Satyulemas is coming…

Mid-Winter is a tricky time of year for me.
Firstly there’s all that nonsense about Christmas being warred upon. People get up in arms about the strangest of things – who really cares what sort of paper cups that Starbucks is using?
It’s annoying and amusing at the same time.

Then there’s all the hoo-har about what we should be saying:
“Merry Christmas!”
“Happy Holidays!”
“No, it’s Christmas…”
“It’s not just Christmas, there’s:
Saint Nicholas Day (Christian),
Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican),
St. Lucia Day (Swedish), Hanukkah (Jewish),
Christmas Day (Christian),
Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian),
Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish),
Kwanzaa (African American),
Omisoka (Japanese),
Yule (Pagan),
Saturnalia (Pagan)…”
“We’re a Christian Country everyone should be saying Merry Christmas!”
That conversation is always more annoying than amusing, because it drags way too much religion into a season that should be more about Family and Love than which version of god you worship.

Then the Seasonal Affective Disorder hits – the dark mornings and short days, coupled with predominantly cold and damp weather make me feel depressed, ill, irritable and definitely not festive.

I grew up as an Anglican, which meant that I went to church carol services like Christingle and church christmas parties. I sang the carols and bought into the stories that were told… it wasn’t until I was a lot older that I realised it wasn’t the religion I wanted to be a part of.
But I still loved the music and the happiness that the carol services seemed to bring to the children at that time of year.

After I met TOH, we spent Christmas with his family and for several years we had holidays full of music, wine, family and fun… until his mum left us and although his sister tried hard to keep it going, the holiday fell apart.
For a while it was hard to keep the festive feeling going. We managed to do Christmas itself, mainly for our kids sake. Being in Guiding helped because we’d do carol concerts and christmas activities.

After we had so many problems with housing and finance, TOH and I decided that we’d celebrate what we called “Satyulemas” – this starts on the 17th December  (Saturnalia),  takes in Yule on the 21st  (Astronomical Midwinter) and covers Christmas on the 25th Dec, then finishes the day after my youngest Daughter’s birthday.

So this year, I’ve decided to start a new tradition –

 

Three of these books have homes to go to… but the fourth one (signed & dedicated)  is going to be going to the winner of my Satyulemas Competition!

There will also be E Book Copies for four runners up.

All you have to do is comment on this Blog post with your favourite, book related,  Mid-Winter Holiday Memory.

The competition will end by midnight (GMT) on Satyulemas – 17th December 2018 – the winner will be notified by email, so don’t forget to leave a contact email!

Feel free to share the news – I want to hear about everyone’s memories and hopefully make a new one for someone!

 

 

 

 

September Summary: Publishing, Prose and Poetry

This was the month that The Tower and The Eye: A Beginning finally made it back onto the market!
It took me quite a while to get the story to how I wanted it and it wouldn’t have made it had it not been for the wonderful people in my Beta Reading Group, my two patrons and an Editor friend…
I’ve made a start on the re-write of Book Two – A Party at Castle Grof – and have also written a short story that will be put into the Quargard Chronicles. I’m in the middle of a second story for QC as well. Hopefully that one will be finished by the end of the week…

But because I love all my fans, I’m going to post the first short story in my Fan Group on Facebook for you to read! If you’re a Patron then you already have access to the new story on my patreon page and in the group. If you haven’t joined the Fan Group already, then just request an invite.

* * *

I’ve also been working on a couple of Land Far Away projects, one for the Sketchbook Project and one of my WIP’s, currently titled “Fingle and Springle” (That’ll change when I get to the other end of it!) so I’ve been working on my poetry writing… it was this that inspired me to take part in a Poetry competition.

I wasn’t expecting to win anything – Poetry isn’t really my thing. I tend to stick to rhyming couplets and I don’t pay much attention to the meter or any of the technical aspects that true Poets agonise over.
The challenge was this:

This week you are asked to produce a Cinquain.

The cinquain, also known as a quintain or quintet, is a poem or stanza composed of five lines. 
Examples of cinquains can be found in many European languages, and the origin of the form dates back to medieval French poetry. The most common cinquains in English follow a rhyme scheme of ababb, abaab or abccb.

See link here: www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/cinquain-poetic-form

and the Subject was Regret… so I had a go.  This was the result.

Summer

As Summer comes to a graceful end,
Children prepare for the return to school,
Parents breathe out relief as they send;
Their offspring back to education’s rule,
Hoping that they don’t look the fool.

Teachers sigh for the freedom of Summer,
With no alarm clock ringing out the hour,
Laden down with lesson planned mummer,
Hoping that their students haven’t got dumber,
And that their efforts will show fruit and flower.

I don’t think I did to badly on the form, but I didn’t get the feel of Regret I was looking for! As I predicted I didn’t get even a single vote, but that doesn’t matter much to me. It was the challenge to my writing abilities that I did it for and it was definitely a challenge!

Next Month is the run up to NaNoWriMo. I’m still not certain exactly what I’ll be working on for it, so watch this space!

And the Tower is Back, Baby!

Well, the rewrite of “A Beginning” has not only been completed, but is also published and available to buy again!
There’s a sneak peek from the second book in the end matter as well as the rewritten main story, so I’ve tried to pack a lot into a little book…

The rewrite of Book 2 – “A Party at Castle Grof” is underway, as is the writing of “The Quargard Chronicles” (as mentioned in my last post) – a collection of stories and poetry based in the world of Quargard. That’s going to take me a while to put together, but hopefully it will have illustrations as well.

I’m also planning a limited edition hardback of twenty of each of the series books. The first ten of “A Beginning” will be numbered and will only available as a Goal on My Patreon Page, as a thank you to anyone who chooses to support me.
Again, this edition will have illustrations and maps of the dungeon that the book takes place in, and will take me a while to put together, so keep your eyes peeled!

Places to buy:

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49979

Amazon e-Book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Book-One-Tower-Eye-ebook/dp/B004UCDGDM

Amazon Print Book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/149619151X

Also available via Kobo, Apple and Barnes & Noble

I’d better get on and write now… before my kids interrupt me again!

Toodles!