Bright blessings to all Stonewylders!
This is the very first blog for all Stonewylde readers and fans. Until Mr B and I can set up a forum on the Stonewylde website, we’ll use the Moongazy Girl blog to keep in touch and be just a little interactive. I’ve had so many e mails from readers (so far all very friendly and positive, although there’s bound to be something nasty sooner or later) and I realise that many people would like to keep in touch. But nobody (including me) wants to be a pain and keep e mailing. So this blog a means for everyone to network and be able to pop inside the boundary walls every so often to visit Stonewylde.
It’s strange – when people first read Magus of Stonewylde, they seem to undergo some sort of change. It certainly happened to me when I wrote it! Okay, it’s just fiction – but Stonewylde seems to resonate with something in people’s psyches. Maybe because it’s on the surface at least such an idyllic place. Maybe we’d all deep down inside like to be part of a community where we live in harmony with the natural world, where there’s no pollution or litter, where everyone has a valuable role and where there are none of the usual 21st century stresses. It doesn’t seem to matter what age you are (as far as I know from mail I’ve received, the youngest reader is eleven and the oldest well into her eighties), what gender, and whether you’re a pagan or not. As Geoff, my man of science said, you read the book and you’re smitten by the magic of Stonewylde.
A couple of readers have suggested to me that Stonewylde has become an entity in itself – taken on, through our imaginations, a life and space of its own that is just as real as any unvisited location on a map. What is reality? You could look at a map and find somewhere that’s real but you’d never been to. It would mean nothing to you. Or you could picture Stonewylde, nestling amongst the folds of land in Dorset, sloping down to the coast line where the sea laps its shores. Which is more real? And with Stonewylde, you can visit any time you want. You can decide on the weather and the season, and pick any location you wish to zoom in on. Such as:
The Hall – with its glittering mullioned windows, tall Tudor chimney stacks, the Galleried Hall with carved green men and circling hares, blazing stained glass and great chair on a dais, Magus’ bedroom so sinister and thrilling, the school rooms and kitchens, the offices and kitchen garden …
The Village – its duck pond squirming with tadpoles, the Village Green encircled by great trees and that very special yew tree, the Great Barn with its beams and massive doors, the Jack in the Green pub so low and dark inside, the cottages radiating out from the village centre like strands of a spider’s web …
The landscape – long Dragon’s Back snaking across the estate, Quarrycleave, menacing in its white dustiness and with the green ivy rustling up the great canyons of stone, the Stone Circle, ancient and spiritual with the great standing stones painted for the latest festival and the arena of beaten earth trodden by so many thousands of dancing feet throughout the ages, the orchards, the fields, the woods, the dolmen, the beach, the river, Mother Heggy’s hovel, and of course Hare Stone up high on its breast of green land where Sylvie and the hares dance to the Moon Fullness …
Are these places real to you? They certainly are to me – I can picture them far more clearly than many other places I’ve visited. And I can walk through them, smelling the scents and feeling the soft Dorset air on my skin. Or I can fly over them like a buzzard, circling and watching. Stonewylde belongs to me, but it also belongs to you – any reader, young and old, who’s visited the estate in their imagination. Everyone who’s read the first book in the series owns a stake in Stonewylde. Or maybe, as Yul says in one of the books (and I really forget which!) it’s the place that owns the people and not the other way round. Maybe in fact Stonewylde owns us – has gradually crept in whilst our eyes are skimming across the printed pages and taken possession of a piece of our soul, so that we all belong there and can never truly escape. What do you all think?
Bright blessings to all Stonewylders!
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You describe exactly the effect that Stonewylde has on me!
In my younger days I used to read a lot of science fiction but it had to be based on what I thought of as ‘real’ science. However the mysteries of Quantum Physics sends a chill down my spine in much the same way that your stories do and I have come to realize that there is not such a difference between fantasy and science as some might think! Might it be that in reality there is within us all an understanding of the ‘real’ magic and perhaps the mysteries of Stonewylde are not truly mysteries at all but simply a long forgotten truth?