Archive | July 2014

Large Animal Disaster Rescue by F. J. Thomas

From Christina, I recently got to know author F. J. Thomas when I was a guest on her blog. Today, she returns the favor and appears at Time for Love with a post that deals with a very important topic — large-animal rescue. Although there are some graphic elements, please read her post. I share her hope that readers might be moved to help in any way possible.

 

Large Animal Disaster Rescue

by F. J. Thomas

 

horseLost Betrayal, a story about a woman who loses her ranch and her horse to a tornado, came out in early March of this year. I’m often asked what inspired me as an animal lover to write such a horrific story that includes such graphic details as a horse that’s been skinned alive.

The short answer is surprisingly simple yet one that few people are aware of – large animal disaster rescue. In any disaster, large animals are the last to be rescued.

Years ago, when hurricane Floyd hit the coast of the Carolinas I was indirectly involved in getting much needed supplies to some vets in the disaster area. It was through that experience that I learned what can happen physically and mentally to any large animal that goes through that type of experience.

One of the horses that the supplies were intended for was an aged stallion that was only survivor of the farm. The stallion and two mares were in the water for three days because there was not enough help to rescue them. One mare drowned the second day. The other mare died of exhaustion immediately upon being brought to dry land.

Because he’d been in contaminated water for three days, the skin on the stallion’s legs was sloughing off and he was badly infected. Well-meaning but unknowledgeable people gave him antibiotics for the infection which immediately caused a reaction and the stallion was blinded. That story has stayed with me all these years and was the original inspiration for Lost Betrayal and has been re-kindled every time I see a disaster in a rural area.

Last year, when the tornadoes went through Moore, Oklahoma I was a large barrel race in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. At one point in time, we were under a tornado warning for about three hours that same day. There was no shelter for us or our horses to go to. We just had to ride out the best we could in one of the buildings while our own horses waited in the thin metal sheds and others rode it out in the vinyl temporary stalls in the parking lot. It was pretty scary for a gal from Tennessee who’s not used to tornadoes!

Then the next day, we saw the news and the devastation of the horse farm that had been hit. I knew then I had to finish the book. My heart ached to go help personally, especially since it wasn’t as far as it normally would have been. But I didn’t have the financial resources to just take off and help. Later I did have the opportunity to give to a Jockey fund and to a local vet who was assisting with helping horses injured from the storm.

As I mentioned earlier, large animals of all kinds are the last to be rescued in any disaster. Large animal rescue is not a high priority, it requires a special skill set, and the needs for large animals are something that majority of the public never hears about. While entities such as the Red Cross and the small animal Humane Society do great work to help people and easily rescued animals, large animal efforts often receive no press at all. The graphic needs of large animals are just as important and devastating to watch go unmet. Not everyone has the skills to rescue a thousand pound animal that is scared and can’t be reasoned with.

My hope in writing Lost Betrayal is that through its shocking details, it brings to light the reality of the plight of large animals in a disaster and that people will start seeking out ways to help. At the current time, large animal rescue groups are loosely organized. Hopefully with more awareness these small groups will be able to grow to meet the large animal needs that arise from tornadoes, floods, and fires.
BIO:
ThomasAn active barrel racer and horse show judge, F.J. Thomas lives with her husband on her small horse farm in east Tennessee. When she’s not working at her regular job in healthcare, she’s either writing the next book or riding the next horse. A cowgirl at heart, she’s written several children’s books and a non-fiction about showing horses, as well as her latest release, Lost Betrayal which is available on Amazon.

Links:
Writing blog: http://fjthomasblog.wordpress.com
Horse blog: http://qheventer.wordpress.com/
Farm website: http://www.fairweatherfarmtn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fJTHOMASAUTHOR1
Twitter: @F_J_Thomas

 

Journeys – Part 2 by Devika Fernando

From Christina: Recently Sri Lankan writer Devika Fernando shared with us a few thoughts — and photographs — from her trip from the town of Kandy to the capital city of Colombo. Today, she continues her story, taking us on a different sort of journey.  Enjoy!

