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.
It is Friday a perfect day for Flash Fiction. I am sharing a snippet of Mathilde’s Book of Shadows. Mathilde is the first witch to begin The Ellfaenian Journals. This was found on a loose leaf of damaged parchment browned with age and stained with blots of ink.
Mathilde’s Book of Shadows: The Wrong Choice
(illegible date caused by water damage)
What have I done? I knew I was dealing with powerful magic, a raw, wild energy; the howling wind and churned sea warned me but now I see the consequences, I am aware of my naivety and foolishness of meddling with fate because of my deep, overwhelming love for him.
Snuggled against Eldrid’s chest, I could hear his heart beat in time with mine. strong and steady. Relaxed and at peace while he holds my hand tight connecting him to me. It is at odds with the man I saw earlier when sweat gathered on his forehead, his heart was frantic while his muscular limbs thrashed until I woke him. When his eyes finally focused on mine I was struck by the fear they held. When I demanded he tell me what was wrong, my heart chilled and tightened as he confirmed my worst fear. There is evil in Ellfaen; it is gathering and refuses to let him go. Waiting in the shadows, it pounces when he falls asleep The evil, he describes as The Dark, has followed him home.
Has he been given the gift of life in exchange for the curse of daily nightmares and terror? I created this situation; it is my responsibility to correct my interference but how?
My experience with this month’s Camp Nanowrimo has been disasterous; the beginning was hopeful but it plummeted into a slump with minimal words written, leading to a full blown case of Writer’s Block. I had time and space since WW, aka my husband the writer’s widower, was away but I couldn’t settle; procrastination kicked in and my ability to focus on The Ellfaenian Journals ceased. The more I tried, the less the words and ideas came. I was contemplating giving up. Until now. My daughter came home wanting to watch the film How to train a dragon so we snuggled down with nibbles and the dogs to cuddle. The journals may not be about dragons but they play a key part in my MC’s childhood and the film would have appealed to her. It did its magic. By immersing myself in a film she would love I was able to hear her voice again. Scenes were unleashed and ideas ready to burst on to the screen in my mind like Toothless the night fury’s flame.
I should be typing frantically towards my WIP for Camp NaNoWriMo but instead, I have been distracted by picture books.
I stumbled across a folder full of ideas, illustration attempts (they deserve the rubbish bin not hoarded) and drafts of children’s stories I wrote when my daughter was little. Some are ok and could have potential, others just made my daughter splutter with laughter – not the reaction I hoped for. A story about tadpoles in a jar anyone? Since then more ideas have formed; colourful magic, dragons, enthusiastic infants on exciting days out and clouds are filling my mind. This is not helpful when the current scenes in my WIP are based on teenage angst. It is tempting to focus on pre-school fun rather than current project. The arrival of Children’s Writers and Artists Yearbook 2018 has not helped either. How do you get back on track when your mind gallops in another direction?
I need a kick to go back to The Ellfaenian Journals. Amber has waited long enough!
With my young nephew and niece visiting next week I may indulge in the beauty of picture books for a little longer.