The Sirens Call Issue 25 – Women In Horror Month

I feel honoured to have a story appear in this year’s Women In Horror Month issue of The Sirens Call, which is available to read for free now.  This issue is packed full of short stories, poetry and flash fiction, all written by women, and all set around the theme of Things That Go Bump In The Night.  I’ve not had a chance to read it all yet, but the photography that features in this issue is amazing.

My short story, Family Secrets, tells of the strange things that go on in one young woman’s house every month, only she is not allowed to be told what they are.  However, when the truth materialises, will she be happy to be let in on the secret or will she realise that sometimes it is better to remain in the dark?

If you enjoy horror / dark fiction, The Sirens Call is definitely something you want to read if you haven’t read it before.

If you’ve a moment to spare and decide to have a read of Family Secrets, please let me know what you think.  I am always grateful to receive praise feedback 😉

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22 thoughts on “The Sirens Call Issue 25 – Women In Horror Month

  1. Great job, Sammi! Very suspenseful story, with just enough hints that “something” was up, but not letting us in on the secret until the last minute. I don’t normally think of myself as much of a horror fan, but I’ve started to read more of it lately, given that I accidentally started writing a novel about a haunted/cursed house. (Oops!) That’s a great magazine! I read several of the other pieces, and there’s some interesting writers there — a good group to be part of!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, for reading as well as commenting. It is much appreciated, as always. 🙂

      Funnily enough, I’m not the biggest of horror fans either – I don’t like unnecessary gore – but sometimes I find dark fiction can be fun, especially spooky paranormal or ghost stories…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Sammi,

    A quick line to congratulate you on having had another excellent piece of writing selected for publication. Thoroughly enjoyed the story – suspenseful, imaginative, laced with dark dreams and darker themes – and written with your usual inimitable style. I like the word – pageantry – it speaks of initiation and flamboyant ceremony and her ‘coming of age’. One wonders if her life will ever be quite the same again!

    I do hope she finds the coffin to her liking…might it come in a colour other than ‘black?’ lol

    Looking forward to news of your next published work. Have you ever considered writing a novel and extending your stories further? Where would this ‘heroines’ adventures take her I wonder ?

    Excellent read Sammi. Thank you.

    Best wishes for a relaxing Sunday. Take care to keep the smile on your dial turned up to gas mark 10 🙂

    Namaste

    DN – 06/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin,

      I hope you had a great weekend, and an enjoyable Monday?

      Thank you so much for reading my little story 🙂 I am very glad to read that you enjoyed it. Your encouragement is always enthusiastically received. I hope she likes the coffin too. It would suck to be stuck for the rest of forever in a place you didn’t like 🙂 I have spent a little while pondering where her story might lead, but sometimes it’s nice not to know. Then anything can happen 🙂

      Short fiction is (obviously) finished much quicker, usually before my attention wavers. I can get so easily distracted…anything that sparkles or glistens and my concentration is broken. Yet, I have written a number of novels but haven’t done anything with them at this time. A couple of them are simply waiting for me to decide whether they should be serialised online so that someone *might* read them, rather than have them languish unread until the end of time, but I also have a few others on the go. One is an re-imagining of Albion and the Arthurian myths, another is a Victorian murder mystery and then there is also a fantasy yarn. There are not enough hours in the day 🙂 What about you…have you been dabbling in anything other than poetry?

      Wishing you an abundance of Bright Blessings, as always! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi,

        No need to thank me…the pleasure lies with your reader. I very much enjoyed it, and shall be looking forward to the next little story. It’s a great achievement being published, and as I’ve said before, it must be both inspiring and elevating, and of tremendous encouragement for you to persist.

        ‘I hope she likes the coffin too. It would suck to be stuck for the rest of forever in a place you didn’t like’. Which reminds me, I lived in Luton once lol 🙂

        ‘I have spent a little while pondering where her story might lead, but sometimes it’s nice not to know.’ I stopped to think on this. And whilst I know there’s an element of humour prevailing, I was curious to ask if loose storylines suit your working method better than something more rigid and fixed? Setting out to write the Merlin poem didn’t really have a storyline at all: it was really just a yarn about first meeting the wizard that found its own way, no pun intended. That it now has capacity to be extended is a bonus although there is no defined narrative underpinning the next chapter either, merely a destination point. So, I do therefore appreciate what you are saying about the possibility of allowing ‘anything to happen.’ What is your approach? Are you meticulous and organised or just go with it and return to edit etc? I’d be interested to know, thank you.

        Wow, I am altogether stunned by the volume of material you have already written. And I mean that in the nicest sense of course. You have been quite prolific! That’s excellent.. I totally appreciate your enthusiasm for shorter writing – and I am exactly the same regarding being so easily distracted and finding the need to keep tidying the sock drawer 30 times a day – yet I can’t understand why you’ve never done anything with your novels? Both the on-going projects, and the novels sound inspired: are the novels completed, or currently being edited etc? Sammi, you really must pursue them to their rightful conclusion, I imagine they’d make for great reading 🙂 But I do hear you on the restriction of daily hours available to indulge in writing and chasing everything…lack of time is the bane of my life, and adding that to my drawer tidying ways and procrastination, well, it surprises me anything ever gets done at all! But, sincerely, good luck getting them out there! They need to be read, don’t they?

        As for me…I’d never written anything much at all until last year, least of all a poem! And certainly never a story per se. It was Sindy at BlueButterflies and my good friend Paul SJ, who encouraged the poetry. If not for either of them, I’d not have found enjoyment in words. My only other experience of writing anything ‘substantial’ was my Degree dissertation, all 9995 words of it…and talk about dry! That essay tried very hard to put me off writing forever and seemed to take an eternity to finish. It was worth it in the end and got me my Degree, so can’t complain. But for now at least, I am content to pursue the Merlin poem to some sort of loosely defined conclusion and then take it from there. I also love my artwork and have put that on hold for the time being to pursue writing as an interest. The two are compatible, and yet I find the artistic process requires a different approach, far more organic and emotive led. So we shall see what gives in a couple of month’s time and which way the wind blows to carry this old leaf onwards. Thanks for asking 🙂

        Right, well that’s me done and dusted for another evening, I must away to Zzzzz. Many thanks for the company this evening by way of exchanging comments, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ll go have a peek at Minty’s epitaph before lights out, bless her little paws; she has such sweetness about her. I hope your Gran is okay Sammi. 🙂

        Wishing you a wonderful week. Blessings as always…

        Nos da

        Namaste

        DN – 07/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin,

        Oh, Luton…I understand… lol 🙂

        Loose storylines allow for me not to know all the answers! 🙂 At the time of writing and submitting Family Secrets, I had no idea just want kind of ‘thing’ the girl in the story was going to turn into. By ending the story where I did meant that I could get the story written. If I had thought on it too long, I would have missed the deadline for the ezine. My approach often depends on the story and how loud the characters are in my head. The quieter they are, the shorter the story. The louder they are, the more I have to work with them to make them go away 🙂 Also, if they have a more strongly-defined personality with a back story that manifests itself with little or no coercion, I know the story can be longer because they are strong enough to carry it. A number of the short stories I have written do beg for a sequel, and some times I have written them, or at least made notes on whatever ideas came to me for a follow-up storyline, but its having the time to write them as well as new stories. One thing I have never been short of is ideas and inspiration – which is a blessing and curse! I’m terrible for not finishing stories that I have started…I have a spreadsheet that tries to keep me focused but its fighting a losing battle, I fear…

        As for planning, again it depends on the story. For one of the novels I have written, I sat down and wrote a chapter-by-chapter outline because I already knew what was going to happen, when and to whom. But there have also been times when I have sat in front of the computer without any forethought of what I was going to write and just started to type and things came together on their own. I usually do about three drafts of a story and then leave it for a while, before returning to edit it.

        Why have I not done anything with the novels? I’m not sure I have a sensible enough answer. There are too many writers hoping for the handful of slots on a publisher’s book which means that rejection is almost a certainty. I have wondered about self-publishing the novels – I have self-published a couple of short stories – but the amount of work required to get them in front of people is just too much and I’m no good with social media (I’m not very social 😀 ). I want to spend my time writing rather than struggling to market what I’ve already written, I suppose.

        So we have the amazing Sindy and your friend to thank for giving you a nudge – and I’m so glad they did 🙂 A poet and an artist – you are a very talented man! Wishing you the best for both 🙂 Your Merlin poem is truly an inspired piece of writing, one that is laced with the mystical and magical, and it’s written in such a unique voice, one that makes you want to keep re-reading it to ensure that you didn’t miss anything 🙂 No pressure, but I am looking forward to reading Copper Door!

        I understand how dissertation subjects can be dry. My own was on the subject of lichen…

        Thank you so much for your kind words about Minty and my Nan. It’s deeply appreciated 🙂

        Wow – I think this is the longest comment I have ever posted! Sorry for rambling! 🙂

        Take care and Brightest Blessings for the end of the week!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Sammi,

    Yes, Luton.18 months. Enough said 🙂

    Well, maybe 10 months in Middlesborough came a very close second!

    Your absorbing explanation made fascinating reading Sammi 🙂 Thank you for such depth in your answer! It’s obvious to me how deeply absorbed you are by the writing process, and how absorbing it can be to write. There is a wealth of valuable insight and perspective offered from which I may gleam an understanding about the relationship you have with your work, and in particular the relationship you have with your characters. It is as if the characters that populate your stories and your mind are in every sense of the word ‘real’ – thought of in much the same way as one would close friends, companions, or cohorts. I had never really appreciated the influence of that enthralling perspective on the formation of characters or the decisions they make in the context of the story, nor have I stopped for long enough to understand it so carefully as a necessity. New to writing, and with much to learn, I have a tendency to still be lost in the detail and immediacy of the storyline and forget the interplay of other essential aspects of storytelling. Thank you Sammi, you’ve given me much to consider on characterisation and the manner in which ‘personality’ can drive plot and narrative forward – and why it is that this may persuade, guide or assist in determining story length.

    ‘One thing I have never been short of is ideas and inspiration’ ~ this is very evident in the diversity of your work and the manner in which you explore situation and circumstance and express themes and subtle sub-narratives, all of which conspire to add dimension and atmosphere to your work. Weather an innate ability or a craft learnt through experience, your skill it is most prevalent in your stories.

    ‘Fear the Spread-sheet’, almost sounds like a story in itself 🙂 How organised you are, how numerous the number of stories you have written must be, and how creative your mind to dance between them all so readily! Impressive! And yet still you find time to eat, sleep and live life. Amazing!

    ‘I usually do about three drafts of a story and then leave it for a while, before returning to edit it.’ Again, thank you for this snippet of advice and wisdom. Presently I edit as I write, reconfiguring text as I go and constantly reading and re-reading the material to address mistakes or improve what is written, and it does impede the flow of unfolding ideas a little. A final read through provides chance to correct my grammar (I am hopeless at understanding the rules of language!), change the odd word, but never redraft the work in its entirety. I imagine each of us finds their own approach and grows to accept how that works best to achieve what is desired. But perhaps I should experiment a little more and consider different paths to arrive at a story’s given destination. My good friend PSJ (a Poet) wholeheartedly enjoys by degrees the rawness and vulnerability of work that is left to shine without excessive polishing. I believe he accepts that writing is never ‘perfect’, that it could always be amended or improved upon with time, but that to do so alters some quality about it, particularly poetry, which he considers an expression uniquely defined by the moment it was conceived. I have often wondered if this is the point of separation between writing per se and poetry? Storytelling appears no less immediate, but seems more structured, more contrived and laboured? Again, I am new to the experience and offering an initial view of the form I am starting to enjoy more and more.

    ‘Why have I not done anything with the novels? I’m not sure I have a sensible enough answer. There are too many writers hoping for the handful of slots on a publisher’s book which means that rejection is almost a certainty.’ ~ I understand your reasoning, it is a sentiment expressed by many writers, but equally, there are those who are bold and courageous, who seek, who dare, to know if there work is the one script in a thousand to be fitted with a dust-jacket! And besides, would rejection remove the enjoyment you personally derive from writing or inhibit your creative output?

    ‘Not very social?’ You seem to have written lots here for someone who believes they only whisper 😀

    Sindy is an absolute treasure, a wonderful friend, and a power-house of fulgent fiery inspiration. My good friend PSJ is an amazing source of strength, a force of nature, who exudes a granite-like determination and inspires others. Their friendship, kindness, consideration, generosity and support is unequalled in my life, and I will always hold them both in such high regard. Your lyrical comment and wholly encouraging words are inspiring and most gratefully welcome, thank you very much 🙂 With such company and companionship looking over my shoulder and pushing me onwards on my path, how could I resist and not persist! No pressure at all then to get Copper Door completed! Lol 🙂 Thank you.