 

Collage for DF

 

 

 

 

Journeys – Part 2

by Devika Fernando

 

A while ago, I wrote a guest post about the arduous, exotic, nerve-wracking but also inspiring journey from Kandy to Colombo. This time, the journeys I discuss are not real-life ones in Sri Lanka, but just as chaotic and meaningful and filled with a tempting mix of positive and negative aspects.

Travelling has made me realize that each of my books deals with an inner journey and also involves a ‘real’ trip.

When I See Your Face

 External Journey:

The story starts with the heroine Cathy embarking on the most important journey of her life: She leaves behind her abusive husband to start from scratch in a small village. The change of places brings her closer to herself, gives her a breather from pressure, and makes her realize that life can be beautiful. She finds love – or does she? Destiny strikes again all too soon, which leads to another journey. This time, she settles down in a town that is a healthy middle-way between the city and the village from before.

 Internal Journey:

The switches of location aside, Cathy also undergoes major changes throughout the book. She transforms from beaten and battered and meek to being aware of herself, and wanting to tap into her potential. Slowly learning to trust again and to give herself as well as others a new chance, she grows up. Cathy finally takes matters into her own hands and fulfils her dream to start her cake business.

 

Playing with Fire

 External Journey:

Joshua is in town on a business trip when he rescues Felicia from a fire. What happens next is a clash of temperaments, elements and wills, and also more than a spark of attraction. Travelling has played an important role in Joshua’s life in the past. To find out more about that – and to get a hint at the final, decisive journey that both of them will make – you’ll have to read the book.

 Internal Journey:

Felicia starts out as a frustrated young woman, hiding a dark secret and burdened by a dull life of routine. When Joshua crosses her path, everything gets turned upside down. She realizes she needs to actively search for happiness and come to terms with her fire magic. The process of discovering and training her gift is filled with hurdles and challenges, much like a hike through the unknown wilderness. Ultimately, she will find herself and make a life-changing decision. Joshua also transforms, his journey leading him from loneliness and cold detachment to fascination, magic and even love and care.

 

Kaleidoscope of Hopes

(Coming in September)

External Journey:

The opening chapters introduce Nadia as a woman on the brink of losing her job, burdened by debts and a tragic past she’s hiding. When Lucas moves in next door, their fates are thrown together and they realize that they – and love – deserve a second chance. Trouble isn’t far away, however, and it makes Nadia flee the city. You’ll have to read the book to find out whether that is her last journey, and where and how they will find a happy end.

Internal Journey:

At first, Nadia is timid, quick to take the blame, tied to her past and as unhappy as can be. Lucas is lonely, too strict on himself and others, and also hiding a dark secret while trying to come to terms with being a father and falling hard for his new neighbour. Both embark on an internal journey that will leave them altered, opening up old wounds, facing their ghosts and working on self-improvement.

 Saved in Sri Lanka

(Work in Progress)

 External Journey:

This love story set in Sri Lanka circles around Sepalika, who works as a tour guide and falls in love with Irish Tourist Daniel. They spend seven days together on a round trip that changes everything. The exotic setting and travelling play an important role in enhancing the plot.

 Internal Journey:

Both protagonists learn a lot about themselves, about each other and about the respective country they’re from. Apart from that, they give real love a chance, and they realize that they are the main reason holding them back. Of course, there’s a dark secret causing trouble in the form of many rocks thrown into the way.



 

 

 

More from Devika Fernando

Journeys – Part 1
Nature Photography

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon, as is her newly-released paranormal romance, Playing with Fire.

 

Potato Soup by Erzabet Bishop

From Christina: Growing up, I lived with my grandfather, and one of the things I most enjoyed was coming home from school to find a pot of his German Potato Soup simmering on the stove. It was always such a treat.  I’ve never found another potato soup recipe quite like his — and sad to say, over the years, it’s been misplaced.  I do love potato soup, and I’m always happy when someone is willing to share their special recipe.  I was delighted with Erzabeth Bishop offered this one.  Enjoy!

Potato Soup

by Erzabet Bishop

1 5lb bag potatoes
potato soup3 cups hot water
3 TB Better Than Bouillon Chicken
1 8 ounce cream cheese
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch onion powder
Milk (pour until desired thickness)

Peel potatoes and place in crock pot. Blend three cups of hot water with three tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon Chicken flavor. Some of the potatoes will not be covered in liquid. Add spices.
Cook in crock pot on high for 6 hours. Take out half of the potatoes and chop them up into bite size pieces. Take a kitchen hand mixer and blend the broth, block of cream cheese and remainder of the potatoes into a thick soup base.

Add milk to suit. Return chunks of potatoes to soup and heat on low for an hour.
**add bacon and cheese for a delicious meal!


Erzabet Bishop has been crafting stories since she could pound keys on her parents’ old typewriter. She has only just learned that it is a whole lot more fun writing naughty books. She is a contributing author to the Silk Words website with her Fetish Fair choose your own romantic adventure stories, A Christmas To Remember, Club Rook: The Series, Sweat, When the Clock Strikes Thirteen, Unbound Box, Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs, Holidays in Hell, Corset Magazine: Sex Around the World Issue and Man vs. Machine: The Sex Toy Issue, Smut by the Sea Volume 2, Hell Whore Volume 2, Can’t Get Enough (upcoming, Cleis), Slave Girls, Forbidden Fruit, The Big Book of Submission (upcoming Cleis), Hungry for More (upcoming Cleis), Gratis II, Anything She Wants, Dirty Little Numbers, Kink-E magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Coming Together: Girl on Girl, Shifters and Coming Together: Hungry for Love among others. She is the author of Lipstick (upcoming), Dinner Date, Tethered, Sigil Fire, The Erotic Pagan Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.

Follow her reviews and posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.

 

 

Summertime by Vicki Batman

From Christina: I’m pleased to have Vicki Batman here today to share a few thoughts about summertime.  It’s always a pleasure to visit with her.

 

Summertime

by Vicki Batman

Summertime–fun days!

When my kids began school, I would count the days like this:

  • Labor Day
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Holiday break
  • Presidents Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Spring Break
  • School is out.

Then…

Summer Pic

 

As a little girl, my family went on some great vacations–Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Island, Florida, California. And I wanted those experiences for my children, too. Trips to visit family members, Washington D.C., New York City, and Colorado.

Sometimes, we moms don’t know what things we’ve taught our kids will stick. I took mine to the art museums. I loved going and only had a one opportunity when I was a child. I determined that wouldn’t happen to mine.

Statue of LibertySo we were on vacation in New York City. We’d planned age appropriate Broadway shows, a trip to the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, the exhibition Art of the Motorcycle at the Guggenheim.

But I had to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and if I really wanted to go, I had to take the boys. I’d mapped out that visit so they wouldn’t be bored. First, the arms and Armaments; then, the Egyptian stuff; finally, we passed though to another area and skimmed by the Impressionist exhibit.

Money PicThat’s when I heard, “Look, Mom, a…”

 

 

 

I had to stop and take that in. Wow, they remembered.

Time marches on. The kids are grown, and we don’t have the same kind of vacations. Whenever I’m vacationing in NYC, I go to the Met by myself, pass through the Impressionists and think, “Look, Mom, a Monet.”

Maybe I’ve done my mom job well.

 

About Vicki:

Vicki BatmanLike some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.

 Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS.

She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

 Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”

 

Debut Author: Mia Epsilon

From Christina: Today I’d like to welcome Mia Epsilon to Time for Love. She’s recently released Wedding Belle Blues, a delicious romance novel.  She’s here today to talk a bit about writing and becoming a published author.

AS ESSENTIAL AS BREATHING

 

Writing is as essential to me as breathing. Sometimes it’s easy and I don’t have to think about it. Sometimes it’s like having broncritis and every word, like every breath, is a struggle. Being a published writer is a long held dream come true. And it’s a long road.

nanowrimo_calendar___2013_by_spooneh21-d6ooljkFor Wedding Belle Blues, several friends on Face Book gently (read that as ‘you do this or we’re coming after you’) encouraged me to participate in NaNo. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s a group to encourage writers to complete at least 50,000 words in a month, usually in November. I’ve tried NaNo before and failed miserably with dozens of excuses and reasons, some of them valid. 2013 NaNo was different though: I receive a newsletter from Breathless Press and they offered a 5 page critique of your NaNo efforts. So the FB friends and I made each other post every day how many words we wrote, what the plot was, etc I decided to send in my first five pages for the critique and less than a day later received it back. The BP editor made some wonderfully valid points, gave encouraging comments, and asked to see the entire manuscript once finished. So I had another reason to keep writing the novel.

