About Me – A creative life

SAMSUNG CSCMy first writing memory dates back to when I was around 8 years old and feverishly re-writing the Nancy Drew novel I’d just read.  Once I began writing, I didn’t stop.  I wrote stories, the beginnings of novels, journals.  Writing was a compulsion, something I felt I had to do.  That all changed ten years ago when my mother became terminally ill and for four years, I couldn’t write a word.  Nor could I read.  Words just left me.  So I began to paint, recapturing the love of drawing that also began when I was a child.  But when my mother died, I slowly began to write again.  Now I’m writing more than I’ve ever written before and I still paint, in acrylics.

In the past seven years, I’ve had some success in writing competitions, had short stories published in books and magazines and began to blog.  I’ve never felt more inspired creatively.  I’ve written two magical realism novels for adults: The Skin of a Selkie and The Wintering Place and am seeking an agent to represent me.

I find inspiration in nature, the coastline and the turn of the seasons.  For many years I have been a witch in the solitary tradition, sometimes moving away from that path but always returning to it and its focus on the sacredness of nature.  You’ll find writing about all of those things and creativity in general here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and I’d love to hear what you have to say about your own creative life.

Andrea Stephenson


70 thoughts on “About Me – A creative life

  1. Pingback: Inspired, Appreciative, and Versatile « jmmcdowell

    • Time to update that page I think Sandra – I’ve actually changed the title to ‘The skin of a selkie’ – it’s a story of a mother and daughter and the daughter’s quest to understand her real parentage (some parallels with Ignoring Gravity there!) but set within the selkie legends – creatures that live as seals but for one night of the year are free to take human form.


      • In theory it’s ready to go. I entered the Richard and Judy find a bestseller competition but didn’t get anywhere with it, so my next step is to submit to agents, but now I’m having doubts and thinking I should do some more work on it – not quite decided yet.


      • Oh, that doubt is very familiar! Have you put it in a drawer and left it for a couple of months? I found that very helpful in getting distance, particularly in seeing the story threads that are nice but non-essential. SD


      • It’s been a few months now since I did some major revisions – I think I’m happy with most of it now, but the beginning keeps nagging at me and the part leading up to the ending. I think, given that nagging feeling I need to revisit those bits and either make some changes or be sure I’m happy, then, I think I’ll be able to send it out feeling I’ve done my best with it.


      • I went to a reading once with Maggie O’Farrell after her first novel was published. She held up her hardback copy to show us her scribbles, she still was changing it! SD


  2. Andrea, thanks for dropping by my blog and for your kind comments about Saxon’s Bane. This is a return call – and I’m finding a creative wonderland. You’ll definitely like the next book. A city protagonist who finds new meaning in the countryside – as well as witchcraft.


  3. Andrea, thank you so much for the follow on my own humble blog and to welcome you aboard, If you have any suggestions / requests, just drop me a line. Best wishes with all your writing, the blogosphere is great to try and your creativity IMHO. Enjoy life, MM 🍀


  4. Oh, I totally understand not being able to read when someone close is terminally ill. When my husband was dying and for several years after, I could not read. I was a person who read every spare minute of the day. Instead of reading, I listened to music and when I finally could read again, I began to write poetry. Much success with your writing and your novel. A painting of Hecate is on my bookshelf across from my desk. So glad I found your blog.


    • Yes, I found I didn’t have the attention span either to read or write. Painting was an ideal alternative because it had no words. I’m sorry to hear about your husband though I am glad that you were able to find your voice as a poet.


      • No hurry. If or when you’re inspired, that’s fine. It’s all a bit of fun, but I admit to it being a bit time-consuming to sort out. The tagging and links bit takes ages. I know when I’ve been nominated for an award, maybe I’ve in turn nominated one other blogger and referred people to earlier award posts if they want to read some “interesting facts” about me. I’m sort of running out of interesting facts by now and am mindful that someone nominated me for an award at the end of September and I still haven’t responded with a post, apart from thanking them. I need to make time for writing. So yes, I quite understand about you running away for a little while. Hope you enjoy your break 🙂


  5. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blog Award; One Lovely Blog Award; & Versatile Blogger Award | Words That Flow Like Water

  6. Creativity, I believe, can be a lifesaver. But when your mind, heart and soul are grieving or suffering for someone else, creativity can shut down. I’m glad you found your way back to painting and writing. There are few things in this world that gives such fulfillment.


  7. Oh, the Creative Life – what an ephemeral energy and with a mind of its own.
    I totally understand not being able to create with death in the air – when my parents died within 61 hours of each other I didn’t paint for 2 years. I did not have the emotional energy. It showed me how much is required of us to create …
    I am really glad to have been recommended this blog and look forward to discovering more of it.


  8. Andrea, I didn’t know the best way to contact you, but just in case you don’t know about it, Creative Nonfiction (magazine) has an upcoming theme of “Learning from Nature” that, in my honest, humble opinion, seems to have been created just for you! I’m not sure if they accept international entries, but I figured you might like to look into it. Here’s the link: https://www.creativenonfiction.org/submissions/learning-nature Have a wonderful day/week/January!


  9. Andrea, I’m so happy to have across your blog via Karen’s. As a fan of Nancy Drew as young I love the fact that you decided to rewrite one of the books! Do you still have your version?! 😀 To lose the ability to write and read is something I can empathise with and have gone through the same. It is horrendous, frightening, an empty void. It’s a wonder to find that joy again and congratulations on your writing successes – a real inspiration!


  10. Oddly I don’t really have very early memories of writing. A dabble here and there growing up, but sports dominated every waking moment as a child and teen, and then there was adulthood and a pile of responsibilities. It wasn’t until I was sixty that I began to think I’d like to do this for a living. 🙂


  11. So far I have only had the opportunity to read ‘Brief Delights’ and your ‘About Me’, but I am incredibly excited to follow your blog! My life is also one that revolves around nature, witchcraft, writing (though I am not as accomplished as yourself yet), and many other creative endeavours besides. I have already found inspiration in your writing and can’t wait to read more!

    I wish you the best with the publishing of your books! I hope it is soon because I would particularly love to read The Skin of a Selkie!

    Peace and love.


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