Greetings and welcome to my very first Newsletter.
Autumn, when tawny leaves wave goodbye to summer, marks the finale of a year – an ending, but this year for me, it is a new beginning – the start of a new venture. From now on I shall be sending out a monthly Newsletter with updates about my writing; intriguing stuff from my research and interesting places that my sidekick, Stanley, the West Highland terrier and I, get to visit and explore – usually historical and ancient. Sometimes, my long-suffering husband Alan tags along with us too.
It’s been a strange year. The restrictions of the first and second Covid Lockdowns kept me at home for the best part of two years. Thankfully, I live in a lovely village community that looks out for each other, and being located on the edge of the North Yorkshire Dales, I was able to take long walks in the beautiful countryside nearby… and of course the wonders of Zooming, Facetime and Social media gave me the ability to stay in touch with family, friends and fellow authors.
So what of my writing during this extraordinary time? Funnily enough it was quite productive. I am a member of ‘The Scriveners,’ a group of writers who support each other with honest and constructive feedback. There were seven of us. In the Summer of 2020, we celebrated seven years together. We decided to mark the anniversary by producing a collective volume of our writing. As a group we chose seven pieces from each author… and so work on ‘A Chorus of Seven began. The completed anthology was published early in 2021 and is now available on Amazon and most other online retailers. Much to our delight it has been very well received. Three short stories and four of my poems appear in it – some quite different from my usual writing style.
When restrictions came to an end, we (Alan, Stanley and I) treated ourselves to a long weekend in one of my favourite places, Winchester, the ancient capital of England, where history is to be found around every corner. There a visit to a recreated medieval garden behind the Great Hall of the castle, and my curiosity about the queen it was named after, namely Queen Eleanor, led me to the discovery of what I consider to be one of England’s greatest love stories – that of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile. I found it so poignant that I wote a Blog for my website. I shall be publishing it in the next couple of weeks. Interested – then check out my newly refreshed website; www.marlaskidmore.com – I’m sure you will find the story as moving as I did.
Finally, what about my second novel – ‘Renegade,’ the sequel to ‘Renaissance – The Fall and Rise of a King?’ Well…I did suffer from a short period of negativity – not writer’s block but what an author friend called ‘a writing funk’ – he also prodded me to get writing and I have pulled myself out of it – Thank you Edwin. Part I of Renegade ‘King’s Pawn,’ is two thirds written and the finish-line is on the horizon, I’ll be posting a new extract – look out for December’s Newsletter.
Until then stay safe and keep well.