The cold skin of the Bone Mother lays waste across my part of the world once again. It is cold, bare, stark, and real. I love the bare bones of winter, and the harshness offers opportunity for internal reflection. This is why it is so fitting that I am starting a new novel at this time of year. The Book of Life is a raw inquiry into life, death, reality, and grief. It's a challenge to write, and close to the bone for me. But that stark scape lends a clear vision. There's no lush greenery to hide behind; no flowers to smell, no heat to wrap the skin in.
All is laid bare.
To see and be seen.
And so these winter months will see the birth of The Book of Life.
The Dark Space Between...
is finally complete pre-edits and I pray journeys well. The ice world of Svalbard, and the post-Crystalline age of England posits many a gap to brave.
For those who remain.
It has been some time in the making, this little nugget, but I'm thrilled that the summer solstice of 2021 sees me in my new writing nook looking over this finished edition.
Yes, The Colour in Woman and Other Tales is being published by Beaten Track and contains a revised edition of The Colour in Woman, as well as this magical portal.
Flora's Fairy Tales is the key that is offered to the hand that dare hold it, and these tales play out the characters that dare journey deeper and deeper.
I LOVED creating these little gems, and am thrilled to have worked with an illustrator on this project. It is a magical delight to have colour illustrations for these fairy tales. I believe more of this line will follow in the future!
Seven of Pentacles
Knight of Swords carried on her journey with the gift of emotion and creation from Mermaid.
She felt confident as ever in her determination to fulfil her quest. On her wing she carried all the people from the toppled world of Tower, and their whispers on the wind fuelled her heart and bolstered her clarity.
As the sky cleared, a sense of rest and peace slowed her horse to a steady canter, before she stopped in a lush, verdant field.
"Here," she said with clear decision. "Here is where our next work lies. We will rest a while before rising up to the challenge of building our new world in this rich pasture. It will be a challenge, but with the gift of creative Two from Five, and with honest work, we will do it!"
Knight of Swords raised her sword into the air, the breeze blew, and the people of the toppled world of Tower fluttered to the ground.
And the hard and good work began!
Diane King 2021
Five of Cups
Knight of Sword rode on for miles and miles over bright moorland and rugged terrain, until she reached a cliff top. Trotting to the edge, she looked down to the crashing waves and stern rocks.
She was about to ride on when her sharp eye glimpsed a splash of colour far below. Craning her neck, Knight of Swords made out a mermaid with her head in her hands.
Knight of Swords navigated a tricky path down the face. Finally by the mermaid, she asked, "Hello there, are you all right?"
The mermaid sighed.
"I was all right, but everything feels dashed. What is the point in anything anymore? I have everything I need and yet no satisfaction."
She looked up at Knight of Swords with eyes like oceans. Her voice was the ebb and flow of the tide.
"Your cups. You have spilt what was in them."
The sigh was a salty breeze. "It doesn't matter."
The Knight gestured to the other cups. "All is not lost - you have two left unspoilt."
"Yes. From the power of five I have made two."
The mermaid's sudden laugh made the sea roil and crash. "From the power of change, I have created!"
A breeze whispered round Knight and Mermaid and they both locked in a moment of clarity and emotion.
"Yes!" Mermaid dove into the sea and rose to bade farewell to Knight of Swords. "Noble Knight, the tumult is clearing. I have created from the power of five! Gallop through the waves of emotion and pass beneath the stone arch and you shall have the same gift."
Knight of Swords inclined her head in thanks as Mermaid flickered away on the foam.
Air and Water passed under the arch and Knight of Swords felt clear.
Diane King 2020
Knight of Swords
"Chaaaarrrrrrge!" The Knight of Swords emerged from the toppled world of Tower and battered like a thousand heartbeats across the wild terrain in a moment of enthusiasm for the mission. It felt so good! The wind, the gallop, the momentum!
But then Knight of Swords paused, the strong breeze whipping through her cloak.
Behind her, the people of the toppled world of Tower stood.
"Do we need to charge?"
"Is it really necessary?"
"Where are you charging to?"
Knight of Swords allowed the surge of valour and integrity to run through her being. Her sword was bright and clear in the blooming light.
"Charge? That was for the sheer hell of it. Know this: my mind is sharp and true as this blade. I do not foolishly charge into this quest, but go forwards with clarity and bravery."
She held aloft her sword and her voice rang out across the land. "By the power of air, I carry you all with me on the wing!"
All the people of Tower morphed and rose into a mountainous cloud, their voices whispers on the wind.
The air buzzed with possibility as Knight of Swords galloped at speed, leaving behind the toppled world of Tower.
Diane King 2020
Once upon a world, after the era of Shadow Side, the world of Tower stood waiting for a glimpse of sun, a brightening crack of sky, a breath of sweet air.
The inhabitants of Tower had explored the deep caves, dragged the stagnant ponds with searching, brave fingers, turned themselves inside out to face the darkness, and now they were ready for a new age. One of Light would be nice, or perhaps Enlightenment - now that would be something for the Book of Worlds.
At the very least, a cup of tea and a nice sit down would do.
But the world of Tower had reached its pinnacle, and Tower knew, as all worlds indeed know, that more was to come.
And it wasn't tea.
So the people of Tower had a great feast and celebrated all they had achieved and all their hard, great work.
The topple was coming, and their bellies and hearts would be full as they prepared to leap into the next world.
All right, some plunged rather woefully, but their nourishment and efforts would stand them in good stead for what was to come...
A little tale to pass the time,
While snowfall drifts and ticking clocks chime.
This bleak year an angel travelled through
And as she passed, a reminder she blew.
To weave the words, to mould the stories,
To tell the legends in all their glories.
So this winter moment, will you join me
And enter the gateway to find the story.
A card, three or four, each day,
Drawn in the dawn to create the play.
And so I'll offer this gift out to the world,
And with it
A reminder that stories told
Never die and never grow old.
Diane King 2020
So, February 16th at 2pm I'm going to be at one of my favourite places ready to sign copies of The Colour In Woman. Louisa, the dynamic and energetic owner of High Peak Bookstore has invited local authors for a book signing event, and yours truly is one of them. If you are in the Derbyshire area of the UK, fancy meeting authors, browsing books, and sampling some delicious eats and beverages, then come along! I would be thrilled to see you, chat, sign a copy of The Colour In Woman for you, and hear what you have to say about The Colour, fairy tales, books, favourite beverages, sci fi board games... so, come along!
If you've never visited this High Peak gem, here's a link:
A little bit about me can be found on the About page. I'm a writer, a reader a human and dog mum, a tree hugger, a vegan. In a nut shell, those labels and roles pretty much sum me up :)