St. Ursula

A lot of tributes are going to be coming out today, to which I cannot hope to be as eloquent, nor as thoughtful.

I started referring to Ursula Le Guin as St. Ursula a few years ago, perhaps as a nod to her gentle humor and subtle surrealism – a surrealism which wasn’t ‘strange’ or ‘abstracting’ but, in her own words:

“Fantasy is not antirational, but pararational; not realistic but surrealistic, a heightening of reality. In Freud’s terminology, it employs primary not secondary process thinking. It employs archetypes which, as Jung warned us, are dangerous things. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe.”

It also felt right to me, to think of Ursula as a guiding, motherly sort of figure. “She was probably the archetypally perfect grandmother for people like us,” writes Gordon White of Rune Soup, which I think captures it well. Not only that, but Ursula set an example of what courageous, insightful, humane, and writing with integrity looks like. Her writing is bursting with humanity. She refused to restrict her characters or settings into western, patriarchal stereotypes. She remained resolutely critical of trends, celebrity, and the corporate/market take-over of art. There have been many times when despairing over my own paltry output, caught between the fangs of commerce and poverty, it has been Ursula’s words that have helped set my course true again.

But more important than all of these things is the fact that her worlds have been a constant in my life. I first discovered Earthsea through a battered 1984 Puffin copy of A Wizard… (stolen from my older brother’s bookshelves). I wanted an Otak familiar. I had a fantasy rpg character named Ged. I cried over The Farthest Shore.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

It is a sad day today, and I find that I am saddened by the fact that we won’t have the gift of her wit and words. A selfish sort of sadness, maybe – and a mistaken one – because we already do. Her fictional worlds as well as her essays, articles and speeches live on, and will be remembered.

Let’s make her proud, friends.

Welcome to the Blog!

Here’s a fun fact from your’s truly: I used to run a wordpress many years ago. Like, many years ago, in a previous incarnation when I was doing some very different things with myself. I wrote about my strange daily life, a bit of philosophy, doggerels of poetry, and lots and lots of geekery. Most of it was embarrasing (the younger writer that was me was only fledging, “like kittens chasing dandelion fluff” as the Fool says in Fool’s Errand), but I’m glad to be back here in the reader community once again.

A thanks to my first inaugural likes Maxxesbooktopia and Cristian Mihai – looking covetously I realize that I really need to up my blogging game! 😀

It’s probably going to take me awhile to get up and running, as I’m deep in the formatting/editing and promotions stage of getting my first book Hand of the Storm out there – but a few short updates nonetheless. There is an overview of the Airship books over here, and I’m adding to the Characters section so you can take a look at what sort of heroes, heroines, and villains populate my world. You can also see some of the series Maps, and keep a track of my progress (prod me to get on with it!) in the progress bar at the side.I really need to set up some kind of newsletter (sporadic, monthly/seasonally) and I’m uhmming and ahhing about whether to use either Tinyletter or Mailchimp? :/

Anything you want to know – please feel free to tag, ask, or prod, and thank you for coming on this adventure with me.

Oh, and PS. I’m still writing terrible Vogon poetry!

The author and human