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Dear readers:

For four years, we’ve all been waiting for Pagan Pregnancy to make its appearance. Through a series of decisions beyond my control, it has remained in limbo. I have received more e-mail about this book than any other, asking when it will finally be published. My publisher, too, has received countless e-mails querying the status and availability of the title, urging its release.

Dear readers – dear, dear readers! – it is thanks to you that this book is finally reaching the public, albeit in a slightly different form than originally intended.

Pagan Pregnancy is now available for purchase as an eBook for the Amazon Kindle e-reader, and will soon be available for Kobo, the B&N Nook, the Sony eReader, and other platforms.

Not being able to share this book with you has been more than disappointing for me. I wrote it because I knew there was a need for it, having wanted a book like it myself during my first pregnancy, and the series of circumstances that led to the publication being put on hold broke my heart. My editor, Andrea, has fought long and hard to get this book out to you, and I am overjoyed to finally be able to tell you that yes, you can buy it and read it. I hope it inspires you, or helps you think through some of the spiritual challenges and uncertainties associated with pregnancy.

It is perhaps fitting that I wrote this book the year after my son was born in 2005, and it is finally seeing the light of day just after my daughter was born a few months ago in 2011. The Goddess works in mysterious ways.

Thank you so much for your patience, your enthusiasm, your support, and your encouragement regarding this book over the past four years. It has meant the world to me.

~Arin
Imbolc 2012
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Yes, yes, big gap in updates... there hasn't been much to share until now.

Coming in January 2012:



Think of this as a spiritual field guide!

Birds are all around us--building nests for their eggs, perching on a nearby tree branch, floating freely on a breath of wind. But do you ever feel like a bird might be trying to connect with you--or even tell you something? This book can help you figure out the special message your visitor is trying to share.

Inside this lovely illustrated field guide you'll find everything you need to decipher the unique meaning behind each individual bird sighting. From physical description to folklore, each of the common bird species detailed within has a story and a unique symbolism which will help reveal the changes these mystical creatures want you to make in your life. With this enlightening volume as your inspiration, get ready to take a look at your life from a bird's eye view--one robin, crow, and hummingbird at a time!

Full colour Audubon illustrations.

A companion journal will also be available: Birds - A Spiritual Journey: Record the Symbology and Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers.


And in more personal news, part of the reason I was MIA for a year was due to a high-risk pregnancy and birth of a new daughter! Our entire family is overjoyed to have her with us.
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If you're in or around Montreal this weekend, check out Le Melange Magique's Yule Fair! There's a great weekend of programming to discover, including workshops from authors like Ellen Dugan, Christopher Penczak, Judika Illes, Brendan Myers, Adelina St.Clair, and me, as well as a vendor's room, a Yule ritual, and a fund-raising auction for the Gaia Gathering conference taking place in Montreal in May of 2011.

Ellen Dugan and I will be co-presenting a Q&A panel on Green Magic & Magical Gardening on Sunday December 5 at 11:00 AM, and I'm really looking forward to it!

Yule Fair hours:
Friday December 3rd 7 PM - 9 PM
Saturday December 4th 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday December 5th 10 AM - 5 PM

Location:
Le Melange Magique
1928 St. Catherine Street West
Montreal, QC H3H 1M4
514.938.1458

See you at the fair!
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in a keynote presentation and a book signing as part of Le Melange Magique's nineteenth birthday celebration.

First of all: Nineteen! There aren't many independent bookstores that can say they've lasted nineteen years. I'm thrilled that the Melange has made it this far, and I'm looking forward to seeing them around for many years to come. They've been an important support in the Montreal pagan community, and a source of welcome, information, and assistance for many people throughout their spiritual journeys.

The keynote presentation was done in conjunction with Adelina St.Clair, who recently published The Path of a Christian Witch, a thoughtful and sensitive account of her struggle to balance the two spiritual influences in her life. We talked about respect, tolerance, balance, support, community as contrasted with solitary work, the challenges of finding the words to express what you believe about your spiritual practice (and then finding that they're outdated a month later because you've evolved!), and had a really great time. Instead of presenting a lecture-type address we pulled all the attendees up to sit at the front and angled our own seats to make more of a discussion-type event, and I think we all had a more interesting time that way. I really enjoy co-presenting addresses or workshops, because I find working with someone else offers a great opportunity for on-the-spot discovery and further exploration of ideas. Discussion and input from the audience is enriching, too.

Adelina and I haven't seen one another in at least five years, more likely sevenish, and it was wonderful to reconnect and talk about how things had gone in our lives. We both moved within the last month, and we were highly amused to find that we'd bought houses within about a ten-minute drive of one another. We signed piles and piles of books, so if you've been waiting to buy a signed copy, contact Le Melange Magique; they've got autographed copies of everything now. [ETA: They've posted a couple of pictures from the event, including a lovely shot of their new cat among our piles of signed books!]

It looks like I'll be at the Yule Fair hosted by the Melange as well this December, along with some fabulous other author guests. No, I can't tell you who they are yet! And there's another special major appearance I'll be doing next spring, but again, I can't tell you about it until it's been formally announced.

Apart from all that, I've been very quiet. You haven't heard from me in about a year because there hasn't been much to say. I've been working as a freelance editor and trying to handle living with fibromyalgia. We bought our first house last month and have settled in nicely, although I'm still trying to get a feel for working in a new office and I have no idea where I packed the tealight candles. My son began kindergarten, and school buses are the coolest thing ever. I've done a handfasting and three baby blessings so far this year, and have another baby blessing and handfasting to do next month. In short, life is happening, and I'm flowing with it. Flowing quietly, but flowing. I hope you're all flowing, too.
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I just got a note from my editor: The contributor's copies of Out of the Broom Closet went out today, which means sometime over the next two weeks we'll be holding them in our hands and marveling at how beautiful they are.

The official release date is September 18, but you may be able to find copies on the shelves of your local bookstore a bit earlier. And if you can't, ask to make sure the store has ordered it. If they haven't, order one! These fifty stories cover a wide-ranging variety of experiences and provide a fascinating snapshot of people's challenges and epiphanies as they explore the world of alternative spirituality.






Publisher: Provenance Press (Sep 18 2009)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1598698915
ISBN-13: 978-1598698916
$15.99 CDN, $12.95 USD
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I just had a fabulous weekend at the Melange Magique Beltane Fair. Originally I was only going to be in town for the Saturday, but our out-of-town plans were rescheduled a few days ago and so I was fortunate enough to be able to stop by the Fair for a couple of hours on the Sunday as well.

I gave a one-hour talk about hearthcraft and The Way of the Hedge Witch early Saturday afternoon, and then participated in a panel discussion with other authors about writing and publishing. It was an absolute joy to sit on the same panel as Sian Reid, Judika Illes, and Brendan Myers, as well as local authors Greg Stroll and Rob St. Martin. It turned out that I’d met Sian previous to this event, only no one had told me her last name at the time. (“How many Sians can there be?” she laughed at me. “This is the Pagan community,” I said, “there could be any number of them!”) I met Judika Illes for the first time and we clicked immediately; she’s a wonderful, wonderful human being, and I so wish we’d had time to sit down and really talk with one another. It was terrific to see Brendan Myers again, and I wish I’d had more time to speak with him, as well.

Apart from a couple of instances where miscommunication occurred about certain things (I wasn't told about doing time at the signing table, alas, and didn't receive details about the dinner out on Saturday night in time to plan) everything went smoothly for me. The Fair was very well attended, and the energy in the building was just wonderful; everyone was happy and relaxed and it was a joy to be there. I’m always mildly freaked about large gatherings of people, and to deal with the minimum of stress associated with this sort of thing was a delight.

Thank you to all the locals who came out to hear my talk, and to all the volunteers who organized and help run the Fair. Thank you to the staff of the Melange, too, who sailed through the weekend of heavy client traffic with grace and aplomb, and to everyone who went out of their way to metaphorically hold my hand. And a huge sweeping curtsey to the lovely and talented Robyn, the store manager, who was the brains behind the entire operation and who should be very proud of the wonderful weekend.
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Look what the very nice postal carrier brought me this morning!









I wasn't expecting this for another month. Which means, of course, that my perception of March vs April has been forcibly collapsed from the nebulous full-month-till-book-release-date I was working with to a much more realistic view. Hurrah!

This means that The Way of the Hedge Witch is shipping now or imminently, and should be on shelves in stores everywhere in about two weeks or so! Very exciting. Have fun spotting it in the wild!

