Persistence of Memory Published!

I am thrilled to announce that Artania V: Persistence of Memory was published on January 18th! I am so thankful to my publisher, Next Chapter, and editor Miika Hannila for continuing to support me and my work. With international exposure, translations into four languages, audio books, and now even promotional merchandise, they make me proud to be part of the team.

Since each of my Artania books takes place during a different art period, I thought it’d be fun to research the surrealist movement in Spain for this one. I loved learning about Gaudi’s architecture, Frida Kahlo’s art, and Salvador Dali’s fascinating life. And it gave me lots of cool ideas for characters. For example, when I visited Dali’s home in Cadaques a couple of years back and saw a stuffed polar bear draped in necklaces, I immediately knew he’d have to be in the book. So Polar Bear is Dali’s flamboyant chef who loves nothing more than creating

Fun!

About Laurie: The author of Forests Secrets and Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Rift, Persistence of Memory, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Artania V: Soon to Be Published!

My publisher said yes! They accepted my new novel, Artania V: Persistence of Memory and are now doing the final edits. Yahoo!

What is it about? Saving an art-created world changed little for Bartholomew Borax III. His germaphobe mother still makes him bathe six times a day. He can’t tell anyone about the mystical Artania. And he must secretly sculpt.  But then, Bartholomew is yanked, alongside skater-girl Gwen and fellow artist, Alex back into that world. Here much has changed.  Artanians are being infected with amnesia and no one can find a cure. With epic battles, surreal creatures, and a growing threat the trio race to save Artania from certain doom.

I’ll be so excited to see what covers they come up with!

About Laurie: The author of Forests Secrets and Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Rift, Persistence of Memory, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

The Nomad of Time Review

This early 1970’s steampunk is a triptych of novels that follow the adventures of a British officer, Captain Bastable who gets caught in a time travel stream while in charge of a detachment of troops in British India. He is then flung from one version of the 20th century to another where airships fly and wars have been won by alternative leaders.


The prose is definitely in a style that is no longer popular with long descriptive sentences that made it a more challenging read than many of today’s works. Also, there are dated cultural and ideological references about people of color that made me realize how much the world has changed for the better in the last fifty years. Still, Moorcock, shows multiple dystopian timelines that illustrate the horrors of war and the evil turns humanity takes act as a warning.

About Laurie: The author of Forests Secrets and Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Rift, Persistence of Memory, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Blazing Solstice: A Poem

With Winter Solstice looming near

And summer a long gone mariner

He finds power in the darkening malcontent

That traps a gaze this autumn

Above an umbrage of blazing ice clouds

Lucifer burns in the frozen star

Grinning as he weaves the death shrouds

For men’s hibernal coffins

Oh for a voyage ever southward

To a kindred hemisphere

Where azurean waves

Reflect the waxing moon

And ice surrounds no heart.

But setting sail is no easy task

In hoary waters

And dimmer skies

Where even the breath

Of mermaids’song

Hangs suspended

Like frozen desires.

For smoldering long

In the soul of man

Lingers the cryogenic star

Waiting for a time

When glaciation reigns

And the Arctic Age returns.

These celestial collisions

Bear fireballs

To illuminate and warm

A mortal sea

Eroding ice floes

That bar the way

For the long journey

Homeward.

(Photos by David Stroup)

About Laurie: The author of Forests Secrets and Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet, and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Finding Joy: One Teen’s Journey

I hide the bruises while they say hippie wannabe, dog, and freak. But I am Joy. Its my name! And I’m really trying to live it.

A Tale of Abuse and Discovery

About Laurie: The author of Forests Secrets and Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Velveted Blades: A Poem

Skin of blades

Velveted by day

Sheathed under layers

Of false smiles

And soft words.

But as night falls

Hinge outward

Extending scythes

Of umbrage

Razor-sharp

Piercing embrace.

Photos by David Stroup

About Laurie: The author of Forests Secrets and Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Disembodied Embrace: A Poem

Disembodied embrace

Of a dream lover.

He who exists beyond the

Corporeal plodding through

The mundane, that muck of life

That seeks to pull us under.

Ethereal, his voice transcends

Skin, scent, and taste

Until we are afloat

In a buoyant fantasy

Soaring in the sublime

Photos by David Stroup

About Laurie: The author of Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and Forests Secrets.  Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Thank You Queen Elizabeth

A life of service, dignity, devotion, and love for her country. Promises kept. Always maintaining composure even in the most trying of times. An example we all can learn from.

As I watched the events during the United Kingdom’s official mourning period, I couldn’t help but see the stark contrast between her life and that of other leaders throughout history. How many other prime ministers, presidents, kings, emperors, or other heads of state have kept promises made to serve? Just as she did on her twenty-first birthday.

An example we all can learn from. You served us all. Thank you Queen Elizabeth. Your footprint on humanity will long be felt.

You make me want to be better. And serve in my own small way.

About Laurie: The author of Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and Forests Secrets.  Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net

Thorns: A Poem

I have been on a path to find my way back to myself
But I’m so lost that I can’t tell if this bramble covered ground
Is a road, a garden, or a kingdom.
I reach for shears to cut through the thorny vines
But they have long since rusted
And crumble in my hands.
I try wading through the woody sharpness
And look down to find my feet torn and bleeding.
I remember Jesus imploring me on that night
So long ago.
With unspoken words that touched and terrified me.
And decide that this is not a path
But a snare.
I entrap myself in again and again.

