Inspiration

Those of you who know me well enough will know of my passion for the Romney Marsh countryside and history. I never find it easy to have a day off from the work that my life creates but I wasn't really up for it on Saturday and headed for the wide open spaces once again.

Inspiration can come from many sources: a person, an image, a tale, or even history but I find inspiration from the peace and quiet of this beautiful landscape. I traipsed over fields, followed paths I never knew existed and dodged the numerous sheep that were present everywhere I went. Herons stood guard over the canal whilst ducks and swans glided effortlessly past them failing to stimulate a response. Rounding a bend in the path, the field ahead had been left fallow and daisy's and buttercups adorned it with vibrant intensity that forced me to stare at the sea of yellow.

The sun shone and the breeze was gentle and cool, and once again as I wandered I was reminded of the timeless quality of a place that changes little through the centuries. The welcoming embrace of the marsh is not felt by all and some find it lonely and even hostile, but those that stop and look, really look cannot help but fall for the spectacular beauty and the serenity of a place that is always willing to share its delights and embrace those who visit its land.

Romney Marsh has always been a source of inspiration for me and will continue to be so in the future. If a place calls to you, stop, take a look, listen and allow the caress of the place to envelop you. Such places have the ability to make you see and think in different ways and it never ceases to amaze me how much inspiration that can offer.

Happy Reading 

Steve

Old Friends

It's been a little while since I blogged but I was encouraged to by the reemergence of some old friends and former pupils. Time changes everything including people, some more than others. The first to surface was the mother of a former pupil who happily stopped and chatted about how successful her children were becoming, and rightly so too. later that evening her daughter face timed me and told me about her dreams to become a writer and how well she has done at college with her creative writing course. Ellie is an immortal child, or adult as she now is. By that I mean she has the same happy disposition that she always displayed when I taught her and although grown up had still retained the appearence I remembered. The fun and humour and the work ethic is all there just as it was and  talking to her took me back a decade to a very happy time.

Later the following day I was sipping a McDonalds latte when a lovely young girl approached me and asked me if I was Mr Clifford. I owned up and she introduced herself as Georgia. She was in the same year as Ellie and I remembered her well. Unlike Ellie, her face had changed with the passing of time and I wouldn't have recognised her but for her confident nature in approaching me. We passed a few minutes catching up and again I was reminded of happier times. I always enjoy catching up with my old pupils and in schools like the one we all attended the sense of family still holds true. 

It's been a few days of reflection as I wind down for a week off and a much earned rest. The art work for my two new series of KS1 books is coming along very well and Laura my artist has produced some stunning work for me. I took her to see the features that pervade through the series of story books and as it turned out the real person who stars in and inspired the idea for the books. Can't say too much more about that at the moment. We'll be starting another count down soon for the new Navajo Spirit Book which is now published but not available in print yet. Walking with the Smuggler should be going on Kindle this coming week too. A few things to sort out and off we go again on the editing drive that consumes much of my time. A very special book that I'm working on for the young adult market that should be published by Christmas. The work never ends and I'm glad of that.

Happy reading 

Steve

Another day

It seems funny writing a blog without the proverbial countdown heading above. Not to worry a new countdown soon as the third Navajo Spirit book is prepared for launch. Exciting stuff coming up for KS1 too, although I don't want to say too much about that yet. Have an absolutely amazing artist for my new picture books. There's lots of things coming up for the future, uncertain things, risky things which seem more risky for the fact that there is little left here for me except family. The challenge of a five, possibly six county tour is exciting and I know I can deliver what I have to offer the schools and the children. The prospect of having a good look at parts of the country I have visited before is good too. The pace of life is appreciably slower and there is opportunity of enjoying it. By contrast I will miss my visits across the border to my home county of Sussex and the lure of the Romney Marsh. 

There was a time when I was looking forward to summer this time round, the thoughts of sharing my passions with some of the people who have become close to me in the past few years, opportunities for that seem to be slipping away. still you know what they say, when one door closes another opens and the opportunity for slipping away before September is now a real option. Life can be a battle at times and sometimes you just cant win them, I recognise that, and the difficulty just drives me harder. If you cant go left then choose right so to speak. We are but pebbles in the oceans of the world, scattered by the tides of life to experience different things, places and other pebbles. I do believe there is something good for everyone in this world, whatever waits for me has yet to be revealed it seems. A few temptations along the journey but that is all they turned out to be, disguised as something else to lure and make promises they have no intention  of keeping.

