At times, it’s hard to believe this is October. It’s warm enough for me to sit on the balcony in a t-shirt at 4.00 in the morning, the harbour on Friday was not only warm but packed with day-trippers, and the late afternoons have been busy up in the village square. The sea is warm too, or so I’ve been told. I remember one mid-October when I was playing at a cèilidh at was Mandeos (now Scena), the original night was cancelled due to a storm and the replacement night saw me in fingerless gloves and a woollen jumper. We did have a rainy day last Tuesday, complete with kali strata waterfalls but, so far, that’s it for changeable this month. I hope I haven’t jinxed anything by saying that.
While the good weather persists, I shall persist in my walks up the hill when I can (be bothered), and the rest of the daytime, continue to start work early and plough on through writing the fourth Saddling book, ‘The Needling.’ For those who don’t know, a ‘needing’ is an orphaned newling, and a newling is a newborn lamb. Actually, I’d be surprised if anyone other than me did know that as I only invented the meaning of those words last week. It’s one of the things I like about writing the Saddling series, inventing words and meanings for the local dialect. Some of what I use is real Kentish dialect: An aquabob is an icicle, a Peggy Washdish is a water wagtail, and a bufffle-head is someone daft. (Some of these are still in use; all were in use in 1888.) On top of that I invent my own, like whitebacks and blackbacks for sheep, and spoketale, an unwritten story from the past.
Also unwritten is the rest of this story. I only started last week, so there’s a long way to go, but all being well, I aim to have ‘The Needling’ out early in the new year. That gives you plenty of time to start the series if you want to, and if you do, you need to start with The Saddling. The books should, by now, be grouped as a series on Amazon, but they are easy to find from my author page. ‘The Needling’ is set in spring at the equinox and will bring the series to a close, drawing together events from the other three books and more, tying up loose ends and, I hope, making sense of the whole story. Looks like I have a busy winter ahead.
[Btw. Links are to Amazon.com which should redirect you to your own country’s store for paperbacks, Kindle and KU.]