Saturday, 12 December 2020
Some weeks are harder than others.
This week has not been easy. Why? So many reasons, not least being the realisation of the permanence of death. It's always there. It doesn't go away. There is no re-run. Trying to work through a year of coming to terms with loss, well, it's hard. The weather inside my head this week has been a fierce, harsh storm, but through it all I have been moving slowly, trying ( and failing a bit) to be kind to myself. And also trying to work. Books have been both harbour and storm as I read by the fire, The Dark is Rising sequence. This week it has been the end of the Greenwitch and most of The Grey King. I was trapped in the pages this morning. Susan Cooper is astonishing. I read these books as a child and it was part of what made me a reader. Part of what led me to find that books can be a harbour for the soul in turbulent times.
I've been working, or trying to work, mostly on the Book of Birds, but also aware that time is drawing near for delivery of what passes as a manuscript for The Space Between. There's still full funding to be achieved, though we inch closer.
Meanwhile The Unwinding has been born again in a special gift edition. This one is very like the pledged version, the original special, so the cover again has no words on, well, not the front at least. But lift the flap of the dust jacket and you will find beneath a new short piece of writing called The Spape of a Bear.
And you may notice that there is also a foiled fish, delicately traced on the cover. Endpapers also, and now a ribbon to keep the place of the reader.
I've been signing labels to go with the books ( I can sign the books at Solva, and dedicate, but not everywhere, so, labels it has to be. And while I have been signing I've been listening to My Albion by Zakia Sewell. I need to listen to this again, it's so sharply filled with wisdom and finding. Also listening to Josie Long's Short Cuts, which is a brilliant and beautiful adventure into sound.
Far away across the sea my Child has her first book out to submission with publishers. I've read the beginnings and the marvellous imaginings of it, and it's a heartsong that I love. And she's making things. Beautiful things. In between writing. I think she's only one of these small fellows left, but am curious to see what else she makes. You can see her work on instgram.
I dedicated The House Without Windows to Hannah.
Anyway, it's Christmas soon, but before that is Winter Solstice. To celebrate I will give away a doodled on special edition of The Unwinding. Not sure what or where I will doodle yet, but there will be a key, and leaves around the pages. To be in with a chance of winning this, and it will be one of the new specials, then leave a comment on this post. If you can then share if you've twitter, or instgram or facebook, a link to this post, or to the Space Between Pledge Page. Every share will help to achieve the target and ensure publication. If you don't do social media, then just tell a friend..... but anyway, leave a comment then check back on 21st December to see who has won. I will try to wrap it beautifully for whoever wins and find things to thread through the pages, curious bookmarks.
The weather in my head is more peaceful now. Storms come and go. Outside it feels later than it is as the nights grow and the light receeds. The Dark is Rising, but this is a dark I enjoy, when skies are clear. The moon is the slightest sliver of a silver old-moon, and the stars, the stars are bright. A bear flies over my house, keeping the souls safe within, showing us which was the wind blows.
Peace to you, and thank you for reading. Tell me, what do you do to weather a storm? Is it a book, a craft, music you turn to?