In A Forest of Dreams: Poems by Jennifer Halstead
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You've also started integrating other materials into your prints. Can you tell me about that shift, and what you're uncovering with the mixed media process? I mentioned before what an inspiration my daughter is for me, and in lots of ways. It seems though, that she changed me.
Maybe it was all the adorable clothes and toys, maybe it is that she was ALL princess when she was very young, but it could be just becoming a mother, but I am all pink and sparkle now. I took up baking, scoured stores for adorable aprons and started looking at things I would have never thought to look at, much less be inspired by before. I would go into candy stores, just to look.
I started obsessing over fabric designers, color, texture and pattern. It got to the point where I found that what I was inspired by had nothing to do with the work I was making. It is the first time in my life I went after something like that. The manipulating of the prints really came from spending time with you in Rhode Island. You gave me permission, and the rest is history! It allows me to layer in a very physical way. She's nice like that. How does teaching inform your art making, and vice versa? The students challenge me all the time to learn new things, both technically and conceptually so I can be a good resource for them.
They open my mind and help me to examine and re-examine what art is all about. I mostly try to keep my art making separate from my teaching. I want students to find their own way. I, of course, have my biases, as we all do, but I try to keep them in check so I can help them explore their own subject matter. You recently had a solo show in NYC - Congrats! What was the like for you? So many artists hold that experience as a pinnacle of career. Was it everything it's cracked up to be? The best metaphor I can make is to my wedding. We planned for a year, had all the details attended to, and made sure everything would go off without a hitch.
It was expensive and over in an instant. What I learned about the wedding was that it was a blip in the span of our relationship. That what happens before and after that one day is far more important. If you are worth your salt, you make love and art last for more than just a moment. What are your influences or favorite artists?
My favorite artists change all the time, depending on what I am trying to deal with in my work. Right now I am hugely inspired and humbled byLeslie Dill. She speaks in poetry and her work is weightless and heavy all at once. I love Agnes Martin and Vija Celmins. Feeling pretty blessed, actually. Any advice to aspiring printmakers? Do it because you love it. Make the best most honest work you can. Don't be too hard on yourself. Take lots of risks. Share your work with others. Jenni Freidman makes prints and drawings, as well as limited edition books. Her work has been shown in exhibitions across the United States and abroad.
More info about her and her work can be found on her website HERE. I'm taking a class with a visiting artist named Michael Singer, a mild-mannered, thoughtful - and highly acclaimed - sculptor who would say things like, 'You don't have to move to New York after you graduate. You can make your art - and make it well - from anywhere. It was a wall piece with fabric wrapped around the stretcher bars, and various smaller bits of fabric stitched on top. At the time my work was very sociopolitical in nature, so I'm sure it had some point of outrage anchoring the subject matter.
Probably I considered it a 'quilt painting,' though I really can't remember the details. What I do remember is Michael staring at the work for a long while then simply getting up and turning it over, exposing all the frayed fabric ends and scores of stringy bits dangling off the back. In that moment, I fully understood the true meaning of materials. My piece was not about whatever literal thing I was attempting to crudely convey with color and fabric. What Michael taught me in that moment was how to get beneath the message and into the soul of a work of art.
What I was trying to say had everything to do with connection, the stitching together of disparate parts, and there was no better way to convey that than to turn the painting over. I think of this when I get stuck in my work, writing, fine art or otherwise. And, when I feel I'm not quite getting it right, I imagine turning the piece over in my mind to see its skeleton, and to find out what truly wants to be revealed.
I have no idea how musicians do what they do. I've never taken a music class, never even dabbled with an instrument unless you count banging a djembe at a drum circle from time to time, which, really, I don't. Ah, but who cares. I embrace the mystery, and I love losing myself in sound. She's an incredible talent with a unique voice. Boldness and reinvention ain't got nothin' on this gal!
Listen to few of Jenee's haunting, soulful songs here , here and here while you read her insightful interview about the creative process. Jenee, how long have you been songwriting, and what got you started? I started writing songs twelve years ago when I was twenty-five. It was in response to learning things about my family history, and about facing aspects of my own life that seemed unsavory, aspects that were causing me to have depressive moods and feelings of helplessness.
I had always envisioned myself writing songs when I was a young girl. When I finally got around to it, it was more of a coping mechanism than anything else. I thought I was too old to start a writing career. Here I am at 37, feeling like I have barely scratched the surface with the songwriting process. Initially, I think my songs were really terrible. Just too self indulgent with not enough universal feelings that make a song reach out to others.
There is a way to hold this space for a song and have it be personal and profoundly universal. This is the secret to the best creations, that they are both microcosmic and macrocosmic. I get so scared and think, 'What am I doing? How would you define creativity? For me, creativity is a channeling. There's an initial spark that comes from somewhere, a bothersome sort of feeling on the side of my brain or my left shoulder, and it feels like a thought, but is much deeper than that.
I must act on the feeling via dictation , or hold it in as long as I can until I get to a dictation tool. This feeling is a door to the great subconscious energy of my mind emerging to dance with me. And, when I am open - which can be at just about any minute I desire now if I am present - there will be something ripe to pick, as long as I sit down and take the time to get it out. Each of us as creator beings is gifted with the parameters.
The parameters are what help us define something specific to turn that thought form or dream into the manifested thing we hope for. Do you have any daily or weekly habits and practices? It is terrible. Literally terrible. To be honest, I spend too much time allowing myself to spin out from daily life and my smart phone.
I think smart phones rob us of our ability to be with ourselves Some people create really well in chaos. I cannot. In order to have daily or weekly habits or practices you have to be very grounded. I am often caught up in the business side of managing my art and my life, and it can take over and keep me from doing the thing I want to do - am meant to do - more often. Where does inspiration come from? Inspiration can come from the most surprising places and can be such a gift of wonder. Sometimes inspiration makes absolutely no sense.
It causes me to question who I am, in a good way. Why are we inspired by some things and not others? Ultimately inspiration comes from a need to interface with the mystery of being human and our ability to create. It tugs at emotion. There is always an emotional core at the center of inspiration. When do you feel most open to your creativity, or at your creative peak? I feel most open to my creativity when I just sit down and give it half a chance. It is kind of funny that way.
I just need to show up and keep on showing up. It always gives me something. There is always a gift. I feel at my peak when I am able to hold the energy of creativity and stick with it, not let it burn me out, or cause me to have to stop. I want to hold the channel sort of like being able to hold an electrical current for longer periods of time and with more regularity. Does it have an arc? Some say music is the only art form that's truly universal. No matter age, race, or economic status it seems everyone loves some form of music. Why do you think that is?
Everyone loves music, because music is the language of the soul. Music is vibration. It requires no words, no explanation. It is the color for feelings, like a palette. One strike of a bow on a cello in a certain key can soothe and define the way someone is feeling inside without a single word being uttered. If I am feeling melancholy, and someone plays a minor tone and is also present with the tone they are striking, I feel totally understood and soothed at the same time. It is the recognition and acknowledgement of such melancholy in music that allows us to strike that personal chord deep within ourselves.
Music, made of vibration, resonates deep within our bones. Tell me about writing your lyrics vs. Lyrics and melodies are tricky. Many times I find if I am initially writing a song with lyrics and melody together then the final product ends up nothing like the original. There is maybe one line in that first draft that is the golden nugget and remains at the core of the final outcome.
If I am writing first without music, then the lyric content seems to be much more stable. My producer Evan Brubaker is wonderful in this regard. It is almost as if we have the same brain. With melodies, they either come out as whole pieces or again, like songs, have to be reworked and reworked and reworked. This is again where Evan comes in. He can take a melody I am working on and just expand it, or turn it in a way that more fully expresses what I want to say. Do you write on a guitar or piano?
I like to write on piano these days because I am so bad at it that all I can do is concentrate on the melody. It is a very linear instrument. You've played venues around the world. What's it like going to a foreign place and looking out on a new crowd? I love it. It is always nerve-racking, but people are pretty gracious everywhere I go. One woman came up to me after a show and had her friend translate. She spoke little to no English. She did not understand the subject of my songs, but said she knew exactly what I was saying the entire time, and that I had given her a lovely gift.
I try to concentrate on that when I am nervous about a new audience regardless of where I am playing. What are you working on now? I am working on trying to develop better writing habits and learning technology. Now I want to take the time to learn it. I have not started to compile any work for my next album.
Favorite artist or influence? She started out a bit more in the singer-songwriter realm, then moved into synth and electronic based music on her last album. The emotional landscape of her music is challenging, mature and profound. You recently quit your job to become a full-time musician? What lead up to that decision and how are you feeling about it now?
I felt like I needed to really pursue what I was doing, and give it a fair shake. Waitressing was eating up my time and energy. I was watching my friends zoom past me career-wise.
