Joan Aiken’s stories for Dark Times

Joan Aiken

Downs JA

~ Joan Aiken painting of the Sussex Downs~

One of the darkest times in Joan Aiken’s own life, and that of her children, came in the 1950’s when she lost both her husband and the family home – a beautiful farmhouse in a Cornish valley – and her livelihood which had been taking in paying guests while she wrote stories and tried to sell them to magazines. This turned out to be the spur which turned her into a full time writer, and drew the remaining family into a shared bond which was to help them through times of difficulty.

Years later she described this time to a class of students, how her ability to write had developed from telling stories to her younger brother while keeping him happy on long walks on the Sussex Downs near their house, as in her painting above, using them to distract and cheer…

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Card Reading via Blessed

Really looking forward to what the new year brings after a period of rest. It’s been a really tough year. ❤ x


Outcome: Blessed

ee5a6462e38963342e25b62335f96660.jpgOracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid

Blessed ~ Essential Meanings: “Something wonderful that is unearned and unexpected; grace that is an unforeseen gift from Spirit.”

The Oracle’s message: “There are moments in life when, out of the blue, it seems that everything has been orchestrated by Divine intervention. You feel blessed in ways that are difficult to express. It is as if the Red Sea parts in front of you and events come together to banish your troubles easily and naturally. You know deep down you did not deserve any of it, and yet here you are. This is one of those times. Let awe and gratitude for all your blessings guide you now.”

Relationship message: “You are moving towards a deepening of intimacy in a unique and sacred partnership. You know that you are meant to make this connection. This union, blessed by the Divine, will bring transformation and beauty to the world. This is also a sign that, even more important, you are being called to a deeper intimacy with yourself and Spirit. With this new development, you will see evidence of grace in your life.”

Prosperity Message: “Unexpected windfalls and good fortune come your way now. You are in a phase where any difficulties or obstacles that have stymied your success seem to disappear on their own. Be ready to receive. The windows of opportunity will open wide. Accept the blessings given to you now, and do not forget to share them.

Protection Message: “Humility is called for now, as grace is an unearned gift. You did not gain this by your own desires or actions. To be who you need to be, you can no longer do what you did. In a way, you have hit rock bottom and what is required now is nothing less than total surrender. Then you will be blessed.”*

This is a message of Faith and Trust. Knowing that the Universe has your back, even if you have been slightly off course lately. You may feel overwhelmed, you may be a little (or quite) stressed. You may feel bogged down by responsibilities and obligations when you just really want to fly far away and be free. Maybe despite all the positive energies coming through you still feel stuck, or are having trouble releasing that which no longer serves you. Maybe you are still holding on to why you think you cannot move forward or don’t deserve to.

Despite all that, something amazing is coming your way! Yey to that! Blessings are on their way to your right now, despite whatever may be going on around you. This is confirmation of the deep love and support that the Universe has for you. And who doesn’t love an unexpected gift!

Receptivity is key here and to be in the receptive state, use gratitude. Just keep putting it out there how thankful you are for all that you have and all that you Love. Just how lucky you are to be here, right now, reading this, existing in this crazy, amazing, magical world. During the shift of ages, into new and undiscovered realms.

The beginning of your very own faery tale…


Beautiful Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid, Artwork by Jena DellaGrottaglia

dbc8fe891e31429b1ce33999610678f1.jpgColette Baron-Reid has created oracle cards

This was another outcome card via a second reading – online. ❤


The Oracle’s message:

When spring awakens the world, joy and excitement can be felt all around and at your very core. Blossoms burst from trees overnight, birds return home and sing their glorious song, and nature is full of promise. Miracles beckon all of us. This is one of those times in your life when new ideas inspire you and new opportunities bring you hope for seeing your dreams come true. All is well in your world, and you have the energy you need to feel renewed. Allow your heart to fill with enthusiasm. Let your light shine, for this, is a time of good fortune.

Relationship message:

New energy enters old relationships, and new relationships are bursting with the sweetness and vibrancy only encountered when winter gives way to spring. This is a time to connect with others and share excitement, passion, and hearts full of joy. This card is a very auspicious sign with respect to love and partnerships in all forms.

Prosperity message:

You have every reason to be optimistic right now, as things seem to fall into place magically. New opportunities remind you that abundance is available to you. Delight in the bounty that begins to appear in surprising forms. Stay curious and know that your hopes and dreams are being fulfilled. It’s as if new life suddenly infuses your projects, work, and creative ideas with a kind of electricity that crackles with exciting potential. Fortune is smiling on you.

Accidentally found this video while researching, which prompted me to do an online reading HERE – using the ‘Blessed’ Card outcome in the video to find the deck.  I haven’t been involved in the mystical side of fortune telling for many, many years. I became glued to this reading, aghast, as really apt for November 2017. Well, for all this year…I mean, REALLY, spot on. ;o) The positivity through both readings encouraged me to post, to share – always loving positive affirmations. ((( ❤ )))

Big love to you all. xxx ❤ Wishing you beautiful outcomes, too. ❤

…and finally, a positive for December through to February 2018. ❤

Those are three readings that I will remind myself of as I walk, tip-toe, through the difficult transitional stages of major change.

  • Health: Hyperthyroidism – DVT (blood clot) – Kidney Stones – hair falling out – etc. Hospital and doctors
  • Love: Break up after 18 yrs.
  • Death of loved ones
  • Loved ones with cancer – going through enormous pain (thankfully, on the mend)
  • Being dropped by the publisher (Debut) in the middle of a book series, struggling with revisions of the two later books because of this. Deflated.
  • Financial difficulties
  • Son diagnosed with ASD (Asperger’s)
  • Secret Admirer – confessed genuine feelings spanning years (head whizzing, adding more confusion)

I’m not going to ever forget the catalyst events of 2017 which are leading to new beginnings as I learn to let go and heal ;o) I tend to not air my private life, but something is telling me this is also a form of letting go, to just share it, to be unguarded once in a while. I find this difficult, but this is me doing exactly that. Ernest Hemmingway said to write hard and clear about what hurts – in that light, perhaps my writing will permit me to really connect with my characters emotions, I tend to connect with them that way normally, but somehow, I’ll be in the moment when they are and boy, it will be dramatic. :o) Book two WILL be completed/revised/and self-published next year. Yup, never giving up! Dandelion Wind, a new novel, is in some ways a reflection of what I’ve gone through, in part. I’m really looking forward to completing that one – facing truths in a raw yet fictional form, something about it feels good. Guess I’ll understand it more once develop it further.

So, my lack of presence online, writing, sharing art, is a reflection of these traumatic events, as I’m taking time out to recoup, but I promise, will be back very soon. (((( ❤ )))


Love & light beautiful people,

thank you…



Storytelling Haiku


Sacred Soul Forgotten

1. Paradise bounty
her sweet innocence and youth
unaware of fate

2. A purple flower
scents of violets and mead
echo through her soul

3. His mouth an apple
his kiss an ethereal dream
encircled she’s his

4. Eyes appear that see
a crime of forbidden love
rage and fury flames

5. Hearts torn asunder
banishment they both depart
disgraced gates open

6. Under starry sky
the four rivers of her heart
drowns out the sorrow

7. Float on ocean’s waves
her heart now seeks a new home
broken but hope breathes

8. Muted horizon
she finds a land of plenty
but hell becomes home

9. Gazing out to sea
serenading memories
waves against the shore

10. The wings of a bird
soaring high in the heavens
he seeks what she lost

11. Ancient endearment
of the star-crossed love gone by
its light now fading

12. Wildmen in forests
Herne the hunter seeks her
in sacred marriage

13. A new clan inland
the past is fading away
the apple haunts her

14. A woman’s soul crushed
in a land of warring men
fragile yet divine

15. Waterfalls in mist
she falls to her knees and prays
begging for the light

16. Woodwose hunted down
the crown removed from nature
roses overgrown

17. The secret garden
where seeds of truth lies dormant
fenced off from the world

18. Sacred feminine
close your eyes and hear her name
carried on the wind

~ Tracey-anne McCartney

Inspiration for novel ~ Women of the Sea (Link)


Love and light

9) I need to be surrounded by beauty.

“Sometimes with places it can be just like with people’s appearances – maybe we don’t like them at first, but when we get to know them, we start seeing them as beautiful because of what’s hidden behind the face. We even take special pleasure from the flaws. The more we observe them, the more beautiful and necessary they seem.Maybe that is what I need to do with Thanh Hoa as well. I need to penetrate it – I need to get inside of it, and I need to open m

Source: 9) I need to be surrounded by beauty.

Creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.

The Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W. B. Yeats


Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.

Video Link –


FREE online course – An Introduction to Screenwriting


There are no formal requirements for this course, just an interest in screenwriting.

Screenwriter Michael Lengsfield teaches scriptwriting at the University of East Anglia, where he specializes in the theory and practice of dramatic adaptation.

Starts on the 8th May – Duration 2 weeks

3 hours per week

Screenplays form the starting point for most dramatic films, the essential work from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk. This free online course will introduce you to the basic elements and key concepts behind a professional screenplay.

The University of East Anglia’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing have built this course with instructors and recent alumni from their famed course in Creative Writing.

The course is a must for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.

You’ll learn from a mixture of basic theory, script analysis and practical exercises. We will explore key principles as they’re expressed in great films, then immediately apply these concepts. Videos, articles and discussion steps will offer you the opportunity to learn and engage with other learners on key concepts and ideas.

By the end of the course, you will understand the key concepts necessary to write an effective screenplay and be fluent in the language used to discuss the form.



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