The Ancient Greeks knew that the Muses, goddesses of music, science and poetry, dispatch honeybees to deliver stories and sweeten the lips of storytellers.
In early February I visited Beehive Wool Shop to pick up a gift card. On my way in the door, a book caught my eye. It physically dragged me sideways to the display rack and thrust itself into my hands. “Buy me,” it demanded.
At home, I leafed through the 200 enchanting knitting motifs: adorable sheep, mesmerizing waves and then oh! Bees.
By then, the Covid-19 pandemic was the only topic of conversation at the office, on the news, on social media. Uncertainty, anxiety and fear were everywhere, all the time. I needed something tactile, tangible and pretty to help me stay grounded, so I made a return trip to Beehive for seven skeins of wool and I cast on for a three-by-five blanket of those charming bees.
That was weeks ago and as of this morning, I’m working on a novel, a short story, two poems and a mini essay. The more bees appear in the wake of my needles, the more story ideas arrive.
Those Ancient Greeks were onto something.
A version of this story appeared in Tidelines, the newsletter of the Vancouver Island Romance Authors, May 2020.
We Corsettes spend a lot of time in Corsair’s Cove because we love it–the historic buildings, rugged coastline, community market, fantastic chocolates…but mostly we love the people and the stories they share with us.
So when we had the chance to meet more folks and hear their tales, well, we couldn’t resist!
On June 18, the first Corsair’s Cove Companion, my short story Good Spirits, will go out into the world to do what Cove stories do: enchant readers. Shelley, Sharon, Lee and I hope you’ll be one of them!
You can buy your copy here:
I hope you love Hulda as much as I do!
When I was writing Kiss in the Wind, I figured I had an excuse a responsibility to research it properly. Obviously, that meant making and eating chocolate things.
Because my family has a 20-year history of food allergies and sensitivities, I learned a long time ago how to adapt recipes to exclude dairy. Then eggs. Nuts, of course. Then gluten.
Now, I’m not claiming that I’m a good cook; but I’m a flexible cook.
In the back of Kiss in the Wind is Granny Coral’s recipe for no-bake coconut-oatmeal chocolate cookies, made gluten-free and vegan. (Warning: this doesn’t mean they’re healthier than other cookies because, y’know, they’re still full of chocolate and sugar.)
Another of my favourite recipes is for spicy chocolate-coffee cookies.
I don’t remember whether it inspired a scene in the book or the other way around, but I adapted it as well. I use gluten-free flour plus a little xanthan gum instead of wheat flour, coconut oil instead of butter, and voilà! Fab freestyle treats!
I even had to go a little rogue with the kitchen implements. When I couldn’t find my rolling pin, I resorted to using an empty bottle of Mack’s (really McClelland’s) whiskey. A full bottle would work too, apparently.