Right now I am a month out and have not had a lot of time to put together shows, etc. It can be a tricky balance and I am open for new opportunities to come in. Any advice for other aspiring musicians? Get clear about why you are pursuing a career in music. It is where the hard work starts. In middle school she transformed into the rarest of birds - an athletic choir geek who sang medieval choral works, but loved Led Zeppelin and Dolly Parton. She wrote quietly on her own for years, moving from Spokane, to Seattle, to Alaska, and finally to Boston in She can be reached via her website , on Facebook or Twitter.
Sara E. Lynch cracks me up. She makes animal mugs with little feet on the underside, and turns a head of cauliflower into a mortuary urn for a beloved cat. It's hard not to be drawn in by her attention to detail, technical mastery, and whimsy. Sara, how would you define creativity? I would say creativity is the skill of finding a new and different solution to a problem. My daily problem is: I have this damp, mushy material called clay, what can I do with it?
This needs to be looked at without preconceived notions or limitations so you can explore all possible solutions then decide what is best. The process of creativity involves being open-minded, pondering as many options as possible, and then eliminating them one by one until you have a solution you think is worth trying. Then, you need to focus and test your solution to see if it's any good. If not, go back to the beginning again, or order a pizza. What started you on the path to becoming a ceramic artist? This is a rather funny answer. I felt it was unpredictable and way too technical, so I stuck with painting, drawing, and photography.
Then I got a full scholarship to Alfred University, which is a great art school, but also a world-renowned ceramics school. Although I was set on being a painter, I couldn't turn down free tuition. When it came time to choose sophomore classes I figured I might as well try a wheel class since it was such a good place for clay.
I had zero ideas about how pottery should be, and my teacher was much more into using the wheel as a tool rather than making finished products. Many of the students with prior pottery experience struggled, while I just explored whatever idea struck me. It was the only class I got an A in, so I signed up for it again, and again, and again. What is it about clay that draws you to it more than other art mediums? I actually wouldn't say I am drawn to it more them other mediums.
I do a lot of photography, jewelry, and weird mixed media paintings as well. I am a lucky recipient of a grant to expand my ceramics studio, so it's been taking up more of my time, but I still love all of the other things I do. I love clay because I can create a useful object that is also art. This contrast creates a really compelling tension. My painting, jewelry, and photography work also focuses around a combination of art and craft. I obsessively sew stuff on my paintings, machine stitch my photographs, and my jewelry is usually classified as art jewelry because it is so unusual.
This probably comes from going to an art school with a strong connection to crafts, as well as me being a bit of a rebel. When do you feel most open to your creativity or at your creative peak? This can make normal activities, like going to the bank and mailing stuff, difficult, but I love it. When I finally quit my day job last September it was such a relief to finally be able to get work done and sleep more than four hours a night.
I also do various physical activities such as swimming, biking, yoga, and distance running. I love getting to work after a really great yoga class or other activity. It's like all my ideas and creative energy had time to percolate and now they can all come out. One of the things I love about your work is the humor you bring to it.
Where does that come from, and is it a conscious decision you've made or a happy accident, so to speak? The first artist talk I ever gave was to a group of mostly older ceramic artists that I really respected.
I put my first slide up and everyone started laughing. Not in a mean way, but in a "this-stuff-is-really-funny" way. I decided to go with it, and I now give an absolutely hysterical artist talk that people love. It's really great, because you can't be stressed when you're laughing, so I actually enjoy giving talks. With my work, I am interested in the push and pull between the humorous and darker aspects.
I try to keep my work in the middle of these two qualities, but sometimes it veers a bit more towards one or the other.
creative process — Blog — leigh medeiros
How do you get your art out into the world? I'm not really sure why this is. I also use the site CustomMade. I do about 2 to 4 gallery shows around the continental US per year, and a few craft fairs to mingle with the locals. When I first quit my day job many people were worried I wouldn't make it because they knew someone else who tried to make a go of it as an artist 30 or so years ago and it didn't work out. I appreciated their concern, but I wasn't really sure how to explain that with the internet it is very easy to find your audience and get your work to them.
You seem to have found a balance between being an artist and being a businessperson. Can you tell me about finding that balance? Well, that's a work in progress, but I'm getting there. To pay the bills I do a lot of custom work. Basically, I'm creating other people's ideas. I make a point though, of only saying yes to things that I find interesting and think I will enjoy. Also, when I feel compelled to sew sparkly fabric on an old badminton racket or explore an abandoned building I do it.
