Of Saints & Pilgrims: A Journey to St. David’s

Pope Calixtus II declared that two pilgrimages to St. David’s were equal to one to Rome.  If he’d travelled, like I did, by the tiny stopping train that trundles through the Welsh marshes and then for hours along the South Wales Coast I think he might have revised that to a one:one ratio. St. David’s … Continue reading Of Saints & Pilgrims: A Journey to St. David’s

Samhain – the Celtic New Year

Autumn is the time of year when the earth’s energies are waning, when the harvest is gathered in and winter is round the corner.  For the Celts each new day started in darkness at sunset and similarly their new year begins in the period of greatest darkness before the winter solstice. For them, Samhain was … Continue reading Samhain – the Celtic New Year

Celebrating autumn

Is it just me or does the run up to Christmas seemed to have started even earlier this year?  It was mid-September when I saw the first Christmas books released and Christmas gifts appearing in the shops.  It’s as if the world’s forgotten there’s a whole season in between. A season that’s particularly lovely and … Continue reading Celebrating autumn

Stopping to take stock

For the past few years I’ve had what people call a ‘portfolio career’. As well as writing, I’m a consultant, an external examiner and a creative writing tutor.  That takes a lot of swapping of hats and this week has been particularly hectic.  Monday morning saw me at an important meeting in York, Monday afternoon … Continue reading Stopping to take stock

Going Back to Find Something New

I’ve been coming to Glastonbury (the town not the festival, as I’ve explained a lot in the past few weeks) every year or so since I started writing Beltane six years ago.  It’s become a kind of spiritual second home and I love it for its quirkiness, its willingness to embrace the alternative and the … Continue reading Going Back to Find Something New

My turn on the Lovely Blog Hop

I’ve been asked by my fabulous friend, Jessica Redland, to take part in the Lovely Blog Hop where writers talk about some of the things which have shaped their lives and their writing.  Jessica lives not far from me in Scarborough and we often meet up for cake and to talk about writing.  Her first … Continue reading My turn on the Lovely Blog Hop

Fictional Yorkshire

I’ve just read a lovely novel set in ‘God’s Own County’ (which is what Yorkshire folk call the place where they live). It’s ‘There Must Be An Angel’ by Sharon Booth which is set in the fictional village of Kearton Bay which is based on Robin’s Hood Bay on the North Yorkshire coast.  For me … Continue reading Fictional Yorkshire

Steampunk Research at Lanhydrock

I love visiting stately homes and grand country houses.  There’s something about these glimpses into long gone lives that I find really fascinating. I’m also a sucker for costume drama and historical novels. However when I started writing a steampunk short story for the Write Romantics charity anthology I realised that I’d not learned as … Continue reading Steampunk Research at Lanhydrock

Museum of Witchcraft

While I was in Cornwall last week I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle.  When I started writing Beltane I borrowed an introductory book on witchcraft from York library (which did result in some interesting looks from the library staff). Four years on I now own a … Continue reading Museum of Witchcraft

Out with the Old

Something odd happened to me today.  Something that hardly ever happens. I had an overwhelming urge to have a clear out.  And then, what’s more surprising, I actually did it. I’ve spent most of the day chucking things out, going through piles of paperwork, shredding (which I really hate) and tidying up again. For the … Continue reading Out with the Old