Book Review: Forest Bathing Retreat by Hannah Fries

I was drawn to this book because of my love of trees and my research for my WIP where forests play a big role. I have always found being surrounded by trees calming and a place I like to retreat so Forest Bathing sounds ideal.

Book Review: Forest Bathing Retreat by Hannah Fries

 

Book review for Forest Bathing Retreat
Forest Bathing Retreat cover

Title: Forest Bathing Retreat

Author: Hannah Fries

Genre: Non-fiction, spirituality

Publisher: Storey Publishing

Release Date: 4th September 2018

Blurb

People have been retreating to the woods for quiet meditation, and inspiration for centuries, and recent research finds that time spent in the forest doesn’t just feel good but is, in fact, good for you. Inspired by the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, poet Hannah Fries invites readers to bask in the company of trees, whether in a city park or a rural nature preserve.

Fries combines her own reflections and guided mindfulness exercises with a curated selection of inspirational writing from poets, naturalists, artists, scientists, and thinkers throughout the centuries and across cultures, including Japanese haiku masters, 19th century European Romantics, American Transcendentalists, and contemporary environmentalists. Accompanied by beautiful forest photography, Forest Bathing Retreat is a distinctive gift that invites frequent revisiting for fresh insights and inspiration

Author Page: http://hannah-fries.squarespace.com/

My thoughts

Forest Bathing is based on the idea walking among trees is good for our health and soul. This book is full of stunning photographs, quotes, poems and facts relating to trees . I love the new words I have learnt by reading this book. Do you know what psithurism means? This book will tell you. It guides you through the woodland encouraging you to relax, meditate and notice surrounding nature using all senses so you can learn from trees.
As many of you know I have struggled with poetry but books like these open my mind to them and show me, they can be a wonderful way to express ideas and feelings.
I would love a physical copy for future reference dip to into when woodlands are too far away and inaccessible. As someone who relies on wheels to explore finding accessible woods is difficult and this book places a little piece of their magic in your hands and home.

Would I recommend?

It is perfect for fellow dendrophile* as a gift and I would recommend it for photos and quotes alone.

Thank you NetGalley and Storey Publishing for allowing me an advanced copy to read in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Do you love the forest? Share your favourite tree related poem or quote below.

Happy reading!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

* someone who loves trees and forests

 

Welcome to Synopsis Hell

I thought translating an idea and characters into the first draft was hard but I have discovered writing a synopsis for your book is a writer’s version of Hell.

Writing a synopsis: Writer's version of Hell
Welcome to Hell

How do people do it and do it well? I was lulled into the belief I had my synopsis all wrapped up but my 15 page ramble of plot points is not a synopsis, it is an outline and I need to condense it to a page. Yes one page. I have lots of characters jostling to be heard, two threads of a plot; one in based in our reality while the other is in Ellfaen with Amber where she is trapped as well as backstory of the fantastical land. There is also Glenn’s fight to face his demons and try to guide her. My attempts so far are too long and I am unsure if they make any sense.

Links to help with synopsis writing

As usual I have sought help online. I thought I would share, in case you are facing the same dilemma.

https://fabricatingfiction.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/hook-an-agent-part-iii-the-dreaded-synopsis/

http://www.firstnovelsclub.com/2013/04/WriteANovelSynopsis.html?m=1

https://www.awelltoldstory.com/publishing-writing-book-synopsis-5-tips/

http://www.marissameyer.com/blogtype/6-steps-for-writing-a-book-synopsis/

If you have been through Hell and back, how did you tackle it? Any tips?

I am under pressure as time is ticking for our visitors arrival. WW is frantically cleaning and stressed while deadlines for this opportunity of a place on a writing course and the picture book competition are looming. As you can tell a tidy house is not priority for me. A bit of dust has never hurt anyone. I am consumed by the need to write but being on PC is not a recipe for happy marriage so I am limited to sneaky moments when no one is looking.

It is time for a cuppa and a break of the diet for at least a ginger nuts or two.

Happy writing!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Nano hours: 13

Word count: 48,121 (somehow I have lost words on Scrivener – never a good sign)

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

 

Mathilde’s Book of Shadows: The Wrong Choice #FlashFiction

Mathilde's Book of Shadows #Flashfiction

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.

Flash fiction: Mathilde's Book of Shadows

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?

 

Have a good weekend and happy writing

Kate Kenzie's Blog

 

 

Writer’s Block – all I needed was Dragons.

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.

Happy writing!