When the Maritimes becomes anywhere/everywhere all at once
We’ve toured Halifax and surrounding areas and seen locations in the latest book, Sisterhood of the Sword. However, there are still more familiar locations in the Jamie Poole Diaries. However, these locations don’t always go by their recognized names. Nor are they necessarily “here” and “now.”
This blog is about those locations throughout the Maritimes that stand in for places throughout Time and Space. Come with me, if you dare, and find out where in Nova Scotia Jamie (and her author) got inspiration for some magical locations. The picture to the right was taken at Scott's Bay. I thought there was an otherworldliness to the beach that would best capture the idea of time travel and a separation from reality.
But, before we continue, let me tell you where you can find the author and your own set of Jamie Poole Books so that while you read this blog, you can consider where we'll met up!
You can also purchase any of the Jamie Poole Books directly from the author. Arrangements can be made by emailing: JamiePooleBooks@gmail.com.
In working with Hal-Con there can be arrangements for drop off within Halifax as we are a virtual vendor. Additionally two preferred vendors can also assist you in getting the books any time of year:
Now that that is out of the way, shall we proceed?
Locations in the Maritimes that are not all that they might appear:
Doyle Dalton or one of his relatives appears in every book. Doyle Dalton's diary is critical in the Jamie Poole mythology.
The first Dalton appearance is Burt Dalton in The Isle of Osiris. He’s attempted to resurrect his ancestor’s Cabinet of Curiosities. One of those curiosities is the alabaster statue of a woman holding a sword. Lumen. One of the curiosities he does not show is the forged star map and its original. That’s right. Doyle Dalton has two.
Dalton is a complex character. He’s both a decorated war hero and a soldier of fortune. His Cabinet of Curiosities seems to indicate which he devoted his time to. His life is an embarrassment to his family. The family curse, they call his cabinet. That doesn’t stop some members to try to display the cabinet and make a buck. And where does Dalton call home? Born in London, Doyle Dalton takes his bride to Australia just before World War I and builds her a home. It is here that he writes the infamous diary which Jamie also comes into possession of. He has serious warnings for her.
Doyle Dalton's house is represented by Mount Uniacke located a few minutes north of Halifax. Imagine him penning his diary in this comfy chair.
The Dragon Door
Walter Cornwall's house is known to be located in Halifax. Our first walking tour in series took us there. The door in Walter’s house of the dragon’s is also real. It does not, however, reside in Nova Scotia. It resides in Prince Edward Island.
The door belongs to my father-in-law. When I saw it in his house backlit and hiding its own secrets in his house, it begged to have a story written about it. Sisterhood of the Sword is that story.
According to Wikipedia, a fen is "a type of peat-accumulating wetland fed by mineral-rich ground or surface water. It is one of the main types of wetlands along with marshes, swamps, and bogs."
With saltwater marshes abundant in Nova Scotia, it is easy to pick any of them to be the fens in the Jamie mythology. Jamie travels through Time. Elsewhere, Jamie finds herself in that narrow place between times. It’s like that place on a record where one song stops and another song begins. Jamie can see Time. She just isn’t there. This place outside Time is represented by many things, and often a river or a fen. In Destiny of the Departed Jamie meets a woman named Heta who says, “Here you aren’t really alive. We are not really dead. We simply are.” Jamie must race across the fen to rescue her friends from certain death as the Isle of Larupus is about to explode. Some of the “fens” featured in Jamie Poole are those boggy areas near Lawrencetown Beach.
Wikipedia has a lengthy entry into what the Otherworld may or may not be. There are countless books, movies, and television shows representing ideas of the Otherworld. In Jamie Poole mythology, we stick pretty closely to the Celtic idea of the underworld or afterlife. It is where beings go when they die. It is where creatures that do not belong in this world exist. It is believed in Celtic mythology that there is a veil dividing that world from this, and at certain times of the year such as Halloween (Samhain) the veil thins and things can cross.
The Otherworld is mentioned throughout the entire Jamie Poole series. Jamie first visits the Otherworld in the Tome of Tubal-Cain. How she enters the Otherworld is a story I won’t spoil here. I will tell you she meets the Celtic deity Manannán mac Lir. He introduces her to the broad and diverse land that is the Otherworld. Much of the Otherworld is actually the Bay of Fundy, specifically the Blomidon area.
The blood red sand, the fog that hugs the ocean floor and the landscape, all of it suggests something rather otherworldly. And while Jamie visits the Otherworld first in Tome of Tubal-Cain, don’t imagine for a moment it’s her only visit. At the end of her story, she will have seen the length and breadth of it, including the part mac Lir describes as:
We call that area the Nether Realms. If it were closer, all you would see is darkness and all you would feel is torture. The Nether Realms are ruled by Anubis. I’ve been there twice. Once to steal Watermonster eggs from under his nose. Consequently these creatures know me as their father. There are many distinct regions within the Otherworld. How the Nether Realms came to be is a story for another time when things aren’t so urgent...
A few times, because I was not close to real locations in Indiana, such as the excavation site featured in The Courtship of Brett Poole, I improvised with Point Pleasant Park. I needed a location that "looked" similar to limestone, at least enough to pass in a photograph. This is the general area. So, in this author shot which was used for that book, the limestone here is actually the park. Having been to the actual site the book is based around, I will admit it's not a perfect match, but it's close enough. (For now.)
The next time you visit any of these places, think of Jamie's adventures here. To this point not all the Jamie Poole books have been published. These locations will play critical roles in present and future books as well. And again, I sincerely look forward to meeting all of you at one of the events I'll be at very soon!