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Last Words

Friday, 28 August 2020

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I've been tidying my studio a little this week, walking, thinking, trying to move forward. And over the last few months I have begun something new. Yesterday saw the launch of a whole new book. 

It's not yet made.

It will be published by Unbound, maybe this time next year.

It's small, but hopefully quite thick, and we are learning the shape and design of its heart.

This is most certainly…

The Silent Unwinding - Readers' Gallery

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

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The Unwinding and its partner, The Silent Unwinding, have been out in the world for a while now. I've been working away in mine, because over the weeks a new book began to grow. But that, for now, is another story, though hard to describe what it will be. Curiously, as a result, most of what has been worked into my Silent Unwinding has been words.

Others have responded with words, images, ink…

The day after the day after publication day

Saturday, 11 July 2020

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There is something new and beautiful abroad. Over the past few months I have been working with amazing and talented people including The Bookshop Band and Number Seven Dulverton. 

Now there is a film, live from today. I had hoped to embed it here but can't find the way, but here is a link to where you will find it. Be sure to turn the sound up. 

Today I should have been in Number Seven in…

As The Unwinding makes its way out into the wild places.....

Friday, 3 July 2020

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This week copies of The Unwinding have been arriving in the homes of people who have pledged. I have yet to see a copy of The Silent Unwinding out there, but I have had many wonderful responses from readers, including a poem from Jennifer Yates. She says that it was an immediate response to the book, and I think it really rather wonderful that already it begins to form chain-links of creativity, rope…

Waiting, waiting....

Sunday, 28 June 2020

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and copies of The Unwinding have begun to creep out into the wild......

This is such a difficult time for bookshops, publishers, readers. 

The books were a little delayed in their printing, and delivery. A couple of bookshops who had pledged for large amounts received their books direct from the warehouse. My author copies were delayed, as were those that were delivered to the publisher, but…

And then there were three

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

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I've been so longing to write these words- 'today my advance copies of The Unwinding arrived in the post'. But actually they arrived a few days ago and I have been too busy to reach my computer. I have been painting though, and this is good. It's what I like to do most I think, appart from sit and watch cloud shadows over land, the tide ebb, flow, birds fly.

I've been painting a piece of work…

Waiting, Unwinding and Acts of Rebellion

Monday, 25 May 2020

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This may be the last posting here before the printed, bound, finsihed copies of The Unwinding arrive, first in the hands of the publisher, then to my hands, and then to you.

Today I have skylarks to paint for someone who has waited far too long in these curious times. And I have been Unwinding. There is so much to do, and my list doesn't get shorter and I need to clear it so I can take some time…

Playing with The Silent Unwinding

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

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The Unwinding must be printed now. It went to press last week. And it now has a German and a Romanian edition. And I have been continuing to play with The Silent Unwinding proof pages, learning lessons.

I encourage others to just doodle in their copy when it arrives, not be scared, and then sit in front of a spread and worry about what it will look like, when it is finished, rather than enjoying…

Unwinding in the age of uncertainty

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

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Today The Unwinding goes to press. 

Soon it will be printed, bound, boxed and shipped. Soon there will be signing, packing and posting. Soon. 

In these uncertain times it is difficult to fix on precise dates. But we have plans.

In these uncertain times, these times of bee-quiet and birdsong, I have discovered that I am blessed to live in a place of peace and space where I can walk from…

How we are working

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

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It;s a curious thing this social isolation. It limits some things, but for the most part my working life continues as usual. There are plusses for me, as meetings happen online and I hope will continue to do so afterwards, cutting down travelling time, meaning I spend more time in my studio. And other things grow, new ideas, ways of working.

