Showing posts from July, 2014

A little bit very violent

Continuing the narcissism, this is my first attempt at recording a story (with croaky throat, battling off the germs of other people) on YouTube. The tale is a late written one, and somewhat bawdy and violent for any shrinking violets who may not cope with such things. There are a couple of mistakes halfway through, but I didn't want to have to record the whole thing again so am hoping if I don't mention them nobody will notice.....
It's a fun story and one that we (Clan Ogma, the druid group of which I am a part) performed live at Colchester's Leaping Hare pagan convention some years back. If anyone wants more academic or mystical reflections on the meaning and influences on the tale, I can write more of that later. For the moment, I'll just leave you to experience, and hopefully enjoy, the saga itself. If the response to this is positive, I will add more stories at a later date ~ both Celtic ones and those from further afield.

Glutton for punishment

A second recording, this time of one of my own poems from Bard Song.

An experiment

At the suggestion of my friend Pól I have created a YouTube channel to record stories, poems etc. that can be used partly to promote my books and increase sales, but also hopefully to help promote our local storytelling group. Plus I do know some people who have trouble reading (being dyslexic) and have often asked if recordings can be made available. I'm not the most technologically minded person, so this is all rather new and strange to me. Being the first recording it is probably full of mistakes and flaws but, if people want more and I am in a position to record more, hopefully they will become more polished in time.

This first recording is not my own poetry, but one of my favourite Shakespeare sonnets.

Eisteddfod 2014

Today was the fifth Suffolk Eisteddfod, an event I have been organising for several years now out at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village near Bury St Edmunds. The event was smaller this year than previously, due to the difficulty in drumming up enough interest from competitors. We had a decent turn out in terms of viewing public, and the weather was more bearable (for me) than the sweltering conditions last year.
The performances were of a high standard and, where some people compete in more than once, it is interesting to watch how their performance skills mature and develop over time. Sometimes the growth of skills is remarkably quick.
Beverley Price won the poetry contest with a very assured poem about a traumatic relationship, and Rachel O'Leary won the storytelling with a tale of the moon goddess's descent into the mires, blending elements of the myth of Inanna confronting her sister Erishkegal with a traditional Fenland story of the moon being kidnapped by boggarts.
The two wo…

Little bit of politics

During a week's holiday in Ireland I found myself being volunteered to tell stories at an evening entertainment geared towards introducing tourists to Irish songs, dance and Gaelic poetry. I can't remember ever feeling nervous about a performance before ~ but I suddenly had the sort of angst that Joyce Grenfell described in one of her biographical reflections when she was booked to perform in Vermont and wanted to do a sketch involving a local accent (she was fine doing it in any other country... but how would the native react to hearing a foreigner imitating their accent?)
I've told Irish myths and stories a hundred times over, sometimes with one or two Irish people in the audience. Yet the prospect of telling Irish tales in Ireland in front of so many natives raised the embarrassing prospect of watching them cringe every time I mispronounced a character's name ~ and given the range of dialects in Ireland, however I said the names was bound to sound wrong to at least…