Five months ago I realised Covid wasn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Mainly because our beloved leader and his cabinet of All-the-Untalented were showing every sign of world-beating incompetence. We never stood a chance of avoiding the second wave, let’s be honest.
As it turns out – how can I state this modestly? – I was right. So I needed a distraction, and I found one.
Now, after five months of spending every afternoon Mon-Fri buried in my virus-free hillside writing cabin, I have emerged having finished my RomanoBritish mystery novel Governor’s Man: The BronzeOwl. Hopefully it will be the first of a series that people will like.
The word “finished” is of course light touch. So far the first draft has gone off to valiant beta readers for initial impressions, and even more nervously to my gallant editor Gemma Taylor at Oakleaf Editing, she who must be obeyed.
In the meantime, I’m off to walk the well-ventilated and hopefully virus-free beaches of Devon for a week, with my long-suffering dog and that man who brings flasks of tea uphill to the cabin. And to play ludus latrunculi.
Since lockdown began I’ve been focussing on my novel Governor’s Man, and neglecting my usual short story writing. Then along came the Lincoln Book Festival 2020 flash fiction competition. The challenge was to write a complete 50-word story about the Lincoln Imp. Those of you who’ve visited Lincoln will know of the little gargoyle who sits perched on top of Lincoln Cathedral, staring down at passers by. Locals regard him as malign; he’s been blamed for all sorts of mishaps over the centuries, from housefires and miscarriages to sour milk.
In 225AD a tall fair-haired woman called Julia Aurelianus lives in a pretty townhouse in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath). Julia is an independent woman of means, a cultured high-status aristocrat and a healer who works at the clinic attached to the temple of Sulis Minerva. She is an educated, sophisticated citizen of the Roman Empire, living nearly two hundred years after the Roman invasion of Britain. She believes the Roman Empire will last for ever. But at the same time, she is a proud Durotrigian, with deep roots in a British identity, and a leading role as a tribal noble. Continue reading “Leaving Europe: we’ve done that before”→
It’s nearly Christmas. So here in the UK that means festive conversations and convivial gatherings around the issue of the hour…Brexit.
This is me, Jacquie Rogers, writer, pro-European, and member of Malvern for Europe. Wearing a silly EU beret.
And this is Peggy, three months old. Definitely in charge. Wearing a canine gilet jaune.Together we canvassed for the People’s Vote in Great Malvern today.
I don’t often write about political events, either here or in my travel blog
This blog is intended for those who love reading, and might like to follow my writing and publications. Nevertheless I won’t apologise to you, my readers, for diverting today a little way down the murky paths of UK politics. But you are deserving of an explanation, so here goes:
If, like me, you’re already a fan of the wonderful Bristolian novelist Jodi Taylor, you’ll get my reference to one of her St Mary’s Chronicles series. St Mary’s is a research institution where historians research historical events in contemporary time. Yes, they time-travel. Although as Jodi cheerfully admits, she has no idea how the time travel pods actually work.
I’ve come a long way from the Malverns to conduct a bloodbath. My home for this week is the The Court in the tiny village of Sheepwash, Devon. Lovely hosts Debbie and Wendy run Retreats for You in this beautiful sixteenth century townhouse, mainly for writers, but anyone in need of utter peace can enjoy their splendid hospitality and the deep rural peace here.