Kiyo’s Corner — January ’19

Hello and welcome to the January edition of Kiyo's Corner 🙂

Sincerely, I can't hardly believe the first month of 2019 has passed us by already. There were years, many years, I felt like January was the slowest month that ever existed, but these thirty-one days have flown past like a bullet-train! (: Not that I minded, for I've been wrapped up in so many fun things to work on, it was a true pleasure to start each day again and again.

 

—A Poetic Short Story

So, what has been going on? In the first weeks of the month, I've written a new short story called Fragments of a Fairytale, which I will be sharing with you all in February; it is inspired by the theme "Once Upon a Time" and contains themes and elements of famous (Disney) fairytales, weaving together a love-story of my own making that I truly hope you'll all enjoy <3 To give you all a taster, here's the opening paragraph;

Neverland beckons as she dreams of weightlessness and days forever young. Light as a feather she drifts out of her window in the wake of her sky-high soul, an invisible ribbon anchoring her towards bright stars winking in the indigo deep.

Yet, the higher she levitates, the more she realizes that the ocean has climbed into the sky tonight; silver fish imitate a full-bellied moon and starfish cling to the vaulted ceilings, calling for her to join the lost boys and the games they play.

 

—New Poetry and the Kiyo Shop

Next item on the agenda was the creation of new visual poetry, for my stashes (of especially Micro Poems) had shrunk considerably, and had me revisiting my notebooks, stock-sites and trusted Photoshop. As mentioned in my long Christmas journal, I also began work on the Kiyo online shop, and I can happily mention that it's growing slowly but steadily, with items like Canvas and Photo prints, Pillows and Greeting Cards to become available featuring my poems and artwork. I'm not one hundred percent certain of the exact launch-date, but if my time-table stays the way it is, I'm hoping it will be late February or early March!

 

—Black Out; a novel

And last but not least — and this really excites me! — I've kick-started writing the initial pages of my novel, Black Out; a young adult duology which has the shared series title, Children of the Moon. It's set in an dystopian time where nature has gone completely astray when an ancient magic stirs, rendering the world as we know it unrecognisable as light and darkness visibly begin a fight for balance. The stories' main focus lies on a small group of rebels, who still cling to the ideals of life and love, and tentatively dare to believe in a hope for the future, even though survival in the World After naturally brings out both the best, and worst in people...

As also mentioned in last year's journal, I've been gathering many ideas over a long period of time, and had been hoping to start work on it at the beginning of the new year, and have indeed been recently sitting down, typing away happily. Trying to catch the mood of the novel on paper, I went freestyle for its opening, familiarizing myself with the voices of my leads, and if I keep going the way I'm headed, I'll aim to write an official blurb of Black Out to share in the February Corner 😀

So, journeying  to the last element of this Corner, I'll wrap this up with an overview of my personal shared works (Visual Poetry and/or Poetic Prose) that I upload on my weekly Literary blog, hoping to leave a touch of inspiration behind for anyone who needs it — scroll down for more (:

Micro Poetry Series

Inspired by philosophy, nature, day-to-day thoughts and emotions, this minimalistic series aims to encourage,
ponder, or show you the beauty in small things and moments. Curious for more? Visit the page.

Haiku Series

Influenced by the art found in traditional Japanese poetry styles, this series contains haiku based on
the continuous changes that happen all around us, in both nature and life. Curious for more? Visit the page.

About Love Series

With words from both sides of the heart, this series collects the sweet beginnings and sad goodbyes, moments of romance, and days of heartache;
the multitude of feelings that come over us when we fall... in love. Curious for more? Visit the page by clicking here.

With this monthly update and collection I'll leave you behind today, I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it — and, as always, want to drop me a line, leave one in the comments below 🙂

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in Kiyo's Corner, 0 comments

Kiyo’s Corner — December ’18

Hello and welcome to the December edition of Kiyo's Corner 🙂

As I sat down to write this, the new year has just begun and the first days of 2019 are still fresh and for many of us filled with hopes, dreams and the best of intentions.

