Wandering Imagination

Featured Author, Rachel Barnard, has a new publication, Wandering Imagination available. Check out the poetry collection by this talented young author…


Also, here’s a story to enjoy from Rachel:


There was a young girl. She was small and timid but wanted to be brave. She lived in the desert with her younger sister. She was even smaller and more timid than the elder one was.

One day, as they were cooking dinner together, like they did every night, there came a knock on the door. They both froze, waiting. The knock became a bang. The bang became a shout as the door was kicked in and three men entered. They grabbed the young girl and took her outside.

The older sister was very scared of these men. They were bad men. One of them approached her and she scooted back toward her cooking pot. She was very scared but she needed to be brave for her sister. She gritted her teeth and grabbed the pot and chucked it at the man. He screamed and clutched at his face, dripping with hot stew. The older sister grabbed the stirring spoon on the counter and ran outside, brandishing her weapon and yelling wildly.

The other two men were saddling up their horses, one of them holding the younger sibling by the upper arm. The older sibling ran toward the man holding her sister and hit him on the shin with the spoon. He buckled and let go of the other girl. They both turned to look at the final man who leered menacingly in his leathers at the two. He was rummaging through some of their stuff and picked up a pickax.

The two girls’ eyes widened in fright but the older sister gritted her teeth again and picked up her younger sister and placed her on one of the horses. She shouted ‘go!’ and swatted the horse so that it took off into the distance. She ran quickly over to one of the other horses and shouted at it and swatted that one so that it took off as well. She ran to the final horse and tried to mount but the third man had caught up to her and raised the pickax. She screamed and kicked the man. He fell and lay still.

She finally mounted the horse, with the help of an abandoned stump in the yard. The older sister galloped, trying to catch up with her younger sister, who was far off in the distance, headed northwards. She caught up and pointed to the cliffs. They trotted together to the edge. There was a gnarled and bent tree overlooking the valley and a racing river that looked like a shoelace because it was so far below.

The two sisters got off the horses. The older sister walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down. The height made her dizzy but she gritted her teeth and turned to face her younger sister as she delicately placed her foot on a rock below. Foot over foot she made it several feet down to a ledge and then she beckoned to her sister to do the same. Her younger sister was very scared but looked back at the house, small in the distance and saw two thin specks. Her mind made up, she gritted her teeth, much like her older sister and followed onto the ledge three feet below. The two sisters put their feet around the ledge and felt another ledge. Another ledge below that waited. And another. Step by step, they made their way down and deeper into the cliff face until they were upright in a hidden cave.

Unpublished excerpt cut from YA Novel, ATAXIA AND THE RAVINE OF LOST DREAMS by Rachel Barnard, Featured Author Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams


Author’s Workshop – January 2014

I hope you’ll join us for our 1st quarter workshop on Tuesday, January 28th! This round-table style workshop will encourage free exchange of information on self-publishing. Our FVP authors will come prepared with stats on their books and marketing choices to share along with conversation on their publishing experiences. 

Please come and share your experience with self-publishing and/or come prepared to learn from the experience of those who’ve been down the road awhile.

Please RSVP to FreeValleyPublishing@gmail.com …and Hurry Space is Limited!

FVP Author Workshop Flyer Publishing Roundtable 1-13

Too Much…

A bookless library? What are your thoughts on this?

Tommia's Tablet

Thanks go to Robin Coyle for her post this last weekend. I read it yet shook my head in disbelief thinking, no – a public library couldn’t possibly be reduced to that!

Then I read this article: Bookless Library. Really? What’s next – bakeries without sweets? Coffee shops without coffee?

I know (and sadly accept aspects of the facts) that we’re becoming a digital world, disconnected from discourse, decency and delighting in life’s simple details. Can someone explain how this can be a library?

This is a library:

Library WideDesigned like a stack of books, the Seattle Public Library is a treasure filled with everything including digital items. Easy to spend an entire day there.

This is a library:

Dallas dedicates a floor to history (the seventh floor) and mystery (an entire floor for children) and a place for audiophiles to listen to music in almost any medium.

This is…

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The Violinist

“Once upon a time there was a man. He made violins. He came from a small village but his violins were famous throughout the land. He made the most beautiful violins.violin-6684664 They were crafted from the most majestic and mightiest of trees. He spent hours at his craft. He started to teach his skills to his young son, when the country went to war. He was drafted early and had to leave his family. He packed one of his violins and off he went. At first he didn’t know how to be a soldier. The clunky gun was not as graceful as a bow gliding over a violin’s strings. His uniform wore him down. His violin in its case became heavier and heavier as the days passed, but still, he carried it with him. The army regiment that he was a part of marched for days and days. Every time they stopped to rest he would open up the violin case and take out that violin. He would tune it, plucking each string and adjusting the pegs at the top. Then he would take out the bow, tighten it and play a tune.

At first the tunes were lively and the other soldiers would dance. As time went on and the soldiers became wearier, his tunes became more desperate and melancholy. He missed his family and his young son. Soon enough, he wouldn’t even take the violin out of the case but would just stare at it sadly. When finally the army made it to where the war was, he had become more in tune with the gun than with his violin. The regiment he was a part of gave the men their orders. March to the front to shoot and kill the enemy. The man did as he was told even though he knew that they were being marched to their death. The regiment was out manned and outnumbered. Most of the regiment was made up of countrymen who made their living in the gentle arts, like painters and shoemakers. They did not know how to kill. The enemy made short work of most of the regiment and captured the rest. They killed the leaders and brought the rest of the men, including the man and his violin to their encampment. They told this man to play them a victory song. He took out the violin and plucked the strings. After tuning the instrument and tightening the bow he began to play. A melody broke forth, one that came from far away. It was a victorious melody, one never heard before. He did not know how or where it came from but he let it travel through his fingers and out of the instrument. The enemy men clapped for the man, admiring his skills.

The man’s regiment had been tied up, not more than twenty among them left alive. The enemy camp numbered at least two hundred. The man started to play a new melody. As he played, he felt stronger and stronger. He remembered his son and wife, waiting for him back home. He started to play louder, cutting the air with the notes. The enemy men put their hands over their ears, wailing for the man to stop, stop with his torture, but he did not stop. He continued to play and then to sing. He nodded to his fellow countrymen, their hands tied but their mouths free, to sing with him. They joined together, and the enemy men crouched down in agony, blood pouring from their ears.

The man put down the violin and untied his men and they walked out alive. The man walked triumphantly back to his village. Every night as he walked, he would take out his violin and play a tune to help him remember his family. It had been a very long time since he had been away, but when he walked into his yard, a voice cried out “papa!” and his boy ran to greet him. News of the famous violinist reached far and wide. Soon he was drafted again, but not as a common soldier, he was given a higher rank, a leader of men. He could not refuse. Once again the man said farewell to his son and wife, picked up his violin and went off to war.”

by Rachel Barnard, Featured Author  Published with Permission