Waking Mama Luna Launch Party

So, with no small amount of trepidation, I have decided to have a Waking Mama Luna Launch Party. Eek!

Waking Mama Luna Book Launch Poster

It’s going to be at the Old Library, Nantgarw Road, Caerphilly on Sunday 29th May at 7pm and will have…

* SIGNING AND READINGS BY ME

I’m going to be reading one or two stories from the book and signing copies (and trying not to get too overwhelmed by the whole thing).

* ART BY ANGELA FERREIRA

The fantastic Angela Ferreira, who did the beautiful illustrations for the book, is going to be displaying some of her fabulous art work. Some pieces will be available to buy on the night. You can find out more about Angela here.

* GUEST UKULELE PERFORMANCE FROM NEIL STARR

My wonderful musician husband has agreed (read arm-twisted) to perform some songs from his upcoming ukulele album. I’m sure most of you know Neil’s music already but if you don’t you can check out his YouTube Channel here.

* LIGHT REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED AND BAR WILL BE OPEN (YAY!)

I really hope you can join us. I’m excited (and terrified). There are 50 tickets available so it’s going to be a relatively small event. You can get tickets here or via Facebook.

PS. If you can’t make it but are interested in the book you can find out more here. Only the kindle version is available on Amazon at the moment but I’ve been told that the printed version should be there by the end of this week.

 

Waking Mama Luna Illustrations

I love the stories in Waking Mama Luna (of course, I wrote them) but I also love the illustrations. In this post I wanted to share a little about the process of working with the illustrator, Angela Ferreira, and why I’m really glad Waking Mama Luna features Angela’s work.

[quote author=”Pablo Picasso” source=””]Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things. 
[/quote]

I hadn’t really thought about Waking Mama Luna having illustrations until my editor suggested that it would be a nice addition. I am so glad that I listened. I feel the illustrations go far beyond being a nice addition. Angela’s drawings somehow deepen and broaden the meaning of the stories.

illustration1

I have known Angela for a couple of years now and love her work, her fairy exhibition in Cardiff was brilliant! So, when I was thinking of commissioning drawings for the stories, she popped into my head immediately. She was in Snowdonia with rubbish phone signal when I messaged her but she managed to reply “I am the right person for you, speak soon”. Yes!

I sent her the manuscript and she read the stories. I didn’t give her any input into what I wanted the pictures to look like so it was a wonderful surprise each time she sent me one to look at.

Over the course of a fortnight all five were done. I didn’t request any revisions. I loved them exactly as they were.

The only one she didn’t draw specially for Waking Mama Luna was the drawing for Call of the Sea, which seemed unbelievable for me given how perfectly it fits with the story. I loved it so much, and the synchronicity that we also used it as part of the cover artwork.

The Call of the Sea

Waking Mama Luna: the stories behind the stories

People have been asking me where I got the ideas from for the stories in Waking Mama Luna.

Waking Mama Luna by Jessica M Starr Cover

Where do you get your ideas from?

It’s such a difficult question to answer, because often it just feels like they come from nowhere. Well, not exactly nowhere but somewhere that doesn’t exist in real terms. We all have ideas (we are all artists and creators) so we all know this feeling of something just popping into our head, like it was dropped or dictated there just for you.

For me writing is a spiritual practice that gives me direct connection to this creative source (or God, or Spirit, or whichever name works for you). How else could these ideas just flow into our heads? I believe our job is to notice, to take notes, writing down the words as they come, and then share them.

Anyway, all this is rather vague and perhaps useless. So, I have tried my best to answer in a more specific way…

Waking Mama Luna

I have long been fascinated with the moon. The way she waxes and wanes and how her ebb and flow affects us and our cycles as women. I love to take full moon walks and one autumn evening the moon was so huge and close I could feel her almost touching me. That night I had “the dream” and woke Mama Luna.

The Call of the Sea

In 2011 I miscarried our second child. A few weeks later it was a beautiful day and we went to Rest Bay in Porthcawl. I have always found being close to the ocean healing; the sand, the salty air. It sparked something and ‘The Call of the Sea’, was the bittersweet result. For me this story is about grief and loss and loving someone who is no longer here alongside us.

The Special Place

I heard a story about a woman who could carry a cow. When she was asked how she managed it she said she had cared for the calf as a baby and carried it each day (I can’t remember why she needed to carry it). Each day it grew a tiny bit bigger and each day she continued to carry it, until it was full grown. Those tiny daily increases felt like nothing but they added up to something so powerful and surprising. This inspired ‘The Special Place’. Again, a powerful mother-daughter relationship weaves through this story.

Iris’s Rainbow

I love Iris. I see her very much like my daughter Ella – though Ella is not as loud. This would make me her Mama, the one who dies. This story, for me, explores the motherline, that invisible thread which ties our generations together, grandmother, mother, daughter. It gives me faith that my children will be fine when I am no longer here to take care of them.

Breaking the Surface

Many moons ago I worked with GCSE English students. ‘Breaking the Surface’ came after a conversation with a student who was in a dark place at the time and feeling trapped. I understood those feelings. I knew them. I also knew the way out. ‘Breaking The Surface’ is my offer of hope.

Where do you get your ideas from? Is this the same for you? I’d love to know.