Where I’ve Been and What I’m Doing (an update post)

Things have been a little chaotic here since the beginning of July.  It all started with my attempt to write the first draft of a short novel in a month, and ended with the (hopefully) final edit of a poetry collection – but there were many exciting things in between.  So, by way of an update post, I thought I would share a little of what I’ve been up to.

Writing a Short Novel in A Month

As always, things never quite go to plan.  My short novel has turned out to be longer than I anticipated, but it’s been so much fun writing it.  I’ve been uploading the chapters to Wattpad and there are currently 27 posted.  I must say, the response to the story has been better than I could have ever imagined and I’m ever so grateful to those who’ve been reading it.

It’s been a week since I did any work on it, but hopefully that will change in the next day or two.

If you are interested in reading it or want to learn more about it, you can find Oathbreaker here.  Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts – your wisdom could help shape the rest of the story.

 

Stratford-upon-Avon

Another trip to The Bard’s birthplace.  Although the weather was still hot, thankfully it cooled a little for our few days away, otherwise it would have been unbearable.

One of the things we did this visit was take a boat tour up the river.  I took the photo of the church in which William Shakespeare is buried, from the boat.

 

 

Banbury

We drove through Banbury on the way to Stratford-upon-Avon, and having seen how lovely the town looked from the car, decided to stop on our way home.

Of course, those of you who know your nursery rhymes will have heard of Banbury:

Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes

It was interesting to learn about the history around the nursery rhyme, and although there are many theories as to her identity and the time in which she lived, no-one is certain.  As for the statue, I’m not usually a fan as they often have (to my eye) strange faces.  Not so with this one; I thought there was something absolutely captivating about her.

Shrewsbury

A day and a night in Shrewsbury, a popular choice for time away in our house.

That evening, as the sun was setting, we visited the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury, where the photo was taken.  It was fought in 1403 between King Henry IV and Harry Hotspur leading a rebel army.  For a place where so many men lost their lives in the most horrific of ways, it’s strange to think how peaceful the place was…

 

Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle

This is one of my favourite places in the world.

Situated on the top of a hill, with England to one side and Wales to the other, Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle is a beautiful, evocative place.  It doesn’t take much of an imagination to find yourself transported back 3000 years in history…

As we explored the stones, rain was coming in off the Welsh hills, giving my photo a magical, moody, intense quality.

It was hard choosing the one photo to share, but I think this one captured our time there perfectly.

 

Lilleshall Abbey and White Ladies Priory

On our return trip, we stopped off at two ruined monastic sites, Lilleshall Abbey (in the photograph) and White Ladies Priory.

We have visited these sites on a number of occasions and each time they have astounded us with their impressive remains.

The atmosphere at each site conjures images straight out of Cadfael: monks and nuns going about their daily religious life, as well as making you wonder how those in residence must have felt at the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII.  If you had never been part of the outside world, I can imagine how life beyond the walls could have seemed scary.

 

Wall / Letocetum

At Wall, there are the ruins of a small Roman town, on one of the main road arteries in Roman Britain, Watling Street.

The Latin name of the town is Letocetum.

The ruins here are of a mansio, where horses could be changed and lodgings for the night found, and a bath house.

It’s an amazing place to wander around, and a great source of inspiration for my historical fiction writing.

My Poetry Book

One of the projects I’ve been working off and on is my first proper poetry book.  Now, after much tinkering, I think it’s finished…Woohoo? Well, sort of.

The problem I have with my poetry is I can never tell if it’s any good.  So, I think the next sensible step is ask if there is anyone out there interested in beta-reading it for me?  Ideally, I would like to get it in front of a poetry publisher as I’m not sure I have the necessary skills to self-publish, and to do that it would be great to hear what other people think of it.  For more information, please check this out.

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Oathbreaker

I’ve had a secret project underway for the past fortnight…I set myself the challenge to write the first draft of short novel in a month.  To make myself more accountable, I’ve been posting at least one chapter of it a day on Wattpad.  The novel is called “Oathbreaker”.

Summary

“Be my wife.” The words were so quiet, Eleri wondered if she had really heard them.  ‘Please, Eleri.  Be my wife,’ he said again, louder and with even more intensity.”

Eleri, priestess of the Green lady, has waited for so long to marry her tribe’s champion, Celyn.  Finally the date is set for Midsummer’s Eve, when the tribes have gathered in the valley to celebrate the longest day at the stone circle perched up on the hill.  But nothing is as it seems…

A glimpse of a bird circling over the stones foretells of doom…and maybe even death.

An oath is made.  A oath is broken.  And Eleri’s life changes forever.

“Oathbreaker” is a story inspired by ancient history, mythology and the landscape.  If you enjoy historical fiction with a dose of fantasy and the retellings of myths, legends and folktales, you might enjoy this too 🙂

You can read it for FREE here.

If you do decide to give it a read, I would welcome your thoughts – and feel free to give it a vote or three over on Wattpad too! 😉

The more reads and votes it gets, and the more interest is shown in it, the higher it appears on the rankings and more people will see it.  If you’re on Wattpad let me know your username and I’ll hop over and follow you – in the least stalker-like way possible 🙂

Thanking you in advance.

Have a great weekend everyone!

A few poems published…

Today I have three poems, Silent Thoughts in an Empty Churchyard, Agoraphobia and Quiet, up over at Nine Muses Poetry.  Thanks to Annest Gwilym for including them 🙂

You can read them here.  If you do, I would love to hear what you think to them.

And, while you’re there, why not check out the other talented poets who’ve had pieces published by Nine Muses Poetry or consider submitting something yourself.  It really is a lovely publication.

Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology Update

First, let me apologise for disappearing off the face of the earth.  Things just seem to be so busy at the moment and finding the time to hang out on the blog is getting increasingly difficult.  Can someone tell me why there are only 24 hours in a day when I need at least 30?!

I’m about a month behind reading WWP responses, but I endeavour to catch up and read them all.  As I’ve said before, I might not get round to commenting on them all (though I’ll try), but know that if I like it, I read it and enjoyed it 🙂

So, let’s talk about the Weekend Writing Prompt Year 1 Anthology.

Thanks to everyone who has so far emailed over their contributions.  I will soon start going through the emails to see what we have and which prompts still have no responses.  I’ve extended the deadline over on the submission guidelines to 10 August 2018, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets one more final extension, probably the end of September but we will see how things go.  It might not be necessary.

All anthologies need titles, so I have come up with a name for this one.  “Outcast and Other Words” – What do you think? I also plan to design a few badges should anyone wish to use them on their blogs / social media.

I’ve secured the wordpress site, but done very little to it at the moment.  When there’s something to see over there I’ll post the link.  The aim is to have the site read like an online book, with each of the word prompts from Year 1 serving as the chapter titles…

Well, there it is.  I know things are moving slowly at the moment, for which I apologise, but, when it all comes together, I’ll know it will be great.

Thanks everyone for joining in.  Have a great weekend!

Solstice Blessings and Ychydig / Little

 

Recently I’ve been collating some of the shorter poems from here on the blog with some new ones I have been scribbling away for a poetry competition on Sweek (which is still open by the way, for any budding poets out there!).

The result is Ychydig / Little, a collection of small poems, which can be found and read for free here.  There are 40 poems in all, none longer than 9 lines – I think.  The poems cover many topics; nature, the moon, stars, dreams, and more besides.  The Sweek stats magicians claim it will only take 4 minutes to read it from beginning to end.

And, in case you didn’t know, “ychydig” is a beautiful Welsh word (and one of my favourites) meaning “little”.  Though the title is Welsh, the poems are all in English.

If you do have a spare minute – or 4 😉 – and decide to take a quick look at the collection, please let me know what you think.  And, if you do enter the competition yourself, post a link to your entry in the comments below and I will gladly have a read.

Wishing you all the Brightest of Summer blessings! Or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere, Wishing you the Brightest of Winter blessings 🙂

Love Letters to Selene – an anthology of poems inspired by the moon

Dreaming Spirit Press

Love Letters to Selene is a multi-author anthology of poems inspired by the moon.

The beautiful poems in various styles cover a diverse range of topics, from lullabies to moon names and more beside. If you have a moment, please support the talented authors who sent their amazing work this way, by reading, voting and commenting.

To learn more about this anthology, please visit the Love Letters to Selene anthology page.  To read the anthology for FREE via Wattpad, click here.

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