New dishes for the Feast

Sneezle's Feast

We have two wonderful new dishes for our latest Moveable Feast on the topic "Desiring Dragons: What Brings us to Myth & Fantasy?"

The first post, "Desiring Dragons," is from Young Adult novelist Katherine Langrish in Oxfordshire. You'll find it on her fabulous books-and-folklore blog, Seven Miles of Steel Thistles (which I hope you're all reading anyway). The second post, also called "Desiring Dragons," is a tasty dessert from writer, artist, and performance artist Christine Irving in north Texas, on her blog Mused by Magdalene, For a full list of the "Desiring Dragons" posts to date, go here.

Also, there's an on-going conversation in the Comments section of last week's Art and Magic post that's worth perusing, if you've missed it or care to join in.

Image above: Sneezle feasting with a house brownie in The Faeries of Spring Cottage, the third book in the "Old Oak Wood" childre's book series that I co-created with Wendy Froud. The art, of course, is by Wendy.


The Desire for Dragons, 2

The Laidley Worm of Spindleston Heugh

Kissing the dragon

There have been many tasty new dishes added to our Moveable Feast in the last week. (The topic: "The Desire for Dragons: What Brings Us to Myth & Fantasy?")

Be sure to click on the "Show More Comments" link at the bottom of the Comments section for the latest offerings. There's also a full list of links (so far) on the Moveable Feast page.

And please note that the Feast is still open to anyone who wants to bring a new dish to the table....

Images above: The Laidley Worm (or dragon) on Meldon Hill, and the prince kisses the dragon. These photographs, taken by Brian Skilton, are from the 2009 film shoot of The Laidley Worm of Spindleston Heugh, a fairy tale film from The Chagford Filmmaking Group. (Our daughter Victoria played the dragon.)


The Desire for Dragons

Ignis and Cara by PJ Lynch

Today, I'd like to initiate a new Moveable Feast topic: "The Desire for Dragons: What Brings Us to Myth & Fantasy?"

This topic is based on some of the quotes we've been discussing this week, about why we write, or paint, or perform, or read, or simply love fantasy and mythic art. Why are we, in Mollie Hunter's words, among those "who actively retain the desire for [the sense of wonder] known in childhood"? What brought here to the numinous landscape of Faerie, and why do we stay?

The title of the Feast comes from J.R.R. Tolkien. “I desired dragons with a profound desire," he wrote regarding his life-long taste for myth and tales of magic. "Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighborhood. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.”  I chose this title because Tolkien's passionate desire for a world colored by myth and mystery is one familiar to all of us who create and love mythic arts. (Offerings for the Feast needn't literally be about dragons, mind you--but of course, they can be too.) What we're discussing here is the why. Why are we drawn to stories and other art forms (both contemporary and historic) with their roots dug deep into the soil of myth?

"Do people choose the art that inspires them," Alice Hoffman has asked; "do they think it over, decide they might prefer the fabulous to the real?"  For Hoffman, "it was those early readings of fairy tales that made me who I was as a reader and, later on, as a storyteller." But what about for each of us?

The following posts are the first dishes for the Feast (a little tray of appetizers, perhaps): "Shaping stories, and being shaped by them," "Finding the colors again," and "Dreaming Awake."

You're welcome (as always) to bring whatever you like to the table: a piece of prose, a piece of art, a poem, a quote, etc., etc.; and you're welcome to offer more than one dish, should you be inspired to do so.

There are three ways to participate:

Faeries in the Kitchen by Wendy Froud1. By posting your offering on your own blog, and then leaving a link in the Comments section of this post. (When you do, please let me know where in the world you're located. The information will be needed for this Feast's list on the Moveable Feast page.)

2. Those of you who don't have blogs of your own are welcome to put your contribution here, in the Comments section of this post. (But nothing exceedingly long here, please!)

3. You can also contribute to the Feast simply by joining in the conversation and responding to the various offerings--both in the Comments here and in the Comments sections of participating blogs.

If you're new to the Moveable Feast concept, visit the Feast page for an explanation--and to see the range of offerings folks have contributed to previous Feasts.

Now I should warn you, I'm going to be away for the next week (I'm off on a writing retreat, happily), but I welcome you, as a community, to take over the Comments section here in my absence and thus to get this Feast rolling...in fact, I'm rather counting on you to do that. I'll read everything that's posted as soon as I'm back online (Saturday, Feb 16) -- and I'll contribute a more substantial dish of my own the following week.

Please pass word of the Feast (and an explanation of how it works) to anyone who might be interested in participating. They needn't be regular readers of this blog.

All are welcome at the table.

A wee feast at BumblehillImages above: "Ignis and Cara" by the Dublin-based illustrator P.J. Lynch (from his book Ignis), "Kitchen Faeries" by Wendy Froud (photographed by Toby Froud, for a lovely article by Ari Berk), and feasting at Bumblehill.


Flu and feasts

The Wedding Feast in a Barn

I'm down with a relapse of flu, and will be back on Monday. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the new dishes added to the "Mother Tongue" Moveable Feast, on the entwined subjects of land, language, art, and storytelling. I also recommend a lovely new piece by Mark Helprin on "Bumping Into Characters," in The New York Times.

Speaking of feasting, we're so proud of our daughter, Victoria Windling-Gayton, for being part of the talented team of chefs under Alyn Williams at the Westbury all this past year -- for their skill, dedication, and hard, hard work has just been rewarded with a Michelin star. The restaurant opened in the Mayfair section of London in the autumn of 2011, and to win this prestigious star in their first year is an extraordinary achievement. Congratulations to Alyn, to Victoria, and to the whole 2011/2012 AW team!

Art above: "Wedding Feast in a Barn" by Brueghel, Pieter (the Younger)


Mother Tongue: A New Moveable Feast

Little People's Market by Arthur Rackham

The Mythic Arts blogging community is hereby initiating a new Moveable Feast, "Mother Tongue," on the entwined subjects of land, language, art, and storytelling. The list of posts on this subject so far is over on the Moveable Feast page...and everyone is welcome to join in.

If you have a dish to add to the Feast (ie: a related post on your blog), please leave a link to it in the comments section here or on the Feast page and I'll add you to the list. (Please let me know where in the world you're writing from.) If you're not a blogger yourself, you can still join in by contributing to the Comments section of each participating blog. 

Let the Feast begin!

The art above is by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939)