Rather overlooked in the frantic rush to prepare for Christmas, the Winter Solstice is nevertheless a significant day for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. For this is the longest night of the year, which might sound a bit dark and gloomy, but means that from now on the days will lengthen and the nights shorten. So rejoice - because the light is returning! Slowly and surely, like a new book being created word by word, one day you'll wake up and find it's spring again.
For authors, I think this is the perfect time of year to pause and reflect, to hibernate and recover our creative strength for the new year ahead. Like the spring bulbs buried underground and preparing to thrust their green shoots through the earth, much creative work happens out of sight. New projects can grow from last year's bulbs, and - if we are patient and give them enough time - our ideas will soon ripen and bloom for others to enjoy.
Meanwhile, here are a few of my favourite solstice songs to help get you into the festive mood.
Jethro Tull's classic Solstice Bells:
A traditional (and quite long) song for the season - Solstice Evergreen by Spiral Dance:
For something a bit more carol like, What Night is This? by Katerina ElHaj:
The atmospheric Solstice Song by Denise Jordan Finlay from Blackwater Music:
Finally, a beautiful multi-faith tribute to the season by WitchesSky, set to music by Enya:
Katherine Roberts writes fantasy and historical fiction for young readers with a focus on legend and myth, and is starting work on a historical novel for adults with a spiritual theme. Find out more at www.katherineroberts.co.uk