Out Now: Inanna’s Ascent

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Out now! You can buy it direct from the publisher here, but it will also be available from the usual commercial outlets. Trista, Tamara and Pat have done a wonderful job gathering the words and art of women from across the world who have been inspired by this ancient goddess. I write about how I used Inanna’s story in my novel Owl Stretching (by the by, thinking of doing an audio book of that now that it’s out of print).

By the by, I’m now on Instagram (hopefully helping out with the Fox Spirit skulk promo). I’ll probably be more esoteric there than here: each platform has its own personality –or brings out a particular aspect of my personality. Hit me up if you’re there.

Skulk at Edge-Lit

Much floof so wow: books sold; pages signed; sustenance shared; friends hugged.

Ione’s Dream Festival: Dreamy Art

Ione Dream FestThe SpeakEasy dames are hosting Ione’s Dream Festival this week: check it out on Facebook. Here’s today’s entry by Stephanie Johnson, fab artist, who’s put together some images to spark your dreams.

Astonishing Dream

Alan Alikatuktu – The Astonishing Dream

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John Henry Fuseli- The Nightmare

Gulacsy

Lajos Gulacsy – the Opium Smoker’s Dream

Kostuj

Leszek Andrzej Kostuj – Dream Messengers

HokusaiDreamFishermansWife

Katsushita Hokusai – Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife

 

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Australian Aboriginal art – Seven Sisters (Dreamtime)

Ione’s Dream Festival: Hypnosis

Ione Dream FestThe SpeakEasy dames are hosting Ione’s Dream Festival this week: check it out on Facebook. Here’s today’s entry by Adele Wearing, the feral leader of Fox Spirit Books.

I love hypnosis. Like really love it. It’s about the only way I have to relax without being fast asleep. I mean ok I do occasionally fall asleep under hypnosis, but I only snore a little. Honest.

When I was younger the idea of being hypnotised horrified me, it seemed like giving away control, but then I started to think about divorce. I decided to seek a therapist before ending my brief marriage in case my husband wasn’t why I was miserable. It turned out he was btw, but I am pretty sure I am why he was miserable too. Anyway, I ended up going to see the Wizard. He is brilliant, a real believer in meditation and hypnosis as well other forms of therapy.

Sorry, long story short I went with hypnotherapy. I am shockingly easy to hypnotise and I go deep. I know I am there when my wrists feel as though they are on backwards and I don’t care because everything feels slightly detached anyway. Oh that feels good by the way, the detachment from the old meat suit. I never did stick to script, but I can feel bark under my feet, and water between my toes, and smell the water.

Whatever the journey he guides me on the smells and sensations are incredibly real, not always the visual, but I was never so good at the visual, that’s ok. It comes and goes. It’s like lucid dreaming for me. It’s like a spa day in 20 minutes in terms of relaxation. I have no sense of time when I am under and it’s really where I started to investigate my dream.

Ordinarily, even when I can tell I am dreaming I have no control, I am just along for the ride. Under hypnosis I have some say, I choose where I want to go and who I want to see and the dreams talk back, communicate with me instead of just being left over mush from the day. Or the Wizard guides me to where I have asked. I have learned, over the many many sessions that got me through divorce, how to self hypnotise. Sometimes silence and darkness are good. Sometimes I prefer drumming music to help me push everything else out. It’s still easier with the Wizards guidance, but I can do it on my own and it’s fantastic.

I do not find nearly enough time in my days to do it. I should. It’s peaceful, it’s revitalising. It’s sometimes energising and I can’t wait to go and create, and sometimes takes everything out of me and makes me accept my body and mind are just tired and I need to rest.

If you have never been hypnotised and someone is going to help you then I just have to say, you have to be able to let go, so trust is huge. Find someone to guide you through it you feel safe and relaxed with, and then let go. It can take a while to get vivid and longer to get lucid, and you know, maybe it’s not for everyone. I really struggle with relaxation, with letting go and just existing, two things allow me that, being live on air, because the moment is the only place I can be, and in a hypnotic state because time and space become irrelevant.

 

Horror, The Fall & other news

Mark E Smith of the FallOut now:

Over on the Fox Spirit Books blog I get to kick off Women of Horror month with a piece on The Haunting of Hill House, one of the finest novels ever written. Go read it (my piece and the novel).

I have a piece ‘The Three Rs’ over at 3AM Magazine. I had written for another thing that fell apart but it suited as a kind of encomium for Mark E. Smith. More to come doubtless as there are many things floating around in my head.

Chapter 4 of Madonna of the Wasps is out: chapter 5 at the end of the month. If you want to have a print copy, I have good news coming soon.

You listened to the radio show, right? Feel free to let WGXC know you liked it.

UPDATE: I am always forgetting to share my History Witch posts: most recently Sounding Out the Water Elf (another bit in my thinking about the sound of charms which I’ll be talking about at the Harvard conference in April).

NEXT WEEK: The SpeakEasy dames and I will be guest hosts at Ione’s Annual Dream Festival next week. If you’re on Facebook, join us talking and thinking about dreams and how they affect our waking lives. Some of the posts will be here as well. Starts on Monday!

Forthcoming Publications:

Twice Reviled: Medieval Fact & Fantasy.’ Out of the Cloister: Lone Medievalists Making the Middle Ages Matter: forthcoming piece on what it’s like to be the lone medievalist in a department as well as a fiction writing-lit prof (hint: even people in academia like you to stick to one category or the other).

The Unlikely Milliner & The Magician of Threadneedle-Street.” Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature: forthcoming essay on the use of tarot in Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell — yes, yet another piece on that book so I suspect I may well end up writing a book about it.

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Travel: after a break of [cough] years, I’ll be heading to Kalamazoo for the annual Medieval Congress. Looking forward to my first paper on Rauf Coilyear, one of my new obsessions. I feel a little sad because I think the last time I was at the ‘Zoo was when I got to hang out with Kathryn Fernquist Hinds, who died suddenly this week. Her husband Arthur has asked those honouring her memory to make donations in her name to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. You might also want to read her books.

I hope to go to MAMO as well: this year it will be in Rome. We shall see. Finances always questionable — and of course, I need to get accepted! But a scheme afoot to catch up with Alexandra Bava naturally and Dan Curley who I think might be there as well in November.

[Fill in the elventy thousand things I have forgotten to mention or haven’t finished]

Oh, and I have more Edinburgh pictures to share: must remember to do so!

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Happy Hogmanay!

Here’s my year-end wrap-up, mostly so I don’t skate over accomplishments: it’s easy to feel like you haven’t done much when you don’t keep track. Of course there are things not on this list because they haven’t come out yet (Hire Idiots, Mangled, My Wandering Uterus) or because they don’t have tangible results (e.g. application for full professor, submissions to various things). But there is more than I thought:

Respectable Horror - Front cover web

Respectable Horror Fox Spirit Books, 2017.

“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 3 – Swan.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 3, 31 Dec 2017.

“Do Anything You Wanna Do.” Spelk: 29 Dec 2017.

“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 2 – Frost.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 2, 30 Nov 2017.

“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 1 – Love.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 1, 31 Oct 2017.

“Spirits in the Night.” Short story. Spelk Fiction, 2 Jun 2017.

“Copped It.” A Twist of Noir. 27 Mar 2017.

“Repetition.” Short story. Spelk Fiction, 20 Feb 2017.

“Somewhere in Slovenia.” (as Graham Wynd) Short story. Near to the Knuckle, 8 Feb 2017.

“These Toys are for Tough Boys.” Featured short story. Alibi-Fest.com, 5 Feb 2017.

“Bloody Collage.”Short story (as Graham WyndPulp Metal Magazine, January 2017.

“Chaucer and the Art of the Grift.” Empty Mirror 24 Nov 2017.

“Midwesterner in Exile.” Mystery Readers Journal 33.1 (Spring 2017): 51-2.

History Witch for Witches & Pagans:

Winter Crone

Medieval Consolations

Getting Medieval

Dangerous Fairy Women

Midsummer: Watch Out for Fairies!

Elf Shot in Scotland

Riding with Nicnevin

Charm for Weaving

A Headache in Medieval Scotland

A Meditation on Winter

UPDATE: Also, as I believe Simon reminded me on Twitter, there were the (I think) 34 entries for the serial, The Height of Absurditytoo! A not insubstantial output!

 

What’s ahead in 2018? More of everything! I have many plans, of course. Not all of them are writing either. One cool thing I should mention: The SpeakEasy dames are happy to announce we’ll be curators for one week [Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 11] of Ione’s Annual Dream Festival (23rd Annual). Go like their page to get in on the exploration of imagination.

Dream big! Chase that muse wherever it leads you —

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Remedios Varo – Exploración de las Fuentes del Río Orinoco, 1959.

Writerly Advice in the T-U

I’m among the quoted writers in this piece at the Times Union (or is that TimesUnion as it appears to be on the website?). Are you NaNoWriMo-ing? Buddy me if you are. I am mostly doing this intense month of writing to make sure I finally get the draft done of my next Fox Spirit novel. Deadlines are always motivating.

I’m revising last year’s NaNoWriMo project and getting ready to send it out to gauge potential interest. Meanwhile I have ten thousand other things I ought to be doing, too. It’s always a juggling act.

magpiejesteroil

Albert-Anatole-Martin-Ernest Lambron des Piltieres
(French, born 1836)
The court jester and magpie
 1869