Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Magical Winter's Read

I thought I would mention a collection of early Welsh tales which I recently finished re-reading which pre-date both Geoffrey of Monmouth and Chretien de Troyes known as the Mabinogi. Around the holidays I always pick one of the old texts out of my library and dive in - perhaps it is the sense of magic and tradition that surrounds Christmas time that draws me to these texts. Last year it was Dante's Divine Comedy, this year my heart returned to Arthurian tradition and I was not disappointed.

I had indeed forgotten what a great read the tales of the Mabinogi truly are. The Welsh Triads are among the most transporting tales, especially Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed. It is not a lengthy tale but long enough to enjoy as you sit with your favourite glass of something beside your burning Yule log. Pwyll entrances the reader with the Prince's meeting with and marriage to Rhiannon, an otherworldly princess who is usually equated with the horse goddess, Epona. I won't tell you any more in case you are inclined to read it but this tale is full of Celtic archtypes that illustrate the richness of the Welsh, Arthurian tradition. As you read this, you will be transported into the Celtic otherworld of Annwn where time is not what it seems and where a mortal can live a dream beside animals of legend.

Here's wishing that those who celebrate it have had a magnificent Christmas and Yuletide and may you all have a 2010 that is full of good fortune, happiness and of course, magic.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Saturnalia!

Salvete, readers! Whoever you may be. I'm back from black oblivion the other side of the dark river. No, I didn't die and go on a pleasure cruise with Acheron (which would be frightening enough) but my computer certainly did die and I, like Odysseus seeking Tyresias' wisdom, made a terrifying, uncertain journey across the Styx into the strange world of leaky capacitors, and dead motherboards. I had thought that technology was my friend but in this unknown realm of computer mortification I was haunted by the ghosts of files not backed up, including part of my new book.

Thankfully, Peter the computer guy, was able to perform a feat of Aesclepian proportions and resuscitate my computer. We're back in the land of the wired and connected living and I have learned a very valuable lesson from blind Tyresias: BACK UP ALL FILES REGULARLY! Seeing as I don't have an army of monks copying things out for me in the drafty hall of some Romanesque monastery, dvds shall have to suffice.

At any rate, I'm back on the blog and the files are saved. Happy Saturnalia!