the short version....
My name is Melanie....or, just Mel, if you please. I'm wife to B, mum to star-boy (2004) and girl-child (2003). I'm also a rabid gardener, student-herbalist, chicken-keeper, horse-rider, compulsive exclaimer and bookworm. I love all-things-analogue and am happiest when drinking excess quantities of tea while thumbing through the latest David Austin rose catalogue.
Aries Sun :: Gemini Moon :: INFJ :: Enneagram 4/5 :: Creator/Alchemist
When the muse grips me, I also masquerade as an indie author of urban fantasy and magical realism. My stories are woven through with themes of place, belonging and ecofeminism. I believe that stories ought to serve as both comfort and escapism and should, above all other things, restore our belief in wonder and delight.
the slightly longer version...
I was a shy, quiet, too-sensitive, child - books and stories were my sanctuary and my inspiration. In my secret heart, all I ever wanted was to be a writer - but I put that aside in pursuit of Sensible Things.
I started writing again, in 2002, when I was pregnant with my daughter - and it feels like I've been inching my way back ever since. Some days, it feels too hard; our world, after all, is run on Sensible Things and there are children and day-jobs and bills to pay and laundry to be folded.
Still, I plod onward -- three steps forward and two steps back some days, surrendering - not at all graciously - to the ebb and flow of my creative rhythms. I'm happiest just tootling away in blog-form and in letters (both digital and real).
Starting in 2014, I wrote and published three novellas (novellae?) and a novel in a fairly short span of time and then stopped writing. Or, at least, I stopped writing for publication. Then, in 2017, I started again - this time, with a clear purpose.
Or so I thought.
Three Ravens Press was born out of my desire to write the stories that I'd want to read - I can only hope that there are others out there, like me, who believe in the magic of ordinary things.
Then, life interceded, in devastating ways, at the start of 2018, utterly derailing me once again. In the aftermath, I promised myself a year without obligation...to explore, to be curious, to simply Be; in other words, to follow my heart instead of a preconceived notion of what my life ought to be. Writing fiction, for me, anyway, requires a huge quantity of mental and emotional bandwidth and the simple and unapologetic truth is that I don't have it in me just now. Of course, having just written that, is an almost sure guarantee that I'll contradict myself almost immediately. Whatever it takes. :) I'll keep you posted.
Not publishing, however, isn't at all the same as not writing...and so I've come home again to the world of blogging, where it all started more than ten years ago from a little space on Blogger where I wrote about unschooling my children. Seems like forever ago.
This, I know to be true - the only impact, the only "influence" that will matter, the only legacy I wish to leave behind, is that of having served Beauty and Wonder.
I tend: my children and family, the four-leggeds in my care, the bird-people, the bee-people, the plant-people; earth, sky, air, water...
I listen to: the trees, the flowers, the land. I offer stewardship to our little patch and live in constant awe of the reciprocity of nature. Love the earth and the earth will love you back....enter into conversation with the land and you'll discover how well you belong.
In late 2015 and early 2016 I began a pledge of simplicity - of living a life more analogue. The online world has so much to offer, but has become far too busy for this quiet, introvert soul. So it's long periods of unplugging filled with endless cups of tea, books, journals, letters and wandering in the garden.
Despite all advice to the contrary, I firmly believe there's a way to exist in the digital world without selling your soul. I just haven't quite sorted it out yet. I drift away, I drift back, each time wiser and more certain of how I want to show up in this wild and wonderful community. I believe we can create the world in which we want to live and so my energies are being channeled into curating corners of Beauty and Wonder. In my own bumbling and often bewilderingly changeable way, I hope that the things I write about here on my blog will in some small way contribute to kinder, gentler, more hopeful sort of internet.
It's a work-in-progress.
I have rather a lot of Opinions.
I have just as many, if not more, Questions.
Sometimes I like to think out loud.
In the heady days of my youth I was an active activist - I marched, I waved placards, I demonstrated, created and circulated petitions, founded a student chapter of Amnesty International (which is still active, lo these *cough* thirty *cough* years later). These days, I'm far too much a hermit, far too much a deeply-dug-in introvert for that sort of thing. But I still have things to say, things I wish to change, things I wish to do. I happen to think that small pebbles create large ripples and that even the tiniest steps in the right direction are better than giving it up for a lost cause.
I believe we are all creative beings. I believe we were made for joy. I believe we need to plant for the pollinators and that Monsanto is the devil.
Much of this blog will be dedicated to my ongoing efforts to live more gently upon this planet and to do my utmost to be a good and wise steward of this beautiful patch of earth upon which I am so fortunate to live.
In between, there'll be tea and roses and the odd bit of snark.
I'm so glad you're here.