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

 

Guest Post by Jennifer Gilmour: #AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!

Grand Opening for #AbuseTalkForum

A while ago, I had the pleasure of reading Jennifer Gilmour’s debut novel Isolation Junction and she visited the blog to discuss her novel and her work as an advocate against domestic abuse. Today she is here again with an update and the news #AbuseTalk Forum on Twitter is now open.

 


#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

 

Click here for up to date information today’s virtual opening event for the #AbuseTalk Forum.

 

Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.

 

 

 

A bit about my journey:

My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.

Since this publication, I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews, and Twitter feed.

My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still, far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.

I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, its opened many doors, its connected many people, its supported lots of individuals and it has created a community.

I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.

I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.

In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.

 

Why have I opened a forum?

I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk, I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. Thats when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.

I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.

 

 

How do I access the new forum?

You can head there right now… www.jennifergilmour.com/community

 

PLEASE NOTE: You will only see the news and updates forum until you are registered, once you are registered you will see the main Abuse Talk Forum appear with all the topics and discussions.

 

Who is the forum for?

Anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse.

 

It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more.

 

Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.

 

How much does it cost to be a member?

Its FREE! All you have to do is register at: https://jennifergilmour.com/AbuseTalkForum/?wpforo=signup

 

There will be a VIP Membership area but that is opening later on, updates will be given and this will be just £10 a year with a bag full of offers, discounts and more. This is you really need that extra security and community.

Sign up for notification of this service here: http://eepurl.com/dor93f

 

I would like to sponsor the forum, how do I do this?

The forum is open for sponsorship to cover the maintenance and time it takes to moderate the posts.

 

Anyone can be a silent sponsor for £1 or £3, scroll to the bottom of this page: https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

 

For businesses/charities/organisations/advocates etc please contact me for availability – contact@jennifergilmour.com

 

Sponsors will receive a unique badge to place on their website and social media to show that they support the forum.

 

Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…

#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.

 

Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.

Not in the UK? That’s not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the timezones most used.

 

Find out more here:

https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

 

Need to know more?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at contact@jennifergilmour.com

 

Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you – it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

 

Video on how to register and see how the visibility of the forum is altered with the registration- https://youtu.be/YtImyAHffDE

 

Jennifer Gilmour