Magpie folklore, and announcements…

January has been one of the most productive writing months I’ve ever had, and as such I’ve just typed the last line of the first draft of The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon!

As with all my first drafts, it is going to take A LOT of work before the story is worthy of being put in front of another human being, but we’ve got to celebrate these milestones where we can, right?

Here’s what’s coming up:

  • Magpie Folklore
  • Demonic Art
  • Some announcements and teases

Magpie Folklore

One of my aims for 2019 (other than developing a more consistent writing routine) is to have a larger social media presence. As such, I’ve been playing around with the #FolkoreThursday hashtag on Twitter again, and managed to produce what has easily been my most popular tweet ever:

Sure, it would have been considerably better for me if it had been a tweet about my books, but I’ll take it!

To celebrate, I thought you’d be interested in a further smattering of magpie folklore (I’ve come to learn a thing or two about them in my time, you know).

Here’s my collection of top five magpie facts/folklore:

5 –  Magpies have been observed holding ‘funerals’ for dead birds, some even bringing wreaths (okay, bunches of dead grass) to the event!

4 –  In Ancient Greece, the magpie was linked to Bacchus god of wine, and was also linked to getting drunk. Norse myths also linked the black and white colours of magpie feathers to sex, to the joining of opposites.

So, magpies have all the fun, right?

3 – Not so keen on them in Scotland, the Scots believed the magpie held a drop of the devil’s blood under its tongue. As you do.

2 – They can speak! Or at least, they can mimic human speech, if exposed to it for long enough. Don’t believe me? Hit up YouTube…

But my favourite magpie fact is this one:

1 – “One for sorrow, two for joy” – this famous line has a bit of a sad origin. Magpies mate for life, you see, hence the ‘joy’ for two. But if you spot a magpie by itself, there’s a fair chance its mate is no more…

Battle With Lust

 
As promised, some art!

I’ve been looking into some fantasy artists, and have been posting their work (with permission) on my Facebook page.

This has been far and away the most popular in the last month – Dániel Kovács’ ‘Battle With Lust’.

Find Dániel on Instagram @smithsky_art or at https://www.artstation.com/danielkovacsdesign

Announcements and Teases

I’m excited to announce that I’ve got my first ever Ask Me Anything (AMA) lined up over at Reddit Fantasy!

The question and answer session takes place on 21st February, and I’d love to see you dropping in to ask something, or even just to say ‘hi’.

Even more exciting, I’m going to be using the AMA to reveal the newest Yarnsworld cover!

This isn’t Taniwha Girl yet (not until autumn for that one, I’m afraid). Instead, I’m taking my short story ‘And They Were Never Heard From Again’, and will be making it permanently free for people to download and sample the Yarnsworld with zero barriers. Of course, no Yarnsworld story would be complete without an amazing cover from Jenny at Seedlings Designs, and she reckons this is her favourite one yet…

All will be revealed on 21st February!

That’s all from me until then.

Talk to you soon, and take care,

Benedict