Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oíche Shamhna

But the night is Hallowe'en, lady,
The morn is Hallowday,
Then win me, win me, an ye will
For weel I wat ye may. (Tam Lin)
Yes, this is one of those nights when the two worlds cross, and if someone you know has been lost to Faerie, you can go and rescue them. Faerie was also the Land of the Dead for the pre-Christian Irish. Didn't you know it was the Celts who invented Hallowe'en? It is also the Celtic New Year's Eve. We begin our year in the dark and things can only get better. The climactic scene in The Book of Dreams occurs, of course, on Hallowe'en and ends up, appropriately enough, in a graveyard.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Irish Flautist

I'm listening to Michael McGoldrick's CDs Wired and Fused and quietly dreaming about a film version of The Light-Bearer's Daughter. Dana's father, Gabriel, is of course a flautist as well as an Irish-language speaker, and he composes music in a folk/trad/modern style. McGoldrick's genius would be ideal. What a soundtrack that would make! There's another CD of his which I have to get, At First Light. Check him out at www.verticalrecords.co.uk.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Who is OR Melling?

Asks Locus Magazine in the Blinks section on the left-hand side of the front page of their online magazine www.locusmag.com which offers "News, Reviews, Resources, and Perspectives of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror". Their answer to that question is a link to the Green Man Review mentioned below which now contains a link to the webcast interview with the Tiger Eye Reading Room also mentioned below. So that's the power of three!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tiger Eye Reading Room

Here's a link to an interview I did at the American Library Association Convention in New Orleans in June of this year. The interviewer was Prof Charley Seavey of the University of Missouri-Columbia, and we obviously had a great laugh doing it. It's always good to meet someone of like mind as you can just gab away together without trying to sort out the differences. Well, we do disagree on a Harry Potter item, but we didn't come to blows. It's a half-hour long, so be warned. www.lisradio.missouri.edu/series.php?id=18.
If you can't access it, let them know. There's a place to click for that.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Green Man

Keep meaning to blog this amazing mythical and magical site: www.greenmanreview.com. Wait till you see the two leafy heads with the moving eyes. It is quite obviously "a labour of love to comfort noble hearts" (Gottfried von Strassburg, 13th c. author of Tristan), run and staffed by all sorts of eccentric odd sods and bods. i.e. my kind of people. Do have a look. They have recently reviewed The Hunter's Moon and The Summer King (see 'What's New') and there's a great piece on Ray Bradbury's latest chapbooks (I wish ...). I'm reading that dear man's Zen in the Art of Writing at the moment, along with Charles de Lint's Widdershins. I adore both these writers. Oh and I am NEARLY finished the final edit. A quick read-over tomorrow and it will be done. And guess what. It is 47 chapters!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Work Space

Yep, here's where I toil blood, sweat, and tears all day and night. Looks like a bush pilot's station, eh? Right now I am taking a little break to schmooze with fellow bloggers. It's going on 4:30 p.m. It's a dull day with a grey sky, but no rain. I am about to get myself a mug of coffee and a blueberry biscuit (back to the gym next week, buíochas le Dia) and head into the breach to get the last four chapters done. YES! I'm going in.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mythic Passages

Meant to blog the September issue of the online magazine of the Mythic Imagination Institute which hosted that brilliant conference I went to in Atlanta earlier this year. Go to www.mythicimagination.org and click on Magazine and then click on Archived Editions. You'll see September first. Click on that and then click on The Life of Merlin. You'll see fabulous pics of the stage, John and Caitlin Matthews whose work it is (based on Geoffrey of Monmouth), Faerie art by Brian Froud up on the screen, and then the rest of us who participated in the performance. As Gwendolena, I also wrote a 'poem' (and I use the term loosely) for that issue but it seems to have disappeared. Will blog it separately after this. While you are there, do go back and look at the October issue - great stuff! - and sign up for the newsletter.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Irish Children's Book Festival

Forgot to mention I am doing a few gigs for Children's Book Festival (while madly trying to finish the final edit of The Light-Bearer's Daughter). I really enjoy getting out to libraries and bookstores and meeting readers of all ages. Today I was at Hughes & Hughes Junior in the Stephens Green Shopping Centre in Dublin. Had two classes -- 5th and 6th years -- most of them taller than me! Great listeners and lots of questions. Ciara and Katrina were the organisers and they had chocolate for everyone, hurrah. Wednesday I am visiting libraries in Dunshaughlin (small town near Tara, mentioned in The Hunter's Moon) at 11:00 a.m. and Dunboyne at 1:00 p.m. Then Friday, I am giving a talk at Hughes & Hughes new flagship store in Dun Laoghaire at 11:00 a.m. So if you are in the area, drop by and say hello!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fantasy Folk

Or pod people? Look closely and you may spot some of your favourite fantasy writers and illustrators -Ari Berk, Terri Windling, Charles Vess, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Charles de Lint, Brian Froud, and Wendy Froud. And yeah, that's me in the front, in the silky brown with my hands in my pockets (always got into trouble in the Navy for that). This was taken at the Mythic Journeys Conference. I still miss it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Narnian Dreams

When you've been, ahem, around for a while, you simply assume that all your favourite childhood writers and artists have already left this world. Not so, one of my most cherished of all time: Pauline Baynes, the creator of the original - and best- illustrations for The Chronicles of Narnia! Of course she has done oodles of other things, including artwork for JRR Tolkien, but it was those pictures which I loved and still love the most: Susan with her pigtails, Lucy's dresses, Puddleglum, the beautiful but deadly Green Witch, the giants of Harfang, the Dawn Treader, handsome Prince Caspian, the moles making mudcakes, the dwarfs frying mushrooms, glorious Cair Paraval, even more glorious Aslan ... Well, you know them all; the big ones that take up a full page and the tiny ones that go at the front of each chapter. And here she is, dear dear lady, working at her desk in her English cottage. That's Martin Springett visiting her. And soon I shall too!!! Ah, Narnian dreams come true.

Old Magic

Here's the cover of the latest book by Pauline Baynes. It is available in the UK from Frances Lincoln. You may have to go online to get it elsewhere. As you can see, the Old Magic still exists!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Duchess Again

Couldn't resist showing her off again. Here is my darling Triumph Herald parked in front of Lissadell House in County Sligo. Lady Gore-Booth used to wave to me when I visited and let me park the car in the front because it suited the house. I loved going there, to see the paintings by AE and the room where Yeats stayed. I know people were upset that the Irish government didn't buy the house when it came on the market; but I'm glad that a family lives there and that children are running up and down the big staircase once again.