A Milestone, a Book Tour, a Thank-You, and a Prince of an Island

On the day I sat down in front of my PC to begin page one, chapter one, of The Eye-Dancers, little did I know where the journey would take me.



I had a general idea where I wanted the story to go, and I had a need to tell it.  It felt like a cyclone was bottled up inside of me.  Years earlier, I had dreamed of the wraith-like little girl with the blue, swirling, hypnotic eyes.  And she scared me–just as she scares Mitchell Brant in the opening scene of The Eye-Dancers.  But I wasn’t able to write her story.  Not at that time, anyway.

Then, nearly two decades later, I dreamed of the “ghost girl” again.  She was as real, as vivid, as she had been during that restless night years earlier.  She stood there, in the road, beneath the light of the streetlamp, half there and half not there–the light filtering through her.  And this time, upon waking, I had it!  Somehow, some way, after so many years, the story came to me, unasked for, like a surprise gift from a capricious muse.



I felt energized, high on creativity.  I had been wanting to write a novel about growing up, facing the challenges of adolescence, of peer pressure and fitting in and learning to accept yourself for who you really are and what you have to offer the world.  Little did I know the two would intersect.  The “ghost girl” would lead the way, and Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski would follow.

As I began the story, the journey, I wrestled with the same questions and doubts every writer struggles with:  Is the idea any good?  Will I write a hundred pages and then get stuck?  Will anyone want to read it?  Will it be a failure?  And so, when, two years later, I typed the words “The End” on the last page, I felt a wonderful sense of relief.  It was done.  (Well, not really.  There was still the editing and the revising and rewriting, which would take months to complete.)  There is always a sense of loss when you complete such a long and personal writing journey.  But there is also a sense of accomplishment, and, for one brief, glorious moment, there is almost a belief that you can soar, riding the currents of the wind like some space traveler in a Ray Bradbury story.



When that moment passed, however, I realized the journey was far from over.  Yes, the story had been written.  But the adventure . . . the adventure . . . that had only just begun.

Shortly thereafter, I created this blog, not knowing what to expect, not knowing who, if anyone, would want to read about ghost girls and inter-dimensional voids and dreams and Twilight Zone episodes and old movies and comic books and ideas about writing and creating.  In the beginning, I was clueless.  I didn’t know a thing about blogging, or how to go about it.  But as I soon learned, the WordPress community is a wonderful and welcoming place.  My nervousness quickly departed.  I was like a stage performer, on his opening night, heart racing, breath coming in short, choppy gasps, worried about messing up–but then discovering that the audience is patient and kind, generous with their support, and eager to lend a helping hand.



And now, all these months later, I have arrived at a milestone.  This post today marks the 100th post on The Eye-Dancers blog.  And I can’t thank you all enough.  Your ongoing support, encouragement, and interest in these ramblings of mine are the reasons I am still here.  You make blogging a joy.  I enjoy every minute of it, and hope you all know how much I appreciate you and thank you for the ways in which you’ve made me a member of this great blogging community.



I also wanted to announce a new development for The Eye-Dancers, the novel.  Beginning yesterday, and carrying on straight through November 21, The Eye-Dancers is being featured in a book tour.  It’s sponsored by Fire and Ice Book Tours, and I hope you’ll take a look at the schedule and perhaps follow the tour as it makes its rounds through the month of November  . . .



When I was in the eighth grade, my English teacher surprised the class one gray, nondescript February morning.  She announced that, for the next several days, we would watch a movie in class.  Students cheered.  A movie?  We were all in!  When she said it was Anne of Green Gables, a recently released adaptation of the famous novel written by L.M. Montgomery in 1908, I wasn’t sure what to think.  I had heard of the classic, but had never read it.





Throughout the week, I found myself riveted by the movie.  I smiled many times at Anne’s antics, and cried more than once, my tears hidden in the dim lighting of the room.  Some of the other boys in the class proclaimed they didn’t really like the movie.  “It’s for girls,” they groused.  I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them now.  They liked it.  And I . . . I loved it.  It inspired me to read the book, and then other books by L.M. Montgomery.  And I couldn’t help but notice that many of her stories took place on her native Prince Edward Island, in the Canadian Maritimes.  As time went on, I got the itch to visit Canada’s “Garden of the Gulf.”



In 1994, my family and I went.  We drove from Rochester, New York, to PEI–a two-day, 1,000-mile trip.  We stayed a week.  To this day, I maintain PEI is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.  Sometimes, when I’m out in the yard or sitting at my desk or taking a walk, I close my eyes and imagine myself strolling along one of the Island’s red dirt roads, flanked by the wild lupine that bloom seemingly everywhere, a magic carpet of color.



Or I picture myself on one of the Island’s many beaches.  Or on a particular beach, at a particular moment . . .

It was early one morning, midway through our vacation.  Our hotel was close to the sea, and, not being able to sleep, I decided to walk down to the beach.  The previous day, the temperature had soared to record-breaking heights, but now, in the silence of an Island morning, the sun rising over the water, the sand between my toes, a lone seagull calling out, its cry echoing along the beach and the dunes, it was cool, almost chilly.

I looked out over the waves, shielding my eyes from the sun.  There was no one else around–just the gull and me, and a solitary crow pecking at something in the grass a few hundred feet behind me.  And then, even the gull flew away, leaving in its absence the gentle murmur of the sea.  I peered toward the horizon.  I couldn’t tell where the ocean ended and the sky began.  They seemed to merge, melding into one silent entity–timeless, eternal.



I listened. For what I didn’t know.  Maybe, in the quiet of the morning, the sea whispered its secrets to those willing to hear them.  But more than anything, I felt a sense of exhilaration.  There was so much out there, beyond the horizon, so much to do and see and discover.  I smiled, eager to travel along the back roads and highways and hidden woodland paths on this journey.



As I stood there that morning, two decades ago, I had not yet been online–the Internet was in its infancy.  The term “blog” hadn’t even been invented yet.  If I had known then what I know now, if I had known I would be fortunate enough to discover such a wonderful community on a place called WordPress, in the twenty-first century, I am sure my smile would have been even wider.

Thank you to everyone for all the  support of The Eye-Dancers’ first 100 posts!  I hope you’ll stick around for the next hundred . . .



Thanks so much for reading!  You are the best.


73 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John W. Howell
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 20:38:48

    You give us enjoyment and support as well. Good luck on the tour. Don’t forget your toothbrush


  2. jjspina
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 20:42:15

    Congratulations on your 100th post! That is fantastic, Mike! I will have to look back at the ones I didn’t get a chance to read since I have become an avid fan of yours.

    Best wishes with the next 100! I look forward to many more fascinating posts!


  3. mjdresselbooks
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 21:37:37

    How awesome, Mike. Congratulations. I plan on staying around. I do enjoy reading your posts. Good luck on your blog tour. Have fun!


  4. sonya solomonovich
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 22:55:44

    Congratulations on your 100th blog post. I’m enjoying the journey too! Almost done the Eye-Dancers by the way.


  5. honeydidyouseethat?
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 22:56:30

    Ahhh congratulations on your 100th! I’m ashamed to say that I never made it past the part where Anne is trying to sleep. Was that Chapter one? Am I the only Canadian to have not read that series? Are you accompanying your tour? Maybe our paths will cross. 🙂


  6. ptero9
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 22:59:20

    Yes, love your writing and your topics. I do hope to one day read your book. I’m not a big reader of fiction, so it might take me awhile to get to it.
    I also had the pleasure of visiting PEI, back in the 1980’s. What a beautiful place and very sheltered from bigger cities found on the mainland.
    Congrats on 100!


  7. honeydidyouseethat?
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 23:01:22

    Delete that question. I get it now. A virtual tour. Who would have guessed that possible 20 years ago??


  8. Bruce Thiesen
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 23:32:10

    Mike – your blog is wonderful, as evidenced by your 100th entry above. I look forward to the next one and I suspect that many of us will be telling you the same when you post your 200th entry.


  9. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 02:12:01

    It’s so great when things intersect and the stars align. Enjoyed reading your process. Congrats on the 100th post. 🙂


  10. The Other Side of Ugly - Letters to Humanity
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 02:43:33

    I chose you dear friend, please pay it forward with love and kindness, in line with who you are. http://theothersideofugly.com/2013/11/09/another-year-of-honor-as-a-blogger/


  11. laurie27wsmith
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 03:04:42

    Congrats on your 100th.


  12. fashionassist
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 03:33:05

    BIG congratulations Mike, how wonderful for you and your novel to be on tour…
    and a HUGE squeal of delight goes out to you for hitting your 100th post milestone!!!
    “It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


  13. likeitiz
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 06:36:00

    A milestone indeed! And a book tour too!

    I loved Anne of Green Gables. My daughter was in a musical of that, I think, back when we were living in Toronto. One day, we will visit PEI, we have promised. After reading about it from you, I will put it on my list,for sure.


  14. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 09:25:04

    Huge congrats on the book tour, Michael! This is just a wonderful post. I really like how you started it – that picture of the blank screen, oh yeah, and not knowing where it will lead. JUST WONDERFUL! 🙂

    I haven’t seen or read Ann of GG but I do know it’s famous. You’re a gorgeous guy to like it openly, having your tears there in the dimmed school room. How sweet you are 🙂

    This is truly the best post of yours I’ve read – such wonderful news!


  15. Sherri
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 15:55:14

    Many congratulations Mike on your 100th post and you can definitely count on me to be here for your next 100, and beyond… 🙂


  16. Jade Reyner
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 18:32:09

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone! My first 100 took ages and now I seem to be racking them up like there is no tomorrow! Keep up the good work 🙂


  17. Sheryl Wright Stinchcum
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 04:06:46

    I think of your blog as the quintessential writer’s blog–fun, entertaining, and inspiring. Congrats!


  18. Fashion Mayann
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 14:26:12

    BRAVO for the 100th post, for the book tour (WOW !) and for always writing inspiring posts ! Today, I’ve been nominated for a WordPress Family Award (of course, you had it !) and it just expresses my pride of being part of this community ! Thanks so much for your continuous support, for sure it means a lot !


  19. Meredith
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 14:56:01

    Your post is an inspiration as I enter into week two of NaNoWriMo. My novel is coming out slowly and under serious time constraints…but I’m doing it! I’m so glad I happened upon your blog and hope you keep it up. Thank you!


  20. Christy Birmingham
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 18:55:35

    Wow, congrats on 100 posts, the book tour and all of the success of your novel!


  21. lolarugula
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 20:00:25

    Congrats on your 100th post AND your book tour! How fantastic for you and also well deserved!


  22. readinpleasure
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 10:30:22

    Congratulations on your 100th and the book tour. Wishing you all the best! 🙂


  23. Mary
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 14:20:51

    Congratulations on your 100 post and the book tour!


  24. BroadBlogs
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 16:42:29

    Congrats. Wonderful!


  25. chalkdustfairy
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 16:58:45

    Congratulations on your 100 and the book tour! I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOUR TRIP! Anne of Green Gables and every other L.M. Montgomery book are my hands down favorites! Just magic…I named my oldest daughter, Anne with an ‘e’. Ironically, she refused to show any interest in the books. Ha ha! But I get the last laugh because she has found her passion in TEACHING and will soon be finished with her degree. 🙂 Maybe now she will be more interested… Thanks also for your support with my blog/writing. I appreciate it!


  26. michellejoycebond
    Nov 12, 2013 @ 02:58:33

    Congrats! It’s always fun to read about another writer’s journey. 🙂


  27. FreeRangeCow
    Nov 12, 2013 @ 15:10:27

    Oh, Mike! Congrats on your milestone, your journey, AND your lovely book! Also? I LOVED (and still do) “Anne of Green Gables.” Like you, I was introduced to the movie, first…and have since found the novels. They charm my heart. I remember not even getting out of my PJs for an ENTIRE WEEKEND thanks to Montgomery!


  28. Ste J
    Nov 12, 2013 @ 16:49:38

    Awesomeness all around in this post! Many congratulations sirrah!


  29. jamieayres
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 22:46:07

    Awesomesauce! Congrats 🙂


  30. reocochran
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 22:49:19

    Congratulations on the fire and ice book tour! I am in awe of this lifetime achievement and hope to hear of other ones along your paths in life. I am impressed that you are admitting in liking the “Anne of Green Gables'” film and books. I also like the history in stories, the character development and the way the themes can bring you to tears or laughter. Such a wonderful post and so happy for you!


  31. dannadesigns
    Nov 14, 2013 @ 23:43:13

    A big congratulations to you. What wonderful news and you totally deserve it! 🙂


  32. Michael Lane
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 00:34:58

    Congratulations Mike!


  33. mummyshymz
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 17:28:51

    Congratulations Mike! So happy for you 🙂


  34. Charron's Chatter
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 19:12:07

    I had the weirdest thought. What if the ghost girl is my sister? She is blonde…blue eyed…hehehe…just sayin’…;)

    Kudoz, Mike.


  35. 24/7 in France
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 19:42:10

    Congratulations and good luck with the tour!


  36. imaginenewdesigns12
    Mar 19, 2016 @ 04:56:00

    Thank you for liking “Cosmic Romance.” Nice post! 🙂 This post caught my attention because I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing most of the Anne of Green Gables movies. The only movie that I did not enjoy as much as the others was Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. For me, it strayed a bit too far from the book series. (There is also a 2008 movie called Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning that I have not seen. ) When I watched the movies, I was also impressed by the beauty of Prince Edward Island. What a treat to be able to see it in person! 🙂

    I am glad that you kept blogging beyond the 100 post mark. Otherwise, we might not have met online!


    • The Eye-Dancers
      Mar 20, 2016 @ 00:49:16

      Thanks so much! And I agree wholeheartedly about the Anne movies.:) You’re right–the third one strayed way too far from the books. The first one, from 1985, was extremely faithful to the book, and I suppose it’s no coincidence that that was probably the best one! Anne will always be a favorite of mine! Great hearing from you.:)


      • imaginenewdesigns12
        Mar 20, 2016 @ 09:20:52

        You are welcome. 🙂 I agree with your points about the first movie, and Anne is one of my favorite characters too. I like the funny predicaments she got herself into as she tried to adjust to her new life on Prince Edward Island. I rarely repeat watching movies once I have seen them, but I found myself watching repeat airings of the first two movies when they came on television. I cannot believe the first movie was made 31 years ago!

        It was good to hear from you again too. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: