Interviews Poetry Videos

Fantasy Writer Interview: Freya Pickard

Fantasy Writer Interview: Freya Pickard (Interviewed by Sporkette)

Introduction to Freya through her words:
Freya doesn’t write about imaginary worlds; she writes about imaginative ones. These are worlds that could be real in a parallel universe or another time dimension. She does not promote escapism; instead she takes her readers into a refreshing place so that they return to their normal lives feeling strengthened and renewed.
A cancer survivor, Freya is inspired by her garden, a variety of music and beautifully written books. She is the author of Dragonscale Leggings  and The Essence of Thyme. Her quarterly newsletter features serialised short stories about her heroine, Dracomagan.


Sporkette: What is most challenging for you when writing fantasy stories?

Freya Pickard: Finding the time write. Everything else, plot, characters, settings – they’re all sketched out in notes beforehand, in some sort of order. But finding enough time just to sit down and write – it is very hard some weeks because life and death keep getting in the way!

Sporkette: Who is your favorite fantasy character in one of your stories, and why?

Freya Pickard: Dracomagan, the narrator of Dragonscale Leggings, is currently my favourite fantasy character. She gets away with doing things I would never dare to do! She’s forthright, to point of rudeness but resolute and determined. Interestingly, I’ve found with with a few exceptions, it’s readers in the US who prefer her. Only a few UK readers seem to get on with her.

Sporkette: When do you schedule writing time and in what atmosphere do you prefer?

Freya Pickard: Mondays are currently my writing days. I have to write in a quiet atmosphere. I cannot be disturbed. I have learnt to be very selfish about my writing time, otherwise I never get any writing done at all. I write in 2 hour slots (with regular breaks every half hour so I’m not sitting for too long). When I’m writing a first draft, I aim to write 2000 words an hour. Most of the time recently, however, I’ve been working on drafts and putting together collections.

Sporkette: How did you publish your first fantasy novel and where is it available for purchase?

Freya Pickard: I published Dragonscale Leggings in 2008 using YouWriteOn which has since become FeedARead. It was available as a print book until 30 September 2016. I have recently released an e-version which is currently available from Amazon.

Sporkette: You’re also a poet, so can you explain about the original poetry format you created and provide an URL to an example?

Freya Pickard: I conceived the idea of Freyan Verse in 2014. I wanted to create a poem that could be read both vertically and horizontally. I also wanted the form to look like overlapping dragon scales. Thus, Freyan Verse was born.
Verse 1 is always written first. It is situated at the heart of the poem, in the centre. Verse 1 holds the poem together. The other verses develop themes/issues that verse 1 raises.
There are 5 stanzas. Each stanza consists of 7 lines. Line seven of verses 2 and 4 overlaps with line 1 of verses 3 and 5. Lines 1 and 7 of each verse consist of 1 word only.
Here is an example:
You can find more illustrations on this form at

Sporkette: Any inspiring words for aspiring fantasy writers?

Freya Pickard: Always believe in yourself and your writing 200%. Always write from the heart, never from what the know-it-alls tell you will sell. Don’t stop with the first draft; re-writes are as important as coming up with the idea for the story.

End of interview, but more about Freya:

Meet Freya Pickard (Author Support Request Video).

Listen to promo book reading: The Essence of Thyme (Video).

Other books and videos by Freya Pickard:

The Rusalka Ritual (ebook). Listen to promo book reading: The Rusalka Ritual (Video).

Insides (Dragonscale Delvings Book 1)

Links where you can connect to Freya:


I Never Liked Red by Patricia Spork (Poetry)

Just thought I’d share a poem to let you know why I had an aversion to wearing red for the family generation and family photos as can be seen in this blog post published earlier today.

I Never Liked Red

by Patricia Spork

I never liked red to wear—
too deep, too dark a color for my mood . . .
unless mad,
then the color fits the mood:

I do like red on berries—
strawberries and raspberries,
and red on wagons and yo-yos,
and even the red on baboon butts,
but I never liked red on me.

Red looks good on girls,
especially girls with red freckles,
and even red on socks—sports’ socks,
but not those socks on me.

I can stand red on tomatoes,
and red on cayenne peppers,
but I hate red on a lobster.
No redder red as boiled-dead red!

I hide like a leper
when red clothes get thrown my way,
and never part a penny
in clothe stores for red on any day.

But I’ll push a red wheelbarrow,
and sit red cedar chairs,
yet laugh at chicken wattles
and folded rooster crowns,
thinking red should make them nervy
of at least one poultry frown.

“Red herrings” in a mystery
can heighten all my senses,
like red lingerie does
for husbands by the inches.
But no, red on me, is not for me . . .
and so damn sure not for husband!

