Myth & Moor news: announcing Bumblehill Press

Winged Dear Tapestry

I'm very pleased to announce that we're dipping our toes into the water of publishing with the establishment of Bumblehill Press. To begin with, the press will be focused on bringing some of my backlist of short stories and mythic essays out in ebook editions...but once we get the hang of this, who knows where it might lead?

Drawing by Walter CraneThe first publication is "The Color of Angels," a short story about a London artist who flees to the myth-haunted hills of Dartmoor as her life and her health start to crumble around her. The tale is loosely connected to my desert novel The Wood Wife (the protagonists of each, Tat Ludvik and Maggie Black, have been close friends since their university days), but can be easily read on its own. It was first published in The Horns of Elfland, a lovely anthology of magical stories about music edited by Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and Donald Keller back in 1997, and now sadly out of print. In a review of the book at the time, Charles de Lint kindly had this to say:

" 'The Color of Angels' deals with the creative impulse and the complexities of human relationships, but here the focus is on printmaker Tatiana Ludvik, who is undergoing a crisis of faith. That, combined with the frustration of how multiple sclerosis is steadily weakening her body, sends Tat from her London studio to a small chapel in the Devon countryside that she had renovated in the days when she was stronger....The Devon countryside becomes as much a character here as the Sonoran desert did in The Wood Wife, while Windling's narrative skills seem to only grow stronger, particularly in how she balances her lyrical passages with those more firmly rooted in the grittiness of everyday life." 

Our ebook edition of "The Color of Angels" is available on Amazon here (U.K.) and here (U.S.). 

For those who don't want to buy from the Evil Empire, we're at work on an ebook edition from the ethical publishing platform Hummingbird, and we'll let you know just as soon as that's available. Right now, Hummingbird publications are only available to readers in the U.S., so we're looking for a similarly ethical company covering the UK and the rest of the world.

Lunar Hine (my editorial assistant) and I are still learning how to make this all work, but as we do, we plan to bring you more publications in an increasingly efficient manner. I want to mention that this project has been made possible entirely by the kindness of Patreon supporters, whose generosity helps to fund Lunar's time as managing editor of Bumblehill Press.

I'm so used to promoting the works of other writers and artists here on Myth & Moor that I admit I'm feeling a little shy about promoting these new publications of my own. But I do hope you like "The Color of Angels," and looking forward to cooking up more mythic works for you in this format.

Walter Crane

Many thanks to Ellen Kushner and Holly Black, who have been urging me to do this, and to Alan Lee, who has provided behind-the-scenes help. Many thanks and much love to all three of them for their friendship and support.

Art above: The "Winged Deer" image is from Les Cerfs Ailes, a 15th century French tapestry. The drawings are by Walter Crane (1845-1915).


Myth & Moor update

Reading by the Edge of the Marsh by Dennis Perrin

I'm out of the office due to health issues, but hope to be back tomorrow with more book recommendations for you.

Girl in a Hammock by Winslow Homer

"She’d opened the book she bought today. She’d started to read, from the beginning, quite quietly, out loud. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. The words had acted like a charm. They’d released it all, in seconds. They’d made everything happening stand just far enough away. It was nothing less than magic. Who needs a passport? Who am I? Where am I? What am I? I’m reading."  

- Ali Smith (from the Autumn volume of her "Seasonal Quartet")

Girl Reading by Bertha Morisot

Tomorrow, back to the sea....

Grace Reading at Howth Bay by Willian Orpen

The Little Mermaid in Her Element by Helen Stratton

Words: The quote above is from Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin 2017). The quotes in the picture captions are from a variety of sources. All rights reserved by the authora. 

Pictures: "Reading by the Marsh" by Dennis Perrin, "Girl in a Hammock" by Winslow Homer (1836-1910),  "Girl Reading" by Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), "Grace Reading at Howth Bay" bu William Orpen (1978-1931), and "The Little Mermaid" by Helen Stratton (1867-1961).


Time and creativity

P1600494

I'm out of the studio today due to other commitments requiring attention -- including a commitment to myself to take some walking-and-thinking time to focus on a difficult passage in my novel-in-progress. I'll be back here bright and early tomorrow morning, and Myth & Moor will resume!

The Bumblehill Studio

Studio 7

''Midway through writing a novel, I have regularly experienced moments of bowel-curdling terror, as I contemplate the drivel on the screen before me and see beyond it, in quick succession, the derisive reviews, the friends' embarrassment, the failing career, the dwindling income, the repossessed house, the divorce....

''Working doggedly on through crises like these, however, has always got me there in the end. Leaving the desk for a while can help. Talking the problem through can help me recall what I was trying to achieve before I got stuck. Going for a long walk almost always gets me thinking about my manuscript in a slightly new way.''

- Sarah Waters ("Sarah Waters' Rules for Writers")

Studio 2

''To allow ourselves to spend afternoons watching dancers rehearse, or sit on a stone wall and watch the sunset, or spend the whole weekend rereading Chekhov stories -- to know that we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing -- is the deepest form of permission in our creative lives. The British author and psychologist Adam Phillips has noted, 'When we are inspired, rather like when we are in love, we can feel both unintelligible to ourselves and most truly ourselves.' This is the feeling I think we all yearn for, a kind of hyperreal dream state. We read Emily Dickinson. We watch the dancers. We research a little known piece of history obsessively. We fall in love. We don’t know why, and yet these moments form the source from which all our words will spring.''

- Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Perils & Pleasures of a Creative Life)

P1600493

Words: The Sarah Waters quote is from "Sarah Waters' Rules for Writers" (The Guardian, 23 February, 2010). The Dani Shapiro quote is from Still Writing (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013), which I recommend. The quotes in the picture captions are from a variety of sources. (Move your cursor over the images to see them.) All rights reserved by the authors.

Pictures: My work studio,  a small cabin by the woods on a Devon hillside.


The Bumblehill Studio Newsletter

The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen illustrated by Edmund Dulac

We're very pleased to announce that the Bumblehill Studio now has a newsletter!

For those of you who have said you'd like a way to be alerted about new Myth & Moor posts, the letter will contain a round-up of each week's offerings, plus links to anything else I've published online and any events I'm participating in. There will also be a few reading recommendations, and occasional links to new works by other folks in the Bumblehill community. 

Lunar Hine, my editorial assistant, will oversee the letter's production and send it out to subscribers once week. We promise to have mercy on your email Inbox and keep it short and sweet. 

You can subscribe here (and easily unsubscribe any time you like).

Drawing by Arthur Rackham

The painting above is by Edmund Dulac. The drawing is by Arthur Rackham.


Wildflower Week

Devon wildflowers

As the weather warms and wildflowers emerge, I've been asked to re-publish some of my previous posts containing flower and herb folklore, and I'm happy to oblige. I hope you'll enjoy revisiting these pieces. (New posts will resume on Monday.)

This will also give me some extra time to catch up on my Patreon page and other projects -- all which came to a sudden stop in the weeks follow my youngest brother's death, even though he wouldn't have wanted that. I keep thinking of these words by Anaïs Nin: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Grief is hard, and the global pandemic makes it harder still. But it's time to begin unfurling.


Myth & Moor update

A Dartmoor hedgewitch by Brian Froud

Dear readers,

I'm afraid that images are still disappearing, reappearing, then disappearing again on previous posts. I hear that other sites on Typepad (Myth & Moor's blogging platform) are also having the same problem, and the company is working on fixing it. I hope it will be soon.

If it's our local piskies and goblins causing the chaos, they seem to have spread through the Typepad network now. Perhaps instead of coders and trouble-shooters we need a hedgewitch to put it all to rights....

The art in this post (if it appears properly) is by my dear friends and village neighbours Brian Froud and Alan Lee, experts on the local fey folk. Follow the links if you'd like to read more about their work.

A swarm of fairies and piskies by Alan Lee


Myth & Moor update

Painting by Brian Froud

Dear readers,

You may have noticed that images have been disappearing and reappearing from current and past posts. There is something wonky going on, and Typepad (Myth & Moor's blogging platform) is working on fixing it. Our apologies in the meantime.

Maybe the piskies and goblins are up to their tricks....

The art in this post is by my dear friends and village neighbours Brian Froud and Alan Lee, experts on the local fey folk. Follow the links if you'd like to read more about their work.

Drawing by Alan Lee


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