Last week I visited Puzzlewood in The Forest of Dean. I have to say it is one of the most magical places I have ever been to, and I can understand why J. R. R. Tolkien found such inspiration for his creation of Middle Earth.
I was mesmerised and enthralled by the rock formations, hidden caves and twisting pathways that I encountered. I could easily imagine Orcs, Elves, Wizards, Ents and all manner of creatures living in unseen crevices, hiding within the trees and under rickety bridges watching as people pass by. On every tree and boulder, faces seemed to appear and disappear as light and shadow played mischievous tricks.
My trek seemed to go on forever, and if I'd crossed a path I'd walked before, I wouldn't have known as the woods seemed to have a dimension of their own. Had I emerged into a different time and place, it wouldn't have surprised me.
It is a place to inspire any writer, whether it be one of the greats such as Tolkien, or those at the other end of the scale like myself, certainly anyone visiting Puzzlewood would be uplifted by the experience. I'm sure it will give me the lift I need to get back into all the projects floating lazily in my mind and force them out onto paper.
So, being away for the week is why I'm a little late in uploading the next chapter of 'The Storyteller's Book' onto the site, but hopefully, from today, normal service will resume.