Showing posts from 2012

Legolas - 10 Years On

Yesterday, I went to see The Hobbit .  When I got home, I dug out all my old Tolkien fan fictions and re-read them, something I haven't done for years.  In among them was the very first - actually a fan poem - simply entitled Legolas and dated December 2002.  At the time I thought it was the first and last, a one-off expression of my feelings after seeing The Two Towers .  Little did I know then that it was in fact the spark that re-kindled my imaginative gift, and set me on my own "unexpected journey" through fan fiction and short story, to the point I am now, with my first novel Silver Hands  due for release in April 2013.  So it seems only right to print the poem again, ten years on.  Thank you, Legolas.  I still love you. Legolas Under leaf and under tree, Under moon and under star,  Long you walked, before the sea Bore you to the realm afar. Too fair for man, too stern for maid, As all that race whose days are long. Sure of bow and keen of bla

Of Kirins and Unicorns

Nothing could have excited my imagination more than the Guardian' s recent reports on the alleged discovery in North Korea of Kiringul (unicorn's lair), associated with ancient king Tongmyong who, according to Korean legend, rode on unicorns. A king rode unicorns in Korean legend?!?  Why did I not know of this before?  I find this especially interesting because in the Korean graphic novel series Bride of the Water God by Mi-Kyung Yun there is a character called Lynn, who appears to be a unicorn.  In fact, he has two forms.  In one, he is a winged unicorn.  (He looks like a horse but with more of a cow's tail).  In his other form, he looks like a human, but with pointed ears and a unicorn-like horn in the middle of his forehead.  He is ridden in his horse form by another character, Huye. According to the Guardian , Korean unicorns are called kirins or qilins.  They are described either as a 4-legged beast with a dragon's head (doesn't sound much like

Introducing... Margaret Rosewood

A master-mariner's daughter, looking for her place in the world Born in Hollyport, a shipping town on the English coast, sometime in the winter of 1690.  Presently 16 years old. Family: father, Isaac Rosewood, a master-mariner and ship owner.  Two younger sisters, Susanna (15) and Martha (10).  Mother, Mary Rosewood, is deceased. Current occupation: managing her father's household and business accounts. Skills: arithmetic, languages. Interests: reading, learning new things. An dutiful daughter, who has had to take on her mother's role at home.  Even though she's spent all her life surrounded by ships and sailors, she's never thought of herself as a person to travel or have adventures.  She is quite shy and reserved, but can argue with her sisters. She hates to be intimidated and will resist if forced into something.  Even though she is normally obedient, she will disobey if she feels threatened.

Sleepout 2012 - A Brief Encounter

Last night, I spent several hours with a very enthusiastic bunch of people who were doing a sponsored sleepout for the homeless as part of a national initiative called Sleepout 2012.     The group I was with were in the car park of a charity called Keyhouse in Bradford, but there were similar groups up and down the country sleeping for homeless charities, live-linked to London via the Community Channel, where celebrity sleepers included "Branson" and " Daisy" from  Downton Abbey !   The Bradford group raised over £10,000.  One chap raised nearly £1000 on his own.  As some residents of Keyhouse were there, we could see for ourselves what a difference the money would make. I was invited to read a "bedtime story", although I don't think anyone was remotely ready for bed at that point.  As I was there for several hours, I also wrote a flash fiction "in situ", partly inspired by a piece of artwork being created during the course of

Silver Hands - the making of an image

I don't yet know what the front cover for my forthcoming novel, Silver Hands will be like, but I'd like to talk you through the image I created myself for the Silver Hands page of my Hidden Grove website. There are three images blended together in there.  (Can you spot them?)  The first is a drawing of the novel's main character, Margaret Rosewood.  (More of her in future blogs).  I drew that myself with pencil, pen and oil pastels.  I had a bit of help, copying the overall face shape from Miaka in the manga Fushigi Yugi, although I think she looks a bit like me as well.  (And a bit like Belle in Disney's version of Beauty & the Beast !  Not intentional.  Although an interesting coincidence). The other two images are of places I went to research the story of Silver Hands.  One is of the frigate, the Grand Turk , when it was harboured in Whitby.  It was built for the TV series Hornblower (1998-2003), in which it featured as the  Indefatigable.   It s

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Hidden Grove Extra: a secret nook of the Hidden Grove where I will be dropping in from time to to time, to share character profiles, interesting pieces of historical or folkloric research, and anything else I think is relevant and interesting to my stories. In keeping with the season, I feel this is a particularly autumnal part of the Grove, so here is a picture to match. Things are currently moving on with the production of my novel, Silver Hands, so hopefully we will have a date for publication in the not very distant future, and then I can start introducing you to the characters. See you soon...!