erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
I got a text back from one of my NYC friends that I contacted and he will be happy to have me stay and to show me around the city a bit if I need to get out there for the Lammys. [ profile] witchchild says that she wants to come to NYC to see me if I'm there, so that would be fantastic, too.

I got to go to the monthly Krakens steampunk social this evening with some friends, which I enjoyed. We talked about travel and politics and social responsibility and stuff like that. I talked about some of the changes in my life happening because of the constant dizziness. I'm not at the point of making an actual decision at the moment, but I am giving some serious thought to moving to Venice, where everyone walks, if I have to sell my place and move anyway. I've spent the last couple of weeks doing a lot of research into the idea and, while the paperwork would likely be a nightmare (when is bureaucracy not?) it does look doable. Toward that end, I was pointed to Duolinguo, a language-learning site that you can use to learn Italian, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and English. It's a pretty straightforward system and I've been playing around with it today for a while. Italian looks a lot easier than Irish, at least, in that it's a pretty regular looking romance language.

On the down side of things, I'm still feeling pretty crap and very tired. The dizziness makes it hard to focus for very long on anything, so even with relatively easy language lessons, it's something that turns my brain to much after about 15 minutes and I have to struggle beyond that. This, of course, is why I'm not working on my Brigid book for the moment. I need to get more used to dealing with this in order to focus on serious stuff. But maybe taking little bits of language work a few times a week -- between this and Irish -- I can work back up to being able to focus on my nonfiction.

One of the things that I would usually do for stress relief is meditation, which usually has a breathing component for me, but deep breathing is one of the things that makes the dizziness a little worse, so it's kind of counterproductive at the moment. I find that terribly frustrating. Actually, everything about this right now is very frustrating. Still, I'm doing my best to carry on. Sorry I'm going on so much about it lately. I'm trying to keep things in perspective.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (10 ceirt)
As per the request of [ profile] rem_dustfinger, I've finally had time to mess with the new printer/scanner and have put a pdf of Geilt up. The link will directly download the file to your computer.

And [ profile] gra_is_stor has just arrived for our Imbolc ritual.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (giftie)
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, [ profile] 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.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Healer)
I've posted a new page on my Searching for Imbas blog with a map and photos describing in detail how to find Brigid's Wayside Well in Kildare, Ireland. Given the trouble I initially had finding the place, I thought it would be a service to other pilgrims. You can find the page here.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
As you can probably tell from my posting, I was busy doing things today. The most important thing finished was my first real post about the pilgrimage, with photos and some thoughts about my experiences at Kildare. That was a couple of hours worth of work. I dealt with email and messed around with photos, trying to figure out which ones would go best with the post.

Several things got posted to the LJ today with links for folks who might be interested in them. I posted links to a few things to FB as well -- the blog post and the Brigid & Sarasvati zip file. Got email back from [ profile] joyful_storm and [ profile] druid_medb about joint PCon proposals for panels and such. I still haven't figured out what, if anything, I want to propose for a second solo session.

Graphics arrived from John-Paul Patton of some of his material for the ogam presentation at the EBC. The quality is immensely better than what got printed in his book. I can actually see the layout of the elemental tablet, which is going to make a huge difference for the presentation. I was pleased to receive the material.

My sinuses are all itchy and nasty on me today and I was kind of drowning in them last night in a very sticky and unpleasant way. I suspect that it's mostly just the weather turning toward fall. It's one thing I really hate. I've taken a little extra antihistamine tonight in hopes that I can head some of that off and not have the same problem, or at least not to the same degree, when I'm trying to sleep tonight.

Tomorrow will primarily be dealing with the EBC presentation's graphics. I'm hoping we can either get all or most of it done tomorrow, then I can finish up the preparation over the next few days. If I have some time, I'll try to get the blog page together on how to locate the older Brigid's Well in Kildare town so that other folks won't have to go through the frustrations I did in trying to find it via online searches.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Sarasvati)
For those who are interested, and those who asked, I've finally put the notes for the Brigid and Sarasvati talk I did at PCon and Eight Winds earlier this year into a zip file and posted them on my website for you to download.

You can download it here and it should download automatically when you click on the link.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx seek)
This morning I got an email from Jhenah about some of the files I've sent, so I'm glad that some response has been received. We're supposed to set up a time to talk about stuff and plan out some rituals. I just sent her an email with my timeframe for getting things done so that we can set a date as soon as possible.