    Ah yes, Lichen….fascinating lol What grade did you get, and do you think it helped you in anyway with your gift for writing? My dissertation for the Animation degree centred on the manner in which the Disney corporation appropriated the literary fairy tale, Snow White, for release as their first full-length feature film. The subject matter was fascinating, but executing the writing a tedious, painful, and bruising experience…endless citation and referencing! I’d like to hope writing the essay was also character-forming, in that it instilled a sense of personal responsibility and commitment to achieve a purposeful objective, but I’d not deliberately set out to write another!

    The length of your comment is testament to the passion you have for your art-form. One always waxes lyrical about subjects of such personal importance, and your heart is most obviously the place from where your writer flows 🙂

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend and fruitful endeavour! Take care always.

    Namaste

    DN – 11/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin, I think I’ve almost caught up with your comments 🙂 Sorry for the tardy replies…

      I find the more real my characters are in my head, the more chance I have of convincing someone else they are real too. Otherwise, it might just be that I’m talking to myself… lol 🙂

      I agree with your thoughts on poetry vs story writing. Poetry is more emotional than story writing, on the whole, and it contains a part of the poet, which is why it is perhaps more draining to write.

      Unfortunately I am neither bold nor courageous…though I believe I might be bolder and more courageous than I was! 🙂 And rejection has dented my confidence in my writing before, and it took a long while to bounce back from it. That’s why I have taken to submitting my short stories, in the hope that it will expose me to a little bit of rejection so that I can learn to deal with it better.

      Take my word for it – I’m not very social. Long comments are not the norm here 🙂

      You know, I can’t remember the grade for the dissertation off the top of my head. I think as soon as I handed it in, I tried to forget it ever existed…not that I didn’t enjoy it all – the fieldwork I did alongside it was fun as was the work in the lab, it just seemed to go on forever. The subject of lichen doesn’t become any more interesting over time… Did it help with my writing? Not really. I was already writing before this, but my degree has certainly gone a long way to improve and embellish my descriptions of natural spaces – which I write about a lot and try to include snippets on landscape evolution too, whenever the opportunity arises. This is where I am in my element and I want everyone to see the magic in the natural world that I see, I suppose 🙂

      Your dissertation sounds much more entertaining than mine 🙂 I completely empathise with the endless citation and referencing. “I’d not deliberately set out to write another!” Lol, I would certainly think twice about it, although there is a great attraction to returning to university. I’m just not sure I have another dissertation in me!

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Take care and Brightest Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Sammi,

    Thank you for your reply 🙂 I hope Saturn’s Day is going well, and lending a hand with your creative endeavours.

    I was thinking last night as I worked some more on Copper Door of our discussion here on characterization. Your advice/perspective was very useful, in that whilst I listened more carefully to the loudness of the characters voices, I found myself asking more and more questions about them and defining them in other ways as well, and came way with several sheets of paper full of ideas. Brainstorming seems to work! And as a by-product of that exercise, I now have a better idea of possible storylines that could extend their personalities further. Thank you very much for gifting a key to unlock a door 🙂

    Bold and courageous character traits seem to manifest in a multitude of ways. I don’t think it is solely caped crusaders, heroes, or heroines, who are motivated and inspired by their soul’s purpose, but all who chose to believe in a dream or ideal and become it.

    ‘The subject of lichen doesn’t become any more interesting over time…’ 🙂 I can understand this…my interest would also wane, but field trips and lab work sound interesting. Out of curiosity, what degree did you do? And why did you choose it?

    ‘This is where I am in my element and I want everyone to see the magic in the natural world that I see, I suppose’ ~ Reflecting on the stories and poems you have posted on your blog, it is clear what affection you have for Nature’s enchanting ways. She is beautiful.

    Thoughts on my dissertation vary enormously, but in keeping with the discussion here, I found it a very useful exercise in how to link citation together to form coherent sentences. I’m not sure if there was meant to be a limit on the number of words we could cite, but at least 65% of my essay was given over to reference – which took a whole lot of reading, but thankfully, Fairy Tales are a fascinating tradition to read about.

