7 things I should be doing

Interesting. Someone compared the Facebook political photos with text bashing our political enemies to the old political cartoons found in newspapers. Great comparison!  Those political cartoons served a valuable purpose--to criticize our enemies without

Last week marked the tenth anniversary of my very first podcast, which was with the Renaissance Festival Music Podcast, on June 26, 2005. This led to many other podcasts and eventually to my becoming a full-time musician and Podcaster, so thank you for your support!

The Donegal Celtic Invasion was a tremendous success – the Giant’s Causeway was beautiful, as was Donegal. Getting to know the region was fun, and everyone seemed to have an incredible time. There are some podcasts that will be released soon about that trip, but for now, a regular podcast update needed to happen.

Inara Claire is now 6 weeks old, and cuter than ever! Along with more time with the family, projects are underway. In order to keep a healthy balance, some podcasts and newsletters will receive more updates, and it’s likely that Celtfather Podcast will take a brief hiatus until August. Updates for other podcasts and newsletters will continue, so keep an eye out for more updates!

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

 Mentioned This Week on The Celtfather #33

  • RenaissanceFestivalMusic.com is where my first Podcast took place!
  • Cat Lover’s Podcast and the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast are celebrating their 10 year anniversaries!
  • Celtic Invasion Vacation to Donegal – Success!
  • Inara Claire Gunn is almost 6 weeks old and cuter than ever!
  • Concert at Johnny MacCracken’s Celtic Pub in Marietta last week went well- the next concert will be on Saturday, July 18.
  • 6-Month Self-Review: Practicing Focus – Working on larger projects that are sustainable, promoting music, Social Media revamp, and concentrating on only 2 newsletters.
  • Podcasts are back in productions – Scottish Songs Podcast has now been outlined, and the next steps for Dragons vs. Pirates are being planned and worked on – stay tuned! There may even be some music videos coming your way soon!
  • Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers – I’m working on boosting sales, actively promoting CDs, and will be putting out a newsletter soon.
  • Concert Window – the date for the next concert is still to be decided – stay tuned!
  • Band Highlight of the Day – Connemara Stone Company – Celtic Folk Rock Band from Germany (est. 1995), who have been previously featured in the Celtic Music Podcast #142: Banish Misfortune.
  • Cholesterol – Though the diet is good, the levels remain high, so exercise is the next step – stay tuned for progress!

Celtic Invasion Vacation: Donegal Ireland

With podcasts coming along a little more slowly, here are some visual updates on the vacation for everyone! I look forward to posting the next podcast soon to share the fun of the trip!

Some dancing – Donegal Style – with Fidil!

Dancing Donegal-style with Fidil

A video posted by Marc Gunn (@marcgunn) on


Some Wine and Good Company


And finally, the Wishing Chair in Bundoran!


To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

Follow the trip updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! I’ll be updating daily to have you virtually join my journey through Ireland! And follow the full Podcast Series on the Celtfather 

Notes About “The Prettiest Hobbit”

Put em! I'll take ye with both hands behind my back!
I wrote “The Prettiest Hobbit” a day or two after our second daughter Inara Claire Gunn was born. The song was written as a hobbit children’s song. The goal was to write a song in the same fun, child-like vein as “I’ll Tell Me Ma“. Since it’s hobbit based, I wanted the famed Party Tree of Hobbiton mentioned as well as the food that hobbits love so well.

Knowing that “The Prettiest Hobbit” was written right after Inara was born makes you think it was entirely inspired by her. But I can’t neglect her older sister. Kenzie loves to sing “I’ll Tell My Ma” with me. It’s a fun upbeat, delightful song that’s popular with a lot of kids, due to the bouncy nature and cheerful lyrics. That’s why I used elements of that in this song.

I wanted interactivity as well. So I added “jump up and down, let your teeth gleam”. Second time playing the song, Kenzie was jumping up and down and smiling with big, cute grin. Five times into it she started shouting “1-2-3″. The song was an instant hit with my four-year old daughter and can now sing it.

Where did the names come from?
The hobbit name generator.

Yes. I put Inara Gunn into the generator and got: Belladonna Sandybanks of Frogmorton

Inara’s middle name, Claire, was used to generate the second name in there, Daisy.

I wanted to use Kenzie’s name in it, but Tigerlily and Sweetpea just didn’t work as well for the flow of the song.

The name Mungo came from my middle, which is Andrew. Marc yield “Reginard”. Just not as fun for the purposes of this song.

All I’m thrilled with how well this song came out. I’ve already started singing it at shows and kids enjoy it. I hope to add it to my next album after Dragons vs. Pirates. And maybe some day, it’ll end up on a compilation of more hobbit songs like on Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits.

How to Manage Social Media for Musicians

Ready for our regular evening of play.
I’ve said it before. I’m not very good at social media. Part of the problem is that it just overwhelms me. So I’m trying to put all of my social media outlets into semi-neat boxes online so that I can actually try and better manage them.

Here’s where I list and define them so far:

  • Instagram. I post most of my photos. I’m also trying to add a bit of a story behind photos (at least those that aren’t just family photos).
  • Twitter. It took me forever to figure out Twitter. But now I see it basically as a quick and easy communication tool. Short questions get short responses. But I’m more likely to respond since I don’t have thirty points to respond to like in email. It’s also nice to share posts either something Celtic or Geeky that interests me, or share mentions of me.
  • Facebook fan page. I don’t really update my Facebook fan page. Right now, it just consists of blog posts like this that are automatically posted. But I do share Celtic stuff with the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast fan page, or cat stuff for the Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers fan page. And of course, a lot of family pictures are posted on my personal page.
  • Facebook groups. I try and read Facebook groups more than my personal timeline which is overrun with political crap that just pisses me off one way or another. I want my Celtic Geek group to actually be active, but most of the members are pretty passive people like I am.
  • Patreon. I decided this month that my twice a month newsletter would be posted on Patreon. It gives me an extra reason to promote my Patreon page. Plus, I feel blogs should be more focused.
  • My Blog. I’ve had a tough time determining how to use my blog. I finally decided that I should use it to post mostly news items. But as I said above, to limit the news items to one thought or idea per blog post. That’s tough for me!
  • YouTube. I still haven’t figured out how to best use YouTube. Right now, I post episodes of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. I love the One Minute Memories of The Opportunistic Travelers Podcast, but that seems tough since I’m not traveling that much. And I just don’t make many music videos. I can’t figure out how best to do those by myself…
  • Pinterest. I have an account. I can’t figure out how best to use it efficiently. So I don’t.
  • Flickr. Any photo that I want to use for promotion later, I post to Flickr. I don’t do much interacting over there though.
  • The Celtfather podcast. Until I can finish these audio travel blogs, this show is sort of on a brief hiatus. I need to redefine what I want to do with it. I lose focus every now and then. And of course, recently, I ran out of time to create it.
  • Marc Gunn newsletter. The newsletter will be coming out twice a month and features all of my latest news, occasional free music, and of course special offers on my music and swag.

I think that’s basically all my social media outlets.  I think these are pretty good descriptions of how I use, or at least try to use, them.

I’d like your thoughts and feedback. Do you think I’m doing things right? Do you find it easy and fun to interact with me?  Post your comments below.

Reminder: MacCracken’s Is This Saturday, June 27th!

Johnnie-MacCracken's-Pub---June-2015

Join me on Saturday, June 27th at Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub in Marietta, Georgia. You can print this picture and share it. Please help spread the word. You can also let me know you’re coming on my Facebook event page.

Saturday, June 27, 2015
Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub
15 Atlanta St SE
Marietta, GA 30060
Show starts around 9:15PM

Breakfast with the Celtfather in Ireland: Celtic Invasion of Donegal 2015

Well, we’ve reached Donegal, and are currently enjoying our stay in a cottage by Mt.Charles!

Though I’d initially intended to put out more podcasts during the trip, but because I’m enjoying putting more production into each one, several of them will probably be posted after the trip. There are only so many hours in the day, and when on vacation, they should be spent having fun!

