The Witches of the Blue Well: Thoughts on Writing The Winter Witch

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So when Death comes knocking quite literally in the form of the damaged and dangerous, Brennus, Avery makes a deal with the reaper in order to save Caroline. Brennus is an Ankou. One of the many, once mortal men and women, who were given the choice to become an immortal in exchange for ferrying the dead over into their afterlife. Amazed by her strength Brennus followed Avery and has watched over her. Now he knows Avery is the one to offer him freedom from his obligation to the dead.

The Witch’s Trinity

To step into her world is to witness the bright flashes, witty turns, and shadowy corners of the human imagination, limned with all the detail and humor of a master stylist. She is pursued, and, in escaping, brings about an epochal change, separating the kingdom of myth from the human world.


Inventive, playful, and erudite, Gilman is an archeolexicologist rewriting language itself in these long-awaited tales. Orphan Maia doesn't see the point of love when it only brings pain: Her dying mother made a bargain with the evil, all-powerful ruler of their world that anyone who hurt her beloved daughter would be punished; her new stepmother went mad with grief when Maia's father died; and her stepsisters are desperate for their mother's approval, yet she always spurns them.

And though her family has turned her into a despised servant, Maia must always pretend to be happy, or else they'll all be struck dead by the curse. Anax, heir to the Duke of Sardis, doesn't believe in love either—not since he discovered that his childhood sweetheart was only using him for his noble title.

What's the point of pretending to fall in love with a girl just so she'll pretend to fall in love with him back? But when his father invites all the suitable girls in the kingdom to a masked ball, Anax must finally give in and select a wife. As fate would have it, the preparations for the masquerade bring him Maia, who was asked by her eldest stepsister to deliver letters to Anax.

The Witch’s Trinity | Erika Mailman

Despite a prickly first encounter, he is charmed and intrigued by this mysterious girl who doesn't believe in love. Anax can't help wishing to see her again—and when he does, he can't help falling in love with her. Against her will, Maia starts to fall in love with him too. But how can she be with him when every moment his life is in danger from her mother's deadly bargain? Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R.

Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction. I never liked it but I lived with it. I walked in her shadow, I stood by her when no one else would. When I finally thought her spotlight was mine things began to change.

She began to change. She had it all. But apparently she wants more. She wants Cole — my boyfriend.

Because I am bewitched. Megvan nekem Olvastam. A witch who teaches school over the mountain from Lancre. She takes snuff and does her own shoe repairs, which makes her "All Right" in Nanny Ogg's book, but has a nasty habit of being reasonable when provoked. A very old witch who has been fortune telling for so long that she is no longer able to keep her mind in the present as Granny Weatherwax puts it, she has a " detached retina in her second sight ".

Her mouth frequently appears out of sync with her words, and her footsteps often sound ten minutes before she actually makes them. The wife of a retired wizard and a natural organiser, especially of things that don't really need organising. She wears a great deal of "occult" jewellery that doesn't actually do anything. Granny Weatherwax dislikes Mrs. Earwig, claiming that she reduces witchcraft to "shoppin'". Mrs Earwig isn't actually bad, but is extremely snobbish and self-absorbed which is later revealed to make her immune to an Elf's power of glamour , has very poor people skills, and tends to assume everyone would really agree with her if they weren't so stupid so does Granny Weatherwax, of course, but at least she doesn't blame them for being stupid.

Her approach to teaching appears to be to 'trust in the folk wisdom' of the locals when it comes to practical things like birthing and medicine, and focus on such things as crystals, magic circles and soothing chants to help matters along. Annagramma Hawkin is her star and in fact only pupil. She is also the self-appointed chairwoman of the Witch Trials committee and has written a book about "Magick"; the "k" is to distinguish what she considers the True Craft from the everyday stuff Granny Weatherwax and other witches do—this in turn is a comedic reference on Pratchett's part to the use of ostentatious variant spellings of the word "magic" ranging from Aleister Crowley 's to some Wiccans '.

According to The Shepherd's Crown , she has since taken on a new pupil after Annagramma, continuing-on her flawed approach to witchcraft. When she learns of Granny Weatherwax's passing, rather than feeling any grief, her first thoughts are to attaining Granny's ' first among equals ' status not yet knowing that Granny had already named Tiffany Aching as her successor , and about what she could now do with Granny's cottage to make it over anew.

After having been thwarted during Granny's wake, she next attempts to 'convince' Tiffany that Tiffany needs her as an 'advisor' viewing Nanny Ogg as unqualified , and is furious when Tiffany turns her away, and over the following weeks and months she fans rumours that Tiffany isn't up to the job as Tiffany is stretched thin trying to witch two steadings.

However, when the threat of the elves rises, she is amongst those called upon to fight them off during which her ' immunity ' to the elves glamour comes to light , and is amongst the force to drive the Elf Lords' Lankin's and Peaseblossom's forces away from Lancre. She appeared only in Mort , and was Mort 's first "collection" as Death 's apprentice.

She had a grey cat. As with all Discworld magical practitioners, she knew in advance when her death would be and again would be personally visited by Death or had a right to be anyway so she had time to prepare. When Mort arrived she was an elderly lady with a hooked nose wearing a grey woollen dress. After Mort cut the line connecting her soul to her body, she realised it was no longer bound by the body's morphic field, and with much more control than most people her soul's form settled into the shape of her "inner self". Her hair unwound itself from its tight bun, changing colour and lengthening, her body straightened up.

Wrinkles dwindled and vanished, and her dress turned into something green and clingy. Rather than go on to an afterlife, she remained at her home, intending her spirit to get thinner and spread through the forest. A witch for whom the phrase "I've only got one pair of hands" was highly inappropriate, for she had one mind and two bodies.

She formerly worked in a circus reading her own mind. The phrase is now only technically accurate, following the death of one body, although she can still use the other as a "phantom limb" of sorts. This has resulted in her gaining a huge amount of respect among the local population, who had previously always suspected she was two people. An intelligent and well-meaning person, she spends much of her time explaining concepts such as bacteria to people who aren't going to believe her.

Granny Weatherwax arranges for her to be Tiffany's first teacher because as Granny Weatherwax will only admit under duress , Miss Level is the best of Ramtops witches when it comes to tending to the sick and elderly, and waiting upon the ungrateful, which Granny considers the soul and center of witchcraft. Perspicacia Tick is a " Witch Finder ", a travelling witch with the responsibility of finding young girls who have the potential to be witches.

She makes a living as a teacher, a role which has given her a habit of correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation. Thanks to her time as a student at the Quirm College for Young Ladies , which views time in cold water as character-building, she has also mastered the ability to stay underwater for prolonged periods, allowing her to escape punishment from superstitious witch-hunters. To aid her in this endeavor, she is the anonymous author of Magavenatio Obtusis Witch-hunting for Dumb People , which she generously places in the libraries of various witch-hating villages.

It includes such vital information as drowning rather than burning a witch, ensuring that the witch has silver coins in her boots, and is given a nice meal of hot soup and tea before her ducking. In The Shepherd's Crown , she is asked by Tiffany to help find her a couple of potential young witches looking to learn the craft to help her caretake for two steadings, after which time, Tiffany is also approached by Geoffrey Swivel.

Her real name is Lucy Tockley , but she thought Diamanda was more witchy. She was born in Lancre, but went away to school, and returned while the Coven were touring the Disc in Witches Abroad. She set up her own coven, insisting that the Wisdom of the Ancients was more significant than anything a lot of old people knew. At the end of Lords and Ladies , Granny speculated she might have a relationship with the young wizard Ponder Stibbons , but he returned to Unseen University.

Still to be decided is how much of a witch she naturally was versus how much magic was given to her by the elf queen. Diamanda duelled Granny Weatherwax in Lords and Ladies. The challenge was to look directly at the sun for as long as they could stand. Nanny Ogg realized that Granny would lose the duel, so she enticed her grandson, Pewsey Ogg, to run across the magic circle in which the duel was taking place. Crossing the circle caused Pewsey to cry out. Granny looked away from the sun, got up and returned Pewsey to his grandmother. While Diamanda was the technical winner of the duel, the crowd considered Granny the best witch, because witches are supposed to help young boys who cry instead of being selfish.

It is as yet unknown what happened to her following the events of Lords and Ladies. An " old bat " who takes on Tiffany Aching as apprentice three months prior to the events of Wintersmith. Many have come to the position before Tiffany, and she is the only one to not run away.

Miss Treason uses two sticks to walk and is both deaf and blind, but manages to get along by Borrowing the senses of those around her. Perhaps her " creepiest " use of this talent is making whatever apprentice she has at the moment her " mirror " before they go out. She will have the poor dear stand in front of her and borrow her sight so that she can see herself from the girl's perspective. The girls who have experienced this say that the creepiest part is the tingling at the back of the eyes, something that anyone whose senses are being Borrowed experiences.

All witches specialise in one field or another, and Miss Treason's speciality is Justice in fact her name refers to the Eumenides of Greek myth , who came to represent Justice in the later myths. People come to her to settle disputes, and usually find it very difficult to lie to her. This is most likely all in their heads, as Ms. Treason has a reputation as being very scary and also very powerful. It is said by the villagers that great kings and princes had come for miles just to ask her for her advice and to seek justice from her, and that the names of everyone is woven into the cloth she weaves on her loom her main source of income.

Though the villagers fear her more than anything else, they also seem to hold great respect for her. Treason later explains to Tiffany that she knew that the villagers would never love her, and that the other option was to make them fear her: She decided they either had to fear her, or love her, so that she could hold some power over them. One of the most notable things about Miss Treason's cottage is that everything in it is black , from the floor to the rafters. While Tiffany is her apprentice, she has to paint her cheeses with black-colored wax so that they'll fit in with the theme.

Her cottage has all the hallmarks of a 'bad witch' i. Treason also uses the name " Boffo " to describe the unique power that these props give her: She describes " Boffo " as " the power of expectations ;" the strength that one gains from behaving exactly as someone expects you to. No witch actually has spiders' webs in her cottage or keeps skulls for any reason, but most simple folk expect witches to do so, and so Miss Treason obliges them; the better to ensure that when people come calling they don't see what is really there a tired, blind year-old woman , but what they expect a venerable, terrifying year-old witch.

She also ensured that many of the rumours about her are kept current and circulating, to ensure the presence of " Boffo thinking " among her clients. One of the most prevalent rumours is that her heart had stopped many years ago and that the iron clock she carries at her waist is actually an external mechanical heart. Miss Treason dies of old age during the events of Wintersmith , but as she, like all witches, knows the date and time of her death, she was able to enjoy her funeral ceremony the day before. On the day of her death she comes out of her house to find: many Feegles who couldn't miss out on the ceremony or apparently keep their mouths shut about it , a grave dug by said-Feegles, and many hysterical villagers who are primarily concerned with Ms.

Treason solving their problems, which she does, even as she walks into the grave. Mindful of her image to the very end, Miss Treason used the presence of the locals to give them one last show i. Tiffany, later, half-jests that continued visits by people to her grave may turn her into a goddess figure. This later comes to pass as, when Tiffany returns to the cottage, she sees that the villagers have been leaving pleas for help written on bits of paper around Miss Treason's grave, in the hope that she can help them from the beyond.

Her cottage and her loom was then passed down to Annagramma Hawkin , who, after a decidedly shaky start, has begun to fulfill her role properly, with assistance from Tiffany and the Boffo's catalogue. She uses a green mask and feet props to convince people that she turns into a hideous monster when angered.

Alison Weatherwax also known as " Nana Alison " , is Esme Weatherwax's late maternal grandmother, and, in life, a very powerful witch. Weatherwaxes have strong magic lines in their genes, as evidenced by a distant cousin also being a wizard and archchancellor of Unseen University. First mentioned in The Discworld Companion which says little about her except that her death has not been recorded.

Alison is later mentioned in Carpe Jugulum , in which the rumours that she has " gone to the bad " and " hobnobed with vimpires " were proven to be unfounded. She had in fact killed the old vampire Count de Magpyr at one point by cutting off his head and driving a wooden stake through his heart. At that time, she was apparently older than her granddaughter was during the events of Carpe Jugulum. When the old Count rises again years later, he remembers her with affection and admiration. Not the same as Aliss Demurrage. Generally referred to as "Goodie Whemper maysherestinpeace".

She trained Magrat in witchcraft. Unlike many other witches, she tested details of spells and performed various other experiments such as determining how many twigs you can pull from a broomstick's tail before it crashes , leaving several shelves of notes, recipes, and instructions in the cottage when Magrat inherited it. Despite having extensively trained Magrat in midwifery, she never taught her about the events leading up to it.

She also loved to watch plays. According to Nanny Ogg's 'mental filing system', Clarity " lives over towards Cutshade with her old mum, takes snuff, [and is] good with animals ". Nanny quite likes her " because she didn't see her very often ". Mistress Shimmy and Nanny Ogg catch-up during the Lancre Witch Trials, where-in Clarity fills Nanny in on the fact that her old mother died and was buried the month before, and observing the Trials, compliments Agnes Nitt's " cursin' voice You know you've been cursed with a voice like that ".

She also observes Granny Weatherwax's disconcerting behavior change, wearing pink and being nice , and asks Nanny Ogg about it and starts worrying. When everyone is unnerved by Granny Weatherwax's good moods and behave nervously, Letice accuses Granny of putting the 'fluence on everyone and insists she leaves. Nanny Ogg tries to get Mistress Parkin's one of Letice crowd , actual opinion, but has to tell Letice to shut-up when she tries to do Mistress Parkin's talking and thinking for her instead.

