the small-winged heart

So yesterday my new storybook, The Coracle Sky, became available. I like to close my eyes and imagine it (imagine all my books) as a hard copy which I can hold against my heart. Practicalities and budgets don't make that possible right now ... but I'm mentioning it because when I envision it I always see a small book.

I like small books. I also like hefty books, brimming over with story. All books, really. But there is something special about a small book which touches delicately upon a few stories, and holds a gentle silence between them, so you have the opportunity to sit quietly, and feel deeply, with a handful of suggestions. If a book is crammed full of tales, some intimacy is lost.

When I concluded that The Coracle Sky had twelve tales, I felt that was just right. But I also know our culture prefers bigness, boldness, as-much-fullness-as-possible. It wants long series of big books whose multi-stranded narratives crash between high stakes conflicts and dramatic themes. I have to hope there are some readers who, like me, prefer to linger in subtle moments, indirect glances, and dreams. I offer smallness, quietness, and I remind myself, if I want that, then it is a thing to be wanted, and that's okay.

A friend of mine, a long-distant-only-barely-connected cousin, a cousin of the heart indeed, once gave me the old video series of Edith Holden's story. Rose & I spent many afternoons watching it and feeling entranced by its gentle loveliness. I can't imagine such a story being screened nowadays. At least not without some addition of dark humour, cynicism, hyped-up conflict, or scandal. It was simply too slow, too small in focus. And yet, I'm sure that's some of what our world needs right now. Small and slow. Intimate and tender. Just enough, no need for more, extra, and every-penny's-worth.

This post is not by way of apology or excuses. I believe it may speak to a conversation many indie artists are voicing with their publications, their art, their music. What would you say? Do you like the small, the single song, the one free-standing story, or do you prefer broader strokes?

Also, thank you to the lovely people who have very kindly been sharing the news of The Coracle Sky. It makes such a difference. I am grateful for your support and friendship.


  1. Oh, drat! I can't believe I missed the announcement of your new storybook. My little boy is ill with a bad cold so I have been offline for a few days. I am so excited about The Coracle Sky. Congratulations! ♥♥♥ I am going to purchase it right now, but my heart is so full of Christmas (only 12 more days and many preparations left yet) that I want to keep it for January when I will need something wonderful to read and will have the time to savor each tale.

    You can count on me to tell everyone I know about The Coracle Sky (what a beautiful, evocative title!)--it will be my pleasure to spread the good news.

    PS: your new web design is splendid!

    1. Thank you so much my friend. You are a blessing to me :-)

  2. Small books <3 Even big fat Lord of the Rings in small format so you can tuck them away and take them with you. I printed out your other ones in a quarter of A4 format, bound with a clip and ribbon. I hope it is possible with your new one also :-)

    1. It brings me such joy to think someone prints out my books <3 Thank you! I actually think of you now when I edit the page layout, hoping that it can be printed nicely and all the line breaks will still be ok. I keep the square page format because it's best for reading and for displaying photographs.

  3. in this world of fast medias, how it is that we keep writing longer books? of course I do not mind long books, it's just sometimes, I just want to be able read something in completion in one day instead of having to read a dozen books to get to the end.

    but then again, I've always like small, short books because my attention span isn't what they are used to be. still, if a book series is really good, I'm not against taking the time to read and get to know dozens of characters and storylines.

    anyway, hope you have a nice quiet day.