Photo by David Stroup

About Laurie: The author of Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and Forests Secrets.  Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net


Sludge’s Revenge: An Artania V Excerpt

With a final glance over his shoulder, Sludge stepped onto the shack’s dilapidated porch and knocked on the twisted door. When no Crone appeared, he tried the knob. “Locked. Of course.”

Expecting this, he pulled out the key he’d made. A year or two back, when the Crone was in the kitchen making worm tea, he’d grabbed the key on the wall and pressed it into a block of clay in his pocket. Later he’d taken it to an Artanian blacksmith he knew he could trust who forged a new one.

“Crone?” he called inserting the key in the lock.

No answer. She was probably meeting with the Mud Princess. She often did to scheme and plot. Sludge allowed himself a moment to imagine a dance with that alluring creature, torchlight illuminating their wreathing bodies as his minions looked on in envy.

Yes, the Shadow Swine will long tell tales of my glorious dance. He stared at the door. His lips curled up and serrated teeth glinted in the firelight.

 A splash behind him made him turn. He glanced back at Swallow Hole Swamp where larvae hatched. Even before he’d bowed before Lord Sickhert on the banks of the River of Lies, he’d practiced dream draining on his fellow nymphs there.  

Magnificent memories.

A dark worm crested the swamp, its segmented back rolling in and out of mossy waters.

“Swim, nymph, swim. Into shadows below,” Sludge whispered before stepping over the threshold. “Are you here, old one?”

Her shack was as quiet as a death.

“I’m coming in,” he said to the air.

 Once inside, he turned right toward the exact room he wanted. While each held a boiling pot, some forged like serpents or krakens, with others as round as witch’s kettles, the one he needed was misshapen and warped. 

This one held answers.

The view inside looked the same as it had weeks earlier when he’d stood there with the Crone. The firepit still lit the room in. The three-legged cauldron still held a long ladle and flames continued licking the bent and twisted iron.

Here he’d seen that human’s face floating in mist long ago. The artist who had gloriously drowned in mud months before young Bartholomew was born. Oh, the nightmares he’d sent Hygenette after that. They ensured that she would forever turn from art.

This had gained him recognition and put him in Lord Sickhert’s favor. But now the Crone suspected the truth and just a few choice words could strip all of that away.

If he wasn’t careful.

“Are you investigating me, Crone?” Sludge said stepping closer to the kettle.

The boiling surface was misty at first. No images. Not even the slightest hint of a human or Artanian. But as Captain Sludge looked deeper, a faint outline began to appear.

He leaned in closer. A sandy beach emerged. Melting clocks. Cliffs. Some hazy forms took shape. Two of the animated figures gesticulated wildly while a third with red hair paced nearby.

“New humans in Surrealia? How can that be?” Sludge gasped and stumbled back.

He mused for a moment. What was going on? Only the Chosen Ones should be able to enter portals. That’s how it had always been.  Had Thinker done this? If so, it made no sense. Artania’s leader was known for safeguarding humans. Only calling upon Alex, Bartholomew, and Gwen when necessary.

Maybe Crone had shown Lord Sickhert their new powers and now could open larger portals. Sludge straightened two of his hair spikes, thinking.  But no, she often ranted and raved about him being too strong. She would never share such powerful knowledge with their lord.

But she might take some for herself and leave Sludge behind.

Whatever the reason, he had not slogged through the marshes of Swallow Hole Swamp to waste this opportunity. When he first set out, he’d hoped to find what the Crone was up to. But never in his wildest dreams had he imagined that vulnerable humans would now be in Artania.

He nodded. This turn of events just might work in his favor.

He rubbed his hands together. “I think I’ll craft a bit of amnesia to send your way.”

Taking a deep breath, Sludge blew a long stream of black mist over the simmering liquid. The dark smoke entered each gurgling bubble before rising on the steam. Sludge smiled and blew more.

The hazy image of four teens on a beach rose higher over the kettle as the outline of a brain took shape in the boiling waters. A moment later it ascended, and Jose and Zach’s faces materialized in the air. Licking his lips lasciviously, Sludge blew harder, and all images sharpened.

“Blankness, oblivion, shade,” Sludge chanted between panting blows.  A cloud filled the brain image then darkened and drifted toward the teens’ faces.

Jose and Zach’s mouths dropped open.

“What do you think you’re doing?” an ancient voice cried from the doorway.

Sludge didn’t turn. “Capitalizing on an opportunity.”

“I didn’t give you permission.”

“Yet here I am.” He blew again. “Watch.”

The floating image enlarged until it filled the room. Then Jose and Zach’s eyes clouded to milky white. An instant later there was a loud pop, and the smoke cleared.

Sludge ran a claw-tipped hand over where the image had been.

The Crone nodded approvingly and slapped him on the back. “Well perhaps you are not quite the pupae I took you for.” She began to cackle.

Sludge joined in and their screeching voices filled the shack and floated toward the quivering nymphs of Swallow Hole Swamp.

About Laurie: The author of the recently released Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and Forests Secrets.  Laurie Woodward  is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net