Beyond Betwixt Between
An Enchanting Fairy Book
By
Carla J. Nelson
 
Follow Us On:
Handmaid Spider
Is my name.
I work from dusk til dawn.
Then leave my work
For seamstress fairies
Scattered 'round the lawn.

I spin the finest threads
That ever have been seen.
To sew gossamer gowns
Worn by the Fairy Queen.

Carla J. Nelson

Tell me a story of tinkling fairy bells.

Of fairy rings and fairy dust,
Fairy stones and shells.
Tell me a story of shimmering fairy wings,
Of fairy herbs, flowers and trees,
And all those fairy things.

Carla J. Nelson - Copyright
From:  Beyond Betwixt Between
Beyond Betwixt Between
by Carla J. Nelson

An enchanting modern day herbal fairy tale.  127 pages of pure delight for all ages, featuring a lost fairy boy who befriends a human boy with whom he shares a summer of incredible adventures and discoveries.  Learn the legend of the fairy stones in Virginia and experience the anguish of a fairy clan left "betwixt between."  Share in the magic of a fairy wedding, the birth of a fairy baby and much more.  Hardback - Quaint illustrations



Excerpts From Beyond Betwixt Between:

    "Tell me a story, Grandma,"  Austin urged.  "A fairy story with a boy in it."
    "Well, let me see!"  his grandmother said, taking a moment to mull this over before proceeding.  "Once upon a time. . .."
    "No, no!"  Austin objected.  "I don't want to hear a 'once upon a time fairy tale.'  I want to hear a now fairy tale!  There are fairies now aren't there?"

She hesitated.  "Well, most people don't believe so, but I do.  In fact, I'll tell you about a family of fairies that was recently Betwixt Between."
    "Betwixt Between!  What does that mean?"
    His grandmother smiled at his pensive face and chuckled softly.  "You know Austin, that's what Pitter wanted to know and that's where the trouble began.  But I must start at the beginning."
    Austin laid his head back and snuggled up closer to his grandmother on the cozy couch.  Blue flames licked out through the orange and red ones in the fireplace grate creating a mesmerizing dance of color and motion.  Eyes filled with wonder, he listened as the magic story unfolded. . . . . . .

Not very long ago and not so far away, deep in the forest in a place local folks called The Golden Valley, there lived a band of fairies.  For many years they made their home in this special place, tending the trees and the streams and the plants that lived there.  And this was where the twins, Pitter and Patter were born.  Those might seem like strange names but not so strange when you learn they were born during a spring rainstorm.  Their mother, Lyla, was so soothed by the raindrops going pitter-patter on the roof of her little home, that she decided to name her new babies for them.

Pitter and Patter were delightful little boys, but one things was obvious from the very beginning.  While Patter was quiet and obedient and always had nice things to say, his brother Pitter, was just the opposite.  Since fairies do not like loud, obnoxious people or anyone who brags or tells untrue stories or breaks the rules, Pitter was most always in trouble.  He liked to pull pranks on everyone.  He pried into everyone's business and sometimes even gossiped - both very objectionable activities to fairies.  . . . And then there was the matter of sleep-flying. . . . . .

. . . ." When the Ancient Ones heard this, they were grief stricken beyond all words.  One by one, they began to cry until great choking sobs filled the forest.  And then a very strange thing happened.  As each tear fell to the ground, it hardened into a brown shape much like the cross the Traveler told about.  This made everyone cry even more.  Before long the ground was covered with hard, brown crosses.  Layer upon layer. . . . . . 
 . . . So deep was their sadness that they could not work or sing or sleep.  At last the King (my own great, great grandfather) had no choice but to call a Fairy Council and declare they were Betwixt Between."


    As Grandfather uttered the words, Pitter heard a faint gasp ripple through the fairy throng standing watch.  Solemnly, the King continued.  "They wandered many miles and many moon cycles before finding this Golden Valley.  You asked, 'Betwixt Between.  What does it mean?'  It signifies a time when through circumstances beyond our control we must leave our home, everything we know and love, forever - with no idea where or when we will find another.  It means quite simply, 'we can no longer stay here, but we have no place to go.'  Those two words are the most dreaded words in all the kingdom.  They are never to be spoken lightly.  They are never to be ridiculed as you just did." . . . . .

. . . . .  . . . . . . .The King stared at Pitter for a long time and then sighed a heavy sigh.  "We've had this conversation before Pitter and nothing changes.  I'm sorry too, but I must teach you a hard lesson."  With that the King tapped Pitter's hand with his wand and a strange set of circles appeared.  Beginning, with a small blue circle in the center, then a larger green one and an even larger orange one and on and on until there were eight circles with all the shades of a rainbow on the back of Pitter's left hand. 
    "The Circles of Attunement?!"  Pitter asked incredulously.
    "Yes!"  Grandfather said emphatically.  "If you are ever to be King, you must learn control and understanding.  You must learn that the good of all must be placed before personal pleasure.  The Circles mark you as one who is out of Attunement.  They will disappear one by one as you demonstrate your worthiness to be a responsible member of our kingdom."
    Pitter stared at the circles on his hand.  This was more than he had expected.  With resentment and anger welling up inside him, he raised his eyes to his Grandfather's and started to object.  The stern, piercing look returned by the King stopped him cold.  Pitter turned slowly and scanned the faces of the other fairies encircling them.  He could tell they all supported the King's action.  He looked at his hand again and was overcome with rage.  He glared at his Grandfather, then without a word, snapped his fingers.  Amid gasps of shock and a blinding flash of red and purple light, he disappeared. . . . . . . .


Excerpt:  Beyond Betwixt Between
Justin had not slept well all night.  He missed his parents.  He tried to understand how important their work was but he hated it when it took them away from him.  This time they would be gone for five months.  The fact that they were halfway around the world in what newscasters called a "trouble spot" made things even worse.  His Grandmother had stayed with him until school was over for the year.  Then they had packed the car and made the long trip to Grandmother's house.

It wasn't that he didn't love it here.  His friends at school would never believe this place.  His Grandmother called it her own private nature preserve and that's exactly what it was. There were acres and acres of woodlands and meadows and gardens.  A crystal clear stream meandered lazily through one area and a small, spring-fed lake graced another.  It was a beautiful place, full of wildlife and wonderful things to see and do.  But sometimes, he felt very lonely.  Like now.

Just then, out of the corner of his eye, Justin saw a movement at the window - a small flash of purple light.  He jumped off the bed to get a closer look.  The object flew to a bush several feet away.  In the moonlight, Justin could see what appeared to be a small slender body with wings that sparkled.  It must be a dragonfly he thought.  But dragonflies don't fly at night.  They need warmth and sunlight.  All at once, the small purple light pulsed brightly, then disappeared into the woods.  Justin stared after it for a while until drowsiness overcame him.  Crawling back into the snug cocoon of his blankets, he was soon fast asleep. . . . . . . .

Excerpt:  Beyond Betwixt Between
Darkness found Pitter lying on his pillow high up in a sycamore tree.  He squeezed his eyes shut and focused on The Golden Valley.  Minutes passed.  Hours passed.  Try as he might he could not make himself go to sleep.  Maybe, he was trying too hard.  He got up and stretched.  The tree he had chosen was high on a hillside above the Old Forest.  The view from where he was standing was magnificent.  He could see for miles and miles.  Below was Justin and Faye's home.  It was dark there.  They would have gone to sleep hours ago.  He stared out across the wide expanse of sky.  The moon cast a bright, soft glow over the land.  The stars twinkled.  This would be an exceptional night for dancing in The Golden Valley.  He could just envision the other fairies dressed in their best frocks and tunics, pirouetting round and round on a carpet of fairy moss.  Maybe, if he tried again, he could make himself sleep-fly back to where he truly belonged.  He turned to retrieve his pillow and look for a more comfortable spot.

Just then, a flash of white light captured his attention.  He wheeled around just in time to see a shooting star plummet swiftly toward earth.  He stiffened.  This could only mean one thing.  Instantly, his wand was in his hand.  He placed the star-shaped end against his chest - and waited.  The shooting star vanished.  In its wake, a shimmering silver trail reached back into the heavens - a trail only visible to fairies and angels.

Pitter watched intently, knowing what was about to follow, wondering whose time it was.  A small multicolored globe of light began to ascend the glittering pathway.  Up and up it went, rising smoothly and swiftly, higher and higher.  Pitter poured all of his focus toward the light.  He wanted desperately to know who the fairy ways making the journey to The Other Realm.  All at once, he felt a strange quiver run through him.  Only a King's aura was multicolored.  Trembling, he focused harder.  A wave of awareness poured over him that was unmistakable. Grandfather!  It was Grandfather who was passing into The Other Realm.  Shaking with disbelief and then sadness, he raised his wand in reverent salute.  The light was now high up in the heavens - just a small dot against the vast expanse of space, marking the spot of Grandfather's entry into The Other Realm.  The pathway quickly faded and was gone.  It had all taken only three human seconds.

Pitter stood silently watching the new star for a long time.  With a mixture of emotions, he realized it was next to his Father's.  He could not bear to look another moment - to be in their presence.  Grabbing his pillow, he flew down to the forest floor in a daze.  Stumbling about, his body quaking with grief, he found a hollow log and crawled inside.  He did not want anyone to see him or hear him, not even the forest creatures.  He curled himself into a small ball and cried, and cried, and cried.  Sometime later, he was aware that it was raining.  The Earth was crying too.

It rained for three days and three nights.  A soft, gray, sorrowful looking rain.  Justin watched it from his window.  Even his Grandmother commented on what a strange look it had to it,  It was like a pall of sadness had fallen over the woods and the forest and the meadow . . . . . . . . . . .

Excerpt:  Beyond Betwixt Between

. . . . . . Pleased that Pitter approved of his grandmother's bread, Justin hurriedly opened his backpack and began laying out its contents.  Respecting his friend's feelings, he left the thermos of milk inside.  There were slices of bread along with homemade peanut butter and black raspberry jelly.  A container of fresh strawberries from the garden and homemade oatmeal cookies rounded out the meal.  Pitter decided to sample a little of everything.  He was most curious about the peanut butter.  Remembering Pitter's mention of eating only very small amounts of food, Justin put a tiny portion of each on a small plate and handed it to Pitter.  Pitter looked it over, then set it down on the ground in front of where he was sitting.
    "Is something wrong?"  Justin asked.
    "No.  I just can't eat when I'm holding my plate."  With that he extended the slender fingers on his left hand toward the peanut butter.  Then holding out his right hand, palm up, he extended the fingers of his left hand toward his palm.  Justin watched in rapt fascination as a small pile of tiny golden nuggets appeared in Pitter's outstretched palm.  He thought his eyes would pop out of his head when a second later the small pile disappeared as if by magic.
    "Where did it go?"
    "Inside."
    "Inside?  But how can that be?"
    "Fairies don't eat with their mouths like humans.  It's so messy, so uncivilized.  We absorb our food through our skin, except for drinkable things.  Those we like to sip.  It's much more refined that all that chewing and smacking.  No offense!  I know you don't have any choice but to eat like a human.  Pity!"
    Justin hesitated.  He felt a little self-conscious now about eating  but he was very hungry.  And he knew his skin wasn't going to help him fill his stomach.  So, trying to be as quiet and neat as possible, he started to eat.  He was aware that Pitter had averted his eyes.  He wondered if Pitter thought it was the polite thing to do or if he was just too repulsed to look.  Feeling increasingly uncomfortable, he ate quickly, being ever so careful not to smack his lips or slop food on his shirt.  When he finished, he started to pack the things away, then realized that Pitter's plate was still full.

    "But I thought you ate everything."  Justin said.
    "I did, and it was quite delightful, I must say.  My compliments to your grandmother."
    "But your plate is still full."
    "No it isn't."  Pitter countered.  "Oh!  You think because the shapes are still there that the food is there.  Another mistake humans make. I don't know how many times since the beginning of humans that little children have cried with disappointment because they think the fairies haven't eaten the food they set out for them.  Fairies don't have space inside for foods like you do.  Remember the little pile of golden nuggets in my hand?"
    "Yes."
    "That was the food's goodness.  That's all we eat.  We pull the goodness from the foods through our fingertips. The shape remains.  Fairies aren't made like human's you know."   . . . . . .

 . . . .   "You think because we look much like humans that our forms work the same way.  This is another misconception humans have.  Every living thing has a spirit that is at the core of its existence.  The spirit is the same in everything, only the form given by the Creator is different.  Every living thing is assigned a different purpose and the form must facilitate the accomplishment of that purpose.  It is all part of The Great Master Plan.  Fairies look much like humans because we are the liaisons between humans and the natural kingdom.  Since we must, from time to time, communicate with humans, we need to have a form acceptable to them.  But much of our form is more sophisticated than yours.  No offense."
    "Well, if you need to look like humans so you can talk to us without scaring us, why are you so little?" . . . . . . . .
Reviews:

"I have never been much of a 'fairies in  the garden' believer, but once I picked up and read Beyond Betwixt Between by Carla J. Nelson, I was hooked!  This modern fairy tale is simply delightful.  The messages Carla brings to the reader are most timely in today's world. This is a wonderful book!"  Marge Clark, Author of It's About Thyme, Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm and The Best of Thymes.

"You are a superb writer, Carla, and I truly found the pages turning ever faster, as if propelled by fairy wings.  Hard to believe one can be so immersed in a fairy tale! . . . I would have adored this book as a little girl ready my way thru the public library.  You have a treasure trove, a fairy series of Pitter and Patter stories for wide-eyed little ones.  Thank you for sharing such enchanting moments."  Bertha Reppert, Founder of The Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg, PA, and author of
Growing Your Herb Business, Herbs For Weddings and Other Celebrations, and Mrs. Reppert's Twelvemonth Herbal.

". . . Nelson's words are heartfelt and poetic, even lyrical at times, creating a tone that is gentle, soothing and true.  Framed as a bedtime story told by a grandmother to her grandson, readers of all ages are allowed to suspend their disbelief long enough to cross over into fairyland.  Once immersed in the tale, credible characters combine with a carefully crafted plot to keep the reader engaged.  Throughout the story, Nelson develops a theme of interdependence, as the lives of fairies, humans and plants touch and entwine."  Meg McGowan, Reviewer   Branches Magazine
Some of the lovely dishes Faye uses when she entertains The Hildegard Circle
on warm, spring days in The Land Of Faye, the setting for
Beyond Betwixt Between.
I wrote and published Beyond Betwixt Between in 1998.  This enchanting story introduced readers to the bucolic world of "The Land of Faye".  Just what is The Land of Faye you might ask, and where can it be found?  Fans have come to love this bucolic haven - the setting for Beyond Betwixt Between and Fairy Crafts, Gardens & Teas, and yearn to find such a place for themselves.

The Land of Faye (so named by Pitter  for Faye, the owner, and for the fays or fairies who live there), is really a figment of my imagination although there are places like it that do exist.  For my purposes, I combined elements of many different places I've visited with sheer fantasy to create this enchanting realm.  If one were to search for a possible location, they must look east of the Mississippi River, south of the Great Lakes and north of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Encompassing only five-hundred acres, it is small by most standards but this privately owned tract is surrounded on three sides by thousands of acres of protected state park, which greatly expands its significance.

It is a sylvan paradise - home to a remnant, old-growth forest, a newer woodland of native trees, meadows of prairie grasses and wildflowers, deep, shaded glens and sunny open spaces.  A natural spring of pristine water runs through it creating a small lake filled and surrounded by abundant wildlife.   An unbelievable diversity of native plants thrive here, as do cultivated gardens filled with herbs, flowers, and vegetables of all kinds.  Is it any wonder that Pitter was drawn to it?

It was in this rare setting that a fairy prince (Pitter) recently estranged from his clan, became acquainted with a human boy (Justin), who was spending the summer with his grandmother - the indomitable Faye.  This unlikely trio became inseparable friends, changing the course of the summer and their lives forever.  It is a tale that runs the gamut of emotions while weaving an intricate tapestry comprised of humans, fairies, plants, animals and environmental issues. 

Beyond Betwixt Between is available through this website.  For a first edition, signed copy, with free shipping,  just contact me for details at:  carla@herbgatherings.com

Or look for it on Ebay.com
From time to time, I offer it there at a substantial discount.

All copies purchased through any of these sources will be signed.
Fairy Crafts, Gardens & Teas
By Carla J. Nelson

When the story ended in Beyond Betwixt Between, the fairies had retired to their mounds for the Winter and Justin was returning to his parents and school.  But not before Pitter had given Faye the idea of turning "The Land of Faye" into a learning center.  Faye spent the Winter devising classes and workshops and advertising the offerings far and wide.  Fairy Crafts, Gardens & Teas chronicles the culmination of all those efforts.  When Spring arrived,  people descended on this intriguing fairy haven to experience the joys of nature, herbs and fairies.  It is a sequel to Beyond Betwixt Between, in a most unusual form.
 
Unfortunately, Fairy Crafts, Gardens & Teas sold out quickly after publication and is no longer available.

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Claraya's Fairy Journal
 By:  Carla J. Nelson

A casual summer evening walk changed everything for a 30-something, year old woman who chanced upon a band a fairies.  It was August, 2006, and nothing has been the same for her since.  Was this meeting planned, or merely a coincidence?  Only time would tell!  But that night, seeing in her a kindred spirit, the wee folk invited her to join their festive revel
and an irreversible bond was formed.

They named their new-found friend, Claraya Faya, the meaning of which is explained in the journal that Claraya began keeping immediately after this first encounter.  Claraya's Fairy Journal chronicles an amazing array of events from then until 2008.  Some are funny, some scary, some heart-warming, some gut-wrenching.  Over the course of almost two years, she learned that her fairy family, the Fayas, like humans, experience a gamut of emotions.  Accepted as one of them (almost) Claraya found herself dividing her time between her human life and her fairy life, a juggling act that often became quite stressful. 

But, oh, the experiences she had - the insights into the fairy world she was privy to.  The Fayas had chosen wisely in selecting Claraya to educate in the ways of "faerie."  You see, it was a turning point in their existence - a time when they realized they had to share their presence, their ways, the ups and down of their daily lives, with someone who could be an advocate for them.  Otherwise, they were doomed - like numerous other creatures that have,
over time, met with extinction. 

Claraya's Fairy Journal  has been published in a very limited number of hand-crafted books.  While Claraya's Fairy Blog continues some of this story,
Claraya's Fairy Journal is completely different.
The author welcomes any interest from a traditional publisher.
Contact: Carla@herbgatherings.com
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