Category Archives: my writing

Read The Naked Witch anywhere!

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You can read The Naked Witch on your holidays….maybe at Glastonbury Tor.

You can read The Naked Witch when you stop on your walks…maybe in a field in Wales somewhere.

You can read The Naked Witch on the riverbank…

Download your copy for FREE and begin your journey into the world of Lizzie Martin today

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

 

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The leap into Witch Lit

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My first published novel, Destiny of Angels, was the novel I wanted to read, but couldn’t find. With a large cast of varied characters, Angel Parsons led me along the paths of the witches Qabbalah, and I learned about myself and my writing. At the time I published, magical realism was stuffed full of vampires and werewolves, so it was time for real people and real magic, but without realising it, I’d written a specialist book. Not every reader cared about the opportunity to view life through different eyes, and be open to the idea of alternative realities. I wrote the sequel Wrath of Angels because it needed to be written (and it’s a far superior novel to Destiny in my opinion), but I had no readers and needed to think again.

Though ideas for the final book were rattling around in my head, they were quoshed by new ones, evoked by the Welsh landscape. Discovering a Bronze Age settlement site on the hill beside our house, my mind was drawn to the past and the people who lived there, and to those who will live there in the future and the Standing Stone book series was born. Three women linked, across time and space, are brought together in the presence of the goddess by the standing stone and given help and support to deal with their current problems and heartaches. I loved writing these books!

I was invited to submit a story for a Witchlit anthology, a gathering of magical short stories, so turned my hand to attempting to write one. The first two weren’t right; they were too magical somehow, and then I hit on an idea and Last Chance for Love was created. This short story has changed my writing path, leading me to write stories that mix the mundane with the magical with ease and pure joy. Sign up for my newsletter and receive it FREE as a ‘thank you.’

I know how much you’ll enjoy the Lizzie Martin, Wendy Woo Witchlit Series, so from 9th-14th October, you can download the first book, The Naked Witch, for FREE, and begin your journey into Witchlit. Lovely to have you with us. New moon blessings xx

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

For all my books, have a look at my author pages https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

Free books

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Six years ago, soon after I joined Facebook and Twitter, I made all five of my books written at the time free, to celebrate a large birthday with a five in it. Free books were the ‘done’ thing to attract readers and reviews. I remember watching the download figures soar beyond the thousands. I believed readers would love my books and review them, drawing more readers to buy my books, and my writing career would take off. I’d sit every day, writing books while publishers clamoured over my titles.

From more than 5k downloads I received 0 reviews. No one bought my books.

I was naive…and stupid. There were godzillions of free books at the time (kindles were new) and so readers downloaded everything they saw that was free. Most people read none of them. Once again, I was a new writer full of new stories to tell, but no one to listen to them.

From then on, I thought long and hard about what I was willing to write for free.

In 2015 I put myself on a short story writing ‘course’, aiming to write, edit and submit one new story each week to a competition, magazine or anthology, hoping that at least one story out of 52 would be a good one. I managed 44 and had 10 of those published online or in anthologies. I was only paid for one of them, but even now, the anthologies I participated in are being downloaded and purchased, providing a link to my website and therefore to me. I view them as advertising, plus the year I spent honing my short story skills taught me a lot, and my novel writing improved because of it.

I still write short stories, some of which you can listen to for FREE on my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

From 9th – 14th October, you can download The Naked Witch, the first book in the Lizzie Martin Witchlit series for FREE…because I’m confident you will want to read more. Six years on, I’m a better writer, I’ve more books for you all to enjoy, and I’m sure you’ll love Lizzie Martin and her battle between her heart and her head. I’m not looking for thousands of random downloads, but looking to reach readers who enjoy a cracking story, great characters and a little humour in their books, and who’ll love to read more in the future.

I’ll let Lizzie introduce herself…

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I’m a witch. Not that I wear a pointy hat and travel to work on a broomstick! In fact, unless you get to know me well, you would never know. I live my life following the Sacred Wheel of the Year and use magic in my daily life. I might draw a single card from my Tarot pack, set a candle spell working or consult with Cerridwen and her cauldron but even if my focus is not on a magical act or ritual, the Wheel turns and I move with it.

