A Portal to Another World

Come away, oh human child! To the waters and the wild (W.B. Yeats) … Experience a realm of mystical beings who are a part of the magic and beauty of nature. Dare to enter the wondrous Real of Faerie. There are many mysterious and fascinating paths to follow in this enchanting realm.

Patrons who inhabited the Soul Food Cafe between 2003 and 2010 and contributed to major features on the site, will testify to the superpower of the Enchantress (aka Heather Blakey).  Le Enchanteur, as she became known, lured travellers through a portal, into the Cave of the Enchantress and on into the magical fantasy world of Lemuria. As they travelled in this new world those who came honed their internet skills and helped to build a place that went on to exist in the minds of many.

Self Portraiture! “Le Enchanteur Entering Lemuria’ Heather Blakey 2004

Sadly the portal closed for many years but now Heather Blakey has taken on a  new identity. As Georgina McClure she has established Bancroft Manor, a virtual manor house which welcomes creative people to come, take up residence and share their creativity with others.

Are you a creative person who has had a yen to have the dream ‘room of your own’ where you can work? Have you searched for places that really nurture your creativity, where you can shamelessly share what you are doing and genuinely collaborate with other creative people? You can join and help build this quirky, creative, cyber collective. You will be astonished by the ‘extra steak knives’ an inexpensive subscription entitles you to.

Entering the Bancroft Estate

There are many awesome and spectacular fantasy worlds that have been created, depicted through books, movies and games. The truly amazing, surreal paintings by Jacek Yerka capture my imagination.

It was Virginia Wolfe whose idea of a room of her own captured the imagination of thousands. Bancroft Manor lies within a fantasy world somewhere in cyberspace. It is a place where those who take up residence can have the dream room, apartment, outbuilding, or treehouse of their own.
Heather Blakey

When Katharina Rapp made the journey and approached the Bancroft Estate these were the gates that greeted her. It didn’t take her long. She now has settled into Studio Rapp.

Celebrating Collaborative Creativity

The Rookery was the final Advent Calendar that was published by Heather Blakey when she operated the Soul Food Cafe. It celebrated the collaborative work of artists and writers who had inhabited the site and worked collaboratively between 2002 – 2010. Previous Advent Calendars also celebrated the work of patrons who willingly inhabited this cyber sanctuary. Here at Bancroft Manor residents will also be given the opportunity to have their work featured and preserved. Copyright remains with each artist and writer.

A Piper Called Them

In another time and another place the piper called and travellers came. Can you, like Alice be tempted to follow the rabbit and see where it takes you?

Soul Food Bumper Catalogue of Creativity

Come away, oh human child! To the waters and the wild (W.B. Yeats) … Experience a realm of mystical beings who are a part of the magic and beauty of nature. Dare to enter the wondrous Real of Faerie. There are many mysterious and fascinating paths to follow in this enchanting realm. Choose to the left and dare to enter a wondrous realm full of magic and beauty…
by Edwina Peterson Cross

When the piper called them artists and writers conjured many versions of the portal that led to the Cave of the Enchantress and Lemuria. What would you pack for the journey? How would you find your way into the fantasy world of Bancroft Manor?

Through the Enchanted Doorway
A journey of the Heart

My journey began long before I knew I was looking for something. One night I received an email asking me if I was ready to…

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Autoethnography – My Life As a Writer

Autoethnography is a form of qualitative research in which an author uses self-reflection and writing to explore anecdotal and personal experience and connect this autobiographical story to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.

Evocative Autoethnography

Begin by thinking about your life as a writer and then consider refining these questions to flesh out other aspects of your life.

Write the story of your life as a writer. Write creatively, focusing on as many concrete events as you can. Give your story a beginning, middle and an ending. Make your story interesting by some of what has happened in dialogue and scenes rather than telling about it in ‘this happened, then this’ fashion.

Include memories of childhood and adolescent writing experience. Do you remember being taught how to write? What principles were you taught? By whom? Where did you write? Do you recall any products of your early writing experiences? What made you like or dislike writing?

When you write now, how do you feel? What emotions circulate through your body? Do you feel as if you are a subjectively or emotionally different person when you are writing? Characterize these differences?

Is writing a rational, emotional or spiritual experience for you? Explain or specify. Do you feel compelled to write or do you avoid writing as much as possible? Describe the best and worst writing experiences of your life. What made each memorable?

How do you write? Where do you write these days? Is writing integrated into your daily routines? Do you write every day or only when you must? What are your work habits as a writer? How do you get started? From what sources do you draw inspiration to write? How many drafts do you typically write? Do you write with the door open or closed? In restaurants, bars, or coffee shops? What is your ideal writing environment? How do you organize your space for writing? With whom do you share what you write?

What are your revising or rewriting habits or patterns? How do you evaluate your own work? Do you have someone to rely on as an editor, critic or writing buddy?

How do you know when you have finished writing a particular piece?   Do you act “professional” as a writer? What does “acting professional as a writer” mean to you?  What forms of writing are you engaged in, e.g, poetry, journalism, short stories, memoir? Which do you enjoy most? Why?

What are your hopes and aspirations as a writer? What are your fears and apprehensions? What kind of future do you envision as a writer? What would you like to accomplish? What will you need to do to achieve this goal?

What obstacles are in the way of your writing? To what extent do you get distracted by social media, e-mail, text messaging and phone calls? How can these distractions be overcome? Do your family members and/or friends understand the importance of writing to you? Are you able to keep them from disturbing you while you are working?