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Thursday, May 10, 2012

My husband and I take very different approaches to activism. While I'm more rescue and writing focused, he's an advocate and excellent vegan cook. Together, we make a fairly well-rounded team, but until now you've only heard from one of us. That changes with this guest entry, which will hopefully be one of many going forward.

I asked him to write something about our love for human animals, since vegans are often accused of sacrificing them in favor of the non-human variety. What he gave me was the following excellent discussion of the physical and psychological benefits of the vegan diet. So without further preamble, I give you my husband and fellow activist, Sean P.O. MacCath-Moran.


Vegans are often viewed as being people who are over-concerned about the plight of helpless creatures, driving themselves to deny the sweetest pleasures of life in vain efforts to help the fuzzy-wuzzies. To some small extent, there is some truth in this view, since...

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm past-due for two blog entries; the Activism Updates series post, which will be up tomorrow with a guest article by activist, engineer, scone chef and husband Sean MacCath-Moran. The other is the ConLangs 101 series post, which has been delayed by the slow death of my laptop and the setup of my new computer. I plan to have that one up by Monday next.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #3 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to www.csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on around Beltane 2012.

Award Nomination:
I am delighted to report that my poem entitled, "When I Arrived, This Is What She Said", which appeared in the autumn issue of Goblin Fruit, has been nominated for the 2012 Rhysling Award in the Short Poem category. A full list of the nominees can be found here. The winners of the Rhysling Awards will be announced at Readercon 23, where I will be in attendance and...

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Monday, April 23, 2012

It's becoming increasingly difficult for me to format posts that look good on my web site and on LiveJournal at the same time, since LiveJournal imposes certain restrictions on formatting that I find somewhat limiting and difficult to work around. With this last conlangs post, these restrictions crossed the boundary from limiting to flat-out time sink, so with rare exception, I'm only posting teasers to LJ from now on. You'll be able to follow a link on each teaser to the full entry on my web site, where you'll also be able to comment, if you like. I know it's an extra step, but my web site is comment-friendly now, so I hope you'll feel comfortable there.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This second post in the ConLangs 101 series is intended to help English monoglots begin to think outside the structure of English-language communication. It isn't comprehensive by any means, but I hope that by the end if it you'll feel a little less dependent upon your mother tongue as you begin to experiment with language construction. You polyglots will have already internalized many of these concepts, but I hope you might be encouraged to range even farther afield with the languages you construct.

The Cultural Foundations of Language

In Gàidhlig, there is no verb 'to have'. Rather, personal belongings are 'at you', diseases are 'on you' and while you're permitted to use possessive pronouns to discuss your body and your blood relations, there is some ambiguity about whether or not it's all right to do the same when referring to your spouse. A few examples:

Tha leabhar agam.
(Literal Gàidhlig)...

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Two weeks ago, I rescued my first baby squirrel of the season. His mother had apparently built a nest in the frame of a parked car, which had driven off with the baby inside. It's entirely possible that his brothers and sisters fell out while it was in transit, but this fortunate fellow landed in a parking lot near a municipal enforcement officer, who called Hope for Wildlife, which called me.

I'll doubtless be seeing this sort of thing more often in the weeks to come, and I know that by late May, the mammal and bird nurseries at the Hope for Wildlife farm will be filled with young animals. So I thought this might be a good time to discuss the rescue of injured and orphaned wildlife babies and offer a few pointers.

Your Initial Investigation

When you encounter wildlife babies on their own, it's important to answer the following questions first before intervening on their behalf.

1...

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Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm an intermediate Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) speaker with a background in Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) and Cymraeg (Welsh), both medieval and modern. I've interviewed professors of linguistics and researchers in bioacoustics for the sake of the constructed languages in the Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom series, and I've done a fair bit of reading in linguistics on my own. I love language, I love creating languages for fiction and I love it when authors bring linguistic diversity to their work. So I've decided to participate in that process by consolidating some of what I've learned, some of what I've enjoyed and some of what I've created into a series of blog entries about constructed languages with writers in mind.

Over the next few months, I'll be adding new entries and linking them to the expanding Table of Contents below. This series can also be identified by the unique 'conlangs101' tag at the...

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

I own a copy of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans, which I bought at Hal-Con 2011, where it was signed by comic artist Geof Isherwood and author Robert Louis Smith. I'm ready to pass this book along to a new reader, and I thought about giving it away outright, but then I remembered something an acquaintance in Britain did when I ordered a custom sacred rattle from her a few years ago. She asked that I make a donation to a charity that protected endangered, African wolves as payment for her work. I thought it was a brilliant idea; I got to help protect wolves, and I got a sacred rattle in the bargain.

So that's what I'd like to try and do with this book. If you're interested in it, respond to this post wherever you happen to see it (my web site, G+, FB,...

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

I wrote in 2011 about the Atlantic Canadian seal slaughter here and here, so I won't repeat myself in this entry. However, I do want to point you to the new Humane Society International infographic on the topic, which encapsulates a tremendous amount of information in just a few words and pictures. I've linked that infographic to the left. I also want to provide you with some information I've just received from Nick Wright, the Humane Society International Canada's seals campaigner, which I found very helpful in understanding the...

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Monday, March 26, 2012

I am delighted to report that as of the writing of this entry, 175 people have donated $5013 to the Scheherazade's Facade Kickstarter project, taking it over its $5000 goal and funding it fully in ten days. Mòran, mòran taing to everyone who had enough faith in our stories to pay us in advance for them, who believed that our orphaned project deserved publication. I am humbled and gratified by your generosity, and while I haven't yet read the very fine stories my fellow authors have written, I can tell you that I'm proud of mine. I hope you like it.

And now a word from Kermit the Frog:

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's far too warm as I write this update, but the forecast for the weekend promises cooler temperatures and snow on Monday! Very strange, but I can't say I haven't enjoyed the sun.

I've already posted most of what follows in social networking feeds, but I thought I'd consolidate it here for the sake of a proper update. On the writing front, the big news is the Scheherazade's Facade Kickstarter campaign, which is three-quarters of the way funded after its first week. Mòran taing to all who have promoted and donated to bring this anthology to print. Your support has meant a lot to me.

In other news, I've filled the great, grizzly plot hole in the center of my novel in a flash of inspiration that left me thinking, "Oh yeah! Of course that's what happens!" I'm a little later finishing up than I had hoped, but at least it's all downhill from here. No word on the agent front yet, but I'll post...

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

This edition of Activism Updates focuses primarily on permaculture and sustainable gardening, especially with organic/heirloom seed. It's also more locally-focused, because I believe local action is the very best kind. Also on offer is an abbreviated list of the organizations that send me alerts by way of e-mail and social networking, so that you can use them in the formulation of your own action strategies, if you like. Most of them advocate animal rights and environmental issues, but I'm also a big fan of the transition movement, and I've included a local link or two, as well.

Permaculture for Transition Workshop - April 14-15

What It Is

From the Web Site: We're going to spend lots of time introducing some of the most accessible and effective solutions out there in permaculture, applied as design. Here's a few we will highlight:

-...

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Friday, March 16, 2012

A long time ago, there was a fine, upstanding editor who wanted to publish a non-heteronormative anthology about people who weren't what they appeared. So he put out a call for submissions, pored over tales by candlelight in the wee hours of the night and after painstaking examination of all the stories he was offered, selected twelve for publication. Then, as fate would have it, the publisher of the anthology fell upon hard times and was forced to push back the publication date not once, but twice before finally letting it go altogether. Such is the way of things in the publishing world, as we all surely know.

But the fine, upstanding editor loved the stories he had selected, and his writers loved the project, and they persevered together until at last a new publisher was found. And now...

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm moving into the 'STFU and finish it' phase of my edits, which likely means less activity on social networking, however that might manifest this time. But this morning I've found myself staring out the window at the storm-gray bay and thinking not so much on the beauty of this place I live but on its transformative power.

I've stood on the rocks at Peggy's Cove the day before a hurricane while the sun baked the water into salt on my face. I've gone raspberry picking in the Annapolis Valley and stuffed my face with huge, sweet berries on a hot, summer day. I've driven infant squirrels from Bridgewater to Seaforth because every life matters. I've taken suffering raccoons to a gentle death. I've released rehabilitated owls to the wild. I've encountered cougars on the road.

I've also put the mother tongue of my ancestors in my mouth and put their songs in my throat. I've played the bodhrán at a ceilidh at 1:00 in the morning while two kinds of Gaelic were spoken...

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Monday, March 5, 2012
The release of Quill, a Great Horned Owl I transported to Hope for Wildlife in the winter of 2011.
Sunday, March 4, 2012

Novel edits are progressing slowly but surely. I'm working on the guts of the thing now, where the most important edits are happening, those having to do with plot changes and the like. Once I get past this hump, I expect the rest will be quite a bit easier.

I'm also settling into a blogging rhythm I like, now that I'm paying a little more attention to the thing. I've been trying to steer away from posts having solely to do with my writing by exploring issues I care about, which has the added benefit of giving me something new to write while I'm slogging through edits. I'm aiming for a weekly or bi-weekly activism update, a weekly or bi-weekly writing update, an occasional Gàidhlig update and the odd, interspersed note about whatever seems interesting to me.

Book II is beginning to take shape in my mind; I solved a major issue in the series yesterday, and I'm excited to find out how it will play out on the page.

And yes, I'm submitting Book I to agents right...

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Iowa and Utah Ag Gag Bills

What They Are

This week's activism updates come a few days early for the sake of the Iowa and Utah Ag Gag bills. In Iowa, the bill has passed the Iowa Senate and is due to be signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstand. If signed, the law would criminalize undercover investigations of animal abuse at factory farms in the state by making it illegal to shoot undercover photos and videos and to lie about animal rights affiliations in an application for employment. In Utah, similar legislation has been overwhelmingly approved by the House and...

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I read recently that it's impossible to be an activist without living in a constant state of grief, and I agree. People of conscience willingly expose themselves to the suffering in the world so they can act upon it, and in acting upon it they realize how very small they are. There are days when I sit at my keyboard heartbroken, knowing there isn't anything more that I can do than I already have, knowing it isn't enough in the face of the great machines of industry and apathy. But I post another social networking update, fill out another petition or send another letter anyway, believing that action is better than inaction.

Which brings me to the subject of slacktivism. I've also read a great deal recently about the fruitlessness of those social networking updates and the pointlessness of petitions, and I agree with that to some extent as well. When social networking updates and petitions are the entirety of an activist's work, the effort amounts to a kind of emotional...

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Over the last few days, I've had a few social networking issues arise that gave me reason to question my own methodologies for maintaining online social networks. The first was a reference to Dunbar's number, which is a 'theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships', usually set at 150. Another was an instance wherein I circled (a G+ term) a vegan woman in Holland who sometimes has interesting things to say, only to uncircle her again when she began to rave about how popular she was and how awesome it was to have so many followers. A third was a public request from one of my Facebook subscribers to accept his friend request.

With regard to Dunbar's number, I need for my social networks to be productive places of interaction. That's why I don't auto-follow, especially on Twitter. If I know you, know of you or know you have something...

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I was planning to post this as a social networking status update, but it's getting too long, so I thought I'd post it as a blog entry instead.

Today, in addition to my novel edits, I'm reading about the headscarf controversy in Turkey. Some estimates indicate that as many as 65% of women either wear a headscarf or support the wearing of a headscarf, and yet women have been barred from public buildings, from working in the public sector and from attending university while wearing them. The ban on headscarves has been lifted and reinstated at least once in the last five years, and now it seems that university students are permitted to wear headscarves, primarily because they wouldn't have access to education in Turkey otherwise.

It's an interesting debate. From what I've read, Turkey works hard to present its government as secular and views the headscarf as a religious symbol. At the same time, many Turkish people want the right to wear headscarves freely. I would...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

I am delighted to report that my poem entitled "When I Arrived, This Is What She Said", first published in the Fall 2011 issue of Goblin Fruit, has been nominated for a Rhysling Award in the short poem category. My sincere thanks to Goblin Fruit for publishing this poem written about my beloved Nova Scotia.

You can read and listen to it here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

As I begin this post, I find that I have so much to say in frustration with PETA that I hardly know where to begin. So I'll start with the organization's most recent advertisement:

Trigger Warning: Depictions of Violence Against Women:

Now let's look at another PETA campaign from 2009.

Here's what the Huffington Post had to say about it. Here's what the Feministe blog had...

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stephanie Meyer has ruined me for long moments (Yes, I've read the Twilight series, and so has Sean. We did it for our niece, okay?!?). She writes about so many of them you would think all her moments were long; like the time that passes in a bank queue, or the last five minutes of a work day, or the half hour between taking two ibuprofen and the end of the headache. Patrick Rothfuss likes his long moments too, but not as much as Stephanie Meyer does, and his are far more interesting. Still, it's a crutch phrase for him.

I've been working on my own crutch words and phrases this evening; 'then', 'expression', 'a little', 'as well'. I'm also weeding out my looks, gazes, stares and other facial expressions (See? I love that word.) in favor of more interesting prose.

All in all, a good work day. Just a little farther to go, and then I'm done.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I've been working on refining my editing process for some time now, and as I put another chapter to bed, I thought I'd lay it out for myself and for interested readers. This is a long-form process, but I've used an abbreviated version of it for short fiction. I think it strikes a balance between drafting huge chunks of prose before editing, which I simply cannot do, and micromanaging my fiction, which I have done.

On a good day, I draft between 1000 and 1250 words. It's a modest, but achievable word count that ostensibly produces a book-length manuscript in under a year. The following day, I edit the previous day's work and draft another 1000 to 1250 words. At the completion of a chapter, I pass through the whole thing three times; once to take notes, once to make corrections and once with a text-to-speech program that reads the work aloud. They key to this part of the process is to draft only what I can edit the next day and still make my word-count goal. Any more, and I...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm sick of this book. I already know what happens in it, and I have all sorts of cool notes for the next one, and I want to 'splore new places in my universe and make things up and stuff. Editing is boring when you're in the nitpick-finishing-up stage and all the characters are lined up and stamping their little character footies at you to get on with the next adventure. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am delighted to report that Sean, my oft-mentioned genius engineer husband, will be interviewed today about his transition from a childhood on a small farm where he raised and butchered animals for meat to an adulthood as a vegan and an advocate for animals. You can listen to his interview live at 5:00 AST on the Fire it Up with C.J. show or download the podcast afterward.

You can also follow him on Google+ if you're interested in approaches to vegan advocacy. He has a wealth of knowledge about the issue and a quick wit, as well. I'm incredibly proud of his efforts.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's been awhile since I posted anything of the Gàidhlig variety, but I do have some interesting things to report.

On the Sgoil Ghàidhlig front, winter TIP classes are ongoing, and the Board is gearing up for a couple of interesting and fun late-winter and spring projects. On March 29th, we'll be performing a demonstration of milling songs at the Best Western in Burnside during a teachers' professional development workshop for the new Social Studies 3 curriculum and resources - Provincial Identity. On May 10th, we'll be hosting a Gàidhlig taigh-cèilidh at the Military Family Resource Centre Windsor Park. We're booking storytellers, singers and musicians for this event, and it promises to be a great evening of entertainment. I'll be acting as an emcee along with fellow Board member Doug MacDonald - and get this - we'll be doing it bilingually...

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Important Note

The episode of This American Life that inspired this blog entry has since been retracted. It appears Mr. Daisy fabricated many of the personal experiences he had while in China and lied to Ira Glass and his staff when they asked him for his interpreter's contact information. So in the interest of full disclosure, I think it important that you listen to This American Life's Retraction episode before proceeding with the rest of this blog entry. I still think much of the information here is worthwhile, but I'd want you to hear the truth of things before you read it.

All the best,
 Ceallaigh

Original Entry

I am a geek married to a geek who works in technology. So we like our electronics; desktop, laptop and tablet computers, MP3 players, cameras and GPS devices. We're not upgrade-at-the-slightest-provocation types;...

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

I hereby acknowledge that there are Big Things happening in my life that I cannot write about publicly. Some of them have worried me, some have frustrated me with the mind-numbing slowness of their progression and some have excited me with their possibilities. I will probably never write about the first, I will only write about the second when it is completely resolved and I will write about the third when there is something definitive to share.

Strangely, these three queens of my life have demanded so much of my mental energy that I haven't had any to spare for blogging and little to spare for social interaction. But while the tide of that demand has ebbed somewhat in the last couple of weeks, I find that the public silence I need to keep about these larger issues has blocked the flow of my words altogether in some respect. I can still write fiction, but interactive personal writing has been difficult. I just can't get past what I can't say.

Of course, this is a...

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Monday, January 30, 2012

I've muddled though the Drupal Comments feature, added some custom CSS and PHP and successfully enabled comments for blog entries on my web site. This means you'll be able to comment on blog entries there (which I prefer), on LiveJournal (which is okay, too) or anywhere else the entries are syndicated (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, at present).

Web site comments are not screened, and you don't need an account to make them. LiveJournal comments continue to be screened for anonymous users, which is great for catching spammers who want to sell watches and handbags to my readers.

In other news, my quarterly newsletter for Imbolc goes out to subscribers on February 1st. If you'd like to receive it, you can sign up using the Newsletter box on the right sidebar of my web site.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #2 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to www.csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Imbolc 2012.

Novel News

Twilight of the World Sea People is making the rounds to prospective agents as I complete final edits on the draft. By March 1st, I expect to be working on the outlines for Books II and III of the trilogy; Rise of the World Sea Stewards and the novel that shares the trilogy's name, World Sea Legacy. Afterward, I'll spend a little time putting together a ten-thousand foot view of the Sacred Assassin and Motherland trilogies that follow it in the Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom series. I hope to be drafting Book II by mid-March, at the latest.

Story News

I'm delighted to report that the critically-acclaimed anthology...

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yesterday, among the many Saturday errands I was running, I picked up a wounded Great Horned Owl in West Northfield for transport to the Hope for Wildlife farm in Seaforth. On my way there, Allison at HfW called to ask if I would be interested in exchanging the owl with her for two rehabilitated Barred Owls in need of release on the South Shore.

Of course, this is the ultimate purpose of our work, that moment when those animals we can help are returned to the wild, still wild. We want them to flee from us, forget us and go back to the lives they were meant to have. So releases are special (and somewhat coveted among volunteers). I've never done one before, so to be offered two in a single day was really something, especially since one of them was 'mine', an owl I'd received from a DNR officer a couple of months ago and transported.

Allison and I met in Bedford to exchange the owls, and then I was off to Tantallon, where one of them had been found initially...

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This year my focus was entirely on my novel, and it paid off. Twilight of the World Sea People is finished, and the marketing packet will go out in the very near future. I still have edits to finish on Chapters 4-17, but I expect to finish them in good time.

However, I did manage to publish a poem this year and garner a Rhysling nomination:

Poetry
"When I arrived, this is what She said." Goblin Fruit. October 2011.

Rhysling Nomination
"A Path Without Bones." Eternal Haunted Summer. March 2010.

That said, a Merry Yuletide to you all! Sean and I are wrapping up gift shopping and business over the next few days, and we'll be cooking and celebrating during the weekend. Then on Boxing Day we're off to Cape...

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This morning, our beloved cat Samantha went to be with Bast. She was seventeen and frail with end-stage kidney disease. For the veterinarians among my friends, her blood count was 10, and her eyes and gums were white. For the non-veterinarians, this means her kidneys had stopped producing erythropoetin, a hormone that tells the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. She had also begun to smell slightly toxic in spite of her sub-q fluids, and she was weak and sick. The only thing I could get her to eat was tuna. If we had waited any longer to end her life, she almost certainly would have gone into respiratory distress and begun developing ulcers in her mouth and esophagus. There is no recovery when kidneys fail in cats, and it's a hard, ugly death.

But I'm being clinical. Let me tell you about Sam.

She was born in my apartment during a 1994 eclipse and would have died of her mother China's neglect if my ex-husband hadn't fed her warm milk and massaged her little body...

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yesterday Sean and I met with our attorney and signed incorporation paperwork. Triskele Media Inc. is now registered with the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies as a business in the province.

We're very happy to be operating in Atlantic Canada; a place of extraordinary beauty where we feel more at home than we ever have in our lives, and we look forward to being part of the region's prosperity.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In the last couple of months (since completion of the novel), a number of unavoidable issues have cropped up and limited my writing time, and this has frustrated my efforts at revision considerably. However, in the last week, I've managed to clear my plate of several outstanding projects and substantial chunk of life-detritus so that I can proceed with something more closely resembling a regular schedule. To that end, I fear I must make an Internet Pronouncement of the sort one reads from time to time in the blogs of other writers.

I'm presently putting together a marketing packet for my novel and working my way through revisions. On the heels of that, I have major plotting work to do for the rest of the series and a second novel to start. In the past, I've had the luxury of putting down my work for a day or a week if necessary in order to take care of other things. However, if I expect to be taken seriously as a professional, I can't afford to do that anymore.

...

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm delighted to report that the first volume of the critically-acclaimed Clockwork Phoenix anthology series is now available for Kindle. This volume includes my story "Akhila, Divided", which received honorable mention in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois.

You can purchase the e-book by clicking here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I read once that Islamic artists deliberately leave imperfections in their work, because only Allah has the right to be perfect. I also read once that stories are never truly finished; they are merely abandoned. In the spirit of these things, I progress through the final edits of my novel.

Bi-la kaifa.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This morning I drove out to Seaforth to volunteer in the gift shop for Hope for Wildlife's Old-Fashioned Christmas By the Sea. Fortunately, as I am not the volunteering-in-a-gift-shop sort, I was soon tasked with pickups and spent the day rescuing two injured crows.

The first was near downtown Halifax in a neighborhood largely populated with Dalhousie students and professors. The young woman who called the crow in gave excellent directions, and I found it beneath a tree beside a church parking lot, hobbled with what appeared to be a broken wing. Its companion high in the trees alerted it to my arrival and screeched a warning while I chased it into a corner of the church's architecture and covered it with a blanket. The crow went still, as most birds do when covered that way, and I was able to package it into a carrier and put it in the car.

The second was in a park near the Bedford Highway in...

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Some of you might remember that I participated with a number of local Gaelic singers in a recording of traditional songs at the An Cliath Clis milling frolic last spring. The CD that was to be made of that recording is on indefinite hold for various reasons. Should anything change on that front, I'll post a note.

However, I do have word from Siol Cultural Enterprises that the short film Ruidhle An Fhìdhleir will be out soon. That's the film the usual suspects among us helped to finish as sound extras one afternoon last summer. When it's released, I'll post a note about that as well, along with a link for purchase.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As part of our weekly instruction in Gaelic class last night, we were talking about recent events in our lives, and our teacher asked me about Hal-Con. This precipitated a discussion of my guest appearance there next year and a question about the kind of science fiction I write. Now, I don't have the Gaelic to describe it yet, so I slipped into English and called it sociological science fiction. When that definition didn't quite suffice I offered 'serious science fiction', which it is, to some degree.

One of my fellow students, a man some years older than me responded in a way I'm sure most of the spec. fic. writers and readers on my f-list have encountered before:

Said Student: (smirk) Serious science fiction? Serious? Serious? (and later) Serious science fiction? That's an oxymoron.

This smirking condescension played on infinite loop throughout the class until I finally explained that science fiction writers often...

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've just returned from closing ceremonies at Hal-Con 2011 and can finally announce that I'll be appearing there next year as a guest. It's a fun convention, and I'm delighted the committee has offered me this opportunity. I'll also be putting together a workshop or two for the con between now and then and will post more information about that when I have it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Upon learning I was about to undertake a somewhat complex revision process, my GEH (short for Genius Engineer Husband) rises to his feet, points his slide rule in the air and proclaims, "I can make a spreadsheet for that!"

And so he did.

It's a fine creation consisting of a page for each chapter plus one for the template and one for calculating how close I am to completion. I spent the day today gathering my notes, his notes and my beta reader's notes into an outline and then breaking that into overall, section and chapter edits. Afterward, I plugged them into the spreadsheet, and now all I have to do is go from chapter to chapter ticking each item off as I address it.

When there are Casbahs which need rocking, the GEH arrives, and he rocks them.

Bi-la kaifa.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Last night, I finally completed section edits for Part III of TWSP. I still hope to get some planning done for whole-novel edits this evening using a very fine spreadsheet Sean created for that purpose. Tomorrow I'm occupied with a number of errands, but I'll begin the final pass through the book on Tuesday and start polishing a synopsis. I hope plan to have it polished and ready to send out by the end of the calendar year.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, October 28th

I left late on Friday in a rush after dashing madly about town on last-minute errands, including a stop at Giant Robot Comics, where Darryl wrapped my nephew's birthday gift in the pages of a comic book. Singularly geekish and very, very cool. Happily, my rental car company interpreted 'I need a car with an iPod jack' to mean 'I need a car that Catwoman might use to flee from Batman'. So I left Halifax in a Dodge Charger slightly larger than some bedrooms I've inhabited with an Alpine stereo system that made Nick Podehl sound like he might be reading The Name of the Wind from the passenger seat. Fine car, fine novel, gorgeous day for a drive. I could do worse. I arrived in Milford, Maine around 10:30 and tumbled onto the Bernards' couch around 11:00 for a few hours of shut-eye.

Saturday, October 29th

We arose early, loaded the...

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I've made it home and plan to write a post about Quebec City soon, but for now (and until after I settle in) here's a pile of miscellaneous news I didn't feel like posting via iPad.

Professional News

My first quarterly newsletter went out to subscribers on October 31st. You can read it here, and you can subscribe by visiting my web site at csmaccath.com.

In other news, I've come away from my holiday with a powerful sense of having let my writing career and my home suffer in the last month for the sake of other things. It's my intention to remedy that going forward by placing my writing career and my home at the front of my life rather than making time for them at the back. With this shift in priorities will come a shift in my available time, with apologies in advance to any people who might be affected by it.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm finding that the more worldbuilding I packed into my chapters, the better the prose tends to be upon revision. Chapters 14 & 16 were tough to write because they were so alien, so I assumed they'd be harder to revise. But it's the other way around. The harder the chapter was to draft, the easier it is to edit. Maybe I was paying better attention to the hard stuff, or something.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Greetings Everyone,

Welcome to Issue #1 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to www.csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2011.

Novel News:
Twilight of the World Sea People is now a completed draft, and I'm hard at work on revisions. I hope to send the novel out to prospective agents soon. More on this at Imbolc.

Poetry News:
My poem entitled, "When I Arrived, This Is What She Said" is now available in the autumn issue of Goblin Fruit. Of interest, the sound backdrop of the piece contains part of a traditional Gàidhlig milling song I sang with friends at the An Cliath Clis milling frolic last spring. If you're interested, you can watch a video of the...

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

My poem entitled, "When I Arrived, This Is What She Said" is now available in the autumn issue of Goblin Fruit. Of interest, the sound backdrop of the piece contains part of a traditional Gàidhlig milling song I sang with friends at the An Cliath Clis milling frolic last spring. If you're interested, you can watch a video of the milling and listen to the song on YouTube.

I'm very happy with this piece; it brings together so much of what I love about Nova Scotia, and it's tucked in amongst some really gorgeous poetry. Go read the whole issue and listen to the poets read their work. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I know where sirens come from.
Born in the foam of a green-water wave
to fold their lissome bodies over the rocks.
"See?" they sing, "There is no pain in this."

Turn away, lover of women, while you still can.
Wipe the salt from your lips before you taste it.

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