I was a ‘ginger’ at school but if you’re going to label me, I’d prefer redhead. I love wearing bright clothes that compliment rather than clash. Paisley, velvet and Indian fabrics are my favourite, swathing my body in colour and light. I’ve never felt the need to show off my figure so I let my clothes do the talking. I rarely have to do more than smile, which I prefer. I learned to be quiet at an early age while my parents argued.

I’m not a great one for shouting. At our old house, I avoided the neighbourhood squabbles and gossip, preferring peace to provocation. I got on well with everyone but had no particular friends. My fault? Probably but I’m a private person and I worry about sharing too much of myself with strangers. At our new house, it’s different. Mr Brody is our next door neighbour, his house adjoins ours, so we met on the day Rowan and I moved in. I was worried about Rowan’s music disturbing him and he was embarrassed that his TV would annoy us!

Louise and I are friends, good ones I hope. She’s one of the security guards in the building where I work. She’s raven haired and vivacious, completely different from me, but they say opposites attract. She’s kind and funny and that’s why I like her.

With Josh, my ex-husband, out of my life, Rowan is my family. My father died when I was young. He is my first thought on waking, while my mother and I struggle to form any kind of relationship, even now. Affectionate isn’t a word I use to describe her. Some days, I don’t think she cares about me at all, but she’s Rowan’s Granny, so I do the best I can. Marsha, on the other hand, Josh’s mum is a sweetheart. She continues to treat me as family, phoning for advice about her dreams and welcoming Rowan to her villa in Spain every year.

‘Call yourself a witch! Where’s the magic?’ I hear you ask. At the bottom of my garden is a little wooden shed that I call Sanctuary. Rowan calls it my ‘Mum cave’. Within its warm and welcoming walls, I draw and paint and surround myself with magic.

Download The Naked Witch for FREE today, and begin the adventure https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

New moon blessings to you all xx

 

 

 

 

Call out to magical readers and writers

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This is a call out to magical readers and writers, poets, songwriters and creatives alike. Be part of a magical group on Facebook and Twitter, that wants to ‘take over the world incrementally’, a wonderful phrase from Laura Perry, one of the group of four of us who head up this revolution.

It all started with Sheena Cundy who brought in myself, Ruth Aitken and Laura to form a working group, working in unison to sail us in one direction; to fight for our creative talent to be heard in the world at large. Talking together, we began to understand what that meant; we weren’t just talking about stories anymore.

These are Sheena’s welcoming words that head our group page:

As the Witches among us will know, this (magic) happens when we weave the web. And here, the threads are constantly flowing from the earthly to the unearthly, reading to writing – the craft of words and magic binding together where the boundaries blur.
Witch Lit is something we are passionate about, not just because it reflects what we do but more importantly because it expresses who we are as magical creatives:
The Wise and Wild among us, the Warriors and the Healers. The Visionaries. Storytellers, poets and songwriters, bards.
The Walkers between the Worlds.

If you have work out in the world, we want to know about it.
If you want to put work out into the world we can help you do it. And in the doing we can all grow and build together, individually and collectively.
We don’t have all the answers, but between us we try and work them out with large dollups of humour and respect for each other, our paths and crafts.

So enjoy the vibe and we hope you get something out of being here. Make the most of it and ask questions…it’s how we all learn!!!
Remember to add your links to the file Laura has set up, it’s always useful to know where to find out more about each other.
And if you’re particularly nosey like me, this will feed any curiosity and hopefully inspire you to move out of that comfort zone.
Because that’s where the magic happens.
Dark Moon blessings! )O(

Come and share your magical creative talents, ideas and thoughts, on our group, interacting with other creatives with love and respect.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1055104057875422/

https://twitter.com/WitchLit1

 

15k tweets and beyond! Tweet and tweet again!

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Last week I reached the 15,000 tweet milestone and I’ve been sharing a few tips and ideas for those of you who’re new to this social media or who would like to take part, but aren’t sure how to join in. This final post is about bringing YOU to the party.

