In my classes I am responsible for covering about a thousand years of literature in the British Isles. That encompasses Anglo-Saxon (AKA Old English), Middle English, Irish, Welsh, Scots and even French and Old Norse because they were all there [I forgot Latin]. But like so many of the people in my field, there’s a heavy dominance of English texts because, well, English department.
When you have to pick highlights in a thousand years of literature (all the while envying colleagues who have to choose texts from a few decades) it’s always hard choices. I’m going to broaden the scope in keeping with my renewed dedication to show the plurality of Medieval Britain. That includes teaching the Public Medievalist series on Race, Racism and the Middle Ages as well as my usual ‘You have been lied to!’ kick off for every medieval class.
I’ve also kicked off a new project that I’m really excited about: a Medieval Scots text The Taill of Rauf Coilyear. You can read it online. Obviously the Scots angle is important for me 😉 but it’s a very interesting adventure tale with a collier at the center (hence the image above which was the only one I could find quickly of a medieval charcoal maker). Many things to research. And obviously part of the reason this tale resonated with me is my love for Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker.
Everything connects. At least in my head it does.
In putting together materials for an application this month, I realised just how many things that ought to have been sent out haven’t been. You think I’m prolific? You should see all the stuff that’s not been published. Yet, in some cases. Trying to amend some of that neglect. I blame the glacial pace of academic publishing. But truthfully, fiction requires less research. The time I’ve spent hunting things down! And waiting for interlibrary loans, too. But I’m excited about Rauf. And having put together my CV again, I do have a sense of accomplishment. It never feels like enough but I can say I have a body of work.
Don’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 — Mar 19, Apr 23, May 21 [Summer dates coming soon!]
WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Rd, Berne, NY 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272
And in case you missed Sacred Sounds, the recording I made was at this location, Universal Pathways AKA Brigadoon.
Get ready to stay up late! Respectable Horror is out in the wilds and ready to be lured to your home. Ms Poppy LaMorte (our cover model designed by S. L. Johnson) will lead the way to a spectral crew of authors who are just dying to give you spine-tingling chills. This new collection offers names both familiar and new, writers who believe that it’s possible to terrify without more than a few drops of blood. The wind in the trees, the creak in the floor board, an innocent knock on the door: they’ll all take on a more sinister cast as you turn the pages of this book.
Introduction by K. A. Laity
The Estate of Edward Moorehouse by Ian Burdon
The Feet on the Roof by Anjana Basu
Spooky Girl by Maura McHugh
Recovery by H. V. Chao
The Holy Hour by C. A. Yates
Malefactor by Alan C. Moore
A Splash of Crimson by Catherine Lundoff
In These Rooms by Jonathan Oliver
A Framework by Richard Farren Barber
Running a Few Errands by Su Haddrell
Miss Metcalfe by Ivan Kershner
The Little Beast by Octavia Cade
The Well Wisher by Matthew Pegg
Where Daemons Don’t Tread by Suzanne J. Willis
Full Tote Gods by D. C. White
Those Who Can’t by Rosalind Mosis
The Astartic Arcanum by Carol Borden
Do serial killers, glistening viscera, oceans of gore and sadistic twists make you yawn behind a polite hand? Are you looking for something a little more interesting than a body count? These are tales that astonish and horrify, bring shivers and leave you breathless. You may be too terrified to find out what happens next – but you won’t be able to resist turning the page. We’ll make you keep the lights on. For a very long time.
BUY AMAZON UK
BUY AMAZON US
BUY AMAZON DE
BUY AMAZON IN (coming soon)
Spring break has mostly been work but I did manage to make another escape to spend the day with the fabulous Stephanie down in the city. Just before another collaboration escapes on Monday, Respectable Horror, which I edited and she supplied the wonderful cover art featuring cover model Poppy. She’s not just skin and bones either!
More photos in a FB album — they’d take up too much of my storage space here — but here’s a few highlights which included stops at the NYPL, Society of Illustrators and the Met as well as fine Belgian and Thai food. Click to embiggen any of the images.
Nothing says ‘Spring Break’ quite like a day of larks at the beach! Okay, maybe not so much when it’s one of the coldest days of the year in Rhode Island. Nonetheless I had a great weekend getaway with Jen and Niamh. More photos on the Facebook if you’re there.
Join me this Sunday at 2pm-ish for a workshop on writing with added beer. The beer is great and the workshop/reading will be fun. I’ll be joined by local writer Jim Labate. I might read this story unless I think of something else.
Come hang out. It’ll be fun. Yes, I’ll have some books with me.
Tirgearr Publishing is turning 5 – but you get the presents!
Enter at the special birthday page and you might win all three Chastity Flame novels, a Kindle Fire or lots of other great prizes. You can also get many books for a reduced price including my collection Unquiet Dreams, which Steve Bissette calls, “the long, deep plunge in the coldest quarry in the woods; the lingering look under the rotting wood at all the writhing life there; the stare into the abyss until one realizes something is staring back.”
See the site for details.