H. A. Byrd

About

Mythical creatures attended Harriet Arden Byrd in her youth, fostering an active imagination which refuses to be suppressed by adulthood. Free from concerns about fashion, Harriet shows respect for cultural and literary tradition and for the lessons about tolerance which history provides us all.

As an author of magical journeys that adults can enjoy, in often humorous and sometimes visionary escape from reality, Harriet feeds the spirit and offers relatable magic.

For the first thirty-odd years of her life, Harriet experienced existential depression in the form of a deep frustration about the great mysteries: the purpose of existence, the nature of reality. Then she had children, a move which both amplified her sense of humor and taught her patience. She learned again to explore the world with wonder in her eyes. For better or worse, as time went by she claimed her place as a formidable female with strong opinions.

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Aru’s Realm

As she steps through the doorway into womanhood, Aru must leave behind everyone she’s ever known.

Now she must find her way in a world where others have control of her life. With the help—and hindrance—of the friends she makes, Aru unravels the secrets of a mysterious sorcerer’s interest in her and her strange abilities.

Will her courage and creative thinking be enough when this journey places the fate of multiple worlds in her hands? No. No it won’t. Although, maybe with the aid of a little magic…

But there is so much more to the tale than the plot alone! It’s a playful journey with details to observe and connections to make. A visually artful story, it is all about color, nuanced textures, and perspective.

Come, enter Aru’s Realm. We all need magic in our lives.


Watch for a sequel to this visionary fantasy novel!

An unusual form of epic or high fantasy, Aru’s Realm may also be considered gaslamp fantasy, absurdist fantasy, and coming of age fantasy. Built on strong female characters and written with gender sensitivity, this old-fashioned, classic style fantasy novel is set in a parallel-world Victorian era and in a peaceful universe.

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Going out to clean the pasture spring 

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.

In this Robert Frost poem, the narrator seems to be speaking to the object of his love, but who he truly addresses is the reader. We see that cleaning up debris, the residue of rebirth, is a natural task related to the human condition. We make way for the new season, we ready new life to thrive. The poem is an invitation to let go of old patterns and so allow new perceptions. This is an opportunity to grow, and perhaps to be healed.

On our journey through time, humanity has faced many crossroads. America stands at one of those junctions now, with most citizens reeling from exhaustion, and burdened with dismay at the condition of our collective soul. What a shock it has been to learn just how many whites still subscribe to the racism cultivated by ultra-wealthy plantation owners of the nineteenth century.

This has proved a time of self-examination for us all, a worldwide pause, an opportunity to look in the mirror. A pandemic has put a large percentage of us into isolation with plenty of time to take stock. History has reared its head as an important study, and most of us have engaged more with civics than we ever have before.

What better time to think about who we are, as individuals! Advanced age has made me more introspective. It seems to me that we can always discover new things about ourselves. And one interesting subject to consider is our personal influences. The character of even the most self-determined of us is the product of the minds of others.

Who in your life made an impression on you or guided you as a child? Did you have teachers who changed your life? Most of us have received direction from books we’ve read or stories we’ve heard. The Boy Who Cried Wolf taught us to tell the truth. Do you remember if that story scared you? What story did? Did you ever read a novel which made you feel like a different person after you’d finished? Perhaps a movie, or even a song, has made a difference.

I think this is a great time to think about who we are, what we want out of life, and how we are going to get there.

Photo credit: unsplash.com/@sharon_co
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