About Katy Walters

Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control. She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.

A Victorian Christmas

Hello, I thought some happy Victorian Christmas poems would be great for this time of year, but they are hard to come by. The lyrics generally break your heart by the second verse.
But I was in luck as I found a humorous one, but I also came across this modern poem that touches the heart. So I put that one on first. The Victorian poetry that follows is light and flighty for the Victorians, that is!!


Little tree
little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy…

Poem by E.E. Cummings found in Ten Beautiful Christmas Poems on website Leah Dobrinska

Berries on holly proclaim ‘tis cold!

Cousin Annette, I am warmer thus;

A hand and a waist if my arms enfold,

The hand and waist will be cozy, puss!

For here we can sit and defy the wind,

Though panes are rattled with blinding sleet,

And happily one of us thus may find

That winter is best for us both, my sweet!

 

Mistletoe grows on the oak they say!

Cousin Annette! – she is fast asleep,

But this is a dangerous game to play,

For wandering rogues may on tiptoe creep.

The mistletoe’s beckoning over her head,

My fluttering heart, you must cease to beat;

Sleep soft! While over the floor I tread –

And wake at the touch of my lips, my sweet!

 

Winter is bringing the travellers home!

Cousin Annette, have I cause to fear

Lest one loved better than I may come

To claim the hand that is resting here?

The falsest women are fair as you,

And lips as pretty have sworn deceit;

But on my honour I’d swear you true –

As true as the rose at your breast, my sweet!

 

Winter is long! Ay, winter’s long!

Cousin Annette, is it time to go?

Perchance the lover and love-sick song

May melt forever with winter’s snow?

The dearest thoughts in the heart lie deep

Through snows of winter and rose-time heat,

But if your memory tries to sleep,

Remember the mistletoe kiss, my sweet!

 

Excerpt from ‘The Mistletoe Kiss’ from London Society Christmas edition 1868.

The Mistletoe Kiss

A Winter Song by Clement W. Scott

HAVE A  WONDERFUL  AND HAPPY

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR.

Short Christmas stories to enjoy all year long. Christmas Shorts, EIGHTEEN sweet to spicy tales to enjoy any time of year.

My Beloved Valley

Poetry is beloved by authors throughout the ages. Way back in the mists of time, the poem began in the form of a story told by a traveling poet or shaman. Of an evening, the villagers would gather on the village green and warmed by an open fire enjoyed the magic of ancient verse. Throughout the centuries, the simple verses developed into lengthy historical accounts, fables, sagas, and the fairy tale.
I cherish the memory of my great uncle, a man of the welsh valleys. He was both a coal miner and a scholar, as called in those days. Uncle Will spent many years down ‘the pit’ primarily at the coal face, as did my other great uncles and aunts. Often the men worked in waist-high water. In his spare hours, Uncle Will was a schoolmaster to the village children.
In his later years, suffering from silicosis and wearing the blue scars of the coal miner, my uncle worked solely as the village tutor. I can still picture his small study where, in a hand-carved wooden bookcase, he stored fine literature ranging from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens and to the poets whose work survived the centuries.
It was as you can imagine a hard life for the mining families of the ‘valleys,’ but for me, as a small child, it was a time of joy and wonder, Even the name of the family’s humble cottage, Fairy Glen held enchantment. In the twilight of the evenings, I would await the sounds of the miners, covered in coal dust blackening their faces, singing in full voice as they marched home from the mine, their way lit by small candles in tin helmets. I was one of the children who would rush out to be hefted upon coal dust shoulders to join in the songs.
I would wait while the men bathed in the two tin baths by an open coal fire. After the family evening meal, Uncle Will would lift me on his knee and read from the treasured book.
I often think on those evenings, where beautiful baritone or tenor voices filled the living room accompanied by the robust mezzo or soprano voices of my aunts singing beloved hymns or operatic arias. Sometimes they would include popular songs or carols. But my most cherished memory was of Uncle Will reciting the works of the great poets. Some of the poetry dwelt on the beauty of nature and some to the poverty of the day, the pathos of children dying from starvation or women begging for a crust of bread. For a child, it was a mixture of infectious joy, magic, and heartrending sadness revealed in the golden leafed pages of the family book of poetry.
So my love of poetry and writing was born.
When uncle Will passed away, he left me his beloved book. With yellowed pages and battered cover, it was a family heirloom which I treasure. The title is ‘The Thousand Best Poems in the World.’ The Dedication reads, This series of books is hopefully and lovingly dedicated to the Unity of Man.
The Preface is beautiful and echoes the voice of the day given hereunder.
‘This little book of poetry contains fully half of the poetic gems of the world collected together for the first time. Campbell defines poetry as ‘The Eloquence of Truth.’ Shelley defines it as ‘Man’s best Thoughts expressed in their best language. In their happiest moments.’ And indeed, poetry contains the noblest of human thought expressed in the most telling, the most pleasant and the most easily remembered form……’
The Preface ends with the words, portraying the effects of poetry on the reader.
‘….poetry has been appreciated by millions in the past, and I believe that hundreds of millions in the future will more frequently take up their favourite book of poetry to read themselves, or say to some dear friend in the spirit, if not in the words of the best poets of humanity:-’
‘Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling and banish the thoughts of the day.
Come, read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
…. Shall silently steal away.