Tweets are unique. Those good with tech can produce clever banners with links, GIFs and videos. I am not one of those people, but that’s okay. If you read the first two posts from last week about tweeting https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/25/tweeting-milestone-15k-and-beyond/ 

and https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/28/15k-tweets-and-beyond-part-2/

you’ll see that honesty is one thing I’m passionate about when sharing online, so my tweets reflect that. I use ** then write my headline, enclosed by ** on a lot of my tweets. I first use this way of highlighting when I began **The Amazing Karmic Sharefest** on Facebook (now obsolete because you can no longer see ALL the posts from pages you like) Think of a style or way of posting that is unique to you, that might make you stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t have to be on every tweet, but it helps.

You’ll find lots of accounts encouraging you to sign up to gain twitter followers. The whole point of twitter followers is that they are likeminded in some way, I believe, so gathering followers like that does not appeal to me. I follow people I’m interested in. If someone follows me, I check out their profile and decide whether to follow back, but that’s just me as other users follow everyone back. You can decide the way you build up your world on Twitter.

There are hashtags on Twitter that you can use to encourage people to follow cool people you know and interact with like #FF (Follow Friday), but I decided to go one step further. I’m a great one for ‘thank yous’, so every day I thank those who have RTd for me and on the line sharing groups, I say a big thank you to everyone for liking my words. It doesn’t take long, maybe fifteen minutes out of my day, but it’s very me and another way I can be honest online.

I rarely interact with DMs (direct messages), will unfollow if I see any posts that are racist or inciting people to make judgements or make unkind comments and will RT any cause I believe in, for example, homing rescued animals.

I’m on my way to 3,000 followers, but on a day where I’ve done my five tweets and have time, I’ll start working backwards through the alphabet, RTing for my followers. They don’t know that’s what I’m doing, of course, but it’s always a lovely surprise when someone I haven’t heard from in a while RTs for me.

When you follow me on Twitter @WendyWooauthor, you are welcome to the world of Wendy Woo.

15k tweets and beyond! Part 2

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This week I reached 15,000 tweets! Read my first blog post to find out how I began https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/25/tweeting-milestone-15k-and-beyond/

In this post, I’m sharing tips on how I began to expand the world of Wendy Woo on Twitter.

A good photo goes a long way. Although Twitter is about words, I’ve found photos to be really useful.

Hashtags are a must, but before I get into talking about them, I wanted to say that the writing games where you share a line of your WIP have been inspirational. I began with #1linewed, liking and RTing others interesting, lyrical and pertinent lines, and then posting one or two of my own.

For new writers especially, joining in with #1linewed, #Btr2sday, #MuseMon, #Thurds or #FictFri to name but a few, is a really good way for readers to check out your writing style. One word of caution; post your Tweet with care because first impressions count. A badly constructed sentence with spelling or grammar mistakes does not say to the writing community ‘I’m an accomplished writer’. The hashtag games I’ve mentioned have a theme, but some games just ask for a line or two from your WIP that you want to share.

None of the above allow you to attach a buying link and I love that. If people are interested or curious about the line you’ve tweeted, they’ll check out your profile where you’ll have a link to where they can find you and your books.

A quick word about your Twitter profile; you have very few words in which to describe yourself. I chose to link with the words on the home page of my web site and my business card ‘Author. Wise Woman. Goddess.’ Those three words encompass the many aspects of me that I share with social media. With the link to my website, and the FREE stories on my YouTube channel, readers who see me on social media immediately have ways to read my blog, find my books, share my passion for dancing and plant based food, and listen to me reading them a story.

Finally, hashtags. Hashtags are vital. Instead of your tweet disappearing into the ether, hashtags direct it to groups where others may follow posts or be interested when hashtags become popular and show up as such on your home page. In my little marketing book, I have a page of collected hashtags and endeavour to sprinkle them through my tweets. As an independent author, #IARTG (Independent authors retweeting group) is useful and I make sure I RT others from the group. This summer #beachreads has proved popular, but may not work as well in the winter. Spend a little time exploring and find #hashtags that will work well for you.

I hope sharing my Twitter journey with you has been useful and I look forward to ‘meeting’ you there @WendyWooauthor.

