars are hidden and no one sees them. 

It's like after the snow falls here in the Blue Ridge Mountains and covers up the imperfections on the ground.

The unseen scars are just as real as the seen.

I think those scars may take even longer to heal due to our pretending they don't exist.

As I'm writing the fourth book in the series, my character is learning to move forward and accept his scar, but it's taken him awhile to do it.

He's learning to take time to heal and let go of the fear of yesterday and embrace the hope of tomorrow.

My prayer is that anyone struggling with their scars will have the strength to do the same.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Firefly Dance

Pinterest

The Firefly Dance

I went for a walk the other night
I never expected to see such a sight
A Lady Firefly was drifting by
She saw she had caught my eye
Where are you going in such a hurry?
I'm late for the dance she left in a flurry
Another soon followed as quick as could be
She barely took time to notice me
I see you are off to the dance as well
She smiled and continued lighting her tail
I hope you have a wonderful dance
She lit and flit with hardly a glance
I looked across the meadow just in time
to see them all dancing in a long line
They danced under the light of the full moon
It would seem to quite a melodious tune
They danced in the air and around an Oak tree
They danced far away and some near to me
I had to smile to know just by chance
I was privileged to watch the Firefly dance

- Sheri L. Swift
May 26, 2016 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

FULLFILLMENT OF A DREAM & TBT

Mom in Hawaii at the Polynesian Culture Center 2016

Mom has waited 38 years to finally go to Hawaii.  It only proves you should never give up on your dreams.  She just enjoyed a marvelous trip to the island of Oahu.



She's also found love again and I pray God's best for them both. She's my inspiration for the tenacity with joy she lives out each and every day.

She encouraged my brother and I to go to Hawaii during the summer between our junior and senior years of High School. It was for a Yearbook Conference which was offered to two students in Yearbook Class from each district in California.  

It was held at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu on the island of Oahu; Terry in 1977 and myself in 1978.

Since that time I've heard mom say many times through the years how she wished she could go to Hawaii.

So happy you got to go mom and so glad you made the sacrifice to let your children go.

The many opportunities we were privileged to do helped shape our lives; from camping, hunting, fishing, baton twirling in parades, horseback riding in parades and snow skiing which mostly had you on the sidelines cheering us on.

Thanks mom for all you did and are doing to make the world a brighter place for others.

TBT ~ My trip to Hawaii in 1978

These are some photos from my old photo album; most are blurry, but you can still make out the adventures I was having.



Getting ready to head to the airport


Terry waiting at the airport with me


I'm second from the left


Waimea Falls


Both of these are from the Polynesian Culture Center


How I knew the way to open a coconut in my Mer books


Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay which definitely gave me a mermaid perspective


Hanging out at the dorm; one of my daughters now has these pukka shells

Where did the time go and yet what wonderful memories still linger. The beauty of the island, the waters of the South Pacific Ocean and the kindness of the people of Hawaii are with me still.

Dreams really do come true if you have the desire and patience to see them to fruition.  ;)

Friday, May 6, 2016

WRITERS ARE LIKE ACTORS

"Writers are like Actors
in the sense we tap into
the emotions of our
characters as we write."
- Sheri L. Swift

I realized this the other day when I had to write a scene in which my 17 year old character had to tell his parents he wasn't coming home.

Then I had to tap into the emotions of his mother as she realized that no matter how much she pleaded it wouldn't bring him home.

Next I had to tap into the emotions of his father as he accepted his sons decision.

Whew!  That drained me.  I wasn't even very pleasant to be around my husband that day, let alone anyone else.  Lol!

Sometimes its hard to get into the mind of your character, but its so important for the reader to understand what they're going through.  ;)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring has come ~ re-blogging of Wisteria Hill poem

Each spring I cannot help but think of one of my poems from my Elven book.  I thought I would re-blog it for you.  ;)


WISTERIA HILL 
Let all who pass and see this sight
Know the High Elven King and Queen here spent this night
For Aidan did love Alterra upon this hill
With an everlasting love which grows for her still
For her royal beauty is beyond compare
And her heart of mercy is a quality rare
Theirs is a love which cannot be restrained
For their joy overflows and cannot be contained
The Wisteria rejoiced in both blossom and limb
For it could not help but celebrate with them
An ageless love they have pledged to themselves
When Aidan loved Alterra in the land of Elves
 ***

-Sheri L. Swift
The Hart of Telendaria

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

An Easter Celebration


Our family celebrates Easter on Palm Sunday because some of our children serve in other churches on Easter Sunday.

This way we get quality time, not just a quick visit and run, Lol.

When I was setting up last week I couldn't help but think about last Easter.

I had become home bound with an injury and was awaiting a much needed surgery.

I wasn't able to give our Easter celebration as I had always done.

When Easter Sunday arrived, one of my Son-in-loves (Roger) secretly hid eggs for his children in my back prayer garden.

When he came inside through the front door he announced it was time for his children to hunt the eggs.

I wasn't able to go outside, but I could sit in my kitchen and watch them through the window.  It brought tears to my eyes.

Thank the Lord I was able to once again give the celebration this year.

Although it was starting to sleet, the children (nine of them) did a fast and furious hunt.



Thanking the Lord for His marvelous gift through sacrifice and counting my blessings  ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Finding Joy in the Journey: MY GRANDMOTHER IS MORE THAN A NAME I POSTED ON MY ...

Re-blogging for #InternationalWomensDay  ;)



Finding Joy in the Journey: MY GRANDMOTHER IS MORE THAN A NAME I POSTED ON MY ...: My grandmother was born Loretta Florence Tracy on December 26, 1921 .  She later married my grandfather (Walter Howard Michael) a...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Printing Press

Source

It always amazes me each time I write a book how fortunate we are as Indie Authors to be able to create our books the way we want.

I always tell my husband, most people don't realize the book is a literal creation of the Author.

If Ben Franklin only knew how far we've come in today's age to be able to print our own books so easily.

Albeit there always seems to be some new form of formatting each time I publish my books that I have to adapt to, but for the most part it gets easier each year.

I am thankful to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Createspace and Smashwords for allowing me to publish my books which otherwise might never have happened.

I'm smiling as I write the fourth book of my Legend of the Mer series.  I can hardly wait to share it with you all.

I've had a few medical set-backs this past year which have delayed my writing, but now back on pace.

I'm already in the process of having Derek Murphy (CreativINDIECovers) help to create my latest book cover.

It's Will's turn to tell his story, I guess I better get back at it!  ;)


Thursday, February 4, 2016

HAPPY VALENTINES ;)


Can you believe Valentine's Day is a little more than a week away.

Let me just brag a little.  I love being best friends with my Sweetheart.

When he came into my life it was to also become stepfather to my three little girls.

He helped to raise them as his own, along with our other little girl which we had later.

God has been good to me with the gift of my husband.

He's been my strength when I couldn't get up.  He's been my comfort and cheerleader when life brought me down.

Girls let me tell you, a man who loves God will love you through the roughest parts of your life and you'll both stand strong through any trial you face.

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!  ;)