Ceallaigh's Blog

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My next offering in the series of free spoken audio for The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales is now available here and on SoundCloud. Check it out!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Before Winter passed away, I began a blog post about creativity but never finished it. The post was so dry; 'received structures' and 'creative scaffolding' and such. I deleted the twisty thing, and good riddance.

Good writing is shamanism. You journey in and down and out, unclutter your mind and soul with everybody else's stories until you find the ones you need to tell, there in the shapeless void. You mound-sit and speak with the dead about what they see from the walls of Helheim, across the river of swords, on the slender branches of Yggdrasil that touch the infinite night.

When you return, lungs breaking the traveling rhythm of deep trance, the things that pour out of you have a shape unto themselves, often unrecognizable to anyone but you. These are the fundaments of authentic creativity, and it's your job to fashion them in a way that other people can understand. That's what creative scaffolding is for; three-part story structures, plots that rise to...

Friday, February 13, 2015

After many months of planning to release a second edition of The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales, I began work on the publishing end of the project this week and then promptly dropped the idea. Originally, I had thought to unpublish the first edition and replace it with a second that bore my own ISBN. But this week I realized that was a more cumbersome and imperfect process than I cared to undertake for a body of work already so long in the tooth (some of these stories and poems are a decade old). So I dropped the ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"What. We who raise the warning cry -
summon the sleight of your seiðr-kenning!
Mímir's well, might of the Maddener beckons;
drink and know Níðhöggr gnaws at the root."

- From my new story "Sing the Crumbling City", available in Issue 1.4 of Mythic Delirium, coming in April 2015.

Lo! The cover and contents for the next issue of Mythic Delirium are up, and here is artist Elena de’ Grimani's gorgeous cover. You can read the official announcement here, and you can subscribe to the magazine here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Heathen professor of mythology Karl E. H. Seigfried was recently asked to appear on BBC Up All Night, hosted by Dotun Adebayo, to discuss the new Pagan temple under construction in Iceland. Dr. Seigfried was presented with a specific list of topics beforehand, which were mutually agreed-upon, but when Adebayo began the live interview, he went off-script. In a tone that dripped smirking condescension, he called Northern European Paganism a violent fantasy and asked Dr. Seigfried a series of insulting questions designed to trip him up and tittilate listeners.

I thought Dr. Seigfried handled the man well, but this is exactly the sort of behavior Pagans and Heathens sometimes encounter when they make efforts to engage the public. For example, a couple of years ago a prominent member of the Gaelic community here - who by his own admission only knew about Paganism from YouTube - led me into just such a...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Welcome to Issue #14 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Imbolc 2015.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On a cold, stormy night just after Samhain in 2002, there came a knock at our door. The door was at the end of a long, dirt driveway, which was at the end of a long, mountain road in rural Maine. So if you came to it, you meant to be there. I was cleaning up after a Halloween party, and Sean was in town working late. So I was surprised to find our neighbors' son-in-law, covered in falling snow, holding the most emaciated cat I had ever seen. He knew we had cats, he said, and he had found this one on the road nearby. Was it ours?

At this, the cat leaped from his arms, raced behind my heels and sat down, looking up at him. It's worth noting that our beloved Angus, a cat we had lost a year before, used to do this all the time when she wanted my protection for some...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I wrote the other day about the possibility that I might serialize Twilight of the World Sea People, and I've decided to hold off on that a while, for a few important reasons. First, it would be much harder to build a readership entirely from self-publishing now than it would be later as a traditionally-published writer with one or two novels under my belt. This is a well-known downside to self-publishing; that no matter how good a book is, finding readers for it is harder for people without the reach of a traditional publisher. Second, the book I have outlined and ready to write now (Motherland I) might genuinely be a better first book in the series, and it would represent a second opportunity to introduce a traditional publisher to this universe. Third, I would have the opportunity to revise TWSP in light of further storytelling in the series and present it as a possible Book III (Motherland is a duology).

Yes, I'm frustrated about TWSP. It's tough to sit on a...

Monday, January 19, 2015

I worry that I'm becoming one of those people who only writes anything meaningful when it's couched in fiction or poetry. I keep thinking I should blog about something important, and I do from time to time on PaganSquare, but when I approach writing for my own blog I frequently back away. I thought about writing on the Charlie Hebdo tragedy two weeks ago, but then I realized it would be foolish to wade into that awful conversation any more than I already had. May the dead rest in peace, and may the living hold them in cherished memory.

There's a thing happening on the Internet; a social leveling I've only previously encountered in meatspace. Ten years ago, I kept a blog about All The Things, written from my tar-covered mobile home in Maine. Nobody read it but my husband, and perhaps that's the reason why I was so free with my thoughts. Now I'm well-connected, and I find that I hold my truths more closely to my chest than I once did. I keep trying to write around them, to...