I can't make decent work for my clients if I'm not feeling happy and engaged, and I know what things I need to do in order to feel this way. Who are your favorite artists? I'm pretty much a visual omnivore. I love the work that Freight and Volume shows. They do a really great job of showcasing interesting and clever work by today's artists. I love Judith Brown 's jewelry. I just recently rediscovered that I love Fred Tomaselli 's paintings. I look at a lot of old fussy English ceramics for inspiration, as well and cheap thrift store mugs. And actually, I recently started a Pinterest board called "painting envy.
What are your daily or weekly habits and practices? It depends on what's going on. In general, I like to swim, run, do yoga, visit with friends, and volunteer at the animal shelter once a week. I don't always get to all of these. Daily, I like to meditate, sleep, cook, mess around in my garden, and pet my rabbit. The work I do dictates its own schedule depending on size, drying time, firing, cleaning up, photographing, and shipping.
It's so random that I can't let that dictate my life, so I work to fit it around the other things that I like to do. I also like to take classes, go to residencies, and apply to shows, so sometimes applications take over my life. This is not fun, but I love to travel and do work in other places, so it's worth it.
Any advice to aspiring artists? I would say if there's a skill you are interested in, take a class about it. This may require you to travel to a craft school such as Penland or Haystack. It may stretch your budget, but it is the absolute best way to learn.
The more teachers you have and people you work alongside the better. If you think you know everything you need to know, go to a residency. Don't go with a project to create, go with an open mind, no plans, and have fun learning. Sara Lynch is a multimedia artist living and working on the northern edge of New York State. She loves spending time with animals, and attempting to grow things in unusual containers. Visit her website for more information. It's currently under construction, but still looks pretty lovely! Tracy Finn lives and works on Block Island, one of my favorite places on the planet.
Through our connections there I've been able to watch Tracy's trajectory in the past year via Facebook from Snapshot Taker to Budding Photographer. More than just aesthetically pleasing, Tracy's work exudes both heart and soul. She's able to truly capture the essence of a subject, be it human, animal or landscape.
I asked Tracy if she minded me calling her a budding photographer and she replied, "I am totally a budding photographer. I love that description. I never plan on fully blooming either, I want to always be growing. Tracy, how would you define creativity? I thought about this question for a long time, and I can honestly say I don't know. I think creativity is elusive. How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started? I have been into photography for years, but just started taking it more seriously about a year ago.
Tell me about the technical end of things. What kind of camera, filters, etc. I shoot with a Canon, and I don't use any filters. I like the image to be as natural as it was in the moment it was shot, though I may enhance the colors slightly where I feel it's needed. I see so many people using straight up filters that are really intense, and I never want to go there.
You live and shoot on Block Island. Having lived there, I know how special a place it is. How much does that geography affect your work? I feel incredibly fortunate to live and shoot here. As you know, there is no light like island light. It changes from season to season, not for better or worse, just different.
The landscape provides color, textures, and emotions that I feel work perfectly with my style of photography. When do you feel most open to your creativity, at your creative peak? When I am in nature, hands down. The freedom the outdoors gives me to be completely aware of the flow between me and my subjects is hard to describe. What is it about photography that draws you to it? Photography has always felt natural to me. Having my camera in my hands allows me to capture not just an image, but the emotion I felt the moment it was taken. What sets an okay photo apart from an amazing photo, and can you identify it when you snap the pic or does that get revealed later when you're looking through the images?
When I feel completely connected to my subject, I know it's "the shot. You recently had your first exhibition. What was that like for you? It was like taking off all of my clothes and standing in the middle of town to be judged! It ended up being amazing though. Seeing people moved emotionally by my work made it all worth the anxiety. It was a huge growing experience for me as an artist.
Favorite artist? Diane Arbus is a big influence for me. She found beauty in what other people saw as flaws in her subjects. Diane once said "I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn't photograph them. Starting my day watching the sunrise and ending it with the sunset is an important practice of mine. It makes me feel more grounded and connected to the day. Also, my yoga practice is an important influence on my work that has expanded my awareness, opened my heart, and taught me to stay committed to the present moment. Any advice or tips on how to take a great photo?
Try to see something below the surface of your subject. We are all connected to nature and each other in some way, and once you feel it, it will come through in your photo. What's next on the agenda for you? I want to keep shooting and learning as much as I can. This is just the beginning. Tracy Finn lives on a small island off the Rhode Island coast. Living there allows her "an intimate connection that comes through in the immediacy of her work.
When I was 19 I had a nervous breakdown. Actually, they called it "nervous exhaustion. I was pulled from college a few weeks before Christmas break, sent to a psychologist and put on medication that helped me feel like I wasn't dying every 15 minutes. It took a long time to get better. But I did. It was mostly a lot of "one step forward, two steps back. These three things pulled me up from the dark depths and gave me real hope, the kind of hope you need when you honestly believe you are losing your mind and might not make it.
That's right, I'm actually saying my life was saved in part by art. I'm telling you this because what you are doing is important. Your work has the potential to change lives in a real and tangible way. Some of you might be thinking, "She's certainly not talking about the comic strip I'm writing with all the fart jokes. That too. There's a reason the phrase "laughter is the best medicine" exists. Bernie Siegel has dedicated his life to studying the effects of laughter on his patients. It turns out that laughter does indeed heal people.
A good friend of mine who was severely depressed for a good portion of his life told me two things stopped him from killing himself: the thought of leaving his parents behind and stand-up comedy. So when you create your work today, do it for your future audience, the ones you'll make cry, or think, or laugh. Create with gusto. With purpose.
Know that art transforms not just the lives of those who make it, but those who experience it as well. And for the record, these days I prefer to call it a "nervous breakthrough" because semantics, it turns out, is important. My friend and neighbor Will Schaff - a brilliant and prolific artist who once called me "a pretty neat lady" claimtofame! A few months back he sent word of a show featuring a local musician he felt was particularly talented, a guy going by the mysterious name Haunt the House. Will was right. Haunt the House a.
Will Houlihan is particularly talented. In fact, I'm convinced he'll be known far and wide in the not-so-distant future.
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His music makes you feel like you've been to church, like your soul has expanded beyond its usual limitations. Listen to Haunt the House's insanely beautiful music on Bandcamp, while you take in his truly poetic and insightful words below. How would you define "creativity"? That's a tough one. Creativity, I think, in my most humble opinion, is whatever inspiration is out there in the ether that some fortunate and unsuspecting members of this humanity have discovered they can attract and funnel for a limited amount of blissfully controlled time to overcome a quandary or befuddling puzzle.
To write a song, or paint a picture, or write a poem, or build a sculpture, or devise a law, or fix an automobile, or figure out how to best change the diaper on their newborn without getting re-christened. Ironically, when I'm nowhere near a pen or a guitar. I'm driving, or working, or in the middle of an interesting debate. It rarely ever happens that I'm struck while working. I work because it strikes and I keep myself open as much as I can. It's a brain exercise for me. A lot of my creativity lately has been outside myself, based around other people's stories.
I haven't exhausted my own yet, but I'm enjoying exploring others' experiences and concocting stories around them. In short, I try to keep my brain actively imagining in an otherwise dull 24 hours. The only downside to that is the plague of my absentmindedness. I still haven't mastered multitasking. I don't think we are meant to. At least not me. My short answer might be, "I don't know. It is simple. We are all given this gift. All my songs stem from this beautiful and tragically short, brutal span of time.
More specifically, inspiration, for me, is the fallout of just a small swarm of minutes in which souls and bodies interact with each other. It's the lingering effect of a happening, emotionally, visually, audibly, poetically, phonetically, politically, what have you. It's there as a residue for us to collect and create with. A good friend of mine told me of an event that he experienced surrounding a hot summer night, camping, forests, swimming and naked people emerging from a moonlit wood.
He wrote a song, and drew a picture, but his retelling of it stuck with me. The last time I saw him I asked him for permission to also write a song based on the image he created for me. Inspiration is contagious and powerful, like a scepter or a baton in a relay race. Melody, for me, is wrought from emotion. If I don't feel a harmony, pun intended between the rise and fall of a melody, I'll move on.
If it doesn't move me to some imagery, to some memory or feeling of a sort, it is not worth saying. Maybe I'll set it aside for later, but not likely. If it's dead, I leave it. Lyrics come after melody. Most of the time, there can be exceptions, of course, when that ethereal inspiration we spoke of is too strong to follow forms and guides. Melody gives me guidelines that I desperately need. I feel it helps me hone my writing skills. I love free form poetry, but that doesn't often fit with the simplicity of my songs. I love simplicity, so within that structure I try to fit a living thing.
