Monday, 21 June 2021

Pictures, But Not in an Exhibition

 One of the things that I love to do is to take pictures of whatever catches my attention and makes me go, "Ooh. I like that." Mostly plants or shadows or bits of broken light. Maybe a texture that I like, or an insect. Unfortunately I can’t really do insects very well.

I don’t have a working camera, so I am forced to use either this iPad or an old Samsung phone. I can’t really control much, but that’s kind a like life, isn’t it? The iPad and Instagram, for instance, offer all sorts of filters to change the look of your photo. You can crop it, too. But mostly I don’t do either. 

Sometimes I really like the pictures I take, even if I don’t think they’re spectacular or all that well executed. But there’s something about them that pleases me. So I’m going to put a couple of those in this post to share with you, since otherwise they mostly just hang around on this iPad, waiting to be wiped.

Friday, 18 June 2021

My Altar Ego Creeps Toward Her Book Release


Things are moving along toward the launch of my book (as Mael Brigde), A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars. (Take note: If I ever write another book, it is going to have a way shorter name!) Using my devotional name, I have done a few online events -- a panel, guest blog posts, some interviews -- and will be having a launch in just over two months (28 August, in between the European and North American releases).

In the meanwhile, the book is now available for pre-order in a number of places, and the e-book will be available closer to the release date.

Almost all of these events have been aimed at people who are already comfortable with the idea of goddesses and saints, mostly members of the larger Neo-Pagan community. At the suggestion of two friends from my speculative fiction and writers communities, I'm going to be doing a couple of online events that are aimed more specifically at family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues who are more familiar with me from daily life, fandom, and writing.

There will be a little introduction to what I am doing, writing about this Brigit, and who she is, along with a short reading and time for Q & A. Fear not, there is absolutely nothing in the way of proselytising. I just want to thank you for your support over the years, and to let you know about something I have spent much of my life immersed in, but spoken of very little outside of the Neo-Pagan community.

The first event will be hosted by local writer, publisher, and events organiser, Erik D'Souza of Writers in our Midst on 26 June at 1 PM

There will be two ways to view. On Facebook at Writers in our Midst you can watch the show live, which will enable you to communicate with us via the comments column, or you may come along anytime afterward to watch it. (Of course, you can leave comments later, too.) It will also be recorded live via Zoom, with a limited audience of attendees. If you’d like to be a member of the audience, please get in touch and I can send you a Zoom link. If you are in the Zoom audience you can also interact via chat, or make comments (no heckling, you!) and ask questions aloud. In this case you will be part of the recorded event. We do ask that you stay muted and keep your camera on during the presentation.

 The second event is at a more infantile planning stage. Hosted by R. Graeme Cameron, a local speculative fiction fan, reviewer, and publisher of short fiction and poetry, and past VCon chairperson. It will be on 12 July at 6 PM PDT, 11 AM Melbourne time, so perhaps some of you Australian friends and family will be tempted to watch. 

It will be interesting to see how this side of my writing is received by folk who are only familiar with my speculative fiction and goofy plays and Turkey Readings at VCon, and others who don't know the writing side of me at all. I confess to being a little nervous, but I'm glad to take the leap.

See you on the flip side.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Where O Where Has Our Little One Gone?


If you are familiar with me or this blog, you may have noticed I have written almost nothing for an age. But why?

I have had to martial all of my energy for work in another writing universe, wherein I maintain two blogs and am launching a book. This blog here is for random musings, but those are directly focussed on one thing only, and that is Brigit of Ireland. My name there is Mael Brigde. Using another name helps to separate my Brigit work from my speculative fiction and other work, all of which has taken a backseat while I finished writing the book and entered the long, slow process of ushering it out into the world.

If you want to know more about that part of me, or to learn more about A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars, you can have a look at my website, here. Meanwhile Casey June Wolf will be back here. eventually!

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

A simple bowl of soup


When I was in my teens I was friends with an older, Catholic woman from Poland, who had been in a concentration camp with her family when she was young. That experience made her very very kind and understanding of suffering others couldn’t comprehend. It also made her unable to believe in the longevity of another’s friendship.

Wanda helped me survive a terrible time in my life when I was on my own and the world was very uncaring. She taught me to appreciate many things. She kept plants in her house, hundreds of them, it seemed to me, and her Saturdays were devoted to carefully moistening each one just to the degree that it needed, resting them in her tub in batches to soak up that necessary balm. All of this, and in fact much of what she did, seemed excessively careful and labour-intensive to me. At the same time it impressed me deeply, and somewhere hidden inside a part of me longed to live as she did.

She gave me my first house plant, a small coleus that I named Vanya, after my favourite character in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Such a beautiful and precious being deserved a beautiful name. But I was so afraid I would kill it. If not for Wanda and her confidence in me, I wonder if I would ever have discovered my love of plants. 

There is much more to the story, but I will end here, except to explain this picture.

One of the things Wanda introduced me to was the notion that boring food could be made delicious. One day at lunch she opened a tin of Campbell’s tomato soup, just like I’d had a million times as a kid, but Wanda didn’t just throw it in a pot with milk and water and stir. As it heated she sprinkled dill weed - a thing I had never heard of – into the pot. When she took it off the stove she added a big dollop of sour cream and a little more dill weed.

At last, she put the bowl in front of me and I tasted something fine. 

Every once in a very blue moon, in honour of my long lost friend, I make myself a bowl of her simple amended soup, and for a moment I am discovering life with her again.

Thank you, Wanda, wherever you are. May your dreams be kind to you.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Autumn Is Here

 This just out:

It's Autumn.

It is a beautiful day. There is something in the light that whispers, I am here. We are winding this hectic season down. Autumn is upon you, and soon, the rains will come.

There is a brightly suited goldfinch at the feeder. The bees are more relaxed in the wake of showers. Everything, however imperfect, looks beautiful. The sounds of chickadees, of my neighbour speaking in quivering Italian with her daughter, then laughing, the soft insistent rush of traffic a few doors down, a distant cry of a crow.

I love this place. This life. This flawed and momentarily tranquil self.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Who's Nina Simone?

Recently I heard someone say, "Who's Nina Simone?"

This is one of the shocks that reminds you that time is passing, and people are being born and the times that were so important at the time, are never seen by them, and never mean anything to them. It's like being on a single wave on a long beach. You're just one bubble in the great long curving line of foam, and every wave behind you is chasing you up the shore. And soon enough you'll break across the sand and cobbles and that will be it. And the next wave coming will never have heard of Nina SImone.

Well, this is her.