~ Feathers fall in the forest ~

Feathers fall in the forest,

through the cracks of the early morning sun,

footprints buffered by waves that hit shore- they too fade,

for like seasons that flitter past the underbelly of a tomb, she weathers it all,

weighed down with armour, past the-

obscene feathers glistening with an acid curling of poisoned dreams

Those doors locked shut should never be opened,

the storms of sorrow that pull the corners,

like phantom strings of a ventriloquist’s muse,

marooned on the shipwreck of her youth,

it grows roots, flames that lick the skin of furnished walls,

Porcelain figures, shaken loose from oiled pages kept in shadows

For Hell is here.

Shrouded by grotesque wisps; eye sockets distorted; shattered,

don’t touch – don’t look,

through lantern flames she weaves through the deepest part of night,

whispering with strength beyond the raging of a tempest- ’follow me’,

and reflected beyond the seductive eyes of a devil- you do.

Copyright © 2019 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)

20,000 leagues under the sea

Having started “20,000 leagues under the sea”, watched “Aquaman”, “Jaws” & “Blue Planet-the deep” all in the space of 2 days ~ it’s no surprise when I started dreaming of being violently flung about on a boat swept by ominous looking black waves. 🌊

My phone was sliding around on deck, and I had just managed to catch it in one hand with triumph- only to discover my 2 companions were sinking under the tide (we were on our way to attend a party.) Needless to say, I arrived at the party without them… though I did give all my best efforts searching around, it turned into an affair like “The Great Gatsby”, they had different personas and were trying their best to evade me…

I’ve always been intrigued with creatures deep under the ocean. Their bulbous eyes and sharp teeth, their luminescent, transparent bodies, their spongy blob like exteriors… stuff out of nightmares…(which, I love calling up on the projector to show my students just to see their reaction!)

They say an iceberg is largely 3/4 under the surface. There are things below those tranquil waters that are beyond our imagination, and will still continue to lie unobserved.

So when the ‘Nautilus’ arrives and causes havoc in the seas around the world, it’s not hard that it could be mistaken for a narwhal or a cross between a whale/sea unicorn with its impenetrable exterior. It raises panic enough that the best captains rally and send forth a ship ready to capture, and, sadly slaughter this troublesome creature…Only to realise, it’s not a beast at all coming forth from the depths, but indeed a vessel, captained by none other than the infamous Captain Nemo. At this point our 3 protagonists have nothing else to do but sit, wait, and be carried along in an adventure like no other (since they’ve seen too much to be allowed to return home to dry land.) 🙄

Captain Nemo lets our guests into many secrets about the creation of his vessel (as surely it defies science), but we know this is only the beginning. If it’s anything like “5 weeks in a balloon”, I know that there will be no shortage of crazy events, the possible harpooning of sea spiders and giant squids, oxygen shortage, walking on the ocean bed and many, new discoveries.

And…if it’s anything like Dr Ferguson, Kennedy & faithful Joe- hanging onto the last trimmings of their damaged hot air balloon, shot at by arrows above enemy waters and praying to be saved~ we can only hope this Parisian professor & his friends get back safely (along with the unsuspecting sea creatures that cross their path!)

Drifting 5 weeks in a balloon 🎈

Hello again after having vanished for a few years (epic writer’s block there…) I received this lovely Barnes & Nobles edition as a Christmas present so I started reading! (Who could have believed I was such a “Back to the Future”/ lit nerd & not read it…the mysteries of the world

I drifted off to the sound of trickling rivers and gentle harp music only to find myself in the land between imagining if my character Dinah in my own novel ended up stepping through the pages and let herself be swept up in a one so frequent African storm, saved only by Doctor Ferguson’s ingenuity for aeronautics, Joe- ever the optimist lending a helping hand as she traversed the barren desert 🏜 of her own journey , and the intrepid hunter Kennedy cracking jokes and shooting his rifle at the inhabitants and beasts below (as he so often does to protect the balloon). No doubt they would all be in awe of her leather-bound she refused to surrender (because after all, how would she even get back to her own reality without the aid of her Jules Verne collection?) 

She could technically go months if not years page hoping from one story to the next, an entire bookshelf’s worth of novels at her disposal. 

Just like I escaped through the pages of my dreams – and imagined how wonderful it was to be surrounded by constant adventure…

Right now I’m still lost somewhere in a giant hot air balloon suspended in space, barely touching the horizon, resting above the clouds spread out like a furry white throw caught in the rays of the early sun ☀️ there’s no need to come back to reality just yet… 

Everything aside, I found myself laughing out loud at their anecdotes and wondering how amazing it would be to travel (with the right expert to guide you of course) across deserted plains & forests in a hot air balloon avoiding disease, illness, battles & quite frankly~ other people on the ground…

They met many obstacles but otherwise it was smooth sailing watching all the drama unfold below. But just being a quiet observer above, what did they truly miss?  🤔 Kennedy could vouch for that, no hunting for him, but sometimes it’s important to be in the thick of things to really experience all life has to offer…

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Edge of Silence

As we sit on the edge of silence,

gazing down to what has come before,

unrivalled dreams, stained apricot by passing suns,

like rain through our fingers no more,

mirrored strength, as marble hardens around-

our finest inspirations to fill the void,

as seasons flash, eternal;

never abandoned, relentless, never destroyed,

a memory flits by with her wings of silk,

so transparent and pure in the light,

of shadows that once were, carrying their weight,

or so nobly let dreams alight.

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Copyright © 2016 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)

Moby Dick ~ Our love/hate relationship

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Moby Dick- this is a chronicle of our love hate relationship. Yes, I first met you during my years at university, and yes somehow I managed to get an ‘A ‘ grade without having properly read you. Yes, I feel bad about this. So, last week I decided to give my many hardbacks a break to attempt to rekindle our rocky relationship. I hope you forgive me for this.

I can’t deny that Moby Dick is great for analysis. The themes touched upon such as the desperation of humanity, of unadulterated revenge, of survival, of kinship, the juxtaposition between light and darkness & good and evil through the representation of the ‘whale’ and the fierce and seaworthy captain Ahab mourning over the loss of his leg. There are so many things you can discuss – making it no doubt one of the enduring pieces of English literature. (Thank you online resources for getting me through this period)

So, why am I finding it so difficult to read?? I endured, I persevered, I rarely gave up, it’s chapter 32 and that’s it- I’m gone. There is humour, there’s great character portrayal of the narrator Ishmael’s anxiety over his meeting with his ‘soon to be’ close brother and companion Queequeg. Even then, it shows the bonds and true friendship that transcends race, situation & religion. The characters know the fragility of life; “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” There are quotes that are absolutely memorable and really help to set the scene;

  • “For there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.” 
  •  “It is not down on any map; true places never are.” 
  •  “Then, there you lie like the one warm spark of an artic crystal”.
  •  “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.” 

That last one is something to think about!

The novel is heavy with words. I would be lying if I said I understood it all, and I have read a fair few literature books in my time. Some chapters tended towards philosophical/religious references to biblical characters & heavy with analogies (even Ishmael, Ahab- many names are carefully chosen for the purpose of contrasting their biblical counterparts) not to mention defined textbook jargon of the anatomy of whales/and the whaling industry. Like many 19th Century literature it undoubtedly takes time and perseverance on the reader’s part to sift through outdated terminology and phrases, yet all I can say, is that the more you read, the quicker- and easier it gets.

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There may be a time, perhaps when I am stranded with nothing but ‘Moby Dick’ as reading material I may endeavor to try and renew my complicated relationship with it. Perhaps I may even reach chapter 60. But for now, I will close your lovely turquoise leaves (the drop cap covers are truly stunning- stunningly bright) and replace you on the bookshelf, just like Matilda at the end of the movie…until next time, friend or foe.

Would I recommend this to others? Probably. Am I crazy? For sure. Because it’s still a great book, and like genres of movies you reach for at HMV, choosing a suitable novel for you is exactly the same thing.

Good luck 🙂

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Urgent! Illustrator needed!!

So, a while ago I posted a cover of my book ‘Caskets of Ice‘, and after much deliberation and much inspired from the wonderful designs I found in “The Sleeper & the Spindle” by Neil Gaiman (Illustrated by Chris Riddell) I have come to the conclusion…..

That I am officially looking for an illustrator for my work. It is action/adventure fantasy, with gothic dreamy aspects with plenty of queens and castles that will appeal to all lovers of fairy stories-though not 100% a fairytale. It blurs the boundaries between dreams and reality from a perspective of a girl who yearns to escape from her daily life, trapped in a world which is far scarier, creepier and sometimes, downright brutal than she ever imagines.

It celebrates the imagination, and when dreams come alive.

All ideas are welcome! Below is the existing cover, designed by the talented Bonnie:

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Here are examples of some of the illustrations you may see in “The Sleeper & the Spindle”, with their wonderful black and white drawings and gold leaf.

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Please drop me a message if you are interested in collaboration, or you want to know more information about the book. Let’s begin on this magical journey together…

Kate 🙂

 

View from a Castle

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Rose Gardens, ‘Hever Castle’ 07.15

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The Sky is streaked like an aeroplane runway, double yellow lines at the roadside. Puffs of evaporated whiteness dissipate slowly, absorbed by the hungry mouth of unending blue.

 The moat is a still mirror, stone and latticed brickwork sliding about on its surface like a skater on ice. Fingers of ivy snake in brilliant amber and ox-blood, splattering the castle in a web of tattoos.

She thrums her fingers on damp wood, wind battering her skin fiercely as she steps off the drawbridge; into the gloom beyond. ‘Surely,’ she thinks, ‘a queen needs a crown?’…

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Copyright © 2015 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)