Newsletter Archive

  • A Golden Anniversary in a Season of Gold
    Which is to say, this is the 50th issue Here in the north, we are past the equinox, our sun dipping, seemingly flagging in energy as winter approaches and the world turns onward. The forest is … Read more
  • Back to School
    I considered Bak 2 Skool. But decided, no. One morning, a crow calls, staccato and sudden, seemingly breaking their silence since early summer all in a flurry of outcry and warning. Summer is ending! Another morning … Read more
  • Les Grandes Vacances
    Or sleepy, summery slumber. Hello This is not the normal, full-sized, epic newsletter you’d expect from me, but a relatively brief summer note between friends. Just a hi, how are you? Have some pretty summer photos. … Read more
  • Back Beneath a Mountain
    Of Gold and Silver, Trees and Ghosts The woods are cool. The air flows above the tumbling, rushing stream, following the steep valley down to the river below. It is urgent, this flow, both water and … Read more
  • Lost Cities and Sustainability
    It was 27°c here two weeks ago. The flowers leapt toward the sun with abundant joy, the bees danced and hummed their tales amongst themselves and anyone else who would listen, and the birds designed and … Read more
  • TIME SENSITIVE! Sale and Publishing News.
    This is the first of two newsletters to head out this month and the shorter of the pair. It will be mostly be actual book news and offers, rather than my usual rambles, musings and notes. … Read more
  • Patterns of Time
    I find the relatively brief walk to the micro-crèche a welcome break in my day, just getting outside helps and the views of the snow-capped peaks are all kinds of wonderful too (more of which later). … Read more
  • Look Closely, Closer Still…
    In which I discuss the micro. With added swear words. The days are lengthening in the north and, by now, the extra light is just about noticeable. This is a very good thing, as is the … Read more
  • The Wheel Turns
    Midwinter (or midsummer) is almost here In the north, this is the point on the turning of the yearly wheel where all begins to be laid bare. The leaves are mostly scattered in sudden fall and … Read more
  • Sale! Free Books! A New Project!
    The Exclamation! Issue! Hello Sorry for the ! points everywhere. This newsletter is the first of at least two this month — perhaps three, if I get a year-end message crafted in time. Time, these days, … Read more
  • New Beginnings
    This took a lot longer than normal, for some reason… Overnight, something huge has taken a sieveful of icing sugar and dusted the high places. Each crevice, each crag, every tree, cliff and corrie now shining … Read more
  • Sparrows, Hope, and Rules
    Potentially the last newsletter before the baby arrives… This is a season of storm. The birds know it, they are frantic, feeding as quickly as they can before vanishing from sight as the sky drops into … Read more
  • Death In Harmony Is OUT NOW!
    It’s very good, if I do say so myself. Hello After last week’s baby-related announcement episode, this newsletter will be centred around my writing. First, though, a very big thank you to those of you who … Read more
  • The Golden Mountain
    Of hammocks and new growth. As with the spring and the mountain greening, the fall of autumn begins in patches. It is first noticed one morning, with two or three trees shunning their former verdancy, in exchange … Read more
  • Soft Launches and Summer’s End
    August is nearly over. A few days ago, I shared this tweet, which I think neatly encapsulates the season. As mentioned in my last newsletter, things — or Things, with a capital T — are happening. … Read more
  • Of Mice and Me
    With Books, Wildlife Camera Traps, and Social Media Hello I am back from the sea, up in the mountains again, where the weather is perfect and mosquitoes rare*. The wildlife trail camera is set up down … Read more
  • Lists and Woods
    1) Free Books, 2) Habits, 3) Travel Blogging, 4) Cover reveals, and more… Moving through a natural woodland is different from passing through any other environment. You cannot rush, you cannot allow yourself to miss the little … Read more
  • Mapping Lives
    Threads and Tangles Everything is wet, everything is fresh and green, new and spring-like until, almost overnight, summer arrives. And she arrives with the subtlety of someone snatching you off the street, fully-clothed, and throwing you … Read more
  • Reviews and Freebies
    I like the word freebie, it sounds friendly and fun. This is not going to be as long as I’d like or planned. There is a longer draft of this newsletter but, unfortunately, I have simply … Read more
  • The Mountain Greening
    All Things Linked Of all the magics I have witnessed, the time of the mountain greening is perhaps that which quickens my heart the most.  The bursting of spring is deliciously fresh, the bee drone of … Read more
  • Water and Wild Boar
    As the sun warms, the water flows. Everywhere on the mountainside, the sound of running streams, whether tumbling and brim-full of snowmelt, or thin rivulets, snaking to join their companions. Rhythm, rhyme, melody and music. Other … Read more
  • Free and Reduced Books!
    And a discussion about Substack Pro and corrupting the youth. This is the third newsletter from me this month, so I shall keep this relatively brief, covering two topics only, interspersed as always with a handful … Read more
  • Beginnings and Awakenings
    Parts of a Whole In the morning, the great looming bulk of the Vercors Massif is lit pink with the dawn, a line sliding down the cliff face to meet the trees below, the tenacious patches … Read more
  • Bonus Sale Email! Discounted Books!
    The 12th Annual Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Sale. Hello friends! This is not your usual newsletter, nor is it the second newsletter of the month, instead, this is simply a bonus notice about some big … Read more
  • Whispers of Summer
    From a Window The bedroom — my office — window is open, despite the downpour. At this side of the building it mostly flies beyond the eaves, lashing into the orange grove and obscuring all but … Read more
  • Worlds Within Worlds
    Lichens and Habits There are worlds within worlds: look closer and you will see. Here, in The Alentejo, it is the season of rain. Heavy, insistent Atlantic rain, or fine, cloudlike cover, blanketing all in moisture, … Read more
  • Islands of Hope
    Waters of Warmth Specks of seedlings are strewn across the empty plant pots on the balcony. The flowers or salad they held are now mostly long gone, with the exception of a single nasturtium and a … Read more
  • Sunset, On Quite A Year
    But the sun also rises. The air grips the lungs from the inside, mountain-cold and surprisingly dry, despite the thick fog weaving tendrils down streets and throwing a blanket over the valley. There are snow-covered peaks … Read more
  • Free Review Copies Available!
    Finally. Something different. This is not your normal, monthly newsletter — that will arrive early in December; this is a bonus, and something I have threatened for a while. The first in my series (Tales of … Read more
  • Notebooks and Enchantments
    Distillation and Colour November is usually a time of grey, of bleaching and the last of the chlorophyll leaching away as winter drags her blanket over all. Some stubborn leaves remain, to fall later in gale … Read more
  • Invisible Roads
    or, The Thumb of Self-Compassion The world is full of tracks and paths and routes, many invisible to our eyes, currents brushing the face of things, whispers, yesterday’s wind across the earth below. As I write, … Read more
  • Once Upon a Time…
    …Ten Years Ago, Today. This will be a long read. I do not apologise for this. This is a chapter of a life, a start, of sorts. A once-upon-a-time. But where does this story start? Where … Read more
  • The Sense of a Storm
    Echoes and Foreboding It comes not through taste or sight, sound, or touch, or scent, but through something other, another one of our senses the majority somehow forget we possess. It is a pressing down inside, … Read more
  • Seasons and Memory
    Whispers and Seaglass No place has but four seasons, and Alentejo is no different. Summer, yes, of course it is, but it is no longer the days of the wildflower-rich, high-sun summer, nor the screaming swift … Read more
  • Time and Magic
    Magic and Time Time, at some points and places, stretches. Days seem longer, the mind translates the passage of the sun in ways which are not, perhaps, normal. When I was eight, my family moved to … Read more
  • The Owl and the Pussycat
    And other nonsense I, like so many others, have done the vast amount of my recent nature observation from the windows of our home. Here, in the west of Alentejo, even on the fourth floor, sometimes … Read more
  • Summer Reading
    Running out of ‘Free Book’ titles here… This morning, as I draft this, it is raining, for the first time in weeks.* Everything is cool and crisp, the air fresh and clear. It is a joy … Read more
  • A Tale of Salt and Wave
    Of Edgelands and Imagination We live around 12 kilometres, or 7.5 miles, from the ocean. Here, as I have mentioned, the ground begins to fold and hills rise around us, stretching above crinkled, complicated valleys, all … Read more
  • Join me on Reddit (and Free Books, Still!)
    Which is a long and unwieldy title, sorry. Hello It is Sunday. A glorious Sunday, where all I want to do is go and play outside, but instead I’m stuck inside doing homework. Namely writing this, … Read more
  • Free Books!
    And a note on my birthday Hello, I did say there would be more newsletters this month, didn’t I? This newsletter is primarily for two things, a bit of personal news, and a bit of marketing … Read more
  • Light and Dark
    But mostly light My local world is bounded by windmills. Round hilltop towers, now shorn of their sails, some falling back to nature, others repurposed into circular homes. Many of the taller hilltops near this village … Read more
  • Stories of Life
    Also featuring stories of drafts and edits Outside the window, the world warms, stories of life everywhere. Swirls of storks climb invisible spirals. Beneath, strata of swallows manoeuvre, twist, brake and snatch, manoeuvre, twist, brake and … Read more
  • On Books
    A Departure from the Norm (Norm to follow soon). This is not your normal monthly newsletter. This is something extra. There are a number of reasons for this but, primarily, after some rumination, I wanted to … Read more
  • Time-sensitive!
    Money off, and housing news… Friends! If you wish to read Death & Taxes, or Une Seule Mort — both of which you have to part with (a small amount of) money in exchange for — … Read more
  • A Return to Sea and Sun
    (I have books for you to read!) In the last ten days, I have been joined by old friends: the salt-tang of the ocean carried on powerful, iodine-strong winds, the sun a force, capable of burning … Read more
  • Finally, stories
    Four of them, in fact. Well, I made it. After a series of delays and setbacks, I have finally managed to publish the first couple of novellas, along with their attendant bonus stories/novellas. This is just … Read more
  • Apparently, it is 2020
    In which there is snow The silence of snow is thick and cushioned, the light diffused, reflected, refracted, contradictory. Twigs, branches and trunks are blanketed on one side only, crystal-white creating contrast, highlighting their twisting shapes, … Read more
  • Farewell Asia, Hello Europe
    My, aren’t you dark and cold? Here, in the town at the end of the world*, where the railway and road run out of room and the sea has a beginning, the light is always magically … Read more
  • A Work In Progress
    …and, no doubt, I’ll get things wrong. Bear with me. At this time of year, in this place, the mountain exhales at night. Her breath is cool and descends to the city below, bringing with it … Read more
Share this page: