I spent most of December and the first two weeks of January mentally deep diving. I received emotional whip lash when one of my oldest friends died unexpectedly. I’ve known her since I was twelve. Her death followed a week or so after another friend’s husband died after a year long battle with liver cancer. He was a good man; a true hero! It was very sad. I bought some songs that reminded me of my friend and listened to them on repeat while I sewed frogs. I’ve no idea where the obsession came from, but late November I decided I had to have frogs on my Christmas tree. Using old sweaters and old bedpillow stuffing I covered the tree with frogs and most other flat surfaces in the living room. It felt soothing.
Some of my Christmas frogs...
All the mental deep diving has had a strange positive side effect on my creative side. It’s as if all these different sides of my artist are waking up all at the same time. Whether it’s feeling mortality’s chill breath or the fact my brain is starting to heal; I’ve had numerous projects and stories churning in my brain at all hours. Read more…
Feeling Creative, I've been taking photographs
The real Adderbury House in Adderbury Oxfordshire!
Dear members of Regency Romance Novels.com
I’ve finished Dancing the Maypole and it’s on my website ready to read (all fifty-one chapters). For those of you who prefer e-books Smashwords has approved it. For those who might not have noticed, the Goblin has redesigned my website. It now shrinks down to fit all hand held devices that connect to the internet. I hope you enjoy long stories. Dancing the Maypole is twice the length of my other novels. On the Goblin’s iphone it came out as over 1500 pages (but those are tiny pages). In a paperback the book would be about five hundred pages. I would have liked it to be shorter, but the story had other ideas.
Dancing the Maypole follows on from The Hired Wife. A year older, the five Smirke brothers have decided it’s time to help their father find a wife. Knowing Peter Smirke will be attending a house party they put an ad in all the papers. They assume they’ll have at least a week and a half to interview applicants before their father returns to give them his spine chilling glare.
When I started the story, I knew by the end of chapter two that the title would be Dancing the Maypole. Dancing around a maypole is an old European custom that stretches back into pre-history. Originally Pagan, it was a celebration of May day. The dance is performed around a pole or a tree cut down and trimmed for the occasion. In recent times multi coloured ribbons were attached to the top of the pole and each dancer would hold one ribbon. The dancers then dance…half going one way, the other half going the other…and the ribbons entwine around the pole.
The heroine, Isabel de Bourbon, is a tall woman so she is what some unkindly term, a maypole, but half way through the story I realised that the maypole being danced was something bigger. The story is a romance novel, but it’s also about the weaving of the generations. We often think that our choices alone define us, but really it’s a combination of our choices and the choices of our parents/ancestors (both genetic and adopted). Our great to the tenth grandparents made decisions that genetically and emotionally affect us today. All these layers of stories woven together make up our story. I find that utterly fascinating.
Even if you’re not a member, the first ten chapters are free to read here.
Dancing the Maypole, Feeling Creative, General, Ghost stories, I've been thinking
This week (along with writing one and half chapters for Dancing the Maypole) I went to see my friend Debbie Webbie and met her puppy Chin Chin who’s eight months old. I also managed to do some Christmas shopping and took some photos of the snow. I can’t believe how well I feel. Compared to the end of October (when I started taking pills for my thyroid along with a large number of vitamins) I feel like a champion athlete. I can walk into town and back again every other day without feeling like I’m going to die. More importantly, I can think again. For the whole of September and October I swear my skull was housing a cabbage. Read more…
Feeling Creative, I've been taking photographs
My great accomplishment today: I got out of bed…and took some photos of my bag that looks like it secretly wanted to become a mushroom. It would have been cute if I hadn’t messed up the bottom by cornering it…you’ll see what I mean in the next photo.
If I’d left it alone as a square bag it would have visually made more sense, but perhaps the bag had dreams of becoming a mushroom in which case its dream nearly came true as I was tempted to throw it in the trash having sewed the strap to the wrong place for the second time and finished it off with the button. Read more…
Button hole stitches over pencil drawn heart! I love its imperfection. It shows I did it free hand on my ordinary sewing machine.
I finished my ‘I love King John bag’ last week and today it had its first public outing. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I make something I have to look at it for awhile before I can use or wear it. I have this cute little purse I call an ‘Inside-out Purse’ because the silk pokadot lining is on the outside of the bag; I had to look at that for over a year before I could be seen with it. It has since travelled the Atlantic, but it is rather odd…does anyone else have this problem? I recently made a cute necklace, but I’m still looking at it. I thought I’d need to look at my King John bag for weeks, but I was going into town and it was perfect for the journey so I used it. I haven’t done anything else today, but I used my bag! I’d hoped to do some writing today, but I’ve been too tired. I had nine hours of sleep, but my pillow is rubbish and I woke feeling like I needed a neck brace. Read more…
Feeling Creative, King John
A pocket purse
Dancing the Maypole has been blocked for about a month now. I’ve been pretending everything was fine and I just hadn’t yet figured out what happened next, but of course that was all self-delusion. And early this week my other story, the one that still has no name, ground to a halt as well. I sat here and tried to forcibly move the story on…a process that must be similar to moving a cow from point A to B when the said cow wishes to remain at point A. Futile! So feeling frustrated I decided I’d take a few days away from the computer to have a think about where I was going wrong with my stories. Since I wasn’t writing I had no excuse not to sew. Some time last year I designed and started to make what I called a “Pocket Purse”. Read more…