Door of the Day: No, it doesn’t lead to dessert

Door of the Day: No, it doesn’t lead to dessert

Yugarden-icecreamdoorway

This is a very whimsical doorway at the Yu Garden in Old Shanghai. Many of my students call it the ice-cream door when I show it to them!

Yu Garden is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited in the world; we explored it one morning and were one of the first to wander through the gates that day, so we were able to experience many solemn and blissful moments.

Yugarden-rockhole-ledge

Yugarden-rockhole

YuGarden-Shanghai-bridge

The garden also features this magnificent dragon undulating along the crest of the wall. I spent a long time contemplating this creature!

Yugarden-dragon

I’m posting my door inspirations from around the world to celebrate the release of The Guardians of Zoone on February 25!

There are no ice cream doors at Zoone, but there is plenty of exotic food, including something called “snickerpops,” which many kids seem curious to try!

You can find order links for the books of Zoone HERE.

GuardiansofZoone-galaxybakkground

Door of the Day: The wyvern on the waves

Door of the Day: The wyvern on the waves

This is an exquisite dragon door I found in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Alas, I could not get the perfect photo because the light was awkward and the dragon itself was above my eye line.

I call it a wyvern in the headline because a wyvern is typically a dragon with no forearms—just wings, which is what seems to be the case with this creature. However, wyvern is a European word, and I’m sure there is a Japanese word to describe the specific dragon with wings (if you know, please make a comment below)!

Asian dragons, of course, are the opposite of European dragons, representing benign fortunes and positive notions. It’s not often you seem them depicted with wings.

Kurihama-Japan-dragondoor2

Kurihama-Japan-dragondoor5

Kamakura is a magical realm where you can explore parks and temples, with many statues or carvings peeking out from the stands of bamboo or the gardens. I found a lot of inspiration in this place.

kurihama-park

kurihama-roofline

Kurihama-path

Kurihama-statue-bambooforest

Kurihama-Japan-woodensculpture

Kurihama-Japan-marker

Kurihama-Japan-stonestature

Of course, Japan holds a special place in my heart because our son Hiro is from there. He was just a few months old when we explored the beautiful temples in the Kamakura area.

I’m posting my door inspirations from around the world to celebrate releases of The Secret of Zoone (pb-Jan28) & The Guardians of Zoone (Feb25)

Purchase and preorder links for both Zoone books can be found HERE.

Zoonecovers

Door of the Day: The protector of Florence

Door of the Day: The protector of Florence

I’m posting my door inspirations from around the world to help celebrate the releases of THE SECRET OF ZOONE (paperback: January 28) and THE GUARDIANS OF ZOONE (February 25).

Florence-doordecorationprotectingscratchedoor

Today is a door detail I found wandering down a street in Florence. Look at those scratches! What tried to claw its way into this door? Whatever it was, I imagine this peculiar fellow managed to ward off the danger.

There are so many doors in the nexus of Zoone; some lead to lost or dying worlds, which means people and creatures from the other side might try to bust through. Unless, of course, hapless characters like Ozzie, Tug, and Fidget visit them first . . . .

By the way, you can find purchase and preorder links for both my Zoone books HERE.

 

“Inspircation” Day 2: Marcie finds magic at Stone Henge

stonehenge-marciehealingstone

On Day 2 of our inspircation (vacation + inspiration), Marcie and I took my mom to Stone Henge.

It was quite the drive from our B&B in St. Mary Bourne—at one point, the rain pounded down so fiercely on the windshield that I could barely see. My mom implored me to pull over, but I figured it was actually safer to just keep going. Luckily, a few moments later, the rain turned to a trickle and, by the time we reached Stone Henge, had given way to clear skies.

I’d been to the site before, but several years ago, so was surprised to see that it had been completely redeveloped. Now you actually park, buy your tickets, then take a short shuttle bus up to the stones. We opted to get off part way and walk across a pasture towards the site, which I’m glad we did. To our left were burial mounds and slowly coming into view were the stones.

Stone Henge

There are many people who have told us in the past that Stone Henge “isn’t that great” or a “disappointment.” Since I had been to the site before, I knew what to expect—and that I certainly would not be disappointed. I love ancient sites, having visited many in different parts of the world. I found a strange and quiet calm at Stone Henge and this visit was different than the last. I’m glad I had this opportunity to visit these stones again, especially as I’m currently in the “gathering fuel” process for a new book idea and studying ancient spiritual rituals is integral part of this aim.

Stone Henge

After a lengthy stay at the stones, we returned to the visitor centre and toured the museum. There was a shaman (she was a she, but I don’t think the feminine form of “shaman” is “shawoman” so I’ll stick with shaman ) sitting in one corner with a wooden staff and  speaking to a family about energy. She certainly had an interesting look, wearing an elaborate head piece with antlers. Marcie was immediately drawn to this shaman, and asked if she could hold her staff. What took place afterwards was a lengthy . . . well, I would say exercise, in which Marcie and the shaman interacted, using the staff as a focal point to explore energy, resonance, and the relationship between the rational mind and the imagination.

stonehenge_marcie&shaman

Some feel a strong connection to this sort of spirituality, while some do not. I’m not always sure where I stand in these matters, but I do know that Marcie had a very authentic experience. She is an open and intuitive person and watching her interaction with the shaman was fascinating. One thing is for sure: By the end of it all, I ended up with exactly what I was looking for—inspirational fuel.

Life on Planet Marce: Losing our Way

Life on Planet MarceI’ve just posted the latest episode of Life on Planet Marce, the podcast my wife and I have started to chronicle  life as a married couple working in the arts. We actually recorded this episode in the car while being lost on the way back from our friend’s house.

While we try to find our way home, we talk about some of our biggest artistic achievements of 2014 and argue over who is the most like Sherlock Holmes. I discuss the inspiration I discovered during our trip to Europe . . . here’s a picture to go with the episode: me in front of a very cool window at the Louvre.

Lee at Louvre