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A Joyous Yule – How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)

The birthing of Naomi’s Chronicler (with Lynne Cantwell)

Tonight is the darkest it will ever be in Alaska, in fact there is not any day at the moment. Maybe three hours of dusk or darker making little moments of light come from items below. As I snuggle up and have a day of no eavesdropping  feel free to peak at another wonderful moment with Lynne Cantwell, one of my favorite people and her writing is not so shabby either. She weaves a unique and fun tale of magic throughout her Pipe Women Tales series so grab some wassail, or some ‘nog (leaded or non) and join me as Lynne, has her characters to a magical Yuletide camping trip.

A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)


The gods alone knew why. But a couple of days earlier, I’d gotten this bizarre urge out of nowhere to spend the winter solstice – 12/21/2012, the day the Mayan calendar was supposed to end, if you could believe the hype – somewhere magical. And for me, “magical” always translates to “Colorado.”

So I told my daughters we were bagging Yule this year, dusted off my camping gear, and bought a round-trip ticket to Denver. Never mind that the last time I’d done something like this, I nearly drove off the side of a mountain near Idaho Springs in the dark while escaping some fellow campers who were stoking a bonfire and singing the national anthem at midnight – during a ban on open fires, no less. Nothing, I reasoned, could be weirder than that.

I collected the rental car and hit the road, headed more or less toward Boulder. On a whim, I turned west on a county road, into a canyon; after a while, I parked the car at a random trailhead and backpacked into the wilderness.

As out of shape as I was, I barely got out of sight of the car before I gave up and dropped my gear. “This will do,” I gasped, and set up camp somewhere near the edge of the Roosevelt National Forest.

I got a fire going and heated up a bag of something freeze-dried in my Jetboil for dinner, then bear-cached everything before the light completely failed. Hunched before my campfire, I stared into the flames and waited for something…magical.

I didn’t have to wait long.

All of a sudden, somewhere east of my campsite, a bright white light blazed up. I had a flashback for a minute to that crazy night in Idaho Springs, but this was no campfire. It was more like a wide-angle LED, if there is such a thing. Or a laser. Or some kind of explosion, maybe, except that there was no sound.

I was debating whether to get up and get closer when the light flared even brighter, engulfing my campsite. I threw up my arms to shield my eyes.

When the light became bearable, I looked around – and my jaw dropped. I was on a vast, empty plain, ringed by snow-capped peaks. Above, millions of stars twinkled. Before me was a tableau: a pale woman with long, black hair, dressed in a skirt and t-shirt; and the source of the light – a glowing Native American woman in a pure white, lavishly fringed buckskin dress. The glowing one looked so much like the drawing of White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman on my bulletin board at home that I decided it had to be Her. Beside Her sat a coyote with whirling amber eyes.

As the goddess and the woman focused on each other, the coyote got up and padded over to me. I stood, frozen, as it circled me slowly; then it sniffed my hand, and licked my fingers twice. Its jaw dropped, tongue lolling, in what I could have sworn was a grin. Then it walked back to the goddess.

She placed Her hand on the animal’s head and said with a laugh, “I wouldn’t trust this one all of the time.” I remembered the feel of the coyote’s tongue on my fingers and shuddered, squeezing my eyes shut.

“You need not fear Joseph,” the goddess said a moment later. “He is a good man.” I opened my eyes; I was still on the empty plain, but the woman and the coyote were gone, and White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman was talking directly to me.

As I wondered who Joseph was, She continued in a kind voice, “Naomi faces a difficult road, but she will have help. Joseph will be her Guardian, and her friend Shannon will be her Counselor. An Investigator is on his way, although he may be more harm than help.” Her smile twisted for a moment. But then She grinned at me. “And you, too, have a role to play.”

“Me?” I squeaked, finding my voice at last.

The goddess chuckled. “Yes, you, Lynne Cantwell. For you are Naomi’s Chronicler. Let Me show you….”

And that’s when my adventure really began.

A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. In addition to writing fantasy, Lynne is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited and writes a monthly post for The Indie Exchange. Lynne’s vast overeducation includes a journalism degree from Indiana University, a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a paralegal certificate. She currently lives near Washington, DC.

A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)

A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)

Tapped (The Pipe Woman Chronicles)A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)



Tapped (The Pipe Woman Chronicles) by Lynne Cantwell

Ah, winter in South Dakota…

Naomi’s caught some kind of bug, and she hasn’t seen Joseph in weeks. But she lets Shannon drag her on vacation: a road trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to find Naomi’s father. There, they find more than they bargained for: a dream wolf, a mysterious walled compound that might or might not belong to Loki, and a lot of snow.

Shannon certainly knows how to show a friend a good time…


Ever wonder what happens if you were to break into your world build and sit down and have a beer with? I think I would love to have tea with Jane Eyre, or discuss the best way to take care of vampires with Jane Yellowstone…maybe having Susie Shotgun take me out for some Angels Tears. 

Interested in being part of Cabin Goddess’ Fourth-Wall Friday?

Fourth-Wall FridayAllow yourself as an author to open up a new avenue of sharing your AUTHOR PERSONA & WORLD BUILD in a unique and creative fashion.. Just take a chance, write fluidly and from within that “place” you hangout at with your muse when you are writing. Or perhaps walk in the door and sit down, watch your characters, talk to them…Now opening up sign ups for 2013 – If you are an author and are interested in having your own experience with the wandering, eavesdropping Cabin Goddess and break through your own Fourth-Wall,  Fill out the form and sign up for a date. Currently am accepting dates for 2013. Also, please peruse the archives and find out just what other authors have done

I want to say a special thank you to Lynne for writing another wonderful piece for me to share with all of you especially for Yule. I am so excited how Fourth-Wall Friday has turned out. It is always exciting and an honor to have an author take the plunge into their world as well as  taking the time to write exclusive series submissions like these. This is what makes Indie Publishing such a dynamic community. This level of engagement truly is a gift. 

HAPPY YULE! Hey look, if you are reading this, it is safe to come out of the shelter, the world did not blow up!

A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)


A Joyous Yule - How It Begins (Fourth-Wall Friday)


  1. That was a great story, I love how it reminded us that “the end is near” with the date being today that the world is going to end. Glad you posted this!

  2. You did an awesome job as always, Kriss! Thanks, and happy Yule to you, too! 🙂

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