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Off to an exhibition…

We went for our walk to see an art exhibition of painting and wooden sculptures that have been made from found materials. You can find out more about Les Lees, who made them, here, but what, selfishly, matters to me is that he only lives round the corner and is a retired lecturer who’s been a brilliant mentor for my daughter as she does her Creative Arts degree with with Open University. He’s got a refreshingly jargon free approach and the three of us had a good conversation about the compulsion to create and the way that one idea leads to another and another and another.

My favourite pieces are these cormorants, but it was also fascinating to see him working on a jellyfish sculpture because you could see the ideas coming to life in the wood and his paintings were amazing. It certainly made me think about what I want to create, and how I do it, and decide to have an artist hero sometime, probably in Windy Bay where he could exhibit up at Druett Manor. And that, you see, is where my ideas come from. I read widely and eclectically, I follow the news and then an idea creeps up on me. For instance, some farms allow metal detectorists to explore their fields during the winter in return for an up front fee, a share of anything valuable they find and rights to all the scrap metal they unearth. They provide a soup and sandwich lunch and it’s some useful extra cash for them. So what if Swansmere did that? What could possibly go wrong?

So that one’s joined the upcoming book list, but more excitingly right now, the third Esther and the Professor book is out on Thursday. It’s called ‘A Very Different Kind of War’ and it’s available on Kindle Unlimited. This one was fascinating and sad to write because some of the events involve my husband’s family history and I think it’s important that we don’t forget how hard things were for those who lived on the Home Front and how uncertain life could be.

There are also some books on special offer at 99p in the UK and 99c in the US. This week we have three books from the Amy Hammond series - Ghost of Christmas Past,

The Past is Always With Us and Sweet Revenge. I enjoyed writing Ghost because it was nice to catch up with Peter’s cousin Drew. He’s an archaeologist so I’m sure he’ll pop up in the book about the metal detectorists. All of the books reflect my feeling that the past isn’t gone and if we don’t listen to it then we’ll have to repeat it, and show Amy and Peter happily living next door to each other while being lovers.

There are also two books under my Eleanor Neville pen name. These are Warriors Way and Cynics Way and are about a doomsday cult. Cults fascinate me because they seem to infiltrate so much of life now as we forget that freedom of speech doesn’t just apply to us. As my father used to say, they have the right to say what they want to and we have the right not to listen or to laugh in their faces. We seem to be losing that now, and it scares me.

Which isn’t the sort of depressing note that I intend to finish on, so I’ll think about those beautiful wooden cormorants instead. Can you believe that they started life as pallets and left over fence stain? Amazing, isn’t it?


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