'Undine' the water spirit, has always had a fascination for me. The play of water with its hidden community, magical properties and its essential quality for all beings on this blue planet, pulled me in when I was just a child. I owned a large, red book of stories, bought for me by my Dad. We shopped for it at the Melbourne University annual book fair in Australia. I read the book until it was tattered, at which time, we moved house and Dad threw it away. I was devastated as it had had such a profound influence on me, setting a base of myth and broad literature, vital to my success at University and trivia nights!!
When I had children of my own, I was determined that they should also have that experience. Each school holiday we combed the junk shops and antique malls until I tracked down a pristine copy. I was so happy. The children were pleased for me, but less than excited at its musty odour. And somehow, the tales appeared a bit hackneyed. Though the art nouveau illustrations by Arthur Rackham went down well. We all agreed that the tale of Undine was terribly sad. It told of a childless couple who lived by the sea. One day, a small child appeared. She was wandering along the beach, alone, wet and covered with seaweed. The couple adopted her, caring for her meticulously and lovingly. Unknown to them, she had materialised from the water, needed to be loved by a human, bear a human child and would be awarded with a soul and the ability to live as a woman. She was warned by the spirits not to go near the water or she would be returned to the deep. Well, we've all seen The Little Mermaid, so the ending is no surprise. She neither found love nor heeded the warning and tragically, she drowned, her body cast off and turned into foam.
In my book, 'Calandra's Spring', water, or the lack of it, is vital. The 'spring' is not a season. You will need to read it to see exactly what it is!
Happy reading, and please tell your friends about my book.