Her grandmother, Sarah Aching , was a shepherd, and by Ramtop standards was also a witch, although witchcraft was frowned upon on The Chalk, until Tiffany's arrival. Granny Aching was a friend of The Chalk Clan of Nac Mac Feegle an army of tiny, blue, rowdy, drunken and vaguely Scottish ne'er-do-wells , and they have befriended Tiffany as the new "hag o' the hills". As Tiffany was their Kelda Queen for a short time, the Nac Mac Feegle see her as their responsibility, and there is no time in Tiffany's life since then when they have not in discreetly watched her.

Though witches have no leader, Tiffany joined an informal "coven" of peer witches she gathers together for sabbats, of which Annagramma Hawkin acted as the self-appointed "boss" due to her having the tallest hat and the loudest voice. This coven was based in the Ramtops region and, it is assumed, no longer continued once the trainee witches received their own steadings. Trained by Letice Earwig, she can be extremely snobbish and has strong opinions about what a witch should or should not be, much like her mentor. On her first meeting with Tiffany Aching, Annagramma told Tiffany that she thought Granny Weatherwax was an 'ignorant old woman' who bullied and tricked people into thinking she was powerful, which, in her opinion, was an outdated form of witchcraft.

Influenced by Mrs Earwig, she believed that witches should adopt a more professional form of witchcraft by employing 'higher MagicK' and using such tools as sacred circles, written spells, and 'real wands'. During the events of Wintersmith , Annagramma is assigned her own cottage, taking over from the late Miss Treason.

Is this a coincidence? Perhaps she is just toying with us — she likes the idea of remaining a witchy mystery. Since the beginning of time, how we perceive witchcraft has been seen as a balancing act between pagans doing the devils work, and wise women who restore the balance between good and evil. Think about it - in the majority of fairy-tales, legends, or myths, the witches are the villains of the story.

Culture tells us that witchcraft is dark, and famously evil. Heck, we even dress up as witches for Halloween because they are renowned for being hellish and terrifying. But what if instead of being evil, tortuous, creatures, witches are actually just completely misunderstood? Possessing powers that enable you to connect with the earth and create magic are bound to make you a little crazy — but evil? I think that might be a bit of a stretch. To decide whether an accused person was a witch, they would drown them in a river — if the body floated, the accused was innocent.

If the body sank, it was filled with magic, and deemed guilty. If you were particularly unlucky, you would be burned at the stake straight away, as it was thought that this was the best method to destroy messengers of Satan. Personally, I feel like the threat of either of these things happening to me would be. Psychopathic even. On Dartmoor, a rather famous moor in Devon, is a tor called Vixen Tor, named after an important witch, Vixana. The rocky outcrop is said to resemble the Sphinx, which is an excellent source for channelling power. Legend says that Vixana, an Earth witch, once lived on this tor, and took great pleasure in luring travellers and passers-by to their death by using her supernatural powers to blind them with a fog.

They would wander, unsuspecting, into a bog near the tor, where they would sink and inevitably drown. Apparently, according to this myth, Vixana liked to hear them cry as they drowned. Now, I have a couple of. What if, instead of gleefully taking pleasure from luring innocent walkers to their death, she was a lonely lady who wanted company?

Of course, in this tale, a handsome huntsman, who just so happens to be blessed by pixies with the supernatural powers needed to be able to see the. Legend has it, that the tor is still haunted by her soul, trapped in the Earth at the foot of the tor. Think warty nose, bent as if she was perpetually walking against a strong wind, a serious lack of teeth, yellow eyes… the usual. Since when has it been acceptable to come to conclusions about someone based entirely on their appearance? The poor lady is bound to have some signs of wear after years of channelling the Earth to literally change the elements.

Leave out the judgement please. Take Vixana as an example; she was labelled the villain of the story because she was entirely misunderstood. The moral of the story, I suppose, is to stand for what you believe in — be yourself.

The Witches of the Blue Well has been added

No matter how mad or magical that may be. Appreciate yourself for the talents you possess. Just because others cannot understand the I have always believed in ghosts. Spirits and the paranormal have always been a no-brainer for me; we live, we die, we haunt. I thought predictions were coincidences and readings were vague enough to convince idiots that they were psychic. That was until I met with a paranormal investigator and a tarot-reader. I met Sarah Forbes in Costa. She is 55, from Penzance, and studied social science. My friend and I were sat outside moaning and complaining when she began giggling over a coffee and cigarette.

One of her cats, or her familiar, as she calls it, is sat right in the centre of the table intently watching the spirit reading. We began to talk. We talked about how when she was our age, she spent most of it on a canal with an older man. We talked about how she broke into Stone Henge at midnight to hug the stones.

We talked about how she reads tarot cards in her spare time and was writing a blog. We talked about everything. An hour later, we stared in awe at the woman in front of us. She was mental. But mental in a good way. Mental in the kind of way that you want her to be your strange auntie that talks to her cats and wears way too much turquoise.

We kept in touch. Jackie manages Whispering Voices Paranormal, a group that, you guessed it, investigates the Or long plaited hair and a pentagram necklace, whispering Whilst Jackie identifies as a Pagan, druidic chants under her breath. Nothing happened, so we assumed it was a load of rubbish and threw the board in the bin.

She told me that as soon as I sat down next to her a cold shiver pricked up every hair on her body. I had something attached to me, she said. Apparently, it liked my aura. In a weird way, I was half terrified, and half deeply flattered that a spirit found my aura appealing enough to follow me around everywhere.

A spirit my great grandmother had passed has a crush on me. I said yes. She asked if she was a bold and outgoing character. I said She gave me a few tips on how yes. I felt like a void inside me had Jackie suddenly asked whether been filled. Open and close your session properly. You must be able to open this to begin contact, but you also must be able to close it once your session is over. If you are unable to close yourself down properly, spirits will linger.

Surround yourself with a white light. During your session, envision a bright white light around yourself. This tells spirits that you are only contacting them out of light and love; basically, telling the bad spirits to leave you alone. Whether it be an Ouija board, a chant, a spirit box or something else, research the risks and rules. A lack of preparation and knowledge leaves you unprotected and at risk of spirit attachments. After we said our goodbyes, Ellen and I drove home, gushing about how strange and accurate Sarah and Jackie were.

As we waited at a traffic light, she casually pointed out a mouse on the pavement.

The Witches of the Blue Well: Thoughts on Writing The Winter Witch

My fingers ran cold. Not a rat, not a squirrel, not a bird; a mouse. Her complexion flushed pale white as she made the connection. Her last spirit card was a mouse. William he collect rs of the e t r sorce in , new own d y passe today b ow to gr. Cornwall is renowned for witchcraft and supernatural occurrences, making it the perfect location for the museum. Thousands of visitors arrive every year to learn more about the history behind witchcraft; and of course, believers and nonbelievers are welcome.

Upon arrival, witches who travel by broomstick are encouraged to park their sticks outside. On a particularly chilly autumn day, we ventured into Boscastle to discover this gem. The museum was bustling with people — you can feel an underlying hum of activity in the village, despite tourist season passing a few months ago. The interior is beautifully mysterious; picture traditional Cornish stone houses, with low ceilings and timber door frames.

The light is low, everything is earthy and natural, down to the flagstones under foot. You want to trace your fingers along every surface, just to soak up the enegery. The exhibition is chronological, starting with the. Every artefact is labelled and explained — from black mirrors, to Ouija boards, to hand crafted talisman and totems. Everywhere you turn is something unique and magical. The collection. The energy in the room is incredible. Whilst visiting the museum, we. Hannah Fox, 48, and Gypsy Evans, 55, who are both practicing witches.

Hannah has worked in various covens in the past but chooses to do her own thing now. A voodoo skull. A: Different visitors do notice different things. The upstairs gallery is said to be a real hotspot, and a lot of people comment on it. Things often move without any explanation, lights turn on and off, things stop and start. One morning when we opened up, our tree root runes mysteriously appeared on the floor, instead of being on the top of cabinet. Grahame, the owner of the museum at the time managed to find volunteers to hand pick artefacts out of the water. It was a real team effort.

It was like she knew she needed to be there. A: We like to think about it as the number of artefacts that we managed to save, not the amount that the museum lost. The museum looked after itself;. A: We are hoping to develop the museum over the winter season while we are closed, to make it more up to date with modern witchcraft, as our current most modern element of the museum. The biggest challenge that comes with this is finding artefacts that are relevant and modern enough to make a substantial enough exhibition. Time will tell with that one, so watch this space!

Q: What would you advise modern witches to do to help them connect with the witching community? A human death mask fixed to the taxidermied body of a fox. The deceased hoped that they would be reincarnated as a fox in their next life. This will open up channels between you and the elements and helps you to absorb more. There are plenty of quiet areas locally, even just making time to go walking in the outdoors allows you to reconnect. With witchcraft, or anything Pagan or Wiccan related, if you enjoy it, you embrace it.

Steve found paragraphs that made me want to Patterson has blessed us with pages of pure magic and allows us to believe. It was truly an eye opener.