Charting Stars COVER REVEAL!!!

Charting Stars is the first book in a spirited, heartfelt young adult fantasy series by Micheline Ryckman that will appeal to the minds of those who’ve always felt, well, ordinary. Talia’s adventures prove that even an average everyday girl can have skills enough to be a hero. And she’s joined on her journey by a lovable cast of characters—some human, some furry, some covered in ivy vines—who will steal your heart away. Book releases May 21, 2021.

Talia Benson would consider herself fairly ordinary. Anyone would. Diligent student, only child to a single mother, protector of three cats—nothing crazy has ever happened to her. And Talia wants it to stay that way: stable. Her knack for making friends, along with her obsession with the stars and her love for skirt pockets, coffee, and art, is more than enough to keep Talia happy for the rest of her days—that is, until a single evening in front of a blank canvas becomes the adventure she never dreamed she wanted.

Now, Talia finds herself lost in a world completely unlike her own, a land where monsters roam and magic thrives, where wars are born then die at the wave of a hand, and where strange entities decide the fate of those who live among the Nine Realms. The guardians of these foreign lands have seen a great shift in the heavens. Something has changed, a prophecy has been spoken—a darkness is coming. But maybe, just maybe, an ordinary girl thrown between worlds could be the key to saving it all.

This book is now available for preorder via Whimsicalpublishing.ca or Amazon.com.

The Lion of the Sea BOOK TRAILER!

Only two weeks left until The Lion of the Sea releases on February 7th! Can’t wait for you all to read it. 😀 Super excited to share this book trailer with you, hopefully you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it! I need to express my great gratitude to my daughter, Hannah, for helping me create this beautiful video and for composing the music for it as well, she is amazing!

There’s still time to get your preorders in for the paperback version and snag some of the preorder incentive goodies too – just click HERE! 

But for those who don’t have the budget for the physical version of TLOTS at the moment, I have made the kindle ebook available on AMAZON for only $1.99 until just after the release date. 😀

THE SHOP IS OPEN!

If you’ve missed following along on social media, my shop was closed for over a month due to health problems, but I just reopened it today, and pictured in the gallery above are a few samples of some of the new postcards that have gone up!  Click here to head to the shop now!

I am definitely playing a lot of catch up on things after being away so long, trying to get my commission work back on track, working at getting The Lion of the Sea out into the world (cover reveal coming November 14th), and trying to add fresh new items to the shop before Christmas hits. (I have some really great Caraval and Acotar inspired headbands coming soon, so keep your peepers peeled !) Also, in case you hadn’t heard, I’m so excited to announce that I got a two year contract with Sarah J Maas, she’s given me permission to not only sell ACOTAR inspired art, but I’m now allowed to sell TOG and CC art as well! I’ve added some of those fandoms into my shop already, but I look forward to creating new art for these in future too.

Apologies for any inconvenience my closure and absence may have caused, thank you so much for your patience. If there are any questions, needs, or concerns please feel free to email me.

THE MAIDEN SHIP RELEASE DAY!!!

TODAY IS THE DAY!!! 🌙🌙🌙#themaidenship ‘s OFFICIAL birthday!!! 🐚⚓️🌊 Did you get your book yet, or are you still waiting? ⚓️

My main character, Dain, and I are one in the same. Life throws him some hefty curve balls in this story, and I know exactly how that feels. That’s not to say I’ve been chased by faceless demons, (though I suppose that depends on your definition of a demon 😜) but the curve balls I’ve faced have been equally relentless. (I’m sure many of you can relate to both my MC and I, am I right?) So, Dain’s tale was born out of my own, and I feel excited, terrified, and privileged to share it with so many of you. 🙈❤️

I SINCERELY hope you will enjoy Dain’s (my) adventure, and I even hope you might find a little piece of yourself in this story as well. I cannot begin to thank you all enough for supporting me in my ever shifting journey as an artist. All of you buoy me daily with your encouragement and love. 💕😭 I wouldn’t be here without you, BOTTOM of my heart grateful for you all! 🙇🏻‍♀️❤️🙏❤️🙇🏻‍♀️

If you have not yet purchased your copy of TMS, just click here!

Three Weeks Left!!!

Dain remained dumb as he watched the princess walk back through the moonslight toward the prow. He repeated her last words silently to himself. ‘Failure has a way of preparing us for victory.’
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(Pssst… ‘moonslight’ is not a typo above, there are three moons in this world.) 🌙🌙🌙
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THREE WEEKS LEFT until release day!!! WOOT WOOT! 🎉📚🎉 My arms were still not well enough to create a painting for today’s countdown quote, 😞(maybe next week), but I’d say these #princessileana cosplays from @macaylacarlene are a pretty AMAZING consolation prize! 😱😍🤤 Gah, she’s beautiful!!!
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Still three weeks left to preorder the TMS paperback and receive free art goodies with your order! For those not ready for a physical book, #themaidenship ebook is available on Amazon! 😁
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Four Weeks Until The Maiden Ship Releases!