Anna and Robin whole heartedly jumped on the wild thirty day NaNo ride with me. They told me their story, what they said, what they did, and all I had to do was type it in the computer. That’s all. Every night after ‘real’ work I dutifully typed. When November ended, I had 58,000 words to send to the BP editor. But… It was Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and winter so the finished manuscript simply sat patiently on my hard drive. My husband asked me one day why I waited. With sweat, prayers and shaking fingers, I sent Anna and Robin off to hopefully charm the BP editor named Jen Bradlee. This was late February, a Saturday. Jen sent back an email five days later saying she loved it and BP wanted to publish it. Yes, that was me the world heard jumping up and down screaming. Hubby and I reviewed the contract word by word, I signed four days later, and began the edit rounds.

Let me say Editors have a hard job. They get blamed for being tough and not knowing ‘good’ stuff. But a good editor makes the writer better. I got blessed with an extremely good editor. Not only does she help me improve my writing, she pushes me to go beyond what I think I can do and how I can write. Take, for example, how she highlighted the word ‘she’ in a paragraph (I used it eight times), told me to change some of them, and not just to Anna’s name. I struggled with that paragraph for three hours. When I returned it, with only two ‘she’ in it, all the sentences were stronger. The paragraph was stronger and so was the chapter. She made me better by challenging me. Sure, I muttered some probably not nice things but I’m so glad she pushes me. She believes in me. That’s the best thing any writer can ask for in an Editor.

Then came Cover Art requests and more edits and line edits and promo and a whirlwind of helping find readers for Anna and Robin’s story who will love them almost as much as I do. Oh, and Jen’s request for more submissions and setting up Good Reads, Amazon, Face Book, Twitter, all the things to get Wedding Belle Blues out there to be read. Breathless Press is amazing to work for; everyone is eager to help in the ‘business end’ of writing.

Because writing IS a business; we writers sometimes forget it’s a job like any other, easy at times, hard at others and always, always subjective. Not everyone will like your work; not everyone has to like it. Writing is as essential to me as breathing.

 * * * *

Mia Epsilon lives with her enduring soul mate hubby in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, USA. She’s an avid reader of almost anything but particularly romance, a never-miss-an-episode viewer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, and happily suffers a coffee and chocolate addiction. She can most often be found at her computer, spinning new stories, or in a quiet padded nook with her e reader. Look for more stories in the ‘Weddings by C & C’ line including ‘That Night’ featuring more of Anna & Robin and ‘Take a Chance on Me’, Christine and Charlie’s story.

Going to Glacier National Park by E. M. Bannock

From Christina: When E. M. Bannock posted a few of her vacation pictures on Facebook, I quickly messaged her to ask if she would share her trip — and her gorgeous photographs — with readers at Time for Love. I’m so glad she did! Enjoy her scenic look at Glacier National Park.

 

Going to Glacier National Park

by E. M. Bannock

 

We made the five hour drive from Clark, WY to Malta, MT without event. Malta is a small, rural town named in the late 1800’s when a railroad official spun a globe and put his finger down landing on the tiny island country of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. I had always wanted to go there since my father was born in the ‘real’ Malta and my mother was the first generation out. I’m proud to say that I am a purebred, 100% Maltese.

The fascination for the little town faded when as we realized the train was going to be late, eight hours late to be exact. Our daytime train ride ended up being a very uncomfortable, long, nighttime trip. We had planned on enjoying the view from the upper deck of the Amtrak train as it skirted along the south end of Glacier to our final destination of Whitefish, Montana. As it turned out, it was a nighttime trip and we saw nothing.

Glacier 1This was not a good way to start our mini-vacation. The next day we spent getting caught up on our sleep. Thankfully we had a hotel suite so the kids camped out in the living room while Papa and I made ourselves comfortable in the bedroom. My grandson and his school pal, who came along, took it all in stride and by early afternoon the kids were ready to hit the pool. The next day was GlacierNational Park day. I was really excited. This was to be my highlight of the trip.

Glacier 2After we got a good night sleep and had breakfast we hit the road in our rented car. As we approached the Park we marveled at the wonders of the surrounding area. Kalispell, Whitefish, and the cities around the Park are not exactly what you would call ‘big city’ but it seemed like they had every convenience as well as natural beauty. It was definitely geared for the outdoorsman; white water rafting, fishing, hiking, and other activities.

As we came close to the Park it got noticeably more forested and less populated. My anticipation grew. To my delight I was old enough to qualify for a senior pass. I hate the idea of being old but I am finding that it has its perks; discounted train tickets, discounted meals, and discounted park entrance fees.

Bible RockThis was going to be a quick trip through Glacier National Park. It was only June and the Driving to the Sun road was only opened part way. It had been a very snowy winter and a cool spring. There was still too much snow on the road for the plows to get through. The road was closed 14 miles in but in those few miles I saw many wondrous things. We started with a quick stop at the Park store where our nine year old grandson and his school buddy, who accompanied us on the trip, quickly picked out a stuffed animal to be their trip souvenir. I picked out several postcards and a refrigerator magnet to add to my collection of places I’ve been. Then we were off.

Glacier 5Although I was clearly enjoying the magnificent views of snow covered mountains, lush forested land and raging glacial steams, Papa and the boys were not impressed. The complaining started almost immediately. Papa could not see the attraction. We live close to Yellowstone and I think they were expecting some of the same attractions. There were no geysers at every turn, no hot springs, no buffalo or elk crossing the road and holding up traffic. But there was a whole lot of unspoiled, natural beauty; Flowing, brilliant blue glacier steams that had carved out a path through the mountains making its way to crystal clear glacier lakes.

We stopped briefly at Lake McDonald. Its picturesque beauty was breathtaking. Its stillness reflected the mountains on the other side like a mirror. I found it spiritual and inspiring. It’s tranquility soothing my tensions and stress as I pondered the view from its bank. Although the boys found it boring and mundane I shamed them into stopping anywhere a road pull-out appeared. They sat quietly, but uncomfortably, as I jumped out to enjoy and snap pictures. At one stop, I followed a narrow trail that wound down to a viewing point of rushing waters and mountainous canyons. There were two men on the landing taking pictures of each other obviously enjoying the view as much as I was. “What a perfect place for a picture,” I thought wishing one of my guys were there to take a picture of me.

“Would you like us to take a picture of you?” one of the men asked me.

“Oh, yes!” I answered enthusiastically.

Glacier 3

Although I have many beautiful pictures of the Park, there is only one picture with me in it. It is a lovely reminder of my Glacier National Park trip.



 

E. M. Bannock is the author of Totally Devoted, a spicy romance.

She was born in 1950 and grew up in the Detroit suburbs. She is the second child of seven and eldest daughter of a working class family. Her mother was always at home to care for her children, which instilled Marie with deep rooted family ties. Her parents had traditional, old style, European ideals which clashed with her modern, adventurous personality. The daughters were not encouraged to attend college. Instead they were expected to get married, have children, and be homemakers.Her love for writing began during high school where she excelled in writing short stories and poetry. During her junior and senior year, she wrote and sold short stories that other students turned in for homework assignments.Born with the wanderlust, she found herself in Los Angeles. LA was an exciting place to be in the early 70’s and E.M. experienced all that it had to offer. It was here she met her husband. The two have a son.

E.M. and her family have lived in California, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming, where she now lives with her husband, son, grandson and a menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, and horses.

She has made her living as an office manager, computer programmer/analysts, and project manager. Throughout it all, she never lost her love for writing. Although never published, she has a small collection of the short stories and poems that have been written throughout the years.

Until 1999, she had never attempted to write a novel. Then, while descending into Detroit on a business trip, she had the inspiration for her first novel, Totally Devoted.

After completing the book she submitted it to several literary houses only to be rejected. Life became complicated and her book sat in the memory of her computer for 15 years. At her husband’s urging, she “brushed” it off, added more dimension to the characters, and more spice to the romance. The result is a gripping, erotic tale of modern romance and rugged western adventure that exposes the struggles of life with raw human emotion, lust, love, devotion, and danger.

