Thursday, November 24, 2011


For may years I was an avid attendee of Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions, from Anaheim to Pasadena...even to driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for one which had been advertised in a magazine and turned out to have been cancelled,  I marvelled at the creativity of not just the fans, but the guests of the conventions... authors, special effects designers, directors, prop makers, budding filmmakers...all of them amazed me with their talents and their insights.

There was one year I recall when a Creation Con had called for a costume contest, and I responded by making garb for myself, my husband Jay and our friend Jim to go as three Klingons in rehearsal for Macbeth.  Under the watchful eye of the judges, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Rene Aubergenois, we found ourselves the winners and shared the myriad prizes between ourselves and a talented young woman named Kelly who had made the Klingon heads for us.

Little could I have expected that after all the Equicons, Loscons and Creation Cons I would one day be asked to be a speaker at one myself.

Tomorrow, Friday, November 25, I will be doing two panels at Loscon 38, the first, at noon, on the subject of the influence of Celtic mythology on modern fantasy and science fiction, and the second, around 8:30PM, on the transformation of the Vampire from Bram Stoker's "Dracula" to the creatures envisioned by today's authors.  I will also be signing all 6 of my novels during the balance of the day and most of Saturday and Sunday.

I am absolutely thrilled with this opportunity and hope to see some of my good friends there.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Rose Above The Sword

I have been asked by several people to say something about my newest novel, "The Rose Above The Sword", Volume IV of  The Glastonbury Chronicles.  The title itself refers to many things, from the Order of the Sword and the Rose to the symbolism carried by the Order.

The rose has long been the symbol of secrecy.  The phrase sub rosa which means that something should be kept secret literally translates as "under the rose" and in early days was indicated by a rose being brought into a secret meeting to warn the participants that anything said there was strictly confidential.  It has been used this way through the centuries in various art forms and by such groups as the Rosicrucians, both modern and ancient.

The very fact that the rose id placed at the crosspiece of the sword is symbolic in more than one way.  It signifies that the sword is to be kept secret (and hence the actions of the sword) and also is placed there as a symbol of the heart in relationship to the body of  the sword..  Not only is the Order secret, but the knowledge of its true nature and the focus of its protection are also, in the long run, secret.

On a third level, the rose is the symbol of the feminine, placed over the masculine symbol of the sword.  The rose was an ancient symbol of the Dark Goddess and therefore is a token of the hidden aspect of the feminine, in this case the fact that there was any female involvement in the Order.

When the outward signs of something that has been suppressed, in this case, both religion and the Monarchy (the rose and the sword once again) symbols are transmitted in even more abstract manner and both history and mythology are recorded in monuments, in the language of flowers and plants, and in the pictures on Tarot cards.   Those who know what they are looking for will find them, right under the watchful but unseeing eyes of the oppressor.

The book is now out, and the first review is in:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Myth and Mystery

There is something in the psyche of mankind which needs a good mystery.  I'm not referring to the Agatha Christie variety, or even the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, both of whom had personal mysteries of their own, but mystery as in the Eleusian Mysteries...symbols and mythos which resonate within the unconscious minds of humanity and reverberate within our souls.

Mankind has existed long before the concept of monotheism, its group mind nourished by images of Demigods and Heroes, and as the late, great Joseph Campbell discussed so eloquently, the pattern of the Hero's Journey which is common to the mythology of all from Perseus and Heracles or Hercules of the Greeks and Romans to Cuchulainn of the Irish Celts.  All of them had a God  for a father and a mortal mother.

With the coming of Christianity, Jesus, (with God as a father and the mortal Mary as a mother) became in a monotheistic belief system, the only Hero, and the mythos attributed to him took on a very narrow, totally religious and non-secularly heroic aspect.  The normal needs and wants of the psyche of the societies involved in this relatively new religion (in the scope of the history of mankind) were put on hold, replaced with the acts of apostles and the works of saints, not necessarily figures of action. 

Somewhere along the way the needs of the group mind reached out and called for the Hero or Superhero once more, and Fantasy and Science Fiction became the mythos of the New Age.  We had Superman, only surviving son of a lost civilisation who became the protector of humanity, Luke Skywalker, orphaned child of dubious lineage who wielded, like one of the Celtic Gods, a sword of light against evil, and all the other heroes from Aragorn to Wonder Woman who have stood up for humanity against the forces of Evil.

Somewhere in my deepest heart of heart it all resonated as well.  Somewhere the concept of the Sacred King, old before ever the historical Jesus walked this Earth, before ever that Sacred King had died for the good of all, the original concept of a Sacred King who shed his life's blood so the Land might live, that archetype that came again in King Arthur with the concept that "The King and the Land are One" struck me somewhere deep within my soul.  The seeds of The Glastonbury Chronicles were sown.  Somewhere over the last eighteen years they have borne fruit, and continue to grow.

The mythology I write is not new.  It is based on all that which has come before, brought once again into the present and the future in hopes that, as Joseph Campbell might have said, others may "find their bliss."

I know writing it has given me a chance to find mine.