The Tale Traveler
Welcome to Julie Weathers’ world. Here you will find an odd collection of thoughts, writings, pictures and even recipes, for Julie is a woman with an ever-venturing mind, eager to see what is over the next hill or under that misshapen coin tree.
Julie is: a cowgirl from the Montana and North Dakota country originally, who was the first lady bronc rider at the Miles City and Rapid City Bucking Horse Sales. There are separate divisions now, but she was the first. She’s a mother (the accomplishment she is most proud of), grandmother. She’s a staunch supporter of the troops and purveyor of cookies, socks, letters of wit and whimsy and whatever else she can manage to send. She’s a writer. Like most, she’s created stories from the beginning, but her first taste of professional writing came when she wrote a letter to the editor of a national horse racing magazine. They published the letter and then asked if she’d like to be a staff writer. That relationship lasted twenty-five years. Now she creates vampires and quests for Raincrow Studios. She’s been a reach forklift operator, worked in a flower shop, decorated cakes, trained horses, remodeled houses, sold million-dollar houses, cleaned million-dollar houses and tiny apartments. In other words, she has lived life fully.
Sometimes she ponders her words carefully, scratching them out and re-writing a dozen times until they seem right . . . and often still aren’t. Sometimes she scribbles furiously trying to catch the words being dictated at lightning speed by a muse who’s eaten one too many bluebells or whatever it is muses eat that sends them in wild circles.
For you see, Julie is a tale traveler. Some of them are short and can be enjoyed over a refreshing glass of sweet tea . . . or a beer. Others will require more time. You’ll need to enter the gates to another world and suspend belief. Open your eyes and imagination to new realms and peoples.
They are waiting; the dragons and monsters, both humans and other kinds, the heroes and the ordinary folk, for even ordinary folk have tales to tell, the wee folk who aren’t that wee and aren’t that cute, and all the other denizens of dozens of worlds.
The worst news of Kaelyn’s life arrived on a dead horse. Things went steadily downhill from there. That should be the day she joined the Far Riders, couriers with an elite, guerrilla cavalry unit, as she was born to be. Instead, her family hustled her off to a healing school for her own protection. She tricked her way into the military academy, but was assigned to guard a senile royal sorcerer, the furthest duty from being a Far Rider. There she learned how to make fireworks and speak to the Siren Song, a sentient sword seeking a demon. Her family thought sorcerer duty would keep her away from the looming civil war. Senile sorcerers and safety are not always what they appear to be, however, and civil wars are never civil.
The tale traveler is also a woman from Winchester, Virginia in 1861 full of heartache and dread, entering quite a different civil war. She knows what is about to come will leave no one whole; certainly not her and the Confederate captain she is forbidden to wed until after the war. She’s a nurse, a teacher, a lover, and sometimes spies wear crinolines. There’s a reason Pinkerton thinks the southern woman is the single greatest threat to the north.
In yet another world, she has listened to the dragons sing to each other across the misty valley and lamented so few of them survive. Not even the giant, mythical Storm Callers who escort the singing dragons back to the summer valleys to hatch their young know what is killing them. How can a simple army commander, who has seldom left her kingdom’s borders hope to save them?
For now, though, sit down. Join Julie and her muse with a glass of sweet tea. Enjoy a snickerdoodle cookie and listen to a short story about a woman scorned or one about the day the devil wore blue. Perhaps the tale spinners will weave something new . . . something with an ending unknown until they twist it out with a flourish and a flash.