By Sylvia Linsteadt and Rima Staines
A post-apocalyptic novel rooted deep in the folkloric traditions of Old Europe, and set in a wildly re-imagined Northern California
Monday, 15 February 2016
Tea & A Book
Hello dear readers,
We are truly staggered, and thrilled, and so grateful, for each and every one of you & your incredible support! There are now over 300 of you wild souls who have joined the Tatterdemalion caravan, and we really can't wait to share the book with you. Here in California, the weather is unseasonably warm and everywhere the flowers are starting to bloom. The plum trees are all a white froth, and the petals fall in a wind like snow. The wild irises are pushing up their purple faces in the coastal hills. The milkmaids and wild strawberry flowers are just opening. The pink-flowering currants are heady chandeliers. The calendula flowers are a thousand suns. It feels like Tatterdemalion is of a part with this blossoming and blooming, this growing toward fruition-- we are 64% of the way to our publication goal, thanks to your magnificent help.
But we still have a fair bit of road ahead of us, so if you have any family, friends or loved ones who you think might enjoy Tatterdemalion, now would be a wonderful, brilliant time to share the word! The sooner we reach the end (the mountain top? The apricot tree heavy with fruit?), the sooner the book can be in your hands!
On that note, we've added a few new lovely items to our various pre-order options. I am especially excited about our Tea & A Book bundle, which includes a hardcover book and a tin of Forest Campfire Tea (to invoke and honor all the spirits in the novel and on the land, from the talking Juniper Tree to the wheeled woman who lives in the treetops). This tea is a blend of Russian Caravan black tea, boreal chaga mushrooms, bishop pine tips and California poppy petals, meant to be sipped in silence over these wild words, to transport you to ancient northern campfires, to soothe and uplift you with the fresh tastes of California...
We've also just added The Bard, a very special level which includes a really gorgeous high quality gliceé print of one of Rima's paintings from Tatterdemalion, and a one-of-a-kind, quill-written poem by me, on a subject of your choice. So, if you can think of anyone who might be interested in either of these two wonderful new pre-order levels-- or if you yourself feel like snatching up a tea while they are around-- go ahead and have a look!
On the subject of Books and Tea (because really, what is better than the two, together?) I wanted to leave you with a few book recommendations, titles that have been nourishing me these late winter days, words that stoke and fuel my own fires, in the hopes that they might do the same for some of you.
* Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales : A wonderful collection of Baba Yaga stories from the far corners of Russia, in an updated (and really excellent) translation by Sibelan Forrester. It's a beautiful book to hold, with a collection of illustrations from around the world and spanning several centuries throughout (including one by Rima Staines herself!). The book also features a pretty thorough introductory essay about the Baba Yaga in myth & history, which I found quite thrilling.
* The Word for World is Forest, by Ursula Le Guin : I am actually not finished with this book yet, but I'm so excited about it I had to include it here. Ursula Le Guin is a beautiful writer; she manages to fill such simple lines with so much poetry. Even in other worlds, on other planets, I can feel her roots in California, and her knowledge of California Indian peoples and lanaguages, shining through. I am constantly inspired by her work. (Her Earthsea triology is one of the most beautiful and magical pieces of fiction and philosophy that I know.)
* The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind & Ecology, by Robert Bringhurst : This book is one of my bibles, so to speak, a collection of truly brilliant essays written by a poet about the ecology of language itself; about how poetry is inherent in every level of the universe, from plant to stone to robin, and that our handling of it is just an old remembering, or recognition, of an ancient pattern and way of being. These essays are quite philosophical, sometimes heady, but so incredibly rewarding. (You might like to drink a stout cup of Assam with this book, to sharpen your wits!)
Sending you all love, and gratitude, and happy reading,
I'm so excited to watch your project unfold. Thank you for the book recommendations; I have not read The Tree of Meaning and can't wait to do so. In return, I would like to suggest another beautiful and inspiring book, "Witchcraft Medicine" by Christian Ratsch et al.: a well-researched and engaging book on the old European medicine traditions by three German anthropologists. As I am sitting by the woodstove and looking out on trees and ground coated with ice here in my frigid Appalachian forest I am visualizing your beautiful blooming flowers and waiting for your story. Thanks
posted 16th February 2016
Thank you for this lovely note Joie! I do know and love Christian Ratsch's Witchcraft Medicine; thank you for the reminder. Woodstove & ice outside sound quite cosy to me right now. Enjoy the dark and quiet time while it lasts. x Sylvia
posted 16th February 2016
I've just read the beautiful prose you wrote about Spring in California. How I wish we were there with you. Thank you for the book recommendation, dear Syliva. I intend to order a copy. You must be so excited to know that your book will soon metamorphose. It must be fun choosing a cover and deciding if it should be pruned at all.....Heather
posted 29th March 2016