Art, Poetry & Music inspired, created or connected to The Time-Bridge Journals
~ and with more to come!
Included here on these pages are many 'Extras' for those interested in exploring the worlds and timelines created within the Time-Bridge Universe on more levels than merely the written word.
I'm a very visually-oriented person - and when I pursue a project, I love doing so to the proverbial 'nth-degree', most especially in terms of the environment that's created and how that environment is presented.
Here on these pages will be found a growing library of various images connected to or inspired by the Story, Characters and Timelines from the Journals of the Twinned Souls.
There will be poetry and music written for the books, along with photographs, art, playlists and video-links connected to those stories - some directly connected, while others are those that I find inspiring as I continue to weave words around Alyse and Glen; Aelfwyn and Hrogn; Ulfgeirr, Bryan, Dr. Benson, the Coach, Kayleigh and little Svana.
I invite you to have fun and enjoy exploring the worlds of the Twinned Souls. And please keep checking back. There is much more to be shared and posted here...
In the Interactive Elements Department...
The premier "Extra" connected to Cymbric's debut novels is displayed above. It is the "Janus Cypher" - as portrayed on the front cover of Book One in The Time-Bridge Journals. The cypher's design incorporates symbols and elements that have a direct connection to the characters and interwoven plots and timelines of the first two novels.
It is my hope that the most intriguing element of all is an interactive one directly related to the cypher image itself. You are invited to study it, even print it out, to help you solve what the cypher is intended to lead you to create.
Hint: Similar to the connect-the-dots puzzles many of us played with as children, connecting the various image-elements of the cypher in the right order and pattern will help you discover an ancient metaphor for the journey of Life.
A Special Something...
~ For the wondrous folk who've recently signed up and are following my "Time-Bridge Journals" Facebook page, you have truly inspired me, so I wanted to share with you something no one else has read. Here's a little extra vignette written for The Janus Cypher but (so far) held out.
The setting is Hrogn's encampment where Aelfwyn is explaining how it is that gruff old Captain Drengr came to bestow upon her a special 'endearment'...
Softly nestled within the strange luxurious warmth of a bed she had no memory of lying down in, Ælfwyn stretched and drew a long, deep breath. At last, she opened her eyes, though briefly at first, uncertain of where she could be, or even who she could be at that moment.
A few moments more and she felt Svana’s tiny hand stroke her forehead as the child whispered, “Are you well my Lady Ælfwyn? You slept for a long time.”
Ælfwyn smiled at the sensation and opened her eyes once more, just as her memories of the previous night flooded back in. Ælfwyn looked about and saw that her bed was in a much larger pavilion than the one Greffi had shown her during their escort away from the feast.
Just then, Svana turned and called out, “Your Grace? Uhm… Forgive me, but I believe the Lady Ælfwyn – she wakes at last. What should I do?”
There was a rush of movement and Ælfwyn looked over to see both Hrogn and Úlfgeirr swiftly come to her. Hrogn sat down on the bedside and took her hand, while Greffi stood behind him smiling as he offered, “Once more we have waited, uneasy over your recovery, Ælfwyn.” He looked down and added, “Though in our stead, Svana has watched over you - and likely better than any of us did that night so long ago…
There was something indefinable in Greffi’s voice, as Ælfwyn looked up and saw so much more in his eyes and yet, she knew he would never speak of it further.
For his part, Hrogn seemed to smile at the memory Greffi spoke of, as he chuckled and added, “Ah yes, and I trust we will not be required to explain to you what a ‘skitlepadl’ is, as we did on our first meeting?”
Ælfwyn watched as Hrogn’s remark made even Úlfgeirr smile, just as Svana leaned over and whispered in her ear, “What is a... 'skitlepadl', my Lady?”
Hrogn turned to Svana and in a surprisingly tender gesture, Ælfwyn watched him touch the child on the nose, as he answered with an air of conspiracy, “Well, that was a great secret between us all, little one. For you see, ‘Skitlepadl’ is a strange little word - 'tis a mish-mash of the Gael-Dane tongues that was once used as a name for baby sea-turtles, such as you have doubtless seen on the shore of our own Skerribriggan Cove.” Hrogn looked around and leaned closer to Svana, as he said, indulging in a bit of drama, “But more than this, it was used by no less than the great Captain Drengr himself, as some secret endearment between he and the Lady Ælfwyn.”
Svana’s eyes went wide at the revelation, as Hrogn went on, “The Captain, you see, saved Ælfwyn’s life when she was but a girl no older than you are, Svana..." Hrogn paused to stare at his thrall-child for a moment, and then turned to inquire of Ælfwyn, “And yet, I must admit I have never heard the tale of how it was that you charmed our gruff old Captain into such surprisingly un-gruff behavior.” Hrogn then turned to Svana as he pointed out, “…for I must tell you little one, our Captain Drengr was old and gruff even then.”
The child gave up a delighted giggle at such special attention from Hrogn. Then turning back to Ælfwyn, Hrogn observed, “Although, I’ll wager the Captain has not called you that in ten winters or more, so perhaps you yourself have forgotten how it came about?”
Ælfwyn felt a blush rise on her cheeks, as she replied, “I have not forgotten, for it is a very brief tale indeed.” Svana was not the only one who looked at her expectantly for the rest of her narrative.
Ælfwyn sat up a bit and looked at Svana to tell her story, as the child continued to smile at her, “The Captain smuggled me out through the souterrain of my parent’s holding just as a horror of a clan, known as the MacUaise set it afire. The Captain had somehow also conjured my father’s horse, Naeamor, to be waiting for us at the opening.” She thought for a moment, to add, “Though he never did explain how that marvel came to be." She puzzled over it, but finally went on, "And along with Naeamor, was my father’s great-cloak. When the Captain mounted, he pulled on my father’s cloak and then scooped me up into the saddle in front of him, wrapping the cloak around us both. He explained that it was meant to disguise us, so that from a distance we would simply look like; how did he say it? Ah, ‘…one great-round man on a great man’s horse', I believe that is how he phrased it."
Hrogn and Úlfgeirr nodded their understanding of the tactic, but Ælfwyn laughed, as she explained further, “Except… Well, I kept thwarting the Captain’s intent by constantly sticking my head out the front of the cloak and straining to look back at him, as I attempted to converse with him. The Captain finally demanded, ‘What are you, little one - some kind of skitlepadl?’ And I, of course, having never been near the ocean nor seen such a creature, had no idea what he meant, and yet, perhaps to stave off all the horrors I had seen inside my parents holding, I kept talking and talking, not satisfied to remain ignorant, even in those circumstances.” She looked up at Hrogn, as she laughed at her own foolishness, “I kept asking the Captain question after question, demanding to know what he meant. He tried to explain it, but finally, he simply pushed my head back within the cloak and insisted on my silence. Although, it was with the promise that I would see what a skitlepadl was when we arrived at Hrörekshold.”
Finishing the story, she said to Svana, “The thing I remember most clearly of all, Svana, was how the Captain rode straight at me, and with Naeamor at a full cantor, he scooped me up into the saddle, one handed.” She smiled at the memory, even as she added, “My stomach still lurches at the memory…”
Ælfwyn looked over to see an amazed look on Svana’s face, as Hrogn interjected, “As I recall, Ælfwyn, the only way the Captain was convinced to leave your father's side amidst the fighting…” Hrogn squeezed her hand and gently added, “beyond your father’s own devotion to you, was because Captain Drengr’s sword arm had been pulled completely out of joint when that murderous horde, the MacUaise, began to brake through the palisade. That means Drengr not only lifted you into the saddle with one arm, but as his sword arm was likely useless and in considerable pain, he would have had to lift you up with his off-arm.”
Úlfgeirr added his own part to the story, “Aye, and it was pure agony just watching him attempt to recover. Remember Hrogn? You and I – and with Fyrgar watching his father as well – we all winced and cringed as Roskilda worked with him. It was almost as though we could feel the Captain’s torture from a distance, as he painstakingly retrained himself.
Hrogn grimaced at the memory and added, “Ah yes, I remember that all too well. At first, it was all he could do to merely hold his sword again, let alone wield it. And he was no easy man to get along with over those months, either. He worked us twice as hard and growled ten times as much. And Roskilda, bless her, despite all his protests and grumbles, forced him – well, with my father’s support – into a sling-wrap and poultices of her own devising. It was only after he'd been bound-up for weeks that she release him from his trus and allow him to begin using it to work his arm into fighting shape once more.
Úlfgeirr added, “And she would massage the muscles every night so they would not knit-up wrong, which would have left the arm useless to a warrior such as he. I do not know how she tolerated his grouching." He turned to both Ælfwyn and the child, and said, "I would swear to it, little Svana, the Captain sounded like the very worst tales the Lady Ælfwyn ever told of troll-bears!”
Ælfwyn gave up a laugh, as she nodded and said, “Yes, even I remember that. But he is not so much like a troll-bear anymore, is he?” She looked at Hrogn to add, “In fact, you would not win your wager, my…” She resisted the urge to call Hrogn, ‘my love’ as she transmuted it to, “…my Lord.” She smiled at Hrogn, “For the Captain did call me by that... little endearment, just last night when he so kindly whispered his thanks to me after singing Fyrgar’s Lament.”