Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Algonquin Tea Company

I am always being contacted by the most interesting people! Here’s the website of an organic tea company in Canada which is also an amazing community: http://www.algonquintea.com/. Apparently several people there – young and not so young – liked The Book of Dreams, the fourth and final instalment in The Chronicles of Faerie. This thrilled me to bits as that book is my favourite of all my books; plus, they are sending me a packet of tea. (Hurrah, says the tea granny.) I am hoping to visit the community when I’m in Ontario in the Fall. And may I just point out that here is more proof of my contention in The Book of Dreams that there be magic in Canada!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Busy Bee

Lordy, not much time to blog these days as I gear up for my American tour. Spent all day yesterday shopping with Findabhair -- summer clothes for her and nice bits and pieces for me. I am really getting excited about the whole thing. The new revised edition of The Summer King is now out in the US and should be available shortly in the UK, Eire, Australia, and New Zealand. It is almost double in size and a far superior book to the original. I do hope my Canadian publishers will bring it out soon in Canada. Meanwhile check out my latest great news on my book blog. I've been named a Top Ten Fantasy for Youth in the USA, hurrah!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Citizens of the World

A friend in Seattle is involved in this amazing programme and I thought I would blog it: www.globalcitizenjourney.org. The problem with the news media is that it either keeps us in a state of terror and despair by telling us everything that is wrong in the world, or it attempts to stupefy us with inanities. Judging by television and newspaper reports, the forces of chaos and darkness are winning - war, corruption, murder, greed, genocide, the wholesale destruction of nature - and we are not told of the gains by the other side, both small and large. We need a balance. We need to know that there are as many solutions as there are problems; that there is good in the world struggling away, no matter the odds.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dawn Chorus

Have redeemed myself for failing to get up early for the Easter service on Bray Head! Yes indeed, I did get up at 4:00 a.m. this morning to travel from a friend's house in Glendalough to meet up with Birdwatch Ireland at the Upper Lake car park to hear the dawn chorus. Apparently similar groups were meeting all over Ireland as May is the best time for such an event. Despite rainy drizzle and the mist rolling through the valley, two lots of about thirty people headed off bravely on a walk led by ornithologists. They identified the various calls and birdsong of robins, wrens, chaffinches, song thrushes, jackdaws, great tits, and blue tits. My favourite, as always, was the hoarse cooing of the wood pigeons. There was also an occasional squawk from a wild pheasant. We were told things I didn't know about birds. What a hard life they live -- most don't survive beyond 12 months -- yet there they are, singing their hearts out. Meanwhile, I made some notes for those scenes in The Light-Bearer's Daughter set in Glendalough.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

USA Tour

I've posted some details of my American Tour, June 4-26, on my book blog. Do pop over and see! (Click on book blog above.) I'm really looking forward to meeting readers all over the States. The second book in the revised Chronicles of Faerie series -- The Summer King -- is due out this month in the US and UK/Ireland/Australia/New Zealand, along with the paperback edition of The Hunter's Moon. I'll be promoting both on my tour.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Call

Why have a yearning for destiny? the poet Rilke asks in the Duino Elegies. I say because we are driven by a need to have meaning, to be more than something small that creeps upon the earth, waiting to die. My soul yearns for a big life, a mythic purpose. Some dried-up poop of a critic once referred to my writing as "Melling's terrified flight from mundanity." No shame there! I don't want to be ordinary. Why squander the great gift of existence on a petty life? Stand before the mystery and cry "Here I am! Let me make a difference! Let me do some good! Let me serve creation!"

Thursday, May 04, 2006

All That Jazz

Got to two events at the Bray Jazz Festival last weekend. The best was Niwel Tsumbu at the Town Hall. From the Congo and now living in Cork, he is a young guitarist of astounding talent who composes most of his own material. I was deeply moved by one of the pieces as images of Africa played through my mind. Then he announced it was called "Country" and was about his homeland. I hope he is happy here in Ireland. The other event was closer to traditional jazz and reminded me of my Dad who was a jazz musician. He played the big bass, or bass fiddle as some call it, and he loved the likes of Grapelli, Ellington, Goodman, Reinhardt et. al.

Monday, May 01, 2006

From Rumi

Wake up!
Our ship has been ice-bound long enough,
The time has come to sail the open seas.