A Ghost in Cornwall
This land is my memories. For two thousand years this valley has been mine alone.
I know every rock, every stream and every tree. I know the forces that shape this land and the people who inhabit it.
A billion years ago this land was a migratory trail for the animals of Western Europe. They roamed freely across the huge land of one continent. Millennia passed as the rivers washed silt to the ocean and the sun raised rain to the sky. At that time the mass of Eurasia was joined. The tectonic plates shifted and islands formed, raising proud, green peninsulas on green water, thrust out to the ocean. Long before my time the forces of nature battled along the coasts of Western Europe. From the Southwest, the Gulf Stream warmed and opened the land with summer heat. From the north, ice raged and cracked the rock of what would become the British Isles.
The land tells me it was an epic struggle. The generous heat of earth, venting her spleen, the wash of the water, cooling and circulating air. Rain succoured the land and ran back to the sea, endless cycles, repeating endlessly. The earth shifted, chasms opened and the sea swept in, submerging areas and separating the islands of Britain and Ireland from the mainland.
Spouts of boiling lava spewed from the molten centre of earth to create granite formations, a source of wonder till the end of time. A great rift opened up what is now the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea, separating the land into distinct areas. Many characteristics still connect Brittany, Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall. Their joining can still be seen in place and people. But veins of power run through the sea, a matrix of energy criss-crosses the land and reaches out around our planet.
The Phoenicians, Egyptians and Greeks journeyed to these coasts even before the Iron Age, in search of Keltic wisdom, since long before the time of my youth. They followed the trail of gold and wisdom across the sea to Cornwall and then to Wales and Ireland. Later, tin trade followed these routes across Brittany and the journeys of wise men and saints to the west of land, the land of setting sun, of Gods and the quest for immortality that haunts us all. Ships and boats from the French and Spanish coasts often sailed to rivers on the south coast of Cornwall in search of trade and journey with the friendly and civilised Keltii, hopefully avoiding the pirates that have ravaged these coasts for millennia.
2000 years ago I was killed trying to save my mother from Portuguese raiders on the river, who stole the gold that came from Ireland. My story is located in the valley of one of these rivers, now called 'River Fowey'. It is a story that I have not been able to tell until now. My own story starts with the visit of Jesus of Nazareth to the river Fowey in 30 AD (according to the Julian Calendar and allowing for a seven year miscalculation). He was twenty three years old. He journeyed on a vision quest to the west-of-land, in search of the wisdom of the Keltii and union with his father spirit. I have spent much time thinking about this moment and my brief encounter with a man who claimed to be Son of God. For hundreds of years I puzzled at his smile, the light in his gaze. He had a quality of being rare in the extreme, an utter and unconditional compassion for all life.
Who am I? A ghost; Fintan, born 2000 years ago and caught in the matrix of nature unable to tell my story until now. I am here, waiting for you.
A Cornish ghost story, 'The Lily' available only at www.simonthescribe.co.uk/Lily.html">http://www.simonthescribe.co.uk/Lily.html
The Portland Press Herald, based in Stephen King's home state of Maine, had decided to stop running reviews of local books.
After King expressed dismay, the paper challenged him to get 100 followers to buy digital subscriptions.
His fans did not disappoint him, prompting the paper to pledge that "book reviews will return."
Francine du Plessix Gray, a French-American writer who, in her novels and journalism, explored the complexities of cultural identity, the obstacles confronting women seeking their place in the world and her own privileged but anguished early life, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 88.
In what the Authors Guild is calling the "largest survey of U.S. professional writers ever conducted," the organization reports the median income published American authors received for all writing-related activity in 2017 was $6,080 in 2017, down from $10,500 in the guild's 2009 survey. The survey further found that the median income for specifically book-related income for published authors declined 21%, to $3,100, in 2017 from $3,900 in 2013 and just over 50% from 2009's median book earnings of $6,250....
Lin-Manuel Miranda and three of his Hamilton collaborators have purchased New York City's beloved Drama Book Shop, which had celebrated its 100th birthday last year but announced in the fall it would close this month because of a large rent increase...
They bought the store from Rozanne Seelen, whose husband, the late Arthur Seelen, had acquired it in 1958. She "sold it for the cost of the remaining inventory, some rent support in the store's final weeks, and a pledge to retain her as a consultant," the Times wrote.
Future bookseller Lin-Manuel Miranda
"It's the chronic problem--the rents were just too high, and I'm 84 years old--I just didn't have the drive to find a new space and make another move," she said. "Lin-Manuel and Tommy are my white knights."
Irish novelist Sally Rooney, 27, has become the youngest author ever to win the Costa Novel Award, triumphing for her second novel Normal People, a coming-of-age love story the judges said "will electrify any reader."
Celebrating "the most enjoyable books" across five different categories, the judges of the Costa Book Awards 2018 also selected Stuart Turton for The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Published in the US as the The 7 1/2 Deaths...), Bart van Es for The Cut Out Girl, J O Morgan for Assurances (not yet published in the US), and Hilary McKay for The Skylarks' War (US title: Love to Everyone) to be the respective winners of the prizes' First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book awards.
Brian Garfield, award-winning author, screenwriter and film producer, died December 29. He was 79. After publishing his first title, Range Justice, when he was 18, Garfield went on to write more than 70 books--westerns, mysteries and nonfiction. Nineteen films are based on his writings, including Death Wish. His violence-free and Edgar Award-winning novel Hopscotch was written in response to the vigilantism of Death Wish.
PWxyz, parent company of Publishers Weekly, has acquired the online magazine the Millions, plus its website TheMillions.com, for an undisclosed price.
The Millions was founded in 2003 by Max Magee and offers coverage of books, arts, and culture aimed at a consumer audience. Magee had been its editor until 2016, when Lydia Kiesling took over the role. Moving forward, Adam Boretz, a longtime editor at PW, who also served at the Millions as Magee's associate editor, will become editor of the Millions, and will be promoted to senior editor at PW. Kiesling will continue to be involved in various capacities.
Amos Oz, the renowned Israeli author whose work captured the characters and landscapes of his young nation, and who matured into a leading moral voice and an insistent advocate for peace with the Palestinians, died on Friday. He was 79.
His death was announced by his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, who wrote on Twitter that he had died after a short battle with cancer, "in his sleep, peacefully."
This coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status ' - a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control.
Many thousands of works are due to enter the public domain including those by Marcel Proust, Willa Cather, D. H. Lawrence, Agatha Christie, Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, P. G. Wodehouse, Rudyard Kipling, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens...
The sudden deluge of available works traces back to legislation Congress passed in 1998, which extended copyright protections by 20 years.... Now that the term extension has run out, the spigot has been turned back on. Each January will bring a fresh crop of novels, plays, music and movies into the public domain...
Audrey Geisel, 97, philanthropist and wife of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, died on December 19.
Petite and often understated, she was a fierce protector of her husband's creations and legacy, and a major donor to institutions he supported and helped to flourish, including UC San Diego and the San Diego Zoo. She founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 1993 to maintain the Dr. Seuss trademark.
Cathy Goldsmith, president and publisher of Random House Children's Dr. Seuss program, said, "Audrey had such a quick wit and smart sense of humor, which made her a pleasure to work with and be around. I will always remember her sparkle. Audrey could light up a room, and I know that her brightness found its way into Ted's work, and her tireless advocacy for his books and our publishing."