Website glitches made a frustrating start to the month because I was unable to access and update my blog until the 7th of August.
I’ve been finding it hard to let go of ‘The Snake Wand’. I thought I was doing a final edit but found there were things I still wanted to change. So more days were spent in going through it in detail. As Book Three of The Hagstone Chronicles I think it’s probably the last and I guess I’m feeling rather lost at the prospect of saying farewell to the children I’ve been working with for the past four years. Somehow, they feel very real to me. I shall have to force myself to let them go in August, but I won’t be at all surprised if they pop back into my head and make suggestions for another book.
I was pleased when the cover arrived with its stylized view of McCaig’s Tower and the head of the dreaded Snake Wand. Having all three books with the same full moon as background emphasizes the fact that they are a set.
I probably feel the loss even more now that the manuscript of ‘Waymarks’, my poetry collection, is also out of my hands. After having contracts for five books I’m suddenly left with all my obligations filled and I’m not quite sure what to do next.
Luckily I have other things to do. I’ve been ‘wearing my other hat’ rather a lot as summer is the peak time for collecting and processing the botanicals for Bruichladdich Distillery. Poor weather has hindered the picking somewhat but Richard and I have struggled on with the help of grandson Joe who spent a week with us when he’d finished his GCSE exams. Here he is picking Water Mint in the bog behind Singing Sands.
Now that ‘The Botanist’ Gin is selling across the world there are Brand Ambassadors and we have been making tinctures for them to use in demonstrations on their travels. It has been interesting to meet groups of these, to tell them about our involvement and to show them the range of the plants we use.
News of further readings in Glasgow and Castle Douglas means that we will spend 10 days on the mainland in November. So we’ve booked a cottage on the sea front at St Monan’s and are looking forward to getting to know a part of Scotland that has so far eluded us.