Monday, December 14, 2009

Still here...

Yes, it's been a while. No, no big problems, just life. I hope to get blogging again soon... :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A lord's medieval hall in Ireland?

While we were in Ireland, we attended an SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event. This was the hall, partly set up for the feast. Yes, the chairs are not period, but still the overall feel was quite medieval. The food was good, too.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

More of the chair...

The two side panels of the Cruachan chair (or throne) are carved with bulls. this is left panel (from the point of view of someone seated in the chair).


(Photo: G. R. Grove)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The chair...

A wonderful object we saw in Ireland at the Cruachan Ai Center. We also met the carver a few days earlier. The chair is made of three kinds of bog wood, the darkest being oak. It looks to me like a seat appropriate for Arawn himself - or his Irish equivalent.


Monday, November 2, 2009

The end of autumn...

Saturday was the last day for the Cherry Creek farmer's market. It seems appropriate it should end on Samhain. Observe the large piles of snow in the background from Thursday's storm!

Wrote a couple more pages tonight. Sometimes it's drop by drop.


Sunday, November 1, 2009


Finished the third chapter last night - update on the sidebar. Most of the characters Gwernin's seen before, but there's one new one who should be fun. Reading the Chronicle of Ireland yesterday gave me an idea for a new plot element. Just time enough today to start the next chapter before I go back to work tomorrow. At least the snow is gone off the roads -- it was over sixty today -- though not out of the garden. And I'm writing about spring...

(Photo: G. R. Grove: Dowth South, Bru na Boinne.)


Friday, October 30, 2009

It's stopped snowing...

...and I've started writing again. Progress indicator on the sidebar, below the cover/blurb for The Druid's Son. The standing stone on that cover, by the way, is the Cuchulainn stone, about which more later.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow, snow, and more snow...

It's been snowing here since Tuesday night, although I think the storm is finally winding down. Looks more like December or January than the end of October. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still here...

Back from my travels, and playing with photos... this is the first cut of one possible cover for the next book. As you can see, I'm thinking of changing the style for the second trilogy.

We actually got back from Ireland last week, but I came down with a bug almost immediately and am just getting going again - in time for a Denver fall blizzard! A good day to play with photos.

Snow pictures later, and more from Ireland.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Autumn is here / Mae'r hydref yma

We took a trip up into the mountains last weekend to ride the Georgetown Loop. Mountain fall color is well advanced.

Heavy frost this morning after rain. The garden's over for the year; time to clean it up and think about next year. Time for more writing, too.
Cawson ni tro i fyny i'r mynyddoedd i reid y Georgetown Loop. Mae'r lliwiau hydref mynyddoedd yn ardderchog.

Rhew trwm y bore'ma wedi glaw. Mae'r ardd llysiau wedi dod i ben am y flwydden; amser ei llanhau a meddwl am y flwydden nesaf. Amser ysgrifennu hefyd.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Glaw Ysgafn... / Light Rain...

Glaw ysgafn heddiw, efallai gan tipyn of eira heno? Mae'r stwrn aferol canol Mis Medi. Amser tynnu tomatoes! Wel, os mae hi'n bwrw glaw heno, gobeithio bydd ddim rhew. Mae'r tywydd yn dda i meddwl am bacio i Iwerddon, beth bennag.

Gwnes i ddim ysgrifennu dros y penwythnos. Rhaid i mi geisio yn galedach y penwythnos nesaf.
Light rain today, maybe with a bit of snow tonight? It's the usual mid-September storm. Time to pick tomatoes! Well, if it's raining tonight, hopefully there won't be frost. The weather's good for thinking about packing for Ireland, anyway.

I didn't do any writing over the weekend. I have to try harder next weekend.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Dydd Gwener / Friday

Dydd Gwener, diolch i'r Duwiau. Dim ond wythnos o bedwar dyddiau i fi, ond yn digon hir beth bynnag. Roedd y penwythnos diwethaf yn rhy brysur - digwyddiadau SCA Dydd Sadwrn a Dydd Sul, a dim ond Dydd Llun i ysgrifennu. Mwy o amser y penwythnos hon, gobeithio. Dw i wedi dechrau yr ail bennod Mab y Derwydd.