My hope is that it works. That's all I really want. You've written about tough things that have happened in your life. What is the relationship between music and those life events? I don't want to sound redundant, however all the songs I've written, without exception, even the material that I consciously step outside myself to write, is tethered to my own experiences in one way or another.
If I ever write an untethered song, and I mean completely untethered, it just doesn't set well with me. To me, an untethered song is an imposter. It's a failure, or a falling short of honesty. It is a flat-out lie. Semantics, we can discuss that later. When do you know a song is finished? Good question.
A large majority of my songs are unfinished, or at least they seem that way until at such a point they cease to be. Sometimes they are finished within minutes. Sometimes they get rewritten and rearranged until they birth at a performance. It could be the thirty-forth time I've played it, but it blossoms then. It's always changing. I think that's the beauty of music, it's ever-changing. It allows for a certain margin of error.
It says ,"I'm poetry. It's ok. Let me go. I'll finish the rest. You raised me right, now trust your abilities as a parent. Artists that don't give up. Bruce Springsteen, who still gives eight-hour performances. Tom Waits, whom I admire most and has been a consistent role model for me in terms of artistry. Jeremy Enigk, who infused such spirituality into his work. My own father, for whom the same tenacity applies. He has always been a constant bastion of the hard work ethic for me. It's stubbornness serving purpose. It's emotional resolve. My brother, for teaching me how to conquer.
I wish he was still here to slap my shoulder every now and then. I am naturally scatterbrained as I've alluded to already, but I've been getting much better. It all comes down to discipline. I realized recently I have very little of it. I set aside time now to write, inspiration present or not. It helps me wrangle what might be floating around up there in that echoing canyon I like to refer to as my mind.
I have days now that I've designated to write just lyrics or melodies. Now, at seventeen and ready to graduate from school, she receives a letter from her brother Mikhail that will change everything. She must leave behind all that is familiar and travel across the sea to join he Gloriana has lived with a secret identity most of her life. She must leave behind all that is familiar and travel across the sea to join her brother on a dangerous quest to find out what really happened to their family. When her journey takes a dangerous turn, she must put her trust in an unlikely ally-the dark, handsome maja Diymon Rayke.
Diymon is in trouble. He was left for dead in a forest. He can't remember who he is or who his enemies are. He is rescued by locals who tell him that his past was dark--even evil. They tell him his path to the truth lies in a dangerous mission. He is to act as protector of a beautiful young woman he has never met.
He soon realizes that Gloriana may truly be his only chance at redemption. Will he risk everything to save her? To save himself? Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Unrevealed , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews.
Showing Rating details. Sort order. May 19, Wendy C rated it really liked it. First, I would like to say thank you because I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaway.
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Unrevealed by Jennifer Halstead starts out with a naked man so you know it has to be good , who has no idea who he is or how he came to be where he was at. Diymon was framed by his mentor maja Rasmalon and he was sentence First, I would like to say thank you because I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaway.
Diymon was framed by his mentor maja Rasmalon and he was sentenced to death by the Council. However, he somehow was saved and ended up in the ditch alongside the road but he lost his memory along with his powers. The Sybil takes him back to her home where she tells him she will help him as long as he helps her.
Of course Diymon agrees. The Sybil wants him to make sure that a girl who goes by the assumed name Betsy Wellesly gets on the ship The Raincrow and safely to Availlon. Betsy Wellesly has lived a secret life. Her brother Mikhail sent her away to boarding school where she has lived under an assumed named. Her real name is Gloriana Amendeen and she is the Princess of Availlon. Gloriana receives a letter from her brother telling her to board The Raincrow, that she could trust the captain, and he would meet her when then boat landed in port.
Gloriana secretly leaves the boarding school and heads for the docks. After a while she notices someone is following her but she tries to lose him and when she gets to the docks she gets into a bit of trouble. Diymon steps in and saves the day and she boards the ship safely. Gloriana has it in her brain that Diymon was sent to assassinate her.
She knows about the all-powerful maja Diymon and is scared. While aboard the ship she runs into trouble a couple other times where Diymon steps in to save the day. Gloriana starts to wonder if he was sent to kill her, why he would be always stepping in to save her. One night while they were on the ship, there was a terrible storm and the ship sank. Diymon was able to get a hold of a lifeboat and was able to save about 26 people.
He was the one of the people sent to assassinate Gloriana. Everyone then ends up on a deserted island. Of course there was some crazy stuff that happens on the island.