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Why I wrote The Poppet Master

Thar she blows, the very first copy of The Poppet Master to come out of the box.

If you’re an HSP (highly sensitive person)—that is, someone who lives the meaning of the word “empath”—you know that bearable entertainment can be hard to come by. There exist plenty of well-made movies and TV programs, written and performed by truly gifted artists, but a lot of it is just too intense for people with over-the-top psychic abilities.

To be an HSP is a blessing and a curse (a blurse, as comedian Jonathan Katz would call it). On one hand, you’re psychic, which is pretty groovy. On the other hand, you’re psychic, which means that you feel and know stuff you don’t want to feel or know.

It also means that watching or reading violent or psychologically twisted programming or books is nearly impossible.

Even though I have access to movie channels, Netflix and Hulu, and have the entire world at my fingertips via the interwebs, sometimes it feels like there’s literally nothing on that I can watch without making me weep for the future (or the past). I don’t need any more anxiety in my life, but I also get tired of settling for fluff. I want to sink my teeth into something flavorful, but I don’t want said chompers stuccoed with Cheeto gunk when I’m done.

When something that fits the bill comes along, I grab onto it and squeeze the life out of it by obsessively binge-watching over and over until my husband begs me to find something else to watch. For example, I adore a British TV show called Detectorists, and I’m on what is probably my fifth viewing of all three seasons. It’s insanely funny, but it’s a gentle humor. The characters are so very real and the situations in which they find themselves are dramatic enough to be interesting, yet not so hard core that I can’t sleep at night.

Shows like this are hard to find and, sometimes, when your personality is such that stories come to you “on a flaming pie”, you write the kind of books you wish you could find. Thusly, here comes Lola and Twink, starring in The Poppet Master, a metaphysical comedy for empaths and the people who love them.

It’s the kind of book I like to read: sometimes zany, sometimes suspenseful, always magical. Plus, I love when any of the characters address the blurse of being a Highly Sensitive Person.

Check it out. If you like it, leave a positive review on Amazon. If you don’t like it, remember what your mom used to say, “If you can’t say something nice …”

And, of course, here’s you a writing dog:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master is available wherever books are sold. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

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A Visit to the Queen of the Fairies

I know that I’ve been talking a lot about riding to the top of the Blackpool Tower as a Bucket List event, but there is another one I’ve been quieter about, and that’s the one I accomplished today. Today I visited Janet’s Foss in Malham, England, the fabled dwelling place of the Queen of the Fairies.


“Why?” you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

My first novel (a metaphysical comedy which was originally published in 2009 as Be Careful What You Witch For! and will be re-released later this summer with a new ending, under the new title of The Poppet Master) includes a character who comes from here. She’s a fairy named Aethelwyne Eglantina, but the stupid human who she’s been assigned to assist calls her by the embarrassing name of Twink.

In Book 1, we don’t know much about Twink or where she comes from but in Book 2, which is still in the works, we discover that she’s from Janet’s Foss. And, although I’ve done extensive research about the spot and there are lots of gorgeous photos of it online, there’s nothing like an in-person visit to give one a real sense of the look and feel of a place.

The photos I’ve seen online simply don’t do it justice and, I’m quite sure, neither will mine, but I’ll share a few anyway.

Janet’s Foss is a waterfall about a mile outside of a quaint village called Malham. Jeff and I are staying at the Buck Inn, just to take a break from being in the camper, to take a real shower and sleep in a real bed.

The walk to the Foss is breathtaking, even if it was cold and windy, with a hint of rain in the air. I took a bazillion pictures, and here are some of the best to give you an idea of what it looks like on the way there:

There it is, in the photo above, my first view of the waterfall. You can just barely see it through the trees. It literally took my breath away.

And there it is, in all its glory. It’s much higher and impressive than the pictures show. Best of all, as we were leaving to go back to the Inn, I saw these:

And, of course, before I go, here’s you some dogs, playing in the pond at the foot of the Foss.


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

The Magic of Music

David Morrissey as Ripley Holden, in the BBC miniseries, Blackpool.

Followers of my blog know why Blackpool, England is on my Bucket List, so I won’t repeat myself. We’ll be there in a couple of days, and today I had a powerful reminder of how I made this happen — the power of music. 


See, once I decided that I wanted to make this trip, I became obsessed with the movie soundtrack. I played it almost non-stop, to the point where Jeff begged me to knock it off, so I wore headphones or only played it when he wasn’t home.

In fact, I even added several of the songs to my walking playlist, to listen to while I power-walked to get in shape for this trip. I would go out and pound the pavement in time to the music and, while I did that, I would fantasize about what it would be like when I was walking in England.

So today, while we were driving north from Glastonbury (we’re spending a couple days in Yorkshire before heading to Blackpool this weekend, while I do some research for an upcoming novel), I was searching for some music on my laptop to play over the camper’s bluetooth radio but couldn’t find any of the music I downloaded for the trip … except for the Blackpool soundtrack.

Interestingly, Jeff was okay with listening to it, so we blasted it as we drove through the rain up the M6, seeing signs for Blackpool along the way. As I listened to these well-loved songs, I remembered what it felt like to be wishing, hoping, praying … manifesting with all of my heart … and it sunk in: it worked!

I felt like I was in a house of mirrors, peering through the looking glass at younger me, the one who was so desperately trying to figure out how to accomplish this difficult goal. I sent her lots of good thoughts, lots of strength, and plenty of knowing that, “It will happen. Don’t give up.” Because here I am, in England, less than 48 hours away from my first in-person sighting of the Blackpool Tower.

No wonder I’ve been having so many psychic dreams about Blackpool and England over the years. My current self is sending messages back in time to my younger self. Well done, me!

And here’s you a dog, listening to music:

Image source


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

 

Gorgeous Glastonbury

Ever since I first read one of my all-time favorite books, The Mists of Avalon, about the Arthurian legend of Camelot, I’ve wanted to visit Glastonbury, and today that’s just what we did. I can’t tell you about it better than the official websites can, so instead I’ll mostly post pics today.


Jeff and I climbed the Glastonbury Tor and then visited the Chalice Well, before spending the day in the funky little town center.

The Tor corresponds to the fabled Isle of Avalon, although it’s no longer surrounded by water. We camped at the foot of the Tor at a beautiful campsite, with a view of St. Michael’s Tower right out the front door of our camper.

To get to the top, you have to first climb up a steep back road that eventually brings you to a gated field full of sheep, whose job is to keep the grass cut. They do an excellent job and mostly ignore the humans walking through their meal.

Except these guys. They weren’t thrilled with our presence and scampered away.

Fortunately, there are a few resting places on the way to the top.

It’s a heavy duty climb, but doable, even for old farts like us. In fact, we were soon joined by a tour group of people much older than we are, so we quickly stopped moaning about how hard it was.

Even so, it was a real accomplishment!

By the way, that’s our camper down there.

We climbed down the other side of the hill and then visited the Chalice Well gardens, which are exquisitely beautiful. This blog is already getting too long, so I won’t add any more photos … like yesterday’s blog about Stonehenge, my photos are of the same things that others have posted, so I’ll leave it at this photo of the Well.

Also, if you go in to town, check out Knight’s fish and chips shop. It’s really good!

Before I go, here’s you a cover of a book about the Dogs of Camelot:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

How NOT to visit Stonehenge

The midwinter sunset shines through the gap immediately to the right of the tall rock with the bump on the top.

We finally visited Stonehenge today! I’ve got some cool photos, but I think the most important thing I can share with you is valuable information on how NOT to visit Stonehenge … valuable information I wish I’d had before we began this journey.


We stayed at a groovy little campground nearby, called Stonehenge Touring Park. It’s a lovely place, with lots of gorgeous walking trails, but it comes with your first tip in how NOT to visit Stonehenge:

If you’re going to stay at this campsite, do NOT follow your GPS/SatNav’s instructions to turn up a narrow, grassy, one-way lane, no matter how strongly it insists. You will end up in someone’s secluded driveway and will have no way to turn around without the resident coming out and moving her car. Drive right past this lane and ignore your SatNav’s annoyed moans that she’s “Recalculating…”, and turn up Whatcombe Brow instead.

NO!!! :-O

Yes 😀

Then, when you punch the postal code in to your SatNav to drive to Stonehenge, do NOT use the postal code they offer on their website. Instead, type in “Stonehenge Visitors Center.” Otherwise, your GPS will cheerfully announce “You have arrived at your destination!” when you are on the highway whizzing past Stonehenge, up there on the hill, with no way to get to it.

NO!!! :-O

Yes 😀

Aside from that, I won’t bore you with any of the dozens of photos I took of the stones, as they aren’t any different from any of the others you can see online, aside from the fact that I took them.

Instead, I’ll show you some cool things that you can see there at the visitors center, which I didn’t know about until today.

What it looked like then ….

… and now.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a facial reconstruction of this skeleton. See the pic below for some amazing details they were able to ascertain about this man.

I got a kick out of this, from a wall of profound quotes about Stonehenge in the visitors center:

Before I go, here’s you a cat, instead of a dog, in honor of the Stonehenge Cat Hotel, which you may have noticed on the map, above:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Days 2-4: Psychic overload, London town and a ghostly cemetery

What a whirlwind these past few days have been! I haven’t had time to blog so I’ll try to fit a lot into a little space. First, I’ll tell more about seeing places I’ve been dreaming about for years, without knowing at the time where they were.


After finally making it to our campground in Edmonton, north of London, after a monstrous first day, we spent the next day wandering around the local town of Enfield — we didn’t have it in us to go to London for sight-seeing, as we originally planned. We waited until Friday to do that, after we recovered a little.

There’s nothing fancy about Enfield, it just happens to be a mile or so from the campground so we drove to the nearest grocery store for extra supplies and then walked around. In the process, I was bowled over by an overwhelmingly constant feeling of deja vu from all of the precognitive dreams I’ve had about this place.

There was nothing remarkable about any of these places, and the dreams I had about them weren’t at all exciting. I just vividly remember dreaming about them. I must have driven Jeff crazy all day, saying over and over, “Oh my God, there’s another place I’ve seen in my dreams!” Here are just a few of them:

Every one of these places brought back such powerful memories that I felt almost sickened. I was really weirded out by the end of the day. No idea what any of this means, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever find out.

