Saturday, January 27, 2007

Feeding the Muse

In Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury talks about ways to 'feed your Muse.' He says you should read some poetry every week. So I've been reading Anne Carson's The Beauty of the Husband (she's stunning), a Gerard Manley Hopkins collection, and Leonard Cohen's latest, Book of Longing. Regarding the latter, I am so with him in "My Time."
My time is running out
and still
I have not sung
the true song
the great song
I'm also reading this brilliant and beautifully written non-fiction book called Spoken Here by Mark Abley. It's about endangered languages (and, by no coincidence, endangered peoples) including Manx, Mohawk, Yiddish, aboriginal Australian tongues, and many more. The book is tragic, funny, lyrical, idealistic, thought-provoking, worrying. Montrealer Abley is not a linguist per se but a world traveller, writer, and humanist. So much better than Bruce Chatwin whose ego, I felt, always blocked my view of the peoples he was writing about. Postscript: hah, three of the five writers I have named here are Canadian.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Snow Woman

Here's a pic my friend Annie sent from Spain, me building a mujer de nieve in the mountains north of Alicante. Spot the Canadian. There were originally five of us throwing snowballs and enjoying the sudden fall of snow, but after ten minutes the rest of them went indoors to get warm. I stayed out for a good hour or more building my lady. The others kept looking out the windows and going, "is she still out there? Brrrr." Ha ha. You can take the girl out of Canada but you can't take Canada out of the girl. Meanwhile, I hear that climate change is, in fact, destroying the Canadian winter and many were bereft of snow at Christmas. Does that mean we shall no longer be able to sing mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Big Dream

Here's what I dreamed last week: I was flying in the bosom of a great wind, over a beautiful green country, not Ireland, not anywhere I have even been or seen, for it was vast, with rolling plains dotted with wide lakes and great bronze bogs. The wind was sentient and invited me to view the land from different angles. At one point we dove down to the earth and I thought she was going to plunge me through the brown mud. I wasn't afraid, I trusted her, and we flew back into the sky again. The feelings were oceanic, exquisite, blissful. It was truly a Big Dream, as Jung would say. I woke feeling wonderful and connected to something beyond material existence. Love that. Not surprising, of course, that it came during the nightmare of the contract negotiations. A reminder of the true Reality.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Deep in Candy

Having one of those quiet doss kind of Sundays that I love as I continue to recover from deadline, Spanish Christmas, flu, and nightmarish contract negotiations (all done, hurrah). I slept in, hung the washing out on a cool sunny day, chatted with the lonely dog, Finn showed me some of her ballet moves, now I'm surfing the Web. And look what I found. It is truly hilarious. This guy, his girlfriend, and various members of his family spent their Christmas building the battle of Helm's Deep with candy. It's only gorgeous. Do pop over and have a look: You have to see it to believe it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Another Great YouTube Video

Lordy, I was feeling rotten over a load of crap going down with agents, publishers, my woeful finances and so on, when I popped over to view a friendly blog (Pomona's) and discovered this fabulous video that cheered me right up! Ah yes, handsome men in Regency costume will put a smile on my face every time. I don't know how to link to YouTube so just head over there and search for Regency Men Bringing Sexy Back. It's a hoot.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Tale of Two Cats

Here's how it began. Findabhair and I went into the mountains to the Wicklow Animal Shelter to get a puppy. One does not choose pets, however, they choose you. So we returned with two kittens. "Rightly so, said my writer friend Michael Scott. "Writers have cats, not dogs." So that is how Hamish and Emma came to live with us about eight years ago. (This is an old pic as that sofa is long gone.) And to finish this little cat's tale are two quotes about cats from famous people. The smallest feline is a masterpiece. Leonardo da Vinci. There are no ordinary cats. Colette. (The writer, not the spy. I loved her book about her and Cheri, what was it called?)

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Here's a pic from my Faerie Calendar 2007, bringing fairy magic and best wishes for the coming year. I always make resolutions, not in the negative sense, but rather in the vein of hopes and wishes. My dreams for this year include:
1) move back to Canada and start a new life there
2) take some more drumming lessons
3) return to meditation and a richer inner life (was far too busy this year)
4) polish up The Book of Dreams, completing the final re-write of The Chronicles of Faerie
5) show R around Ireland for his first time
6) improve my finances.
Hmm, that's enough to go on with. Here in, short, are my best moments of 2006:
1) USA Tour
2) Mythic Journeys Conference in Atlanta
3) publication of The Summer King
4) Author Visits to Toronto, Cobourg, and Montreal.
5) Christmas in the mountains of Spain and visits to Alicante and Barcelona. There were also personal highlights to do with Findabhair and with R but that's private. All in all, it was a fantastic year!