I would so love to include a couple of incredible poems from this treasured book, but I have only so much space for this article. So I hope you will enjoy those I will put in the post for next month.
There is no date on this editIon. I have searched the Internet and can only find one with the same cover with a ‘circa 1900.’

First page entitled: ‘THE LIBRARY OF THE FUTURE.
LONDON: HUTCHINSON & CO. (PublisherPs) LTD.

Please take a peek inside my book Love Letters From a Snowman. Available to read for free on Amazon with your Kindle Unlimited Subscription.

Regards from England,

Katy Walters

A Hidden Treasure.

Last time I wrote for the blog, it was about the origin of languages spoken and written. I still intend to do more on that subject, but for the time being, I am happy to share some thoughts with my fellow authors on the promotion of books old and new. 

In the very beginning, I had a publisher, but that was quite short-lived – too many restrictions. I switched to Indie and have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of choosing when and what I would like to write. I also have this urge to write across the genres often within the same book, so it doesn’t help my being discovered by some publisher who is going to offer me a six-figure income, fame and the number I in Kindle Amazon.  No, I don’t think that’s going to happen. So I shall stick to saying tongue in cheek, I am so happy to be writing for myself.

 So onwards and upwards. I see Amazon now have a genre named Mashup which really suits me. At present, I am writing an erotic comedy and also a semi-serious medical book, following that is a historic trilogy weaving away in the back of my mind. They are all so different in genres, though. I didn’t mean to write erotica, and maybe it isn’t. Rather it could be sweet erotica!!  Nothing (cough – cough) ever happens if you know what I mean. But there are some humorous, side-splitting expressions.

This leads me into my thoughts on the visibility of an author’s works. For a few years, I relied on Facebook, Twitter, and the occasional Google Ad, but now I find them to be quite ineffective. Especially as Facebook has insisted on Author pages; therefore keeping the main news thoroughfare free of authors promoting their books or readers searching for them. The author pages are a good idea, as authors can freely interact, concentrating solely on our books, but where does that leave our pool of would-be readers? I notice there is one author page that concentrates on readers and writers, and that is great, but so far it seems to be the only one! But, still I feel especially with FB, we authors are not allowed to engage with the general public for would-be readers and buyers.

I have found that putting my novels on the Authors Billboard website really does engage with the public. Through ill-health, I have been off the scene really for some time but before this period and now on recovering, I find that each time I put a book cover on Authors Bill Board, I truly sell some half a dozen books, new and old. I also find that boxsets have the same effect. I’ve just had a couple of readers  from India asking for two of my books that formed part of a trilogy. I had unpublished them whilst I renewed the covers. I feel sure the people read the first book of the trilogy in a box-set.

Now, to come to the subject of visibility; there are  some brilliant authors out there who are most probably feeling disheartened  as the usual outlets of FB, Google and Twitter fail to bring a response from would-be buyers of their new books.  I was too, as I put on a new comedy, having never written in that genre before only to find it was to put it politely a ‘bummer’ I’d tried FB and Twitter to no avail and then I got caught by those ‘TWEET ‘sites where they happily promise to get the book viewed by thousands upon thousands of readers, only to see my happy comedy die and sink like a brick to the ocean’s bottom.

