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Hello! Welcome to my newsletter for May/June 2021. In this issue:
My birthday was in May. We visited the Sculpture Park in Churt, Surrey. I have discovered a new favourite place.
This beast ... made from horseshoes.
I love to gaze at statue faces. I could imagine these people, how their voices might sound, what their manner might be. Were they invented by the artist or are they real?

Faces were everywhere (see the green fella, top right).

Take three vintage seat cushions, if that's what these are, and fix them to the trunk of a tree. Art is whatever you like. Especially if you can't explain why.
In Sculptureville, other Dave Morrises are available.

We walked for hours. I killed my wellies. And we didn't even get half-way round.
This place plays delightfully with your mind. After you leave, every flaking wall, every ordinary thing looks like art, to be explored and appreciated, full of possibilities. Find the Sculpture Park here.
This week
Ever Rest ... is
... out on June 3rd.
That also feels very much like a birthday.
I now have a stock of copies, so if you'd like a signed edition directly from me, drop me an email.
What is Ever Rest? Find out here.
Editing... I don't want to be a nag, but my work on the medical magazines reminds me Covid isn't over, even though restrictions are lifting. Stay careful, people.
Mentoring... Georgia and I are now building a detailed outline of her novel.
Writing... I've had an exciting meeting with the makers of a digital art tool, of all things. They like the author interviews I publish on my blog and have asked me to interview artists for their online magazine.
28 July I'll be reprising my back story course at Jane Friedman's webinar series. Booking is now open.
September I'll be teaching a month-long course in self-publishing to members of the Romantic Novelists' Association. Non-members are also welcome. Book here.
Time pieces
You might remember my friend Ian, who has been teaching himself leatherworking (look here and click on A Good Hiding). This is a steampunk mask he made during lockdown. Ian has a nose for the fine and unusual.
He's discovered some leather with an amazing and romantic back story. It was salvaged from a ship that sank in the eighteenth century. For nearly 200 years it's been at the bottom of the English Channel, buried in briny mud. And it's in perfect condition.
The leather is a luxury grade Russia reindeer hide, still supple and workable, still a rich chocolate brown. These are pieces of it, on Ian's workbench, after he used it to make a strap for a precious watch.
It smells of the birch oil that was used to tan it in St Petersburg in 1785. The smell of a piece of time.
See more of Ian's work on Instagram, including a hat he made for me, which I'm wearing in the pictures further up.
On the blog
On my blog this month I had a writing craft piece - read this if you can't kill your darlings. I reflected on the seven stages of writing a long-haul novel and reading for pleasure vs reading as a part of your job. And I interviewed novelist, writing coach and educator Connie Biewald, whose novel Truth Like Oil has just been released. 
A little horse
Horsemanship is a game of intriguing contradictions. You must be assertive. Bold. Sometimes tough. These are strong animals. Yet they are more subtle and sensitive than you could possibly imagine.
Most people are familiar with the idea that a horse knows whether the rider is confident or not. But Val seems to have remarkable telepathic tuning.
The other day, riding into the yard, I stopped to chat to a friend. I felt his puzzlement. Why stop here? My stable is over there. (He worries about everything.) I felt a shift in his body. I knew what would come next; he'd paw the ground. I got ready to say no.
His body changed. It became still. I swear we'd just had a conversation. I'm gonna paw. No you're not. Okay, understood.
I've had this at other times too. Enough to convince me that definite communication is happening.
He used to walk off when I mounted, without waiting for an instruction. It's a common bad habit that horses can develop, and there's usually an argument when you correct it. (So much for subtlety.) Next time I mounted Val, I was determined to restrain him if he moved before I asked. I'm certain I did nothing different, didn't hold the reins more firmly, but he knew. He stood like a rock. He read my intention. Keep still. Okay.
He's taught me about my intentions while riding in the school. Crossing the arena, he sometimes drifts off course, and we end up kind-of sideways with his shoulders kinked. I hope you won't do that wonky thing, I think, and sure enough, he does. But if ride thinking of a straight line, he goes in a straight line. It's obvious, Roz. Tell me what you want, not what you don't want.
I used to think Byron was sensitive. We had occasional moments of mind-reading, but they always seemed to be flukes. They never happened reliably. But they seem to with Val.
Til next time
R xxx
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PS June 3rd
Copyright © 2021 Roz Morris, All rights reserved.

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