Blog posts with the tag: "novel"

 

 

Wow, a lot has happened since I last posted here. The big change is that I moved house. Our new place is a beautiful house in the countryside and there’s a summer house in the garden which can only mean one thing…writer’s den! I really dislike moving house, though, on a serious note. I’m a real homebody, and I like everything to have a place, so uprooting everything and getting new furniture has been a slow process and a stressful one at that.

 

In the past few months, I’ve been lucky enough to attend two retreats and get to hang out with some of my favourite magical ladies. One on the beautiful island of Malta, and one in bewitching Woodstock in Upstate New York. This was my third visit to Woodstock and that place is seriously starting to feel like a home away from home for me. There is something really special about spending time with like-minded women. It’s not something I do on a regular basis, as I live in the middle of nowhere and I don’t know any woo-inclined people locally. But when it happens it feels so right. It’s what I had always dreamed about as a teenager who loved The Craft, Buffy and Charmed. A whole coven! Meeting new people can be daunting, but I’ve never felt uncomfortable nor made to feel unwelcome at these gatherings. Quite the opposite!

 

I went to Malta for the full moon in May. The retreat was run by the fabulous Lisa Lister. If you haven’t read her book Code Red, then do it now! All women should read this book and learn that their period doesn’t need to be that ‘dreaded time of the month’. You can read more about Lisa’s work here. Lisa also has a brand new book out called Love Your Lady Landscape. I’ve just started reading it and I’ll be posting my thoughts on it soon. In Malta, we did SHE Flow yoga in front of an incredible coastline, stayed in a dreamy villa where we had a full moon circle, a cacao ceremony and had a secret ceremony in a 5,000-year-old temple.

 

 

 

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At the end of June, I flew over to New York and caught the bus to Woodstock to catch-up with my witchy sisters at Veronica Varlow’s Magic House. I always have the best time there chatting, making beautiful things, hiking in the mystical woods and eating delicious healthy food. I danced in the river, made a flower crown, amazing smelling incense and a mojo bag (I actually know how to sew now!) and just missed seeing two baby bears (we had to skedaddle sharpish to avoid meeting mama bear!). To read more about the magical Miss Veronica Varlow and her retreats, classes and courses, head over to her website Danger Dame here. Another of my favourite witches, Gala Darling, did a blog post about the retreat and posted a gorgeous highlight reel here.

 

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In between travels, I featured on my friend Wolf Sister’s blog series Wandering Kin where I spoke about the places I love to visit when I stay in Paris. You can read it here. I also attended her beautiful animal spirit and sound gong ceremony in London. Wolf Sister aka Tamara is gifted at doing such wonderful meditations! Check out her websites here for future events.

 

In Santorini, I sailed around a volcanic island, swam in hot springs, met the cats at the Gaia Winery and watched the famous sunset at Oia. I also fell in love with open-air cinemas, visiting both the one in Kamari (I absolutely adored the old Hollywood feel to the place and the jolly 40s/50s playlist) and getting all dressed up to go to the immersive Secret Cinema Presents: Dirty Dancing in East London. A park stood in for the Kellerman’s resort in the Catskills, but the rain stayed at bay and we were able to play mini golf, cook marshmallows and sneak into the forbidden Staff Quarters for some of our own dirty dancing.

 

 

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I’ve also been using the long summer days to plan, organise and brainstorm how I want the next part of the year to blossom. I get a strange restlessness in the summer as if those long warm days are just a dream, and I must wake up from them. Summer is dream time, a time to fill up notebooks with inspiration, stolen lines of poetry that make your heart beat that little bit faster, and doodles of saucy mermaids. I seriously miss studying and academia, so I would love to get back into that and specialise in some area of Gothic. I’m also still working on my second novel, although I’ve had a few setbacks, namely conflicting ideas vying for my time! Still, I’m determined to get back on track.

 

Then there’s this very blog you are reading. I really want to fall back in love with blogging and make this place truly my own special haven online, filling it with all of my interests and ideas. I hope you join me for the ride!

 

xxx

 

 

Feb
11

 

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It is already mid-February and I haven’t yet posted this year. Things have changed somewhat in the Blanchard household and after the excess of food and essay stress over the Christmas period, I was sucked into a vortex which can only be described as Puppyland. Yes, my husband and I decided to get not just one, but two puppies. They are miniature schnauzers and are called Billy and Betty. It’s like a fuzzy, adorable hurricane has swept through our home, and when I’m not trying to study and prepare for my upcoming dissertation, I’m giving my full attention to the puppies.

 

My ‘writer’s life’ is never far from my mind however, and I’m still jotting down ideas and being inspired on a daily basis. I’ve also planned plots and characters for a couple of new novels so I’m very excited about cracking on with writing the next book. Plus I feel motivated when I read Writing Magazine, Mslexia as well as the Twitter feeds of many writers all enthusiastic about the craft and reading/creating wonderful fiction.

 

I haven’t had time to read outside of my course reading list for a while, and I’m currently finishing up Dicken’s Great Expectations. It’s interesting reading a book a second time with a critical view. The same can be said for watching films. I had to rewatch Black Swan last week for my Modern Gothic class. When I first saw the film at the cinema, I saw it for pure entertainment, enjoying the dark ballet tale for its beauty and nightmarish qualities, but when I watched it for university, I found myself frantically writing pages of notes, seeing symbolism everywhere and dissecting every scene. And it only made me love the film more.

 

Despite the chaos I am keen to blog much more regularly again, on both writing and on aspects of my Gothic course which may be of interest to readers.

 

Have a happy Wednesday!

Nov
10

Just a quick reminder  that my debut novel Dark is the Sea is available to pre-order right now over on Amazon, and will be available to buy from the 12th November there, as well as on Barnes & Noble’s online store and Waterstone’s website. Click here for more info and links.

I can’t believe the release date is almost here. I started dreaming up this story early 2013 and it feels great to have finally made it to this point. Writing a book is hard work and damn scary but it is also absolutely wonderful. The most important thing to remember is not to give up. Writing this novel has really been an adventure for me.

Hello!
Heather Blanchard

Welcome. Are you a writer, a bookworm, a daydreamer? Are you still clinging on to that magic that pervaded childhood? Pull up an armchair and get cosy. This blog is my dreamscape through an enchanted forest to a world of stories and the little things that make me happy; a chance to add a dash of sparkle to the daily grind. Here you will find the whimsical, the coveted, the Gothic and the romantic. Happy exploring!

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