Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone

By Jackie Morris

A pillow book of poems, dreams & stories typed on sheets of gold leaf.

Saturday, 7 January 2023

A new venture

Feather, Leaf has been out for a while now. Accordion Books suffered a bit of a hold up but the first 2 will be published in April. More soon I think. But in the meantime my working attention is focussed on the Book of Birds which is having an inevitable shift into 'The Lost Birds' ( had to happen really) and Wild Folk.

Wild Folk launched yesterday with the rising of the Wolf Moon into a cloudy sky. There is a wonderful film that maybe says more about the book and what it will be than I can here, but I just wanted to take the time to let you know about this new venture. It was born at Northmoor House, a retreat with Seven Fables where a few musicians, artists, writers, painters, makers drew together. By day we all worked. John Mitchinson was there, with Rachael, his wife, who was editing while John wrote, Catherine Hyde was drawing, taking photos, and Tamsin Abbott was walking, painting, thinking. 

Tamsin's work is amazing. I have so much of it in my house. I have written books in her garden. She has looked after my house, drawn inspiration from Ivy. You can see more of her work at her website, and also buy prints and cards of her work. Originals sell fast.Seven Fables carry some, but they usually sell on arrival. 

It was a lovely afternoon and John and Tamsin were talking in the garden. John was saying how lovely it would be to see a book of folk tales with Tamsin's images. And this is where I stepped in, saying, I have some stories....... me, me, me....... I guess that is one way to pitch a book. 

Wild Folk grew from there. We hope we will make something beautiful, and certainly it will be elegantly illustrated with Tamsin's work. I am honing the words, and still have two tales to discover. I need to listen to the ravens, the river, the sea, and most of all the stones, for they are oldest and wisest. 

Here is a link to the Wild Folk page. It will be wildly different from Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone. 

I would love to hear from you about how FLB&S came to you, whether you write in it, if you've given it as a gift and how it was received, if you would like to leave a comment here.

The wind is howling like the wolf outside now. Inside, snoring dogs and fire crackle and the house breathing. Time for me to read.  

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Jackie Hassine
 Jackie Hassine says:

Hi. Is it possible to get the signed book and the postcards?

posted 9th January 2023

Paula Symonds
 Paula Symonds says:

So excited for you and will definitely be pledging (end of this month me thinks) x

posted 9th January 2023

Cornelia Rémi
 Cornelia Rémi says:

FLB&S could not have arrived on a better day for me. It was Friday, 8th July, and I was pacing around nervously, at home, learning for a written online exam in the evening. I had started training as a communications and business trainer in autumn 2021, with a tiny group of passionate, curious people eager to discover new ways of learning and teaching together, and we had all agreed to try for an official certificate at the end - developing our own elaborate training concepts and passing two exams, a written and a practical one.

Everybody had spend the previous weeks revising everything we had learned during this year; we met online to discuss possible exam questions, exchanged text messages, encouraged each other to continue learning or to take breaks, depending on what felt right for us. The night before I had spend nearly two hours revising strategies for facing interruptions and irritations in an online session with one of my classmates. This felt weird, challenging, scary and important.

One important way of motivating ourselves and each other throughout this was reminding ourselves of the guiding symbols we had chosen for our path to becoming and acting as trainers. Mine had been a labyrinth from the very beginning, woven into a sentence that had formed in my mind: "I trust the labyrinth. Along the track of its signs I find the clear depth of its secret center." I cannot tell you how much your photos, your labyrinth pebbles resonated with me along this journey - and now, on this hot summer afternoon, as I was pacing to and fro revising, I went downstairs to check for mail - discovered a notification from the post office from the previous day, to come and fetch something there - went across the bridge in the blazing sun, lost in thought and learning - was handed a heavy parcel, wondered, wondered what it might be - and then held this perfect book full of wonder and consolation in my hands, full of labyrinths, full of my symbol and path, and my heart was beating and my sould fluttering as I walked back home for the exam, holding the book in my hands, knowing that everything would be okay.

posted 12th January 2023

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