The Story Behind The Book

quotation-39628_640I didn’t set out to write a book. I set out on the trail of adventure and the stories turned up along the way.

On 31st December 2013, I made a New Year’s resolution to have an adventure every single day for 365 days. Some of the key questions I set out to answer were:

  1. Do we really have to go to far-away places, or do ‘way out’ things, in order to feel the sense of aliveness that adventure can bring?
  2. How, and where, can we find adventure in everyday life?
  3. What happens when we re-connect with, and follow, our own, unique impulse for adventure?

kitchen adventureTo cut a long story short, the answer to question 1 is : No 🙂 .

The answer to question 2 is : Your whole life is woven into the fabric of adventure. In order to find an adventure that will bring you ‘back to life’, all you have to do is pay attention to your feelings. If the thought of doing something makes you feel vibrantly alive, act on the thought and see where it takes you. If the act of doing something makes you feel vibrantly alive, do more of it!

The answer to question 3 is : You begin to feel like you’re answering your calling. You experience a profound sense of direction and purpose. You feel fulfilled and wildly alive. And, most importantly of all, you feel like you are really being YOURSELF.

At first it took a while to re-connect with the impulse. I tried a range of things to see what lit up the feeling of aliveness in me and what didn’t. But when I started to get the hang of it, I had a real sense of ‘being on track’ and my adventure radar started to identify opportunities in a much narrower range.

One morning I woke up with the urge to discover more about trees. I set about learning how to identify them and finding out about tree lore. When I realised that we had a faerie thorn (a lone hawthorn) on our farm, I got really excited (mainly because these trees are associated with ‘the fair folk’) and started to research how I might see a faerie with my own eyes.

After watching a documentary on the subject on YouTube , I decided to camp out near the hawthorn and go faerie-hunting. You can see what happened on Day 187 of my year of adventure in this video 🙂 .

So, you’re right. I didn’t see a faerie. But something very strange happened. After I made my morning visit to the tree, I went back to sleep. When I woke up, the idea for a story, entitled The Faerie Thorn, was in my head.

murlough bay church tree (2)I wrote the story down and when I had finished it, I had the urge to visit Murlough Bay. And guess what? Another idea for a story ‘arrived’. I wrote that story down, and when I had finished it I had the urge to … Well, I expect you can guess what happened next, right?

Now, I’m not saying that the faeries magicked all seven stories into my head, but I’m not saying that they didn’t 🙂 .

Jane Talbot storytellerMy 365 Days of Adventure project put me back in touch with the things that bring me to life : storytelling, creativity and playing words like a musical instrument. Writing the collection of stories has helped me to put down roots in Northern Ireland and to feel a sense of deep connection to both people and place – and that’s real magick.

I’ve found my ‘track’, and you know what I’m going to do now? I’m going to keep following that track – all the way to the end.

[If you want to find out about all my adventures, you can click on the following links which will take you to my other website, You can giggle at my brush with death as I tried to eat a Brussels sprout and be amazed (:P ) at my attempt at being a memory athlete, on my 365 Days of Adventure blog. Obviously, there are 365 blog posts with videos so if you want to pick and choose, use the Blog Category box in the right-hand column to narrow down your selection!]

Click here to take the Virtual Tour of the places that inspired The Faerie Thorn & Other Stories and click here follow the book trail.