So, from me to you: I wish you all a Wonderful New Year and I hope it'll be filled with things that give you happiness~

For many the new year is always a symbol for new beginnings, and though I've never been a firm believer of New Year's resolutions (not because I don't believe in the power of a resolution, mind you, but more in needing the new year to start with one) I do always value the feeling of a new year; it's like a blank page of paper on which you can put down your latest thoughts, and close the book on the things you wish to forget. On New Year's eve I watched a show of a stand-up comedian (it's tradition for one to host a show on New Year's Eve in the Netherlands) as he reviewed the past year (with a lot of humour), and he ended his show with a sung remark that rang true to me; everything that upset you, leave it behind; everything that caused you hurt, leave it behind.

Though this past year has been a positive year for me, and I'm very much looking forward to this new set of 365 days ahead of me, it did make me realize one thing I do wish to accomplish this year, and that is to see the positive side of everything even more so than I already try. To not worry my mind to much with "what if's" and "maybe's", and waste time getting sucked into negative spirals that can wear you down to the bone. But to find the silver linings, even if my day did not pan out the way I planned, and to fully enjoy to process of the new books I wish to publish, stories to be written and poems to share (:

So, to start this January with some of these positive vibes, let me get back to the core of this December Corner, for every month I enjoy creating an overview of my personal shared works (Visual Poetry and Poetic Prose) that I upload on my weekly Literary blog, hoping to leave a touch of inspiration behind for anyone who needs it.

Scroll down for more (:

Micro Poetry Series

Inspired by philosophy, nature, day-to-day thoughts and emotions, this minimalistic series aims to encourage,
ponder, or show you the beauty in small things and moments. Curious for more? Visit the page.

Haiku Series

Influenced by the art found in traditional Japanese poetry styles, this series contains haiku based on
the continuous changes that happen all around us, in both nature and life. Curious for more? Visit the page.

About Love Series

With words from both sides of the heart, this series collects the sweet beginnings and sad goodbyes, moments of romance, and days of heartache;
the multitude of feelings that come over us when we fall... in love. Curious for more? Visit the page by clicking here.

A Feast of Starlight (a Poetic Short story)

“Once there was a maiden born holding starlight deep inside”

This month I uploaded a new poetic short story to the Poetic Prose series, called A Feast of Starlight; a story written for the site Get Inspired by Books, taking you onto wish-filled journey ★;

It’s Christmas Eve when a young boy wakes to a shower of falling stars, blazing trails of magic through the sky. Curious, he ventures outside on his own, not aware that his actions will coincide with the small town myth of the Celestial Maiden, and a miraculous story of true love.

Happily I invite you to read it here, and discover more stories at my Poetic Prose page.

With this monthly update and collection I'll leave you behind today, I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it — and, as always, want to drop me a line, leave one in the comments below 🙂

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in Kiyo's Corner, 2 comments

News & Updates — I Dream of Christmas

Hello everyone ❤

Today its December 25th, and though most of us will be wrapped up in family gatherings or other wonderful festivities, I wanted to take a moment and extend my warmest of thoughts to all of you who left me comments, liked my work, purchased my books, or have just been plain lovely to talk to. I hope these seasonal holidays will treat you kindly, and that this new year, which is slowly creeping closer to knock on our doors, will bring you laughter, peace and joy.

So, to all: Happy, happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Christmas_2018


It’s Christmas Day

Another thing I admittedly also enjoy this time round, is being able to (legitimately) listen to my favourite Christmas and Wintry songs again, and because I’m writing this to share some of my seasonal warmth and cheer, I compiled a hand-picked selection of some, possibly not overly familiar, tracks that I love listening to that I hope will be to your liking 🙂

♪♫ Kiyo’s December Playlist ♪♫

Sung Si Kyung and Kwon Jin Ah — Don’t Forget
Harriet — Maybe This Christmas
EXO — Miracles in December
George Michael — December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)
Brown Eyed Soul — Home
Kate Bush — December Will be Magic Again
Paul McCartney — Once Upon a Long Ago


A Little bit of Magic

Especially for the holiday season, earlier this month I wrote a short story called “A Feast of Starlight” for the lovely website, Get Inspired by Books, which had me dreaming up a myth about a celestial maiden and a young boys adventure — so, in my attempt to make you enjoy your Christmas days, if you feel like it, check out the blurb below…

“Once there was a maiden born holding starlight deep inside”

It’s Christmas Eve when a young boy wakes to a shower of falling stars, blazing trails of magic through the sky. Curious, he ventures outside on his own, not aware that his actions will coincide with the small town myth of the Celestial Maiden, and a miraculous story of true love.

