Showing posts from 2023

Celebrating the Human Spirit: Sadness and Joy at the start of 2024 by Griselda Heppel

I had in mind to write something cheerful for the first day of 2024 because, heaven knows, there’s so much horror in the world right now and some counterbalance is desperately needed – and I will, bear with me – but some sad news arriving just before Christmas must take precedence.  Clare Weiner, friend and fellow Authors Electric blogger, died suddenly and unexpectedly on 7th December. Hard to believe that the author of a bubbly blogpost on the joys of the Art Shop in Oxford on 22 November could be gone, just like that, less than 3 weeks later.  Farewell Fifteen by Mari Howard Clare was one of those people whose creativity expressed itself in more ways than one. Writing as Mari Howard , she was about to launch Farewell Fifteen, book 3 in her Mullins family saga that pits scientific curiosity against traditional religious faith. She was also a poet, a painter and a photographer whose nature shots revealed a closely observing eye and strong sense of design. I first got to know Clare th

Elf King and the Names of Odin by Susan Price

As we reach mid-Winter darkness, and the feast of the Unconquered Sun, a blog full of old pagan gods, death and resurrection... Green Man boss below crossing at Rochester Cathedral.( Akoliasnikoff ) There were three men came out of the West, Their fortune for to try, And they have taken a solemn oath, John Barleycorn must die. They've ploughed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in, Thrown clods upon his head, And these three men took a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead. They've let him lie for a very long time Till the rains from heaven did fall, Then little Sir John sprung up his head And sore amazed them all. They've let him stand till midsummer's day Till he looked both pale and wan, Then little Sir John's grown a long, long beard And so become a man. They've hired men with the scythes so sharp To cut him off at the knee They've rolled him and tied him by the waist, Served him most barbarously... They've hired men with the crab-tree sticks

Midwinter Ride with the Wild Hunt - by Katherine Roberts

Wild Hunt by Peter Nicolai Arbo However you celebrate this season, midwinter feels like a magical time. It's a turning point of the year, the shortest day and longest night, after which light returns to the world. To mark this solstice, the ancient festival of Yule is still celebrated in many places, particularly where days are shortest in the northern hemisphere. It is a time for the dead to rejoin the living, for supernatural forces to awaken, and it is the traditional time for the Wild Hunt to ride. The Wild Hunt appears in many European folk tales. In Scandinavia, it is associated with Odin and the Norse legends. In Germany, it involves dragons and werewolves. Here in Britain, it features hounds, evil spirits, fairies and King Arthur... an irresistible combination for a fantasy author. In the first book of my Pendragon Legacy series, King Arthur's daughter Rhianna confronts the leader of the Wild Hunt, who in my version of the legend is Lord Avallach, fairy king of mystica

I blame Christmas by Sandra Horn

  Well, the run-up to Christmas always scrambles my brain, and this year is no exception! I ALWAYS write my blog on 19 th and set the date and time for 3.30 a.m. on 20 th , but yesterday, what with realising we hadn’t enough Christmas cards and that I’d forgotten to send gifts to one whole family and ended up scrabbling a next-day-delivery hamper together, I lost track. A thought that I’d forgotten something else niggled at me, but I was in bed and half asleep when I knew what it was. The blog! So here I am in the grey dawn, hoping I can get it in before it’s too late. Christmas, eh? In my version of Babushka she finds peace, but the reality for me is chaos!   What I’d really like to do is send out a general message to ‘all and sundry, near and far’ (King John’s Christmas, A A Milne) that I’ve gone away to a remote cottage on Bodmin Moor with no phone or internet connection and I don’t want to be found. I’ll be back after Epiphany. What a   Miserable Old Bat! I used to love it…I l