Welcome to my 50th newsletter! Whether you've been with us since the first one or recently joined, MaryAnn and I are grateful for your interest and support.
In November we finally released a digital edition of my first Newford collection, Dreams Underfoot (1993). One of my personal favourites, this is the book I usually recommend when asked by new readers where to start with my work-and with Newford in particular-as it features the first appearances of the repertory cast that wanders through so many of my stories and novels. This link will take you to the online stores that carry it:
Thank you so much for your support for The Wind in His Heart—whether you bought it in print, ebook, or audio format. Many of you were also gracious enough to leave positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc., which are so helpful in gaining me new readers. What every author wants more than anything is to tell a good story, so I'm grateful that the novel resonated with you and for your kindness in helping to spread the word.
I won't make you wait another eight years for a new adult novel. In fact, we should have at least one new Newford book out in 2018. Yes, you read that right. I thought I wouldn't return to Newford, but it drew me back in like a comfy pair of old jeans, and the stories continue to flow. There are complete, if still early, drafts of four short novels and I'm now working on a fifth. MaryAnn's working on her edit of the first one, and then I'll do some more polishing before we have our beta readers and proofreaders give it a go. Stay tuned to this newsletter and my social media for updates.
Carolyn Turgeon and the other editors at Faerie Magazine recently released an absolutely scrumptious
book: The Faerie Handbook: An Enchanting Compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects. I can see this having the same impact on
a new generation of readers as Brian Froud and Alan Lee's Faeries did way back in 1978. It's brimful of everything faerie, from gorgeous art
to any number of fascinating tidbits of lore, with plenty of hands-on projects to while away the winter months.
Our Johnny now has his own Instagram page where he chats about whatever comes to mind. We don't know if this should be encouraged, but you can find him at:
Those same musings are also on my YouTube channel:
Tis the season for Yuletide songs, so I'll share links to a few of my fav artists that you might not know. The first two are offering new songs to stream or download for free, though it wouldn't hurt to leave them a tip:
She's a singer-songwriter from the UK who has a gorgeous voice, a gift for lyric and melody, and a fine ear when she covers a traditional song.
Throughout the year, Kelly and Luis of L.A.-based The Dollyrots provide me with a regular fix of punk-pop that always gets my foot tapping and makes me smile. This year they cover the Wham! classic, "Last Christmas."
And their 2014 Christmas EP is still available as a name-your-price release:
If you're familiar with this Scottish singer-songwriter, you'll know how talented she is and why she's sold over 12 million records. After her grandmother passed away, Amy wrote on her Facebook page: "Dedicated to my Nana, the single is raising money and awareness for Alzheimer's Research UK, so please do consider downloading the track or donating here: https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/amy/ Thank you!"
It's a lovely piece of music that's well worth adding to your musical library. I know it's one I'll be playing every Christmas.
No Yule-related material with this final release, just fantastic music. This band is so old school they don't have digital tracks for sale, so you'll have to buy the CD and rip it yourself. They're well worth the investment because they have the same level of musicianship and interplay between the instruments as you might find with Lúnasa or The Bothy Band. However you listen to their music, you'll be delighted with the infectious blend of fiddle and accordion that leads us through a terrific set of tunes. Here's a teaser:
And they're not absolute Luddites because you can order the CD from their website:
Holiday and New Year's wishes!
Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, MaryAnn and I send you our brightest wishes for a happy holiday season. These are trying times, with natural disasters piling on top of manmade ones, all of which makes it a worrisome era, but we wish you a break from bad news and hope that you'll have a chance to get some downtime and recharge. Spend time with those you love, read, go out in nature, have fun, and spoil your pets and each other with affection. Most of all, remember to nurture and take care of each other. All the best in 2018, and thank you for being the best readers I could ever wish for.
Let me leave you with this quote from musician Beth Bombara: "I know it's a busy season. Take a deep breath and think about the things that have made you happy this past year. Try to fill 2018 with more of those things."
Charles, MaryAnn and Johnny
P.S. MaryAnn suggested I include a poem I wrote for the season. I don't mind if you share it elsewhere, but please be sure to attribute to me, and include my copyright notice.
Greybeard sleeps in the cedar roots,
mice and voles nest in his messy hair.
His summer girl has flown
south with the monarchs
where sunlight is nectar.
Her green hair shimmers in the sunsets,
bare feet leave journals in the sand.
Greybeard writes his own diary
with berried ink
and sharpened twig pens.
He writes of frost and grey skies,
and shafts of sun,
bright and gay, then gone;
He writes of cutting his finger
on the sharp edge
of the waning quarter moon;
He writes of the songs
the mice sing in the bitter cold,
remnants of summer.
And that reminds him
of his summer girl,
while the snow falls steady.
It buries him in his nest of roots
where he cracks seeds between his teeth,
for the return of the geese
for then she'll come too,
her brown hair showing green roots
and blossoms spilling
from their tangled locks.
he lets his breathing slow,
sleeps with voles and mice in his nest
beneath the ice and snow,
beneath the memory of long summer days
and dreams of his wild girl
standing o'er him saying,
"Wake up, sleepyhead!"
Copyright © 2017 by Charles de Lint