Communion Of Dreams

Taking stock.

I decided that I needed to go through and re-read the entirety of St Cybi’s Well so far, start to finish, just as a way to refresh all the different elements of it in my head and to get an overall picture. While I regularly bounce back and forth in the text to make sure I’m getting this or that specific detail correct, it’s good to get a complete overview now and then. Being at the halfway point in the actual writing (though with all the planning and prep work the book is more like 3/4 complete), this seemed like a good time to do it.

So over the weekend, I did.

I’m happy to say that I’m pleased with it. Perhaps to be expected, since I am the author. But usually I’m very critical of my own writing, and seldom think that it is as good as it should be.


A year ago I gave a preliminary chapter list, and said that I had about 23,000 words of notes and descriptions. Well, I still have the notes and descriptions (and I am still very happy using Scrivener for the organizational aspects), but I now have a solid 55,000 words of actual book done. Here’s the actual title list so far:

  • Prelude: Cardiff
  • Chapter 1: Pennant Melangell
  • Chapter 2: St. Winefride’s Well
  • Chapter 3: St. Seiriol’s Well
  • Chapter 4: Snowdon
  • Chapter 5: Ffynnon Gybi
  • Chapter 6: Pistyll Rhaeadr
  • Chapter 7: Dinas Maelor
  • Chapter 8: Pentre Ifan
  • Chapter 9: St. Non’s Chapel

And the title of the chapter I’m currently writing is Y Garn Goch. These are all real, actual places, and you can look them up online if you want. In fact, each chapter opens with a brief passage from an online site (cited) giving a description/history of each location. So far some of the ‘beta readers’ have really liked this , where others … haven’t. At least not so much.

Oh, speaking of that, I could stand to have a couple new people take a look at the book so far and tell me what they think. If you’re interested, drop me a note.

Just thought I’d share this little progress report.


Jim Downey

PS: Remember, there’s just until this Friday to get your bid in to be immortalized in St. Cybi’s Well!

Another excerpt.

The writing continues to go well. Thought I’d share this bit from today:

She looked around the edge of the table, to where his shoulder bag sat on the floor. “Got your hand-held in there?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Get it out, search St. Winefride’s plus 1917.”

Darnell picked up his bag, opened the pocket where his hand-held was, took it out. He turned it on, and while it booted up looked at Megan, who was calmly finishing her dinner, watching him.  He tapped an icon on the phone.

“Hi, I’m Andi, your assistant application. How can I help you?”

“Andi, find me information on St. Winefride’s Well in Holywell which is either tagged 1917 or has that date in the entry.”

“Very good. The search results are displayed on your screen. Would you like me to read relevant passages?”

“No, thanks. That will be all.”

“Very good.”

Darnell looked at Megan. “The assistant isn’t very good at finding context in articles, usually just reads the sentence with the specific information requested. Is there a specific reference you had in mind?”

“Yeah. Is there a link to a blog called ‘Well Hopper’ there?”


“Try that one. Should be towards the end.”

Darnell went to the blog post, scanned down through the entry. “Yeah, here it is: All early descriptions and illustrations of the well indicate that the volume of water flowing from the well was  much greater than that seen today, the spring forming a small river that ran from the well.   Disaster struck the well at 8am on 5th january 1917 when nearby mining works struck and diverted the underground stream that fed the well causing the well to run dry. Eventually another source was found to feed the well; however the force of this is much less and the well now forms a modest bathing area outside the shrine rather than the rapid stream that used to flow from the building in earlier days.

He looked up at her. “Huh. So, it’s not really the same well?”

“Does the source of the water matter more than where it emerges?” She sipped her wine, considered, then continued. “You went there, expecting one thing because of your previous experience at the place.”

“Yeah, but I did what you told me, and tried to see the place as the believers see it.”

“But Dar,” she said, “you didn’t try to believe. You just tried to see their perspective. There’s a difference.”

“Now, wait a minute …”

“Don’t get upset. I didn’t figure that this would be something you could do on your first try. You’d been there before, and were necessarily going to have some understandable barriers in place.” She smiled. “It was a good start. Leave it at that, and move on.”


Jim Downey

And yes, that is a real blog post. Remember, St. Cybi’s Well is set in 2012, in a timeline very close to our own. There will be a lot of material in the book drawn straight from our reality.