A couple of good publication news items today, which are very cheering. First off, my short story, The singing road, has now been published at All Things Girl webzine and you can read it here. It's part of their Journey theme and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. I haven't really played with any kind of hint of magic realism before, so it was fun to do. I might even try it again one day - who knows ...
Also, another of my meditation poems has been accepted (after a thorough and much appreciated edit!) by The Short Story Library webzine - who also take poetry, so don't be confused by the name - and will appear there in April. Always good to have something to look forward to in the spring, say I.
Talking of literary matters, here's this morning's meditation - rather stronger than usual, but it reflects the section of Leviticus that I'm currently reading - never say the Bible is all sweetness and light, eh. I wish.
strange white hairs
in the skin,
raw flesh, mildew
Too much information
makes my own skin
If salt itself
how can we be clean
Meanwhile, keeping with the theological theme, happy Candlemas Day. Though actually it's tomorrow, but as this is the nearest Sunday, who's counting. To celebrate, Lord H and I duly took ourselves off to church, and discovered that Shackleford do it in style. We all had personal candles that we lit, blew out and lit again so many times during the service that it's a good job any passing aeroplanes hoping to land couldn't see in. There's something about a ritual that you don't do that often that's really profoundly comforting, though it did have a certain slow-motion disco glitterball feel to it. Takes me back to my Essex days, you know ... I particularly liked the emphasis on Candlemas being the link between Christmas and Easter, where we turn from thinking about the incarnation to thinking about sacrifice. All good stuff for a chilly Sunday morning indeed. Lord H and I also got the giggles during the reading of the banns, as Jenny (officiating priest) was having such difficulties attempting to interpret John's (executive priest) handwriting. Vicars are indeed like doctors - nobody has a clue what they're writing about. Anyway, fifteen years ago, we too had quite a rocky road through the banns, so we can sympathise. Really, it's a miracle we're actually legally married at all.
Oh and I've seen my first snowdrops of the season nestling nicely in the churchyard - so hurrah for that as they're my favourite flower of all. I love them.
Back at the coalface, I've added another 1000 words to Hallsfoot's Battle and am now at just over 86,000 words. I've finished the first section of Ralph's encounter with the mountain dogs, though there's more to come there. But I'm leaving it unresolved for now and will be turning my attention back to Simon and the mind-executioner the next time I pick it up again. Lord alone knows what will happen but something must. I'm hoping for a battle of wills and a mind-fight to the (almost) death, but there's as ever a huge gap between idea and what actually transpires, so we'll have to see what the keyboard thinks. Really, the keyboard should stop using me as a go-between and write its own ruddy novel - it would be great, I'm sure.
Tonight, I'll be watching the next episode of the Christianity programme (the crusades, the horses, the pain ...) and then cheering myself up with Lark Rise to Candleford. Just how Sundays should be, you know.
This week's haiku is a response to a comment from the lovely Becky, which I nearly managed to do but not quite - sorry, Becky!...
Next to the dawn sky,
the coins on my palm sparkle
a far poorer gold.
Today's nice things:
1. The singing road being published
2. Another poem acceptance
6. Writing Hallsfoot
Anne's website - humming its own merry tune today