Three days ago I wrote a scene where my protagonist, Hild (now aged ten), stands on the Whitby headland for the first time, by the ruins of an old Roman signal tower and a broken down old church complete with a thorn hedge and graveyard. Here she meets a young cowherd who informs her that when they buried the priest, he kept the priest’s book. It turns out to be a personal psalter.

So there I was thinking, ‘Well, how on earth do I describe a psalter when I’ve never even seen one, and, anyway, why is Hild discovering this now?’ (I’ve learnt to pay attention when my subconscious throws something at me, even something bizarre) when I read a post on Michelle’s Heavenfield blog that was an absolute gift. From there I went to Wikipedia (how did writers manage before Wikipedia?) and read all about Latin Psalters. Then off I went to to buy Gerald M. Browne’s The Abbreviated Psalter of the Venerable Bede, and then I drank some tea and had a good think. And today my ten year-old native Anglisc speaking Hild is talking to an ancient Irish willowman about gods and demons. It’s all very strange…

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