I admit it, I’m a page-corner turner-overer*. I know this crime is almost equivalent to murder in the eyes of dedicated bookmark users, but I have my reasons.
Books are such tactile things; they feel good in your hands and all those wonderful words you are holding up have a pleasing weight. I like my books to feel like they are being read. The books I read over and over again know they are loved because the edges of their pages don’t lie flat, and the spines are flexible and crooked with affection. There might be the ring of a tea-mug stain on the cover. Or a red circle from a wine glass. The crevices might be crackly with sand where I’ve read on the beach, or the pages warped with water where I’ve read in the bath.
My favourite books have a physical personality all of their own and bear the scars of my love. (The one shown above is my copy of ‘Northern Lights’ by Phillip Pullman.)
Which was why I felt truly happy to find Continue reading “A Tatty Book is a Lovely Thing”
The old fairy stories are not known for their strong female roles. Off the top of my head, there seem to be four main types of women who constantly appear… Continue reading Shining Armour Loses its Shine
In which Dr Williams comes across another strange petition in the intriguing medieval Blackwood archives… Continue reading Begging Letter #4: Tree-Climbing Sheep
Witches don’t exist. Not the ones who fly around on broomsticks cackling at the moon and turning people into frogs. That was all made up by some nasty men to get rid of little old ladies who knew a lot about plants and healing, but not much about the Lord. Of course, that’s a very broad sweep over the subject because I can’t go into it now.
Continue reading “Can a Witch REALLY Turn You into a Toad?”
In which Dr Williams comes across another strange petition in the Blackwood archives… Continue reading Begging Letter #3: What shall we do with the Drunken Soldier?
Meanwhile, Silas was lobbing half of the faerie cake into the river.
“SNAPDRAGONS!” he shouted.
Tapping his foot on the lush grass of the riverbank, he waited for a response. The river was very deep and fast and he did not relish the idea of swimming across it. The very idea struck fear into him when he thought of his father’s hand disappearing into the raging grey water as it had carried him away once upon a time. Still, he was prepared to do it if…
“’Ere I am. Don’t be going getting your tunic in a twist,” came a familiar voice, gurgling up from the depths.
Continue reading “The Long Lost Secret to Good Fairy Cake”
“Just one question,” asked Mab. “Where will I be?”
“You will be looking after my horse,” replied Lady Christina, briskly. “Now, Silas, are you ready?”
She turned to the door.
“Wait,” Mab said, momentarily confused. “The horse is staying here. Are you telling me I must stay here too?”
Continue reading “Alternative Fact #4 from ‘Blackwood’”
THE NATURE OF TREES: FRIEND OR FOE?
It had been a long time since Christina neglected to pay her faerie toll when traveling through the woods so, for a moment, she dithered, unsure of how effective her new ring of invisibility was. Passing by the Toll Tree, she became a young girl with all her old fears, at the very birth of her quest. All the battles and triumphs between then and now seemed suddenly irrelevant, for this… this was the Black Wood, and home to Gallus, whose memory still turned Christina’s very core into an icicle.
Continue reading “Alternative Fact #3 from ‘Blackwood’”