From the dark of winter where hope is kindled
I send my first newsletter to you all
We’ve arrived at the dark heart of the year. I’ll spend the few hours of daylight we are granted seeking the sun and then spend the night reading, writing, dreaming and planning. Whilst All Hallows Eve is my time for taking stock, of looking back and learning, the Winter Solstice is when I tell the universe what I intend to do with the lessons it gave me in the coming year; my time for looking forward and letting my hopes kindle in the flames of the candles I’ve surrounded myself with.
And, this year, it is also the day I press send on on what I hope will be the first of many newsletters.
So here I am setting out my stall with the intention of enticing as many like minded folk as I can to come along for the ride with Kizzia Creates. These are the delectations and delights I am offering to ping into your inbox at the end of every month, split over the three areas I mentioned in my “coming soon” post:
thoughts on writing, including my own approach and useful hints and tips I’ve read/received from other people.
sneak peaks and random facts related to the Arthurian novel I’m working on.
talk of any other writing I’m doing and links to anything I get published.
updates on the crochet projects I’m working on.
possibly patterns if I ever work out how to write them down in a way that is understandable to other people.
mentions of/links to any useful crochet tips and tricks I’ve come across as I work.
book, TV show and film reviews.
ramblings about of the state of the world.
information/ranting about how clearing my parents house and moving us all 400 miles north is going.
notes about how I integrate my witchcraft into my life.
and last but not least, a one card general tarot reading for the month ahead.
Apart from the tarot reading I cannot guarentee the precise content of any one newletter but I can promise an eclectic mix of the above and possibly other surprises too. Some of it may come in the form of links to my blog (reviews and witchcraft stuff being the most likely) but this newletter will always contain mostly original content that is not posted anywhere else on the web. It has to, otherwise why would you bother signing up in the first place?
Now (and please do excuse this hammering of the tv show format metaphor into the ground) since this is more of a pilot than a first episode I’m providing an overview of the shape of my life as it stands so you have some background for the real first episode, which will appear in your inboxes at the end of January:
My parents are both over 75 and over the past four years I have become their primary carer. I have no intention of discussing the specifics of their lives but it became very clear quite a while ago that a) we need to all live in the same house, b) that house must be suitable for their current and future needs, and c) we need to be much closer to our extended family than we currently are. The solution to which was selling up and moving north.
The pandemic caused endless problems and delays to our plans, the situation not helped by the fact that my parents have lived in their current house for over 50 years and each built-in cupboard (seriously, the house has so much storage) seems to have tardis like properties and emptying it for sale feels a little too much like cleaning the Augean stables except I know I’m not going to get any magical assistance to sort it. As I have also been periodically unwell over the last few years progress had been achingly slow up until this summer, when we went from treading water to doing a sort of lopsided doggy paddle. It may have looked to outsiders as if it were not much better but from our perspective it was a massive improvement.
Given that I am an eternal optimist, and also find stating my ideals and dreams brings them closer to actually happening, I am formally decreeing that 2023 will be the year of the big move. I’m determined to be sending these newletters from a dedicated writing room somewhere north of the wall and south of the borderby this time next year.
Crochet wise I began tentative investigations into teaching myself mosaic crochet at the start of autumn. It got set aside thanks to a couple of commissions but I intend to return to it in 2023. I’m also about to embark on the biggest blanket I’ve made to date but I can’t talk any more about it until it’s done because it’s going to be a gift.
The words I have mostly been herding in the last two months relate to an Arthurian novel I’ve been trying to plot for about a decade without success. Until now, that is. The entire outline came pouring out of my finger tips when I sat down to draft a short story and who I am to argue. The novel is written from Igraine’s perspective and I am using Geoffrey of Monmouth’s version of the “history” leading up to Arthur’s birth as a base structure. It is very much a fantasy novel - if Geoffrey thinks Merlin can cause people to wear different faces then I get to have magic too - but set as firmly in late 5th Century CE as a world where some people can walk through shadow and flame can be.
The outline has produced a list of things I need to find out and nail down before I can settle to drafting so I intend to spend the first half of the year researching and world building. Currently the plan is to then start (and possibly finish) a zero draft during the last half of the year.
I also spent twelve days earlier this month writing along with the Writer’s HQ Flashmas challenge. This resulted in a dozen new stories all set in the Wildwood that I’ve decided to post on my blog over the actual twelve days of Christmas. I’ve already put an overview post up on my blog fully explaining the challenge and my take on it. It also lists all the titles of the stories and I will update that post daily over the twelve days, turning the titles into links to the stories. You can bookmark it and check in each day if you’d like to follow along.
As I promised that all newsletters would have a tarot reading in them, here is the card I drew earlier today to give us all a little help with what to do in January:
My Wildwood Tarot can be astonishingly literal at times and this one card draw is no exception. I asked it what should be taken from the Solstice into January and it gives me its equivalent of the Rider Waite Death card.
Yes, thank you so much Wildwood. I would never have made the connection between New Year, cyclic renewal, and making space for what is coming by letting go of what no longer serves you, with out that incredibly obvious pointer.
But in all seriousness, January is a good month to step away from expectations and demands that drain you rather than energise you. You don’t need to make any resolutions, unless of course you find them helpful, but taking some time to work out if the habits you’re clinging to are life-rafts or lead weights and then taking the appropriate steps to either inflate them or cut them lose can go a long way to making a somewhat anticlimatic, often grey, month feel like less of a slog.
And, last but not least, a Winter Solstice blessing from me to you:
As this year turns to darkness
may your hearth be warm,
your table full, and your heart light.
And may the coming year
hold health, hope and happiness
for you and all those you love.
The wall being Hadrian’s, the border being the one between England and Scotland. This probably didn’t need saying but I have been a Terry Pratchett fan for far too long to pass up any opportunity for a footnote.