Finding the Words
From the archives: Twilight Tales

Tales from the Hedge


Seven Doors in an Unyeilding Stone

Tom Hirons & Rima Staines

Earlier this year, I received an intriguing invitation from my friends Tom Hirons & Rima Staines -- storytellers, mythic wanderers, and proprietors of Hedgespoken Press. They were planning an unusual new project, and asked if I'd like to join in.

Drawing by Rima StainesThey envisioned a series of pocket-sized books designed and published by Hedgespoken. Seven authors. Seven beautiful books. Seven ways to approach the unapproachable and speak about the unspeakable.

"We picture," they said, "a small book found somewhere in the wilds or in some threshold place: a railway station or the waiting room of an undertaker or a nurse; the book is a flash of lightning, a searing experience, something initiatory. We imagine a reader finding a book unexpectedly, picking it up and being drawn in, to another world, leaving that world slightly stunned and perhaps a little changed."

What a marvelously mythic concept! And also, what a challenging one. I wondered what on earth I could write...but, of course, I said "yes" at once.

My book of tiny talesThe seven small books are now complete, and will be available as of mid-November. There's a launch party at Dartington Village Hall on November 10th, and all are welcome -- so please come join us for stories and revelry if you happen to be in travelling distance of Dartmoor.

My own contribution to the series is a collection of seven tiny tales that fall somewhere between poetry and prose: mythic messages that you might find buried in ivy and leaves or under a mossy stone. Tom calls them "poems-prayers-chants," and that's as good a description as any.

The other authors in the series are Jay Griffiths, Martin Shaw, Sylvia V. Linsteadt, and Joanna Hruby, plus Tom and Rima themselves. For more information, or to pre-order the books (either individually or as a boxed set), please visit the Hedgespoken Press site. And while you are there, please ramble through their other fine book and art offerings as well.


Books by Sylvia  Joanna  and Martin

Books by Tom  Rima  and Jay


Terri Windling & Rima Staines, 2011


I found you through Rima's old site. and am so glad I did.

this sounds wonder-filled.

I am thrilled to see your Seven Doors... I tried to preorder but I got "404-
I had the pleasure of hearing Martin Shaw here in North Carolina last May...I can't tell you how much it meant to me. These books will be strength against the storms we are facing now. Blessings.

Thank you Terri - we are delighted and honoured to have you in this company! It is a strange and potent and incredible collection of work indeed which we look forward to sharing far and wide.
Mary Lou - please try again - it was a momentary glitch!

Ordered my set yesterday! Can not wait. Four artists/authors I love and three new to discover.
So happy you said YES.

Wonderful offering, how terrific to be a collaborator of such soul and to live among such collaborators!!!

My little prose-poems are small and strange...and I'm trying my best not to worry that readers will simply be baffled by them. But they are from my heart, and from some odd little corner of my soul -- so I must trust that they are what they're meant to be, and will reach those who are meant to read them.

I am mentioning this so young writers can see that even those of us who have been writing professionally for years and years still have moments of doubt and insecurity, particularly when we stray from our usual forms of writing. (I'm sure my publishing colleagues will back me up here.) But if we never work outside of our comfort zone, never risk failure or embarrassment, how will we grow as artists? I'd rather be embarrassed a hundred times over than to be unwilling to try something new.

This little book may be a little strange and thorny, but it was written with love -- for Rima & Tom, and the wild hedged landscape of Dartmoor we share.

I can only refer you to the quote from Francis Bacon that Rima has in her beautiful 'Leg Wheel and Jew Harp' painting:

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

I love your piece, Terri. All of the pieces together are perfect, I believe, a complex and multiple triangulation of wonder.

Bless you, my friend. And thank you for all your hard work on this.

I've only just seen the lovely little Martin Shaw video about "blessings" that you posted on your Facebook page, Tom. How serendipitous!

For those who haven't yet seen it, the video is here:

I love the sound of him.

All the more inticement to pull out some coins and put them down, here. "A little strange and thorny, but written with love" what more can a being wish for.

This sounds delightful. I trust those of us in the US will have an outlet to purchase these lovelies.

Hedgespoken does ship to the US. I've bought prints from them.

Hi Susan - we do send everywhere in the world, twice weekly at the moment and with free shipping to the USA for orders over £75. I don't know yet if there'll be a stockist in the USA for you to visit and peruse, but we'll sound trumpets and drumrolls when we have news - the best place for hearing about it will be in the Hedgespoken Press News:

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