Branching out

Well, ladies, gentlemen, and persons of each and every gender, it gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that I have just launched a page on patreon.com. Because, you know, I’m so prolific here that my little sludge bucket of words is simply overflowing. 

Anyway, my page on Patreon is largely devoted to fiction writing, as opposed to the travel writing/curmudgeonly grumbling that I very occasionally do here. I plan to publish a novel chapter by chapter, as well as short stories. If you love fantasy, Celtic mythology and the shameless stretching of Scottish history, all muddled together with a zesty queer twist, Our Lady of Winter could be the novel you’ve been waiting for…Why not give it a whirl? From just $1 per month you can access these chapters and support my writing (and my ego). From time to time, I will also be publishing blog posts and musings on writing while working full time, folklore and anything else that pops into the dusty old haunted house I call a functioning brain.

Our Lady of Winter

“I am the butterflies in your stomach and the breath that raises the hairs on the back of your neck. Often, I am simply the bearer of bad news”.

When Gwen Kennedy receives a message in a bottle informing her that she is going to lose the love of her life, she is not best pleased. Her husband is in Macedonia, fighting in the Great War, and her best friend is a nurse, patching up wounded soldiers God knows where. Faced with seemingly inevitable loss, Gwen refuses to accept her future and takes it upon herself to change her fate and save her husband. But is she just making matters worse?

What is going on? Who…or what…is Caillie? And why, oh, why, can’t Gwen get out of this bloody rowing boat?

As Gwen attempts to navigate the ever-changing currents of time and chance, the threads of mythology and reality start to fray, and she realises that life and love are far darker and more complicated than they seem.

 

Want to find out more?  Simply search “Ally Kersel” on patreon.com or seek out my facebook page (also Ally Kersel, @theprodigalteuchter) for updates.

Peat Bog Wellies

My childhood home is littered with tarnished, saliva-filled tin whistles left over from the fèis; old sheet music written in a crabbed hand and songs with words that I don’t understand anymore. I grew up near Oban, although I was born nearer Cumbernauld. In High School, I chose French, not Gaelic. I have spent next to none of my adult life in Scotland and, on meeting me, a person’s mind does not leap so easily to the Highlands and Islands as it does to the uncomfortable thought, “What the fuck is that accent anyway?” and all the social difficulties that this implies.

Still, I went to Fèis Latharna every year and I had a yellow sticker on my name tag that meant I knew a wee bit of Gaelic (Is mise Ally; pòg mo thòin and such…). My poor parents suffered through two daughters learning the fiddle and endlessly repeating songs about some truly shite sounding porridge. My childhood was lost wellies and being forced to sit on a poly bag on the way home to keep the car seat clean. It was that horrible, cringy feeling you get swimming over rocks, lest your hand brush through the weed and touch a jelly fish or…God forbid…a RED one! It was going camping on Lismore or Kerrera with the comfortable awareness that someone, usually a younger sibling, would track sheep shit into the tent. Above all, it was the long, slow, itchy summer of the ceaseless midgie.

I live in Canada now, after three years in New Zealand and every time someone asks me where I’m from, I say Oban, Scotland. I have left as many wellies preserved in peat bogs for future archaeologists as anyone so, really, what else can I say?

I am The Prodigal Teuchter so leave your flat cap at the door and settle down with a dram for yarns about beasties and bogles and Brexit, misty-eyed reminiscing and, above all else,  indecipherable grumbling into a pint about everything that doesn’t really matter.