Big Bear Renaissance Faire

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My Turkish husband “Jack” first saw a Renaissance Faire with me in the foresty mountains of Big Bear, California in 2015.  I went to the 2014 Big Bear Renaissance Faire alone.  In 2016, Jack and I were having such a difficult time just trying to find a home that we did not attend.  Now, in August of 2017, the last weekend of the faire calls to us.  We hope to stroll again among the knights and ladies, fairy children, castle gates. Join us in this colorful world where you will be amazed at what you may see.

If you like my photos, slideshow, and video, please check out my books.  I wrote a fantasy novel about Selah who escaped an evil tower in the desert and followed Micah up the mountains where she felt her first rainfall and touched her first trees. I wrote a science fiction novel about Miranda who cared for the earth’s last tree and traveled back in time to meet her great, great-grandmother Gabrielle, who saved tree seeds for the future.

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“The Minority Report” by Lonna Lisa Williams (“The Liberal and the Immigrant”)

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It’s easy to say, “Let all immigrants come to America.”  It’s harder living with one.  I have been living with my Armenian/Turkish husband “Jack” for 5 years and 3 months.  We survived Turkey and then China and are now attempting America.  Because of language, cultural, and belief differences, our marriage has been difficult.  He can’t drive a car in the U.S., and a Green Card costs about $2000 plus proof of bank savings, home, job, etc.  We haven’t been able to afford one yet, especially since we used up all our savings when my Mazda 5 minivan was totaled in Houston, and I ended up in Texas Medical Center ICU with a subdural hematoma (bleeding in my brain from slamming into metal, no airbag deployed, seat belt bruising my ribs and pushing the air out of me).  Texas sheriffs blamed me for the accident, though I was the one hit by a speeding Houston driver.

We went back to California after that, in an American car with a high-interest loan, high payments, and increased driving insurance.  We slept in that car in the desert, then headed back toward the mountains where I lived before jumping overseas.  Jack got 3 manual labor jobs in a small town.  He quit one and was fired from the other 2, though his English now is pretty good.  After 5 years of teaching English and Journalism for universities, high schools, and private language schools in Russia, Turkey, and China, I have not been able to find a good job in America.  Nobody really needs an older, experienced English teacher in a country where the first language is English.

I found a job driving delivery for Uber Eats in Los Angeles, but with the one-hour commute from the truck stop where we live in the Inland Valley, I make no profits after gas and bill-paying (and my husband’s share, of course).  Uber pays drivers too little, though we wear out our cars, pay auto insurance, and risk our lives on steep, dark roads in the rain.

Turks love to talk, yell, fight.  Centuries of this aggression genetically infuse my husband.  My American friends don’t understand how much of a cultural difference this is and simply don’t like Jack for yelling too much.  Or maybe they question the high rate of abuse to women that Turkey records each year.

Then we lived with a Liberal couple in our small mountain town about 2.5 hours’ drive from Los Angeles. Continue reading

Lonna Sells Her Books

Watch Lonna Lisa Williams sell her books in the California mountains, at Big Bear Lake’s Copper Q Cafe, 2 summers in a row (2014 and 2015).  She should be there again this August, so come meet her and get your signed copy!  In the meantime, please buy her Kindle eBooks for just $2.99.  You can download a free Kindle reader to any smartphone, tablet, or computer.  If you like traditional style, Lonna’s paperbacks are about $10.  Enjoy!

You can buy Lonna’s books here:  http://www.amazon.com/Lonna-Lisa-Williams/e/B006ZISIFU

Climbing the Great Wall of China

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On a cold, windy day I joined a group of Chinese tourists to climb the Great Wall of China.  It was difficult, but the views at the top were amazing and gave me new perspectives into Chinese history.  Read more about my Great Wall adventures and see photos here.

By the way, Justin Bieber had his bodyguards carry him, but this Chinese grandma climbed the wall with her cane!

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Silver

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A Maori boy in New Zealand wears a “Lord of the Rings” Gondor helmet and holds a Frodo “Sting” sword and a silver shield.

Silver is a semi-precious metal and a color.  I prefer wearing silver jewelry to gold because silver is softer, like moonlight on a mountain lake, not glaring like the gold-wrought sun over a desert.  I like wearing royal blue clothes with silver highlights.  Silver is a pure metal, and in Medieval times, it was thought to protect against evil (for example, silver could kill werewolves and vampires).  In Medieval times, only royalty could afford silver spoons and cups, and little flakes would break off and be eaten, so rich people were often healthier than poor people (it also helped that they had dry, warm houses, nice clothes, and a good diet).  We say, “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth” to refer to a rich kid.  Today, tiny pieces of silver suspended in water can actually be drunk as a natural antibiotic.  You can buy “colloidal silver” at a health food shop.  I’ve used it; it really works!  Also, in World War II, the U.S.A. used silver-plated airplanes to protect pilots from radiation.

Anyway, I always use silver in my fantasy novels.  In “Selah of the Summit,” a slave girl fights off her evil master and his witchcraft with a silver pendant and (later) a silver sword.  As a Christian, I believe I shouldn’t fight with a real metal sword.  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you” and “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  So, if I wear armor like a helmet, breastplate, and shield–with a sword–it is only a symbol of a kind of spiritual warfare, like good fighting against evil.  Selah fought an evil wizard and his soldiers who enslaved people.  After she found freedom and journeyed to the top of the mountain, she returned to the desert to free others.  Life is always a battle.  What evil forces do you have to stand against–or advance toward–for the sake of helping someone?

Read more about Selah and her silver adventures here.

Read about my true battle with cancer (18 years ago) here.

Fire and Ice

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Two of the most intense of the four elements are fire and ice (ice being the frozen form of water).  Touch either with your bare hand, and you will feel their contact.  Journey with me through the fire of a California mountain wildfire, where my cozy life as a rich housewife and mother burned up.  I walked through fire to find a new life teaching English in frozen Russia.  Missing my children, my heart like ice, I learned to walk across the frozen rivers of Samara.  Read about this journey in my “Fire and Ice” book.  Watch my Youtube video that I narrated with my own voice.  Know that you, too, can survive contact with the wildest elements.

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Selah’s Escape

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Do you ever feel like you’re in a situation that is impossible to escape?  Selah the slave girl felt this way.  She had always been a slave, and escape from her master and the stone walls of his Keep seemed as unlikely as opening a locked, iron door with only her fingertips.

One day, a stranger appeared at the Master’s table.  He spoke to Selah as she filled his glass with water she had fetched from the desert well.

“Tonight you will be free,” Micah promised, his face partly hidden by the green hood of his cloak.

He slipped a cold object into her hot, weary hand–a snowflake that did not melt.  That very night, Micah led Selah through a secret door, across the desert, and to the distant mountains where rain fell, rivers flowed among trees toward lakes, and snow gathered at the Summit.

Once I felt like I would never escape an abusive marriage.  I wrote my prisoner’s emotions into my fantasy novel.  Journey with me and Selah the slave girl to a mountaintop that touches stars.  Maybe you, too, will find escape.

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Time is Like a River

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Time is like a river that flows past us, like children who quickly grow up and leave as a current journeys toward the sea.  Enjoy Chapter Twelve of my book, Fire and Ice:

Despite the obvious risks and warnings, I would let Jessica drive our little Saturn car to Forest Falls, so she could practice for her driver’s license, and we could walk together there.  We would roll the windows down and let the air sweep up our hair and laughter.  We whisked by desert plains that rose slowly toward the mountains.  Cactus, sand, and golden hills gave way to sharp green cliffs and oak trees, and then a gorge filled with marbled granite that had swept down on torrents from the summit.  To our right, the river (I will call it Selah’s River), cut into the mountain’s lower walls.  Willow trees clustered around the cold, clear pools between the rocks, and people sometimes parked beside the road and climbed down to wade or swim there. Continue reading

Walk with Me to Turkey’s Kar Tepe Mountain

I was teaching basic English to private language school students on weekends when I decided it was time for a field trip. Since I had often stood in Izmit, Kocaeli by the banks of the Marmara Sea and looked up at the distant mountains, I thought of traveling to Kar Tepe, the tallest peak in Kocaeli and home to a five-star hotel and challenging ski resort.

The only way to get up the mountain is by car, since the buses only go to the village of Kar Tepe at the base of the mountain. The paved road is well cared for, thanks in part to business from wealthy Istanbul residents who want to ski at the closest location. One of my students offered to drive our small group, and we left early on a Saturday morning in September. Continue reading

Mystical New Zealand

The color green represents New Zealand, and so does the word “mystical.”  I have traveled to many countries around the world, yet I took my best photos in New Zealand and wrote it into three of my books.  You can see the essence of mystical in the mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, valleys, and forests.  You can even see a sense of mystery in the native birds and the people who journey there.  Walk with me through images of my favorite New Zealand photos. Continue reading