Tag: writing

Writing Pigeon

Francisco_de_Goya_y_Lucientes_-_Witches'_Sabbath_(The_Great_He-Goat) 1798
Witches’ Sabbath by Goya (1798)

One month ago, I said, “I want to write a story about a witch.”

Detail of Departure of the Witches by Falero (1878)


From then on, I sat at my computer and squelch-squerched through the internet mire to glean a little about these terrible ladies of legend and folklore. I found an excess of images of either seductress or crone (mainly seductress – no surprise there), along with pages of charms and herbal remedies, broomsticks and familiars; but I found no story.

Salvator Rosa-witches at incarnations
Witches at their Incantations by Salvator Rosa (about 1646)



Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys Morgan Le Fay
Morgan Le Fay by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys 1864

I talked to a practising Wiccan with whom I work. I read about black magic and white magic and sort-of-grey magic and fluff bunnies, but still had a cursor flashing the seconds away on a blank .doc.





Many times, I bemoaned to my wife: “Witches are a pain in the arse.”

Jason and Medea by John William Waterhouse (1907)


I even set it aside and wrote another piece. When I returned to it, guess what? Yes, there it was! The cursor still waiting for my input.

Maximilian Pirner Hecate
Hecate by Maximilian Pirner (1901)


Then the pigeon came.

It had come to me before – not the same one, because we are talking many years ago. I was in College and the bird was sitting in the tree outside my classroom window during a test. It did the same thing a week ago as it did back then, and with that in my head, I started typing.

The story is now finished. Maddie, a witch, has been conjured in a fiction dark. And a lesson has been relearned: Just write, because the act of writing will tempt the story onto the page and save your partner weeks of listening to your laments.

Happy halloween

Writing about thinking about writing the next novel.

Luckily, there are thoughts inside my head.  Those that have been in there a while have put their feet up, and are either stroking their pipes or stoking the cats curled on their laps (or should that be…).  The recent thoughts have no such intentions.  I have plots whirling; twists of plots twirling; six characters swirling, one of which is dancing with swords, (oh, that will not end happily); beginnings bullying; conclusions in denial; chapters clamouring; scenes holding their breath to get all the attention. I have to release these thoughts; these children; these ingredients into the pot.

So I have dragged out the Cauldron of Doom (otherwise known as a Word doc named Notes), given it a clean with a moist cloth and lit a fire.  When the pot is hot enough, I shall add my thoughts, season the broth with terror and dread, then simmer for twenty days, stirring occasionally.

This is not the cauldron of Doom.  This is the Gundestrup Cauldron.  If I had a Cauldron of Doom it would look like this.
This is not the Cauldron of Doom.  This is the Gundestrup Cauldron.  If I had a Cauldron of Doom it would look like this.

While we wait, find out more about the Gundestrup Cauldron, by clicking on the next word recipe