Read it here!


Smashwords End of the Year Sale

To festively end this year, I’ve enrolled two of my poetry eBooks in a big site-wide SALE over at Smashwords, where you can now purchase both poetry editions of Dreamscape and Musings from a Wildflower with a 25% discount until January 1st!

XMAS_18_SALE_Musings_eBook XMAS_18_SALE_Dreamscape_POETRY_eBook

One thing I always enjoy during the festive season is reading, so maybe you’d like to give (or receive) the gift of reading too?🎄 Follow the links below to get a copy of my books to take with you into 2019!

Musings from a Wildflower; the micro poetry collection, vol.01 // Coupon code: RM68A
Dreamscape; a poetic journey through life’s encounters // Coupon code: LV35D


2019 is Slowly Coming Closer

With the new year almost upon us, I’m most likely not alone in the fact that I’ve already been busy in preparation of new projects to start in the days ahead, and in case you’re curious what to expect of me personally, here’s a little sneak-peak 🙂

Following the release of Musings from a Wildflower in December, the next poetry book to come to publication will be the Haiku series, scheduled for an early summer release. Like the first micro poetry collection, it’ll contain a 100 poems, and will be made available in both print and eBook! At the end of the year, I also strife to release the first Poetic Prose collection, which will contain both stories published and unpublished, all written in the same style you’ve come to know of me in my (regular) uploads (:

Another thing that I’ve been preparing for is an online shop, where you’ll be able to purchase prints, merchandise and other fun goodies, featuring imagery from all my three Visual Poetry series and illustrated works, like Dreamscape and the covers I create for my Poetic Prose works. It’s been on my to-do-list for quite a while now, but with most things smoothly up and running these days, it’s been bumped up to a prime spot and I hope to have it up and running early next year 😀

Last, but not least, aside from poetry and short stories, like many authors I also dream about publishing my own full-length novels, and I’ve been gearing up to start work on the first part of a young adult duology which has the shared series title, Children of the Moon.

It’s set in an dystopian time where nature has gone completely astray when an ancient magic stirs, rendering the world as we know it unrecognisable as light and darkness visibly begin a fight for balance. The stories’ main focus will lie on a small group of rebels, who still cling to the ideals of life and love, and tentatively dare to believe in a hope for the future, even though survival in the World After naturally brings out both the best, and worst in people…

I have pages filled with notes, ideas and short scenes — but because this is the first time I’ve ever given a hint of this online, I’m still a bit hesitant to say too much, but feel assured that I’ll be telling you all more about in abundance in the months to come!

With this, I feel I’ve taken up more than enough of your time, so I’ll take my leave — and I once more bid you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Lots of love,
Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in News & Updates, 4 comments

News & Updates — OUT NOW: Musings from a Wildflower

Hello everyone 🙂

After sharing various teasers, today is finally the day: Musings from a Wildflower; the very first Micro Poetry series collection is available for purchase!

Gathered together it collects a hundred micro poems side by side in full-colour print editions (both hard- and softcover) and also simultaneous eBook editions (visual and poetry only), giving the reader a chance to briefly escape and dream away.

The Micro Poetry Series

Followers of my weekly updated Literary blog, or social media, will know this series rather well as I’ve been sharing it for at least a year-and-a-half, but for reader’s who haven’t been with me for that long, here’s a little more info (:

The Micro Poetry series are minimalistic poems based in origins on the art found in Japanese poetry — the way of saying so much in so little — combined with visuals from all around the globe that can take you places with just one glance. They aim to seamlessly blend words with imagery, the poetry inspired by personal philosophy, nature, daily thoughts and emotions, and have been met with wonderful comments of feeling uplifted, encouraged, or finding a moment to sit back and relax when reading them.

Where to get your copies?

Print editions are sold (once again) through Blurb, and the eBook editions are available in both ePub and Kindle editions; find all the info, pricing details and links below~

Hardcover, € 51,50 — Purchase through Blurb
Softcover, € 41,95 — Purchase through Blurb
eBook (Kindle, visual ed.), € 8,75 — Purchase through Amazon (worldwide)
eBook (Kindle, poetry ed.), € 3,99 — Purchase through Amazon (worldwide)
eBook (ePub, poetry ed.), € 3,99 — Purchase through Smashwords | Kobo

With this, I’ll leave you today; drop me a line in the comments below if you have any questions — have a wonderful rest of your day!

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in News & Updates, 4 comments

Kiyo’s Corner — November ’18

Hello and welcome to the November edition of Kiyo's Corner 🙂

As I'm writing this, December has just begun and the Christmas vibes are all rolling in. Every day I see more and more lights appear in windows, and strung across the banisters of balconies, while shops are practically bursting at the seems with baubles and gift-ideas. Personally, I always love the days leading up to Christmas, and can be often caught listening to "bad" songs (example here) to get further into the mood; decorating is also always one of my favourite things to do, and it will come to no surprise to people that know me that my tree is already up, sparkling in red and gold ★

Other things that have been occupying me these past weeks have been working towards my new book-release for Musings from a Wildflower, which will be available worldwide from December 4th, creating new visual poems (for they had been depleted rather a lot 😉 ) and next to that I got a lovely request from Anneke's Get Inspired By Books to write a short story for their December theme "holiday's". I had a lot of fun coming up with a story (plus a little puzzling with the 1500 word limit), and sincerely hope it'll get you into the festive spirit. Here's a little blurb for you below;

A Feast of Starlight

“Once there was a maiden born holding starlight deep inside”

It’s Christmas Eve when a young boy wakes to a shower of falling stars, blazing trails of magic through the sky. Curious, he ventures outside on his own, not aware that his actions will coincide with the small town myth of the Celestial Maiden, and a miraculous story of true love.

It's set for website release on December 7th, so if you'd like to read it, keep your eyes on my social media coming Friday~

Last but not least, let me get back to the core of this November Corner, for every month I enjoy creating an overview of my personal shared literary works (Visual Poetry and Poetic Prose) that I upload on my weekly Literary blog, hoping to leave a touch of inspiration behind for anyone who needs it.

So, scroll down for more (:

Micro Poetry Series

Inspired by philosophy, nature, day-to-day thoughts and emotions, this minimalistic series aims to encourage,
ponder, or show you the beauty in small things and moments. Curious for more? Visit the page.

Haiku Series

Influenced by the art found in traditional Japanese poetry styles, this series contains haiku based on
the continuous changes that happen all around us, in both nature and life. Curious for more? Visit the page.

About Love Series

With words from both sides of the heart, this series collects the sweet beginnings and sad goodbyes, moments of romance, and days of heartache;
the multitude of feelings that come over us when we fall... in love. Curious for more? Visit the page by clicking here.

Chasing Rainbows (a Micro Fiction story)

"Our entwined thoughts sprouted wings"

This month I uploaded a new micro fiction story to the Poetic Prose series, called Chasing Rainbows; a story escaping into a fantastical world of dreams and beauty, painted in colours of the rainbow. Happily I invite you to read it here, and discover more stories at my Poetic Prose page.

With this monthly update and collection I'll leave you behind today, I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it — and, as always, want to drop me a line, leave one in the comments below 🙂

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in Kiyo's Corner, 4 comments

News & Updates — Musings from a Wildflower

Hello everyone,

November is already halfway once again, and the year is slowly (well, actually rather quickly, to be honest!) coming to an end — but, before the days of 2019 truly run out, I still have some exiting things up my sleeve… so read on 😉

Some of you who follow me through Twitter and Instagram may have an inkling what this may be about, but for those of you who do not, I excitedly announce the release of Musings from a Wildflower; the very first Micro Poetry series collection coming to print!

