Happy May! All the events in April were a lot of fun and we are really looking forward to upcoming conventions.
We hosted a free sucker pull at Saluki Con, for SIU students. It was a blast! Prizes included a school themed book pillow, metal bookmarks, book thumb rings, and a selection of candy bars.
Added Events: WisCon, OddMall:Hallowondrous and Hall of Heroes Comic Con!
An audiobook became available for Goodreads Best Short Stories 2021 by Collected Works. If you are interested in finding out more about the authors included in the project and their story’s within its pages, you can find this pandemic themed short story collection here: https://amzn.to/3E3oaCf
For select days during the month of April, there was a special sale for the kindle version of “The Warning Signs”.
readersfavorite.com will have all four of my available books listed as prizes in the monthly book giveaway. If you are interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: book giveaway /Rise or/and here: book-giveaway/lost and here: book-giveaway/endow and here for The Warning Signs: giveaway/the-warning-signs/1.
Upcoming Event Reminders:
We are scheduled to participate at WisCon from May 27th – 30th. This event takes place at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, WI.
We are scheduled to participate at the ST. LOUIS MIGHTY CON. The event will take place June 18th and 19th at the St. Charles Convention Center in Saint Charles, MO.
Concealed Realms plans to participate at Planet Funk Con, June 24th – 26th. The event will take place at the RiverCenter in Davenport, IA.
Concealed Realms plans to participate at Midwest Monster Fest on September 16th, 17th , and 18th. This event is scheduled to take place in East Moline, IL at The Rust Belt: mwmonsterfest
Concealed Realms will be at OddMall:Hallowondrous in Akron, Ohio. The event is set to take place on October 21st and 22nd.
We are scheduled to participate at the Hall of Heroes Comic Con on March 4th and 5th. This event takes place at the Northern Indiana Event Center, located in Elkhart, IN.
Spring Flower Quotes:
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
– Lady Bird Johnson
“Belladonna: In Italian, a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison.”
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary.
“Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them.”
– Victoria Glendinning.
“When bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles, my words fade
The pen has dropped …”
“The nature of This Flower is to bloom.”
– Alice Walker.
“What a desolate place would be a world without a flower! It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome. Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our starts the flowers of the heaven.”
– A.J. Balfour.
What a pity flowers can utter no sound!—A singing rose, a whispering violet, a murmuring honeysuckle … oh, what a rare and exquisite miracle would these be!”
– Henry Ward Beeche
“People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”
– Iris Murdoch
“Nothing ever seems impossible in spring, you know.” – L.M. Montgomery
“Memories are forget-me-nots gathered along life’s way,
Pressed close to the human heart into a perennial bouquet.”
– Clara Smith Reber.
Definition of Sunflower:
Noun “…any of various composite plants of the genus Helianthus, as H. annuus, having showy, yellow-rayed flower heads often 12 inches (30 centimeters) wide, and edible seeds that yield an oil with a wide variety of uses.” – www.dictionary.com
Noun “any of a genus (Helianthus, especially H. annuus) of New World composite plants with large yellow-rayed flower heads bearing edible seeds that yield an edible oil.” – merriamwebster.com
Flowers have played a large role in mythology and folkloric tradition across the planet and throughout time. Its no mystery why humans became so attached to them. They can be appealing to all five senses, or none at all, as their variations are endless. In fact, according to getty.edu, flowers may have been one of the first decorative implements used by the earliest humans in an attempt to adorn themselves.
In this mythology post, I wanted to look at one bloom in particular, the official state flower of Kansas, the sunflower. These humble flowers with their round faces and bright petals that look almost like miniature suns, have been an important part of mankind’s existence for thousands of years. Perhaps that’s why countless authors, artists, and other influential people have used their symbolism as inspiration.
Uses of Sunflowers
Prior to domestication, wild sunflowers were spread throughout the North and Central American continents, where some archaeologists suggest that they may have been purposefully cultivated by ancient civilizations even before corn was, probably as far back as 2600 BCE.
Apart from being visually pleasing, sunflowers have a multitude of uses. For instance, sunflower seeds can be eaten, ground, roasted, and used for oil. Additionally, the fiber from stems has been used for making cords, their leaves used as fodder or even rolled up and smoked like tobacco, and the flower petals have been used for natural dyes. But that’s not all, according gardencollage.com, the roots of this plant have been very effective at removing radiation from soil.
Early Sunflower Tradition
Native tribes of north America used sunflowers in many ways, including making flour from crushed, ground seeds for breads and cakes. It is also believed that they commonly used the leaves or petals for teas. Some indigenous peoples also used the plants for medicinal and ceremonial purposes, while others were inspired to use the study stalks in construction.
Beyond the dietary and other conventional uses of the plants, its is suggested that Mayans highly respected this flower and for them it was a symbol of fertility and light.
For the Incas, the sunflower reflected the image of their sun god, Inti. Therefore, these scared flowers were brought to temples and used in rituals. Its even said that Inca priestesses wore sunflower-like discs made of gold on their breasts to honor the deity.
It is believed that sunflowers were also a key offering to Huitzilopochtli, the sun and war god for the Atzec people. As reported by mexicolore.co.uk, dried remains of sunflower seed containing fruits have been discovered in offerings found in at least one Aztec temple.
According to nuseed.coms, sunflower seeds from North America were first brought to Europe by returning Spanish explorers around 1500.
After its initial introduction to Europe, it didn’t take long for people there to recognize this plants vast potential and the sunflowers popularity grew steadily. Although they are mainly processed into cooking oil, meal, and confectionery products currently, the sunflower is grown in more than 80 countries globally.
Whats In A Name?
The sunflower’s name is said to comes from its heliotropic tendency to reposition itself to face the sun. It’s genus, Helianthus, is rooted in two Greek words: “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower.
These particular flowers look toward the sun as it rises in the east and follow it across the sky until it sets in the west. Flowers which we can actually see move to track the sun are heliotropic, such as sunflowers, buttercups, artic poppies, and ranunculus adoneus. Although for sunflowers, this sun tracking movement happens less as they grow older. Once a sunflower matures, it stops following the sun and remains facing east.
This interesting heliotropic quality is probably why the sunflower is often connected with the myth in the next section, where you can read a slightly condensed version of this tale of love, betrayal, jealousy, and undying devotion.
Want to learn more about heliotropism visit: thedailygarden.us
In Greek myth, the sunflower is often associated with the story of Clytie, a sea nymph who was said to be so enamored with the sun god that she would watch every day, pinning after him as he moved across the sky. Eventually the nymph caught the sun gods eye and for a short time he was amused by her attentions, but the affair didn’t last.
To make a long story short…
Clytie became jealous and knowing the father of the sun gods new conquest would not approve, told him of the budding romance, without thinking about the consequences. The protective father quickly moved to break off the relationship between his daughter and the powerful deity.
After the forced separation from his newest love interest, the sun god only snubbed Clytie more…
When she finally realized she would not regain his attention, she again took up her watch post, sitting still in the spot and only turning her face toward him as he passed by. Her limbs clung to the soil as she wasted away, surviving on nothing more than dew and tears for nine days, before she was transformed into a Heliotropic flower, such as the sunflower.
The telling of the story varies, but no matter which version you consume, you find that even as a flower, Clytie continued to turn her gaze constantly towards the sun god.
This plant, with it’s petals resembling rays of sunshine, has long mystified and inspired people around the world, earning it a place in myth, legend, and tradition. Useful and pretty, it will surely continue to captivate us for thousands of years to come.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! Stay safe and keep being awesome.