My two books of short stories, “The Old Turk and Other Tales” and “Through the Mirror”, examine that tricky balance between experience and the spiritual world that anyone—and the author—would encounter or like to encounter. There are realms which take us beyond ourselves—and I like to explore them. Short stories should stimulate thinking—they are always potentially true. So many of them lose themselves in the usual earthbound stories about romance and the twists and turns of people in love, but I tried to go beyond those confines to involve spiritual worlds. The short stories I wrote are phantastic in the sense that they treat the unseen as a vital encounter, but engage with it as a possible extension of the Self.
The stories don’t tell you what to do. They are meetings with vibrant beings, ways of seeing. Some are fun, like the story about hats in the Old Turk collection. I also call to mind the ancient goddesses and what they represent—this in Through the Mirror. You can also say this is about memory and about the sea and the land. I have been to these places—but they are transformed and show themselves in a new way.
I explore Europe and ancient places in Ohio, U.S.A., and what they represent, the unusual, the dialogue with them that can create connections, letting go the mundane, the things you are used to. I hope there is pleasure in these extensions of mind’s adventures.
What I liked most are the stories of transformation in “Through the Mirror”. The metamorphosis does not have to be into human lives, but can be a bird such as in “Jenny Wren”. Or it can have a message as in “The Owls of Scarba”. And then there are some places that simply evoke the moon and thinking in different ways of where you are, such as in an eighteenth century tower in Dessau, Germany, or in a long forgotten village in Austria.
“The Shaman Birches of Argyll” and “The Travelling Moon”, my poetry books, on the other hand, are grounded in living and sailing on the West Coast of Scotland. They are an exploration of nature and lochs and birds, indigenous or the beings that visit. They are my encounters. I think about them and try to find them again in words. I was born in the land-locked—except for the cross European river Danube—city of Vienna.
My books of poetry probe the new countryside in the Highlands indented with water—the mysterious sea, the rising moon, the trees and ferns that grow wild on hillsides. The essence of the poetry is myth and place. Nature has different dimensions and I want to bring them close. Poetry gives feelings and vision in versions that other genres cannot.
I do not believe that even adult books should be without images. So I have given all my books illustrations. I hope you like the way words augment pictures!
My books are all available from Amazon as Kindle or print-on-demand editions under the name Joanna Paterson.