Write 4 a Day Sunday + Jen’s Tarot Workshop

Write 4 a DayDon’t you deserve at least one day to write?

Write 4 a Day is a series of monthly one-day writing retreats in upstate New York. There is:

  • no workshop
  • no agenda
  • no required activities
  • no assignments
  • no schedule
  • no WiFi!

Unplug. Write. Don’t write. Think. Daydream. Doodle. Outline. Come for the whole day or just for part of it; network, collaborate or write solo; wander the woods, hills, fields and streams of Universal Pathways for inspiration (bring sturdy shoes) or sit in a comfy chair and brainstorm. It’s up to you.

WHO – you! We haven’t had to limit attendance yet, but it’s getting to be a consideration. If you want to be sure to reserve a space, email me via the contact form.

WHY – because you deserve a day to devote to your writing (or daydreaming or sketching or scheming or knitting or…)

WHAT – $22 fee for the space (cash/check/PayPal/$20 for HVWG members) and food (a dish to share or your own lunch)

WHEN – 10am-5pm — Feb 19, Mar 19, Apr 23, May 21…

WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Rd, Berne, NY 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272

2017-02-17 11.45.30.jpgJen’s Tarot Exploration Workshop

W4D co-host Jen will be giving the first of a series of tarot workshops in East Greenbush on Saturday afternoon. Full details here!

And in case you missed Sacred Sounds, the recording I made was at this location, Universal Pathways AKA Brigadoon.

 

Sacred Spaces @CitiesAndMemory

I’m so excited to be part of this project. Even the BBC covered it this morning, interviewing curator Stuart Fowkes on Radio 4. You can check out the whole wonderful playlist here or click on the links via the world map. Read up on the background of the project.

My field recording was made at ‘Brigadoon’ — better known as Universal Pathways — down in the grove.

Even better there’s a cool remix by Terry French: check it out, especially the notes on how the sound was re-imagined.

Also check out the latest in medieval sound at Sounding Out!

Sounds of Dundee

I’ve put up a recent field recording that I made in Dundee last month. On Peter Street just off the Murray Gate there’s a little passage way where you’ll find the Grissell Jaffray memorial, a blue plaque and pair of mosaics. She was the last witch executed in the city. I just hung out for a few minutes with my DR-40 and captured ambient sounds (and a little wind–need a better wind sock). Close your eyes and listen.

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I’ve got a new sound project coming out on Monday: you can get a preview of the Cities & Memory project here. More about it then. Yes, obsessing a bit about sound lately. So many things colliding in my mind. You’ll be hearing (!) more about medieval Scots literature, too. I just submitted a recording for a fascinating project, Soundmaps for the Dreamer at Sonoscape. And there’s more: my presentation at the Ken Russell conference will be about sound, too.

And of course I’ll be writing up my experience curating WeTheHumanities for a week. So many things — and also Respectable Horror is almost here!

@WeTheHumanities Curation

I may be a trifle busy next week —

The Digital Humanities Initiative

ms-stowe-17I’ll be curating the @WeTheHumanities account starting Monday, February 6th. You can get a sense of the task through reading the blog, including the most recent curator here. The mission is spelled out on the WeTheHumanities home page:

We are an online project designed to spread the diversity and value of the humanities.  Begun as a rotation-curation project, which is still at the heart of the initiative, we’ve recently branched out into a more extensive blog and hope to grow even further in the coming months.

In the digital realm, it has become easier than ever to reach out, but finding your audience can be a challenge. What does it mean to be immersed in the humanities right now?

Join the conversation so we can figure it out!

Image via Medievalists.net

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Coming Up: Divine Write & We The Humanities

divine-write

Beginning of the semester is always busy and this one is no exception. Things coming up where you might run into me — apart from as always the productive Write 4 a Day sessions — include the 2nd Sunday @ 2 reading in Troy, as well as two new events.

Divine Write is a new series of readings + workshops featuring local writers at the Beer Diviner Tap Room. I’m planning to hit the first one tomorrow to get a feel for things because I’ll be on stage with Jim LaBate in February. Come along, try the beer and bring your pen. Yes, books will be on offer.

I’ve also thrown my hat in the ring to be a host for @WeTheHumanities the week of February 6th. I’ll be curating the discussions that week which means throwing out topics, responding to commentary and trying to keep a world wide conversation going on between all my usual activities. Madness, I know. I got a taste of how fun/nerve-wracking it can be guesting a couple times for  @FolkloreThursday — including the day the Beeb decided to cover them, eek!

If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow along, ask questions and get involved in the discussion. The aim of the activity is to reach beyond the communities of academics and show how the humanities enrich our lives. In a time when rhetoric, history and literature provide some of the best material for speaking truth to power, that may seem easy, but conversation only works when a variety of voices join in.

So start thinking of the topics and questions you have. Me? I’m trying to stick to staying on top of work, but then my mind wanders to things like:

buke-of-howlat

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Sunday 22 Jan: Write 4 a Day

Write 4 a DayDon’t you deserve at least one day to write?

Write 4 a Day is a series of monthly one-day writing retreats in upstate New York. There is:

  • no workshop
  • no agenda
  • no required activities
  • no assignments
  • no schedule
  • no WiFi!

Unplug. Write. Don’t write. Think. Daydream. Doodle. Outline. Come for the whole day or just for part of it; network, collaborate or write solo; wander the woods, hills, fields and streams of Universal Pathways for inspiration (bring sturdy shoes) or sit in a comfy chair and brainstorm. It’s up to you.

WHO – you! We haven’t had to limit attendance yet, but it’s getting to be a consideration. If you want to be sure to reserve a space, email me via the contact form.

WHY – because you deserve a day to devote to your writing (or daydreaming or sketching or scheming or knitting or…)

WHAT – $22 fee for the space (cash/check/PayPal/$20 for HVWG members) and food (a dish to share or your own lunch)

WHEN – 10am-5pm

2017: Jan 22, Feb 19, Mar 19, Apr 23, May 21 [more TBA]

WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Rd, Berne, NY 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272

FFB: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

dark-is-risingAlthough a classic I’d not read this novel before, but stumbling across it at the Oxfam Bookshop this winter, I found the combination of the title and the folk horror revival vibe in Michael Heslop’s cover irresistible. Will is the seventh son of a seventh son, which he did not know as one of his brothers died very young. He’s been born to a special task, uniting the forces of light against the darkness:

‘It is a burden,’ Merriman said. ‘Make no mistake about that. Any great gift of power or talent is a burden, and this more than any, and you will often long to be free of it.’

It’s full of history, pagan symbols and eternal struggles. The struggle of dark against light is rather simplistic as many myths are. The contempt for women is striking within the narrative: ‘typical females’ are silly. There are maiden, mother and crone for symbolic purposes, but the maiden has to be rescued by Will, the mother falls and sprains her ankle to provide emotional ammunition and the crone has to be brought back by Will as well. Not that any of the characters are especially well drawn: they’re just pegs to carry the narrative forward, and it moves at a good clip.

This sounds more negative than it is in sum. The vivid scenes of magic and myth really leap off the page. The mysterious mask, the snow that falls for days, the almost sentient fire Will discovers in the past all offer a thrill. Her poetry sings:

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;
All shall find the light at last, silver on the tree.

The Wild Hunt at the end that awakens Herne is truly magnificent. We all need inspiration to fight the dark that is rising now. There’s much to inspire here.

See all the overlooked gems at Patti’s blog  make that Todd’s blog.