March is almost done?


April’s coming?  The last month of the first quarter of the year?


 I have to look back and ask: is there accomplishment in the last almost four months?


Well, yes. I’ve almost finished Michael, despite the hurdles that are being thrown my way.

As it’s the final of my twelfth century novels ( two trilogies) and the absolute end to The Triptych Chronicle, it’ll be such a bitter-sweet moment. I will be saying goodbye to my very good friend the dwarf troubadour, Tobias Celho. Of all the characters I’ve written about through the years, (and nothing like Dickens’ 13,000 but certainly enough for me to be going on with), Toby is my most loved.

He was based very much on Peter Dinklage, being a character with achondroplasia. Peter’s cynical and intelligent portrayal of Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones drove some great aspects of Toby’s character and let’s face it, Tyrion had a huge fanbase. And I’m a foundation member of Tobias’ fanbase without question. So tears may well occur as I write ‘The End’, saying goodbye to Toby, to Michael, Guillaume, Ariella, Saul and Ahmed, and to the Gisborne family – Guy, Ysabel and William. What a journey it has been!

I don’t plan to write hist.fict for some time then, as I have a desire to return to the dark but beautiful world of Eirie which was built for the fantasy quartet, The Chronicles of Eirie, a few years ago.

But that’s in the future, so what else have I done in the immediate past?

Well, this week we celebrated our 42nd year of a wonderful marriage –  I won the lottery with my husband, I can tell you!

I’ve also submitted a story to Inkslingers Veterans for another fundraising anthology for cancer research. The premise for the anthology is fairytales – the Grimm and not so grim. My golly, some of the stories stand the hairs on my neck but mine will be the valium one reaches for to calm down!

I’ve stitched too, and loved every silk-threaded moment of it, difficult as it has been to work my way through some aspects of the projects.

I’m very happy with the Margaret Light project done in beautiful Painters’ Studio threads.

Not as happy with my own pages of the Stitch Challenge within our own little embroidery social group. The girls are finessed with their art-form. I’m not. I’m supposed to be doing samples of variations on set stitches but I keep travelling off on my own little journey.

A challenge I might succeed at would be ‘a subject’ to stitch once a month using any or all of the stitches we are embroidering. Maybe I’ll suggest that. Because I’m better off creating images than I am of finessing my stitches.

There’s probably a name for that errant behaviour.

The final accomplishments have been squirrelling food from our summer garden. There’s various jams in the pantry along with pickled walnuts.

We’ve picked almonds and chestnuts when the parrots have let us.

The freezer’s full of fruits, veg, soups, curries, pies and savoury tarts. There’s little left in the veggie patch now – a few carrots, some beans, some eggplants. But I’ve planted sweetpeas, broad beans go in in three weeks and the garlic must go in soon. The never-changing rhythm of the seasons is so reassuring.

We’ve yet to finish picking apples, quinces and pears to make into chutneys and pastes. And I’ve yet to make tomato chutney and sauce from the frozen tomato crop.

There are only a few toms left to ripen.

But that’s in the future along with trips to visit our daughter in the north of the island, a driving trip to the mainland, a trip to the highlands, garden building and farming and welcoming our first grandchild.


And of course, the launch of Michael on an unsuspecting world who may well have forgotten about Prue Batten-Writer.

Meanwhile, we have Easter, hot cross buns and chocolate eggs to deal with.

Yummity yum. Easter Greetings everyone!