Hi everyone! I’m so glad that Imbolc is here; the days are now
noticeably longer and despite the snow/gales/floods the birds are all
singing their hearts out. The blue-tits have begun to check out our
nest boxes and our snowdrops (the ones which survived the chickens
and the puppy) are bravely facing the world.
The Great Rebellion and the Moongazy Girl
I’ve done no events at all since the last newsletter at the Winter
Solstice. We spent a lovely Yule as a family, and Drax didn’t eat or
even nibble the tree. Since the advent of the new year, I’ve started
research for a historical fiction book for adults, and have also begun
some scribblings for a children’s book too. This month I’m off to spend
a weekend with a lovely group of children’s writers and I’m hoping to
get lots of useful tips. I’m also studying the Civil War with Oxford
University on a ten week online course, which is brilliant. This is a
really exciting time and I’m teeming with ideas!
Back to school
I’m delighted to have several school visits lined up this term, where I’ll
be speaking to pupils and running workshops. I’m also visiting
Winchester University to talk to students on the Creative Writing
course, and a group of adult writers in Reading. I really enjoy these
events and I hope that I pass on some of my enthusiasm and
excitement about writing, whether my audience is adult or only just
started at secondary school. Please contact me if you’d like to
arrange a visit.
Moongazy Camp 2013
Writing the books may be over, but of course Stonewylde lives on and
our community is very active. We have our now annual event in May,
the Moongazy Camp in Calne, near Avebury. There are full details
about this on our social network group - do come and join us for a
weekend of laughter and friendship around a camp fire. We have a
craft fair where everyone can sell their homemade wares, huge
communal barbecue, visits to nearby sacred sites, brilliant music from
our own talented musicians, and dogs (and ferrets) are welcome. We
take over a whole field at the campsite and benefit from cheap rally
rates as there are so many of us. The event is organised by
Stonewylde readers, so Mr B and I just turn up and enjoy ourselves.
This year we’re looking forward to introducing Drax to everyone.
Stonewylde goodies for sale
The Stonewylde Store is still going strong, with the silver Stonewylde
charms and lovely Stonewylde S earrings for sale, as well as a
beautiful range of cards from Mia Bradbury, and the wonderful
Moongazy and Dark Moon soaps created by our Stonewylde
aromatherapist. We also have wooden ballpoint pens and a
Stonewylde Goodies Bundle, which contains all sorts of bits for the
serious fan. If you haven’t made it to a signing event, you can now
order signed and dedicated book plates to stick into your books. Do
pop in to the Stonewylde Store for a peek at what’s on offer.
Stonewylde Facebook page
The Stonewylde page on Facebook is very busy; please take a minute
to “like” the page. I’ve posted lots of photos from 2012 events on the
page so if you came to any of my signings, do have a look.
The future of Stonewylde
Shaman of Stonewylde, the fifth and final book, continues to sell well
and feedback has been very positive. And The Cure were wrong; it’s
not true that boys don’t cry. Lots of men have told me that the final
book in the series reduced them to tears. If you’ve enjoyed the book
(and indeed, any of the others) then please do leave a review on
Amazon, Goodreads, and any other online review sites. Just a one-
liner will do - it all helps encourage new readers to give Stonewylde a
try. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
Now that 2013 is here, I’m hoping to discuss the future of the series
with my editor at Gollancz. Lots of people have asked me when the
books will be available on audio - I’m afraid I don’t know, but will keep
you posted. I’ve been told that the series will soon be available
worldwide; again, more details when I’ve spoken to my editor. The
paperback version of Shaman will be published later this year.
Looking ahead in 2013 ...
Please take a look at the diary dates below. I hope to meet many
Stonewylde readers this year so please come along to my events if
you can. I wish you all a very happy 2013 and thank you to everyone
who supported me last year.
Bright blessings from Kit xxx
Stonewylde Newsletter 48
February 1st 2013
Bright blessings at
to all Stonewylders
What’s been going on ...
Visit the Stonewylde Website
Stonewylde on Twitter
and Facebook - Like Us!
Kit on Twitter
I’m doing several school visits this Spring Term, so do get in
touch if you know of a middle or secondary school, sixth form
college or university who’d enjoy a talk and/or a creative
What’s coming up ...
The Crabchurch Conspiracy
This exciting event takes place this month in
Weymouth, Dorset. Mark Vine is a local historian
whose fantastic book, The Crabchurch Conspiracy,
tells of the events during the English Civil War, when
canon balls flew across the harbour and Cavaliers
and Roundheads fought hand to hand in the streets
of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. Over the
weekend of February 16/17th, there’s a re-
enactment of this important battle, with hundreds of
people taking part in full costume, a battle on the
beach and huge exhibition in the Old Town Hall.
Mark has also organised a brilliant event for the
evening: a lecture about the Civil War by the
renowned Professor Ronald Hutton (an expert in this
era), followed by a gig performed by The Dolmen of
their album The Crabchurch Conspiracy. I’ve been
invited to do some of the narration to this musical
feast, alongside Prof Hutton (who’s a Stonewylde
fan himself) and I am so honoured!! This will take
place in the theatre at Weymouth College. All profits
will go to the restoration of the Old Town Hall in
Weymouth, and Mark promises it will be “a stunning
evening of history and culture”. There’s a bar too,
with a bit of a party afterwards.
Do take a look at the page for this event on
Facebook. Tickets are £12.50 and are available via
Paypal here, or from Imagine Books in Weymouth
(who can take card payment over the phone). Full
details here on the Stonewylde website, including
my book signing. Please come along for a wonderful
evening, or make a weekend of it like we are!
Do join us and become part of our
amazing Stonewylde Community.
Magical Faerie Festival
Matthew Callow has invited me to attend
one of his amazing festivals, and I’m
looking forward to this very much. I first
met Matthew at the Elf Fantasy Fair in the
Netherlands in 2009; it’ll be great to take
part in his own fantasy event in the UK.
I’ll be there on Saturday May 11th, and
will give a talk about the Green Magic of
Stonewylde, followed by a book signing
on Matt’s personal stall. Mr B and I can’t
wait to dress up in our finery again!
There’ll be some beautiful stalls,
incredible music and exciting workshops,
so do come along either for the day or the
whole weekend, with camping too.
Sadly I must dash off to London in the
early evening as that night I’m taking part
in the famous Moonwalk! More details of
this sponsored marathon walk nearer the
time. In the meantime, do visit the
festival’s website here. We look forward
to seeing you in magical and sparkly
dress in May!
February 16th/17th - Crabchurch Conspiracy and Civil War in Weymouth, Dorset
March 4th - 8th - World Book Day events in schools all week
April 6th - Booksigning event at Castlepoint Waterstones, Bournemouth 12 - 2
May 11th - Magical Faerie Festival, near Worthing, Sussex (all weekend event)
Moonwalk in London - Kit on 26 mile walk through London overnight
May 17th - 19th - Moongazy Camp near Avebury
Please see the Stonewylde website for full details.
This festival, also known as Oimelc, marks the
beginning of the earth's awakening after the cold
and darkness of winter. Some sources say the word
means "ewe's milk" and some "in the belly". This is
the time when female sheep begin to lactate, and is
the start of the lambing season. But it's also the time
when life begins to grow in the womb of the earth,
so both meanings of Imbolc make sense.The
festival is a Celtic cross-quarter day, and marked
the time in the old farming calendar when ploughing
The corn dollies
saved at Lammas,
believed to hold the
spirit of the corn,
were ploughed back
into the earth at
Imbolc to symoblise
the return of the corn
spirit to the earth,
thus ensuring fertility
for the year ahead.
Imbolc is the festival of the Goddess in her Maiden
aspect. The crescent moon and white candles are
symbols depicting the strength and purity of the
virgin goddess who brings new life to the earth. She
has many names - notably Brigid or Bride, which
are apparently the origin of the word "bride". The
custom of the bride wearing white and carrying
flowers at her wedding are said to come from this
pagan goddess. Brigid or Bride was later
christianised as St. Bridget, but her origins go back
much further. The Brigid's Cross , an important
Imbolc symbol, is woven with four arms. The ones
pictured here were made by Gillian Nott, aka
Cornmother - thanks to her for lovely photos.
Folklore tells of the Maiden crossing the threshold at
Imbolc, which makes this a liminal festival - a sacred
time when the door between the worlds is open. It's
also a time to clean and get rid of the old season's
clutter, both in the home and one's life. The besom (old
fashioned broom) is therefore also a symbol of Imbolc,
and is often placed at the threshold.
this ancient festival
and renamed it
the white candle
theme, and marking it
as the purification of
the Virgin Mary. The
links here with the
pagan goddess and
Bride are very
To celebrate Imbolc,
light white candles in
your home, have a
good clearout, plant
bulbs or seeds and
remember this is the
time to celebrate the strength and power of young
womanhood - Brigit, Isis, Athena, call her what you will.
Imbolc at Stonewylde is described in detail in the fourth
book in the series, Shadows at Stonewylde. A young
girl of fourteen or fifteen is chosen to be the Bright
Maiden. She wears white, with a head-dress of silver
wicker woven with snowdrops. Partnering her is the
Archer, a young man chosen especially for his prowess
with the longbow. He wears green, echoing the myth of
Robin Hood and Maid Marion.
Even though this festival can appear to be in the middle
of winter when the weather is at its most bitter,
nevertheless there are often many signs around this
time of the beginning of life stirring in the cold earth.
The goddess is never dead – only sleeping – and
Imbolc marks her first awakenings.