Newsletter Archive

  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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.…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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,…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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,…
  • 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…
  • 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,…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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,…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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 —…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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,…
  • 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…
  • 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…