Join me for more posts about writing, dancing, tried and trusted plant based recipes and magic. Sign up to my newsletter for a FREE story on my home page and subscribe to my Youtube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, for FREE short stories and book extracts. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

 

Jessie Cahalin – author of ‘You Can’t Go it Alone’ and instigator of Books In Handbag

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Author and blogger, Jessie Cahalin, is visiting my blog today, sharing with you all her writing routine and five things you may not know…

How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?
I plan, I plot and lose the plot to rather assertive characters. At first, they remain quiet when I map out their lives on a large sheet of paper.  As time passes, the characters remove the post-it notes, screw them up and knock on my door.  I do argue with my mischievous characters quite a lot. I only listen to them if they speak nicely and explain why they won’t behave.
Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?
Where do I buy writing trousers?  I read about some power trouser designed to help the elderly to walk (not joking) – my gran would have loved these. Come to think of it, I have bought lots of jogging trousers since I started this writing malarkey, but I don’t think they I powered with words.
I start the day with posts on social media then switch off the Facebook and Twitter to begin writing.  I switch on social media for a couple of minutes at a time as a reward.   Eleven O’clock signals time for tea followed by some stretching exercises.  My aim is to write throughout the day. Blog posts and website updates are completed in the evening.
Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
Embarking on my writing and blogging journey was not something I planned to do.  My husband published my manuscript on Amazon to force me into action.  I am glad he did this, as it has opened a fabulous new world for me. I am an accidental blogger and author.
My late father worked for Leeds United. Don’t get excited, he wasn’t Billy Bremner.  Many decades ago, Dad manufactured one of the stands at the ground and (pardon the pun) part of it is still standing.
Billy Bremner: not Jessie’s dad. Can you spot her novel?
Ever since I watched Out of Africa and heard the lines, ‘I had a farm in Africa.’ I have longed to own a farm in Africa.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to toil on the land. I want to sit in Blixen’s house and write stories with the pen she received from Denys Finch Hatton.  In truth, I fell in love with the setting.  I know I would be able to write in that vast, golden brown setting where solitary trees present umbrella silhouettes. If I have trouble writing then I say, ‘I need a farm in Africa.’
Right, time to get back down to earth. I ‘ate cream buns!  I mean I hate cream buns because they make me sick. Once, I went on an exciting visit to the Bath Pump Room Restaurant for afternoon tea and it wasn’t pretty. I discovered an intolerance to cream. This was NOT the Jane Austen experience I had imagined. I should have listened to Austen and said, ‘I would rather have nothing but tea.’
Finally, I confess that I do not possess many handbags.  I clear out my wardrobes, in the name of thinking time, when I need to avoid a task.
If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?
Ready for the desert island adventure. I’m Jessie, get me out of here!
I assume I am glamping on this desert island.  Can I stay in a house like the one on the beach in Death in Paradise?  OK. I’m settled and have removed my shoes.  I have my holiday handbag bursting to the seams with some smuggled items. My husband has just asked he if is allowed on the island too.

Firstly, I’d cram my manuscript, which I haven’t written yet, in my handbag.  This would force me to get on with the dreaded editing. I would read the entire thing aloud to exercise my voice. I would take an old-fashioned camera with lots of film because I fear there is no electricity. I’d need the photos for my tweets and memoirs.

I would like to take my tiny radio, if I could get a reception, because the batteries last for years.  I love radio 2 and Radio 4. Alternatively, I would take my guitar, bought when in primary school, and work through the beginner’s guide.

I almost forgot the essentials. Paper! I’d need reams and reams of paper. I would need to learn the art of tiny writing like the Brontës so I could fill every scrap of paper.

On a desert island, I may as well make the most of opportunities. I would take snorkelling gear to I could enjoy the underwater world.  Would I need a shark alarm?

I would have to smuggle an album of photos to remind me of people, favourite places and seasons.  I’d miss the beauty of the seasons on a desert island.

On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I feel I should say the Complete Works of Shakespeare but what about Shakespeare’s sisters?  I love the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women because there is such a range of texts I could enjoy.  An anthology of poetry would also be useful.  A collection of classic novels would place me in good company. I would also take The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer.  I haven’t read the book, but the title intrigues me.  In addition to novels, I would take books about art history.  I am interested in art but would love to study the history in more detail.  I need to have visual material to make me reflect as well as words.

Stranded like a fool, I have my holiday handbag bursting to the seams with some smuggled items.

Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Having read Judith Barrow’s ‘A Hundred Tiny Threads’, I researched the suffrage movement in Leeds.  I discovered a woman called Leonora Cohen involved in the campaign, and I’d like to speak to her.  I’d invite Leonora to dinner to get an insight into what happened in Leeds.  I am also interested in how working class women got involved in the campaign.  Perhaps I could also invite my great grandmother to see how she would have viewed the whole situation.

 Your current writing projects?

I never stop blogging about my world and am always writing something. At the moment, I am writing some flash fiction.  I plan to write another book in the Sunflower Series.  Judith Barrow has suggested I write the prequel to You Can’t Go It Alone.  I will need to research into Cardiff back in the forties.  Some plot ideas have been surfacing, but I haven’t written anything down yet.

Other published work

You Can’t Go It Alone, Jessie Cahalin

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Book links:

UK:                             http://amzn.eu/cz1jQgl 

US:                             http://a.co/iDjcGSH 

 

About Jessie Cahalin

I’m the proud author of ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’ and creator of Books in my Handbag Blog. I’m thrilled to be visiting another blog made in Wales.

I hail from Yorkshire in the north of England but now lives in Wales. I love to travel the world and collect cultural gems. I search for happy endings, where possible.  Great coffee, food and music give me inspiration. I adore books, bags, writing and photography. Having overcome my fear of self-publishing, I am now living the dream of introducing the characters who have been hassling me for decades. My debut novel, ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’, is a heart-warming tale about the challenges women still face in society.  The novel has light-hearted moments and presents hope.  As C. S. Lewis said, ‘We read to know we are not alone.’

Contacts

Visit Jessie’s website at http://www.JessieCahalin.com

Connect with her at:

Facebook         https://www.facebook.com/people/Jessie-Cahalin/100016975596193

https://www.facebook.com/JessieCahalinAuthor/

Twitter             @BooksInHandbag

Contact her at: jessiecahalin@aol.co.uk

Thanks so much for joining me Jessie! Lovely to find out more about you and your writing.

Follow my blog for more interviews, writerly stuff, dance, tried and tested plant based recipes and magic.

 

 

 

Tweeting milestone – 15k and beyond!

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Today I hit 15,000 tweets; not bad for a woman who struggled so hard to find her place on Twitter. So what did I do? How did I ease myself into the Twitter community?

When I began social media, honesty was the key. I wanted people to meet me in the street and find I was the same person they had ‘met’ online. I’ve never compromised who I am, but in the past, I’ve been a little shy.

On twitter at first, I couldn’t see the point. I was a tiny person in an enormous aircraft hanger, calling out to anyone who would listen, ‘Hello? I write books, did you know? Hello?’ I took a step back. Maybe I could operate in a similar way as I did on Facebook, share for other authors and offer help, advice and share my experiences. I asked other users, but still couldn’t find a way that suited me.

Then I discovered the 5 Tweets a Day idea. Knowing I only had five tweets to construct gave me confidence to try new things.

Tweet 1: something helpful, a ‘how to’ tweet, either from something I knew myself or from YouTube or other people’s blogs

Tweet 2: inspirational: I chose writing quotes at first. Later I found tweets about my passion for dancing were popular.

Tweet 3: fun: I chose to share pictures of my crazy cats and kittens

Tweet 4: retweets: I chose to RT from groups that I care passionately about, for example, The Woodland Trust.

Tweet 5: promotional: limited offers and links to FREE content.

 

Tweeting just five tweets a day is a great way to begin on Twitter. You’ll discover which times of the day work best and you’ll bring people into your Twitter world who are likeminded.

Join me later in the week when I’ll share more of my Twitter ideas. Full moon blessings xx

Cheryl Beer – author of ‘Soul Seeds’, ‘Soul Ink’ and ‘The Truth is in There’

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I met Cheryl at the storytelling event at The Botanic Gardens of Wales, and she kindly invited me to her first book fair in Llandysul, hosted by herself as Parlour Press Publishing on 29th September. Today, she shares her writing schedule and five things you may not know…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I write in free fall. I let my soul connect to my pen and leave the rest to trust. Sometimes, I don’t even know that I am writing, especially since waking up two years ago with sudden hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis. I find that on awakening, I have fully formed poems, stories and songs in my head. It helped me to write them down and then I found that in actual fact, I had been recording these pearls of wisdom onto my phone in my sleep. There are literally hundreds of recordings. These have become the basis for my new books, Soul Seeds and Soul Ink and The Truth is in There.

