Friday, 30 October 2020
Second Samhain: Objects can and will tell stories...
It's very moving to look back at my update this time last year. We'd been up and running for a week and had just got to the 15% mark. Those early pledges really helped to gather momentum and belief behind the book... and now here we are at 104%! Thank you so much for all the support along the way.
I am now delighted to now be able to offer a seasonal treat. Back in March, just before the whole world turned widdershins upon its axis, I was developing the Objects Tell Stories event with Dr. Tim Campbell-Green, our head of archaeology and research at The Blackden Trust. If you take another look at the update on 5th March you can revisit our promo video.
The good news - it's actually now going to happen! Online, on Saturday 21st November. Furthermore, we're being supported by the lovely people at Macclesfield Lit Fest - so the event is free, you just need to register. Link below. We'll be looking at the power of ritual objects and how they are echoed in motifs within Folk Tales. I'll be reading from the book, and Tim will be sharing his own private collection of wonderful Objects. Do please join us if you can.
In addition, alongside the "Objects" link you will see there's also a 2 hour "Folk Tales Workshop" in the morning. Again, funded by the wonderful Macclesfield Lit Fest team, so the tickets are a bargain at £6. This will be very different to the Finding & Keeping workshops: a shorter session, a larger "class", less interaction, no guided writing or individual feedback, and no signed hardback either! However, I will still be sharing insights into the research and development of the tales and offering a few tips along the way. So if you want to sneak a peek inside my notebooks then do please come along.
Happy Samhain to all! And finally, just in case you find yourself caught in an accidental pact with the Devil, here's some advice on how to deal with it - simply follow the lead of good old Trickster Jack in The Coal Companion...
The Devil turned swiftly on his heel, faster and faster, as if dancing to a wild reel that only he could hear. In the blink of an eye, there was a shifting and shrinking and the Devil was transformed into a golden coin, spinning on the floorboards of the Inn and landing at Jack’s feet. There caught on the face of it was Satan in his true form: horns, claws, hooves, wings and tail.
Jack held the Devil tight in his fist and made his way over to the Cooper, and in return for another flaggon of ale borrowed the use of his hammer and two bracket nails. In his hand, the Devil kicked and clawed and the golden coin began to bend and buckle, but Jack held on tight.
Laughing at the absurdity of the instruction, the Cooper hauled Jack up on to his shoulders and carried him through the cheering crowd. Jack halted him at the threshold of the doorway. The boundary. The place that was neither in nor out.
His palm began to blister with the heat of the Devil’s breath, but still Jack held on. He took the coin, the hammer and the nails and set them to the lintel. Three sharp strikes fixed the first bracket nail to the horizontal. Three more and the second was set against it crosswise, and there the Devil, caged within coin and crucifix, was stuck fast...