I've just finished a brilliant week at Colaisde na Gàidhlig, where I received expert instruction in tin whistle, pipe chanter, Gàidhlig song and Gàidhlig language. Sean and Beth very much enjoyed their fiddle classes together as well.
I met many good Gaels this week and came to know a few more a little better. I also had the pleasure of coming to know my niece/foster daughter (in the old definition of Gaelic fosterage) much better, which is priceless to me.
I don't quite know why I haven't posted an update about my writing life lately. I've been busy, though! TWSP is still out looking for a home, six reprints are out looking for new homes, and two new stories and a poem are out doing the same.
I've also been worldbuilding like crazy, which has been loads of fun. Yesterday it was the effect of far-future climate change on plant and animal species, and today it was Tuvan throat singing (Tuva is a minority language spoken in Mongolia and southern Siberia).
Note: I'm posting this complaint to every review site I can find, but since my own site runs on Drupal and does good SEO, I thought I'd post it here as well. If you're a prospective tenant or property owner who has had a negative experience with VDL Property Management (www.letsrent.ca), I encourage you to comment about it here.
We had the considerable misfortune to rent a home through VDL Property Management (www.letsrent.ca) upon first coming to Canada on working visas.
Barbara J. King, Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at the College of William & Mary, presents an elegant survey of a difficult topic in How Animals Grieve. In a tone both measured and sympathetic, King asserts that animal grief is a strong indicator of animal love, that 'animals grieve when they have loved'.
Last night, I picked up an orphaned squirrel baby who had lost her mum and litter mate to a cat. She was a bit dehydrated, so I was up a couple of times through the night to rehydrate her, and now I'm starting her on a hydration/formula mix. Tomorrow I'll make the usual relay run to the causeway and leave her with another Hope for Wildlife volunteer, but for now, I thought I'd offer my customary blog entry on orphaned animal care, this time for squirrel babies:
Sean and I took in a double feature last night and came away with mixed reviews of the films we saw. Man of Steel was wonderfully science-fictional and human, full of imaginative Kryptonian technologies and glimpses at the emotional struggle of the man-who-would-be-Superman as he came into his own over many years.
The latest Clarksworld Magazine editorial is an encouraging one for self-published writers. In it, Neil Clarke details some of the frustration the magazine faced at its inception; authors who wouldn't submit to online magazines, reviewers who refused to consider the magazine's stories, etc. He likens this early reception to the frustration independent authors presently face as they strive for respect in the marketplace and writes:
I've been thinking a great deal about what Paganism means to me and more directly about the relevance of the term 'Pagan' as a descriptor of my spiritual life. Paganism is a broad umbrella that shades a variety of budding faith paths, from Wicca to Aztec Reconstructionism (a blossom I find deeply troubling, given my recent research into Aztec religious practices).