Woodland Music

Japanese woodland xylophone

A magical, inspiring video of a large xylophone winding through the forest of Kyushu, Japan, made me think of walking through Faerie and hearing this beautiful music playing in the distance. And imagine,  if while you were listening it started to lightly rain – not just any rain, but a warm rain, glistening with all the colors of the forest.

It’s so peaceful – the beautiful sounds of nature together with the clicking of the ball dropping down the wood is simply magnificent, and magnificently simple! It constantly amazes me, the things that people create. It shows us that there is still plenty of magic to be shared here in the Real World.

To experience this beautiful video for yourself, follow this link: “Touch Wood in a Japanese Forest with Bach.”

Now *that’s* my idea of a troll…!

Shadowrun-style troll from pbphouse.com forum discussionI’ve been trolling the web (pun intended) to see if I could find a picture of a troll that came vaguely close to the way I see Masaman. In my mind, he’s not some oogly-boogly ugly creature that goes “growl” in the night, but is incapable of saying anything else. Likewise, he’s not a soft, squishy cartoon character with skin colored in primary colors. Even the fabulous Freemont Troll on the cover of the novel isn’t really how I see Masaman.

The trolls in the world of Just Another Day in Suburbia are reasonably realistic-looking guys. They’re big dudes, who wear heavy boots and durable clothing. Think of the biggest, baddest biker dude you can imagine, and then make him even bigger. He might have an attitude, or he might be a really nice guy – he just happens to live under a bridge. Or, in Masaman’s case, on Oak Tree Lane.

Anyway, as you can see, I finally did find a troll that is as close to my idea of what a troll looks like as I can imagine – if you’ve played the role-playing game Shadowrun, you’re already familiar with the world this big guy comes from (of course, my trolls don’t usually carry heavy weaponry… )

So there you are … that’s my idea of a troll!

Up, Up, and Away!

hto air balloonsI’m sort of Goblin-like when it comes to hot air balloons – no matter how many times I watch them take off, I still love the variety of colors and patterns different balloonists come up with. So when I have the opportunity to go to a balloon festival, I’ll happily get up early and go with my friends to watch the huge, colorful creations fill and rise just after sunrise.

(And because I’m Goblin-like when it comes to hot-air balloons, I thought I’d also link to this cool video of Hot Air Balloons on YouTube.)



If a tree falls…

"Bye-Bye Big Tree" - photo by Liz Pierce, 060411There’s a row of poplars along the back fence. They’re probably too close to the fence – the original owners of the house planted them, not us – but they’re an excellent screen between us and the neighbors.

Sadly, one of the trees took some serious damage over the winter, and didn’t survive. It was, of course, the one that was perfectly positioned to shade the back porch from both the afternoon sun and the neighbor’s yard. Much as we regret doing so, we’ve had to take it out to prevent the dead, dying, and drying branches from breaking off and landing on something (or someone).

I’m going to miss that tree – both for the shade it provided, and the sound of the wind blowing through the branches and rustling the leaves.

Bye-bye big tree.

Just Another Day in Suburbia

Just Another Day in Suburbia, a novel by Elizabeth Ann PierceForest Glen, Pennsylvania. A peaceful suburban neighborhood where nothing unusual ever happened — until the day Masaman the Troll moved out from under his bridge and bought the old fixer-upper on Oak Tree Lane.

Now Goblins swarm the neighbor’s front porch and kitchen windowsill in search of freshly baked pies and cookies; a cat-food eating Zombie canvasses the residents, looking for landscaping and interior decorating opportunities; and a Dwarf takes time out from Poker Night to investigate the rash of burglaries that suddenly plague the neighborhood.

And the Neighborhood Watch has no idea who it should be watching.

A suburban fantasy novel

Available on Kindle, Nook, XinXiiSmashwords and the iBook store. $4.99

What is “Suburban Fantasy”?