Jhenah was asking about the context for the ogam materials I'd sent and I explained what I wanted to do with them, and how I envisioned the morning activities going as far as reading, meditation, writing prompts, and a short period of free-writing (or art) for those who are wanting to do them. It should help with planning for each day so that we'll know about how much time we need to have between getting up and getting out the door for our daily travels.

One of the things I found online last night while looking for something else was a photo that said it was the Stone of "Manau" in Clackmannan, Scotland. The sign at the stone says that it was dedicated to Manannan, but it isn't in situ. It was placed on top of a pillar (originally a local standing stone) in 1833, apparently. The person recording the information said that the report might not be true (there are apparently other explanations for the name of the town [one reading is "Manannan's Stone"], for instance), but it's certainly interesting and, at some point, I'd like to see it for myself.

Looking for thematic readings for each day has been challenging, but I found three today, which leaves me with only three more readings to deal with. Once I've talked to Jhenah, we can work out some of the ritual stuff, though I am probably going to work on outlining things, at least in rough, as soon as I can. I was pleased to have got three together today. I'll need to copy or transcribe the readings for each day once I've got them all together. I'll put each day's material into a file for that day so that I can print them out, or perhaps transfer them over to my iPad so that I don't have to carry extra weight in my bag. I'm still trying to figure out logistics for all of this.

[ profile] gra_is_stor met me over at the AFK this evening after she was done at the place she's moving into. I was already done with dinner and none of the steampunks had showed up (I wasn't really expecting them to, but I really needed a break), and then we came back here. We just got done watching an episode of Cadfael, given that it was short and didn't require massive amounts of brain to deal with. Mike, one of the servers at the AFK, wanted to get together with us before I headed out, so I gave him my card and told him to send me his contact info. He says if I'm down in Seattle for Pride weekend, maybe we can catch him and his partner there. I doubt that will be the case, but I will be in Seattle next Wednesday for my shrink appointment, so perhaps then, if he's not working.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was a group day down at the VA; I ended up waking an hour earlier than my alarm was set for, despite having gone to bed after 3:30am. It was sunny when I got up but didn't, sadly, stay that way. Group was good, and I talked to someone at the VA who gave me a phone number for an office in Kansas where I can deal with the travel compensation issue I've been having -- they're taking a $6 co-pay out of my check almost every time I go down there and, rated at 100%, the travel office is apparently Not Supposed to Do That. The woman I talked to is another disabled vet (tons of disabled vets work at the VA, unsurprisingly) said that they would probably send me back compensation for what I'd not been paid, as well, which might be at least a couple of years' worth of visits. At six bucks a whack, that could potentially be a few hundred dollars. I don't know if it will happen before I leave for Europe, but if it does, that would be spectacular. That said, it has to start with a phone call, which is not at all my strong suit. I'm not looking forward to it, but I'll probably try to call tomorrow sometime before 4pm their time, which means I will likely still be trying to kick-start the brain.

It turned out that the friend who had offered to do some massage work on me had another commitment today, so it's likely to be next Thursday before I get any work done, but that's certainly way better than not having it on offer at all. I'll be looking forward to getting pummeled.

The mail today brought the gift of a prototype for a larger féige find from [ profile] chronarchy. Here's a photo, with the other one and a quarter for scale comparison. It's quite nice work, and I was surprised and delighted to receive such a ritual tool.

Féige Find 2 - prototype for large size

Travelers was quiet this afternoon and I managed to finish reading Brigid of the Gael, take some notes, and get a little work done toward the incubation ritual for Ireland, so I felt pretty accomplished with the whole thing. It was tempting to consider going over to [ profile] gra_is_stor's place instead, but I really had to get things done today. She'll be up tomorrow night sometime, as she'll be having a game night at her place with some mutual friends, but I'll be spending tomorrow dealing with the Circle of Stones galley.

Bits of me are a little afraid to open the file and see what it looks like. This is the last opportunity to make any corrections or changes, though, before it goes to press, so it's important to actually get my anxiety under control and do it. I went over to Bartell's after I got home this evening to pick up a couple of ink cartridges for the printer, as I was out of black ink; if I think I need to print out the galley, I needed a fresh cartridge. At least that was done. I also picked up a knee brace. I haven't tried it on yet, but I will tomorrow.

In other news, [ profile] unwoman posted a short trailer for her documentary on steampunk music, Beautiful Fish: Unwoman Plays Cello for Steampunks. Aside from the fact that she is, quite simply, fucking amazing, there's also a bit where [ profile] gra_is_stor and I appear, dancing in the audience at her SteamCon show, so watch for us!

I was pretty tickled, even though I don't feel like I'm particularly photogenic. [ profile] gra_is_stor, however, is terribly hot and you should watch just to see her. ;) She's the dancer, I'm the awkward one.

So: tomorrow = working on Circle of Stones and more work on the incubation ritual to flesh out some ideas I had, provided I get through the galley with enough brain cells to work on something else.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
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.


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.

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 [ profile] 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.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx seek)
Dear Colleagues,
Lesley College is just now beginning a search for an assistant professor of Creative writing, starting September 2012. The job description is linked through here:

Please feel free to pass along this information to any of your networks where suitable candidates might be looking to apply for a full-time job with a decent benefits package in a great city.

Many thanks,

- -
Mary Dockray-Miller, PhD
Professor of English
Lesley University
29 Everett St
Cambridge MA 02138

Arms hurt

Mar. 9th, 2012 12:27 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
The arms have not been getting any better. If anything, the pain is getting worse. It's not quite at the "can't pick up a fork" point but it may get there if this keeps up. It's times like this that I wish I could get tylenol with codeine over the counter. American drug laws are so fucked up. Sadly, there's not much I can do to reduce my use of my arms right now, given I have a lot of work to do, and typing is about the only way to do it.

I may be going up to Vancouver from the 19th - 22nd to help out [ profile] mael_brigde after her surgery, if those dates work for her.

The weather today was gorgeous. It was sunny and about 60f-ish in Seattle when I was down there this afternoon. Ran into [ profile] nathan_fhtagn at Travelers and he was going to head out to the airport to pick up [ profile] meddevi for their show this weekend. I'll be there with [ profile] gra_is_stor Saturday night for the show.

Today brought a copy of Brigid of the Gael by Conrad Bladey in the post. The book claims to be a pretty much complete compilation of source material on Brigid. So far it seems reasonably comprehensive, but it's poorly edited and extremely cheaply made. A lot of the material looks like raw scanner output that's barely been formatted. There are typos everywhere; in some passages you actually have to know what you're looking at in order to decipher it. I can't deny that there is a vast amount of information here, and it would undoubtedly be useful to people interested primarily in Brigid as saint. There's very little information here about Brigid as goddess, not even the brief passages from the Book of Invasions. The Cormac's Glossary passage is there, but it's the only text directly quoted regarding Brigid as goddess. I would say more, but my arms aren't really going to hold out for it.

In other book information, I'm not sure how many folks were aware, but Damien McManus's A Guide to Ogam is back in print for only €10 + postage from Trinity College. Information can be found at this web page, at the bottom:

I have to stop typing. Maybe more tomorrow.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
This is long, so it's going behind an LJ cut. Included in this are phone number for free legal counsel in several states for protesters who have been arrested. US and international information under the cut. )

PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY: If you are arrested at an Occupy Event, call the National Lawyers Guild: New York City: (212) 679-6018 Los Angeles: (323) 696-2299 Washington, DC: (202) 957 2445 Chicago: (773) 309-1198 San Francisco: (415) 285-1011 New Orleans: (504) 875-0019 Baltimore: (410) 205-2850 Minnesota: (612) 656-9108 Michigan: (313) 963-0843 Portland: (503) 902-5340 Boston: (617) 227-7335 Pennsylvania & Delaware: (267) 702-4654 Idaho: (208) 991-4324 Be very sure to write the applicable phone number in PERMANENT marker somewhere concealed on your body, protected from the elements. Do NOT assume you will be able to retrieve the number from a phone or a notebook. It is very likely you will be stripped of all your belongings.

More here. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Schroedinger kills you maybe)
Today I expected to hang out for lunch with Robert and then get some writing done. I did get the hanging out with Robert bit done -- we went out for lunch to one of the Thai places down in Everett where I go sometimes. We had a really lovely few hours, talking about books and magic and politics and New York and Seattle. We shared some tea when we got back to my place and talked a lot more. He was here for three hours or so before I started fading and he headed off to the Half Price Books at the Everett Mall.

I took a little quiet time to read for a few minutes before I got back into the online stuff. It seems several people on the Puget Sound CR list hadn't got the link for the ogam booklet I'd sent, so I re-sent it. After that, I also went fishing for the Nora Chadwick Imbas Forosnai article for the more mysticism part of this and next month's schmooze. It turned out the only place I could find it was through the Wayback Machine on Molly Ní Dana's old Geocities website. The first two parts she'd posted were more or less findable, but I had to do a little futzing to get the third and final part. I posted those links to the list as well, but I realized that anyone just clicking the links on the wikipedia page or on the Imbas organization page were going to have some difficulty either getting to the article at all, or getting to all three parts of it that had originally been posted.

