Wagons – and falling off

The Queen smiles as she greets Archbishop of York, John Sentamu as she arrives for Maundy Thursday Service at York Minster Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Queen smiles as she greets Archbishop of York, John Sentamu as she arrives for Maundy Thursday Service at York Minster Chris Jackson/Getty Images via Daily Telegraph.

This Lent I tried to give up two of my psychological props with rather mixed success. This Maundy Thursday, I’m reflecting on how it’s gone so far. Continue reading

Flights of Fancy

WellingtonRetreatThere’s a great deal of cruelty in the news right now. It’s one of the reasons behind my Lenten retreat from social media. Still I can’t escape it altogether. A dear friend has been deeply affected by a child murder close to where she lives. Reality insists on being seen – so why on earth do I chose to write fantasy, to make impossible things up? Continue reading

Monsters – not just for fantasy writers

geek_sphinx_by_mage_cat-d4onhuh

Geek Sphinx by Mage Cat

Last week I considered metamorphosis – prompted by listening  to Dame Marina Warner at The Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairytale and Fantasy. Whilst I was pondering unnerving transformations, images of many strange mythical hybrid creatures came to mind (some prompted by this month’s Mslexia.)  What is their attraction – and what does it matter to modern storytelling? Continue reading

Interregnum

Oliver_Cromwell_by_Samuel_Cooper

Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper

Apparently, an interregnum is the period between two reigns. In English History, it can refer to the time between Charles I ‘s execution and the arrival of Charles II, whilst we had a Republic (30 January 1649 – 29 May 1660)

Metaphorically, it can mean any suspension of government from the end of one regime to the beginning of another. I rather feel  I am in one… Continue reading

The Song, not the Singer

Frank_Sinatra_PDMost people would agree that Frank Sinatra had a wonderful voice. Think of ‘Strangers in the Night ‘ with its lush romance or ‘New York, New York!’ – so full of life. He was stylish and popular for at least five decades. But would you want him as a friend? Or could you see him as a hero? Continue reading