So by now you will have seen the cover page of my new book. Personally with my love of all things Marsh, it pleases me every time I look at it and reminds me that outside of Sussex it's my favourite place to be. I guess I'll be looking at it a lot when I'm away. I have high hopes for the sales of this book which will be officially launched in two schools in E. Sussex very soon. If there are any schools out there who would like to partake in the launch of my Navajo series of books, please get in touch with me through my website. The series is very appropriate for year 5 and 6 children and therefore open for primary schools to launch it.

For the next few weeks the blog will revert to every 3 or 4 days until the new countdown starts. I'm taking a little time off and getting some rest 

Happy reading

Steve

Launch Day

To day is the day that sees the release of the new Walking with Book, 'Walking with the Smugglers'. My characters go through the waterfall for the sixth time and are transported back to the eighteenth century. Smuggling is at its all time heights and the most notorious of them belong to the Hawkhurst Gang, led by the infamous Thomas Kingsmill. It is not a time when it pays not to be a smuggler but the penalties for being caught as one was to hang from the neck. The rewards are high though and that entices most to engage in it. The story is set along the Kent coastline and into Sussex, from Warren Bay Folkestone to Rye. No smuggling story would be complete without  featuring the Mermaid Inn at Rye and this story is no exception with several scenes taking part there. For the first time ever Matt and James are in uniform, not the uniform of the navy or army but they are serving the King. As Riding Officers (early custom officers) they operate under the Kin'g protection and are not popular with the locals caught up in smuggling.

This is a stunning adventure that races up and down the coastline and across the Romney Marsh. By peculiar twist Matt and James are forced to work with someone they would rather not in an effort to prevent something terrible happening  that could split the smuggling industry apart, cause mayhem and almost civil war amongst different groups. Their physical and mental skills are tested to the extreme while their ethical sense of what is right and what is wrong is put to the test as they battle to prevent all this from happening. Fast pace action, treachery, a lack of respect for life and an impossible mission make this book more explosive than its five predecessors. It's a must read book

Happy Reading

Steve

One day to go

You've heard the phrase one door closes and another opens. Last night I was expecting to go somewhere special today but the day was cancelled. I wasn't expecting to get the call of the Marsh this morning, but it was such a beautiful day I couldn't resist it. After a few mundane jobs were taken care of I decided to go to Midley, the middle of the Marsh. It's a beautifully peaceful place with nothing but the wind and sheep to spoil the silence of the place. I left the car some distance away and walked across the fields and the old railway line to get to the ancient ruins of the chapel. The face on the remaining wall looked softer, more serene than it had the last time I was here but then so did the wall itself. The constant erosive force that is slowly eating away at it seems to be winning its battle. As I touched it I swear I could hear the ancient voices of the farmers and their families rounding up the sheep. This place talks to you in the silence.

As I rounded the wall I jumped at the sight of another human also relishing the silence of Midley. Sitting on a stool with an unusually large watercolour painting pad on her lap a woman looked up and greeted me. I hadn't noticed another car when I had parked and she apologised unnecessarily for startling me. We started talking about the history of Midley and then onto our respected passions for painting and writing. It was a lovely way to spend an hour with a complete stranger.She returned to her painting and I started my writing and for the next two hours it was a companionable silence that was totally comfortable. Before she left we shared what we had created and made arrangements to meet again at another of my favourite places on the Marsh.

I was asked by somebody recently to write a book about him and his never ending fight combatting a mental illness. I didn't realise that this man had a twin brother that suffered from the same illness and I met him early this morning. I talked with him for half an hour or so and he shared with me a lot of details of how the illness can affect them. It must be so difficult to live with. I had promised to research the illness and I have finally done that tonight. next on the list was to find a perspective to write it from. Although the purpose of the story is to promote awareness of the illness, I still want to write it in the context of a novel. It's a powerful medium to promote something. It's a responsibility taking something like this on and I want to do it  justice. I found the perspective and have decided to break my normal habit and plan this one out thoroughly.

So only one day to go and I will reveal the cover image of Walking with the Smugglers. many might be surprised at my choice but those in the know will recognise the significance of it. I will reveal the image on social media as I cannot get it onto my website until mid week.

Happy reading

Steve

C.S. Clifford

Author writing for all ages
Copyright © 2018 C.S. Clifford - Author writing for all ages. All Rights Reserved.