I’m proud to announce the launch of my new podcast, “Stories from the Borders of Sleep.” This project has been taking up a large amount of my time over the past few weeks and I offer it by way of an excuse for being absent from this blog for a while.
Since November last year, things took off in an unexpected direction for me as I found my head buzzing with stories and pulled my creative energy away from commercial copy writing and directed it into fiction. It has been a very exciting time as I have become immersed in this project I call “Stories from the Borders of Sleep.”
The Borders of Sleep bit is a sidelong reference to the state of hypnagogia, experienced just on the edge of sleep where dreaming and waking realities become entangled. It seemed to me that many of the stories had this half-recognisable familiarity about them and contained elements drawn from my everyday experience of the world around me, woven with a few archetypical curve balls thrown in by my subconscious.
The stories could be described as “fairy tales” and I am unashamed to say that I owe my inspiration almost entirely to the grandfather of all Phantasy that is George MacDonald. Reading his book, “The Phantastes“, in particular, unlocked a latent stream of imagination in me that I had not listened to for about 20 years. It was a real homecoming. I feel as if, with these stories, I have actually begun something I would be proud to call my life’s work.
George MacDonald does include allegory in his work but it is never felt that the plot is forced to these ends and the sense is of shadowy truths, half grasped and leaving a taste in the mouth, rather than doctrines perfectly pictured. On reflection, I think I owe more of my spiritual growth and expansion to stories that have haunted me over the years than to a thousand Sunday’s worth of sermons. So there are allegorical layers to the Borders of Sleep stories, but the main idea is really just to tell stories that captivate and carry people.
I realised quite early on that I was writing with an ear on how the words would sound out loud, and these are definitely stories to be read out or told. The thrill of sharing the stories and having a sense of enabling other people to access their imaginations and journey with me has been especially intense. That is why it seemd like a good idea to podcast them.
You can have a little listen to what I have been up to by visiting the website. I have had some fantastic help from Robyn Trainer of Floral Footsteps with design and illustration and another good friend, Tim Wiles, has stepped up with his sound recording and producing skills.
The plan is to put out an (almost) weekly podcast with a new and original story every week. Although there is a backlog of material to keep me afloat for a few weeks, it will also call for the need to continue writing and producing material. I will also be looking to publish a series of anthologies of the best stories in the future, but for now, I invite you to go over to bordersofsleep.com and kick back for 15 minutes of so of audio phantasy.