Monday, March 30, 2015

What is the Chokewoods? Part One

Taranaki-Goblin-Forest-1-The Chokewood Forest is an important part of the setting in each of the books of 
The Heart of the Staff, Good Sister, Bad SisterThe Collector WitchStone HeartSORBUSJOSEPHROCKv2
The BurgeoningThe Reaper Witch and Doom (due out any day). It lies south of Goll and Cyclopsia on the Northern Continent. It was created from the vast Forest Primeval by the 3994775_origwizard Razzorbauch when he used the Crystal Heart and the Great Staff to permanently change all of the forest's black and red oaks images(Quercus velutina L. and Quercus coccinea M.) to the deadly, twisted and gnarled choke oaks (Pseudoquercus horridus R.) to discourage trespass onto his great sukere plantation.
Later, the witch Ugleeuh was banished to a small portion of the Chokewoods which sheScan10021 turned into the Peppermint Forest by magically altering the choke oaks to become peppermint trees (Mentha lignumpiperita R.).




Tom Phipps

Friday, March 27, 2015

Big Bang Fantasy

Big Bang Cosmos Explosion

Albert Einstein's mathematics profoundly changed physics. No one questions this. He is universally recognized as a mathematical titan, and though he might well have been an epochal physicist, it might be a mistake to call him a scientist.
Science is a body of knowledge acquired through observation. Einstein used his math to express his profound imagination, but instead of setting up experiments in order to observe his discoveries at work in the real world as would an empirical scientist, he chose instead to test his ideas with his well documented "thought experiments." The reason no one noticed this is probably the day and time that it was. Great minds in physics were all a-fever, trying to pry open the atom. What was inside? Waves? Particles?
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In 1927, Niels Bohr came up with an "uncertainty principle" which said that the infinitesimally teensy atom was fundamentally unknowable from observation and could only be understood in terms of mathematics. Perhaps. Maybe this is the best we can ever do inside the atom, but what is derailed here is the observing of the need for palpable evidence in order to establish scientific discoveries. Meanwhile, since everything is made up of atoms, people found it easy to accept math in place of verifiable observations for a growing range of things needing an explanation.
So nobody questioned Einstein until NASA found his math to be worthless for sending instrument packages to the moon and to Mars and had to fall back on the four hundred year old math of Isaac Newton to get them there. And Newton was an actual scientist who went to observe the real world for verification. Remember the apple that thumped him on the head?
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The Big Bang is not only the profound math which it happens to be, it is also magic. There may well be a whole football field's space surrounding the golf ball which represents the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, but the entire universe was never the size of the head of a pin. There never was a Big Bang and the universe is not expanding.
In all the years since Einstein's math created it, the only substantial evidence for an expanding universe is the red shift in the spectrum of light, the supposed Doppler effect from everything in the universe speeding away from us. Yeap. Red shift in all directions, which puts us in the exact center of the universe, for one thing, which is most suspicious in a universe so endlessly vast as ours. The other problem is that the Doppler effect is not the only possible way for light from the furthest reaches of space to arrive here, redder than it should be.
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When light passes through anything such as glass, higher frequency shorter wavelengths get converted into longer wavelengths from collisions with atoms, causing a shift to the red end of the spectrum. Ultraviolet light coming into a greenhouse becomes heat. So, what do you suppose happens to light passing through all those zillions of miles of space from the most distant objects which we are able to see? Space is full of dust and stray atoms for light to collide with over its vast distances. Light will arrive redder than it started out, simply because of all the distance that it had to travel, without any need for everything we see in the heavens to be racing away from us.
So the Big Bang is nothing but Einstein's magic, is all I'm saying. And I ought to know, because Carol and I write about magic all the time.Magician wand

Tom Phipps

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Teeuh Hatches Part Two

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Celeste scooped her up and set out for Longbark. Alvita and Nacea were already there with two great baskets of silk. Before long, Nastea the Damned Baby was hanging fromCeleste one of Longbark's great limbs in a snug cocoon covered over with leaves. And so began the long communion between the oldest and wisest magical tree and the three most powerful mother Fairies alive. After seven days and seven nights they went to their beds. 
There was nothing more for to done. The unmaking of Nasteuh had begun.
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Snow melted, trickling everywhere in the bright February sun. Far above, a raven 2140060120_5b3e9e0159croaked. Jays and chickadees called. Bound to one of Longbark's great branches, a leafy cocoon larger than any hornet's nest began having twitches. Soon, it was rocking from side to side as a lime green split suddenly ran down its side. A pair of titmice flit away to a nearby tree, as a young woman pushed out of the cocoon like a wad of wet lettuce.
She climbed onto the outside and held fast throughout the afternoon as her wings unfolded and her thigh length cascades of dark green hair dried and fell free to stir in the hushed air. As the sun westered to the far rim of the crater, her great luna moth wings now felt flat and firm and she opened her emerald eyes and bb62e7a28ba656264ee9d6b85c970b01_edited-1slipped to the ground.
Celeste, Nacea, Alvita and Rodon were sitting at the board having salsify soup when she appeared. Celeste looked up with a gasp at the only winged Fairy she had ever seen and dropped her spoon into her soup. "A!" chorused everyone, "the Dampned Babi!"
The gorgeous Fairy held out her arms. "Mamas," she said with her smile of wee shark teeth.

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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Monday, March 23, 2015


Teeuh is a young woman, a moth winged Fairy who is the daughter of Longbark, the oldest of the Forest Primeval oaks, who makes her from Nasteuh, the daughter of Kingangel-oak-top10-trees James and Queen Spitemorta of Loxmere-Goll.
Nasteuh's grandmother Demonica interferes with Spitemorta's pregnancy, so that even though Nasteuh is a beautiful and magically endowed baby, her twin brother is born a troll and she manages to chew off the teats of all her wet nurses. When Spitemorta is away making an attack on Niarg Castle, Nasteeuh is stolen in a raid of retaliation on Castle Goll by Niarg soldiers. By the time she is taken to the three Fairy sisters beneath Mount Bedd, she is known to all as thedsc_1224_1328927551 143881854.mDiqyn6G.LunaMothCocoon2.5damned baby. When Damned Baby becomes too dangerous for the Fairies to handle, they wrap her in a cocoon and give her to Longbark to remake.
After several months, she emerges from the cocoon, a gorgeous young woman with green hair, moth wings and the teeth of a dogfish shark. She spends the next twenty years living with her Fairy mamas, communing for hours and days at a time with her mother Longbark, who teaches her and continually increases her magical power for things to come.
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Doom, soon to be released.
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Tom Phipps

Friday, March 20, 2015



"I can bear you the rest of the way," said Lladdwr. "But first..."
zoom"Yes," said Ceidwad, giving herself a thorough shake. "We've been putting off telling you something..."
"Koude hit to wayten?" he said as he motioned for Lladdwr to let him mount.
"No," said Ceidwad. "This may be nothing at all. And then again..." She paused under the rattling aspen leaves to sort through some feathers. "
"Wel thanne what?"
"Mother Celeste and her sisters are now quite aged," she said with a deep bob of her head.
"So? Thou dost knowe that weo on erthe sithence the byginnynge of al memory hanimages (21) ben, righte? No thyng a-lyve beth eldre than Ich am."
"I'm sorry," said Ceidwad with a snap of each wing before fixing her gaze upon him. "My attempt to be gentle has simply undone things. I have no choice but to be direct and I apologize for having delayed telling you. Razzorbauch turned our mothers into old hags when he made them prisoners of Mount Bed. They still have endless lives, but not endless youth."
Old-Women-2_edited-2"They lok olde?"
"That's what we're saying," she said. "And we had no idea how someone who has always had eternal youth would alvitaface having his lover be gnarled and aged, so we didn't speak up when we probably should have. Have we made you upset with us?"
"Up-sette with thou? Fithel-stikkes!" he said, tramping about in distraction. "Alacke! The oonly way to chaungen hem bakke is with the Grete Staf of Power and the Cristal Herte. And evene thanne, weo myghte neede the Ffirst Wysardes grimoire."
"Our mothers have accepted their fate Meri, and they hold out hope that the Elven Prophesy is true. If that be, then perhaps they will indeed be turned back, and eventually will only have been old for a mere moment in your time. The question is, how are you 
managing right now?"
"What?"
"Mother Celeste has longed for you these live-long years. Will your shock at the sight of her upset her?"
"O!" he said, stopping short at the sight of how it all was. "Ich see. Wel my derre Celeste wol alwey the moost bryhte sterre in the hevenes ybe. That beth al she by the lok in myn eyn wol gete."
"Well then," said Ceidwad, rising to her feet with a shake of her feathers. "Are we ready?"raven-cut-753011
Meri gave her a sudden hug and a pat, did a handspring and hopped astride Lladdwr as he rose to his feet.
"Finally off his swyving toute!" croaked Ocker from somewhere overhead.
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meri shows Everyone Through the Mushroom Ring Part Four

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The caravan of Elves trudged through the hot red sand in determined silence, following Ceidwad, Lladdwr and Arwr with Abaddon and Shot 'n' Stop as they accompanied Mentrus, Meinir and Gwawr. By afternoon, they had begun bearing to the north-west, away from the feet of the Great Barrier Mountains, and at once found themselves in rolling countryside, dotted with scrubby junipers. By late afternoon it had become quite hilly, and soon they came to a vast forest of great tall pines. "They've stopped yonder, sire," said Owain with a nod ahead.
"So I see," said James, staring under the flat of his hand.Scan10041
"And I do believe that I recognize this Fairy," said Neron.
"Halloo!" cried the Fairy with a grand wave from where he stood amongst the diatrymas.
"Would you be Meri Greenwood?" said Neron as he dismounted and held out his hand. "Dyn Gwyrdd was your name back when we first met, if I'm right."
"Not mochel aboven a thousent yere a-go, Neron Ri." said Meri with a grin as he took his hand and gave it a good shake.
"And just after that, you visited us when we hung the great front door at Oilean Gairdin, and I've not seen you since. And this handsome young man here is James, King of Loxmere-Goll."
"And thou the Queene of Goll ymaried, whom yow al yfled?"
"You can't imagine how I regret having to admit that, but yes."
"And thy partye righte soor for water ybe, ey?"
James and Neron both nodded.
"Thanne alowe me for to wolcome hem to the village of Gerddi Teg, the Fayr Gardensimages (21) of the Grete North Wodes. Weo konnen for to contynue oure introducciones as they hira thurst to slake."
"Forgive me sire," said James as he quickly looked about, "but for the life of me, I see no village at all."
"Thanne by rightes thou the ffirst to seen schuldest bethe," said Meri as he turned and pointed to a great circle of mushrooms, growing in the mat of pine needles behind him.
"I guess I'm lost..." said James, looking utterly confused.
"Thou nedith na buen," said Meri with a hearty laugh. "Juste stepe wythinne the cercle. Llewyrch, Danneth and SĂșlacha awayten thee doun the steyres. Thou nedith carefull to bene to stapen over the musserounes. Mentrus? Plese to lede the way for hym."
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt once Mentrus stepped within the ring and jogged airily down through the dirt and pine needles to vanish altogether, followed by Meinir, Gwawr and then Ceidwad, Lladdwr and finally Arwr. Abaddon looked panicky as his ears sank into the needles of the forest floor, but he was still bravely astride Arwr when he vanished. James gave a wide-eyed look about at everyone and then stepped over the mushrooms to plunge his ankle out of sight as he felt for the top step. "Ah! There it is," he said grandly as he too trotted down out of sight.
Ch. 41, The Burgeoning
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Monday, March 16, 2015

Meri Greenwood gives Ocker a Powerful Stick Part Three

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As the shadows were growing long, Ocker buried his marble before flying to the whispering branches of a tall spruce to study a green haired man picking up sticks on the ground below. Titmice and chickadees called nearby, hidden by the boughs. Ocker shook himself and sorted through the feathers of each wing while he kept an eye on the man. "That's Greenwood, all right," he thought.
images (21)Without warning, Meri Greenwood stood up and looked straight at him. "Hoy, Ocker!" he hollered. "Ain't eighteen rod a pretty far piece for to visit?"
Ocker was so startled by this that he had to flap his way into the air to hide his having lost his grip on his perch. "Damn him!" he rattled as he swooped down to a tree much closer.
"Do you not trust me?" said Meri.
"Not much," said Ocker. "Do you trust me?"
"I trust you to be the shrewdest thing I know of with feathers, but if you want to do business, you are going to have to come down here with me," said Meri as he squatted at once and patted the ground.
"Business hit is," said Ocker, landing on the carpet of needles before him, "but your flattery won't lessen my price. I have information dear to you."
"Celeste!" cried Meri. "Where is she? She my whole life do be."

"Then she's worth my price..."
"Well what is hit?"
"I've had some especially valuable tidings to sell, lately," said Ocker as he ran his beak down a flight feather with a silky zip. "And one of my customers came to consider my services so indispensable that she gave me the powers of a hedge wizard and taught me a traveling spell to get me quickly to her castle to keep her up on matters of keen interest to her..."
"Demonica?"
Ocker stopped short, quite wide eyed at this. "How could you possibly figure that out?" 

"Two and two make Demonica. But now, I interrupted your tale."
Ocker felt very exposed. "Well, the traveling spell only takes me to her keep and back," he said, bristling up like a pine cone and sleeking down. "And hit took me all day to fly here..."
"I can not never her spell for to change, nor can I change the magic of any Elf or Human," said Meri, falling silent to eye him with his keen emerald eyes for so long that Ocker nearly sprang into the air in a panic. Suddenly Greenwood rose and went to his knapsack, pulling out a small polished stick. "But I this here do have..."
"A stick?" cried Ocker. "You must not think me as shrewd as you were saying."
"Some of my trees the magic fire from any one can to store," said Meri, holding out the stick. "This be one of Longbark's twigs. She be the eldest being in the Forest Ancient and has magic and she very wise do be. This here twig a good deal of fire does store. Maybe you can yourself a way to change Demonica's spell to divine, if you first a quantity of your magic fire in the twig to store. So will you take the twig?"
This was not nearly certain enough to suit Ocker, but there was an unmistakable desperation in Meri's tone that made him snatch away the twig at once and stand on it. 
"Celeste and her sisters and that swyving rat brother of theirs are seeking sanctuary with the Elves in the Jutwoods," he said with a snap of first one wing and then the other. "They were camped about ten league south-east of my nest two days ago."
"Rat brother? They a brother do have, but he's not no rat."zack__s_face_on_a_rat__s_body_by_gginstereo-d3gu6tu_edited-1
"Yea? Well he is now. Somebody got him good. He's all rat except for his face, and he's counting on the Elves undoing his curse, though the three quientes... I mean three ladies, hope they don't manage."
"How could you possibly know something like unto that?"
"I listen from the treetops," said Ocker as he took a couple of careful pecks at his new stick. "I heard them say hit, that's how. Say. How about the hindquarters off one of those squirrels you have draped across that log?"
igp1965_1"They are both yours," said Meri, grabbing up his bag. He set off at once into the timber and ran through the deepening shadows until he reached a mossy glade. Across the glade he came to a large ring of mushrooms. As a whip-poor-will gave its first call of the evening, he stepped into the ring and disappeared up to his knees in the moss before 
jogging down out of sight, vanishing altogether.
Country Diary archive : A large fairy ring of toadstools in the woodland floor
Ch. 9, Good Sister, Bad Sister
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Friday, March 13, 2015

Meri Greenwood Catches Razzmorten: Part Two

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It sounded as though the leaves had crunched just a heartbeat after his final footfall, but Razzmorten shook his head and went on.

