Guest Author – Sue Vincent
I am delighted to have here today, friend, author, blogger, painter and poet, Sue Vincent of the Daily Echo and The Silent Eye .
Sue is an intuitive, compassionate writer who is not only the author of several books, but her two blogs are always filled with thought provoking articles, inner awareness, and personal stories and explorations into the past history, shared on her Silent Eye blog where she shares journeys and mysteries of the past from the modern mystery school she runs. On the Daily Echo, Sue shares an eclectic mix of personal writing, writing prompts for other writers to join in, and she also welcomes writers to guest post on her blog, so do check that out! Last but not least, for those of you who don’t know Sue, her companion Ani often visits her blog to talk about a gripe or some of her ‘vestigations’ as she calls them. You will learn more about Ani below.
I am a Yorkshire born painter and writer, living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. . I paint the strange things that come as images in dreams and fantasies and write about life as it happens.
I was raised in a spiritually eclectic family in a landscape where myths and legends were woven into the stones, and have always had an intimate relationship with the inner worlds and the understanding that all paths are but spokes on a wheel, leading ultimately to the same centre. It is not the path that one walks that matters, but how one chooses to walk it.
More Facts About Sue:
Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings. She lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. In 2008 her poem, ‘The Door of Dreams’, was awarded the David Burland International Poetry Prize. At around this time she began a collaboration with Dr G Michael Vasey which resulted in the publication of their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power” (Datura Press) and also published a small book of poems, “Echoes of Light”. 2013 was an important year for Sue. Her novel, “Sword of Destiny”, a magical tale set in the beautiful and ancient landscape of Yorkshire, was published. “The Initiate” and “Heart of Albion,Tales from the Wondrous Head” in collaboration with Stuart France, are also due for publication later this year. These two books tell a factual tale in a fictional manner, that is at once the tale of a journey into the landscape, myth and iconography of Albion and the story of a growing and rather oddball friendship. Sue is one of the Directors of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a modern Mystery School with students on four continents, that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk She maintains a popular blog, sharing aspects of life in as many shades of vivid as her hair. She is currently owned by a small dog who also blogs.
Sue’s most recent book release
“Couldn’t you make me into a Bull?” asked Coyote. In a time before Man walked the Earth, the Great Spirit breathed life into the land. Coyote was the First. Playful, subversive, curious and sometimes comical, he and his fellow creatures shaped the world for those who were to follow. Coyote is a Native American Trickster and hero of many adventures. Tales of Coyote were passed down and shared with the young to illustrate the dangers of being human.
Wilful, headstrong and always in trouble, Coyote journeyed through the spirit worlds, stealing fire and outwitting Death. When the Earth was loved as a living being, the rocks sang and the trees danced. Animals uttered Nature’s wisdom and the sun rose and set upon a wondrous world. The echoes of this magical landscape can still be found in the myths and legends of many cultures. They represent the weaving of the human spirit and the silent lore of creation. ‘Be careful, Coyote, never perform this trick more than four times in any one day.’ ‘An Imperious Impulse’ is the first book of the Lore Weavers, a collection of ancient tales retold. All traditional cultures evolved stories through which the natural and supernatural worlds could be explained and approached. Beyond their entertainment and humour is a deeper layer of mystery and symbolism through which the wisdom of the people could be transmitted. Telling of a time beyond human experience or memory, these tales meld a knowledge of the natural world with the spiritual and moral code of their creators. The essence of the human quest for an understanding of our role within creation has changed little over the millennia.
From the Dreaming of the Australian peoples, to the Great Mystery of the Native Americans and the ancient Celtic myths, there is a common thread that unites humankind across time and distance. It is in the rich tapestry of folk tales that we glimpse its multi-hued beauty. Long may they continue to be enjoyed.
Ani the Dog (Person)
Do you know what really happened between George and the Dragon? Or why Briar Rose got her name? And have you ever suffered the indignity of an overdunked ginger nut?
Take a life with a small dog in tow, add a dash of red hair dye, a selection of crumbling biscuits and a passion for recitable verse… The result is a recipe for laughter. Sue Vincent shares her world in verse.
Now, let’s hear from Sue about her writing, blogging, mystery school, and of course, Ani.
Okay, I’m starting with my favorite question for all creatives – especially you, who writes, teaches and runs two blogs – how on earth do you make time for writing books?
I work every day too, so I am not altogether sure. I suspect that Time took one look at the inside of my mind and decided he needed a vacation.
Seriously, I get up early and go to bed late with a book. The rest of the day is taken up with work, writing and researching as needed, and running the blog. Ani, the infamous Small Dog, makes sure I get out in the fresh air and Stuart and I wander the countryside whenever we can get together. Most of our work stems from these adventures.
What was your earliest fascination with the Mysteries of Life that inspired your explorations and wanderings you partake in and share at your site, The Silent Eye? And what types of courses do you offer at your Modern Mystery School?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of the Mysteries, although it would be years before I called them by that name. I grew up in a family where the Greater Reality was simply accepted as normality…which it is… and where pyschism and magic were not dismissed, but studied. Growing up in that spiritually eclectic family allowed me to explore many systems of belief and allowed me to find my own path.
That path eventually led me to meeting Steve Tanham and, along with Stuart France, becoming part of the Silent Eye. We have all studied within various branches of the Mysteries and saw a need for a new direction. We wanted to shape a vessel for spiritual exploration that did not need the accretion of arcane symbolism that is common to most Mystery Schools. The real Mysteries are to be found within, not in complex rituals or the ‘barbarous names of evocation’.
The Silent Eye operates as a not-for-profit organization. We offer a three-year course of monthly lessons, with each student, or Companion, being assigned a personal mentor to walk with them through the journey. The course is designed to open the Companion to a wider and more intimate view of their own inner being and their place, and potential, within the Greater Reality.
We also run regular informal workshop weekends, within the ancient and sacred landscape. Once a year, we run a more formal workshop that uses the ancient techniques of ritual drama to teach through personal experience. We keep the events list updated on the Silent Eye website and they are open to all.
Please tell us a little about Ani (your dog/person) and how she inspired you to help her write a book?
Ani, also known as The Black Beast, and ‘Anu’ in the books written with Stuart France, is a very special creature. She is a cross between an English Setter and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever…and mad as a hatter.
There have always been dogs in my life, but this one tops them all. She has the most expressive face of any dog I have ever met, is always in mischief, and manages to make herself very well understood.
I allowed her to write a blog one day… I had not been blogging all that long and had not, back then, come across any other blogging dogs. Her post was popular, so it became a regular feature. Then a book. And she inspired so many of my own daft poems that she ended up with another book… Laughter Lines, Life at the Tail End.
She consistently outperforms me on the blog, outsells me on Amazon and gets all the fan mail.
You’re a profound poet and I know you’ve won the David Burland International Poetry Prize in 2008, and you also wrote a column for The Spirit Guides. Can you tell us a little about what that column is about?
I got the poetry bug from my mother, herself a prolific writer. As a child, I was fascinated by the handwritten volumes of poetry from her own youth and, like many others, I started writing poetry in my teens. Unlike many of my friends, who went in for scribbling the heart-wrenching romance of teenagerhood, my first poem was a humorous one about my little brother and the tricks he played on his sister.
You’ve co-authored several books with your colleague Stuart France, can you share with us a little about the Mister Fox series?
Stuart and I began writing to document our adventures in the landscape. We chose a semi-fictional format to allow us a little leeway, but, believe it or not, most of what is written is merely reported from reality.
Mister Fox came about after meeting the enigmatic ‘Charles James Fox’ and his fire-dancers. Mister Fox is by far the most exciting live event I have ever attended. They dance in the dark, masked and wielding flame… and both Stuart and I love what they do. We wanted to tell the story of the dance and preserve the legends they have created and chose to do so as a series of graphic novels. Within them, we tell the stories behind the dance, stories that are woven from the mythology of the deep past.
What are your plans for this New Year as far as writing goes? Is there another book in the works?
Oddly enough, the book we are working on at present is another Fox book… Mister Fox: The Winter’s Tail. The Foxes, ousted from their traditional dancing ground by the Demon Dogs, need a new home. Someone should have told them about the dragon, though…
We are also looking at revisiting some of our earlier books, creating new covers and revising them. You learn a lot over time and it is time to put what we have learned to good use.
Please share with us a bit about your latest book co-authored with Stuart France – An Imperious Impulse: Coyote Tales and an excerpt.
We have used the graphic format again for An Imperious Impulse, which explores some of the ancient stories of Coyote. We had an awful lot of fun getting the images for this book. We took a Coyote headdress out into the land and drew many strange looks from people. On one occasion, a group of teenage boys just happened to visit the cave where we were working. They took one look, uttered some unprintable expletives… and fled.
The book is the first of a series we are planning, retelling some of the myths and legends from cultures across human history and exploring their deeper meanings. The old tales of every culture share many common themes, addressing the needs, hopes, fears and beliefs of the human family. It is our hope that through these books, we can add our mite to growing realization that no matter where, or when, we may come from, we share the same human story at heart.
Thank you so much Sue for being my guest, and for sharing more about yourself and your work and books. It was a treat having you over here and learning more about Ani too, the force of nature. 🙂
You can visit Sue’s many beautiful books on Amazon
All books available in paperback and for Kindle via Amazon.
Connect with Sue:
Ani has her own Facebook page if you care to call in she would be glad to see you.