She believes that writers should write what they know about and draws inspiration for her characters and locations from her varied and unique life. She writes about the places she has lived or visited because she feels correct geographical details are an important ingredient in a story to give the reader the full experience.



More from E. M. Bannock

Winter Morning in Clark

Journeys – Part 1 by Devika Fernando

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka

 

Journeys – Part 1

by Devika Fernando

I live near Kandy, a historically important city with a population of about 125,000 that lies smack in the middle of the island. It’s the capital of the Central Province and part of the Sri Lankan up-country filled with hills and mountains and picturesque villages. Colombo couldn’t be more different. I should know, I lived in one of its suburbs for 3 years, and I don’t ever want to go back. As the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo boasts around 4.5 million inhabitants and is a metropolis right at the coast, part of the Western Province. If you’re looking for anything official and important, for entertainment and for modern high-rise buildings with luxury apartments, you’ll find it there. If you’re looking for teeming slums, smog, dirty politics and overcrowded roads, you’ll find those there, too.

Express Train

The unimaginably slow, so-called intercity express train

To travel from where we live to the capital city, it takes us 5 hours by car each way, which means a whole day needs to be sacrificed. The physical distance is about 130 km, but it feels like a trip to the other end of the world. Most of the journey takes you through villages and towns, up and down mountains, around hairpin-bends and through stretches of beautiful emptiness. You can’t drive faster than 40 km/h for the better part of the trip, and you need to constantly be on your toes unless you want some frustrated, maniacal driver to hit your vehicle. Taking the train isn’t much better. The vista is stunning, but the train crawls at (less than) walking speed, the noise is unbearable and the roughly 20 tunnels make reading a difficult task. I shouldn’t complain, though, because until the British colonized the island and drilled through the rock, a trip from Kandy to Colombo took several arduous days involving bullock carts, jungles and accidents galore.

Bible Rock

View of Bible Rock from Kadugannawa

All the stress aside, travelling from Kandy to Colombo has an exotic flair to it that gets my writer brain whirring. What fascinates me most – apart from the idyllic views of towering peaks, misty mountains ranges, oddly shaped rocky outcrops, impossibly green paddy fields and weed-choked lakes – is the hustle and bustle of life we pass by. You see a zillion shops, houses, schools, banks, restaurants and religious buildings, encroaching on the main road, much too numerous and close for comfort. There are constant traffic blocks, police check-points and crowds monopolizing the road. What adds to the fascinating flair is the fact that specific things are sold at intervals along the way:

Rambutan

Rambutan, mangosteen and durian

• When you wind your way down towards Colombo, you find inflatable toys and balls and boats and what-not lining both sides of the road in splashes of colour (don’t forget, going to Colombo means getting close to the beach).
• There is an aptly named town called Pilimathalawa where people specialize in arts and craft, or rather, in stone or plaster statues (pilima) of all kinds. Some of them are breathtakingly beautiful, others make me cringe with their kitsch and exaggeration.
• The crafty goodness goes on because not much later there’s a town dedicated to furniture and accessories woven from wood. The offers range from simple baskets over cupboards or tables and chairs to lampshades and statues made out of intricate wood weave.
• Up next are places where an array of vases, pots and decoration items made out of clay is on display. Pottery has always been important in this country.
• Following that comes a long stretch around the town of Kadugannawa where vendors sell steamed, salted corn on the cob and spicy snacks to brace yourself for the strenuous journey yet to come.
• Next you are met with girls and women clad in red-coloured traditional clothes who sell cashew nuts, roasted and unroasted. Cashews are available in supermarkets for an ungodly prize, but a little cheaper along the Colombo-Kandy road.
• Hold on tight, exotic fruits are last! It starts with durian, jackfruit, rambutan and mangosteens. Closer to the low-country regions, you can grab pineapples at bargain price.

With such highlights that never fail to interest me and will probably find their way into my book “Saved in Sri Lanka” (it’s in its draft stages at the moment), the negativity fades away a little.

If you have enjoyed reading about one of my journeys, stay tuned for Part 2, where I talk about the real and internal journeys the protagonists of my books face.

 



 

More from Devika Fernando

Nature Photography

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon.