The Sword and The Pen

Language. Letters. Words.

How is it possible that a mere twenty-six symbols – when rearranged in patterns – can construct portals to distant worlds…communicate desire, anger, hope, tragedy…. stir up ideas, command dissension, spark emotion and encode themselves upon the memories of susceptible souls forever.

There is magic concealed in the slim, unassuming line of the pen. It hovers in reach of all who search for it. In fairytales at first – in the enchanting kingdoms of princess and beast, fairy and dragon. Imagination is sparked as a door creaks open within the mind – revealing a palace of delights as far as the eye can peer.

A hazy memory beckons.

A boy and a burger. A secret spice that eludes him but has the potential to put Mr Borthwick’s hamburger place back on the map. It was Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘The Perfect Hamburger‘ that forever fused my particular passions – cooking, reading and writing.

Tales of mysterious trees, amateur sleuths, bands of friends, secret panels in drawing room – I inhaled them. Caravans at the circus, boarding school antics, accidental adventures and animals that spoke. Each became a part of me – an idea that connected, a view of the universe that beckoned.

As I grew, so did the number of pages in my books. The worlds grew more complex –  characters who struggled, puzzles more intricate to unravel. I travelled to Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts and Roshar.

It is time for me to give back now.

To write my own fiction and create worlds that ignite awe and wonder in my children. I’m drawn back to the screen again and again – tapping away on the keys and constructing a fantasy universe of ninjas, magical chefs and artists.

I’m absolutely loving every minute of it.

Who knows where the journey will take me but at the moment I’m just enjoying the ride. I’ll keep you up to date with any developments, but it may mean that my posts here will slow a little.

It is time for me to truly earn the title of ‘writer’. To invest the long hours it takes to create a work that will endure.

If you are interested in being a part of the journey, in having sample chapters sent to you for review and the provision of feedback, please contact me.

My stories are aimed at the lower end of middle grade (8-12). The intention is to create a (semi-biographical) world that deals with the real struggles of characters going through school, with the incorporation of fantastical elements and some basic Enneagram and well-being principles as well.

Here is a brief excerpt from the first book Swordmaster which is part of a larger series The Mastery Chronicles:

“Eli crouched in the darkness on the top of his bed.

His body quivered.

He wished he knew how to control it, how to stop the sensation from overcoming him when he least wanted it to.

The whole of detention he had tried so hard to focus on the sky outside, breathing in and out so that he didn’t accidentally ruin everything at school. So far, he had been lucky and the powers had mostly only come out at home, but he knew, he just knew it was only a matter of time.

Eli listened to the voices in the kitchen.

He could hear Hudson begging Mum to let him cook again. Hudson was always sitting up at the bench mixing strange ingredients together. Mango and mayonnaise, yoghurt and white chocolate. Sometimes his creations tasted surprisingly good.

Other times they were disgusting.

He wasn’t quite sure how his brother did it, but sometimes, when he ate something that Hudson cooked, it had a strange effect on him… Like the time he saw everything in rainbow colours after eating a crunchy cookie cake with rainbow lollies in it. Or the time he kept blowing huge bubbles from his mouth after eating the blueberry fizzy muffins Hudson had made.

“If only Hudson could control that, it could be really useful.” Eli mused aloud as his eyes stared up at the hand-drawn ninja posters on his wall. He had worked on those with his mum, before all the craziness with the powers had started. He didn’t think Mum would even think about drawing ninjas for him now.

It was lucky she hadn’t stripped them off the wall after his last episode.

‘If only I could control my skill.’ He thought, his mouth twisted into a sad smile. If you had asked him a few years ago what he would have thought about having incredible ninja powers, he would have jumped up and down with excitement.

Now he just wished they would go and find someone else.”

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It has been a brutal week. Filled with gastro, meltdowns and a misunderstanding. A rat infestation, car troubles and a school reprimanding. How can we go on like this? The echo grows louder, energy wanes. My temper is quicker, patience shorter and outlook grim. I equip myself with the weapon […]

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A Trek to Turkey

Within minutes of knowing me you will probably discover that I love food. Cooking it, experimenting with it, eating it, serving it – there is just so much to enjoy and it is one of the few things I can talk about for hours (should there happen to be any […]

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What I’ve Learned: Summer 2018

Summer. The days yawn, seemingly endless. My vocabulary becomes reduced to a screech (‘Door!’) as forgetful bodies traipse in and out, bringing the oppressive air with them. We relax the rules, stay up late, toss and turn in tangled sheets under a whirring fan. Pages turn, words transport us to […]

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The Unfortunate Underbelly

“If you have forgiven yourself for being imperfect and falling, you can now do it for just about everyone else. If you have not done it for yourself, I’m afraid you will likely pass on your sadness, absurdity, judgment and futility to others.” Richard Rohr, Falling Upward. I was granted […]

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What I’m Into: January 2018

I’m not sure what strange magic laces the first weeks of the year, but the effect is an endless array of sun-warmed days. The first of each year is a celebration, with Hudson’s birthday launching us off in the full-bodied style that he exudes. Then we celebrate our anniversary and […]

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Treasures, Tiaras and Tea

When we first opened the crinkled white envelope, breaths held in electric suspense, I couldn’t help but dart a furtive glance downwards as a hesitant Eli read the letters before the gathered room: ‘G…I…R…L’. A daughter. I had secretly held out hope for such a possibility, trying not to allow […]

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My Top Ten Books of 2017

When the book at the top of your list is a cookbook, I guess that says a lot about this year. Jane Webster’s ‘At My French Table’ swept me into another world and irrevocably changed the way I looked at food (the recipes were reliably delicious as well). Granted, this […]

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