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..


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 won't let me upload new material to this blog (or access the Internet at 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 this 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.


Myth & Moor update

Legend of Rosepetal illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger copy

I'm out of the office again due to health care issues, but hope to be back very soon. For your morning reading in the meantime, I highly recommend Sabrina Orah Mark's "Happily" series of essays on fairy tales in Paris Review.

Sleeping Beauty illustrated by Honor Appleton and William Heath Robinson

Art:  "The Legend of Rosepetal" by Austrian book artist Lisbeth Zwerger. "Sleeping Beauty" by Honor Appleton (1879-1951) and William Heath Robinson (1872 - 1944).


Following the deer

The White Deer by  Adrienne Ségur

White-tail deer

I'm out of the studio today due to health care issues, but will be back tomorrow (Thursday). In the meantime, I recommend this for your morning reading: "The Supple Deer" by the brilliant American poet Jane Hirschfield.

The illustration above, for Madame D'Aulnoy's classic fairy tale "The White Deer," is by the French book artist Adrienne Ségur (1901-1981) -- best known to English-language readers as the illustrator of The Golden Book of Fairy Tales.

Books illustrated by Adrienne Ségur

Young Fallow Deer by Joshua Smythe copy


Myth & Moor update

Tilly and The Lady of Bumblehill

I'm out of the studio due to health problems, but I'm hoping to martial my strength with rest today and be back in tomorrow morning.

"The creative act," wrote Terrance McKenna, "is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas. It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down -- sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray. At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward."

Tomorrow, I hope, we shall keep moving forward through myth and art together ... slowly, perhaps, but steadily onward.

Recommended reading: "Animal Allies: Healing and Empowering Children" by Brenda Peterson (author of Wolf Nation, Build Me An Ark,etc.); and an interview with Robert Macfarlane on his new book, Underland.

Tilly looks up at Herbert the Blackbird

Tilly in her dan