I’ve not been here for a while, so I thought I’d give you a quick update on what I’ve been up to since I last wrote a post. After I helped with her end-of-Winter tidy-up in the garden, Mum and I didn’t do much more in it for a while because of the foul weather – even our walks became a bit of an ordeal! I usually love our walks across the fields and around the lanes hereabouts; there are always lots of scents to investigate, rabbits to chase after and village gossip to catch-up on with my friend Pickles (yes he’s a cat!) but all that wind and rain took all the fun away – I always got soaked and filthy with mud – it took Mum ages to get me clean again – not funny at all when you’re a small white dog!
Then we got distracted by our village project – the setting up of a mini-Library, in the abandoned public telephone box in the centre of the village. It was given a lick of paint, shelves were put up and then everyone donated books – it’s nicely up and running now, with a really good turnover and selection of books – just in the nick of time – before we were all locked down with COVID19 which brought everything to a halt! It’s been a real life-line for those humans in the village who, like Mum, because of her asthma, have had to be extra careful.
After that, Mum and I got very preoccupied with researching ‘King’s Pawn,’ which is Part I of her new novel ‘Renegade’ – the sequel to her award-winning novel ‘Renaissance – The Fall and Rise of a King.’ (you can check it out here on her website). As you can see, I looked over her notes and helped her to search out reference books. I keep her company once she starts writing – she likes to run her ideas past me – some of the awful things she tells me that humans got up to, way back during the Wars of the Roses, really flummuxes me – it tires me out thinking about their bad behaviour! So a quick nap is often in order. The story is coming along very well though. After a wacking 22,000 words, Mum has at last got young Francis Lovell to Middleham Castle (after quite an eventful three-week journey North) and his first meeting with his new guardian the great Earl of Warwick – you know the chap – Richard Nevill, he’s known to most people who did English history at school, as ‘The Kingmaker.’ This kingmaker was a very canny fellow, having got his hands on the richest orphan in the country,(Francis was heir to two of England’s most important noble families, the Lovells and the Beaumonts) he promptly married him off to his own niece, making sure that not only Francis’ inheritance, but also the boy and the man he would become, stayed within the Nevill sphere of influence. (I’m sounding like a historian – this researching is rubbing off on me!) Mum is having fun writing about that particular event; but more particularly, about the meeting between Francis and prince Richard of Gloucester, (he becomes King Richard III – Mum tells his story in an completely unique way in her novel – if the 15th Century and the Wars of the Roses interests you – take a look, it’s available on Amazon) during a very tense situation, which marks the start of their close friendship. It’s making some colourful reading. Dad and Mum’s sister, who are her ‘initial readers,’ are very caught-up in the story and are continually badgering her for what happens next. I know, but I’m not allowed to say – except that Richard rescues young Francis from a very sticky situation – resulting in a bit of hero worship. I’ll get in trouble if I give away any more!
In addition to that, Mum’s got published again! This time in an anthology called ‘A Chorus of Seven.’ This is a collection of short stories and poems Mum’s put together with six other authors. She’s contributed four poems and three short stories to it. One is a ghost story (a very creepy one, that made my fur stand on end!) Another has a military background, with an anti-hero as the main character and the third story is about a young Henry VIII. Mum’s poems are a mixture – two take a look into the past and the other two are about Nature and Love. A Chorus of Seven is a lovely collection, written by seven very talented authors. ‘The Scriveners’ have just celebrated seven years together and Mum and the rest of the group thought it was about time to show the Reading World some of their work. The book is something to dip in and out of with a cup of coffee or when you just want to relax and take some time out. There’s something to entertain everyone – all the genres are there – stories of childhood, humour, murder, mystery, romance, historical fiction, the supernatural and the poetry covers the whole range of human experiences. Check it out – it’s available through Online Retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play etc.
And finally, the sun came out again, Spring bloomed everywhere. We were enjoying our walks again (that’s me and Dad) and we were back in the garden! That, and the COVID crisis, resulted in our spending an enormous amount of time there! I’ve never seen the garden looking so tidy! In fact Mum rather got the bit between her teeth and completely redesigned the back garden. We’ve got new flower borders all round the walls. A brand new rose arch with a new lavender and rose border on the edge of the back terrace and a new ‘green’ bed in the shady corner of the garden. The front got a good spruce up too! – it was all very exhausting and I need to take a few ‘time out’ resting periods to recuperate. I think that just about brings me up to date now. I promise not to take so long in writing my next post.