Monday, 30 April 2012

Beltane Eve

Glastonbury Tor - Magical and Mythical
Exactly three years ago today, I climbed to the top of this magical mound, at 9am and 9pm. At the time I had little idea of the significance, I just knew that I needed to be there on that day. In the morning it was a truly humbling experience with few people around, just a glorious, fresh Spring morning - England at her very best.
The lack of cell-phone signal at the farmhouse I was staying in drew me back in the evening (twice in 1 day is no mean feat for a 49-year-old). My efforts were rewarded with a wonderful celebration with drums, candles, singing and happy, generous people sharing an enchanted moment.
Since then I have learnt an awful lot and tonight I will be sharing my chilli-cheese baked spuds and honey, seed and strawberry cakes with some wonderful friends, leaving a small offering for the Fae.

Happy Beltane

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Deadlines and Desperate Housewives

Phew! I know it's not a real deadline, but every little discount helps. The first draft of the fairy tale coursebook is ready - it looks really cute with little pixies, goblins and dragons crawling all over the pages. The idea is that it will help to teach children (and big kids) how to structure a story and work with magical characters. I'm hoping to trial it at a couple of Faery festivals in June where Jaime is performing.
So now I get to catch up with a month's worth of soaps - DH, Corrie, even a couple of episodes of the Voice. Yay.

Does it get any better than this?

It's always nice to get emails from people who have read and enjoyed your books, but in the past week I have had two people ask me where they can get copies of the fourth book in the series, Slater. I really need to get my finger out - the poor boy has been waiting in the wings for a very long time now. I finished telling his tale in January 2010 and printed the proof copy in April 2011, but he kind of took a back seat while I spent most of the year in Wonderful, Wet, Windy Wales. I could no longer resist the call from the Preselli mountains, but on balance I think I'll blame Aurora - in order to tell her story, I had to climb to the top of Cader Idris (third time lucky), see an Italian village overlooking a Welsh bay, take the boat to Arthur's Labyrinth and connect with the spirits when a Welsh Castle was sacked.

Jaime @ Avebury Sunrise 2/10/11
The Dragon called to me even louder than my previous second home Glastonbury, and poor old Avebury hardly got a look in (although I did watch the Mid-Summer sun rise from the top of Silbury Hill and took my beautiful American songbird Jaime Black there to watch the sun rise over the Stone circle on a balmy morning in early October). Good times!
So now I have yet another task to add to my gi-normous list of creative things to to. Life is just being so good to me so far this year and I really do appreciate it.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

If you want something doing ...

...ask a busy person. Two days back at school and it feels like I never had two weeks off. 
 I put off the writing/publishing of the Hengist series in January to help two of my friends edit/publish their amazing coursebooks about Tarot and Crystals. February was all about competitions - made it to the last 1000 of the ABNA competition run by Amazon and Pengiun and I judged 37 entries (aged up to 9) from Chris Evan's 500words contest - huge fun. 
March saw a coursebook about how to write fiction and an accompanying workshop which went down well with some of the language teachers from school. The lastest is a workshop for people who want to write fairy tales.  All good so far, then today there's a request for help editing a coursebook for an Angel workshop and accompanying meditation CD's.
Life is good. Busy, but good.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Love, Love and more Love

Mmmmm – bit by bit, this blog thing is starting to take shape. You’d think after 23 years writing software, a new platform would be a breeze. As usual, I am quaking in my woefully inadequate boots, wondering how to make this thing not look to cringingly shabby compared to the ones I have trawled for inspiration. Boy are there some talented people out there? – not to mention generous. I just looked at a previous blog-run competition for some hints about presentation – writers really are a wonderful bunch of people. All that creative energy just inspires them to give of their time, effort and talent in a blogfest of caring, sharing, loving selflessness. Makes a little math geek like me feel all warm, squidgy, humble and did I mention loved? Kudos, guys – share the lovin’ vibes.
Awesome Avebury - where magic begins

Glorious Glastonbury Tor

Wonderful Welsh Waterfalls
The text wrapping is gonna take a bit of furtling - still what else have I to do? 

Can anyone else see the elephant in the room?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Earth Day 2012

Just looking in my diary for the new moon (it was yesterday, when I started creating this Blog!) and I spotted that today was the 42nd Earth Day. I wanted to see how links worked in the blog - everyone seems to spell out the dot and I'm not sure why, so I thought I'd experiment with posting this link:

Thank You

After love, it seems to me that you cannot give enough gratitude in this world.
Although words speak to me the loudest (pun intended), numbers come a pretty close second (I still teach maths two days a week in an English High School), tying with any kind of creative/artistic endeavour (although if you are doing it right, you don't have to try and it isn't hard). That's pretty cool - three sets of braces in one sentence - a record even for me. Hope the grammar police aren't watching, they'd be pretty apoplectic by now, white spittle at the corners of their mouths.
Back to the original intent, which is to express my deep and enduring gratitude to the many people who have helped me along the way with their expertise, creative or otherwise. As this unfamiliar animal (the blog) takes shape, I will re-consider, but right now, it just feels right to brighten it up with stunning artwork, provided with the help of many talented people. I would like to give them credit and publicise their creative endeavours with links to their web-sites. Please feel free to check out these wonderful people whose expertise in the fields of archery, jousting and artwork have enriched my life.
P.S. The stunning artwork for the posters and book covers (and especially my very own White Horse, Blaise) is all the work of the extremely talented Anthony Askew.
P.P.S. Although American is my second language, I can't quite bring myself to set the language to US English - you will just have to ignore the extra u's, s instead of z, etc.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Hello World

Dear Reader,
Is it possible to write a first Blog that isn't entirely lame? {squirms nervously}
Just not cool enough to feel comfortable with these new-fangled, talk-about-trivia gadgets. Back in the eighties when I was learning lots of different programming languages on different platforms, we always started with something simple that just outputted a short message to the screen. Those of us lacking in imagination had messages saying really lame stuff - guess I just haven't moved on from then. I have learnt however, that one man's wit is another woman's gross-out, so maybe I'll make one person grimace in a fashion almost resembling a smile - I'll be happy with that.
Thanks to the expert tutelage of some very experienced writers, my offering has fewer poor tense choices, End Of Sentence Prepositions and other grammatical sloppiness that infects the speech of your average Brit (hope you are still with me) than normal. As for the adverb police - squirm is a sufficiently strong verb to do it on its own, it just got terribly lonely there in those curly brackets, so I gave it a friend. But enough weirdness for now.
See I don't even know how to sign off, so I'll use my normal one:
The kisses are very important because there just isn't enough love in the world.