Sometimes all it takes is a Bright Spark

I have had a lot of “stuff” going on in my personal life.  Summer has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?  Living on the Canadian Prairies means packing as much fun as you can into just a few weeks.  Before you know it, fall is here and the weather goes from overwhelmingly hot to somewhat chilly, literally overnight.

I thought a Faerie Guidance reading was long overdue and was drawn to use the Heart of Faerie deck by Brian and Wendy Froud.  When I was shuffling the cards, the Bright Spark jumped out onto the table.  Isn’t she cute?  She certainly grabbed my attention and as it turns out, that’s exactly her purpose.  Let’s see what messages she has for us.

Sometimes it feels like everyone around us has gone mad.  You suddenly find yourself wandering through unfamiliar territory where just a week ago, you were sailing along as though you hadn’t a care in the world.  Something needs to change, but you have no idea where to start.

What you’re looking for is the Bright Spark.  That tiny flash of light.  That slight hint that what you need is “over here”.  This card certainly resonates with me.

Faerie Guidance for the Blog - Aug 24

 

When you’ve wandered off the path, it’s usually because you get caught up in other people’s drama.  Or perhaps you’re causing your own issues, getting wound up in things that really don’t matter all that much when you step back and look at them.  It is a slow process, so you’re usually unaware of it until things get completely out of control.  Now is the time to ask yourself why.  If you are being drawn in by others or if it is a case where you are causing a whirlwind of inner conflict, the question remains the same.  Why am I attracted to the drama?  Am I bored and simply wanting to shake things up?  Am I frustrated with my situation and looking for a way out?

Call upon the Bright Spark.  She can help you sort through the situation.  Once you can see the root of it, you can find the lesson waiting there, and thus a way to turn things around.  Once that happens, you can untangle yourself from the drama and find your way back to where you’re meant to be.  Best of all, you will have been able to resolve things within yourself and recognize when you’re being distracted in the future.

Are you finding yourself restless?  Are you looking for a change?  Ask the Bright Spark for help and then get ready for that flash of inspiration!

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Shelfie Saturday – the super deluxe office edition !

I am not sure how it happened but my office slowly became a sort of dumping ground for everything I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with.  Boxes of this… bags of that… piles of papers and unopened mail.  It made me sad to go in there because for so long I wanted a library/research area and I finally had that, but over time I had disrespected the space.  So I decided that it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

One by one, I went through the boxes and bags.  I started a “keep” pile on the desk, which turned into several keep piles.  I grabbed the garbage bag holder thingy, put a bag on it and started tossing everything that was no longer relevant.  Like bills from 2012.  How embarrassing is that?

I have a tendency to store things in reusable grocery store bags.  I take everything I need to go through and stuff it in there, vowing to deal with it later.  Until later becomes far later than I intended and I find myself wondering why I have this bag of paper sitting in my office.  The positive in this situation is that it’s all fairly easy to let go of once you finally get to it.

Through this process, I decided that I needed to get another bookcase.  I gave it a lot of thought and came to the conclusion that I had to find a lightweight folding one because there was no way I was hauling another behemoth into the house by myself.  Before I heading out shopping, I did what I always do.   The “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” technique.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if I could find a folding bookshelf for under 30 dollars?”

I went to three different stores before I hit the jackpot.  I found exactly what I was looking for, albiet a bit smaller than I’d hoped.  But they were only 19-99 each, so I decided to get two!

Shelfie Saturday - New Shelves

Don’t you love manifesting exactly what you want at the price you’re willing to pay?

Now that the bigger bookcase was almost empty, I could move more books into my office.  HAZZAH!  I decided to put all of my research material on the left and my “to be read” pile on the right.

Shelfie Saturday - Shelves 2

No space is complete without a salt lamp.

I also re-organized my music, which is in alphabetical order according to artist.

Shelfie Saturday - Music

I became a bit concerned when I couldn’t find any of my Deva Premal CD’s.  Then I noticed a few others missing and the search was on.  I typically take a handful of CD’s out to my car, then bring them in and trade them for something new when I need a change.  So I figured I must have a pile of them somewhere.  I searched all the likely spots, but found nothing.  Finally, I remembered that I moved all of my “Spiritual” CD’s into my Healing Room.  Mystery Solved!

