If you love plants and would like to delve into their mythology before successfully growing them yourself, you will enjoy GODS AND GREEN FINGERS, the book I have just published with Smashwords. Click on the cover (right) for a link to my book page to download. In this book, I unearth the past of plants, from unassuming flowers to flamboyant curiosities, and offer tips on how to help them flourish. In between are short stories which challenge the image of the garden as a sanctuary. What happens, for instance, if someone is inextricably trapped in a maze? What fairy creatures lurk in our well tended borders? And what if a plant attacks its grower?
In this combination of useful fact and diverting fiction, I recall some of the most perturbing myths devised by man. The white hellebore, for instance, was said to have grown most strikingly on Mount Oeta, where Heracles decided to die on a funeral pyre. He had pushed his luck by taking a mistress while married to Deianeira. No longer young, she sought the centaur Nessus, hearing he had a love charm that might focus her husband’s roving eye on her.
One version of her encounter with Nessus, claims she spread the shirt woven for her husband’s return, with the mysterious mixture Nessus gave her. She was alarmed to see the remains of the wool she had used, burn and bubble with red foam when she threw it away. Had Nessus deceived her?
When Heracles put on the shirt he was racked with pain. The mixture may have had poison from the Hydra which flowed in Nessus’ blood. Heracles tried ripping off the shirt but it clung and his flesh came away with it. That was when he built the pyre. As he died, thunderbolts fell and demolished the pyre. The hellebores were no doubt smoke smothered witnesses.
Other tales are gentler and in their wake is the encouragement to grow the plants that inspired them and create ever-changing plots of coalescing colour. And there are suggestions for gardens created from rocks and based on painters’ palettes.
This book may be downloaded free for one month, so don’t delay in adding to your knowledge and understanding of plants – wild and consciously cultivated.
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Hello! Sorry for the long lack of communication! I’ve been enjoying the extended Cretan summer – sun, sea, sand and one earthquake while on the beach! But not much writing! Now – as the big storms roll in – is the time to start again. My latest book, published with Smashwords, is A WALK ON THE WEIRD SIDE – a collection of stories reaching beyond the everyday into the improbable and sometimes bizarre. You can download it free from my book page – just click on the cover with this post. Enjoy the antics of a dwarf who delights a princess, but has strange origins and whose actions have surprising consequences. Share the thoughts of a man in limbo, whose close friend travels through the music of the spheres. Join an archaeologist in enchanted territory, on a challenging quest and enter the experience of a young harpy who finds fulfilment with a human! These are just a few of the ten tales, which reveal how the imagination can convey you to curious corners of the mind, where dreams, instincts and audacious manifestations, wait for timely release.
Hello again! Here is my latest collection for children, published with Smashwords and free to download from my book page. In HEIDI’S HOUSE and OTHER RYHMES, a little girl is bewitched by the Fairy Queen. Her voice is stolen, her pigtails are knotted and she has to eat toadstools” until she turns spotted.”.. Luckily her house is anxious enough to grow feet and set out to rescue her!
Quirky events pepper this book – from a fish called Fred who outwits fishermen and turns into a rainbow and Timothy Wright who has luminous shoes that get tired and run away, to Solomon Tucket who lives in a bucket full of holes and Miss Henshaw, who eats so many apples brought her by a pupil, she turns into one and is rolled to market.
But other poems are simple observations, from the adaptability of a camel and the benefits of spiders to thoughts on the winter wind, rock pools and the stirring of night life in a meadow .
Toby is getting ready for school when he sees his feet have turned GREEN! Alarmed and mystified, he pulls on his socks and sets off. But he is waylaid by a little man who is green from head to toe! As Toby turns even greener, he is whirled away by other little green men, is finally arrested and charged with being green in a public place. What will become of him?
Welcome! All parents and relations of young readers – to my WISHING WORLD CLUB – an online opportunity to build a library of the children’s books I’m in the process of publishing – for kids from around five or six to eleven years old.
You can download them – FREE – from Smashwords – see below for the first two. I hope they will help with reading and writing, as well as entertaining – and I invite children to write comments about them – even short reviews (in the Wishing World Club page on this site.)
GRANNY PEGG’S GREAT CHASE and GRANNY GRINALOT’S DAY IN THE DESERT are two stories for children, just published with Smashwords. These are no normal old ladies – they are ageless and ready for adventure. Granny Pegg is an old girl with attitude; when a crocodile snaps off one of her legs at the zoo, she gets a wooden one, which proves even more useful than the original – from a place to keep oddments and loose change, to being used to catch a thief stealing from the corner shop. Chasing him through the market, she demonstrates how a wooden leg, knicker elastic and a potato, can create a handy and highly effective weapon….
GRANNY GRINALOT’S DAY IN THE DESERT, the second tale in this book, is about another granny with a proliferation of pets and the desire to ride a camel. Given the chance at the zoo, she doses off before she even gets started and is borne by dream to the desert, where her pet parrot Prattle, is in sudden danger…
If you would like to view or download this FREE book and others by me, please click this link to smashwords or the cover graphic above. [Downloads are available in most ebook formats, plus PDF, etc.]