One of the most fascinating things about putting out a book is seeing the images that have taken shape in the mind's eye of the artist designing the cover.
April Martinez read the book and designed the beautiful cover for Megge of Bury Down.
I gave no input, saw no early renderings, and was treated to the final cover the day the book was released. And I can only say how stunned I was that she captured so many iconic images from the story in one beautiful portrait.
Now April's at work on the book trailer, and I'm standing back and waiting for her eye and her hand to bring to the screen the sounds and images of Bury Down.
I'll share it with you as soon as she says, "Done!"
Tomorrow night, January 31, we will see a blue moon that's closer than it's been in 152 years. A supermoon tinged with red, this "blood" moon, will bring with it the feast of Imbolc and the story of a family of women healers and seers whose lives and work I hope you'll want to follow through The Bury Down Chronicles.
MEGGE OF BURY DOWN has been in the works and on my mind for seven years now, and the book is coming out on Imbolc, February 1st. That evening, a small gathering of my family and friends will have a celebratory supper and raise a glass of mead to the woman who brought the story to life on the page: Elizabeth Burton, publisher, at Zumaya Publications.
Liz has worked tirelessly, always with a wonderful sense of humor, to edit the book and bring it out on this special day.
Thanks, Liz. Here's to you!
January 21: Day One of Rowan Moon
The Rowan Moon is associated with the goddess Brighid, the Celtic goddess of hearth and home.
Honored on Imbolc on February 1, Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearth-fires.
Known by the Celts as Luis (pronounced loush).
The Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success.
A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig is said to protect the wearer from harm.
The Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection.
In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.
Credit and thanks for this lovely image and description go to Leila Raven at Temple Illuminatus.
Photo credit: Angela Jayne Latham www.celticmystery.co.uk/
Mid-January to mid-February is the Celtic month of the Rowan moon.
In 2018, Rowan Moon will feature the second full moon of the month, a blue moon. Occurring on the last day of January, the blue moon will also be a super moon; and on that night there will be a full lunar eclipse.
The following day, February 1, the pagan feast of Imbolc, is the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Heralded by Celtic cultures as the beginning of spring, it is also Saint Brigid's day. Appropriately, February 1st is also the day Megge of Bury Down will be published.
If you've read the Prologue and Chapter One of the book, you'll have glimpsed why this date is auspicious.
While all these elements--the Rowan (or Quickening) moon, the rowan tree, the name Brighida--came together naturally as I wrote, it is no surprise to me to learn that they seem to possess celestial synergy.
For more on the mystical properties of the rowan, see the wonderful compilation of writings at thegoddesstree.com/trees/Rowan.htm and the very informative post at underafullmoon13fullmoons.blogspot.com/2011/03/rowan-moon
To all, a wonderful new year and a magical Rowan Moon.
Long, dark nights under a hand~knit blanket
with a good book or a wonderful movie.
Time to let the ether do its work
unmolested by meddling.
Christmas is coming!
Let it snow!
Zumaya publications has just announced the release date for
MEGGE OF BURY DOWN
February 1, 2018
Halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox,
the first of February is celebrated as the pagan festival of Imbolc
and the Gaelic feast day of Brigid,
patron saint of babies and blacksmiths, midwives and poets.
It marks the coming of spring.
For me and for many,
it will likely be a cold, snowy day followed by a long, cozy night
~ the perfect time to curl up with good story~
Please enjoy Megge's.
Zumaya publisher Liz Burton just released six Advance Reader Copies of Megge of Bury Down for pre-publication reviews. We are in the final proofing stage and are shooting for a release day in December.
It's a pleasure talking with with librarians and bookstore owners, and I'm especially looking forward to readings, where I can reconnect with friends and meet readers. I hope you'll all enjoy getting to know Megge and the women of Bury Down as much as I have.
My best to you,
We're deep into the reading period for the Stonecoast Review and the New England Review. I'm enjoying these submissions and am always on the lookout for the one that whispers Pushcart.
Normally, I read fiction, and that's what I'm doing for NER. This time, though, I submitted a fiction piece to SCR, so I have the privilege of reading creative nonfiction. The same rules apply, and we look at technical elements and content.
For technical/mechanical elements, we look at everything: grammar, punctuation, word choice, formatting, structure, cohesion, and comprehension. Not every "rule" has to be followed as long as the author demonstrates that he or she knows the rules. But don't kid yourself: spelling always counts.
Content? That's easy. The story has to work. It doesn't have to feature huge, gut wrenching, or shocking scenes, but there has to be a story: something has to happen, even in a flash piece or a vignette. Whether or not the protagonist changes as a result of what happens is immaterial (to me) as long as the ending is both organic and believable.
Every reader has priorities: I look first at whether the author has chops: a mastery of the basics (see technical/mechanical, above). Then I look for a narrator with an engaging voice who tells an absorbing story about nuanced characters. Add realistic dialogue, a twist I don't see coming, and an ending that derives from the entire story and doesn't feel tacked on, and I see publication possibilities.
Tell it spare, with gorgeous syntax, and I hear Pushcart.
Working closely with Zumaya publisher Liz Burton to put the finishing touches on Book One of The Bury Down Chronicles.
Set in thirteenth century Cornwall, on a sheep farm in the shadow of Bury Down ~ known for a thousand years as the Land of the Second Sight ~ MEGGE OF BURY DOWN is the story of a young herder struggling renounce her place in the great line of mystical healers and seers of Bury Down.
More updates as we progress toward launch date!