I am so happy I finally took the time to reclaim this space.  I had a lot of fun setting it up and reorganizing everything.  Now that I can see the top of my desk again, it’s inspired me to get back to work.  I currently have three more book reviews to write and some character development to get to.  I am still doing the actual writing in the kitchen but it’s good to know this space is there waiting for me when I need it.  Even if I just want to enjoy a cup of tea and a daydream.

Shelfie Saturday - Desk

Do you have anything you’ve been putting off?  What’s stopping you?

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Imitation VS Innovation

Everyone’s looking for the next JK Rowling, but like any “Cinderella Story”, they tend to forget that there’s no such thing as an overnight success.  According to Wikipedia, JK Rowling was rejected by 12 different publishing houses before Bloomsbury agreed to publish the first Harry Potter Book.  Even then, she was advised to get a day job because it wasn’t likely she’d make any money writing children’s books.

No one could have predicted the success of Harry Potter.  But that is part of the reason I think it’s successful.  It wasn’t planned or formulated.  No one was trying for a repeat performance.  It was unlike anything anyone had ever experienced.  As a “regular person” who hadn’t yet been discovered, JK Rowling was free to write from her heart with no further expectations than bringing a story forward and sharing it.

Another example of great storytelling is the team behind Pixar Animation Studios.  There is a short documentary playing on Knowledge Network that I have watched at least 6 times and the other night, I watched it again.  John Lasseter’s story is a fantastic example of the Law of Attraction at work.  He decided at a very young age that he wanted to not only create cartoons, but to work for Disney.  He didn’t know how it would happen but he never lost sight of his dream nor did he ever doubt that it would come true.

John Lasseter Quote

Mr. Lasseter understands the creative mind and the fact that creative-types have a unique perspective.  Our needs are different than our left-brained counterparts and he has been very careful to foster those by creating a work environment that is tailored to creativity.  He truly believes that if you let a creative person do what they do best in a manner that works for them, they will bring more to the table than you ever dreamed possible.  What’s better is that he supports that belief by giving his team the support and tools they need to foster their ideas.  He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk and does it better than anyone else in the industry.

Needless to say, both JK Rowling and John Lasseter continue to inspire me.   So tell me, who inspires you?

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Not exactly what I was expecting

I follow a few BookTubers and enjoy their typically enthusiastic reviews.  They seem to mostly read YA which is great for me, as I write YA.  So when I notice the same book popping up time and time again, I pay attention.  Such was the case with “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs.Blog - Miss P

It looked quirky and creepy, so needless to say I was sold.  I ventured out to my local bookshop and procured a copy.  I fully expected to plow through it in a weekend, but soon discovered it wasn’t going to be that easy.

I love the photos and can assume that I had the same question as everyone else.  Which came first?  Was the story based on the photos or did Ransom Riggs hunt down photos to support his characters?  The answer?  Both!

As it happens, I also have a fondness for old photos.  When I went to my grandmother’s home to help her prepare for her move into an assisted living facility, she let me keep some of the things she didn’t need/want anymore.  Some of those were photos.  I don’t know the story behind all of them.  I just took the ones that were interesting.  It’s an odd sort of voyeurism, isn’t it?  Taking a moment in time that you have no connection with and simply imagining what lead up to it.

Blog - old photos

I love the unconventional format of old photos.  Just look at all the different sizes, boarders, and paper used.  Not to mention some of the interesting choices with regard to subject matter.  

This book is quite unique and very creepy.  The main character, Jacob Portman, was older than what I thought he would be.  The story was also a bit darker than I expect.  That may sound odd, as I knew was I was getting into but in spite of that I found the story to be dark in an emotional way.  The black and white photos enhance that gloomy feeling which isn’t altogether unpleasant but instead wraps itself around you like a cozy but odd-smelling blanket and invites you to stay.  The creepiest part for me is the fact the photos are real, not simply created to support the story.