The other issue was that Molly's original transcription lacked any of the footnotes, all 93 of them. I dived into it, turning the three files into a single page, fixing the formatting, and incorporating the footnotes, while fixing the typos that I could find. That has occupied almost my entire day, from about 4pm to about 11:30pm, and my wrists are aching, but I've at least got this resource back on the web in a place where it will be easily available for the foreseeable future. It has been incorporated as a page on my Searching for Imbas blog with all credit to Molly for her hard work in initially transcribing the article. I've added a note at the top about pagination and footnotes, which are necessary for anyone considering citing the online version. There are a few points where Chadwick refers to page numbers in the article for cites, and that formatting is not preserved, so there would be a problem unless you had the original article in front of you.

I posted a note about this over on facebook and will also post a note about it on my Searching for Imbas blog so that people who are watching that, but not necessarily this LJ, will also know about it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
I put up a page on my Searching For Imbas blog that contains all my books and anthology contributions and current links for them. Where books are out of print or more difficult to find, I included links to ABE book searches for that title or edition. Most links will go directly to a publisher's website if it's available, particularly for Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Megalithica publications.

The link to this page is also on the sidebar of my LJ here, in place of most of the individual links for particular books with my work in them.

I intend to continue updating this page as new publications come out, as soon as links and cover images become available.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (tea addict)
Mom called today and let me know some more details about what's going on. She's also got herself a new laptop and a USB modem so that she'll be able to deal with her computer issues at home more easily. She got better tech service in New Hampshire, and they don't have a sales tax, so she made out pretty well, aside from that whole having to get a tooth removed thing.

The tit squish went off as usual, though the clinic was running a bit late, so I didn't get home until just after 5pm. While I waited, I reviewed [ profile] mael_brigde's notes on my Queering the Flame essay and will finish off dealing with the edits tomorrow.

[ profile] perclexed was waiting for me at the French bakery next door. She came over and we went out to the AFK, where we ran into a couple of the Everett druids and (much later in the evening) a couple steampunks who had just this week moved to the area and who were looking for us. I hadn't got notice that anyone was actually coming tonight on the Steamrats list, so while I was looking out for potential folks I knew, I wasn't set up to flag for anyone who didn't know me. Anyway, we did get to talk to them for a bit, then I played some Monty Python Fluxx with Gary and Melody and [ profile] perclexed.

Upon arrival home, we watched a few episodes of Monty Python and giggled hysterically.

I also learned on twitter today that JSTOR is making some of its early material available for free. The free material is all older stuff -- US material prior to 1923 and non-US material prior to 1870. A little of it might be useful for me, but not huge amounts. This is apparently a precursor to making some other material available to folks who are not affiliated with an institution, which is good for folks like me -- independent scholars and researchers without a lot of money for journal subscriptions.

Tired Erynn is fairly tired so I'll probably go to bed soon.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus I see...)
My day started rather earlier than expected when the DoDC+3 decided he needed to go out Right Now at 6:30 in the morning. I ran into my next-door neighbor at the door, who said, "isn't this awfully early for you to be up?"

I was standing there in my jammies and bathrobe with my eyes glued closed and mumbled something, staggering out to let the dog get his constitutional on. Fortunately, it didn't take long and I was back in bed only a few minutes later. I woke up again about noon, a much more reasonable and humane time of day.

Once I was functional, I took [ profile] gra_is_stor back into Seattle. We stopped in the U District at a local dance shop to see what they had for shoes. Nothing they had was at all suitable for what I wanted, so I didn't get anything. I'm currently considering what to do, with advice from [ profile] gra_is_stor and some of her friends. Considering that I don't want to spend an ungodly amount on a pair of dance shoes, I'm going to have to explore other options at the moment.

We headed up to the Hill, where we grabbed lunch at Mirch Masala. We'd been going to head for B&O, so that we could visit them again before they closed (the building has finally actually been slated for destruction), but they're closed on Tuesdays. We walked back up to Broadway and had something else. After lunch, we dropped her stuff off at her apartment, then went down to Travelers for a chai and visited with Jonice at Edge for a while.

Mom emailed, saying that she was in New Hampshire now and had to have a tooth pulled this morning. Deric's funeral will be Saturday and they'll be driving home on Sunday. It should take them about three days.

