Oh, to wander in the woods…

snowy woods in Scotland

Post from December 2019.

The Woods in Winter

That is my favourite bit of path in the woods by my house. It’s also the most productive. When I get stuck with a storyline or a finicky little plot detail that just won’t iron out, that’s where I go, and solutions become clear. Big epiphanies about characters and back stories happen there too. Maybe it’s because it’s a timeless landscape. Or maybe I just feel relaxed and at peace there.

Just now though, I am recovering from flu and can’t walk in the woods. Soon, I tell myself. Soon. I can sit up and write so I may really need to go there soon! (Edit 2022: it would not be soon. This was the start of a non-woodland path to an auto-immunity diagnosis that would wind its way through hospital stays and many monstrous moments!)


I’ve been deeply touched by how much thought people have been putting into their reviews of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR.

Local Quine Kate the Quiet Knitter’s review “This wonderful magical tale then takes a deviation towards the darkness and from here Sinclair’s research and writing really shines. Her portrayal of 16th century Scotland is entrancing, and the details of the witch-hunts taking place in that time are fascinating.”

On the Mum, Write NOW blog “Overall the characters are lovable, I found it interesting that their lives intertwined slightly with Shakespeare and also touched on LGBT culture and attitudes at that time. It really felt that there was a depth of historical knowledge informing the narrative which I always enjoy.”

An Impertinent Interview

And the Wee Writing Lassie wrote about the book and asked me 7 impertinent questions! “Another inclusive detail in Ailish’s novel is the fact that her heroine – Isobell – is a plus sized woman, and this is never treated like a problem, or something about her that needs to be fixed, by the narrative. All body type inclusion, yeah!”

The Woods in Summer

The same path, though the other end and other direction, in the woods, in summer:

green woods


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95 Replies to “Oh, to wander in the woods…”

  1. Lovely seeing the same path at two different times of the year! The snowy scene is my favourite though, I do love snow!! … I am also making myself read more this coming year too, so I think I will add yours to my list too 🙂

      1. Not yet still trying direct sales. Waterstones in Ashford just sat on copy for a few weeks, but Canterbury Christ Church Uni bookshop will promote it with my lecture there on 17 Dec

        1. I think the publisher has to be approved by one of Waterstones distributors before they can stock or order it. Listed on appropriate databases etc. Independents are great; they can do what they like

  2. What wonderful woods! I sometimes regret, as a writer, having settled for a house in town. My mental journeys to the woods are still my inspiration. The first photo catches my breath in my throat.

  3. Thank you for sharing your woodland walk, it is so beautiful even during the winter season.. I bet it looks wonderful during the Autumn. Hope you are now fully recovered from the nasty flu bug.

  4. Have just purchased your book and looking forward to reading it. Will certainly review it. Getting reviews is so difficult. Love your photos! I know I’ll never get back to Scotland, so sad about that, but your pictures take me there. Thanks so much.

  5. These are wonderful pictures of what I can see is a wonderful place. I love pictures (or visions) of roads or trails leading ahead until they disappear, and a tunnel of trees makes it perfect. You are lucky to have such a place.

    Please get well soon.

  6. What a wondrous snow picture! Check out my review at saylingaway.wordpress,com, but I put it on Amazon, Amazon UK and Goodreads too. Best of luck – great story!

  7. Another lovely set of pics, Ailish! I have posted a review of your book on my blog, Goodreads and Amazon UK – I loved it… Have a lovely week:))

  8. I particularly like the photograph at the top of this post, it’s outstanding.
    And you are fortunate in your reviewers, who obviously read with care.

  9. Is there a time of year that this place is more productive for you, or is it a year-round inspiration?
    It’s a beautiful spot – reminds me of when I used to live in the winterlands…
    Me – I don’t have a physical place that I go – they’re all in my mind.

  10. woke up this morning thinking about my next walk in the woods near our home, and had the suprised pleasure of bumping into your blog. thanks for the images, visual and literal, of your own woodland visits! – greetings from Tennessee, Kathi

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