Finished Altar of Change- what’s next?

So I finally finished my novel about 2 weeks ago. I kept having to psych myself up to write a really tough scene, but when I sat down to write it, it wasn’t that difficult after all.  And I had planned to get to 125K words, but when I finished the tough scene, I realized that I didn’t need that many.  I think I ended up around 105K, and that’s fine.  It ended where it needed to.

Sadly, my laptop is out of commission since my charger cable broke (and the new one didn’t work).  I have backups in various forms, but I really need to be able to get onto Scrivener to do the editing I need to do.   Just another thing to worry about another day.  🙂

So I’m obviously going to be working on the second novel in the series, Altar of Wisdom.  But I have other projects that are fighting for my attention right now too.  Bear and I decided to go completely vegetarian about 2 or 3 months ago, and we try to eat vegan as much as possible.  (I wish cheese didn’t taste so damn good!)  So I’ve been gathering and testing recipes to create a vegan Pagan cookbook with recipes for the sabbats.  For Lughnassadh, for example, we had a veganized corn souffle, sprouted barley salad, and fried seitan.  There are more recipes I need to test, and I’ll do those over the course of a year or so while I gather everything together.

I’m kind of wondering if a Kickstarter project would be good for this one.  Just to get a new laptop since mine is so old and shot, and I honestly don’t know if another power cable would even fix it.  *shrug*  I would need to calculate the cost of the laptop and the cost of the food to try all the recipes out.  I think that would really be all I would need.  I would most likely publish it as an Ebook first, so I could take some pretty nice digital pictures of the food.  I probably need to do more research on this one and create a list of what I would need to do it right.

I’m also really wanting to write short stories about the characters in my altar series.  I want to set them during different time periods so that you get some back story on each character.  I think this will be a great exercise to keep me on track and in my world, but it will be short and fun enough to not be derailed by DragonCon (LESS THAN A MONTH TO GO!!).

I’m toying with the idea of writing these by hand in a notebook.  It’s been a while since I’ve actually WRITTEN anything, and I’m curious to see how it might slow my thinking down, and whether the story would be better or worse because of it.

I also need to get down to the (totally fictional..  ahem..) area where I’ve set Willowisp.  I want to experience it during different times of the year, and we’re coming to a year since I’ve been there.  It was soon after Mabon last time.  So I either need to go now, or just wait until Samhain.

There are always just so many things that I WANT to do, and limited time to actually DO them.   The broken computer is a big thorn in my side, and is part of the reason I haven’t been updating here as much.  It’s something to fix sooner rather than later.  *shrug*


NOTE: Sorry for the late publishing on this one.  I thought I’d published it, but just saved it as a draft.  Oops!  🙂

Cardinal- bird omens

Yesterday, I was getting dressed, getting ready to start my day.  And as I was doing so, there was a beautiful, bright red cardinal right outside the window next to my pillow.  I usually take bird sightings seriously, especially when they’re so blatant.  He (only the males are that bright) stayed for a few minutes, even when I approached the open window and began talking to him.

According to this website, cardinal energy is tied to ‘recognizing your self importance’.  I don’t think that means recognizing that you’re very self-important, but that you have a purpose.  Cardinal is ‘a signal to stop everything and look around’, and realize ‘where you are in that moment’.  I was getting ready for work.  (It seems like that’s all I do sometimes.)  Cardinal also ‘asks you to pay attention to what your body is telling you, and if necessary, take care of any health problems.’

My job hurts me.  A lot.  Whoever said that retail isn’t a physically challenging job just hasn’t done it before.  I keep twisting/wrenching my back, and I know I need to get it checked out.  I just have other catastrophes to deal with first.


Also, I HAVE decided to change the name of my town from Glint to Willowisp.  The idea was that it was something seen out of the corner of your eye.  Something that led you deeper into the forest on a search.  Maybe even something that only the initiated, magickal, or truly mad could see.  Glint sounds a bit more southern, but it doesn’t invoke the hippy/pagan roots of the town.  It also adds a touch more magick to the setting.

In my next few entries, I’m going to start introducing my characters.  I’ll probably share the short character sketches at the very least, and some reference pictures.  This is NOT procrastination.

Yes it is.


Just outside of Milledgeville

Scouting locations for my novel

I’m a Georgia girl, through and through.  And so when I first began thinking of my story, I didn’t even think twice about where it would be set.  Granted, it’s in a smaller town than I grew up in, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, compared to the busy suburb of Atlanta that I live in.  But it was definitely colored by growing up here with the heat, the drawl, and the buzz of cicadas all summer long.

So I started looking.  First, it was just a way to procrastinate.  I knew the basics about my town, but I was curious about where to set it.  I thought it would help me to develop an idea about Vine’s career, and the areas she would be working in.  So I started a search.

And I bought a book.  Haunted Georgia by Alan Brown got me started.  I found out about an ENORMOUS, mostly abandoned sanitarium in Milledgeville, GA.  And when I looked around the area on Google Maps, I found a small dirt road about 1/2 hour away.  The name was just too good to pass up.  And when I saw that there was a creek that ran alongside the road, exactly where I had imagined a creek, and that that creek was also perfectly named, I had to go with it.

And I planned a road trip.  I also stopped at a few other places of interest, including the grave of Flannery O’Connor in a historical Milledgeville cemetery, and the aforementioned sanitarium.

Bear was still living in Maryland, and it drove me nuts to go on a fun road trip without him.  But I kept him in the loop via text and tweets, and sent pics as I went along.

I’ve always wanted to take him back.

And today, I did.  It was beyond exciting for me.  I love sharing everything with him, and I wanted him to see this place that was so important to me.  We also brought J, and it was a huge added bonus to show him as well.  We had a great time.


Glint/Willowisp is set on a small dirt road in the middle of nowhere.  I see it as a place set aside.  It’s a place that you wouldn’t pick out on a map, and that has been protected by magick and by its remoteness from outside influences.


Today, when I went back, we explored the road a little more than I did the first time.  I took some great shots of the road, and hopefully one will work for the cover of my book with some Photoshopping magick.  We also checked out the small country church and tiny cemetery at one end of the road.  In my book, the cemetery is where the town’s residents are all buried, including Vine’s aunt June.  It looks different from what I imagined in my book.

I wanted to make an offering to the land, and I found the area near where Vine’s house would be set.  I also wanted to say thank you for the perfect setting, and ask to be bound to the land.

So I brought a knife and an apple.  I found a nice little patch of ground with some pretty purple flowers, and cut the apple in half across the middle so that the pentagram formed by the 5 seeds was visible.  Then I sliced my arm (just a touch), and smeared a bit of blood on each half of the apple.  I leaned down to place them in front of the flowers, and just as I did, I felt a sharp sting.  I looked down to see that an ant had bitten me just as I placed the offering.

I took this to mean that the Goddess heard me.  I’m also taking it as an acceptance of my desire to be bound by the land, as the poison of the ant is in my body now.  So I feel as if there’s some of the energy of the place inside me too now.  I felt that it meant more than just a rotten accident.

Which is good, because I’m really allergic to ant bites, and my finger swelled up so that I almost couldn’t move it.  (It’s better now.)  I’ll probably write it into my story, as Vine tends to be just as accident prone as me, maybe more so.