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Friday, April 22, 2011

Feline Friday--Samhain, fighting the good fight



This is Samhain, my kitty who has been battling chronic renal failure for a year and a half. Her blood tests had been coming back with very encouraging numbers until her last visit to the vet in March, when they suddenly spiked (that's bad, btw).

So now she's getting her subq fluids every day instead of every other day, which she loves, as you can imagine. Other than the test results, however, she isn't showing any signs of illness.

Apparently she didn't get the memo that she was sick :-)

Here she is, resting up after a tough bout of having me chase her around the house to make her sit still for her treatment. Believe me--I looked worse.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From Russia With Love

No--I'm not talking about James Bond movies (or books, for that matter).

I'm talking about this surprise package I got in the mail from the lovely folks at Llewellyn yesterday:




Yes, that's my book, EVERYDAY WITCH A TO Z...in Russian :-) It looks very different from the original English version, doesn't it?




Still, I got a kick out of knowing that now witches in Russia could sit around a samovar, sipping tea, and reading my book!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Going to Salem--the NECRWA Conference

I am starting to get really excited about my upcoming trip to Salem, MA.

It might surprise you to know that I have never been to Salem. And that the reason I'm going now doesn't have anything to do with Witches, exactly. Although I've managed to find a way to work them in there... I'm going to the New England Chapter RWA yearly conference for writers, which takes place at the historic Hawthorne hotel on Friday, April 29th and Saturday the 30th. In part, I decided to go because of where the conference is being held (Salem!), and in part because I really like the guests of honor, which include the amazing authors Lani Diane Rich (aka Lucy March), Anne Stuart, and Annette Blair. Additionally, the conference chair is my writing pal Kate George. Also, it's in Salem! (Can you tell I'm a little excited about finally getting there?)

Salem is a fair piece from where I live in upstate NY--about a 5 or 6 hour drive, depending on traffic and pit stops. Luckily for me, best pal Ellen's boyfriend lives in Boston (and she doesn't mind doing long drives). So we'll be driving up together, and then Paul will come from Boston to meet us, and they'll mostly do their thing while I do mine, although we might sightsee together a bit. Paul used to live in Salem, so we'll have a native guide, which is always nice.

I will be giving a workshop on Saturday morning ("Witchcraft for the paranormal author" -- I told you I'd work it in there somewhere)and taking part in the book signing on Saturday night. And before the conference starts on Friday afternoon, I'll be at the World of Witches Museum, at 57 Wharf Street for a noon to one PM booksigning and "meet the author" lunch, thanks to Don Lewis and Ed Hubbard of The Witch School. (Yay, Witch School!) Hopefully, I will be able to find some time to take in the sights and sites of Salem, and socialize with the Betties who are attending (*waves hi to the Betties*). And I hope I see a few of you there, at either the conference or the Witch School booksigning. Did I mention it was going to be in Salem? http://www.necrwa.org/conference.html

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blogging on community

I am blogging about writing community over at the Black Ink, White Paper blog. Come see what I have to say.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Upcoming appearances and workshops

Here's what's coming up for me...
I hope to see some of you at one of these events!

Appearances:

New England Chapter RWA Hawthorne Hotel, Salem MASS April 29-30Workshop "Witchcraft for the Paranormal Author" (Fri?) and Literacy Signing (Sat)
http://www.necrwa.org/conference.html

RWA National Convention NY Marriot Marquis, NYC June 28-July 1
Panel "The Agent Search" with The Knight Agency agents & authors (Elaine Spencer, Lucienne Diver, Candace Havens, Rosemary Clement Moore) Friday July 1st 2-3PM
http://www.rwa.org


Workshops:

"Witchcraft for the Paranormal Author" SavvyAuthors May 16-June 2
http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/worshoplist.php "

Beyond Fangs: Creating new and interesting paranormal characters" LowCountryRWA October 5-21
http://lowcountryrwa.com/online-workshops/ (register by Oct 2)
(Online chat for this workshop Sept 11 and 24)

Articles:

Summer/Fall issue of Witches & Pagans -- "Magick on a Shoestring" column

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day thoughts and a shout out to Candace Havens

Happy foolishness! Today is April Fool’s Day, well known for pranks and trickery and general silliness.

No one really knows how the day originated, although the most popular theory claims that it came about when the Gregorian calendar took over from the Julian calendar in 1582. According to this theory, some people didn’t get the message about the change, and tried to celebrate New Year’s (previously observed on April 1st instead of January 1st) on the wrong date. These poor folks were teased for being “April Fools.” (1)

Other theories suggest that April Fool’s Day was derived from the Roman holiday of Veneralia, which celebrated the goddess Venus. According to Barbara Ardinger, “to the Romans, it was All Fools Day. They spent the day doing foolish things and playing pranks.” (2)

It is also possible that there is an association with the Spring Equinox, when Mother Nature is known for playing her own tricks. Still, whatever its origins, whether you call it All Fools Day or April Fool’s Day, it gives us the opportunity to indulge our playful side. But I look at it as a time to be more serious as well.

Let’s take a look at my favorite Fool, The Fool card from the tarot. This card is number 0; either the beginning or the end of the Major Arcana cards, depending on the book you are looking in. Since all things are circular, maybe he’s both! The most common representation of The Fool is as a young man with his possessions hanging in a bag on the end of his staff, cheerfully preparing to step off the side of a cliff. His little dog dances gaily at his feet. Popular tarot expert Mary K. Greer, in her book Tarot for Yourself: A workbook for personal transformation, gives the following as some possible interpretations of The Fool: “Leaping off into some new phase of life. Free-spirited. Carefree. Being open to experience. Acting on impulse without thought or plan. Spontaneity. Childlike enthusiasm. Innocence. Lack of inhibitions. Footloose and fancy free. Being silly. Frivolity. Trusting in the universe. Experiencing life in the here and now—from moment to moment. Optimism.” (3)

Doesn’t that all sound wonderful? Who among us wouldn’t like to have a little more of those qualities in our mundane lives? So today, on All Fool’s day, let’s resolve to let ourselves be foolish. Let us live a little more freely, be open to what the universe has to offer and put aside our fear of change, even if just for a day.

What do you dream of doing? What would you change about your life if you could gather up your courage and take that leap of faith? Is there something you’ve been longing to do, but have held back from out of a fear of looking foolish? Well, today’s the day! Make a wish list for yourself of all those dreams you keep in that dusty, “I just don’t dare,” corner of your mind and heart. Do you want a new job or a new career? Have you been pining for the guy next door, but lacking the courage to ask him out? Is there a writer or an artist, a singer, actor or comedian inside you, longing to be brought out into the shining light of day?

Today, on All Fool’s Day, why not pick one of the aspects of The Fool and make it your own? Choose to be more spontaneous or optimistic. Take a leap of faith. Trust in the universe to help you make your dreams come true. And if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, and you make a fool of yourself, so what? At least on April Fool’s Day, you’ll have plenty of company.

And here's a great book to read, no fooling! Speaking of daring, my friend Candace has a sexy, romantic mystery out today.

Check it out: He's high risk... and very high reward! Well, it certainly wasn't the assignment detective Katie McClure was expecting. Traveling to London to protect an old scientist who'd been receiving death threats? Too easy. As it turns out, Dr. Macon Douglas is hot. The kind that makes Katie ponder her own kinds of experiments - namely ones that involve Mac being naked. But the death threats are real…along with the wicked chemistry that seems to sizzle and zap whenever they're together. Can Katie keep her professional thoughts in mind and keep Mac safe - or will she risk everything and dare to be bare?

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