Myth & Moor update

Benji

Friends have been urging me to stop apologizing for my absence from Myth & Moor due to circumstances beyond my control (health issues and a death in my family), but I can't help it. I am sorry that I haven't been here with you during the worldwide spread of Covid-19, when daily posts from the Dartmoor countryside might have provided some welcome distraction and comfort.

Tilly by David WyattI'm back in the studio now, catching up with work, intending to be with you in a more regular way . . . provided the Little Gods of telephone wires and Internet connectivity are kind to us. Our rural Internet service has always been slow and affected by storms; but lately, with the entire UK on lock-down and demands for connectivity rising, our service has gone from slow to a crawl. We are currently switching service providers, hoping to find a more lasting solution. While we wait for the switch to take place, however, our Internet access remains unpredictable. I'll post when I can, but it's likely to be erratic -- and that's another thing beyond my control. Okay, I won't apologize again, but I do thank you for your patience.

Benji 2

I also want to say a big thank you to all of you who have kept conversation going here (in the Comments section) while I've been away. Conversation maintains community; and community, to me, is everything. 

American naturalist Barry Lopez writes:

"Conversations are efforts toward good relations. They are an elementary form of reciprocity. They are the exercise of our love for each other. They are the enemies of our loneliness, our doubt, our anxiety, our tendencies to abdicate. To continue to be in good conversation over our enormous and terrifying problems is to be calling out to each other in the night. If we attend with imagination and devotion to our conversations, we will find what we need; and someone among us will act -- it does not matter whom -- and we will survive."

He is speaking of ecological crisis here, but his words could apply to a global pandemic as well. Coming together in our various communities is how we take care of and nurture each other.

I'm glad to return to this conversation. Stay safe, everyone. And let's keep talking.

Benji 3

Words: The quote is from"Meditations on Living in These Times" by Barry Lopez, published in Hope Beneath Our Feet, edited by Martin Keogh (North Atlantic Books, 2010).

Pictures:  A visit with sweet Benji, the elderly horse who lives down the road. The little drawing of Tilly is by her good friend (and ours) David Wyatt.


Myth & Moor update

Desktop

Thank you for your patience while I've been away dealing with sad family matters. I'll resume the publishing schedule for Myth & Moor just as soon as I possibly can, and catch up on Patreon too (for those of you who subscribe). It's been a tough month, and I'm looking forward to being back in the studio at last.

"The lessons of impermanence taught me this: loss constitutes an odd kind of fullness; despair empties out into an unquenchable appetite for life."

 - Gretel Ehrlich (The Solace of Open Spaces)

The Bumblehill Studio

Studio muse


Myth & Moor update

John D. Batten

My apologies for the lack of a post today. I haven't been swallowed by a fish...I'm just continuing to fight with the phone company about our terrible Internet service, which is making it hard to upload new material to this blog (or to access the Internet all for more than a few minutes at a time). I hope it's all up and running properly again soon. Please wish me luck in battle against giants!

The art above is by John D. Batten, who was born just over the moor in Plymouth, and ran in Pre-Raphaelite circles in the late 19th century. Today he's best known as the illustrator of the fairy tale books edited by Joseph Jacob: English Fairy Tales, Celtic Fairy Tales, Indian Fairy Tales, etc..


More Myth & Moor news

Wild words

Lunar and Tilly

Thanks entirely to Patreon supporters and some very good friends, I now have help in the studio for several hours each week. Please meet Lunar Hine: writer, painter, Chagford neighbour...and now officially my Editorial Assistant. 

A drawing by Helen StrattonLunar is helping me to get the office organised, deal with the backlog of admin work, and get rolling on creative projects stymied by health issues or sheer lack of time. You'll see those projects unfolding soon: digital publishing, art, and more. Having her here is such a blessing.

Some of you will know Lunar already, from the lovely blog she writes about art, motherhood and Dartmoor life. In addition to her own fine work (which includes poetry, flash-fiction, a novel-in-progress, and visual art), she's the executor of the writing and art of her late husband, folklorist Thomas Hine. 

With Lunar's help, I've been catching up on a number of things -- including my Patreon page. All of the print rewards have been sent out now (so if you haven't gotten yours yet, please let us know) -- and new posts are up, with more coming this week. We've also posted a five-part video in which I answer questions sent in by Patreon supporters -- on fantasy literature, writing, balancing creativity with illness, and more. Here's a very small sample from the last video (with my good friend Ellen Kushner behind the camera, and Tilly's little head popping up at the bottom):

The full videos are available only on Patreon, I'm afraid, but you can join my page for as little £1 (or $1) per month. We're now gathering questions for the next video, which I'm aiming to film and put up in early December. And we've got some other video surprises in store. More about that soon....

If you'd like to know more about why I decided to launch a Patreon page, please see this previous post: On becoming a public storyteller.

Wild words

Illustrative border by Arthur Rackham

Pictures above: Lunar and Tilly in the studio, wild words on my desk, and border art by the great Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).


Myth & Moor news

Terri Windling  2019

To friends & publishing colleagues heading to the World Fantasy Convention in Los Angeles this weekend: I hope you have a wonderful time, and I wish I could be there with you. I feel deeply honored that Myth & Moor has been nominated for this year's World Fantasy Award, and raise this toast to my fellow nominees -- as well as to my dear old friend Beth Meacham, who is the editor Guest of Honor this year. (And well deserved too.)

I honestly don't expect to win. The other nominees have all done excellent work, in more traditional literary forms. I'm just tickled that the WFA judges picked a small, Dartmoor-based Mythic Arts blog for the Short List.

"We who hobnob with hobbits and tell tales about little green men," Ursula Le Guin once said, "are used to being dismissed as mere entertainers, or sternly disapproved of as escapists. But I think perhaps the catagories are changing, like the times. Sophisticated readers are accepting the fact that an improbable and unmanageable world is going to produce an improbable and hypothetical art. At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence."

Flowers at the kitchen window


Myth & Moor update

Fairy magic by Arthur Rackham

My apologies for the delay in posting. I was down with a cold/flu bug last week, and the early part of this week is dedicated to a work session here in Chagford with colleagues from the Modern Fairies project. My schedule is a bit over-packed at the moment, but I'll be back to Myth & Moor by Friday at the latest. Thank you all for your patience.

In the meantime, since I'm not posting music today I recommend checking out the fabulous Folk on Foot project, if you don't know it already.

The fairy art today is, of course, by Arthur Rackham.

Three fairy paintings by Arthur Rackham


Myth & Moor update

Tilly on the Commons

Words that are often in my mind these days:

''Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And let us not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.'' - Vincent van Gogh

Have a good weekend everyone -- especially here in the UK, where it's a three-day holiday weekend. May we all find restoration and reconnection in our various ways, and come back with new strength for art-making, community-building, and the good fight for the planet ahead.

Myth & Moor will resume on Tuesday.