Friday, 23 January 2015

Fairy Folklore

Have you ever been enchanted by the magic of mystical fairy rings?

My home is my castle by Catrin Welz Stein.

A great deal of folklore surrounds fairy rings. Their names in European languages often allude to supernatural origins; they are known as ronds de sorciers ("sorcerers' rings") in France, and Hexenringe ("witches' rings") in German. In German tradition, fairy rings were thought to mark the site of witches' dancing on Walpurgis Night.


 The Almost Moon by Francesca Dottavi.

In Tyrol (western Austria), folklore attributed fairy rings to the fiery tails of flying dragons; once a dragon had created such a circle, nothing but toadstools could grow there for seven years. European superstitions routinely warned against entering a fairy ring.  Fairy rings are associated with diminutive spirits in the Philippines.

 LINK

Western European, including English, Scandinavian and Celtic, traditions claimed that fairy rings are the result of elves or fairies dancing. Such ideas dated to at least the mediæval period; The Middle English term elferingewort ("elf-ring"), meaning "a ring of daisies caused by elves' dancing" dates to the 12th century.

 William Sullivan - Fairy Dance.

 In his History of the Goths (1628), Olaus Magnus makes this connection, saying that fairy rings are burned into the ground by the dancing of elves. British folklorist Thomas Keightley noted that in Scandinavia in the early 20th century, beliefs persisted that fairy rings (elfdans) arose from the dancing of elves. Keightley warned that while entering an elfdans might allow the interloper to see the elves—although this was not guaranteed—it would also put the intruder in thrall to their illusions.

C.S.Lewis

The folklores of the British Isles contain a wealth of fairy lore, including the idea from which fairy rings take their name: the phenomena result from the dancing of fairies. In 19th-century Wales, where the rings are known as cylch y Tylwyth Teg, fairies were almost invariably described as dancing in a group when encountered, and in Scotland and Wales in the late 20th century, stories about fairy rings were still common;some Welsh even claimed to have joined a fairy dance. Victorian folklorists regarded fairies and witches as related, based in part on the idea that both were believed to dance in circles. These revels are particularly associated with moonlit nights, the rings only becoming visible to mortals the following morning.

THE HUMAN BODY IS PART OF NATURE. Portrait 07 by Catrin Welz-Stein.

An early 20th-century Irish tradition says that fairies enjoy dancing around the hawthorn tree so that fairy rings often centre on one. A Welsh and Manx variant current in the 1960s removes dancing from the picture and claims that fairy rings spring up over an underground fairy village.

Claire Pettibone.

Someone who violates a fairy perimeter becomes invisible to mortals outside and may find it impossible to leave the circle. Often, the fairies force the mortal to dance to the point of exhaustion, death, or madness. In Welsh tales, fairies actively try to lure mortals into their circles to dance with them. A tale from the Cambrian Mountains of Wales, current in the 19th century, describes a mortal's encounter with a fairy ring:

    ... he saw the Tylwyth Teg, in appearance like tiny soldiers, dancing in a ring. He set out for the scene of revelry, and soon drew near the ring where, in a gay company of males and females, they were footing it to the music of the harp. Never had he seen such handsome people, nor any so enchantingly cheerful. They beckoned him with laughing faces to join them as they leaned backward almost falling, whirling round and round with joined hands. Those who were dancing never swerved from the perfect circle; but some were clambering over the old cromlech, and others chasing each other with surprising swiftness and the greatest glee. Still others rode about on small white horses of the most beautiful form ... All this was in silence, for the shepherd could not hear the harps, though he saw them. But now he drew nearer to the circle, and finally ventured to put his foot in the magic ring. The instant he did this, his ears were charmed with strains of the most melodious music he had ever heard.


Juliano Lopes.

Mortals who have danced with the fairies are rarely safe after being saved from their enthrallment. Often, they find that what seemed to be but a brief foray into fairyland was indeed much longer in the mortal realm, possibly weeks or years.






Electroplate book cover 1896.

Some legends assert that the only safe way to investigate a fairy ring is to run around it nine times. This affords the ability to hear the fairies dancing and frolicking underground.

Fairy rings have featured in the works of European authors, playwrights, and artists since the 13th century. In his Arthurian romance Meraugis de Portlesguez, Raoul de Houdenc describes a scene clearly derived from Celtic fairy-ring lore: The title character visits the Château des Caroles and sees a circle of women and a knight dancing around a pine in the castle courtyard. Meraugis is unable to fight the intense desire to join in, thus freeing the previous knight from the spell. Meraugis is helpless to leave the dance until, ten weeks later, another knight joins it and frees him.



