My apologies for the lack of a post today. We had a bit of a fright with Tilly, and while I don't want to go into the details here, I'm relieved to say that all is well now, and I'll be back to Myth & Moor tomorrow.
My apologies for my absence; I've been down with a Long Covid relapse again. But I'm on the mend, and I'll be back in the studio on Tuesday...moving slowly, but grateful to be up and moving at all. I hope you are staying safe during these strange times, and finding joy wherever you can.
The art today is by Chris Dunn, who lives in Wiltshire. You can see more of his work here.
Tues. a.m.: Sorry, everyone. I thought I was getting better, but today Long Covid has slammed me again. I'll be back to Myth & Moor just as soon as I can, when this long, strange illness finally lifts. Please mask up and stay safe.
I'll be out of the studio again today due to family business (we're still helping an elderly relative in a difficult situation), and another vet visit with Tilly. Tilly's leg is doing a little better now: the scary lump has decreased in size and we're hopeful that she may not need an operation, as long as it continues to heal. Thank you so much for all the good wishes, love, and prayers that have been sent her way, and ours. Oof, what a stress-filled month it's been! Even without the US election and the UK lockdown, although they've been looming large too.
The hound and I will be back just as soon as we can, focused on art and books and the natural world other good things.
Drawinga: The Strayaway Child by me, and The Three Fates by Gretchen Jacobsen.
I'm afraid I have to step away from Myth & Moor today because of an overly-busy work schedule and some family matters that need immediate attention. I'll be back with Part II of the Art of Mr. Finch just as soon as I can. My apologies for the delay.
Until then, let me leave you with these words from novelist and poet Helen Dunmore (1952-2017), sent out to all of you immersed in creative work, perhaps facing a deadline or feeling overwhelmed in some other way:
"Don't worry about posterity -- as Larkin (no sentimentalist) observed, 'What will survive of us is love.' ''
I 'm out of the studio today, down with symptoms again from mystery (Covid?) virus that Howard and I contracted early in the spring. These virus relapses have been getting shorter, at least, so I hope to be back in a day or two. (Touch wood.)
In the meantime, here's a wee bit of Monday Music: the latest video from Irish filmmaker Myles O'Reilly, whose work I love. He says:
"I managed to escape the pale to visit the extraordinary medieval town of Clonmel for this next musical yarn, and a yarn it truly is. There I met with the legend John Spillane and a very humble and inspiring puppeteer by the name of Des Dillon. The beautiful characters which Des brings to life in this video are just the right amount of joy to serve as an affective antidote to all the noise out there."
The illustrations above art by Inga Moore. All rights to the film and art in this post reserved by the filmmaker and artist.
I'm almost frightened to say this lest I jinx it, but we seem to have a working Internet connection again. After many engineer visits and replacing of phone lines and puzzled scratchings of heads, the last set of repairs seems to have changed something. It's still rural Internet and not super-fast, but it's usable (touch wood), and we're not getting kicked off of it every five minutes. We are back in the modern world at last, and now I just hope we can stay here.
I have a gazillion missed messages to catch up on, which I'll be focused on for the next few days -- and then I'll be back to a regular Myth & Moor schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 1 (after the three-day August holiday weekend here in the UK).
I hope you're all having a good end-of-summer, and staying safe. Tilly sends her love.
The poem glimpsed above is "Letter From a Far Country' by Welsh author Gillan Clarke.
Apologies for my absence online. We're still having connectivity problems with our rural broadband, and we're still trying to get it fixed. At this point, messages by bird would be faster.... I'll be back just as soon as I can be. Wish us luck!
Art by Christian Schloe.
Myth & Moor has been nominated for the 2020 World Fantasy Award, which is lovely news to wake up to.
It's up against some very stiff competition in the awkwardly-named "Non-professional" category, which is the catch-all category for everything that doesn't fit in any of the others (Best Novel, Best Short Story, Best Anthology, etc.), such as small press magazines, podcasts, and not-for-profit publications like Myth & Moor. This is Myth & Moor's second nomination, and I'm deeply grateful to the 2020 panel of judges for this honour.
My congratulations to all of the other nominees in every category -- including my good friend and Chagford neighbour Wendy Froud, who is up for Best Artist. Two nominations from one small Dartmoor village! Or possibly three, if you count Kathleen Jennings, also in the Artist category. Yes, I know, she's actually from Australia, but she's spent so much time in Chagford over the years that we consider her part of our community too.
The winners will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in late October -- which was due to be held Salt Lake City this year, but has been moved online due to the pandemic.
The illustrations above are by American book artist Milo Winter(1888-1956) and British book artist Chris Dunn. And speaking of Kathleen Jennings, who is also a writer: Do not miss her new novel, Flyaway, which is absolutely stunning.
I must apologize once again for the lack of Myth & Moor posts last week. Howard and I are still getting hit by waves of post-viral illness and fatigue from the virus he brought home from Spain back in February. We still don't know if it was Covid-19, or another virus with similar persistence; we couldn't get tested back when we first had it, and the antibody tests we took recently were inconclusive. All we can do now is take it slow: work when we can, rest when we must, take care of each other and try not to worry.
Since energy is in limited supply, we are rationing it carefully. Last week, Howard took care of family matters and household chores so I could focus on delivering the keynote speech for the Francelia Butler Children's Literature Conference at Hollins University in Virginia (via Zoom), followed by a week of visiting online classes for Hollins' Children's Literature and Book Illustration MA program -- which was a lovely experience. The speech will be on YouTube at some point, and I'll let you know when it's up.
This week, it's my turn to support Howard so that he can focus on upcoming theatre work: a single-day around-the-world tour of his online theatre show, Theatre is Dead!; and preparations for a five-week run of Punch & Judy at the Teignmouth and Exmouth seasides starting next week. We're happy and relieved that P & J is going ahead, since so much other theatre work has been lost due to the pandemic -- but he has a lot of organizing to do to make sure the puppetry pitches are socially-distanced and safe.
I'm planning to be back on Myth & Moor more regularly this week ... but post-viral recovery is unpredictable, even without an underlying health condition, so if I suddenly disappear again, well, you'll know why. I'm grateful to all of you who have been supporting Myth & Moor through all of these ups and downs ... and I'm just plain overwhelmed by the support for our first Bumblehill Press publication, The Color of Angels. It's enormously encouraging. Lunar and I are working on getting more publications up for you very soon. It seems to me that myth, art, and story are more important now than ever.
I very much hope that you are all doing well during these uncertain times. Thank you for being part of the Mythic Arts community. And please stay safe.
The art above is by Honor Appleton (1879-1951) and Helen Stratton (1867-1961).
I'm afraid that Howard and I have gone down yet again with a persistent bug that he brought back from Spain in February. (It's probably not Covid-19, but yes, we're pursuing testing to be sure. Whatever it is, it's very hard to get rid of.) With luck, this relapse will be mild and swift, and I'll be back to Myth & Moor very soon. Thank you for your patience.