Letters to Camelot: Where ‘Pure’ Meets ‘Problematic’


Dear Galahad,

I am so, so sorry.

Mostly, sorry for making you so much like me.

I don’t think I consciously modeled you after myself, any more than when I created Sheriff Swanton of Nottinghamshire for “The Legend of Allyn-a-Dale”. And yet, you two – (we three) – and weirdly alike.

Your touch aversion = mine. Your unfairly high standards for humanity = mine. Your disinclination to offer forgiveness = yeah, we all three got hit with that one hard.

Camelot Dolls_Galahad x 2
Galahad, as seen in “Once and Future Fan Art

It’s a double shame, because fiction is all too eager to frame ‘religious’ characters as the bad guys. (Something about a shocking number of Christians and so-called Christians throughout history doing a really, really terrible job being the least bit Christ-like.) The minute you walk onto the page, young squire, there is guaranteed to be some reader somewhere who shuts you out, unwilling to see the best of you amid the… less than best of you.


You are far from being the villain in the story of Camelot I found. And yet, how much of the kingdom’s fall was the fault of villains, and how much the fault of its heroes?

I’m sorry that’s hurtful for you to know. But the good news is: Arthur.

If you’re seen as an example of Christianity gone wrong, I hope he’s recognized as Christianity gone right. Not by any means perfect. Not free of mistakes or poor choices. But undeniably and powerfully brimming with agape – God’s own love.

So I guess what I’m saying is, I’m sorry you and I aren’t more like Arthur. Maybe by the time the Age of Camelot comes ‘round again, we’ll have figured out better.

I’m also sorry that, pie-in-the-sky assuming this novel generates a following, you’re gonna get shipped with Mordred. Yes, that’s what fandom is like. No, our shared asexuality (and your probable aromanticsm) will not save you. Apologies again.


Your author,

~ Danielle E. Shipley


One for the #CamelotWIP playlist!

For Galahad = “Stars” from Les Miserables (10th Anniversary Concert version), because ~Righteous Intensity-y-y~

(I guess he’d be singing it about his father, lol-cringe)


Camelot Cover, final w blur, text, tagline 01

Everyone knows the story. Nobody knows the truth.

According to legend – and to Merlin’s prophecies – the great King Arthur Pendragon will someday reign again. But “someday” has been a long time in coming, with decades spent confined in Avalon, the ancient Faerie isle disguised in modern times as an everyday  Renaissance Faire. What remains of Camelot’s court pass their summers by putting on famous faces for the Outside world, all the while questioning who they were before death and magical rebirth robbed them of their memories.

For Camelot to rise again, they must remember the fall.

With nothing but centuries of hearsay to mine for clues, the mysteries remain: Were Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot the betrayers, or the betrayed? How came Sir Bedivere to be known as “the One-Handed”, and what hand had he in the kingdom’s undoing? Did the inscrutable Morganne le Fey stand with Arthur, or with his enemies?

And do truly great enemies ever die?

In this epic successor to the Outlaws of Avalon trilogy, the time comes at last for “once” and “future”  to unite, thanks to – (or in spite of) – a king and a wizard, the Round Table and the Fey folk, and one outlaw minstrel whose destiny has only just begun.

The Once and Future Camelot” – coming soon!

“HYSRT!” or “Science vs. Creationism?”

Science: “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

Creationism: “Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.”

Are the twain mutually exclusive? That’s the impression it seems one is meant to take away from a blog piece I happened across last week. Although its author, Roy-Gene MacIninch, does not profess a disbelief in God, his post’s title, “Bible Classes, Creationism Do Not Belong in Public Schools. Period.”, leaves little doubt of his position on that particular issue.

The way I see it, this is a pretty multilayered question. Is there scientific support for a Creator of the universe? How literally should one interpret the biblical account of creation? How far should “separation of church and state” apply? Should science be taught in isolation from any and all other disciplines? Is there any room in science for faith?*

I’ve made an effort to thoughtfully contribute to the discussion in the comments of Roy-Gene’s post – (debate’s not really my thing, but when I feel led to speak… well, so be it) – and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject, followers and guests. No points taken off for honest opinions, no matter which side of the argument you take (though please do remain civil, or I’ll use my formidable Comment Moderation powers on you). I just think it’s a good idea for us all to take stock of what we believe and why; kind of a, “Hey, You Should Think About This!

*Speaking of science and faith, I saw a piece on Facebook the other day that ties in well with this discussion. So yeah, two more cents for the tally, if you will.