Dain hesitated, palms sweating again. What if he didn’t want to see what was inside?

🌊⚓️🌊 #themaidenship 🌊⚓️🌊
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Only 4 weeks until release day!!! FEBRUARY 7th!!! 😱😆
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Pssst… don’t forget that if you preorder the TMS paperback, it comes with FREE art goodies! 😁 These freebies won’t be available after the release date.

The Maiden Ship Releases in Five Weeks!

 “Do you know why wildflowers are the most beautiful blossoms of all, my son?”
   Dain shook his little head.
   Soft waxen curls blew forward in the breeze as she lifted her storm-gray eyes to gaze out over the sea of petals. “Wildflowers are the loveliest of all because they grow in uncultivated soil, in those hard, rugged places where no one expects them to flourish. They are resilient in ways a garden bloom could never be. People are the same, son—the most exquisite souls are those who survive where others cannot.” ~The Maiden Ship by Micheline Ryckman
There is only 5 weeks left until my debut novel releases on February 7th! To countdown, I will be posting a TMS artwork along with a sneaky peek quote every Thursday! The release date is going to come fast, my Whimsies! Ultra excited, and ultra nervous!!! 🙈😅😆
You can preorder The Maiden Ship in my SHOP here on the ebook is also available on AMAZON.

The Maiden Ship Back Story

My firstborn was only three months old when I developed the story of The Maiden Ship. That was twenty-one years ago. The book didn’t get far back then because the demands of a new marriage, a new child, and so many other life callings forced me to set the story aside. It wasn’t until 2018 that I revisited The Maiden Ship. And that decision was brought on by several major life events: a mix of chronic health struggles, my firstborn leaving home for college (don’t let anyone ever tell you it’s easy when your children leave home—it is not), and a severely injured drawing arm. Art has always been my lifeline, and when my arm went, and that privilege was taken from me, a bout of depression inevitably followed. It was a tough season, and I was desperate for a creative outlet. I needed something to keep me sane amidst the chaos and pain.

So, I wrote.

Typing with my non-dominant hand took some getting used to. The process was arduous, and sometimes I used dictation when the pain was too severe. Yet, word by word, this book saved my life. This tale gave me a reason to wake up each day; it gave me a purpose. I am so thankful for this story.

I poured so much of my own personal life journey and lessons into this novel, and I’m hopeful that the premise and messages in this story will speak to the hearts of those who read it. <3

Quick Update

If you happen to follow along on my social media sites IG and Facebook you’ll know exactly what I’ve been up to lately. It’s been  a busy fall season, but so many good things are coming! The most exciting news, however, is that on November 1st I’ll be posting the cover reveal and release date for THE MAIDEN SHIP! That’s right, my debut novel is finally complete, and I’m  super excited about sharing this fantasy adventure with you all!  (Pssst… The book will also be available for pre-order that day as well.)

So check back in on NOVEMBER 1st!!!

Vision vs Execution

“After a few months of practice, David lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get it out of my fingers.”

To which the Master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes?” “ ~ Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland

Yesterday I posted a portrait of my character, Sable, on IG and I hated it. I tried hard to convince myself to like it, but I couldn’t do it. She just did not look the same way she did in my head. It maddened me. I deleted it. And then today I started all over again. The portrait you see here is my fourth attempt at Sable. That’s right, yesterday was my third. She has been down right obstinate, and nearly impossible to capture.

If you are a creator, then I bet you too have faced this kind of frustration. Our vision rarely fits our execution. It’s like the image in our mind’s eye gets twisted, mucked up, and lost in translation. On rare occasions it manages to work out, but for the most part it’s much like Picasso said, “I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else.”

Now, we can do one of three things with this experience; we can simply give up, we can try again (and again, and again in my case), or we can just accept what Picasso calls “something else” and move onto the next creation. Nowadays, option two and three is where I usually land, but in the past I have given up. I don’t recommend it. It’s important to realize that our vision (the picture in our head) is, as the Master said to his student above, always going to exceed our abilities. And, in the end, this is NOT a bad thing. Without this vision we would never improve. The vision pushes us beyond ourselves. It asks greater things of us each time we create. While we strive to reach it, we grow. And growth is good.

Am I completely satisfied with how Sable came out today? That’s a good question. Maybe… She’s a bit better, I think… Either way, she’s taught me a lot. 😉

Sable is an original character from my up coming novel, The Maiden Ship.