"Good wizard...!" said a man with green hair, alabaster skin and pointed ears as heimages (21) stepped directly into his path with a knapsack covered with leaves.
"Hoy!" cried Razzmorten, freezing in his tracks at once. "Meri Greenwood?" He steadied himself against a tree.

"By your aura I have you finally caught," said Greenwood with a flicker of fury in his emerald eyes. "You know that you can not hide that from me. Now tell me at last, wizard, where have you my lover Celeste done hid? Where did you put the Guardians of the Woods?"
????????????????"You've given me a terrible start, but aren't you indeed Meri Greenwood, Dyn Gwyrdd, as we once knew you?"
"As if you did not know..."
"Well I should of course, but I'd expect you to know me every bit as well..."
"And what deceit would you be now a-trying?"
"Well if you once knew me, I doubt that you'd think I had put the Guardians any place at all. I daresay that like most mortals, I've never so much as had the chance to meet them. Would this have something to do with my twin, Razzorbauch?"
Meri took a step forward in the leaves and looked closely at Razzmorten's eyes. He took a step back and chewed for a moment. "Now, you are Razzmorten, ain't ye?" he said, turning aside for a spit.
"Yes..."
"And you can certainly mark ye my word to be Meri Greenwood. And so you are here for to covet your brother's handiwork?"
"Do you actually mean this woods? This was the Forest Primeval? Razzorbauch didn't have nearly enough power to make such a change, the last I knew."
"Then as hit thinks me, sitting over here you will need to be before to you the rest of hit I can for to tell," said Meri as he sat on a nearby fallen tree and gave the trunk beside him a pat.
"Well these blue and yellow creatures," said Razzmorten, taking his seat, "they shot me with a dart and brought me in here unconscious, or I wouldn't be here at all..."
"Dorchadas, my good man, one of your dear brother's enchantments they be, along with smallies and other such things."
"Dorchadas? Are they indeed what they look like? Could they possibly be the giant lyoths from the Dark Continent?
"All but the great daggers for fangs they did have as cats."
"Razzorbauch never had this kind of power. Are you sure Demonica had nothing to do with this?"
"Oh, but the power he now does have," said Meri, "particularly since he not only to get his hands on the First Wizard's Great Staff was able, but indeed on the very crystalimages (1)x Heart of the Great Stone Tree, which the First Wizard with the Staff did use."
"So that's where the Heart came from," said Razzmorten as he stroked his beard. "And in the process, he's kidnapped the Guardians?"
"Nacea, Alvita and Celeste, who was my very lover," said Meri, looking very haunted.
"So you think he's brought them here into the part of the woods which he's changed?"
"I am sorry, but you do not quite see. Hit not just be this part of the woods. He has the whole Forest a-changed. And I must my lover for to find."
"Oh my!" said Razzmorten. A breeze chased through the leaves up in the canopy, though not a breath stirred down where they were sitting. A great grey owl wailed, far, far away through the trees, though this time, he was not entirely convinced that it was an owl at all. “I swear I'd help you if I could," but I'm in a desperate struggle to come up with a cure for the plague which is loose in Niarg and Far.”
“Alack!” said Meri.
oregano"I was cutting Elven hyssop by the southernmost part of the Gulf of Orrin when I was taken by the Dorchadas. Do you know where that would be from here?"
"I do," said Meri, springing to his feet, "and I would delighted to see ye there be, if you do not mind me for to have along."
"Why, I'd be honored," said Razzmorten as he rose and followed him at a brisk pace through the musty leaves. "Now, you've mentioned Celeste, Alvita and Nacea. Wasn't there also supposed to be a Rodon amongst the Guardians?"
"Their brother..."
"Wasn't he one of the Guardians?"
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"Yep, save there be a good chance the smallies got him..."
"Smallies?"
"Oh yea. Of them I did mention. More of your brother's work. Bright red nightmares that in the woods in swarms do run..."
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps