Monday, January 25, 2010

Bounty for the first citizen's arrest on Tony Blair!

Today we are launching a new fund – – to reward people who attempt to arrest the former prime minister for his crimes in Iraq. George Monbiot has written the text - and it's his idea. My part is to design and manage the site. More on the website and George's blog.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Murals, myths and Mid-Wales

I'm hard at work writing The Drowning, and it's when you're deeply immersed in something that coincidences start to happen.

I was going to Borth (the village I drown in the book), and pulled up at random, by the sea front. I'd always known there were mosaics embedded in the wall at one point, but finding myself parked right beside them I took a closer look.

They depict two myths I am using in The Drowning. Here they are:

Mosaic by Pod Clare of the Cantre'r Gwaelod myth in Borth, Ceredigion, Wales

This is a mosaic by Pod Clare of the Cantre'r Gwaelod myth in Borth, Ceredigion, Wales. The myth tells of the drowning of Cardigan Bay when a prince meant to be keeping guard over the floodgates falls asleep, drunk on the job. On the right you can see the water flooding in to cover the land.

Mosaic by Pod Clare of the myth of the origin of Taliesin, in Borth, Ceredigion, Wales

This depicts the origin of Taliesin, and shows him being discovered floating in the reeds after his birth, by Elffin, the son of King Gwyddno Garanhir, 'Lord of Ceredigion', while fishing for salmon. As soon as he was found he announced that he was a poet, and began spouting poetry. The prince called him Shining Brow, which means Talisein, or blessed (radiant) one. Round the edge you can see the chase, when Ceridwen tried to kill him because he stole the special wisdom-bestowing broth meant for her ugly son, Avagddu. Using his new magical powers, Gwion, as he was then, turned himself into a hare, fish, bird and grain of corn. In turn, Ceridwen transformed into a greyhound, otter, hawk and hen, and pecked at the grain until she had swallowed Gwion.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Captain Britain - order it!

David Thorpe's work is in this Captain Britain omnibus• David has a profile on the new website for school visits Author Hotline.

And although it's behind schedule you can order the Captain Britain collection featuring his work from Marvel Comics, and while you're at it, the omnibus published last year

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ideas behind The Drowning

A note on the context of the writing of The Drowning, and the philosophical approach I'm taking to conceiving and writing the book.

It touches on the theme of how 'nature' is a human cultural construct - cf Simon Schama's brilliant book Landscape and Memory.

The two main characters in my novel epitomise opposing attitudes to 'nature':
• as a place in which you must survive, and therefore understand and know how to use, and
• as an unknown out-there-ness.

Climate change in my book presents a crisis that suggests to the reader that enduring, but changing, nature puts the brief period of  human 'civilisation' in its tiny context.

The book does this partly by using Welsh mythology and updating it.