This idea was reflected by all of us, as we enjoyed a lazy morning (resting up from so much vacation!) at the cottage. While there are a lot of merits to bus tours and CID trips, there are also a lot of cons that come along with those. Primarily, you don’t have any say in the itinerary, and you’re rushing about to see as many things as possible. That works for some folks, but our group is very happy to take it a little easier, and to enjoy the sites.

This morning, I cooked up breakfast for the crew – potentially one of my favourite parts of Celtic Invasion Vacations, giving us a nice, quiet start to the day, along with some fun!

This afternoon, we’re heading off to visit a national park and castle on the Dingle Peninsula, followed by an evening at Leo’s Tavern!

Doe Castle in northern Donegal, Ireland. Wish you were here!

A video posted by Marc Gunn (@marcgunn) on

Slainte!

 

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

Follow the trip updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! I’ll be updating daily to have you virtually join my journey through Ireland! And follow the full Podcast Series on the Celtfather!

Exploring the Titanic: Celtic Invasion of Donegal 2015

Here we are in Belfast, Ireland! Though a little rain swept up to welcome us, and my luggage apparently declined to make the journey to Belfast, we’re safe and going to explore the Titanic! Belfast is home to the Titanic Belfast, a museum dedicated to the creation, story, and aftermath of the Titanic.

Interesting Fact: The Titanic was built in Belfast, Ireland, before sailing from Southampton, England towards its intended destination of New York, USA. This journey was, of course, terminated in 1912 when the ship struck an iceberg and sank, killing over 1,500 passengers and crew members.

While waiting for food at the pub, I decided to learn more about the musicians down by the bar. Turns out that every Friday, Kiera, John, and Leah will head down to the bar and start playing for anyone who’s interested in listening. They were taught by their father, who informs me that getting kids to practice is the key to them loving their music – bribery might have been mentioned… as well as starting early.

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

Follow the trip updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! I’ll be updating daily to have you virtually join my journey through Ireland! And follow the full Podcast Series on the Celtfather!

Ireland Air Travel Tips: Celtic Invasion Vacation 2015

It’s time to fly! Even though just a few hours after leaving, the absence of my family is keenly felt – but hopefully they’ll be able to come with me on a future Celtic Invasion!

Travel Tips:

  1. When adding Luggage Tags, always put one on the outside, and one on the inside! They’re flimsy, and it’ll add a second layer of security!
  2. Always have a backup plan – even with forgetting the iPad, I can use my iPhone for podcasts, so that’ll do for the trip!
  3. Whenever flying across the pond, get the first flight you can to whichever airport you’re departing from. That way  you avoid almost any problems that might happen! Today’s plans changed from flying Birmingham to Newark to Dublin into Birmingham to Houston to London, and THEN to Ireland! But I’ll get there!

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

Follow the trip updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! I’ll be updating daily to have you virtually join my journey through Ireland! And follow the full Podcast Series on the Celtfather!

In today’s podcast, you listened to Star of the County Down.

I Forgot… Celtic Invasion of Donegal, Ireland 2015

I packed early this year. Two days early, in fact. It felt good having nearly everything ready for my Celtic Invasion of Donegal and the Giant’s Causeway. Over the next two days, I grabbed and made lists of various items I “forgot”.  

Mind you, I still forgot my iPad. But I feel good about my packing. I packed lighter this year. Just the bare necessities in a small duffel bag. I’m ready!

   
DELAYS AND THE SCHEDULED FREAK OUT

The trip is well-organized. Each year, I get better, planning earlier, and making tighter plans. I have scheduled items on my list as well as big, carefully-planned holes which gives us flexibility to do something off the cuff. I even remembered to book restaurants for my nine invaders. 

I feel extremely grateful for the people who join me on my CIVs. I’ve said it before. My trips aren’t strictly planned, moment to moment. I educate myself on the places we go, but there’s a lot of “winging it”. That’s scary to say. 

I feel one of these days, a trip might fail because of this “winging it” tactic. Yet in all my years of travel, I’ve always successfully adjusted. 

We’ve had a volcano delay passengers one year. I forgot my driver’s license. We gotten “lost” on drives. Every time, it works out. We laugh. We have fun… Knock on wood. 

