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Castle of the Heart and the Diamond Trail

As I prepare to paint the next page of  Martha Julia Agnes Adele, I need to revisit The Castle of the Heart, Char the dragon, and the diamond trail. Here’s a photo of the trail left by a real slug (the one that kissed the fairy!) one day down at the Hillock. I need to work on how I want to paint it. Yesterday’s painting didn’t do the diamond trail justice.

Castle&DiamondTrail1

Hillock Characters Gradually Present Themselves!

Today was quite amazing! Francklin and Lacy, our Springers, romped in the rain with me down to The Hillock. As usual, I quietly strolled the CobbleStoneWay, keeping an eye out for any pieces of the unfolding mysteries of this magical place. Frogs, caterpillars, snakes, and a turtle or two here and there are a few from the past. Today I could hear a few feeble cricket sounds and a bird warble here and there, but nothing that struck me. Until…CastleofHeart:Snail 1CastleofHeart:Slug2CastleofHeart:Slug3  I came to The Castle of the Heart. One part of the castle had fallen, and I didn’t see the iron fairy girl anywhere. As I looked more closely, I saw her legs upside down between two cliffside rocks. I quickly rescued her, rebuilt the rock platform, and re established the fallen castle turrets. To my surprise, when I lifted one of the stones, there was a very large slug. I marveled at its grey colors and slimy skin, carefully avoiding touching or smushing it as I replaced the rock and fairy. What happened next, actually, is what surprised me…the large slug began to slime up the replaced turrets, and seemed either to be kissing the fairy or whispering into her ear! I actually got their interaction on camera! And I PROMISE, I am not making this up! Nor did I stage any of this! I just kept clicking my cellphone camera button as fast as I could so that I wouldn’t miss a thing!

The One-Winged Bird

Awhile back, I posted a painting I did of the Castle of the Heart. Behind that castle, in the distance, can be seen a one-winged bird. He is looking longingly towards the castle. I’m posting this, and pondering whether to tackle his story next. I’m not sure it’s ready to ‘put out there’ as it is still flying around in my head…and believe me, it goes round and round since it’s flying with just one wing! There are many other story drafts already written that I could put here next, but for some reason, the characters at The Hillock are all clamoring for front seat on WordPress. Off to bed to see who wins out. AND there’s still one more painting sketched out for the title page of What Makes a Jingle Ring! So much to do!

The Castle of the Heart and the One-Winged Bird

CastleofHeart2The Castle of the Heart and the One-Winged Bird

Slab is busily firing his kiln for the last time before he makes his big delivery trek to the eastern slope of  Middle Hillock. He must time it just right. For to get to “The Castle of the Heart” he must pass through the Valley of  Ashes and the lair of Char, the last dragon to guard the the Stone Gateway to the Wise Old Tree….

Just as the Valley of Ashes is made of layers of dragon bones from Char’s ancestors, and fallen trees blackened by snores of ancestral dragons’ ancient slumbers.  … The Castle of the Heart, is made of layers… layers of castles whose heartbeats have moved on, making room for quicker pulses to thrive. and if  Slab were to have a sense  that he was being watched even on his hidden days and nights, he is right. For far in the distance stands the silhouette of a one-winged bird, glancing longingly towards the castle. Never once does he turn his eye from the direction his wing points. Never once does he rest from his vigil.

…For Slab, this trek is easy since he has the fortunate design of a day in between everyone else’s’. So as easy as Slab’s clay forms into pots, Slab easily slips through space and time as he rolls his heavy load of pottery up to the castle doors.