Densely Foggy by Miyakokomura.

 Fairy circles feature in works by several Elizabethan poets and playwrights. William Shakespeare alludes to them in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Scene I ("And I serve the fairy queen, / To dew her orbs upon the green" and "To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind"), and The Tempest, Act V, Scene.

Shakespeare's contemporary Thomas Randolph speaks of fairy rings in his Amyntas, or the Impossible Dowry (1638), and Michael Drayton describes one in Nymphidia: The Court of Fairy:

    And in their courses make that round
    In meadows and in marshes found,
    Of them so called the Fairy Ground,
        Of which they have the keeping.

Fairy imagery became especially popular in the Victorian era. Thomas Hardy uses a fairy ring as a symbol of lost love in The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886).


Letter to my friend by Magda Wasiczek.

Victorian poets who have referred to fairy rings in their works include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Eliza Cook, Robert Stephen Hawker, Felicia Hemans, Gerald Massey, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. W. H. Cummings composed the cantata The Fairy Ring, and William Butler Yeats wrote of them in The Land of Heart's Desire (1894).

Meganne Forbes Visionary Artist.

Fairy circles have appeared in European artwork since at least the 18th century. For example, William Blake painted Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing, depicting a scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, around 1785, and Daniel Maclise painted Faun and the Fairies around 1834. Images of fairies dancing in circles became a favourite trope of painters in the Victorian period. On the one hand, artists were genuinely interested in the culture such imagery represented, and on the other, fairies could be depicted as titillating nudes and semi-nudes without offending Victorian mores, which made them a popular subject of art collectors. Examples of Victorian fairy-ring paintings include Come unto these Yellow Sands (1842) by Richard Dadd and Reconciliation of Titania and Oberon (1847) by Joseph Noel Paton.

MORE HERE


Love and light
Trace
xoxo


Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Sindria Elementals - A Carpet of Purple Flowers

The Sindria 
(elementals)

What you seek is seeking you - Rumi

Kirsty Mitchell Wonderland photographic series
 A word that is spoken throughout the cosmos is Ameusouya ( Am-e-us-ou-ya ), meaning complete/whole (you, me, us = one). In the book you read about The Heaven Stone Warriors. These beings are trained to follow the teachings of the Sindria. They exist to maintain universal balance.

I thought that I would share some visuals with you from my Pinterest storyboards that relate to my first novel - A Carpet of Purple Flowers. 

I love to share where I draw my inspiration. 
Maybe, it helps in understanding the many layers that exist beneath a story. Like a painting, where each creative stroke will cover the previous until  finally, the picture presents itself as a whole. Each person will see something different and right there is the magic. 

Mood Board for otherworldly realm of The Sindria elementals is HERE


I didn't want to over complicate the main story and was unable to put all of the world that I've created with it's technicalities in the first book. Instead, I will be adding some extra pieces that I've written, but not included, on the book edit pages on the website. Hopefully, it will explain more in depth the characters world/philosophies, behind the story of folk and mystical lore.


In Norse mythology, a vǫrðr ("warden," "watcher" or "caretaker") is a warden spirit believed to follow from birth to death, the soul of every person. At times, the warden can reveal itself as a small light or in the shape of a being - I represent this via the elemental Sindria.

The Agnaya (Ag-naya) means male energy (Yang) 
 The Aniya (A-niya) means female energy (Yin)

(SOURCE milk by Ekaterina Grigorieva)

A Carpet of Purple Flowers - Is a sacred area, garden of  otherworld, known as Calageata, where the Sindria reside. In book one this relates to Bea's - little piece of heaven.

(The gate of gothic by Sedeptra)

A purple flower represents spirituality and mysticism. 

(Sources can be found on Calageata Pinterest boards - inspirational purposes only)
The histories (Enna)

Siarthia (Siar-thia) means Akashic Record
Vororbla means soul / karmic cycle



I wrote my own version of "The Song of Amergin" because I don't go too much into symbolism in the book, but I thought it would be nice for people to know the basic 'layering' of ideas. 
The lyrical metaphors/meanings are listed below the lyrics of the song and can be heard HERE on the book website. 
Sung by Addison Rice - WEBSITE


This derivation inspired by 'Amergin' connects to the Sidhe/Aos Si/Magic/Mysticism/The Ancient Path. It was a way for me express a deeper meaning under the main story. My hope is that I've written a story that can appeal to people wanting just a love story or if inclined, can delve deeper.  

Who was Amergin?

Amergin, was a Bard of the Milesians, lays claim to the Land of Ireland.
The Milesians had to win the island by engaging in battle with the three kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann, their druids and warriors. Amergin acted as an impartial judge for the parties, setting the rules of engagement. The Milesians agreed to leave the island and retreat a short distance back into the ocean beyond the ninth wave, a magical boundary. Upon a signal, they moved toward the beach, but the druids of the Tuatha Dé Danann raised a magical storm to keep them from reaching land. However, Amergin sang an invocation calling upon the spirit of Ireland that has come to be known as The Song of Amergin, and he was able to part the storm and bring the ship safely to land.

Some of the early medieval Welsh poems on mythological themes attributed to the 6th century poet Taliesin in the Book of Taliesin have similarities to those attributed to Amergin.

The Tuath(a) Dé Danann (usually translated as "people(s)/tribe(s) of the goddess Danu"), also known by the earlier name Tuath Dé ("tribe of the gods"), are a race of supernaturally-gifted people in Irish mythology.


The people known as "The Sidhe" or people of the mounds, or "The Lordly Ones" or "The Good People" were descended from the "Tuatha de Danann" who settled in Ireland millennia ago.
They came from four cities to the north of Ireland–Falias, Gorias, Murias and Finias–where they acquired their magical skills and attributes.

The aos sí (Irish pronunciation: "ees shee", older form aes sídhe), "ays sheeth-uh") is the Irish term for a supernatural race in Irish mythology and Scottish mythology, (usually spelled Sìth, however pronounced the same) comparable to the fairies or elves. In Scottish mythology they are daoine sìth. They are variously said to be the ancestors, the spirits of nature, or goddesses and gods.

This world is described in the Book of Invasions (recorded in the Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living.

Calageata - realm of the Sindria
Fantasy jj
 The road to Calageata (swan gate)

Usually a place of unseen existence, that higher souls and deities reside, outside the tangible world. 
Human beings associate this otherworldly place with many names, but Bea refers to it as heaven.


 Ripples in the well of souls - Souls returning home ( a well in Calageata).

The flower of Vororbla (karma)

 Old Ruins representing the flower of Voror


Thank  you for taking the time to read. 
If you like folklore, please visit - HERE

Sources to pictures/artists HERE




Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

- William Butler Yeats

Love and light
Trace
xoxo


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year! 2015... xoxo


Wishing you mega happiness, health, and love in 2015.

So, what have I been up to over xmas?
The usual, shopping, entertaining, tweeting, etc. 

 Loved the snuggles with my 'Geezer' - that's one of my dogs btw. 
Handsome fur baby :o) 
 Admiring my youngest and oldest decorating skills - where did that middle son go? :o) 
 More cuddles, Kyah is joining us. The little wide-eyed beauty :o) 
 Pretending to be asleep, no it didn't work.
Youngest finds oldest...amusing
 Nana is joining in! Show 'em how it's done mum.
 Tee hee 'It wasn't me.'
 Oh, I've found the middle son! 
Twenty-two year old not going anywhere near the tree topper!
A job for little man :o) 
Great job, Lew! :o) 

My attempt at catching the aura around the moon on New Years Eve...Hmm
New Years Day Love! 
 Geezer sneaking in :o) 
 Kyah love

Resolutions?
Hmm...
  • GET PUBLISHED! Whoo-hoo! Fingers 'n' toes crossed.
  • New Laptop (Notebook is hard work)
  • Finish first draft of second book - yes really :o) 
  • Write every day! I tend to have blasts and stay up all night...shh, don't tell anyone.
  • Make time for art...even if a sketch.
  • Possibly get fitter? Exercise?Just a little ? I'll think about that one a bit more.
  • Visit the Trossachs/Scotland - book research. 
I'll check back in December ;o) 

What have you been up to? I'd love to hear.
Make 2015 a good one x

Love and Light,
Trace
xoxo

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New writer dealing with the BIG 'Rs' - rejection and requests in the writing world

'A Carpet of Purple Flowers'


What a crazy ride the new writer's journey is...
Am I mad for wanting to tell my story to the world? Wait, don't answer that. :o) 
Oh yeah, my first pair of speck's - EVER! Must be all that editing, lol. No really.


Okay, let's start with the good. It's December 2014, and it's been a year of editing, waiting, editing, etc - nope, it's still not over.


The Positive

I received a request for a partial, and then a full from a New York Literary Agency. The agent had passed my query to the intern and then she sent me this feedback:

Dear Ms. McCartney,

       I read the chapters you sent to me. I really enjoyed them. Can you please send more? I really believe this book has potential with the agency. And if it's possible, I'd love to help represent or help you with it.  I look forward to reading more of your work.


Good Evening, Ms. McCartney,


   *** I just finished reading it (continued from the three chapters you sent to me last Friday). It's beautiful, a work that must be made into book form as soon as possible!!!!! I would strongly urge you to send the ms to *** if you haven't done so yet. Tell *** that I read the complete ms and that I think the agency could represent it without a problem. 

 I hope that he agrees to represent you and your work. Fingers crossed!!! 

Well, of course I was (still am) over the moon (containing my excitement - can you tell?). Once the words sunk in, I sent an email to the agent... I eagerly await his reply. Hopefully, permission to forward the full. My emotions are a whirlwind of nervousness, hope and readiness, for I know that her wonderful opinion, however uplifting, might not be his.
No matter what happens, I'll be forever grateful that she believed in 'A Carpet of Purple Flowers', and I'll cherish the amazing comments, giving the glimmer of hope, a brighter light.


The Negative

I sent my first draft (yes, silly I know) to a UK agent earlier this year (2014). She asked for an exclusive (sounds good, right?), but I had to say no, due to the ms being with another agent (which was a later rejection). Eventually, I received a reply asking me to revise and re-submit. I was confused, for she didn't say what to actually revise. Although, I remained confused, I was eager to please and attempted to improve my ms, blindly. After, another re-submission, I received a formal 'R' - email of rejection . It hurt, I think more so because no reason was given. Didn't I derserve a short paragraph of explanation? - Sadly, no (real world alert).

Dear Tracey-Anne,​

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to consider your recent submission.  Unfortunately, I am unable to offer you representation. Please be assured that I gave your submission a fair and thoughtful review.


Regrettably I am unable to give individual consultation, this is due to the small size of my company and the large number of unsolicited manuscripts I receive on a daily basis.


Since the decision taken in representing work is a subjective one and will vary greatly from person to person, I would encourage you to contact other agencies. 


I wish you the best of luck in finding great success with your work.




You can never tell if your work will appeal enough to grab the attention of an agent, and receiving feedback is rare. I just gotta keep going, and refill the faint crack that appeared after reading the email. This journey has, at times, felt cold and lonely compared to the artist's path that I'm used to (a warm and friendly place). So, again, I search the web for more information of other writers experiences, hoping to find out if I'm on the right track, at least.

Here's what I found:

So, what's the big deal about having agents reading your partial or full manuscript? (It's not like you have a publishing contract).

Queries an agent receives a week an vary from 100 +
(That's whopping 5200 queries/year!!!)

Request for partials/full manuscripts  requested: Approximately 3 partials and I full 

Of those 4, only 1 gets representation. 

The chances of landing an agent:   .0019%  / Agents reject about 99.5% of queries.

One highly respected agent recommends maybe to give up after 100 and go back to the drawing board and revise manuscript or start another one.

LINK HERE

Just to give you an idea, out of all the partials agents/interns read through, only around 10% of these will get a request for a full manuscript. 

If you have received a partial request, pat yourself on the back – your query letter was good! 
If you have received a full manuscript request, do a few fist pumps.

LINK

Full request - first, celebrate. You earned this! Full requests, or really requests of any kind, are hard to come by, so make sure you give yourself the break (and reward) you deserve. 

Asked to resubmit?
That is what writers call a Revise & Resubmit (shorthand: R&R), and it is amazing. Once again, celebrate! Do the Dumbledore dance, because an agent liked your freaking book! 

Keep querying! The fact that an agent even liked your book enough to R&R is a VERY GOOD SIGN. Don’t give up because of subjective rejection. So keep at it, and in the meantime, write something new!  



The Baffled King Composing (blog) HERE

So, you’ve polished your novel. You’ve tackled your query. You’ve researched agents and sent out personalized queries to each of them. You’ve waited. And now the day has come when all this has paid off–an agent is interested in reading your full manuscript. 

First of all stop and take a minute to congratulate yourself. Having managed the slush piles of two different agents, I can tell you that your novel has something special about it if you’ve gotten this far. 

Maybe you wrote a great query. Maybe you added the first three chapters of your novel to your query (depending on the agent’s guidelines of course!) and there was something captivating about it. 

In any case, you did something really right. Because an agent has requested a full manuscript, and that’s an accomplishment.

I feel a little better now, lol :o) 


In truth, I consider myself very lucky getting this far with the 'Gatekeepers', and to have received a few offers of publishing with small publishers, but I'm still holding out. This is when I ask myself if I'm crazy? My answer... 'Let's see what 2015 brings'.  :o)

Meanwhile, I'll sit and scribble/type away on book two, listening to music, hoping that one day soon, my manuscript will transform into a magical (eco friendly) paper book.

Still dreaming and believing.com  :o) 




Love and light
Trace 
xoxo