Small Wooden Dwarf (morguefile royalty-free photo)We’re all familiar with “urban fantasy” – the gritty, often violent intersection of the real world with creatures from our darkest imaginings. And as entertaining as urban fantasy can be both to read and to write, I thought it was time to throw something new into the mix. I’ve coined the term “suburban fantasy” for my work – stories that blur the boundaries between the real world and the fantastical, but are lighter and less edgy than their urban cousins. And, hopefully, a little more fun.

Whether it’s the exploits of the teenage offspring of the Gods walking the halls of Olympus High, or Faerie Folk moving to the Real World and trying to cope with jobs, neighbors, and mortgages, I hope you enjoy the glimpse into the lighter side of life as I see it.

Because really, we never do know who – or what – is our neighbor!

And Then I Woke Up Dead

And Then I Woke Up Dead - a short novel by Elizabeth Ann PierceMuzak is definitely not your garden-variety, brain-gobbling zombie – he has higher aspirations than mindlessly sucking down on raw flesh. Then again, becoming a zombie was never part of his plans, either…

And Then I Woke Up Dead

Muzak knew about zombies – he’d seen them on the streets, doing the menial jobs they’d been created for, jobs no living person wanted to do. He just never expected to find himself shuffling along as one of the walking dead, anti-freeze coursing through his veins. To be honest, he’d had higher expectations of the after-life – and, at the very least, expected a better wardrobe.

A “Suburbia” short novel.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. $2.99

My own little “Charlotte”

"Charlotte"A spider web appeared in the corner of the back porch doorframe during the night – complete with spider! Unfortunately, my little “Charlotte” isn’t a writer – or at least, I can’t make out any inspiring words in her web. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have stories to tell.

Guess I’ll just have to do the writing for both of us!

The original Charlotte’s Web (by E.B. White) was a childhood favorite, and a favorite of my children’s. Of course, that rapscallion, Templeton (the Rat, in case you don’t remember) was *my* favorite character!

Anyway, no pigs or rats or other barnyard critters around here. Just a spider, sharing the morning with us, inviting us to read what we will in her web.

Pinkerton Dwarf, P.I. – Case File 001: Renault

Pinkerton Dwarf, P.I. - Case File 001: Renault, a short novel by Elizabeth Ann PierceMore than a few people have asked for stories about some of the characters in Just Another Day in Suburbia, and I’ve been having a lot of fun obliging! This time, we go back a few years to Pinkerton’s first case…

Pinkerton Dwarf, P.I. – Case File 001: Renault

When the tall, red-haired woman walked into Grady’s Bar and Grill on that dark and stormy night, newly-licensed private investigator, Pinkerton Dwarf knew at a glance that she wasn’t the date he was waiting for. He did not know that Monica Renault would turn out to be his first official client, or that his date had gone awry before it even began.

A “Suburbia” short story.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. $.99

Ice Plant, Sedum, and Something Purple…

Ice Plant, Setum, and Something Purple - photo by Liz Pierce, June 2011I live in a place that doesn’t usually get a lot of rain in the summer, and has cold, snowy winters. As a result, I primarily plant drought- and cold-tolerant plants, like the Ice Plant and Sedum in this photo.

This year, we’ve had a particularly wet spring. What that means is that a lot of other plants – the kind we usually call “weeds” – have had the opportunity to really get a foothold. You can’t see them well, but bordering the back of this small garden plot, there are a bunch of green plants with purple flowers. I have no idea what they are – I didn’t plant them. They simply took advantage of the abundant water (and the fact that I’m not the sort of gardener to go out and dig up weeds in the rain) to populate, spread, and thrive.

Oddly enough, I sort of like them. So for the moment, I’m going to leave them where they are. Once the flowers start to die-off, I’ll dig them up and replace them with something intentional. With any luck, I’ll have them out before they set seed for next spring’s crop.

But for now, the ice plant is thriving, the sedum is spreading, and I’ve got something purple growing in my garden.