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Business Blog and upcoming eShop

spirits and steel

Hello all you lovely people. Please would you be so kind as to head over to my new site:

http://spiritsandsteeldesignuk.wordpress.com

This is a new business set up and is still under construction. Plans afoot for lots of pretty things for you to wish you had. Perhaps someone you love will purchase a sparkly gift for you – who knows?

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For my Dream Reader

There’s a bottle of bourbon sat on the side there, it may as well have eyes as I’m fairly sure it is staring at me. There’s a trace of a mouth, too. I shake my head, trying to rid my ears of the whispering voice. I blink hard, perhaps my eyes aren’t working right. I won’t reach for it, not just yet. There is a steady drip drip of wine slipping out of the glass. My wrist weak and limp from overindulgence. Wastrel. But i haven’t really noticed, and now it’s too late.
‘Shit.’
My hand jerks upward, sloshing more of the red-purple liquid. Not only does it end up on the carpet, it spills onto my dress as well. The bloody stain seeps into the fibres of the most expensive piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. No matter. It’s not like I’m wearing it for anything special, oh no, that would be ridiculous, of course.
I snigger – a horse-pig amalgam sound, right from the back of my nose. My glass is charged – a miracle in itself, so often it’s already been drained – so i raise it in toast and a small fountain of alcoholic droplets creates an arc in front of my face. A few of the drops land on the cat. Until that point asleep, she starts, turns and bares her teeth at me. She hisses with a look of pure contempt, then slinks away looking for another cosy spot where I won’t spill anything on her. I toast again and drink deep, not that there’s really anything left in the glass after I’ve thrown most of it around the room.
My eyes roll.
I’m sat on the floor, wedged into the right angle space of the corner sofa. The animal hide is cold against my skin as I tilt my head back and gaze, unfocussed, at the ceiling. Light from the main bulb temporarily blinds me, I screw my eyes up and raise a hand to shield my dinner plate sized pupils. But the hand holds a glass. In an instant it has left my hand, swiftly sailing across the room. I don’t realise I’ve done this as my fingers close against my weary, haggard face.
Then the explosion as it meets its end, disintegrating into a thousand shards on making contact with the wall to my left.
At least, I assume it’s hit the wall, I’m not actually looking.
A piercing, inhuman noise bursts forth, greeting my ear with sonic agony. I crumple, stunned and frightened, my eyes burst open and I find myself face down, hands clamped firmly over my assaulted ears. I fervently glance one way, then another. I don’t understand – I’m no longer in the living room.
It is dark and the ground is cold beneath my knees, damp. I’m rooted to the spot, completely disoriented. My head is spinning, pounding. I daren’t move. It’s cliche but I can’t help blinking my eyelids a few times, to make sure I’m not dreaming or having some strange, drunken hallucination – the kind you experience after dragging too hard on a heavily laden spliff.

 

I shake my head some, trying to dislodge the vision I’m sure can’t be real. My fingernails dig into the sodden soil under my palms.
The dress is ruined. The dress I spent so long choosing. My synapses fire, remembering in vivid detail all the times I stood on the dressmaker’s stool, terrified the old witch would stab me with her pins. She might have been an old crone, but she made a fabulous wedding gown. Now, here am I, with what would look to any other person like blood all over it, with moss and soil now thrown in for good measure. I imagine I must look like Miss Havisham, in the Dickens book.
I sigh, temporarily forgetting that I’m outdoors in a silken, flowing, flimsy gown, in the middle of the night and it’s February. I can almost feel the frost forming on my cheeks, my breath puffing in tiny clouds.

 

I snap back to reality.

 

The chill breeze licks at my bare arms and I shiver. I slowly rise, knowing I must discover where I am and figure out what is going on. I run my hands over the dress in a futile attempt to remove some of the debris, my head spins and my knees weaken, I almost fall, catching myself on a brick wall behind me. I lean until the dizziness passes, take a deep breath, and scan the surround. The pale light of a half moon lights the scene.

 

The building I lean against is 3 stories, pale rough bricks scratching at my back. On this wall, at least, there are no windows, and no door. A rough track which I assume passes for a road travels alongside, not tarmacked, as I would expect, but mud and stone. I am on an incline – above me the slope climbs, in front there appears to be a junction about a quarter mile ahead but the moonlight isn’t strong enough for me to see clearly. Left and right there is nothing. There are no other buildings, no vehicles, just a few naked trees and some tough looking grass at the side of the track.

 

Should I make my way to the crossroads, or see if there is anyone in this house – I say house, I’ve no idea. I haven’t looked at it properly.
Strangely I’m not frightened. My breath comes in short gasps but that is due to the cold, and my eyes flick, trying to find anything that will give a clue as to where I am.

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2014 Reading List

 This year I really need to get on with some SERIOUS reading. Since having the children I’ve quite obviously had less time to indulge in this pastime, which I actually hate quite a lot. I used to read ALL the time, no matter where I was or what else was going on, I just had to have a book in my hand. Even now I still feel wrong without a book somewhere within 3 feet of my person.
With this in mind I’ve been through my book shelves and picked out a selection that I MUST  try to read in the next 12 months. I figure if I’m going to try and write a book of my own, the best place to start is by reading some gooooood shit and get a feel for the awesome stuff. I’ll attempt to read swiftly, which is not easy in my house, being a single mother of 3, as they say – 2 actual children, one full grown man. lol
 In no particular order, this is my list for 2014
The Scent of Death – Andrew Taylor (currently reading)
Song of Ice and Fire – George RR Martin 0007447862; 0007466061; 0007466078 (have read as far as A Feast for Crows, need to read the remaining volumes)
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks (re-read)
God Is A Bullet – Boston Teran (re-read)
From the Corner of his Eye – Dean Koontz 0747266808 (re-read)
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee (we read this in school, but it’s good enough to look at again)
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Dark Tower series; The Shining; The Stand – Stephen King
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (re-read) 1407106427
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Wolf Hall; Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel 0007509775; 0007315093
 1Q84 vol 1, 2, 3 – Haruki Murakami
Neuromancer – William Gibson (re-read)
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (re-read)
On The Beach – Nevil Shute (re-read)
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou 0860685111
Grail Quest Trilogy – Bernard Cornwell 0007310302; 0007310319; 0007310326
Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaldon
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Kissing The Hag – Emma Restall Orr
Journey to the Dark Goddess – Jane Meredith
Lamp Of The Goddess – Rae Beth
Invoking the Morrigan – Stephanie Woodfield
 
Various Tarot titles
The Real Witch’s Year – Kate West
(will upload ISBNs later today and/or link to amazon)
This list is not exhaustive. At over 30 titles I will need to be a super-reader to get this done. Once read, I will attempt a short review of each.
By far the best title I read in the previous year – Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte. If you have read this already, you know how good it is, if not then you’re missing out and should get your nose into a copy as soon as you can. Gorgeous story, wonderful writing style, simply exquisite.