Today, I glanced at my email to see my flight to Newark was delayed. It arrives an hour after my departure to Ireland. 

Yes, I’m freaking out. However, I am still scheduled to arrive a day early. So as anxious as I am, I still expect it will work out. 

Hmm. Maybe I should start scheduling my freak out moments too?

YOUR FOR BEST WAYS TO ENJOY MY CELTIC INVASION WITH ME 

I have a tough time with social media. I’m not a big fan, but I feel it’s necessary. There are too many things to see and do. I’d rather spend my time enjoying the trip than taking mediocre pictures and videos (I’m not a good photographer). 

Nevertheless, I have a social media plan for this year’s Invasion. It has FOUR parts. 

1. Photos via Instagram. I want to capture the fun of the trip as well as the beauty of Ireland. 

2. Video postcards to capture “moments” of the trip. Both 15 second postcards as well as One Minute Memories

3. Blogs like this one where I talk about the Invasion experience, and

4. Audio blogging via The Celtfather podcast at http://Celtfather.com. The goal here is to make you feel like you’re experiencing the trip first hand. 

Hm. I just realized I left off Facebook and Twitter. Yes, all of the above will post on Facebook and Twitter as well. I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures to my Celtic Invasion Vacations group. 

I find it interesting because those two social media platforms are my 2 least favorite. 

I’m most-excited about The Celtfather podcast. I did an audio blog last year for Wales. It was a blast. 

The one I started today is even more fun with some decent GarageBand iPhone production. I can’t wait to share. 

I downloaded a ton of podcasts to listen to for my trip. It’s time to relax and enjoy before I fight for a flight when we land in Houston. 

Slainte!
Marc 

PS. If you want to support my blogging and podcasting and music in general, then become a patron at http://marcgunn.net

Parable of Mumford & Sons

I have a lot of awesome news to share with you in show #28 of The Celtfather podcast, including a new band, an interview, a 10-year anniversary and a new feature–Celtic Music Spotlight featuring The Killdares. My Hobbit Drinking Songs show was a success and I also take a look at Mumford & Sons’ new album, why I didn’t like it, and how that could affect my music.

You can find out more about the show by visiting marcgunn.com/celtfather028

Kenzie with her baby sister Inara

Subscribe to the podcast at celtfather.com

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

Learning to feed baby sister

 Mentioned This Week on The Celtfather #28

  • Marc responds to a Facebook question about Torre and how he is reacting to the new baby.
  • Will you see him performing as part of a new band at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival? You just may. The band will be called Kilted Kings IF it happens.
  • There aren’t many good card games for four-year old kids, outside of Go Fish and Slap Jack. What do you do when that happens? Create your own!
  • June 26th is the 10-year anniversary of the Renaissance Festival Podcast. Danny Faught did an interview to delve deep into how the podcast got started and some surprising things that happened as a result of its success, including being recognized in Ireland and DragonCon, just by a voice and a laugh respectively. Can you believe that happens?
  • Much better turnout for the Concert Window performance. There were 21 attendees. But Marc still needs your thoughts on how to improve the concert. Complete the Survey.
  • In preparation for the Hobbit Drinking Songs show on Concert Window last week, Marc wrote a new hobbit song called “The Prettiest Hobbit“, inspired by his two wee hobbits.
  • The latest Irish & Celtic Music Podcast is now online. Show #210 is another New Music Special.
  • The Celtfather podcast will now include a Celtic Music Spotlight in each episode of the podcast. This week, he features The Killdares a fantastic Alternative Celtic Rock band out of Dallas, Texas. They have a new album out called Steal the Sky. So far the music is awesome and well worth a listen. In fact, you can listen to their latest and download song in the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. Listen in the show notes for details for the 17 Free Celtic MP3 Downloads for St. Patrick’s Day 2015 – 10th Anniversary! show for details. You can expect another song in one of the next couple episodes.
  • Finally, you’ll hear me rant on Mumford & Sons new album, Wilder Minds. I didn’t like the album as I said in a recent blog. But there are greater implications about why with regard to my own music.