Summer Solstice Blessings

Summer Solstice Blessings

Midsummer is here. My plan to watch the sunrise to celebrate the summer solstice failed because the duvet was too hard to resist and Elsie gave me ideas I had to nurture before they flitted away. I am amazed how quick words and ideas disappear once you open your eyes in the morning. So this is a quick post to say

Summer Solstice Blessings

 

and count my blessings.

Solstice Blessings

 

  • it is a sunny day so had my first cup of tea outside which tasted delicious
  • feel energised and more enthusiasm for The Ellfaenian Journals
  • have time to write today
  • my hand is getting easier
  • Percy is still alive

 

Happy Summer Solstice and happy writing!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Introducing Percy – my new writing companion and inspirational tree. 

After much thought and mithering, I finally have my very own bonsai tree – Percy. He is a pepper tree and I hope he realises I do not have green fingers and he needs to be strong while I learn his requirements.

Inspirational little tree
Percy the pepper tree (Xanthoxylum piperitum)

I love trees and The Ellfaenian Journals are inspired by the quirky unique trees I have seen in reality or in a photos. They all have a tale to tell even tiny ones like Percy. My hope is as he grows and develops so will the word count of the journals. Fingers crossed he will survive.

If you are a bonsai expert any useful tips would be much appreciated. The responsibility of Percy feels more pressing than the responsibility of looking after Nigel, my dog. At least he can tell me what he wants.

 

Happy writing.

 

Time slipping by

Where is time going? I need a pause button to catch up and my hand to stop screaming every time I touch a keyboard or hold phone for my than 5 minutes.

Word count for WIP in minus figures due to editing for 2 competitions. The standards will exceed my capability but I will try all the same.

 

#feelingdisheartened #beingslow #painwinning

P.S Dear Universe,

A winning scratchcard would be wonderful!  I need to buy new laptop and updated Dragon – my current one is screeching under the strain of running more than one program. It matches by writing speed.

Thanks

 

May Catch Up and plans for June 

May slipped by and June has been here a week so it must be time for a quick cuppa and a catch-up.

May catch up and June plans
Time for a cuppa

Writing

 

Though I have made inroads to my WIP with nearly 50,000 words, I began to be overwhelmed by the disjointed scenes my brain had conjured and my inability to arrange them in a coherent chronological order. I found myself caught in a writing slump. Luckily, I heard that Shaunta Grimes was doing a course – ninja write a long (NWAL) and this was an opportunity to revisit my synopsis and characters; to get back on track. It is early days but I feel more upbeat and determined to finish Amber’s tale and a secret project, one Elsie is excited about.

My plans to be organised for the beginning of  NWAL fell apart with an injured hand and then a weekend hospital admission. Though my hand is better than before, physio and painkillers are the way forward to get it back to full use. If I was slow before, I am on snail pace now.

 May catch up

This is the month for taking stock and moving forward towards my goals.

I plan to

  •  follow NWAL’s mantra to read and write every day
  • enter two writing competitions
  • solidify my characters and backstories
  • arrange my scenes into chronological order – a big task
  • research settings for Amber and Willow
  • research Whitby history and folklore
  • delve into the world of witchcraft and Druidry
  • Make mood boards for my main characters

Books read in May

 

Some unique and wonderful books have been read in May including my favourite of the year and possibly my lifetime.

  • The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton. I was eager to read this after reading the short story Alive. It did not disappoint.
  • The Things We Should have Said by Rachel Burton.
  • We Others by Sue Bentley. This book has got under my skin for its imagery, setting, and characters.  If you love fantasy and magical realism find a copy and enjoy. My review on Duvet Dwellers Books is here. It is Elsie’s favourite book too so I apologise in advance if it is talked about a lot.
  • The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper. A romance it has a unique premise of a woman aptly named Melody sings when anxiety kicks in. It’s funny, heartbreaking and clever. There is an accompanying playlist to give the reading experience an added layer.

June reads

 

  • The Date by Louise Jensen
  • Every Note played by Lisa Genova
  • Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson
  • The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney
  • Book Towns by Alex Johnson

 

What are you up to this month? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading and writing.

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Practical research: Willow’s herbs and garden in June

Willow's garden in June

When I began to develop Willow Anderson, an important character in the journals,  I knew as a  witch and proprietor of The Enchanted Emporium herbs and remedies would play a significant part of her life. What better way to get into her psyche than grow some myself. Last summer I took cuttings from the plants of green-fingered friends and miraculously grew. Elsie and friends must have helped because I have the anti-Midas touch when it comes to gardening. Some are now in bloom.

Flowers blooming in June

Nature and their gardens are important to all the witches in the journals bar one, so what better way to research this aspect of their lives than record the cycle of my own fledgling garden and others on Instagram, please follow #willowswitchsgarden to find out more. Or even better use the hashtag #willowswitchsgarden so we can be nosy and see the wonders in your garden.  June has brought a border of colour.

 

For those who love herbs and their uses, I have found a wonderful site full of useful information  and I was impressed I had accidentally planted many of the recommended herbs – http://www.flyingthehedge.com/2016/05/10-herbs-every-witch-should-have.html

What are your favourite flowers and plants in June? Or if you have any herbs or tips you think Willow should know, I would love to hear from you below.

 

More soon.

Happy writing and gardening!

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog