Excerpt from Jayne Joso’s new fantasy novel – inspired by Japan
#fantasyfiction #cats #environment #evolution #hina #thefuture
The Water Cats
The Hina Awaken
Jayne Joso ©
Had the Hina been sleeping for centuries? Time away to recover and evolve? Clearing thought streams; slipping the boundary mappings that had tried to contain them; taking rest and then flight, and settling again to sleep and reconfigure? There was no easy way to answer. But it seemed they had been waiting, like rare insects, biding their time, waiting for the perfect conditions in which to emerge, in which to awaken. And now that time had come.
Throughout history they had been misunderstood. Their origins almost impossible to trace; difficult to research; hard even, to describe. Perfectly illusive, as though they had been there and not there, all of the time.
From village to village, the stories and whispers would vary, some sprinkled with facts, others rich with fantasy. And were they even real, the Hina? Some said they were ancient dolls with mask-like faces? Some said they were yokai, the kind that induced great fear, changing form to unsettle you and cause you harm; others thought them kind.
The Hina could move at speed, shift, change in size; could seem like holograms, as though if you stretched out your hand you might even travel right through them. They could appear like stone, but their hair, like goat hair, was a constant. And always, they were bedecked in the most exquisite finery. Kimonos, armour, sometimes both. They exuded a sense of power, of terror, of intense knowledge as though they might wholly read your mind. Their eyes startled all who dared look close, clear and bright like glass; and their lips were thin and crimson, the fine strokes of a brush, the slash of a knife.
Some said they came from Nagoya, others said Osaka, but in truth there was no part of Japan that hadn’t laid claim to them; and no part that had not, at times, completely denied their existence. But the water cats needed them. The earth must be healed. It was time to work together, to draw on the strengths of all.
This excerpt is from a new work that is still developing, I hope you enjoy this step into the Water Cats' world, and I also hope it might inspire you to further enjoy your own writing projects!
From Seven to the Sea - out now!
DAIWA Anglo-Japanese Foundation fund travel and research Trip to Japan.
Arts Council England fund Jayne Joso to write of a book of short stories on Japan to be published in April 2020.
Biography - in brief
Jayne Joso is a writer and artist who has lived and worked in Japan, China, Kenya and the UK. She is the author of four novels, the most recent of these: From Seven to the Sea explores the world of seven year-old, Esther who skips school and sets out to sea. ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND supported work on this novel which is now published by SEREN.
In Praise of My Falling Down House
VIDEOS - YOUTUBE
Video - Jayne Joso reads from FOX MAN - artwork by Joerg Rainer Noennig
Video - Jayne Joso reads from Perfect Architect in art inspired book trailer
Video - Mark Thomas reads from Soothing Music for Stray Cats
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND award Jayne Joso funding for time to write volume of Japanese short stories 'Breath on the Wake'
Jayne Joso on Japanese Identity in her fiction and art films. Readings, screening and interview with Mark Blacklock coming to Birkbeck University Arts Week, London.
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND award Jayne Joso funding for time to write her 4th novel: From Seven to the Sea. Novel currently in progress for publication.
Jayne Joso, keynote speaker at the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the Commonwealth 2015, held at the Universal Peace Federation, London. Speech entitled: “Space, Place, Identity. Notes from a Novelist on Anti-Human Architecture”
Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Library, New York, (2013) and the Brooklyn Museum Library (2014) have each acquired Jayne Joso's poem Desire for their permanent collections - this work was written in response to stills by the photographer and filmmaker Omar Gamez. Desire forms part of the archive of New York based publisher Abe's Penny who originally commissioned the work.
Jayne Joso awarded The Coracle Ireland International Writer’s Residency 2012 - A Sense of Place - based in Wexford, Ireland; part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Soothing Music for Stray Cats - now heavily cited in Green’s Dictionary of Slang.
Purple Beach - short story by Jayne Joso at 3:AM Magazine read in full here.
Tokyo Spaces – new short story by Jayne Joso commissioned for 100th Anniversary edition of NWR – read excerpt here...
To the Lighthouse - short story by Jayne Joso available in print NWR magazine Autumn 2012 issue.
BBC Radio London 94.9 Jayne Joso on The Late Show with Joanne Good talking about her London based novel: Soothing Music for Stray Cats - link currently unavailable
Buzz Magazine (April 2011) features Soothing Music for Stray Cats & Perfect Architect
BBC6 Music Cerys featured: Soothing Music for Stray Cats as must buy for Christmas !
Soothing Music for Stray Cats - shortlisted for People's BookJayne Joso honoured for her contribution to the Literature of Wales.
Jayne Joso is on Twitter @JayneJoso, but not on facebook
Events History - Selected
- Jayne Joso at Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London - 'Joso's Japan - Wood and Paper Houses' - Talk
- Jayne Joso, keynote speaker at the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the Commonwealth, held at the Universal Peace Federation, London. Speech entitled: “Space, Place, Identity. Notes from a Novelist on Anti-Human Architecture”
- Jayne Joso at Chapter Arts, Cardiff for National Poetry Day
- Jayne Joso, Coracle Ireland's Writer in Residence - Wexford, Ireland
- Jayne Joso at Haringey Literature Live
- Jayne Joso - Stoke Newington Literary Festival, London - writing workshop
- Jayne Joso Headlines at Ace Stories Brighton supported by Arts Council England
- BBC Radio London 94.9 Jayne Joso on The Late Show with Joanne Good talking about her London based novel: Soothing Music for Stray Cats
- Jayne Joso and Owen Hatherley Architectural Walking Tour of Liverpool, Talks and Readings - Liverpool’s Writing On the Wall Festival
- Jayne Joso at Storytails
- LadyFest 10 London - TimeOut
- Chester Literature Festival, Author Talk, Q&A, and book signing. Jayne Joso - Sold Out!
- Waterstones - various UK
- WHSmiths - various UK
- Sohemian Society, London
- Big Green Bookshop, London
- Brixton Book Group, London
-Times Literary Supplement - Keith Miller: “Full of originality... Joso applies an otherworldly curiosity to a basic but universal question: what is it to live somewhere?”
-Publishers Weekly, New York - "Joso maintains a fine balance between the intellectual and the emotional"
-ICON Magazine - Agata Pyzik: "echoes of a Thomas Mann-style Kunstlerroman - charting an apprentice's growth to maturity... an illuminating read"
Reviews for Soothing Music for Stray Cats:
-Times Literary Supplement - Ian Thomson: "may emerge as one of the great, eccentric London novels"
-Planet Magazine - "reminiscent of Holden Caulfield's voice in J.D.Salinger's Catcher in the Rye"
Abe's Penny's Poetry Postcards...
The 4 linked images are published on postcards, the linked text appears on the other side; and these are mailed out 1 per week creating a small set by the end of that month's issue. The idea is that busy folk receive poetry or fiction in their mail box and have time to read it before they leave the house, or even between the mailbox and the front door.
Abe's Penny featured in THE NEW YORKER
re: facebook requests - Jayne Joso is not on facebook