Characters, Writing journey

Welcome to The Enchanted Emporium

My last post of January was going to focus on the positives of 2020 and lockdown, but the grim milestone UK has surpassed and the daily stomach punching figures of deaths caused by covid floored me. I can’t do it. Not yet. The grief for a friend lost hurts too much to celebrate the good of the last year, so I’m introducing you to the place I escape to when things get rough, and a glimpse into my world of magic — The Enchanted Emporium.

The Enchanted Emporium

The Enchanted Emporium as painted by Jess Titcombe

 Away from the hustling streets in Whitby’s Old town and under the watchful eye of the Abbey lies a small, bulging old Apothecary. Finding it isn’t easy. You won’t find it on a map but if you need it your instinct and the occasional black cat will lead you to a hidden snicket where an old gas lamp illuminates a courtyard and beckons you forward.

Place:              The Enchanted Emporium

Address:         

Black Cat Alley

Fenwick’s Yard or Witch’s Yard to the locals

Whitby

North Yorkshire

Proprietor: Willow Anderson

Staff:

Rosa Jones

Amber Michaels

Ghosts:

Black Cat or BC Owned by the original witch of Whitby, territorial and reluctant to leave his home. Reported sightings were recorded before the18th century.

Old Percy the old hunched over apothecary resides in the store with his endless tasks and wealth of knowledge Willow would love to hear if only he would speak.

The Marleys death could not break the depth of the love of this married couple. Mrs Marley is an opinionated, gossip and meddles in death as she did in life. Protective of those she loves and has a soft spot for RomComs on the telly.

Mr Marley is elusive and rarely seen except to grab his wife away from overstepping the line in her meddlings.

The unknown on the stairs – a cold patch and feeling of unease whose story is yet to be revealed.

The powerful presence in The Cobble. Believed to be the original witch of Whitby, her story is as older than the shop and has been lost over time, but her magic is the pulse of the store and land. 

The Cobble

A witch’s workroom full of ancient books and tools and was uncovered during the emporium’s renovation and kept locked. The power and the history it holds radiates through the cracks of the door. It gives Willow the collywobbles just walking by. Amber drawn to its mystery and longs to be allowed inside.

The Enchanted Emporium specialises in lotions, potions, witchcraft supplies and blends of tea. Famed for The Wishing Spell range, which are everyday lotions and candles with a magical twist, and social media sensation, a ginger Maine Coon named Vincent.

With every purchase, by one of the witches chooses a complimentary tea blend. Are you prepared to drink it and be guided in ways you least expect?

I hope you enjoyed discovering more about The Enchanted Emporium. I will share more insights into the world in the future but for now take care and stay safe.

Jess’ Etsy shop is here and her website is here for more of her artwork and commissions.

Love

#DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge, Dystonia Around the World Challenge, Short story, work in progress, Writing journey

2021 Happy News: A Story Brought to Life

A post saying good riddance 2020 and welcome 2021 will be along shortly but I have happy news that can’t wait for to edit post and have in depth ponders of what to write. I am going to be published! People will be able to open a book and meet the characters I have created. Eek!

A short story, The Ghost Writer, has been accepted by Cardigan Press for an anthology. I began writing it during the Dystonia Around the World challenge last year and finished with the help of a short story course run by the lovely Myszka at the delightful Foxes Retreat. I’m so happy. I keep reading the acceptance email with a huge grin on my face and know this is how Jo March felt when she got published.

Later this year, I’ll have a physical book on my bookcase containing my story and my name; what better encouragement is there for getting me to continue pursuing this emotional rollercoaster career as a writer. And to think I very nearly did not submit it. The stars must have been aligned and my spell bottle must have been working its magic when I pressed send.

Magical Spell Bottle ready for action

If I am this excited to get a short story accepted, imagine what will happen when I get an agent or publishing deal on a book.

Happy writing!

Stay safe and stay at home if you can

Love

Writing journey

Writing, Disability and RNA DISCO Chapter

It is International Day of People With a Disability and #PitMad on Twitter. This could make a powerful combination at getting authors with disabilities and chronic health conditions seen and our stories told. There are 14.1 million adults* in the UK with a disability, yet they are rarely seen in fiction and romance. When they are they are often in what can be described as ‘inspiration porn.’ There is a drive to change this as well as make writing and publishing more inclusive to the disabled community and underrepresented groups. Hopefully this will provide an influx of novels showing relatable characters representing all.


Last month, the Romantic Novelist’s Association took an important step in inclusivity by the introduction of the RNA Disco Chapter. This is an online chapter for RNA members with disabilities, chronic health conditions and neurodiversity to offer support, a safe place to chat about the obstacles we face and friendship. I was excited and nervous to take part in the #UKRomChat last week on Twitter to discuss the chapter and its importance. The chat can be began here.

RNA DISCO logo

I have been lucky to receive a bursary for the New Writer’s Scheme, which has given me more opportunities and friendships that I could dream of. Without it I would not have a full manuscript of A Blend of Magic on my PC and out for submission, and I would not have found my tribe. Hopefully, this chapter will spread awareness of the scheme and offer others the chance.

Two founding members Jeanna Louise Skinner and Denise also discuss the chapter, underrepresented writers and how NWS has affected their lives here.

Take care and stay safe.

Happy writing!

Love

*From Scope UK

#DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge, Dystonia Around the World Challenge, Writing journey, Writing process

Success: Dystonia Around the World Update

This is a belated update on the Dystonia Around the World challenge. With a final push we did it! As a team we managed to walk around the world for dystonia by clocking up 25,994 miles and raising £ 14,257 for Dystonia UK. As a small charity every little counts and I am so pleased to have been involved.

Infographic showing 25994  miles logged and £14,257 raised for Dystonia UK
The sea crashing against cliff at Boscastle, Cornwall
My Destination: Boscastle

I did not manage to write 1000 miles as planned but limped in at 630. This would have got me to my ultimate destination, The Witchcraft Museum at Boscastle, via Bridlington, Haworth, and the atmospheric Mother Shipton’s cave but I would have had to hitchhike back.

A female hand hitchhiking on a deserted road

Things I have learned during this challenge

  • 2020 is consistent in derailing any plans it knows about including this one hence why my personal challenge was not completed in the time frame.
  • I am slow at writing and even slower at editing. Rather than an extensive range of flash fiction posted here, my phone and notebook is dotted with unedited and half finished short stories. They will be edited one day so you can read them despite the strong urge to hide them away.
  • Zoom is my friend and allows me to meet other people. The last couple of months it has allowed me to connect with other writers and those with dystonia including those at Dystonia UK’s first digital conference. I would always shy away from video calls but now I have embraced them.
  • I never remember how much the impact the colder seasons have on my dystonia ; I need to include and adjust goals accordingly.
  • Dopamine plays an important role in achieving goals, and what I could achieve last year is not the same as it is now I am on reduced medication. But then, as my headmistress always used to quote “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”* 630 exceeded my initial expectations as did my final total raised.
  • I have more people believing in me and writing than I imagined.

Thank you everyone who supported me.

Happy writing and stay safe

Love

  • I am unsure who said that originally. Google has answers from Oscar Wilde, Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking to many others. If you know let me know.