Hello, Happy New Year, and welcome!
It had occurred to me to write up a review of 2014 and the various things that happened last year - from publishing my first university paper on The Faces of Shakespeare to the publication, in September, of Naming the Goddess, in which I have an essay (tweet received this morning from Michigan: 'Loved your essay in "Naming the Goddess"! Great perspective.:)', plus appearances at Stratford Literary Festival and the Tree House Bookshop, lecturing at Worcester University and being a tour guide in Stratford-upon-Avon, completing The Grail; Relic of an Ancient Religion and writing Shakespeare's Son ('The Life of Sir William Davenant'), and so on. But I didn't get round to it.
Instead, I'm going to preen myself a little over this, which my wife found online a day or two ago. Seems there's to be a rather interesting-looking course on the 'Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine', to be held at Avebury in Wiltshire (good location!) this coming August. Details can be found here.
If you click on the link and scroll down to the bottom section - 'Avebury/Wiltshire Reading List' - you'll see that the last entry concerns my King Arthur Conspiracy book. Alternatively, I'll save you the bother by copying what they wrote:
The King Arthur Conspiracy: How a Scottish prince became a mythical hero
By Simon Andrew Stirling
First discovered during the Scotland adventure, this book is an indispensable read for anyone interested in the Arthur/Merlin/Avalon motif. All the latest research. It will expand your view beyond the emphasis on Glastonbury and Tintagel.
Now, seeing that made me feel really chuffed. It also made me want to get in touch with the organisers and tell them that, actually, all the latest research is probably best found in The Grail, due out in March, but that it was very kind of them to say those things about The King Arthur Conspiracy (and might help with a few book sales), and if there was anything I could do to contribute to their intriguing course in August they had only to ask.
Didn't get round to doing that, either. Although there's still time.
For the meantime, we're holding our breaths and crossing our fingers over the Beoley skull. With any luck, there'll be some scientific investigation of that particular item before too long. Maybe even a TV documentary. I'll keep you posted.
And my Davenant book is coming on apace. New discoveries about Shakespeare's relationship with Jane Davenant. All good clean fun. The manuscript's due to hit the editor's desk at the start of June.
There's another project in the wings, which I'll mention more about if things keep going smoothly. All in all, 2015 has a very exciting feel about it. I hope yours does, too.