The Echoing Green and Other Stories

So, the time has come to announce the imminent release of my new short story collection, The Echoing Green and Other Stories.

What can I say about it?

Well, the stories are stronger than my previous efforts. They are more focused and thematic and have the confidence of a writer who has found his voice. Although mythological beings are still present in the stories, there are more creatures of pure imagination. The plots are as ingenious and inventive as The Chronicles but, again, there is more focus and less rambling. Because they are more thematic, the stories are, I hope, more thought provoking. There is also more of a social conscience present, especially in the stories, ‘John Frost and the Angel’ and ‘Home’. This is something that was missing from The Chronicles.

The Echoing Green and Other Stories was written in a very short period of time. I always write fast as the stories seem to flow through me. The process was the same as for the other books: I’d cook up a few ideas in my imagination before sitting down at the computer and getting to work. I never have trouble coming up with ideas. It seems like I can turn them on and off like a tap. It’s a very deliberate process: there is thinking time and there is writing time. I’ve never had writer’s block.

So, altogether a more mature, confident and controlled effort that will, hopefully, satisfy most readers.

I should also mention the cover art. This time, instead of the easy option of finding a design on Shutterstock, I’ve gone with an original work of art by the very talented Diana Muller. ‘A Head Full of Hills’ is most fitting for both the title and content of the book. The cover is classier than the previous books, and I hope the content lives up to it.

In what way is the collection similar to the previous books?

Well, the influences are the same: the early work of Yeats, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker and Stephen King. And the strangeness and originality of the ideas is still there. As in previous books, the dialogue is probably the strongest aspect of the work. There is the same playfulness and humour about the stories.

So, altogether, I’m very pleased and proud of the way the stories in the collection turned out.

I hope you enjoy reading them.

The Echoing Green and Other Stories will be available to download or order as a hard copy, right here, next week.

The Two Travellers

By David Jordan

Two tramps stopped on a country road,

Holding a conversation.

Shoulders back, chests proud,

Their heads adorned with caps,

Holding themselves like kings.

 

One has a bottle in his hand, paper bagged.

The weight of it: it keeps them grounded

And nonchalant.

For their bodies seem to merge

And they are animated and full

Of the joy of their art.

 

And all around them everything is animated

And singing: the sky, the mountains,

The flowers, the path.

Everything is numinous.

Everything is in concert.

Everything is alive for that one single ecstatic ‘Yes’!

 

Two tramps stopped on a country road,

Holding a conversation.

Both knowing the nobility of being free.

Dubliners

By David Jordan

Close to perfection,179px-jamesjoycestatue

This word magic, alchemy of the word.

This complete word world spinning,

Wrapped in its grey, urban ambience,

Softly singing,

So fresh. So clear and fresh

Like a soft spring.

And characters that come to life.

These characters are the undead:

They will never die!

And always they will bring the ecstasy

Of instant recognition.

 

Yes, when every story hits the spot;

When every line glows and sings

You know you’re in Dear Dirty Dublin.

On Joyce

By David Jordan

A genius in the wood,179px-revolutionary_joyce_better_contrast

The wood of the postmodern,

A genius at play, dancing,

Lighting the way

With good laughter and song.

 

Scealai!

File!

The grey wood’s guiding light.

Star of Ireland:

Its angel and its eye.

Son of light,

O flower of the fair city

Won’t you show me again?

On Yeats

By David Jordanyeatspencil

Thoughts born out of nowhere

Like the goddess Athena.

Your mind flashing with intuition.

 

Or, under the sun, a sword

At play, flashing

On a perfect day.

 

With a blade that kept its edge

And its passion over time,

As the darkness came.

On death cast a cold eye

He dared to write.

 

The sweet sounds, rhythms

And repetitions:

Instinctual, musical, masterful.

And the imagination

Like a Titan, towering,

Watching the ever changing, soaring

Pleasure dome.

 

And the discipline of the

Craftsman, the technician,

Shaping the iron, ever cooling,

Working it into perfection:

The master at play.

 

A wordsmith:

This man was born to do it.

The Citizen

 

By David Jordan

I swear these long nights

Stir my blood

And steer my spirit northward

Like a long boat headed home.

 

For the imagination feeds

On the darkness like a flame

And tonight I imagine myself as

A man of the North:

Cross countenance, long bones.

Leaping on to the sandy shore.

 

Bringing alien gods to the natives:

The loquacious Gael.

The nature loving, melancholy,

Aristocratic Gael.

 

After a thousand years

Surely the stranger is gone from the house?

 

Tonight, I swear I am a citizen

Of the imagination:

Emancipated.

In flight.

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Castle Freke

By David Jordan

The sky was on fire.

The sea, monstrous

As we walked on the hazardous

Roof of the old Big House.

I was high on destiny.

 

Night fall, full of fear,

We left the fire to commune

With ghosts in the pitch black

Rooms and corridors.

 

Someday, if we ever return,

We will look for ghosts of ourselves.

We will stop and listen for footsteps

And voices

And we will watch for figments of lighter

Flame in the darkness.

 

For who can deny the sweets of memory?

It is easier to deny the raging sky

And the ravenous sea.

castlefreke