Knowing this was the first in a series made it a bit easier to understand why the story was a bit slow-moving.  I sense that there is quite a bit more to the tale than what was revealed.  While I was unsure how I felt about this book until the very last page, I can now say that my interest in “Hollow City” is piqued.  With a 3rd book on the way, I definitely do not want to be left behind.

 

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The “D” word

Deadlines

That word strikes fear in the hearts of writers everywhere.  Well, most writers.  I write commercials and work with deadlines every day.  I am very lucky.  I set most of those deadlines.  So if I look at my “to do” list and notice that a particular date is looking rather popular among my clients, then I adjust the deadlines.  That way, I can be sure that the actual deadline (the one the production/traffic teams care about) is met.

I think I speak for most writers when I say that procrastination is a constant struggle and can be deadly.  So, we often set deadlines for ourselves to keep us on track.  With regard to my own writing, I don’t micromanage myself.  I don’t bother with daily or even weekly deadlines.  I like to keep the process as organic as possible.  But I do believe in setting a reasonable deadline to keep me on track.  Otherwise I think I’d stay in “daydream mode” and never get anything actually written down.

I had a pretty firm idea as to when I wanted my next book to be released.  Again, being an Indie author, I can set my own schedule.  But this year got off to a rather unfortunate start and I found myself unable to write for a while.  So that original schedule has been amended a bit.  To be honest, I was quite worried for a while and am just happy to be able to write at all.

Another snag in the process has been that I am actually researching and working on the story outlines for not one… not two… but three projects.  At once.  That’s not a horrible problem to have, admittedly.  But it really makes it difficult to focus and commit.  To choose just one story seems to me like I am abandoning the others.  Thankfully, they’re patient.  For the most part.

My sister and I are going to head to the coast for a girl’s long weekend.  Unfortunately, it’s not until August.  So I decided that a great way to help pass the time would be to get the first draft finished.

MeetingWhen the characters start to show up unannounced, that’s when I know that I am on to something.

I spent the better part of two days trying to coax a villain out of the shadows.  He doesn’t have a name but I do know a bit more about him, which is usually how it goes.  A character appears and introduces themselves in their own way.  I silently observe to determine if I should push for more information or let them divulge whatever they feel comfortable revealing.  Then I dive into my pile of reference material and try to find a name that suits them.  It’s a process that I really enjoy.

How do you deal with deadlines?  Are you comfortable or do they simply serve to stress you out?  Do you procrastinate?  Looking forward to your thoughts.

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Protection and Prosperity are like peanut butter and jam

Ellen Dugan is one of my favorite Pagan authors.  She’s published 15 books on Witchcraft thus far, with another currently in the works.  “Natural Witchery” remains my favorite and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the Craft.

Paganism is an umbrella term that includes many different traditions.  Witchcraft falls under that umbrella and also branches out to include traditions from across the world.  From the Appalacian (or Granny) Tradition to Celtic Witchcraft to Strega (originating in Italy).  The most commonly known are Wiccans, however you do not have to be a Wiccan to be a Witch.  Some like to label themselves in order to further identify their practice.  There are Kitchen/Cottage Witches, Solitary Witches, Eclectic Witches, and Ceremonial Witches.  Those who work with herbs tend to refer to themselves as Green, Garden, or Hedgewitches.  At the end of the day, it matters not what label you use to identify your Tradition.  What matters is that you incorporate the Spiritual and Magickal into your daily life.  Walk the walk, so to speak.

PPM - Blog July 2014

“Practical Protection Magick – guarding and reclaiming your power” was released in 2011.  Now, there is a companion book – “Practical Prosperity Magick – crafting success and abundance”.

You cannot manifest anything if you are coming from a place of lack or fear.  So it makes sense that “Practical Protection Magick” came first.  The lessons inside regarding setting boundaries, shielding yourself from negativity, warding your home, herbs and crystals for protection are the foundation from which you can build a more prosperous life.  Release the fear, express gratitude, welcome abundance.