    ‘…although there is a great attraction to returning to university. I’m just not sure I have another dissertation in me’ ~ I share this attraction to go back to university again (mainly for the life-style lol 🙂 ) but like you, I certainly wouldn’t want to have to write another academic paper. I just enjoy having the opportunity to learn and the time needed to really enjoy it all.

    ‘Take my word for it – I’m not very social. Long comments are not the norm here’ ~ Then thank you again for all of yours. 🙂

    Well Sammi, it’s just short of midnight, and before the shadows get much longer, I must away and seek the Land of Zzzzzzzzz.

    Have a happy Sunday! 😀

    Namaste

    DN – 12/03/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin,

      I hope you are well 🙂

      I am excited to read that Copper Door seems to be coming on a treat! Yay! 🙂 I am pleased that our conversation proved useful. That’s always great to hear.

      I did a BSc in Geography. Why? Because I love the natural world. It’s that simple. Understanding earth processes only deepens my awe of the environment, rather than removing the mystery. When I was applying for uni I almost swapped my subject for archaeology but I wondered whether I had the patience for it 🙂

      So if you were to return to uni again, what would you choose to study?

      Wishing you a blessing-filled rest of the week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi,

        All’s well at Dewin’s, thank you 🙂 As I trust it is at Smmi’s? How are the cats and cakes? 🙂

        Your comments were very useful Sammi, they redirected my thoughts, or rather gave them a little more focus. But certainly, you gave me plenty to think about and consider, and I may even adopt an idea or two of yours as well. You have great insight, thank you for sharing your wisdom.

        Ah yes, Geography, very good, it’s absolutely fascinating isn’t it? You describe your relationship to it very well. And as I recall, it was my favourite subject at school, both physical and human geography were taught, both interesting for different reasons. I can appreciate how the natural beauty of the Welsh landscape and its ancient heritage (and folkloric tradition) excited both Geographer and Archaeologist in you. Choosing between them both must have been difficult when they can appear so inexplicably interwoven.

        Curiously I attended a couple of Archeology digs with university student’s and was very taken by the charm and magic of the day. It was not just the place, time, period, we were re-discovering, but also engaging with the physical digging activities as well. The whole mis-en-scene was quite captivating. We were digging at the crest of a hill overlooking the Bristol Estuary, and investigating a collapsed burial Caern. The site was thick with trees and shrouded in fog and haze, and everything moved in the gentle breeze sweeping up the hillside. Towards hilltop, wispy cloud reached higher slope and curved from stone peaks to lift both mist and spirit away in a dance of spirals and twirls. It was all very atmospheric, and I’d certainly go on another trip out.

        Have you ever been on a dig Sammi, or volunteered to go? The whole day is very relaxing, hard work in places, but relaxing all the same. I found it a day spent in idle conversation, speculating and storytelling in anticipation of what one may find, or do, when past meets present. Unearthing again what was once in the present with the intention of preserving it for the future is quite an experience.

        So tell me, what was you most memorable experience on a Geography field-trip? You must have been led to some beautiful places in Wales.

        You ask, ‘if you were to return to uni again, what would you choose to study? Hmm, good question! When enjoyment and interest can be found in so many diverse things, that is a really tough question to answer. Additionally, there is such depth and scope in the courses offered these days at university, it would difficult to choose one straight off the cuff, and I’ll have to give some more thought to your question. It’s the lifestyle that interests me more than the subject per se (lol)…but I could imagine doing a creative writing degree and spending three years stepped away from life and enjoying epicureanism’s indulgence again 🙂 Anything is better than being tethered and weathered by an office desk.

        Your enthusiasm with Copper Door is really welcome, and helping to keep the motivation going with writing the poem. Your interest has been inspiring brought new ideas to the fore, particularly other aspects of characters and how they driving story lines. At the moment, I’m editing part of the incomplete poem, and debating how best to post it. Its grown a little longer than expected, and either needs pruning or presenting in shorter sections. I’m not certain which way to go yet. Possibly both. Hmm, I’m prognosticating again, and delaying starting out on the trip to Copper Door, perhaps gathering momentum. Whilst stuck here in the tunnels, I’m starting to feel a little claustrophobic, and I really must get the quill-seeker under way soon. So fingers crossed 🙂 Thank you for asking.

        Well, gratefully it’s now officially Saturday, 00:01 on the clock, and the weekend has begun. Yay! Another week over and another evening successfully negotiated. Tis time to cast off the watch and work-wear, unpack the chocolate, coffee and notebooks, and slip into something more comfortable for the weekend….like the imagination 😀

        Enjoy your imaginative weekend Sammi, and best wishes for brightest blessings.

        Keep an eye on Khepri!

        Namaste

        DN – 19/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin,

        Glad to hear that all is well at Dewin’s. All is well at Sammi’s too 🙂 And the cats are fine (you’ll be pleased to know that Khepri is currently napping and so not getting into mischief) and the cakes are…gone.

        Physical geography was always my favourite – I tried to avoid human geography whenever I could. The archaeological digs sound interesting / amazing / captivating – I think you may have mentioned them to me before. I’ve never been on one. Perhaps I should add it to my list of things to do / see / try.

        Memorable geography field trips…hmmm…there are so many to choose from. Standing behind a waterfall in South Wales was pretty amazing. Then there was the time I lost both my walking boots in what for all intents and purposes was a bog – I carried on walking and they stayed where they were. Those two stick out in my mind for very different reasons lol 🙂

        I hope you enjoyed the chocolate and coffee, filled your notebooks and sat comfortably in your imagination 🙂

        Have a great week!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi,

        Brightest greetings on this Monday evening! 🙂 How are you, and how was your day?

        Do peace, tranquillity and serenity still reign in the Sammi household, and is all well in all ways? I hope so. 🙂

        Thank you for the fleeting update on the cats…perhaps the reason Khepri naps is because he has already filched the cakes and now happily sated, sleeps like a king with a full stomach. Lol 😀 Crafty, clever cat…I could learn a trick or two from him.

        I was tickled by your walking boot story, and can just imagine watching it all unfold. So funny! lol 😀 I wonder if the boots are still stuck in the mud and waiting in case you return to continue their treck? Do get chance to wander the countryside where you are and have further adventures…I know how busy life can be to have time to spend a full day walking the wide green yonder? The waterfall you mention sounds very cool. Is it little wonder that the memory remains a favourite with you. Would I be right in thinking you’d visited the waterfall in Herwaun, or is there another location that I am missing out on? If so, I recall the fall in Herwaun, visiting it a couple of times, but most memorably at night with a friend, a photographer, who specialised in Light Graffitti, and time-lapse photography, and wanted to add neon sparkle to Nature’s artistry. We came away with some stunning, flowing images beautifully lit in reds and pinks and gold. I’d like to see the place in daylight and maybe follow the course of the stream/river further inland and find other delights.

        In terms of ‘field-trips’, Animation and film didn’t really have any field-trips per se…the odd visit to an art-house cinema or special screening of a long lost animated film, but nothing at all like getting out and about and back to basics. I think there would have been great benefit in conducting drawing classes or photography lessons in the wilds and encouraging deeper appreciation of natural beauty by being immersed within it and finding form to express it. To much of my university days were spent in tech labs and dark rooms, or tucked away in front of a light-box or computer, and painstakingly moving a line a millimetre here or there 25 times for one second of film! Oh, how I often begged for daylight! Lol 🙂

        I do hope you get chance to join an Archeology dig, at least just once, and enjoy the pleasure of the day. I’m certain you’ll enjoy it.

        My indulgence of coffee, chocolate and notebooks was most enjoyable, thank you. I did also sit in my imagination, but was not wholly successful this weekend in being productive. Perhaps I had too many other thoughts on my mind that just kept getting in the way. March has been a curious month, and Spring a curious season, in that they seemed to arrive as a huge tidal wave of energy blown in from winter’s end, which has now calmed considerably to become a gently rippled sea once again. It really felt like Mother Nature worked very hard this year to drive Spring’s fresh flourish into being, as if the seasons had become stuck somehow, or were late in arriving and had to hurried? Hmm, it was just a feeling.

        I’ve got a couple of short hours before lights-out to scribble and scrawl a little more and should away to push on. I’ve had a day off from work today and amongst other stuff worked a little more on the poem. As such I can at least conclude the day knowing that there has been some progress, and that has to be a good thing…one has to keep moving, even in dark tunnels underground lol 🙂

        Hoping your evening has left you rested and ready for tomorrow’s all new adventure…I wonder what might happen? Good luck with the writing, I hope all is flowing in ink and type 🙂

        Take care

        Namaste

        DN – 21/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Dewin,

        I was silly enough to walk back through the mud to retrieve my walking boots – they were my favourite and I was attached to them, except for those few minutes when I wasn’t lol. I try to fit in as much time in natural spaces as I can. It’s never quite long enough though 😦

        The waterfall was Henrhyd Falls, if I’m not mistaken. I googled Herwaun though – absolutely stunning, and being there by night must have been something. The photos sound twice magical. Waterfalls are so enchanting…

        “painstakingly moving a line a millimetre here or there 25 times for one second of film” You must have an immense amount of patience! But then seeing your finished project must have been rewarding? Did you have to make any of your own films or animations?

        I understand completely your thoughts on spring…it was early here and now things seem to have gone a little flat as if the season is slowly running out of steam. Hopefully it will pick up again soon.

        Of course, I’m very glad to hear that there has been some progress on the poem front. I have no doubt that it will be ready when it is supposed to be 🙂

        Take care and enjoy your week!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi,

        😀 So, you went back for the unattached boots you were once attached to! lol 🙂 I thought you might have done, not least because walking boots are so expensive to replace and budgets for university are pretty tight as it is. Do you still have those lucky mucky boots?

        Pleased to hear you get out and about in the countryside, it really is a great way to relax, unwind, repair and restore…there’s so much energy to draw from…and just delight in her green calm and natural effervescence.

        Ah, yes, Henrhyd Falls! Spectacular place to go! How could I not remember them! I have been there several times but had forgotten the name. I thought it a magical location, a place straight out of Tolkien, full of enchantment and wonder where one half expects elves and woodland folk to put in an appearance, and magic forest creatures to arrive and drink from the pool. I also liked the stepping pathway leading down to the waterfall, which I thought have a mysterious charm and appeal as well. The area around the falls is beautiful, lush, green and rolling. I’ve a feeling my friend and I also visited here at night but abandoned the project after a camera got damaged they slipped from the path behind the fall lol 🙂 I shouldn’t laugh, it was an expensive camera, but one can’t help smile at a good ducking at someone else’s expense! lol 😀

        I am glad I’m not the only person to sense spring’s dramatic arrival and recent waning. Perhaps what we feel now is what spring should normally feel like and all is well. And yet, I can’t quite shake off the feeling that spring was dramatic this year for a reason…maybe in the weeks and days that follow, the true extent of the force of her arrival will be revealed. For the time being, it’s wonderful just to walk and wander in wonder at the beauty of her emergence.

        Thank you for encouragement with Copper Door. If not for want of an appropriate image, I’d have already posted the first part of the poem. As it is I’m behind a little with exploring thoughts for an accompanying picture…ideas are not flowing, but I think this is because I can’t write and create images at the same time. So yes, fingers crossed the poem and image will be ready when it is intended if not before. Part 2 of Copper Door is progressing slowly, but at least the journey from the Magic Mirror is about to start, and that’s a great impetus to push on with the writing rather than the illustrating, at least for now anyway. But we shall see what gives and where ideas go and go with the flow for each of them. Thank you for the wise words and smile. 🙂

        You would not believe how much I suffered doing the drawn animation module in the degree! I am not that patient, nor that disciplined to be a drawn animator…it’s an amazing skill, and an even greater test of character. Those long, long, long lonely hours with a light box taught me a lot about myself, and in particular to find another way of animating, to be more experimental and use other media. I found it exasperating and so frustrating….my drawing style doesn’t suit the loose, flowing forms of animation draftsmen, my work is far to graphic led. So never again shall I do it as an exercise, and whilst it was very rewarding to see the final product, whether it is reward enough for all the agony is debatable. Not my thing at all really. I think it was the first module we did and very quickly determined what routes through animation people were going to take. If I were more tech-savvy I’d have tried computer animation, but as it was I went with still photographs and digital composites instead. My final year film was never completed; in fact I only just scraped a grade. I ran out of time long before the deadline and submitted a piece of work that was more an animated storyboard rather than a film. Gratefully I got a first with my dissertation or I’d not have got a decent overall grade. The film, or what is left of the project, would have to started again if it were to be considered, and I no longer have the software to do so. I have however used some of the artwork on my Blog posts and may find opportunity to do so again, it all depends on whether it now goes with the flow, or the person I am now.

        Teddy’s now back with the hot chocolate, an hour later than anticipated (where has he been? At Quirky’s maybe?) and I must away until break of day. As always Sammi, it’s been fun to hang and chill a while, thank you for your hospitality and welcome 😀

        Enjoy your Wednesday and all other days left in the week ending in a ‘y’. Good luck with the writing…I’ll look forward to your next post. 🙂

        Take care always.

        Namaste

        DN – 23/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin,

        The week is drawing to an end. I hope its been an enjoyable one?

        I don’t have the boots any longer, but the memory of them lingers lol

        Henrhyd Falls – straight out of Tolkein. Yes, of course! I never thought of that but now that you have mentioned it, I see it. I do. Very Rivendell. I’ll stop now before I get too geeky – it won’t take much! Elves, woodland folk and magical creatures drinking from the pool – I like your description. Perhaps there is another poem or a story there…

        So drawn animation was not fun. I will have to search your blog posts to peruse some of your artwork 🙂 It seems every degree has a module or two whose purpose is to test the mental strength and patience of the student. For me it was human geography and computer-based geographical mapping.

        I have read part one of your poem and absolutely loved it. Naturally, I’m now eagerly awaiting part two! There’s no rest for the wicked, eh? 🙂

        Does Sizzles make a good hot chocolate? I bet he does lol

        Enjoy the bank holiday weekend! Brightest Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

      • How was your week? 🙂

        Thank you for reading the poem, I’ve yet to respond to your wonderful comment, but read it this morning over coffee. Starting Friday with a smile and a great sunrise was a welcome treat, thank you for generosity and kindness, and for assistance with advice and guidance on structure and approach. You were a big help. Pleased you enjoyed it. 😀 Part two will be coming shortly…just got to work up a bit of oomph to get back to it…procrastinating again! 🙂

        Ah, so you are a Toliein fan! Why doesn’t that surprise me! 🙂 So you can see Rivendell as well at Henrhyd Falls? And thinking back, did you feel the enchantment and magic of that amazing place? I’m not sure I’ve ever found anywhere quite like it before, not with the same unearthly charm anyway. Could there be a poem in it…well yes, I imagine there could. It’s bound to serve as a wonderful reference point for something.

        I think you are right about the university modules: there are those that test beyond the scope of mere learning. When I was at Middlesborough University, the course was heavily mathematics based, and also taught modules in C Programming and Visual Basic. Had I known that at the outset I wouldn’t have chosen that degree! I didn’t well in these modules at all, and found them very disruptive on the rest of the degree as a result. Failing in one area impacts on another and weakens confidence. I was lucky to have friends willing to help or I’d not have made it through the first two semesters otherwise! I suppose there is an objective to these severe modules, other than it being part of the essential learning I mean, and perhaps that is to give students opportunity to really consider their motivation for the degree and there level of commitment to it as well. I recall several leaving shortly after the drawn animation module.

        Sizzles makes a fine hot chocolate: he’s a far better beverage maker than a cake baker 🙂 At the moment I’m trying to get him trained to go for the morning paper, but he’s having trouble with the stairs and reaching the intercom on the front door to ring when he’s back from the shops. So we’re looking at alternatives…basket and rope from the window, rope ladder, parachute, some balsa wood wings etc. I’ll let you know how its going 🙂

        Well Sammi, I had best go and get on with the day or I’ll get nothing done and have it all to do tomorrow. I’ll bid thee a Happy Easter, and hope that your weekend is all that you had hoped it would be. Have fun, and take care 😀

        Namaste

        DN – 25/03/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin,

        My week was good, thank you for asking 🙂

        No thanks required for reading the poem, and praise is given where praise is due 🙂 It’s a great poem 🙂

        I think it would be impossible to visit Henrhyd Falls and not feel the magical energy of the place. It is something that has stayed with me for a good few years and I hope it stays with me for a little while longer yet.

        It sounds like Sizzles is really busy at the minute, what with his training and engineering projects. Wishing you both the best of luck with them 🙂

        Enjoy the rest of the Easter Weekend and Brightest Blessings for the coming week!

        Liked by 1 person

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