The Micro Poetry Series

Followers of my weekly updated Literary blog, or social media, will know this series rather well as I’ve been sharing it for at least a year-and-a-half (wow, that’s longer than I thought! 🙂 ), but for reader’s who haven’t been with me for that long, here’s a little more info (:

The Micro Poetry series are minimalistic poems based in origins on the art found in Japanese poetry — the way of saying so much in so little — combined with visuals from all around the globe that can take you places with just one glance. They aim to seamlessly blend words with imagery, the poetry inspired by personal philosophy, nature, daily thoughts and emotions, and have been met with wonderful comments of feeling uplifted, encouraged, or finding a moment to sit back and relax when reading them.

It’s the very first visual series I began sharing online, and is undoubtedly close to my heart. It’s a joy to create, and I’ve spend many a happy day in Photoshop blending my words with beautiful CC0 stock I peruse online.

Count from One to a Hundred

“Reaching towards our infinite skies, we blossom everywhere, growing strong —
An ocean of colour, we are wildflowers, seizing the day.”

I’ve recently received the very first print copy of either edition (hard- and softcover), and I’m beyond happy with the way it turned out; it’s printed on smooth premium paper, with colours just as vibrant as seen online. Gathered together, Musings from a Wildflower collects a hundred micro poems side by side in full-colour print editions (both hard- and softcover) and also simultaneous eBook editions (visual and poetry only), giving the reader a chance to briefly escape and dream away.

For anyone who is hungry for a bigger taste, I invite you to visit the official book-page, where you can get an extensive preview of how the book looks in all its glory, both in print and eBook 🙂

Mark your Diaries for December

For last but not least: Musings from a Wildflower will be available for purchase from December 4th, 2018!

Print editions will be sold (once again) through Blurb, and the eBook editions are already available for Pre-order in both ePub and Kindle editions; find all the info, pricing details and links below~

Hardcover, € 51,50 — Will be available December 4th 2018, through Blurb
Softcover, € 41,95 — Will be available December 4th 2018, through Blurb
eBook (Kindle, visual ed.), € 8,75 — Pre-order now through Amazon (worldwide)
eBook (Kindle, poetry ed.), € 3,99 — Pre-order now through Amazon (worldwide)
eBook (ePub, poetry ed.), € 3,99 — Pre-order now through Smashwords | Kobo

With this, I’ll leave you today; drop me a line in the comments below if you have any questions — have a wonderful rest of your day!

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in News & Updates, 2 comments

News & Updates — Dreamscape, One Year Anniversary

Hello everyone,

Today, November 7th, I have a little something to celebrate — which is (the title kinda gives it away) Dreamscape’s One Year Anniversary!

Even though a whole year has passed me by since releasing Dreamscape to the public, I still remember it all very vividly. The hours and hours I spend coming up with concepts for the (in total 26!) illustrations, and subsequently working on them, which was many months worth of work in-between other projects. Gathering the poems I wanted to include, fine-tuning them, and eventually combining them with the imagery which had been the main inspiration of each piece of art. The excitement to hold the very first printed proof-copy of the book in my hands is incredibly palpable as I think back, and so has been receiving wonderful compliments on both the artwork and poetry, like these;

“Dreamscape is a beautiful book; the poetry inside combined with the imagery have lead me personally to muse and ponder as hours pass by my window. It is a book for life, a gracefully written, delicate book and if you like to be inspired, to ponder and think, it’s perfect.”
— Dean Tarrant

That is why, today for me is a day to celebrate — AND I do this with a new release, and a gift. YES, I have a gift for you. Read on 😉

Dreamscape; an illustrated journey in art and poetry is now also available in Kindle eBook!

For a long time I searched for a way to also be able to share my illustrated book for not only the printed-book buyer but also the eBook collectors among us, and recently found a solution in Kindle. Newly released this week, Dreamscape’s visual edition is intuitive and beautifully clean; you can scale the images for full-views or close-ups, or swipe through it page by page. And the best thing is? It works both on Kindle devices, and the Kindle app for iPad (and other iOS devices)!

To get a preview of how the visual edition of Dreamscape looks, in print and eBook, visit the official page here 🙂

SALE: From the 7th till the 11th of November!

