Tag Archives: Writing

Meanwhile, in Diagon Alley…

In case you every wondered what writers do all day–well…we write, mostly. Even when there’s boggarts in the closet and nargles in the pub, we still scramble around and find ways to write and edit and do other writerly, blog-type things. To put it another way, the Blogengamot has all found ways of keeping busy while the Pubs been undergoing its exorcisms (if that’s the word I want).

Let me introduce you, if I may, to one of those other projects, a joint venture between Mr Pond (speaking!) and Jenna, as well as remarkable people like Katherine Langrish, friend of the Pub. Revgeorge has also been known to wander in from time to time. It’s a blog and literary journal called Unsettling Wonderdevoted to folklore and fairy tale of all types, but especially the slightly stranger, lesser-known, more unexpected types.

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Around the Common Room, October 2, 2011

A few things of note:

First, Pottermore has pushed back its opening date to the end of October. The delay can be expected to frustrate millions of fans worldwide; however, speaking as one of the beta testers, in my opinion they had no choice. Whatever they planned the servers to be able to handle, beta testing spent all of last week oversetting it in a major way. I can report, however, that last time I logged on, the site ran decidedly more smoothly than I had ever seen it. There is hope.

Perhaps harder for hopeful ebook readers to take, the Shop does not plan to open till the first half of 2012. The only consolation these readers have is that after years of hard-copy only, at least the ebooks have been promised.

In other points of interest:

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Reading George MacDonald

An Introduction

Do you remember the first time as a child that you read a story that fascinated you? A book that caught your imagination and took you out of yourself, out of your chair, into another world? And when at last you reluctantly put the story aside, you could hardly believe any time had passed.

George MacDonald, 1824-1905For me, that story was by George MacDonald. He’s not as well known now as he should be, but George MacDonald was a Scot who wrote poems and novels and sermons and some of the finest children’s stories of the 19th century. The stories I found first were his fairy tales.

When I say ‘fairy tales,’ I don’t mean the usual handsome-prince-saves-helpless-princess tales we usually see these days. I mean fairy tales that strange and haunting and amazing and, to use the Scots, unco.

Stories like ‘The Day Boy and the Night Girl,’ about a witch who wants to create the perfect, masculine boy and the perfect, feminine girl. So she raises a boy who never sees the dark, and a girl who never sees the light. And the story is about what happens when the Night Girl sees the Day Boy sees the dark for the first time, and what happens when they meet each other.

Stories like ‘The Wow ‘o Rivven,’ about an old man with mental illness, and the young woman who becomes his friend—how she learns how to listen to the great bell in the ruined church, and how she begins to realise that the bell is calling to her.

Stories like ‘The Shadows,’ full of strange, shadow-creatures that visit Ralph Rinkelmann—a humorist and poet who also happens to be the King of Fairyland.

Once you’ve read these stories, you never forget them. Continue reading