Chapter Five, entitled “Physical Fitness Equals Magickal Strength” is especially interesting.  It makes sense when we think about it, but how many of us stop to consider it?  I attended a few “open circles” while deciding if I wanted to join a particular group.  I noticed an odd pattern.  After the Circle, there would be a potluck and some socializing.  But the items some brought to share were a bit… concerning.  A lot of junk food was present.  Chips, cookies, pop, that sort of thing.  But very few brought healthy food.  It lead me to wonder, how does this lack of respect for our bodies translate into our Magickal lives?  How can we hope to have success with our intentions if we fill our bodies with what we already acknowledge as “junk food”?  I am definitely not the perfect model of health and fitness, not by a long shot.  But these questions definitely gave me pause.  This internal dialogue is prompting me to read the book through again and see what new information comes forward.

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Both books contain a list of Moon phases, Deities, colors, herbs, and crystals specific to protection and prosperity.  These are tools which enhance the work you are doing.  Nothing is worse than figuring out the reason something isn’t working is because the Moon was void when you set your intention.

The Law of Attraction, The Power of Intention, Manifestation – these terms are becoming more and more known in all circles.  People from all backgrounds are putting these concepts to work in their lives and seeing the results.  “Practical Prosperity Magick” takes these Universal Laws and presents them from a Pagan perspective.  This enables those who are observing a Pagan Tradition (whatever that may be) to incorporate them in a way that is in alignment with the other work they are doing.   A way that speaks to them.

I love candle magick!  I find candles the easiest way to focus my intention, combining color/scent to intensify that focus.  In my opinion, there is nothing more magickal than a candle, flickering with purpose.  Chapter Three is entitled “Fire – Illumination, Transformation, and Manifestation” and discusses candle magick in detail.  The section “Be careful what you cast for” is illuminating (pun intended).

For the Blog - Witchy Shoppe - candles

Need a candle?  You’ve come to the right place!  

I have never done any work with coin or metal magick, so that section was really interesting.  I can’t believe I didn’t consider using coins to manifest before.  It seems so logical and straight forward.  But like so many, I tend to overthink and end up getting stressed.  I have to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be complicated.  One of the things I love about Ellen Dugan’s books is that she is a big fan of “Witchery on a Budget”.  You don’t need matchy-matchy, expensive tools or expensive ingredients (contrary to what some metaphysical shops will lead you to believe).  Everything you need is most likely close at hand, if you relax and take the time to look.

PPM - Blog July 2014 3

 Did I mention I also have a thing for spell jars?

 Both “Practical Protection Magick” and “Practical Prosperity Magick” are available in Kindle and traditional format from Amazon.com.

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Book Haul – the Witchy Edition !

I have been waiting for Ellen Dugan’s latest book “Practical Prosperity Magick” for about a year.  Now… the wait is over.  IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!

When it comes to ordering books online, I can’t seem to stop at one.  I figure that if they’re shipping out one, they may as well ship out 2 or 3 or 4 (depending on what mood I am in and that silly little thing called a “budget”).  So when the time came to place my order, I decided to see what else I could find.

Book Haul - the Witchy Edition

Several months ago, a friend posted a list of authors who were featured at a Pagan conference she was attending.  One of them was Stephanie Woodfield.  The cover for her book “Celtic Lore and Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess” caught my eye.  I looked it up on Amazon and decided to order it.  The Morrigan keeps coming up, so there’s obviously something there.  She is not a part of the Avalonian Tradition, however I feel that if the pull is there it’s worth looking into.  I only briefly flipped through the book and it does look interesting.

I love working with crystals and have found them to be extremely helpful in a multitude of ways.  Now that I have been working with them for over a decade, I can’t imagine not doing so.  Ember Grant happens to be a friend of Ellen Dugan’s and I heard about her book through Ellen’s Facebook page.  It looks really interesting, so I decided to add that to my order.

I have to admit, I have already plowed through “Practical Prosperity Magick” and will certainly post a review as soon as I get a chance.  With the Law of Attraction and the Power of Intention becoming more and more widely known, it’s great to see a book that focuses on these concepts from a Pagan perspective.

Now the question is… which (or is that Witch?) book to read next?

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