Carpe Diem Newsletter
May 1, 2016
May Day Eve on the Mountaintop
The eve of May Day is called in German “Walpurgisnacht” (the night they purge the woods), and in the Celtic languages it is called “Beltaine” (the fires of the hero-god Bel). One of the oldest pagan festivals – with bonfire revelries the preceding night, and maypole dances the next day – May Day itself remains the only holiday that is so ancient and pagan that it has never been expropriated by the Christian church. Why?
The Lusty Month of May
In the musical Camelot, by Lerner & Lowe, Queen Guinevere sings a tribute to the “Lusty Month of May” when everyone goes “cheerfully astray.” (This musical once inspired Jacqueline Kennedy’s favorite theme for President John’s rejuvenation of America.)
I saw Camelot on Broadway performed by the original cast: Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Roddy MacDowell, Robert Goulet. I too was inspired by the transitory nature of a beautiful idea whose time is ripe and fleeting like King Arthur’s court at Camelot, the ongoing basis for all those magical tales of knights, fair damsels, enchanted druids, and the Holy Grail, magical themes of a world of vanishing hopes and dreams that inspire so much fiction, even today. I therefore dedicate this newsletter to the spirit of Carpe Diem.
Suspense and More Suspense!
My first-ever interview about the upcoming filming of The Eight and The Fire has just appeared in Suspense Magazine – and in that conversation, we also chatted about some really interesting things: recent research jaunts for my long-awaited new book; how I develop characters and plots; and the eternal importance of quest novels and adventure tales (the oldest form of literature.)
My favorite quote in this interview, inspired by advice to new writers, sums up my view:
“No one can stop you from telling great stories.
The publishing world is ephemeral. Stories are eternal.”
Please visit me on my website www.KatherineNeville.com