I don’t mind a red marble paperweight
designed like an apple,
or ruby rings or posted earrings
shaped like little hearts,
or roses on a bush or standing in vase,
for they speak of love in season,
and to me that is good reason . . .
for red.

But lips painted red,
or blotched on fancy dresses,
or red-eye in a photo
from a flash that’s gone astray,
makes me wish to be a stop-sign . . .
yes, a red stop-sign . . .
halting “red” offenders
as they redden up my day.

You know what?
It would be nice to
hear someone else say,
“Take that red away!”

Copyright 2003 Patricia Spork, All Rights Reserved Worldwide


Patricia Spork Update – January 4, 2017

Patricia Spork Update – January 4, 2017

Happy New Year, Lil’ Dumplings!

I ended 2016 with not checking e-mail accounts for over a month and having my “free” online store deactivated because of no activity. I’m good, huh? LOL! But I did keep plugging news links on one of my social media accounts, while I let the other flounder. And I did not keep up with checking out my ‘followers’ on either account. I don’t apologize for any of those things.

If you really need to contact me, text or call my cell phone, or be extremely patient for an e-mail reply. If you do call, leave a message, for I don’t answer any call from a number I don’t know.

If you purchase a product I offer online…somewhere…don’t worry, I’ll know and you’ll get your order shipped promptly. For now, I’ve redirected Sorrel Sunflower domain name to this site.

If you ‘follow’ me on social media, I hope it’s because you are interested in what I ‘share’ and not about whether I will ‘follow back’ or ‘RT’ your shares, because you’re more than likely to be disappointed.

I’m not about fame, fortune or social status; I’m more about what I’m going to feed my husband for his next meal, making sure my dogs have plenty of clean water, and when will be the next time for a get-together with the rest of the family. That’s where I’m at starting the new year, and I like it just fine.

Mentioning family, here’s a couple of pics taken Thanksgiving weekend. One is a five-generation photograph with my mom, me, younger brother, my daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. The other photograph includes my husband and my brother’s wife. We’re gorgeous! My grandson’s girlfriend took the photographs. For an amateur photographer, I thought she did pretty good. My daughter chose red (Gag me!) as dominant color for attire, but have to say, the look made good for Christmas cards.

As for resolutions, I chose not to cuss so much this year, but may obliterate that since recently read a news headline about (paraphrasing here) how cussing may be good for you. Weird! Could that be considered ‘fake news’? Maybe not, ’cause makes me feel better to cuss after I have a finger tip smashed by a hammer or bump head against cabinet door’s corner edge. LOL!

For 2017, I look forward to more time with family, helping people in various ways, strengthening my relationship with God, and pampering myself with nature’s sights and sounds, and my own creativity…wherever that muse leads me.

For you, I wish the best of everything you strive for this year, with plenty of support and love from family and friends. May your health be good, and if ill, may healing occur swiftly…and if not, may you cope well with whatever hinders your abilities. Know you are never alone and that someone cares for you, even if not near you.

Cherish each dawn, each dusk. Enjoy and appreciate nature. Give time or charity to people and animals in need. Show love for those you care about and be humane to those you don’t.  Be forgiving when offended. Stand your ground for things you believe in and don’t falter when outside forces obscure your objectives. Let your achievements help others to achieve. Stay true to yourself. Love who you are, for you are a very special person.

Again, Happy New Year.


Animals Crafts Holidays

Garden Gate Country Cottage Goodies

skullcrowwreathpspork16Garden Gate Country Cottage Goodies

If you’re looking for homemade crafts and other nifty items, and live in the Tatum, Texas area, you might consider visiting Garden Gate Country Crafts, operated by hobby crafter (and friend) Gayle Young. This past weekend, I attended the grand opening, and of course, made purchases. Oh, yah!

Garden Gate Country Crafts is located in a two-story mini-house, still in progress. Gayle is attempting to raise funds to complete the little white house. The interior needs the walls finished with insulation and sheet-rock. Also, plumbing fixtures and bathroom/kitchen appliances are needed. Gayle is cooling the interior with a couple of air-conditioner window units and stand-up fans, and will probably use electric heaters for warmth as temperatures cool this winter. I think she wants an outdoor unit for cooling and heating purposes, but I’m not certain if that’s the case.frogcuppspork16

Yes, Gayle needs lots of things to complete her dream mini-home, situated in the country near her main residence, and she is willing to work hard to fulfill that dream. Employed full-time at a retail store, she doesn’t have much time for crafting or selling crafts, so Garden Gate Country Cottage is open only a couple times a month, on weekends. To offer more product variety to potential customers, Gayle is allowing other crafters (friends) to display items at the “cottage”. (For those interested, I have some Halloween-themed jewelry displayed there.) At this time, there are no consignment fees, and won’t be, unless Gayle decides to start an actual business, which really isn’t her plan; her main goal is to sell her crafts and use those funds to buy building materials for the mini-home.

