Ireland – next sighting of Tokens and Omens

Tokens and Omens is going to Ireland!

Well, some of the painted stones are going to Dublin! A family in Chicago found a hornet omen (placed by Ashley Hutti). Since they’re Georgia Tech alums and my hornet is exactly like their mascot, Buzz, they were super excited. They’re flying to Dublin next week for a GT football game against Boston College and offered to take some stones to place. How could I say no to that?

These are the stones making the trip!

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Learning Patience

In Tokens and Omens, Zander comes to a point in his life where he’s discouraged and unsure of how to proceed. He retreats to the woods and meditates. Here’s the passage:

Zander rubbed the round stone between his thumb and fingers and puzzled over the change. When the fortune teller gave it to him the red and black shared equal space. Now the black had crept across the surface until only a bit of red remained at the tip.

Uncertain how to use the stone, Zander held it in his right hand and closed his eyes. He took in a breath, and released it slowly, continuing with the measured breaths until his shoulders relaxed and the knot in his stomach released. After three more breaths, the sounds of the forest filled his being.

Oak leaves rustled like the wings of birds in flight.

A duck swam downstream with a subtle splash.

He cocked his head at a woodpecker’s sharp cry as it searched for insects.

As he inhaled the tangy green life, a whisper of a breeze ruffled his hair.

With his eyes closed, Zander experienced the gulch differently. He needed to approach life in a new way too. Before he brought the stone to his heart, he mulled over what he needed to let go.

Anger. It threatened his relationship with the one person he trusted. 

He’d been foolish to dream of becoming a Protector. It was time to let it go.

Sweeping his hand across his chest, Zander held the stone at his heart.

He waited.

He had no concept of how long he sat, but gradually a tingle started in his heart and spread throughout his chest. The energy encompassed his neck and head. It traveled through his legs and into his arms. When the vibration returned to the stone, it grew stronger and journeyed again through his body.

Still, he waited.

On the third wave of energy, Zander stepped away from his body. He observed himself sitting under the tree, eyes closed, hand clutched at his heart.

He witnessed the anger and the love at war over his heart. Black and red mist swirled around his body; sometimes more black, sometimes more red.

He ached for the little boy who felt unloved and for the older boy who was bullied and betrayed.

After long moments, Zander opened his heart. He held enough love to overcome the pain he’d endured.

His spirit eased back into his body. As he adjusted to sight, Zander studied the stone in his hand. The black was gone. Only the red remained.

In the last two weeks, I’ve felt discouraged that Tokens and Omens hasn’t been released. I’ve been impatient. Today I meditated. In the book, there are two fortune tellers who use tarot cards to predict the future. In my life I use zen tarot cards to help me focus in on the lessons I need to learn. I drew three cards.

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Consciousness – there is a crystal clarity available right now

Turning in – you are ready to watch the show and not get caught up in the drama

Patience – it is a time when the only thing to do is wait

I meditated on these three cards and found peace. I’ve let go of things out of my control and am trusting in the perfect timing of the universe. My road has twisted in an unexpected way. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.

Out West Books received 20 copies of Tokens and Omens. As of the moment, they’re the only copies out. Join me in developing patience as we wait for Amazon to ship.

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Home Sweet Home

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Six days on the back of this! We had a great ride. Montrose to Dubois to Billings to Idaho Falls to Salt Lake City.  Twenty library stops, a close encounter with a bison in Yellowstone, and dinner with my editor. Beautiful scenery along the way, including the Grand Tetons in the pic above. And 100 tokens and omens left in random spots!

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We waited for the big guy to move along…

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Enjoyed meeting my editor, Reece Hanzon and his wife, Haley!

On the Road

image.jpegI’m on Day 2 of the ride. Spending another night in Dubois WY before heading to Montana tomorrow. I’ve visited five libraries and left a dozen or so stones. I’m excited about the mass art drop happening this weekend from 43 people in 32 (?) states! Jolly Fish calls it a Scavenger hunt meets art project, meets cross-country road trip in this book release stunt by author Jeri Baird. I love that!

If you’re here because you found a stone, I’d love to hear from you. What did you find? Where was it?

What do the Tokens and Omens Mean?

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In TOKENS AND OMENS, the teens earn tokens and omens for the following behaviors:

The Peacock omen, earned when being prideful, is counteracted by the Sparrow token given for humbleness.

The Scorpion omen is given for envy and counteracted by a kindness token, the Dove.

Hornet omen given for anger is fought with the Turtle token, earned by patience.

Overindulgence reaps a Pig omen and can be overcome by the Butterfly token earned by fasting.

Being greedy will result in a Snake omen and can be beaten with a Hawk token given for generosity.

Other omens are thorns, colored stones, and the black panther, which is almost impossible to defend against.

Other tokens are stars, bread, a fox, a mountain lion, and a red wooden heart.

I’ve included with the stones other symbols from the book: trees, feathers, bow & arrows, and Zander’s patron animal, the coyote.