Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In the Midst of Death we are in Life

“Or in the midst of life we are in death,” as it says in the Burial Service in The Book of Common Prayer.  Both statements are true, each one the complement of the other. The ecstatic, orgiastic rites of May Eve gaze across the year at Samhain (translation: summer’s end) also known as the Eve of All Hallows (souls) when pagans and Christians alike honor the beloved dead, the communion of saints, the connection between the seen and the unseen.

We recently cleared the overgrown flowerbeds around the house. In the new-turned earth, I planted tiny seeds: three kinds of Poppy, Black-eyed Susans, Irish Eyes, two kinds of Forget-Me-Nots, and something orange and red (whose name I don’t know and whose seed packet I can’t find), all according to preferences for sun or shade, dry or damp. Then we covered the beds with straw. It seemed the sheerest, most magical act of faith, to plant spring and summer flowers under a lowering October sky in a chilly wind. (I believe, help thou my unbelief.) What better way to celebrate the Celtic New Year than to sow the seeds of new life in the midst of death.

In another garden, a white Iris that bloomed in Spring is blossoming again amidst leaves fallen from an ancient and ailing maple tree and brazen marigolds that just won’t quit. In the late afternoon, the Iris draws all the light to its papery, translucent petals. I have to stop whatever I am doing and bear witness.

There’s a lot going on in my life, too much, really. But that’s all I want to say right now. I published two posts last week in other places. At Tikkun Daily: Keen on Occupy Wall Street and on Huffington Post: Credo: Community without Conformity. Please do visit.

My combrogo Tim Dillinger asked me to remind you that Maeve’s FaceBook page will soon be revealed. You make a friend request now.

The official launch event of Red-Robed Priestess will be Saturday, November 19th at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, New York at 7:00. We hope to livestream this event with better sound than our previous attempt. The performance will begin around 7:30 after people have nibbled and guzzled for a bit.

In closing I will note that all the other Maeve Chronicles were published on April 1. Seems right for Red-Robed Priestess to be published in November when we remember that in the midst of life we are in death and in the midst of death we are in life. You'll see what I mean when you read the book. (PS: In answer to a query, here is the indiebound link for the book: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780982324691 )

Next post here will be 11/15 Maeve's answer to: WTFWMD?

Happy Halloween! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Myriad announcements from Maeve

Do you hear that buzzing sound? It is not just the bees working overtime on these rare sunny days after so much rain. It is also the sound of my 21st century combrogos, galvanized by Tim Dillinger, doing their best to generate excitement and spread the word about the November 15th release of Red-Robed Priestess, the fourth and final volume of my very long story—which of course, Eliz is reminding me to say, can be read first and is able to stand alone, like the other three. Here’s some of what’s happening.

November 15th unveiling of my FaceBook page. Tim and I worked on it last weekend. It was somewhat challenging as FB does not recognize some of the places I’ve lived or the activities I enjoy, though it did let me list caber-tossing among my sports. You do not have to wait till then to be my friend. You can go now and make your friend request. (Don’t worry, I’ll say yes!) http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002343434468

Monday, October 17th @ 7:00 Eastern time: Melissa Studdard interviews Elizabeth Cunningham for Tiferet Talk on Blogtalk radio. At the link below you will find a call-in number and you can also tweet or post the link on FaceBook. Elizabeth will be reading aloud a passage from Red-Robed Priestess. Please join her and get a live preview of the book. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tiferetjournal/2011/10/17/elizabeth-cunningham-tiferet-talk-with-melissa-studdard

Reviews: They have been coming in, and they are very favorable. Here is the link to The Publisher’s Weekly Review. When you go to the site, you can tweet it or post it or like it etc… http://reg.publishersweekly.com/978-0-9823246-9-1

Art Contest: Elizabeth’s long-lost, long-found cousin from New Zealand, Jane Cunningham, is conspiring with Tim to bring you a Maeve Art contest. Neither Eliz nor I know the details. It is my understanding that they shall be revealed next week.

Also upcoming: Eliz and I have been answering intriguing interview questions from three bloggers. When these interviews are posted, we will publish the links here, on twitter, and on Eliz’s FB page if mine isn’t public yet. Here is the link to her page, which her brilliant sister musician Ruth Cunningham created and maintains for her. (Eliz is such a luddite). http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Cunningham/137518912968862

WTFWMD? Speaking of questions, I will be answering that one to the best of my ability on November 14th so that the post will appear in your mailbox on November 15th. People have been wondering what sorts of questions to ask. One person did email to ask me how I would close the distance between myself and my first daughter when we finally meet. Great question and one that Red-Robed Priestess will address. If you tune in to the Tiferet interview (see above) Eliz plans to read the passage about our first meeting since Boudica’s birth.

Other questions: You can ask me how I feel about various contemporary issues. You can ask what I would do if I were in some situation you are facing, but please keep in mind, my judgment might be questionable. I am known to be impulsive and rash. You can also ask me about events or people from my time. Do feel free to ask me theological questions. Oh and did I mention sex? I know a bit about that. I will do my best to answer all questions, but there may be some I don’t know enough to answer or might be better answered by you. I am not an authority on anything. And I will always encourage you to claim your own sovereignty. You can ask questions below or tweet or DM @EliznMaeve on Twitter.

IndieBound link. You can pre-order Red-Robed Priestess from your favorite independent bookstore. Do support those hard-working booklovers! http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780982324691

Thank you all so much for your help in spreading the word about Red-Robed Priestess and all The Maeve Chronicles. I had to write this post, because Elizabeth isn’t shameless enough despite her twenty year tutelage with me. Apologies from Elizabeth if anyone is offended by my self-promotion. No apologies from me. I’ve waited more than two thousand years to find my audience. And here you are at last!

Love and blessed bees,