An Alchemical Fairytale

Many years ago I began writing a story, a 'faery' tale, inspired by amongst other things my return to Britain, William Blake, Carl Jung, alchemy, folk tales and my own dreams. It was nominally entitled, 'The Green Chapel' after the mysterious location mentioned in the Middle English romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (the Green Knight is a fascinating character. Is he devil? Knightly tester?).

When I am writing fiction, I feel much as I do when I am making visual images, that I am a receiver, that I have tuned into a channel. Sometimes the inspiration is gone and the 'voice' is quiet. Sometimes it is faint and at other times it is shouting to me. It is my 'daimon', an inner self that guides the creative hand.

I tinkered with my story over the years but due to other commitments (not least teaching, research and exhibiting) it was neglected and relegated to various boxes in the store cupboard. A week or so ago whilst clearing out some space, I came across some of the earliest notes and jottings that would eventually become the extended tale. It struck me how these scraps of old exam board paper have become beautiful in themselves, often almost illegible attempts to record a 'stream of consciousness'.

As for the story itself, it is now almost finished. The first part 'The Michaelmas Children' and the second 'Otherworlds', are now complete. I am currently writing the last part of what has become a trilogy, it is nominally entitled 'The Green Fire'. Perhaps one day this tale will be published.

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