Friday, May 01, 2009
Maypoles, morris men and mayhem or the joys of a butterfly mind
Throughout the ages May Day has been a time of celebration, ritual and supposedly for blossoming creativity as it is the herald of nature bursting forth, fruit trees being pollinated, the fields are full of lambs and young livestock and birds are frantically feeding their newly hatched chicks.
I have been working this week on checking the printer's proofs of The Loveday Conspiracy and they were put in the post yesterday. My blog post being the first of the month completely sneaked up on me unawares and I awoke to a sense of panic and a blank mind on a subject to write. The dawn chorus of blackbirds, robins and the delightful calls of over thirty goldfinches who sing to me every morning was instantly calming. This is often my favourite time of day and I allow my mind to drift upon a scene or character I will be writing about that day. I have had some wonderful inspiration in this semi-dreamlike or dozy state. The idea to blog about finding our own inspirational time came to mind.
The melody of the blackbirds and robins can instantly transport me to a nostalic Cornish scene or a tender moment of romance. However when this moment was rudely interrupted by squawkinbg seagulls and argumentative crows which did not fill me with feelings of love and blessings upon the world, I was less than enchanted with this idea and gave the pillow a hard punch for good measure. As I huffed and puffed and tried to bury myself under the duvet for another hours sleep, I realised that this more raucous awakening had often given me ideas for more turbulent scenes of conflict. So perhaps the idea for the blog was not lost at all.
So with great enthusiasm I sat at my computer which informs me the date is 1st May. I have always loved researching ancient festivals and my head was filled with maypoles, morris men and Jack of the green and then on to all things Celtic. A photo of morris men seemed a good idea to illustrate the blog. Two hours later I realise I have become totally absorbed in the ancient rituals and folklore and how the Lovedays would celebrate this day - which so far I have not used in the novels, and I always need fresh images and ideas. Then I am panicking that most of the morning has disappeared, no blog is written and this was the day I was supposed to be checking research for the first chapters of the next Loveday book.
Thank goodness that as women we have butterfly minds which when allowed to roam free can come to our rescue. I now have all the information I need for my novel and hopefully you have found these chaotic ramblings an insight into the mind of a writer who is always open to receiving inspiration when it is least expected. Happy May day and inspiration and creativity to you all.
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Happy May Day Kate - what a lovely post! Inspirations comes from all over the place, and I think that this month, with the promise of warmer days to come, is always a hopeful one.
Thanks Melinda. I love May with its bluebells and birds nesting. There is also something special about the intensity of the sunlight on new green leaves and with them dreams of lazy summer days to come.
I love May too, all those links to ancient feast days and holidays. And you are very inspiring about the dawn chorus! (Sometimes our London birds are just too noisy, but that might have something to do with them having to compete with the roar of the planes that fly over out house on the way to Heathrow!)
This morning, the birds were very tuneful:))).
For the historical writer planes may not be as inspiring as wildlife (unless they take your mind into flights of fancy of exotic locations)They do remind us how easy and fast travel is today compared to the mammoth time journeys of the past. Three months to some places in America, nine months to Australia, weeks of bone-rattling travel through Europe and all the discomfit of crossing the alps for further destinations. All that and no on board movies to pass the time.
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