To make these festivities truly complete, this is not all — for my gift to you to celebrate Dreamscape’s visual anniversary in style, is the fact that I’m throwing a sale!
From the Wednesday the 7th, till Sunday the 11th of November, both Kindle eBook editions (visual and poetry only) will be discounted:

Visual ed. (eBook/Kindle), from € 7,95 to € 6,50 — Available through Amazon
Poetry only ed. (eBook/Kindle), from € 3,99 to € 2,99 — Available through Amazon

So, if you’ve ever been interested in owning your own copy of Dreamscape, I am delighted to say this is your chance to get it especially on its book-birthday 🙂

Have any questions, want to drop a line or just share with me in the festivities, do so below~

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in News & Updates, 0 comments

Kiyo’s Corner — October ’18

Hello and welcome to the October edition of Kiyo's Corner 🙂

With colder weather and greyer skies, November has rolled in leaving us with thirty-one days of October in our wake — and it has been some busy and varied weeks for me. Still, as always, I've been sharing poetry on my weekly updated Literary blog, but a lot of other things have been going on behind the scene's as well, like the release of my Poetic Prose short story, Echoes from Another Time, which was written especially for Halloween, and other exiting items of bookish news; one to be shared this coming Wednesday, and another one next week — but that is all I'm saying right now, so if you're curious, keep an eye on my blog~

Every month I enjoy creating an overview of my personal shared works (Visual Poetry and Poetic Prose) on my main blog, hoping to leave a touch of inspiration behind for anyone who needs it.

Being both an artist and writer at heart, the poems from the Visual Poetry series (Micro Poetry, Haiku and About Love pieces) combine words with a type of imagery, aiming to enhance the feel of that poem's message, while each story in the Poetic Prose series (micro fiction and short stories) is accompanied with its own unique cover, and the work itself often touched with a hint of fantasy.

Scroll down for more (:

Micro Poetry Series

Inspired by philosophy, nature, day-to-day thoughts and emotions, this minimalistic series aims to encourage,
ponder, or show you the beauty in small things and moments. Curious for more? Visit the page.

Haiku Series

Influenced by the art found in traditional Japanese poetry styles, this series contains haiku based on
the continuous changes that happen all around us, in both nature and life. Curious for more? Visit the page.

About Love Series

With words from both sides of the heart, this series collects the sweet beginnings and sad goodbyes, moments of romance, and days of heartache;
the multitude of feelings that come over us when we fall... in love. Curious for more? Visit the page by clicking here.

Echoes from Another Time (A Poetic Prose short story)

“It all began with the footsteps”

When Ally awakes in the middle of the night to the sound of unexpected footsteps, she thinks her boyfriend has come home from his travels, but instead finds herself still eerily home alone. Quickly, things spin out of control as candles begin to burn out of their own accord, and a haunting, darkling spirit appears — leading her to discover that nothing she believed is what it seems...

This month I released an especially written Short Story to celebrate Halloween, called Echoes from Another Time; a ghost story with a twist (:
In less than I week, I was pleased to discover it was met with enthusiasm, as almost 60 copies have been downloaded already, and the story has also received two 5 star reviews!

To read more about the release, and some background info, I happily direct you to the release News & Updates article, or if you'd like to get your own copy instantly to the Books page where you'll find all the links~

With this monthly update and collection I'll leave you behind today, I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it — and, as always, want to drop me a line, leave one in the comments below 🙂

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in Kiyo's Corner, 2 comments

News & Updates — OUT NOW: Echoes from Another Time

Hello everyone,

Today is the very last day of October, the 31st, and that means in many countries we’ll be celebrating Halloween!
In style with it’s traditional theme of trick-or-treat, this year I’m opting for treat, for it is finally here: the release of my short story, Echoes from Another Time 🙂

On this day when the veil between this world, and the one beyond, is thinnest; allowing spirits to wander freely, and other things may well linger in the dark, I give Ally’s haunting tale to all of you to read on your own All Hallow’s Eve night…

“It all began with the footsteps”