Writing started for me even before I could write, if that makes sense. When I first started school, I was labelled a bit of a day dreamer, but actually, in my head I was writing stories and poems and little songs. Then one Monday morning in Primary School, the teacher asked us to write our Weekend News and instead, I wrote a story about a black rose growing in my garden. I was so proud of it. I remember drawing the black rose across the page with the stem and thorns intertwining with the words. Well, it got me into terrible trouble. So, my Mum took me to one side and quietly asked me to ‘just write what actually had happened at the weekend, instead of making things up’.

The following Monday, I wrote ‘We went to the social club and my Dad got drunk again.’ As you can imagine, this didn’t go down too well either. So, it seemed that neither my imagination nor the truth, were acceptable fodder for Weekend News.

In response, my beautiful Mum gave me a little notebook, within which I could write whatever I wanted and in school, I was to write whatever they wanted. I decorated the front cover of that little book and kept it in a box under my bed. Inside, it soon became filled with stories and poems. There have been very many little books under the bed since then, nurturing my passion for creative writing and subsequently publishing, because writing and books have always gone hand in hand for me.

Cheryl inside the Dylan Thomas Writing Shed at Laugharne when she was one of 9 Poets in Residence for the year of the DT100. Photograph Jeff Beer.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

Writing is my life rather than a special occasion. It can happen anywhere at any time; scraps of paper in cafes, backs of receipts, whatever I have to hand. I have a little notebooks scattered everywhere, just in case.

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

1 Helping other people to engage with creative writing. I grew up on a council estate and there were very clear messages about who became a writer, and it wasn’t us. So, I have spent a great deal of my life undoing that stereotype for marginalised communities. For instance, in 2015, I won the Gold Wales National Care Award for my work in Creative Writing and Publishing for Older People with Dementia. http://www.parlourpress.net

 

  1. I love making quirky little books and poetry pockets out of felt. I have a little lap tray and make them as a distraction for my tinnitus in the evenings. I have hundreds of them. It is always my intention to sell them and sometimes I do, but I find it hard to let them go. I like to make the little books to reflect the story or poem in them. They are an extension of the story, of my story.

 

  1. I am a volunteer storyteller at Skanda Vale Hospice. I love going there. I adapt storytelling so that it can be an inclusive, one to one experience at the bedside of those who are at the end of their life. Usually, it inspires them to tell me about their life story.

 

  1. I am fascinated by people’s life stories. And people seem to love telling them to me. Even as a child, I would stand at the bus stop waiting to go to school and know everyone’s life story by the time the bus came. I now run sound memories dementia friendly radio station which is an award winning digital story project, collecting life story. http://www.soundmemoriesradio.com

 

  1. Reading this back, I realise that my life is so immersed in writing, that the things that make me tick outside of my own writing, are associated with it. I even met the love of my life, Jeff, through writing. I auditioned for his band 32 years ago and we became collaborative songwriters before we were lovers. Incidentally, we snook off last week and secretly got married. We had poems in the ceremony. Guess who wrote them?

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

I don’t really need items. I could find a stick and write in the sand. I do need Jeff, my lovely new husband and Maisy, my little King Charles Spaniel. Other than that, I can make do. It will be exciting finding out what the island has to offer.

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I don’t think I would take any books. Once I have read a book, it stays with me for always. I don’t need to read it again. I might ask 5 friends to recommend books I haven’t found myself, so it will be a nice suprise or more likely, take 5 blank books and keep journals about my adventure on the island, press flowers in them, though it would be more exciting to make books out of banana leaves and ink from berries.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

I have had dinner with quite a lot of famous people, when I was a touring singer/songwriter, the festivals would lay out tables for us backstage. I really was very blessed to work with the people that had been my heroes and to meet lots of wonderfully inspirational folk.

