Going on the assumption that 2020 is in fact a real year and not the horrible collective hallucination that January is so far making it out to be, this is the plan: Year of the Quest.
I spent last year talking, writing and thinking witches, and I loved it. One of the joys of Year of the Witch was exploring the diversity of the fairy tales and finding their unexpected similarities. About halfway through the year I started thinking about what else I would like to explore in that level of depth and what sprang to mind was Arthurian legends. I started getting really interested in Arthuriana a few years ago when I was researching for the project Ladies of Legend – that was when I read Le Morte d’Arthur for the first time and went from irritated tolerance to sobbing over the final chapter. (Spoilers: Uther vanishing from the narrative helped A LOT.) I have read a lot of Arthurian retellings over the years, but I wanted to explore more of the original legends.
Arthurian legends are an intimidating subject for research. Names vary wildly, familial relationships are blurry. Characters who might be married in one version are siblings in another. Key stories that inform a modern perspective on the legends come from all over the UK and France, and from a wide range of time periods. That’s not even getting into the arguments about how much of Arthurian tradition is fictional and how much might be based on historical fact.
Year of the Quest is an exploration of twelve Arthurian legends, some widely known and some less familiar. Each month I’ll be taking on a new story and talking about how they fit together in the vast, bewildering and beautiful tapestry that makes up the story of King Arthur and his court. I’m beginning at the end of the month with the story of Merlin and Vortigern, or as I like to call it, Why Merlin is the Way He Is.
In other news: I have joined Patreon! Subscribers will receive early access to all Year of the Quest posts as well as Patreon-exclusive essays, short fiction and poetry. If you have enjoyed my various projects over the past eight years, Patreon is the place to look for more of my work! I am very new to the medium and a bit nervous about figuring it out, but it’s exciting to be giving myself the challenge as a creator.
Grab a sword, people, it’s time to go questing.