Wednesday, December 29, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Tomorrow's my last day at work, and of course we have a winter storm warning, so I'm trying to get everything that's possible done today. I'm determined not to add to my paper storage problem at home - so (almost) everything here is being scanned and then shredded. Then I can put it all on one cd, and lose the cd ;-)

Maybe I can start writing again Friday.


Monday, December 27, 2010


More mild, dry weather here, but that will be changing in a couple of days, just in time (alas!) for New Year's Eve. I got a bit of work done on The Druid's Son yesterday, with more planned today. Then after New Year's, full speed ahead, I hope...

The rowan tree still has a few leaves, but not many:

Cold morning

And that's all for now.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

...and Friday - well, Saturday!

OK, I admit I missed Friday, though I doubt many people noticed this time of year. It was partly because, with my changing work schedule and all the holidays, I am finding it difficult to remember what day I'm in. It was also because I was - well, not writing, but preparing to write: tinkering with the outline for The Druid's Son, and rereading parts of the previous book. Now that my full-time writing opportunity is almost here, I'm excited.

And also, of course, preparing for Christmas, which is now here: a Happy Christmas to all who celebrate it!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

...and Wednesday...

The lunar eclipse was impressive. We had excellent viewing conditions here, clear and still and not too cold. Not feeling I could stay up most of the night and still go to work the next day, I went to bed early - around 7 pm - and got up again a bit after midnight. When I went outside to look, a big chunk of the moon was already dark, so I gathered my stuff together and settled in a lawn chair next to the truck, where I could lean back against it. After a couple of attempts at photography (small blurred spots) I gave it up and just enjoyed watching the show with binoculars and naked eyes, occasionally going back inside to warm up. Although there was a reddish tinge to the disk during totality, I reminded me more of a tarnished silver coin - base silver, perhaps, with a bit of copper in it. The most exciting moment was when the moon finally began to emerge from the earth's shadow again: first a faint brightening along one edge, then a perceptible silver rim, and at last a bright and slowly growing silver crescent - half a month's phases in an hour. I finally got to be again around three, and slept with the curtains open and the silver moonlight streaming in.

Before the eclipse, I also held a private solstice celebration - but that's a story for another day.

Today's photo: St. Lythan's Burial Chamber in south Wales.

St Lythan's burial chamber


Monday, December 20, 2010


Lots of seasonal chores today - wrapping presents, going to the post office, and so forth. Saturday night we celebrated Yule with ADF in a rather low-key ceremony; so, feeling the need of more ritual, I will be celebrating the Solstice again myself tonight - and hopefully observing the Lunar Eclipse as well. So far the weather looks good...

After the first of the year I'll have a couple of public appearances: a book reading/signing (date still to be arranged) with a local venue, and on January 22nd some storytelling as part of the Colorado Welsh Society's St. Dwynwyn's Day. More on both of these later.

Still looking like a brown Christmas in Denver, although the mountains have been getting heavy snow.

Picture later...


Friday, December 17, 2010

... and Friday

We got a powdering of snow last night, about an inch out here in Lakewood, but only a trace where I live. Just enough to be pretty, and make it look more like December. At this rate Denver may be heading for a brown Christmas, though I gather that it's different in the mountains - snow pack ahead of normal and ski areas doing great. But it's been dry enough in town that I've started watering things like rose bushes and fruit trees at the weekend - assuming it's above freezing!

I've started one more ebook giveaway on Librarything, this one for Storyteller Songs. This is a one-week giveaway only, ending on Christmas Eve. Take a look if you're interested.

A snow picture today - not from this morning, when I didn't have time for photography, but from last month. But the effect is much the same.

snow on cadfael rose bush

I've been working my way through the first three books, collecting character descriptions and getting Gwernin's voice back in my head in preparation to start writing again. I'm really looking forward to it!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Some winter weather moving in today, with snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow. It's more than time, I suppose, but I'm not eager to drive in it tomorrow. Think I'll take the laptop home with me tonight so I can work from home tomorrow if necessary.

We'll be celebrating the Winter Solstice this weekend, even though it's not actually until Tuesday 21st. The length of the day doesn't change much at this point - here in Denver, for example, tomorrow's "length of visible light" will be only 22 seconds shorter than today, and in mid Wales (where Gwernin spent his winters) about 40 seconds shorter. So a couple of days early or late is no big thing. What I'm excited about, though, is the total lunar eclipse the night before - hope it stays clear!

Today's picture: Drom Beg again. If I remember right, the sunset now would be just about in the notch on the ridge line...



Monday, December 13, 2010


Hai mai! as Neirin would say. I've been off from work today, but so busy with bookselling administrivia that I keep forgetting to blog. Yesterday was the Colorado Welsh Society's annual Christmas tea, and I read a couple of poems as part of the program. Afterwards a number of people asked where they could find copies, and the upshot was that I sold several poetry books, and a set of novels as well. This led to the need to replenish the box of books I take to events, and the discovery that I am out of copies of The Ash Spear - not a desirable situation this time of year. I've ordered more, and they should show up in a couple of weeks, absent any blizzards between here and North Carolina... I'd been hoping to write a bit today, but all I've managed is half an hour or so glancing at timelines and thinking. So it goes...

Today's picture: draft horses at a Denver street fair last weekend.

Heavy horses at street fair

That's all for now.


Friday, December 10, 2010

... and Friday

Another nice day here, although it may snow tomorrow. Maybe I can sneak a bit of writing in this weekend; I'm impatient to get started again. Three more weeks...

Meanwhile, the possible weather sounds appropriate, and the forecast for south Wales, which is similar, more appropriate still. December 11 is the 808th anniversary of the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, last Prince of independent Wales. I visited his memorial again on my August Welsh trip - here's one of the pictures:


And another of the Welsh marker stone by the gate (there's an English version as well):


(Near this place was killed Llywelyn our last leader. 1282.)

Drink a toast to him tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

...and Wednesday...

A busy week - busy at work, and busy preparing for the next few weekends. We're having my retirement party today - a potluck, so I can actually talk to people. (See my post on Quitting the Day Job). Sunday is the Welsh Society's Christmas Tea, and I'm on the program to read two poems, which I so far haven't either chosen or written. At least the weather continues unseasonably mild and dry (my sister says it reminds her of 1982, just before the Christmas Blizzard...).

Another Irish photo today: flowering gorse. Pretty but prickly...


And less than two weeks until Winter Solstice...


Monday, December 6, 2010


A busy weekend without much notable in it: put up the Christmas lights on the front porch, did a little shopping at a local street fair, puttered around house and garden. Weather was cold but dry, sunny on Saturday (bright blue Colorado sky), mostly cloudy yesterday and today. Took some pictures at the street fair, but haven't uploaded them yet. On the other hand, I found I'd missed a batch of the Irish photos when uploading to Flickr:

altar stone at Drombeg


Friday, December 3, 2010

... and Friday

Another mild, dry day, but windy: more weather coming in soon. We had been planning on going to an SCA event in Cheyenne tomorrow, but have pretty much decided not to after all, for various reasons. I had just as soon have the day off instead, as the next few weekends will be busy, and I am at bottom not really a very social person. This is good from the point of view of writing, which is generally a very solitary occupation. Book promotion, however, is another story.

Another Irish photo today, more reflective of the season than what I see outside my window: the entrance to Grange Stone Circle in the rain.

Grange stone circle


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...and Wednesday...

The week goes on... weather's a little warmer, which is good, and looks like staying mild and dry through the weekend. I am starting to apply myself to Old Irish, using David Stifter's Sengoidelc, in order to harvest some bits for use in The Druid's Son. I don't think I'll ever get the pronunciation right, but on the other hand I'm not planning to speak it! Some of the words look familiar from my attempt at Scots Gaelic a few years back, and others show their common Celtic roots with Welsh. I suspect that to Gwernin it would have sounded like the "Old Tongue" - British before it evolved into Primitive Welsh.

Nothing new on the wildlife front, but here's another picture from last weekend:

bluejay at feeder

This shot took some waiting until he decided I was harmless - or at least worth tolerating for the sake of the peanuts!


Monday, November 29, 2010


A gray, cold day with a sprinkling of snow this morning, though the roads were dry enough. I saw what might have been fox tracks in one spot in the yard, but the marks were smudged and had snowflakes on top of them. Haven't seen or smelled a fox around in several months, so we'll see. On the subject of wildlife, we accounted for two more mice this weekend, small juveniles. Falco caught one in the yard, and the other fell victim to one of the snap traps in the garage. I do feel sorry for them, especially the little ones, but not enough to let them move in. The squirrels and birds, on the other hand, had a good weekend.


I really want to start writing again, but the next few weekends are busy. Once the holidays are over, however...


Friday, November 26, 2010

... and Friday.

A late post - having taken the day off, I forgot it was Friday. I was also busy this morning sending out coupon codes for my giveaway of the e-book version of King Arthur's Raid on Hell, which just ended on LibrayThing. The next giveaway is for my second volume of poetry, Pryderi's Pigs, which will be running for two weeks. After that I have one more planned before Christmas, an e-book giveaway of Storyteller for non-US residents only. I'll put the details up when it starts.

It looks like my mouse problems are over for the moment, although the cats are convinced there's one or more living just outside the garage. It's a good bit warmer today than yesterday, and Titus found himself a warm spot for a nap:

titus in the warm spot


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Brief post today as nothing much is new. I think I have the mouse situation under control, as no more have been caught since Sunday and nothing more seems to have been eaten. On the topic of cat and mouse, however, a cute picture from several years ago when Falco was young and first encountered the concept. I think I actually caught the mouse (which is in the jar) myself.


A happy thanksgiving to those of you in places that celebrate it!


Monday, November 22, 2010



Two mice caught so far, by trap, not by cat, although Titus (above) would have been happy to help if he'd seen them. Catching mice reminds me of the story in the Third Branch of the Mabinogion (right), where Manawydan's grain is being stolen by mice. He, however, had to catch his mouse himself, and he didn't have peanuts to use as bait...


Friday, November 19, 2010

... and Friday

There's a mouse in the garage - well, at least one. He or she has been at the suet cakes for the bird feeders. In the past I was more relaxed about this sort of wildlife incursion, until the year we suffered a population explosion, resulting in the eventual capture and eviction (by cat, box trap, and other means) of about a dozen individuals of various ages. Now I try to be more proactive. Last night I set a snap trap in the now-empty suet cake box, baited with a chocolate chip. I also scattered some peanuts and seeds in the box. This morning no victim, but the the peanuts and seeds were gone. I'll give the chocolate a couple more days, then move on to something else if it doesn't work. I used to use a non-killing box trap and released the mouse elsewhere, but results were uneven, and I suspect I just relocated its fate. Maybe I'll set the box traps, too, in various places where it won't matter if the cats spring them. If I'm going to catch it alive, I need to do so soon: I never have the heart to fling a live mouse out into a snowdrift.

Back to Ireland for today's picture: Creevykeel court tomb, north of Sligo.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Mixed rain and snow yesterday evening; nice today but cold. No chance for writing, and there won't be for a while. With daylight savings time having gone, there's no light after work now to garden. The dark half of the year, indeed.

frost on rowan tree


Monday, November 15, 2010


Snowing here today, cold gray and unpleasant. Almost all the leaves are off the trees; autumn's gone. The vulnerable plants - geraniums and the cyclamen, mostly, plus the azalea and the rosemary - are indoors, and the rest in the cold frame settled down for the winter. Time for storytellers to settle down, too, and work on stories...

snow on cadfael rose bush


Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Snow

Snowing lightly here today - just enough to be decorative. I think the mountains are getting plenty, though, which will make the skiers happy.

snow on rowan tree

For Veteran's Day, a poem from Storyteller Songs:

Twice-nine score of horsemen riding,
twice-nine score of shining shields,
twice-nine score of piercing spear-points
followed Rhun through Lleyn’s dark fields—
moonlight bright upon their shields.

Silent as the gray hunt riding,
silent in the mist and rain,
silently to win their vengeance
Rhun’s men rode to deal death’s pain—
strike the raiders down in shame.

Twenty score of reavers sleeping,
twenty score of red-tusked boars,
twenty score with blood-lust sated
snored unknowing by the shore—
they would see their homes no more!

Swords flashed silver in the moonlight,
swords rang bright in fight with foe,
sword-blades blood-red blazed by firelight—
burning ships gave brighter glow,
till they sank the waves below!

Fierce our warriors cleaving shields there,
fierce their spear-thrusts, pangs of pain,
fierce great Rhun, red wolf of battle
reaping men like Irish grain—
sowing bones about the plain!

Praise King Rhun whose wisdom led us,
praise all men who did great deeds,
praise those most who fell in battle
paying blood-price for their mead—
let all bards proclaim their deeds!

Gwyn the Strong sits not at table,
Ifor Goch no more will fight,
Cynan Hir dines with his fathers,
Dinfael knows no more the light—
these and more have left our sight.

Twice-nine score rode forth to battle,
twice-nine score to kill or die,
twice-nine score did mighty slaughter—
for the fallen praise I cry—
not forgotten will they lie!

- from The Ash Spear


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

...and Wednesday...

A considerable change in the weather here - rain mixed with snow yesterday, and much colder now, with more snow forecast for tomorrow. I wish I'd had time to photograph some of the heavy frost this morning. Mae'r gaeaf wedi cyrraedd yn wir - winter has definitely arrived!

Yesterday I was amusing myself by creating another new page on this site to showcase the maps from the first Storyteller trilogy. I'd like presently to put one up with photos of some of the locations involved, too - probably selected photos with links to Flickr sets. But that's another project for this winter. In the meantime, here's one more rowan tree picture from last weekend.

rowen tree

Monday, November 8, 2010


One more fine weekend before winter weather arrives, and I got a few pictures of the rowan tree:

rowen tree

Forecast for the next few days is for much colder weather and a chance of snow. Very overdue, but happily most of the leaves are off the trees now, so not much danger of breaking branches. The rowan is an exception, but she's flexible, which is one reason yesterday found me on a ladder trimming branches on the power line side...

Thursday is Veteran's Day and a federal holiday, so I hope to get back to writing at last. Cold nasty weather is just what I need now!

eta: I just realized I didn't have any Irish links on the Resource page, so I've added a selection of my favorites.


Friday, November 5, 2010

... and Friday

A fine autumn day here in Denver, and still warm. Tomorrow we will be joining the local ADF group for their Samhain observance, which should be fun. So tonight I'm grilling pork loin for the potluck feast that follows. Glad it's not snowing!

Druids obviously are something which has been much on my mind this year. There isn't really much information about the original ones, and all the (scanty) sources come from writers with their own agendas (agendae?). What does seem fairly certain is that there was a priesthood by this name in Britain when the Romans arrived (i.e., 1st century CE) which was then suppressed, and that there was a related group in Ireland at the time Patrick arrived (5th century CE?) which was still around to some extent and in some form in Gwernin's time (mid 6th century CE). It seems highly unlikely that their beliefs and practices, as described by the classical observers in 1st century BCE Gaul, would not have undergone some degree of change in that period. Add to that the fact that the few bits we know (or think we know) about the Irish Druids were reported by their religious opponents, and you can see that searching for particular grains of sand in a tub of mud in thick fog on a moonless midnight is a simple task in comparison to searching for the truth about the 6th century Irish Druids...


I'll just have to see where the awen takes me.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

One more Samhain item

The following seasonal tale from Storyteller is in the archives of this blog, but I decided to give it its own page on my Gwernin Storyteller blogsite as well so as to make it easier to link to. Enjoy!

Drom Beg stone circle


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

...and Wednesday...

I've spent a bit of time housekeeping on the blog sites during the last couple of days. Aldertree Books is pretty much fully set up now, and I encourage people to take a look. I've also begun taking link lists off the sidebar on this site and putting them in a separate page (see the page list on the upper right - there will be more soon). A lot of this non-writing activity is getting done during periods when I don't have the undisturbed time I need for The Druid's Son. That will change soon...


The picture above is from the Irish trip. I'm thinking it might make a good cover for this (click on the link and scroll down to see what I mean)...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Calan Gaeaf

Happy (Celtic) New Year - today is the First Day of Winter in the old Celtic calendar. It's not particularly wintery today - warmer than the middle of last week - but the cold will come. I spent part of yesterday clearing stuff out of the garage to make a winter home for the rosemary bush. This is more complicated than it used to be, because it (the rosemary) is now so large that it requires the use of the garden cart to move it easily, and this in turn takes up more room. However, the clearance was long overdue and beneficial, involving boxes that hadn't been touched since I moved here in 1997. I found some photo collections which I need to scan this winter, which I hope will include some British landscape photos I took in the eighties and nineties - more stone circles.

Another picture on the Samhain theme:


It's the eastern interior passage in the mound of Knowth - a gateway to - where?


Friday, October 29, 2010

... and Friday

The garden's finished: 18 degrees yesterday morning; no more roses. One more weekend to clean up the remains; then perhaps I can get some writing done.

We'll be celebrating Samhain this weekend; in the meantime, an appropriate picture from last year's Irish trip:


It's Oweynagat, the Cave of the Cat: a good place to stay away from this weekend!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Mid-twenties in my garden this morning, with ice on all the standing water. Anything left outside will have had it. Yesterday the wind was so strong that it blew my hat off as I set out on my morning walk. Still cold and very windy today, but tomorrow should be a bit better. Time to clean up the remains of the vegetable garden and make it ready for winter. One more view of summer in the coldframe:

Summer in the cold frame

No writing over the weekend due to garden prep, but that cold indoor time is coming.

Monday, October 25, 2010


A busy day at home, which unfortunately didn't include any writing. Autumn came down like a hammer this morning with a cold front which dropped the temperature 15 degrees in less than an hour. I spent a lot of the day getting the plants into the cold frame and the rosemary into the garage. Also made another batch of plum jam... autumn's here tonight.


The geraniums will come indoors in about three weeks, before the serious cold hits. In the meantime, summer's in the cold frame...


Friday, October 22, 2010

... and Friday

I'm late today due to several things, not least that I've been doing more work on and also giving out free e-books for my LibraryThing promotion of Flight of the Hawk. I've also just started a new e-book giveaway there for The Ash Spear.

The weather is finally changing - colder and greyer today, and likely to get more so over the next week. Time to finish rearranging the cold frame plants and reorganizing the garage so the rosemary (and eventually the geraniums in the cold frame) can come indoors for the winter. In and around this, I hope to get some writing done, too. At least I won't be tempted to spend the afternoon on the patio watching birds and drinking wine...

geraniums in the cold frame


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Another step forward toward becoming my own publisher: I've set up a Blogger-hosted site for Alder Tree Books at It's pretty minimal so far, but I'll be adding more information soon.

Frost again last night, but mild weather today. Here's one more picture from last weekend...

Last lavender

And that's it for the moment.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday morning...

No writing over the weekend: the weather was too good. A few more nights with light frost, but the basil's still surviving. The first stage of garden cleanup is almost done: not much more to do until the cold kills the remaining vegetables.

Last rose - Magic Lantern

Yesterday I sat on the patio watching the birds at the feeders - four house sparrows, a pair of house finches just starting to show their display colors, and the usually small flock of black caps. The later are fast-moving little birds who dart to a feeder, grab a seed almost without stopping, and fly up into the rowan or elm to eat it; then back again for the next. The house finches, by contrast, settled down on the black seed feeder, one on each perch, and stuffed themselves. When they were through they went one at a time to the nearest water bucket for a drink, then left. Meanwhile I sat and watched and read, sipping a glass of local Gewurztraminer, and sharing peanuts with the squirrels. There was a while in late afternoon when all the lawn mowers were through and it was almost silent.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn weekend

Another beautiful Colorado fall day. Here's a touch of local color: the big ash tree across the street is putting on its usual display. In another week it will be mostly bare, but pure gold while it lasts.

Ash tree

No writing so far this weekend, but plenty of garden cleanup. We'll see how this afternoon goes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday again...

I had a little frost the last two nights, but now it's warmed up again. Should be a nice weekend, but we have colder weather coming Monday. I need to get some autumn color shots this weekend before it's over - I'll put something up tomorrow.

I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but my second e-book giveaway is still running on LibraryThing, this time for Flight of the Hawk. (Go to and scroll down - it should be the second item on the list.) You can also download the first 30% of the book free at - links on the right sidebar as always.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Snow on the mountaintops this morning, and the first touch of frost in my garden. The temperature will rebound into the low 70's by the weekend, but the nights are getting colder -- and longer. I picked the last green tomatoes yesterday before the frost, and the squash and pumpkin vines have finished. Two and a half more weeks until Samhain, and Calan Gaeaf - Winter's beginning in the Celtic year.

autumn garden

I got a little more writing done Monday afternoon, sitting in the back yard with my laptop, watching the Blackcapped Chickadees at the feeder and enjoying the orange and purple of the marigolds and asters. Interesting developments in the story, with more to come.


Monday, October 11, 2010


Late today due to the holiday. A little writing this weekend, but my chief achievement is pictured below:

Plum jam

And a picture of the whole batch...


Back to the garden cleanup!

Friday, October 8, 2010

...and Friday

Not much new here today, other than that the weather has finally become more fall-like. Just another new picture, then... Another shot from Beltany, with sheep.



Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Seems like a long week already - maybe it's the allure of the upcoming three day weekend. Today's picture: part of Beltany stone circle in County Donegal, Ireland.


Thinking about stone circles the other day, I started trying to count how many I've visited over the years, and came up with something between 30 and 40. Most of them are listed in Audrey Buhl's A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, an invaluable book for the enthusiast, but I think I've also visited a few small ones shown on the Ordnance Survey maps but not included in his guide. A good few all together, at any rate. The ones that Gwernin has visited, by the way, are all real.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

E-publishing update

Just a little update - my first 5 books (everything except the new poetry collection) are now available as e-books from Barnes & Noble - one more marketplace! Now, if Smashwords will just complete their negotiations with Amazon before Christmas...


Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday morning...

First, today's picture. This one, I imagine, needs little introduction: the tour guide called it "the most photographed rock in Ireland."


It's the entrance to Newgrange, of course.

Why were we in a tour party? Because that's the only way to get admission to Newgrange and Knowth. It's run through the Bru Na Boinne visitor center, and the number of people who can visit during the day is thereby strictly controlled. A much better way of dealing with things than the free-for-all at Stonehenge, in my opinion. Coming early on a wet Wednesday in October, we had no problem getting in.

October it is again, but neither wet nor Wednesday. Autumn is cooling down slowly and reluctantly here, but at least the nights are getting colder. Still no frost, and probably not for another week. The squash and the Brandywine tomato are still trying, but the rest of the garden is pretty much done. Biggest gardening accomplishment for the weekend was re-potting the rosemary shrub, which took two of us to accomplish. This is a plant which I grew from a culinary cutting which rooted, and have had for over fifteen years. At this point it's better described as a bush, and bringing it inside for the winter is not done lightly (pun intended!). Fortunately it can stand a mild frost, so I have a little time yet.

Not much new on the writing front - hopefully next week end (a three-day one due to the Columbus Day holiday) will be better.


Friday, October 1, 2010

... and Friday

One more shot from the Poulnabrone series before I go on to other things:


Weather is finally cooling off a bit here, though still above seasonal normal. More garden cleanup this weekend, which is good for thinking. It also helps to keep one connected with the seasonal rhythms of the world, which were more important to people in Gwernin's time than to many of us today. An article in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago about the early introduction of pigs into the New Forest to deal with a bumper crop of acorns is an example in point. Traditionally pigs were allowed to graze on acorns this time of year to fatten them for November slaughter. In the Triads of Ireland, "the death of a fat pig" is given as one of the "three deaths that are better than life", and in another Irish text a young man's early death is mourned as that of "a pig who dies before the mast [i.e., acorn crop]". Just an example of the things most of us don't know or think about, but which are relevant to my storytelling.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

LibraryThing Giveaway

I've started another e-book giveaway on LibraryThing, this time for the new Smashbooks version of Flight of the Hawk. You can see the giveaway here.

Also, a link to a little more information on the fascinating limestone terrain of the Burren, where yesterday's and today's pictures of Poulnabrone portal tomb were taken.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

...and Wednesday...

Running late on my blogging today, partly because I was dealing with a promotional giveaway of Storyteller e-books on LibraryThing. Smashwords is great for this - it lets me generate a coupon code for anything up to 100% off on a given book, which I can then email to the contest winners along with the url for the book page. Much simpler than sending out a lot of pdfs, and certainly more cost-effective than giving away physical books.

On to today's picture: a much-photographed burial chamber from the limestone terrain called The Burren in western Ireland. I'll get the name on it latter today, but I wanted to put the picture up now.


Hoping to get a little more writing done at the weekend.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday morning...

...and Denver weather has drifted back to "hot" - or at least, warmer than normal. Yesterday we tied the record high at the airport at 90 degrees (set in 1892). The nights are very cool now, though, which makes up for it. Still no frost, so I'm still getting squash, although less tomatoes now. Started garden cleanup yesterday.

More new pictures on Flickr - here's a sample. This is the standing stone I used for the first version of the Druid's Son cover.

Cuchulainn stone

On the writing front I got some work done over the weekend for a change - a little additional material, almost finishing the current chapter in The Druid's Son, and a lot of thinking about overall plot and timelines (gardening work is good for this!). Now to sustain that momentum - that is the hard thing.

I showed the second proof of Storyteller Songs to a friend this morning, and she obligingly pointed out a typo on the back cover. Oops! Well, if there has to be one, that's the best place for it, since only people looking at actual hard copies will see it. My little sacrifice to the God of Mistakes.

And that's it for Monday.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Storyteller Songs published

I've published it on Lulu and on Smashwords today. So far paper copies are available only on Lulu, but it should reach Amazon in about a month. Not that I expect sales - how many books do even well-known poets sell? - but I'll have hard copies to offer locally, and anyone else who wants it can get it.

Now back to work... I've been working on timelines today, working out when some things had to happen in order for other things to happen, so I don't paint myself into a corner. I know I have made one or two continuity mistakes in the past, but they weren't major, and anyway Gwernin's an old man, and also a storyteller... so he may make a few slips, or artistic emendations, in his stories. We all do it as we get older. How much do any of us really know about our own pasts?

Back to work now.


Friday, September 24, 2010

More pictures

Uploaded another set of Irish pictures to Flickr. More standing stone / stone circle pictures soon. In the meantime, here's a different sort of archaeology. No precise dating for this structure, but probably 6th to 8th century.
Staigue Fort-GRG

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More equinox

Weather's finally cooling off a bit. Appropriate - autumn equinox at 6:10 pm Denver time (MDT). We've losing two and a half minutes of daylight every day - nothing compared to the five minutes a day in Juneau, Alaska, where I used to live, but still quite noticeable over the course of a week. Still no frost, and not likely to be for at least the next week. I need to put up some garden photos, but I'll have to wait until this weekend to take them.

In the meantime, another stone circle picture - this one is Drom Beg, from our Irish trip last year.

Drom Beg stone circle

Monday, September 20, 2010


Although the actual autumn equinox isn't until Wednesday, we celebrated it yesterday. Not a big festival in Celtic cultures, I think, and hard to spot the exact day unless you've set up some convenient standing stones... Stanton-Drew Stone Circle

I got the first proof for Storyteller Songs and spent part of the weekend reformatting it. Finally got a little more writing done on Druid's Son yesterday. It was a good day to stay in and write - Denver had record high temperatures, in the mid 90's. Cooling off a bit tomorrow, I hope - we've been having forest fires in the foothills due to the unusually warm dry weather for the last month. Normally we've had frost by now, but not this year.

Well, at least it's good for the squash and tomatoes.


Friday, September 17, 2010

More photos

Still in the process of uploading August's photos to Flickr. Here's one from Uley Bury hill fort in Gloucestershire, looking west across the Severn Estuary to south Wales.
Uley Bury

For more of this set, check out this link.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Lots of rearrangements and new links on the right sidebar. Pretty soon I'll have to stop fiddling with websites and start writing again...

eta: Playing with Flickr now... here's a set of photos from my last trip for standing stone enthusiasts!


Monday, September 13, 2010

New covers

First, a possible new cover for The Druid's Son, the book I'm currently writing.

Then, a possible cover for Storyteller Songs, the poetry collection I mentioned in a previous post:

I think the photographic style matches earlier books in the series better. What do you think?

eta: I just tweaked the fonts on the second cover a bit...