New Worlds, No Maps

Stepping into that strange liminal space of thinking about a new book.  Exciting, certainly.  Scary too.  Strange connections are made as the universe, or the unconscious, recognises what you’re doing, pulling things out of the aether and thrusting them under your nose.  Images, music, places, people, dreams, serendipitous discoveries, all have a part to play.

I might document a few here, without comment.  Will it be possible to see where I’m heading from outside my head?  That would be interesting to know.  Perhaps there really is more clarity from that objective viewpoint.

I have an idea of the *kind* of book I want to write, but that’s about all the restrictions I’m placing on myself.  The general direction.  North by northwest.  But no destination is in mind.  I like the thrill of setting out for the horizon and seeing where I finally roll up.  It has to be new.  I’m not interested in repeating what I’ve done before.  I want to discover things, for myself as well as for the people who read my books.

Reports from the journey may pop up on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, on Jack of Ravens and Posterous.  Interested parties should look for the tag #oneiroi

Stonehenge Design Inspired By Sound

Music could have been an inspiration for the design of Stonehenge, according to an American researcher.

Steven Waller’s intriguing idea is that ancient Britons could have based the layout of the great monument, in part, on the way they perceived sound.

Archaeoacoustics is a growing field, with researchers reporting interesting results from many prehistoric structures.

Britain’s Biggest Space Rock Found At Druid Burial Site

“The only meteorites that we know about that have survived these long ages are the ones that were collected in Antarctica,” said researcher Colin Pillinger, adding that more recently, some ancient meteorites have been collected in the Sahara Desert. This rock came from neither the Sahara Desert nor Antarctica, but rather the Lake House in Wiltshire. “Britain was under an ice age for 20,000 years,” Pillinger said, explaining the climate would have protected the rock from weathering. At some point, the Druids likely picked up the meteorite when scouting for rocks to build burial chambers. “They were keen on building burial sites for [the dead] in much the same way the Egyptians built the pyramids.”

Sounds like a great exhibition.

London’s Secret Cemetery

In Southwark, not far from the resurrected Globe Theatre, the BFI and many of London’s arts establishments, lies Cross Bones cemetery. The graveyard is set aside for “outcasts” – prostitutes and paupers – and was in use for hundreds of years from Medieval times.

It was original the burial place for the Winchester Geese, the London prostitutes licenced by the Bishop of Winchester mentioned in The Sword of Albion.

Every Halloween, there’s a ceremony at Cross Bones to remember all outcasts, living and dead. You can find an account, photos, music and recordings here.