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Dear Diary: Sulis, Hedge Witch, Health issues and Columbo

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be regular updates, I will do my best!

I want to connect with everyone more regularly and keep you in the loop with what I have been working on and how life in general has been.

So…let’s start with the manuscript for Pagan Portals Sulis which is finished and has been handed into Moon Books for the first edit. I loved writing this book as Sulis has walked with me for a few years now. This book has involved a lot of research as there is little or nothing written down about her. I dug into books and academic papers mostly written about the Roman Baths and some archaeological details too. The Baths have a lot of information, the goddess Sulis, nada…nowt…absolutely zero! Part of the book covers the history of the site, the remainder is based on my interpretations of the archaeological findings relating to Sulis and my own personal journey with her. I have also asked a very lovely artist friend to design the artwork for the cover, I will let you know more about that soon.

No rest for the wicked as they say, and I have now begun research on the next book I am writing. This one is for Fenix Flames Publishing and will focus on the Hedge Witch. It was interesting to be honest, I put a query out on the Kitchen Witch facebook page asking what people thought a Hedge Witch was. A lot of folk focused on the ‘hedge’ part and rightly so, a Hedge Witch walks the boundaries between the worlds, riding the hedge. It is a huge part of what a Hedge Witch is, the clue is in the name. I was surprised because a few described a Hedge Witch as a solitary witch doing their own thing. That to me is a ‘solitary Witch’, I strongly feel you need the hedge riding part to be a Hedge Witch. Anyway…the book research and planning begins with a huge stack of books for inspiration. If you want me to include anything specific just ping me.

Each month the publisher Moon Books provides sales figures for the previous month which is really useful. I was very pleasantly surprised that Gods & Goddesses of England although only being out for a month has already passed the first sales point. Obviously everyone was waiting for those English deities!

Me and the Kitchen Witch team took a trip to Chichester last week. We walked part of the Roman wall, visited the Chichester museum and the cathedral. The museum is small but interesting as it has part of a Roman baths and the cathedral was lovely. In fact the cathedral had the poshest toilets of any cathedral I have ever visited, at my age you notice these things.

We have some events and ideas bubbling behind the scenes at Kitchen Witch, all of which will be revealed in the autumn. Our issue is getting the four of us together in the same place at the same time to put these things in motion.

Yes, I know, all of that is ‘business’ and not personal, so here is a health update. Some of you know I had some severe health issues a couple of months back involving some hospital prodding and probing. The outcome was actually better than expected but it has involved some strict diet restrictions which have been incredibly boring. It seems I have joined the gluten free ranks and it looks like certain fruits and potatoes are also very bad for me. How miserable is that for someone that loves their food as much as I do? However, I have been experimenting with gluten free baking and have had some successes, so it is not all bad. My health has been a bit of a hinderance as it has left me quite exhausted, but I am learning to deal with it slowly and create some balance. But it has taken its toll, not just with my energy levels but with my mental and emotional well being too. It is a process, and hopefully one that won’t take too long to get through. As part of this I have also been experimenting with coconut sugar as a healthy alternative to granulated sugar and carob powder instead of cocoa powder. The sugar works well, but it does have a slight aftertaste. The carob powder will need some more experimentation.

On the spiritual front, Sulis has kept me company over the summer quite strongly, supervising the writing of her book obviously. But I have also been working with some Roman deities, Flora back in the spring and now Juno (its for another project). Looking into the Roman way of worshipping has been enlightening.

Hubby and I visited the city of Bath back in July to celebrate our anniversary (25 years married, 31 years together). We have visited several times before and love the city. To be honest though, this time it felt a little different. The city seemed ‘tired’ if that makes sense. There were a number of closed and empty shops which probably didn’t help the vibe. We ate in a variety of restaurants over our three day stay and most of them were disappointing, which was unusual for Bath. It was heart breaking that it had such a sad energy, even Pete felt it, he is not spiritual or Pagan, but I think he has been with me long enough to pick up on things. I hope it is a temporary situation as it has always been such an amazing place.

In my down time I have discovered the fiction author Ben Aaronovitch and his Rivers of London series of books, they are wonderful and have kept me captivated. In between fighting for space on my new reading chair with Eric.

We have also watched the TV series (on Sky Max) Poker Face. Absolutely excellent TV viewing with a brilliant lead character. Very reminiscent of Columbo, who I love. We also recently watched the Big Bang Theory from start to finish for the first time, I know it took us ages to find, but it was really entertaining. And now…we are back to Star Trek Deep Space Nine for the hundredth time. My podcast listening is also Columbo related at the moment, it is called The Columbo Podcast. Each week they break down a Columbo episode and talk about the plot, the characters and give behind the scenes info. I make no apologies for being a Columbo fan girl.

I have rambled, I have no idea whether this is what you were all expecting, but it is what it is…a brain dump basically. Although no one really wants to wander around inside my head, heck even I don’t want to be there sometimes!

Join me on my Wednesday morning chats if you are free, replays are on my author fb page and my YT channel.

You can also find me on this blog and on social media. If you think I can help with anything please do reach out.

We are all part of a community and it is an honour to be here with you and to support each other.

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