ALCHEMY OF WORDS
ALCHEMY OF WORDS
A candle burns in the darkness of the small room, melting wax abandoning its safe purchase and falling down the bending sides of what once was a knowable and dependable form.
You stand at a rough workbench, your labors exposed only through the faint glow of its flickering revelations. Your fingers are stained and scorched, your sleeves pushed up beyond your elbows. Stones and flints, shavings and sparkling fragments lay scattered before you. There are containers of clear and dark liquids, a measuring device, and a notebook open to a page of scribbles and drawings.
Your quest is an ancient one. To change the nature of matter, to harness the power of the elements in the dance of creation, to create perfection from imperfection, to steal fire from the gods.
Gold is valued not only for its luminous appearance but also because of its transitional nature, which we do not fully understand. It is both trivalent and univalent. In other words, it walks in many worlds, effortlessly crossing barriers. It represents transformation, eternity, perfection. One who knows the secrets of gold holds the keys to the human heart. One who masters the alchemy of gold, unlocks the mysteries of the universe.
You bend over the table, the mandala of colors before you, your hands holding the elements, your mind focused on harmonics, your ears trained to the language of the stars, your spirit tuned to the oneness of all things. Time sputters and slows, bending to match your rhythm.
The above is an excerpt from the new novel Painted Oxen. The dream vignettes that serve as connective tissue for the stories of the two travelers are titled Praeda, which means stolen goods. This is because we must smuggle our dreams into the waking world.
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Painted Oxen is available wherever books are sold.
Here are two places you can find it:
* If you read it and love it, no matter where you buy it, please write a few sentences in review of the novel on Amazon.com. Thank you.
I stare up into the heavens in utter amazement. At the dramatic beauty of the blue-black sky that acts as a backdrop for the swollen moon, and—despite the brilliant moonlight—more stars than I've ever seen in my life. Okay, except for that time I did acid in the desert. I am miles from the nearest city and that city is many miles from anything else. This distance gives me space, not just to see the world with more clarity, but to imagine a place for me in it.
-from the novel Painted Oxen
Recently I was given the opportunity to launch my new novel in an iconic place filled with people I love. Sundance Books & Music hosted the event on Saturday, April 6, 2019, in the historic Levy House on California Avenue.
I sat at the author’s table and watched as people spilled over from the main room into several surrounding spaces, including the stairs. And I knew for that moment this was some place I belonged.
But I know for most of us, most of life is not like that. I have written a bit about belonging. About our universal need for it. And the fallout of feeling like we don’t.
It’s this feeling, I believe, that is the genesis of most of the hero’s journeys in the world. So if you are feeling like there is no place for you, I have an idea. The amazing Anthony Moore preserved the event in video for me and I am posting it here to share with you. Take a break, grab some popcorn, and enjoy this prelude to the journey you will take when you read the novel Painted Oxen: https://youtu.be/5wf6NwivIXs
It is a journey back home and back to yourself. It is a journey to a place for you. Enjoy.
Begin the journey.
Or if you are local, go by Sundance Books & Music (121 California Avenue) and pick up a signed copy!
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Thomas Lloyd Qualls is a writer, a condition that is apparently incurable. His second novel, Painted Oxen, was released on April 02, 2019.