The storytelling animal: an extract from ‘The Enchanted Life’

It’s just two weeks now until The Enchanted Life is officially published. In some ways, it seems like an age has passed since I handed the final manuscript over to my editor at the beginning of October; in other ways it seems all too recent, as I find myself some days still in the throes of what my husband calls ‘post-book traumatic stress disorder’.

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What the Storyteller Knows (Grey Heron Nights 12)

Yes, there’s some overlap in these recent posts; after all, I’m making it up as I go along. Each early morning with a notebook brings a new set of reflections to add to the soup. Dream-makers, memory-keepers, storytellers – in a sense, they’re all part of the same thing. But they each have different gifts, and each of those gifts is critical at this time in its own unique way.

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What the Dream-makers Know (Grey Heron Nights 10)

Well, we’re back to caves again. You can’t get too much cave, at midwinter. At this time of year I feel very bear-like, drawn to the warm darkness of my dreaming-cave. It’s a time for dreaming, for sure. For me, this year is a time for dreaming up new stories, letting the voices dream their way into me. It’s a bit of a hibernatory time, curling up in bed for an hour before sleeping with a book that makes me dream of better worlds. It’s a time for incubating dreams of all kinds.

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What Old Bone Mother Knows (Grey Heron Nights 8)

Do you feel it in your bones? A sense that something has shifted, that the world has turned? The dark is far from over, but it’s no longer rising. Something new is coming; something new is ready to be birthed.

But there you are, still in the darkness; still hunkered down in the cave. And caves, as I wrote in If Women Rose Rooted, are ‘the black, chasmal mouths of the Otherworld; the gateways to transformation – the deep and enduring transformations which are delivered from exposure to the darkest of places. The night-filled, fecund womb-places of the Earth – out of them we are reborn.’

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What the Death Mother Knows (Grey Heron Nights 3)

Featured image: Morrigu, by Jillian Tamaki

In May of this year, while we were still settling into our new place in Connemara, and before we were really ready to receive guests, Death walked into our house and, uninvited, sat down at the table.

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