Pixie-Led ~ New Cover Design

This is the final design I have worked up for my 4th novel, Pixie-Led. Given that the title of the book might invoke whimsical notions of elves and fairies and the like, I thought it best to dispel such impressions immediately by having a dark Satanic symbol taking a bold centre-stage position on the cover. 

I still do not want to unveil too much information about the content of the book quite yet. But I can mention that the story concerns a coven of witches. Needing to escape police investigation into their brutal ritual killings, they take refuge within the secret worlds hidden within the mirrors of an old countryside cottage.

I hope to get the book published sometime in May 2019, so not too long to wait now...

Pixie-Led Cover Design

A quarter way through the 2nd draft of my 4th novel, it is time to start thinking of designing a cover for the book. 

Although I still love my first cover design for the book, that image was made before I had fully fledged out the story line of the novel. Since then, the plot of the book shifted and took numerous new turns. Unfortunately, that older design no longer represents the contents of the book and so a new design is needed...

Season's Greeting ~ Banksy

I took a late night drive out to see the latest Banksy artwork that has appeared a hop, skip and jump away from me this week. Despite the dark and the torrential rain I wanted to take a look at it before the perspex security screening was installed over it to protect the artwork from vandalism.

Driving out to see the new Banksy
I was not the the only one that the heavy rain and fog and the lateness of the hour had failed to deter from visiting the new attraction and quite a crowd were still gathered around the graffiti when I arrived.  

The new Banksy graffiti with a tower from the
local steelworks visible behind the shed. The fog lit up by streetlamps
make it look like a daylight sky
Unable to use flash because of the rain, I was pleased the see the artwork illuminated by the headlamps of the cars that were gathered around the site.

There was an ugly but understandably necessary metal security screen around the stencil painting, the shadows of which you can make out in some of the pictures I managed to take. But I managed to slip my phone camera between the bars to get some okay images of the piece.

There was a jovial and excited atmosphere amongst the visitors gathered around the shed. And it was great to see that art can still illicit such interest and enthusiasm amongst people in these troubled times.

Shadowy visitors at the new Banksy graffiti in Port Talbot.
Banksy has already authenticated the work has his own and you can see a video he made of the piece here. Season's greetings.

Christmas Goody Box

Our Crimbo Goody Box, waiting to be filled with chocolate and crisps and other deliciousness...

Still putting the Christmas decorations up...

Santa Gnome!

Krampus Night

It is Krampus Night and my collection of Krampus figures have broken free from their boxes to celebrate the season

On the second day of Christmas...

On the second day of Christmas more magickal winter mushrooms appear in our home :)

'Tis the season...

'Tis the season to slowly transform our home into a winter wonderland, festooning it with magickal Fly agaric mushrooms. First up is this little beauty...

Black Grape

I saw a great Black Grape gig a few nights ago. Nice to see the band and Sean Ryder publishing my photo of the band I took that night. Full credit too. Thank you guys :)

My Photography Inspirations

My small Photography book collection, alongside my old C330 medium format camera from my college years (now over a quarter of a century ago!):

Early Morning Writing Sesh

Up early whilst holidaying in Pembrokeshire to finish the first draught of Chapter 17 :)

A little extra bonus to getting up so early this morning was getting this moody view of Caldey Island from the bedroom window!

Dawn breaking over Caldey Island

Dark Revisions

Making a quick revision of the opening few chapters of my novel to take into account the darker storyline the book seems determined to follow...

Pixie-Led: Closing Chapter 15

Despite a little light discouragement from this little furry girl, my morning and afternoon writing session has finally got me past the tricky section I have been struggling with on this novel for the past couple of weeks. I am happy to report that the first draft of Chapter 15 of Pixie-Led is finally complete. Phew (wipes sweat from brow).

Seaglass Search at Ogmore

Making the most of the unseasonably good weather, I took an unplanned long stroll along the beach at Ogmore-By-Sea today.

The tide was already heading in by the time I reached the beach, so I did not get the chance to explore the rockpools the place is renowned for, but the weather was pleasant enough to just sit on the rocks and chill. Though the tide was coming in at quite an incredible speed and nearly caught me out a few times:

Despite the incoming tide, there was, luckily, still enough sand to partake of one of my favourite hobbies - searching for seaglass. I use the word luckily here for a particular a particular reason as, although there was not much seaglass on the beach, what few pieces I did manage to find were beauties.

Seaglass - Ogmore-By-Sea
One piece I found, in particular, made my day - a complete and perfectly smoothed glass bottle stop. Over the years, I have literally collected many hundreds of pieces of seaglass from innumerable beaches the length and breadth of the UK, but this piece is, beyond doubt, my best find to date:

A perfect bottle stop piece of seaglass
As well as seaglass, I also found lots of hag stones, such as this piece below:

I enjoyed the beach so much that I decided to stay and watch the sun go down.

It was a perfect sunset too, a brilliant end to a lovely sunny day :)

Sunflowers in bloom

Funny how the garden seems to grow fastest when you are away from it. Getting home from Cornwall, I stepped out into our back garden to see this:)

Another Cornish Buy

We only had one day during our week-long stay in Cornwall when the weather was really bad, and we decided to take a wander around Newquay on that afternoon. We could see the lights of the town twinkling across the bay from our holiday cottage in Mawgan Porth, so it was great to actually take a look around the place in the daylight. 

Newquay turned out to be a typical seaside touristy town and the poor weather stopped us exploring the place in too much detail. The highlight of our visit there though was a little fishmonger shop that had a display case of shells that were for sale. Within the glass display cabinet was this beauty, a decent sized Nautilus shell. 

Nautilus Shell, purchased from a Newquay fishmonger
I spent a little while taking some photographs of it when I got back to our holiday cottage and the pic above and immediately below were the best of my endeavours.
Nautilus Shell

I was nervous of it smashing during the long drive home and was relieved to see it still in one piece when I unwrapped it upon my return. Here it is now, safe and sound on my bathroom windowsill:

My bathroom windowsill set up

Old Cornish Piskie Mead Bottle

Oh, I couldn't leave Cornwall without this little lad. I have already grown very fond of him :)