At last I am nearly ready to publish my new novella, ‘Time Gate.’ The last time I published something was just over a year ago and it was the short story collection ‘Chaos Dreams 4.’ The pandemic and accompanying world crisis really interfered with my creativity, for a long time.

I still managed to write some pieces for the Spoken Word group I belong to which has been holding events on Zoom instead of in the local area, and I also attended some online writing classes and wrote for them. Most of the material is on this blog already.

Have you looked at my new blog ‘Fiction Aeon’? I have been serialising one of my novellas ‘Mount Clexa’ on it, with instalments every two weeks. See https://fictionaeon.wordpress.com/

A month ago my Spoken Word group gave us all a writing prompt ‘the rites of Spring’, which I couldn’t get along with at all, but as usual my nymph/ demon muse Ino put me in the shade by writing something brilliant. ( Though she didn’t come up with it till after the Zoom event!) Here is her ‘Rites of Spring.’

I stood there awaiting the Eleusinian Mysteries. But this was not the past, it was a dream, and the warm wreath of pinecones dipped in mulled wine caressed my neck and hung down over my breasts as the mists of dream flowed by over me.

“Am I an initiate now?” I asked. “An initiate in the Rites of Spring?”

“No,” Papa replied. “First you must forego any unfair advantage due to being the priest’s eldest daughter, and then you must descend into the cave of flowers which will be found beneath the forest floor.”

How was I to do this? But while still wondering I sank under the moss, under the turf, and into the kingdom of the rats and mice, next to the piles of earth dug by the moles which are left for any adventurer to find while passing along the tunnels. I walked with the animals, one with them and the plants, one with the life of Gaia and the mysteries of her depths. When I came to the centre of the Earth, I took off my garb of soil, green plants and fur, and she took off her coat of skin. She became me disrobing of flesh, and I became she, undressing from the kingdoms of life on this world.

I reached my core and the Earth imploded internally into its own core. Then I reawakened and returned piece by piece, one step in front of the other, until I reached once again the peaceful woodland, waiting for me in its mantle of green woven around itself. As I walked through the wood it wove itself around me, and blessed me with the dew of its moist mulch seeping through into my newly clothed life.

Papa placed a new garland around me, one of spring flowers and long leaves, and said, “although you are the daughter of the priest, you have come through with the others and have not been favoured above the ladies of this land with whom you share your fate and your womanhood. Welcome to the abode of the faithful to the Maid of Spring.”