Upon returning home, I got a ticket for the Esoteric Book Conference taking place next week, including getting into the concert they'll be having Saturday night. Looks pretty amazing, and though some of the presentations don't look all that interesting to me, there are a number of sessions with or about women magicians that ought to be well worth checking out. I'll be seeing quite a few of my friends there at one point or another, as several of them are presenting at the conference again this year. I also got a ticket for the Soriah show at El Corazon the weekend afterwards.

When I was done with that stuff, I finished reading [ profile] brandywilliams's The Woman Magician -- really fascinating and, in a number of places, quite moving. I got sniffly at a couple of points in the ritual liturgies; I can only imagine it would be more powerful being performed as opposed to merely being read silently from the page.

Late this evening I saw a tweet from Hugo House about a deadline for next year's women's writing residencies at Hedgebrook, over on Whidbey Island. I thought it might be an ideal environment for working on my next book, on Brigidine flamekeeping and Brigid's Irregulars. One of the things required was a writing sample, so I used a poem and an excerpt from my Queering the Flame essay. In doing a copy and paste and creating a PDF file for the sample, I realized that I had not previously actually seen [ profile] mael_brigde's comments in the file. For some reason when I opened it initially, the comments were invisible. Now I need to go back and look at them all with a different view of the document and see what she had to say and where I might want to edit and re-send the text to [ profile] alfrecht. *headdesk*

Anyway, needless to say, I've been really busy today with all of this stuff. Tomorrow I have my annual tit squish appointment down in Seattle, then [ profile] perclexed and I will be getting together for dinner and probably heading over to the AFK for a bit. It'll be good to see her again; I haven't seen her in ages, probably not since we were actually working on the hermetic astrology material a few years back. It's well past time we got together again.

Sadly, I'm not in the least bit tired, but I really need to head for bed shortly so that I can get up and be ready for my appointment tomorrow in the early afternoon. It's at 3:15, which means I'll be dealing with rush hour traffic on the way back home. I'm hoping I won't be at the facility for long, but am not holding my breath.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Poet)
I've been making further progress on the Queering the Flame essay today, getting myself into page 13. I'm hoping to push as far as, possibly, 15 pages tonight before I go to bed. Last night I discovered another sacred fire (tended by men) that destroyed someone who defiled it, in a life of Saint Ciaran, which was cited in passing in a book I had on Irish archaeology by R. A. S. Macalister. I ended up chasing down the reference and got a really excellent quote from another Macalister book that was, happily, on Project Gutenberg. The fire in question wasn't said to be a perpetual flame, but it was very specifically a sacred flame, and one which punished the malfeasant young man who violated it.

I also ran across a thoroughly bizarre little incident that related two black snails turning into wolves, which I turned over to [ profile] alfrecht, who had not seen it before. I mean, really -- snails? This tale involved a very paranoid St. Cormac running away from snails because he knew they were shapeshifted wolves. But imagine "running away" from snails. It beggars the brain. I have to wonder what drugs this guy was on!

I printed out the article in progress so that I could take a look at it, and scribbled a bunch of notes and corrections on the hard copy, pointing out places where I need to smooth out transitions, and where I need to expand. The current draft cuts off far short of where I wanted to go. There are several points that I have yet to make regarding perceptions of gender of religious women in early Christian Ireland, following some of Lisa M. Bitel's arguments from Land of Women. I've also traced down a couple of the hard references I had previously found to cross-dressing and to the relaxing of gender restrictions surrounding the Brídeog processions in some areas of Ireland where they were originally girls-only. It's interesting that in some places the processions were cross-dressed men and women, or men and disguised women, and in other places they were girls-only that eventually opened to participation by boys. There seems to be a great deal more fluidity here than might appear on the surface.

Sometime soon I'll be ready to add a discussion of male poets gendering as female in their relationships with their patrons as a significant aspect of this, given Brigid's patronage of poets. It seems like a salient point for the argument, certainly. I have one of the references in the stack of photocopies on my desk, but will probably need to find a couple more; I know they exist.

I'm nowhere near tired as yet, so will continue on with my writing for a few more hours tonight. Earlier today I watched Pia do some more of her artwork online; it's always amazing to watch her. When I have some available funds I'll commission another couple of pieces from her. I can't this month, as my funds are thin until August 1st, but next month I should be able to do so if she still has a slot open for this batch. Insomnigrackles as Totems! I shall hang it over my bed and make offerings to the little bastards in hopes of them leaving me the fuck alone.

Sadly, my right hip continues to ache like a sumbitch. This has been probably three days so far, but if I try to medicate for it, the meds knock me for a loop and I can't focus enough to write, so I've been sitting around most of the day feeling like I've got a blade stuck in my hip joint. I'll take something for it when I go to bed and can afford to let the tramadol do its worst. In the meantime, more writing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (erynn999 merman)
I spent the majority of today working on two things -- the Queering the Flame essay, and sorting and shelving my catalogued Celtic books as I browsed through them looking for source quotes for the essay. The essay itself has gone from 8 to 10 pages in the last couple of days, so I'm pleased with my current progress, though occasionally frustrated by my efforts to find particular sources and quotes. I spent the better part of an hour poking through a box of photocopied papers looking for Patrick Ford's The Well of Nechtan and "La Gloire Lumineuse". I was ultimately successful (I knew I had a copy somewhere), but I also found that it is available on Googlebooks as one of the in-the-clear sections of Myth in Indo-European Antiquity. The entire book isn't available, but the fact that this whole section was is very useful.

One of the things I hit upon today regarding the tradition of perpetual flames in Ireland is an idea that actually supports a Christian origin of Brigid's flame. This is that traditionally all the flames in Ireland were extinguished and had to be re-lit from the Bealtinne fires atop the hills. If this tradition is true, there would be no Pagan perpetual flames in Ireland. The idea of a flame's perpetuity may well come from Patrick's lighting of a flame on the hill of Tara before the druidic flame was lit, and the prophecy that if the flame were not extinguished that very night, it would always burn and would eventually mark the fall of Paganism, as related in Muirchú's Life of Patrick. The salient quote is this:

The wise men answered: "'O king, live forever!' This fire, which we see lit this night before the fire of your own house, must be quenched this night. Indeed, if it is not put out tonight, it will never be extinguished! You should know that it will keep rising up and supplant all the fires of our own religion. The one who lit it, and the kingdom he is bringing upon us this night, will overcome us all—both you and us—by leading away everyone in your kingdom. All the kingdoms will fall down before it, and it will fill the whole country and it 'shall reign forever and ever.'"

Were the perpetual flames at Christian monasteries actually symbolic statements of Christian triumphalism? I think it's possible. I think it should be explicitly stated that it doesn't matter if the origin of Brigid's flame is Christian or Pagan, what really matters is the practice as it is used today in Pagan spiritual communities, and the intents and benefits of those practices.

I'm still working through [ profile] mael_brigde and [ profile] alfrecht's notes as I mess with the article. I have to keep going back and to make sure I haven't missed anything significant. I haven't looked at the article as a whole since I've added a couple of pages, but I'll probably do that tomorrow, after I've finished up working on it for the night. It's still not anywhere near finished, but it's fleshing out nicely at this point, which always feels good. It's hard to stay focused, but I think I've managed to do so reasonably well today, despite the several-hours' interruption for shelving books and digging through photocopies. Of course, now the library floor is covered with paper, and that'll need to be dealt with tomorrow at some point. I really need to develop a better filing system than "pile shit up." It's nice, at least, to have my space to myself again so that I have room for stuff like this and don't feel guilty about invading someone else's space when I have to keep going back and forth into the library for things.

Today was overcast, but significantly warmer outside than it looked. It rained for a while, though it didn't pour down buckets like it did the other day. When I was out walking the DoDC+3, I happened upon a little green and brown Pacific Tree Frog in the grass of the dog walking area, which is the tiny species of peepers that sing outside at night. I was kind of tickled to see it. According to wikipedia, they're the only species out here that sings like that, so I know I've identified the culprits. It was really quite cute. They're apparently capable of changing their color to a limited extent to match their environment, which is pretty cool. I hadn't known frogs could do that.

I'm feeling very crampy tonight, and my right hip is giving me fits. I hope that I'll be doing better tomorrow, but I suspect not. With any luck, I'll be through the worst of the crampybits by Monday, when I'm supposed to go talk to the guy who's interviewing steampunks. I sent him an email asking where he'd like to meet, but haven't heard back yet.

In the mail today, I got a cd and a final first edition copy of Nazza, a little volume of poetry by the young poet from Vancouver who came down to visit a couple of months ago. It has a blurb from me on the back, and one from a guy who wrote a book about Greenpeace. I haven't had a chance to listen to the cd yet, but am looking forward to it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (dress Gordon tartan)
Quite a few people asked me for a copy of the resources sheet I handed out at my Living a CR Path talk at PantheaCon this year. Here it is: )


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

September 2013



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