When Ally awakes in the middle of the night to the sound of unexpected footsteps, she thinks her boyfriend has come home from his travels, but instead finds herself still eerily home alone. Quickly, things spin out of control as candles begin to burn out of their own accord, and a haunting, darkling spirit appears — leading her to discover that nothing she believed is what it seems…

A Touch of Inspiration

As you have guessed correctly, Echoes from Another Time is a ghost story, but one with a twist. Of course, I will not give anything away; I’ll leave that for you to discover 😉 Still, I will share that Ally’s tale has been slumbering in the back of my mind for quite some time, and when the end of Summer began to call, she kept coming back to me more and more, and I had almost no choice but to tell you her story…

When I write I always like to set the mood by creating a playlist on my iPod, and with this project, it was no different. The short stories’ atmosphere was both inspired by Fernando Velázquez’ score created for Crimson Peak; which is a beautifully made, although somewhat disturbing tale of love by master filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, and another influence came from the music of Penny Dreadful, a series I recommend to anyone who is fascinated by the supernatural, and has a sometimes eerie, yet exquisite soundtrack by Abel Korzeniowski.

To give you a taste of music-moods, I’ve included some tracks below:
• ♫ Edith’s Theme, Allerdale Hall and Finale by Fernando Velázquez (Crimson Peak)
• ♪ Closer Than Sisters, Vanessa’s Dream and Melting Waltz by Abel Korzeniowski (Penny Dreadful, season 1, 2 and 3)

“Come back home to me”

Prologue

“Come back home to me.”
   Gazing from a cloak of midnight shadows, a dark figure watched the window, his eyes following a young woman’s slender silhouette as she pressed a hand against the pane, looking out.
   Her lips formed the same sentence over and over, as if she repeated it like a mantra. “Come back home to me. Please, come back home to me.” The glass fogging up slightly near her face from the cold wind that breathed outside.
   Transfixed, he could not help but look at her; drinking in her fair hair and white nightgown, her silent words impossibly audible in his mind. They called to him, as if they were a string tied from his heart to hers.
   A string that commanded him to move towards her.
   And so, leaving the shadows behind, he did.”

Sharing the prologue as an extra sampler, I’ll leave you with the facts that Echoes from Another Time is a seven chapter short story (counting 4,670 words), written in the same style as you’ve come to know from me in my Poetic Prose series — AND, you can get it in eBook through the links below, totally for FREE!

Smashwords (ePub)
Kobo (ePub)
Prolific Works (ePub and .mobi)

If you enjoyed it, please leave me a review on Goodreads, or get in touch in the comments to tell me your thoughts; I’d love to find out (:

Love, Kiyo

Posted by Kiyo in News & Updates, 2 comments

In Her Mind — Origins of Halloween

Hello everyone, and welcome to the very first edition of In Her Mind 🙂

Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated with legends, myths and mysteries; tales of magic and lore, mischievous faeries, wandering ghosts, gods and deities, and any other supernatural occurrence that makes you wonder: what if..?  In this journal-series (that I will attempt to write as often as I can), I’ll be talking about all the many things that interest and influence me in my creative process, contemplating fact from fiction; and hopefully giving you, too, some food for thought.

Today, taking you with me on a journey, we’ll go back to the beginning.

A journey to the origins of Halloween, a celebration known in most corners of the world that is filled with shadows and ghosts, trick-or-treating and haunted stories. Like with many things that have a touch of the mysterious and supernatural, Halloween has — even though I’m Dutch, and we don’t celebrate it (yet) as they do in America — been a fascination for me; a fascination that began with movies like Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas (for yes, the latter may also be a Christmas movie, but it plays for most part in the land of Halloween 🙂 )

With October in full sway, I began to wonder these last days what may have been the true origins of Halloween, besides the basic facts I knew about traditions that involved fending of evil spirits, and when I had a moment between projects, I turned to my dear friend Mr. Google, and this my friends, was what I found.

Did you know it all started 2000 years ago?

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, where they celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day marked the end of summer (and the harvest) and the beginning of the winter period; a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before this new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred, a veil growing thin — making the ghosts of the deceased able to return to earth.

