Drops of enchantment 2
Entering into the spirit of the season
Today I had intended to have an essay on mermaids and selkies ready for paid subscribers – but I haven’t finished it yet, so I’m switching my schedule so that what would have been next week’s creative prompt/ ‘Drop of Enchantment’ is here today, and the essay will be with you next weekend. It’s a subject very close to my heart, and it’s not something I want to rush.
The reason I haven’t finished it is that I’ve been away all this past week in the southwest of England on a mini book tour, to celebrate the launch of the Hagitude paperback. I haven’t ever done much of all that over the years: it was always so difficult to travel from the remotest parts of Ireland where I lived until 2020. Then of course the pandemic, and lymphoma and a compromised immune system, kept me locked up at home for a good couple of years after we’d returned to Britain. So really, this has been the first chance I’ve ever had to do a ‘proper’ book tour, which will last over this autumn and which began in Blackwell’s in Oxford, Winstone’s in Frome and Toppings in Bath. (Kendal, Edinburgh and Whitby coming soon – see this page of my website for details.) It was delightful to be greeted by such huge audiences (Frome, at >110 tickets sold, just pipped Bath to the post) and also to see so many younger women come to learn and talk about that radical state of mind and body which I call hagitude. Here’s an image from the wonderful event at Toppings, snapped by my lovely publisher Hannah, who travelled to the event from London along with my agent, Jane.
Instead of the elegant boots I’d intended to wear, a pair of very flat Sketchers are plonked onto my feet. In attending an event which was part of The Accidental Book Festival in Frome, I managed, just 20 minutes after my arrival there, to accidentally sprain my ankle on a Frome cobble. After I’d hobbled back to the car and was rummaging in the glove compartment for some ibuprofen which I knew was there somewhere, I accidentally managed to overturn a bottle of water into the plastic folder containing all my notes, story scripts, and copy of Hagitude. Lovely to know that the universe has a sense of humour, but in future I’m going to watch the names of events I’m invited to very carefully …