Fel ddweudes i'n gynnar, bydd y dosbarthiadau Cymraeg yn dechrau y chweched Mis Hydref. Byddwn i'n athro unwaith eto. Dw i ddim yn siwr faint o fyfyriwr bydd gynnon ni. Welen ni'n fuan. Yn y cyfamser, bydd y Cymdeithas Cymreig Colorado yn cynnal noswaith am Owain Glyndwr Nos Sadwrn y 3dd Hydref, a byddwn i yno gan copiau fy llyfrau. Mae mwy o wybodaeth yma.


Friday, thank the Gods. Only a four day week for me, but long enough anyway. Last weekend was too busy - SCA events Saturday and Sunday, and only Monday for writing. More time this weekend, hopefully. I've started the second chapter of The Druid's Son.

As I said earlier, Welsh classes will start on the 6th of October. I'll be a teacher again. I'm not sure how many students we'll have. We'll see soon. In the meantime, the Colorado Welsh Society will be holding an evening about Owain Glyndwr on Saturday the 3rd of October, and I'll be there with copies of my books. There's more information here.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welsh language classes in Denver

The Colorado Welsh Society's Welsh language classes will be starting again soon - see the class blog for more details. Cymru am byth!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Writing and thinking

I've got a little more work done on the new book this week. I also started a sort of pre-publication page for it on LibraryThing, for those who are curious, and will be adding to it from time to time.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ysgrifennu a garddio / Writing and gardening...

Mi gais i tipyn mwy o waith wedi gwneud ar y lyfr nesa dros y penwythnos. Meddwl yn bennaf, ond tipyn o ysgrifenny hefyd. Mi awn ni i'r Iwerddon am pethefnos yn Mis Hydref, a bydda i'n gallu weld y leoedd ble bydd y stori yn cael ei digwydd. Dw i'n edrych ymlaen ato fo!

Mae'r tomatoes yn dal ato, a dw i wedi gwneud lawer o chutney eleni. Wn i ddim pryd byddwn ni'n cael y rhew cyntaf - cyn bo Mis Hydref, yn debyg.
I got a bit more work done on the next book over the weekend. Mostly thinking, but a bit of writing as well. We're going to Ireland for a fortnight in October, and I'll be able to see the places where the story will happen. I'm looking forward to that!

The tomatoes are keeping at it, and I've made a lot of chutney this year. I don't know when we'll get the first frost - before October, probably.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer's end / Diwedd yr haf

It's been a mild summer here in Denver; parts of August have felt more like September. The tomatoes are in full spate, but for how much longer? Usually we have the first killing frost before the end of September, and September starts tomorrow. (Picture: view toward Golden and Boulder from the office window last Wednesday.)
Mae hi'n wedi bod haf mwyn yma yn Denver; mae rhannau'r Mis Awst wedi teimlo fel Mis Medi. Mae'r tomatoes yn dod yn gyflym, ond am faint o amser? Yn arferol, mi gawn ni rhew galed cyn bo diwedd Mis Medi, a mae'r Mis Medi yn dechrau yfory. (Llun: golygfa tuag at Golden a Boulder o'r ffenestr y swyddfa Dydd Mercher diwedda.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

New camera

I'm currently doing some testing with a new camera - more blogging presently. This variety is Isis Candy, one of the tomato plants I started from seed back in March.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back home again

I'm back from Pennsic War. Had a great time, and I'll blog about it more soon. Also I'll be posting class notes and references for the two classes I taught there: The Early Welsh Bards and Early Welsh Poetry (550-1350 CE). In the meantime, it's good to be home.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

More medieval journeys

I haven't been blogging much lately - apologies to those who've checked the site and been disappointed - but my weekends have been pretty thoroughly taken up with Celtic / medieval things. First there was the Fair at Elizabeth - a very pleasant if somewhat warm weekend. I spent both days there with the Colorado Welsh Society, commuting from Denver, and did several storytelling sessions. These worked better the second day when we figured out the mike and sound system we'd brought with us - unamplified storytelling in competition with bagpipes is not recommended!

The following weekend was taken up partly with a visit to the Colorado Renaissance Festival - only as customers this time, not performers - and partly with sewing (a new pair of trews) and packing for next week's trip, with a little gardening interspersed. (The tomatoes are producing very well, especially the assorted small varieties). Denver continues to have an unusually mild and wet summer - I haven't had to water the grass at all, which is almost unheard of - but the tomatoes seem to like it, not to mention the weeds.

My next excursion is to another SCA event, which I'll tell you about when I get back. Let's just say it should involve a lot of bardic activity, and I hope some book mongering as well!

And on the topic of books, I amused myself this afternoon adding a page for the next book in LibraryThing. You can see it here. Not much writing done yet, but my researches into 6th century Ireland proceed apace.

Oh - that's Falco in the picture guarding the library book.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This coming weekend at Elizabeth, Colorado

I'll be doing some storytelling and booksigning this weekend with the Colorado Welsh Society area at the Elizabeth Celtic Festival. If you're in the area, come on out!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

More progress!

And now it's gone live!


The Ash Spear is on now. It's not available for purchase there yet, but soon, soon... It also has one review already, from someone who reviewed an advance PDF copy on LibraryThing (thanks again, Andrew!).


Monday, June 29, 2009

Summertime: gardening and thinking

The pink rose is almost finished blooming - this picture was taken a couple of weeks ago - and most things have been growing like mad, helped along by one of the wettest Junes in recent memory. I keep wanting to take more pictures before posting, but the weather hasn't cooperated. Hopefully more soon.

I'm still waiting for Amazon to upload the data for The Ash Spear. Unfortunately they only do this once a month, so it could be another three weeks. Trust me, I'll publicize it widely when it happens.

I've also started working on the next book. This one will be set five or six years after The Ash Spear, and will involve several of the same characters. Gwernin of course will be back as the narrator, and also Taliesin. I don't think Neirin will appear in this one unless it's a cameo, but he'll be back again in later books. There will also be a few glimpses of other people we've met before. Right now I'm doing background research (did I mention this one will be mostly set in Ireland?) and thinking about major plot elements. I've also written a couple of sentences of the first scene. I want to design the book as a second entry point into the series, something people can enjoy who haven't read the first trilogy. That's the idea, anyway. Oh, and the working title is The Druid's Son.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

One more milestone...

I got my first review for the Ash Spear on LibraryThing. (I sent the reviewer a pdf copy.) He also reviewed Storyteller and Flight of the Hawk recently.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've reached a couple of big milestones in the last week. First, last week I sold my 1,000th book. This is not a lot by commercial publisher standards, but for a self-published author, only promoted through web based reviews and word of mouth, it's fantastic. Here's to the next 1,000...

And on that note, I approved The Ash Spear for distribution today. It may take a month or so yet to reach, but it's on its way!


Sunday, May 31, 2009


Still proof-reading and gardening. Most of the tomatoes are in now - only five or six more holes to dig (groan!) Corn and beans are seeded, squash seedlings planted. I'm late with everything this year because I was working on the final draft of Ash Spear weekends when I should have been tilling.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


We're proof-reading today in and around things like mowing the yard and tilling the garden. Tomato-planting tomorrow Monday - it's high time. This is the one year in five or six that I didn't get a killing frost after May 1st and therefore could have planted early (if I hadn't been so busy with the manuscript!) - oh well.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back home again

Back from a weekend in the Black Hills of South Dakota at an SCA event called Quest for Camelot. As usual I forgot to take pictures, but here's one I took at the site two years ago.

Proof copies of The Ash Spear arrived while I was gone - it's looking good!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The final proof copies have been ordered, and barring any unforseen problems, The Ash Spear should be released on Lulu early next month, probably reaching sometime in July (Lulu pushes it to Bowkers, but Amazon has a monthly upload schedule after that). This one weighs in at 328 pages and $19.95 SRP, though hopefully Amazon will discount it a bit. For a bit more about it and a couple of quoted passages, see its page on LibraryThing. There's a lot of other fun stuff there as well ;-)

Now I can start researching the next one, and maybe catch up on the rest of my life, including my gardening - the tomatoes are climbing out of the cold frame, and have started blooming!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Still here...

Yes, I'm still here - in the throes of proofreading / revising / all the nick-picking detail that comes at the end of preparing a book.

Tomatoes are getting big, too - I'll try and get a picture up soon. It's spring!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Binary weather

Spring in Denver is binary: winter/summer/winter/summer/winter/summer... Snow Monday morning, nice weather Tuesday, snow (with lightning and thunder!) Wednesday evening, nice weather yesterday and today, winter storm warning for tonight and tomorrow... The picture's from last Sunday, one of the nice days.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Less snow...

We got about 8 or 9 inches of snow here, I think, but it's melting fast. The ground had already thawed, and the last two sunny days have helped. The tomato seedlings in the cold frame survived, although some got a bit spindly; I have the lid up this morning to give them more direct light.

On the writing front, I've been doing a couple of other projects while I wait for feedback from my proof-readers. One, still part of preparing the Ash Spear, is to work on the maps, which are nearly ready now - ready for the proof-readers, at any rate. I have to remind myself that things which are perfectly obvious to me, such as which part of Britain is Wales, aren't necessarily going to be obvious to my (mainly North American) readers. This is the sort of assumptions they're checking for now - things I can't see.

The second project has been a little different. I'm doing some spoken word recording - poems and stories from the books. I'd like to make some cd's presently - both collections like these and spoken book versions of the books. The new microphone I've recently bought has solved the sound quality problem, but is picking up a background hum from the computer. I'll have to figure out a way to deal with that before I can do commercial quality recording, but in the short term this is good practice, and good for proof of concept. I'm thinking of including copies with some of my review give-aways, too.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Denver is under a blizzard warning today, and I'm at home. Not much snow so far, but it only started here about an hour ago. I may add more pictures to this post as the day goes on.

12:15 local time - lots more snow.

Later in the afternoon... ... and 6 pm local time.

p.s. I've added a weather sticker at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More coldframe...

Titus has discovered the catmint in the coldframe. He really likes it... Yes, he's sitting in the pot. Fortunately catmint is tough!

The water bottles are there as a temperature regulator, btw.

Tomatoes in the coldframe - 2009

It's that time of year again. I spent parts of the last week starting tomato plants from seed. Almost all have sprouted now, and are in the coldframe, which I've had open yesterday and today thanks to a bit of warm weather. That will be changing tomorrow, but at least the seedlings are off to a good start!

Book stuff: I'm working on maps for Ash Spear. I think it needs a general map of central Britain and a more detailed map of Gwynedd, where a lot of the action takes place. Photoshop Elements is my friend, though I still find myself swearing at it occasionally. After that I have to create the back cover - description and layout. By the time I finish that I should be getting feedback from my proofreaders, and can start on final text revisions. Still on track for a mid-June Lulu release, which translates into Amazon etc. sometime in July.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yes, it's been a while...

... and no, nothing's happened. I was busy last weekend with second-draft changes in The Ash Spear before printing some copies for my proofreaders. Also I've mailed out the three copies of my first poetry book as part of my on-going promotional give-aways on LibraryThing, which I suppose I should have mentioned here sooner. I've also entered some pre-release information about Ash Spear here.

More blogging soon, I promise.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Arwyddion cyntaf y gwanwyn / First signs of spring

Dim eira am fwy na wythnos nawr, a mae'r tywedd wedi bod yn cynnes ac yn sych. Roedd Chwefror 'ma un o'r pedwar sychaf yn fwy na can mlenydd. Dw i'n meddwl bod yn mynyddoed wedi cael digon o eira, ond mae pethau dim yn edrych yn dda am y ffermwyr. Mae'n rhaid iddyn nhw cael gwlybanieth y gwanwyn er bod yn posib am y gwenith gaeaf cael ei dyfu.

DDoe rhoais i ddwr i'r coed a'r rhosynnau yn yr ardd. Mae ychydig o twlips yn dod i fynny, ond dim crocis eto. Mi fydd amser i ddechrau y tomatos yn fuan.

Dw i'n gweithio o hyd ar yr ail draft Y Pren Onn - mae e'n ddod yn dda.

No snow for more than a week now, and the weather has been warm and dry. February was one of the four driest in more than one hundred years. I think the mountains have got enough snow, but things are not looking good for the farmers. They need spring moisture for the winter wheat to grow.

Yesterday I watered the trees and roses in the yard. There are a few tulips coming up, but no crocus yet. It'll be time to start the tomatoes soon.

I'm still working on the second draft of The Ash Spear - it's coming well.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Eira newydd / Fresh snow

Gawson ni tipyn o eira neithiwr - bron a ddwy modfedd a hanner - a mae popeth yn wyn y bore 'ma. Doedd dim olion yn yr ardd pan es i allan yn cyntaf, cyn i'r codiad yr haul, ond welais i olion y cadno yn y lon. Nawr mae lawer o olion traed colomen a gwiwer - a olion traed cath eto, wrth cwrs. Tynnais i sawl lluniau - bydda i'n postio un yn hwyrach... A dyma un.
We got a little snow last night - about two and a half inches - and everything is white this morning. There were no tracks in the yard when I first came out before sunrise, but I saw fox tracks in the alley. Now there are lots of pigeon and squirrel tracks - and cat tracks too, of course. I took some pictures - I'll post one later... and here's one.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quiet day

Yesterday was cold and gray, a good day for writing. Last night we had a little powdering of fresh snow and a heavy frost, but today's sunlight will soon remove that. This morning I'm celebrating finishing the first draft of Ash Spear; tomorrow it's back to work on revisions. But I should have more time to blog regularly now.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

I've done it!

The first draft of The Ash Spear is finished, a day or two sooner than I expected: 116,000 words and 310 pages, plus appendices.

Now I get to start on the revisions ;-)


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Only two more...

Only two more chapters to go before I will have finished the first draft of The Ash Spear. In the meantime, check out my chat on LibraryThing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've finished chapter 28: only three more to go. It feels very strange to be approaching the end.

Numbers on the side-bar as always.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Yma o hyd / Still here

Mae'n drwg gen i, dw i ddim wedi bod yn "blogi" ers y penwythnos. Ddecreais i un pennod arall nos Llun (neu roedd hi nos Sul?), ond mae lawer o bethau wedi bod yn digwydd. Gobeithio mi alla' i orffen Pennod 27 y penwythnos 'ma, ac efallai dechreu y pennod nesaf.

Mae'r penwythnos 'ma calan gwanwyn hefyd ... mwy ohoni hi yn fuan.
I'm sorry I haven't been blogging since the weekend. I started one more chapter Monday night (or was it Sunday night?), but lots of things have happened. I hope I can finish Chapter 27 this weekend, and perhaps start the next chapter.

This weekend is the first of spring too ... more about that soon.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yn araf / Slowly...

Dw i wedi gorffen pennod arall ddoe - dim ond pedair ar ol i ysgrifennu nawr.

Neithiwr mi es i'r Gwyl Dwynwen ein cymdeithias cymrieg leol. Roedd fel Noson Lawen, a mi ges i lawer o hwyl. Siaredais i stori wrth pawb, stori Tristfardd, bod yn fy llyfrau. Roedd lawer o ganu a dawnsio hefyd - noson da iawn.


I finished another chapter yesterday - only four more to write now.

Last night I went to our local Welsh Society's Dwynwen's Festival. It was like a Noson Lawn, and I had a lot of fun. I told a story to everyone, the story of Tristfardd, which is in my books. There was lots of singing and dancing, too - a good evening.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More progress...

And yet one more: 26 out of 31 done now. I was up till midnight with that one last night, but it was worth it...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Another chapter finished: numbers on the sidebar as usual. This last one took some reading and thinking, as it follows Gwernin to a different part of the country. I can see the end in sight now: it will feel strange to get there. Then, of course, there's the second draft, and the proof-reading: mere details.

I'm planning on another transition as well before the end of the year.

But that is a story for another day.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Still here...

The last couple of weeks have been rather busy, but last night I finally got started on the next chapter. With luck I'll get a decent post out in a day or two.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Second blog

I've been trying to figure out how I could post sample chapters from my books without disrupting the flow of this blog. It just doesn't work. So today I gave up and created a second blog site to hold them. See this link for progress to date.

Naturally I'll still do most of my posting on this site.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nol i'r gwaith yfory / Back to work tomorrow

Wel, mae ngwyliau wedi gorffen. Mae hi wedi bod dwy wythnos dda. Nadolig da (heb eira), Nos Calen da (heb eira), a ddoe dim ond tipyn bach o eira. A pedair fennod wedi cael eu ysgrifennu! Dim yn ddrwg. Yfory, beth bynnag... Dyna chwedl i ddydd arall.


Well, my holidays are over. It's been a good two weeks. A good Christmas (no snow), a good New Year's Eve (no snow), and yesterday only a little snow. And four chapters got written! Not bad. Tomorrow, however... That's a story for another day.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / Happy New Year!

Dim ond tipyn bach hwyr - ond roeddwn i'n ysgrifennu ddoe. Un pennod arall wedi cael ei gorffen - mae'n debyg bydd hi'r olaf y wythnos 'ma. Mae'n rhaid i mi ysgrifennu cerdd heno i rywun, a bydden ni'n mynd i ddgwyddiad SCA yfory. Wedyn, n'ol i'r swyddfa Dydd Llun...
Only a little late - but I was writing yesterday. One more chapter finished - that will probably be the last this week. I have to write a poem for someone tonight, and we're going to an SCA event tomorrow. Then, back to work on Monday...