First publication of the year

After contemplating it for several months, I finally went to Lulu and spent all of last night and most of today putting together a 20-page hardbound photo book of my pilgrimage through Ireland and the Isle of Man. It's available by link only, not as an open search item on Lulu.com, so if you're interested, you can have a peek at the book by clicking here. It's $35, because it's hardbound and full color. I've got my proof copy on order but everything looked fine online. Once I get my copy (when I get back from PCon, as there's no way it would get here before I leave), I'll add a permanent link and information for it on my publications page over on Searching for Imbas.

There are a couple of pages of narration, and some material identifying where the photos are from and what they are, but beyond that, it's just some pictures of places I went and things I experienced. There are a couple of other people in some of the photos, but not usually faces, or the faces are far enough away to not be clear. This was primarily necessitated by the fact that I often simply couldn't get photos without people in them at some of the places. Two photos (of me) were taken by others, and the photographers credited. There's no ISBN, so it can't be got through Amazon or other online outlets. It's only available through the link. Anyways, please pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested.

I did most of the work on Firefox, but the browser wouldn't actually process the file to publish, so I had to switch over to Safari for the final work. It eventually got done. It was annoying, though.

This evening I went over to Lake Stevens hang out with the steampunks, and we plotted and planned stuff for the coming several months. March 17th we'll be having a tea & whisky tasting at my place. Other things are planned as well, but mine will just be a small, quiet affair starting about 2pm. If you're interested in coming and having tea and booz0rz with steampunks, let me know.

gra_is_stor is going to be starting up Irish classes in Everett soon. I'll post information as soon as I have it.

Tomorrow will be spent doing more PCon prep.

Thanks everyone

I appreciate everyone's concern and kind words yesterday when I had that close call with the jerk in the apartments next door. I was a bit shaken by it but ultimately just fine. I wish I'd thought to do something about it, but I've no idea what. Beyond, you know, a bazooka or something.

A bunch of my friends are going to be diving into NaNoWriMo this month, though I won't be. I have too much other stuff to do. This weekend I've got the Sherlock con down in Seattle, which will kick off with a slashfic meetup on Friday night at a bar on Capitol Hill. I'll head down and hang out with the fen for a while.

Tomorrow I have a VA group and will be hanging out at Travelers afterwards for some food & chai. varina8 might meet me there, I'm not sure if it's this week or next. At any rate, I should be there by 4:30, depending on how long the travel office takes. I'll be hauling the rest of my copies of my poetry book (which was officially released today) down so the gals in the group can buy them. Several had expressed an interest.

Today was just a quiet day at home, which I really needed. I've been having way too much trouble sleeping and am not looking forward to getting up at the time I need to in order to get to my appointment, but so it goes. I probably ought to go early so I can try to get those orthotics dealt with. I tried to make an appointment last time I was there but they were pretty much insisting that I should just come in for a walk-in on a day when I had another appointment. I am not happy about this. The day I was in, the gal at the desk said, "Well, we have walk-in openings tomorrow." I said, "I live in Everett. I'm not driving down for a walk-in that might not happen." I am not happy, needless to say.

At some point tomorrow, bills must be paid, but that can happen once I get home. I just hope I have enough brain juice to face it.

Oh, also? Fireflies at Absolute Zero came out today!
This morning didn't start well. I went to sleep at maybe 4:30am, only to be awakened by landscapers outside my bedroom window running a weedwhacker at 10:30am. Needless to say, this did not make the DoDC+3 very happy. By the third pass near the window, I gave up and hauled myself upright.

Email brought photos from Caitlin of the pomegranate ogam feda she made for me:

Pomegranate ogam feda from Caitlin

They look spiffy, don't they? She works with all kinds of wood and you can see her work or commission pieces from her here.

The mail brought my copies of Fireflies at Absolute Zero today!

Fireflies have arrived!

This means if you pre-order, you should get them before the official release date of October 31st. So dash on over to Hiraeth Press and do that thing! You can even look at the first several pages of the book there. The cover looks much nicer than this lighting makes it seem.

Last in the good news for the day department, gra_is_stor reports that she has the preliminary sound files for the Circle of Stones prayers in Gaelic/Irish and will be working on making them nice for uploading so you can buy them soon! I don't know how long that will take, but you'll know pretty much as soon as I do when they'll be available.

Even with all the good news, I barely felt up to leaving the house today. I almost left getting the mail out of the mailbox for tomorrow, but the DoDC+3 had to be walked, so I had to put clothes on anyway. Glad I did.

Tea and talk

This morning alfrecht, gra_is_stor, and I went out to the Shinto shrine for the fall ceremony. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so, and tedgill and brandywilliams were both there, so we got a little bit of a chance to catch up with them.

alfrecht's mom picked him up from the shrine and gra_is_stor was too tired to come down to Seattle with me later during the day for the tea and conversation. (BTW, gra_is_stor and thewronghands, you should follow one another and maybe we'll have an easier time getting you two in the same place at the same time!)

I stayed for the tea for a couple of hours, then hauled wire_mother out for some dinner and then off to chat at Cafe Vita for a while. We spent about two hours together catching up and talking about a lot of things. I was able to make a pretty large decision over the course of our conversation, I just have to figure out how to articulate it soon.

Tomorrow I'm having tea at 1 with a friend, then taking the DoDC+3 to the vet in the late afternoon. I haven't had him in to see one since he nearly got himself killed a couple of years back so he is vastly overdue for his vaccinations.

Got word from Jason today that the poetry book was sent off to the printer and he'll check over the proof copy and then approve it for publication. I'm sitting here looking at a stack of things that I need to write, one of which is for the Hiraeth website as publicity for the book. I have to put together a little bit for mael_brigde for the DoF newsletter. I have to put together an article from the ogam and magic talk I gave at the Esoteric Book Conference and submit it to Abraxas, then I need to get to work on the Brigid book. I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting, but it still feels pretty overwhelming. I need to finish up the Hiraeth project Tuesday so it'll be with them on Wednesday for publication. Tomorrow I probably won't have a lot of time for it, but Tuesday I should before I have to head out for the steampunk social.

If I'm missing something I've promised to do, please do let me know. My brain is utterly sieve-like right now.

Closer to finishing Fireflies

Email today brought the full cover draft and a PDF edit of Fireflies. I offered a couple of comments on the cover and the last couple of comments and corrections on the text. It may be off to the printer as soon as this Sunday. I was given an extension until next Wednesday for the written bit for the Hiraeth website, though, which was helpful.

I did manage to get some sleep last night. I'm not exactly at the top of my game, but at least I'm doing a little better now. I may wander over to the 24 hour grocery in a little bit, as I'd like to pick up some salad dressing for the salad I have, though I'm not sure just yet if I'm up to that. I also have to do some dishes. One load of laundry has run through the wash and needs to go into the dryer.

My body is not cooperating with me. Evil hormonal things are happening and I am pissed off. Damned menopause should just meno-fucking-stop already. We hates it we does my precioussss.

This evening I went with several of the local steampunks over to Snohomish to check out the Picadilly Circus pub. It seems to suit our needs quite admirably. We'll probably meet there next Tuesday to check it out on a night when we'd normally be there, as each night in any given place tends to have a little different feel to it. Overall we did give it a two thumbs up, so we will probably meet there first Tuesday of each month, then the rest of the month will still be at the AFK, given that I'm often the only one there on other Tuesday nights.

And now, off to deal with dishes and put some dinner on. Ate at the Picadilly but that was my first meal of the day. I really need a little something more.

Update on the poetry collection

Hiraeth Press has got a poem and an announcement up about Fireflies at Absolute Zero on their news page. The release date has been announced as October 31st. Happy Samhain for me!

Continuing to keep on

Last night I had a pretty rough time and still didn't feel too well when I got up this afternoon. I wasn't up to heading down to Seattle for Irish class, but I did manage to get a few things done.

Firstly, this came in the mail today:

CoS has arrived!

I gave a copy to gra_is_stor before she left, so that she can work on sound files for the Gaelic in the book. I have one copy set aside for my publisher, who are wanting to have a give-away of a signed copy to drum up some publicity. I told them I'd do it so I got an extra copy for that. And there are five for me to take down to California.

I didn't get a whole lot of writing done today for the pilgrimage, but I did get the ogam part of the first day's meditation together, on the letters Lus and Dair. I still need to work on a lot of stuff, but now I have a pattern for the rest of the days and it shouldn't be hard to do one quick page for each day, to be combined with the three cauldrons meditation. Rituals still need to be written, but as I get the meditations together, that'll help me decide how to handle the details of the various rituals we're doing.

I also figured out how to turn a .doc file into an .epub, at least in a really rudimentary way, so that I could slap some stuff onto my iPad to read without having to sit at a computer. That took a lot less time and effort than I was expecting.

Both mythworker and the Ashland Hostel got back to me, so I'm taken care of for lodging on the trip down and back. I still need to talk to seanthedruid - I'm pretty sure he'd said I can stay with him and his family the night before the festival, but I want to be certain, so I need to shoot him an email to confirm. It'll be easier to drive into Sacramento and head out to Truckee from there than come in a day early to the campsite. An extra night in the heat will be nice before I go up into the alpine reaches. I don't think he's back from Massachusetts yet, but I'll email him tomorrow.

Also tomorrow is an IRC chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon people. Last time I tried it, my awful net connect made it nearly impossible. This should be a lot more doable. They were happy with what little we got last time, at least. I'm hoping I'll feel better by then, as I'm still kind of under the weather.
I'd intended to spend more time today working on the pilgrimage stuff. I did, indeed, get to do that, but I didn't spend as much time on it as I wanted. I was hanging out with some folks in a livestream chatting a bit while one of them was working on fan art stuff. It was, as usual, a lot of fun.

Since the DoDC+3 was out of kibble, I walked down to the Safeway this afternoon. It was in the 60s here, and felt lovely and warm while the sun was out. Later in the afternoon we got a single rumble of thunder (which is about all the storms tend to do here most of the time) and a soaking but brief rainstorm, then it cleared up again. The sky this evening was peach and fuschia in the lowering western clouds.

I went through the emails on the pilgrimage list and checked out what I had already posted (and some of what others had posted) for resources and suggested/recommended reading, then spent some time adding to that list in a Word file so that I can remember what exactly has been sent and what still needs to be posted. I definitely need to post links to the various stories associated with the different sites we'll be visiting, and links to the archaeological and folkloric material that can be found online. There's still so much to do.

Given that I received several requests, I've requested five more copies of Circle of Stones to take with me next month to Eight Winds so that people can buy them from me. I still don't much care for doing direct sales myself, but it will provide some gas money, given that it's gone about $4.10 a gallon here at even the cheapest places, and California will be even more expensive. The very kind folks who invite me every year do send me some travel funds, but with the price of gas the way it is, a little extra from other sources won't go amiss.

On the Searching for Imbas blog, I also did a post about the release of the second edition of Circle of Stones, talking a bit about the context and a few other things, so it's more than just "hey, it's published again."

Okay, looking at this, I suppose I did get some work done today despite my futzing about with fandom. Damn, I keep forgetting how much one can do, even when they feel like crap.

Circle of Stones is available!

I got email today from Storm at Immanion/Megalithica that A Circle of Stones was released today and is now available for purchase! You can click on the cover art here and it'll take you over to their website, where it can be ordered!

Circle of Stones cover

Given the release, I'll be removing the information about the PDF of the first edition from my website shortly. The first edition will officially no longer be available except as a used paperback, if you can find one. I won't be getting as much per copy, obviously, but at least there will be the corrections and contextualization in the new edition that I think make me at least vaguely more comfortable having it out there again. I still don't think of it as anything at all like my best work. It's a product of its time and place.

I talked to an intern at the women's clinic at the VA today about meds issues. She's going to give me a scrip for 20 tylenol with codeine for the trip to Europe, and a scrip for 500mg tylenol as well, so that everything I take with me will be official prescription meds. I'll talk to my regular doc when I get back from Europe about actually dealing with useful meds for my fibro; she's on maternity leave until September, apparently. I also got a referral to podiatry for my achy feet to see if there's anything actually wrong, if it's just the fibro, and if I can maybe get some decent orthopedic inserts for my shoes if they might help.

After group today, I headed down to Travelers for chai and spent about two hours flipping through books and making notes on stuff toward the pilgrimage. I feel like I'm getting a better feel for the shape of the daily writing exercises and starting to get some ideas for actual poems and readings for each day. I also need to go over stuff that I've posted to the pilgrimage email list and see what I've sent them and what I need to link to or suggest/recommend for further reading and research for folks before we actually get to Ireland.

Aside from that, I'm just generally feeling creaky and will probably be hitting ye olde sack pretty soon.

Mandragora - and my awesome day

Today Mandragora arrived in the mail. I was, as one might imagine, utterly jazzed by the whole idea.

Erynn & Geordie with Mandragora

Here's me and Geordie at Travelers, waving the book with our stuff in it. We are happy. Sooooo happy.

Erynn & Caera at Travelers

And here's me and gra_is_stor at Travelers. She's happy, too.

But my deep, dark secret?

This is who actually writes the books...

The one who really writes the books

The day was gloriously sunny and warm, and we spent a while having chai at Travelers. I showed Leon the book (he was duly impressed). When we wandered over to Edge, I showed it to everyone there, as well. It's kind of the thing one does, after all. The schmooze turned into a pretty good discussion of trees in Celtic lore, as well as a discussion of tree as cosmological center, the Jupiter Giant columns, and various and sundry sacred omphali. (I think that's the right pluralization.)

Tomorrow is dinner with paganpaul, who's in town from the Netherlands. Wednesday I'm picking up Geordie when I'm in town for Irish class and he'll come back up for a day or two. Stuff and things require doing, and we still have a fair bit to talk about. Much of today was spent with both of us squeeing about The Book. As you do when you're an author with a brand new pretty.

I'm tired and hoping that I'll actually manage to get some sleep tonight. I didn't sleep well at all last night and I was pretty creaky when I got up this morning. I'm hoping there won't be a migraine in the offing tomorrow, given how I felt for part of today.

When I have the Brigid and flamekeeping book together, I'm seriously thinking of approaching Scarlet Imprint to do the publication. I don't know if it's quite up their usual alley, but one never knows. They're already publishing my stuff, and some of the book will be ritual work, while much of the rest will be essays and other material about Brigid, about flamekeeping, probably about poetry, and about the whole complex of things from a CR perspective, or at least from my CR perspective (which is about all I can say about anything I write these days). Given that they're also doing paperback editions these days, it wouldn't price the book out of everyone's reach, and I'd love to have a gorgeous edition for the altar of the sort that they tend to produce.

Anyway, that's a concern for when the book is actually written.

Healthfail but happy anyway

I woke up this morning to the dog being sick on the floor (at least he got off the bed first), and that stiff-neck-shoulders-ache feeling that I get if I'm pre-migraine, accompanied by vague nausea. I took him out but couldn't quite bring myself to go back to bed, even though I wanted to. I was worried he'd be sick again and I'd just have to get back up.

Tramadol was taken, which helped slightly, but I've been pretty dizzy and groggy all day and wasn't able to go out tonight as I'd wanted. I'm uncertain whether I'll be able to go down to Seattle tomorrow for the schmooze Beltaine ritual. I've already given the group a heads up, so I will post to them tomorrow to let them know with a yea or nay.

This was one of those days where I had to talk myself into getting into the shower before I got dressed, even though I knew for a fact that I'd feel at least a little better for standing under the hot water for a while. Most of my day was spent between sitting at the computer trying to do things and curled up on the couch reading. It's just been a really slow brain day and I'm still feeling out of sorts, 10 hours after I took the tramadol, so it's not all just the drug.

In the happymaking news mentioned above, Ruby Sara reports that she got her copy of Mandragora today, which means that my copy will be shipping any time now! I'm absolutely delighted about this and, as you can see from the photos at the link, this is an absolutely gorgeous volume. I can't wait to get my hands on it! Ordering information can be found here, and a paperback edition is due out later if the hardbound is a bit too dear for your tastes. Knowing that something with my work in it has been released is always a great way to make my day brighter, even when I feel like absolute crap and want to fall over and sleep for a week.

And now I need to try to eat a little more before I fall over.

In which further experiments are conducted

I hung out in #writechat today, though I only woke up about halfway through it (1:30pm-ish). I had a pretty rough night and what sleep I did get was disturbed and filled with bad dreams. Nothing acutely nightmareish, but enough to leave me feeling exhausted and out of it when I did wake. I did a little talking with folks in #poetparty as well, this evening, but again only got in around halfway through, which was a disappointment; I'd been looking forward to chatting with the other poets who hang out there.

Today I tried a few things that I hadn't before when dealing with Comcast regarding the email issue. It's not just Seanet that's the problem. I tried adding my Gmail account to Mac Mail and that wouldn't send out, either, no matter what I tried. I'll tell them about that when they call back, as it means that this problem isn't isolated to Seanet but is a systemic issue.

I walked down to the store today to pick up kibble for the DoDC+3 and answered some email. I also got rhubarb for the cobbler I'm supposed to make for our Beltaine celebration on Saturday. Tomorrow gra_is_stor's bandmates will be having their Beltaine, including a bonfire (provided it's not pouring down rain), and I'll probably be going over there with her. ingvisson will be going as well, though we don't know yet what time things are supposed to be happening or the exact logistics of the event.

This afternoon when I was talking to the writers I hang with, I noted that Mandragora is supposed to come out on May 1st -- which I realized is Tuesday. I don't know when my contributor's copy will arrive, but that and Circle of Stones are both due out this month! I'm feeling excited and hopeful about the whole thing.

Tuesday afternoon I'm supposed to go over to UW Bothell and speak at Nicole's class about the geilt and PTSD thing again. I should probably re-read my article tomorrow after I get up to refresh my memory on all this stuff.

I didn't really get anything done toward the pilgrimage today, but I was feeling rather under the weather and didn't get much better as the day went along. Even the walk down to the store didn't help much to invigorate me. I did eat, but not a whole lot. I baked some veggies in the remains of the duck gravy I'd made, then late this evening had the last of the lamb potstickers. I pulled some ground lamb out of the freezer and am hoping to have the wherewithal to make some dolmas tomorrow, as I think I have everything I need. I know I have the grape leaves and I have rice and onions and garlic. It doesn't take that much else, as I recall, though I'll have to look up the recipe again.

I'm going to be crawling off to bed fairly soon and hope that I'm doing better tomorrow.

Mandragora! (And other stuff as well)

Today I got email from Scarlet Imprint about the Mandragora anthology, which is due for release in its initial edition on May 1st:

Dear Friends,

Our latest title, Mandragora: Further Explorations in Esoteric Poesis, edited by Ruby Sara, is now available for subscriber pre-order.

Pulled from the ground, its shrieks threatening madness, carved and anointed, given form and breath… so it is, the Word walks.

Mandragora is a companion volume to Datura, and some 100 pages larger, comprising nine extensive essays and the works of 48 poets. If you enchant, incant or evoke this is essential reading.
We are committed to the art of poetry.

It has been a major undertaking, and now the mandrake gives forth its fragrance.

Our poets and writers are:

Adriano Camargo Monteiro, Adrienne J. Odasso, Alexander Cummins, Alison Leigh Lilly, Anna Applegate, Anthony Rella, Ariana Dawnhawk, Brock Marie Moore, Caroline Carver, Chris Page, Christopher Greenchild, Craig Fraser, Erynn Rowan Laurie, J/J Hastain, Jenne Micale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Melusine, Jimmy T Kirkbride, Jose Leitao, Juleigh Howard Hobson, Juliet Johns, Katie Anderson, KH Solomon, Levannah Morgan, Literata Hurley, Mama Whodun, Mark Mandrake, Mark Saucier, Mark Valentine, Michael Routery, Mike Slater, Miriam Axel-Lute, Orryelle Defenstrate-Bascule, Paul Holman, Paul B.Rucker, Peter Dube, Peter Grey, Phil Legard, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, Rebecca Buchanan, Ruby Sara, Scott Schroder, Shaun Johnson, Slippery Elm, Stuart Inman, T.Thorn Coyle, Valentina Cano, Voxx Voltair.

In addition to the rich wilderness of poetry represented in these pages, Mandragora also presents nine essays on the nature of the strange, mad, chymical wedding of poet and magic, and the occult euphoria that follows it through time and space. Throughout these pages we glimpse the ghost of Orpheus, that god-touched and wandering patron of verse, in explorations of the poet as seducer of the gods, the role of verse in ritual theatre, and the poet in relationship with the Muse. Twice we are invited to fix our hearts on the lives and works of specific voices from the history of esoteric poetry in essays on Ted Hughes and Fernando Pessoa. The prophetic voice of the poet is explored, specifically in relationship to Brigid, as is the role of poetry in the grimoire tradition, the use of the cut-up technique in poetry and magic, and the relationship of poetry to the ongoing conversation between science and occult practice. In these essays the poetic word is grounded in tradition and history, rooted in thought – a face given form and a spirit animating its limbs.

Essays:

The Poet as God-Seducer - P.Sufenas Virius Lupus
Black Venus and Wise Hermes - Phil Legard
On Cut-Up - Alexander Cummins
A Spell to Awaken England - Peter Grey
Magical Verse in Ritual Theatre - Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule
Burying the Poet - Erynn Rowan Laurie
On Pessoa - Jose Leitao
Houses of Death - Jimmy Kirkbride
Head of Orpheus - Michael Routery

Mandragora - Further Explorations in Esoteric Poesis
Various, Ruby Sara (Ed)

264pp, pinched crown 240 x 170mm in fine, hardback, paperback and epub/mobi editions.
The standard hardback Carpophorus edition
450 exemplars (50 hors commerce)
Bound in an exquisite copper crushed cloth. Stamped in black foil with La Mandragora.
Black head and tail bands, black embossed endpapers.
Archival quality paper.
£40 plus postage

The fine-bound Chthonia edition
32 exemplars
Full antique goat, sunk coffin device with copper blocking.
Magnani Firenze handmade endpapers.
Copper edges, slipcased and finished to the highest standards.
£185 plus secure postage.

http:www.scarletimprint.com/mandragora.html


I got email the other day from Justin Moore, who did the wonderful and fascinating presentation at last year's Esoteric Book Conference on The Library Angel. He's apparently developed an interest in things druidic, and the bardic traditions. He'd been interested in some of my work previously but hadn't realized who I was when we met at the conference until he was on his way back to Cincinnati. Sadly, he won't be attending this year, but we did talk a bit about the differences between the romantic/antiquarian druidic traditions and the more reconstructionist approaches in our brief email exchange; he also had a few questions about some of my earlier work, particularly the essay in Philip Carr-Gomm's The Druid Renaissance. I'm hoping to hear from him again soon, if he has time.

Today was a new session with the VA spirituality group. We have a couple of new people, which will change the dynamics slightly, but the women who come to join us have usually been pretty good people, so I'm looking forward to participating with them.

A little further discussion has been had on the cover design for the new edition of Circle of Stones, and I have to remember to find some time this weekend to find a couple of sample graphics for Andy, and to look at some font collections for the cover text.

Tomorrow is my outing for the steampunked Pirates of Penzance at the Village Theatre in Everett. There may be snacks before or dinner after, though I haven't got all of that cleared with gra_is_stor just yet. I know it will be quite the contingent, and all in our steamy finery. My head is twinging slightly tonight, so I'm hoping I won't be migraining tomorrow, as that would be exceedingly inconvenient. Rain and wind have been a bit much today, though the drive home from Seattle did provide me with a really nice rainbow arcing almost straight up into the sky as I came around the curve on I5 toward the Lynnwood/44th Street exit.

Nicole has asked me once again to come and speak to her class about the geilt and PTSD paper on May 1st, which I will most likely do unless I find myself swamped with too many things to do. I do need to put that into the calendar.

More stuff is going on than my brain can handle, I sometimes think. I did get a little more reading done in one of the Brigid books I've been working my way through. I need to take another look at the pilgrimage preparation timetable and see what's next on my list. Today on Twitter I made the acquaintance of a folklorist and (apparently) botanist going by @irishflora working at the Folklife Branch of the National Museum of Ireland in County Mayo. She'd been tweeting some stuff about ogam and trees, and a couple of people recommended my book to her, so we had a short chat before I had to head into Seattle today; she seemed really interested in my book and said if the pilgrimage group was able or interested, we should come by the museum. She says it's not all that far from Sligo, though I'm not sure what "not far" means in this context. I took a look at a map but am not certain of the scale of things in terms of travel and whatnot. Still, it would be fascinating if there's time at all while we're in Sligo for that part of the trip. She says that part of her work involves education on participation and ownership of Irish culture, heritage and tradition, which is of course right up my alley. I'm sure we'll have some interesting conversations, even if I don't get over to the museum while we're there.

So much stuff. So little time.

A very mixed day

I had a really mixed day today. My VA appointment went quickly, but the travel office wasn't moving at all. We sat for half an hour and hardly got more than six numbers called, and then nobody was at the windows at all. I was at least 30 numbers back and had to meet bearfairie and one of her covensisters who had been up from the Bay (and down from Alberta). I ditched the line and will get my travel funds another day.

gra_is_stor and I then headed over to Travelers, where we met them, and also saw nathan_fhtagn, who was meeting a friend for chai. I got to talk with him for about ten minutes before we had to leave to go to Araya's, but he'll be back at Travelers on Thursday to catch up with fullcontactmuse before her burlesque show, so I will probably see both of them on Thursday after my group.

Dinner was lovely and joyful_storm was able to join us for dinner, as was sebastian_lvx, who came along with alfrecht We spent a couple of hours at dinner, having a wonderful time talking and catching up, then I gave joyful_storm a ride home and brought alfrecht and gra_is_stor up here. He will need to catch a bus back up to Anacortes about 7:30 tomorrow morning, but gra_is_stor will be here with me for several days.

When I got home, I had email from mael_brigde, who said that she was diagnosed with a sarcoma of some sort today. I emailed her back asking for more details, and she called me up. We talked for a while and I told her that if she needed somebody up there for support to let me know. She hasn't got much for support there right now, as one of her people is out of town for two months, and her ex-girlfriend, who often helps out with a lot of things, is having some severe problems with vertigo that are keeping her from being able to do much of anything right now. Anyway, I may need to go up to Vancouver without much notice for a few days to help her out or give her rides or something. She would welcome prayers or healing work from friends and acquaintances, so please keep her in your thoughts. She has been a dear friend for many years, and is the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, so prayers to Brigid are particularly appreciated.

Not long after that, I was able to have a chat with my brother in Baghdad. He says he will be leaving there Friday, spending four days in Kuwait, and then heading home to Italy. I'm glad he's nearly out of there. He did say that Aviano may be giving him some military time when he gets back (which will put him closer to getting that last 150 days for retirement), but he hasn't got any details for that as yet, so he's not sure what will be happening. I'll keep folks updated. He told me he'd text me when he got in so that I could mail him all the stuff that's been stacking up here for him.

A couple of days ago I mentioned that P. Sufenas Virius Lupus had finally published Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor's Notes, Volume One about the spiritual practices of the Ekklesía Antínoou. What I forgot to note is that I have two rituals published in the book, for the Festivals of the Lion and the Lotus. So this is yet another publication for me this year!

Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor"s Notes

You can get it at Createspace.

Needless to say, no writing at all has been done today.

I just want everyone to be happy, healthy, and safe.
A new book was released today by my friend P. Sufenas Virius Lupus of the Aedicula Antinoi blog, titled Devotio Antinoou: The Doctor's Notes, vol. 1. It is a compilation of texts, rituals, prayers and other material for people interested in the cult of Antinous and the Ekklesía Antínoou. Please pick up a copy and help a friend, as well as getting some really in-depth information about this deity and his ancient and modern cultus.

Datura! w00t!

Today's mail brought my contributor's copy of the paperback edition of Datura -- and my girlfriend has yet to give it back to me. *eyes gra_is_stor* I shall prevail! My paperback copy shall go on the Shelf-o-Writer's-Ego along with all the others! Why yes, I do have a shelf-o-writer's-ego, thank you. It is mighty. There are a lot of books on it with stuff in them that I have written. It pleases me to look upon them as I sit at my desk and scribble.

Not much else happened today, but getting a contributor's copy of a book with my work in it is never a minor occasion! I did get the fic I'm working on up to 34,100 words and am going to write some more before I go to bed. Neither of us were feeling physically fantastic, so we stayed here for the most part, aside from a brief trip out for some groceries. We watched Flying Down to Rio with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (their first movie together, in fact), giggling hysterically and snarking the magnificent early-30s silliness. They weren't the headliners on this one, it was so early in their career.

At the moment, there is a jerusalem artichoke in the oven. I haven't had one in ages, and Central Market had a bin of them, so I grabbed a bunch. They are being roasted with butter and fresh garlic. It will be YUMMERS.

Tomorrow I'm taking gra_is_stor over to the Eastside for a harp circle so that she can meet new harpers and get some playing in. After that, it's back to drop her in Seattle. Monday is the CR schmooze.
Today was the CR schmooze. Several people weren't up to coming for various reasons -- illness, transportation issues, and the hit that we all take when the time change comes were all a part of it. I was able to pull it together to do a talk on poetry, and there was some good engagement on the topic, particularly as it related to incubation practices and to practical magic. I plugged several of Robin Skelton's books; Spellcraft is one of the only books out there that directly addresses poetry as magic and I still highly recommend it to people.

While at Edge of the Circle, I saw that they had received their paperback copies of Datura, which means that I should be seeing my contributor's copy sometime soon. I was delighted to see it there, and they seemed pretty happy to be carrying it.

Tomorrow I'll be going down to Occupy Everett for a while before I head over to the AFK for the Tuesday steampunk social. I'm really pretty tired after everything I've been doing, but I feel a need to at least check in with them. They were apparently doing some activism on veterans issues today, which is kind of unsurprising given that Everett has a Navy base. It's not a big one, but it's certainly a presence. There used to be a VFP chapter here in Everett but it apparently became less active and the Seattle chapter kind of absorbed it. I don't know the history surrounding that and for all I know there may be some political stuff involved, but at the moment I'm more interested in VFP's participation in the Occupy movement than in its internal politics.

American Women Veterans put out a call for people to do volunteer work in Seattle and several other places on Veterans Day, and I've been in contact with them and with the local organization doing the work. They do have things I'm able to do, so now I'm inquiring whether I can show up in the early afternoon and work with them until the end of the day, rather than showing up at 10am, which would be nearly impossible for me due to sleep issues.

Last night I had a really rough night physically. We had a bad cold snap -- it was at least 10 degrees colder last night than it is tonight, and I was in too much pain to sleep, so I ended up sitting up on the couch until about 5:30 in the morning reading so that I wouldn't disturb gra_is_stor with my thrashing around trying to find some vaguely comfortable position. I'm doing rather better tonight, but the time change is still really throwing me.

My editor emailed me and said he'd got the file for Circle of Stones and also noted that corrections had been made to the ebook version of Ogam. I asked him to send a new copy to the person who had pointed out the problem to make sure that things were in order now. One of the problems was that the ogam font was not displaying, so it made the e-text almost useless for actually learning the ogam letters. This, of course, defeats the purpose of having the ebook at all. Of course, I've been rather skeptical about ebooks for a while anyway, and this only reinforced some of my issues with them. The font problem, combined with continuing formatting problems for some kinds of poetry, really does make them less useful than a print book for those purposes. That said, things are progressing, and we'll see how they go.

I still have the Phosphorus article to deal with. I really wish I felt like I could take a break, but the topic is important and should be dealt with. I just hope I'll be able to pull something together soon. I have an outline-ish thing, and a couple of paragraphs together, but I really need to reexamine what I have and might need to start over entirely, given that I initially started the project a couple of months back and that it's really not been in the forefront of my mind since that time. I had more pressing deadlines to deal with. Right now, I mostly just want to collapse in a heap.

The end of the crazy is not at hand.

Getting ready for Samhain

I'm doing progressively better with the cold, though I'll probably be toast by the time the Samhain vigil is over. I'll be staying at gra_is_stor's place on Sunday after the vigil, as it's a much shorter drive to the hill than it is back up to Everett from joyful_storm's place. I'm heading into town tomorrow to pick up things in Seattle for the ritual, and to pick up gra_is_stor so that I won't have to make a trip to the hill before the ritual on Saturday.

There is some shopping and some cooking yet to do, but the ritual is sorted, I have the list of tales I have to bookmark and the stack of books to mark them in, and have been collecting some of the items I have to remember to take with me that aren't in the box over at Edge.

I'll probably be taking the DoDC+3 and his cage with me, so space in Garuda will be limited, but there will be enough for what I need to take along, and for gra_is_stor and her harp. There's a good chance my LJ won't be updated until Sunday sometime, though I might have a little bit of time Friday at some point to post an update.

Scott Olsen regained consciousness today, though I believe that surgery is still likely to be necessary. His injury has galvanized veterans and military members to action in regards to the Occupy movement, which I think can only benefit everyone in the long run. We, as a nation, have been asleep for a long time, and this is a long, slow, and painful awakening to the realities we face.

I have to remember to get things mailed out tomorrow. I have my ballot that I filled out, and a box of books that the sib had shipped here because he couldn't get them to ship to him in Baghdad, along with some other stuff to forward to him.

I swapped over from Chrome to Firefox last night because I was having some severe performance issues with Chrome due to an unexpected update that the program didn't actually tell me about until it happened. Firefox seems, for the moment, to be working somewhat faster and rather better for me, though I've had to learn a few different ways of doing things. I'm okay with that; I like to think I can still learn new things when I need to.

I'm about halfway done with Disability and Religious Diversity and have found most of it pretty interesting so far. They had a few typos in my essay that I'm pretty sure I didn't put there (citing The Táin as "Thetain," for instance, wtf?), but overall I think it presented the material accurately and they didn't actually misspell my name, thankfully. I'm very much looking forward to the paperback edition of Datura arriving. The cover photo looked really lovely.

And now, some hot ginger tea adulterated with citrus Airborne to help kick the cold, and a dash of key lime juice to help flavor it a bit more. I'm hoping to crash sometime soon, as I woke up today about 2:30 with a nasty headache. That dissipated through the day, for which I am grateful, but I'm hoping it's not going to manifest tomorrow as well.

Blessings of Samhain to you all, whenever you decide to celebrate it!
I was just out checking the mail and what should appear in my box but my contributor's copy of Disability and Religious Diversity: Cross-Cultural and Interreligious Perspectives from Palgrave Macmillan. I haven't had time to go through it yet, but I'm all excited to have yet another piece in print, particularly in an academic book. I feel very proud and excited to have made it into such a collection, particularly given my lack of higher education. I've taken a couple of stray college classes over the years, but even by the most generous estimate, I haven't even got a first year's worth of credits for any of it. I see it as an affirmation of my hard work and my discipline as a writer and researcher that my work was seen as being of good enough quality to be included, and to have received so little editing from the editorial team.

Today's email also brought notice that contributors to the Datura anthology from Scarlet Imprint will be receiving a contributor's copy of that volume, which pleases me greatly. Many thanks to Ruby Sara and to the folks at Scarlet Imprint for this -- it's very much appreciated.

I've been a bit headachy so far today, so these were both very nice things that have helped to balance out the health ick. Thank you world!

I think I've been busy

So, as noted in my previous post, my ogam book came out as an ebook today.

I talked with Nicole from the OBOD grove about speaking to her class at UW Bothell this quarter. She'll send me some information on possible dates and I'll send her a copy of my geilt and PTSD article for her to give to her class as reading, then I get to just come in and talk about the stuff and my experiences. She said she was interested in coming and checking out some of the stuff we'll be talking about at the CR schmooze in the next couple of months, so I told her that she's welcome to come and join us if she'd like.

Aside from that, I went to my first yoga session at the VA today. We don't have the usual instructor at the moment. We got a substitute and will have one next week as well, before we get the usual instructor back. I'm feeling kind of creaky and there's a knot in my shoulder, but getting back into physical things like that often tend to have unintended creaky side effects, so I'll just roll with it. Next Wednesday is both yoga and my shrink session.

This evening we had the schmooze business meeting, wherein we worked out the last of the issues for the Samhain ritual. Now all that remains is to get the meditations put together. I should be able to pull that off and post it to the list by the end of the week. We also dealt with some topics for the upcoming November annual meeting, and I think we got a brief agenda for that put together. We also discussed what we might need for ritual tools for the group and spending some money on that. All in all, a lot of stuff got done by 9pm. I then hauled gra_is_stor and Patrick back up to the Hill so that she could get home and he could head downtown for his shift.

I am a very toasty toasted thing. I came home, walked the dog, and ate. I'm going to be heading for bed soon.

I did get an email today saying that The Sacred Cauldron by Tagh MacCrossan was going to be coming out in a new edition. I'm told that some of the more egregious issues I've had with it will be addressed in the new edition (removal of the ritual involving raw honey being fed to an infant, for instance), and I said I'd pass the word along. If you know anybody interested in this, please let them know.

Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom -- it's an ebook!

Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom was released today on Smashwords and is available now for $7! Smashwords provides links for a number of formats for all your ebook reading needs.

Please feel free to pass the word far and wide!

Woots!

From my editors with the disability and world religions anthology:

Dear Contributors:

We are happy to report that the page proofs and indexes have been submitted and as far as we know, the books are ready to go to print. October 25 is the predicted release date for both books! It is our understanding that each of you will receive a complimentary copy of the book in which your chapter appears. We will let you know when we have a concrete release date.

As always, we are grateful for each of your contributions. The initial reviews have been very positive and we look forward to seeing the completed books.
Best,
Darla and Mike

Garuda and writing news

I went in today to have Garuda's oil changed and was told that the rear brakes had worn down to only 2mm of brake lining left, so I had those replaced today. They also said the struts and rear shocks need some work (leaky bits and wearing out), but that will be a rather more expensive fix, and I'll wait on that. Next month I'll get one part of it done, then in October I'll deal with the other bit, to spread the costs out a bit. I do have a credit card specifically to deal with car stuff, so that helps, and they usually give me six months same as cash for paying them off. I usually manage to do that, so there haven't been any interest expenses; this pleases me greatly. I'm just glad I can actually afford to do this stuff when it needs doing.

The mechanic on duty today was a new guy I hadn't seen before and he said that Garuda was in really good shape for a car his age. He says he wants to get an Echo for his girlfriend because they're pretty much bulletproof and they get good gas mileage. I told him I'd been pretty happy with mine over the years but was happy to hear that a professional thought I'd made a good choice on my car.

In book news today, I got an email noting that The Scribing Ibis, a fiction anthology for Thoth, will probably be available sometime late next week. I have my first published fiction piece in it and will let folks know as soon as it's available for sale. This is another devotional volume from Bibliotheca Alexandrina, as was Queen of the Great Below, where I had a poem series published last year.

I tossed together some angel hair pasta this evening sauteed with fresh basil, mozzerella cheese, organic tomato, pine nuts, and a touch of truffle oil tonight for dinner. It turned out very nicely and I've got some left over in the fridge to zap tomorrow before I head down to Seattle. There's another free movie in Cal Anderson Park tomorrow evening, and it looks like a hilariously bad musical. I'll be meeting gra_is_stor again and swooping her back here with me for our steampunk weekend so that we can set out early for the Edmonds/Kingston ferry early the next morning. I'm still not entirely clear on when and where we'll be meeting up with alfrecht on the other side. He hasn't been able to find out about bus transfers from Port Townsend to Port Angeles. I'm hoping we won't have to make the detour through Port Townsend on the way in, but we'll do it if there's no way for him to get from point a to point b by bus.

Arrangements have been made for the next door neighbor to look after the DoDC+3 on Saturday and Sunday until I get home. I'm going to try to get on the project of dealing with September's schmooze readings on Monday after I'm back from the peninsula. I'm really looking forward to the weekend, though I haven't yet figured out what I'll be wearing for the show. I'll deal with that tomorrow at some point.

Since I now have an address for the sib, I forwarded all his mail to him. I'm glad to finally have that done.

I don't know if I'll have time to post anything while I'm away, but the motel does have free wifi. We'll see what happens.

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