Sunday, March 7, 2021

A WISHING MOON IN WIMBERLEY

 

In the past few years, I see myself making changes in my life. Of course, that’s okay. As Benjamin Franklin said, When You’re Finished Changing, You’re Finished. Since I’m not ready to hang up my hoe, I shall embrace a little change.

One of the areas in my life that seems to be morphing is the way I celebrate holidays. I’m not so flamboyant in my festivities. Part of that could be because of the little children being born into our family, I tend to gravitate more toward the traditional with them. Another thing is that my energy level is beginning to wane and I seem to enjoy more sedate ways of having a good time. This past Halloween was one of those times. Of course, Covid played a role in my decision-making process also. Gone was the big party and the haunted house atmosphere. Instead, I decided to travel to a nearby haunt of mine, a small town in the Hill County called Wimberley, Texas. Wimberley is a beautiful village of about 3000 fine folks. The reason I visited there this past Halloween was because of the Blue Moon that fell on October 31, 2020 AND that the Wimberley Valley area is part of the International Dark Sky Community. This is a world-wide effort to preserve parts of the world for future generations as locations for prime stargazing. In my area there are several destinations besides Wimberley Valley that are part of the DARK SKY effort and those places are Dripping Springs, Horseshoe Bay, and Enchanted Rock. My current abode of Lago Vista is seeking membership, but its hard to get a whole town and its inhabitants to abide by the strict requirements in their night and security lighting.  

Anyway, Wimberley is a beautiful place to see a Wishing Moon on Halloween.



To those of you who don’t know, a Wishing Moon is also called a Blue Moon. It earns these names by being the second full moon during a 28-day period. They are rare, hence the term blue. They are also considered days of power and in my magical world of conjure, the nights lucky enough to have a wishing moon are good times to do a little wishing or spellcasting.

Another reason I wanted to spend a little time in Wimberley is because I am seeking to make another change in my life. I am redoing some of my books for a different audience. This change I’m making is the process of tamping down the sensuality in my books from a 5 Fiery Jalapeno rating to a milder 1 Jalapeno rating – ha!

A Wishing Moon was the first book I ever wrote, way back in 2008. Wow. When I reread it the other day, I amused myself. The sex was SexCeptional! Now, all of my books have been hot. I wrote them that way intentionally. I found a wonderful, sweet group of fans who enjoyed them that way and I certainly enjoyed writing them. Of course, my books weren’t just about sex, they are fully plotted stories full of adventure, emotion, love, and laughter – sometimes a few tears. But also lots of sex. You would enjoy this point more if you knew that in 2008 when I was penning A WISHING MOON, I was still the church pianist, Sunday School teacher, and Vacation Bible School Director of a small town Southern Baptist Church – hahahah! Yes, one day there will be a made for television movie about me called Heathens and Hypocrites – not kidding!

Regardless, I’ve changed. It’s harder for me to write those types of books now. I want to focus more on emotion and intimacy and less on the details. Maybe I’m getting old.

Anyway, A WISHING MOON is set in Wimberley, Texas. The main characters are…Arabella Landry, a young woman who lives on a wildflower farm and makes lotions and potions to sell online. She is a member of a family of New Orleans witches – and you get to meet them all. In fact, this family crosses with my McCoys of the Hell Yeah! series. One of Arabella’s family marries Joseph McCoy.

The hero of A WISHING MOON is Jade Landale. He is a conservative Texas congressman running for the highest office in the state. Now, any of you who know Texas politics can imagine the fireworks that would be set off if a conservative politician was found to be dating a card-carrying witch.

Yea – I went there. However, the book is much more than a love story between these two – there is also murder, mystery, and magick out the wazoo.

At the start of the book, a rock-climbing Jade takes a tumble off of Enchanted Rock, an accident that leaves him paralyzed. A prisoner inside his own body, he begins to escape into his dreams and there he meets Arabella. Realizing their encounters are much more than dreams, Arabella starts to search for him and when she finds him, her family is able to heal him.

Yes, this was my first book. As I am updating it to lessen the heat factor, I am also finding my writing style has changed. So, this is an opportunity to improve the book – I think. To fill in plot holes, to add background – even to connect future books to make the process of rereading through the series more enjoyable. After all, hindsight is 20-20.

The reason I chose Wimberley as my first literary locale was its reputation. Being from East Texas, a very rural, dare I say red-neck part of the state, I was used to its less than forward thinking. After all, when they found out I was writing these types of books, they pretty much tarred and feathered me and rode me out on a rail. Hence, my move to Austin – ha!

I was drawn to places in the Hill Country like Wimberley, places that embrace the artistic community. Not only writers, but painters, sculptors, musicians, and the like. A place where I could live, be accepted, and not be judged for the way I choose to express my artistic vision.

As in everything, there are exceptions, of course. Just as there were plenty of broad-minded intellectuals hidden in the woods of East Texas, there are narrow minded ones to be found in Central Texas and Arabella and her family have the misfortune of meeting a few. So, like I said earlier, this book is not only about acceptance, it’s also about prejudice and the damage it can do.

Now that you know why I was drawn to Wimberley, let me take you on a tour. It’s absolutely fantastic.

Wimberley started out as a trading post settlement and the early site of a gristmill on Cypress Creek. During the Civil War they contributed to the effort by making charcoal on the banks of the Blanco River and extracting sodium nitrate from bat guano to make gunpowder.

Located at the confluence of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River, the natural beauty is a call to anyone seeking stunning views, artistic inspiration, and an escape from city life. Nestled in the heart of the Hill Country and sitting atop the Edwards Plateau, the area is a haven for migrating birds and butterflies. With its abundance of natural flora and fauna, Wimberley is the perfect spot for anyone who loves nature. Art galleries, neat shops, and venues for the performing arts offer a showcase for the local talent all year long. Since Texas just opened up again – fingers crossed on the Covid thing – I hope to make a return trip for Market Days this spring.

Besides being located on an energy vortex like Enchanted Rock – a fact that quickly got my attention, Wimberley also has a soft spot for cowboys. Jack Glover is gone now, but his spirit lingers in Pioneer Town in Wimberley. He was the legendary proprietor of the Cowboy Museum. Countless people would come to listen to him speak about cowboy life and being a lawman in the old west. He was Will Roger’s cousin, for those of you old enough to remember who Will Rogers was. Full of fascinating things, the museum offered an opportunity to get to know Jack. He passed away a few years ago at the age of 97 – he will be missed.

Another legendary cowboy in Wimberley is a guy by the name of Glen Keith. He was a bullrider for over twenty years and the first cowboy to ride a bull in the Astrodome in Houston. Glen is a champion cowboy, decorated with more winning belt buckles than he can tote around. He likes to say that one of the most memorable moments in his career took place at the Stonewall Peach Jamboree rodeo in Stonewall. For Sable Hunter fans, Stonewall is where TEXAS CHAOS takes place and Logan Gray is the fire chief there. Just an aside - - back to the story. Glen was nervous that night because LBJ was in the audience. LBJ was President Lyndon Baines Johnson. He spent all of his retirement years and any other spare time he could muster at his ranch in Johnson City just a scant six miles or so from Stonewall. Another reason Glen was nervous was the bull he was assigned to ride that night was known to be an uncooperative, difficult beast. After the lights went down and the spotlight came up, Glen had to walk a hundred yards or so from his trailer. As he moseyed along in the dark, he literally bumped into and knocked down country singer Charley Pride. Glen said Charley was angry at first, but after Glen put on a good performance, Charley introduced him to his wife. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to meet Lady Bird that night. I’m not sure if he did later or not.

Regardless, Wimberley is an interesting place to visit.  








With over 100 quaint shops, its shopping area is legendary. They have a community program called Bootiful Wimberley where local artists painted these huge cowboy boots to grace the front area of each business. Let me show you some of them. 

























Well, as you can see – there are lots of boots. Some indicate what their shop sells, some don’t. But all are intriguing.

I especially love to go to the ice cream festival in the spring and spend a day walking from shop to shop, I can always find a good bargain and some needed inspiration. For example, look at a bottle tree I saw there.

                                                                             



A bottle tree goes right along with A WISHING MOON because the true intent of a bottle tree is to capture and distract spirits who might want to haunt your house! Here is a photo of my own personal bottle tree, I chose to go with the more traditional blue or green colors. Mine, obviously is a work in progress.

                                                                             



This cultural oddity is predominantly from the low country’s Gullah people who live on the barrier islands off South Carolina, but you can see them in many places in the South. They go right along with painting your doors or windows ‘haint’ blue, which supposedly does the same thing as a bottle tree – to discourage infestations of ghosts.

Wimberley is also known for other things – wineries, good restaurants, and beautiful scenery.

WILDFLOWER WAY, Arabella’s wildflower farm in A WISHING MOON is located on Cypress Creek. Here are a few pictures of her place. 




                                                                                 



 To go along with her magical abilities, I chose to create a magical setting for her.

Also nearby is a place I’ve used in several book, a mysterious beautiful spring called Jacob’s Well. If you have read my books, you might remember Joseph McCoy and Bowie Malone diving in Jacob’s Well to save a life. 

                                                                               

What looks to be a feature in an amusement park, Jacob’s Well is actually one of the longest, deepest, most dangerous underwater caves in the world. Many people have lost their lives here and it is highly discouraged for anyone but the most experienced to attempt a dive – but people still do.

Another scenic spot in the near vicinity is Old Baldy. I, personally, could not make the climb – but if you do, there is an amazing view of the Wimberley Valley. 


                                                                                   

If you can’t make it to Texas to see all of this interesting stuff in person, I invite you to read my new, ‘sweet’ version of A WISHING MOON. I have attempted to weave in the flavor of this interesting locale into the fabric of the book.

Later, you can tell me if I was successful.

I hope you are well.

Sable Hunter 





3 comments:

Julie Lence said...

Wow! So much history packed into Wimberly. I love the boots!! The wild west is a favorite. Maybe one day after hubbs retires, we can get down there and have a visit. I've always wanted to see Texas. Thanks, Sable!

Alice said...

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Sable Hunter said...

Thank you, Julie. If you ever visit, let me know. I'll buy you some Texas BBQ for lunch!!