The photos in this post are items I purchased at Garden Gate Country Cottage. The snowman and Santa photo holders were only $2.00 each. Besides for photo use, these could be used as jewelry displays. Duel purpose. Oh, yah!christmasstuffpspork16

The brass deer candle holder, with candle, was $3.00. I love brass animal figurines, especially deer and horses. I’ll probably cut the wreath off the deer after Christmas, and shine it up super good. Wish there had been two of these candle holders. Wah!

The frog cup ($3.00), so darling, I purchased for my daughter, who is a big time collector of frog products. She also collects anything to do with Yoda…guess because his face resembles a frog, to me. Hahahahah!

The Western-style wood box with horseshoe handles ($12.00) is one of Gayle’s crafts. Figure I’ll use it for holding fireplace tinder. May change my mind. You know how I am. Flighty thoughts. LOL!woodcontainerpspork16

The awesome Halloween-themed wreath (25.00), with plastic skull and feathered crow decoration is another of Gayle’s crafts. It’s for my granddaughter and her honey-bunny. They are soooo into skulls. This will be the first wreath for when they move into their new home. I guarantee you, the wreath will more than likely be displayed year-round. Weird, huh! But hey, everyone to their own thing, right? Right! I think they’ll love it. If they don’t, I’ll keep it. Brahahahahaha!.

skullcrowwreath2pspork16Also bought a soft, blue and brown plaid neck scarf, for two bucks, but it’s been washed and stored in a drawer, and I’m too lazy to get it out and take a picture of it. Love it! Can’t wait to wear it when colder temps arrive.

And, almost forgot…two fragrantly scented glass canning jar candles (by Gayle, $6.00 each – not pictured). Love Gayle’s candles! Can’t tell you how many I’ve purchased over the last few years. Whoo-hoo!

The Garden Gate Country Cottage is filled with neat stuff, like wall plaques and wreaths, floral center pieces, figurines, cups, candles, paintings and jewelry, with most products homemade. If you decide you want to visit and browse…

…call Gayle to find out when open: 903.576.5646.

Here’s the address:

16708 St. Hwy 43 E
Tatum, TX

If you do visit, be prepared to drive slow down the wood-sided country lane, since not paved and a little bumpy (okay, maybe a lot bumpy). You’re tough, so you can do it. Be well worth the time and bumpiness. Was for me, anyway. Yeeehawwwww!

Toodles for now,




Book Self-Publisher – Rama Kant Interview – 2016

 Book Self- Publisher – Rama Kant Interview – 2016

Rama Kant, the son of Radhey Shiam, was kind enough to provide insight about publishing works by his deceased father:

SPORKETTE: Why did you decide to publish a book of your father’s poems after his demise?

RAMA KANT: The idea to publish a book of my father’s poems was originated when my father was alive. When I started compiling, I had no inkling that my father’s end was approaching. After his demise, I accidently discovered a bunch of poems which contained poems composed during 1950s to 1970s. When I went through it, it raised my spirit and put me on different pedestal of consciousness. This prompted me to publish the poems.

SPORKETTE: What prompted self-publication for The Book of Life, rather than submitting a poetry chapbook manuscript to a traditional publisher?

RAMA KANT: It has been a sort of self-publication in the sense that printing and marketing aspects have been dealt with by the publisher.

SPORKETTE: How did you feel when you had the finished book in your hands?

RAMA KANT: The feeling can not be described accurately. It was, I think an amalgamation of thrill, achievement, and apt tribute to my father.

SPORKETTE: What is the current book project you’re working on now?

RAMA KANT: Currently, I am concentrating on sorting and compiling a new format of poetry called Tercets/Triveni. It has a three-line stanza but it is not haiku. Besides this, collections of tanka and hay(na)ku are also in pipeline.

SPORKETTE: How has your father’s poetry impacted your life?

RAMA KANT: My father’s poetry has influenced me deeply. I have often found expressions in his poetry echoing somewhat similar sentiments in my heart/mind. His poetry consoles me, encourages me, calms me down, and again and again lifts my spirit.

SPORKETTE: Thank you, Brother, for your time…and your devotion to your father. You honor him greatly.


Read my book review for The Book of Life by Radhey Shaim.

Purchase The Book of Life by Radhey Shiam.

Follow Sporkette.

Another Sporkette interview may appear in the near (or far)  future. Oh, ya!