Endicott Mythic Fiction discussion

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The Wood Wife > The Wood Wife - Who's In?

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message 1: by Odette (last edited Mar 01, 2010 04:48PM) (new)

Odette | 316 comments Mod
Anyone reading The Wood Wife this month?
If you're a fan of the Endicott books, this is a must-read since it's written by one of the founders, Terri Windling.

I read it a while back & loved it, & I'm happy to revisit it this month.

message 2: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 56 comments I've also read this one, but it's one of my favorites.

message 3: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments this is one of my favorites too. (smiles) i wish she'd write another novel!

message 4: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments I discovered it last year, thanks to the Endicott Studio web site, and it's been on my "books to read again" list ever since. Thanks for accepting my choice this month. Odette, are you still planning to ask Terri if she'll join a conversation with us at end of month? That would be fun! She has a lovely blog, you know, with photos of the English countryside where she lives.

message 5: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments that'd be really cool to talk with her about the wood wife.
odette, do you know her? does she know about our group?

ramona-i love her blog too. lately she's been posting her beautiful older mythic sketches. her blog makes me want to move to england. where she lives looks right out of the old stories, doesn't it?

message 6: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 29 comments It has been years since I read it, but I really enjoyed it when I did

message 7: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Yes, she can walk in that world every day. I felt that way when I visited Wales and Ireland on a hiking trip. I felt instantly at home, like I knew the places.

message 8: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments i've never been to wales or ireland, though i feel very drawn there. i love your description of them. i've never quite found a place that feels like home to me. and i'd really like to. where in wales and ireland did you go? i am planning to go to the uk sometime in the next 6 months and maybe even study there, if i can figure out where and how...i'd love to walk in that world everyday! wasn't it hard for you to leave? or do you like where you live here too?

message 9: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments It was over 20 years ago, on a Sierra Club hiking trip. I'd strongly recommend researching places and planning before you go. I went again a few years later with my daughter but didn't plan and wasted a lot of time there just trying to find things. The Sierra trip had a local guide in Wales which made a huge difference. We hiked to standing stones and ley lines, among other spots, starting in Swansea and going northwestward to Snowdonia. In Ireland, we focused on the Ring of Kerry and the Burren, but if I went back I'd go to Galway for sure. Read Jan Morris' "Wales: Epic Views of a Small Country" and you'll be booking a ticket before you finish the book. There are many great books about traveling in Ireland, too. I enjoyed Patricia Monaghan's "The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit," which is her travelogue through ancient and modern goddess sites in Ireland. Magical! I envy you going for the first time, though I know my next time will be magical too, whenever that happens.

message 10: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments thanks ramona. i haven't been able to figure out which books to get, so i really appreciate you telling me about these.

i didn't realise that ley lines were real. i feel silly. i read about them in Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country and i thought they were part of the magick world...

message 11: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Well, once you start looking, you see them. The idea of ley lines fits into the concept of perceiving the land as a living entity with dragon energy flowing from point to point. We can reawaken our ability to perceive these subtle energies in our bodies. YOu can purchase British Ordnance maps, very detailed maps of the countryside that note just about every local stone and landmark. You see the connections, how landscape features and standing stones and ancient structures, including old churches, line up. It's fascinating, and loads of fun to discuss in the local pubs. Just get the Ordnance maps of the places you'll be hiking in. Stop for refreshment at the pub, spread out your map, and prepare to be entertained.

message 12: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments It is luscious! Thanks, Baobhan!

message 13: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments thanks for explaining, ramona. that sounds fascinating and fun. why is it dragon energy? i will get those ordnance maps!

and thanks, baobhan. that looks really cool! love that description.

message 14: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Thanks for your curiousity, Emilie! Worldwide folklore points to a near-universal belief in dragons. For example, China's veneration of dragons and their whole science of feng shui, the energy of the earth. It runs in channels underground and people tried to direct in various ways to benefit agriculture, water supplies, and so on. Supposedly the ley lines mark energy paths that run underground. There's a Brit who's been doing research on this for years: http://www.pauldevereux.co.uk/. Paul takes a hard-headed look at phenomena like earth energies and ley lines. There's a lot of good info on his web site. Have fun! (Oh, I should have written "ordnance survey maps", or OS maps as they're referred to in the UK. Just what it sounds like--a very careful inventory of the countryside to find bombs and such that fell in WWII and didn't explode. See http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osweb... where you can order them. If you going to hike the countryside, they're indispensable.)

message 15: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Lloyd (pameladlloyd) | 45 comments The Wood Wife is a lot of fun; I've read it at least twice, maybe more. It's very vivid for me, since I live in Tucson.

Thanks, Baobhan, for that link; it's a gorgeous site. I love the gnarled, moss-covered trees in the most recent post.

message 16: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments thanks for the links, ramona. i've been away from internet all day, sorry it took me so long to respond.
i hope i'm not asking too many questions, but does this mean that they equate earth energy with dragon energy?
in this folklore did the literal dragons die and become an energy source of the earth?

i'll check out both those sites. this is really fascinating. and i've always loved reading about dragons in fiction, now i want to learn more about dragons in folklore. i can't wait to go for the hikes and to sit in a pub and spread out my OS map and listen to tales! thank you! okay, so one more question-does that mean you need to be on the look out for bombs and such that didn't explode when hiking in UK?

message 17: by Odette (last edited Mar 03, 2010 10:24PM) (new)

Odette | 316 comments Mod
Thanks, Ramona. I just emailed Ms. Windling. I'll post her response when I hear back.
The hiking advice & links sound absolutely wonderful!

message 18: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Emilie, you ask some great questions, and I'm no expert on dragons or dragon energy, so please delve into the sources. It's definitely a riddle whether there were literal dragons or the magical practices around dragon energy were so powerful that people believed they saw dragons, and it would be fascinating to follow that riddle through the folklore. As I said, it's been a while since I was in the UK, but I don't think you need to be concerned about unexploded ordnance. And I hope that you will find, as I did, great little bookshops where you can discover books on local folklore that aren't available in the US. Oh, I just thought of this, since we're reading a novel set in the Southwest US, when I lived in New Mexico I learned that some of the Pueblo Indians there have a very strong tradition of serpent energy, which their medicine people work with to benefit all beings. I also heard people tell stories about giant snakes that were actually seen at certain times.

message 19: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Hey yourself, Dave. You guys really know how to do maps! Thanks for setting me straight on this.
We don't have that historical continuity on this continent, since the newcomers did all they could to wipe out the natives' landmarks. But those who take the trouble to go to the land can sometimes find traces. "The Wood Wife" is inspiring in this way, I think.

message 20: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Lloyd (pameladlloyd) | 45 comments Ramona, You're right about being able to find books on folklore that are not readily available here. I visited England, Scotland, and Wales over twenty-five years ago and I still have the wonderful book of local fold & fairytales I bought in Cambridge; I was young and had very little spending money, or I'd have brought back many more. All that said, it might be possible to order many of these books online. :)

BTW, I just noticed your reading recommendations in a much earlier post. Thanks! Those look interesting.

message 21: by Bill (new)

Bill (reedye) | 14 comments I'm sure if anyone wants any books from the UK they can't get, there would be a few of us willing to get it for you. Just ask.

message 22: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments dave, thanks for explaining about the ordnance survey and for relieving my worries.
i think what you said about_the wood wife_ is really interesting. it's one of my favorite books, and i've read it more then once. but i never really thought about how original that aspect of the book is. i agree with you, even living here, i tend to associate faery living in lush green areas with lots of water. and i agree with you, that though this is a beautiful picture, it shouldn't be the case that it's the only place that faery dwell. i think that the book is so well written that everything felt so real and natural to me, i didn't even think about it. it's good to be surprised by something i know and love. thanks!

ramona and pamela, oh! you are making me want to go right now! (smiles) that's cool that you both found treasures in the little book shops.

bill, thank you. that's very kind of you. maybe i will take you up on that someday!

message 23: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Emilie and other commenters, a terrific novel about pagan England is Brian Bates' "The Way of Wyrd." I found it "by accident" when I was in London over 20 years ago; our tour guide was reading it too. I spotted it in a book shop but the clerk didn't even know the price; she'd never seen it in the shop before (weird?). It's still in print, happily. It's been described as "Carlos Castaneda meets Tolkien."

message 24: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments thanks ramona. _the way of wyrd_ looks interesting.

message 25: by Reem (new)

Reem (reemhkattan) | 49 comments I will try to read it as soon as I get the chance to when I get to Florida, which will be in a couple of weeks or so.

message 26: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Blackwood | 3 comments Speaking of weird coincidences I was reading over some older posts that I'd missed from Rima Staines of The Hermitage http://intothehermitage.blogspot.com/ and she mentions Brian Bates The Way of the Wyrd and it has a website http://www.wayofwyrd.com/

Thought I'd pass it along since it keeps popping up.

message 27: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments Hilary, great links! Rima hasn't posted for quite a while, until this week, so thanks for noting her blog. Now I can enjoy catching up, too. Like Terri's, Rima's artwork is truly magical. I just noticed one of the links on her blog is to Eddie Lenihan's web site. He is a fabulous Irish storyteller and FOF (Friend of Faeries). Everyone, don't miss Eddie's book "Meeting the Other Crowd," his nonfiction stories about faeries in present-day Ireland. It's on Amazon.com.

message 28: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Lloyd (pameladlloyd) | 45 comments Thanks for the links, Hilary. I love Into the Hermitage. I'm going to have to see if I can get my hands on a copy of The Way of Wyrd.

message 29: by Ramona (last edited Mar 22, 2010 01:59PM) (new)

Ramona Gault | 84 comments After you finish this novel, be sure to read the essay by Niko Silvester "Madness, Shapechanging, and Art in Terri Windling's 'The Wood Wife'", archived on the Endicott Studio Web site: http://www.endicott-studio.com/wtrm/w....
PS: apparently this link doesn't work; not sure why note. Try going here: http://endicottstudio.typepad.com/art... and scroll down to the On Books and Writers section to find this essay.

message 30: by Emilie (new)

Emilie | 69 comments thanks for the link, ramona. that's an interesting essay.

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