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The Summerlands Sun
Beltaine Issue                                 May 1998

Free Til Lughnasadh/NO Passwords for now

NEW Message Boards

NEW Library Uploading

NEW IRC server/change of address

Staff Changes

Section Changes

NEW Euro-Celts

NEW Bard's Hall

NEW Clann an Fhaoil-Choin

Clubs and Groups

Members Directory


Hello everybody,

Well, it's been awhile since I put one of these out ... so please pardon the length of this. I am listing the topics at the top so you know what's here and can scan through to what you want to read.


Because we're in the process of redecorating and redesigning much of The Summerlands and because of reported problems with the password software, we are throwing open the doors and suspending the monthly membership fees until Lughnasadh 1998. We hope you'll take this opportunity to send us your suggestions of things you would like to see, broken links or problems you have encountered at Summerlands, and suggestions for making Summerlands better than ever. Also, please tell your friends about Summerlands so they can check us out for the next 2 months to see if they like us.

If you have already paid your Summerlands' membership fee for the months of June and July, don't worry - we'll just extend your membership 2 additional months on the end of your paid period. So relax and enjoy two free months on us. <G>

After two years of looking for better message board software, Searles found the motherload! Below is a list of its capabilities and instructions for using it. Have fun and let us know how you like it.

This software does/has the following

  • It is MUCH faster than what we were using!!!!!
  • It threads from newest posts to oldest posts. New stuff at the top.
  • It is collapsible/expandable (so you can see either just the top titles or the entire thread line)
  • It puts a NEW tag next to any new message. The tag disappears after 24 hours
    Any new message appears at the top level along with the thread titles. They will collapse and fold into the regular thread after 24 hours.
  • You can subscribe to the different message boards that we have and a copy of any message posted to that board will automatically be sent to your email inbox. Just hit the "Subscribe" at the top of the message board page. You can also 'unsubscribe' with the click of a button.
  • If you don't want to subscribe and get EVERY message posted to the board in your email, you can check the "reply by email" box located under the "Subject" field at the top. This feature is only available for the originator of the message. Be aware that if you select this feature AND you are subscribed to the message board, you will get TWO of everything in that particular thread dropped in your box. We recommend that if you're already subscribe, don't use this feature.
  • You have a "preview" function so you can check out your messages before you send them. It's right next to the "post it" button at the bottom.
  • The line spacing in this software actually works right! So you can post poetry or song lyrics and they will actually show up the way they were supposed to! <yeah!>
  • Old messages will automatically roll off after 1 month.
  • There is an "Archive" feature. You may view old threads from the past that we felt were "keepers". This list does not roll off.
  • If you enter your email address in the field under your name when you make a post, it automatically sets up a link to your email box. Anyone wanting to reply to you privately can just click on your name and it will open an email form.
  • You can also embed links and pictures. See the "Help" file at the top for all the how to's of that.

Uploading files to the libraries will be much easier than we thought! (and a cheer goes up from the crowd <G>) Right now, the prototype for the new library and upload system is located on The Women's Lodge. Once we get it just the way we want it, then Searles will use that as the template and move it to all the other sections as well. Should be up in the next two weeks.

We have applied for and received a permanent irc room at StarLink-IRC.

Talkcity was great when we first started, but recently we have been plagued with multiple server crashes and the inability of our people to actually get online to our room when Talkcity has exceeded its capacity. StarLink-IRC looks to be a much calmer server that still provides the same 'protected' environment that Talkcity did (no drooling sex maniacs posting obnoxious room titles, family owned server, etc). The Starlink-IRC server is much quieter, and has a different atmosphere and feel. We think it's not a cooincidence that the SL initials stand for both StarLink-IRC and SummerLands. <g>

StarLink-IRC requires specific IRC software such as MIRC or PIRCH. You can't get there through the Net, as you could with TalkCity. We believe that is another plus, since additional traffic is cut down.

You need to reset your irc software to one of the following


You can use Port 6667 or 7000 on all.

The room name is the same #summerlands. We will be changing the site over after Memorial Day, so please make a note that all groups, chats and classes will be at the new StarLink site starting on Monday, May 25, 1998.

We will also be applying for a second and third room to use as private class and group rooms and leave #Summerlands open to everybody on StarLink.

If you have any problems with getting set up or configured once you get there, beep/email Aurora (aka "Rori" over at StarLink). She knows this stuff (and especially that service) like the back of her hand.

To reach her while on Starlink-IRC type /query Rori andyourmessage.

She is usually up on PAL as well:
name:  Rori

We've had a couple of staff leave recently due to time and commitment conflicts and we wish them well. Teb, Greyfox, Iuna and Cygnus are and ever shall be missed. That's the bad news ... the good news is that there are now openings available for staff positions in the Women's Lodge, Airmid's Apron and The Healing Center. If you know of anyone who is qualified and would like to fill either of these positions, please have them contact us for an interview.

More good news is, we have also added a couple of New Staff Members (although not new faces to us). GreyWolf (aka Paleobot) will be running the Summerlands bookstore (which is 'inprocess' at the moment - more about that when we're ready to open). Also, please extend a warm welcome to Proins'eaf (aka Frinshay) who will be hostessing the Bard's Hall (more about that below). We're delighted that these two wonderful people have decided to join us in making Summerlands better than ever.

And Aurora is back among the living! <GGG> After a prolonged absence (don't you just hate it when life interferes with your computer time <sigh>) Our Lady of   The Swirling Colors and resident CathoWitch is back in the saddle and raring to get the libraries up and running! {{{Big Hug}}}

We have combined the Crafts Guild and Kitchen Witch Inn for the time being. Frostfire is tied up with Convergence 98 (which will be over in August) so until then we have closed the Crafts board and moved everything in with the KWI stuff. We'll separate it back out once she's back inhouse. Hurry Home Frostfire ... we miss you, lady.


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Several months ago, Shadowhawk recommended finding a way of including our European Celtic siblings into the Summerlands. At time we didn't have a way of doing that, but now, thanks to Aesdano (aka 1 x 2 Willows) we have the new Euro-Celts section. There is a message board up and a library will follow shortly. We're hoping that they will make use of the chat room at some point for discussions 'across the pond'. So if you read, German, Swiss, French, Spanish, Irish and whatever else we anticipate mysteriously appearing on that board... go for it! If nothing else, pop in and leave a message for them so they know they're welcome in the neighborhood <G>

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As mentioned previously, Proins'eaf will be opening An Ceilidh Barda, The Bard's Hall, the first week in June. The purpose of this site is to give the Bards and Filidh a place to post their materials, and work on their craft in the company of their peers. Along with the message board and library for this section, Proins'eaf will also host the weekly Bard's Hall Chat on Friday nights in our irc room. Please stop by and join in the fun and festivities. Bring a story, song, technique ... or just yourselves to enjoy the comradery and exchange of information. 9PM Eastern time ... check the calendar later this week for more info.

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We've really gotten lucky with the addition of Clann an Fhaoil-Choin involvement and activities at our site. FC is a Celtic Reconstructionist Clan which is located here in Fort Worth. Searles and I have enjoyed their hospitality, shared their hearth for meals and ceremonies and are highly impressed with their level of commitment, the accuracy of their information, the depth of their knowledge, and the purity of their hearts. Jon Keeyes, head of FC will be leading a group discussion on the 3rd Monday of the month. The opening topic for discussion will be _Celtic Warriorship and Honor in the Modern World_. We hope you'll join us for that and many more of FC's discussions here at The Summerlands. If there is enough attendance and interest, we will see about moving the FC to Thursday nights and possibly making it a weekly discussion group.

With all the new sites and groups starting up, don't forget about our long-standing weekly and monthly get togethers. We have the

New Member Orientation - 1st Monday of each month. Led by Deborah (new day of week - same old time)

ArcheoAstronomy Club - 2nd Monday of each month. This is led by Jehana and is in conjunction with her section - Brugh of the Star River.

NEW Clann an Fhaoil-Chon Discussion - 3rd Monday of each month. Led by Jon and/or another senior member of Clann an Fhaoil-Choin.

Druid's Assembly - Held the 6th day after the New Moon. Led by Searles.

The Roundtable - every Wednesday night. Usually led by Searles, but is open for guest speakers/hosts on a variety of subjects. Past guest discussions have included Druidic Logic and Ancient and Medieval Cooking Techniques/Recipes. You never know what the topic for the night is going to be, so check the calendar regularly to find out.

Women's Lodge - every Tuesday night - This is being led by Deborah until such time as we find someone to host the Women's section and take over this weekly discussion. So... come hang out and share your week that was with your sisters. Also, planned discussions on Moontime, Moonlodge and the role of women in ancient Celtic and modern societies. (NEW Night!)

NEW Bard's Hall - every Friday night starting in June. This is led by Proins'eaf and looks to be a lot of fun as well as informative.

Pagan Teen Chat - meets on alternate Saturday nights. This is led by Nimyra and is devoted to teens talking to teens about what's going on in their lives and what it means to be a pagan teen these days.

We're going to use one of the new message boards as our Members' Directory. Of all the ideas and software we have looked at for the MD, this seems to be the simplest and best. The new software allows you to upload your picture, to link back to wherever you have your webpage, and to link to your email. We will type a blank form that will stay on the board. All you have to do is copy the form and paste it into a 'post new message' and then just fill in the blanks. The fields we are currently considering are name, nickname, age, gender, marital status, kids, pets, geographical location (city/state/country only - no actual addresses posted to the public board please), physical description, interests, favorite quote, path/religion, permission to contact, PAL/ICQ address.

Anything on the form that we've left out? Let us know. All these fields will be optional. You can fill in as many or as few things about yourself as you choose. This will be located in the Tower Room/Spice Cabinet and should be operational this coming Memorial Day weekend. Have fun! We look forward to reading about you all.

Remember to turn on your PAL software when you come online (or set it up to autoload). That way you'll be able to see which of your Summerlands friends are online at the same time and chat with them without having to go to irc. Just click on their names and away you go. Also, this enables them to know that you too are online at the same time. If you don't remember how to set up/configure your PAL, you can either email Evergreen at or check out the PAL information under the "General Information" button, "Chatting" link on the Crossroads page.

Well... that's about all the news that's fit to print. <and the crowd sighs with relief!... I *heard* that!!!! ;-)  >

Take care y'all and we'll see you over at The Summerlands,

Deb and Searles