Feeling a little low and vowing never to write comedy again, a friend, a fellow author kindly showed me the way – promotion sites – yes I know they’ve been around forever, but these are different, they are what they say they are, they truly do promote.   I am stunned at the response from using just two of these sites. My book ‘Listen to the Chicken’ shot up into the stratosphere in the Amazon Satire genre. So a big thank you to my friend. I realize now promotion means visibility through authentic promotion sites to the general reading public – no promises of thousands of tweets, no assurances of honest reviews, just pure promotion.  So I shall stick like glue to them.

I hope this helps some authors out there. Don’t feel disheartened; you know you can write. You have created something precious; something never read before an original work – a creation. It’s like a new species of the tree never seen before, yes it might have a trunk, branches, and leaves but it is an individual. So are you, you’re good, even maybe a genius, I am generally speaking here as you don’t have to be a genius to write, that can actually get in the way. I think it’s more to do with passion, emotions, the ability to arouse  feelings and connecting with your reader.

 So, your book can be the next high flyer; the next no. 1. It’s not the book that is failing; it’s the visibility that is lacking. It’s rather like the old fairy-tale, the princess imprisoned in the tower or another hidden away sleeping for a hundred years – they are saved by visibility – the prince. So nurture your creation, nurture it with authentic promotion sites – google them. I wish you every success.

So, as usual, I have been nattering away, but I shall cut it short. Intermittent visibility on the promotion sites with sensible fees is the way.

Just a little addendum, my ‘Chicken’ book soared twice, but now it needs a cannon to keep it up in the dizzy heights of the paid lists. I realize you just have to keep it up.  One promotion is not enough; so as I have already written, you have to promote intermittently. So good luck dear authors, I am so happy to be with you all again and wish you every success. 

The Source of Language – written and spoken.

The Source of Language?

Writing is actually a fascinating concept. I often ponder on how and why it evolved. Why did we start writing? Was it to facilitate trading? Did authorship develop from that same source? Or, was it an entirely different avenue? How did the two separate avenues of vocalization and symbolic language evolve? Did people listen to the trickles of a stream or the raging of a volcano and try to mimic them and in so doing build up a language. Did signs, the separate consonants, and vowels evolve from the vocal sound of a whistling wind or a raging storm?
When I was writing my latest novel it began as a historic suspense romance but changed to comedy which I’ve never aspired to write but did when faced with illness. The point is, in my story; an Immortal appears in the later chapters. As authors know full well, characters have a habit of just springing into a novel without any prior warning and the writer if being true to his or her muse, does not delete it. So I came to the point of this character’s language. Yes, he did have one, but how would it sound?
How would immortals or even our earliest ancestors exchange goods or ideas? Would they vocalize the sound of the raging wind, the crackle of thunder, the howl of a wolf? Further, how would they put it down in writing? Would they use signs that literally describe the wind? If one looks at the letter ‘W’ it does actually give the initial sound of the wailing of the wind. Now it’s the same interpretation in German – interesting. So in portraying the language of an immortal, I imagined how he or she would vocalize the sound of space, nature, the elements, and animals. It was thought-provoking and made for interesting writing but then I realized my reader would be nonplussed with the variation of description and use of vowels. I know I was. So I deleted hours of the painstaking adaption of our language to the renderings of the Immortal.
I do appreciate the system of writing form varies; the Egyptian symbology is different to the Chinese, and so on.
So I thought maybe if I did a little research on each writing system I might glimpse the source of writing if not vocalization. Maybe with a fleeting thought might come some enlightenment? So for starters. The letter ‘O’ simulates the howling of a wolf, the ‘o’ has facets of the howl as does the ‘w’ as it carries on the wind. How did these vowels come about?
At university, amongst other subjects, I did study the etymology and formation of our modern language from two main roots of our Western language, the soft poetic lilt, of Latin languages and the harsh pragmatism of the Teutonic; of course there are the softer tones in the Germanic language, but that is another area of debate. We were instructed to write one short story using the Teutonic roots and then another from the Latin. I had to work through dictionaries for nearly every word. It was not tiring at all, it was fascinating. It appears a crime novel benefits from the use of the Teutonic – Germanic languages whilst a romance needs the Latin. I see I’ve written enough for now but will return next time with more ideas and hopefully, you will have some as well, I would welcome your input and comments