Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hope everyone is having a great end of year celebration, in whatever way you celebrate. The January Guide is almost finished and over the next couple of days it will go live. Then I will catch up on details and get a running start for the year 2013 and whatever new adventures await.

Sincere thanks and bright blessings to everyone, everywhere. There is a great an exciting future awaiting those who believe they can capture it. Go get 'em, Tigers!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Live from New Site, it's Celtic Guide!

I jumped ahead and posted next year's site yesterday. Hey, if the world ends this weekend I didn't want all my hard work to go unseen.  :)

It's the same URL or domain name  -


Now I need to finish up the January issue and it is going to be another great one. With Christmas in the mix, I suspect I'll be down to the wire on it, but it'll go live one way or another, most likely on the 27th or morning of the 28th of December.

We have gone to the dogs in this issue - I mean literally, we have a number of great photos our readers have sent in of Celtic-types of dogs, plus "Dog On It," we have a Gaelic explanation of that old Cowboy phrase, and a bit more.

We have an article on perhaps the oldest stone carvings in all of Scotland, some of the oldest in all of Europe, from the East coast of Scotland. We have some words on the beginnings of Iona as a spiritual site, and much more.

Your Guide will be waiting for you to kick off the new year. Meanwhile it's about family, and spirituality, and looking back at another year. Blessings to all.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Website almost finished!!!

I have our new website just about done, although I can see me adding to it on a regular basis, over the years. I have sent a sneak peak to our authors and close supporters to get their thoughts. Already, two have provided a similar comment, and I addressed their concern immediately.

I am so proud of the Guide and of all the great volunteers, and now I am growing proud over the new and very attractive website. In addition to access to all past issues, and all new issues, there are links to our Social Media sites, to the websites of many of our authors, and a very nice little section for free Celtic music.

Anyone who plays and records Celtic music, and has a tune with no copyright issues, is welcome to send it to me via an MP3 file.

Down the road we may start a Celtic Guide store, where my authors can display their wares, their books, their services as lecturers or whatever comes up. This may take a while to do, as I am still trying to get January's issue of New Beginnings ready to publish. Some articles are finished, some are sitting on my computer waiting for me to work with them, and some are promised and expected in the email shortly. It will be another great issue, no doubt.

I never pretend that we cover every single facet of any monthly theme, and yet we often get interpretations of the theme that surprise us and make for great alternative reading.

Kudos to all my authors, to the tens of thousands who have hit on the main site, the Facebook site, the Pinterest site, or even this blog.

With all the emails and hits and postings and support I am receiving I truly feel like we have built a community over the last year, and I mean "we" not me.

Happy Holidays if I don't get back this the blog before then . . . and stay tuned for another great year!

Jim McQuiston

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My bad.

In November's story about my hero Andrew Jackson I mistakenly wrote that the Cherokee lost in the Supreme Court. I realized my mistake just last night while doing research for another article, for another publication. They won. Jackson's answer was to let the court enforce their decision. What I believe he meant was that unless there was some resolution to the frontier massacres on both sides, they would continue and maybe the Supreme Court should saddle up and ride to Tennessee and Kentucky and stop the bloodshed themselves. Of course they would never do that.

I don't ever go back and change an issue of Celtic Guide, except for a few tweaks occasionally made in the first few days of posting, where small changes are requested by the authors. However, in this case I did not want this mistake to be out there for however many years we are able to keep this magazine going, and so, in this case I made the correction.

January is building nicely with some out-of-the-ordinary interpretations of "New Beginnings" for the January theme. Also, a fair amount of the new website is built, although there will be much more done to it next year, AFTER we get through the crunch of the holidays, the website building and the creation of the January 2013 issue.

Themes for February, March and April are "Celtic Ceremonies," Celtic Saints," and "Celtic Freedom."

The Ceremonies theme came about by special request from a Floridian who performs Celtic weddings. The stories can be about any type of ceremony, from coronations and knightings, to weddings and funerals. I am sure there will be surprises.

The "Celtic Saints" theme was prompted by St. Patrick's Day in March.

The "Celtic Freedom" issue was prompted by National Tartan Day, which is April 6th.

So the general direction is laid out. There will be pitfalls and brush to clear, along the way, but a team of well-intentioned, knowledgeable authors will help us find the best path  forward, as any good Celtic Guide would.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

December online and 2013 in the works.

I just posted the December issue today. To look back on all the covers on the main page and think of all the stories inside, all the struggle to hit deadlines, all the great emails back and forth from all over the world, it is an indescribable feeling I feel right now.

For 2013, I have some great new plans including a new opening page to the Guide, which will carry links to the 2012 archived issues, to the latest 2013 issues, to links to other websites and perhaps even to musical gifts, and maybe even a Celtic Guide store, if the bugs can be worked out.

The e-mag will remain a printable, searchable, downloadable PDF.

I am looking forward to continuing our growth and presence in the Celtic world.

I, of course, didn't do this alone, nor could I, and so thanks goes out to everyone.

Happy Holiday in whatever way you celebrate.

See you next year with the January issue and hopefully a brand new website look.


The good ol' Celtic Guide

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Out with the old

. . . the old Celtic tales that is! December is chock full, once again, of great and varied stories related to gifts, in honor, of course of the Christmas Holiday Season. Once again Guide authors didn't disappoint with the wide range of topics that fall under the "Celtic Gifts" theme. This final issue of 2012 should go online next week, maybe midweek as it is almost finished.

. . . and in with the new!

One thing about this type of publication, you have to be already thinking of the next month or two, to line up themes and authors and stories. So, in January we are going to feature, as our theme, "New Beginnings." I suspect there will be stories of new kings and rulers, new countries formed out of old, and who knows what other juicy items will be thrown at us.

For February, I had a special request from a Celtic-based minister to feature "Celtic Ceremonies". While he is particularly interested in Celtic-styled weddings and funerals, I think this could be expanded to coronations, ordinations, initiations, any event that gathers people around in some type of tradition or ceremony to honor or advance a person or group of people. The Masons come to mind, as well as famous Celtic weddings or funerals. I am sure with a little thought, many twists will come about for the February theme.

Haven't yet thought about March as Thanksgiving turkey is calling my name. Gobble, gobble.

Happy Holidays of all shapes and sizes to you and yours. Thank you for your participation in the fun, informative, and exciting Celtic Guide.

Jim McQuiston
Celtic Guide

Click here to go to the Celtic Guide

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November, December

Hits for November are around 700 so far, by the 7th of the month. Be sure to share the link with all your friends. Also, I have about eight great stories already for the Celtic Gifts issue. It is interesting to see how the tales vary while still fitting under the umbrella of "gifts." That's one of the things that makes the Guide so much fun as you never know what's going to show up in the inbox.

Once December is posted, I will work the front page of the website to have a link to all 2012 issues, while leaving room to display the 2013 issues. As the months roll by we try new things, we see what works and the little that doesn't and hopefully we improve, not in leaps and bounds but in fits and starts.

This is a labor of love for so many people and is truly a Celtic Gift being offered to the world.

Click here for the Celtic Guide

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dog gone it, and the Scotch-Irish

Ha! First, we received a few more "Celtic dog" photos on our Facebook page and I will try to get them into the December issue of Celtic Guide. We already have received several "Celtic Gift" articles for that issue.

Secondly, long before I began the Guide, I purchased a few website URLs that related to Celtic culture. I hope to update all of these and link them to Celtic Guide. I just finished one at


. . . which gives my breakdown on the true nature of this race. You are welcome to read it and pass it along.

I also own

I Love Scotland.net

I don't have much posted there, yet, but I hope to make it a repository for all the great photos that are being sent my way of that beautiful land. When I first visited Scotland, in 2000, I was with my son and a friend. We had driven for hours until we found ourselves in the midst of Glencoe. We had spoken the word "Wow" many times, and I said, 'We must have said Wow a hundred times by now."

My son replied that it was just like being inside a postcard. We stopped and took a 360 degree video of where we were and there isn't a place on that film that isn't postcard worthy.

I hope to develop my other sites as repositories for particular facets of Celtic culture and also as links to direct more people to Celtic Guide, though there is no real lack of visitors. We hit 3,800 last month and already, by only Nov. 2, we have around 400 hits.

I am so glad everyone enjoys this effort, and I am very appreciative of all those who participate to make it happen.

The Celtic Guide

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another big "Whew!"

November has just gone live. Over the next couple of days minor changes may be made if errors are found, but generally we proof the heck out of this. Very excited to have two new authors, one from Portugal and one from England, plus many returnees.

I have noticed a pattern amongst our authors in that they generally delve into stories beyond the normal tales one might normally hear. Not every facet of Celtic life can be covered in one issue, and we already resign ourselves to the fact that we will never reach bottom. Luckily, there is a wealth of tales to choose from, to investigate further, to theorize about. That seems to be what all the authors, including me, are about - taking the deeper look.

I am so happy with the response, both from our readers and our authors. We'll keep it going just as long as the demand is there, or fate allows.

The Celtic Guide

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2014 and 2013

It was announced yesterday that Great Britain has cleared the way for Scotland to carry out a vote in 2014 as to whether Scotland should become a free and independent nation again. Emotions are high on both sides of the issue. I was told that much of the establishment would like to see Scotland remain part of Britain, while many of the average Scots want it to become free. 

Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland's semi-autonomous parliament said it was a historic day for Scotland. The agreement setting out the process of the referendum was a major step forward in Scotland's home-rule journey, he told a news conference: "Do I believe independence will win this campaign? Yes I do, and I believe we will win it by setting out a positive vision for a better future for our country both economically and, crucially, also socially."

It is probably a good thing to have another couple of years to look at all angles of this important step in Scotland's history. At least some of this nationalistic movement was prompted by, or at least brought to the surface by the movie Braveheart, followed closely with Sean Connery's involvement, although, there has been a nationalist movement for a long time in Scotland, perhaps even since Edward walked off with the Stone of Destiny.

However it works out, Scots will be Scots 'til their dying breath.

In 2013, Lake Erie will be the scene of a re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie in which Commodore Perry's fleet of ships, built or gathered at Erie , PA, took on the British fleet near the Lake Erie Islands off Sandusky, Ohio and defeated them in one day. I have an article about a double un-sung Celtic hero in the November issue of the Guide, who was directly involved in this battle.

The celebration will be both of the battle itself and the peace that has persisted with Great Britain ever since, and with Canada along the longest border in the world.

We celebrate the bravery and courage of many past warriors while still hoping for peace in a much more enlightened world. As long as personal freedom comes out on top, that is what is most important.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October is going gangbusters as November is being built

Hits as of today are around 2700 for the October issue, and it's only October 9th! Very happy with these results. Seems every issue is bigger in page size and number of views. If anyone has any trouble with a slow download, please let me know. I could always split the issue into two smaller files if these larger issues get to be too slow to view or download. I'd like to keep them as a one piece PDF if possible but I also don't want anyone having trouble accessing the file.

November is starting to build nicely with a handful of great articles on Celtic Heroes already having been received. It looks like another interesting, fun issue on the way.

Many thanks to the readers and the authors who make this possible.

Click here to go to the Celtic Guide website

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crazy man, crazy

We only uploaded the October issue two nights ago and already have 1200 hits as of this writing, Sept. 28th.  It ain't even October yet! Wonderful!

I hope you all enjoy the great articles in this issue while we all think up new stories for the November issue - Celtic Heroes . . . not that that would be too hard to do, with so many of them.

I am very proud of the Guide but even more proud of the great writers, – archeologists, astronomers, historians, shamans, dealers in Celtic wares and Celtic culture – who fill the pages with great tales.

Who could ask for a better set of compatriots?

Additional kudos go to Carolyn, our Social Media Coordinator, and the work she has done on Facebook and Pinterest.

Then there are the readers who have embraced the work we've done by the thousands, and from all over the world.

I may hold the key to Celtic Guide, but all these folks hold the door open to the world of Celtic lore and legend, history and mystery. Thank you to all a gazillion times over.


Return to the Guide

Friday, September 21, 2012


Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Boo who?

Well you didn't have to cry about it!

It's almost October and have we ever got an issue almost ready to post. It looks like it will be the largest issue yet, with five new authors and many returning authors. I guess everyone likes a good mystery and that is our focus for October - Celtic Mysteries.

We have your witches and vampires, your Celtic warriors and Celtic words, your Oak Island shaft and your Holy Grail. We have Celtic knots, and not so obvious Celtic events. It is a real mix designed for those who like a mystery, who like to know "the rest of the story", and who like to enjoy some easy, free, sincere tales with a Celtic bent.

