Sunday, May 12, 2024

Last update for a while

 I'm still not well tho slowly getting better. One thing is clear - after this big a delay, I won't finish the book before 1025. I'm stopping blogging till I have an update.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

April Update #4


Still no progress as still not not well - hope to be be be better soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

April 2024 - Update #3


Sigh - no progress this last week because I've been unwell. Better luck next week.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

April 2024 - Update #2

 Things go faster some weeks than others, and it helps to know where the story's going next. In the last week, I finished chapter 15, and wrote chapter 16 in 3 days. I finally do have to take a break for taxes, etc., but that's OK, because the next chapter will be mostly a Mac Criomthann tale I haven't written yet, in which "he walked at Samhain on Sliabh na Caillí, and spoke the names of the stars." I have only a vague idea of what will be in it, but I expect he'll tell me about it when I get there, and a mundane break first won't hurt. I also got an idea yesterday about how to solve the problem of his ring -- I knew part of the answer already, but there's a gap.

It's definitely spring here now, with a lot of trees starting to bud out, and grape hyacinths blooming. Next week will be cooler and damper again, with hopefully more rain than snow. I decided to try starting the little current tomatoes from seed, but otherwise buy what I need at the farmer's market which starts early next month. They have a lot of heirloom tomato varieties, and I won't have to house the plants until then.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

April 2024 - Update #1

 After finishing chapter 14 ("Sliabh na Calli") last Friday, I initially made rapid progress with chapter 15 ("Beltane Fires"), but due to interruptions this week, I'm only halfway through it. At this point Fraechan is going to teach Gwernin's son Ianto to play a board game, and Taliesin et al are discussing where to go next. I'm going to have to pause again soon though, because I still haven't done my taxes (I meant to do them over the weekend, but the writing was going so well at that point I didn't want to stop). I also need to finish layout for the next issue of Oak Leaves...

It's beginning to feel like spring here - only light frosts, no snow for the last week, and the grape hyacinths are blooming in the nemeton on the warm south side of the yard. However, Denver is capable of heavy snows for at least another month, and my particular frost-free date is usually May 15th or there abouts. And I just realized I haven't started any tomato seedlings yet...

Thursday, March 28, 2024

March 2024 - Update #4

 I've finished chapter 13, and most of chapter 14. Gwernin et al have reached Fráechán's ráth at the base of the Sliabh na Caillí. He wasn't there when they first arrived, but is now, and they will be lighting the Beltane fires tonight. I need to finish this chapter today or tomorrow, so I can work on some other things while I think about what comes next.

The weather here continues in its spring pattern - snow, milder weather that melts it, snow again, etc. The last dump over the weekend was only about 4 inches here, although other areas got more, but the ground is mostly warm enough that it doesn't last long on the walks or streets - what I call "self-shoveling snow". Not much luck with all the crocus bulbs I planted last fall - the squirrels got some of them, and the severely cold weather seems to have got most of the rest. I'll try again earlier next fall.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

March 2024 - Update #3

I've almost finished chapter 13, bar a little tinkering. Last Saturday was a busy day for me, between running the Zoom sessions for our March Divination workshops and giving a presentation myself on the ogam. After that it took me a while to get going again. At least we've had no more snow.

Not having found Fráechán where they had hoped to find him, Gwernin et al spent a couple of days getting acquainted with some of the people and the location that I described in The King's Druid, and are getting ready to move on to Sliabh na Caillí, where they hope to meet him in time to celebrate Beltane. But in those uncertain times, not finding someone where you expect to find him can always be a cause for uneasiness.

The weather is inching into spring here, but no leaves on the trees yet. This is good, because last week's dreadful snow managed to break bare branches in the neighborhood, and I was glad to have power and internet for Saturday!

Friday, March 15, 2024

March 2024 - Update #2

The last week has been busy again, including preparations for tomorrow's divination workshops and a good bit of snow shoveling yesterday (we got about a foot of heavy wet snow). I'm half way through chapter 13, and Gwernin et al have arrived at Fráechán's rath, to find that he is not there.This is new territory for everyone in the group except Taliesin, who spent several years there long ago (as related in The King's Druid) studying with Fráechán and his teacher.

Presently I'll have to go out and shovel more of yesterday's snow, but at the moment things are warming up a bit and I'm waiting for more of it to fall off the trees. After tomorrow I should be able to get more writing done.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

March 2024 - Update #1

A few conflicts in the last week again, but I finally finished chapter 12. Gwernin and company are in Ireland now, and Taliesin has procured pack ponies from King Díarmait. This was not hard, because in this period no one dared refuse any request from an Irish Master Poet--an Ollam Fili--for fear of their satire. The next chapter will take Gwernin to the ráth of Fráechán’s foster father, a place Gwernin has not been before. I spent some time earlier in the week thinking about what each of our party knows and where they have been in Ireland. Gwernin and Mael, for example, have seen most of the places we'll be going in this book, but not Fráechán’s two homes or "cairn T" on the Sliabh na Caillí; Neirin and Ianto have not been in Ireland before, so this is all new to them. Taliesin, on the other hand, spent seven years in Ireland after Arthur's death, part of that time studying or traveling with Fráechán. I'll be pulling descriptions of these new locations from The King's Druid--another case of needing things to match up. 

In other news, I've been spending time preparing for my presentation on ogam divination in Chokecherry Grove's March Divination Workshop. For more information on that, see this link.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

February 2024 - Update #5

 Rare it is to have five Thursdays in February, but this year we do. Their abundance, however, has not helped my rate of progress with the book. I did finish chapter 11, and started chapter 12 ("the bend of the Boyne"), partly through reorganization of material, but since Monday I have been working on another project. Our local ADF group, Chokecherry Grove, is putting on a series of Zoom workshops on divination methods in two weeks (Saturday 16th), and since I signed myself up to speak on the ogam, I have been preparing a PowerPoint of my material. It's about finished now, and it's time I got back to Gwernin et al, who have arrived in Ireland at last.

Aside from some brief but intense snow on Tuesday morning, the weather has been mild and dry, and windy enough that we had fire weather warnings on a couple of days. Next week looks colder and wetter again - typical March weather here.