Water is Life. I Stand with Standing Rock.

Water is life. I stand with Standing Rock. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you check out the following websites and Facebook pages. From these you can find others and a lot more information that you’ll ever see on the nightly news.

Indigenous Environmental Network: Facebook Page, Website

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: Facebook Page, Website

Standing Rock Protectors – Pipeline Protest Facebook Page

Sacred Stone Camp: Facebook Page, Website

Indigenous Life Movement Facebook Page

http://billmoyers.com/story/need-know-dakota-access-pipeline-protest/

I am usually a quiet person who tries not to make waves and looks for the positive in all things. I’m still that person, but recent events in North Dakota involving my Native American relations have brought the warrior out in me. I am Onondagan but we-all humans, all living things-are all related, no matter our ancestry. What’s happening in North Dakota right now saddens, angers, confuses and astounds me. I already knew that Big Oil ran the world, but this horrible violation of the human rights of peaceful unarmed Water Protectors sickens me even more. There are multiple sides to every story and I’m not there to see firsthand what’s happening, but I support the Water Protectors and in my heart I know they are right to protest the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

There is no Planet B and unfortunately, we humans continue to do a wonderful job of destroying the Earth. I am not innocent of such destruction as I drive a gas-powered car, use propane as a heating source and buy all sorts of products that wouldn’t be possible without Big Oil. However, I do my best to help protect and preserve the planet by recycling, supporting Native American organizations and limiting my energy consumption wherever possible.

For anyone thinking this is just a Native American issue, you’re wrong. This is everyone’s issue. We need water to survive and the more we pollute, poison and deplete that water, the worse it gets for every living creature on this planet. I have a deep understanding of how important and precious water is because I get my home water supply from a well. That well periodically flows with sulfur water due to the slate and shale ground where I live. Although research indicates that sulfur water is more nuisance than actual health hazard, I don’t drink my house water unless it goes through a filter.

The water from my faucets comes out black sometimes and when I shower in it, I don’t exactly feel clean. I get a majority of my drinking water by refilling plastic gallon jugs at my mother’s house. I don’t buy flats of bottles water because I feel that’s extremely wasteful and I only replace the gallon jugs when they start to leak. To water my outside plants, I gather rainwater because it’s a natural resource that should never be wasted or taken for granted.

The Dakota Access Pipeline and all existing underground pipelines can leak without anyone knowing and seep into the underground water supply. I highly doubt there’s any sort of Brita or Pur water filter that’s going to effectively remove such poison from the water. The proposed last stretch of DAPL is set to go directly under the Missouri River. There are already several gas and oil lines running under water sources across the country and the companies who build them insist that they make them “as safe as possible.” How about not making them at all? There have already been numerous pipeline leaks over the years and a very recent one in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. I fully understand and stand with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock as they fight the completion of another “Black Snake.”

fb_img_1477705779896

Although I fear that it may be impossible to win against Big Oil until there is no more oil left and the planet is nearly destroyed, I will always fight the good fight for myself, my daughters, future generations and every living creature on this planet.

I ask you to Stand with Standing Rock and help the Water Protectors in any way you can. Visit the following websites for information on how you can help!

Indigenous Environmental Network: Facebook Page, Website

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: Facebook Page, Website

Standing Rock Protectors – Pipeline Protest Facebook Page

Sacred Stone Camp: Facebook Page, Website

Indigenous Life Movement Facebook Page

Finding Light in Darkness

candlelight in darkness by JulieAnn Corbin

On this day seven years ago, my father walked on. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that many years, but I know it has. Although the pain and sadness of losing him will never go away, it has faded over the years. His spirt is always with me and I can still hear his voice and his laughter in my mind whenever I think of him.

This October has been the first October since his death when I didn’t feel overwhelmed with emotions of grief. I’ve been focusing on the blessings in my life and creating as much positive energy as possible because I know that’s what my father would want. It’s also what’s best for me and my girls.

I think my father would be proud of the woman I’ve become and how I’m raising my girls. He’d appreciate the fact that I haven’t settled for someone just to avoid being alone. He was a role model for the kind of man I deserve in my life and I’ve yet to meet his match. If I never meet his match, then I’ll remain single, simple as that. I am a tough, strong, independent woman and I’ve learned to enjoy every moment of my life. I cherish the time with my daughters and I make the most of my time when I don’t have them. Life is a blessing and must never be taken for granted.

My father with our cat Sylvester

My father with our cat Sylvester

On this day and every day, I honor my father’s eternal spirit. I recall all the wonderful memories of him and remember how tightly he always hugged me and that we always said, “I love you” when we parted. I will light candles in his memory and smudge my house with sage to cleanse the space and bring healing energy within. Even though the sadness of losing him is eternal, there is always light to be found in darkness and I will do my best to be that light.

When the Muse Strikes…

Nagrand in Outland screenshot by JulieAnn Corbin

This is where my new stories begin…

Many moons ago I was prolific fantasy novel writer. I’d spend hours writing away to create my fantasy characters, world and stories. Then life threw me one curveball after another and as I’ve never been good at sports, I threw in the towel and my muse went poof!

I’ve tried several times over the past few years to start writing again and I’ve had minimal success. It just didn’t come easy anymore and I became frustrated. Well I’m happy to report that the muse has finally struck again and she’s struck hard! The source of my muse surprised me somewhat and might not be the traditional inspiration method, but I’m not going to question it.

The inspiration for my latest bout of writing is the online game called World of Warcraft. I’ve been playing Warcraft on and off since The Burning Crusade expansion and the first time I played it, I was hooked. What hooked me were the beautiful settings, interesting quest stories, character appearances and of course, the ability to kick butt as a hunter, paladin, warrior, warlock, mage, druid, rogue, etc. I never played dungeons and dragons so this type of game playing was new to me and in many ways I’m still a “newb” but playing WoW is a great escape from reality at the end of a long workday.

A few months ago, I started wondering more about the characters I created and thinking up backstories for them in my head. I thought what if my blood elf paladin, warlock or hunter did this? What if they met up with this different race? What if this happened to them? Before I knew it, I had thought up several chapters’ worth of stories and I began writing the outline so I didn’t forget the details. My first story revolves around my paladin, my second around my warlock and my third around my hunter and as they’re all sisters, they’ll eventually all meet up and combine into a single storyline.

Warcraft hunter with moose pet by JulieAnn Corbin

My hunter and her moose pet.

 

Paladin warcraft by JulieAnn Corbin

My paladin looking fierce.

 

warlock with demon by JulieAnn corbin

My warlock, her demon and her floating skull “weapon.” You know there’s a story here!

Although some writers may see writing fanfiction about an online game “cheating” because all of the settings and history already exist, I don’t see it that way. I still plan on describing my scenes for those who don’t know Warcraft and giving background information on races. I want this to feel like a truly flushed out story with relatable characters so that even those who don’t play the game will understand. I’ve been playing these female characters in the game for years and as soon as I thought of the stories that involved male characters, I made some male characters for the first time ever. I must admit that playing a male character in the game is somewhat empowering as only I and very few others know that I’m a woman.

Warcraft hunters by JulieAnn Corbin

Some of my characters chatting it up.

 

Dk and and Pally by JulieAnn Corbin

A pair of my characters.

As with all my stories, these Warcraft based stories are filled with action, adventure, drama and romance. Best of all, whenever I need a bit more inspiration, I can hop on the game for a bit and have a new adventure the fuels future stories. The ability to actually step into the world of a book character is truly unique and apparently, exactly what I needed to get my muse back. Only Warcraft players will get this but…for Azeroth! 😉

Flipping Pages Down Memory Lane

Xmen comic books by JulieAnn Corbin

Some of my comic book collection.

When I was in middle school and high school, I collected and read comic books. The comic books I collected were mostly X-Men related and included Classic X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Force, New Warriors and so on. The artwork, stories and characters drew me in and helped me escape the daily routine of being a teenager. Comic books also helped inspire my writing and gave me ideas for all sorts of magical characters.

The other day I decided to finally bring my boxes of comic books up from my basement. I knew exactly where they were as I’d looked through them a few times and I gathered all three heavy shoeboxes to carry them upstairs. I then brought them into my bedroom and spread them out on the floor space of my recently-tidied room to look them over. Looking through all those comic books, even just seeing the covers, brought back tons of memories and I felt like a teenager again. I could remember how I felt when I first read those comic books, where I was in my life, what my dreams were and so much more! I was flipping pages down memory lane and I felt girlishly giddy!

Looking through the comic books and feeling happy about everything I was reading and seeing opened my eyes to the truth. Even though some of my teen years were rough, those comic books didn’t make me think of those times, they just made me feel happy. They weren’t tainted by the ghosts of my past; they were reminders of an innocence that still lives inside me. Although I don’t have mutant powers like the X-Men and all their spinoff teams, I do have my own form of superpowers and they’ve gotten me through a lot in my life. I’m in a really good place in my life right now and I’m learning that some parts of the past can remain in the past and don’t have the power to hurt me anymore.

As I tucked the boxes of comic books under my bed last night, I smiled as I thought about how much my oldest daughter will enjoy reading them. She can make her own memories with them and find her own inspiration for her writing and artwork. What we gain from comic books may be different but loving them is a tie that binds.

Batty for Beading

Halloween beaded bat earrings by JulieAnn CorbinBeaded bat earrings available in my CorbinCreations1 Etsy shop

Halloween decorations fill the stores this time of year and I love to see all the spooky cats, witches, owls, haunted houses and of course, bats. I love bats, black cats, the moon and witchcraft-like magic year-round but October is when everyone else seems to love it too.

In the continued spirit of embracing October and Halloween especially, I’ve been working on beaded Halloween earrings all this week. I actually started last week with some prototype beaded bat earrings that came out quite cute.

Just like every new pair of earrings I make in a different style that I haven’t quite mastered, I learned several things while making the beaded bat earrings. As every beader knows, a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into every beaded creation. The blood comes from repeatedly poking fingers and thumbs with sharp beading needles. The sweat (for me anyway) comes from trying to choose the right bead color combinations and materials. The tears sometimes come from the same thing that causes the blood and/or from periodic frustration when thread tangles, needles break and beads go scattering.

The final version of the bead embroidery bat earrings I designed and made feature a central acrylic jet black bead, size 15 seed beads, larger beads for the eyes and bicone crystals for the ears. Although I drew the design for the prototype earrings on the felt, I eyeballed the beading design for the finished bats to avoid any visible lines on the black felt. To keep the earrings light, I backed them with black Ultrasuede, which is a high-quality faux suede. I have several types of black leather and suede, but their thickness would make the earrings overly heavy so I chose the faux suede. Black metal hooks seemed the logical choice and overall, I love how they turned out!

Now I’m just waiting for the right person to adopt these adorable bat earrings and proudly wear them this Halloween season. I made some Halloween-themed beaded round earrings that sold this past Sunday and just completed a pair of beaded witch shows yesterday, which sold quite fast! If you like either of these styles, drop me a note and I’ll happily make you a pair!

Halloween earrings by JulieAnn Corbin

Rounds of Halloween earrings sold 10/2/16.

witch shoe earrings by JulieAnn Corbin

Halloween Witch Shoes earrings sold 10/5/16

I also made some adorable witch hat earrings that are available in my shop. I’ve been wearing a pair of them with the bats (I have three earring holes in each ear) and I must say, I feel very in the Halloween spirit!

I’m continuing to work on more Halloween earrings as I embrace and welcome October and every delightfully spooky detail!

Welcoming October

image

I don’t know about you, but I love October and the autumn changes it brings. The weather turns cooler, the leaves become vibrant in shades of red, orange and yellow and it’s time to bring out the warm blankets and hot drinks.

A couple of year’s ago, I wouldn’t have said, let alone felt, that I love October but much has changed. October has been a difficult month since my father died in October of 2009 but now, 7 years later, I can finally say that I love October again. I loved it before my father died because I enjoy Halloween with its magical time of glowing moons, black cats and flying bats. Although I’ll always miss my father’s physical presence, I know his spirit is always with me. His spirit and my own soul want me to embrace October and banish the sadness that’s overshadowed it for so many years.

This past summer proved far more challenging than I expected with everything that happened with my youngest daughter. Along with that, my circle of friends became smaller for various reasons, but the close friends I still have will always have my back like I have theirs. That’s how friendship works.

Overall, I’m as optimistic as I always am and I have faith that the universe has great things in store for me this October and for all the months to come. So I hope you join me in welcoming October and all the amazing changes it brings!