For instance, I was commissioned to write a song for Prince Charles when he opened Llanhilleth Institute and I stood right in front of him, performing it. That was pretty amazing really, that a daydreamer from the council estate could be stood in front of the Prince of Wales performing one of her songs. I don’t think I could ever have imagined that as a child. So, probably, I would like to have dinner with someone who is no longer here. To be honest, my first thought was, oh can I have dinner with my Grandad, please. He’s not famous, but he was the most beautiful human being.

 7 Your current writing projects?

Soul Seeds: Planting Heartfelt Stories

Soul Ink for the Morning

The Truth is in There

Cheryl performing on the main stage at Women in Tune. Photograph Roweena Russell.

 Fallen on Deaf Ears

A tribute album being recorded by other artists of my song archive organised by Mike Kennedy of Welsh Connection Magazine and Radio Tircoed, being released by Death Monkey Records.

 Say it in the Sand

I have composed a piece of improvised music for a collection of films made by Sean Corcoran, an amazing artist at The Art Hand on the Copper Coast, The films are part of an International Prevent Suicide Campaign, based in Ireland.

 Soul Ink Songs

I am currently working on a collection of new songs, finding new ways to perform and record as a hearing impaired person. Jeff is patiently and kindly sound engineering for me.

 Sendelica

The band Sendelica have released a limited edition 12 inch single of a remix track that I recorded with them prior to my hearing loss. It is the most amazing, far our piece of psychedelic.

 The Parlour Press Anthology

I am compiling an Anthology for the Inaugural Parlour Press Book Fayre with poets from across Wales and two international guest poets.

Sound Memories Radio

I am in R&D for  a Silent Nature project with people who have end stage dementia.

Parlour Press

I am working with a client to collate a book of the songs that define her husband’s life, to help him remember his sense of self since moving into a dementia friendly care home. He has been a folk musician and his music helps him to remember.

 

 8 Other published work and links….

Best to come to my websites …

http://www.cherylbeer.com

http://www.parlour press.net

http://www.soundmemoriesradio.com

It never ceases to amaze me that every month @ 4000 people follow my Fusion Inspire: Journey Through the Creative Mind Blog. It has had over 140,000 views.

http://www.fusioninspire.blogspot.com

Meet Cheryl, myself and a host of other authors in Llandysul 29th September.

Thank you so much for sharing, Cheryl, and I’m looking forward to 29th!

Follow me for more author interviews, writerly stuff, tried and tested plant based recipes, dance and magic.

 

 

 

The inspiration behind The Standing Stone Book Series – Home

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Even though our house only had a tin roof, heating was various and I spent sleepless nights wondering if we’d made a huge mistake, within a year I’d written the first in The Standing Stone Book Series, Home for Christmas. Whatever the weather or the living accommodation, the Welsh countryside inspired me to pen a series about the people who had dwelled on the land before me, or who will live here in the future.

We’d holidayed in Wales for fifteen years with and without the children, but finally living here, in a tent, then a caravan and finally a house, I felt I’d returned home.

Each of the books begins with a song and it beautifully sums up the idea of home.

Home

Think of me in this barren landscape

Think of me, on this hill

Far away from love and friendship

Think of me, if you will.

 

Spare a tear for my weighty burden

Digging new this foreign land

Felling trees to build my homestead.

Hearth and home made with this hand.

 

But the earth, it is the same earth

And the sea ‘tween shore and shore

Gives me hope in times of hardship

That I’m coming home once more.

 

Coming home, I’m coming home

Coming home from distant shore.

 

Think of me as I bring in the harvest

Plucking crop from land and tree

Tending flock and growing family

Dry your eyes and think of me.

 

Trees and hilltops, plants and flowers

Glossy stars that light Her dome

Where I live in Nature’s beauty

That to me, is truly home.

 

But the earth, it is the same earth

And the sea ‘tween shore and shore

Gives me hope in times of hardship

That I’m coming home once more.

 

Coming home, I’m coming home

Coming home from distant shore.

Rachel, Candy and Fern make their homes in Wales, dependent on the land, the people and the culture, to help them call it ‘home’.

Today, for a limited time, you can download The Standing Stone Home for Christmas for just 99p/$1.30 and begin a new, exciting series. Discover how Rachel copes in her little cottage, how Candy seeks to escape the Dome and Fern becomes a leader for her people, while immersing yourself in the Welsh landscape. Mabon blessings xx

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref