erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Had a really good day today. I've sold all of the copies of my poetry book except one, and many copies of both of my other books. Talked to a lot of the folks I've been wanting to be in contact with, and have plans to get in touch with many others. There have been hallway conversations, a discussion of CR with a gal who lived in Ireland for a year and who was wondering how all the texts and folkloric material might be practically applied, attended a Manannán ritual with one of the Druidic groups in attendance (where I met the woman who lived in Ireland), hung out with the ADF folks, and participated as a ritualist in the Ekklesía Antínoou Lupercalia ritual. Much more was said and done than I can really quite describe, but I've been having a fantastic time.

I talked to Chris Penczak briefly in the Temple of Witchcraft hospitality suite. When I have more information about actual dates I'll be in New England, we might be able to arrange for me to do a workshop on ogam for his people, pending his talking to the board of directors. He's based in New Hampshire, and it would only be a couple of hours from Springfield while I was out there. That would give me an opportunity to get a little gas money for the rest of the trip, and maybe sell some books. No promises, but I suspect there's a good chance I can pull that together.

Tomorrow's a busy day. I have the Immanion authors panel at 1:30 in the Silicon Valley room, 5pm in the ADF suite I have the informal photo show & tell about the Ireland & Isle of Man pilgrimage, and at 11pm the spirit work and PTSD joint session with [ profile] druid_medb will be happening in Carmel/Monterey. I suspect that one will be pretty well attended.

Sadly, my day starts rather earlier than I would like. There's a pre-ritual meeting in our room early in the day, so the alarm goes off at 9am. I don't see things I'm likely to be very conscious for at the 11am session, so I will probably be dealing with something vaguely resembling breakfast at that hour.

After the Lupercalia ritual, I got a chance to meet an African Raven, brought to the festival by Our Thracian Colleague. He is a beautiful bird and I got a chance to hold him and talk to him a bit and ruffle his feathers. He's got unusual coloring for a raven, in that he has some grey feathers and his eyes, rather than having gone to black, are a dark grey-amber color. He's really amazing and I'm going to see if I can take a few photos of him tomorrow if I run into Andrew during the day. That was really quite a treat!

And now, given that it is going on 2am, I'm goingt to check a couple of other websites and then head up to find myself a little snooze.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
I am beginning to wonder if the frequent/near constant migraines I've been having of late haven't been because I have only been wearing the bifocals. It could in part be eye strain triggering things, so I'm going to go back to wearing my regular glasses unless I'm reading for a week or so and see if that helps at all.

In the email today I got some notes toward a history of CR session I've been asked to do for Wellspring this summer. There's a lot yet to do, but it can wait until after PCon, as I still have things to do for that.

Today I made duck soup. Yesterday I got a lovely crab and today I spent time cracking it out of its shell, then made some pasta alfredo with crab, which was very very tasty and noms.

And now I'm going to go to bed and see if I can get the headache to go away.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Liberty & Justice OTP)
Today was another in a series of days spent slightly dizzy and out of it. I have to wonder if I'm not fighting off a cold or something. I've managed a little bit of work around the house, but that's about it. Still with the slight headache (it's better today than yesterday), but the dizziness was more to the fore.

Needless to say, I wasn't in any shape to drive, so I didn't get out to the Shinto shrine.

I did get a chance to go over the notes I was sent the other day about a PCon presentation and will be getting a few comments together for the woman who sent them. She's doing a session on Pagan pastoral counseling, talking about the community's need for some kind of recognition, and how Pagans are routinely shut out of the process even if they have qualifications within our own communities. It's important stuff and I'm honored she would think I'd have useful things to say on the topic.

As to the "unusual" bit of the day, I got an email through my website from a guy who was spouting some really awful racist nonsense six or so years back. He says he's changed and he's offered an apology of sorts to the community. I do believe people are capable of change. I don't know what he's been doing in the intervening years, so I can't speak to that. I do know that it takes some guts to offer an apology after something that egregious, particularly years later, when one might instead hope that it's forgotten. I'm posting it here below the cut, unaltered, for folks to read for themselves.

He's included an email address where people can contact him if they have questions. There's also a link included to a post where I talked about what he'd been saying, so that there is some context here.

Email here below )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Magical Sigils)
I was feeling pretty under the weather today and a little slow. I hung out with some friends online for a while, and tried to take some photos for the EBC presentation, but the lighting wasn't working. I'm not quite sure how to fix it, but I'll try something different tomorrow for the same pieces.

The CR schmooze was this evening and I ended up hauling the laptop over and showing some of the photos from the first half of the trip. I was too tired to stay afterward for dinner at Charlie's. I'm not sure anyone actually went this month. I did get to see [ profile] wire_mother briefly, though he had missed his ferry, and his backup foot ferry wasn't running because of the holiday, so he didn't get there until after 8pm.

When I got home, I put my trip photos (and some others) onto an SD disc that I'm going to send to my mom, along with a little USB drive that can read one. That should take care of her problems pulling photos from any of my websites. I'll need to mail them out to her later this week.

And Tired Erynn is really tired so I'm going to crawl off to bed. With any luck I might even get a little sleep tonight.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (spices)
Today was a little slower and quieter. I filled out the VA survey and added a bunch of notes on some of the pages expressing my issues with the way it was written and where I varied from their assumptions. Not sure if it will make any difference at all, but at least I have attempted to have my say. Took an hour or two, where they claimed it would take 30 minutes. That, of course, is if you're just picking tickyboxes. The fact that anxiety level doesn't necessarily influence what I absolutely have to do because I live by myself doesn't seem to occur.

The salal berries went into the dehydrator today. A couple of small ziplock bags of them went into the freezer. I made a small salal berry cobbler as well. I turned off the dryer for the night a couple of hours ago because it's so noisy, but it shouldn't be a problem. I'll turn it back on for a bit tomorrow.

This evening I did a little chasing down dates for ogam in manuscripts so that I could construct a rough timeline for the use of the alphabet. I chased down more information the Ballinderry dice and am not quite convinced by the arguments that it's an isolated 2nd century use of ogam. I have no idea what it is, but I don't think it's that. I haven't done any photographs of things or any scanning, but I did at least get a few things done aside from #writechat today.

I'm currently feeling slightly overwhelmed and wish I didn't have a bunch of stuff to do this coming week, but stuff has to get done. My sinuses are still not too happy with me and I'm kind of hoping I'm not coming down with a cold or anything. That would be immensely annoying.

[ profile] ingvisson is coming over tomorrow for a bit and we're going to the schmooze together. I'm going to wipe my data off the laptop tomorrow, as he has the OS discs that I need. I'm considering sending this one back to Apple for recycling, as it could net me about $300 in credit with them. It won't be useful in paying for the new computer, but I'm guessing I could get some useful stuff with that much money at the Apple store. I'm definitely contemplating an updated version of Office for Mac, as mine is Office 2008.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
[ profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to the park today to pick salal berries, but they were really substandard there. Most of them were dried out and a lot of others were moldy, which was really pretty nasty. We ended up picking from along the sidewalk by the lake. It was closer to the road than I liked, but at least they don't use lead in gas anymore, so I wouldn't be too worried about lead poisoning or anything. They washed off just fine and we got three bags full, which got cleaned down to two big mixing bowls full of berries that are now sitting on the counter on paper towels drying off a bit. I'll put them in the food dryer tomorrow, as I don't want to leave them in overnight. Last time I did that, they got crispy, which really doesn't do much for their flavor.

I spent part of today updating some of my software for the new computer and messing with the email so that it works again. Last night being able to send was sporadic but I think I've got it together again now, and it's been sending consistently again. Bills got paid, though the charge for the new computer hasn't showed up on the credit card yet. I'm sure that'll happen soon.

My Dead Can Dance hoodie showed up from [ profile] miss_adventure today, which has delighted me to no end. I wore it out when I went grocery shopping tonight. I hadn't been out for more than just a day or so's worth of stuff since I got home from Europe, so I had rather a lot to pick up, but there were some nice Washington peaches that felt and smelled ripe -- it's hard to get peaches in a store that are actually ripe enough. They're often either grainy or crunchy. I think these might turn out okay because they're fairly local and they claim they were "tree-ripened," though what that means these days is anyone's guess. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when I have one for breakfast.

As noted in my other posts today, I did a blog page on finding the Wayside Well in Kildare, and Hiraeth Press posted one of my poems to their website, which made me quite happy. I sent off the link to the publicity person at Immanion. I also sent off a copy of the manuscript to [ profile] finnchuill for a poet friend of his to look over. I hope he'll like it.

Tomorrow I'll probably do #writechat for a while and then work on some more material for the EBC presentation. I have photos that need to be taken and things that need to be scanned for further slides. Fortunately, Word and PowerPoint both still work on this version of Mac OSX. I'm definitely liking the new larger monitor. It's at a better height and I have a lot more space to deal with things.

Today's mail, along with the hoodie, also brought a fairly lengthy health practices survey from the VA. A lot of the questions are not particularly answerable (for me at least) in the format they've laid it out. So much of their stuff can really only be answered as "it depends on how I feel that day," which they really don't have allowances for. I'm going to have to give some serious thought to my answers. Also with the VA, Wendy called on Friday and left me a message that the spirituality group starts again on the 6th, for a four-week session. Things are shifting yet again, so they're needing to figure out how to handle it. But it'll be nice to see everyone again.

Carrying the huge box with the computer in it yesterday really messed up my arms. They're very sore today, as they were last night. Hauling four heavy bags of groceries tonight didn't help much, sadly. Monday is the CR schmooze. Tuesday is the steampunk social at AFK. Wednesday I have a meeting with a couple who want someone to do a handfasting for them. Thursday Jeff's back to help with finishing up (I hope) the EBC presentation. In the midst of all that, I have to deal with scanning things, photographing things, writing up text slides, and expanding on some of the material I've got for the presentation outline.

Tired Erynn is really, really tired. Probably should cork this yummy apricot cider, pop it back into the fridge, and head for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Insane: What's Your Excuse?)
It was raining a lot today, so I had to watch parts of the Venus transiting the sun event on the computer. NASA's broadcast was kind of wibbly, probably because of the huge number of people watching, and then I heard that some transit worker in Australia did something weird and accidentally cut a cable, shutting the broadcast down temporarily. I don't know what's up with that, but I did see it on a Google search for a site showing the transit.

The steampunk social was tonight, and planning happened for several things, including a bonfire and potluck out at Qi's place on the 16th. I'm hoping to be able to make it, but I'm not sure if I will. It really depends on how much I actually have finished by then.

Some books were posted to the Puget Sound CR email list by [ profile] wire_mother and I've posted a few more, but I feel like absolute crap right now and couldn't focus enough to dredge around for more titles. We're working on stuff that was published since the CR FAQ came out, as noted last night.

I've sent off inquiries to the Ashland Hostel about a bed there for the night on the way down to California, and asked [ profile] mythworker if he'll be home and might have space for me in Eugene on my way back, as I'm looking at heading north pretty much directly from the campsite, rather than staying the night in Sacramento again on the way home. I'm not sure I'll make it as far as Portland that night, but Eugene is probably doable.

Further articles were sent to the pilgrimage list containing material that might be of interest to those attending. Nobody has to read all of it, by any means, but some people might actually want to take a look at some of it.

Because [ profile] ingvisson is having some trouble right now, I'm going to have [ profile] gra_is_stor house- and pup-sitting for me, so I contacted my insurance company and had her added as a driver for Garuda. It didn't cost anything extra, so I don't have to worry about stretching the budget at all for that, and it'll mean she'll have a lot more flexibility than needing to rely on sharing her roommate's car while I'm gone for six-ish weeks and she's here at my place in Everett.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to have Irish class, but right now I'm feeling absolutely awful (it might have been something I ate, or just the IBS kicking my ass because I've been so stressed out lately) and if I'm still not feeling well tomorrow, I'll probably have to cancel on that. Regardless, I'll try to work on at least one of the ritual scripts tomorrow, and one day's worth of exercises. Time is getting shorter every day, and I'm really staring to feel it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gull at sunset)
I was awakened by the postal carrier, who had one of my prescriptions for a signature. The last two shipments from the VA didn't include non-childproof caps, which is very annoying and I'm going to have to talk with them about it.

I headed down to Seattle early for the CR schmooze tonight. I actually got a fair bit of work done, finishing one of the basic instructions section for part of the daily meditations on the pilgrimage, and making more detailed notes on the various ogam feda we'll be focusing on each day of the pilgrimage. Now that I have them (two for each day, to follow the various themes), I can work on the actual material I'll be sharing with folks before we actually go into the cauldron meditations. That'll be about one page for each day, and then I have to choose appropriate readings and the precise writing prompts for each day.

I still have to do more than outline the opening and closing rituals, the incubation in the barrows, and the dream incubation, and the Airmed ritual for Heapstown cairn.

While I was at Travelers, I ran into [ profile] neo_lvx, and (briefly) Craigula, and we spent a little time catching up with one another. The schmooze this evening was a really good discussion of books and resources published since the release of the CR FAQ. We are, supposedly, going to post some of our suggestions for newer books on the Puget Sound CR list, where we can then compile things and post them around here and there in response for the folks who want newer material. There are, sadly, still not a lot of actual CR books available yet, and from what was said, apparently nobody's actually talking on the lists and whatnot about writing them. I doubt that I'm the only person working on new things, but a lot of that is happening on a few blogs, not on the lists or the various online communities.

It was really good to see [ profile] wire_mother again today. He's not been able to make it to the last several schmoozes, and I've very much missed his company and his contributions.

Tomorrow is the steampunk social, and I think quite a few folks will actually be there, as there has been some discussion on the Steamrats list regarding north-end activities and gatherings. The Krakening tends to be where a lot of that stuff gets planned, and the first Tuesday of the month is generally the most heavily attended social.

I've exchanged emails with [ profile] seanthedruid about funds for my travel to Eight Winds. He's in Massachusetts right now but promises to get something out to me shortly. I'll be glad when that's out of the way. I need to remember to see if there will be a bed at the Ashland Hostel on the way down to California at the end of the month, and reserve one if there is. Given the time of year, if they don't have one, then I'll go ahead and push for Redding and get a cheap motel there, as it'll still be light for the pass through the Siskiyous, which makes it a much less harrowing drive.

I need to look at my calendar tomorrow and decide what day I'm heading south. I'll probably stay the night before Eight Winds at [ profile] seanthedruid's place again, as it was a reasonable drive from there out to the campsite in the Sierras. I also need to do a quick review of the Brigid and Sarasvati presentation and make sure I have all the handouts together so I can make cheap copies before I leave. There won't be any copy shops where I'm headed.

The other thing I need to do this week is see if I can get Garuda checked over and the oil changed on Thursday. While that's going on, I'll see about getting a haircut and getting the green streak bleached so I'll be able to re-dye my hair when it's short again. The hair's getting down into my eyes and being really irritating again lately.

Busy Erynn is still way too damned busy. I'm glad I have friends who understand that and support me in my work.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
The VA sent me an appointment for podiatry in the mail today, which is scheduled for 8:30am on July 9th. I called and left them a message that I was going to be on a plane that day, thank you, and they should call me soon, but NOT BEFORE NOON to reschedule. I am so not going to an 8:30 appointment. I would have to be up by 6am to get there in time, given rush hour traffic and all the crap that entails for a trip in from Everett. There is No Fucking Way I am going to have an appointment at that hour. If they only have a morning clinic, I will have the very last appointment of the morning, thanks very much. I had told the gal who was sending the referral in to have them CALL ME first, but of course this is the VA and they don't actually listen. yay.

I sent off the payment for my UK train tickets to [ profile] fififolle, who received it today. That finishes up all the travel stuff for my trip except the Isle of Man, where I'll probably get a bus pass for the week.

Last night I also finally got around to answering an email from a young woman (presumably, from what I could get from the email address name) who was asking me about centralizing CR and making One Big Website with Everything On It where info would be sorted and reliable and folks could buy books that were published about CR and... sigh It's a great dream, but that's just never going to happen. The original Celtic cultures were never a unity and it's completely unrealistic to expect CR Paganism to manifest unity when we all worship different deities, our rituals are going to be different, and there are different cultures involved. I wish the online community was a little less acrimonious, but the only way anything is going to get done is by people actually doing them instead of sitting around online talking about it and telling everyone else how UnCeltic they are. Stuff like this doesn't spring up overnight, anything involving an organization that publishes is going to have to deal with nonprofit laws, and it would take a lot of volunteer effort that never quite seems to be forthcoming. Anyone who wants to see organizations and groups start, even if they are not a scholar and don't want to be one, is just going to have to step up to the plate and start organizing things. It's not magically going to happen by wishing. But I have given that particular rant many a time before. I hope I was at least encouraging to her about finding her talents and contributing to the community as best she's able.

Today I spent some time talking on Skype (texting actually) with [ profile] vyviane about pilgrimage stuff and sorted through some things. I sent her a link for the doc where I have a bunch of research links and stuff for some of the sites we're visiting, and where I'll be adding more things as I find them in the next few days. I also wrote up part of a document for the list on three cauldrons meditations that will be the basis for the daily work we'll do before the writing prompts each morning. I would have spent more time on it, but I needed to get down into Everett to pick up my guests and have dinner with them, then we came back here and watched the Lovecraft movies, which were greatly enjoyed. She did note that airfare from Boston or New York into Dublin is, I believe, just under $1,000 for a round trip right now, so if anyone was wondering if cheaper airfare might make going on the pilgrimage possible, now would be the time to consider tickets and coming along!

ETA: [ profile] vyviane says "I found tons of 1,000 RT from all over the place via Air Lingus and Expedia has a couple 811 and 864 RT from Boston and New York City!"

Further work was done on dealing with the specific themes and readings for each day's meditations and travel. I still need to dig through some books to find appropriate poems, but that's tomorrow's job.

I was delighted to discover that the Celtic Scholar's Reviews blog had posted a very positive review of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom a few days ago, giving it a very high recommendation. Her reviews tend to be honest and clear about a book's flaws, as well as its positive points, and she was really quite pleased with my work.

Thursday I've scheduled a chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon again, given that the last one was pretty much utterly defeated by a lousy internet connect. I'm looking forward to it, as it was so messed up last time. Apparently they really enjoyed what little I did get through to everyone, so it'll be nice to be able to actually talk to them realtime instead of with those hideous delays and signal drops.

Monday is the CR schmooze, and Jeff is going to be doing a presentation on deity imagery on Celtic coins. He's really into numismatics and will have illustrations and such. It should be fun.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
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 [ profile] 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 [ profile] 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.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (foggy coast)
Today was the CR schmooze; as noted yesterday, I wasn't too clear on what we were to be talking about, but we did have an interesting conversation. A new person showed up whom I'd met last year at Eight Winds, and I don't think we terrified her or anything, so perhaps she'll come back again to talk with us.

My anxiety today was bad enough that I had to medicate for it. I dislike how the anti-anxiety meds make me feel, but they're at least slightly preferable to that horrible feeling of an impending panic attack. It was enough to get me through the evening, thankfully.

I left Everett a little early so that I could drop off stuff about the pilgrimage at East West Books. That was about a two minute stop. Some kind person had stuck their parking tab onto the kiosk so it could be re-used (it had over an hour's worth of time still on it). I used it for a few and stuck it back on the kiosk myself, to pass along the good karma, as it were. After that I hauled myself over to Travelers, where I ran into [ profile] nathan_fhtagn and another friend. I was reading a book but we did have crossover conversation, and Nathan says he'd be interested in coming when I screen the Cthulhu movies from the HPLHS, Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer in Darkness, so I got a contact email for him and will include him on the list when the dvd arrives and I have some idea when I want to schedule it. He's off for Providence I think this weekend to do some stuff out there (with [ profile] meddevi, perhaps?), so I'll be wanting to schedule it for when he's back.

[ profile] gra_is_stor and [ profile] joyful_storm both came by Travelers for chai. I'll be wanting to talk with [ profile] joyful_storm again about travel stuff, as she's a much more experienced traveler than I am when it comes to the European stuff. She had a couple of suggestions for places to look for light, comfortable, multipurpose clothing that will work for packing into one light carryon bag. She said she'd email me links.

After the schmooze, I went off to Remedy to have tea with [ profile] thewronghands and we sat and talked for about 90 minutes, catching up with a bunch of things. She's only in town for two days, so I was glad to have the chance to see her. She said she liked [ profile] dpaxson's The Way of the Oracle that I brought back from PCon for her, though I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I asked if she'd like anything from Ireland and she said that a field guide to Irish plants or trees would be awesome, so I'll see about finding one when I hit a bookshop in Dublin or Sligo. I'm sure there are a fair few of them out there. I know that I like field guides and natural histories, so I'm hoping I'll have a good feel for what she might want in one of those. When I was there last, I bought a field guide to birds because I had seen a few that had fascinated me, but I had no idea what they were. Knowing what I'm looking at helps so much in orienting myself to a new place.

We talked a little bit about traveling solo and other similar stuff, and it turned to Badass Women In Seattle (we're looking at you, [ profile] lakmiseiru, [ profile] canyonwren, and [ profile] varina8, among many others). There really are a lot of amazing women we know here, who travel the world alone, who climb mountains and kick ass and save lives, who keep on doing astonishing things despite the health problems that nature handed them. I'm so delighted to know so many of you! Lucky Erynn is one lucky Erynn. We also carped about the right-wing and their attempts (far too successful recently) to rescind every fucking right that women have gained in the last 50 years; anyone who thinks we don't need feminism needs to fuck off. I am a human being and I refuse to condone a government that tries to tell me I'm not. GRAR.

I also noted that [ profile] thewronghands really needed to be introduced to [ profile] gra_is_stor because they have a fair bit in common. She said it sounded like an excellent idea, so we shall try to arrange that when she's going to be in town for a bit and we have some scheduling options.

[ profile] druid_medb got back to me and clarified about the whole Eight Winds versus PCon contexts. Both of us were having fibro fog and got a couple of wires crossed, but we're good now, and much more clear on what it was we were both attempting to convey. There are both Eight Winds and PCon components to what we were discussing and we just needed to sit down and sort where the salient points slipped by us. Eight Winds is definitely more of a personal with a few other folks in on it type conversation about some of the warrior stuff, geilta, and PTSD, with another private conversation on other issues, while PCon would be more involved, a lot more public, and more formal.

Tomorrow is my Skype chat with [ profile] vyviane, there may be some steampunkery at the AFK, and [ profile] gra_is_stor will be coming up before her band practice then heading out to play music with her friends. I really have to deal with sheet changing and all that kinda stuff. With my arms hurting like they have been lately, stripping and re-making the bed has been a challenge, so I'm hoping I can get a little help with it before she has to head for the rehearsal space.

Still way too busy, but at least working on getting some things done.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
I woke today about halfway through the Sunday #writechat, which was rather slow and sparsely attended, presumably because it was Easter Sunday and a fair few people were off doing things with family rather than hanging about yattering with fellow writers. Still, I had fun as I usually do. It's an enjoyable crowd.

Laundry was done while I was chatting, then I tossed myself into some clothing and went for a walk around the lake. It was a lovely, warm 68f today, and partly sunny, so it was pretty much ideal for a walk. I very much enjoyed it, and the park was pretty crowded, as you might expect on such a day. My knee was twinging a bit as I went. It wasn't enough to stop me, but it was fairly creaky. I'm probably going to want to talk to the VA about getting a knee brace sometime soon. If I'm going to walk, especially if I'm hiking overseas, I'd like to be a little more sure the knee isn't going to give out on me at an inconvenient moment - not that there's a convenient moment for joints collapsing, but you know what I mean.

Last night I'd walked over to the Safeway and picked up a few things, including a couple of lamb chops, one of which I had for dinner tonight with some asparagus, brown rice, jerusalem artichokes, and a glass of Boujoulais, which suited it quite well. It was all very tasty, and I hadn't really felt much up to cooking recently because I'd been too tired and there wasn't a lot here that I really felt like eating, nor was there much beyond pasta or a can of beans that was just something I could do quickly and without a fair bit of effort. I dislike having so little energy, but I've been taking B vitamins again and it seems to be helping a bit with that. Sadly, it doesn't do jack for the insomnigrackles.

[ profile] druid_medb emailed back about Eight Winds and was very much into opening up the discussion, but I think she took it as being potentially rather more than I'd have the bandwidth to help out with. She suggested maybe a ritual (a tentative suggestion), but I don't have it in me to deal with something that involved before I leave in July. I suggested maybe we could do something at PantheaCon next year instead, considering this is pretty heavy duty stuff and I don't have the skills to deal with it if somebody goes all splodey on us. She certainly has more than I do, but I don't think Eight Winds this year is the right time or place. We'd need a lot more time and preparation to pull something viable together. That said, I do think it's an excellent idea to consider for another time and place. Depending on what's going on next year, maybe at Eight Winds in 2013 instead.

This evening I did some more work on the links document for the pilgrimage preparation. I've got something for all the various places we are (or might be) going, and most of the deities and other figures we might deal with as well, so we'll see if this is what Vyviane had in mind when she asked for something. We'll talk on Tuesday at some point, so I don't have too much longer to wait and see if I need to deal with this differently.

Monday is the CR schmooze. I guess the idea is dealing with a definition of cosmology. I'm not in charge of this ride, so I'm not too terribly worried about it. I've got other things to keep my brain spinning its wheels. I'm also meeting [ profile] thewronghands for tea afterwards for a little bit, pursuant to a conversation elsejournal. Wednesday is Irish class, Thursday is group at the VA (which I should actually get to this time, gods willing) and probably meeting [ profile] isquiesque afterwards. I may also be seeing another friend, but am not so certain on that one. I was supposed to see her last Thursday but something came up and she asked to reschedule for this week. Saturday is a birthday party, Sunday is the Great Spring Ceremony at the Shinto shrine and a chat with some of the people from Sisterhood of Avalon. All in all, a pretty full week. I hope I have the braincells.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
I was contacted a week or so ago by [ profile] druid_medb about the article I'd written on geilta and warrior stuff. She's a vet herself and has been working as a veterans advocate for people working their way through the VA system. As seems to be a thing at the moment, there's a lot of interest in the more mainstream spiritual and counseling communities in rituals and approaches to dealing with PTSD for returning veterans, and the work our group has been doing, and a fair bit of my own work and writing falls within that area. I sent her off the geilt article and she was very interested in the whole thing. She asked the other day if we could talk while we're at Eight Winds this June, and I suggested maybe we could do an impromptu discussion of the material with interested folks who might be in attendance.

She said that there would probably be a number of vets/military there, and some folks on the treatment/services side as well, who would undoubtedly be interested in such a discussion. So we're looking at how to put this together, when we might do it, and what we'll want to do about distributing the article and other potential material when we're there. I may end up hauling copies of a few things depending on how many people would consider joining the discussion.

In line with this, A is going back to the middle east soon and asked if we would do the warrior blessing ritual again in May, before he leaves. The local group is in planning for that. We have a couple of potential dates and the organizing committee is looking for a place to do it. Last time, we did it out at my place, also using the tiny park across the street at the lake. We're doing a much shorter version of the ritual this time, as he's already been through it once, so it won't be an overnight vigil but a more condensed version to only take about 3 to 4 hours.

I had a short text exchange with Vyviane about scheduling a discussion regarding the upcoming chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon about the pilgrimage and my work. We'll be talking on Tuesday afternoon (my time). She's been out of town and very busy and won't have time until after Monday, and I need to catch up with her and make sure everything I'm working on is what needs to be done. As I've said many a time before, not having ever done this previously, I don't necessarily know if what I'm spending time on is actually what needs to be done, so I'm feeling a little tentative. She's done this for years now and knows what all is expected and what works and what needs to be done, but I feel rather like I'm groping in the dark. Getting a reassuring word now and again helps me feel like I'm on the right track and doing what I should be working on.

A trip to the grocery store netted some rhubarb and some early strawberries (a two-for-one package sale). I may end up doing a cobbler, though I haven't decided if I want it to be strawberry-rhubarb or just rhubarb. With strawberries, I often feel it's too sweet, but these are probably not the ripest strawberries on the planet and therefore not necessarily overly sweet. It might work out well. If [ profile] gra_is_stor is feeling better soon, I might do the cobbler with a gluten-free crust so that she can have some, too. The strawberries, regardless, would go very nicely with my honey yogurt anyway. I froze the remainder of my pseudo-posole this afternoon so that I can have it later instead of having to eat it all right away. Yay freezers!

Tomorrow, #writechat, #poetparty, and laundry, along with whatever note-making and writing I can get together toward the trip again. I opened up the notebook I'll be using for the pilgrimage and trip to Europe and wrote that in the first page, slipping one of the pilgrimage postcards into the little pocket in the back. I'll add all the contact stuff, a list of folks I'm tying ribbons onto the clootie trees for, and travel information to it in the next few days. I got one with blank rather than lined pages, and will be sticking in bits of maps, making notes, and stuffing it with postcards as I go along, as well as various meditations and journal entries. I'll use it as my writing notebook for our ritual and creative writing/poetry prompts work as well. I may or may not have it full up when I get home, but I'm intending it to be a record of my journey.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (hazels)
The quote below is from the introduction of Of Demolition and Reconstruction: a Comparative Reading of Manx Cultural Revivals by Breesha Maddrell

From Macpherson's Ossian to the present, much of the discourse surrounding issues of the revival of popular culture, particularly that relating to 'traditional' music and dance, focuses on a need for authenticity (Harker 1985). Evidence is demanded in the form of ancient documents or the implied ancientness of the oral tradition. 'Fakelore' is to be exposed and the truth somehow accessed. An awareness of the fragility of Manx cultural survival means that the Isle of Man cannot hope to escape this debate. It is part of the tension between continuity and revival. By focusing so strongly on authenticity, however, commentators remove themselves from attitudes of acceptance and adaptation present in the community itself. Such a focus also brings with it a sense that development is unwelcome, that change is a sign of impurity. If a culture is a living one, however, there is an inherent tension between conservatism and innovation–a tension that offers creativity and dynamism whilst maintaining a sense of cohesion. Meanings tend to change over time, after all; values do not remain fixed indefinitely.

In many respects, commentators on the authenticity debate fall into the same patterns established by the nineteenth and twentieth century antiquarians and revivalists they seek to assess and deconstruct in that they imagine a mythical and 'true' beginning to the culture being studied. In doing so, however, they blinker their own vision to the equally valid creative contribution of individuals occupying more recent twists of the road.

The tensions in the CR community surrounding these issues are pretty much exactly reflected in what Dr. Maddrell describes here regarding the tensions of language and cultural reconstruction and revival in the Manx community. It is a discussion, or at times an argument, that arises at frequent intervals in our various online communities. In the middle of all this (as usual), I have always been an advocate of both approaches, of archaeology and aisling, history and vision. We need both, and cannot afford to shut either out. We need the historical understanding and background, but we also strive for a living set of traditions, ways that grow out of what is known of the past, fed by streams of influence and understanding of other, similar cultures and practices, and brought to fruition in ways that are appropriate for us here and now.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Join the Illuminati!)
The wind was up today and the power got knocked out for maybe half an hour. It wasn't gone long, but it was slightly disconcerting. Given that my wireless is currently battery operated, this meant I could remain online even through the outage - not a thing I could do when I had a cable modem and a wireless router. It's the one advantage to the system I currently use.

I got first draft sample cover art for the Circle of Stones reprint today. The idea is okay, but the execution leaves rather a bit to be desired, as one might expect from a first draft. Comments were sent back and forth between myself, Taylor, and Storm, and we'll have Andy do another draft and see how that goes. I was kind of "yeah, it's okay. meh." It didn't grab me, but it didn't give me a visceral Oh Fuck No the way the first draft cover for the ogam book did, so I figure we're headed in the right direction.

I had fun at the Irish class today, wherein songs were sung and key phrases like "I don't understand" and "maybe" were practiced. ;)

After Irish class, [ profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to Caffe Vita for the queer Pagan meetup, where I caught up with folks I haven't seen in quite some time. Greg, Black Cat, Craigula, Jimbo, and Jay were all there. Also in attendance (though I didn't really get a chance to talk to her) was Nancy, whom I hadn't seen since around the time I was dating my third husband, so that's probably been nearly since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I introduced [ profile] gra_is_stor around to everyone I knew and we chatted and I squeed about Ireland and Europe and upcoming publications and all that.

Once the group started to break up, half a dozen of us went up the street to a little bar and snacks place, which was okay if a bit hipster for my tastes. We hung out and talked for probably another hour before I had to get on the road to get home to Everett.

In the past few days I'd been hearing about yet another eyerolling kerfuffle in the online CR community, where some folks are apparently claiming anyone who isn't Reading Books and Being A Scholar ZOMG isn't really practicing CR, which is patent bullshit as far as I'm concerned. The whole idea behind this was that eventually people wouldn't have to be scholars and build it all themselves. Eventually there would come a time when there would be rituals and communities and people could just come and participate and be a part of the CR movement, no matter what their level of "academic" involvement. I think that it was put pretty well on the Mo Thearmann blog, though she did say one thing that I would take at least slight issue with:

You can't attend a gathering and then shut CR off for the remainder of the year. Also, if you are CR on Monday, Ásatrú on Tuesday, Wiccan on Wednesday, Hellenic on Thursday ad nauseam, then you are not fully CR because you are setting aside the CR worldview to practice— or dabble, really— in others.

I'm someone who practices multiple traditions. My primary spiritual identity is as a fili within a CR tradition, but I am also a Shinto practitioner, a mystes and luperca in the Ekklesía Antínoou, and a number of other things that I don't mysteriously stop being when I am practicing a CR path. Nor do I suddenly stop being a member of the Shinto shrine or lose my affiliation with Antinous and his community when I am teaching or doing ritual within the CR community. I understand why "dabbling" would be problematic, but I also know that many people operating in a genuinely polytheist paradigm are capable of working within a number of traditions at the same time. How long does one have to practice something for it to no longer be "dabbling"? Whose criteria do we use? What determines how many spiritual practices a person can have and still legitimately be considered a member of the CR movement?

I've already been declared a heretic by some, I know. That said, I'm writing books and publishing essays and teaching at festivals, and people associate my name with the CR movement. I don't accept the idea that I might somehow not be legitimate because I also choose to worship other deities and practice other paths along with my primary practice. My life is broader, richer, and more complex than that. I take all of it seriously, even if I would never consider myself, for instance, an expert on Shinto. I don't have to be in order to be a shrine member and to go to the seasonal festivals.

Anyway, that's my rant for the evening. Let's not dismiss people just because we may not practice in the same way they do. Yes, there are boundaries. No, CR is not an exclusive path that people must practice while forsaking all others. No, you do not have to have a degree in Celtic Studies to practice a CR spirituality.

Thank you and good night.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Today was the podcast adventure. It was kind of "obnoxious talk radio" done Pagan, but the conversation in the chatroom was okay. Some of my friends showed up and asked good questions and made some good comments. The hosts were nice to me, but were very RAR WE DO NOT AGREE WITH PEOPLE about things. That said, they actually tended more to agree with what I said than not, so their generalizations about What CRs Do apparently didn't much apply to me, despite that I'm a CR. It was interesting, at least. Some of what I said was repeated on the air, as they'd said would probably happen, though I think some of it was a bit lost in translation, if you will.

Two of the three hosts are Heathens, and they do regard the CR community as kin of a sort, which isn't too uncommon. I have pretty good relationships with the Heathens in my life. We've got a lot in common as reconstructionists, after all. I'm not sure where the hosts were getting the idea that the worship of some of the major "pan-Celtic" deities (Lug, etc) was somehow a Wiccan influence. They were talking about how this sort of thing was all the druids and wasn't what the tribes did at all, which I can't really agree with. They were all "we are so tribal" and not really explaining what that meant. Not really my thing. I don't necessarily identify as a druid most of the time unless I'm fulfilling that function in my community, but the CR community interacts with a much more diverse selection of deities than they seem to think it does.

One of the women had apparently written a CR book that got slammed by some of the CR community online, and she was rather sore about it. There was a fair bit of snarking about that. I hadn't read it and she didn't mention the title that I recall, so I seriously doubt I'd read it, but I know that a lot of the self-published stuff out there isn't very good quality, sad to say.

As a result of this, however, [ profile] vyviane suggested that I do a chat session with women from the Sisterhood of Avalon so that they'll have a better idea of my take on Brigid and what I'm like. Perhaps this would bring in a few more folks for the pilgrimage, which would be lovely. As of yesterday, we have seven of twelve potential openings spoken for. That means there are only five places left, so if you're interested, please do get in touch with her so that you can get in on it. It's going to be a really fantastic thing and I'm looking forward to it so immensely.

Tomorrow I'll be heading up to Vancouver to help out [ profile] mael_bridge for a few days, after her surgery on the 15th. I'll be heading out in late morning and will be returning Thursday afternoon. I'd like to avoid rush hour on both ends if possible, so I'll most likely be leaving by about 11am and departing Vancouver by 1pm on Thursday so as to be home by about 4, if all goes well and the border doesn't suck like a bilge pump. I still have to pack tonight, and figure out what I'll be taking for writing and for keeping myself entertained while she snoozes. I'll be having dinner with Bruce and Heather, though we haven't got the details worked out yet. I'll call them when I get up there, after I've dropped stuff and checked in with [ profile] mael_bridge and seen that she's doing okay.

Chances are I'll be able to update regularly. She has internet access, and I know there are cafes with wireless nearby as well. I may be a little slow in responding to emails, though. I'll try to remember to post a quick note before I head out the door.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (do something strange)
I got some notes and outlining done for pilgrimage stuff today. Scribbled down about a page of things to consider for the actual writing I need to do. I'll probably end up doing some of that tomorrow.

This evening I biffed over to Third Place Books for the birthday celebration of Miss Cherries Jubilee, one of the local steampunks. A fantastic time was had by all, though I didn't get much dancing in, as they weren't playing things I knew how to dance to, and when I did get up and dance, I got those sharp stabby pains in my hip joints that do not signal anything good.

There was cake. It was a very very yummy cardamom cake. There was also a ton of it, so I brought some home.

After the Third Place end of things, we adjourned to Maizie and Rupert's place, to the Tiki Bar of Doom. There was some wonderful conversation, and Miss Jubilee also kidnapped a guy she met at Third Place and brought him along. He turned out to be pretty cool - he'd talked to her about dancing and that is a sure way into her attentions.

At the Tiki Bar, I was introduced to a really quite yummy liqueur called Creme de Violette which, as it sounds, is a violet-flavored tipple. It was really quite extraordinary if you are into flower flavored drinks. One would really only want to use it as a mixer, but it would be very much like using an elderflower liqueur like St Germaine in something.

I also discovered that egg cremes have neither egg nor cream in them. Whoda thunk it?

Tomorrow is the podcast/chat interview, information here below:

Sunday, March 18th, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. [EST] 2:00 p.m. [PST] "Conversations from the Porch" hosts discuss Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism. Listeners who log into the show's host site have the opportunity to participate in a live chat with author Erynn Rowan Laurie.
The URL is:

I hope I'll see at least a few of you there!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Awesome takes practice)
The day turned out really well despite kind of a sticker shock with the photocopies for the workshops. Damned Kinkos/UPS here charges 25 cents a SIDE for photocopies and I dropped $110 dollars on copies for the workshops. Costs were recouped this evening, though, thanks to the generosity of the people who attended tonight's session.

The workshop itself went really well, many people were suitably impressed, and I had a lovely time. I talked to Thorn Coyle earlier in the evening at the OSOGD hospitaility suite, and she said she'd plug the Brigid pilgrimage to Ireland to her online class on Brigid soon. There are only 12 openings. Anyone signing up this weekend gets the SOA membership rate for the pilgrimage, which is $200 less than the non-member rate, so if you're interested, please let me know so that I can get you in touch with the SOA folks who are organizing this.

I was also told that I might be able to be put in touch with a woman on the Isle of Man who is a Manx speaker, big in the language movement there, and a Manx musician as well. It would be fabulous if I could have time with someone to talk to about language and music there!

As usual, I'm having a wonderful time. Fabulous things were done by all.

And now, I am collapsing in a heap because my feet ache like you wouldn't believe. Tomorrow at 3:30pm is the Sisters of Seshat moon ritual. Be there or be a parallellogram.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Dishes: done
Laundry: done
M picked up: done
[ profile] gra_is_stor picked up: done
Packing: done (except meds & stuff like that, which I have to do tomorrow anyway)

Went down to Seattle today for the schmooze and we had a really intense discussion about religion, sacrifice, building relationships with land/deity/ancestors, offerings, and meaning in ritual. Arlen is going to be going back to Kandahar for a year around the end of May and requested a warrior sending out ritual. Rather than doing the overnight vigil, we'll probably compress it down into a four-hour rite composed of most of the same things from the original sending out rite.

Given that my year is going to be so filled with writing and travel, I've handed off responsibility for the schmooze's money box to someone else, and returned the key to the gear box to [ profile] anthea7 so that I don't have to worry about anyone not having access while I'm away. I've been needing to back away from more administrative responsibility for a while because of both being busy and dealing with anxiety issues. These actions were a couple of good steps toward that release of responsibility. I'm certainly still going to be hanging out with people and coming to the schmooze, but I think I need to step back from admin meetings and more of the ritual writing, given that I've been doing the majority of it over the years we've been together.

Tomorrow morning we're getting up about 8am with an eye to being on the road by about 10am. I'm projecting arrival for lunch with [ profile] martianmooncrab around 2pm, if traffic cooperates. I'll have to stuff the remains of the packing into the car in the morning. I've only got a couple of bags, one of which is mostly the books I'm taking down with me.

I heard back from the tent rental people on the Isle of Man. The smallest tents they have are way way too big for what I need, and I don't need that kind of expense. For what they're asking, I might as well rent a hotel room, and I'd really rather not spend that much. I've decided that I can take along my backpacking half-dome tent (which would actually fit into my carry-on if that sort of thing is permitted) and buy a cheap air mattress and sleeping bag when I get to Ireland. That would be less of an expense than renting the tent and things. I just have to look into TSA regulations and such about carrying camping gear, specifically tents, on planes and whether I can do it as carryon in my bag or whether I'll need to check the tent through.

The campsite folks said I can just check in and pay when I get there, rather than making arrangements in advance, which is apparently how they usually handle people from the UK, given that they're much more local. This was a weight off my mind.

My tentative schedule for PantheaCon:

Friday 3:30 - The World on a String ([ profile] ogam and prayer beads)
Friday 11:00 - CR Rituals: A Look at the Nuts and Bolts (ME)

Saturday 3:30 - Sisters of Seshat Moon Ritual (ME)
Saturday 9:00 - Pagans, Culture War, and the Modern Crisis (Gus diZerega)

Sunday 7:00 - Brigid and Sarasvati: Goddesses of Poetry and Inspiration (ME)
Sunday 9:00 - Queer Celtic Mythology

Monday 1:30 - Echtrai, Immrama, Aisling ([ profile] finnchuill)

Everything but the stuff I'm actually in is subject to being shuffled off somewhere else or being snagged into Faerie.

I'll see a lot of you this weekend!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (10 ceirt)
I got most of the notes I needed to deal with done for the CR ritual workshop. I still haven't dealt with the Brigid and Sarasvati one, and I'm probably going to be spending a good chunk of the weekend at FaerieCon West thanks to [ profile] mythworker, who swung a couple of passes for me and [ profile] gra_is_stor. I'm not sure how much of the con they cover as yet, but I have to have everything done by Monday night. Laundry got done so that I can pack for PCon with all my options at the ready. I also reinforced a seam that had weakened and opened up a bit. It was a bit off when I bought the jeans and I hadn't realized it, but it had finally become enough of an issue that I actually had to sit down with a needle and thread and see if I could fix things. I ran it through the wash and will take a look at it tomorrow when I go to put things away and pack stuff. I'm hoping my lame attempt at stitchery holds.

The anxiety meds still haven't arrived from the VA, so if I don't get them in the mail tomorrow, I have to remember to call my new meds doc and see if she can track down what happened. I was expecting them before I left for California. I've been way too stressed out lately and am thinking I may really need them before the end of the month. The hostel in Ashland is already booked for the night of the 14th, so that's something I don't have to worry about -- we don't need to tackle the pass through the Siskiyous this year in the dark and the snow. The past several years it's been snowing when I've headed through and it's been nerve-wracking trying to make it to Redding for the night. I'd much rather cope with it in the light of day, snow or not. By the time we get on the road, snow plows will have been through if they're needed. I still have chains in Garuda just in case.

Last night (really this morning) before I went to bed, I sent off an email to the chaplain at the VA who is co-facilitating the spirituality group and let her know what was going on and why I wouldn't be there today. She was very understanding about it, as I expected. I wanted to go but was too exhausted to trust myself to drive anywhere. I should be all right tomorrow, or at least better than I was today. I spent a lot of time trying to get myself back in a good headspace after last night. I don't care for having to cope with emergencies like that, but I will if it's necessary. That's just how I am.

Heard from my editor today that Circle of Stones is now in layout and they're looking for a cover artist for me. We are still tentatively expecting a May release, but it could be June or even July if things get bogged down. I know it's a priority for them, so I'm okay with whenever it does happen. I got my royalty check today from Immanion, $105 for the last 6 months of sales. As you might guess, I'm not exactly getting rich on this writing gig. It's something I do because the words leak out of my head through my fingers, not because I think I'll ever be able to actually make a living at it. I'm okay with that. I do love what I do, even when it's vastly frustrating. Honestly, I make a little more than that when I take 10 copies down to PCon and sell them at my workshops. Anyway, such is the life of an author.

This evening I chatted on Skype text with [ profile] gra_is_stor - she was checking in with me to make sure I was doing okay. I type a lot more easily than I talk, so chatting rather than actually talking was a lot easier on me, particularly feeling as stressed as I have been lately. I'll ping her tomorrow when I'm thinking about heading down to Seattle. [ profile] lupabitch is already at the con hotel, as she's vending there this weekend, and she wanted me to check in with her, too. I have really good friends.

Anyway, I'm doing okay. I have fab friends. I'm stressing about PCon and the workshop, but I'll probably come through all right as always. I'm going to try to get some sleep and have a little fun this weekend.


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

September 2013



RSS Atom


Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags