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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I recently passed the Smashwords autovetter and epubcheck with great effort using an epub file, and I thought I'd share what I learned with you so that you might have an easier time of it than I did. This tutorial presumes you have some knowledge of HTML markup and CSS styling or can acquire that knowledge without too steep a learning curve, though I've provided a number of screenshots and code examples along the way to help you get started.

I'm using the excerpt edition of my poetry and short story collection The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales (RBR) in my examples. It contains no images but the cover, and the only unusual formatting it contains is for poetry. So this tutorial is somewhat limited in that it won't help you with complex formatting in the body of your epub...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #8 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Lughnasadh 2013.

I'm off to Harbour Con-Fusion in St. John tomorrow, where I'll be a guest writer and panelist. I'll have copies of The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales on hand along with a few recent anthologies and magazines my work has appeared in, and I'll also be running special, two-hour panels on physical and cultural worldbuilding. Hope to see you there!

The Ruin of Beltany Ring
My first collection continues to do well and is now available for...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

For those of you who've asked, my short story and poetry collection The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales is now available for Kobo. You can download it here.

And if you prefer, you can also download an excerpt of the collection on Goodreads. You know, to whet your appetite. =)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm always hesitant to say 'this is the way it is' when I speak or write of Gàidhlig and the community; I don't believe I have that authority yet and might never have it. So this blog entry is only about a recent experience of mine, one that means a great deal to me.

My friend and Gàidhlig mentor Séidheag once told me that sometimes Gàidhlig songs just come to you. At the time, we were discussing Oran na Cloiche, a great but difficult song I'm still learning beag air bheag. I understood what she meant intellectually, but I didn't understand it fully until I had a song from Griogair Labhruidh last week. It's a song of the Cailleach of Beinne Brice, a protector of deer who 'moves in and through the herd' near the high, sacred spring of the mountain. Griogair's arrangement...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

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.

Sean and I have come away from our experience even more committed to Gàidhlig, which needs every one of her champions. We're also excited to be practicing new instruments together, and I am resolved to dedicate more time to Gàidhlig song (quite a bit more, in fact, though I'm not yet certain what shape that learning will take).

I told Sean last night that as I left the college, I thought that I might have been heartbroken to have to leave Cape Breton after such an experience. As it was, we only drove two...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Two new reviews for Scheherazade’s Façade are up, and both have positively mentioned my short story, 'The Daemons of Tairdean Town'.

Lokifan writes:
"The Daemons of Tairdean Town by C. S. MacCath is charming and heartbreaking and full of the unexpected."

and Andrea Blythe writes:
"As the title suggests, this anthology features fantasy stories with characters that exist outside the gender binary. Various characters in these stories shift genders at whim, have secret selves of the opposite gender, cross dress to hide their identity, are transgender, or perform other acts of gender bending. Through the book, the stories are consistently good with strong writing, interesting multi-dimensional characters, and fascinating worlds. Here are a few of my favorites:

"The Daemons of...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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).

And in two weeks, I'll be at Harbour Con-Fusion in St. John, doing the guest-writer-panelist thing, which promises to be full of awesome and delicious win.

Anyway, sin sin, as my Gaelic teacher used to say. That's that!

And here's some Tuvan throat music for you, from Huun Huur Tu:

#writing #worldbuilding #tuvanthroatsinging...

Friday, June 28, 2013
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.

When Stella Van der Lugt showed the home to me, she withheld information about a serious mouse infestation and outright lied about the basement, porch and attic full of personal items the owner was storing in the home long-term. When my husband and I arrived from the States to take possession of the home a month later, she insinuated that we might be inclined to steal the owner's items and told my husband (while I was...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Friend and author Deborah Blake shares her very witchy blog space with me today so that I can natter on about 'The Ruin of Beltany Ring'.

Check it out here!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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'. Evidence for this assertion ranges from accounts of dolphin mothers mourning their deceased infants to captive bear murder/suicides, and in each case she demonstrates that while their expressions of grief might vary, animals do respond emotionally to loss.

As an anthropologist with extensive field experience, King is able to effectively articulate the reticence of scientists to discuss animal emotion and the reserve in their approaches to...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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:

➫ Squirrel babies have trouble regulating their own body temperature. Hot water bottles or heating pads (on a low setting) wrapped in a towel are great for this. Make sure the squirrel has a place to go if she gets too warm. I like keeping a towel and hot water bottle in half of the squirrel's space and a...

Monday, June 17, 2013

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. However, I have to point out that this is the third Superman movie of the last decade and the sixth of my lifetime, and since the 1978 Superman with Christopher Reeve there have been few blockbuster treatments of superheroines. I was pleased with Amy Adams' Lois Lane, who was more determined than plucky, but my opinion of superhero love interests is colored by my frustration at the lack of comic book films that feature female leads. In short, I'd...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Here are the promised links to resources for cultural worldbuilding. Best of luck in your writing projects!


Patricia Wrede's Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions
Building a world: Patricia Wrede's blog
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
The Abhorsen Trilogy Box Set, by Garth Nix

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

...give up.

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:

"If I had to guess, within two-to-three years, we won't be hearing much about respect based on the medium or method an author employs to publish their work...Traditional and indie publishing models both have value and the smart money is on...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Here are the promised links to resources for physical worldbuilding. Best of luck in your writing projects!


World Builders Home Page
Black plants 'could grow' on exoplanets with two suns
World-building and ConLangs
Pre-draft Research Bibliography


The worldbuilders.iso and worldbuilders.zip files are copies of the www.world-builders.org web site and offered here freely as instructional tools, as per the terms of use listed on the World Builders Home Page. The Physical Worldbuilding Guide is my creation, which draws heavily upon the World Builders Home Page and upon...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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). It boasts a host of non-Christian Gods and a burgeoning repository of historical, pseudo-historical, reconstructed and reinvented religious practices, including many that non-Pagans would call magical (ritual, spell-craft, tarot and the like). It is certainly diverse, and I've often heard that our unity is drawn from our diversity, though...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I picked up an orphaned gosling in Margaree Forks today on behalf of Hope for Wildlife, and s/he is staying the night with us!

Here are some interesting gosling facts:

- Goslings can't regulate their own body temperature, so they need help staying warm. Hot water bottles or heating pads (on a low setting) wrapped in a towel are great for this. Make sure the gosling has a place to go if the heat becomes too warm! I like keeping a towel and heating pad in half of the gosling's space and a towel without a heating pad in the other half.

- Goslings like to eat chopped up grass and duck grower or chicken mash. Stay away from oatmeal. It expands a bit much in their little bellies. They also need plenty of water to drink. You can put some duck grower or chicken mash in the water, if you like. They like that.

- Goslings can splash a bit each day in a little bowl of water (neither too warm nor too cool), but they need to be supervised, and they should only be...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Congratulations to Patricia Crosby, Renee' Booker and Kurt Bembridge, winners of The Ruin of Beltany Ring Goodreads giveaway! Your books will go out in tomorrow morning's mail from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Many thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Kindle promotion went really well! 161 people downloaded The Ruin of Beltany Ring on Beltane (Get it? Beltany Ring? Beltane?), and nearly a hundred have entered the Goodreads giveaway so far. Not bad for a wee chapbook out there in the world!

But will the giveaways translate into sales? I don't know, and for this little book, it's not as important to me. I wanted for people to read some things I had written and get to know my writing style. Let's face it, there are authors whose writing styles we love (Guy Gavriel Kay and Lois McMaster Bujold are two of my favorites) and authors whose...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #7 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Beltane 2013.

New Collection
My new poetry and short story collection The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales is now available in paperback and Kindle editions! To celebrate, I'm offering two promotions:

  • Kindle users can download the collection for free today, May 1, 2013 at Amazon.com by clicking here.
  • Goodreads members can enter to win an autographed copy of the collection between May 1-31, 2013 by clicking here.
  • ...
Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's great when a story you've written years ago finds new friends. So is the case with "From Our Minds to Yours", which appeared in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales.

Ally Leja of Geek Inked Magazine has written a thoughtful discussion of the issues raised by the story and given it a positive review.

You can check it out here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

So, I was in Cape Breton yesterday doing pre-close house things and had two experiences I wanted to share.

The Post Office in Baddeck

I was in line behind this guy with a huge, oddly-shaped package he was insuring for thousands of dollars. He offered me the opportunity to cut in front of him if my business was brief, and when I politely declined, I asked him what was in the package.

He answered, "A wolverine and a grizzly bear."

I thought he was joking, but then he told the postmaster about the polar bear pelt that was stolen from his airplane luggage once. He really was mailing a wolverine pelt and a grizzly bear pelt, probably to himself, in Nunavut. I was gobsmacked, but I took it for the warning it was. Sean and I are going to have to be like wind and water, not earth and fire, as we integrate in this new place.

The Herring Choker

Right outside Baddeck on the 105, there's a seasonal sandwich shop and bakery called The...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Modern Paganism has more than a few bloody roots. The early Celts practiced both animal sacrifice and human ritual killing1 and might well have engaged in ritual cannibalism under extreme circumstances, as historical and archaeological evidence attests....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Some of you might remember that I was a sound extra for a Gaelic short film in 2011. That film is The Fiddler’s Reel - Ruidhle an Fhidhleir, and it's finally coming to DVD! You can pre-order it now from Sìol Cultural Enterprises, and it's listed on the front page of Sìol's web site.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I began to seriously consider an MFA at Goddard College. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the school, Goddard is a small college in Plainfield, Vermont with a reputation for being on the bleeding edge of liberal study. Just my style. =) The MFA offered there is a distance program with required on-site instruction one week each semester and welcomes writers from all corners of the industry; from poets and screenwriters to hardcore genre writers like myself. I’ve considered it often over the years, usually when I’m feeling the need for a boost in my writing skills, but ultimately I’ve always decided against it for various reasons.

I’ve decided against it again, probably for good, but the decision-making process has been...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Back in 2000, I was in Ireland at the same time as Isaac Bonewitz, and we traveled together for a couple of weeks. Before we parted company, he shared Brigid's flame with me from a candle he had lit at the shrine in Kildare. Subsequently, I passed the flame to friends, among them a priestess in Maryland.

Over the years, I lost the candle that held the flame, but my priestess friend in Maryland is putting a birthday candle in the mail to me that carries it, which she consecrated at Imbolc. So in a few weeks, I'll restore the Brigid's flame that Isaac gave to me, and I thought the occasion deserved mentioning.

'Feill na Bride, feis na finne.'
'Bride binn nam bas ban.'
'A Bhride chaoin cheanail,
Is caoimh liom anail do bheoil,
’D uair...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I've recently mentioned that I'm self-publishing a chapbook of previously-published short stories and poems and that some months ago, I turned down a problematic contract for it. Unfortunately, that contract was likely the only one the chapbook will ever be offered for various reasons; it's specifically Pagan, it's a mix of fiction and poetry, it's short and I'm not a well-known writer who can sell on her name alone. Still, the pieces in it have passed through independent editorial processes, the collection is well-blurbed and a Pagan colleague introduces it.

Even so, I wouldn't have chosen to self-publish the collection at all if I weren't in a position to sell it at convention tables where I'm appearing as a guest. At Hal-Con, I brought anthologies...

Friday, March 1, 2013

I'm delighted to report that from August 2-4, 2013 I'll be appearing as a guest at the awesome Harbour Con-Fusion in beautiful Saint John, New Brunswick!

This time, I'll be running two worldbuilding panels, one on physical worldbuilding and one on cultural worldbuilding, both with the speculative fiction writer in mind. I'll also have my forthcoming Pagan fiction and poetry collection on hand, The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales.

I'm really looking forward to this event. Saint John is a beautiful place, and the convention organizers have been incredibly kind. More later on this, when there's more to tell!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I just finished my second run on the treadmill in three days. Every day this week, I've made time for meditation. I'm rediscovering an old friend in the positive, health-affirming work of Louise Hay. My journal is filling up with daily goals and the ways I've met them. I'm drinking tart lemon water by the quart and have indefinitely given up alcohol, caffeine, processed sugar and the few bad fats we vegans do eat.

As a result, my perspective is beginning to shift. My tolerance for negativity is decreasing, and so is my willingness to place myself in situations where I am forced to deal with the hurtful behavior of others. My fear for my health is transmuting into action, and I'm ready to change in order to be well.

Here's why.

My medical test results are back, and they aren't as good as I had hoped but not as bad as I had feared. I've previously indicated a cagey sensibility with regard to public...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our house bid has been accepted by the seller and signed, so now I am comfortable writing about our soon-to-be new home. As I mentioned before, the house is in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, chosen by National Geographic as a Traveler's Best Trip for 2013 and a regular Lonely Planet top destination. I know I sound like a tourist brochure, but Cape Breton really is that special; so beautiful even in foul, autumn weather that it makes you want to weep and so sacred that softens even the most cynical of hearts. Around here, my Gaelic and 'Caper' friends all say they feel suddenly better when they cross the Canso Causeway onto the island, and it's absolutely true of us as well.

We toured the house we're buying last fall while we were at...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

We've just crossed the Canso causeway back into mainland Nova Scotia. It's 4:52 in the afternoon, our house paperwork is signed and there is a seal in our trunk that howls so loudly we're afraid to leave the car in a public place.

Perhaps I should backtrack a bit.

This morning actually began last night when I picked Sean up at the airport near midnight. An hour and a half later, we hit the sack knowing we'd have to be on the road early for a meet-and-greet with our new doctor in Cape Breton today. And so we were, coffee and toast in hand with me behind the wheel, which meant a few traffic laws were gently bent along the way.

We hit Guysborough in good time and were just about to cross the causeway when we spotted a seal pup in the middle of the highway. Cars and semi...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In case you were wondering... =)

I've been somewhat ill with a couple of health problems that while not critical, are vexing and taking up a chunk of my mental and physical energy. They're both under a doctor's care, so not to worry! But I thought I'd mention them, since I haven't posted much on social networking lately. I expect I'll be on the mend fairly soon.

On the writing front, I'm putting together a short inclusion piece for a non-fiction book a friend is writing (not sure if I can mention the details on it, since it isn't my project). The dense, arty sci-fi story with alliterative poetry is nearly done, and I like what I've done with it a whole lot. I'm still gearing up to outline the rest of the PTTB series too, which I'll start doing in the next week or so. I've also got a story, a novel and a poem out on submission, and as they say in this business, no news is good news!

So I'm still here, putting one word in front of the other, just like the rest of...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #6 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Imbolc 2013.

Scheherazade's Facade
Scheherazade's Facade is now available in paperback and e-reader editions! Early reviews are in as well, and my story The Daemons of Tairdean Town has been favored with positive comments:

"Stories I found of special mention: “The Daemons of Tairdean Town”, by C.S. MacCath, which has both the most sympathetic portrayal of genuinely religious people I’ve ever seen in SF and the most telling subversion of religion." - Kellan Sparver

"Her Tangh-i-ness has a soft spot for ugly, crippled girls....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I have a confession to make. I like to sew, to garden, to can and preserve food. I like to make my home a comfortable place to live in and to receive guests. Not fancy mind you; I'm not that kind of girl. But comfortable. Liveable.

Here's another confession. I like to write for the sake of the beauty of the words. Yes, I want to be commercially successful, and yes, I want for people to read what I write. But I love challenging my skill too, even when it means I spend 'too much' time on a story or poem once in awhile.

I've been thinking a lot about these things as Sean and I plan our move to Cape Breton, where we will be buying a rural home and settling down. In making this decision, I am making larger decisions about the direction of my life. I have a Master's degree, but I'm consciously deciding to be a Gaelic speaker for the sake of it, a homesteader, a writer who might or might not ever 'make it'.

And I'm okay with that (except the 'making it' part - gonna...

Friday, January 11, 2013

I went on a long-haul animal pickup today on behalf of Hope for Wildlife to retrieve a lame goose under the care of some people in Clark's Cove. It was their belief that she had been hit by a car, since they had found her in the street, and she wasn't comfortable standing up. When I spoke with one of these people, she reported that the goose was docile, friendly and responded well to attention. As a wildlife rescuer, I worried about that, since it means she has been habituated to us. But Hope for Wildlife keeps a flock of lame geese on the farm, so habituation isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case. If she's lame but can eventually walk, she'll probably find a home there.

The road between...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I am delighted to report that two poems will appear in a forthcoming issue of Astropoetica.

"Sol Prayer: By the Oracle Duality Chang Shen / Song of the Star Cradle" first appeared in Mythic Delirium in 2006 and is set in the Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom universe.

"The Cradle" is a brand-new piece about quantum physics, indecisiveness and ennui.

Hooray for poems about space and physics!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I had planned to write a Year in Review post last week, but we've had family here, and sudden, expensive car repairs, and a computer death and replacement, and, and, and...

It was an odd year for my writing. I finished edits on Twilight of the World Sea People, which is still making the rounds to prospective agents and editors. Scheherazade's Facade - which includes my story The Daemons of Tairdean Town - found its way into print via Circlet Press and a successful Kickstarter project. I was nominated for a Rhysling Award again, this time for my poem "When I arrived, this is what...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Please Note: With this edition of Activism Updates, I'm relinquishing the illusion of a schedule for the series, since it's become abundantly clear to me that I haven't the time to stick to it. Worse, I've stopped actually reading the activism e-mails that come to me from various sources; I drop them in a folder for later perusal, thinking I might use them in the blog series, and then never return to them. So I've actually become a less-effective activist than I was when I began, and that's problematic for me. I've also noticed an uptick in the number of activism posts from friends in my social networking feeds, which seems to indicate an increasing level of comfort among my peers for this sort of material, so I'm less worried about the spamming issue.

What this means is that the Activism Updates series will remain the same in terms of content but become less frequent. I'll post a book review when I have one, offer the space to other activists who have...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Like any pair of geeks, Sean and I have been looking forward to this film for years, have played and shared the trailers, have swooned over the snippets of song we've heard. We've even planned to go to the midnight showing on the day of its premiere, and we've talked about whether or not Peter Jackson will once again render Tolkien's work with the loving detail he gave to "The Lord of the Rings".

So we were devastated to learn that animal wranglers for the film have recently alleged that at least twenty-seven horses, goats, sheep and chickens died off-set during production because of poor living conditions and neglect. Entertainment Weekly writes:

Wrangler Chris Langridge said he was hired as a horse trainer in November 2010, overseeing 50 or so horses, but immediately became concerned that the farm was full of "death traps." He said he tried to fill in some of the sinkholes, made by underground streams, and even brought in his own fences to keep the...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We've had a few irons in the fire here at Taigh MacCath-Moran and haven't been quite ready to talk about them until recently. But now that things are sorted, I wanted to announce a couple of cool changes in our lives.

First, we're finally permanent residents of Canada, which means we're not tied to our working visas any longer and can move about as we please, not that we'd ever live anywhere but Nova Scotia. There's a celebratory pub night in the works, so if you're local, consider yourself invited (and if you're not and want to come anyway, consider yourself invited to stay at our house overnight). I'll post the date on that once it's finalized.

The other cool thing is that it looks like we'll be bidding on a house in Cape Breton in January, and not just any house. We're hoping to buy a bed and breakfast near Baddeck, almost within walking distance of the Gaelic College. Of course, it's possible that someone might buy the place out from underneath us in the next six...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On Saturday afternoon of the convention, four holes-in-the-shoes, dust-in-the-petticoats wandering minstrels offered up an hour of entertainments designed to lift the spirit and put the mind at ease. Never you mind that our minstrels were forced to move at the last minute from their assigned space to a suite on the tenth floor because NO YOU CAN'T BRING YOUR HOME-MADE COOKIES INTO THE KING ROOM (Did you know that forbidden cookies taste like unicorn giggles?) and NO YOU CAN'T HAVE SINGING EITHER (what kind of Lurch/Miss Umbrage wannabe was running that room, anyway?). Never you mind that halfway through the hour, the hand-painted backdrop slipped from its duct tape mooring and had to be violently ripped from the wall by one C.S.E. (Claire) Cooney mid-sentence. These women were professionals, and no cookie, singing or backdrop calamity was going to stand between them and the show.

Caitlyn Paxson kicked it off with a banjo, which she played with a most amazing alacrity while...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I'm delighted to report that Scheherazade’s Façade, the first anthology of Circlet Press' new Gressive Press imprint, is now available!

The e-book editions of the anthology can be purchased through Circlet Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book retailers. The print edition will be available through the same in a few days, once the title navigates its...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm home from World Fantasy Con and slept in my own bed last night. Woohoo! It was tremendous to put faces to names, to make friends of colleagues, to share the experience of writing with other professionals. It was also great to geek out a bit over the books I love; I now have signed, hard cover editions of The Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, and I also have signed hard cover editions of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix. Both authors were great people, and it was great to be able to tell them in person how much I enjoyed their work. Finally, I had the singular pleasure of listening to Guy Gavriel Kay read from his forthcoming novel, which I shall purchase immediately when it's released.

There will be a blog entry later about a delightful, Saturday afternoon group reading I attended once I've collected my thoughts, unpacked my bags and friended all my new peeps on social networking. For now...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In the Samhain 2012 newsletter just mailed, I made an error in the name of the lovely woman who interviewed me for Geek Inked Magazine. Her name is Ally Leja. In my haste to get the newsletter out, the part of my brain that was looking at her handle on the Geek Inked blog (princessleja) didn't communicate with the part of my brain that spoke with her Sunday, and I rolled a '1' on my INT modifier.

My apologies, Ally!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #5 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2012.

Before I write anything else, I want to thank all of the Hal-Con volunteers for their gracious welcome and hard work. Hal-Con is a massive undertaking, and these volunteers put it on without any compensation whatever. Not only that, they do it brilliantly. It was a genuine pleasure to attend this year both as a guest and as a fan.

My panels went well at the con, and the feedback I received afterward was positive. My only regret was the lack of time for more discussion of the material with panel attendees. I'm already thinking about future topics and how I might pare them down to leave room for conversation; I enjoy teaching, but I like it best when everybody gets to chime in! If you missed the panels or simply need links to...

Monday, October 29, 2012

I was doing some database maintenance this morning and noticed that a few folks had signed up for my quarterly newsletter but hadn't confirmed their subscriptions. At least two of these folks are people I'm acquainted with, so I added them to the list manually, but I thought it might be a good time to remind everybody that newsletter signup is a two-step process. You need to put your name and e-mail address in the box on the right sidebar of my web site, and then you need to click on the link the system sends you in a follow-up e-mail.

When I was troubleshooting this, I realized the follow-up e-mail is a little unclear (That's what I get for trusting the default settings, eh?). So I cleaned it up to make it easier for people to understand.

As always, it's super easy to unsubscribe if you don't want to receive the newsletter anymore. You can either put your name and e-mail in the box on my web site again, or you can click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Here are the promised links to resources for improving your workflow with technology. Best of luck in your writing projects!

Gathering and Organizing Your Ideas


Personal Wiki Solutions

Story-Creation Software

Mind-Mapping Software

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Friday, October 19, 2012


Here are the promised links to resources for help in structuring your novel along with the three charts presented in the panel. Best of luck in your writing projects!


The Hero's Journey Outline
How to Structure a Story: The Eight-Point Arc
The 4 Story Structures That Dominate Novels
Top 10 Tips to Increase Tension in Your Fiction Story
Rising to the Occasion...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our first Celtic Colours was a resounding, smashing, amazing success. We were only in Cape Breton for four days, and I've only been back a few hours, but I already feel so far away from home. Thursday, we drove Gaelic friend L up to the home of Gaelic friend J in Whycocomagh, where we were invited in for tea and conversation. Afterward, we made our way up the winding, oceanside mountain to Ingonish, where we found our cottage at the Ingonish Chalets cozy and welcoming in a rough-hewn, log cabin sort of way. By then, it was raining cold and hard, so we dropped our things, set Winter up with a litter pan and food and went out to pick up liquor and dinner.

Chocolate Oranges

3 Parts Cream de Cacao
1 Part Triple Sec...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My next Activism Updates post isn't due until next weekend, but with Thanksgiving on Monday, a trip to Bangor on Tuesday and Wednesday and Celtic Colours after that, there's little chance I'll be posting much of anything at all next week. The following week I'll be finishing up the panels I'm writing for Hal-Con, completing a course of spiritual training I've been undertaking for many years and attending a two-day Shambhala meditation workshop, followed by my nephew's birthday. The week after that is Hal-Con, shortly followed by World Fantasy Con, likely followed by my collapse into a pile of coffee-saturated goo for a couple of days before I leave the researching/marketing/submitting/conventioning part of my writing career behind for a long spate of actual, honest-to-goodness story-writing.

So, the next Activism Updates post will be up on the weekend of November 10th-11th, when I'm planning to review Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism. I'll...