Tag Archives: Druidry books

A slowness of books

I rather thought I’d have my third Druid title handed into the publisher before midwinter, last year. It didn’t happen, not least because I was very ill. My first 2 titles (Druidry and Meditation, Druidry and the Ancestors) both came out in 2012 and I was aiming to keep up a good pace there. It’s not quite gone to plan, I’ve had issues of block, weariness and too much everything else… Then Trevor over at Moon Books suggested I write a smaller book for the Pagan Portals line. I jumped at the chance, and the result – Spirituality without structure will be out in the not too dim and distant future. It was an interesting book to write, allowing me to use much of the wider research from the current Druid title, and it helped me focus my thoughts.
Spirituality without structure is an exploration of how to construct your own path, without being confined by conventional religious structures and systems. More of that nearer the time!

The first draft of the next title exists in hand written form. I’m a bit ‘old school’ in that I’m happier creating books on paper. I think better. Electricity has been in short supply, and gazing into the middle distance looking for just the right turn of phrase is a lot harder when the clock is ticking and the juice will run out. I also like having a tangible hard copy that will not melt away in the event of technical malfunction. Getting the next book from paper into the computer has been a bit of a fight. I think it’s more to do with energy levels than enthusiasm, the subject fascinates and inspires me, and also scares and confuses me, making it ideal in many ways. I feel a bit like I’m waiting for life to deliver some sort of punch-line, but it hasn’t shown up yet.

There’s a number of other projects in the pipeline that I’m not in a position to talk about in public yet – fiction stuff. So I’ll just tease you with that, but there is a thing on the way for next year that I am seriously excited about. We’re also talking to Archaia about book 3 of Hopeless and the timing for that, with book 2 due out around Halloween – you can already pre-order it on Amazon! Of course none of this has helped me get the Druid book written, there only being so any hours in a day.
The other big distraction, has been setting up to do a teaching course through the Patheos Pagan blog. I’ve been a columnist there for a while, and when they talked about developing a teaching space, I opted in. So, quite a lot of time went on planning and writing the content for that. You’ll be hearing more about that too, in the next month or so.

There is an argument for saying, do one thing at a time. I gather from the Zen folk that this is considered necessary for mindfulness. The trouble is, I just don’t have that kind of mind. Mine is a grasshopper brain and it jumps about between things. Trying to focus all of my energy into one project tends to make me more vulnerable to block and getting bored. However, the fingers in many pies approach makes me less than brilliant at always turning everything in on time. I’ve become adept at not getting deadlines in the first place. On which subject, I have been sounding out a publisher about a book on dreams, as well, which might happen next year.

I have promised myself that I will get the next Druid title written and handed in before I start on the dream book, or on the novel brewing in my head. That’s about as close as I ever get to discipline. I’m also planning to rerelease by self-publishing, some of my older novels so I need to take some time and polish those up, and we may be going to put out some Hopeless related material that way too. Oh, and audio meditations. Would you like some of those? I might be able to add that to the mix in a month or so. I’m signed up to do an alternative wheel of the year monthly column (links soon) and I’m writing more for The Druid Network too.

I have a feeling that the next twelve months or so are going to be a tad crazy, as in the midst of the above I’m determined to get out to more events as well. With Auroch Grove getting started and OBOD mentoring in the mix, as well as distinct opportunities for a more interesting cultural/social life, I’m starting to wonder quite when I’m going to do any sleeping. I’m just going to assume that it can all be made to fit together, and, with a rare nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, seize the carp.

The importance of hope

Life is full of challenges. Not just my life, looking around its obvious that most of the people I know get more than what seems like a fair share of crap. Life is just not easy. I’ve lived for more years than I can count in survival mode. Just holding together, keeping going, dealing with each new setback as it rolls in, and trying to make the best of the good things. Moments when the sun shines, the streak of electric blue that is a kingfisher. A not working weekend where I can snuggle with my bloke for a bit. The small things have been what I live for.

What I’ve not had, for a long time, is any real hope. Any serious belief that I could do more than survive, and frequently doubts that even survival would be possible. One day at a time, sometimes one breath at a time, I have pushed onwards, waiting for the thing that would finally put me down in a way I could not get up from. That hasn’t happened yet.

I’m getting feedback about the Druid books, and people, your words stun me. I’ve been awed and humbled by the words people have offered back in response to what I’ve written. It makes me want to go further, and do more and it gives me a sense that I can do some useful work in the world. In the last few days, the reviews have been coming in for Hopeless Maine, as well. It’s getting a bit unreal. Big comics websites talking about us. More importantly, people getting the work, grasping what we meant, and responding to all the little details. I never dared to imagine that we’d get to this sort of point. I start to feel that we could get somewhere.

A life of survival, a life without hope is not an easy or happy one. Even the most irrational hope is remarkably sustaining if you can hang on to it. Living day to day waiting for the universe to finish off and crush you properly – I can’t say I recommend it. Tom and I have held on to each other through the hard times, and to the knowledge that whatever else we might not have, we have what we feel. Bearing in mind that because of the international angle, we have not had the same guarantees of being able to be together or stay together that most couples take for granted. The tiny threads of hope that have kept us going have been hard to hang onto in face of some of the things we’ve had to deal with. And here we are, getting somewhere, watching the good reviews roll in and thinking that we can go further and do more.

We make a promise, one that we have made to each other repeatedly for years now. If this works, if the books sell, if there is money to spare, we will take that money and do good stuff with it, and try to share that goodness as widely as we can. I daydream about all kinds of things that I think would help brighten life for people, add to the good stuff, help the planet. I want a device that turns poo into burnable fuel, for a start. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘log pile’. I want to be able to reach out and enable other people to follow their hearts, to make opportunities. I swear, if this book flies, I will use that as a jumping board to make more good stuff happen.

Thank you, everyone who has come this far with us, everyone who has supported us with words of encouragement, and practical aid. And by buying the books.