Firmly believing that these ghosts could cause various kinds of trouble, like damaging crops and mischievous antics, the Celts also had strong positive thoughts about the presence of these otherworldly spirits; as for one it supposedly made it easier for the Druids (Celtic priests) to make predictions about the future: an important source of comfort and direction for people who were entirely dependent on the fickle ways of the natural world back then. And secondly, during the festival they felt closer to deceased relatives and friends, and it was not uncommon that they would set places at the dinner table for these friendly spirits, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road, and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

To commemorate Samhain, the Druids would build huge, sacred bonfires, where the people would gather round to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During these celebrations, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. Eventually, when the celebrations were over, they would re-lit their home’s hearth fires (which they had extinguished earlier that evening) from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the long, dark winter ahead.

Influences from the Roman Empire

Bonfires, mischievous spirits, and costumes, reading all that sounds rather familiar to our contemporary traditions, but they still made a long way, through the Roman Empire no less, to slowly come to what we know now.

By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of the Celtic lands, and in the course of the four hundred years that they ruled supreme, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The Romans made it a habit of adopting cultures and celebrations of the people as it expanded the Empire’s reach, much like Christian Missionaries did when trying to “convert” pagan’s to their religion over the ages that followed.
   The first of these Roman festivals was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead, and the second was a day to honour Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.

Fun fact to mention is that the symbol of Pomona is the apple, and it is thought that the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practised today on Halloween.

All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day & All Souls’ Day

By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread far and wide into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with (and slowly erased) the older Celtic rites. November 1st became known as All Saint’s Day, which is, according to the Catholic church; “a call to live as saints, and remind us how we’re supposed to live.” In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2nd All Souls’ Day, a day to honour the dead, and by that they meant all the dead, even those who were deemed not to have been given God’s mercy upon their departure.

It will not surprise anyone that it’s widely believed today that this was an attempt by the church to replace the Celtic festival of the dead, with a related church-sanctioned holiday 😉

All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and the dressing up in costumes of saints, angels and devils. This celebration is, alike to Halloween, also still practised worldwide through events like the Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) or the Chinese Ghost Festival.
   To remember the departed, many cultures prepare meals for the souls of the dead, light candles or leave flowers on relatives’ graves and some anoint tombstones with holy water or pour milk over them.

Another fun fact to mention is that the All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it —the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion— began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Halloween as we know it today

Mainly due to the arrival of many Irish and English immigrants in the second half of the nineteenth century, the celebration of Halloween slowly became popularized nationally in America. Borrowing from these Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money; a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition.
   In the late 1800s, there was a rippling move in America to change Halloween into a holiday that was more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations, and because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its darker superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century, and a new American tradition was born — leaving us (after many, many centuries and influential changes) with Halloween as we know it today 🙂

Last fun fact; Did you know, present day, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion (!) annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

And, what does Halloween mean to me?

As I mentioned at the start of this journal, I’ve never known Halloween in the sense that many who read this will, but I have been (obviously, with this long exploration above) interested in it for quite some many years.
   When I grew up, Halloween was simply a concept for me, something that was explained at school as an American holiday, where kids would dress up and go round doors asking for candy. (A notion that appealed to me greatly, I confide 😉 ) But the older I got, this once typically American festivity, began to make its way to our country and it has been slowly gaining success.

Shops these days are filled with cool decorations to buy, and since September I can’t walk into a store without being eyed by wicked witches, or grinning jack-o-lanterns. And, I have to admit, I like it. A lot. Every year I buy something new to grow my home’s small collection of Halloween fun. But (that commercially fuelled success aside), the thing I still love most about it is that other, older side of Halloween that goes back to spirits and ghosts possibly wandering the earth again on October 31st. Somehow, it always feeds my inspiration and curiosity, and not a year goes by that I don’t feel inspired by the many tales of mystery, magic and superstition…

So, in closing, tell me; what are your thoughts on Halloween, and the whole story of how it actually started? Do you celebrate it, or not? Leave me a line down below (:

Love, Kiyo

Sources:

History, Rome Across Europe, Catholic.org (info) / Pexels (stock)

Posted by Kiyo in In Her Mind, 4 comments
Load more
error: Content is copy protected.