Here is the new short video from the world of HW, Fun Facts: Heaven’s Wait’s Earthly Plants.
Heaven’s Wait’s beloved RJ PLOM had been a laboratory business officer in the UC Berkeley Botany Department before he embarked on his journey above. Knowing he would soon be leaving the mortal world as we know it, he packed up some treasured possessions to take with him upon his departure. Among his eclectic treasures were pictures of his family, a collection of VHS tapes, a good supply of Golden Grain spaghetti, and a fine collection of heirloom seeds that he had salvaged from the botany department once they were no longer needed. Growing plants from seeds was in his blood, and he couldn’t imagine leaving this world without them.
Once RJ settled into HW’s quiet Vowella Valley, he planted and nurtured his seedlings until Vowella flourished with beautiful and nutritious vegetation. The plants blended perfectly into the unusual environment and its own fascinating assortment of native plants, which was completely foreign to RJ.
But RJ was most intrigued by the fact that a few earthly plants had made their way to this faraway world before his arrival. How they got there, he didn’t know. RJ just went with the fact and moved forward in his new world.
Just for fun, here are Heaven’s Wait’s earthly plants in a short video. To discover more about the plants of HW, make sure to read the Tales from Vowella Book Series. See how many of the earthly plants play their parts, almost as characters, in the stories. Find the books in the footer links or at https://www.amazon.com/author/bmclaughlin
This week, we introduced Heaven’s Wait’s 5 main teen Vowellan characters to social media for the first time. Mok, Kip, Lek, San, and Dun took center stage in their own video shorts. The shorts gave viewers a chance to see who these characters are while their clan theme songs played in the background. We thought the shorts deserved a place on the HW website as well. So here they are, all in one place.
You may also find these video shorts, as well as other videos from our growing collection, on Heaven’s Wait’s You Tube Channel: https://youtube.com/@heavenswait.
A special shoutout to my music arranger, Aki Ross, and my illustrator, Julia Semionova for their invaluable contributions to these fun little shorts.
These teen Vowellan characters make their first appearance in Book 2 of the Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Series, Innocents and Curiosities. Find this book on Amazon.com by following the Innocents and Curiosities book link in the footer.
Disaster and Triumph is Book 4 of the Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella series. As the title implies, a disaster like nothing the Vowellans have ever encountered hits the tiny community of Vowella. All that the Vowellans have learned from RJ PLOM and from their limited experiences is put to the ultimate test as they fight a battle for their very survival.
As the potential solution to the Vowellans’ dilemma lands in the laps of the teens of Vowella, Mok Fog Bob takes the lead. He hopes the lessons he has learned will guide him through the various struggles they are sure to encounter and give him strength to carry out all that is required of him. As the Vowellans find more and more problems to solve, Mok expects support from his peers. Will he get it? As Mok and the others are about to learn, nothing makes one grow and change more than working your way through a crisis.
Disaster and Triumph was the hardest story to get to but the easiest to write when the time came. I felt the Vowellans needed a decent amount of knowledge and experience in their back pocket before the challenges I was about to hand them became real. I think Books 2 and 3 prepared them for those challenges. It was exciting to finally dive into serious problems that the Vowellans would have to learn to solve. The more problems I presented, the better they got at solving them. I was so proud of how the Vowellans handled the various situations. I didn’t have to figure out the solutions. They did the work for me. And that made for an enjoyable writing experience.
There is more to come from the Vowellans as I embark on the next series from Heaven’s Wait: Beyond Vowella. But the completion of Disaster and Triumph marks the end of a long, emotional journey for me. Tales from Vowella took me too many years to complete. Challenges of various sorts caused constant interruptions to my work. But I journeyed on. I tucked hours in here and there over the years, determined to see the project to completion. And here is the result. I hope you enjoy the series. And please enjoy the Disaster and Triumph Book Trailer below. Barbara McLaughlin
To read more about Disaster and Triumph, Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Book 4 and listen to its music, visit the Tales from Vowella Book Page. To receive alerts about new HW posts like this, make sure to subscribe to our email list by completing the email form in the footer of this page.
Wonders and Truths, Book 3 of the Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Book Series, continues the Vowellans’ journey to discover their purpose in Heaven’s Wait. Glimmers of change are starting to appear in the Vowellan community, and Mok Fog Bob and his life-long friend, Kip Fig Wig, are tracking those changes.
When the Vowellans experience a few striking, unexpected phenomena, their awareness of their behaviors intensifies. They slowly begin to let go of some of the old ways that have been in place for generations. As new challenges arise for the Vowellans, relationships begin to change, in most cases for the better. There may be hope yet for the community to see true change and growth. They will need it, since RJ learns that eventual challenges lie ahead for the Vowellans. And he must do what he can to prepare them for the unknown.
In Wonders and Truths, I knew it was time to push the naïve, innocent Vowellans toward a new level of being. Though they were still in their isolated environment, the Vowellans had much work to do to further themselves as individuals. The idea of Mok and Kip building a list of the Vowellans who have become aware of their behaviors sat well with my story consultant. It made for an interesting sub-theme, allowing the reader to anticipate who will be added to the list. The list concept fed me ideas for determining who qualified as the storyline progressed.
And it was time for the innocent, long-standing relationship between Mok and Kip to progress to a new level. Hoping to capture the natural, naïve progression of a teen relationship within such an isolated environment, I leaned on the simpler tone of my own youth. In those days, new feelings had more room to emerge without the outside influences of today’s overly-connected world. I love these characters. Barbara
To read more about Wonders and Truths, Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Book 3 and listen to its music, visit the Tales from Vowella Book Page. To receive alerts about new HW posts like this, make sure to subscribe to our email list by completing the email form in the footer of this page. You are visiting heavenswait.com
Innocents and Curiosities, Book 2 of the Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella light fantasy series, begins in today’s Vowella. Though time has passed and a new generation of Vowellans has emerged, the townsfolk are still as innocent and curious as they have always been. Thanks to their mentor, Mr. RJ PLOM and his access to Heaven’s Wait’s capital, New Life City, the Vowellans’ lives are now full of many modern-day advantages. Despite that reality, a bright Vowellan teen by the name of Mok Fog Bob senses that something is missing from their lives. He decides to study the Vowellans’ behavior in hopes of helping RJ understand what is keeping the community from answering the question that has nagged at them for generations. What is the Vowellans’ purpose in Heaven’s Wait?
Moving the focus of the tales to the modern-day, new-generation Vowella gave me an opportunity to expand the depth of the everyday lives of the various clans of Vowella. There are the jolly Ham Bats, the quiet Fig Wigs, the intellectual Fog Bobs, the greedy Net Kens, and the bullying Rug Bums. Each clan has its own strengths, quirks, and troubles, as does any family.
Once the initial clan traits were established in RJ and the Vowellans, it was easy to build on those traits. The clans and the individuals within them began to write their own stories. Just as other writers do, I found myself modeling some of the fantasy characters after people I knew or had observed, but in exaggerated fashion. I built other characters by simply letting my imagination run wild. That was the fun part. Giving them credible stories to tell was much more of a challenge.
Innocents and Curiosities gives you an inside look at everyday life in Vowella. It also touches on the importance of being aware of what that life looks like. Please enjoy the book trailer below for Innocents and Curiosities. Barbara
To read more about Innocents and Curiosities, Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Book 2 and listen to its music, visit the Tales from Vowella Book Page. To receive alerts about new HW posts like this, make sure to subscribe to our email list by completing the email form in the footer of this page.
RJ and the Vowellans, Tales from Vowella Book 1 is the story of a man who, through no wish of his own, left our mortal world for Heaven. Along the way, he happened upon a brilliant, unknown world called Heaven’s Wait. There, he found a most unusual community of quirky beings known as the Vowellans. This is the story of RJ’s discovery of Heaven’s Wait and his inevitable relationship with the Vowellans.
RJ and the Vowellans is the first book of the new Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Book Series. It is a story that was originally the prologue for the initial, massive manuscript for Tales from Vowella. The manuscript was so huge and poorly written that my story consultant, Brad Schreiber, suggested that I divide it into a trilogy and work separately on the smaller pieces. I took his advice, divided the manuscript, and started revising. Before long, I realized that the prologue didn’t reveal enough information about RJ and his journey to Heaven’s Wait. It also failed to reveal the history of the Vowellans before he got there, and how his relationship with the Vowellans evolved once he was present in their world. So, I removed the prologue from the main manuscript and let my imagination take over.
The original prologue had been called RJ’s Story, so RJ’s Story became the title of the first book in the evolving series. I published the original RJ’s Story book in 2015. Now, many years later, the entire series is finished, and this 2nd edition book has a beautiful new cover and title, RJ and the Vowellans, in keeping with the new images and feel of the complete series. The story is the same. Everything surrounding it is new. Please enjoy the following book trailer for RJ and the Vowellans. Barbara
To read more about RJ and the Vowellans, Heaven’s Wait! Tales from Vowella Book 1 and listen to its music, visit the Tales from Vowella Book Page. To receive alerts about new HW posts like this, make sure to subscribe to our email list by completing the email form in the footer of this page.