My days are still spent in walking the dogs ( and cats…

Small miracles in times of stress

Friday, 20 March 2020

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I'm so sorry for the silence on the progress of The Unwinding. Times have not been good, and we are all dealing with incredible challenges. I've been away from home now since February, only touching base for an  evening before returning to Broadway. My father was ill, and on 7th March he met death with a brave heart and no fear. Our family are still reeling from this and struggling to cope with trying…

A notebook, with illustrations.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

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In the book world when you present a project to a publisher it is usually fully formed. You write a synopsis, then you create the book. These days my projects have evolved as they grow between commission and completion. It takes a rare publisher to give you the freedom for an idea to evolve, but I have that freedom with Hamish Hamilton and with Unbound.

With Hamish Hamilton The Lost Spells was…

Cover story; warning, contains mild jeopardy.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

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We are nearing the end of the design process for The Unwinding. I't 6 am now, and I have been awake since 5 am messaging Alison, who lives in Australia. 

Last week she sent me an email:

Hi Jackie,

I've just noticed on the cover image scan for The Unwinding of the woman in the red dress, that the scan appears to jump – there's an obscure line running through it which is an issue because I think…

Preparing for print

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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Things are getting more exciting now as we move towards the final stages of print. I'm away from home, and as a result had a quiet and lovely meeting with John from Unbound in Jaffe and Neale bookshop in Chipping Norton. I'd phoned ahead to ask them to order a book for me. I had stayed at Nicola Davies' house near Crickhowell a few days back and fallen in love, deeply and fiercely with this book…

Late nights, early mornings, working.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

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The Unwinding is in the stage now that is known as 'final designs'. Alison has been working so hard. The text has been copy edited. Pdfs of the document have been winging their way through the virtual labyrinth of the web. Revisions have been made. It's almost there for sign off and print and the publication date is 17th September BUT those who have pledged for it not only get listed in the index…

Almost there

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

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I have almost finished the artwork for The Lost Spells and we are in the closing stages with The Unwinding. The sun is shining, and today I will be painting gorse, which is wonderful, and just coming strongly into flower. Also, there's a huge gorsebush in my back garden, so, not so far to go to research my subject matter. Soon the hillside here will glow golden with the flowers and the air will be…

Secrets, and other things.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

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Secret came out on Monday that all this time I have been working away in my studio on another book with Robert Macfarlane.It will be published in October, IF I get the artwork finished. So, as we move into the final design stages of The Unwinding, where there is little for me to do other than marvel at the work Alison has been doing, I am frantically trying to finish all the artwork for The Lost Spells…

Update

Thursday, 16 January 2020

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The weather outside is fierce and blowing a gale, bending the trees, throwing birds about. And the weather inside? Well, if I am honest it's not brilliant. I've had problems with my ears since before Christmas, but this weekend it escalated and I now look like a boxer and feel like I have been  punched in the head! The fire is lit, and the animals seem to know that I need their company alongside the…

The in-between time

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

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The day is moving towards an early dusk. It's a kind of colourless day, and I have been quietly painting, listening to The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman. I'm working on something that I can't talk about, can't show the work, but soon will be able to, and the deadline is such that I was able to take just a few days off over Christmas to visit my parents. A five hour drive to the Cotswold hills…

Making the best that we can, of everything.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Another week, and work has been hard, but on Monday Alison sent through new design pages and it's wonderful to see how The Unwinding is winding together to become the book it can best be. And it's also been a tough week for me as I watch politics turn more right wing, but this isn't the place for politics. This is a place for light.

It is such a delight to receive the work from Alison, to see…

Making the best that we can, of everything.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Another week, and work has been hard, but on Monday Alison sent through new design pages and it's wonderful to see how The Unwinding is winding together to become the book it can best be. And it's also been a tough week for me as I watch politics turn more right wing, but this isn't the place for politics. This is a place for light.

It is such a delight to receive the work from Alison,…

Making the best that we can, of everything.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

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Another week, and work has been hard, but on Monday Alison sent through new design pages and it's wonderful to see how The Unwinding is winding together to become the book it can best be. And it's also been a tough week for me as I watch politics turn more right wing, but this isn't the place for politics. This is a place for light.

It is such a delight to receive the work from Alison, to see…

Like a badger with a teapot.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

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The wind is rising outside and I am struggling with the political landscape of this land, but finding escape into books, both making and reading them.

So, picture me now, in my kitchen. The animals are all sleeping on sofa, chairs, a dog bed in front of the stove. I am weraing cashmere fingerless gloves, wrapped in a scarf Jan Jan from Number Seven Dulverton knitted for the book launch of The Wild…

How to launch a book.

Monday, 9 December 2019

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There will be three launches for The Unwinding as three bookshops pledged for bookshop visits to support the publication of the book, Kennilworth Books, Number Seven Dulverton and Elementum Gallery.

 

I've been longing to talk about the first of these to be arranged, an Unwinding Retreat in Bossington Hall, with Number Seven Dulverton. Bossington Hall is a beautiful place, by the sea in…

What is The Silent Unwinding?

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

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When you work on a book it evolves over time. This book began in paintings made over years. Tweets around this time of year grew into a lullaby thread. I hadn't wanted to do an 'advent calendar', not being a fan of Christmas ( though I am thinking of doing a reverse one- that moves away from Christmas day to a place of safety where false jollity fades and light returns to the world).

Along the…

Because children are people too

Thursday, 28 November 2019

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This is a rare thing these days:

It is the manuscript for The Unwinding, written on a type writer. It also exhists as a digital formatted version for editing now. It began as thoughts, some moved into ink from pen, some straight to keys. Three different machines, two that belonged to my pa, one a new one I bought in Exter and from which I learned about miniscule and majuscule letters.

I…

'Kicking off design conversations'

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

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An email from Alison. We’d spoken at some length last week about design ideas. Then I had waited. Towards the end of the week I had sent a plaintive message, can I see anything yet? The message back was Alison laughing. Next week she said.

It’s never a good idea to check your email when you have to go to the post office, when you have to paint. But there it was. From Alison. To say she was sending…

Winding, unwinding, growing, shaping, learning.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

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Work today has been all wound around The Unwinding. Yesterday became a day of some panic as many of the files sent to Alison were the wrong file sizes. Too small. Not enough dpi! From the contact sheets she sent asking for higher res files it looked as if more than half the images were of not sufficient quality to be used in reproduction. This posed a problem with in excess of 1062 copies pledged…

Meditations and curious creatures.

Friday, 15 November 2019

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There's a curious down-time that happens at the close of a book. I'm home again, working on something, and in the week I have been home I have written an essay for something, thought about things, walked on the beach and left a stone....with gold leaf. The tide was out and I left it fairly high up the beach, but sedom discover what happens to the stones. Sometimes people get in touch to say they have…

Back to the source

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

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As I reach what will soon be the completion of The Unwinding I am reminded of where it began. It was a series of tweets, each night, a lullaby, wrapped around images that became something more.

Each night a moment of peace, an incantation, a wish.

And they grew into short stories that are to become, I hope, catalysts for dreaming. 

And some of the images are in the book, but others…

Getting Closer

Saturday, 2 November 2019

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It's Saturday, but every day seems like Friday, and I have travelled so many miles that I don't know what day of the week it is. I've been talking about The House Without Windows, signing books, being home for a brief time painting the secret thing and then away to London. And The House Without Windows is on the Waterstone's Book of the Year shortlist! How very amazing is that! Alongside the gorgeous…

On finishing a book

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

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Five weeks on the road, trying to write, paint, think, and now I am home, and have been for a week and in that time I have finished writing The Unwinding.

It comes in at 4 084 at the moment, and is now with my agent who is having a look, editing. Though she did say that she didn't feel that it needed much editing. I've honed it back, worked over and over, read it to the cats ( and dogs). Written…

Rosehips

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

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The Unwinding began in Dulverton, when I should have been writing the introduction for The House Without Windows. This past week I have been back in the house where the idea for the book began, writing, painting, listening to owls. My views from the windows have been those of trees and birds, and rain, after weeks of sunshine. 

On arrival I set myself up to paint in the kitchen. The house is small…

Beginnings and Endings

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

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That word 'deadline', it's a curious word to use. With books there is never only one deadline, and though it wounds final, fatal even, the deadline for delivery of text, images, is never really an ending, just another beginning. I'm moving towards the time when I need to deliver the words for The Unwinding. The book began in a small cottage in Dulverton. I had gone to the house a few days before doing…

A space and a place for writing

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

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Life can take unexpected turns at times. The past few days have been difficult, and have required me to be away from home at a time when I wished to be walking the landscape and clinging like a limpet to my studio space. Instead I am in England, learning different lessons, but also walking, and finding the space to write. Writing the Unwinding in the kind of circumstances the book is written for.…

Unwinding The Keeper of Lost Dreams

Monday, 2 September 2019

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The Unwinding follows a series of images, with curious imaginings and stories that are sometimes more questions than answers. There is space in the book where a reader needs to step, quietly if they wish, and the space offers respect for the imagination of the reader. Not everything is spelled out, clear in ink. Some things drift, elusive, into dream.

This small book begins with a woman. She…

How the time goes

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

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The world where I live is beautiful, no one season more so than another, but now is the time when heather scents the air and fledge falcons call from the sky, begging to hang on to their childhood, be fed by their parents, not face the fierce world alone on fragile wings. Their calls tug at the heart of any mother, but the disregard of parent birds also is appreciated, from where I sit, painting.

Where I go to find peace to write

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

I live on the edge of the land, like to walk to the top of the hill to write. It gives me time to gather thoughts, takes me away from phone, brings me peace of mind. And often stories arrive on the feathered backs of ravens.

Here, where the air is scented with heather, I searched for the scent of snow, and the textures of love, to accompany two of the paintings of women and bears in The…

Where I go to find peace to write

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

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I live on the edge of the land, like to walk to the top of the hill to write. It gives me time to gather thoughts, takes me away from phone, brings me peace of mind. And often stories arrive on the feathered backs of ravens.

Here, where the air is scented with heather, I searched for the scent of snow, and the textures of love, to accompany two of the paintings of women and bears in The…

An Unwinding

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Last week took an unexpected turn when I was invited to be a guest on Woman's Hour, by Cressida Cowell, guest producer. Now, I love Woman's Hour. It has been the soundtrack of my working life (though since it moved to the morning I think it should be renamed Woman's Forty Five Minutes), but, well...... it's a long way to London. And it just happened to fall at a time when I had quite a lot of work…

An Unwinding

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

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Last week took an unexpected turn when I was invited to be a guest on Woman's Hour, by Cressida Colwell, guest producer. Now, I love Woman's Hour. It has been the soundtrack of my working life ( though since it moved to teh morning I think it should be renamed Woman's Fourty Five Minutes), but, well...... it's a long way to London. And it just happened to fall at a time when I had quite a lot of work…

The Winter Queen and her Fox Lover.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

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This posting is a thank you to all who have taken The Unwinding to 108% funded in three short weeks. You can continue to support the book, by pledging for a copy. I hope to have a publication date soon, and the cover image should be revealed around Chriistmas time. These first editions from Unbound are always special things and everyone who supports can choose to have their name indexed in the back…

A Pillow Book

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

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I've been blogging for years. Maybe before blogs were called blogs? I had a diary on my website, then a cat blog, called WeThreeCats . It was how I practiced writing, or rather, one of the ways.

One day I was emailed by a woman in America who said my writing reminded her of The Pillowbook of Sei Shonagan. I was intrigued. I bought the book and in its pages found such a beautiful thing. It's a thousand…

In the heat of summer, a cold tale.

Friday, 28 June 2019

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The Unwinding is a collection of images and stories worked over years. Many of these I have as high resolution files, the paintings themselves having long ago been sold. Some I have no files for, and so will rework. 

Returning from my travels, having won the Greenaway medal for The Lost Words I found myself to be in great need of unwinding. London was so full, with the ceremony, interviews, meetings…

Published
Publication date: July 2020
315% funded
1718 backers