Heads up, folks. There's a gorgeous interview with Amal El-Mohtar that's just been posted on the John Barelycorn blog, discussing stories, words, language, and the magical "language" of the Tarot. Here's a taste:
"Coleridge wrote a poem called ‘The Eolian Harp,’ " Amal says, "in which he explored the notion of music slumbering on its instrument. It's a gorgeous poem! It moves through thoughts and moods of the soul as if we're all but harps waiting for a breeze to pass through us to animate us. I feel the same way about art: that it is something that on many levels colonises you, gets inside you and changes you from the inside out. I find that happens with books, too. After I’ve read a book, for a couple of days afterwards I think in the patterns of the book’s writing, because the act of reading is an act of organising your own thought process. If you are reading someone else’s writing, you are having to organise your perception along someone else’s structure. So if I read a book by Terry Pratchett, a few days later there is still a little Terry Pratchettness to my thoughts. When I read something by Catherynne Valente, for quite a few days there is a kind of ‘jewelled’ quality to my thoughts. To read a book is to let someone else reach inside me and reorganise me. As a writer, I find it very difficult to start writing immediately after having read another writer's book. I have to digest it first, and let the influence pass…."
Amal, of course, is the author of The Honey Month (highly recommended) and many other mythic works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She's also co-editor the poetry journal Goblin Fruit...and a great friend of Tilly's, as you can see above.