Our plans are to feature our first hand drawn cover, and we now list over 20 contributors and are also on Facebook and a new player on the block - Pinterest.

You can look over the FB page at

Celtic Guide on Facebook

And see our brand new site on Pinterest at

Celtic Guide on Pinterest

or just return to the Celtic Guide website and read, read, read!

Celtic Guide online magazine

Thanks to all the writers and readers for making this adventure such a big hit around the world!

Jim McQuiston
Celtic Guide

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What a kick-off for September

I posted the September issue on Friday and by Sunday night, 48 hours later, it had already received 600 hits! My early issues only commanded about 300 hits for the whole month and now we are getting that in a day. At this rate, we should far outstrip the August issue, which was already pretty phenomenal at 2,000 hits.

This is all in addition to nearly 1000 likes on Facebook, and literally tens of thousands of hits there. You can view our Facebook site at

Celtic Guide Facebook

We've received correspondence by now from England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the U.S. and also New Zealand, Australia, and Chile!

Not only have we gone viral, we've gone global.

We feature three new CG authors for September, plus many returning authors for a jam-packed 44 pages of Celtic fringe lands.

As you enjoy the great migration information of the Celtic and Norse races for September, we'll be getting to work on a whole new batch of Celtic mysteries for October. We already have one new writer who has submitted an article for October on Scottish witches.

A cynic once told me that this was all well and good until we run out of things to write about.  Ha! Lucky I don't listen to cynics. We haven't even scratched the surface of the several thousand year old history of the Celtic culture.

What is most exciting to me is that theories are being floated that may not always be mainstream, but may in fact bring us closer to the truth.

Thanks to all our readers and authors and supporters.

Celtic Guide

Thursday, August 30, 2012

September to go online any minute!

It is getting very close, with three new writers, one from Wales, another new one from Ireland, and another new one from the states, plus many returning authors and 44 pages of great stories about Celtic lands. Just a few finishing touches and it will go live.

Many of our authors are degreed in History, Archeology, DNA sciences, and other related fields. Some are the world's expert in their fields. Some are your typical Celt with a good story to tell. All offer their services free of charge to the world to bring you great tales. I thank them all sincerely.

August has had almost 2000 hits, and probably will have that many by time September goes live.

October will cover Celtic mysteries again . . . there are so many of them!

See ya at the Celtic Guide

Monday, August 20, 2012

We're getting close!

We have articles in place already for Spanish Galicia, and for Polish Galicia, and for Brittany. We have one on an overview of Celtic migrations from the earliest records to the British Isles, including Turkey's Galatia region and a quick stop in China! We have the Selkirk Settlers of Canada, and the Susquehanna Settlements of Pennsylvania. We have less-geographic Celtic lands, too, like Fairy Land, and Dalriada, and Kippen, and Tir na nOg, and promises of stories on the Celts of Gaul, and one on the land of the Gallowglass. Who knows what else will pour in over the next few days - even Wales is a possibility, and perchance even Pictland.

Hits continue to skyrocket, new authors continue to offer their services, and I continue to wonder how I'll get it all done in time. But I will!

The diversity is extreme and there should be something for everyone in the September issue of the Celtic Guide.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Very pleased!

I am happy to report that our Facebook page has had nearly 32,000 hits since going live, nearly 20,000 just since the August issue went live. We have 583 likes and the Guide website, itself, has gotten over 1300 hits since August went live. It was a big issue in two ways. First, we had so many great articles we were pushed out to 48 pages. Then we had hits galore.

September will also be a big issue, page-wise, as I have received many great stories and have three new writers on board. Let's hope the hits and the FUN continue.

Remember, September is touching on Celtic fringe lands, and in October we'll return to Celtic mysteries, solved and unsolved.

My thanks to the many great authors who have contributed, and to our Facebook volunteer.

I better get busy, got a lot of stories to prepare!

Click here for the Celtic Guide

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The August Guide has garnered over 1,000 hits so far and it's only been online a week and a half. Our Facebook site had over 7,000 hits during the same period and we are around 500 or so "Likes" so far.

This is such a combined effort - our great contributing authors, our Facebook director, and me trying to keep up with it all.

September stories are already flowing in and two Celtic fringe lands I hadn't even thought about are going to be covered - the land of the Faery and the land of the Gallowglass Warrior. Plus we have Queen Anne of Brittany, and stories on Galicia in Spain, Galicia of Poland/Ukraine, and Galatia of Turkey. There are so many great stories coming in it's about all I can do to keep up with them and do them justice in the layout of Celtic Guide pages.

While you're enjoying the incredible 48-page August issue, keep in mind there's more to come, and please share the link with all your friends.


Oh, and, in honor of Halloween (a Celtic holiday) we are going back to Celtic mysteries for October!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hurrah for August

We hit 48 pages in August, twice our typical size. So many great writers have volunteered their skills and knowledge to make this one of the best issues yet.

In September, the theme is going to be "Lands of the Celtic Fringe." Typically, there are only a handful included in this fringe, but we are going to dig deeper to include past and present regions where the Celtic culture is or was strong. It should be another informative and enjoyable issue.

October will no doubt be about the mysterious side of the Celts again, in honor of Halloween. Maybe some old unsolved legends will be explored, like Oak Island, the Robert Bruce/Red Comyn incident, the disappearance of the Picts, other "the rest of the story" types of stories.

For now, we'll sit back on our haunches and enjoy reviewing the August issue of

the Celtic Guide

Thursday, July 19, 2012

August is filling right up!

I guess I foolishly thought I could limit the Celtic Guide to 24 pages. August will be at least 32 pages if not 36. I will try to keep the file size down for quick downloading, etc.

We have a few new writers, particularly an author from Family Tree DNA, the leader in DNA genealogy research, and another author from the online "Ancient History Encyclopedia", plus a few returning authors and my own ramblings.

Every issue just blows me away on how it builds gradually with one idea playing off the other, an email out of nowhere, or a subject that commands more room than first anticipated.

It is all so good, and informative, and I hope our growing number of readers agree.

Here's the link to the site - Celtic Guide 

Watch for the August issue to go "live" within a week or so, if all goes as planned – certainly, by July 26th as I'm heading out to a major Celtic event shortly thereafter.

Jim (your Celtic Guide)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some exciting news

As if it wasn't enough that Carolyn Emerick made up a nice Facebook page for the Guide, which jumped hits dramatically, the Ancient History Encyclopedia, a wonderful online source, has contacted me and two of their writers, Josh Mark content editor, and author James Wiener news editor, will be writing for the guide. In Canada, genealogist Chistine Woodcock will submit an article and here in the states, the granddaddy of all DNA family tree investigators – Family Tree DNA – will send in an article as well.

Beyond this, our numbers continue to climb and the Guide has been introduced to members of the BBC and of National Geographic. With writers from England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Alaska, and the lower 48s, we have a wide range of opinions and styles sure to please the Celtic palette.

Just click here to read

Monday, June 25, 2012

July's up!

And, wow, is it loaded. Three new writers, two from Scotland and one from British Columbia, plus a few returnees. This issue is jam packed with information about the bloodiest and perhaps most significant battle fought on Scottish soil - the Battle of Red Harlaw. This is issue number seven and we are now on Facebook, too at www.facebook.com/CelticGuide.

The August issue will explore the various ancient and not-so-ancient sources used to research Celtic related history. It may even serve as a tool that our readers can use to find source material. Regardless, there will be many good tales told once again by your

Celtic Guide

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Blood is Strong

Whether it has been performing music at Highland Games or Irish festivals, or traveling through Scotland, Ireland, Nova Scotia and other "Celtic" locations, or whether it has just been through sharing some story or experience with a fellow Celt, I have always found a real sense of camaraderie, almost a secret or private understanding that we all got here, today, simply because of our strong-willed forebearers who put their personal freedom and dreams above that of tyrants, no matter the odds.

I can't help but go back to the words spoken by my ancestors, and others in a small Pennsylvania church, near Philadelphia, in 1743 . . . spoken in defiance of the king -

“Some imagine that the sword is drawn for fear of man . . . some pretend that it is drawn in rebellion . . . but the reason of the sword’s being drawn is because our renowned ancestors were constrained to draw the sword in the defense of their own freedom. Our drawing of the sword is to testify to the world that we are one in judgment with them, and that we are, this day, willing to maintain the same war in defending ourselves against all opposers thereof, although such defense should cost us our lives.” 

The July Celtic Guide is already in the works with stories of the Battle of Red Harlaw. For now, it's Pirate Month at -
The Celtic Guide

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Pirates are coming!

Even with May just posted, already the pirate stories are arriving for the June issue. We have one new writer from the states with quite an article on Scottish pirates. We have a new writer from Ireland with a story on a famous Irish female pirate. We also may have an author or at least a story from Nova Scotia on their piratical history. Even HenceforthTales has a pirate theme for June. We'll be hard at work getting the next issue ready as you enjoy May and previous month's issues. Thanks for stoppin' by.

Click here for the Celtic Guide

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stones and water

A quick look at our five covers of Celtic Guide, so far, and it would seem I have a fixation with water and stones. In fact, I do. I have collected stones from castles and beaches and foundations of old family houses to the point where I don't know which stone came from where, I just know that they mean something. In looking at all the old civilizations, including the Celts, one of the main pieces of evidence that we have is of stone work. It's not that these people didn't build with wood, it is just that the stone lasted, stood the test of time, even if a little battered. The stone world of the Celt was virtually always surrounded by water. They say the same water on the earth today was here a million years ago, and will be here a million years into the future. What two better substances – water and stone – to symbolize a culture which has also stood the test of time?

There is evidence that at least some Celtic people helped build the pyramids of Egypt. The oldest set of laws in the world are the old Celtic Brehon Laws. Versions of the Celtic language are still spoken 2,000 years later, outlasting even Latin as a language of the common folk. While the melody for the song "Danny Boy" is simply a borrowing from a much earlier "O'Cahan's Lament," you can be sure the O'Cahan minstrel wove together pieces of music he had learned from earlier musicians to create that beautiful melody. Elvis borrowed the melody of "Annie Laurie" for his "Love Me Tender," and Dylan borrowed an old Irish song for his "Blowin' In The Wind." In fact, Dylan was a great fan of Irish music hanging out with Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers almost to the point of being a pest. When he came out with his first album he included the Celtic song "The Minstrel Boy" because of the ring of defiance it had, which he obviously incorporated into much of his own music. From Dylan came Springsteen, Mellencamp, the Beatles, and so many more, and so it is safe to say, with no question what-so-ever, that Celtic music has been the single most influential force behind modern music, as well as Bluegrass, Country Western, and even show tunes.

The point I am making is that the Celtic culture has been around for a very long time and the oldest evidence of its magnificence may be the multitude of castles and monasteries left behind, and the fact that it conquered some of the wildest waters and lands on earth, from the Highlands and Islands, to the rugged Antrim coast, to the Cape Breton mountainous coastline, to the forbidding Yukon River Valley – through multi-thousand mile sea journeys to Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, and even Hawaii – and it is easy to see that the Celts made the world theirs by way of water.

And so, perhaps simply because I am a Celt, I love stone and water, and my covers seem to reveal that. Maybe June will be different. Maybe July won't.

Celtic Guide

Monday, April 23, 2012

May Issue

The May issue of Celtic Guide will post sometime this week. It is jam-packed with three times the number of pages as our first issue of January, and with six guest authors, two of them new to the pages of CG. This issue focuses on Celtic Mysteries. For June we will soon be working on our Celtic Pirate issue and hope to have two brand new authors for that issue, too.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Tartan Day

Today, April 6th, marks 692 years since the Declaration of Arbroath was written as a letter to the Pope to recognize Scotland as an independent nation. The United States Declaration borrowed heavily from this document and, because of this, April 6 has been proclaimed by Congress and signed into law by the president over the last two decades as National Tartan Day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stories pouring in

It's not quite even April and not only is the April Guide posted, but stories are pouring in for the May issue, which will focus on more ancient Celtic culture and mysteries. I am so grateful to the handful of authors who have so quickly and kindly lent their hands to this endeavor. The word is spreading, new ideas and articles are arising, and the quality of the Guide is improving with each issue.

Unless there is some disturbing or glaring error, no back issue will be changed from its basic design and content. This promises to become an archive of some great and diverse Celtic-oriented stories. That was the plan, in the first place!

Come visit the Celtic Guide

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I couldn't resist!

April is now online, just a bit early. It was basically finished and several people wanted a glimpse of it, so I figured - What the heck? While you are enjoying this issue and past issues, I and many other wonderful guest authors will be busy on the May issue of Celtic Guide

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Authors

The April issue is well underway. We have at least two new authors and it appears we may have one or two more join in before we go live.

The focus will be on Scotland, this issue, with a brief detour to Hawaii. National Tartan Day is celebrated on April 6th. We may possible have a word or two from its first National Chairman, whom I met in 2006. We've also been introduced to a writer from National Geographic, and a Hollywood publicist.

Ain't "viral" wonderful? Ha!

Anyway, it's back to work, writing, editing, emailing and have the time of my life. Anyone got sumpin' to say, I'm a listenin'.

Celtic Guide

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back To Work

Vacation's over, time to get busy on April. Went to Hawaii for a couple of weeks and found that the Celtic community is alive and well, there. The Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games kicks off March 31st, with the games extending into April. This will be the 31st year for the event.

Also, the islands are gearing up for St. Patrick's Day. There are a half dozen or so Irish pubs just in the Honolulu area, alone. Perhaps I will feature some more Hawaiian/ Celtic news in the April issue.

FYI - One of the most famous of Hawaiian princesses was Victoria Ka'iulani . . . half Scottish, through her father, Archibald Cleghorn, a Scottish financier from Edinburgh, Scotland. Victoria (only part of her much longer Hawaiian name) knew the step-daughter of Robert Louis Stevenson, and Stevenson wrote a poem to the princess referring to her as "The Island Rose." One of the Irish Pubs in Honolulu is named "The Island Rose."

Look for a bit more Hawaiian/Celtic news and a lot of news on National Tartan Day in the April issue of Celtic Guide. And read our back issues at -

Celtic Guide

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

March is loaded

. . . figuratively and literally! We went live early for the March issue, due to some other plans in the works. Also, this issue is loaded with some great stories, including two guest authorships. With two nearly concurrent issues available there is plenty to read, but rest assured we will be getting on the April issue soon enough, with one article already received and another promised soon. That issue will be built around National Tartan Day, and Scottish heroes, whereas March is St.Patrick pretty much all the way. Themes will change from month to month providing an endless parade of Celtic story-telling from around the world.

Click here to go to our website

Monday, February 6, 2012

March-ing onward

While the February issue of Celtic Guide is being absorbed, I am already hard at work collecting items for the March issue. I am very excited about a number of articles.

The world's expert on the Celtic Cross, the man who has studied it in more detail than anyone else we know of, will most likely have an article on the same in the March issue.

Also, we have a very nice article on the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade based on information received from two of the parade's officials.

We are expecting an article on its way from a long-time Celtic writer, which will cover St. Patrick, himself . . . plus a few more great things to share.

Know that March will be chuck full of St. Patrick's Day legend and legacy, and that the Scots will have their day (in this case, month) in April because of National Tartan Day. Lots happening behind the scenes to bring you great "Celtic" reading material.

Click here for the Celtic Guide online magazine

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

- 66 degrees in Yukon

Yes, that is minus sixty-six degrees, over this past weekend, in Yukon, with over 328 inches of snow burying Valdez, Alaska this winter.  That's over 27 FEET of snow. This shows just how tough this land can be, and to think, it was Irishmen and Scotsmen who played perhaps the most significant role in opening it up to a curious world in the first place.

Back when Captain Jack was earning his title of Father of the Yukon, temperatures got so cold that even government-issued thermometers couldn't record the temperatures, so, canny Scot that he was, Jack invented the Sourdough Thermometer. It consisted of four vials containing elements (including mercury, whisky and medicines), each with a known freezing temperature. This way at least the pioneers would have an idea how safe it was outside.

A photo of an original Sourdough Thermometer and its description are on display in the Dawson City Museum, as well as in the Weather Discovery Center in Punxsutawney, PA, home to another famous cold weather indicator, Punxsutawney Phil, the Groundhog.

We may have another writer or two joining our ranks for March and April.  For now, why not cozy up to a warm fire (or heater vent) and read about the Celts of the Great White North?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

February Guide

It is finished and I am only waiting for one more proofread after being away from it for a day or so, and also for any very last minute information that might come in. While it may seem like an out-of-the-ordinary subject for Celtic folks, it will be perhaps the best and only place ever, anywhere, where this kind of information has been brought together concerning the Scots and Irish along the Yukon River in the early days. I had the experts in the wings helping me.

As soon as I release this issue, probably tomorrow or Monday, I will be jumping on the March issue. We received an email from someone from the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, the oldest and largest. I think this story will be added to a handful of others to celebrate this famous man and the events surrounding him. But for now - it's "Mush on, King . . . mush on!"

Monday, January 23, 2012

February issue going to bed

In my old newspaper days the terminology for putting the final touches on the newspaper pages, before going to press, was called "putting the paper to bed." That's where I am at with the February issue of Celtic Guide, though we don't go to press . . . we go online, instead.

In this season of cold weather and snow, this issue will focus on the tremendous contribution the Celtic race played in exploring and settling the Yukon River Valley. This river is roughly 2,000 miles long, cutting through some of the roughest and most beautiful territory on earth. Many of its early pioneers were trappers and traders – the traditional mountain men – working with the Hudson's Bay Company, a company that hired many Scots and Irish to handle this rugged task, all across Canada.

Once the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, many of these men moved their allegiance over to the Alaska Commercial Company, and then to other competitors. The search for gold had taken a back seat to the fur business for a number of years until these men started doing the hard work of exploration and sluicing for this precious metal. Once it was obvious how much gold there was to be had, the entire valley changed as thousands of men and women poured into it to get rich.

However, for the 25 years or so preceding the big Klondike rush, it was quite often a lone Irishman or lone Scotsman, perhaps with his Native bride by his side, trekking through the wilds, trapping and trading with local tribes, taking grizzly bears and moose with single shot muzzle-loaders, and braving the raging, ice-cold waters of the Yukon.

This is their story.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mid-Month Review

Just found out that Alasdair Fraser, the great Scottish fiddler, will be performing in Alaska on January 19th, and then will go on to Oregon for several performances. Coincidental how he showed up in this month's issue, and the February issue will have much on Celts in Alaska and Yukon.

Just returned from Columbus, Ohio, where I found out quite a bit about the Irish settlement, there, and also sat in with some amazing Celtic musicians at a sessions at the Claddagh Irish Pub. Met an Irishman from Dublin who had only been in America for three days and is working at various Claddagh Pubs, I think in a quest to bring an even more traditional atmosphere to this great chain of pubs. I hope to tell a little bit more about this adventure and the Washington trip, where we visited the famous Dubliner Pub.

Information is flowing in almost faster than I can organize it, but whatever it is, I think the February issue will be a great presentation of interesting Celtic stories, which, after all, is the goal. Will be posting it at the very end of this month for your February enjoyment.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I've decided to add a very short and sweet blog to my Celtic Guide online magazine. This area will be set aside for occasional updates as to what's happening and what's coming up in the Celtic world. In this first post, I'd like to remind everyone that January 25th is the traditional Robert Burns Night, celebrated by Scots around the world, with the "Address To The Haggis" and other great presentations.

In the next issue we are excited to have a couple of the best Yukon River historians around. We will focus some of the Guide on the major role Celtic-blooded men and women played in opening up what is still the last great frontier on the face of the earth. One article on the Iditarod promises to be the most accurate story ever written about the Scotsman/Nova Scotian who coined the Iditarod name. Another article will be more of a Who's Who of famous Celts of the Yukon, with many Scottish and Irish names listed.

One story we plan to present will tell the tale of Washington, D.C.'s first Irish Catholic Church. This may appear in the February or March issue, depending on when information is gathered. Also, in the future we may have a serialized story, which has been in the writing for a year and a half, by a couple from Vermont; a Celtic Cookbook recipe section; and we may have a long-time Celtic writer from California join our contributor's list, who will kick off March with some insights on St. Patrick.

April is the month of National Tartan Day and so there will be some serious focus on the reasons behind that event in the April edition. Please feel free to submit ideas and suggestions to

Celtic Guide Email

Also, be sure to check out each monthly issue of the Celtic Guide magazine, to be posted just before that month begins, at -

The Celtic Guide