Accordion Books

By Jackie Morris

The first pair in a series of illustrated folding gift books featuring foxes and otters.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

So Nearly Almost

I've been wanting to write an update on here for a while, but life has been so busy. First, let me welcome new supporters to The Accordion Books page. As I type the project is sitting at 99% funded. 355 of you have taken it to this place. By the time I finish typing it may be on 100%.

Today is the publication day for The Wild Cards, and they are flying into and out of bookshops in the UK. ( You can read more about The Wild Cards here by clicking on this link) Really hoping they help people reconnect after what is now almost two years of people being more isolated, separated from friends and from family. I don't know how you are faring, but I have reached the point where there is so much to do, but everything seems to take 3 or 4 times as long. My brain struggles to stay on task. I need to take some time to empty it out, let new ideas in. And I am beginning to really miss time spent with friends. 

The Wild Cards are 100 postcards in a box, with images from The Lost Words and The Lost Spells ( really hoping to work with Alison to make cards from The Unwinding- maybe not postcards, maybe something more for shuffling and keeping, but maybe for sending also). As I say, it is publication day today. I know Kenilworth Books have them in stock, likewise Seven Fables, and Solva Woollen Mill will have them soon, and they are making their way into indie bookshops in the UK.

I have been out and about, doing events, at Cheltenham Festival, and at home via the internet. I'm in Stratford on Avon 14th Feb, talking about East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and The Wild Swans, and then on a road trip to the Lake District with Nicola Davies, to talk about The Song That Sings Us. We are going to call in at Sam Reads Bookseller in Grasmere to sign books for them.

None of this is what I meant to say when I began writing this. I guess there's so much going on, it's hard to know where to begin, which way to turn. In the UK The Wild Swans and East of the Sun, West of the Moon are publishing. These new editions are so very luxurious. They treat the book as a place to escape, an object of desire, a talisman of beauty. At least I hope that is what readers will find. Despite the logistical nightmares of supply they are beginning to make their way into bookshops and into the hands and hearts of readers. 

In USA The Unwinding and The Silent Unwinding are finally making their way into indie bookshops across an ocean. This wouldn't have happened without the initial support of those who invested in the book at the earliest of stages. I wonder if Accordion Books will get there too? I know Stephen Sparks of Point Reyes Books is eager to stock them. John and I talked about an edition of 6, but he's now saying 50...... I like the sound of that and where the learning of what we can do with this form might take us. John and I were in conversation with Stephen, talking about The Unwinding. Watch if you've time. John was flaunting his copy of Treacle Walker by Alan Garner ( pub by 4th Estate) at me at one point. ( A good reminder for me as I want to listen to the event with Richard Powers)

I painted a few more YInMn blue otter labels as there was a request for some after the event at Point Reyes. ( One of the few good things to have come out of the pandemic is the ability to do international events without leaving home, but Point Reyes books is the bookshop that would lure me over to America, though I may have to ask my wonderful daughter for a lift in her boat.

I digress again. Keeping focus is so hard. I really need to go, as I have to paint birds, but I wanted to say a huge thank you to all who have supported the Accordion Books so far. I've been taking time to walk on the beach, to leave stones, mostly for the sea to keep, to type on the gold leaf, writing haikus on proof pages of The Silent Unwinding, and on feathers. And now I must go and contemplate the wings of a fulma, and the colours of a tawny owl. But before I do, I wanted to say, I will gather up a collection of small things from my studio- some postcards, a bit of a gold leaf soul, a thing or two, and put together a small parcel to send to someone. There are two things I ask in return. Please share in some way The Accordion Books page, on instagram, twitter, a blog or facebook. Or simply by telling or sending a postcard to a friend. And then leave a comment on this post saying what it is you do to calm and to steady the mind in this busy, noisy world. I will choose someone using random number generator to receive the parcel in a week or two.... a small thank you from me. This is the first of the things I have gathered for the 'small parcel'. First I went to Abermawr and collected a stone, then I gilded a labyrinth on, and took the stone to Whitesands Beach where I left it at low tide, with the sea coming in, in a sea scooped hollow of a rock. On the soul's gold sheet I typed the co-ordinates of where I last saw the stone, then printed off two images to go side by side. These three things are the first thing to be placed in the parcel. Where the stone is now, I couldn't say.

Also, today (25th Oct) tidying studio I found these: Three otter labels and a Ma. So, one to keep and three to give away? Anyway, adding these to the stash for whoever is chosen.

Meanwhile, here are some of the other  ways I have been finding peace of mind.

Don't forget to leave a comment. And, well, thank you. I must find the words now to go with the Otters and Foxes, and pin down a publication date.




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Jax Blunt
 Jax Blunt says:

Have shared on twitter.

I calm my mind by going to the beach, and letting the sound of the sea fill me.

posted 21st October 2021

Carol Williams
 Carol Williams says:

I've shared on twitter.

I find peace by playing my kora, a beautiful West African instrument that I started learning 2 years ago. I'm still learning, but getting better, and my favourite place to play is outdoors, in the garden, where the birds sometimes join in!

posted 21st October 2021

Mary Berry
 Mary Berry says:

It depends on the inner turmoil what I do to calm my mind. Going outside, bring close to nature in some way, often being in my garden. Lots of my plants came from places we have been (with permission) or my parents, and grandparents, who have now sadly gone. But I can connect with them immediately by being outside and connecting with their plants. Otherwise, I do something that frees my energy. Like so many, I found Lockdown very hard. So, I set to and learned to crochet. I now sit under my Attic24 Moorland blanket and crochet, sew, read, and more recently, paint to calm my mind. And my ginger cat Hamish, is the easiest way to calm my soul - his amber eyes always ‘know’ and he comes for a snuggle. He is very soft.

posted 21st October 2021

Melanie Jackson
 Melanie Jackson says:

I find peace in walking through the lovely countryside around our house and watching the turning of the seasons. To calm and focus my mind I like to draw Celtic knots or do some needle felting (very therapeutic) while listening to a book.

posted 21st October 2021

Donna Wright
 Donna Wright says:

I walk daily in the countryside where I live to calm my mind. Although I love to be by the water when I can too as I find that especially peaceful. I also love to read so I make time every day to curl up with a good book to lose myself in.

posted 21st October 2021

Ruth Gilburt
 Ruth Gilburt says:

Absolutely the solace of the sea. I have my favourite places and memories,of course but anywhere on the coast is enough in itself. The peace comes from simply being and breathing, whilst the therapy of the waves works its mysterious magic in calming the soul.

posted 21st October 2021

Elisabeth England
 Elisabeth England says:

Simply, my local walk up the hill and through a tiny wood, repeated so many times but always different and never dull.

posted 21st October 2021

Rachel Fairbank
 Rachel Fairbank says:

I try to take a moment outside to breathe deeply, notice something - the colour of the sky/a sound/anything that catches my attention and I'm grateful, for a small thing or all the big things in my life, I just breathe and say thank you.

posted 22nd October 2021

Rhondda Davies
 Rhondda Davies says:

Walking at Twilight, watching the glow of the western sky fade. Cool, night air moving into velvet darkness, soft night holding me safe and unseen.

posted 22nd October 2021

Tess Duncan
 Tess Duncan says:

Looking for the holy in nature ....the owls were on the roof this morning hooting.

posted 22nd October 2021

Kathleen Friend
 Kathleen Friend says:

Just being outside calms me, I went on a fungi spotting mission in the woods today. Found some little beauties.

posted 24th October 2021

Stephanie Samphire
 Stephanie Samphire says:

Knitting helps to ground me, and so does walking whenever I can. I've also been practicing mindfulness breathing techniques, with varying rates of success.

What a lovely giveaway!

posted 6th November 2021

Hayley Walker
 Hayley Walker says:

Every morning I practice Qigong.
On weekdays I am guided by a wonderful teacher called Deniz Paridot who so kindly gives his class online freely, daily at 08:00 GMT. On the weekends I use self-guided practice. With gentle mind and body nourishment I feel ready to face the day and I am a better person for it.

posted 6th November 2021

Rebecca Woodward
 Rebecca Woodward says:

I find my calm at my local pond. It's a concrete, urban pond but there are frequently swans and watching them gives me a taste of beauty, of wonder at the vulnerability and magnificence of living things and helps me to right myself.

posted 6th November 2021

Talita veljovic
 Talita veljovic says:

One thing that makes me feel calm is taking my son, who is 6, to watch birds and animals at our local nature reserve.

posted 23rd December 2021

Top rewards

£15  + shipping
148 pledges

Accordion Book No 1: Fox

An eight panelled folding book featuring painted foxes. Haikus of the wild fox on reverse (twilight wild words). Folded between two postcard sized cover boards (100 x 150 mm), foiled with debossed fox image. Printed on 400 gsm uncoated white card.


  • Bookmark (designed by Jackie)
Pre-order this reward
£15  + shipping
60 pledges

Accordion Book No 2: Otter

An eight panelled folding book featuring painted otters. Haikus of the wild otter on reverse (river words). Folded between two postcard sized cover boards (100 x 150 mm), foiled with debossed fox image. Printed on 400 gsm uncoated white card.


  • Bookmark (designed by Jackie)
Pre-order this reward