The duties of a (Pagan) Publisher

This post is two-fold, it mainly discusses the role of publishers in general and a pagan publisher secondarily.

I am pagan, most people who know me know that.  At one point I use to trumpet it aloud.  It is very important to me but very personal.  I don’t mean private but personal.  I follow a shamanic route worshipping the old Irish gods and myths.  I find myself less and less needing to discuss and catch up with pagan issues, my faith is quite nearly unique to myself.  Don’t get me wrong pagan studies still interest me but with the lack of free time I have, I spend my spiritual time looking inside.  My own ethos and moral code has been shaped by what I believe and I think its important for me to reflect this.

I feel the role of a publisher is to release and support both the craft (writing and literature as a whole) and to cause change on things they feel are crucial issues by promoting debate.  A publisher’s role is not to tell the reader what to think, it is to promote discussion and debate by printing works that inspire thought.

It is not my intention to publish primarly pagan works, nor to be seen as a publisher whose work is pagan.  What I do desire is to be true to my ethics and to help promote the overlooked and support paganism.  In this end I would like to publish one pagan work, at least.  As a writer (fiction, sci-fi, fantasy) I know and believe how powerful the tool of the novel is, I believe a story can tell more then an essay.  The tool of empathy, that the novel is based about, and putting somebody inside the moral question, forces people to debate the issue with themselves.

So pagan fiction or works that have similar outlooks – such as Little Druid – will be encouraged.  Secondly non-fiction pagan works, especially ones that promote aspects that have gone unrecognised.  Shaman’s Dictionary is an example of this.  It is crucial to me that any works that I release in this category are properly referenced and truthful.  I will not allow our publishing company to be used as a platform for propoganda.  I know many in the pagan sphere will be against this approach feeling that it is conservative and working within the machine of society.  But my first love was books and are as much part of my beliefs as paganism is.  Therefore my first concern will be to create good and truthful books.

What do you think of this?  What do you think is the role of a publisher?  If you are pagan what do you think we should publish in this sphere?

Caoimhin

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Our Publishing Lineup

I thought I would list a lineup of our planned books, many of which are nearly ready, a lot still in production including the titles.  This list covers a rough two year timespan.

 

Genre

  • Sea Hounds Trilogy (Romance)
  • Hellblades (Fantasy)
  • Pulp Porn: Pirates (Anthology)
  • Pulp Porn: Werewolves (Anthology)

Fiction

  • Site Diary (A week on an archaeology site)

Poetry

  • Verse & Variation
  • The Secret Words of Toys
  • My Little Black Book
  • Month of March
  • River Rhymes 2012 (Possible)
  • River Rhymes 2013

Children’s Works

  • Little Druid
  • Tales of the Dragon & the Hermit

Cookbooks

  • Oohm-Pie Loom-Pie
  • All the Pretty Little Things
  • Italian Cookbook (In Negotiation)
  • Mexican Meals (In Negotiation)
  • English Pastas
  • Canalside Cooking
  • Devil’s Dishes

Others

  • ARRGGHH (Roleplaying game to be announced)
  • Shaman’s Dictionary (Introductory guide to shamanism)

 

So what would you like to know about our future schedule?  Which of our books sounds interesting to you?  And just what would you like us to tell you about them before they launch?  Let us know in our comments below.

Personal Timeline

Its been quite a while since I have updated my various websites.  There have been many reasons for this and every time I think of writing a post to update the blog I keep drawing a blank on quite what to say.  So for this reentry to the blogosphere I will keep this as a personal view.

Over the last few years things have changed so much; we no longer live in Cambridge, we live on a boat, we have a kitten, the clan has changed massively, I run a poetry festival, I’m about to launch a publishing company, my archaeology career is massively different to what it was.  The clan was originally designed as a kind of family-social group between me and Zoe and what are to follow.  But in time this has changed bit by bit until now we have a busy schedule.  Book by book I have planned and readied, so now I have 8 of my own works ready; we have three outside writers working on some projects; Zoe should have her debut ready and I have spent a long time preparing the company.

The website, all of them are going to be totally redesigned – to reflect more truly the current state of the clan.  The main website will need to reflect the company and its goals, we have a backlog of material online through all the blogs that are going to be combined in a way that gives visitors plenty of good material to read.  As well as that I will be hoping to start off supporting my authors by blogging and noting articles of interest or commenting myself on the writing sphere.  From previous experience I know how difficult it can get to find the time to blog, at certain times, whereas others I can be downright prolific so I will be seeking a balance.  And a way to give all our visitors a taste of what is going on behind the scenes, our lives, insights into our works and authors, the business and access to our published works.

Below is a rough lineup of the next year:

  • Plan the company
  • Verse & Variation launch
  • Little Druid launch
  • River Rhymes 2012 archive
  • Full publishing schedule
  • Redesigning the websites
  • The Norton Summer Dig
  • Renovate the boat
  • Sort out our storage
  • Festival for next year

Caoimhin

My Writing History, Clan Essays (Articles, News)

This will be an ongoing article.  I plan to edit and add to it.

 

Most Recently

Something I have been planning to do for quite a while is an illustrated work.  Finally ironically that is nearing completion – its a good sign for the planned web-comic.  Little Druid is a children’s picturebook.  Zoe has been busy doing the illustration work. Little Druid is a beautiful book made for kids between the ages of 2 to 5.  It will be of particular interest to pagan households and parents to give a book to their kids that represents their view of the world.  Its something I am really proud of and is such a sweet tale.  Also this year I have been busy with some short stories, ready for publication and tying up various projects begun online.

 

Last Year

Lat year I wrote another novel.  Thanks greatly to NaNoWriMo for helping me push through not just an author’s general desire to procrastinate but also the older baggage I have held onto.  Pushing that aside I have finally finished a second revision of A Site Diary almost complete.  My NaNoWriMo account details the book and while there’s not much up on there at the moment there should be as the book finally starts to shape up.

I have been lucky enough to write a number of guest posts – for two blogs this year.  And my good friend Alaksir will be writing a few for this site.  Hopefully when the sites are tidied its something I can ask various people to do if they desire it.

I have already said just what’s been going on in Clan Raven Cub and our other websites but with my most recent episode of In The Brew the documentary style has really intrigued me.  My filmwork, audio and illustration work has moved my ideas from journalism and an interest for my online blogging to focusing more on an article / documentary style.  This is something I plan to keep an eye out on my blogging.

The past year following redundancies and job issues I decided to turn my efforts back to where my first passions and talents lie.  In that light I began a serial story – linked from here – A Redundant Life, which like a lot of my material is behind.  Its something I am really enjoying and had originally been in mind to compile into a story but I will see.  Instead I may just allow it to run and see where it goes.

 

The Blogging Years

The first year of Clan Raven Cub and the other sites was a real push for me and opened me up to more documentary and article style work.  At time of print I have four different blogs running as well as a podcast and a videocast.

Poetry Book

Verse and Variation was published in 2005.  My book of poems can be found online.  This was a self published work.  It was a fantastic effort on my part and such an incredible work and effort.  It really is a pride that I won’t forget.  I made the decision to put it up freely commonly to share and edit for people 2009.  I am a strong believer against copyright and wanted to back it up.

The book was compiled from lots of material from my childhood, youth years and the material I had been writing at the time as well as new material for the book.  Its compiled in four sections with the Biblical flood as the theme.  Ten poems in each section – with my favourite being the little pieces on the rear cover and the back page.

The book was typeset by myself and the sales and marketing was handled by myself.  It was such a wide learning experience.  One of my favourite memories in life is the launch I had organised in the Spiddal library.  Many thanks are deserved to certain people, my parents for helping at the launch and other times; the Spiddal library for stocking my book and for being so great and supportive throughout; Siopa an Phobail for stocking the book; Crumlin hospital who supported me and helped me raise funds for them with the book; Elaine for designing the cover; Paedar and Clódóirí Lurgan for publishing the book in the great quality that it was.

I hope that soon – if I publish another poetry book I will get a second run of Verse and Variation.

 

Early Awards

They may not be a big deal, so I’m not blowing my trumpet but it feels nice to be able to say.  I have won, when younger various competitions.  An essay competition for the Samaritans on bullying, in my school for a competition for the Gaeltacht, the Edmund Rice Memorial award and two Literature Awards within school also.

 

Novels Poems and Plays

From the age of 12 I finished my first novel.  Novella really as the word count is only around fifty five thousand.  Lonestar was first in a series and following this I finished another four with three more mainly written.  I have various stories, poems and plays written and many others begun from that period.  Many of the poems for Verse and Variation are taken from this time.  I do hope and plan to revisit this work but as it is all handwritten, in many different copies and many in storage it will have to wait.  Having said that I do have my hands on Hellblades and that is something that I will work on as soon as I do get the opportunity.

Going Redundant! (News)

Don’t worry, the title is a mix of this news article and the last news article.  As of Monday I realised a new blog.  A serial piece of fiction entitled A Redundant Life.  Its still hosted on WordPress.  Its serial fiction and the idea will be to see where it goes and let the story and characters develop as they fall.  I will be really particularly interested in reader interaction.  I see that as one of the greatest attractions that serial works have, the likes that Charles Dickens wrote (such as Oliver Twist.)  Hopefully with both you and me I can make a better story.

The idea to write it has been coming to mind more recently with the more effort I have been going to, to prove my illustration abilities for Clan Raven Cub professional ventures.  More and more I have been thinking I should be working to my strengths and writing is one that I seem to have been giving a back seat.  Putting it live like this has made me sit and come back to it on a regular basis (even if the intervals between posts won’t be regular.)

The story is about a young man that has recently been made redundant, and yes while I have gone through that recently, I think it is something a lot of people can also appreciate and I think it has plenty for us all to think on, a different perspective to one we usually think of.

Enjoy and please do take part!

Caoimhín

Going pro! (News)

As of last week Clan Raven Cub has made the decision to go professional.  I, Caoimhín, will be acting as a sole-trader.  With this change, which we had planned to do at some point we have a lot of exciting projects and movements coming up.  All ours sites should get a bit of a graphical overhaul.  For more information on what’s going on you can check out our personal blogs.  Mine I shall try to update on a near daily basis.  The blogs should get consistent updating.

Some of the projects going ahead like a few papers on the state of archaeology in the uk, a new poetry book, republishing my first one and finally getting our webcomics online.  We are open for commercial work if anyone wants creative work.  I will be trying to work on some craftwork for ebay sales too.  Watch this space.  Any questions, suggestions…

Caoimhín

My Father and Epilepsy (Article)

For my Father,

This post is dedicated to my father who has carried the responsibilty for my epilepsy upon his shoulders since the beginning.

While some cases of epilepsy occur as the result of an accident such as a blow to the head in the majority of cases this is not the case. for most people – six out of ten, in fact – there is no known cause. This is called ‘idiopathic’ epilepsy and it is the type of epilepsy that I have. For parents of an epileptic child it can be extremely difficult to accept that there is no real reason for the condition developing. They may feel that there must be some incident, something or someone to blame, something that makes sense. In dealing with my epilepsy my father placed the blame upon himself a burden that he has now born for eighteen years and a burden that it is time to lay down.

I have already described my first fit so I shall merely recap that I was in my backgarden playing football with my father and my brother and like all eight year olds inevitably do I fell down. Watch a bunch of kids any age playing football and it is difficult not to notice they tend to trip up, bump into one another or just fall over their own feet. At one point during that game the eight year old me feel over after bumping into my dad during a tackle. It is this one little bump that has allowed my father years of those ‘what if’ moments.

The answer to that ‘what if’ is easy. If I hadn’t fallen over that particular second I would have managed it a few moments later, or I would have been pushed over at school in the playground or tripped over my own shoe laces. That of course is presuming that I didn’t have my first fit before falling over. Idiopathic epilepsy is there in the brain already, a fall or a blow to the head may encourage a fit but it is not the cause of the condition. When someone is tested for epilepsy they are usually sent for an MRI test. This test can help to find if there is an abnormality in the brain that might be causing epilepsy, for example, scar tissue due to a brain injury. My MRI scans have never shown any sign of trauma or indeed anything unusual at all meaning that there is a slim to none chance that my epilepsy was caused by any trip or bump.

For a long time I felt confused about my fathers guilt. Often I felt guilty myself – after all, if I didn’t have epilepsy he wouldn’t have to feel guilty. For a while during my later teenage years I felt resentful, believing that it was my problem not his or anyone elses. Now thinking back I just feel sad that one of the people I love most in the world has spent so long blaming themselves for something that wasn’t their fault to begin with. So this post is a plea to my father, for Purple Day, let go of all that guilt for good and simply be proud of being the best dad ever.

Zoe