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.

Poetry Stirs The Heart by @KatyWalters07

Many years ago, I was given a book of Poetry published around 1900. My uncle cherished this precious volume and safely guarded it in his small book cabinet. I treasure the book to this day and often turn the pages. Some of the poems are by famous historical poets, and others are from the less famous. But all the poetry is so moving and often offer words to stir the heart or the mind.

Poetry Stirs the Heart

The poem below is a few lines proffered by a poet who gave only a Surname – Thompson.

TITLE:  BOOKS,       Thompson.

In my library, “There studious let me sit

And hold high converse with the mighty dead

Sages of ancient time as gods revered,

As gods beneficent, who blessed mankind

With art, with arms, and humanized

A world.”

This second poem was written by Lord Byron. He was one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement.

TITLE:  BOOKS,       Byron.

But words are things, and a small drop

Of ink.

Falling like dew upon a thought

produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps

millions, think.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the third poem. He was an American poet and educator.

TITLE. BOOKS,       Longfellow.

Leave us heirs to ample heritages

Of all the best thoughts of the greatest

Sages.

And giving tongue unto the silent dead.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Look for LADY LYDIA’S QUEST ~ On sale for 99¢!

Lady Lydia's Quest

About the book:

The Duke of Medhampton invited Lady Lydia Fowler and Lady Olivia Faversham and their families to a week-long round of festivities. It would be an exciting week of hunting, with dancing and soirees in the evenings. As it was the beginning of the Summer Season, the guests would include an influx of debutantes with handsome doweries and suiters with suitable titles.

On the first morning of their stay, to Lady Lydia’s horror, she discovers her dear friend Lady Olivia brutally murdered in her bed. Lord Sebastian Elton, the fiance of the slain young woman, is distraught. Overcome with grief, he vows to find and kill the fiend who took the life of his beloved Olivia.

 

Bara Brith #Recipe by @KatyWalters07

Bara Brith is another recipe from the Welsh side of my family. It was a favourite from my mother’s kitchen and mine once I had a hungry hoard to feed.

Bara Brith

I was interested to read the history of Bara Brith.

According to Wikipedia, Bara is derived from the Welsh language and means bread. Brith means speckled. Apparently, a Welsh chef added mixed dried fruit to bread dough. It is believed to be the first version of the Welsh tea loaf.

I do know that this recipe has been handed down through the ages. The women of my Welsh family know this recipe by heart, and it is a recognized treat on a Sunday.

Bara Brith Recipe

  • 11 fluid ounces of hot boiled tea
  • 8 ounces of mixed dried fruit
  • 12 ounces of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 2 oz. brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg

Pour the hot boiled tea over the fruit in a mixing bowl.  Leave to soak overnight.

Thoroughly grease a 2 lb baking tin.

Next morning or day, pour the mixed fruit along with the tea into a bowl.  Add the egg. Mix gently.

Stir in the flour and then add the baking powder. Then stir in the brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined together.

If it is a bit stiff, pour in a little more hot water.

Make sure the mixture can drop easily off a large spoon.

Spread mixture evenly in the greased loaf tin.

For the last twenty minutes of cooking, cover with foil to avoid the crust burning.

Cool it for five minutes.

My mother would always leave it for a day or two before eating.

 

Happy Eating.

Laverbread by @KatyWalters07

Laverbread is a seaweed. A traditional and popular food collected for consumption by communities on the Welsh coast. As a child and early teens, I enjoyed meals consisting of freshly gathered cockles and laverbread with newly grown vegetables. Even to this day, my first choice for a meal would be prawns, cockles, and laverbread.

Rhossili Bay Katy Walters

My Welsh family is from the South Gower Peninsula. Rhossili Bay was my playground. The South Gower is a beautiful vista of vast golden sands, high dunes, and soaring cliffs. Within those cliffs are the most ancient prehistoric caves in Britain. One is a 4000-year-old Neolithic burial chamber. Another find was the skeletal remains of The Red Lady of Paviland from the upper palaeolithic era. However, the Red Lady proved to be a male whose bones were dyed in red ochre. As a child, I used to play near that cave.

Childhood Memories

I cherish the memories of living some of my childhood in this incredible coastal area. I remember my grandparents going out at dawn with their cart and horse to gather the cockles. My grandmother would then cook them in a cauldron over an open fireplace. I was at first startled by the whistling noise coming from the black iron cauldron as the cockles cooked. My grandmother told me it was the cockles singing to us. Later I realized it was the air escaping from the shells.

My childhood in Wales was a delight of sea, beaches, climbing towering dunes, and exploring ancient caves with my friends. I was always fascinated to watch the small herds of wild horses racing along the golden sands. I think it shaped my love of history and nature and my love of seafood.  Now, when walking along the promenade, I think of the cockles singing as I buy a pot of them.

How to Eat Laverbread

This is a highly nutritious variety of seaweed. Read more information on Wikipedia by clicking here. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, and very low in calories. It is easy to find on the internet and on Amazon. The seaweed can be cooked fresh or from tins.

Laverbread

Cockles and mussels can be added. It is your choice. Bacon, eggs, and fried bread are an alternative. A little vinegar can be added for taste.

For this recipe, I use the tinned variety. The full recipe to cook laverbread from fresh takes hours!!

You may want to cook cockles and mussels separately or in the same pan. But do be careful not to overcook the laverbread.

As I spend my time writing or dog walking, I use this quick and nifty way to enjoy it.

So have your frying pan ready.

  1. Open the tin of laverbread.
  2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and then add the laverbread.
  3. Some people cook the bacon in the same pan, but that is your choice.

Cook the laverbread until it is sizzling and then plate it.

Add fried egg, bacon, and fried bread to your choice.

Now, have lovely glass of red or white wine and enjoy.

Learn more about Katy Walters and her books at her blog.

 

Origins of Writing by @KatyWalters07

Writing is actually a fascinating concept. I often ponder on how and why it evolved. What are the origins of writing? Why did we start? 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 sign language evolve? Did people listen to the trickles of a steam or the raging of a volcano and try to mimic them, and in so doing, built up a language? Did signs, the separate consonants, and vowels evolve from vocal sound of a whistling wind? A raging storm?

Writing

When I was writing my latest novel it began as an 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 a 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.

Getting a Glimpse of the Origin of Writing

I do appreciate the system of writing 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 or origin 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?

Thereagain, did singing come first? The high notes of the soprano emulating birds or raindrops or the base/baritone vocalizing the thunder of the storm. If I was just starting out I might have opted to research these fascinating concepts.

Another reason for the above is my interest in the history of the evolving presentations of the modern novel. I was fascinated with the presentation and language of the first novel in our literary history, entitled ‘Pamela ‘created by Samuel Richardson, 1740. He used the epistolary style form which was quite absorbing.

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.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If you love Regency Romance with a bit of suspense, I invite you to take a look at A LADY’S PLIGHT, Book 1 of my Lords of Sussex Series.

A Lady's Plight