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I am proud to announce that September 2009 will see the release of Out of the Broom Closet, a collection of first-hand stories about the challenges of publicly identifying as Neo-Pagan. Fifty contributors share how they discovered their spiritual path, the obstacles they faced, the reactions of their colleagues, family, and friends, and the ongoing challenge of staying honest with themselves and the Divine. The range of experience in this anthology will inspire and provoke reflection on the part of anyone who has had to consider the consequences of sharing their faith. I'm honoured to be the editor of this collection, and to present the stories of these courageous and blessed individuals, many of whom are publishing for the first time. Also included in this anthology are established and well-known practitioners such as Ashleen O'Gaea, Brendan Myers, Erynn Rowan Laurie, and Gwinevere Rain.




Publisher: Provenance Press (Sep 18 2009)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1598698915
ISBN-13: 978-1598698916
$15.99 CDN, $12.95 USD
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As everyone who was not me predicted, the three-hour hearthcraft workshop I led on Saturday was a success.

I thought it had been three years since I've led a class or workshop, my brief presentation at Hamilton Pagan Pride Day 2008 aside, but I realised that it's been more like four. I felt really rusty, and quite anxious about how it would all go. I deliberately over-prepared in order to have a couple of extra modules available to switch to, depending on how the topics of discussion went. I try to do that as a rule, because every class is unique and follows different bits that interest them. In the end I didn't use any of the extra modules, because the group really focused on a few topics that took off in discussion.

Avalon Naturel, the meeting space in which I gave the workshop, has a wonderfully welcoming and comforting energy. I learned that the Avalon regulars are as equally comforting and welcoming. There were, to my astonishment (and, yes, initial panic) over twenty people crowded into the single room, some in chairs around the edges, some on mats on the floor. And they talked, bless them; they responded when I tossed questions and discussion topics out, for which I was heartily thankful, because nothing kills a workshop quicker than attendees who don't respond. Respond these excellent people did; I had people talking to me throughout the break and afterwards, telling me how much they'd learned, both beginners and experienced people assuring me that I was making sense to them, giving them new ways to think about things or the opportunity to share their own techniques and ideas. I loved it.

It went so well, as a matter of fact, that less than halfway through it I was already thinking about what I could give from my existing slate of workshops for them. I'd been tentatively sketching a pregnancy workshop, but one of the co-directors told me that the Avalonians tend to be of below or beyond childbearing age/mindset so there probably wouldn't be much response. But the other co-director in attendance caught me after most people had left and proposed co-leading a workshop around Harvest, which got us both very excited as it expanded and evolved into two different things.

So yes: A success, and the Avalonians are going to have a hard time getting rid of me. We have an informal agreement for me to show up one evening next month for a kaffeeklatsch type of thing once the hearthcraft book is out, so people can buy the book and I can sign them and we can all talk about lots of stuff instead of just what we can cover on one subject in three hours. (I sold every one of my previous books I'd brought except one, and signed dozens more people owned and brought along with them. Good grief.)

I know I always feel better after I've given a workshop or class, which is part of what gets me through the prep and anxiety leading up to the event. Part of that post-workshop feeling is relief, part of it is the sense that I've accomplished something, and part of that is coming away with what the attendees have given to me in the form of energy and interaction and appreciation. I came away from this one feeling so much better than I'd expected to feel that I amused myself. And frankly, I just sat back and let myself enjoy it for the rest of the weekend.

So thank you, Avalonians! I had a wonderful time, and your response meant so much to me. I can't wait to actually share the book with you all next month.
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Hello, and a slightly belated Imbolc to you all!

Spring is coming, and that means the spring books are getting ready for release. In just over two months, The Way of the Hedge Witch will be in bookstores! Not only that, I've recently taken on the editorship of an in-progress anthology collection of first-hand stories about people's experiences with Paganism called Out of the Broom Closet. That's due out in June 2009, so I suddenly have two projects being released this year and a lot of work to do in the next month.

Earlier I mentioned that I did an interview with Leah R. Patterson, editor of the BellaOnline.com Wellness division. Part One of the interview has now been posted, so click on over and read about our discussion of The Way of the Green Witch. I'll link to the second half of the interview when it's published, too.

And finally, in my guise as mild-mannered freelance writer, I had the honour of doing a private interview with Neil Gaiman earlier this week, author of the Newbery Award-winning The Graveyard Book and well as the multiple award-winning short novel Coraline, the film adaptation of which is being released in North America on 6 February 2009. The first half of that interview has been posted at Frames Per Second Magazine, a publication focusing on animation in all forms; the second half of the interview should go live tonight. I also did the fps review of Coraline.

There; you've had a surfeit of links, and a quick update concerning what I've been up to. Enjoy the ever-increasing moments of sunlight as we travel towards the vernal equinox!
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