Tag Archives: welsh landscape

April Inspiration

Standard

With new life shooting up all over my riverbank, how can I not be inspired?

The willow has taken hold, and shiny lime green leaves reach for the sun. They’ve made a huge difference reducing the moisture on the bank (it used to be part of a leat running along our riverbank, over the road to the mill), and also sustaining its integrity, following the flooding swells we experienced last year.

We’ve planted over 100 tiny trees this year, with 60 little saplings getting a start in pots, still to put in.

Loki likes to accompany me down to the riverbank to help me write.

I’m delighted to announce I’ve almost reached the midway point of my tenth novel, the fifth book in the Lizzie Martin series, The Able Witch. Fancy a few lines? Having burned her hands rescuing Bilbo the dog after he knocked a candle over with his tail, this is the first time Lizzie has potted for a while…

Lizzie grasped the new lump of clay on her wheel. She missed Marsha. Into Lizzie’s mind arose the tanned, smiling face, and blue eyes sparkling with mischief, and then she thought of her own mother, Elsa, but she couldn’t pin down her features. With her eyes shut, she found herself walking the path to another world, but all was in darkness. Twitters, hoots and howls of fear and flight rose from the blackness of the forest. Strange eyes glowed. Vines, leaves and branches brushed against her body, snagging at her ankles, threatening to trip her. Grotesque shadows loomed out of the trees, into the clearing ahead. A roar echoed behind her and she turned. Slime, a dozen eyes, a mouth-like tunnel and rows of pointed teeth threatened to consume her.

“This isn’t real,” she whispered.

She opened her eyes and sat back from her wheel. The flowerpot was perfect, but the road to the land of the fae had changed. She removed the pot and picked up her coffee.

In fact, everything had changed in only a few months.  It was little wonder that the road to the underworld was no longer a pleasant one.

Today, there is no sunshine. The first of the bluebells are hiding, bending to the rain. It’s another great day to write a magical novel.

 

Advertisements

The inspiration behind The Standing Stone Book Series – Home

Standard

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Book Fair Blues

Standard

I was at the Carmarthen Book fair on Saturday, sharing a table with my good friend, Nicola Beechsquirrel.

The book fair was founded by Sarada and John Thompson (You can find out more about them here https://wendysteele.com/2018/08/06/john-thompson-author-and-gentleman/

and here https://wendysteele.com/2018/08/08/sarada-thompson-giver-of-light/

It’s always a friendly book fair; the authors are always helpful and happy to share ideas, and the public are there because they love books. A great range of genres were represented and special guest this year was Dr. Paul Wright, Head of Cultural Studies Lampeter & Course Director for the BA in English and the International Foundation programme, manning the table for the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, featuring course studies of Literature & Creative Writing.

The morning was quiet, a gentle trickle of shoppers seeking out a little diversion and tea and cake from the fabulous Caffi Iechyd Da. I had a great morning, chatting about magical writing and listening to the general public’s take on magic.

And then the rain came down. We had a few soggy customers, but not many, which was a shame with all the gorgeous goodies on show. Nicola had a good day, chatting about her family history and sending book buyers home happy.

The blues began in the afternoon, drip dripping into my consciousness, started by a comment made to the delightful children’s author Angela Fish. A lady stood at her stall, so Angela began telling her about her books. “You needn’t bother,” said the lady, “I don’t read books and nor do my grandchildren.”

On Sunday I spent the morning thinking about how we can attract more adults and children to books fairs. In this age of celebrity, who wouldn’t want to meet the author behind the words we love to read? Social media gives us the opportunity to form a link that wouldn’t have been possible twenty years ago, but is that why meeting authors ‘in real life’ is no longer so exciting? Has the creation of the digital format for books taken away the ‘real person’ behind the words?

I handed out more business cards on Saturday than I’ve done at any other book fairs, to readers who read on kindle, so some of them were there, but in the same way as I believe there will always be a place for real, tactile, gorgeous paper books, we mustn’t lose the opportunity to interact in person. You can’t beat meeting people in the flesh, listening to their stories and sharing their lives, if only for a few minutes.

I beat the blues with a walk on my riverbank in the rain. I watched the drops bounce off the leaves from my seat in our shelter, ripples forming and spreading on the water as the river hurried by. The rain refreshed me, the Welsh landscape soothed me and I hurried home, inspired to pick up my fountain pen and allow the magic to flow once more.