Winter’s Holme went very well – I stuck to the descriptions of winter and festivities around it. Few picked up on the scandalous sub-text. This calls to mind a line in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, always winter but never Christmas. A casual line (well-remembered) that explains well the Western myth that places Jerusalem at the centre of creation and the Earth at the centre of the universe. Depictions of other societies (no matter how prettified) might benefit from wiping that slate clean. Anyhow Winter’s Holme rolls back the smorgasbord that Christmas has become and, for good measure, places the the idea that women control their bodies – as was once the case in many nomadic societies – at the centre.
Festivities are pretty much over. A death in the family plus an increase in business activity is putting a brake on things however, work on the my latest piece: The Turning Stone has evolved into The Quest of Enekele. The Quest of Enekele is partly set in Central Asia. It describes how a spell that has kept great evil at bay for thousands of years is unwittingly broken, and how the guardians, set to prevent this happening, are subverted.
Talking of nomads introduces the desire to know more. They were moved around a great deal by the Mongols – something less well known in the West than it ought to be. This resettlement left the Uzbeks pretty close to the Central Asian setting for The Quest of Enekele which is more or less towards Urumqi. While checking around traditional Uzbek music, I came across this video by Sevara Nazarkhan. She definitely gets my vote.
Just finished Man of the Cloth which should offend pretty much everyone who reads it. Still debating whether to stick it in my upcoming collection: Under Winter’s Bough. The running order for this collection is:
and the theme is winter.
I haven’t forgotten Burnley Literary festival and Sufi music. It will come to pass.