Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Poems: Welcoming the Good God of Ireland




I was happy to read today that two of the poems from my soon-to-be-finished collection Sun Among Stars: Poems Prayers to Brigit of Ireland, will be published in the upcoming anthology Harp, Club, and Cauldron: A Harvest of Knowledge. The subject is the Irish god An Dagda, The Good God, so named because he was good at everything. The book will feature essays, poetry, and whatever else editors Lora O’Brien and Morpheus Ravenna find worthy of their collection. The poems will be published under my Brigidine name, Mael Brigde. (Bet you didn't know I had such a thing, did you?)

I am happy about the poems, but I am also excited about the book. I trust these editors to select well thought out works, and the Dagda is a personage I am drawn to in many ways, due only in part to his being the father of the goddess Brigit, who is of special interest to me. I look forward to reading what people have to say about him.

From their Indiegogo page:

Welcoming the Good God of Ireland

He is a king, a druid, a war chieftain, a lover, and a worker of the land. He nourishes and he kills, he loves and he fights, in equal measure. He knows the sorcerous arts of druidry and the secrets of time. He is the Dagda - the mightiest of all the Irish Gods, and yet he is often overlooked in popular approaches to the Irish Gods.  We’re here to tell his story, and we need you to help make that possible.
Eel and Otter Press is proud to bring you Harp, Club and Cauldron: a curated anthology of scholarship, lore, practice and creative writings on the Dagda. This project is spearheaded and edited by Lora O’Brien and Morpheus Ravenna, respected authors and long-term practitioners of Irish spirituality. We’re teaming up with a stellar lineup of authors, artists, and spiritual practitioners to produce a volume as rich with knowledge and spiritual sustenance as the Dagda’s inexhaustible cauldron. We’re gathering in a harvest of original, in-depth scholarship on the lore, history, and cultural context of the Dagda, insightful reflections on his place in living Irish culture and religion, beautiful devotional rites and tools for the practitioner, and gorgeous devotional artwork.
Of course, there are costs to getting this book published and that’s why we’re launching this campaign. We believe authors and artists should be paid well for quality work, and there are publishing costs to cover. So we need you to join this campaign and help us welcome the Dagda.

Harp, Club and Cauldron: A Harvest of Knowledge in a Book

Our vision for this book distills the scholarship, experience, and creative vision of the Irish and Celtic spirituality communities to bring you a harvest of knowledge. The book will feature:
  • Works of original scholarship on the Dagda, his role in literature and cultural context, and related divinities
  • Translated early Irish textual material with commentary
  • Tools for the practitioner including prayers, rituals, recipes
  • Insightful experiential writings from priests and practitioners
  • Curated original creative writings
  • Original artwork and illustrations
We’ve recruited some of the best scholars, spiritual practitioners, and creative writers on Irish spirituality and mythic tradition to produce original material for this book. In order to ensure that Irish voices are featured prominently in this work, we’ve carefully selected our slate of contributors, rather than put out an open call for submissions. Our contributors have been chosen for the depth of their knowledge and connection to Irish tradition and the quality and originality of their work.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

“In Days and Nights the World is Spent”




I was delighted this week to receive a small package of books from Red Tuque. This is the seventh and final anthology in their Canadian Tales series: Canadian Tales of the Fantastic Volume VII. My story “Posture of the Infinite” appeared in number four, in 2014. In this volume my Scottish ghost story, “In Days and Nights the World is Spent”, has found a home.

Unfortunately for the masses, the print run sold out immediately and there won't be a reprinting. I suppose that is a bit disappointing for me, too. But c'est la vie.

If you are looking for a copy, let me know. I don't have many so it's first come, first served.

Cheers!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Your Death Full of Flowers


by Wild Grace
At last I am able to reveal that I have several poems coming out in a breathtaking new anthology edited by Slippery Elm (who also translated the poems into Spanish, or from Spanish into English). Let me quote from the website:


A bouquet of poems arranged and translated by Slippery Elm

The thread that ties this bouquet together is that of the story of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogion. A woman composed of flowers, who sought to kill her husband, and was thereby transformed into an owl. Blodeuwedd meaning flower-face, and the owl said to have been called blodeuwedd in the Welsh of yore. 

Just as the wizard Gwydion gathered blossoms of broom, meadowsweet, and trefoil, the editor gathers the poems to conjure something greater, a something that then goes on to wing the poetry out into the world. A deadly and nefarious agenda in the eyes of the princes of our age, or of those who are their followers and find no love or meaning but in their expendable busts. 

In the garden of these pages we encounter the whimsy and abandon of the eccentric who goes through life, toothless and in colourful rags, giving out flowers just because. Who heard the patter of Death’s slippers by their nightstand and received him with a bouquet. Who throws flowers at grooms and graves, and awoke suddenly as the rose’s final petal fell. We encounter the lyric and litany, the poison, the perfume, the lament, the laughter, and the eschatological love poem. The flowers that open above us. 

Flowers have been plucked from a well pick’d troop of poets, poets of the other breath, of the diverse brushstroke and the obscure melody. Major figures in English, Spanish, Arabic, American, and Welsh literatures, as well as newly emerging voices. Poets both young and old, and poets dead as much as living. Poets who have proven themselves worthy of the appellation, not just through prizes, accolades or infamy but through a certain generosity of the spirit and a marked commitment to the Poetry. This almost spiritual pedigree, of wise innocence, of beatific inspiration, might be boiled down into two words, which in some ways, are each a reflection of the other. For the old: trust. For the young: bravery. 

All poems appear in English and Spanish, and one in Arabic. The two languages form a dialectic in which meaning is generated in the space between them. It is in this hermeneutic tension between the Yes and the No, at the interstice between the two different tongues, between the dead nettle and white archangel, right in the centre of the book, that the beginning of an answer is given to the riddle of all riddles. 

_________________________________________

This book is a fairy dart tipped with a draught to re-enchant a chantless world. That the lector remember his or her mortality and live all the more fully for it. Our aim is true. We swear by all flowers.




Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Song for the Stars (& Trekkers)


Greetings, Earthlings.

I am recovering from the whirl of VCon 41, at which the Pallahaxi Players read Carlos Lozano Gilabert's play Deep North, and at which I participated in a writers workshop, attended and participated in panels, contributed my usual joie de prose pourpre (or "joy of purple prose": apologies to actual French speakers), ran around after The Kids, AND SO ON.

But for the moment I want to bring to your attention something that had nothing to do with me at all, except that I was lucky enough to be at the Opening Ceremony and perfectly seated to film Karl Johanson, editor of Neo-Opsis Magazine, sing his stirring anthem in honour of Star Trek's Fiftieth Anniversary.

Attend:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Coming Up Fast! VCon 41: Readings, Readings, & (OMG) More Readings!!!



It's that time again, folks--the time when you look at my blog and think, oh! She's not dead!

No, she's not. And this year I will be as active as ever at VCon. I am gathering my forces (two nieces, a nephew, a friend, and an honorary nephew) and storming the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey for the weekend.

I've agitated until a panel I want to see (not be in) was organized:

Friday, September 30 • 18:00 - 18:50

This is special to my heart as I was once a reader of, and occasional producer of, fanzines (I still read faithfully a couple of zines, such as Bruce Gillespie's Science Fiction Commentary.) For years I had a beautiful Gestetner machine in my kitchen--indeed, as a young pup my main job at my place of employ was tending to the Gestetner room. Now I get to sit back and listen to tales of yore from them that was there. Yippee!

The following morning we are staging another Pallahaxi Players event:

Saturday, October 1 • 11:00 - 11:50

I'm excited about this one. Carlos Lozano Gilabert has been widely published in Mexico and Spain, but this is his first performance in Canada. His play involves the crash of a rescue plane in the far north of Canada, and things that go AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! in the night.

Later:

Saturday, October 1 • 14:00 - 14:25

I love reading with Eileen. We have been reading together, critiquing each other's works, and generally getting buzzed on writing for many years now. I will be reading from my latest publication, "Fog". Eileen is being coy about what she will read, but as one of my all time favourite authors (and I really do mean that, I am not just out-gassing because she's my friend) I know I will enjoy whatever it is.

On Saturday morning I get to enjoy the usual In Camera Writers Workshop, which critiques I am almost finished doing now. This is followed by:

Sunday, October 2 • 15:30 - 16:50

Always a favourite for me, when we in the front of the room get to go over the top in reading aloud from, shall we say purple? science fiction novels of past glory, while audience members act them out, and others pay good money to make them stop. And start. And stop... A fund raiser for the Canadian Unity Fan Fund. A good last hurrah for me before I get to flake up to the hospitality suite for a cuppa joe.

See you there?

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

"Fog"




It's out!

The Nettle Tree – Jun 12 2016

by Kenneth Weene (Editor), Bye Clifford Clayton (Editor)

Strangely Different Stories ... The Nettle Tree, edited by Kenneth Weene and Clayton Bye, is a collection of genre stretching and busting stories by some of the most talented writers we have. Their challenge was to write strangely different western stories in a format of 3,000 words or less and to take you to places traditional westerns have never taken you. We think they have succeeded admirably. And with powerhouse writers, some known and others whom readers will find delightful discoveries, you will not be disappointed.

Available in e-book and trade paperback.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Coming Soon...





I have been sawing away at a tremendously huge poetry collection for the last couple of years, sending out the odd one but mostly just writing and writing and editing some more. All very different from the story writing that used to be my focus. However, I did pop out one story recently in response to a call for submissions, and had "Fog" accepted for the upcoming anthology The Nettle Tree, a collection of strangely different westerns. I have also had several poems accepted for the upcoming Your Death Full of Flowers, and yes, flowers are pretty much the main focus, but in myth and spirit settings. Both of these are poised to be published in the fall.

Also in the fall, VCon 41. Looking forward as usual to the fun and frolic.

Theme: Muppets, Puppets and Marionettes Friday, September 30 – Sunday October 2, 2016.
At the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

Here's a wee spot from Co-Op Radio about VCon 41.

See you there!



Image: By Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.