On giving ourselves permission...
Back home again....

Flying off....

Green Willow by Warwick Goble

I'm flying off to south-east Asia today as a guest of the Singapore Writers Festival. The writing life is a funny old thing. The long hours, the insecurity of freelance work, the crazy ups and downs of the publishing industry all make for a profession that's a lot less glamorous than most people imagine...but then someone invites you half-way around the world to talk about fairy tales, and suddenly it feels a little glamorous after all.

I'll be back on this blog in two weeks (Monday, November 11). If you happen to be going to the Singapore Writers Festival yourself, please come and introduce yourself. I'll also be at a fairy tale symposium in Sussex at the end of November, if Singapore is a little too far afield.

'See you in mid-November!

"Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art."  - Freya Stark

''One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.''  - Henry Miller

Image above: "Green Willow"  by Warwick Goble (1862-1943)


Somehow I misread a line in Ellen Kushner's Facebook today and came up thinking about you as The White Witch of Devon Hills (where she wrote "wise woman" I read "white witch", which I don't know what it says about me)Have you ever been called that?

And thank you for all your beautiful quotes and art.It's a pleasure to have breakfast with you every morning. I will miss you for the next two weeks. Have fun.


Have a lovely time. It's a fascinating city, and the food is sublime. The Botanical Garden there is spectacular, if you have the time.

May the clouds support you
May meetings transport you
May all delights be there for you
May you return home much renewed.

Especially wonderful to see you disguised, in a black wig, flying to Singapore with your flock.

Have a wonderful trip. Love the picture you have posted, it is so appropriate.

Safe travels to you, Terri, and safe home, and blessings every step of the way.

To All: Happy Halloween, All Saints Day, Dia de los Muertos and let us not forget 'Tales Told in November' (thank you, A.S. Byatt).

Every time I read your posts I want to say the same thing, so I will put it between repeat symbols - ||:Thank you. I love you. You are so lovely. You inspire me :||

Somehow, I keep coming back to this piece on writing and travel. The quote by Henry Miller fascinated me; and I thought about how old pubs close ( in small towns) along with familiar places where poets once gathered on the web. Literary migration is an integral part of a writer's imaginative and physical experience.

"Our destination might not be a place" but our source of motivation is. It becomes the intimate pub or inn where we gather with our peers, thoughts and dreams. Where the flames rise with our breath as we imagine an image and give it expression. Here, we seek the shelter of both silence and sound. We look for what casts an irregular shadow or how a particular noise evokes other associations, familiar or strange. This place may be physical or spiritual, real or figurative. Yet at some point, it will close. The roof will leak, the walls will crack, the boards will warp and andirons will guard damp wood. And that signals for us, it’s time to move on, look elsewhere to work our tales and songs. As writers we continue to evolve and explore our mind’s potential. Our voice changes and our style of composing as well. Leaving the old niche is never easy but essential to attain growth and diversity. However, what stays behind also remains significant. It may fall to ruin but still casts a spell, a haunting legacy. Like whirling leaves, words still circling in space, that had been half born or spoken, are drawn down and left to become breathing embers. Scraps of a theme we can revisit and reshape. Our past perspective still keeps the bones of its original structure and serves as witness to a place that formed us in the raw years, our fist nature and identity as a poet. Something we should return to, respect and never diminish. Memory and curious need give us license to migrate back, to even refurbish what had never been properly finished or acclaimed.

The Inn Of Verse

The doors bolted
lanterns dark.

A man
bundled with reeds
on his back
looks elsewhere
to stoke his thoughts.

A woman
with her shawl
and bag of wool
turns elsewhere
to weave her tale.

The twilight stark
as seagulls strike
the air with their shriek –

their flint tongues

for what has gone, the shape
of it splintering
into ruin.

And still
old wood, broken slate
cast a spell

calling down
the whirling leaves

circling words,
the breath of the moon.

This is a beautiful poem Wendy. I love the story tellers drifting off to other places, so
'casting spells' go on.

And while we wait for Terri's return we can fill in. I do remember so many places we
gathered to tell stories, share poems and also in my theatre times, our heated conversations of how we make plays out of diverse arts, actors, scene builders, the
playwrights, our particular take of a play.

Also, I recall places in San Francisco, where poets gathered, at a memorial for one of us,
a black walled Coffee Gallery in North Beach, later gatherings, different meetings floating though different homes, different stages both wooden with mikes or inner
stages of our progress. It is a good thing to know where you were and have no idea
where to go next, until it is shining, beckoning, a surprise.

Just discovered this blog, lucky me! I love how art and story telling weave together. I hope your Singapore adventure is delightful and I look forward to new posts on your return!

Hi Phyllis

So glad you enjoyed the poem. I loved your perspective here on the "gathering places" for poets and writers. And I ,too, remember seeing such pubs or bistros in San Francisco when I was there, dating my now, life partner. We both enjoy writing poetry and that city did steal both our hearts. There is something special about the Bay city but even more so, the community of poets it draws and beyond that, a place that draws writers together, no matter where it may be located. I particularly like this wonderful impression of yours as well --

", later gatherings, different meetings floating though different homes, different stages both wooden with mikes or inner
stages of our progress. It is a good thing to know where you were and have no idea
where to go next, until it is shining, beckoning, a surprise."

And I agree with you on that point. The unexpected, the randomness of fate is a powerful thing to a writer and it also enlivens the imagination. Thank you again so much for sharing these wonderful thoughts! I really enjoyed them.

My best

Hi Wendy,

Upon rereading, I realized some of my comment was dashed off too quickly. The memorial was recent, for the poet David Moe who was unique. Many of us discovered that we had in
common our first published poem in his racy covered "Lovelights," in boxes for 50 cents,
along with newspapers. We had all met him at the Coffee Gallery. It was a kind of
underground time for poets, in the 1970's, people of color, differences, women and gay
folk began to publish and be in little magazines. Readings were all over town and a
favorite place was Minnie's Can-Do Club, where friendships and longtime memories were spun. We also danced a lot.

And the beat goes on. Many readings, new poets and one retro once a month reading
to Jazz, which is enormous fun. Too many memorials but the memories are charmed.

Hi Phyllis

Yes, the memories are charmed and those days were special. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and those scenes from the past. I enjoyed this very much.

Best regards

Oh my, what treasures appeared here in my absence!

I love this, Wendy. And I love the tradition (started by Jane) of poems in response to my posts -- thank you for taking part in it.

Welcome to Myth & Moor, Marialena.

Hi Terri

Welcome back! Thank you so much for your kind words toward my poem. I so deeply appreciate them. And as always, it's a pleasure to visit and participate at this site. You have an extraordinarily beautiful blog, always informative, interesting and filled with the magic of myth and imagination. Again, I appreciate this place so much!

My best

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