Friday, 12 July 2013

Mermaids, Dragons & Fairy Rings

Magpie Fairy by Artist Josephine Wall
The fairy ring started to grow, tethering itself to my every thought ...

I had learnt a lot whilst working on The Dragon Tree. My Individual Mainline Grant from the Arts Council of Wales had enabled me take time out of my crazy work schedule, where ordinarily, I spend my life supporting different communities within the arts, having my own space to create was a rather gorgeous feeling, like coming home to myself.
Fairy's Fairy By Artist Josephine Wall
I decided a good place to start the creative process for The Tethered Fairy Ring would be by looking at the things I had enjoyed the most and thinking about what I would have done differently ... without cramping the flow and excitement of ideas and still allowing the fairy ring in my head, to do its' thing.
 Oak Fairy by Artist Josephine Wall
So, in a way, it felt as though I was letting the fairy ring grow on  her own creative journey, around the roots of my Dragon tree. It felt like a lovely natural way to move into my next story.

When I first started writing The Tethered Fairy Ring, it was very much coming straight off the back of The Dragon Tree. The Dragon Tree ends with a young lad called Hope on the rocks dancing, bit like the red shoes, not able to stop, and the Goddess of All Mermaids, offers him one of her scales, to enable him to go on a journey to find himself ... in The Dragon Tree, he says he's not ready to go on the journey and the book ends with the mermaid telling him to shout to the sea for her should he change his mind.
Silken Spells by Artist Josephine Wall
I knew therefore, that The Tethered Fairy Ring would start with a small boy on the rocks at the seaside in New Quay, West Wales and I knew it would end at the Tethered Fairy Ring, which would be growing around The Dragon Tree .. but as the story took it's own life, the links between the two books became less obvious and merely hinted at, so that if you have read The Dragon Tree book, you will have a few ... Ahhh, Oh, I get it ... moments.

In fact, having written this blog here for you, I have today decided to slip in a few subtle back references. I feel able to play around a bit with the storyline, now that I know it.

I also knew there would be a character called POP (Pockets of Poison: see earlier blog) I  knew how he was dressed, what his voice sounded like and he was the first clear character in my mind.
I think I saw a Fairy: By Artist Josephine Wall
I knew that rosary peas of red and black would feature in the story line, like the ones that Bob Edwards had taken out of his pockets and shown me in the Gallery.

We know how and why the fairies came into the storyline, (probably because they wanted to, fairies can be a bit pushy like that sometimes! wink)
... but what about the other characters?
Where did Grandma originate from?
Why dolphins?
and who is The Painted Lady Butterfly?

And then today, after posting the blog about Bruce as The Waxcap Wizard, I'm thinking it would be rather cool to make him into a character in the storyline, he needs to be there ... it's like the Wizard in the story has shown himself to me today ...
Copyright Source Unknown
I can visualise him stepping forward in my mind & coughing under his breath, with his hand clenched to his mouth.
            'Ha hum ... excuse me, yes, you there! I'm just checking you haven't forgotten about me, The Waxcap Wizard. I should be in the story line, don't you think?
           'Oh, yes, off course, sorry Sir. You're absolutely right, but where will I write you in?'
           'Well,' he says to me, 'I was rather thinking that the best place for me in the story line would be ...'    
But I won't tell you exactly what he said because that would kind of ruin the storyline for you ... but you get the idea!
So, you see, I didn't even have to worry about where he would fit into the story (wink) All I had to do was ask him in my mind's eye, and he told me!

Foto by Paul Schutzer 1962 at The Berlin Wall
You know, I am smiling to myself right now. This daydreaming mallarki was exactly the kind of thing that use to get a gal in trouble. When sat in school, I would gaze from the window and imagine all sorts, until a harsh voice reminded me just how important a slide rule was going to be in my life! (If you're a young person, you are now wondering, what is a slide rule! PRECISELY! & If you're my age, you're now smiling too, thinking ... yeah, why did we bother learning how to use that!) But what Maths Teachers need to remember, is that Day Dreaming for some, is the only escape; the only hope left!
Before telling you about the other characters in The Tethered Fairy Ring & how they popped up, I feel it's right to say a bit about the musical composition & how I came to compose a Symphonic Poem & Overture for my gang of L'il Ol' Ukuleles ... And luckily enough, as if the Wizard himself had planned it, that's exactly what my next blog will be about.

 NB: The beautiful fairy paintings are by an artist called Josephine Wall. I found her work on the internet and went to her website. Under licencing on her site, she very kindly gives people permission to use her work for not for profit websites, blogs etc ...  as long as she is credited and there is a link to her website: 
I'm sure you'll agree, her work is absolutely stunning.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait for the next instalment. I bet Bruce turns out to be the "good" guy!