Monday, 18 January 2016

From Now 'til Then... My Poetry Collection

The main focus of my writing business has become my website where you'll find news of what I'm doing, and updates on my books.

I'll be posting now on my website blog, instead of Google+ I would love to keep in touch with you, so please click on the above link to join me. 

And before I go... 

Not only will The Alchemist's Passion be released soon but also, a collection of my poems called: From Now 'til Then. They are for anyone who has been in love or would like to be, and has known passion. 

Falling in Love

Walk softly
within my heart, 
footfall embedded
in tenderness

and I will search
love's touch
for your soul,

to embrace the dawn
with you.

copyright@Sharon Bradshaw 2016

There's more about From Now 'til Then on my website I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Wishing You Good Health, Success, and Every Happiness in 2016!

Happy New Year! I have been looking back at the old year, and deciding my goals for 2016.

To begin with, I can share the link to my new website which was finished a few days ago; my 2nd novel will be called "The Alchemist's Passion", and I'll be releasing the cover shortly.

I'm looking forward to this, and so much more in 2016...

I hope that the new year brings you good health, success in all that you do, and every happiness.

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A Monk, and his beliefs...

When I began to write about Durstan, The Monk who Cast a Spell  I thought a lot about belief in the 8th century; how this would have been affected by the social, economic and political climate of the day.  The early Christian Church was trying to gain a stronger foothold in the British Isles, and there was history too! 

Durstan would have felt much closer than we do to the Roman occupation which started in 43 AD, and the Druids of that time. People would have walked amongst the standing stones; had their own evidence of an earlier man, the Bronze Age and before.

Archaeology has discovered now that Stonehenge may have been connected to nearby places, such as Durrington Walls and its timber henge. Click here to read about this.

Would Durstan have known more about these ancient places than we do, from the tales which were told around the hall fire in the 8th century? I think he probably would have done. People traveled in early times, and would have talked about important sites. The druids and scops, or poets of the time, reminded them too of what shouldn't be forgotten. 

The Monk was born on Iona; and there are many ancient sites in the Hebrides, such as Callenish and Scara Brae. Would he have experienced the same sense of awe as we do, if he had visited them? I like to think so... 

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the Samhain celebrations...

It's almost Halloween, or the ancient Samhain when the dead roam the earth again...

There's magic and the supernatural in my debut novel, set in 794 AD. Brionach the Druid and the Monks use charms, amulets and spells. The seasons change from spring through to midwinter, and the Old Gods can be found in the firelight and shadows. Samhain was also celebrated in the 8th century, with feasting and fun.

Durstan has already fallen in love with Ailan by this time, and is... The Monk who Cast a Spell. The book is available now from Amazon Barnes and Noble, and other places.

Enjoy this year's traditional celebration, Google+ Friends. Happy Halloween! Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Editing my 2nd novel... Here's how I did it!

I have been busy editing for the last few weeks, and my 2nd novel has followed a similar pattern to The Monk who Cast a Spell. Here's what happened...

I wrote an initial draft of between 50,000 and 60,000 words. This was the bones of the story, and a manuscript I could edit. It began in notebooks; on scraps of paper when they weren't to hand, and all the words transferred then onto my laptop.

The 1st edit took the longest because it filled in the gaps; building character and background. A little more research was also necessary. I rewrote any parts at this point which didn't work well, and the word count increased naturally to more than 80,000 words.                 

I added background details and names, with further character descriptions, in the 2nd edit. This gave depth and credibility to the story. 

On the 3rd reading, I concentrated on punctuation and grammar, the unwieldy sentences which prevented the narrative from flowing.

I was comfortable by this time with the plot and chronology, so that in the 4th edit I was able to give the chapters the final numbers which they would have in the published book. 

The 5th and 6th edits were little more than a read through, with a word changed here and there.

And the title of book 2 came to mind as I was editing. I'll tell you what it is, in my next blog post... 

I hope you have a great week, Google+ Friends. Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.


Saturday, 10 October 2015

A day out ...and books which inspired my novels

I visited Birmingham in the UK last Sunday, and had almost forgotten the hustle and bustle of the city where I worked for many years. New buildings reaching out to the skyline were a surprise, and old ones no longer there. 

I was pleased to see again the iconic Bull, which still stands proud in the Bull Ring shopping centre

I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, enjoyed walking around, and went to Waterstones book store; where you can lose your soul and wallet quite easily, in the magic of the endless shelves. 

But I knew where I was going! I headed straightaway to the history books, and bought The King in the North by Max Adams It's about Oswald of Northumbria in 634 AD; earlier than when my tale takes place, but it helped me see the way life could have been for Durstan, in Lindisfarne during 800 AD.

I read this book some time ago, and I wanted a paperback copy for my own bookshelves. I thought too of Adomnan, 9th Abbot of Iona, who wrote The Life of St Columba It was nowhere to be found...

but I was delighted to discover Mercia: The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Central England by Sarah Zaluckyj I have been researching Mercia for my 2nd novel. It's the Kingdom which adjoins Northumbria, where Durstan is, and I hadn't as yet read this book.

My £20.00 voucher was quickly gone, plus a few GBP more, but it was a wonderful day; another to cherish. I went home, tired and happy, with inspiration to write more...

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Flowers, books, and more... have been my inspiration this week

Inspiration is the feeling or thought which motivates us; and as a medical term, the drawing of air into our lungs. What could be more fundamental than this? It's a life breath, which for me, has become creative writing. So what has inspired me this week to write?

I have been reading a lot; including the relevant sections of "English Stone Building" by Alec Clifton-Taylor and A.S. Ireson. It's a book which tells the story of stone masonry. I wanted to see what more I could discover, about the buildings I was writing about in 800 AD, and the stone which would have been available locally at that time. 

Also, "The Domesday Book - England's Heritage, then and now" by Thomas Hinde. This gives details of the famous manuscript created in 1086; and talks about how the land was held in parts of England after the 1066 Norman Conquest. It's later than the time I'm writing about, but not difficult to imagine from it how life might have been a couple of hundred years earlier. People were already, in the 8th century and before, trying to create security for their families and themselves through land ownership; despite the actions of the warlords, and Viking raids which were taking place.

Walking every day has also inspired me; looking at the historical places near where I live, and gardens. People; a word or glance; someone's face at the window; sunshine and raindrops... making sure too that I had a notebook and pen in my bag, to write down my thoughts.

I have a small camera, and took a few photographs of the flowers I came across which I liked. I have been thinking about the change from Summer to Autumn. It's definitely getting colder and the light is less; but the magic of nature remains with us...

As for the writing itself... Book 2 is almost done. I'm looking forward now to working on the 1st draft of Book 3, which will complete the Iona trilogy. Some of it is already written in older notebooks. If you still haven't bought a copy of the novel where the story began; The Monk who Cast a Spell is available on Amazon here 

I hope you have had a great week, Google+ Friends, and are looking forward to the weekend. 

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.