Merry March, Friends!
Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax
This update is actually the first of two for today. The second update will be a quick overview of how I plan to manage this platform throughout 2020. To save bombarding your inbox with too many words (for those of you who subscribe), therefore, I will keep this brief.
Where and When
Our rescheduled trip to Stirling earlier in February nearly didn’t happen because of a bout of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Me, not Auri, who clearly and merely passed it on to me (which, to be fair, I much preferred to the thought of her being miserable). But make it to Stirling we did, for a grand weekend, even if I couldn’t really eat or talk much. This last weekend, we were up in Wick visiting my family (or at least those who are still Caithness-based), and there was much hilarity and madness, as usual. Auri thoroughly enjoyed having an adoring public to run rings round.
In the two nights we were away this weekend, the small cherry tree outside the kitchen window has gone from buds-just-peeping-through to definitely-there-and-then-some. The garden is waterlogged after weeks of rain, but I finally made it out to the raised bed near the herb garden on Sunday to pull up a couple of weeds round the rhubarb and to plant the horseradish root that Clemency had given us. It’s a start. Here’s hoping for a brighter and drier March.
A Murder of Crows
I’ve decided to introduce a new section into my As She Flies updates, providing a brief recap of what my nearest and dearest have been doing recently as several of you, I know, have followed our collective #AMurderOfCrows exploits for some time on various platforms.
This last month saw my brother Alex (or Alexander M. Crow, as the publishing world knows him) finally publish his long-awaited series of ‘Lesser Evil’ novellas. You can find links to these from various places, but if you sign up to his Substack (here’s a recent post), then he’ll be sure to keep you updated on his writing adventures and his travels (he and Aurélie have just – as in Sunday, just! – found a place in Portugal for the next year).
We were delighted to hear the other day that my sister Judith has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for her novel, ‘The Backwater’. The Backwater is “a ghost story inspired by the guidelines used by the great M. R. James, but with the freshness in tone of the twenty-first century, [and] weaves together the guilt of the living and the anger of the dead to produce a chilling but tender story of one girl’s struggle to find her place in the world.” Best of all, the books shortlisted in the young adult category of the Wishing Shelf Book Awards are chosen by young adults themselves, selected by high school pupils and their teachers.
Though not technically a February update, it would be remiss of me not to let you know that my sister Virginia published her latest book in January, after serialising it in the run-up to Christmas. ‘Caledon’ is set in the aftermath of the battle of Culloden and is built on the foundations of Scottish folklore and history. Expect more news about Caledon in coming updates.
On the Bookshelf
The only book I have read in its entirety this last month has been ‘False Value’, the latest in Ben Aaronovitch’s ‘Rivers of London’ series. It didn’t disappoint, but did feel a little like a step back and a breather compared to the pace of the previous full novel in the series, ‘Lies Sleeping’. I have yet to catch up on last summer’s novella, ‘October Man’, and the graphic novels in the series. They’re on the list.
In the Inkwell
I have started to tentatively sketch out an essay series that I plan on writing (hopefully with your help) throughout 2020. Expect the first one (working title: ‘The Hallowed Beginning’) later this month. See also, ‘Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax’, above and to follow.
Well, that was me being brief. How did I do? And how is 2020 treating you all so far?!
‘til next time,
4th March 2020
Croy, Highlands, Scotland