The next day, we hopped on a double-decker bus into London. I took far more pictures than I could possibly share, but here are the highlights:

It’s bigger on the inside.

I’m not sure what he’s doing to that poor goose, but he’s been doing it for many years.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the old women sold bird food for tuppence a bag.

Big Ben, under construction.

This morning we headed west, bright and early. It was a much different experience driving today, leaving London, because the highways are as wide as American ones, unlike the painfully narrow city streets of London, which were built hundreds of years ago for horse-drawn carriages.

Today we’re at a campground near Stonehenge. We wandered down a lane nearby and found a gorgeous olde church that was built in the 1300s and its adjacent cemetery. I took a few pictures, cuz who can resist a charming English lane, an olde church and a grave with a rainbow ghost?

 Tomorrow, we’re off to Stonehenge and then Glastonbury, before we head north. Blackpool, we’ll see you next weekend!


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Day 1: Driving on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!

If you’re in the north London area and you see this camper coming your way, run! The occupants have no idea what they’re doing!

What do you get when you combine two jet-lagged Americans, a manual-transmission camper with the steering wheel on the wrong side, a broken sideview mirror, a SatNav (GPS) that doesn’t work properly and a long drive through London’s narrow roads and roundabouts in the rain, during rush hour?

A recipe for disaster, that’s what you get! Grounds for divorce, is what you get! Two people wishing they’d just stayed the hell home, is what you get!

Nope, that’s just wrong.

I hope and pray that this disaster of a day was merely a crash course (no pun intended, but now I know where that phrase comes from) in how to drive on the wrong side of the road and that it gets better, because otherwise this month-long trip is going to be a horror show.

Oh yeah, did I mention that the SIM card I purchased and inserted into my phone immediately after landing at Heathrow didn’t connect to the data that I bought it for, and I didn’t realize it until we were well on our way and didn’t have time or resources to deal with it? I had to wait until we finally settled into our campsite, with their weak WiFi signal, to get ahold of tech support.

My phone now has data, thank God, so perhaps I can use my own GPS to compensate for the camper’s insane SatNav, which took us around in circles back to Heathrow over and over and over and over for more than 90 minutes.

This is NOT something you want to see in London traffic, in the rain, while learning to drive on the wrong side of the road.

About halfway through this drive is when we discovered that the sideview mirror was only taped on, because it fell out of its casing and dangled by wires during the most strenuous part of the trip. I had to keep reaching my arm out the window and putting it back into place so Jeff could see to change lanes.

What should have been a one hour drive took over four hours. It is truly a testament to the strength of our marriage that we didn’t kill one another.

To make it even more horrific, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve had dreams about going to England for as long as I can remember. Many of those were about driving endlessly through a dreamscape that looked exactly like parts of the city we drove through, with strange, pale lighting and feeling exactly like I felt during this interminable drive. I literally relived a recurring nightmare that I’ve been having for years.

On the plus side, we did make it one piece, without saying anything unforgivable in anger. We did manage to find a grocery store, even though the desk clerk at the campground told us that the nearest store was 20 minutes away (he was wrong). This was due to my diligent planning before we left home. I searched for and mapped out (and even printed) directions to a nearby Asda store, so we’re stocked with enough food to get us by for a couple days.

We were planning to go sightseeing in London today, but instead we’re going to regroup and depressurize. Jeff has been asleep for over 12 hours, he’s so exhausted. It’s been a hairy couple of days so today we’re going to get unpacked and settled into the camper, and maybe just pop over to the nearby Poundland store (the Brits’ version of the dollar store … isn’t that awesome?) for a few household items that didn’t come with the supplies the camper rental place is lending us.

A room with a view. Jeff is sleeping in the bunk over the driving cab. I’m in the lower bunk, at the back of the camper.

Speaking of which, the description of the camper I rented, while still in the States, said that we would have a double bed. What they neglected to mention was that the double bed is up a ladder, above the driver. Otherwise, we have single bunk beds. Fortunately, Jeff is okay with using a ladder in the middle of the night and kindly offered the lower, single bunk bed to me.

Oh yeah … they only gave us bedding for the double bed. One sheet, one duvet, and a duvet cover with two pillow cases. Jeff took the sheet and used the duvet cover as his blanket, and I took the uncovered duvet and made it into sort of a sleeping bag for my single bunk.

Our first camper cuppa

Today though, it’s a gorgeous morning, sunny and breezy and the birds are chirping in English accents, “Cheerio!” It sounds like the opening to the Beatles song, Good Morning.

Mmmmm … chocolate Weetabix

We’re about to have our first cuppa in the camper, and I’m using my first souvenir, a gorgeous teacup I found at Asda, and we’re having chocolate Weetabix for brekkie. Fingers crossed for us that things improve, okay? That was just day one of a month-long epic journey so it has to get better, right?

 

Right???

Also, here’s you a therapy dog that I met at the Phoenix airport while we waited for our flight to board. I could sure use a therapy dog right about now!


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com