Wagons – and falling off

The Queen smiles as she greets Archbishop of York, John Sentamu as she arrives for Maundy Thursday Service at York Minster Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Queen smiles as she greets Archbishop of York, John Sentamu as she arrives for Maundy Thursday Service at York Minster Chris Jackson/Getty Images via Daily Telegraph.

This Lent I tried to give up two of my psychological props with rather mixed success. This Maundy Thursday, I’m reflecting on how it’s gone so far. Continue reading

Flights of Fancy

WellingtonRetreatThere’s a great deal of cruelty in the news right now. It’s one of the reasons behind my Lenten retreat from social media. Still I can’t escape it altogether. A dear friend has been deeply affected by a child murder close to where she lives. Reality insists on being seen – so why on earth do I chose to write fantasy, to make impossible things up? Continue reading

Monsters – not just for fantasy writers

geek_sphinx_by_mage_cat-d4onhuh

Geek Sphinx by Mage Cat

Last week I considered metamorphosis – prompted by listening  to Dame Marina Warner at The Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairytale and Fantasy. Whilst I was pondering unnerving transformations, images of many strange mythical hybrid creatures came to mind (some prompted by this month’s Mslexia.)  What is their attraction – and what does it matter to modern storytelling? Continue reading

Metamorphosis

Kafka-by-octothorpopusMention metamorphosis and two contrasting ideas flit into my mind. On the Humanities side there’s Kafka’s story of Gregor Samsa waking up to find himself a beetle, and Ovid with his tales of Greek legends. In contrast, amongst the Science stacks of the L-space in my brain, I recall Lepidoptera and Amphibians. All are to do with transformation. What influence has metamorphosis had on stories?

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Books for all

LentI am having a Lenten break from social media at the moment – but just as I closed my apps on Shrove Tuesday, I noted a thread on audiences at school being segregated by gender. I goggled at the concept of saying only girls could attend a female writer – or vice versa. Those of you who know me or my blog posts can imagine my reaction to that… Continue reading

Green

More_of_Me

Tonight I attend ‘More of Me’ Book Launch II for my dear friend Kathryn Evans – a special for the inhabitants of Chichester and its hinterland. If I have time after I return from the dentists in the afternoon, I shall wear an outrageous green dress. I have heard that green dresses are unlucky – green being the colour of the fair folk – but I have no wish to bring ill-fortune to my colleague. Rather  a dusting of lucky fairy dust…

Cover design by Hannah Cobley at Usborne

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Interregnum

Oliver_Cromwell_by_Samuel_Cooper

Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper

Apparently, an interregnum is the period between two reigns. In English History, it can refer to the time between Charles I ‘s execution and the arrival of Charles II, whilst we had a Republic (30 January 1649 – 29 May 1660)

Metaphorically, it can mean any suspension of government from the end of one regime to the beginning of another. I rather feel  I am in one… Continue reading